Athletics and sports require a lot of physical fitness. All athletes are hailed as fitness experts and their routines are seen as motivation for everyday people. Such a level of fitness comes from not only physical exercise but also from a proper diet.
In today’s busy lifestyle, it is not possible to always consume a balanced diet with exact proportions of all nutrients as prescribed by the doctors. So, this has opened up the avenue for vitamins and supplements to become very popular athletes.
Natural supplements are seen as safe medications that can be used to enhance and boost your fitness and keep your health up. But, these natural supplements fail to deliver on their promises at times. This has raised the question whether ‘all-natural’ supplements are still risky for athletes and sportspersons or not!
Why are Natural Supplements Risky for Athletes?
To answer this question, we have to understand that natural supplements, even when marketed as all-natural, contain some percentage of non-natural ingredients. This is because the term ‘all-natural’ is very hard to define.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not associate the term natural with any sort of nutritional or health benefits.
This ambiguity is what poses a threat to athletes and sportspersons as there is no way to distinguish between authentic all-natural and the ones being marketed as all-natural while containing prohibited ingredients.
This article is aimed at helping you understand the risks that come with all-natural supplements if you are an athlete or a sportsperson.
- Marketing Gimmick
It is sad to know that there are companies that practice immoral and unethical marketing practices. This happens by misleading consumers into thinking that their products are all-natural when in reality they are not.
One of the best examples of such unethical practices is some ‘all-natural’ weight loss pills that have sibutramine, which is a prohibited drug that was removed from the market.
So, it is quite difficult for professionals that need to maintain their fitness to the highest standards to learn which is real and which is fake. So, this type of product can only cause more harm than good.
- Naturally harmful ingredients
All natural products are not suitable for humans. There are plenty of ‘all-natural products’ that come straight from plants and animals that are deadly for human beings such as hemlock and arsenic.
Generally, supplements manufacturers do not need to have any special knowledge or training before making them. So, the products they manufacture may contain ingredients that have mild or severe side effects on your health. The best way to keep safe is to stay away from such products.
- Prohibited Ingredients
Many ‘all-natural’ supplements contain prohibited ingredients and drugs that can fail an athlete or sportsperson in a doping test. Products such as Cannabis Sativa produce THC naturally.
Other such products include the ephedra plant that produces octopamine, which is a prohibited ingredient. These herbal products also have the risk of reacting with any other medication that you might be consuming.
So, the use of herbal products should be done only after consultation with experts and medical professionals.
- Natural Does Not Guarantee Safety
There are many supplements that are available in the market that have some synthetic ingredients that are produced in a factory and are not all-natural products.
Such supplements sometimes rank better than all-natural products for your fitness and health. This is just to prove that nature does not ensure that it is good or rather the best for you.
Natural products are not inherently better for being natural.
- Other risks
Dietary supplements come with their fair share of risks, as we have discussed in the aforementioned points. It is important to understand that dietary supplements, even common ones, like a vitamin d3 supplement, have to be first consulted with a medical professional prior to consumption.
To stay absolutely risk-free, it is advised to consume supplements only if they are prescribed by doctors who are aware of your medications, health risks, and your athlete and sports career.
In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it is hard to take care of your health in the most ideal ways possible. As an athlete, it is your job to stay as fit and healthy as humanly possible. So, it is very scary and irresponsible to jeopardize all of your life’s hard work by consuming off-brand pills with unverifiable benefits.
It is important to be aware of the risks and rewards associated with anything. This article is aimed at you to understand the risks that come with all-natural supplements.
It is always advised to consult a nutritionist or physical before adding any new supplement to your diet, be it natural or not. This will ensure that your health and fitness remain safe, without succumbing to any form of risks.