Bestselling Supplements to Avoid

I recently wrote an article on the Biggest Selling Supplements, in which I sorted through the top 50 list on BodyBuilding.com and picked out the best 10 supplements, reviewing each of them in turn. These supplements will work in any regime and can really boost you towards your goals, but that’s not to say that everything else, everything that I didn’t mention, is useless.

A few of them missed the grade by the slightest of margins, others were way off. In this article I’ll look at the popular supplements that you should probably avoid. Remember though, everyone has their own opinion of what works and what does not, what is good and what is bad, and this is just mine.

Animal Pak

Created by Universal Nutrition, Animal Pak is a multi-vitamin that comes in small packs and combines everything you need to get you through the day, or so they say. Animal Pak is not all bad. For one thing, they use some ingredients that can really give you a boost, and they combine these with regular old minerals and vitamins. The issue here is quantity and price. Not only is Animal Pak expensive, but you are getting much more than you need.

If you are a professional athlete, really pushing yourself to the max everyday, then Animal Pak might be a good choice, but even then it would be a push. Simply put, you do not need 9.000% of your RDA of Vitamin B6, nor do you need 5.000% of Thiamin, 1,000% of Vitamin E or even 200% of Vitamin A. This is a needlessly vast amount of vitamins to consume and if you are not eating and drinking right, if you are not training hard or if you are susceptible, then this supplement will almost certainly cause you more harm than good. There seems to be a belief in the bodybuilding world that you use more vitamins when working out, and whilst this may be the case, you don’t use this much.

Animal Pak is just an expensive way to turn your pee bright yellow, and one that might cause you some serious damage.

Pre JYM

The pre-workout side of the supplement industry is one of the biggest, and it is also the one that is receiving some of the most attention in recent years. This, I firmly believe, is down to price, as well as demand. There are many great pre-workout supplements out there of course, including ones patented by our own Mike Chang, but it is very easy to bundle together a few cheap ingredients, before giving it a cool label and a big price tag. Pre JYM is currently the second biggest selling supplement on the BodyBuilding.com site, yet when you look at the ingredients, the only thing you will see that is of any use is caffeine, also known as the main ingredient in most of these supplements.

There is no need to pay so much for flavored caffeine, not when you can buy the bulk powder for a fraction of the price, and not when an energy drink or a cup of coffee will have the same effect. Of course, the developers want you to think there is something else here that is going to have an effect. They have used a trick that the energy drink companies use, stuffing taurine into the product and making sure everyone knows. This is because there is a fallacy that taurine is some super stimulant, when in fact it is an abundant (and ridiculously cheap) amino acid that has no stimulant properties whatsoever.

There are other BCAAs here as well, but such ingredients really are very cheap and you would be much better off, and much richer, if you simply bought an amino acid supplement and some bulk caffeine.

MuscleTech 100% Creatine

If you have ever bought a pack of aspirin or any other simple drug then you probably understand the power of marketing. You can buy generic aspirin and other drugs for a few cents, yet once you slap a label on there, the price goes up tenfold. It is exactly the same drug. It won’t taste different, it won’t do anything different, but the power of branding means that more people will choose something they recognize than a generic brand.

That is the attitude that has allowed MuscleTech to prosper in this industry for many years now, and it is also why their creatine supplement sells so well. This is unflavored creatine monohydrate. It is as simple as it gets, and believe me when I say that if you ignore the branding, you can get it so much cheaper elsewhere. I’m not here to say that this product does not work, it is creatine after all, it’s one of the best performance enhancers on the market. However, there is no need to pay so much money for a colorful label and a brand you recognize, not when you can get the exact same product for much less on the same site.

Green Tea Extract

This is a simple ingredient and one that has a lot of antioxidant properties. Some green tea supplements also contain caffeine, which is why you will find it in stimulant supplements. The issue I have with this particular product is that the developers tout it as a fat loss ingredient, when there is no such evidence pointing to its ability to assist with fat loss. Of course, in high quantities, the caffeine content might help in this regard, but if that is the reason to use it then why green tea? Why not coffee or even black tea, both of which have so much more caffeine than green tea?

It is the idea that green tea is a superfood that is so troubling. The truth is that it does not standup to other ingredients. It does not have as much caffeine as other teas, it does not even have as many antioxidants as black tea. If you really want a super tea that can far surpass everything else out there, then get yourself some matcha tea. Leave green tea alone and let this fad die out.

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