View Full Version : Sports Supplementation
13th February 2003, 07:16 AM
A question for the athletes among us: Do you use any nutritional sports supplementation products? Why or why not?
13th February 2003, 09:50 AM
i use meal replacement powders (Lean Mass Matrix is one of the better ones), a multi-vitamin and the occassional ephedrine/caffeine pill.
that's it. used to take a lot more but never noticed any significant changes. not even creatine. and the workout magazines are such jokes. just catalogs really since they are all owned by supplement companies.
i sincerely believe the most powerful "drug" you could take is consuming good, whole food.
14th February 2003, 07:34 AM
I agree that bodybuilding and sports magazines are unreliable sources of information on nutritional products.
I have been using a product called CellTech (contains creatine) for over a year and have become stronger than I have ever been in my life. I am currently 37.
14th February 2003, 09:05 AM
I use Gatorade and Endurox R4 (spelling?) recovery drink.
I do triathlons and a few adventure races. The electrolyte replacement is vitally important to me. I have had a few to many bonking incidents not to take it seriously.
I cannot tell if the recovery drink really does anything. If it is doing what it is supposed to do, you recover faster. I cannot give a fair personal evaluation to something that is supposed to make you feel normal. However the fruit punch version of R4 does taste OK. It is a bit thick, but the last thing I want after a race is more Gatorade.
I won't touch anything with ephedra in it. Also no excessive doses of caffeine. The mounting documentation on ephedra will probably get it banned in the next year or two. Also I had a bad reaction to using a decongestant with ephedra. My hart rate skyrocketed every time I tried to run up hill.
Here is what the AMA thinks of ephedra:
Today the AMA testified before Congress, urging the FDA to remove dietary supplements containing ephedra from the market. "The risk/benefit ratio for these products is unacceptable," said AMA Trustee Ronald M. Davis, MD.
14th February 2003, 09:22 AM
I don't have a very high opinion of the AMA.
14th February 2003, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by Celtic Warrior
I don't have a very high opinion of the AMA.
Here is a Bloomberg story I found on Quackwatch.com:
Among a group of 140 FDA adverse reaction reports, 104 show ephedrine was the "very likely" cause of a medical problem, according to Ray Woosley, who examined
the reports. Woosley, dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, said there were 10 reported ephedrine cases of "sudden death" and 15 severe strokes.
14th February 2003, 10:22 AM
Thanks for the info, Doubt. I'll keep that in mind. I have been taking a bodybuilding product called Xenadrine that contains ephedra for over a year and a half now. No problems.
One of the things that many articles about people having problems with ephedra based products neglect to mention is that many people using diet products exceed the recommended dosages 2 or 3 fold. This is usually because they are not exercising and are just looking for an easy way to lose weight.
If you take enough Tylenol, it will kill you. But, you don't see the AMA trying to take it off the market.
15th February 2003, 09:35 AM
But they don't sell Tylenol as a dietary supplement.
16th February 2003, 08:14 AM
There are plenty of medications that the AMA has recommended that are taken daily or on a regular basis that were later found to be harmful. For example: hormone replacement therapy.
Sorry. But, I think a true skeptic should also be skeptical of what the AMA says.
18th February 2003, 12:45 AM
I'm 5'10" 167 lbs. I can bench about my weight.
My only two impressive characteristics is that I'm double jointed and I can jump really high.
Some supplements work. I wouldn't take any of them though.
I figure why bother? I'm only 24.
18th February 2003, 06:49 PM
CelticWarrior wrote: There are plenty of medications that the AMA has recommended that are taken daily or on a regular basis that were later found to be harmful. For example: hormone replacement therapy.
I agree there's merit to the statement but I'm not sure about the example. Please tell me you are not referring to the recent media reports on HRT and breast cancer.
Also, whilst AMA/FDA and other equivalent organisations worldwide are not infallible, the products they advocate have been tested for efficacy and toxicity. Most of the products marketed at athletes and people who think they are atheletes are sold in health food shops and supermarkets and have had no standards applied to them in regard to either efficacy or safety. Many of them haven't even been cleared as foodstuffs and could contain who knows what.
19th February 2003, 07:09 AM
"Weight loss drug cited in pitcher's death"
Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler died of heatstroke, and a weight-loss drug containing the stimulant ephedrine of being a contributing factor.
"Ephedrine has been banned by the NCAA, the NFL and the International Olympic Committee, but not by major league baseball."
19th February 2003, 09:50 AM
spoonhandler - I've read there is a long list of things that HRT can cause. But, that is not really the point. My point is simply that people should question what the AMA says instead of taking it as the gospel. The AMA has their own agenda just like everyone else.
articpenguin - thanks for the link. Due partially to input from this forum and mainly my own health concerns. I have decided to stop taking ephedra/ephedrine based supplements.
19th February 2003, 10:46 AM
Probably a good idea. RE the Bechler case - they're now saying that ephedrine was certainly not the sole cause. Bechler was overweight and trying to crash into shape by not eating much while starting spring conditioning. Many contributing factors.
19th February 2003, 03:42 PM
that pitcher was in awful shape with some major medical complications.
i've been taking ephedrine for about 5 years. my brother too. no problems. nor anyone else i've known.
unfortunately i think ephedrine will be taken off the market because of this baseball incident. it works and is safe if not abused (IMHO). of course it doesnt work like the ads would make you believe but it's a goo product.
the american government really has it's head up it's ass when it comes to supplements. they took tryptophan off the market even though they later admitted the batch they tested was tainted and gave inaccurate test results. i believe it can still be purchased in britain as a sleep aid. and how can the proper govt agencies allow the print ads we see with ridiculous claims is beyond me.
basically the whole system needs an overhaul.
20th February 2003, 01:19 AM
I can't believe how many people are quite happy to pop pills and supplements without really knowing what's in them.
What's wrong with eating a good healthy diet high in protein and vitamins and exercising properly in order to build up strength. Taking any sort of pill or supplement is unnatural and unnecessary.
Perhaps you should ask your own doctor, who will be able to comment directly on the pill/supplement leaflet/label and your own medical history.
20th February 2003, 05:55 AM
many doctors are clueless when it comes to musclebuilding or endurance training. look at the FDA food pyramid, put together by doctors...11-13 servings of grain a day??? no distinction between good and bad fats???
and there are plenty of fat doctors. they'll tell you that taking this is unsafe but hey doc...how healty is being 50 lbs. overweight.
i dont see anything wrong with taking a protein powder. there's plenty of research to suggest athletes need more protein than sedentary people. i find it hard to consume enough protein through eggs, meat etc. and keep my fat intake where i want it. i take a multivitamin just to fill in the gaps. sort of insurance. it's really hard to meet your requirements through food. i'm sure it's possible but hard to track.
and again, there are plenty of bogus supplements out there, pure quackery, that's why you have to do research.
20th February 2003, 06:46 AM
There are a couple reasons I have decided to stop taking ephedrine:
1) Heart disease runs in my family. Better safe than sorry.
2) The longer you take ephedrine, the more ineffective it becomes. Basically, your system builds up a tolerance to it. The only way to kick back in the effect is to take more than recommended (this is where many people get in trouble) or cycle on and off of it. Ephedrine has helped me lose body fat. But, I can keep it off with aerobic exercise and weight lifting.
20th February 2003, 12:45 PM
My supplementation routine consists of espresso, cake, cookies, and the occasional McDonwald's Big 'n' Tasty. I credit the espresso-cake-cookies-Big-'n'-Tasty supplement regime with my current physical prowess, being capable of curling 125# 5 times, Bench press 250#, and telling the whole history of Iraq from the days of the Mesopotamia to present in less than 5 minutes. I plan to continue this routine so that I can eventually snap both my biceps tendons off the bone with a single lift.
24th February 2003, 09:31 AM
I've been looking into the whole ephedra situation and have some questions.
There seems to be little doubt that taking more than the recommended dosage is dangerous and even potentially fatal, and has been in many cases. Is this acknowledged by the companies that make ephedrine products?
I've found that a lot (if not all) of the ephedra products also contain caffeine, as that helps burn off fat. Could that be the catalyst for the problems? How safe is ephedrine by itself? I found a report made to the Council for Responsible Nutrition (Here's the abstract (http://www.crnusa.org/cantoxabstract.html)) which, although most of it is over my head, appears to be a good scientifig safety assessment of the tolerable limit of epheda. I also found a Harvard Medical School study (http://www.toxinfo.com/IJO_Ephedrine_Article.pdf) (note: PDF file) showing that ephedra and caffeine together showed no adverse effects and minimal side effects when compared with a placebo.
I take pseudoephedrine occasionally for sinus congestion. How similar is pseudoephedrine to ephedra? I've heard warnings about taking caffeine with pseudoephedrine, so this may relate to my second question as well.
Is ephedra covered unter the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994? If so, could the FDA ban it, or require a prescription for it? It seems like this act provides a kind of immunity for herbal "supplements" to make whatever kind of outlandish claims they want to without much of a risk of being prosecuted for fraud.
What evidence is there that ephedra is effective at weight loss? I have to admit that I'm skeptical of "magic weight loss pill" claims, but from what I've read it seems there may be something to this.
I'm just asking questions here. I'm skeptical of herbal supplements in general, but it seems like there's at least some data to suggest that ephedra can be effective, and that the safety issues deal with overdoses or possibly mixing it with caffeine.
24th February 2003, 12:49 PM
Shanek, I can't answer your questions, sorry. I for one will not take epedra, since I already take in too much caffiene than is good for me and my thyroid levels are still a bit on the high side. But that's just me.
The only "sports nutrition" products I use are the sports drink Cytomax (the peach flavor is the best ever!) and CarbBoom (apple cinnamon flavor). The Cytomax probably contains a lot of herbs and such that I don't need, but in general, I think they're in too low of concentrations to do ANYTHING. I mostly drink it because it works quite well to keep me from bonking, compared in my own experiences on consecutive rides using Cytomax, Gatorade and water. It also tastes better than any of the Gatorade or Powerade flavors out there! CarbBoom I use likewise to keep from bonking, usually towards the end of a ride, for that last bit of energy to get back to the car. I like using the energy gels because I have a hard time wanting to chew and swallow any sort of food when I'm feeling that crappy. [No jokes here, please] I'd rather just suck and swallow ;) I realize CarbBoom doesn't do anything for me that honey can't, but it does come in convienient, already-measured packets that I don't have to muss about with too much. So that's my two cents on the concept of sports supplements.
24th February 2003, 04:38 PM
Research has indicated that ephedrine is more effective when taken with caffeine. Whether or not, it increases the health risks, I am unsure.
© 2001-2009, James Randi Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
vBulletin® v3.7.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.