Navigating through the jungle of muscle building supplements is a confusing journey. There are just too many of them, and all of them promise massive results and are backed by science. Unfortunately this hype falls short of reality. This ‘back to reality’ article and tips helps you to avoid wasting time and money on supplements. So take a few minutes to read it.
Trust only placebo-controlled studies
The fact that most laypeople don’t know that it’s possible to create a study to ‘prove’ almost anything. With clever study design and ‘massaging’ the data a biased researchers can create a study to support almost any bodybuilding supplement. This is the reason why 99% of advertised supplements are backed by ‘science’.
When researching supplements place your trust only on placebo-controlled, and preferably blinded, studies. Only these studies can provide reliable information you can take to the bank. Other kinds of studies are indicative but cannot exclude the effect of placebo and other factors.
Even with such studies you can find outliers. It’s possible that one properly done study shows different results than another equally well done study. These studies are known as outliers and do not reflect the reality. To get over this problem scientists conduct several identical studies. If the results are replicated in several studies then we can say with a fair amount of certainty that they are reliable.
Is the supplement banned or illegal?
Professional sporting regulatory bodies have banned several muscle building supplements, among them prohormones. Many such supplements are also illegal.
If the supplement is banned or illegal what can you say of its safety? Most likely such supplements can cause serious harm. So consider if gaining those few extra pounds is really worth risking lifelong consequences (such as man boobs!). You are into muscle building to improve your life – not to ruin it.
Remember your vitamins
Sometimes it feels like muscle building supplements are only about three things: protein, protein and protein. It’s true that protein supplements are important in muscle gain, but they are not the be-all-end-all.
Your body also requires vitamins and minerals. Most muscle builders tend to forget these, but the fact is that you need vitamins, minerals and nutrients to assimilate and utilize the protein you eat.
So next time you are shopping for muscle building supplements check out the multivitamin and -mineral section also.
Now that you are done with these simple muscle building supplement tips, I hope you have a more critical view on supplementation. To avoid wasting money trust only information coming from reliable scientific studies, and these are placebo-controlled studies with successful replications by other researchers. And to avoid ruining your life take only supplements that are both legal and allowed by professional sporting regulatory bodies. And while you are taking those supplements remember that protein loves company, and it needs the tender, loving care from vitamins and minerals to really shine your muscles.