We spend millions on fitness enhancing supplements, but how do we know which to choose, and – more importantly – do they work?

‘Craze’ by Driven Sports was found to contain undisclosed amphetamine-like compounds. Once www.bodybuilding.com’s “New Supplement of the Year”, it has since been taken off the market. This Matt Cahill-inspired product contained dangerous substances that caused liver damage and even blindness to some consumers.

So, how can users of supplements feel entirely safe when it took months to find out that the ‘world’s best’ and most renowned fitness supplement was packed with treacherous, harmful ingredients meaning its consumers were at severe risk? Luckily it’s a rare problem and there are steps you can take to make sure you are taking safe supplements.

Expert advice

Dr. Sally Richardson has some advice when it comes to these daily dietary appendages.

“I am asked about supplement consumption more often than you’d imagine,” she says. “Most people already consume enough calories and protein in a regular varied diet without the need for additional aids. It is only really athletes and professionals who need these supplements.”

Of course, the athletes Dr. Richardson speaks of are those who exercise on a very recurrent basis and consume the highest possible quality supplements that are accredited by nutritionists and fitness experts.

So for tip number one, if you want a professional-looking body and follow a athlete-like regime, seek out the supplements that they use too.

What do the stats say?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), fifty thousand health problems are reported each year, caused directly by dietary supplements. Such health deficiencies include liver damage, osteoporosis and neuromuscular disorders.

But advising clients to use dietary supplements is something that occurs regularly within the health and fitness industry, according to “Smash the Fat” personal trainer, James Hutchinson.

Hutchinson has studied nutrition and weight loss procedures for over nine years and he told Writing for Publication that: “I use and advise my clients to use fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are very important in preventing and managing heart disease meaning more cardiovascular training can be performed which obviously contributes toward weight loss. For the clients that are more serious about their health I suggest liquid chlorophyll.”

As sequencing and manufacturing of fitness enhancing supplements continue, and an understanding of what materials pose risk to consumers are realised, the – already rare – riskier side of supplements should further decrease.

Hutchinson’s tip is simple: “exercisers should conduct research on what they’re consuming in order to make sure they aren’t putting themselves at a totally avoidable and unnecessary risk”

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