Dietary supplements are very popular in gyms, and they promise to improve performance in training and achieve more effective results. But, without professional supervision and without following the manufacturer’s usage instructions, the risks can be many. the Brazil Agency I spoke with cardiologist Rica Buchler, director of cardiac rehabilitation at Instituto Dante Bazanis, and with dietitian Priscilla Moreira, a member of the Regional Council of Dietitians in São Paulo. They provide guidance on healthy and safe ways to improve physical fitness.
“he [suplemento] It has a very wide range of variations and many are sold online without clinical oversight. See cases of arrhythmias and heart problems from supplementation. I’m very scared. Pre-workout supplements are misleading as to the caffeine content they can contain. You have to be careful, even by following the manufacturer’s rules,” warns the cardiologist.
Priscilla does not rule out the use of nutritional supplements, as long as it is done with professional supervision. She points out that it’s important to follow a eating routine when considering taking a supplement. “It serves as an energy-generating resource, anything that will help improve your performance, your performance, in exercise or a resource that will supplement what is missing,” he explains. The nutritionist believes that individual evaluation allows for healthy consumption.
A dietitian who specializes in cardiology is just as concerned about caffeinated supplements. “Healthy adults can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day, but how do I know that this adult is really healthy? Only after a cardiology evaluation, and not all sports practitioners look for a cardiologist. In this sense, her recommendation, in advance, is , is to choose products that do not contain this ingredient.
Rika recalls that this period requires more attention, as we can see many people returning to training after a period of sedentary lifestyle due to social distancing due to the pandemic. “It’s like forcing a low-fuel car up the slopes,” he compares. She adds that fitness, conditioning and muscle gain all require constant work. “Excessive intake of caffeine can lead to a detrimental effect on the heart because it stimulates unprepared muscles,” he explains.
Cardiologist stresses the need for professional monitoring of supplement use by those who train in academies – Jose Cruz / Agência Brasil
The doctor explains that the formulations of the products are diverse and range from “caffeine” to “caffeine”. [com doses elevadas] Even substances that increase body heat.” She adds that products like whey protein do not fit into this list. “It is a protein alternative that can be added to the routine of people who engage in physical activity, in reduced form,” he notes, adding, however, that A balanced diet can actually provide the necessary proteins.The cardiologist also emphasizes the need for professional follow-up.
For Priscilla, the use of these substances that can be considered a supplement, as they are already produced by the body, can also pose a health risk if taken in excessive quantities. “There is no point in an individual not taking protein daily and using only the supplement. It is a supplement to increase this consumption given the goal he has of training. There is a risk of consumption if the individual already has, for example, a high consumption of proteins throughout the day and consumes a protein supplement. There is a risk of overload, for example, of kidney function,” he points out, stressing the need for prior nutritional assessment.
On social media, the use of undiluted supplements has become a challenge among some TikTok users. This practice is more common outside of Brazil, but it is possible to access videos that show people eating the powdered product and then experiencing manual shivers caused by the product. “There is no shortage of examples in the media of people who have had a mini-heart attack or have problems in the gym, such as an irregular heartbeat, and sometimes death. It is very risky.”
The cardiologist explains that even taking the same amount that, according to the recommendation, should be diluted, there is a significant difference in the absorption surface of the body. “If you dilute it in water, the supplement will be evenly absorbed into the stomach wall.”
She adds that even products she considers safer can cause an increase in organs. “By taking the powder, it will be in a pure form, much stronger. Even in the case of whey, for example, even without caffeine, if it’s taken that way, the person who filters all this out — the extra protein, he eliminates it — is creatine, it’s The kidneys, and the organ has a limit to filter it,” he explains.
Priscilla adds that undiluted consumption, especially products containing caffeine, can cause dehydration due to their diuretic effect. “It is expected that, at the start of training, we will have a water consumption of at least 250 to 500 ml, depending on the individual’s weight,” he instructs.
Dehydration also carries risks for heart health. “When I take a supplement with active substances that speed up diuresis or active substances that make a person sweat more, and without consuming water, they may even have problems with heart function, with an increased heart rate, as a result of dehydration. People call it hyponatremia” , explains.
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