Gym junkies chasing bigger muscles go to extreme lengths that could kill them, expert warns

Gym junkies chasing bigger muscles go to extreme lengths that could kill them, expert warns

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Mr Harrisberg says gym-goers often offer to buy his diabetes insulin off him.

The first time a bloke at the gym offered to buy Drew Harrisberg’s insulin from him, the exercise physiologist assumed it was a one-off encounter with a foolish fitness freak.

But when it kept happening, with countless others willing to pay a pretty penny for the syringes that keep him alive, the Sydney sports scientist made a disturbing discovery.

“There’s a growing number of men who are looking for any way to get extra muscle on their frames, and they’ll do just about anything to achieve it,” Mr Harrisberg, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 22, told news.com.au.

“Insulin is the most anabolic hormone in the body, and so they believe that by injecting it, they’ll bulk up. I’m asked often to sell it. It’s crazy.

“Everyone has insulin anyway. The idea that having extra will make you even bigger is just so silly and so dangerous. You don’t need to inject it — you’ve already got it.”

Drew Harrisberg is an exercise physiologist and diabetes educator.
Drew Harrisberg is an exercise physiologist and diabetes educator.Source:Instagram

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Mr Harrisberg has seen people in possession of insulin needles and even on occasion witnessed someone injecting it.

“The obsessive ones talk about it a lot. It’s fatal at the wrong dose. It can kill you in minutes. It’s so potent and powerful,” he said.

The news this week that a young man from New South Wales died from caffeine toxicity, after unknowingly ingesting a small but fatal amount of pure caffeine powder, has shone a light on supplements that are growing in popularity in fitness circles.

Lachlan Foote, who was 21 when he died, wasn’t a regular gym-goer, but mates bought and shared around protein and caffeine powder.

He had no clue how potent the latter was — experts say very few people who use pure caffeine know how dangerous it is. Mr Foote died on the bathroom floor of his family home after collapsing.

RELATED: Man’s freak death from caffeine toxicity sparks urgent warning from his devastated family

Mr Harrisberg says gym-goers often offer to buy his diabetes insulin off him.
Mr Harrisberg says gym-goers often offer to buy his diabetes insulin off him.Source:Instagram

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Pure caffeine is one of a number of powders used by a growing cohort of the image-conscious and fitness-obsessed gym population.

Walk into the locker room of just about any gym and you’ll see groups of musclebound blokes chugging down protein potions and sharing powders with each other, Mr Harrisberg said.

But this isn’t just the domain of competitive bodybuilders. The supplements obsession has bled over into the mainstream, he said.

“What bothers me about all of this is that obsessive bodybuilders are literally willing to do anything. I think we’re losing what it means to be healthy, actually healthy and not just muscular,” Mr Harrisberg said.

“The supplement obsession is no longer just for the obsessive bodybuilder trying to win trophies at competitions. The everyday gym-goer is so into it. I don’t know how it happened.”

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