Tricking Supplements Volume V

April 9, 2014 Health

Supplements I think you should skip

Here are some supplements I’ve used that I will not use again.

ALCAR (Acetyl-L-carnitine)

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.

Alpha GPC

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.

Truenutrition Alpha GPC, Alpha GPC

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.

HMB

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.

Nicotine

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.

Walgreen's Nicotine Lozenges

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.

Splitting Nicotine lozenges

Split Nicotine lozenges

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.

Piracetam

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!)

Telekinesis

Telekinesis

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!!!!

Korean student

This Korean girl is more intelligent and more creative than you, and she doesn’t take Piracetam: she eats almost nothing but salty noodles and candies that are shaped like fruits and palm trees.

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.

Preworkout Formulations

Animal RAGE, 5-hour Energy, MAN Scorch, MHP Takeoff, ABB Speed Stack, BSN Endorush, SAN Tight.

Animal RAGE, 5-hour Energy, MAN Scorch, MHP Takeoff, ABB Speed Stack, BSN Endorush, SAN Tight.

  • 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…

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, Ephedrine, Synephrine Ephedrine

Synephrine sucks. Ephedrine doesn’t suck.

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.

Taurine

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.

Valerian root

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.

ZMA

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.

38 comments

  1. Armando says:

    i will never use niacin again, i had a friend that worked on a supplement store (gnc), she told me that it will help me to iimprove blood flow, improve fat loss and that i will actually feel it working, she gave me one bottle for free so i used it on a session, i just turned red, felt very uncomfortable and i feel that it did nothing for my workout. i will never use it again

  2. jan says:

    I will never use sleeping meds again.

    Also, over here you need a full psychological screening + prescription from a licensed doctor to get melatonin.

    I think I’d like melatonin.

    • Jon Call says:

      It’s nearly impossible to get the melatonin response we need with all the lights and screens that are pretty much unavoidable now. Our biological machinery was made for higher blood melatonin levels, and now just about the only way you can get the levels our bodies thrive on while living in this modern world is by pills, orange glasses, and black out curtains. Just my opinion.

  3. Roninflyer says:

    Juji did you ever tried NooPept?

  4. Kevin says:

    I use ZMA and really like it. I find my sleep has improved vastly since taking it.

    • Jon Call says:

      I actually think you’d have a more difficult time finding examples of people who recommend not supplementing with magnesium and zinc. They’re so important and the body thrives so well on elevated levels, for me, it’s hard to justify taking the gamble to simply get enough from diet. I agree since I use Magnesium and Zinc supplements my sleep is much better too… But they do so many other things. And they’re cheap… Always a staple for me.

  5. Deuce says:

    Does dosing matter when taking zinc and magnesium seperatly?

    • Jon Call says:

      I’m not sure what you mean. If you’re asking in comparison to ZMA: There is nothing magic about ZMA, it’s just zinc and magnesium powders mixed together and encapsulated. Buying separate Zinc and Magnesium supplements and taking them together would be the same thing. You can do some research of course to figure out how much Magnesium and Zinc you’d like to take. Usually I take about 500 mg of Magnesium and about 50 mg of Zinc every night together.

  6. Deuce says:

    You answered it 🙂 I never got into ZMA because all of the hype and marketing. A bottle I looked at said the portions had to be just right or it wouldnt work. Sounded like B.S. so I never took it. Never bought it seperatly either. I will give it a shot though. You take that on top of a multi?

  7. Jon Call says:

    I take Magnesium and Zinc right before I sleep. I take multiple vitamins (not a multi) in the morning. I take a multi-mineral in the morning and it has some zinc and magnesium in it, but I mainly take that for the calcium.

  8. Josiah says:

    My favorite supplement is heroin. I can fracture all the bones I want and not feel a thing which let’s me keep on tricking even with both my legs broken. (just kidding:))

  9. hans says:

    ON’s beta alanine. all i get is an itch behind my ears and in my balls. and it doesn’t even last for an hour. no noticeable increase in energy and focus. caffeine is so much better and cheaper.

  10. Pedro says:

    Juji, awesome post as always.

    About the Synephrine, even though you said you would never use it again I would like to add some info about it.

    Im a powerlifter so I’ve read that WADA prohibed list many times and synephire is not listed as prohibed, while Ephedine is. Thats why, sometimes, one might find it useful, since it’s a strong stimulant.

    • Jon Call says:

      Good point. Interesting it’s not prohibited. Do you know much about the metabolites of it? Do you know if ephedrine and synephrine have similar metabolites or if they test for the metabolites or just the base compound? Sometimes you test positive for something you weren’t taking because of its metabolites are similar to another drug.

  11. Taegashi says:

    I will never take glutamine again even though you made me and tried to make me vomit, which gloriously backfired on you lol

  12. john paul says:

    Juji have you taken modafinil or adrafinil?

    • Jon Call says:

      I have not tried either. I do not know what adrafinil is. I’ve read about modafinil and would like to try it, but have not seriously looked into a way of acquiring it…

  13. john paul says:

    It really helps me focus better. I am able to get good training sessions in. even if i havent slept well as i should. I practice and teach jeet kune do. I have a website you can order from. Its from the uk. I live in mississippi so it takes about 3-4 weeks to ship.

  14. john paul says:

    to clarify i was speaking of modafinil. adrafinil is similar to moda but not quite as potent.

  15. He believed that it caused too many problems, like ulcers with previous patients.
    Lower back pain medical term for which is
    ‘Lumbago’ affects at least once in a lifetime of almost more than 70% human beings.
    When a woman is expecting a baby, many changes can happen under her nose.

  16. Arian says:

    Anyone here ever take yohimbe?
    I have only taken it twice and both experiences were very uncomfortable.
    It seems to have this effect where I cannot sleep for 30 hours and during training I’m overcome with a sense of what I can only describe as “clammy-lightness anxiety” , I feel cold, wet, and incredibly light… and incredibly anxious.

    • Jon Call says:

      The half life of Yohimbine is actually very short. It should only last an hour or two. But yes, I’ve felt what you describe as cold, wet, incredibly light and anxious from it… That’s actually a fantastic way to describe Yohimbine overdose. But that was when I was taking 100 mg of it at once in the morning. I “thought” I was taking 20 mg, which is a more appropriate dose. My measuring “scoop” was not accurate and I was actually taking a ton (which I confirmed on a scale and it registered over 100 mg). I didn’t realize it was the Yohimbine causing me to feel this until I combined with Ephedrine one morning before training (you are NOT supposed to combine them both) and I felt what you described severely amplified to the point I actually considered dialing 911. lol.

      Dropped back down to 20 mg and felt similarly ill, but not nearly as bad. So yeah, not a big fan of yohimbine myself. I should have added it up to this list above haha!

  17. Arian says:

    I just looked and the capsules I had taken were 451mg each! At least I know now to do proper on dosages before hand, haha!

  18. khak says:

    there is a difference between yohimbe and yohimbINE. i’m guessing you have the prior, the latter typically comes in 2mg capsules IIRC.

    • Jon Call says:

      Kevin is right. Thanks Kevin. Mine was not Yohimbe, it was Yohimbine HCL from the vendor Lift mode on amazon.com. If encapsulated it is usually sold in 5mg Yohimbine per capsule or less as Kevin said, Or it is the raw source Yohimbe. ..

  19. o says:

    Hey jujimufu have you heard of 500 days of tricking. It is basically a new thing going around saying if you session once everyday for500 days you will make immense tricking gains. I just wanted to know your opinion of it.

  20. Dennis says:

    Hey Juji what´s your opinion about detoxing supplements or tea?
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-detox-scam-how-to-spot-it-and-how-to-avoid-it/

    • Jon Call says:

      I think it’s best to focus on the organ system’s integrity. Scott (the author of the link you posted) pointed out in the article:

      “the human body has evolved a remarkable system of defenses and mechanisms to defend against, and remove unwanted substances. The skin, kidneys, lymphatic system, our gastrointestinal system, and most importantly, the liver make up our astoundingly complex and sophisticated intrinsic detoxification system”

      I believe our job is to determine what benefits and hurts those systems, so we can make choices that keep them healthy and strong, so they can continue doing their job. That’s the core of “detoxing” in my opinion.

  21. J says:

    I will never use the preworkout “insane” again it didn’t improve my strength, lean me out, or even give me a pump, I felt cracked out and irritable after the gym. And it didn’t even taste good. Normally I don’t give a shit about taste, but if I’m going to take shit it might as well taste good. Not cheap either.

    • Ladainian says:

      I hate the way google displays results when I type. For example when I searching for "Kids Having Tasmturn" google auto-filled and displayed results for "Kids Having Sex". Do you people not see a problem with this?? I have to use a different site because people would think I'm a freak if they had seem some of the results displayed by your site.

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