Why Supplements Are A Waste Of Money

I’ve taken too many supplement to count over the course of my weightlifting career– everything from pre-workout powders and BCAAs to multivitamins and fish-oils.

But over the last year I’ve taken the fitness red pill and seen the truth:

Supplements don’t do shit for you.

I’m going to break the most popular supplements down one by one, and explain why you don’t need them.

1. Multivitamins

Sport nutrition

Long hailed as a cornerstone of the American diet, these pills’ actual effectiveness has been called into question recently.

In late 2013, a trio of studies conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins, the University of Warwick, and the American College of Physicians were released in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

What did they find?

In conclusion, β-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Although available evidence does not rule out small benefits or harms or large benefits or harms in a small subgroup of the population, we believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.

No cloudy words or unclear results are found here. The authors of these studies firmly believe that multivitamins have been proven ineffective, and even potentially harmful to your health.

The release of these studies led to an inevitable backlash from the supplement industry and other doctors, all in support of multivitamins. And quite honestly – I’m not sure who to believe. There’s conflicting evidence out there.

The one thing I am sure of is that the best route we can all take is to eat a varied diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Yes, I sound like your grandmother, but it’s true. It’s the only way to guarantee that you’ll properly digest all of the nutrients your body needs to thrive.

2. Pre-workout Powder

This shit has been flying off the shelves of your local GNC for the past few years. At least 90% of guys ages 18-30 I know who lift weights take this stuff.

Hell, even I do from time to time.

Why? Because it makes you feel like an absolute monster. Seriously, it makes you believe that you could put the whole world on your shoulders – and then squat it four or five times. But guess what. It doesn’t do shit. I can lift just as much weight as I can with a pre-workout drink, without one. All it does it make you feel like a boss.

Read their marketing campaigns and product labels. They promote increased energy and focus, not added muscle or reduced fat. Not even more strength. And this truth boils down to one very basic fact: the main active ingredient in the vast majority of pre-workout supplements is caffeine. That’s right, the same thing that you get in a standard cup of morning joe.

From time to time you’ll see one get banned. And it’s always because it had something stronger inside: a more intense stimulant.

So next time you need that pre-workout push, grab some coffee instead. It’s cheaper, more natural, and doesn’t contain one hundred extra ingredients you’ve never heard of (and can’t even pronounce).

Better yet, just push through your fatigue and be a man. One good set of heavy squats or rows will have you buzzing like a bee.

3. Creatine

Creatine is an organic acid, naturally synthesized by our bodies from several amino acids, that helps to supply energy to the cells of the body, especially in skeletal muscle.

It has the ability to rapidly regenerate ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This assists in sustaining high intensity muscular efforts for up to 10 seconds.

Supplementing creatine while lifting weights ensures high levels of the acid in the body, and has been shown to increase muscle mass and improve strength. It’s normal to gain 4 to 5 pounds when beginning supplementation, as creatine causes as osmotic effect that draws more water into the muscles.

But I still don’t recommend taking it. The observed strength increase is minimal, a percentage of the population has been shown to be non-responders (i.e. it doesn’t even work for everyone), and it’s just one more thing to make sure you take every day.

But it is cheap, so go for it if you really want to.

4. Protein Powder


Pretty sure he took something else

I’m going to make this very clear: protein powder is a food, not a supplement.

It’s just a processed form of protein.

And I’m actually not going to tell you not to buy it.

If you have trouble consuming a sufficient level of protein (current research suggest no more than 0.8 grams of protein per day per pound body weight for strength athletes), then protein powder is an easy and relatively cheap way to get you there. But it’s not required. And getting enough protein is not difficult with normal foods.

So don’t be tricked into thinking that downing a couple scoops of protein powder after a workout is going to do something magical.

The 2 Exceptions: Fish Oil and Vitamin D

There are two supplements that I do take.

If you don’t regularly eat fatty fish (like salmon) then supplementing a few grams of fish oil every day is a good call.

Various studies have shown numerous general health benefits from supplementing fish oil (namely decreased risk of cardiovascular disease). It also has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, making it potentially helpful for your muscle building goals.

The other pill that I pop is vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is only synthesized by our bodies when we have a solid amount of exposure to the sun. So if you live somewhere where you’re not getting exposed to sunlight regularly, then it’s a good idea to buy and take a vitamin D3 supplement.

The dangers of incurring a vitamin D3 deficiency are numerous. It’s been shown to compromise the immune system and even lead to softening of the bones.

This is an excerpt from my new book Shredded Beast, released last week on Amazon. To get it click here.

Read More: The Top 3 Fat Loss Mistakes Guys Make

124 thoughts on “Why Supplements Are A Waste Of Money”

    1. They usually use artificial sweeteners, might give you some sort of cancer, but at least it’s not fattening

    2. Not true. Gold Standard 100% whey is legit. 24g of protein, 1g of sugar, and low carbs. Not too much filler also. But nothing can beat chicken and salmon, period.

      1. We are red meat animals. Beef and a few ounces of calf’s liver a month.
        It is, quite literally, all you need. Whether it is optimum or not, or how much optimization really even matters, remains an open question.
        But you’ll do just fine on beef with a bit of liver.

  1. The vitamins study has been proved to be shitty science; Joe Rogan goes over it on his podcast over-and-over again to show what bullshit it is. They did studies on already declining patients who were 65-years and older who already had a history of problems — once you’re going down the hill, there’s no coming back with your health; only a steady haltering. Vitamins are good for you. Fuck, I take a grip of vitamins: Glutathione, 5-HTP(rarely), Multivitamin, Fish-oil, Vitamin D, Choline, Piracetam, Biotin. Not all at once, but often. They do, no doubt, affect my mental and physical health. Ray Kurzweil comes to mind — he’s trying to stop the aging process by delaying it with vitamins. Will it work? Only time will tell. Worth a shot.
    Articles like this always get a rage out of me. “X isn’t good for you, waste of money” shit, pre-workout drinks are bomb as fuck(shout out C4 bluerazzy-nom-nom). They make me workout hard, and I’ve had friends who have taken them for studying. Who doesn’t like to pay some money to feel good and get a workout in? I’m hedonistic, it feels good and it’s probably can be said it’s healthier than drinking a beer. Whenever someone says something doesn’t work, vitamin wise, I always picture them drinking a beer saying “protein powder doesn’t work, you’re wasting your time. Stop wasting your money”.
    I’ve notice a complete change in my health, mentally and physically, since taking supplements, working out, and taking care of myself. They have changed my life. Placebo? maybe, probably not. Nature is chemistry; we are products of nature.

    1. I noticed the same effects when i got in shape, started paying real attention to my diet (Paleoatkins) and started getting out and exercising regularly.
      my health dramatically improved. Not a vitamin in sight.

    2. Yeah that study has already been debunked. They can’t prove multi-vitamins have any major benefit, but they can’t prove they don’t help either. They basically said, take them, just dont pay a lot for them.

      1. You get what you pay for. I wouldn’t dream of putting a Centrum in my body every day. New Chapter maybe.

        1. Don’t go for the cheap brands, just have a look and see which has the most vitamins. In Australia i recommend Swisse and Vital Greens is great which has all your fruits and vegetables in powder form.

        2. If I make it another 20 years to 65 I’m going to start smoking again. Fuck it. I’m only into this health shit to keep my good looks, and thus fuck life, for as long as possible.

        3. Keep take those good quality hi-po multis. I was one of the first guys I know of to eat very healthy and use multis — 40 years ago — yeah I said 40.
          When I compare to my brother or surviving friends .. hell anyone my age .. they are decrepit and aged ..
          Me , well anyone can claim anything over the net , but wtf do I have to gain? Last five girlfriends were 23 , 18, 25, 24 and 18.
          A supplement tip for you all : carbon60 in olive oil and also StemCell 100.

        4. I believe you. The few times I bother to shave my greying whiskers on a daily basis, I easily get mistaken for a 35 year old when I’m actually ten years older. Women regularly compliment me on my skin, my eyes, my lips, my teeth, etc. (of course most of these women look like shit because they don’t take care of themselves).
          You keep putting good shit inside you long enough and you start to glow from the inside out.

    3. Choline was the first supplement I really got interested in. I learned that up 2/3’s of people have some level of fatty liver disease, and that this can be caused by low Choline and cured by sufficient Choline. Fatty liver disease is caused by drinking or excess sugar. It’s the same effect for sugar as for alcohol. If the Dr. finds out by testing that you have FLD, he asks how much you drink. If you drink more than a certain amount, it’s alcoholic liver disease. Less than a certain amount, non-alcoholic liver disease. Adequate Choline levels can significantly improve your liver’s resistance to FLD.
      Anyway, I learned how fatty liver disease is related to metabolic syndrome, then started taking choline, eating a low carb diet, and keeping up the P90X I had started a year before, and about 6 weeks later, it was like I woke up from a fog, and all the sudden felt like a man again. It was arguably the start of the red pill for me, although I didn’t find the manosphere until about six months later.
      I would say unless you eat plenty of eggs and beef, you are probably low in Choline, with a significant health impact on your liver. Google it and see for yourself.

    4. To be honest, your body is design for REAL foods, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, wholemeal, etc… That’s real fuel for building muscle, not this CRAP in a tin most people buy!

    5. What about vitamins that have been sitting on your shelf for two years? I’ve got a bunch that I forgot to take and don’t want them to go to waste. Will the still have some potency left? Is there any detriment to taking them?

      1. Don’t take old capsuled liquid-based pills/vitamins. You can take compressed and/or powdered capsuled pills. I’ve taken 3 year old niacin that worked fine. Don’t buy old vitamins; however, if they’ve been on your shelf, you can take it unless liquid based. I don’t know the half-life for pills, or for their experation date, but I’d assume it is accurate for liquid capsules.

    6. The editorial in question from the Annals of Internal Medicine,in their conclusion state “supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. ”
      They did not tell you stop taking multivitamins regardless of your condition or that there is no benefit to any sub populations or that it is useless in malnourished populations.
      Where you are misled is if you read ONLY the editorial title,
      Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements ‘
      which is misleading and yes this is a huge mistake on the Journal’s part.
      So it appears that Jefe(this article’s author ) has misunderstood what he is citing,because he only the misleading title comes to his mind,but not the actual contents
      But it is not just him,but Joe Rogan as well.Indeed Joe admits the problems that he finds with the research studies cited is that they were done on old people and those already dying and unwittingly comes to the same conclusion as the authors:taking multivits in those situations does not help.

    7. Thats funny I’ve never met anyone or know anyone this garbage works for.Funny how alot of people who use supplements have changed to better diet also and attribute better health to supplements.Then you post up a video of a damn pot head wtf ever.Supplements are a waste of time.

      1. Afica is a fuckin idiot who loves wasting his cash on supplement shit because it makes him feel good.Every supplement he mentioned can be had from eggs,milk,meat and fish and an assortment of vegetables and would be much cheaper than the bottles of pills he loves popping.
        The idiot even quotes some Joe Rogan podcast guest “Dr Rhonda Patrick” as having dismissed the notion that supplements are not useful.Apparently she studies .Vitamin D and also takes Vit D supplements.Ironically she too is promoting bro science.She has to give evidence that her diet and lifestyle,prior to supplements, promote Vit D deficiency.But no,she just says that she takes 2000 IUs to get a blood level of 50ngs/ml.What an incredible scientist!Why is that the magic number?What was her levels before supplements?Did she modify her diet ,go out in the sun and still have a deficiency? Nope,no evidence talked of or provided.
        All these guys popping supplement pills are literally pissing their money away.Maybe the sight of dark yellow urine against their white porcelain urinals is more satisfying than keeping that green in their wallets.

  2. Agreed. I don’t take a multivitamin because most are chemical crap.
    I take Vitamin D3 and and a quality Norwegian cod liver oil (I used to take ‘fish oil’, but I try to avoid any fish from the irradiated Pacific now).
    I make capsules from organic ginger powder (to control pain from a previous business where I abused my joints by heavy lifting 5 days a week for 15 years or so) and capsules from organic cinnamon powder. I take organic Aronia capsules because they’re a powerful ORAC fruit and not expensive. I take Doctors Best CoQ10 and I am 100% sure it boosts my energy levels, as I feel it when I don’t. I take curcumin because there’s so much research which proves it’s beneficial; again I take Doctots Best as they use Curcumin C3 which is the highest quality turmeric extract.
    I try not to go too overboard with the supplements, but I’ve experimented over the years and this is the regime which benefits me the most. I’ll be adding Doctors Best 1000mg Vitamin C on my Iherb.com order; it’s the only Vitamin C not made in China, and I avoid ingesting anything made in China, supplement or food product.
    Sorry to sound like a Doctors Best pitchman, but they’re all about quality! I’ve tried other CoQ10s, but theirs is the best for me!
    And yes, I take it all daily.
    Dark chocolate isn’t a supplement, but I take at least 50 grams a day as I’m literally addicted to it. I buy fair trade organic Dominican/Bolivian as it has less lead in it.
    http://www.vitasearch.com is a good source for recent supplement research.

    1. “I make capsules from organic ginger powder (to control pain from a
      previous business where I abused my joints by heavy lifting 5 days a
      week for 15 years or so) and capsules from organic cinnamon powder.”
      Why don’t you just cook with those spices (and turmeric for the curcurmin) instead? South Asian (Indian) and South-east Asian recipes call for all of the really good-for-you spices and herbs. That way you get to eat deliciously and healthy all at once.

      1. Heat can denature proteins. I am not sure if this would affect the potency of the herbs described above, but if the pill form words then why rock the boat.

        1. You can do both. And you don’t have to cook the spices and herbs. They can be added after for flavor and health. Why not make one’s meals as healthy as possible?

        2. No it doesn’t. For example, when you eat chicken, your body takes the chicken proteins and inserts them into your muscles. Thus, when you cook the chicken, it breaks down the peptide bonds making the amino acids useless because your body can no longer make your muscles with the now dead chicken protein.
          It’s also why humans have a really strong stomach acid (like 5 times stronger than a vulture) because humans are meant to eat things raw and not use fire when cooking, because humans only started using fire like two hundred years ago and it isn’t paleo.

        3. This is factually incorrect. Humans and their ancestors have been cooking food for nearly 2 million years (I am sure you didn’t mean 200 years ago!)
          With this in mind, ask yourself how it has been possible that humans have been developing muscle (including myself) with these “dead” proteins you talk about.

        4. Dude,don’t troll on this topic.Considering how much bro science is going on in the comments,sooner or later some dumbass will take what you are saying seriously and eat raw chicken,only to die of salmonella poisoning,

        5. Nope. I meant 200 years ago. The entire thing was a troll post. But amongst all the bro science, it doesn’t really stand out.

        6. Here’s the thing about Bro Science (not Dom – I love that guy). If it’s observable and replicable -it’s not Bro Science anymore. It’s just science science.
          My buddy’s weird diet he refined over a couple of years of experimenting (let’s just say if a food didn’t work, he had plenty of time to ruminate over his mistake!) ended his colitis symptoms. Doctors couldn’t fix it for him. Chinese medicine couldn’t help. But bro kitchen science delivered a solution for him.

        1. An effective dose of curcumin is between 1 and 4 grams, depending on your purposes. Ground Tumeric is about 2% curcumin. One tablespoon in your curry (assuming you lick the bowl clean) will get you about 0.1 gram of curcumin.
          You’re going to be eating a lot of curry!

  3. but also to note you can actually get creteine naturally from steak. i think the only time to take cretine is in the summer so you get swole for the beach.
    theres always this debate about protein consumption and building muscle like 1-2 grams of protein vs 2per kg…why is that?

    1. *1-2 grams of protein per lb vs 2 per kg …why is that?since that is a huge gap.

      1. The formula is 1.6 – 20. x your weight in kg. All my old teachers told me the same thing who have been in he business for over 20 years. There is so many other things to look at tho! U won’t bulk up if u just take protein!
        -Personal trainer

        1. thanx
          but whats the other factors?
          Like saturated fat for testosterone production,calories and carbs for energy, minerals and vitamins to help digest the protein o something?

        2. Depends on your age, if your in your teens and still going through puberty, your testosterone level is at it’s peak so i wouldn’t bother with testosterone boosters.
          As u age testosterone decreases. I’m in my mid 30s where I take Tribulus terrestris and zinc to help my testosterone levels while hitting the weights, beef, seafood is also good like oysters. Any other supplements that increase libido can help but i wouldn’t bother unless u hit your 30s.

  4. There is one extremely effective workout supplement:
    It’s called ‘cell-tech’.

    1. writes article “Why Supplements Are a Waste Of Money” and then recommends 2 Supplements. lol.

  5. Protein powder is protein, no shit. Powders are for folks like me who cannot eat chicken breast or steak 2 minutes after I workout. But it is your opinion whether I’m wrong or not, just as I believe personal trainers are a waste of money.

    1. Everyone needs a personal trainer, so many people in the gym don’t have a clue what they are doing. I become a personal trainer after 15 years where I thought I knew everything but the truth is I knew CRAP! It’s a science!

      1. There’s nothing to it dude. Bench, squat, DL/sldl, row, and military press, and if you can then pull ups and chin ups(not many beginners can handle chin/pullups). All functional strength, I see many trainers having their clients do “preacher curls” and medicine ball slams- WTF?! Lift as heavy as you can and everything will even out. Too many personal trainers tell their clients that fucking SQUATS are bad for the knees…again FML.

        1. If you started a competitive football team, most people would get a coach. Like i said, there is a science 2 it where u can run out on the field with your team with no coach but the end wouldn’t be as good.
          Medicine ball slams is a functional movement, it just depends on the persons goals where a good 80-90% of people I train are trying to lose weight and some have never been in a gym before so u have to be careful.
          The knees and rotator cuffs are the main areas people get injured the most. If your young it doesn’t really matter but when u get older and never been in the gyn before and trying to Squat 2-5 times your own weight, there might be a problem! Once u get to 30, it becomes allot easier for injuries.
          The other main issue is posture where 2 many ppl are sitting on their asses and have bad posture which leads to injuries. The last think u get someone to do is Squat if their whole postural chain is tight as a virgin pussy.

      2. Nah, it’s cheaper to be social and ask for help and look up techniques in other places than hiring a personal trainer.
        It’s also better for your own knowledge and development in the field because the risk is and i’ve seen it many times with those that just hire a personal trainer is that they only know what the trainer has told them to do but there is nothing else they really know or do to keep develop.

  6. As for pre-workout it completely depends on the brand and type you take, I have had different responses from different types of pre-workout, as for protein powder suggesting its some mythical form of a bulker is just bullshit (for me at least, don’t fix what aint broke) you are attempting to tear down some cornerstones of alot of serious lifters that i know, yes your an idiot if you think that basic supplements alone will give you the strength and physique of powerful lifters but thats no reason to discard some very useful products which i am sure most of the big names have used as stepping stones to greater efforts and accomplishments.

    1. Fuck I wish raw milk were legal here in Canada. Raw milk of any kind actually, as I prefer goat milk. I almost became a micro farmer a year ago just to obtain raw goat milk, but fuck it, I ain’t milking twice a day, and my billy goat tried to fuck me too often.

      1. I am personal friends of the owner of one of the few certified raw milk dairies in Cali. Unfortunately, I don’t believe he may ship outside of the state. The government is always gunning to shut him down but he has survived. As a microbiologist, I have seen several deaths of people consuming pasteurized milk. It is a not a healthful product. Raw milk has more bacteria but they naturally inhibit pathogens. Pasteurized milk will allow pathogens to grow quickly if contaminated. Cows on conventional dairies often live in filth. Their milk is anything but clean.

  7. I dont think minerals like zinc and magnesium should be lumped in w/ vitamins

    1. Zinc helps increase testosterone while magnesium belp relax, great if your have lower back issues.

  8. The truth is most people eat shit food where important vitamins are taken out and addictive CRAP is put into foods today. If u have a balance diet where so any people don’t today, u dont need to take vitamins. Allot of my older friends have a deficiency so I would recommend taking some kind of vitamins where it just goes to waste if u take 2 many of a specific type of vitamin.
    -Personal trainer

  9. Dulse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmaria_palmata#cite_note-Indergaard_91-1
    “Dulse is a good source of minerals and vitamins compared with other vegetables, contains all trace elements needed by humans, and has a high protein content”
    It’s an acquired taste, but I’ve grown to love it. It tastes like when you’re swimming in the ocean and you gulp some salt water. You can also use it as an MSG-type flavour enhancer when making soups or whatever. Lots of iodine, so if you eat it daily you won’t have to worry about radioactive iodine uptake should a “fukushima” ever happens near you; but as for all the other carcinogenic radioactive elements released during a meltdown, I guess you’re fucked.

  10. Nice to see red pill on this topic. Can’t argue with the logic. As D&P said, if supplements worked, they would not keep reformulating them to sell them.

    1. Some supplements work, some don’t. You have to read the research and decide for yourself. The evidence for curcumin keeps mounting every week; it’s almost unignoreable. I didn’t believe the hype about CoQ10 until I tried a quality brand. I don’t bother trying anything unless it’s got a fair bit of science behind it. Gotsta keep an open mind.

  11. “supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful”
    I agree fully, and expect the 3 well nourished people on this planet to no longer waste money on supplements.

  12. Creatine is one of the few supplements with a mountain of scientific weight behind it. As if scientifically proven increases on performance weren’t enough, there is a growing amount of evidence for creatine being an effective nootropic for enhanced cognition.
    And, on top of all that, the most effective form of creatine, creatine monohydrate, is dirt cheap.
    You’d be out of your mind to not use the stuff.

  13. I like to boil the fuck out of bones for the collagen, calcium, etc. Adding a bit of acid like apple cider vinegar helps extract all the good stuff. In the case of chicken bones I simmer them for a couple of days until they practically melt in my mouth and I eat them all; good stuff! Chicken feet are a great source of collagen. No factory animal products; it’s free range pastured or nothing.

    1. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon describes this. Absolutely excellent for health! Plus there is a bonus if a PETA raw vegan happens to open the freezer and see the piles of chicken feet. The look on their face is priceless (especially after you describe how you butchered the chickens).

      1. I don’t associate with anybody who remotely resembles a PETA raw vegan, though I bet they’d be good eatin’. They best stay away from my freezer lest they accidentally fall inside and get locked in.

        1. I can’t help it. They are so much fun to tease its hysterical. I often invite them over so they can ” reeducate” me on the errors of my ways. If things get too heated I offer to take them outside to do some target practice with my REPR or my XD40. They always make a hasty retreat after that, never to come again. Spineless wimps.

        2. Ha amusing 🙂 I have chickens and ducks for eggs and considered crushing the shells for the natural calcium powder. I had a vegan neighbor so we made sure to grill our grass fed beef every day we could. It’s proven Vegans can’t think clearly due to the lack of omegas from meat in their diet that they can’t get from other proteins. In short they do end up going mad.

    1. GUYS, if u ever suffer from health problems, nothing beats a healthy diet! The main reason why we have health problems is due to POOR DIET!!! I haven’t been sick in over 5 years… Before this time, my doctor drug me up for over 3 months, nothing fix me expect changing to a healthy diet! I’ve had many friends that haven’t experience the same thing.
      Logically if u put shit in your body, u going to get shit coming out! I’m not saying to stop eating unhealthy food but i recommend keep it heathly 80% of the time!

  14. I can say that some people have issues getting enough of a certain subset, but multivitamins are junk. After analyzing, and trying to adapt my diet for a couple of months I take the following things: fish oil, iron, and gaspari protein powder. I don’t even take them everyday. The I take 1/2 doses of the fish oil and iron every other day. I drink 1/2 serving of the protein powder after working out, made with whole milk. They’re to fill very minor gaps in my diet.
    I used two programs, but for most people MyFitnessPal is a good start. Don’t just start buying supplement, start trying to modify your diet in small ways FIRST. You will be incredibly well served, and it will be better for you, if you can get your nutrients in your regular diet slowly digested over the day.

  15. My dad started taking those eye vitamins put out by Bausch & Lomb. My aunt took them for 5 months and claims she no longer has to wear glasses. My dad already eats a ton of raw veggies and has his entire patio filled with micro greens that he sprouts himself. He’s in top shape for his age but his vision is slowly starting fade.
    What do you think of that?

  16. this is a bad article. I take zinc, magnesium,flax oil, biotin, and gaba…all have clear as day benefits and basically keep me hanging together. supplements are great, but you have to choose wisely.

  17. “supplements are a waste of time” Names 6 supplements, tells you to take 2, says 2 are ok if you can afford it, and questionable science on the multivitamin. “Pre-workout makes you feel good. But man up and don’t take it.”

  18. Pre-workout, post workout, bulking, cutting, energy drinks, supplement stacks…etc etc.
    All a big con to get people to deposit money into the bank accounts of these companies. All endorsed by athletes who are on the payroll.
    Magazines like men’s health that publish their advertising, alter their content to support their claims so that people will buy more product.
    Let’s not forget how supplement companies advise ‘loading phases’. What a way to burn through their product, piss it all out and go back for more…

    1. Exactly!
      Eat the rainbow (a wide variety of variously colored produce to get a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals), exercise daily (walking is great, jumping on a rebounder even better), drink plenty of water, meditate and get enough sleep.
      Health doesn’t cost a lot of money if you do it right.

  19. Your body has certain micro-nutrient requirements to function optimally;if you get all of these nutrients in your daily diet then anything above and beyond that is either stored or simply excreted.If your intake is way beyond what your body needs and (barring storing and excretion) then it will become toxic.Any claims of extra ability are garbage.So quiet simply, supplements are a waste of money if you have an adequate micro nutrient diet.

    1. You’re not going to get them .. all the most beneficial and newly discovered nutrients in your diet. Besides evidence that Vitamin B should be multiples higher than currentl typical ; where are you going to get these nutrients , in a significant amount, :
      Carbon 60
      Just 3 of many.

      1. Those are not micro-nutrients.If anything those are medications.
        You can get Resvertrol from grapes and peanuts.
        “Besides evidence that Vitamin B should be multiples higher than currentl typical ”
        Then eat more foods that have sources of Vitamin B.
        For 100s of millions of years Human generations survived without supplements.It’s absurd that the body has evolved to require micro nutrients at levels so high that it cannot be provided by natural food sources.

        1. Natural diet would require insane amounts of consumption of grapes, nuts or Vit B sources . . not practical. Further, the optimum known Resvertrol is micronized , and other products have similar requirements for maxiumum benefit. You won’t get that by eating designated regular food.
          In the example of Astralagus, this comes from a natural food product, re-refined many times to a concentration absolutely unobtainable in the normal diet. Therefore it is similar to other health food products , not a chemical concoction.
          Carbon60 can be considered a medication or supplement as it is created. Another product that you can’t get by eating.

        2. Again you are confusing medication with micro-nutrients. C-60 is not a nutrient,neither is resvertrol,nor Astralagus.They are for medicinal use.
          As far as your Vit B claims,care to explain how much you require? For example VitB12 requires about 2.5ug,which can easily be got from eating 2.5 grams of beef liver per day,which is about the weight of a coin.

        3. Vit B : compared to the amount on typical OTC vitmins like Centrum crap ,about 5 to 10 times … 2000 to 5000 .
          We will have to disagree about definitions , the point being that these non chemical derived, natural plant based concentrates cannot be obtained through eating in your diet.
          C60 see my last comment in previous reply.

        4. Have you checked your blood levels to determine if you actually have a Vit D deficiency? Because ,being the sunshine vitamin,all you have to do is go out more during the day.
          Anyways,if you don’t see the difference between a nutrient (something your body needs to function normally) and medication(that which you take to fight infection,disease,maladies) then the discussion has ended.

        5. Is the article about normal function? I assumed it was about people that are really pushing and depleting their bodies. I can’t even imagine taking a multi-vitamin for the heck of it.

        6. Yes perhaps generations of humans have “survived” but what was their life expectancy?
          Most of the responses on this article are forgetting that multivitamins are use to SUPPLEMENT which means it used to augment a vitamin deficient diet, or “top up”.
          Take creatine for example. You can get this from food as well, but do you know how MUCH food (a paticular kind) would be required to get the same amount in 1 serving from a bottle?
          Of course you could probably get ALL your essnetial vits & mins from food, but eating such a variety in required quantities is perhaps not feasible on a daily basis.

  20. Supplements definitely work the same way that cocaine definitely “works”. The question is whether the outcome you actually experience is the one you wanted. Pre-workouts loaded with caffeine certainly have an effect, there is no denying that, but if you are looking for one that provides good clean energy, focus and performance enhancement then you need to be a discerning customer. Like all things, there are good supplements and bad supplements. Do your research and spend your money on the good products.
    Anyone who doubts that supplements “work” should try a serving of Craze. It definitely works but I do have concerns about the safety of it however.

  21. This confirms the notion I’ve been entertaining of resuming creatine use. I wish I could get a definite on the value of multivitamins. Even a biology professor I had recently proposed that they should only be used when someone doesn’t have an adequate diet, which is logical, and which is pointed out in this post.

  22. Good to see this kind of information presented.
    I would agree that quite a number of supplements aren’t really beneficial, or at the least are overpriced.
    I’ve seen great results-for a few days-with N.O. supplements, then suddenly the effect is gone after just a few days.
    Also, creatine seemed to help somewhat but it was always very dissapointing to get “swollen” due to such a large amount of water gain, then shrink back down after losing the water weight.
    Honestly so many are just so expensive that it eventually becomes too much. I burned through a *lot* of money after I started working out hard 2+ years ago. Learned a lot in the process.
    I do (for the moment) use a caffeine-free pre-workout as a trial again for days when my sleep wasn’t sufficient.
    I buy my 6lb bag of protein (Cytosport) at Costco, although even that is too costly in my opinion.

  23. Thoughts on nitric oxide? I’ve had some brands work great and others not do crap. One brand gave me morning wood the whole time I used it that made using the bathroom in the morning intresting, but it also made for better sex (I sound like commercial I know, but I used to carry the one shot liquid with me all the time) but have you found it to have additional effects? I know pom has the same effect if I drink it regularly (if you don’t and you’re getting older try it once ) honestly my biggest gains came when I added two hardboiled eggs for breakfast everyday. Did more for me than anything else.

  24. About multivitamins, I find that I need Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C supplements, but other people claim they do just fine without them. In fact, at least in my own case, B complex wards off depression and anxiety, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if big pharma funded the study purporting that multivitamins are useless so they keep people drugged up on their antidepressants.

  25. Creatine and protein powder do help, its been proven in multiple experiments. But they aren’t necessary, hence why they are called supplements. Use google scholar to check out the science on products on the market and you will see what they claim is nearly all bullshit. Only creating and protein powder have a noticeable effect from what I’ve read. There is no substitute for hard work in the gym though, no pain no gain as they say.

  26. I have really bad hair loss on my mom’s side of my family and a decent amount of my Dad’s side. I started losing in my early 20’s hardcore. I started using minoxidil (rogaine) which seemed to slow things down but I still noticed a ongoing thinning/loss. I started using an Alive Men’s multivitamin at 27 or so – I’ll be damned if my hair loss didn’t stop dead. I’m 31 now and it is staying strong. All my uncles on my Mom’s side had advanced baldness at this age where as I look normal. Hair seems a lot healthier with thicker follicles too. Could be coincidence but damn man with the depleted soil and other issues with food today, I’ll take the multivitamin for insurance.

  27. 99% of americans are not “well-nourished adults”
    -> same is true for most EU readers, like germans (the 2nd fattest country in the world, or GB fatty country #3 -> guess who is #1)
    If a fat whobbler with a desk-job takes supplements it greatly helps.
    If a personal nutrition coach (female, BMI 19) takes supplements, she may not see any benefits.
    It really is not rocket science – a look in the mirror and you know if you need it or not.

  28. I agree with all of this, but I must say protien powder has been a savior for me in a way that’s not mentioned in the article. I’m a hard-gainer, and I tried to get protein from normal food, but I’d get full really fast and often because I’m so small. Powder was a way for me to get protein without filling me up, and I’d still have room for food….now I’m FINALLY gaining muscle.

  29. gahh “No cloudy words or unclear results are found here” and yet it seems you seem to have glossed over the highlighted points “supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults”
    yeah no shit they don’t do anything when your body is already getting what it needs
    the public consensus is that most vitamins don’t absorb “very well”- neither dose “real food”
    its about ratios, gene types, and life style

  30. I take regularly:
    – Vitamin D3
    – Vitamin C
    – Magnesium Citrate
    I avoid
    – Sugars of all kind
    – Artificial sweeteners
    – Glutamate
    – Diary products
    – Grains
    – Vegetable oils
    I eat almost exclusively non-processed foods. I walk up 5 flights of stairs several times a day, I do some condition training, I feel reasonably healthy, and that’s enough for me. As somebody whose gone to gyms in the past I’d concur with the author that most supplements are marketing plus nothing.

  31. While done with good intentions, this article is somewhat ignorant. Workout science has progressed at an incredible rate in the past decade, and creatine is a proven staple and also healthy for all humans to take. You simply can not recover as fast without periworkout nutrition. Simple whey protein is a food, di- and tripeptides and cyclic dextrin and super hydration is science that is backed up in the gym.

  32. Top post. Sometimes I think I should write articles for Rok, but then you go and write them for me.

  33. You must choose who to trust
    and where to get your information because I personally can’t redo every study ever done.
    I believe there are other people out there with good intention and searching for truth.
    I choose to listen to Mark Sisson (Mark’s Daily Apple & The Primal Blueprint) because of the incredibly great information he puts out.
    He says vitamins are great and backs that statement up with a ton of research. So dammit, I’m taking my vitamins.

  34. Very good article. I have long been against supplements because I have always believed them to be more of a psychological boost for those who take them. Remember, our brains are strong enough to trick us into feeling ill. Instead of all the non-sense, just monitor you diet. Make sure you consume enough protein after your workout, and that you aren’t lifting on an empty stomach. It is really that simple.

  35. “Supplements” aren’t a waste of money necessarily, but *some* supplements certainly are. It is not fair to pan all supplements because some don’t work. Like all things, people should do logical research before taking them.
    I take about 20 separate supplements, but I would never take a multi – ever. Most have Vitamin A (it competes with Vitamin D, and we get too much in our diets; one study showed a 16% increase in overall mortality from vitamin A supplementation) and Iron (men should never take it, and in fact, give blood to get rid of it).

  36. I took fish oil and then stopped when I learned of the high amount of rancid Polyunsaturated fatty acids in them. I use coconut oil and I do supplement vitamin E. I’m not a body builder so the others I don’t need. The PUFA I avoid like the plague now…

  37. I don’t take a multi-vitamin, but I have peer reviewed papers. You’re drawing a conclusion from an inconclusive study.
    As far as pre-workout and creatine, I’m not on-board with that assessment either. Just based on my experience, if you’re going heavy – you’ll feel stronger and have more in the tank towards the end. Anecdotal but replicable.
    Supplements are like global warming. Yes, we all agree on some basic principles and observations, but degree (miniscule or massive) is up for debate and darn near impossible to demonstrate conclusively.

    1. One last thing… when I finally did break down and try pre-workout, I was pissed off at myself for being so cheap and skeptical and not trying it much sooner.

  38. The king of all supplements a man needs – especially in the modern world – is ZINC.
    Zinc is needed for healthy male reproductive system, and it is the mineral which gets used up the fastest in the body in stressful situations. Most people suffer from zinc deficiency, men more because with sex, zinc gets depleted even much faster. Good sources – eat your seafood and most importantly, your steaks! Red meat (Beef, lamb) are excellent sources; just make sure that the meat is derived from organic fed animals. 8 ounces of red meat is great for zinc; if not, eat your seafood.
    Zinc competes with copper for absorption in the body. Too much copper? Men feel depressed, chances of Wilson’s disease, and tachycardia. Excess Copper feminizes the body, that’s why vegetarians tend to have wilder mood swings as compared to meat eaters.

  39. Absolutely can I not agree on creatine. It’s effictiveness has been backed by over a 1000 studies. It’s cheap, safe and will add muscle period.

  40. The one supplement (or food) that truly is the biggest waste of money is the one you said you’re not going to say to not buy… PROTEIN powder..
    Protein powder is a complete waste of time and money. Your body does not need protein to grow muscle tissue. Vegetarians grow muscle just fine, as do other animals on this planet. How much protein do cows or horses or gorillas eat? None, yet they grow massive amounts of skeletal muscle.
    This is especially true for anyone over the age of early 20’s
    Once we are done with puberty and no longer have natural growth hormone in our bodies, the only way to grow NEW MUSCLE TISSUE is to take synthetic growth hormone.
    You can of course inflate your existing muscle tissue (hyper trophy) by lifting weights… But everyone will have their limits. Beyond that you need steroids to further inflate the muscle belly.
    Unless you are taking growth hormone you will never see any benefits of taking protein powder.
    Also, it is not .8 grams per pound of body weight. It’s .8grams per pound of lean body weight.
    Some fat ass weighing in at 300lbs who should weigh 180, doesn’t need to be gulping down 240 grams of protein per day. In fact to achieve this he would likely be consuming an insane amount of calories which would further add to the obesity.
    .8 grams of LEAN Body weight makes more sense and would be just 144grams for a person who is 180 lean lbs.
    But again only if you simply can’t eat the daily recommended daily amount of protein should you spend money on protein powder.
    The only thing on this list I personally use is pre work out. Most pre work outs get me ready to go before I step in the gym. Whether it’s mostly mental or not, I don’t care. I just know without them it takes me a while to get into the work out I usually tire sooner.
    All I can suggest is to try a few and see how you respond. I do notice that with most pre work out supps I adapt to them and after a week need to switch to a different supp. This is why I keep 3 or 4 different supps on hand at a time and alternate every few days.

  41. Question: I take Potassium for heart function and Magnesium to help soften my stool. I also take B12 as I don’t get much in my regular diet. I take these daily. In regards to the Magnesium, let’s just say I know it works. But the other two, I guess I don’t have a way to measure that. Any input on Potassium or B12?

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