5 Supplements You Need To Stop Wasting Your Money On
Make sure you do your research before introducing supplements.
30 May 2017
While there are certain supplements on the market that can benefit your transformation journey, there are many others that are greatly overrated, offering quick fix promises and ineffective solutions.
Just because a particular supplement or brand may be popular or ‘on trend’, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the most effective. In many cases, these can often be counterproductive to your transformation.
You should always do your research first before introducing supplements to your fitness regime. But to get you started, we have put together a list of our top five most ‘overhyped’ supplements that you will likely come across but shouldn’t bother wasting your money on.
L-Glutamine is one of the most touted supplements in the bodybuilding circles for muscular growth and recovery. The simple truth is that, unless you are suffering severe burns or a muscle wasting disease, glutamine will do very little for muscle growth.
While glutamine can strengthen the intestinal wall and boost your immune system, it is an ineffective supplement for muscle-growth.
Glutamine is found in high concentrations in meat, eggs and dairy based protein powders (whey & casein), so it’s unlikely you’re lacking or deficient in it if you’re following a nutrition plan.
2. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA is often pushed as one of the key ingredients within many fat loss products or ‘women only’ protein powders.
There are two main issues with CLA-based supplements. The first being what little positive research there is on it suggests that the effective dosing of CLA starts at 3.2g, but 90% of the time the dosage they’re included in doesn’t match these findings. For example, one popular ‘women’s diet blend’ uses only 0.25g of CLA per serving.
The second issue is that research just isn’t strong enough to show any meaningful and consistent results from CLA usage in humans. Findings are often inconsistent and some of these findings present potential negative effects, including: reduction in leptin, increases in LDL cholesterol, and increased risk of insulin resistance.
In a nutshell, unless you are a lab rat, then CLA usage isn’t likely to produce any noticeable or ground-breaking results in your weight loss journey.
3. Coconut Oil
We know what you’re thinking - coconut oil isn’t a supplement, it’s for cooking, right?!
And you’re 100% correct – it isn’t. It’s a food.
For some reason over the past few years, it’s almost as though certain popular ‘coaches’ are marketing it as such. From recommending you cook everything and anything in it to the extremes of adding a dollop or two in your coffee. Crazy, huh?!
By all means, still use coconut oil, but don’t think of it as a supplement, because just like olive oil and butter, it’s a source of fats.
It’s a good tasting oil – yes. It’s great for cooking with – yes. But does it have any magic ‘fat burning’ properties – No. Just, no.
In fact, as a fat it is calorie dense and too much usage could actually hinder your weight loss. Keep it in the pan, not in the gym.
4. Testosterone Boosters
This is a pretty big category to cover as there are many different types of testosterone boosters. But to sum them up in a sentence: if any of them worked, they wouldn’t be legal.
The majority of testosterone boosters on the market haven’t shown any real evidence of increasing testosterone levels.
It could perhaps be a worthwhile supplement directed toward an older demographic in which T levels will gradually be declining, but as a muscle growth supplement, testosterone boosters are a bust.
And finally, L-Carnitine. This one has potential to have some effect, but come with big conditions.
Its main mechanism is to help shift fatty acids into the mitochondria to be oxidised (‘burnt’/used) as fuel.
The major downside to L-Carnitine is that its oral bioavailability is very poor. It’s thought that it takes around 100 days of continuous L-Carnitine usage to have any impact on intra-muscular levels – and even then, it’s minimal.
There is another way of using L-Carnitine to some effect, but there are big issues with this.
Firstly, it must be injected.
Secondly, it is suggested you should take it alongside an insulin increase. Again, this would have to be injected. There is an alternate option that doesn’t involve a needle, but requires a hefty consumption of carbohydrates to stimulate your own insulin levels which, if you are on a weight loss journey, this option is highly counterproductive.
These five supplement examples are just the tip of the iceberg of supplements that are on the market. Sure, taking the right supplements under the right conditions can benefit your physical transformation, but thousands of transformations are facilitated without the aid of supplements.
Just by taking a look through our many case studies, from weight loss to muscle gain, you will see amazing transformations achieved through education, structure, nutrition plans, and accountability systems.
If you are seriously considering taking supplements, please check out our other articles to help you make the right decision.