DIET&FITNESS Published August7, 2015 By Milafel Hope Dacanay

Research Warns against Dependency on Fitness Supplements

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Fond of drinking protein shakes and eating protein bars? Then be warned: they may lead to eating disorders.

The study, which was recently presented in Toronto, focused on the consumption habits of more than 190 men with ages from 18 to over 65. These men not only worked out to improve their physique at least twice a week, but they also consumed bodybuilding supplements such as protein bars and shakes over the counter for around a month. The research was conducted by a team from Alliant International University's psychology department, which is based in Los Angeles. Richard Achiro, who works as a professor in the department, presented the results.  

Based on the analyses of their data, almost half of them ended up increasing their consumption. What's more interesting, however, is that at least 22% of them had been replacing their regular meals with these supplements. This may have already been a concern as more than 5% of them had already been told by their physicians to reduce or end their intake. Meanwhile, almost 30% of them had spoken about their anxiety of taking these supplements.

During the presentation, Achiro asserted that more than the desire to look good, men who are conscious of their body are driven by psychology. Society has imposed on them the desirable appearance, which includes six-pack abs and contoured biceps. Those who showed a deeper concern on this area are more likely to take these supplements in excess and are vulnerable to developing eating disorders.

While these supplements are meant to replace their meals, they are also consuming them to help them build more muscle mass quickly. 

More people have been patronizing these supplements as well. According to Food Navigator USA, the demand for these supplements is expected to grow by as much as $6 billion in the next 3 years. To combat possible harmful effect, experts recommend choosing a healthy diet and allowing these shakes to simply supplement nutrition gap. 

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