Supplement users and fitness enthusiasts have an overwhelming amount of products from which to choose, and pretty much all of them claim to be just the thing your workouts have been missing.
Who wouldn’t want their workouts to be more efficient? And who wouldn’t want a boost of energy to crush the WOD? But more often than not, what’s hidden in these magical game-changing supplements is not only to your workout’s detriment but to your health as well.
A great workout supplement should complement your fitness routine, not make you feel like you’re jumping out of your skin. That jittery feeling may put some fire under your behind to get out and crush leg day, but a dizzy side effect. From heart palpitations to insomnia, the damage these ingredients can cause is truly baffling when you realize they sit on store shelves waiting to be sold to us as if they’ll turn us all into gods and goddesses.
If you want to see progress in your workouts but don’t want to sit in a doctor’s office with chronic health problems as a result, avoid these three ingredients often hidden in supplements and try these natural replacements instead.
Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K)
We’ve been told over and over again that refined sugar is “bad” and to avoid consuming it in excess whenever we can. While it’s true we should only consume refined sugar in moderation if at all, replacing it with just any artificial sweetener is not the answer. Commonly found in pre-workout drinks, acesulfame potassium is an artificial sweetener that stimulates the sweet receptors of the tongue without the extra calories. It’s 200 times sweeter than sugar, and it was found to be carcinogenic.
Acesulfame K contains the carcinogen methylene chloride, and long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver effects, kidney effects, visual disturbances, and cancer in humans.
Yohimbe is a type of tree from the jungles of West Africa, and its compound, yohimbine, was traditionally used as a medicine. Unfortunately, as far as supplement ingredients go (and medicine), it’s a pretty lousy product.
Yohimbine has been shown to have several nasty side effects such as dizziness, insomnia, nausea, anxiety, increased heartbeat, and high blood pressure. The ingredient is actually banned in several countries but finds its way into supplements wherever it can.
Methyl-synephrine is sort of a mystery ingredient as it’s not classified as a dietary supplement, vitamin, herb, mineral, or amino acid by the FDA. It’s not an extract or metabolite, but it’s a stimulant and therefore it’s found in workout supplements.
This compound causes irregular heart palpitations and increases your blood pressure, making it an extremely dangerous ingredient for anyone with a history of heart problems. It’s been banned by most professional sports organizations across the world, and supplements containing this ingredient are considered adulterated by the FDA.
The ingredients listed above will do far more harm than good. And even if you’ve been consuming supplements containing the aforementioned and haven’t been affected, the possible negative side effects far outweigh any benefits.
If you’re into supplements, try to find ones containing these three natural ingredients instead.
Beetroot has been used for years by athletes and fitness experts. It’s rich in dietary nitrates that work with your body to relax blood vessels, allowing more blood to circulate and supply muscles with more oxygen.
This process strengthens your muscles and allows them to experience less fatigue while increasing your endurance.
Citrulline is a non-essential amino-acid, and once introduced to the body, it converts into amino acid L-arginine nitric oxide. This process improves blood circulation and oxygen flow to muscles. Citrulline Malate’s ability to do this helps the body with fatigue, and it’s been associated with improved recovery and efficient elimination of nitrogenous waste.
If you’ve never heard of or read about the benefits of green tea, you’re likely hiding under a rock and don’t need supplements anyway. Green tea’s benefits on the body’s overall health have been well documented as it contains a powerhouse of antioxidants and contains caffeine to help you get energized before a workout. Its contents have been shown to boost the body’s fat-burning mechanism while boosting the body’s immunity and reducing muscle damage.
Yerba Mate is a popular concoction that contains antioxidant compounds that can help protect against heart disease and reduce cholesterol levels. It contains caffeine, theobromine, and flavonoids as well as seven out of nine essential amino acids.
The caffeine content in Yerba Mate can boost energy production and alertness and has been shown to improve performance by up to 5%. And not only can it improve your metabolism, but it can boost immune function as well, safely and effectively.
When it really comes down to it, it doesn’t make much sense to consistently put toxic ingredients into your body when your focus is supposedly on health and wellness. Supplements such as NutraPrice’s Energy Formula that contain natural, immune-boosting ingredients can give you long-lasting energy while preserving those precious muscles you’re working so hard to keep in tip-top shape.
Always do your research before deciding on a supplement. If you aren’t properly educated on what that ingredient list can do to your body and overall well-being, you can wind up doing some serious damage. But luckily, there are wellness companies out there dedicated to making sure your supplement routine is safe, effective, and beneficial.