Berry De Mey believes that modern bodybuilders take far higher doses of drugs than past eras of the sport.
The health of pro bodybuilding athletes has been a topic of major discussion this past year. Sparked by many untimely deaths of competitive bodybuilders – many experts, athletes, and fans have been making public statements about their concern over the health of the sport as a whole. Have we finally reached a tipping point in the risk vs reward of drug use in bodybuilding? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Berry De Mey explains his shock over the increase in doses and types of drugs modern bodybuilders use today.
Berry De Mey has been one of the more vocal bodybuilders speaking out about health in bodybuilding this past year. This has not only been sparked by the recent deaths in the sport – but also the physiques De Mey is seeing on stage. His reaction to the Arnold Classic 2021 earlier this year drew criticism. He has also clarified those statements in a previous interview with us – stating that “bodybuilding is becoming insane.”
We’re now pulling another segment from our conversation with Berry De Mey – this time focusing on the drug use prevalent in competitive bodybuilding today. Specifically De Mey shares his opinion on diuretics and insulin. He also speaks more broadly about the amount of drugs that athletes are taking during this era compared to his own. While he often clarifies that he is not a doctor – he finds himself worried about what he is seeing in the sport today.
While nearly all of the recent deaths this year have not announced official cause of death – many point towards diuretics as a possible cause. Especially for those that happened just before competitions. Diuretics are often used to dry out just before a competition – but accidentally overdosing on it can be extremely dangerous and possibly fatal. Victor Martinez just recently spoke with Generation Iron on his personal health scare involving diuretics before a show. Milos Sarcev did not want to go into specifics as he is not a medical professional – but he can confidently say it’s a dangerous drug used in the sport.
Berry De Mey also points out insulin as a very dangerous compound used by modern athletes. He admits that this was a drug available during his prime as well. He even sought it out as he wanted to do whatever he could to become the best. But his doctor refused to support insulin use – even when he was open about supporting use of other drugs such as steroids. This was enough for De Mey to avoid insulin – and looking back he’s happier for it.
But it’s less about one specific drug and more about the big picture. Berry De Mey believes that it’s an increased combination and higher doses of drugs that is the real issue. He claims to have seen lists of what young bodybuilders take today – and is “shocked” by what he sees.
“If I see some of the lists that they are all taking, I’m in shock,” Berry De Mey states in our interview. He continues:
“So of course yeah, diuretics is one of the things, but there is also a lot of other things that I am shocked about. Particularly in the amounts and the substances. The different kinds of substances.”
We then follow up asking him if he thinks that the amount of drugs taken today exceeds what he saw and used during his prime. He answered confidently and swiftly, “Most definitely.”
Ultimately, Berry De Mey understands the psychology of why this is happening. He was doing the same thing during his prime as a competitive bodybuilder. These athletes will always do whatever it takes to be the best – including many risks. The problem is that those risks are becoming increasingly bigger. De Mey can look back now in his older age and logically worry about the state of younger bodybuilders. But if he was young today – he’s sure that he would be part of the pack making these same decisions.
You can watch Berry De Mey’s full comments on diuretics, insulin, and overall drug use in bodybuilding by watching our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!