In the previous part – “Supplements you should NOT take. Part 1.”, we looked at the 2 of the most popular supplements on the bodybuilding market – glutamine and weight gainers. Now let’s analyze some of the less known things, and save you even more money and health.
There is a great variety of these supplements on the market. “Tribulus Terrestris” is usually the main ingredient in these. Some are pure, some contain a whole bunch of other ingredients… But there is one thing common for all these testosterone supplements – they all have outrageous claims!
They promise up to 100-300% testosterone level increase, up to 30% strength gains, improved endurance, increased libido and God knows what else! No natural supplement is able to produce such gains. And in reality these products perform very poorly. They do increase libido slightly, and there are some tiny strength gains, but that’s about it. In the best case you will get less than 5% in improved performance. Studies have shown that the quality of these testosterone products sold in the supplement stores is poor. You might find some medical grade Tribulus in local drug stores, but it’s not worth the amount of money they charge for it (35+ euro).
ZMA or Zinc monomethionine and aspartate.
Again, outrageous claims like – “Enhances lean muscle & strength gains”, “Increase Strength By 250% Over A Placebo”, “Helping Increase Free & Total Testosterone” and there is NO research data to back it all up. And if we analyze the ingredients we will immediately understand that it’s just Zinc, Magnesium and vitamin B6. Wow. And they have courage to sell this crap for 15-20 euros a bottle.
While B6 does play a role in protein conversion to amino acids, it is easily accessible and you can buy it at any drug store (pure B6). It also is so much cheaper. And if you already are taking multivitamins – forget about B6, you’ll be getting everything you need from good sports multivitamins.
NO (Nitric Oxide)
These are one of the biggest scams in the supplement industry. Not a single research was able to prove the “fact” that it promotes muscle gains and great strength gains. It does give you pump, and make you energized, and that’s why so many people are so ecstatic about this supplement – they really feel it’s working.
But let’s analyze it. The pump. It sure does give you that amazing feeling, but does it help with muscle growth even a bit? As advanced bodybuilder, if you do 50 push-ups you’ll surely get a pump, but will you get any results? No. If you do bench presses with 50 kg for 40 reps you’ll get a pump too. But nothing to promote muscle building. You see, for packing more and more muscle you need progressive overload. And that means – lifting slightly heavier weights, with a bit more intensity each time you are in the gym (it doesn’t need to be crazy, but you should strive for at least few percent improvement). And of course science did not prove any muscle building effects of the pump.
Next thing. Energy. You feel energetic simply because all those supplements have some sort of caffeine in it. That’s what gets you energetic every time, no exception. And it sure feels great. But if you want loads of energy, you can buy medical grade caffeine, it’s dirt cheap, compared to NO. Though be careful, caffeine is not the healthiest substance you can take, and of course “caffeine crashes” are far from pleasant too.
Nitric Oxide “benefits” pretty much end there. But it sure has plenty of side-effects. Some of these are:
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Low blood pressure
- Weakened Joints
- High sugar levels (potential diabetes)
And you are paying 60+ euro for a single tub. NO is one of the most expensive supplements on the market. Do you really need it? You can always get the pump by doing “pump set” exactly after your heaviest set and you can get energy by using caffeine.
We hope you got some valuable information out of those 2 parts, and you will be able to make a right decision when you will decide to buy some supplements for yourself!