T Nation

M&F Supplement Ratings

Ok, I admit my guilty secret - I do buy M&F magazine most months. To be honest, the UK edition at least, usually has some good stuff from coaches and exercise scientists at major sporting clubs, and I find their advice quite interesting given it is their jobs to work with highly paid athletes. Anyway, this month’s edition contained a supplements A-Z (that old giveaway chestnut) and they rated each from 2 to 5 stars. The following were 5 star:

Beetroot juice concentrate
Beta alanine
BCAAs
Caffeine
Calcium
Casein
Creatine
Egg protein
Fibre
Fish oil
Glutamine
Green tea extract
Milk protein
Multi vit/min
Silk aminos
Vit B complex
Vit C
Vit D
Vit E
Vit K
Vitargo
Whey
Zinc
ZMA

A host of others didn’t fare so well. For example, d-aspartic acid, chocamine, fenugreek, ALA, HICA, MCTs, saw palmetto. The worst rated were chitosan, chlorophyll, glycocyamine, ribose and pyruvate.

Interesting, at least for supplement geeks like me.

ALA? I’ll assume that is alpha lipoic acid, not sure why they rated it so bad. It’s perhaps one of teh best health supplements there is.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
ALA? I’ll assume that is alpha lipoic acid, not sure why they rated it so bad. It’s perhaps one of teh best health supplements there is.[/quote]

That threw me a bit as well. I use it at the moment, mainly because I’m on a low-carb diet and I hope it aids with creatine and other nutrient uptake. MCTs also surprised me. Hydro casein and whey wasn’t included in the ratings, which is a bit strange.

Their entire best supplement list - like nearly every magazine’s “best of…” list is entirely advertiser driven.

Perhaps, although I can’t argue with most of what they’ve listed under the 5-stars category. It’s a bit perplexing that they’ve included BOTH zinc and ZMA instead of, for example, zinc and magnesium separately, but, hey, what’ll you do.

Another (perhaps obvious) point of critique – albeit one that admittedly exceeds the purposes of such a generalist magazine – is the quality difference between manufacturers and preparations of the said supplements. As far as I’m concerned, fish oil ain’t 5-star if it’s using the typical prep of 180 mg DHA/120 mg EPA per one-gram capsule. Same goes for most run-of-the-mill multivitamins.

It’s interesting to see things like vitamin D and silk aminos up there, though. The last time I read a strength training magazine, these things weren’t even on the radar of the mainstream editors in terms of their benefits for the weightlifting public. Nice job. Don’t know, however, if SAAs will ever be affordable enough for said public.

Also, could someone enlighten me as to the benefits of beetroot juice concentrate for strength training? I’ve read the values of this for memory and concentration, but what about for weightlifting?

[quote]kgildner wrote:
Also, could someone enlighten me as to the benefits of beetroot juice concentrate for strength training? I’ve read the values of this for memory and concentration, but what about for weightlifting?[/quote]

I asked the same question in another thread, and got no response to date. Supposed to be wonderfully natural NO booster!

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
Their entire best supplement list - like nearly every magazine’s “best of…” list is entirely advertiser driven. [/quote]

Obviously. And the same applies to T-Nation.