Exercise and Supplements

Exercise and Supplements: What they don’t tell you

Written by: Emma Anius


Every serious gym goer indulges in some form of supplement these days- be it whey protein, creatine or a multivitamin substance.  There seems to be a huge push on trying to improve as quickly as possible.  It use to just be the professional athletes that used supplements to reach their full potential; but now it seems supplements are so readily available to the general public; who intern consumes with little knowledge on what it actually does to the body other than what the label says.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require the manufacture to list all the ingredients that the product contains and regulates few supplements.   Which allows the manufacturers and retailers to claim many benefits and advertise the supplements as aggressively as they choose, this causes limited attention to the negative impact that supplementation can have on the body.  This also means there is a danger that a product could include harmful substances.

Since supplements have become readily available to the general public there has been a huge influx of products, you are now able to take something as you wake up, then again for breakfast, as a mid-morning snack, there’s a pre-workout, during workout and post workout supplement, dinner and evening-snack supplements are also available.  It now seems as though instead of eating a balanced diet and gaining nutritional value you can supplement yourself throughout the day in hopes of lifting a heavier weight at the end of the week.

The common supplements everyone seems to be aware of are creatine and protein, both of these substances can be found in meat and fish so there is no need to take supplements if you are receiving a balanced diet.

Creatine has been noted to increase muscle size and improve athletic performance when combined with exercise, and although this sounds like the perfect supplement to take when trying to get in shape for carnival it can also have a negative effect on the body.

As your body naturally produces creatine, an increased amount can build up in the bloodstream and may cause kidney and liver damage it has also been linked to muscle cramps when taken immediately before exercise or when exercising in intense heat.  Although creatine does appear to increase muscle size, there are several theories on how the substance works. Some believe it increases the water content in the muscle, which leads to an increase in muscle size, and others, that the placebo effect takes place- whereby you believe you can work harder so you do.

The other very popular supplement is protein, which is taken to stimulate and maintain muscle growth.  Studies have been done on the potentially deleterious side effects of protein supplementation; reference was made to the potential effects of excessive protein intake, such as dehydration, gout, liver and kidney damage, calcium loss, osteoporosis, bloating, and diarrhea.  None of these side effects sound pleasurable and although the supplements have been shown to generate results, it appears to be at the cost of your overall health and wellbeing.  If you want to increase your muscle mass without potentially interfering with your quality of life; train hard, eat healthily, rest well and progress gradually.

Looking after your body is the key to healthy living.

If you have no time to exercise or don’t know where to begin:


Triceps dips x 10, push-ups x 10, medicine ball twists x 20, burpes x 10, 5min jog on spot


Triceps dips x 15, push-ups x 20, medicine ball twists x 50, burpes x 20, 5min jog on spot


Note: Emma Anius is a Personal Trainer for Cyan Fitness promoting a ‘healthy life and a better you.’

Email: emma@cyanfitness.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cyanfitness




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