If you've been following the Bodybuilding.com message boards lately, you may have noticed there's a lot of controversy about taking supplements, if they work, and how they or if they fit into a natural's diet. In this article I'm going to shine some light and give my opinions about this subject.
Let me start off by saying despite what the supplement companies want you to believe you can make gains without supplements. Then why take them you may ask? Well, simply put, they give you an edge. The only way to get this edge though is if you have a perfect diet and good training routine. If you do, then supplements will boost your gaining ability tremendously. Let's take creatine for example, there is no denying it works. There are over 100 university studies confirming its effectiveness. If person a and person b have the same genetics, diet and training routine but person a takes creatine, he will gain 10 pounds before person b does. It's that simple.
Now obviously there have also been many hoax supplements: deer antler, boron, etc. The fact is, supplement companies before probably have ripped you off. I know I have been. I too used to run out and buy the newest, hottest item only to be let down. To avoid getting ripped off, make sure you know it works. An ad in a magazine is never proof. Look for something that has been around for a while and ask people about their experiences with it. The message boards here are a great way to ask. Also, try to buy from reputable companies like EAS, Prolab, and AST.
Well, that was the easy part. Here's where things may get a little heated. Supplements in natural shows. Now, natural means no steroids, GH, or insulin. You know, pharmaceutical drugs. What about amino acids like creatine and glutamine, many feel these shouldn't be allowed in shows either. I feel the opposite. Creatine will not make you bigger than your genetic boundaries. If you've ever looked at pro bodybuilders, you can see what I mean by beyond what their genetics would normally allow. Also, many of the pros have implanted muscles. I think taking steroids is much like implants, although instead of actually implanting the muscle, you are implanting the hormone needed to build it. Supplements on the other hand, are just additions to your diet. Things you could normally get from diet but a. don't have the time to prepare, or b. don't get enough of. This is why I think people who take them should be considered natural. This goes for all legal supplements, except one. Andro. Andro is a legal steroid. In fact, it very close to being classified as an illegal one too. Because andro is so closely related to steroids, you get nearly the same gains (as well as side effects) as steroids, and it is unfair to non-users in the show (not like natural shows are well regulated anymore anyway, but still). For this reason, I don't think andro users should be allowed in natural shows
Now, this is just my opinion, and I may be wrong, but hopefully I've shed some layers from all the controversy on the boards.