In this podcast I talk about the common scams and deceptions supplement companies use to dupe us into buying worthless junk, as well as which types of supplements are and aren’t worth your money and why.
Articles & supplements I reference in the video:
Hey, this is Mike Matthews from muscleforlife.com. Thanks for stopping by and checking out this video podcast. In this podcast, we’re going to talk about workout supplements. I want to focus just on this one subject for the podcast because it’s a bit controversial. You know there are a lot of opinions on the matter and I kind of want to whey in and help inform you as a consumer. So you better understand what goes on in the industry and which supplements are worth your money, which ones aren’t and kind of share some of my opinions on what or why and what I don’t like about supplements in the supplement industry.
To start, I just want to tell you that you don’t need to take any supplements at all to build a great physic. Proper diet, proper training that’s really what it boils down to. Supplementation can help and we’ll get to it in a little bit later in this podcast. We’ll get to which supplements can help but just know that I would say the majority of the stuff that you see or maybe not the majority but a large percentage of the stuff that you see, your local GNC or vitamin shop, whatever, is just not worth the money. It’s not really going to do anything for you in terms of actual results. By results, I’m really talking about building muscle, losing fat, getting stronger, things that are quantifiable.
Not “Oh I think, I felt a little bit better on that pre-workout” or “I think I had a good pump” or something like that, it doesn’t really accomplish anything in the long run. I used to spend probably three or $4 a month on supplements. I know what it’s like to go in there and go back to the secret steroid, chasing it back and behind the glass and look at all the different things and try this one and try that one. You’re trying and you are like “Do I feel anything? I don’t know, maybe. I guess.” Yeah, so I used to be that guy. I try all the new stuff and had my different stacks that I like and ironically, I was compare to be speaking, if I compare my physic and just my strength and, or my body now to then, I was kind of smaller, fatter, or weaker.
It didn’t … All of those, all of that money I was wasting on supplements, would have been better off spent on better food or maybe some books to educate myself or something. Just know that if you don’t want to take supplements, you don’t have to. There are different reasons for that, it could be financial, which I understand, supplements are expensive. Or it could be that you just aren’t quite … You don’t really trust what are in these products and I understand that as well. I mean we’ll be talking a little bit more about that later. There have been some pretty, pretty shady scandals that have gone down recently that they make you wonder like what are you actually putting in your body, and you can’t trust all companies to do what’s right.
Not only not cut products with cheap ingredients but to not include things that are just straight up harmful. Yeah, that’s how I want to kind of preface this video. With that, let’s get into some of the scams and some of the shady things that go down in this industry. I’m actually speaking from a bit of an insider type of view point because I am launching my own line of supplements which I’ll talk about later in this video. Which may seem hypocritical but it’s not and you’ll understand when I get there. I understand from sourcing manufacturers and things and talking with different people and whatever, and I was even a little bit surprised in some of the things that these companies would do.
Let’s go over a few of them. One of the scams is using ingredients that have no science. The reason why people do that is because they want to make ingredients labels that look impressive. They want you to look at the label and see all these different things and go “Wow, I’m getting all of that stuff for $40.00” or whatever. What you don’t know is that the majority of those ingredients have absolutely no published science. No published literature that supports their use for whatever that is. It could be a fat loss product, it could be a pre-workout type product, it could be a whatever, test booster. The ingredients, they might sound fancy, they might sound cool but they in the end, have no proof that they can do anything.
Or to the contrary, they have proof or there’s proof that they just don’t work at all. Like in the case of tribulus terrestris, right? Which is in a lot of test boosters. I think I’ve seen seven or eight different studies that shows that it does nothing for testosterone levels, period. It is not going to do anything but you’ll see it in a lot of test booster products out there and some of these companies don’t know that these studies are out there. They’ll just cherry pick like a rat study or something that shows that it maybe increase the androgens in a rat and therefore “Oh it now works,” and it’s going to boost your test. It’s all in the market and kind of thing. Another kind of little scam of the supplement industry is under dosing key ingredients.
There are ingredients out there, there are things out there, natural substances that do have positive effects in the body. They can increase performance or they could just improve different aspects of their health or whatever. The problem that the companies run into is to use these ingredients in proper dosages. It’s just expensive, like for instance let’s talk about pre-workout. Let’s say something like amino acid, like citrulline malate or beta alanine I mean or these different amino acids that increase performance. There’s a bunch of good science that shows that but you have to take enough of it of course. In the case of beta alanine, the average effect of dosage is you’re going to find is about five grams. In terms of citrulline malate, it’s going to be like 68 grams or so.
If you took those dosages of those aminos, then you could expect something positive to happen in terms of performance. If you took a tenth of those, that you took 500 milligrams of beta alanine or 6,800 milligrams of citrulline malate, you probably won’t get much out of it, maybe a very small effect but probably next to nothing. What companies would do is they don’t want to put five grams of beta alanine and 68 grams of citrulline malate in their product because it’s expensive. What they do instead is they’ll put 500 milligrams or less or whatever and then they’ll hide it behind the proprietary blend. Which if you see proprietary blend in a product don’t buy it.
As a consumer, if you don’t have any interest in the products that I’m producing in my line whatever, I totally understand. Just don’t support other companies that are doing that because they’re just basically slapping you in the face as a consumer. They’re just saying “We don’t care to even tell you what you’re buying because we’re under dosing the shit out of our product. We’re going to hide it behind the super-mega max pump matrix proprietary blend to try to fool you.” When you see companies who proprietary blend, just know you’re getting scammed immediately. There are no trade secrets in this industry in terms of like secret dosages to use or secret combinations and dosages.
All the research is public on these molecules. You can go study it yourself and that’s what the end of the story. Yes, the under-dosing of the key ingredients and use proprietary blend is another scam. Another kind of deceptive practice is just cutting products with flour, maltodextrin, and if you don’t think that happens, think again. There have been different scandals, I’m not going to give any company names but there have been different scandals that even come out on the internet. Where protein powders will test, they’ll claim so much on the label and then when independently tested, then they’ll come out a lot less. I mean from speaking with people kind of in the inside of this industry, from what they told me is that things like that are a lot more common than you would think.
Probably not with the bigger, more established brands that have more money to do it right and have more writing on it. With smaller brands that are maybe up and coming, they’re all apparent … Apparently like you’ll have pills with just sawdust or you’ll have pre-workouts that are a bunch of caffeine, a couple of other stimulants, and a bunch of maltodextrin, which is just a carb like cheap carb. Then of course, it’s going to proprietary blend those. In the proprietary blend there’s all these other fancy signing things in tiny dosages when really what you’re buying is a tub of malto. That will happen I would say it’s prevalent but it’s definitely out there a bit more than you might think.
There are even the use of dangerous substances, like you’ve probably heard about this whole crazed scandal. Where it turns out that there is a, it’s called an analog which means it’s a molecule that is similar to another molecule chemically, but it’s not the same. It may have the same effects in the body but weakly speaking it’s not the same. In this craze product, it was discovered there’s a meth analog, methamphetamine. Meaning that there’s a molecule, it has meth in it essentially but legally speaking it’s not meth. The molecule is different enough to where it’s not meth but it has those meth like effects on the body.
Which is actually kind of ironic and just because I would get e-mail when craze was just several months ago, before the scandal broke. There was a time when I was getting e-mails or message probably every day from someone, at least one person, sometimes multiple. Then asking, “Dude, have you tried craze and she is nuts, you got to try craze.” I went to look at the formulation and you know, standard proprietary blend with creatine in it. Which is like when you see a pre-workout that has creatine in the proprietary blend, don’t buy it. Once again, it will be included because it’s cheap and creatine does work, we’ll be talking about that in a minute. If you’re not taking creatine and you start taking it every day, you are going to notice the difference in the gym.
You’re going to get stronger but it has no place in a pre-workout. It’s like you need to have it before you workout and also you can buy it very cheaply. You shouldn’t spend more than 20 to $30 for a month’s worth of creatine. It’s not less, not a 40, $50 pre-workout that lasts two to three weeks. Anyways, I looked at this craze product and I looked at the foundation and I thought there’s just … this is a crap product. The people that … they must just be new to pre-workouts or the company must be including some different stimulants. I didn’t think of meth but I thought this is a common thing that is done with pre-workouts where you just load it with stimulants, cheap stimulants. You load it with like caffeine and you load it with, there’s that DMAA, that was in Jack, that’s now illegal.
There are some other things you can throw that, just give you that kick of energy. You might have a crash after and it’s not good for you but for that 30 minutes or so you have that rush and you can say “That was a great pre-workout,” or whatever. That’s much cheaper to do than to let’s say, going back to what I was talking about earlier, using clinically effective dosages of different amino acids and things that won’t give you that crash or it’s better for you but that’s more expensive. Yeah, there are dangerous … you don’t know always what are in these products. I mean there is one company that it kind of seems like there modus operandi is to release products that have analogs of similar type.
Where it can be similar to let’s say a pro-hormone type of molecule and they put that in their product. They release it, people use it and then people go “Wow, this really works. This test booster, I feel so much better.” Until finally … because the FDA is so behind anyway on regulation, but they ran that for a certain period of time. It gets you to word of mouth. “You’ve got to try this stuff. You’ve got to try this stuff,” and then pull that product, that version of it, no longer produce it with that analog, so that they can’t get caught. Then it’s out now in our market in terms of test booster. It might just have like tribulus terrestris and a few other worthless ingredients but the word of mouth is generated enough. Sell, sell, sell, sell, sell until it dies off, retire the product, rinse and repeat, easy money.
That stuff happens. Don’t think it doesn’t, I mean there are some pretty … The CEO of that driven company that produced craze. I remember reading about that he has some filming in the past that doing something similar like there’s some pretty shady, shitty people in this industry that are solely driven by making money. That’s all they care about is just fleecing people for as much money as possible. I guess we’ll find that in any industry but don’t think it’s not in the sports nutrition book. The next thing is the false slick wine in advertising. That’s a very common use to set to practice and that takes different forms. False claims and effectiveness so you can just literary make stuff up in the advertising. Say it does this, that, whatever.
Scientific improving little low and you have no proof of it really. I think it’s more sophisticated where you can misconstrue science. You could take rat research and try to [extrapolate 00:14:06] to humans and just basically say that this molecule is proven due to this in the body. Sight a study in the site, the study was done with rats. Well you can’t do that. You can’t take rat research and just apply it directly to humans. Well rats might be similar to humans in certain parts of their physiology, it might be similar or well I mean certain parts are similar, but it’s not similar enough. Especially we’re talking about metabolism and how different substances are broken down to handle the body. You just can’t make that leap.
Rat research or animal research can lead the way for human trials or can be done for ethical reasons where you couldn’t conduct certain studies with humans. You’ve got to go with the best evidence that you can find which would be animal research but it’s not … Well, this was good or bad for the rat, therefore it is always good or bad for humans. That’s pretty common. Also taking research that was done with people that are sick or elderly for instance taking studies that like glutamine is a common escape goat for this tactic. Companies will take AIDS. Researchers or research of AIDS patient’s muscle wasting problems in the very elderly and not initially with AIDS which is on their last legs.
I guess you could say and in those situations glutamine supplementation has been show to help preserve or help them maintain their muscle mass but it doesn’t mean that you as a healthy person are going to gain anything in terms of building muscle might take in glutamine. That’s actually has been proven. There are a couple of studies that have been done with healthy athletes that show supplementing with glutamine is not going to help you build muscle but you’ll see it all the time in advertising. Glutamine is so important for muscle on your knees or you’ll build more muscle. It’s not true and it is true that glutamine plays an important role in protein synthesis in muscle growth but supplementing with it is not going to do anything for you.
You get it from your diet and your body is good to go. There is another common thing that I think a lot of us, I don’t know how many of us will fall for it but is the athlete endorsements, the big body builders they are pretending like “Oh it’s taking this little test booster, that’s why my biceps is 25 inches big.” I mean “Yeah, okay buddy. All nutty bag,” right? That is just misleading of course and I guess you could say “Oh well you know that their long award and just this supplement,” but that’s not how it’s advertised. I mean people have their endorsements and how sick this is doing or this is probably good and this is so crucial for building muscle mass blah, blah, blah.
Yeah, those are kind of the big major deceptive practices and kind of just the status quo really and if you look around and go through a magazine and see, there are companies out there that are honest often when nutrition comes to mind and I’ve always liked their products. We’re owned by big pharmaceutical company in Glanbia which for some people may think that’s bad because pharmaceutical companies, some of them actually are pretty crazy but in this case I think it actually works in our favor because they’re also the biggest supplemental company probably in the world. They have a lot of money, they are able to put that money into their products, to make high quality products which they generally do.
When I say generally, there are a couple of products like their pre-workout. It’s an okay formulation but it’s not great. There are certain products of theirs that I think are better than others but generally speaking I think they’re an honest company like their marketing is not over the top. They don’t make ridiculous claims so that means an example company that I’ve always kind of recommended and use myself and trusted and there are others too. Anyway, just look for those things and if you see companies doing that kind of stuff, just don’t support it. I mean you as the consumer, you vote with dollars.
I mean you tell the companies what is okay and what’s not and if you keep on buying these stuff from the companies that are doing these shady things, they’re just going to keep on doing it because it works. As a consumer you can have the power. You can force whatever kind of change you want to see just simply by spending your money elsewhere and in this world of supplements, you have a lot of options. You don’t have to go with that exact type of product when you can just look at another company that it isn’t doing those things and makes it and you’ll notice you might actually be getting a better product in the end. Let’s talk quickly about some supplements that are not worth using, testosterone boosters, not worth using.
The main reason is because … Well, there are two reasons. One, a lot of them are full of ingredients that just don’t do anything. They’re not going to increase your testosterone like tribulus terrestris and other various amino acids and things that maybe do certain things in the body but not to increase testosterone. The exception to that would be the ascorbic acid. That’s a common ingredient used and actually does have good science and it can increase your test but the more important factor or the more important thing to consider is that even if you do increase your test naturally. Let’s say increase it by 10% naturally or 20% naturally, that’s pretty good but it’s not going to do anything for you in terms of building muscle or getting stronger.
Maybe you’ll see a little bit of strength increase but you’re not going to build more muscle overtime because of it. You might feel a little bit better. It might help in sex drive and that is a reason to use something like the ascorbic acid. If you just want to … If your test is low and you want to do some natural things to raise it because having low test sucks. You don’t feel good, low sex drive so you want to do it for that reason, then I would recommend taking it and all the other things you could do natural as well. If your test is in the normal range and you feel fine and you have a good sex drive and you want to build a muscle and get stronger, don’t waste your time with test supplements or test boosters because it’s just not going to help.
There is some research out of McMaster University that actually showed that not only a link but an article. The description below where I talk about this subject in more depth so you could check it out. HGH boosters, don’t waste your time. These are more worthless than test boosters because there’s really no … In terms of there are many types of growth hormone in the body and the type that you would want to increase for anabolic purposes. Which also keep in mind that growth hormones is not particularly anabolic like testosterone but it’s more … Well it’s a muscle preserver, so yes it’s good but it doesn’t drive protein synthesis like testosterone does but anyways, that specific type of growth hormone you can’t … There is nothing you can’t do naturally to lose that.
Also it’s very hard to prove that anything works because it’s hard to test growth hormones because it’s pulse side. Your body pulses, releases a bunch and then it stops and he does this on a cycle. While there are a couple of ingredients, one that comes to mind is called GABA Gal- something alburic acid or something like that. Long, long word, I’m sure it’s GABA, has been shown to increase a certain type of growth hormone, but that type of growth hormone is not the type that has anything to do with preserving muscle or making gains in the gym. GABA is a good sleep supplement if you’re having trouble sleeping but it’s not useful for increasing growth hormone or increasing muscle growth.
We increase that type of both hormone and we increase muscle growth or strength in the gym. Don’t waste your time with HGH boosters. Weight gainers, I’m not a fan of weight gainers because they’re full of junk carbs and usually junk fats. By junk I mean just no nutrition, you know dextrose. It’s just sugar. You realize that it’s a type of sugar. Okay, fine. It’s just powdered sugar or whatever. I guess it’s okay if you want to have this a pre or post workout carb but personally, I prefer to have food. I prefer that you get micro nutrients. Dieting is not all about just hitting macro numbers. It’s also about, I wouldn’t say hitting micro numbers because you don’t really need to micro manage like that but it is about getting nutrition from your food as well.
We put a lot of demands in our bodies if we’re lifting weights regularly and doing much cardio or whatever, so our bodies have higher needs for micro nutrients. That is where like if it fits you macro type of flaws which is yes its true, in terms of body composition it boils down to hitting numbers every day. Macro nutrient numbers, protein, carbs and fats but remember that healthy foods do more for your body than just give us protein, carbs and fats. It gives us all the vitamins and minerals and other micronutrients that our body needs to do its many different physiological processes. That’s why I’m not a fan of weight gainers because if you’re pounding down a few thousand calories of weight gainer a day you’d be better served.
Getting a lot like it depends how many total calories you’re eating everyday but in my experience working with people that are using weight gainers, they’d be kind of just becomes a dietary crutch. They’re too lazy to make some food, they don’t want to think about it or whatever so they just pound a few thousand calories of weight gainer and in the end of the day they shouldn’t eat that much food, that’s not good. If you were getting 80% of your calories from like nutrient dense foods and you’re still having trouble gaining weight then I understand if you want to try and using a weight gainer.
Personally I would just focus on including some more calorie densities in my meals, or maybe I’d even wake up a little bit earlier to get in a bigger meal, or get an extra meal or whatever but that’s me. Another supplement in my opinion not worth using is nitric oxide supplement. Simply because I mean yeah, I guess its fine that I get a nice pump and stuff in the gym and it can feel good but is that worth spending 30, $40 a month? I don’t think so and no supplements is not going to directly help you build muscle or strength depending on what’s in it. It might be able to improve your performance a little bit, your muscle endurance a little bit which if you’re training properly could lead to doing some more reps with your weight which is more progressive overload.
Which if combined with proper nutrition it can turn into muscle growth. Yeah you can kind of work it to where it could lead to some extra muscle growth but in my opinion it just as a supplements by itself is just not worth the money. Another supplements that is not worth it let’s see… I guess those are the major, I’m probably forgetting something but those are the major ones. Fat burners are hit and miss, there’s fat burner from a company called VPX called meltdown which I actually do like has putting good dosages and they actually paid for a couple of universities to do… I think they’ve done two studies, I can link it in the description, I think its two studies.
Both of the universities that show it works which is not surprising when you look at the ingredients as they research and ingredients, you can just look at the research and ingredients and you’ll know it’s going to work, you don’t even have to pay to get the study done but I understand for marketing reasons why they did that. In some fat burners I don’t like just looking at the formulations so if you want to try fat burner I do recommend UVX’s meltdown as a product. All right so let’s move now to some supplements worth using. Before that let me just then say that I’m going to go over some supplements that are worth using so pretty much anything outside of these is not probably, not worth it.
There are some things that I’m not going to cover right here that they may or may not be worth it. Actually in tolerance right now. Let’s talk about BCA’s before I get into supplements that’s worth using so this is also a lot of people spend a lot of money on BCA’s and you think you that you got to have them, before your workout, after workout, take them every two hours… The bottom line is you don’t need to be doing that if you just eat enough protein. BCA is the proper use and really the only worthwhile, the time I ever use them is if I’m going to be training at fast in state which I will… our host explain the fastest state is basically when your body is, it’s insulin levels are at a baseline and it’s fully relying on its fat stores, it’s energy stores to operate.
Your meals, you need a moderate size meal, it will take anywhere from three to five hours for your body to fully absorb those nutrients. During that time your insulin levels are elevated. Insulin’s job is to shovel nutrients out of the blood and into your cells. After that process is done and some levels come down and you’re now in a fasting state. The reason why you want to exercise in this stage, mainly due to accelerated fat loss. Research has shown that you can lose fat faster when you’re training in this state. However it does come with accelerated muscle breakdown so to counteract that you use BCA’s and in particular, really what you want is Leucine.
Leucine is the amino acid in the BCAA’s, BCAA’s are three amino acids, its Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. So Leucine is the one that really does it, it stimulates protein synthesis directly. You could use BCAA’s or you could just use straight Leucine. If you use BCAA’s you’re going to want to do about 10 grams which should give you three to five grams of Leucine or you can just use two to three to five grams of leucine directly. Leucine doesn’t taste good, it’s very bitter so if you have a very sensitive palette, you probably just better off going to BCAA product that taste decent. Otherwise BCAA’s are not worth it. You don’t need … you’re not doing anything by giving your body Leucine every few hours, you’re much better off taking that money and just putting it into better food.
Higher quality meats and high quality dairy products and eggs are all good sources of protein, fish, grains, of course you can get some protein from vegetables, not very much but put that money into getting good micronutrient dense foods and good sources of proteins and good sources of fats instead. Okay, so let’s move on now to supplements that are worth using. Let’s talk about protein powders, protein powder worth using. Yes, it’s convenient and that’s why it’s worth using. It’s not that you need protein powder to build muscle, not at all. In fact I don’t use that much protein powder. I have a shake before I work out, I have whey and I have a shake after I work out.
Which I also have whey again with some carbs both before and after and I have one other shake in the afternoon which is egg. That’s simply because it’s convenient, I’m here at the office, I’m working, I don’t want to take the time to prepare anything. I just drink down some protein, have the bananas, small butter and I’m done and I can get back to work. You don’t have to use protein powder if you don’t want to. It is actually kind of a cost effective source of protein and a high quality source of protein so it’s not bad. If you don’t want to use it, if your stomach doesn’t do well with whey, if you don’t like the taste of egg protein or you just don’t like that as an option.
Or if maybe you’re vegan and you don’t like your vegan options then its fine, you don’t have to use any protein powders. Although in the case of vegans, to get enough protein, usually we have to get them using some sort of protein powder because it’s just hard to get to even the .8 grams per pound type of protein range. Point grab searching for pound range that is recommended if you’re going to be engaging your regular weight lifting if we don’t use a protein powder. Anyway, the bottom line is protein powders are not necessary by any means, they’re just convenient.
There is a little bit of research that shows that whey is particularly good for post workout protein because it does quickly spike the … It’s rich in Leucine which is good and it quickly spikes amino acids in the blood. If you want to use a protein powder, what I recommend is getting a whey and use it, have like a scoop before you work out with some carbs and have one to two scoops after with some carbs and you can get the rest of your protein from food throughout the day. The next supplement worth using is creatine. Creatine is probably one of the most studied molecules in all of the sports nutrition, at least 200 studies on it and even closer to 300 actually. The bottom line is it works.
It works, it’s not amino acids called peptide, it’s a combination of amino acids but it’s natural like you eat a big steak, you’re going to get a few grams of creatine in it and it improves strength, it improves muscle growth, it accelerates or it can help you build more muscle. If I remember correctly it also has been showed to decrease markers of muscle damage, it improves recovery. It’s good, you don’t have to cycle it, you don’t have to load it if you don’t want to. Loading is where you take … what it really falls down to is 20 grams a day for a week and then you bring that down and that’s just so you can quickly saturate your muscles with it and then you bring it down to 5 grams a day for maintenance.
You don’t have to do that. I found that I notice its effects a little bit faster which makes sense if you were just having on, it gets in your system faster but some people do retain a bit of water when they load it and they don’t like that, I don’t care because the water just goes out anyway when you drop to a maintenance dosage but you don’t have to load it. You don’t have to cycle it, it’s not any kind of steroid or anything like that. Your body will … its own production will just scale down when you’re on it and if you come off it scales up. It’s a very safe effective, relatively inexpensive supplement that I do recommend you use. Don’t worry about the water retention thing either, that’s not really an issue these days.
It was an issue in the past when processing methods weren’t as good but rarely do people have any water retention issues. I take creatine always. I mean, whether I’m bulking, cutting, maintaining or whatever and I’ve just recently a couple of months ago finished a cut where I ended summer between five and 6% body fat, kind of hard to test with calipers at that point and I would have had to gone like get DEXA scan if I really want to know for sure I really had nothing left I could grab and I was taking creatine the entire time so don’t think it makes you retain a bunch of water or whatever. Another supplement that I recommend you take is a good multivitamin simply because … well it’s true that you can get all your micro nutrients from your foods.
It’s just getting harder to do these days unless you eat a bunch of vegetables and good variety vegetables and fruits and things like that. I eat a couple of servings of vegetables and fruit a day but I take a multi just to make sure that I am not deficient in anything. Because my nutrition deficiency kind of effect your performance and they affect your overall health. A multi I think is worth the investment especially if you’re in a … put your body under the extra stress that comes along with exercise and what not. Fish oil, omega three, fatty acid is very important. The American diet is very high in omega six fatty acids and when your omega six isn’t three is out of whack, you can have a wide variety of negative health effects and by supplementing the omega three’s.
I mean fish oil, I’ll just link down in the descriptions so you can go see the pretty impressive roster of the health benefits that come with it. It’s not cheap but it’s extremely good for you and it has quite a few benefits that are particularly helpful for us fitness people like improving protein synthesis and potentially improving even fat loss and increasing in sensitivity and other things. I do recommend the fish oil. Pre workout supplements are worth it depending on what they are, if the formulation is good then it’s worth it. Meaning that if it doesn’t just contain a bunch of Cathine and a couple of other stimulants that you could just buy way cheaper.
Like in the case of a lot of pre workouts here in the market, you can just buy Cathine pills and you would feel exactly the same. You would notice no difference in terms of your … not only how you feel but what it does for you in the gym. Take four milligrams of Cathine pill for one week and then take the pre workout for the next week and you really wouldn’t notice much of a difference. There may be a couple other stimulants in the pre workout that you would notice but you could buy those cheaply and just throw them in the river. However if a pre workout has more than that and has good formulation, good dosages, I think it’s worth it simply because it helps you perform better in the gym.
The more weight you can push from the gym, the more reps you can get, the more gains you make over time. Of course it’s not an immediate gratification thing but it does add up over time and also there is the fact that how much you enjoy, your workouts does matter. Nobody likes to go do something … slug through something every day, it’s much more enjoyable when you are honked up and you’re really there focused and you’re into it and a good pre workout can help with that. I use a pre workout and I recommend if you want to spend the money, that’s somewhere that’s worth spending. Gutamine I actually do think it’s worth it. It’s not worth it because it helps you build muscle as I said earlier that’s been completely disproven.
However where there is a good signs conducted with athletes and I think one study the football players see the different type of athlete. It shows that intense prolonged exercise depletes glutamine levels in the body so by supplementing with glutamine you can counterbalance that which can help. Basically just help your body deal with the systemic stresses of exercise because remember when you do intense weight lifting, you’re not only just damaging the muscle fibers that you’re training but you’re also putting quite a bit of a load on your central nervous system. Hormonally there’s your Protasol levels are spiking.
The body’s under stress now, it is a good process of course when you provide your body everything you need to like recover and rebuild itself. But there is that stress factor so researchers shown that supplementation of Glutamine if you take enough of it and you take it over time can just help your body better deal with that and help prevent the cramp overtraining. That’s anecdotally speaking I’ve been using Glutamine now for regularly for probably close to a year. In the last year I’ve noticed a couple of things. One is it takes longer for me, I’m able to train for longer periods of before and after I take a D load or a rest week, take a week off. It may or may not be due to the glutamine but it’s something that I noticed that overtraining does.
It just takes longer for me to kind of feel those systems coming on. I’ve also noticed that I just don’t get sick. I haven’t gotten sick, maybe I got semi sick when I went away in a day or something like that in the last year. Whereas in the past I wouldn’t get sick regularly but it would be every six months or so if my wife got sick then it usually started with that because I was not paying attention or whatever and end up getting sick. I noticed and the reason why that is relevant to Glutamine is because researchers shown that it is actually very good for the immune system. It also is good for gut health too. I do recommend glutamine.
Another supplement that I personally use, like and recommend is spirulina like fish oil it has a pretty impressive list of health benefits similar to fish oil’s health benefits. Actually which I’ll link to it you know the description below and you can check it out. Again, don’t think you have buy all of these. I’m just kind of running down a list of things that I personally use that have good science behind them. If you’re going to spend money to things that at least you’re going to get something for your money. The last one I’ll talk here is vitamin D. The reason why I supplement vitamin D is because in more recent research conducted last decade or so.
As it shown that vitamin D is actually a very, very important molecule in the body for just overall health in fighting off disease and a lot of people that are vitamin d deficient. I would be if I didn’t supplement with it because I sit inside all day. I go out in the sun maybe on the weekends but if I wanted to get enough vitamin D from just sun exposure alone I’d have to go in the sun for probably … I’m in Florida and it’s the winter now. Let’s say it’s a summer right so Florida hot sun close-ish to the equator. Probably like 15 to 20 minutes a day with most my body exposed would be what it would require for me to get my natural because our body can’t synthesize vitamin D. It gets it from the sun, chemical reaction body or we can get it from our food or supplements.
Yeah, vitamin D, it’s just important to take for overall health like fish oil, like spirulina and these are things that even if you may not feel it and sometimes I’ll get to ask people like well I don’t want to take something that I don’t feel. “Yeah okay, I understand that but just because you’re not feeling a difference doesn’t mean it’s not doing anything for your body remember that.” There are a lot of physiological processes in the body that you only feel when it gets really bad. Then you would know that something is wrong and you don’t want it to ever get to that point. In my opinion there are just certain type of things like fish oil, spirulina, vitamin D where you look at the research, you look at the amount of research that show benefits to where it’s like conclusive.
This does this in the body and you understand that that is something that is healthy and you just go and that’s why you take it. Yeah, I might not feel the difference but I know that it’s helping my body and in the case of vitamin D, spirulina, fish oil, you actually can definitely feel a difference. It’s not that you definitely won’t, it depends on how your body is but somebody I can’t … I guess it’s been a while. I’ve been supplementing them for quite some time now so I actually don’t really remember how I felt before. Now I do remember when I started taking fish oil, I did notice a difference. I felt more energetic, that was anything that I noticed actually is that I actually felt more energetic and just my energy levels sustain higher throughout the day.
Those are the list of supplements that I think are worth using and through my work writing books and running muscleforlife.com. I’ve been recommending different supplements and products and I’ve recommended the supplements that I personally use myself, and where the best things that I can find some companies that I felt I could trust. I think were worth spreading the word for. That said I didn’t really … I couldn’t never find the exact products that I wanted and the exact products that I would want would be like no proprietary glands. All ingredients backed by science, clinically effective dosages, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial food dies on its advertising but you know kind of just goes with the whole package.
I couldn’t find that so basically what I did is I started it myself through the success of my writing and no matter work or muscles for life I’ve been able to do that. I’m really excited for it because these are the products that I basically always wanted myself. I always wished I could find to use and recommend to others. My idea was to create a supplement company that’s kind of more dedicated to creating healthy high quality sports supplements that are based on sound science. You want to sell them honestly so what I’m doing with that is I am starting with a few different supplements. The way I saw it, I pretty work out a recovery product which is glutamine and amino acid called carnitine which have been improving the health with muscle damage.
And a creatine product that has weak extracting it which helps with creatine absorption. It also has some other proven benefits like improving insulin sensitivity and it can even improve the hormone particularly for male anabolic hormone levels. It can improve libido and once again that’s not going to help you necessarily build more muscle in the gym but it can help you feel better. My kind of opinion is that you as a consumer are just smarter than the industry is giving you credit for at this point. I think the industry almost speaks to us like we’re idiots, that with their ridiculous claims and they’re advertising with your ridiculous product names and just so much that’s so cheesy over the top.
I think that when you see those ridiculous advertising claims that you know that’s BS, I don’t think you actually fall for a lot of those magazine ads and a lot of the stuff that they say in the big drugged up body builders that are pretending like this little pill is all it took kind of thing. I think that when you look at a product and you see it has 67 different ingredients in a five stage proprietary blend that you might wonder like how effective is this really? You’re going to fit that many ingredients in a pill this big. Come on, what is it? One microgram per … I don’t think that the A list endorsements are as convincing as companies might seem … they might think that they are.
At least with a certain subset of the workout crowd, maybe the majority are still totally buying into this stuff and think it’s awesome. I think that’s more to the newbies and I understand. I was a newbie, I was in that position where do you start, you pick up a workout magazine, you don’t know anything about this world. You just see these big massive dudes and you’re like “Oh, I guess I’ll try some of this hyper max extreme muscle.” Then you just go one after another until you find they’re kind of jaded and you’re like whatever. I guess it’s just kind of a waste of money and then if you get more educated then you realize it definitely is a waste of money.
Anyways, I don’t think that you as a more relatively experienced weight lifter, I don’t think you fall for that shit so easily. I think that you actually care about what you’re putting in your body and want to know exactly what is in your products. You don’t also want to see a bunch of artificial crap in there, you don’t want to see a bunch of chemicals that you can’t even pronounce. Who knows what some of this stuff is and it’s not necessary. I mean, just to have something taste like a little bit better you want to have strange chemicals, 32 syllable chemicals and also in terms of artificial sweeteners and artificial food dyes.
Yeah, they may not be as bad as some people claim it’s not like you’re going to drink a diet coke and get cancer but there is enough research out there to indicate that regular consumption of chemicals like this. It is probably not good for your health or at least I could say that there is a definite chance it’s not good for your health. In my opinion, better safe than sorry with that kind of stuff. It’s not necessary to have artificial sweeteners, you can just use products that don’t have any in them. In terms like the average gym goer, it actually can be eating quite a bit of this stuff.
Let’s say he has a like a pre workout drink, he has several scoops of protein powder a day, he has some kind of pro post workout recovery type drink, he might even have like a VCAA intro workout kind of thing every day. That’s actually quite a bit of artificial sweeteners. A lot of those products have dyes as well and over time it can cause different health issues. That’s basically … those were my thoughts going into creating my workout line which is called legion by the way. Legionsupplements.com is the URL.
With legion what I’m doing is no proprietary blends so all ingredients are all over from those are transparent. We tell you exactly what’s in the product so you know what you’re getting for your money. It allows you to compare like you actually now see or what am I actually getting for my money. That serving is 18 grams of stuff, what is that stuff? Well when you go look at the proprietary blend, you don’t know, you just see the proprietary blend is 18 grams. What you do know is the ingredients, they are sorted in an ascending order by weight. The first ingredient there’s most of that out of all of them. Then the second is the second most and so forth which is kind of [inaudible 00:47:27] a little trick companies will play.
Like let’s say you have a pre workout where the first ingredient is creatine on the proprietary blend. Let’s say it’s a 10 gram proprietary blend, first ingredient creatine, it might be 9.5 grams creatine. It might basically be all creatine and all the rest is just some tiny little percentage. Companies will do that because it’s cheap and it makes it … you think you’re getting all the stuff but really what you’re just getting is creatine. No proprietary blends, all ingredients are backed by science which if you’re familiar with my work my muscle for life. You’re used to me linking to a million different studies, I do the same thing with legion.
I back up every ingredient that I use with published literature you can go verify yourself. Good science too, not rat studies, not AIDS studies or elderly studies, studies with healthy adults and a lot of case athletes, things that apply to us. No label filler ingredients, you’ll see my products are very simple, they don’t have 19 different ingredients in them. The active ingredients was sort of short and the other ingredient list are short, contain the very minimum that you need for sometimes masking taste. Like some amino acids are bitter so you have to actually use a little bit of maltodextrin like in my pre workout. I think the serving size is about 20 grams, about 18 grams of that is like amino acids, good stuff.
Then there’s about a gram or a gram and a half of maltodextrin which is necessary for masking the bitter taste of the amino acids. If the malto wasn’t in there it would taste really bad. We don’t use a bunch of label fillers and we don’t use a bunch of additives or fill it with malto in this proprietary blend or anything like that. We use clinically effective dosages which goes back to that under dosing point talked about earlier. What that means is that the ingredients that I use, I use the actual dosages that are used in studies to prove those benefits. In terms of beta alanine in my pre workout for instance there’s one study that was made analysis of I believe 23 different studies done with beta alanine in athletes.
It show that the average effective dosage is about 4.8 grams, that’s what you’ll find in my products. Each serving you’re getting a full clinically effective dosage of in that case beta alanine. My pre workout also essentially not late, same story, ornithine same story, beta in same story, thiamine same story and you can verify all these yourself by just reviewing the studies. My products are naturally sweetened and naturally flavored and that … Well in the case they’re all naturally sweetened and in the case of the protein it’s naturally flavored. The pre work out is artificially flavored and ethane is a combination of artificial and natural actually because to mask the taste of amino acids some artificial flavoring is needed.
The thing about artificial flavoring is and I did a fair amount of research on this and also I was working with a consultant who is a … He’s one of the leader researchers of a large scientific website. If you look at the literature out there, there’s just nothing out there to indicate that artificial flavoring even has a potential to harm you. We chose to use some artificial flavoring in the pre workout but the creatine and the recovery product are naturally flavored as well because they taste good, why not, just keep it natural. To sweeten the stevia and we also we use is a stevia extract. It’s not raw stevia leaf and this particular stevia extract which is called Reb A, it’s the short name for it, it’s like rebaudium A I think is the longer.
It’s three to 400 times sweeter than sugar if I remember correctly. It doesn’t have the bitter kind of aftertaste that there is another molecule that sometimes you use to sweeten but has a kind of a bitter taste to it, so Reb A doesn’t. The products, you don’t have any kind of a weird aftertaste, they taste totally fine. No artificial food dyes because why do you really care if your drink is white or blood red, I don’t think so, there’s no reason to be drinking that stuff every day. Finally honest advertising. If you were over to the website at legionsupplements.com go look at how I advertise my products. I mean I open up by saying a lot of same things in this video, you don’t need supplements to build a good body.
They can help and I’m dedicated to only selling the ones that I know can help but even if you don’t buy any of my products I hope that you come away just a more educated consumer. At least don’t support the companies that are scamming people and just being shady. Just don’t waste your money, once again if you don’t want to spend money on supplements, spend it on food instead. Spend it on a good gym membership, a good pair of lifting shoes, things that actually matter. Yeah, that’s what I’m doing with legion, I have some plans for more products of course. My line of products is probably not going to be as extensive ever really as some of these other companies because there’s just not that many things that are worth even creating that I would be interested in taking myself.
There are a few other things I’m excited that we’re going to be coming out with a multivitamin it’s going to kick ass. It will obviously have the vitamins and minerals that you need that you’d find in a standard multi, but the extra things that we’re going to be putting in are going to be great for helping the body just deal with physiological stress, lowering cortisol levels and good signs behind these ingredients. Just good stuff that I actually have been wanting a supplement with myself, I just didn’t want to buy seven different supplements and order these things and I already taken enough pills as it is. I’ll be excited to just have a multi that has that in it.
Also we’re going to create a product in BCAA but we’re going to create particularly when you’re going to be doing fasted training. It’s going to be amino acid drink for that meaning it’s going to have the leucine that you want but instead of Isoleucine and Valine which don’t really serve any purpose in these circumstances. Isoleucine I believe stimulates protein synthesis mildly but not anywhere near leucine’s ability. You can drop the isoleucine and the valine and replace them instead with amino acids that actually can benefit your workout. That actually is pretty cool because there are a couple of things that we wanted to put in the pre workout but we had to cut the manufacturing price off somewhere.
They might be able to find their way into this replacement for our BCAA where if you’re going to be doing fast training or pre workout, no pre workouts have leucine in them or I’ve never seen one that does or have enough. If you wanted to train fasted, you have the … I don’t even have a name for it, I don’t know, the leucine supplement that we’re going to be creating and we’ll have some other stuff in it that will also improve your workout plus the pre workout it would be pretty cool. We’re going to do our own fish oils, fish oil’s awesome. I would like to do a spirulina product probably with Chlorella, I need to do some more research on it.
Yeah we have some plans but once again we’re going to be sticking to our formula which really is just going to be like be honest, don’t be shady, have some integrity, you don’t have to rip people off to make money, create good products, be open to customer feedback. I think customers will support it and I know that me as a consumer, that’s what I always wanted. Yeah that’s what I’m doing for legion, I’d love to hear anything you have to say about it. Once again the website is legionsupplements.com, you can leave a comment below in this video or you can write me on Facebook, you can email me, whatever, I respond to everything personally.
I like to stay in touch with everyone, I think it’s an important point. I’m a fast reader, fast typer so it works. Anyway I hope you enjoyed this podcast, I know I keep on saying but I’ll be better on the schedule. I try to fit it in here and there but once again your price seen on the next couple of weeks. Until then if you like the video, if you like the podcast please subscribe to the channel and to the podcast and you can find me at muscleforlife.com. Thanks again.
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