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If you are a health buff like me, I highly recommend that you take the time to consider the various bodybuilding supplements side – effects as it may potentially harm your well – being in the long – run. There are lots of anecdotal claims online especially on social media about bodybuilding supplements side – effects that are often times confusing, which is why many products get a fair share of bad reputation even if it’s of great quality and perhaps highly effective. Here’s the thing, any kind of supplement that is misused or abused by the user can definitely be harmful regardless if the product is superb or not. For instance, too much Vitamin C can cause severe stomach problems like diarrhea but it doesn’t necessarily mean that Vitamin C should be completely avoided, or is generally harmful. Below is some bodybuilding supplements side – effects found in various products such as testosterone boosters, pre – workout supplements, creatine, and fat burners just to name a few.

Bodybuilding Supplements Side – Effects in Health Products

Testosterone is the master hormone that any health buff should focus on when it comes to building muscles. A minor increase in testosterone levels means that there will also be an increase in muscle mass as well as a decrease in body fat, which is why many male bodybuilders and gym – goers use it. There are two ways in which one can boost their testosterone levels; (1) through using natural herbs, (2) through using synthetic means such as anabolic steroids and pro – hormones. The latter are sometimes legal and also illegal to use but both are effective to boost testosterone levels. However, both natural herbs and synthetic means may carry various bodybuilding supplements side – effects. Common side – effects of bodybuilding supplement include the following:

  • Hair loss
  • Acne
  • Increased estrogen levels
  • Gynecomastia
  • Testicular Atrophy
  • Prostate Enlargement

The natural means to boosts one’s testosterone levels involve using various types of herbs such as the following:

  • Tribulus
  • Safed musli
  • Terrestris
  • Avena sativa
  • Longjack
  • Fenugreek extracts

All of these herbs have anabolic properties that tend to unbind bounded testosterone and/or increase the amount of luteninzing hormones in the body. The aforementioned side – effects of bodybuilding supplements like testosterone boosters are usually lessened if one uses natural products but it can still occur. If the levels of free testosterone are increased, it will also affect the estrogen and DHT hormones which are responsible for causing the bad side – effects.

Natural Anabolic Substances (Beta – alanine, Arginine, and Creatine)

Another bodybuilding supplement that can cause side – effects is beta – alanine, arginine, and creatine. Each of these substances can have various side – effects depending on how it is used.

For instance, a natural substance in the body that creates energy is creatine, and if it is misused the potential bad effects include kidney stress, diarrhea, muscle cramps, stomach cramps, dehydration, nausea, and weight gain among others. If one intakes high doses of creatine without drinking adequate amounts of water, that’s when some of the side – effects kick in. Research shows that when creatine is properly administered, no negative effects are present especially in clinical trials.

Another type of anabolic substance that is rather safe even when consumed in high doses is arginine. However, people who have herpes virus should definitely avoid it as this supplement can cause herpes outbreaks or cold sores.

The side – effect of bodybuilding supplements containing beta – alanine is quite subtle though it can still be irritating to some users; it can cause a tingling sensation in one’s skin since there’ll be a flush of niacin dosage or Vitamin B3.

Fat Burning and Pre – Workout Supplements

The fat burners and pre – workout supplements both help in building muscles. However, both supplements also carry large amounts of stimulants particularly caffeine. Pre – workout bodybuilding supplement like NO – Xplode, and fat burner supplement like Lipo 6 are some of the most commonly used products. Bodybuilding supplements side – effects of stimulants include the following:

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Drug addiction and dependency
  • Heart palpitations
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Weight loss
  • Tremors
  • Mild hypertension
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions
  • Heart attack

If you happen to have any form of heart disease, you wouldn’t want to use any of pre – workout supplements that contain stimulants to boost athletic performance because it will take a toll on your health. What caffeine does is to fool the adrenal glands to produce huge amounts of adrenaline which in turn can produce more energy but when used for long – term, this can lead to dependence, and the adrenals can result to poor functioning without such stimulant. Any stimulant is safe for most health users as long as it is properly taken with the right amount of dosage. Be sure to also cycle caffeine to avoid any adrenal function impairment.

Side – Effects of Dietary Bodybuilding Supplements

Bodybuilding supplements are often used by people who are health or gym buffs as well as athletes since they’re the ones who need to improve their bodies which in turn can improve their performance particularly in sports. However, it’s very important to do due diligence before taking any supplement because even if your muscle mass drastically improves in a very short period of time with less effort in the gym, it may still harm your body system one way or another; this includes supplements acquired from natural products because even if the side – effects are less dramatic, it can still be harmful in the long run if taken in excess as the body wouldn’t be able to get rid of oil – based vitamins that could be present in such natural supplements. Keep in mind that any supplement regardless if they are natural – based product or not, each of them has its own side – effects. The ideal route is to still eat a balanced diet, take a rest, and exercise regularly because then you wouldn’t really require any kind of supplements. The following is a list of different dietary supplements that are often used to build muscle mass including their possible side – effects:


Creatine is deemed as the most popular dietary and bodybuilding supplement that came into the market which is why it’s not a surprise if every bodybuilder, professional athletes, and gym buffs you know take supplements that contain creatine. It is an organic acid that’s natural occurring in the muscle cells, and it absorbs water from the different body organs which it then deposits into the various muscle cells. The ideal amount or dosage should only be 5 to 20 grams per day. The side – effects of creatine is excess calories in the body and dehydration which causes cramps. It can increase muscle energy but then the body starts to accumulate weight on a rapid rate. Prolonged use of creatine can cause various kidney problems such as formation of kidney stones into ulcer as well as other complications. It can also cause nausea, tumor cells, and stomach cramps.


If you’re going to take a dietary stimulant containing caffeine, the ideal amount or dosage should only be around 300 mg per day. It’s a safe supplement if a person consumes it only in moderate amounts. Bodybuilders usually take large amounts of caffeine to aid them during rigorous workout trainings but prolonged use can cause nervousness, diarrhea, palpitation, restlessness, acute dehydration and insomnia.

Andro Hormones

Andro hormones are often used by athletes to grow muscle mass, and it is converted as testosterone by the body. The ideal amount or dosage should only be around 200 mg per day. Excessive use can cause facial hair growth, baldness, breast cancer, interruption in menstrual cycle, and sexual dysfunction. It can cause reduced sex drive for males, and increased sex hormones in women.


Glutamine is naturally present in the muscles; it is an non – essential amino acid that helps in building tissues in the muscles. The ideal amount or dosage for athletic consumption is between 5 and 15 grams per day. Excessive use can cause upset stomach, body ache, nausea, manic depression, lack of concentration, and even brain function.

Nitric Oxide

Another naturally occurring compound in the body is nitric oxide. This is usually taken by professional bodybuilders as it increases muscle mass by giving more nutrients to the skeletal muscle. Side effects of bodybuilding supplements containing nitric oxide can cause headache, migraine, asthma, rapid heart rate, nausea, and palpitation.

Other Supplements

Whey protein, multivitamins as well as mineral and thermogenic supplements are also taken to build muscles despite of various side – effects. For instance, excessive use of thermogenic supplements can cause a person to have some behavioral changes, nervousness, and palpitation. Whey protein can cause liver damage, allergic reactions, and kidney problems in the long term. Excessive use of multivitamins can cause dehydration, headaches, and muscle aches while mineral type of supplements can cause constipation, upset stomach, and muscle weakness not to mention other possible health complications.

Professional bodybuilders and professional athletes are cautious regarding any supplement that they take because it could cost them not just their health but also their careers, this goes the same for those who are regular gym buffs or those who are interested in building their muscle mass for personal reasons. You must know both the pros and cons whenever you’re using any kind of supplement especially if you’re planning to take protein – based supplements because it usually contains fructose, aspartame, artificial colors, and saccharin which are chemical – based sweeteners that are not good for your health. For instance, aspartame once broken down creates a formic acid that could damage nerve cells, and cause renal/ liver problems.

The bodybuilding supplement side – effects will be different from one person to another which is why it’s best to consult your physician first before taking them.

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