T Nation

Resistance to Supplements

Has anyone else found that they just don’t respond to supplements very well?

I’ve tried a lot of diffent brands over the years, for many different reasons, and I just don’t get much out of them.

Here are a couple of examples.

In the past I used to take ephedrine by the fistful to get a bump of energy. 2-4 pills did nothing, it usually took 10 to get wired.

HMB - I went through 2 bottles before I realized that whatever it was supposed to do, was not happening.

Creatine (not Biotest) - I did gain some strength and weight with this product.

Alpha Male - Started with one pill twice daily for two weeks, then 2 pills twice daily for 3 weeks, then 3 pill twice daily. I don’t think I feel anything.

Spike - One pill at a time…nothing. Two pills at a time, not sure…three pills at a time, a little more focused, but no real energy boost…two pills and a Spike Shooter, pretty decent energy, but seems like a lot.

ZMA (not Biotest) - I tried 3 pills 1 hour before bed for 2 weeks, and didn’t notice anything, moved up to 4 pills, sleep seems the same. 5 pills, and I think I’m sleeping more soundly, but it doesn’t knock me out, and I don’t have vivid dreams.

After reading all the testimonials, I have to believe these are all great products, I know people that use and love them, so they must work. But I don’t really want to crank that many pills at that cost, not to feel whatever it is I’m supposed to be feeling.

Please know that I am not trying to make Biotest look bad at all. I just want to know if anyone else out there is “supplement resistant” like I appear to be.

Story of my life.

I should add that I take Surge during and post training and love the stuff because I feel like I recover quicker than I used too. I was kind of lumping that in with nutrition. However, it is full of BCAA’s, so if people consider it a supplement, then I would say that is the one that I do get results from.

Some stuff, like ZMA, is only supposed to start working about a month or more. Other stuff might just be more subtle. Its not supposed to get you high.

And three Spike not doing anything?

It looks like you may have some misconceptions as to what the effects are supposed to be.

I’ve found that ZMA and Alpha Male in particular do have a noticeable effect, but it is not immediate or buzz/drug like.

They aren’t supposed to.

[quote]ExNole wrote:
Some stuff, like ZMA, is only supposed to start working about a month or more. Other stuff might just be more subtle. Its not supposed to get you high.

And three Spike not doing anything? [/quote]

I’m not trying to get high. I’ve been taking ZMA for about a month now, and sleep is improving, so I’ll wait and see. Yeah, 3 Spike doesn’t do much, and I think they said they’d hunt me down and kill me if I took more than 3 at a time. 3 just gets me a little more focused, but I don’t notice a real energy boost.

What did you expect to feel from using ZMA? It’s a mineral supplement, which isn’t something a normal person would “feel.”

I’m with you on this. I’ve used every fat burner from HRX to Ephedrine and everything in between. I have used almost all of the Biotest supplements and many other brands over the years all for extended periods of time. Though I feel that none of them was a total waste of money, I have never seen the spectacular results that a lot of people seem to achieve.

When I drank a lot I had a high tolerance, when I used a few different other substances it took a lot to get a buzz going. That’s just me I believe so I don’t think the products are bad, I just think I can tolerate things more than others.

I’m not addressing these comments towards anyone in particular, but they can be important to keep in mind:

  • A supplement can’t do the work for you. If you eat too much, you will get fat, whatever type of fat burner you are taking be damned.

  • Many supplements have no “feel” that lets you know whether or not they are working.

  • Once you have yourself working towards the same goal as your supplements, then if you aren’t able to determine a difference (over time) then perhaps you need to find some other area to tweak to get better progress.

However, the biggest things are going to be getting nutrition in order, getting appropriate recovery and busting your ass in the gym.

I know it’s possible. My girlfriend takes the exact same stuff I do. Hydrolyzed whey protein pre and post, creatine, BETA-7, fat burners, etc, etc.
I feel everything! Any supplement I take I generally get results from quickly.
So sure, it can just be your body doesn’t resond.

Could be some other things too. Your insulin receptors may be all clogged because your diet sucks and is heavy on carbs on fat. Take R-ALA and green tea extract forever to help get that turned around.

You could not be using the supplements long enough and be patient enough to elicit response in your body. This I believe is the advertiser’s fault as they overglorify the “wonderous, fantastic, 20lbs of fat lost in 12 days” type of shit and we want that, we fall for it and when it doesn’t happen we blame the supplement. NO supplement can do that.

The word “supplement” means “in addition to.” To what? Good, consistant training, good eating habits and plenty of rest. Perfect these BEFORE you add a supplement and see if you don’t get better results after using good, basic supps (like Surge, Creatine Monohydrate, BETA-7, Udo’s Choice Oil, and a good MRP) for longer than 4-6 weeks.

Most supplements on the market are crap. They’re too expensive and too specific in thier use. Use the basics, they’ll always work best.

Cheers

[quote]ChrisKing wrote:
What did you expect to feel from using ZMA? It’s a mineral supplement, which isn’t something a normal person would “feel.”[/quote]

The reason I started taking it is because I am training very hard, and at best can get 7 hours of sleep at night. From what I heard, it helped you fall asleep very quickly, and kept you in a deep state all night. I guess I figured that if I took it I would want to hit the sack soon afterwards.

[quote]AllTraps wrote:
I know it’s possible. My girlfriend takes the exact same stuff I do. Hydrolyzed whey protein pre and post, creatine, BETA-7, fat burners, etc, etc.
I feel everything! Any supplement I take I generally get results from quickly.
So sure, it can just be your body doesn’t resond.

Could be some other things too. Your insulin receptors may be all clogged because your diet sucks and is heavy on carbs on fat. Take R-ALA and green tea extract forever to help get that turned around.

You could not be using the supplements long enough and be patient enough to elicit response in your body. This I believe is the advertiser’s fault as they overglorify the “wonderous, fantastic, 20lbs of fat lost in 12 days” type of shit and we want that, we fall for it and when it doesn’t happen we blame the supplement. NO supplement can do that.

The word “supplement” means “in addition to.” To what? Good, consistant training, good eating habits and plenty of rest. Perfect these BEFORE you add a supplement and see if you don’t get better results after using good, basic supps (like Surge, Creatine Monohydrate, BETA-7, Udo’s Choice Oil, and a good MRP) for longer than 4-6 weeks.

Most supplements on the market are crap. They’re too expensive and too specific in thier use. Use the basics, they’ll always work best.

Cheers[/quote]

I cleaned my diet up about 5 months ago. No cheats during the week, lots of high quality protein, veggies, fruits, nuts, etc. Training couldn’t be any better if I asked. I am on a 5 day split, and have only missed 4 days in 3 months. I have two training partners, and we push each other very hard. So I think I have that covered.

Before that, I lifted heavy, but my diet was sloppy, and I would have a couple beers after work, a couple days a week.

Rest is what I want. That’s why I started the ZMA.

My 2 cents on ZMA is its a good supp. However, Zinc is something you can have to much of, so taking more than the 3 pills a day is not wise IMO. ZMA did help my sleep, if only insomuch as it made my sleep seem deeper. I think its probably only truly “noticed” by those with a deficiency in these minerals.

Carry on.

[quote]Modi wrote:
The reason I started taking it is because I am training very hard, and at best can get 7 hours of sleep at night. From what I heard, it helped you fall asleep very quickly, and kept you in a deep state all night. I guess I figured that if I took it I would want to hit the sack soon afterwards.[/quote]

In my opinion stressing yourself over sleep can be worse than not getting what many would say is enough. Unless you’re yawning all day and nodding off, 7 hours is fine. Sleep is like anything else. Enough is defined by your needs. I think some guys try to beat themselves into sleeping more because they’re chasing somebody else’s arbitrary recommendation.

–Tiribulus->

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:

In my opinion stressing yourself over sleep can be worse than not getting what many would say is enough. Unless you’re yawning all day and nodding off, 7 hours is fine. Sleep is like anything else. Enough is defined by your needs. I think some guys try to beat themselves into sleeping more because they’re chasing somebody else’s arbitrary recommendation.

–Tiribulus->[/quote]

Good point. I have always survived on 6-7 hours of sleep without any issues, and feeling pretty good in the morning. I don’t really stress about it, but I guess that having read how everyone needs 8-9 hours when training hard got me to believe it is true for me too.

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=06-055-diet

After reading this, I’d be hesitant to reccomend ALA for insulin receptors. In fact I’d be hesitant to reccomend it at all…

[quote]Moomin wrote:
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=06-055-diet

After reading this, I’d be hesitant to reccomend ALA for insulin receptors. In fact I’d be hesitant to reccomend it at all…[/quote]

I think Dave was just saying that the jury was still out with respect to body composition.

However, there are lots of studies showing various benefits…

In my mind, when a supplement starts to be helpful for all kinds of things, then there is something fundamental in how it is interacting with some process somewhere.

Of course, what that might be, I’m not going to suggest I have any idea.

[quote]vroom wrote:
…In my mind, when a supplement starts to be helpful for all kinds of things, then there is something fundamental in how it is interacting with some process somewhere…
[/quote]

I have a tendency to go along with this as well, for supplements in general.

On another note, reading what you were saying above made me think of something, however I don’t want to be misunderstood because I believe in intelligent supplementation.

Supplements are one of those things that we just WANT to work because they represent a practically effortless way to improve our progress. If we’re taking something and our progress is going well we tend to believe that that supplement/s is playing a big role.

If it’s not going as well as we’d like “that shit doesn’t work”. If it’s going well and we’re not taking something it nags at the back of our minds how much better it may be going if we were.

I’m not making any pronouncements about this being good or bad. It’s just an observation that helps explain folks maybe higher than reasonable expectations of what they’re going to see and how fast. I do the same thing.

Supplements are an octane booster for an already high octane lifestyle. They won’t make your ‘92’ Taurus do a 10 second quarter mile.

–Tiribulus->

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
It looks like you may have some misconceptions as to what the effects are supposed to be.

I’ve found that ZMA and Alpha Male in particular do have a noticeable effect, but it is not immediate or buzz/drug like.

They aren’t supposed to.

[/quote]

For the record, I hope no one interpretted my post as “this is what I am currently taking”. It is a list of supps that I have tried in the past, some of which I am still taking.

As far as the Alpha Male goes, maybe I just want to believe the marketing. Here is a quote from the product page:

“In fact, you could call the new Alpha Male the ultimate male “elixir.” So, if you’re interested in maximizing T and reducing body fat and feeling like kicking ass and taking names, Alpha Male is the animal for you.”

Sounds like it has noticible effects. Bear in mind that I continue to have nice strength gains, and I also continue to take Alpha Male in case the gains are in part due to it.

Most people that have recommended ZMA swear by it, and most made statements along the lines of “it will pretty much knock you out…you will have the deepest sleep you have ever had…you’ll fall asleep faster and deeper, etc.”

I can only base my decisions to try a product on the companies claims or those of my peers. Many of these supps don’t have tons of studies backing them, so I am just going by what others have told me.

Obviously in the past, if something didn’t work for me I stopped taking it, and that will be true of my current supplements if that turns out to be the case.

I am not trying to get high/buzzed/euphoric off supps. I take them so that I can a)have a better workout b)get better results from my workout or c)recover quicker from my workouts. That is all. If I wanted to take drugs to get high, I wouldn’t be posting my results here.

It doesn’t seem like I am the only one that may not get the full benefit from supps that others get.

I welcome your comments.

I am going to be harsh and I can’t believe no one else has up to this point. Anyone foolish enough to take 3-6 times the recommended dosage of ANYTHING deserves what they get. Ephedrine was banned because of people doing dumb shit just like this. You expected Zinc to make you fall asleep immediately? Like a narcotic or a few Benadryle capsules? Is anyone else not seeing the HUGE problem here?

The majority of the shit you listed doesn’t have much of an effect for you to feel in the first place. Those claiming a fat burner “didn’t work” are probably like the overweight housewives I used to see in college when I worked at GNC who would return bottles of Xenedrine because they hadn’t lost any weight from it…while drinking a supersized vanilla milkshake right in front of me.

Supplements are not meant to take the place of your training or somehow do the work for you. They also don’t all have “feels” to them.