I have decided to write this article after watching a very interesting documentary produced by the BBC (that’s the British Broadcasting Corporation for those of you not in the know).
This documentary aimed to find out whether the claims made by sports products manufacturers were true or not. It seemed that they managed to disprove everything, either wholly or partially. This however seems to be very thorough research from independent professionals: Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, and the British Medical Journal.
It is very interesting to note the large number of people who take part in sport. 12 million people take part in sports and 1 in 5 goes to the gym regularly. I think that this is a surprising statistic, but feel that the statistic for the number of people taking part in sport should be much higher. These statistics clearly show that there is a massive market for products such as supplements, trainers, and energy drinks.
In this article I will focus on the evidence obtained for sports supplements. It was found by the independent team that there was no evidence to suggest that the Branched Chain Amino Acids (which are a main component of human muscle) do not actually aid the building of muscle any more than a diet naturally high in protein would. One of the main problems with supplements is that the advertising uses highly scientific sounding vocabulary to capture and entice people. This strategy is working though, last year the British public parted with around £100,000,000 for sports supplements, but is it as good as it claims? The independent team that went about going to substantiate the claim failed to find any high quality evidence that supported the claims. One professor from Glasgow university suggested that “protein shakes” and other such supplements have just become another “fashion accessory for exercise”. he later goes on to described it as a “rather expensive way of getting a bit of milk”. I think that this raises a very important question: should we rely on supplements or should we consume the natural alternative? I know what I think; I think we should lead a lifestyle with as little processed food in as possible, and such supplements are highly processed.
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Written by Jack Caulfield