It seems that women are not the only ones who are willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve their dream body. While women starve themselves in order to have a skinny body, some men use bodybuilding supplements in a wrong way to the extent that they replace normal meals with them. Scientists are worried that this might lead to a new eating disorder.
According to the study which was presented in Toronto at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, men who work out resort to using over-the counter bodybuilding supplements which can be harmful for both their emotional and psychological health.
The research team led by psychotherapists Peter Theodore and Richard Achiro analyzed 195 men with ages between 18 and 65 who were going to the gym twice a week. The participants regularly took supplements that were supposed to enhance their performance that included creatine, protein and L-carnitine. These compounds are usually contained in such supplements. They have various risk degrees depending on how they are employed.
The participants were required to answer different questions regarding their eating habits, body image, self-esteem and whether they were faced with any gender-role conflicts. The findings of the research indicate that 40 percent of the participants increased the consumption of bodybuilding supplements over time. In addition one in five men replaced their regular meals with supplements that are not meant to replace a normal diet. Even more worrying was the fact that three percent of the participants had been hospitalized because of their misuse of bodybuilding supplements which led to liver and kidney problems.
Researchers noted that those participants who misused bodybuilding supplements are more prone to develop eating disorders and are more likely to experience conflict in gender role. This is a sign of insecurity and low self-esteem.
Men who go to the gym and abuse bodybuilding supplements have an increased risk of developing health conditions such as body dysmorphic disorder which was previously known as reverse anorexia.
Achiro remarked that by abusing supplements men are trying to compensate for their insecurities. Nutritionist Tamar Cohen said:
A supplement or a vitamin that you buy can fill in a gap, but it’s never going replace food.”
Men who want to start using bodybuilding supplements are advised to use them with moderation and first of all consult a nutritionist before starting to use them.
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