Body issues – they’re not just for women anymore.

Somewhere along the line, the modern man has gradually embraced the idea of what masculinity is in the modern era. The result? Low self esteem. And it’s driving men to consume over-the-counter body building supplements to improve their bodies.

That’s not the problem, though. Ever heard of the term Bigorexia? Me either. I had to look it up.

Apparently, it’s another term for a condition known as Muscle Dysmorphia (or reverse anorexia), the direct result of the media putting the same type of pressure on men to conform to an ideal shape as has been the case with women for years.

Using supplements to help you achieve results is fine. Apparently, men are using the supplements in a way that could be considered risky both to their physical and mental health. Overuse of OTC supplements has become an emerging eating disorder, as men have turned to supplements to replace real food in their diet.

Supplements used to improve performance and enhance your body, such as whey protein, creatine and L-cartinine, are readily available almost anywhere you shop – online, vitamin shops, grocery stores, and department stores. They’ve become so common, you’ll see huge end displays with massive tubs of powders that tout huge gains.

Where women have suffered from anorexia or bulimia, a desire to be thin, men have turned to drive themselves to build a lean and muscular physique. While there’s nothing wrong to be driving yourselves toward that, it’s a serious issue when you begin to abuse supplements to the point where they become your main source of nutrients to get there.

Overuse of OTC supplements can cause diarrhea, kidney disease and, ultimately, renal failure.

Not good.

The problem lies in the simple fact that these products do actually work, when used in conjunction with a balanced diet and proper training. However, a new study has shown that 22% of men polled use protein bars, powders and pills in place of meals, 8% of which had been told by doctors to cut back or stop taking them because of their severe health risk.

Interviewed by the Reuters news service, Richard Achiro of the California School of Professional Psychology said ”Men are using the supplements in a way that is risky both to their physical health and their health in terms of relationships and their own emotional wellbeing. It is an expression, or variance, of eating disorder behavior in these men.”

It’s common sense. You need to eat real food. Your body cannot subsist on energy bars and whey protein shakes. Do they help? Definitely. But feed your body what it’s been designed to eat – green stuff, animal protein, anything that grows in the outdoors.