T Nation

Disposable (?) Supplements

For those of you who have gotten or are in the process of getting the results you want, how much of your progress do you attribute to supplements? Do you think you could have made such progress without them? How integral were they? Could they have been substituted with a little added effort to diet and exercise?

In most cases I’d say that eating enough of the right foods and training right is good enough.

However, I’ve certainly found that protein powders like Grow! and PWO drinks like Surge can definitely make the diet part easier. Also, when I’m not getting enough or a wide enough variety of fruits and veggies, I’m glad I have some vitamins on hand.

Any other supplements I’ve tried have merely been icing on the cake at best, or occasionally coutnerproductive at worst.

This also begs the question: What constitutes a supplement? Fish Oil pills and flax seed? Vitamins? Is protein powder under the supplement category or under the food category?

I apologize; I should have been more specific.

I’m specifically concerned with less conventional supplements such as fat burners or hormone regulators rather than more conventional vitamin/mineral supplements and protein powder.

However, if anyone believes that a particular nutrient, dietary oil, or even protein powder was the ticket to their success, I would be curious to know.

I tried a few of the “less conventional supplements,” but saw no difference. It wasn’t until I got the protein intake and proper exercise choices right that I saw rapid progress.

The only supplement I found that really worked was the (now banned) ECA fat burner; I used Xenadrine and could tell the difference.

Fish oils, flaxseed, vitamins, etc., have helped me lower cholesterol together with a cleaner diet. I guess you’ll perform better if you have a healthier body, though.

Though we’ve talked about it, thought I’d share here -

Sulbutiamine helps a lot for me - intense focus leading to greater weight lifted leading to greater improvements in mass and strength. Wasn’t concerned with bodyfat loss at the time, though I imagine it would help a lot when on a calorie and/or carbohydrate-restricted diet since it’d help the person continue activity.

Tried M - didn’t do much, but I was 18 at the time. So… my guess is I dumbly wasted my money, though it may help middle-aged and up folks.

Creatine helps a lot, energy system improvement and all that, though I’d call it pretty conventional as a supplement by now.

Also tried Pro Power’s Inosine energy complex - wasn’t bad, but the slight effects weren’t worth the cost.

High doses of glutamine are ungodly helpful. Recovery is GREATLY improved/sped up, immune function goes through the roof, and other hormone function feels like it’s optimized to a large extent. It’s a little expensive to keep up for long periods, though, at 40 or so grams/day, so it’s reserved for intense periods of training. I’ve got a few lbs coming in the mail, you’re welcome to try it for a bit when it comes in, Angel.

I think that’s everything I’ve used, except coffee, which I like to brew so thick you have to chew…

-Dan

I’ve had positive results from a few supplements

Fish oil- 12-15 grams a day makes my hip flexor feel alot better

ZMA/trib combo- noticable improvement in sex drive and random wood during the day

M- tried this and withen days dropped a couple lbs of water, my face looks alot better if I’m bulking and taking M

I have never really gotten much out of supplaments. It seemed like when I was younger I wasted time and energy on worrying about the best, perfect routine and diet, and money on supplements that I was sure were the state of the art and would help me a bunch, but none did.

To be honest I haven’t used any Biotest stuff, so I don’t know about them, but I didn’t even get anything from creatine. As time went by I couldn’t afford much besides vitamins and protein powder(sometimes not even them) and it didn’t make any difference in my progress.

i’ve just started taken around a gram of ALCAR twice a day, and am pretty pleased with the increased energy and concentration (and not all “wired”, either)…

i’ll second Buffalo Killa’s thoughts on glutamine…i used it before at 5 mgs and didn’t notice anything. at 20 gms a day…i couldn’t overtrain.

It’s interesting that you guys found Glutamine to be useful when Dave Barr has written an article debunking its use based on much research. Sorry, but I can’t find the link right now.

I’ve only used it in 5gr a-day doses, and didn’t notice any effects. Maybe I’ll give it a try at 20-30gr…

Mis,

i used 5 gms at first (not 5 mgs like i typed) and when i upped it to 20 gm, i was pretty impressed. 10 gm PWO and 10 gm before bed…

[quote]buffalokilla wrote:

High doses of glutamine are ungodly helpful. Recovery is GREATLY improved/sped up, immune function goes through the roof, and other hormone function feels like it’s optimized to a large extent.

[/quote]

I have had the same experience with glutamine, although I use about 10-15 grams/day. I’ve read the article that Miserere referenced, but I can’t argue with the results I get when taking glutamine.

[quote]Highwaystar1 wrote:

I have had the same experience with glutamine, although I use about 10-15 grams/day. I’ve read the article that Miserere referenced, but I can’t argue with the results I get when taking glutamine. [/quote]

Yeah, I read the article too, but the many roles that l-glutamine plays in our body is just a little more complex than the article went into. The research done on clinical populations also has more carryover to strength trainers than most people are willing to admit. And, as you said, you can’t argue with how much better you feel.

I know some high-level strength athletes who have even gone as high as 60g/day, but then, they’re taking in around 350g of protein a day, so it’s roughly the same percentage of intake as 40 is to most people.

The trick is getting it at an inexpensive bulk price. Nutrabio is the best I’ve found for that, though if anyone finds it for even less, I’m all ears…

-Dan