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How to Avoid Getting Addicted to Supplements

Posted by Megan Hull

Dec 27, 2018 9:30:00 AM


How to Avoid Getting Addicted to Supplements


How to Avoid Getting Addicted to Supplements


When consumed in moderation, supplements can boost your fitness routine and provide you with a number of health benefits. However, when taken in excess, supplements can quickly become harmful and psychologically addictive. Some, collectively known as performance-enhancing drugs, can even be physically addictive.


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In an attempt to reach peak physical performance and gain an edge over other athletes, it can be easy to get carried away with supplement use. Fortunately, there are specific measures you can take to ensure you’re consuming supplements in a healthy manner.



Steer Clear of Supplements Known to be Physically Addictive


Almost any substance, including over-the-counter supplements, can be psychologically addictive. However, some supplements can also be physically addictive, meaning that people can develop a tolerance to the substance, or experience withdrawal symptoms once use is discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening, depending on the specific substance that one is withdrawing from.


While few over-the-counter supplements are psychologically addictive, many performance-enhancing drugs are. Anabolic steroids are some of the worst offenders, with about 32 percent of people who misuse them experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Human growth hormones can also be particularly dangerous, as abuse may cause muscle, joint and nerve pain, raised cholesterol levels, and an increased risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetes and cancerous tumors.


Because the risk of addiction and adverse side effects is so high with these substances, it’s best to avoid them altogether. However, if you do develop an addiction to a supplement, it’s crucial that you seek out professional treatment as soon as possible. Reputable rehab centers, like The Recovery Village Columbus, can help you safely work through the physical and psychological manifestations of your addiction.



Never Take More than the Recommended Dose


Most supplements contain high concentrations of vitamins and minerals, which means that if you take more than one, you may be consuming extremely high doses of certain biological compounds. While this might seem relatively harmless, it isn’t.


Consuming more than your recommended daily dose of several vitamins and minerals can have a number of adverse effects on the body. For example, excessive amounts of vitamin D can cause cardiovascular problems. Too much vitamin C may lead to diarrhea, stomach cramps and nausea. Taking higher-than-recommended doses of selenium can lead to fatigue, hair loss, gastrointestinal upset and mild nerve damage.


Because of these potential adverse side effects, the key to healthy supplement use is moderation. Restricting your intake to only a few supplements a day can also help prevent you from relying on them for your physical health and developing a psychological dependence.



Boost Your Health and Mood With a Well-Rounded Diet


Supplements can be a useful way to improve your overall health, energy levels and physical performance. However, there are healthier and more natural ways to get these same benefits, especially if you want to sidestep supplement dependence. Making adjustments to your diet can boost your mental and physical health without the need for excessive amounts of supplements.


For example, consuming the following can help strengthen your immune system and improve your overall health:


  • One vitamin B-12 superfood per day (e.g., eggs, salmon, tofu, sardines, yogurt, shrimp, mussels, milk or clams)
  • One vitamin D superfood per day (e.g., salmon, tuna, milk, eggs or sardines)
  • One folate superfood per day (e.g., spinach, turnips, greens, romaine, lentils, navy beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black eyed peas, brussels sprouts and asparagus)


Certain foods are also known to naturally improve energy levels and overall mood, including fresh fruit, fatty fish, oatmeal, yogurt and almonds. For those looking to build muscle mass and strength, foods like eggs, cottage cheese, chickpeas, lean beef, chicken, lentils and chia seeds can be helpful.



Exercise Smarter


Many people use nutritional supplements and performance-enhancing drugs to improve their physique, build muscle mass or increase overall strength. However, it can easy to become too reliant on these substances and use them in place of a consistent workout or training regimen. By perfecting your workout routine and sticking to it, you can diminish or eliminate the need for supplements.


The following guidelines can help you get the most out of your workouts without supplements:


  • Make a plan. Without a plan, it can be easy to let your fitness goals fall by the wayside. By scheduling out specific days and times for your workouts, you can make training a top priority.
  • Stay consistent. Without consistency, you won’t be able to establish a regular workout routine, and without a regular workout routine you won’t be able to reach your fitness goals. To get the results you want, it’s important that you stick to your established plan as closely as possible.
  • Set goals. Finding the drive to workout regularly can be difficult if you don’t have a clear idea of why you want to workout. While improving your health is a worthwhile reason in and of itself to be physically active, establishing more concrete, measurable workout goals can help you stay motivated.
  • Keep track of your progress. By recording your milestones, you can get a better sense of how far you’ve come, and remember times when you accomplished previous fitness goals. Referring back to this information can be particularly motivating when you’re feeling discouraged or burnt out, and give you the extra push you need to stay committed to your workout plan.
  • Take opportunities to compete. Knowing that you have a race or competition on the horizon can help push you to work harder and stay consistent.




Topics: Food & Diet, Mental Health