T Nation

what supplements actually work?

ok…i read articles and see adds everywhere about supplements that guarantee muscle and loss of fat, but so many companys make them and the hype dies down so quick.so id like to know what has worked for you and what hasnt. i am looking to gain muscle mass and strength.thats it.so let me know what product/manufacturer works best for you.thanks alot.

Ninja: NONE will work without an adequate diet. Supplements are just that; supplements TO DIET. Now…provided a diet conducive to your goals is in place…AND you are training adequately (and these are two big “IF’s”), there are a few that are most definintely helpful in reaching your goals:

#1)Protein Powder (AP/Biotest)

#2)Mult-ivitamin (Many good ones on the market)

#3)Post Workout Liquid Nutrition (I like “Surge”, but there are as many recipes and concoctions out there as there are people).

#4) Thermogenic (MD-6)

#5) EFA’s (I like “Udo’s Choice”, “Dale Alexander’s Twin EPA” and a good Extra-Virgin Olive Oil).

These would be my “basics”, with “Mag-10” always on the shelf to aide in mass phases. If your budget is limited, get a good protein powder, multi, and spend the rest of your budget on GOOD FOOD! Hope this helps!

Hmmm…maybe Biotest? You know, the company that provides this forum (along with advice from very informed people like Bill, Chris, Brock, Coach Davies, Cy, Ron, and others) and online magazine fo free. Also, all their supplements are backed by a money back guarantee. At the other end of the spectrum, you have people like Bill Phillips (EAS). He still sells soy and HMB because he knows that there are enough dipshits out there to create markets for such crap.

In all honesty, I can’t ever remember using a supplement that DIDN’T work. I research everything I take pretty thoroughly, and have only ever used things I thought were pretty well supported by research, or word of mouth that I learned to trust. I had near miraculous gains from straight Creatine powder when I first started working out (I’m talking like 20+ pound of lean mass in 3 short cycles) or maybe perhaps not that miraculous at all. See, I put everything I had into this from the get-go, and it was drilled into me early and often how important the diet part was. I look back and laugh at some of the things I used to eat to get nutrition (Chicken breasts on a bun with Ketchup? Every day? ugh) and the longer I’ve been in this game, the more I’ve learned. I’ve had great results with Tribex, Methoxy, ZMA, and the multitude of Protein Powders and MRP’s I’ve tried over the years. I would personnally rank supplemental importance like this:

1) Knowledge - Without this your progress is non-existant. Read until your blue in the face. Learn about everything you plan to take, and understand beforehand what is going to happen to you while your taking it, and what you need to do to make it most effective. Learn how your body works, and you'll learn how to anticipate how it will react to various supplements, diets and training schedules.

  1. Protein powders, MRP’s, and protein containing foods. Protein is King for growth.

  2. Quality Multivitamin - Listen, as hard trained athletes we burn through vitamins and minerals at a much greater rate then the RDA’s account for. So jack it up. I include in this category any extra Vit. C, E, B’s or whatever it is you take in the Vitamin/Mineral dept.

  3. Glutamine - I can’t say enough about this Conditionally Essential Amino Acid. It helps your immune system and greatly reduces muscle soreness and DOMS. There are a host of other benefits, but the two I listed are why I’ll never be without it.

  4. Joint Support/EFA’s - I include these together, because in addition to taking EFA Oil’s for they’re nutritional benefit, I take them to strengthen my joints and support they’re lubrication. I notice they’re effect when I stop taking them. I’m also never without Glucosamine and Chondroitan.

  5. Testosterone Support - I don’t care what you take, be it Mag-10, Androsol/Nandrosol, Tribex-500, Methoxy, ZMA. If you want to give yourself an edge in building mass, manipulate your T levels. Its just that simple. Plus, it puts more hair on your balls. :slight_smile:

  6. Thermogenics/Stimulants - I don’t much like the way I feel when I come off of this sort of thing, but I love the performance increase, and the fat fighting effectiveness. I’ve gotten extremely lean without the help of thermos, but the bottom line is thermos makes it easier both mentally and physically.

Biotest is about the only brand I really trust when it comes to bodybuilding supps. I use Met-Rx bars and think the quality is great, but will probably switch to Biotest once theirs comes out. With things like fish oils, vitamins, flax, and melatonin, just about any brand is good in my experience.

Two of the best supplements I have experience with are creatine, and tribulus-terrestris. Vitex agnus-castus also seems to help. The proof is (at age 40), more oily skin, more acne, strong morning wood, libido, as well as good strength and endurance in exercise. These are, of course, above and beyond getting adequate protein and essential fats.