Too often do I see a friend or a co-worker hop on the supplement band wagon when they start working out in an effort to either pack on muscle, lose fat, or both. When I deployed to Iraq, I was this same guy. Fortunately for me I had something on my side when I deployed: a mind for science and a will to pack on muscle and lose fat. That first attribute is rare for a guy in the Army Infantry.
Fortunately for me I had intermittent internet access that enabled me to do two things: order supplements and comb through research through my online university library. As the study subject, I was lucky enough (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) to be able to eat almost the exact same thing every day. Combined with various workout plans (which will be detailed in later posts) the only variable I had was the supplements I was taking. To measure the effects, I took measurements of my waste, arms, legs, and abdomen. I also did a body fat caliper in combination with my weight and measurements. I took this data and performed regression across all the various supplements I took over 1 month periods in the 12 months. Often time I combined multiple supplements I thought would be effective together.
The concatenated version of what happened over the next year can be summarized in a very simple manner: I realized almost 99% of the supplements on the market masked ingredients in an effort to hide the true effectiveness of their products. I made this realization because I was actively looking for research surrounding both the specific supplements and the ingredients contained within the supplements (which were often masked or “proprietary”). I also realized that almost none of the 100 supplements I took really did anything based upon my weight, measurements, tape, and output of the regression data I was looking at. I varied my weight lifting routines weekly to ensure it wasn’t any specific exercises I was doing that could be effecting any of it. So WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS ALL MEAN??!!!
Through this blog we will comb through actual scientific research so you can truly understand what you should take and when to accomplish your goals. If you’re wondering, BCAA’s (and amino acids specifically) will be covered extensively. See you all soon!