When the CrossFit Games banned 14 competitors this summer for doping with anabolic agents, stimulants, and supplements with names like Impact Ignite, it just confirmed what we've been saying: There are a lot of bad-for-you, bad-for-sports supplements out there.
And you can't take shortcuts to good health.
Unfortunately, such supplements are not subject to premarket safety and effectiveness testing like pharmaceuticals are, and they can be dangerous.
That's clear from a recent report published in JAMA Open. Researchers analyzed Food and Drug Administration warnings from 2007 to 2016 and found unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients in 776 dietary supplements.
The most common ones were the weight-loss drug sibutramine (originally marketed as Meridia and now banned), sildenafil (Viagra) for sexual enhancement, and synthetic steroids or steroid-like ingredients for muscle building. And 20 percent of those products contained more than one unapproved ingredient.
It's risky business. The additives are not on the label, so you might misuse or overuse them, or experience a harmful interaction with a medication you take.
So ditch the shortcuts. Instead, try these smart-cuts:
• For weight loss: Eat 80 percent of your calories before 2 p.m. Put 12 to 18 hours between dinner and breakfast. No saturated fats, processed foods, or added sugars.
• For sexual enhancement: Love and affection, healthy cholesterol levels, and regular exercise
• For muscle building: Do two to three strength-building sessions weekly, eat lean proteins after working out, and don't sit down for more than 60 minutes at a stretch
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