Staying physically fit is important to many Americans, and rightly so. It is widely accepted that those who exercise feel better than those who do not. In every major city there are private gyms littered throughout, providing outlets for those who would like to live a healthier lifestyle. However, there are times when working out can work against one’s health, becoming habit forming and often involving the use of bodybuilding supplements.
Researchers at the California School of Professional Psychology in Alhambra found that a large percentage of men that work out abuse legal bodybuilding supplements, and many are aware that they can be detrimental to health, The Los Angeles Times reports. The study showed that over 40% of men surveyed reported increasing their use of supplements over time, and 29% were aware of the damage that bodybuilding supplements wreak on one’s health.
Common bodybuilding supplements, marketed towards men for achieving an optimal body/fat ration include:
- Protein Bars
- Creatine Powder
- Glutamine Capsules
The study authors go one step further, Richard Achiro and co-author Peter Theodore contend that the findings ‘should put risky supplement use “on the map” as an eating disorder that affects “a significant number of men”,’ according to the article. The researchers surveyed 195 men over the age of 18, all of which had reported working out at least twice a week and had used a legal supplement in the previous 30 days.
The survey showed:
- 22% reported having used supplements as meal replacements.
- 8% were told by a doctor to reduce or stop their use of supplements.
- 3% reported kidney or liver damage that required hospitalization.
The researchers conclude:
Excessive legal APED [appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs] use may represent a variant of disordered eating that threatens the health of gym-active men.”
The findings were presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting in Toronto.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder or supplement abuse, please contact Pace Recovery Center.