In all walks of life there is good, bad and ugly! The supplement industry is no exemption to this concept and like any other industry where there is a lot of money at stake it can attract scams and pitfalls.
The bigger picture is that some supplements do facilitate benefits in terms of increasing muscle mass and size but others don’t have any impact on your physique and training potential whatsoever.
Therefore not all bodybuilding supplements are created equally and this article will shed some light on this controversial area and it is then up to you to make an informed choice about the supplements being discussed.
Please read on to discover the truth about bodybuilding supplements:
Are they scientifically proven?
Some of the adverts in bodybuilding magazines make some absolutely ridiculous claims about the benefits of consuming their supplements.
Things like ‘scientifically proven to burn fat in 7 days’ and other claims made by the manufacturers for you to buy their products without questioning them.
However when you do start to see little or no results over the next 7 days, you start to realise that the companies are only telling you half of the story because their research on the product is probably ‘junk’.
The actual research conducted on their supplements may not be robust enough, valid or even reliable and therefore should not be classified as a ‘scientifically proven’ supplement.
Some top advice is to look at the research conducted and if it is published in a peer journal e.g. The Lancet or the Journal of Sports Science etc., then you know that it is a solid piece of research!
A conflict of interest
Some of the supplement companies have one thing in mind and that is to turn a fast and huge profit. For you to buy their products sometimes they stretch the truth about the real impact that their supplements really have on your performance/physique.
This is misleading and unfortunately some of the major body building magazines are the major culprits in advertising these sub-standard supplements. The question is ‘why?’
Well believe it or not some of the bodybuilding magazines actually own the supplement companies and a lot of them use this as a platform to sell their products. This conflict of interest makes it very difficult for you to make an objective decision about the supplements.
Think about this ‘Would a bodybuilding magazine that owns the supplement company actually give the product some bad press?’ You can make your mind up on that issue!
Are all supplement brands equal?
Some of the supplement companies buy their products from a contract manufacturer. This means that the contract manufacturer is able to produce the supplements on a large scale for the bodybuilding supplement companies.
Basically many of the supplements on the market are from a handful of major suppliers that merely change the label and slightly modify their products in terms of flavours and colours etc.
However this is not always the case and some products are made solely by one company. Having the heads up on this fact should enable you to make the right choice as many companies do plough more money into researching their supplements and some are a lot better quality than others!
Is soy an issue?
Have a look at the label on your supplement. Does it have soy in it? Soy is genetically modified which means that every time you consume it, you are filling your body full of nasty pesticides.
There is evidence to suggest that soy is an estrogenic compound that is a catalyst for erectile dysfunction, mood swings and man-boobs! In terms of soy products some top advice is to give them all a wide-berth.
High in additives
Many of the supplements that are on the market are high in additives, artificial sweeteners, food dyes and these could be damaging your health in the long term.
Unfortunately the supplement industry in the UK has very little regulation over seeing it and this means that almost anything can be added into them and many of the supplements contain a lot more than just protein.
Many supplements contain androstenedione which is a man-made hormone that mimics the male hormone androstenone.
This ingredient has been related to heart and liver failure, bouts of mood swings and man-boob development. It is has a close relationship with genital shrinkage and issues with erectile dysfunction.
Below is a list of ingredients that you should be aware of when purchasing supplements:
- Stearic acid
- Sodium Benzoate
- Silicon dioxide
- Titanium dioxide
- Sodium glycolate
- Calcium stearate
Long term use of these man-made ingredients in the supplements can lead to digestive and immune system issues. Bear in mind that none of these substances are natural and your body goes into overdrive to try and break them down.
Natural ingredients are always best and if you are unsure about what you are putting into your body then do your homework on it! Remember that you are not a guinea pig and it is far better to be safe than sorry!