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SUPPLEMENTS: Key Considerations Before You Buy

A Few Sincere Words To Save You Some Time & Money

Posted by jmboiardi - March 23rd, 2015

I frequently see many posts asking advice about a supplement; if it works, is it safe, or should you use it. We all do our best to share and impart our knowledge on the subject either from personal experience and/or knowledge of how the human body works. As such, I wanted to post some key points to keep in mind when deciding on supplements. At the end of the day, it is your body and your money and you can do what you want. I offer this only as a way to help you save time, money, and be safe when deciding what to do:

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How Are Supplement Companies Regulated?

Supplement companies are not regulated by the FDA like pharmaceutical companies. This means the supplement maker can put anything they want in the supplement and make any claims they want without regulation. It is only after someone gets hurt or dies or a class action suit is filed for fraudulent claims that the FTC, FDA, and the Federal government get involved


The Money Business

Supplement companies are not the Red Cross or philanthropic organizations. They are in the business to make money. Most are ethical organizations with good intentions but whenever money is the key motivator, greed sometimes blinds good intentions. They will use all legal (and sometimes questionably legal) tactics to get you to buy their stuff. They will use suspect or phony studies, scientific jargon, use fitness models who don't really use the product, or make bold claims of results to get your attention.  That is not to say there are not good supplement companies who truly market useful products using ethical means.  The old adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is” applies here.  Stay with well know and reputable supplement brands as seen and discussed on MuscularStrength.com


Which Ones Truly Work

Outside of whey, egg, and milk protein supplements, BCAA caps or powder, and creatine, the majority of the supplements out there are either totally useless or produce such a minimal effect they are not worth the price paid.


Ignorance & Impatience
 All supplement companies leverage the 2 most common traits of people who are into fitness - ignorance and impatience. The first can be fixed via the power of the Internet and user forums like this. It also helps if you understand basic human biology and how the body works. Impatience is a universal flaw we all have no matter how long you have been exercising. Everybody wants to look like a fitness model tomorrow. Very few are willing to put in the time and effort needed to truly transform their bodies. Supplement companies prey on these weaknesses and use them to their advantage. They bet on the fact that you don't understand human biology and nutrition and they can seduce you with fancy names and bogus studies. They know you want results fast and easy and they promise as such on the label.


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Conclusion

The bottom line is there is no easy way out to get a lean muscular physique. You MUST train consistently and intensely. You MUST eat a wholesome nutritious diet all the time. You MUST get plenty of rest and give the body all the macro and micro-nutrients it needs to heal and adapt. You MUST be patient and understand this is a marathon not a sprint and it could take years to fully get the body you want. You MUST understand there are no short cuts, magic pills or supplements, or easy way out - unless you want to go down the path of anabolic steroid use and other exogenous hormones. Once you have accepted these as facts, you will save a lot of money and time with supplements. You will also reach your desired goals and take pride in your accomplishments and know the results are permanent not temporary :-)


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MEMBER COMMENTS
Dave_Diesel
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Fantastic information on a subject that more people should understand. 

You can't beat the old school way of doing things... and even if you could, it wouldn't be truly healthy or sustainable in the longterm. Find out what is required and assimilate that information into a program!

jcgadfly
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Solid information here. Thanks. As long as people understand the difference between "supplement" and "substitute" ( a lesson it took me a while to learn) they should be OK.

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

agreed. but unfortunitely... most people never will!  It's up to us to drive that message home!

rrisky1
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I know creatine is good and i do take it but is there a brand that is good and are pills as good as powder, does one get into your system faster then the other, plus i like your site I have been using some of your routines and cant wait to see it works out for me,, Thanks Dennis

jmboiardi Edit Delete Close

Dennis,


Personally I think creatine powder is the best to use and easiest for your body to assimilate.  If you stay with creatine from reputable brands like BSN, Optimum Nutrition, etc, the creatine they sell is safe and of high quality.

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

I agree. I take my @bsn DNA Creatine everyday!

jcgadfly Edit Delete Close

I don't understand enough about this stuff to use much more than whey protein/whey protein isolate. when it gets into creatine/BCAAs/NOX i just kind of glaze over, nod and smile politely. I saw some store brand proteinpowder that had non-dairy creamer as an ingredient. I'm thinking, "Guys, if I wanted Coffee-Mate in a drink, I'd drink COFFEE! Don't put it in my protein!"

Hawk_Given
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Good to see this  as an article.  Well stated.

crood
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i think we just had that subject recently in the forum section. About supplements that use the magic promise to change you into the incredible Hulk within a week just by taking it, lol. There never is a "shortcut" =)

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

yeah that is what spawned the article! haha

JoeHurricane
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Awesome article @jmboiardi!


People think a certain supplement is going to make them look like The Hulk, but the best thing they can really do is focus on those three things you mentioned in the conclusion - training, eating and resting

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

The moment you think a supplement is going to solve your problems is when you need to rethink your goals.  People need to learn to rely more on themselves and hardwork

jairuslopez Edit Delete Close

@jmboiardi great article man, for now i am not taken any supplements just relying in egg protein i think that's great what do u think man?

jmboiardi Edit Delete Close

Egg protein is the Gold Standard - can't get anything better :-)

Scott_Herman
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Great article @jmboiardi, that is why I stick to the basics!  @bsn #DNASeries Creatine, Fish Oil, Glutamine, and SYNTHA-6 ISOLATE & AMINO-X (BCAAs)!

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

oh, and lots and lots of steroids obviously... lololol

jmboiardi Edit Delete Close

Don't you mean "injectable egg whites"?  That was the joke in my gym when we were juicing......:-P

Whisper
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Awesome! Told you it would be a great article!


I especially like the paragraph about impatience and ignorance! I can relate to that a lot, when I first started out, that is!

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

You know what they say, ignorance is bliss!

jmboiardi Edit Delete Close

Yeah.......I agree it was a good idea to make it an article.  It seems to be a very common question and issue for people

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