10 Useless Supplements

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A tremendous number of supplements appear on the market these days, many of them coming with dramatic claims and significant price tags. But do they really work?

Evidence shows that many supplements provide very little benefit if any at all. Here are ten of them, in particular, that simply aren’t worth your hard earned money.

Vanadyl Sulphate – Vanadyl mimics the effects of insulin, helping to enhance the effect of creatine and protein. The biggest problem with Vanadyl is that the effective dose is just below the toxicity level, which means that taking enough to get an effect puts you at risk of harming your liver.

Protein – You might be surprised at this one, but research shows that, while it’s true that protein is an essential building block for muscle tissue, consuming more than 1.5g per kg of bodyweight has no added effect in enhancing muscle growth. Meat, fish, eggs, legumes and other natural food sources can provide all the daily protein you need for muscular development.

Iron – Unless your doctor has diagnosed you with iron-deficiency anemia, iron supplements provide no benefit. In fact, a growing body of evidence suggests they may be harmful, and one recent study linked iron supplements to an increased risk of mortality.

Epinephrine – Epinephrine is the flight or flight hormone that most people know as adrenaline. It can counteract the effects of insulin and reduce the amount of glycogen in your muscles, reducing your energy for working out and impairing your recovery from exercise.

Acai Berry – Acai berry has been in the news a lot lately, promoted as a “super food” that promotes weight loss. There’s just one problem, there are no published studies that conclusively link the acai berry to significant weight loss.

Hoodia – Again, there are lots of claims that Hoodia promotes weight loss, but very few studies that show a conclusive link. In addition, when taken in large amounts, there is some evidence that Hoodia can be harmful to your liver.

Chromium Picolinate – Chromium does play a role in sugar metabolism, but studies show that it’s no better than a placebo for weight loss purposes and may even increase carbohydrate cravings.

Bitter Orange – Bitter Orange is supposed to enhance weight loss, but not only is the evidence for this tenuous at best, it has also been linked to heart problems.

ZMA – This is a combination of Zinc, Magnesium and vitamin B6. While all three of these compounds have important biological effects, scientific studies show that ZMA had no effect on testosterone levels, growth hormone, cortisol or muscle enzymes.

HMB – The full name is Beta-Hydroxy Beta-methylbutyrate, but no matter what you call it, it doesn’t seem to help trained individuals with either weight loss or muscle growth. A recent study found that HMB’s “strength outcomes were trivial” and its “effect on body composition is inconsequential.”

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