New Research Warns Bodybuilders of the Dangers of a Low-Fat Diet
In an effort to build muscle mass, athletes typically restrict their fat intake. However, experts now warn of the dangers of lowering the fat percentage in their bodies to around 8% to 5%. Research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnical Information reveals that inadequate fat reserves can result from a low-fat diet. Imbalanced nutrition can ultimately lead to an inefficient synthesis of the molecules that build muscle. This factor can have a detrimental effect on an athlete’s efforts at building muscle mass.
In addition to the risk of muscle tissue breaking down or catabolism, bodybuilders need to be aware of other dangers of a low-fat diet and inadequate nutrition. Author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss, George Fear advises, “A body fat percentage below 5 percent is regarded as a warning sign of poor health, even in elite athletes. Male bodybuilders typically go below 5 percent for competition, but don’t stay there in the offseason.”
Bodybuilders Risk Several Health Complications from a Low-Fat Diet
- Inability of the cardiovascular system to function normally, heart rates may drop to 27 beats a minute by way of a condition called bradycardia and eventually lead to cardiac arrest.
- Low energy levels
- Inability to workout after 20 minutes
- Low thyroid hormone production
- Inability of muscles to recover after workouts because of lack of glycogen
- Constant hunger because of inadequate levels of leptin that are produced by fat cells
- Lower immunity from common ailments
- Infertility and impotency
- Lack of concentration, mental fatigue, and poor cognitive skills
- Mood swings and irritability
- Psychological issues because of poor personal relationships and social life resulting from a hectic schedule and carefully controlled low-fat diet
To avoid these risks, athletes must consume a healthy diet with optimum nutrition containing the perfect blend of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.