Lately, I’ve been trying to curb my urges to buy all the thermogenics and anti-catabolics and BCAAs and crazy fat burning supplements you can imagine because I just want to lose fat faster. I don’t want to go into my next show worried that I’ll still be “too soft”; I won’t do it. I refuse to feel unprepared next time. I know I’m just being hard on myself and even considering taking an insane number of supplements to see what works for me is costly, both physically and monetarily. My bank account just can’t handle that sort of irresponsible spending (I’m adulting so hard right now).
Let’s face the reality for a second: You’re scrolling through Instagram and you see all these women on all these different fitness inspiration pages that have huge glutes, tiny waists, and buff arms and, naturally, they’re holding some type of supplement (whey, thermogenic, whatever) that they absolutely SWEAR by, and your first thought is, “If I take whatever she’s taking, I’ll get a butt like hers!” Don’t be ashamed to admit it; it’s the first step to recovery. I still struggle with it, honestly.
You have to be completely real with yourself when it comes to supplements on every possible level, not just when it comes to advertisements. For example, I just restocked a lot of my supplements (L-carnitine, CLA, etc.) and when I told my boyfriend about it, he questioned whether or not I would stick to taking them because I have a bad habit of investing in these products and I can’t stick to the dosing regimens or I forget to take them a time or two and eventually stop taking them completely (basically I waste my money). But THIS time, I reassured him I would stick to taking them because I’m hellbent on seeing better changes. Now if only I could get my diet back under control… but that’s a post for another day.
So, some basic guidelines to follow when considering repurchasing a supplement:
- Did you see the changes/improvements that the product was designed for (fat loss, improved energy, growth, etc.)?
- Did you change any part of your diet or exercise plan during the period of time you were taking the supplement?
- If no, did you follow the dosage directions/label recommendations for that product and allow for enough time on that product (6-10 weeks) to make the changes?
- If no, do not repurchase. If yes, give it another shot. If you STILL don’t see the changes after another 3-6 weeks, don’t waste anymore money on the product.
Random fact of the day: It takes three weeks to see changes in horses once they have begun a new supplement regimen. So, at least wait three weeks.
Some questions to think about when considering a NEW supplement:
- What are you looking to get out of this product?
- Is that the purpose the product is designed and labeled for?
- Have you read the ingredients and done research any ingredient that you didn’t know the purpose of?
- Where did you find this product? Was it recommended by a friend who used it for an extended period of time and had great results? Or did you see it advertised on some form of social media or in a health magazine?
- If you plan to compete, are there any ingredients in this product that would show up on a drug screen that you should worry about?
- Does the product require a “stack” (several products designed to work together for maximal effect), or is it sold individually with equally positive results?
- Does the product have any reviews from other consumers?
- How much money are you willing to set aside for this product for either one time or continued use?
These are questions I NORMALLY as myself before investing any of my money into a new (or old) supplement purchase. I emphasize “normally” because I recently made the mistake of purchasing a new supplement on a whim: Noxipro.
I entered a local supplement store here in CS to check them out and see if they had any C4 (my usual awesome pre-workout). They did, however the guys in the store recommended I try Noxipro if I was looking for something with a little more get-up-and-go (which I was). The price was comparable, and so was the ingredients list. Keep in mind supplements are not subject to FDA regulations (which is why so many people died from ephedrine OD several years ago before the FDA was pressured to ban the OTC sale of ephedrine) and they are not required to give specifics on their “mixtures”.
The first night I took it I felt like my heart was going to beat right out of my chest while I was on the stair stepper; I was so pumped and so motivated to get through my work out it was scary, but I never felt out of control. I took Noxipro again a few nights later, but I didn’t get the same high, which I figured meant my body had already developed an adaptation response. So, yesterday after work, I took two scoops- the maximum dose- and started on my leg work out, hitting stair stepper first. Still didn’t get the same high as the first night I took it, but things kept going downhill.
Halfway into my weight training, I noticed going from walking lunges over to deadlift and then hamstring curls I would arrive at my next station out of breath and heaving (at one point I threw up a little). I’d feel fine during my lifting, but I’d feel like death between. I just told myself it was because I was pushing so hard lifting that I wasn’t really noticing how hard I was working. Then, I arrived at leg extensions. When I sat down and began lifting I noticed my heart felt like it was… fluttering. I tried to ignore it, but it couldn’t. I finished out my sets and walked away feeling scared, so I called John in a mild panic. I explained to him everything that was going on and we both came to the conclusion that I was having heart palpitations. He proceeded to do some research while I calmed down and found that Noxipro is notorious for causing heart palpitations in people susceptible to cardiac and blood pressure related problems (I’m borderline hypotensive). I went to the locker room feeling a little dizzy and then spent 10 minutes hovering over a sink wretching, and I spent another 20 minutes lying on the floor in front of my locker with a towel over my eyes catching my breath and trying to get my heart rate to go down. Eventually, I made it home, but I learned my lesson the heard way. ALWAYS do research on the product FIRST and NEVER take two scoops of Noxipro.
Questions about supplements or diets? Ask away! I’d love to help!