Why food supplements are not always the answer

April 26, 2020

Everyone of us is different with our own nutritional needs therefore consult a nutrition expert before using supplements as despite proven to be safe and helpful in adults they could have adverse effects among young sportspersons

In this week’s column, our panel of experts answers your queries ranging from ankle problems caused by cycling to how to prepare for major body building competitions.

Q: I am 54 years old and maintain a good health. Whenever I travel abroad, the sport of Bungee Jumping attracts me a lot. Health wise is it safe for me to take part in this sport? —Minhaj A. Khan

A: Bungee jumping is an activity that involves a person jumping from a great height while connected to a large elastic cord. During the jump there is a very vigorous gravity effect on the body which affects the cardiovascular system causing sudden changes in the blood pressure. Sudden pull of the rope causes very profound effect on the spine due to sudden deceleration.

There are chances of developing neck and back problems after this activity as ant pre-existing problem can be aggravated. At 54 years of age it is advisable to perform this activity with caution and after a clearance from your primary physician as there are chances of having problems depending upon your general health and medical history.

Dr. Muhammad Sufyan

FCPS (Ortho) AO Fellow (Germany), Sports Medicine Fellowship (Singapore)

Assistant Professor | Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College

Q: I am a sportsman and a keen cyclist. I participate in national level tournaments, and for that I have to practice rigorously almost every day. Lately, I am experiencing a severe pain in my right ankle. This pain doesn’t let me continue the cycling and I call off the ride. I seek your advice. I am 26 years old. —Abdul Ghani Baloch.

A: I am happy to know that the sport of cycling is popular in our part of world and many best wishes for your future endeavors at international level. Cycling requires lot of energy and stamina for competing in any high level tournament. Most important in cycling is proper hydration, balanced diet and proper warm - up at the start of this sport. Your complaint leads to a differential diagnosis that includes ligament sprain, muscle fatigue or tendon injury. The management begins right away from the onset of the pain. You have rightly called off the ride and also require immobilization of the joint.

My advice is to take expert opinion from an orthopedic surgeon who deals with sports injuries, to assess the level of injury and suggest relevant investigations. This will allow the correct diagnosis to be established following which appropriate treatment can be started to get rid of your problem. Neglecting this issue or delaying it can lead to further deterioration of your condition and may even lead to irreparable tissue damage.

Dr. Muhammad Kazim Rahim

MD, FCPS (Ortho) AO Fellow (Germany), Sports medicine Fellow (IRI) (France), Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Fellowship (PAS, Pak)

Assistant Professor | Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College

Q: Rowing was my favourite sports once. A couple of years ago my left shoulder blade started aching while rowing. I ignored the pain and continued, till such time that one day the pain was unbearable. I left the sport but still the pain is there. After reading your column on sports injuries, I felt encouraged to seek your help and advice to get rid of this pain. I am 44 years old. —Tajammul Janjua.

A: The specific activity which you are describing is Boat Rowing. In this type of sports, the muscles around the shoulder and back bear most stress. Due to the over stress or prolonged rowing, these muscles can become develop cramps or spastic. In your case, I think this is spasm of the muscles around the scapula (shoulder blade).

The remedy is to refrain from that particular activity for some time to allow the spasm to settle down. Start hot pack therapy on your painful area twice or thrice daily for 15 minutes. Get physiotherapy done (peri scapular physiotherapy) from a physiotherapist for at least 2 weeks. Start Tablet Brexin (Piroxicam) once daily for 2 weeks and get your detailed assessment from an Orthopedic surgeon.

Prof. Dr. ZakiIdrees

FRCS, A.O. Fellow

Professor | Department of Orthopaedic

Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College

Q: I am 22 years old, a student. I want to be a body builder and always dream of becoming Mr. Pakistan one day. I attend gym regularly for work-out. Please advise me some extra food supplements which may help me to develop my muscles in minimum possible time. Is there any possibility? —Sabir Chauhan

A: A body builder’s best performance depends on a healthy and well planned diet, regular training, good sleep habits rather than a mix of supplements. You may need slightly more protein for muscle growth and repair which can be met through good quality food- sources like dairy products, eggs, meats and its alternatives.

As you are 22 years old, it is not advisable to use food supplements, especially those which can influence your hormone levels. Everyone of us is different with our own nutritional needs therefore consult a nutrition expert before using any of them as supplements proven safe and helpful in adults could have adverse effects in young body builders.

Nutrition supplements are not a must when you are body building as there is nothing better than the real food.

Ms. Munazza Haq

Chief Dietitian

Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College

All the specialists on our experts’ panel are associated with Liaquat National Hospital. Please send your queries at [email protected] or [email protected])

Why food supplements are not always the answer