To get the desired results, one must focus on proper training and diet. But when it comes to diet, fitness industry is filled with supplements that claims to be the magic pill for faster results. So, let’s talk about the most overrated supplements in the fitness industry.
BCCAs stands for branched chain amino acids, generally consists of three essential amino acids called leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Supplement brands claim that the 3 most important amino acids help us to increase endurance and muscle growth.
In a study where human subjects consumed BCAAs which helped them to decrease muscle protein breakdown but it didn’t increase muscle protein synthesis because the overall total protein intake of the subjects was low. Leucine plays an important role here, but it’s a complete waste if you’re eating high-quality protein throughout the day and not training in a fasted state. Protein naturally contains BCAAs in it and if you want BCAAs after workout then just consume a scoop of whey protein.
2. Fat Burners
Mostly all fat burners come with caffeine and other ingredients which don’t work on us. Its dosage differs from brand to brand. Caffeine suppresses your hunger and keeps you active. If you drink coffee daily, then that’s the cheapest source to get caffeine in, rather than spending a huge amount on fat burners. There are a numerous amount of side effects such as sleep disruption due to high dosage of caffeine, high heart rate, etc. The question is Do you really need them? NO!
You can save that money and invest in something else. To lose fat you really need to focus on your diet. Make sure you stay on a calorie deficit aka negative energy balance and do some exercises. Pills can’t replace real food and weight training.
It’s an essential amino acid which is found in muscle tissue and helps muscle cells to grow. Glutamine is an essential amino acid which is found in muscle tissue and helps cells to grow. It is majorly found in dairy products, meat products, eggs, and whey. As a supplement, you really don’t need it for muscle growth. You are already getting enough glutamine from food. Supplement brand claims to replenish glycogen, improves immunity, increases muscle mass, etc on healthy trained individuals but there isn’t any study which has proved that it actually does what it says.
It has some positive effects on people who suffer from illness and diseases like viral fever, cancer, physical traumas (wounds, burn marks). More scientific studies are required to know its positive effects. As a healthy individual, you really don’t need it
4. Testosterone Boosters
If you think you have low test and this can help you to boost your natural test then let me tell you that this is supplement has zero positive effects. T boosters actually don’t work, in fact, they just increase libido, but doesn’t increase your natural test. So by this, we think it’s actually working but the truth is that it’s not delivering what you want.
If you want to boost then have a proper amount of fats and protein in your diet, do resistance training and get a good amount of sleep.
5. Mass Gainers
A mass gainer is just a mixture of high carb, high fat, and moderate protein powder. You get other ingredients too like creatine, beta alanine, glutamine, etc. The major issue here is the macronutrient distribution. It’s high in calorie dense. It will give you the size you want but most of the size will come from fat, not muscle. Calories start at 1000/serving and more depends on the brand. Taking it after a workout or before a workout completely makes no sense because it has a high amount of fats and carbs in it. Fats are high in calories (1g- 9cal) so taking it before and after a workout will slow down the digestion of carbs and protein. Plus you don’t need that amount of calories before or after your workout. It totally depends on your total calorie intake which is decided by your activity level, stress level, training experience, age, etc.
For example, your maintenance calorie intake is around 2000kcal and you are eating 1500 calories from a mass gainer. Now you’re just left with 500kcal. Can you starve and just survive like this? No right? You need solid foods as well. To gain muscle or bulk up you need to eat above your maintenance calories, but muscle building doesn’t only come from nutrition. You need to train aka lift weights in the gym progressively to add muscle to your frame.
These supplements only empty’s your wallet and does nothing with your expected results. Muscle building is an art, it takes time to grow naturally. You have to be patience, consistent and discipline towards its lifestyle.
Yashovardhan Singh is a fitness coach with GetSetGo Fitness and a former national football player. He likes to keep a no-nonsense approach to fitness by applying scientific literature to provide results to his clients. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org for coaching.