Nutritionist warns against steroid use

We’ve chronicled on these pages a number of maladies that can result from steroid use.  Here is an article from a nutritionist who takes another angle on this controversial topic.

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A nutritionist, Jummai Hassan has warned athletes against the use of performance enhancing drugs as such can alter the water-processing mechanism in their system.

Mrs Hassan said in Abuja that performance-enhancing drugs, like steroids, and used mainly to increase the size of muscles, could alter the way the body processes water.

Hassan said that the benefits of steroids could be discerned in the quick increase in muscle mass, strength and ability of the athlete, warning that the consequences were obvious.

She said that athletes who took steroids became very active resulting in their bodies losing much water.

“It is not advisable for athletes to take steroids because it increases their level of activity; by doing more activities they lose a lot of water and drink a lot of water as a result.

The nutritionist said that in the process of taking too much water, athletes might develop water intoxication.

“Water intoxication occurs as a result of drinking excessive amount of plain water which causes a low concentration of sodium in the blood, a condition which takes place more among athletes and the elderly.

“Due to prolonged and excessive sweating in athletes and the nature of old age, there is an increase in the risk of developing water intoxication.

“Quite a number of people who are old may lose their appetite and instead take a lot of fluids.

“If proper care is not taken, they may end up drinking more fluids than the body needs,” she said.

She said that similar symptoms of dehydration such as seizures, nausea, confusion, muscle cramps were the early symptoms of water intoxication.

According to the nutritionist, the quantity of water drunk must be equal to the amount of water lost.

She advised that at least eight full of glasses of plain water should be drunk daily in small quantities at a time.

“Any amount of water lost either by excretion, sweating or through any other means, should be replaced by its equivalent,” she said.

Hassan said that soft drinks which contain more calories than plain water should not be used to replace fluid in the body, but instead recommended health drinks and fruits.

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