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A few decades ago, aside from the rare kid excited by bodybuilding, only a high school football lineman might have searched around for a pill or potion to make his muscles. But now the gyms are filled with people of all ages lifting weights, becoming more muscular and toned, even if most don’t go in for hard-core body building.
A new kind of social pressure has emerged. Some people feel self-conscious about their bodies, including a good number of young men and boys who feel they don’t have the muscles should get into muscle building.
It’s tempting for some to search out muscle building enhancers, as the steroid use among teens has grown. But for young people, even legal and generally safe supplements- for people whose bodies have matured- contain risks enough. Enough risks to make it unwise for anyone in their teens to steer clear of all of them.
What are those risks? First, teenagers are still growing. The supplements tend to interfere with natural processes. Whether it’s physical growth or sexual maturation, body building supplements can be hinder nature’s work.
The human body rids itself of waste through the kidneys and liver. The body can only store a limited amount of protein. Pumping it with extra heaping of protein only increases the strain on the kidneys and liver. Since teenagers tend to be impatient, an obsession with building muscle can lead to taking far too much extra-dietary protein than is wise. Expecting impressive results right away leads to a a muscle supplementing philosophy of “more is more”. Better not to start with protein loading regimen in the first place.
As for creatine, a popular and often effective body building supplement, it can tax the body if the use fails to hydrate properly. Given all the pressures of adolescence and the constant running around, with its attendant irregular eating habits, teenagers are prone to do, taking a supplement that requires monitoring and maintenance isn’t a good idea. The argument against it grows stronger when we consider that biology greatly limits just how muscular a teen can get. You should know the correct way of taking creatine.
Teens have very high metabolism rates. Those engaged in vigorous exercise or sports programs such as body building increase their metabolism rates even more. Protein, carbohyrates, and fats are burned up fast. There is simply a limit on just how much weight they can gain and how muscle mass they can convert that weight to. In fact, until someone is in their early twenties, they will not be able to develop the kind of muscles you see on guys on muscle magazine covers. Therefore, investing in supplements is a waste of time and money.
But the young person who wants to embark on a body building program can follow the general muscle enhancing diet adults follow. They can increase their protein intake, drawing on the different groups of complete protein foods- and not simply plying themselves with red meat. They can increase their protein intake on workout days to supply their body with the extra protein it needs for both the workout and the vital period of muscle rest and regeneration that follows.
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