Bodybuilding Supplement Effects: Do They Really Work?

April 9th, 2015

This is a tough question to answer.  There are so many factors involved in this that neither yes nor no is the right or wrong answer.  Confusing as it may sound, once you have consider the factors involved, you will be able to determine what is right for you and what supplements can make a difference.

Factor Number OneGenetics.  Let’s face it, you are one of a kind.  Your genetic makeup is not like anyone else’s.  You are made from two sets of genetic maps that converged in just the right way to make you what you are today.  Your physical height is set.  Your bone size and structure is set.  Your skin, hair and body shape are set.  You cannot take a supplement to make you taller, bigger boned, give you a chiseled jaw line or a head of lush hair.  That cannot happen – ever.  So now that you have checked yourself in the mirror, resigned yourself that your basic set up will not change, you can now take a look at what you can change.  You can, in fact, get leaner, build muscle and tone.  There are supplements that can help you reduce fat, give you energy and build muscle mass.  Some of these supplements can even help give you clearer skin and shinier hair but that’s as far as they go.  These are the things that you can change with the help of supplements.


Factor Number TwoSupplement Quality.  This is another factor that people don’t always think much about.  If you are buying the cheapest, knock-off supplement, you are probably getting the lowest quality supplement.  This means the active ingredient in a certain supplement may only be 1% of what is in the pill – the other 99% could be just about anything.  When it comes to supplements, you do not want to be cheap.  Pry open that wallet and invest in a quality supplement.  Read the labels and look for the active ingredients.  Hint:  The list of ingredients on all pills is listed from whatever is in greatest amount to the least.  So, if you are purchasing a bottle of whey protein but whey is not the first ingredient, you are getting ripped off.  Read the labels carefully.  Another item to check is the manufacturer.  The place to start is – where the supplement is manufactured.  In general, supplements made in Canada, European nations and the U.S. are somewhat regulated.  All other countries and you take them at your own risk.  A recent inspection of store-brand supplements found that most of the supplements contained less than 1% or none of the supplement at all.  Instead, saw dust, dirt, ground house plants and plastic were found in these.  The pills in question were from China.  This is not to say that all pills from China are worthless junk, just a buyer beware fact to watch out for.  Quality suppliers will have been in the industry for quite some time and supplements will be all they manufacture.  Their entire reputation and sales depend on their being a quality product.  Do some research online – or even a quick check on your smartphone while at the store.  It will be worth it to know who you are purchasing from and what their reputation is.  In the supplement world, you get what you pay for.  You want a quality product, you may have to pay a little bit more for it.


Now keeping those two factors in mind, you need to set down goals that you want to reach or accomplish in your training.  Are you looking to gain muscle mass?  Are you looking to lose weight?  Are you looking to bulk up do you want lean muscle?  There are great supplements for all those things, depending upon what you are trying to do:

Want to build Mass?  Whey Protein and Creatine

Want to burn fat?  Caffeine, Yohimbine, Snynephrine

Weight Loss?  L’Argninine

Joint Health?  Glucosamine, Cissus Quadrangulars


These are examples of different supplements that have proven to work – through research and time.  Some of these work amazingly well on one person and then will only have a slight effect on others.  It all has to do with your genetics and how your body reacts to different things.  It’s like putting two people in the sun.  One is a pale, lightly freckled, light haired person.  One is a dark haired, olive skin toned person.  After an hour in the sun, the olive skinned person has a nice tan going while the pale skinned person is lobster red and in agony.  Did they both get sun?  Yes.  Did it affect them differently?  Yes.  It’s the same with supplements.  Some may react a lot stronger to a certain supplement than others.  Some people have a much lower level of creatine naturally in their body.  When they take a creatine supplement they have a stronger reaction than someone with a normal or elevated level of creatine.  They both still benefit, just one happens to be deficient in it and so the reaction may be greater.

Don’t be in dismay, because whatever supplements you choose to use will benefit your body in other ways.  Whey protein builds muscle mass.  You may not get huge from it, maybe a smaller increase than the guy next to you at the gym, but, you will gain valuable protein and amino acids from Whey.  It will also help in your muscle recovery.  Most supplements above have more than one positive reaction, so you will not be wasting your time or money by using a supplement.

Always buy pure supplements.  Again, read the label carefully.  There are some companies that have built their reputation and backed it with pure products for years.  Twin Labs , Optimum, Myokem, CTD Sport and Nutrilite are just a few brands that have made a name for themselves by providing quality supplements.

Whatever course you take – to use a supplement or not – just remember that you are limited by the effort you put in, genetics and the types of supplements you use.  Make sure it’s pure, from a reputable company and that you are training and eating right.