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Sports Nutrition Supplements

What Are Sports Supplements?
Sports supplements (also called ergogenic aids) are products used to enhance athletic performance. They come in different forms, including vitamins, synthetic (manmade) drugs, and hormones, most of which are available over the counter without a prescription.

Anabolic steroids
Anabolic steroids are hormones that help the body build muscle tissue and increase muscle mass. Steroids, also known as roids or juice, are similar to the male hormone testosterone, which is produced naturally in larger amounts in guys' bodies and smaller amounts in girls' bodies. When a person takes steroids, the body's muscle tissue is stimulated to grow, producing larger and stronger muscles. But steroids can have some unwelcome, serious side effects.

Androstenedione and DHEA
Androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone (also known as DHEA) are other popular nutritional supplements. Androstenedione and DHEA are prohormones or "natural steroids" that can be broken down into testosterone. The effects of steroidal supplements aren't well known, but it's thought that when taken in large doses, they cause effects similar to stronger anabolic steroids. What is known is that andro and DHEA can cause hormone imbalances in people who use them. Both may have the same effects as taking anabolic steroids and may lead to dangerous side effects.

Creatine is already manufactured by the body in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas, and it occurs naturally in foods such as meat and fish. If a person takes creatine supplements, the extra creatine is stored in the muscles, and some people think it gives them an energy boost during workouts or competitions. Creatine is one of the most popular nutritional supplements.
No serious side effects have been documented in persons who follow the manufacturer's recommended dosing guidelines for creatine supplementation.

Fat burners
Fat burners (thermogenics) are often made with an herb called ephedra, also known as ephedrine, which speeds up the nervous system and increases metabolism. Some teens use fat burners to lose weight or to increase energy. Ephedra-based products can cause heart problems, stroke.

Although the bodybuilding community was first to use HMB, endurance athletes have picked up on it, as well. Some believe that HMB is effective at building strength, increasing lean body mass, and enhancing recovery (because it slows muscle protein breakdown). There are also possible cholesterol- and blood pressure-lowering benefits to HMB. However, much more information is needed before its safety and effectiveness are fully understood.

The current Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), according to the USDA, is 0.8 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight, which would be approximately 64 grams of protein for a 175-pound man. Whey and casein proteins are protein powders derived from cow's milk. They are separated out during the cheese-making process. Whey and casein proteins provide amino acids (the building blocks of muscle tissue) that can also be obtained by eating high-protein foods. Consuming these proteins in excess of your desired caloric intake can cause weight gain, however.


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April 10, 2020