Staying fit is essential to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, yet, there is a dangerous difference in keeping yourself physically fit and attempting to build a sculpted body with the help of supplements and anabolic steroids.
Working out in the gym and consuming steroids and supplements are the quickest way to have a muscular build, however it is proved beyond doubt that the long term use of these supplements can weaken the heart and cause severe damage.
Pune365 spoke to health professionals, fitness experts and others to understand the potential risks of using these fitness supplements.
Dr Roshan Palresha, Emergency Medical Specialist says “Anabolic steroids have an unfavourable effect on the serum lipid profile.
They lead to a decrease in good cholesterol (HDL) and increase in bad cholesterol (LDL). So, these changes in lipids are associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.”
Anabolic steroids also cause thickening of the muscular walls of the left ventricle of the heart or LVH (Left Ventricular Hypertrophy). They may also lead to Acute Myocardial Infarction or a heart attack as referred to commonly.
They cause increased platelet aggregation i.e., the basis for thrombus or clot formation in the coronary arteries. They also increase oxygen demand of cardiac muscle, potentially leading to a mismatch in oxygen demand and supply, in extreme cases, it may even lead to Sudden Cardiac Death which is of course very rare.
Palresha further added that long-term use and abuse of steroids can cause damage to the major organs and can causes structural and functional abnormalities in the brain that could may lead to the development of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease.
Sushant Rajput, Gym Trainer says, “Steroids are generally consumed when people are a hurry to build muscle and win a medal.
Anything consumed in larger proportions are bound to be harmful. These supplements are beneficial initially as they boost up energy levels which helps you in building muscles.
However, supplements if consumed beyond a limit can be extremely dangerous, along with weakening the heart they also lead to calcium depletion.
No gym trainers would suggest just to rely on supplements and high protein diets, it is important to follow a strict rainbow diet. An individual should also be very patient while losing and gaining weight and just popping pills is certainly not going to help, Rajput added.
Kavita Nair, Dietician opines, “The mentality of gym enthusiasts should from gaining muscle or losing weight to about being fit. People are hyper inspired by Bollywood stars and often fail to realise that it is not a single day miracle and these stars have worked out for years.
A recent study has also stated that 20% of deaths among bodybuilders has occurred due to a heart attack and when researched, it was proven that they were on high doses of steroids, used by them for building muscles.
An individuals body differs and every person has different metabolic rates. Some loose faster and some gain faster. In the greed of gaining or losing, fitness enthusiast are attracted to those big jars which end up damaging their healthy lifestyle.
A diet is designed by understanding the need of your body, hence it is always advisable to eat healthy. A high protein diet is essential, but that doesn’t mean one compromises on the rest of the required nutrients.
Vikram Sah, Fitness enthusiast says, “They are essential if a bulky body, big muscles, and cut thighs are your dream.
It is impossible to get a good physique without consuming protein shakes or steroids.”
I agree with the fact that it should not be consumed over a long period of time, as we don’t workout throughout our life. One should stop consuming such supplements, if you are not working out.
Whenever an individual works out, he ensures that he is hydrated enough, and hence the toxins are flushed out. Therefore a person is all fit and fine when he works out and falls prey to illness, when not working out, Sah added.
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