One question my Austin clients always ask me is: "what supplements can I buy in Austin to increase muscle power, size, and endurance, and decrease fat mass?"
Sorry to break it to you, folks, some supplements (e.g. whey protein isolate or creatine) may give the subject a slight advantage, but the real key is.....are you ready for this.......the suspense must be killing you.....HARD WORK, PROPER DIET, A SUITABLE AND SENSIBLE EXERCISE REGIMEN, AND ALMOST RELIGIOUSLY CONSISTENT ADHERENCE TO YOUR PROGRAM.
There are a couple of things I would like to point out about supplements:
-They are evaluated as a FOOD, not as a medication, meaning they undergo next to no scientific testing, or regulation.
-They make all sorts of insane (yet unscientific) claims. Ever wonder why a supplement can claim to "RIP FAT OFF YOUR BODY," but can't claim to "cure diabetes?" it gets back to that food/medicine thing. The latter claim would place them in a realm of medication and require far more strict regulation. This is why, on the back of the label, you will invariably find some sort of a disclaimer like "THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE."
-Often times, when tested by private agencies, certain products have often been shown to not contain the quantity of the ingredients specified. Some products have been shown not to contain any of the specified ingredients whatsoever (there is new legislation in the works to begin at least semi-legitimizing the authenticity of the products in supplements).
-Perhaps the most disconcerting prospect is that many of these products, OFTEN CONTAIN PRODUCTS NOT SPECIFIED ON THE LABEL. OFTEN THESE ARE ANABOLIC STEROIDS OR PRECURSORS. This is bad news for athletes especially, because some of them can be banned from competition for life, if they test positive for these supplements. These companies often do this, to feign effectiveness. If I tell you that my rare form of African tree bark will make you stronger, and you take it, and it works, do you ever question whether I added anything to it?
As some of you know, I recently returned home to Austin from the American College of Sports Medicine conference in Atlanta, and while I was there, Ellen Coleman, a world renowned sports nutritionist, provided us will several links (provided) to private companies who evaluate these supplements and compile data for the consumer. Her recommended three primary considerations for whether or not to use a product, were: safety and effectiveness, doping status (for athletes or others who will be tested for banned substances), and THE QUALITY OF THE PRODUCT (That's right, people. You get what you pay for. I can tell you how many of my clients come to me on Centrum or Sam's Club vitamins.)
HERE ARE THE LINKS TO HELP YOU EVALUATE SUPPLEMENTS (taken directly from Colemen's summary):
United States Pharmacopeia (www.usp.org/USPVerified/dietarySupplements)
ConsumerLab (http://www.consumerlab.com/). Free information; not referenced. Access to Natural Products Encyclopedia by EBSCO for subscribers.
Natural Products Encyclopedia by EBSCO (www.alleghanyregional.com/healthcontent.asp?page=/choice/demonstration/TheNaturalPharmacist-Consumer). Free referenced monographs.
Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database (http://www.supplementinfo.org/) Free referenced information.
Supplement Watch (http://www.supplementwatch.com/). Free referenced information.
National library of Medicine database (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed).