Review of Muscular Enhancement Supplements
Published by ConsumerLab.com
Bodybuilders and athletes often turn to supplements to enhance muscle
size and strength. New tests of such supplements showed two products
to contain little or no
creatine and an amino acid supplement unable to break apart as expected,
the testing company ConsumerLab.com reported today. The majority of
products, however, met quality standards. The market for sports nutrition
and supplement products has steadily grown to $2.2 billion in 2005,
according to Nutrition Business Journal.
One of the most popular supplements for muscle enhancement is creatine, which
has been shown to be useful in maintaining strength in repetitive, brief, high-intensity,
sports activities. Creatine's popularity among athletes has spurred a variety
of product forms other than traditional powders. ConsumerLab.com found problems
with creatine in liquid form -- likely due to poor stability. One liquid creatine
was contaminated with the
breakdown compound called creatinine. In fact, nearly 30% of the product's "creatine
proprietary complex" was creatinine, and only ten percent was creatine.
Another liquid supplement claimed 6,000 mg of creatine per dose, but had none.
It did contain 2.6 mcg of dicyandiamide per serving - a contaminant likely
produced during creatine manufacture.
"There are high-quality products on the market, and there are pure rip-offs," commented
Tod Cooperman, MD, ConsumerLab.com's President. "People considering muscle
enhancement supplements should be realistic about the effectiveness of these
products and skeptical of their contents unless verified by a third party."
Supplements made with other ingredients used in muscle enhancement - HMB
(hydroxy methylbutyrate), glutamine, and other amino acids, such as branched-chain
amino acids (BCAAs) - were also tested. Problems were not found with HMB products,
which may help increase muscle mass and strength with weight training. All
glutamine products also passed. Glutamine supplementation may reduce the incidence
of infection in athletes who are over-training, but there is conflicting evidence
regarding its benefit in muscle work. Among products with mixed amino acids,
tablets of one failed to break apart and release its contents within the expected
The new report is available at www.consumerlab.com/results/creatine.asp.
Brands included are Body Fortress, EAS, Eclipse Sports Supplements, Dymatize,
GNC, Iron-Tek, ISS, Muscle Marketing USA, MHP, MRM, Muscletech, Precision Engineered
(US Nutrition), Puritan's Pride, SciFit, Six Star Body Fuel, TwinLab (Ideasphere),
Universal Nutrition, Vitamin World, and Vitol. The report provides results
for 22 supplements, of which ConsumerLab.com selected 16. Six were tested at
the request of their manufacturers/distributors through CL's Voluntary Certification
Program and are included for having passed testing. Also listed are three products
similar to ones that passed but sold under different brand names. Reviews of
other popular types of supplements are also available at www.consumerlab.com.
New reviews to be released in coming months cover alpha lipoic acid, eye health
supplements (lutein and zeaxanthin), joint care supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin,
MSM), multivitamins, probiotics, SAMe, and St. John's wort.ConsumerLab.com
recently published the second edition of the acclaimed paperback, ConsumerLab.com's
Guide to Buying Vitamins and Supplements: What's Really in the Bottle? It can
be ordered through 800-431-1579.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and
independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition.
The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It
has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture,
distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated
with PharmacyChecker.com, an evaluator of online pharmacies, and MedicareDrugPlans.com,
which reviews and rates Medicare Part D plans. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com
is available online. For group subscriptions or product testing, contact
Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at email@example.com.