Attaining masculine perfection is underpinned by a cohort of psychological factors, which, correlated with the misuse of pre and post-workout supplements, leads to eating disorders.
A new study authored by Ph.D Richard Achiro and Ph.D. Peter Theodore of the California School of Professional Psychology focused on the psychological underpinnings of excessive workout coupled with the excessive use of supplements in men.
The study, presented at the American Psychological Association conference found that in the majority of cases, men are also prone to be affected by distorted body images prevalent in modern culture.
Understood as a distinctive sign of masculinity, attaining the ripped, bulked body is a compensation for self-esteem issues or body image related insecurities. And this is where supplements come in to promise the unmistaken achievement of this goal.
Anabolic steroids have been declared illegal. Now, a new battle should ensue with legal, over-the-counter supplements which promise leaner, bulked bodies to men seeking to achieve them through workout routines.
“Body-conscious men who are driven by psychological factors to attain a level of physical or masculine perfection are prone to use these supplements and drugs in a manner that is excessive and which was demonstrated in this study to be a variant of disordered eating”,
The study focused on the use of pre and post-workout supplements containing whey protein, L-carnitine and creatine. Using these supplements following specific recommendations is not an issue. Problems occur when the use of supplements exceeds certain amounts while the men are motivated by vanity.
195 participants in the study confirmed this hypothesis. From 18 years-old to 65, participants were found to be motivated by the same masculine perfection ideal. All participants were asked to answer a set of questions concerning self-esteem, body image, supplement use and gender conflict.
The researchers found that what started out as a healthy use of pre and post workout supplements turned into excessive use in time for 40 percent of the men involved in the study. 22 percent of the men had replaced regular meals with the supplements, leading to eating disorders.
29 percent of the participants declared that they were themselves concerned about the overuse of supplements, but kept going, while 8 percent had been strictly advised by medics to cease the use of body-enhancing supplements.
For 3 percent of participants, the adverse effects of excessive supplement use were felt first-hand as they were hospitalized for kidney or liver issues. The study findings were also correlated to psychological symptoms underlining emerging eating disorders.
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