DESCRIPTION: 3,4-Divanillyltetrahydrofuran [or Divanil] is a lignan found in a Urtica dioica [stinging nettle] and is very often used in testosterone enhancing products. 3,4-Divanillyltetrahydrofuran has promising effects in vitro but lacks clinical trials. Divanillyltetrahydrofuran does not increase testosterone production, however, it binds itself to SHBH [sex hormone binding globulin] with great affinity, hence increases avaliable free tesosterone. If it works in vivo as it does in vitro it will also increase estrogen, so estrogen blocker should be added.
DESCRIPTION: 5-Methyl-7-methoxyisoflavone [methoxyisoflavone] is a synthetic chemical compound marketed as a bodybuilding supplement. Some isoflavones e.g. 7-isopropoxyisoflavone [ipriflavone] and methoxyisoflavone have been marketed as “powerful anabolic” substances. These believes originated from U.S. Patent [in the early 1970′s] and some preliminary studies which reported lower cortisol levels, increased protein synthesis, and improved overall recovery from exercise as a result of isoflavone supplementation in animals. However, findings in recent studies using healthy people contrasts marketed claims that this nutrient increases anabolic status or enhances training adaptations in resistance-trained athletes.
DESCRIPTION: 6′,7′-Dihydroxybergamottin is a natural furanocoumarin sold as anabolic amplifier as it si supposed increase the absorption of supplements, drugs, oral anabolic steroids. 6,7-DHB is an active ingredient of grapefruit juice and is believed to be responsible for grapefruit juice effect. It inhibits CYP3A4 in the small intestine which may elevate drug plasma concentrations and increasing the risk of adverse reactions.
DESCRIPTION: Acai berry come from acai palm [Euterpe oleracea a.k.a. Cabbage palm] which is a species of palm tree cultivated for their fruit. They are being sold in an aggressive manner by companies which claim they are superfood with anti-aging and weight loss properties. Despite the attention, there is little to back up the extravagant claims made about acai. While it has been shown that berry does contain antioxidants there are no long-term studies proving that açaí removes wrinkles or remove toxins from the body.
DESCRIPTION: Acetyl-L-Carnitine [or ALCAR] is a naturally occurring molecule synthesised from L-Carnitine. In the terms of bioavailability acetyl-l-carnitine is claimed to be superior to L-Carnitine. Like L-carnitne, both are sold as a dietary supplement and are often promoted as an aid for weight loss, to improve exercise performance, and to enhance a sense of well-being. Acetyl-l-carnitine supplementation may be beneficial in preventing age-related declines in energy metabolism, decreased oxidative stress, and improved memory, studies conducted on rats report.
DESCRIPTION: Adenosine-5'-triphosphate [ATP] has intracellular role as the energy source for tissues. ATP as a supplement is marketed as " the explosive natural energy needed for muscular work". One study [with 400 mg ATP daily] noted an increase in low peak torque and decrease muscle fatigue, however, this low peak torque increase failed to translate into improvements in leg muscle power or work performed. Another study with doses up to 225 mg resulted in an increase in bench press strength but authors didn't attribute this to ATP treatment but suspected a spurious change in treatment differences.
DESCRIPTION: African mango is referred to as “miracle medicine that will help you lose 10 pounds”. A small in vitro study that reported a significantly inhibited adipogenesis in adipocytes started it all with a little help from Dr. Oz. Well, at that time there are no sufficient evidences that would support these claims. There can be found a few studies that to some extent support these claims but are funded by african mango patent holder and manufacturer. One study reported a reduction in body weight but without significant changes in body fat percentage.
DESCRIPTION: Agmatine is an endogenous neurotransmitter, it binds to α2-adrenergic receptor and it induces the release of some peptide hormones. Agmatine has potential to treat chronic pain which may potentiate the effects of analgesics used during recovery from injury. There is also some evidence suggesting that agmatine possesses nootropic effects. In vitro studies are also showing insulin-like effect.
DESCRIPTION: Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine is a natural choline compound that is often used as a nootropic dietary supplement to enhance memory and cognition. Clinical trials are concluding glycerophosphocholine is useful against cognitive decline related to dementia.
DESCRIPTION: alpha-Ketoisocaproic acid [or Ketoisocaproate, ketoleucine, KIC] is an intermediate [the keto acid] in the metabolism of leucine [amino acid]. Ketoleucine has been previously shown to enhance high-intensity exercise performance in combination with glycine and L-arginine. However, according to recent studies ketoleucine does not have beneficial effects for high-intensity exercise by itself. In theory, alpha-Ketoisocaproic acid supplementation may enhance exercise performance through a variety of mechanisms, however, that was not proven in practice.
DESCRIPTION: Alpha lipoic acid [a.k.a. Thioctic acid, Lipolate, ALA] is water and fat slouble antioxidant that is made by the body and is found in every cell, where it helps turn glucose into energy. Studies have found that Alpha lipoic acid enhanced insulin action and enhances glucose uptake into skeletal muscle in animals. Studies also show that Alpha lipoic acid can increase uptake of creatine. However it is more often that that used as as weight loss and energy supplement.
DESCRIPTION: Amorphophallus konjac [Glucomannan] is a soluble polysaccharide and is considered a dietary fiber. It is usually used for weight loss, management of high cholesterol, blood sugar control, and type 2 diabetes. Glucomannan is thought to prolong gastric emptying time, which increases satiety, reduces body weight, decreases the ingestion of foods that increase cholesterol and glucose concentrations. Most studies evaluating it as a weight loss supplement are showing mild but significant effects on weight. Benefits of glucomannan also include cholesterol lowering [but not HDL cholesterol], and triglycerides.
DESCRIPTION: Anacyclus pyrethrum DC [Spanish chamomile or Akarkara] is used as aphrodisiac in Ayurveda to treat male sexual dysfunction and its roots are considered sexual stimulant and are known to improve sexual function especially in male. Therefore, it is added to some testosterone boosters. Animal studies are reporting a significant anabolic effect. However, clinical trials are lacking and it is therefore premature to say whether Anacyclus pyrethrum DC a.k.a. spanish chamomile actualy increases free testosterone in humans.
DESCRIPTION: Arachidonic Acid [AA or ARA] is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid. Arachidonic Acid plays an essential role in growth and repair of skeletal muscle tissue. This makes ARA an important dietary component in muscle anabolic process. It is not an essential fatty acid, however, it become essential if there is a deficiency in linoleic acid. Studies have shown that increased activity depletes omega-6 fatty acid levels from skeletal muscles. So it may be helpful to supplement with arachidonic acid as an athlete. No significant side effects are reported for dosages ranging from 1,000–1,500 mg for up to 50 days of supplementation.
DESCRIPTION: In China, Arctium lappa L. or Burdock is a plant used as aphrodisiac in order to increase sex drive and treat impotence and sterility. It recently appeared in some testosterone boosting supplements, however studies are lacking.
DESCRIPTION: Russian Tarragon Extract [Artemisia Dracunculus L] is a spice herb with a long history of culinary and medical use. Some recent studies reported that a standardized extract of Russian Tarragon may have antidiabetic and hypoglycemic activities. It is recently added to creatine supplements due to some studies showing Russian Tarragon influences plasma creatine levels during the ingestion of creatine, thus increasing its uptake. Read more about Artemisia Dracunculus [Russian Tarragon Extract] benefits ...
DESCRIPTION: Quebracho has traditionally been used as aphrodisiac and is marketed as herbal Viagra. Even though Quebracho extract can be found in some testosterone boosters, no evidence exists. Yohimbine seems to be the main active ingredient.
DESCRIPTION: Astaxanthin is a carotenoid which possesses strong antioxidative effect. Some preliminary evidence suggests that astaxanthin is a potent 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. It also seems to influence hormonal balance.
DESCRIPTION: Asteracantha Longifolia Nees [synonyms Hygrophila auriculata, Hygrophila spinosa] is traditionally used in ayurvedic medicine as aphrodisiac, tonic, sedative etc. Animal studies are reporting androgenic as well as improvement of sexual behaviour, significant increase in the sperm count, noticable anabolic effects, increase in red blood cell count, haemoglobin count, serum iron and serum protein after Asteracantha longifolia extract ingestion. More clinical trials should be conducted to support therapeutic use of Asteracantha Longifolia Nees.
DESCRIPTION: Astragalus membranaceus has been traditionally used to treat loss of strength, some chronic illnesses and to increase the overall vitality of the system and is often used in conjunction with some other herbs, such as ginseng, angelica, and licorice. Preliminary studies are suggesting health benefits of astragalus especially for the immune system, heart and liver, however, there is limited evidence for using astragalus for any health condition and there is also lack of high-quality clinical trials. Despite the lack of clinical trials on astragalus, some human studies do indicate stimulation of activity of immune cells in clinical populations.
DESCRIPTION: Branched-chain amino acids [BCAA] are among the nine essential amino acids for humans. Among the proteinogenic amino acids [precursors to proteins], there are three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine and valine. Their supplementation has been reported to decrease exercise-induced protein degradation and possibly promote an anti-catabolic hormonal profile. One study reported that 30 days of BCAA supplementation [14 grams/day] promoted a significant increase in muscle mass in untrained subjects
DESCRIPTION: Beta Vulgaris [beetroot] is an excellent source of folate, manganese, betaines. Consumption of beetroot has been linked with better stamina, improved blood flood and lower blood pressure. Studies are showing that consuming nitrate-rich beetroot improves running performance, repeated high-intensity rowing performance as well as decreases resting systolic blood pressure.
DESCRIPTION: Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is produced naturally in the body. Beta-alanine has ergogenic potential based on its relationship with carnosine. Studies evaluating its benefits on sport performance are equivocal. It appears that supplementation with beta-alanine can decrease fatigue rate and improve performance. There are studies which show no performance benefits. Sensation of tickling seems to be the only side effect from oral beta-alanine ingestion. Standard doses have not been established.
DESCRIPTION: Beta-Carotene is an organic compound that gives color to plants and fruits. Beta-carotene precursor to vitamin A, which means body turns beta-carotene into the antioxidant vitamin A [via beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase]. Beta-Carotene is being used as an oral sun protectant. It has been reported that 30 mg of beta-carotene per day for 1 month can reduce exercise-induced oxidative DNA damage. It is also used for brest cancer prevention, although there are currently no studies to support that.
DESCRIPTION: beta-Hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid [HMB] is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. Leucine and metabolites of leucine have been reported, by several studies, to inhibit protein degradation, have anabolic properties and lipolytic effects [breakdown of fat]. There are some promising studies in sedentary population, however, its effects in athletes are less clear. Most studies conducted on athletes have reported non-significant gains in muscle mass.
DESCRIPTION: Beta-sitosterol is a phytosterols [plant sterol] with chemical structure similar to that of cholesterol. Beta-sitosterol is commonly used for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia and high-cholesterol. In bodybuilding world Beta-sitosterol is used in many testosterone enhancers due to its possible effect in 5-alpha reductase inhibition. One small study supports these claims.
DESCRIPTION: Betaine is a nutrient found in a variety of plants, animals and microorganisms and is a compound that is involved in the metabolism of choline and homocysteine. Studies show that compared to placebo, betaine supplementation significantly increases power output. Betaine also appears to improve muscle endurance and increase the quality of repetitions performed in active subjects. One animal study shows betaine can favorably affect liver metabolism, fat metabolism, and fat deposition.
DESCRIPTION: Bitter orange [Citrus auratium] is used as a stimulant and appetite suppressant, due to its active ingredient, synephrine. Some experts believe that compounds contained in Citrus auratium may lead to weight loss. Some preliminary reports in animals noted significantly reduced food intake and body weight gain with Citrus auratium extract administration. However, studies demonstrate that synephrine, when taken orally as Citrus auratium extract, raises blood pressure in healthy humans. Experts say that bitter orange may prove a less harmful successor to ephedra [as a weight loss supplement], but more research needs to be done.
DESCRIPTION: Boron [chemical element with symbol B] is often sold as as testosterone enhancer and muscle builder. While there is animal study and study in postmenopausal women that show increased testosterone leves, study in healthy male bodybuilders failed to show elevated testosterone or increased strength.
DESCRIPTION: Brassaiopsis glomerulata extracts are sold as a bodybuilding supplements due to its possible aromatase [enzyme responsible for the biosynthesis of estrogens] inhibitors present in the plant. In one study where researchers were isolating and characterising aromatase inhibitors from brassaiopsis glomerulata found a compound that is as effective as Letrozole [FDA approved non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor]. Further investigations of brassaiopsis glomerulata are needed on the mechanism of aromatase inhibition and in vivo testing.
DESCRIPTION: Caffeic acid [3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid, 3,4-DA] is an organic compound found in many plants and foods, which is unrelated to caffeine. It has a high antioxidant potential and its primary source in human diet is coffee. Caffeic acid has shown promise in reducing the fatigue associated with exercise.
DESCRIPTION: Caffeine is a naturally derived stimulant and is the most frequently ingested substance in the world. Caffeine is most commonly used to improve mental alertness and has also been shown to positively effect energy expenditure and can be an effective ergogenic aid. Studies repeatedly report caffeines ergogenic effect [with doses ranging from 3 to 9 mg / kg]. It may also use lipids as energy source during aerobic exercises.
DESCRIPTION: Calcium is a mineral that is essential for living organisms especially for bones and teeth. Calcium is the most abundant metal by mass in many animals. Calcium supplementation may help maintain bone mass in athletes susceptible to premature osteoporosis [weak bones due to low bone density]. Co-ingestion with vitamin D further enhances its absorption. Some studies demonstrated that increasing dietary calcium accelerated weight and fat loss. Calcium as possibly effective for weight loss, however, more research needs to be done before definitive conclusions can be drawn. Calcium compounds have low toxicity.
DESCRIPTION: Calcium D-Glucarate [calcium salt of D-glucaric acid] is produced naturally in small amounts by mammals, and can be found in variety of fruits and vegetables. Oral supplementation of calcium D-glucarate has been shown to inhibit beta-glucuronidase which is associated with an increased risk for various cancers. Its inhibition of beta-glucuronidase activity allows the body to eject hormones such as estrogen before they can become reabsorbed. In bodybuilding supplements it is often added in testosterone boosters for estrogen management. Calcium D-glucarate might lower estrogen levels, but there is little evidence to support its use.
DESCRIPTION: Carbohydrates perform many roles in living organisms. They are a common source of energy; however, carbohydrates are not essential for humans because body can obtain all its energy from protein and fats. Carbohydrate ingestion during and post workout have been shown to attenuate cortisol secretion. Carbohydrate ingestion also increases uptake of creatine and greater post-workout glycogen resynthesis.
DESCRIPTION: Safflower [Carthamus tinctorius] is commercially cultivated for vegetable oil extracted from the seeds. Safflower seed oil is flavorless and colorless, and nutritionally similar to sunflower oil. Carthamus tinctorius is used in some testosterone boosters, probably because of its possible 5-aplha reductase inhibition properties. In a study evaluating 14 Thai plants, Carthamus tinctorius was the most potent 5α-reductase inhibitor and hair growth promoter.
DESCRIPTION: Hawthorn berry powder can be found in some fat burners as well as in some pre-workout supplements with claims that it promotes healthy flow of blood throughout the body. Procyanidins [extracted from hawthorn berry] are reported to exhibit much higher anti-oxidant activity than vitamin E. Furthermore, it is said that procyanidins play a role in the stabilization of collagen and maintenance of elastin. Crataegus pinnatifida extract appears to be one of the few agents that actually promotes hair growth. Short-term usage at recommended doses is possibly safe.
DESCRIPTION: Chitosan is a popular dietary supplement marketed to decrease body weight via limiting fat absorption in the body and is known as a fat binder. High quality trials indicate minimal effect of chitosan on body weight and is unlikely to be of clinical significance. Richard B. Kreider and co-workers have categorised chitosan as apparently not effective. One study showed that it would take more than 7 months for a male to lose 1 pound.
DESCRIPTION: Chlorophytum borivilianum [also known as Safed Musli] has recently been suggested that it may produce an aphrodisiac agent and its roots are used medicinally as a sex tonic. It is added to bodybuilding supplements for its possible growth hormone enhancing properties. Chlorophytum borivilianum has been show to improve sleep quality and growth hormone in combination with Velvet Been [Mucuna Pruriens]. Scientist believe that Velvet bean [Mucuna Pruriens] played a more important role in growth hormone stimulation than Chlorophytum borivilianum.
DESCRIPTION: Choline is an essential nutrient that has been promoted as a weight loss supplement. It is also calimed to improve physical endurance. Although essential for healthy organ function its excess does not seem to benefit in exercise performance nor does it improve weight loss. Studies are also showing that subjects who developed signs of organ dysfunction had normal organ function restored after choline has been added to their diet.
DESCRIPTION: Chrysin [5,7-Chrysin, 5,7-Dihydroxyflavone] is often found in bodybuilding supplement and is marketed as a nutrient which can further elevate testosterone levels by reducing aromatization.
DESCRIPTION: Cinnamon is a spice from the dried aromatic bark of the cinnamon tree. Companies strive to develop formulations in order to maximize creatine absorption and may also provide a means to either partially bypass or up-regulate the function of creatine transporter-1. It has been observed that cinnamon extract [Cinnulin] mimics the effects of insulin, thereby up-regulating glucose uptake and insulin signaling. One study concluded that Cinnulin combined with creatine monohydrate was no more effective than creatine monohydrate alone in increasing muscle creatine concentration. However, total body lean tissue mass was close to being statistically greater in the Cinnulin group when compared to creatine only.
DESCRIPTION: Coenzyme Q10 [abbreviated as CoQ10] is vitamin-like substance that is oil-soluable and is present in almost every cell, primarily in the mitochondria. CoQ10 helps convert food into energy and is a powerful antioxidant. Some studies are reporting improvements in aerobic and anaerobic power but further research is needed. It has also been reported that CoQ10 significantly reduced all-cause mortality in patients with congestive heart failure.
DESCRIPTION: Conjugated linoleic acid [CLA] has been studied in humans in order to investigate its effects on weight management. The CLAs impact on fat loss is modest but is effective at recommended dosage of 3.2g CLA/day and produces significant fat loss [cca. 90 g / week] and it may also increase lean body mass [about 1% per week]. Another study showed that coingesting conjugated linoleic acid, creatine and protein further increased lean tissue mass.
DESCRIPTION: Cordyceps sinensis [or Caterpillar Mushroom] has been used for hundreds of years as medicinal mushroom. There are two abstract-only studies published which showed significantly increased aerobic capacity in elderly and other a significant improvements in VO2max. However, recent studies do not support these claims. At this time, it is premature to conclude that Cordyceps sinensis does or does not possess ergogenic properties.
DESCRIPTION: Corosolic acid is structurally similar to ursolic acid and is used to treat variety of aliments, however, there is not many clinical reports to support these claims. Most commonly, corosolic acid is used to help support healthy blood sugar levels and is claimed to stimulate glucose uptake and heighten insulin sensitivity. Besides that, it also seems to possess some fat burning properties.
DESCRIPTION: Creatine is naturally produced in the human body from L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. It increases creatine phosphate, which in turn boosts ATP production [source of energy]. Creatine Monohydrate is considered the industries gold standard, however, companies strvie to make a better form of creatine. To date, all are either same or worse in effect. Doses ranging from 5 to 20 grams per day appear to be very safe and largely without adverse side-effects.
DESCRIPTION: Creatinol-O-Phosphate is a cardioprotective drug and structural analog of creatine, and may serve as source of creatine. In theory on the inside of a cell, creatinol-o-phosphate loses its attached phosphate which is used to form the high-energy molecule, ATP. There is a lack of clinical studies conducted with Creatinol-o-phosphate that assess its benefits on exercise performance. Despite the fact, it is present in many supplements available today.
DESCRIPTION: Curculigo orchioides [also known as golden eye-grass, Kali Musli] holds a special position as a potent adaptogen and aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic system of medicine. Animal studies evaluating the effect of ethanolic extract of rhizomes are reporting significantly improved mating performance, penile erection, and enhanced attractability towards female. Increased steroid synthesis is suggested due to hypertrophy of Leydigs cells. There are no clinical trials and more research need to be done to evaluate is benefits. Other curculigo orchioides benefits: antioxidant, antidiabetic, immunostimulatory,...
DESCRIPTION: D-Aspartic acid [DAA, D-Asp] is an endogenous amino acid which occurs in a high concentration in the pineal gland. It is involved in luteinizing hormone, testosterone, GABA and dopamine release. Studies are reporting 30-60% higher serum testosterone in subfertile men. One Italian study noted significantly increased levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormone in 23 men with D-Aspartic acid [3 g per day] ingestion.
DESCRIPTION: Dactylorhiza hatagirea is quite common in traditional medicine and is considered as an important aphrodisiac and is employed for enhancing male fertility and virility and to enhance performance. There is lack of scientific research to back its aphrodisiac properties.
DESCRIPTION: Deer antler velvet is the highly vascular skin that covers the bone and cartilage, which supplies oxygen and nutrients while an antler is growing. Extract is claimed to increase growth hormone levels and increase strength. One study concluded that findings do not support aerobic ergogenic effect of deer antler velvet powder due to inconsistent results. However, one another study suggested that antler velvet may be an effective ergogenic aid.
DESCRIPTION: Dehydroepiandrosterone [DHEA] also known as androstenolone or prasterone is an endogenous steroid hormone, that is produced in the adrenal glands, the gonads, and the brain. It is often added to supplements muscle builder or fat burner. Some studies show increase in testosterone, but without signs of increased muscle mass or changes in body composition, while others show no increase in testosterone. It appears that doses of DHEA ranging around 100-150 mg elevate testosterone levels but that does not translate to increased muscle mass.
DESCRIPTION: Dendrobium extract is extract from Dendrobium nobile [member of orchid plant family]. Dendrobium extract can be found in some pre-workout supplements in order to boost athletic performance. It is even argued to be a replacement for the stimulant dimethylamylamine [DMAA]. Dendrobium extract [as Dendrobex] has been advertised as an energy replenisher and is said to be beneficial in rehydration.
DESCRIPTION: Diindolylmethane is a compound derived from chemical breakdown of indole-3-carbinol. Diindolylmethane promotes beneficial estrogen metabolism in both sexes by reducing the levels of bad estrogens and increasing the formation of good estrogens, resulting in increased antioxidant activity. In vitro studies have demonstrated the ability of diindolylmethane to decreased aromatase activities. Diindolylmethane is even claimed to facilitate weight loss but here's no scientific evidence to support this. Because it is relatively new to the area of research not many research is available.
DESCRIPTION: Dimethylglycine is claimed to improved energy usage and is therefore often marketed and sold as energiser. Based on limited and conflicting evidence it seems that dimethylglycine supplementation seems to have little to no effect on athletic performance.
DESCRIPTION: Ecdysterone [20-Beta-Hydroxyecdysterone] is a plant sterol that has been linked to some bold claims such as promotion of protein synthesis, maintenance of anabolic state, and enhancement of lean muscle mass. Most studies reporting positive effects of ecdysterones have been reported in obscure journals with limited details available to evaluate the experimental design and quality of the research.
DESCRIPTION: Ephedra has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for 5,000 years. The stimulant and thermogenic effects of Ephedra sinica is due to the presence of the alkaloids ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. These compounds stimulate the brain, increases blood pressure, increases heart rate, increased thermogenesis. In August 2006 FDA has banned Ephedra in the U.S. due to accumulating evidence of adverse effects and deaths related to its use.
DESCRIPTION: Eurycoma longifolia Jack is a plant also known as Longjack, Malaysian Ginseng or Tongkat Ali that has gained notoriety as a symbol of man's ego and strength by the Malaysian men because it increases male virility and sexual prowess during sexual activities. The plant parts have been traditionally used for its antimalarial, aphrodisiac, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial and fever reduction activities, which have also been proved scientifically. Eurycoma longifolia Jack a.k.a Longjack seems to increases testosterone levels in humans and animals with hypogonadism [or clinical signs of hypogonadism]. There is lack of studies on otherwise healthy subjects.
DESCRIPTION: Evodiamine is a bioactive alkaloid compound which has been reported to have a diuretic effect. It is also believed that evodiamine possesses thermoregulatory, antiobesity, analgesic, and cardiovascular effects. Evodiamine does not have any perceptible taste, therefore, it may be more useful for obesity treatment than capsaicin. Safety, tolerance and pharmacokinetics of evodiamine have not been fully tested on either animals or humans.
DESCRIPTION: Fenugreek has many pharmacological effects and is lately very popular in bodybuilding world. The effect of fenugreek on fat index of diabetic patients with high cholesterol showed that this plant reduced fats significantly. It has also been successfully used for nursing mothers as it may increase mothers milk supply. Fenugreek seems to have positive effects on body composition in combination with resistance training by decreasing body fat percentage but its consumption can actually increase estrogen levels and can potentially cause gynecomastia [male breast growth]. Though fenugreek is, by some companies, sold as »testosterone booster«, studies do not support this claim.
DESCRIPTION: Folic acid [also known as folate, vitamin M, vitamin B9, pteroyl-L-glutamic acid] is a form of water-soluble vitamin B. Folic acid is the synthetic form of B9, found in supplements, while folate occurs naturally in foods. Folic acid plays an important role in brain developement and is especially important in the stages of rapid growth, such as pregnancy, infancy and adolescence. All B vitamins help the body convert food into fuel.
DESCRIPTION: Gamma aminobutyric acid [GABA] is a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system of mammals and is directly responsible for the regulation of muscle tone. Study examining the effect of 5 g gamma aminobutyric acid on growth hormone and prolactin secretion in 19 healthy men showed a significant elevation of plasma growth hormone levels. Another study showd that GABA and exercise caused 200% greater growth hormone increase than exercise and placebo. As a dietary supplement GABA is also sold for its relaxing effect and sleep support.
DESCRIPTION: Gamma oryzanol is a substance derived from rice bran oil. Gamma oryzanol is being consumed by bodybuilders due to its supposed anabolic effects. The compound is claimed to increase testosterone production and stimulate human growth hormone release, as well as improving strength during resistance exercise training. Studies show no differences between gamma oryzanol and placebo. Furthermore, scientific studies indicate that gamma oryzanol is poorly absorbed. It has been shown that less than 5% orally supplemented oryzanol is absorbed.
DESCRIPTION: Ginger [also known as Zingiber officinale] is widely consumed as a dietary spice. Ginger rhizome powder was reported to posses an antioxidant and androgenic activity and is therefore found in many bodybuilding supplements. It is used for improving fertility, boosting tesotosterone levels and as digestive aid.
DESCRIPTION: Ginkgo Biloba [maidenhair tree] has been used in traditional medicine and as a source of food. More recently Ginkgo Biloba is commonly used for its memory-enhancing powers [as nootropic]. Ginkgo is also used as aphrodisiac and is often used by bodybuilders as testosterone booster.
DESCRIPTION: Glucuronolactone is an organic metabolite found in the body and as an ingredient in some pre-workout products and energy drinks. Glucuronolactone is ascorbic acid [Vitamin C] precursor and is claimed to be ergogenic. There is no credible scientific evidence to support these claims.
DESCRIPTION: Glutamine is also extensively used in bodybuilding world. It is marketed as a supplement used for muscle growth. While some studies show oral glutamine supplementation decreases protein degradation and increase protein synthesis, many studies found no beneficial effect of glutamine supplementation. The lack of effect may be due to the consumption of glutamine by many other tissues before reaching the skeletal muscles.
DESCRIPTION: Glycocyamine [Guanidinoacetic acid or GAA] is a direct precursor of creatine and is naturally occurring in the human body. Research in rats has shown that short-term oral glycocyamine administration increases the serum level of creatine to a similar extent like the same dose of creatine. It is said to benefit most to creatine non-responders. There are some safety concersn that its supplementation can result in the production of fatty livers and in the reduction of liver choline.
DESCRIPTION: Green coffee extract is marketed as a weight loss supplement. Its main conctituent is chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid is a plant compound that may have some effect on keeping down glucose absorption. Human and animal trials to some extent support these claims. However, the significance is moderate.
DESCRIPTION: Resistance training can increase the production of free radicals resulting in oxidation of the cellular components, such as lipids and proteins. Studies show that green tea consumption reduces oxidative stress post workout and offers a protective effect against oxidative damaged induced by resistance exercise. Many studies have also shown that green tea consumption is associated with enhanced cardiovascular and metabolic health. Green tea is also used as a weight loss supplement which many studies support.
DESCRIPTION: Guanidinopropionic acid is a creatine monohydrate analogue. It is often added to creatine supplements with claims that it benefits to creatine “non-responders”. After reviewing 131 studies, Oudman and colleagues reported that guanidinopropionic acid decreased intracellular creatine, phosphocreatine, and ATP concentrations in all tissues studied. It has been demonstrated that guanidinopropionic acid improves insulin sensitivity and to promotes weight loss selectively from adipose tissue in animal models.
DESCRIPTION: Gypenosides are saponins isolated from Gynostemma pentaphyllum and are reported to be effective in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. It is promoted to increase nitric oxide production, however, studies are equivocal. One study has demonstrated that gypenoside [named phanoside] has a potent insulin-releasing activity. Isolated gypenosides have also been reported to exert a variety of effects, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, lipid-lowering, anti-carcinogen and adaptogenic properties
DESCRIPTION: Higenamine [Norcoclaurine] is a chemical compound found in a variety of plants which have a history of use in traditional medicine. In vitro and animal studies have shown a variety of effects but its effects in humans are unknown. Higenamine is claimed to be 1,3-dimethylamylamine [DMAA] replacement, however, there are no scientific evidence to support these claims. Higenamine is also used and added to many fat burning supplements. Since higenamine is a beta-1 and beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist, it is not clear why is it marketed as a fat burner.
DESCRIPTION: Hops [Humulus lupulus] extract can be found in regenerative and recovery bodybuilding supplements. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting sedative and anxiolytic effects of Humulus lupulus. Humulus lupulus is also employed as weight loss supplements as some animal studies reported dose-dependent increased gastric juice secretion without affecting acidity.
DESCRIPTION: Hordenine [or N,N-dimethyltyramine] is classified as thermogenic compound and is quickly gaining a reputation as an effective supplement that helps people lose weight. Hordenine has very low bioavailability. Furthermore, all effects are short and only possible after high doses. There are no scientific reports of the effects of hordenine in humans.
DESCRIPTION: Horny Goat Weed also known as yin yang huo is one of many herbs used to treat erectile dysfunction in traditional chinese medicine. Recent investigations suggest that icariin is the most metabolically active component of Epimedium species which is believed to posses testosterone mimetic properties. Accumulating evidence is suggesting that icariin supplementation may also improve cognition in animal models. Some horny goat weed extracts are possibly safe while others may not be when used for a long period of time or in high doses.
DESCRIPTION: Leaves of Yerba Mate, Ilex paraguariensis, are used to make medicine. Extracts of yerba mate are frequently found in herbal weight-loss dietary supplements, because yerba mate has been suggested in the management of obesity. Animal studies are reporting yerba mate's bark extract exhibited marked reduction in weight gain. Yerba mate consumption may also reduce LDL-cholesterol and therefore reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Anitoxidant, diuretic and stimulant properties are also reported.
DESCRIPTION: Indole-3-carbinol [I3C] is a substance found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and is also available as a dietary supplement and is promising agent for the prevention of estrogen-enhanced cancers. Indole-3-carbinol predictably alters endogenous estrogen metabolism which leads to enhanced formation of the inactive catechol estrogens and may thereby provide a novel dietary supplement for reducing cancer risk. Indole-3-carbinol and its dimer diindolylmethane are often found in testosterone booster in belief that they will decrease excess estrogen which may result if testosterone is increased above normal levels.
DESCRIPTION: Sausage Tree [Kigelia Africana] can be found in some pre-workout supplements as a stimulant. This may be due to one animal study that reported Kigelia Africana may be potential central nervous system stimulant. However, no clinical trials are to be found. Compared to caffein, sausage tree bark extract gave a shorter duration of sleeping time, indicating better stimulant properties. Another potentially beneficial effect for athletic performance is its analgesic [or painkiller] effect. Kigelia Africana was also reported to have antimicrobial as well as antioxidant effect.
DESCRIPTION: L-alanyl-L-glutamine [also known as Sustamine™] is the combination of glutamine and alanine. Glutamine supplementation alone has shown to enhance fluid and electrolyte absorption but gives inconsistent effects probably due to stability issues of glutamine in the gut. When glutamine is combined with alanine the ability to enhance electrolyte and fluid absorption appears to be greater than glutamine alone and it appears to have greater stability. Studies show that rehydrating with L-alanyl-L-glutamine minimizes the destructive effects of dehydration.
DESCRIPTION: L-arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid and it plays an important role in cell division, immune function, release of hormones and wound healing. Arginine is the immediate precursor of nitric oxide, urea, ornithine, and agmatine, it is also necessary for the synthesis of creatine. L-arginine is claimed to promote widening of blood vessels by increasing nitric oxide production in muscles during exercise, improving strength, power and muscular recovery. However studies contrast each other. L-arginine supplementation only seems to aid in nitric oxide synthesis when body is in L-arginine deficiency.
DESCRIPTION: Carnitine is biosynthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine. L-carnitine has been increasingly popular as a potential ergogenic aid because of its role in the conversion of fat into energy. Its claims for a weight loss agent are based on the assumption that oral supplementation increases intracellular concentrations of L-carnitine. This would increase the fat oxidation and reduce body's fat reserves. However, several studies have shown that oral carnitine ingestion does not change muscle carnitine levels and does not promote weight loss.
DESCRIPTION: L-Citrulline is an amino acid component of the urea cycle in the liver [along with Arginine and Ornithine]. Citrulline supplementation may facilitate the detoxification of ammonia, which acumulates during high-intensity exercise. Since it is easily taken up by the gut it seems more efficient than supplementation with arginine to provide arginine. Animal studies show increased anaerobic performance and repressed blood ammonia. Human studies show that oral citrulline malate supplementation [6 to 8 grams daily] increases aerobic and anaerobic performance.
DESCRIPTION: L-Lysine [or Lysine, Lysine HCL, L-2,6-diaminohexanoic acid] is an essential amino acid for humans. Amino acids like lysine are the building blocks of protein and are important for proper growth. Most people get enough lysine in their diet, although athletes may need more. Combination of Lysine and Arginine seem to increase growth hormone secretion especially at rest.
DESCRIPTION: Ornithine is an amino acid that plays a role in the urea cycle. Ornithine is used for improving athletic performance. Taken in conjunction with arginine it may increase growth hormone secretion. However, many studies that showed these results are seriously flawed and inappropriate. The use of specific amino acids to induce growth hormone release may not be very effective in strength-trained individuals consuming high-protein diets. Diets high in protein apparently increase basal growth hormone levels
DESCRIPTION: A tartrate is a salt or ester of the organic compound tartaric acid and it is used in some supplements to improve absorption of another substance. As food additives, tartrates are used as antioxidants, acidity regulators, and emulsifiers.
DESCRIPTION: L-Theanine [gamma-glutamylethylamide] is a unique amino acid contained almost exclusively in tea plants. Studies are reporting improved memory and learning abilities, lowered blood preasure, increased generation of alpha wave activity at rest and delaying exercise-induced fatigue. There are no known safety concerns despite its wide use.
DESCRIPTION: Tryptophan is an essential amino acid in the human diet. It is needed for normal growth in infants and for nitrogen balance in adults. Studies are reporting that orally ingested L-tryptophan [70 mg/kg] causes a slight rise in plasma human growth hormone. L-tryptophan supplementation may also decrease fatigue. Its deficiency causes a number of symptoms.
DESCRIPTION: Lepidium meyenii [Maca], grows in the central Andes of Peru at altitudes between 4000 and 4500 m and it has been proved to be effective in improving sexual desire in men, and sexual behavior in male rats and mice. Though studies show increased sexual desire maca failed to increase any of the hormones. Maca has been used lately in some testosterone boosters and is marketed as such but studies do not support these claims. There are three varieties of maca [black, red, and yellow] and black maca was the only on showing significant biological effects. Black maca may improves learning and memory.
DESCRIPTION: Leucic acid [alpha-hydroxyisocaproic acid or HICA] is leucine metabolite that is commonly claimed to increase muscle and strength, increased recovery from workouts, and reduced muscle soreness. There is currently not enough evidence about its effectiveness nor optimal dose, however, it seems to be moderately effective in reducing muscle soreness and increasing muscle mass.
DESCRIPTION: Malic acid [Hydroxybutanedioic acid, malate] is very versatile substance as it can be found in all sorts of products from makeup and skin care products as well as sport enhancing supplements. Athletes typically supplement with malic acid to improve performance. However, no direct evidence exists for this use in healthy population. Malic acid plays and active role in converting food into energy and is depleted during exercise.
DESCRIPTION: Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain and it helps regulate other hormones. It has been shown that oral melatonin ingestion at doses of 500 mg and 12 mg increases growth hormone in males.
DESCRIPTION: Methoxyisoflavone [5-Methyl-7-methoxyisoflavone] is a member of the flavonoids [isoflavones] family that are primarily found in soybeans and soy foods . Animal based research suggests that methoxyisoflavone supplementation promotes muscle and bone building without the side effects of hormone replacement therapy that would give similar results. Studies on humans do not support the claims of methoxyisoflavone as ergogenic aid.
DESCRIPTION: Milk thistle [also known as Silybum marianum], is one of the oldest and most researched plants in the treatment of alcoholic, toxic, and viral liver diseases. High quality studies mostly conclude that milk thistle versus placebo has no significant effect on mortality, complications of liver disease, or liver histology. Studies show no significantly increased risk of adverse effects.
DESCRIPTION: Mucuna pruriens is a tropical legume known as velvet bean, cowitch or cowhage. The seeds of Mucuna Pruriens have been traditionally used for treating male sexual dysfunction. Mucuna pruriens supplementation has been shown to increase circulating dopamine levels in healthy male controls, possibly through the main ingredient of L-Dopa [levodopa]. Some studies show that mucuna pruriens supplementation significantly improved testosterone, luteinizing hormone, dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline levels in infertile men. However, it is not know if its supplementation can increase testosterone levels in fertile healthy men but it sure does have the potential.
DESCRIPTION: Muira puama is as a “nerve tonic” and to treat various age-related conditions and can also be found in various supplements for its claimed sexual, physical and cognitive performance enhancements. Muira puama may inhibit acetylcholinesterase, which is considered a promising strategy for the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia.
DESCRIPTION: Chinese ginseng [Panax ginseng] is one of the most-studied herb for human physical performance. Possible Panax ginseng benefits include improved concentration, memory, thinking, physical stamina, and athletic endurance. Although many studies have been conducted with Panax ginseng it is still not clear whether it can realy improve physical performance. Ginseng may also have positive effect on learning and memory.
DESCRIPTION: Yohimbine is an alkaloid with stimulant and aphrodisiac effects found naturally in the bark of Pausinystalia yohimbe [Yohimbe]. Yohimbe is most often used to treat erectile dysfunction, sexual problems caused by medications for depression, and general sexual problems in both men and women. Researchers concluded in one study that yohimbine combined with resistance training does not significantly alter the body mass, muscle mass, or performance but it nonetheless appears to be suitable as a fat loss strategy in elite athletes. One other study reported that yohimbine supplementation significantly increased weight loss compared to placebo. However, its oral ingestion appears to be unsafe.
DESCRIPTION: Pedalium murex was traditionally used to treat male sexual dysfunction and impotency. There are very few scientific data available on the aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties of Pedalium murex. available animal studies lend support for its traditional use and offer a significant potential for further research. There is also some evidence for antioxidant, diuretic, anti-hyperlipidemic and hepatoprotective activity of Pedalium murex.
DESCRIPTION: Pfaffia paniculata [also known as Suma root or Brazilian Ginseng] is categorized as adaptogen as it helps body adapt to stressful conditions. There is insufficient evidence for the use of Suma root for treatment for sexual problems or its use as testosterone enhancing supplement. It is probably added due to its beta-ecdysterone content, which has been hyped up and later proven that is has no ergogenic effect. Although sexually sluggish or impotent rats seem to benefit from Suma root ingestion, while having no effect on sexually potent rats.
DESCRIPTION: Piperine is a naturally occurring compound of black pepper [Piper nigrum Linn] and long pepper [Piper longum Linn]. Piperine, an alkaloid [1-peperoyl piperidine], has the potential to enhance the serum levels nutrients in animals and humans. It has been shown that piperine can dramatically increase absorption of some nutrients. Piperine favorably stimulates the digestive enzymes of pancreas which enhances the digestive capacity and significantly reduces the gastrointestinal food transit time. Piperine can also attenuate free radicals and reactive oxygen species and has been shown to protect against oxidative damage in vitro.
DESCRIPTION: Plumbago zeylanica Linn [Chitrak] is used in Ayurvedic medicine to increase longitivity and vitality. The leaves of Plumbago zeylanica are used as aphrodisiac while roots are credited with potential therapeutic properties including antioxidant, hypolipidemic and central nervous system stimulant properties. Very few animal studies are showing some benefits and there are no clinical trials available.
DESCRIPTION: Polygonum multiflorum [also known as Fallopia multiflora, Chinese Knotweed, Tuber Fleeceflower] root extract is marketed as fatty acid synthase inhibitor. Fatty acid synthase is an enzymatic system that catalyzes [accelerates] fatty acid synthesis. Animal studies are showing that tuber fleeceflower root significantly decreased food intake in rat models. Researchersconfirmed that fatty acid synthase inhibition is the mechanism responsible for its weight reducing effects. Tuber Fleeceflower show promise for developement of nontoxic and low-cost weight reducing drug.
DESCRIPTION: The pomegranate [or Punica granatum] is a symbol of life, longevity, health, femininity, fecundity, knowledge, morality, immortality and spirituality. Scientific studies have laid a credible foundation for some of the traditional medical uses of the pomegranate. Pomegranate fruits are very rich in anthocyanin [potent antioxidant flavonoid]. Besides its antioxidant properties studies have shown that anthocyanin also has anti-carcinogenic potential.
DESCRIPTION: Potassium is an essential macromineral and very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Low potassium intakes are linked to weakness, fatigue, stomach disturbances, muscle cramps, etc while higher dietary potassium intake may reduce stoke risk.
DESCRIPTION: Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine [GlycoCarn] is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. It helps the body produce energy and is important for heart function, muscle movement, and many other body processes. Athletes are reporting favorable results regarding exercise performance. However, one of the earlier studies in sedentary subject didn't yield any performance enhancing effects. On the other hand some studies are reporting very favorable performance effects of Glycine propionyl-l-carnitine but are all sponsored by its manufacturer and patent holder.
DESCRIPTION: Proteins are molecules that consist of one or more chains of amino acids. They are a structural component of muscle and other tissues in the body. Number of investigations involving strength and endurance athletes have shown that exercise increases the protein and amino acid need. Many studies are showing that bodybuilders need to ingest from 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, for maximal muscle hypertrophy to occur. Whey has the highest biological value, thus being superior to both milk and casein, while casein forms a gel or cloth in the stomach which results in sustained release of amino acids.
DESCRIPTION: Psoralea corylifolia is used for the treatment of male sexual dysfunction. It is also reported that is may have diuretic and stimulant effects, which makes it appealing nutrient for sport enhancing supplements. Psoralidin isolated from the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia has been shown to have antidepressant-like effects.
DESCRIPTION: Quercetin is a type of plant-based chemical that is claimed to be a powerful antioxidant with positive effects on exercise endurance with faster recovery. Several laboratory studies noted quercetin may have anti-inflammatory properties and in vitro studies showed antioxidant properties but not in vivo. Furthermore, 1000 mg of Quercetin a day for three weeks failed to attenuate muscle damage. Quercetin is generally considered safe.
DESCRIPTION: Rauwolfia Serpentina is a flowering plant whose bark extract is often be found in performance enhancing supplements. Alkaloids found in Rauwolfia serpentina are used to treat high blood pressure [hypertension]. Rauwolscine and yohimbine are also found in this plant and are regarded as weight loss nutrients which work as antagonists to the alpha-2 adrenergic receptor. They are also partial agonists for the human 5-HT1A receptor which may induce anxiolytic and serotoin-like effect.
DESCRIPTION: Resveratrol [or trans-Resveratrol, 3,4′,5-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene] is a naturally occurring phytoalexine found in several plants. The interest in trans-Resveratrol increased when epidemiologic studies indicated an inverse correlation between red wine consumption and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Animal studies are reporting significantly increased time to exhaustion after resveratrol feeding. They also note a significant increase in serum concentrations of gonadotrophins and testosterone [up to 51.6%]. Resveratrol has been shown to extend the life span of some simple organisms. However, this effect was not evident in mammals.
DESCRIPTION: Rhodiola rosea [also known as rose root] is a plant that grows in arctic and cold regions of the world. Rhodiola rosea has been theorized to enhance endurance performance through a stimulating effect. Studies show that acute ingestion of Rhodiola rosea increases endurance capacity. It also appears to have a beneficial effect in enhancing sexual function.
DESCRIPTION: Ribose [D-Ribose] is an organic compound [3-carbon carbohydrate] that is involved in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate [ATP]. Manufacturers most often claim that it can improve endurance and energy, reduce muscle fatigue and increase post-workout recovery. Some studies have reported that ribose supplementation may rapidly replenish adenosine triphosphate stores and thereby improves exercise performance. However, most other studies do not support this. According to current research available it seems that ribose supplementation does not improve aerobic or anaerobic performance.
DESCRIPTION: Schisandra chinensis fruit has been traditionally used as a stimulating agent in cases of physical exhaustion, and to prevent fatigue. Anti-fatigue properties of Schisandra chinensis have been recognised by official medicine of the USSR in the early 1960′s. However, these studies were not controlled. Controlled animal studies show significantly increased time to exhaustion. Schisandra chinensis is also added to sport supplements as a cortisol suppressant. However, reported effects are minor. Other benefits of Schisandra chinensis may include stimulation of liver regeneration, prevention of liver injuries and hepatocarcinogenesis inhibition as well as lipid peroxidation.
DESCRIPTION: Saw palmetto, also known as Serenoa repens, is a small palm with fruits highly enriched with fatty acids and phytosterols [also beta-sitosterol]. In medicine it is most often used for treating of benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH]. Some preliminary studies also show promise for treating other medical conditions such as baldness.
DESCRIPTION: Sodium bicarbonate [or baking soda] is a white crystalline powder used for cooking, treating gastric reflux, to help adjust the acid and CO2 in muscle cells during exercise. Overall studies show that sodium bicarbonate supplementation increases performance. Sodium bicarbonate is used by some alternative practitioners for cancer treatment but this claim is not supported by science or clinical evidence. Some people have difficulty with their stomach tolerating bicarbonate as it may cause gastrointestinal distress
DESCRIPTION: Sodium phosphate is the mineral salt of sodium hydroxide and phosphoric acid. Exercise capacity may be reduced if mineral status is insufficient and supplementing with minerals has been generally accepted to improve exercise capacity. Sodium phosphate has been categorised as thermogenic agent as its supplementation is said to increase resting energy expenditure. Some studies are reporting improved endurance performance. Although this data is impressive, results are still equivocal.
DESCRIPTION: Sulfo-polysaccharide is a nutrient that is advertised to bind to myostatin and inhibit its activity in muscle. Sulfo-polysaccharide’s active ingredient is a brown sea algae known as cystoseira canariensis. Recent studies do not support any of the claims marketed.
DESCRIPTION: Swertia chirayita has found its way into bodybuilding supplement as a stimulant. However, studies show just the opposite. The main bioactive constituents of plant are xanthones, flavanoids, iridoids, secoiridoids glycosides. Swerchirin, a xanotone found in Swertia chirayita, was reported to have significant blood sugar lowering effect and hepatoprotective effect.
DESCRIPTION: Dandelion [Taraxacum officinale] is a herb which has a long history of usage as diuretic. This means the amount of urine is increased in order to ger rid of too much fluid. There are a few scientific studies on dandelion [as diuretic] but there is no good research on using dandelion as a diuretic in people.
DESCRIPTION: Taurine is an organic acid often found in some energy drinks. Animal studies are reporting beneficial effect of taurine ingestion on physical endurance. Human clinical trials noted significant increases in VO2max and cycle ergometer exercise time to exhaustion. Authors attributed the ergogenic effect to taurine’s antioxidant activity. Taurine and beta-alanine seem to counteract each other. Beta-alanine is a rival of taurine, since they both share the same transporter.
DESCRIPTION: Tribulus terrestris is an herbal nutritional supplement that is promoted to produce large gains in strength and lean muscle mass in 5-28 days. However, current evidence suggests that it does not enhance sports performance. Tribulus terrestris became widely known when Bulgarian Olympic athletes claimed that use of tribulus had contributed to their success. There are a few studies that show benefits for athletic performance from Tribulus terrestris ingestion but many other studies are not as promising. Side effects are rare but pregnant women should stay away from this supplement as animal studies show problems in fetal development.
DESCRIPTION: Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid and a a precursor to some hormones and neurotransmitters [epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine]. Therefore, tyrosine has been suggested to be ergogenic. Many studies failed to show performance improvement with tyrosine supplementation. However, tyrosine seems to improve workout in very warm conditions as heat may become limiting to the dopamine synthesis.
DESCRIPTION: Vinpocetine is clinically used drug for cerebrovascular disorders as well as age-related memory impairment. Vinpocetine is promoted as a vasodilator and as a nootropic supplement for the improvement of memory and cerebral metabolism. Many double-blind clinical trials have shown benefits from vinpocetine supplementation on memory, learning, and enhance performance on cognitive tests. Studies are showing increased blood circulation after vinpocetine ingestion, therefore, it is found in bodybuilding supplements as a vasodilator.
DESCRIPTION: Visnea mocanera also known as mocan is consumed fresh and in different drinks, due to their medicinal and nutritive properties. Its leaf extract can also be found in bodybuilding supplements. Studies conducted on mice suggest that the extract from the leaves and the syrup from the fruits appear to have a psychostimulant action. There are insufficient evidence to justify Visnea mocanera [mocan] use for improving athletic performance. Clinical trials should be conducted to better evaluate its efficiency as a stimulant in humans.
DESCRIPTION: Thiamine [Thiamin or vitamin B1], as thiamine pyrophosphate, plays an important role in the metabolism of both carbohydrate and the branched-chain amino acids. It has been noted that active individuals with poor nutritional status for a B-vitamin may have decreased ability to perform exercise at high intensities. Administration of thiamine [100 mg/day for 3 days] has proven to reduce serum lactate and improve resistance to fatigue. On the other hand, two studies suggest that thiamine supplementation does not influence physical activity or the levels of serum lactate. While supplementing with thiamine may be beneficial, its deficiency can lead to some serious troubles.
DESCRIPTION: Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2 is an easily absorbed, water-soluble micronutrient with a key role in maintaining health in humans and animals. It has been suggested that the need for many of the B vitamins increases during exercise because of their role as coenzymes in the oxidative processes of cells. Riboflavin is necessary for the synthesis of two important coenzymes that play an important role in the metabolism of glucose, fatty acids, glycerol, and amino acids for energy. Therefore, the needs for riboflavin have been linked to energy intake and expenditure. Studies are showing that supplementing with riboflavin does not improve training ability.
DESCRIPTION: Niacin falso known as vitamin B3, nicotinic acid and vitamin PP] is an organic compound composed of two structures: nicotinic acid and nicotinamide [also known as niacinamide and nicotinic acid amide]. Aerobic exercise and niacin or niacinamide are frequently used strategies for reducing serum triglycerides. Athletes show no evidence of niacin deficiency except those on restricted weight control diet.
DESCRIPTION: Vitamin C [L-ascorbic acid, ascorbate] is an essential nutrient for humans. It is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Bodybuilders often supplement with Vitamin C because intense muscular work can result in oxidative stress. Some studies are showing that administration of vitamin C significantly impaired endurance capacity probably because it prevents some cellular adaptations to exercise. Excess vitamin c may even delayed recovery. It is probably also inefficient for cortisol attenuation.
DESCRIPTION: Vitamin D is actually not an essential dietary vitamin as it can be synthesized in adequate amounts by most mammals exposed to sunlight. The body makes vitamin D when the skin is directly exposed to the sun. Some is suggesting an association of vitamin D [25-hydroxyvitamin D] with testosterone levels in men. Vitamine D deficit is associated with muscle weakness, whereas vitamin D supplementation may improve muscle function.
DESCRIPTION: Vitamin E is the name for a group of fat-soluble compounds [tocopherols and tocotrienols] with distinctive antioxidant activities. Most studies, but not all, support the hypothesis that vitamin E supplementation has a protective effect against exercise-induced oxidative damage. Vitamin E supplementation [900 IU alpha-tocopherol acetate daily for 6 months] falied to have any beneficial effect on endurance in well-trained swimmers. Vitamin E deficiency adversely affects skeletal muscle, and it can lead to muscle degradation in humans.
DESCRIPTION: Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin [like vitamin A, D, and E]. Vitamin K is also known as the clotting vitamin, because it is necessary for normal blood clotting and without it blood would not clot. Some studies have suggested the link between low blood levels of vitamin K and increased risk for some types of cance, though deficiency is very rare.
DESCRIPTION: Withania somnifera [also known as Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng] is used as a herb in Ayurvedic medicine and is claimed to have potent aphrodisiac, sedative, rejuvenative and life prolonging properties. Clinical studies are reporting significantly increases hemoglobin and red blood cell count. Ashwagandha is also reported to decrease in serum cortisol, increase serum testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels, increased in sperm count in infertile men and have nootropic-like effect in memory deficient mice.
DESCRIPTION: It is believed that Zinc possesses antioxidant properties, which may slow down aging of the skin and muscles of the body. However, studies differ as to its effectiveness. Zinc deficiency reduces circulating luteinizing hormone and testosterone concentrations, thereby causing male reproductive dysfunction. Zinc deficiency appears to inhibit some growth related hormones but its excessive use does not increase them above normal levels.