I might get flamed for this post but I am curious if anyone has seen actual muscle results or feels healthier/better from using supplements, and if so which ones do you use?
I know that Creatine is obviously not BS, but beyond that, how can anyone trust a supplement that #1 isn't regulated at all, #2 pushed by people who have conducted no scientific trials, and #3 are probably hugely overpriced?
For example, protein supplementation. I am curious if anyone, unless you are a competition level Body Builder, would need extra protein in very suspicious sugary powdered forms. I mean it just seems really unhealthy. I am just curious if anyone here can honestly say that Protein Powders have helped their gains?
Alpha Male is a good supplement as long as you're not expecting steroid-like effects. I've noticed increased confidence, increased libido, and slightly faster progress in the gym. The mood effects are very valuable to me and I'd keep taking it even if it didn't help in the gym.
Ginseng and ginkgo biloba Ginseng and royal jelly BCAA's 5-HTP Wellman or Solgar multivitamin/mineral Creatine (Monohydrate or Ethyl Ester) Taurine Beta-Alanine Probiotic Omega-3 fish oils Any protein powder fibresure or similiar Apple Cider Vinegar Glycerine
Protein powder is absolutely effective. It's not necessarily the use of it to get more protein in your diet that it is most useful for, it's best as a post workout or early morning supplement to get amino acids and protein into your body as quickly as possible. If you want proof, I wrote a paper on the effects of creatine monohydrate on performance in athletes, and I think one of the sources I used would answer your questions about protein powder.
As a summary: To examine the effects of creatine on strength, Cribb et al. (2007) conducted a placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized study. The proctors first selected thirty-three bodybuilders (n=33) with no record of steroid use who were not currently on any supplements. These bodybuilders were then broken up into four groups, each of which received either whey protein (WP), carbohydrates (CHO), creatine and whey protein (CrWP), or creatine and carbohydrates (CrCHO) in a supplemental drink.
The lifters then followed a lifting program for twelve weeks before their baseline strength was taken to eliminate the possibility of excessive hypertrophy due to a drastic change in training method under the protocol. After this period, the subjects were put on the same program for the ten week duration of the study. Before the supplementation period, the one-repetition maximum (1RM) of the lifters was tested in bench press, squat, and cable pulldown. After ten weeks, the 1RM was tested once again and compared to the baseline. For the duration of the study, the subjects consumed approximately 1.5 g of their respective supplement per kg over three periods in the day.
In the study, the authors found that all groups had significant strength gains from the beginning (p=.0001). However, although no significant difference was found between the CrWP, CrCHO, and WP groups, the gains in the CHO group were significantly smaller (p=.05). The gains on bench press, cable pulldown, and squat in the CHO group were approximately 15 kg, 10 kg, and 30 kg less than the other groups. While the WP, CrWP, and CrCHO groups had gains of over 20 kg in bench press, about 15 kg in cable pulldown, and nearly 40 kg in squat, the CHO group had gains of under 5 kg in bench and pulldown and under 10 kg in squat. The authors thus concluded that although creatine supplementation showed benefits when compared with carbohydrate supplementation, it had no significant advantage over whey protein supplementation (Cribb et al., 2007).
So basically, in this study the researchers found whey protein supplementation was just as effective as creatine supplementation.
As far as the sugar in the protein goes: it is not a bad thing after a workout. If a product (such as Surge Recovery) has the sugar, it's on purpose. The sugar elicits a insulin spike to aid in the dispersal of nutrients to muscle cells.
If you really want to avoid the sugar, there are plenty of powders out there with very little carbs in them at all.
Sorry for the wall of text and unorganized presentation of the information.
Beta Alanine (Beta-7) and Creatine have the greatest effects. Alpha-GPC has a lot of promise that has been shown in studies as well. HOT-ROX Extreme is another supplement that seems to really work, the first time i tried it I started sweating and felt a real boost of energy. Of course HOT-ROX Extreme isn't good for you at all, but in short periods it's probably okay.