Subjective Bodybuilding Supplements Review
These two weeks I’m going to share my views of different popular supplements. I have not tested all brands on the market, nor all the different kinds of supplements being pushed today and don’t claim to be objective in any way. This is what I’ve used, and what I thought about it. That’s all. (Besides, I’m too poor to be sued anyway, so I’m pretty safe to tell the truth.)
Twinlab’s Super Gainers Fuel
One of the cornerstones of my daily supplementation. However, in an effort to keep carbs fairly low I usually only use half a scoop of Gainers and fills the rest up with some kind of pure whey protein.
(a cornerstone of all supplementation)
Pure whey protein, as a general rule, is great. Designer Protein, Just Whey, Whey Fuel and Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey are examples of reliable brands. There’s fierce competition with different filtering techniques, ion exchange and every possible mumbo-jumbo that can possibly make one brand seem superior to the others. Truth is, all of them are great! Stuff yourself – it’s good for ya!
Soy, Caseine etc. proteins
Avoid them, but they’re better than nothing. If the choise is starving your muscles or downing a soy protein drink, of course you should go for the soy. But when you’re at the local GNC and ponders wether you should pick a $20 can of soy protein or reach for that $30 can of whey protein, there’s no hesitation.
All brands, as long as they’re 100% pure, as it’s basically the same stuff anyway. Go for the cheapest brand that can prove it’s selling the real stuff. This is great for mixing with your daily protein drinks, as it will boost your performance bigtime. But unless you’ve spent the last five years in a sealed bag, you should have heard about creatine. The hype is true. Buy it, but watch out for liquid forms of creatine, anything other than creatine MONOHYDRATE and companies which you’ve never heard of before. Oh yes, word has it Met-Rx has just came up with a new kind of creatine which is supposed to mix better with water. It doesn’t seem to be available in Europe yet, so I’ve haven’t tried it. But Met-Rx is a respectable company, so I suppose it’s OK.
(claims to be for weight gains)
I tried the original EAS HMB, and the result turned out to be – nada. I did a two-month run, by the book, following recommended dosage without missing a day, and ended up with nothing but two empty jars and an empty wallet. I’ve also tried it in conjunction with creatine, but the result was pretty much like if I’d gone for creatine alone. Therefore, in my opinion you should spend your money on something else.
Surprisingly often this is neglected by bodybuilders. Big mistake. Multivitamins can be as essential to your success as protein, so by all means, make sure to take them! Myself, I go for the cheapest brand available at every time, only making sure that they meet my “checklist” of at least 100% of the RDA of all major vitamins and minerals. On water-soluble vitamins such as C, feel free to overdose. Personally, I take 5,000 mg a day. The RDA says 60 mg a day. I’ve done it for over two years and have seen nothing but benefits, so in my opinion it’s safe.
OK, so we’re back to bashing and praising supplements. As I said last week, I have not tested all brands on the market, nor all the different kinds of supplements being pushed today and don’t claim to be objective in any way. This is what I’ve used, and what I thought about it. That’s all. (Besides, I’m too poor to be sued anyway, so I’m pretty safe to tell the truth)
Twinlab’s Ripped Fuel, as capsules and powder, are good. Just like most other ephedrine/caffeine combos on the market. Again, don’t worry about the brand name as long as they can prove that you’re getting the real stuff. Adding aspirin to the mix usually aids fat loss as well. However, the Ripped Fuel powder differs from the capsules as they’re more like a protein supplement with the RF capsules ground down into it. Unfortunately, someone decided that this also means that the powder gets to taste terrible, and I believe that “YUKKK!!!” is the adequate term to be used. Beware! And this is also the reason that in spite of it’s effectiveness I’m docking it two points.
Rating: ***** (RF powder: ***)
(claims to do everything but wake up the dead)
There’s hardly a month passing by without some new root or herb or whatever has been dug up in Asia or Russia, which has “prolonged their lives for thousands of years” where it came from. Yeah, right. With the possible exception of ginseng, I consider most of them bull. And either way, I am most skeptical about whether they would have any major impact on your bodybuilding success. That is, even IF you’d get some kind of positive effect from the herb, I’m sure you’d be better off spending that money on a jar of creatine.
I have two favourite bars: Steel Bar (vanilla) and Giant’s Block (almond), depending on the occasion. When I’m in a car on my way home from the gym, a Steel Bar just hits the spot, as it gives a quick boost of sugar, good protein and tastes great. When I’m just out for a meal replacement, I want to avoid the sugar so then Giant’s Block is a better choise, which is also higher in protein. Promax bars (raspberry) and Balance bars are other good choices in my opinion.
Often overlooked, this is excellent for taking with your vitamins every morning. It helps fat-soluble vitamins to be absorbed, and, weirdly enough, seems to promote fat loss. However, I suggest getting it in form of capsules, as the liquid oil tastes… Umm … Let’s just say it’s nothing you’ll be sipping at a party. Apart from that, not much to say really, just buy’em, swallow’em and be happy!
Androstenedione, DHEA and Norandrolone
Frankly, I don’t have very high thoughts about these. If you’re out to cheat yourself by altering your hormones, you might as well go for the real stuff – anabolic steroids! These supplements are just precursors, mainly MILD forms of steroids anyway, so what’s the deal? If you don’t wanna do roids, why do you think you can “sneak in” and reap the benefits while claiming not to be on the juice? Get real! A young, healthy athelete who takes hormones might get an extra boost – for the exact same reason as the guy taking Dianabol or Deca. But are you sure that, just because it’s presently on the right side of the borderline according to DEA, you’re safe forever? A 25-year-old athlete taking something made for elderly men, perhaps for years, but because of DEA-classification, you’re free to indulge? I’m skeptical, and have never used any of these products myself. And that’s for the same reason I’m not using steroids:
I simply don’t believe in messing with the hormonal balance.
(Yeah, I shouldn’t have included this in the review section, but I’ve actively chosen NOT to test – for the reasons given. That’s why I thought it was worth mentioning.)