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Dietary supplements for athletes: be careful with pills and muscle building powder
The fitness industry in Germany has been booming for years. While it used to be so-called "bodybuilders" who trained in the gym, today "normal" young and old people can be found there. Some of them use dietary supplements to improve muscle growth. However, experts warn of such preparations. These are sometimes unnecessary and in some cases dangerous.
Improve muscle building
Strength training is the trend: training with weights not only helps build muscle, it also helps you lose weight. This, in turn, lowers the risk of numerous lifestyle diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure. Unfortunately, some athletes also use dietary supplements to improve muscle growth. According to experts, this can be dangerous.
Natural protein supply is sufficient
In the gym you can always see that some people take protein bars and shakes after training to strengthen their muscles. According to experts, however, this is unnecessary. A natural protein supply is sufficient.
You don't have to eat eggs, steaks, etc. for this, vegetable proteins are also suitable.
However, some athletes also trust the advertising promise of manufacturers of nutritional supplements. They consume vitamin pills, powders and capsules to build muscle and hope for higher performance.
However, some of these funds are unnecessary or even risky, the Brandenburg Consumer Center warns in a recent announcement.
Only a slightly increased need for proteins and vitamins
More than half of the people in Germany who use dietary supplements believe that the products promote health. This emerges from a representative forsa survey on behalf of the consumer advice centers.
Athletes in particular often think that they need extra minerals, amino acids, vitamins and proteins to perform well. However, this only applies in exceptional cases, such as for competitive athletes in intensive training before competitions.
"Leisure athletes only have a slightly increased need for proteins or vitamins, which they can cover well with a balanced diet," explained Silke Vollbrecht, expert for nutrition and food at the Brandenburg Consumer Center.
Dietary supplements are not tested for effectiveness
Legally, food supplements are part of food. Unlike drugs, they are not tested for effectiveness and side effects. Health risks cannot be ruled out in the case of prolonged, high-dose intake.
According to a market investigation by the consumer centers of magnesium preparations, overdoses are common. In principle, drug interactions are always possible.
Orders from the Internet, including products for athletes, can be particularly risky because of possible contamination with doping substances.
Anyone considering food supplements should at least be familiar with products that have been tested for doping substances.
If there is a need for nutritional supplements - ideally determined together with a nutritionist or doctor - a look at the Cologne list helps, but this is not a general recommendation for nutritional supplements. (ad)