Supplements I think you should skip
Here are some supplements I've used that I will not use again.
ALCAR is purported to boost testosterone levels, improve brain function, and aid in fat loss. I noticed nothing when I started using ALCAR: no enhanced focus, no improved mood, no extra energy, no accelerated recovery time of the CNS between bouts of tricking, no uplift in the heart chakra, NOTHING. At 10 grams per day (which is aggressive) I noticed nothing. I noticed nothing when I ran out of it.
About a month after I thought I ran out of ALCAR, I discovered I had roughly a month's supply remaining in an extra container I had filled and forgotten. ALCAR obviously didn't help me remember that I had some of it still left. I used the rest of the ALCAR until I ran out completely, and I noticed nothing.
I will never use ALCAR again.
This is my second most hated supplement. I hate it not only because it does nothing, but because its price is ludicrous and it rots rapidly.
Indeed, years ago I actually did buy 1 pound of this for $200. How much is supposed to be taken? It's recommended to take 250mg 1-2 times daily with food. Does 250mg do anything? No. How about 1 gram? No. Does a whopping 10 grams dose of Alpha-GPC which costs $4.50 for that single dose do anything mind blowing? No. It does nothing. Look, for about $4.50 I could get a single dose of something that actually does do something mind blowing, (I think you know what I'm talking about). What about daily use over the course of an entire summer? Does prolonged use of Alpha GPC do anything? NO!
So after disappointment finally set in after daily use was failing to make my CNS impervious to tricking fatigue, I noticed my alpha GPC supply had begun gelifying into a paste, only after three months on a shelf in my room. Wtf? Alpha GPC raped my wallet and then liquefied itself into clumpy jizz.
I will never use Alpha GPC again.
Glutamine and bonded glutamine (peptides)
After two years of consistent Glutamine supplementation, I had suspected it was doing nothing for me. So instead of discarding the last of my Glutamine supply, I just took the remaining 100+ grams of it in one shot. I felt like I had air conditioning in my veins! I felt cool and ventilated! Wowweeeeee refreshing! And that was it.
Okay, maybe Glutamine is supposed to bolster the immune system, nourish the lining of your gut, lower the PRAL score of a meal, and mitigate musculoskeletal wasting during illness. So supplementing directly with Glutamine won't hurt you, but it probably won't help your performance/physique enhancement efforts either if you're already health conscious and young, especially if you're eating a diet already containing foods that are freakishly abundant in Glutamine (meat and dairy and beans).
I use a little glutamine sometimes for general gut health, but I wouldn't recommend it for tricking or training.
If you've never heard of HMB there is a reason for it: it doesn't do anything. HMB was supposed to be anabolic and anti-catabolic, something that could help you recover from training stresses. It was a hot topic about 10 years ago when it was still new back in 2004. Everybody was enamoured that it was to be found almost exclusively in Catfish and Grapefruit, two foods most people don't eat. So we were all missing out on HMB!
In case you discover HMB today and are wondering whether or not you are missing out on something that could enhance your exercise performance, rest assured you are not missing out on anything. HMB doesn't do anything.
I used a couple bottles of it during spring and summer 2004 when it was hyped up and kind of new. Of course I didn't notice anything, because it doesn't do anything. How many times have I said HMB doesn't do anything already, 4 times now I think? Google it and read other people's thoughts on it, you will rarely find someone who writes a raving review about it. Why is that? Because HMB doesn't do anything.
I will never use HMB again.
MCT - Medium Chain Triglycerides
In athletic circles, MCTs are typically used as a "tactical" fat supplement on Very Low Carbohydrate Diets (VLCD). Its rapid metabolism supposedly allows one to train feeling energized while on a VLCD. It's supposedly a detoxifying fat too.
So in 2006, a trainer at my previous gym gave me an unopened, 500 mL container of Parillo's CAP TRI MCT oil for free. I took it three times a day while on diet consisting of about 50-100 carbohydrates per day. I noticed nothing while using it, except that it was an oily mess, and I still felt tired from my low carbohydrate diet. Brain fog city!
If you're looking for an edge to facilitate fat loss, or something to nourish gut health, or for building a better body, or for keeping you alive on a VLCD, look elsewhere and skip the MCTs.
I will never use MCTs again.
Aha! Nicotine?! Why in the world is it here?!
Okay, so I've done enough pubmed'ing to be convinced that small amounts of Nicotine in pure form (not tobacco) is actually healthy. From what I had read, it depresses hunger, lowers estrogen, and can slow degeneration processes of the nervous system from the effects of aging. However, I didn't try Nicotine for any of these reasons, I just wanted to see if it could add anything to my pre-workout training stack or help me focus on my writing projects.
I purchased 4 mg Nicotine lozenges and quartered them. I used 1-2 mg per day until my pack of 72 Lozenges was gone. This is a very small dose of Nicotine compared to what a tobacco product user would ingest. (Note: I've never actually used any tobacco product in my life. So Nicotine was a completely new experience for me.) Between days of use on my long term trial, and upon depletion of my supply, I did not experience withdrawal symptoms.
It was challenging for me to find the right dose of Nicotine for any positive application. Anything greater than 2 mg made me feel nausea and dizziness that would last up to an hour. I felt more nauseated when I combined Nicotine with Caffeine. (Although on the bright side, the nausea did kill my appetite.)
I did find that a 1-2 mg dose of Nicotine was manageable for me. It would wake me up a little and calm my nerves slightly. The calmness associated with Nicotine makes it not ideal for me for training. For writing or working, 1-2 mg slightly reduced my vulnerability for becoming distracted. I still experienced slight appetite suppression at this dose too. Unfortunately, these positive effects at the 1-2 mg dosing would fade after 30-60 minutes. If I tried to redose I would experience nausea and dizziness: it was still in my system even though it wasn't providing benefit.
Now for the worst. One side effect lingered after the immediate perceptible effects faded. The worst side effect of all, at any dose: I've found Nicotine consistently induces strong ED (erectile dysfunction) that lasts for a couple of hours. It's common for stimulants to cause ED, but I use other stimulants (caffeine, ephedrine) early in the day, that side effect wears off in the afternoon. I can't combine Nicotine with these other stimulants early in the day, because when I combine nicotine with other stimulants I feel like I want to vomit, I have to reserve nicotine use for later in the day when the other compounds have cleared my system. Since I have to reserve nicotine use for later in the day, closer to evening time, that makes it more likely to cause ED during a time I don't want it to. Because if I'm "gonna get some" it's going to happen in the evening after a day of work and training.
I still use Nicotine, sometimes, but it's a rare occasion. I think I'm just really sensitive to it. I wouldn't recommend it, but I thought maybe you'd enjoy reading my experiences about it. As elementary as it sounds, if you want a morning or afternoon boost that's not caffeine, try the pee, squat, drink routine instead of Nicotine. All the squatting and drinking at 20-40 minute intervals will make you feel great, a lot better than a hit of Nicotine.
I took this off and on from 2005-2010, mostly off. It's been pulled from the market this year for some reason, as you can no longer buy it online. Which is strange because it's one of the safest supplements around. Animal tests show that there is no lethal dose of it, and that ridiculous doses rarely produce significant side effects other than the usual mild head ache, stomach cramping, and telekinesis... Oh yeah, the telekinesis. There is that, although it's very minor, very short-lived, and unimpressive. Trust me, it's not worth taking an entire container of Piracetam to see these telekinesis effects flicker before you for 3 or 4 seconds, they're almost imaginary they're so subtle. (wait, did that pen really just jump? haha!)
While reflecting upon my off and on supplementation with Piracetam throughout the course of five years, I determined that it doesn't do anything for me. (It has an amazingly unique taste though). Anyway, I think I just kept using it because it was just one more thing to add to an energy stack. Somehow, I think psychonauts inadvertently participate in something akin to a dick waving contest on all these smart drug forums: "Who's nootropic stack is the biggest?" Mine mine!!! Look how smart I am because I take Piracetam and Huperzine A and PEA to study for my exams lololol!!!!
Though I may be stereotyping, I am 100% certain I am 100% correct in my stereotyping here about Korean girls.
I will never use Piracetam again.
- I've used all of these and more.
- I will never use a pre-workout formulation again.
- Here's what these products are all about:
- These products have cool names and labels.
- They look like toys! They are toys!
- These products have long ingredients lists. Do they impress you? Are you impressed?
- I want you to get a sheet of paper out and write an essay on whether you are impressed or not.
- Have you and your friend had a cerebral discussion about these supplements on an instant messaging app?
- Is your friend excited about any of these products? Have the products aroused your friend?
- The nootropics and thermogenic agents found in these products are at embarrassingly low doses.
- The nootropics and thermogenic agents found in these products are useless even at high doses.
- The adaptogens found in some of these products: also at embarrassingly low doses.
- Sometimes the manufacturers put tiny amounts of creatine and BCAA. Big whoop-de-doo.
- Some of the liquid formulations taste like cough syrup (ABB Speedstack and Endorush).
- Some of the powder formulations have poor mixability (Animal Rage).
- Some taste very good, but so does a Pepsi or Mountain Dew.
- None of these are as hardcore as a pot of black coffee.
- The price of these products will rape your wallet.
- Have you tried any of these for the first time at a gathering? Did it rip you a new asshole?
- The boost was the gathering atmosphere, not the product you moron.
- Stop being nostalgic if you used one of these during a past tricking peak.
- These don't work any better than a cup of coffee or a caffeine tablet.
- Because ALL of these products are based on their caffeine content.
- Jujimufu is not amused with proprietary energy formulations.
- Most of these products contain Synephrine...
Also known as bitter orange extract: Synephrine is used as a substitute for ephedrine in many of the aforementioned proprietary energy formulations. It's used because manufacturers cannot put ephedrine in these products anymore. However, you can buy ephedrine by itself in any pharmacy and many grocery stores. It's still available and it's cheap.
Synephrine gives much more intense cardiovascular discomfort than ephedrine, without any of the performance enhancing effects. Sounds like a real winner right? Synephrine is actually my most hated supplement! It is the WORST!
I will never use Synephrine again.
One time I took 80 grams of Taurine before tricking. I felt slightly cool skinned and really relaxed; my session sucked. Unless I have concerns that my heart is rotting out of my chest, or if I have cramps, I won't use Taurine (because supposedly it nourishes heart tissue and alleviates cramping associated with over-exercise). Supposedly it pairs well with creatine as a cell volumizing agent, but my cells are already volume'd out typically from my diet and training style. The good news is that Taurine is very cheap. As cheap as Creatine. But this is one supplement that you can skip without worry: you won't be missing out on anything that would change your life, even a little bit.
I use a little taurine because it's cheap and it's theoretically heart healthy. A couple grams a day. But Taurine would be one of the very first things I drop on my supplement stack if I needed a tighter budget.
I like Valerian root. It imparts a minor relaxation response. At higher doses this relaxation response is stronger (4-8x the normal dose of 500mg). Valerian's price is also not steep. However, I think there are much better and cheaper supplements for sleep enhancement. And since my sleep stack is already stout enough as it is (Magnesium, Zinc, Melatonin, 5-htp, Theanine, Vitamin E), I don't need Valerian root. It's not as good as the other sleep supplements I use.
I will never use Valerian root again.
I used to like ZMA. It actually is a great supplement. But I don't need to buy ZMA in the form of SNAC's proprietary formulation; it's still just Zinc and Magnesium. I'm not convinced the ZMA formulation is any better than using Zinc and Magnesium separately from other manufacturers. ZMA is expensive. If I was concerned my individual Zinc and Magnesium supplements were not working, then I'd just take 10x the doses and experience the classic zinc and magnesium overdose symptoms: diarrhea and stomach cramps. Which I've done. I guess my poor man's stack of Wal-Mart brand Zinc and Magnesium are working afterall!
I will never use ZMA again. I will just buy Zinc and Magnesium separately, in any form of either and supplement with that. These minerals are super important in my opinion, for everybody, for health, performance, well being. Google them, it would take me a lifetime to detail how supra-physiological doses of both Zinc and Magnesium minerals can help you.
You will never use...
I wonder what supplements you will never use again? Use the comments box below and let everyone know.