Workout Supplements: Bogus or Not?
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12-04-2013, 04:57 PM
Workout Supplements: Bogus or Not?
All:

I've been on a workout kick for over a year, and most of my exercise routines come from a company called BeachBody. If you're a night-owl, you've probably seen infomercials for a number of their products (P90X, Insanity, Brazil Butt Lift, etc).

Anyway, I'm not a Coach or sales type for them (they're kind of a multi-level marketing outfit), but I like their workouts and have also bought some of their supplements (along with a number of other brands). I take pre-, mid-, and post-workout powders and pills in order to increase my energy level, recover faster, and help me gain muscle and lose fat.

So, just wondering what folks think of the workout supplement game, especially given that Utah is a huge supplement producer, due in large part to a law authored by Orrin Hatch (quoted from foodpolictics.com):

He was the chief author of a federal law enacted 17 years ago that allows companies to make general health claims about their products, but exempts them from federal reviews of their safety or effectiveness before they go to market. During the Obama administration, Mr. Hatch has repeatedly intervened with his colleagues in Congress and federal regulators in Washington to fight proposed rules that industry officials consider objectionable.

When Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994, it effectively deregulated the industry, allowing it to use a new category of vague health claims (“structure-function”), to use Supplement Facts labels, and to escape much in the way of oversight.

Even if we assume that most supplement manufacturers are honest about what’s in their products and what the products can and cannot do, some are not. DSHEA gave the less honest manufacturers plenty of room to cause trouble, and so they do.


Although I believe (or at least hope) that the supplements I take are doing some good, it seems that Hatch's law has resulted in a supplement boom that probably consists of a bunch of hyped-up products that contain little actual substance - and may even cause harm in some cases. Thoughts?
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13-04-2013, 02:15 AM
RE: Workout Supplements: Bogus or Not?
Well, not an expert here, but some vitamins and such can help with energy levels. My endocrinologist put me on B12 because of other pills making me tired. It's also in pretty much every energy drink and energy supplement. Seems to work for some and not for others.

I've read that huge amounts of protein are really only needed if you're a body builder or something.

As for fat loss pills, I don't believe they work. I think diet and exercise can help you lose fat, but not pills. It sounds a lot like the workouts that claim to make you lose belly fat, but really they are just toning the muscle there. Cardio and diet makes you lose fat everywhere, I don't think anything makes you lose fat in just one area (though some people gain/lose more in certain areas, but that's not the same thing).

I think a lot of the supplements out there are just preying on people who want to change their bodies. They prey on dudes that want to bulk up and women who want to lose weight, etc. That being said, there are some substances that can have an impact on your apetite, but again, that's the not the same as the pill making you lose fat. Even those weight loss pills in infomercials that claim to make you lose body fat, the studies say it's like 1 pound every 6 weeks, and then they tell you only part of that is fat (the rest being water and maybe muscle).

Anyway, I think a lot of it is crap. Some supplements can probably give you energy and that helps you work out more, but I don't think there is a magic pill that gives you muscles or makes you thin.

That being said, I've tried a lot of supplements, mainly because I used them to stay awake for a long time in college and I couldn't afford cocaine. Diet pills tend to be full of stimulants (and ephedrine was still legal then) which keeps you awake and makes most people less hungry. Interestingly enough, diet pills make me eat more, I'd raid the college vending machines for chips. ^_^ But I wasn't using them to lose weight and I exercised obsessively, so that didn't matter much.
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13-04-2013, 11:05 PM
RE: Workout Supplements: Bogus or Not?
It depends on what types of "supplements" you're taking.

After all, whey protein powder is a "supplement" to your usual diet, and it most certainly helps you. It's just concentrated protein in an easy-to-take form. If it's creatine, it too helps you, because like protein, it's a concentrated and easy-to-take version of what's found in whole foods. Things like amino acids and glutamine and nitric oxide boosters are all great supplements to have.

However, if these "supplements" are your typical "just one pill and you'll gain 20 pounds of muscle in just 6 weeks!" types of supplements, then no, they're not doing anything of value for you. They're complete horse shit.

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14-04-2013, 01:19 AM
RE: Workout Supplements: Bogus or Not?
"After all, whey protein powder is a "supplement" to your usual diet, and it most certainly helps you. It's just concentrated protein in an easy-to-take form. If it's creatine, it too helps you, because like protein, it's a concentrated and easy-to-take version of what's found in whole foods. Things like amino acids and glutamine and nitric oxide boosters are all great supplements to have."

You pretty much nailed what I'm taking as part of my workout regimen. In the morning I have something like Hydroxycut or Hydroxystim, but that's more to get me going than anything else. I can attest from personal experience Amyb's assertion that fat loss pills don't work, and the only thing that will build a ton of muscle in a short time are steroids (provided you hit the weights).
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14-04-2013, 02:24 AM
RE: Workout Supplements: Bogus or Not?
(14-04-2013 01:19 AM)Atheist_pilgrim Wrote:  "After all, whey protein powder is a "supplement" to your usual diet, and it most certainly helps you. It's just concentrated protein in an easy-to-take form. If it's creatine, it too helps you, because like protein, it's a concentrated and easy-to-take version of what's found in whole foods. Things like amino acids and glutamine and nitric oxide boosters are all great supplements to have."

You pretty much nailed what I'm taking as part of my workout regimen. In the morning I have something like Hydroxycut or Hydroxystim, but that's more to get me going than anything else. I can attest from personal experience Amyb's assertion that fat loss pills don't work, and the only thing that will build a ton of muscle in a short time are steroids (provided you hit the weights).

I've never taken a personal look at Hydroxycut (nor have I read anyone else's research into it), so there's no real input I could give on that. But as for the other supplements, the ones I mentioned, you're doing well by taking them. I take/have taken them as well; as does pretty much everyone at my gym. They're staples to any seriously-held workout regimen.

I suppose the only real question that could be asked now is: "Do they really contain what the manufacturer says they contain?" which, frankly, is a little too paranoid for me. lol

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