Beyond Fitness

With a range of fitness products available in the market,experts talk about using them judiciously.

Written by Rohan Swamy | Published: March 6, 2013 12:47 am

With a range of fitness products available in the market,experts talk about using them judiciously.

India is said to be one of the biggest markets for muscle-enhancing products with predictions that business will grow to a trillion dollars this decade in the country. As of now,foreign supplement brands do a monthly business of Rs 30 crore in India. But experts hope that the recent death of an Indian student in the UK owing to indiscriminate use of muscle-enhancing products will serve as a much-needed eye-opener for those looking for a quick-fix guide for a Spartan physique.

One of the biggest drawbacks,experts in India point out,are advertisements for body-building supplements that seem to suggest these are short cuts to a great body.

Tushar Ramanan,business development manager (India) of Venky’s Nutrition says,“The word itself suggests that supplements are not a replacement for a person’s diet. But,I have seen people,mostly youngsters,asking to get a body like a certain actor’s in two or three months. People also come before their weddings to fix their bodies. You cannot get a dream body in such a short time.” He adds that the different substances in supplements need to be taken in certain quantities at certain times else they can be dangerous to the body or even fatal.

Govind Bangar and Nilesh Kante,who own the Neulife fitness store on FC Road,say that a lot of youngsters have wrong notions about the usage of supplements. According to Bangar most people don’t understand that the models who are featured in advertisements have sweated it out in the gym,worked on their diet and maintained a workout regime. “People ask for protein supplements hoping to transform their bodies miraculously within a month,but that doesn’t happen. We sit down with them,gauge their workout styles,bodies,diets and metabolism to understand how their bodies will react to the supplements. Only then do we recommend anything. Of course,professional body builders also come to us. They know their regimes and take what they need,” he says.

To combat the problem,Ramanan says they have a 24×7 helpline for their products. “People can call and free counselling from our in-house dieticians for the supplements needed,” he says.

Nutritionists emphasise the need for a proper diet and exercise for a person to achieve a particular body type and maintain it too. Sports nutritionist Megha Vishwanathan,who works both with professional sportsmen as well as regular people,says,“I first hear the person out. It’s very important to understand what they want and how they want it. If someone is excited about using supplements,I tell them about their usage,side effects and also impact on the body. Usually I work around with their diets,only giving supplements when there is a dietary requirement. People who are serious about their bodies take the advice seriously too.”

Ramanan reiterates the need to know the whole story about supplements. Talking about diuretics or fat burners Ramanan says,“Their main job is to reduce the body water content. As the person excretes lot of water,they cause the muscles to wear out more. Hence,you will see that pro-body builders train only four days a week allowing the body to repair the wear and tear. People need to understand these little facts that a body is not made in the gym. It is a combination of a lifestyle along with the right workout regime.”

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