Bodybuilders are often a confused lot as they have difficulty differentiating between supplements and steroids. Though anabolic steroids and dietary supplements are worlds apart it is the perception which is difficult to change. Hence we aim to present this article to clear the air so that everyone understands what is what and have no hesitation in consuming either.
How to Differentiate Anabolic Steroids from Dietary Supplements?
Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of nutrients albeit in a more potent form. For example you can think of the sex hormone Testosterone which can increase sex-drive. Specific steroids can enhance performance and hence can result in phenomenally growing of muscle mass and strength. The word “Anabolic” simply indicates “growth-aiding”. Steroids are classified as “Drugs”. To prevent abuse the International Olympic Committee has prohibited the use of steroids in competitive sports and anyone who tests positive, is banned for at least a few years.
Dietary Supplements on the contrary focuses on the word “supplement” indicating something which supplements the diet (adds in quantity) and can be consumed orally. Dietary supplements are concentrated forms of naturally occurring food nutrients like proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins etc and are marketed in many forms like tablets, capsules and powders. Some dietary supplements like Whey Protein, is marketed in powder form and as energy bars.
Dietary supplement is defined as a nutrient or a formulation which is drug free and totally natural. This is the sole reason Dietary Supplements cannot be classified as drugs and hence not regulated by the drugs authority.
Who can take Dietary Supplements?
Since dietary supplements are concentrated foods that help build immunity and eradicate deficiency. Everyone can take it as and when necessary. Dietary supplements are quite safe for all.
The best part of taking dietary supplements is they adequately provide superior quality of nutrients, and give a specific quantity of nutrients required at a particular time in a day and they make it convenient for our body to be supplied with all the essential nutrients. When this happens our body absorbs it easily and we immensely benefit.
Need of Dietary Supplements
With population explosion the need for food has multiplied manifold and excessive chemical fertilizers are used. This has deteriorated the nutritive quality of crops and the overall health of populace has seen a decline. Today everyone has to depend on dietary supplements for gaining optimum health especially for those into bodybuilding, sports that need them badly.
Today the stress levels are increasing and there is too much negativity all around. Irregular eating, sleeping and working habits have translated into bad health and the overall deteriorating foods quality has put excessive strains on our bodies. All this forces everyone to fall back upon vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements just to maintain a balanced life.
There needs to be a balance between the dietary supplement consumed and physical exercises. Without an active lifestyle, healthy eating habits and forward thinking these dietary supplements when taken in high doses can have a detrimental effect.
Clearing the Misconception on Steroids mixed in Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements usually are consumed in big quantities like scoops which weigh anywhere between 10 to 30 grams. The International Olympic Committee has banned the addition of Anabolic Steroids in dietary supplement formulations. This is the sole reason, you can be sure that none of the dietary supplements can ever have steroids added.
Steroids on the contrary are available in smaller tablets and/or injections and not commonly available as over-the-counter model. As mentioned above, they are classified as drugs and monitored by respective authorities and cannot be easily overruled.
Dietary supplements cover a large range of nutrients like proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals etc. They not only remove deficiencies but also supplement the small quantities that exist in our body so that we can carry out our desired tasks. Steroids on the contrary, are classified as drugs and cannot be openly mixed in dietary supplements, which are consumed by general public. Hence whenever you purchase dietary supplement, there should be no fear thinking it may be laced with steroids.