Terms You Should Know About Body Image

Anabolic Steroids

Performance enhancing drugs related to the male hormone, testosterone. They increase protein synthesis within the cells, especially in muscles, causing them to grow significantly. Many bodybuilders use steroids to gain muscle quickly, but they are barred from all major professional sports.


The loss of appetite or the refusal to eat in the attempt to lose weight.


A disorder characterized by binge eating followed by tremendous guilt and/or depression and self-induced vomiting.


A group of organic compounds such as starches, sugars and cellulose that provide a vital energy source for all living things. They are a huge energy source for human beings, and provide the fuel for endurance activities such as running a marathon or playing basketball.

Compulsive Exercise

When an athlete feels absolutely committed to his or her workout and is unable to postpone or skip a session. It is generally associated with addiction and obsession, and an athlete who suffers from compulsive behavior usually becomes angry and irritable after missing a workout.


An organic acid naturally occurring in the body’s vertebrae cells that sends energy to muscle cells. It causes muscles to retain water, making them appear larger, and allow athletes to work out harder and longer. While creatine helps athletes gain muscle quickly, it is not yet banned from athletic associations.


The excessive of loss of water from the body. It results in a high level of sodium in the blood. When you sweat a significant amount and become dehydrated, shock becomes a serious risk.

Eating Disorders

Characterized by severe disturbances in eating habits (such as overeating, skipping meals, not eating for an extended period of time, etc…) Many people associate eating disorders with teenage girls or women, but a significant number of men suffer from eating disorders as well.


Substances composed of free ions vital to a person’s hydration. Many popular sports drinks boast “Electrolytes!” on their labels, because after a period of hard exercise, you need electrolytes to maintain proper nerve and muscle function.


The ability to maintain hard exercise such as running for a significant period of time. If you can’t run for at least 5 minutes, you’re probably not very fit.


A condition that is more or less the opposite of dehydration, so it is basically when you drink too much water (also know as, believe it or not, “water intoxication”). Hyponatremia is when the sodium levels in your blood are too low.

Lactic Acid

The chemical responsible for the pain you feel near the end and after an especially intense workout. It is released as a product of a muscle contraction during exercise. A significant buildup results in that “burning sensation” and cramping pains.


A disorder where your bones become brittle and riddled with holes. While osteoporosis is closely linked to calcium deficiency, anorexia greatly contributes to the likelihood of a person having the disorder. It can lead to severe pain, shrinking a few inches, and other skeletal deformities.


Organic compounds that are responsible for the growth and repair of living tissue. It is vital to weightlifters and athletes trying to build muscle and stay healthy and is found naturally in products such as meat, fish and dairy products.