Sports supplements are chemical products also known as ergogenic aids which are widely used in various arenas of sports such as athletics and other physical sports. Sportsmen take aid of sports supplements in order to improve and enhance their performance in their respective sport.
The sports supplements mainly entail vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs and botanicals. They can also be in the form of a concentrated product, extract or conjunction of both.
These products often don’t require a doctor’s prescription and can be easily bought over the counter from medical stores. Even though it’s a common perception among athletes that sports supplements help greatly in ameliorating performance however most medical experts claim that not all supplements serve the purpose and some can even be harmful for health in either short or long term or both. Following is the list of certain sports supplements and their specific side effects.
List of Sports Supplements
Caffeine is a major component in various popular beverages and eatables such as coffee, dark chocolate, energy drinks, soda. Caffeine is mostly consumed as it provides instant energy and burn body fat. One can often see tired and sleepy people sipping coffee in the offices to feel refreshed. Caffeine affects the central nervous system and not only makes one feel alert but also instils the feeling of less effort being used to perform any work.
However there are also certain side effects if caffeine is consumed in large amounts such as insomnia, increase in heart rate and increase in blood pressure. Hence it’s important that one takes caffeine in regulated amounts. Also if a person who consumes caffeinated drink on a regular basis but suddenly stops doing so shall experience severe headaches.
Carnitine is used inside the body in order to take the fatty acids towards the mitochondria of the cells which convert the fatty acids into energy. It is strongly believed that carnitine intake enhances endurance and also leads to a significant decrease in pain felt by muscles. It also greatly ameliorates cardio-vascular function and helps in weight loss. However not much has been researched regarding this supplement and there’s no definite information about its possible benefits and side hazards.
One of the most widely used sports supplements, creatine is needed by the body in order to produce energy in the muscles. Available in the form of phosphocreatine, it promotes muscles strength, greater endurance and gain in muscles.
However it has been observed that prolonged use of this sports supplement can also lead to weight gain which is a highly negative trait for any sportsperson and can deteriorate his/her performance. It can also lead to pressure on kidneys and liver which can cause increase in urination. Moreover it can also lead to severe pain in liver and cause damage in abdominal tract on the lower end.
Any supplement containing ephedra alkaloids are termed as ephedra. It is highly used by many sportspersons for not only improving the energy levels but also for weightloss. Even though dosage less than 10 milligrams is perfectly fine, larger amounts can cause insomnia, increased heart rate and blood pressure and even stroke.
Androstenedione is one of the natural steroids that is broken down into smaller testosterone by the body and is used by the athletes to enhance their performance. However, even though many sportspersons consume it, it has many adverse effects. Teens and adults in the developing age often form a lot of health hazards due to the intake of androstenedione.
It can lead to hormonal imbalances further triggering mood swings accompanied by depression. Certain other side effects have also been observed in sundry cases such as increase in aggression and loss of hair. The most adverse effects of this supplement include increased risk of heart hazard and certain forms of cancer. Besides, this steroid use may result in excessive aggression, loss of hair, cancer development risk and several other heart diseases.
Another sports supplemented highly opted by the athletes who aim at enhancing their performance by means of supplements, linoleic acid is used widely by many athletes However it has various side effects and can adversely affect the athlete’s health in both short and long term. It is known that conjugated linoleic acid leads to cellular damage and even causes damage to the cell lining while the person performs training exercises by triggering oxidation stress.
Royal jelly Supplements
Royal jelly is highly preferred by the athletes looking for supplements to enhance their sports performance as it is widely believed that unlike many other sports supplements, it is relatively safe and only has very mild adverse effects. Prolonged intake can cause increase in body weight, rashes on the skin and even lead to upset stomach.
Care must be taken that some people are found to be allergic to this supplement, exhibiting symptoms such as swollen face, swelling in throat and tongue and also breathing problem, hence it’s strongly advised that you let a doctor conduct an allergy test before you start taking the royal jelly supplement. It can even cause the asthmatic symptoms to arrive again in case the individual is prone to it.
Nitric Oxide Supplements
Nitric oxide is used by our body in order to trigger greater muscle growth as it provides nutrition to the skeletal muscles. Even though it is highly preferred by many sportspersons mostly body builders it is strongly advised that an individual should consult an expert or a doctor before deciding on it. Its side-effects include problems like migraine, headaches, asthmatic symptoms, body weakness and nausea besides an increased heart rate.
Anabolic steroids are widely used by sundry sportspersons in order to enhance performance by virtue of increased muscle strength and mass. However unregulated dosage can cause damage to liver and heart and can also weaken immune system. It can also lead to an increase in blood sugar level which along with high blood pressure can induce a greater risk of heart disease. There are also some cases in which it has found to cause tear and damage in tissues.