Ramblings of an Unorganized Mind

Are Your Workout Supplements Killing You?

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Wow...that's all I can say...wow. I got an email this morning from a company asking us to review their workout supplements in Total Health Magazine. I get a ton of requests for product reviews and placement and do not have the time to review all of them. I took the time to look at the ingredients in just one of their products. As I read the ingredient list I realized that most of the supplements people use for their workouts are not purchased based on the ingredients as much as it is on packaging and name.

So let's take a quick look at the ingredients listed under "Other Ingredients" in this particular pre-workout product.

Citric Acid
Did you know citric acid can soften your tooth enamel so much it could be damaged by brushing your teeth?1 But it gets worse. Citric Acid OFTEN contains MSG or creates MSG during processing.2 Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of "Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills." He explains that MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees -- and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease and more.

Natural & Artificial Flavoring, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue #1
Did you know more than 3,000 food additives, preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients are legally added to U.S. foods but many of them have been banned in other countries?3 Three of the worst offenders are FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue #1 and Natural & Artificial Flavoring. The list of potential health damaging effects are too long to list here.

Sucralose (aka Splenda)
Sucralose which is often marketed under the Splenda brand has had a lot of research done on it...unfortunately not by the FDA.

Some of the health issues that have been linked to sucralose include:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Seizures, dizziness, and migraines
  • Blurred vision
  • Allergic reactions
  • Blood sugar increases and weight gain

An in-depth scientific review of sucralose published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health4 reveals an extensive list of safety concerns, including toxicity, and DNA damage.

I encourage you to visit Mercola.com and watch his piece on his book Sweet Deception.

Calcium Silicate5
Calcium Silicate is basically an anticaking agent. It's often used in sports supplements to prevent the products from hardening or clumping up. Let's look at a Safety Sheet warning on Calcium Silicate: "Consult a specialist BEFORE handling this product, avoid skin contact, keep unconscious victims warm and on their sides to avoid choking if vomiting occurs"

Here are some common uses for calcium silicate:

  • Used as a substitute for materials containing silica in ceramics and as a substitute for asbestos in wallboard, insulation and brake linings
  • Used as a constituent of lime glass and Portland cement
  • Used as a reinforcing filler in elastomers and plastics, paints, ceramics, paper and wallboard
  • Used as an anticaking ingredient in table salt, baking powder, foods, powdered pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
  • Used as an aggregate in road construction
  • Used as a binder in refractory material, as a thermal insulator and as a paper coating chromatography

Do really think calcium silicate is beneficial to your body? Your call...

Dextrose is a sweetener. The side effects of excess sugars of all kinds have been linked to weight gain, cavities, lowered immunity, and an increased risk of many diseases including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, certain cancers and even Alzheimer's disease.

According to Drug.com severe allergic reactions to dextrose include (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

Dextrose is usually derived from corn. The problem with that is most corn products in the US are GMO based. Dextrose in small quantities is GRAS (generally recognized as safe) but if the product is not certified organic I would avoid it.

Does organic certification mean a product is safe?
Food does not have to be 100% organic to be certified? Manufacturers are allowed a small percentage of non-organic ingredients and still able to be certified organic so check the label even on organic products.

That's my rant for the morning. Check your labels people...getting in a great workout does not mean you have to poison yourself in the process. Vote with your wallet. If we stop buying toxic products manufacturers will have to switch to healthier ingredients.

  1. The Disgusting Truth about Sports Drinks Revealed...
  2. Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Samuels, Jack "MSG Dangers and Deceptions"
  3. U.S. Foods Full of Banned Ingredients
  4. Susan S. Schiffman and Kristina I. Rother., Sucralose, A Synthetic Organochlorine Sweetener. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health , Part B: Critical Reviews, 16:7, 399-451
  5. Your Daily Additives - Anticaking Agents - Calcium Silicate

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