All of us want to have a low body fat percentage, as that is when our muscles will stand out and we will look absolutely ripped and fit. But did you know that having a VERY low body fat percentage is a bad thing? It’s vital to have at least some body fat, but shedding too much can have some serious negative consequences. Here are some of the health risks of a very low body fat percentage:
Your cardiovascular system can become impaired thanks to your low body fat percentage, leading to bradycardia (a too-low heart rate). You may suffer from dizziness, fall unconscious, or even go into cardiac arrest, all because you don’t have enough body fat.
People with a very low body fat percentage tend to be cold a lot more often. This is due to the fact that they have very little fat to insulate them against the cold. The problem can also be caused by thyroid dysfunctions, which may crop up as a result of your very low body fat percentage.
Low body fat levels can lead to low levels of glycogen, which is the nutrient that is needed to promote muscle recovery after an intense workout. You’ll find that your muscles take much longer to recover after a workout, all because your body doesn’t have enough glycogen available.
What does your body burn for energy when it runs out of blood sugar? Fat! If you don’t have enough fat around your body to burn, there are no “reserves” to tap into when you’re pushing yourself hard.
There’s nothing worse for an athlete than low testosterone levels! Testosterone helps to increase muscle mass, but a drop in leptin can lead to a drop in the male hormone. Low levels of leptin signals to your testicles that it’s time to produce less testosterone, which can lead to some serious side effects in the bedroom.
Reduced Athletic Performance
When you don’t have fat reserves to tap into for energy, your body tends to run out of steam about 20 minutes into your high intensity workout. You will notice a serious decline in your athletic performance thanks to your lack of body fat.
When your body doesn’t produce enough testosterone, your reproductive system may start to shut down. Your sperm production decreases, and your risk of impotence (an inability to “get it “) increases drastically.
The less fat you eat, the more your body tells you that you need it! Low-fat diets and a very low body fat percentage will cause your body to produce less leptin, the hormone that signals that you have had enough to eat. This decrease in leptin production will cause your appetite to increase, making you feel hungry all the time.
The lower your body fat percentage, the harder it is for your body to recover from your last workout. The low testosterone levels, low energy levels, and reduced athletic performance leads to serious declines in your muscular strength and endurance.
When you have very little body fat, you have a much greater chance of getting sick. This is thanks to the increased production of cortisol, the stress hormone that dampens your immune function. You are much more likely to develop colds and flus thanks to your susceptibility to viruses and bacteria. Your body just isn’t able to keep away the threat, so you have a much greater chance of falling ill as a result of your very low body fat percentage.