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Biggest Supplement Mistakes Wasting Your Time & Money

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The health and fitness world is plagued by stupid supplements that simple don’t work.

Based on nearly a decade of experience and first hand experience researching supplements in a lab, I would say over 90% of supplements are a complete waste of time!

The problem is clever marketing, fake before and after testimonials and affiliate marketing tricking most consumers into wasting their hard earned cash!

But fear not, i’ve got your back and unlike most, I’m not affiliated to any specific supplement company. Ultimately, I want to help educate you into making the most educated and informed decision, saving you time and money while of course, advancing your results!

Here are some of the most common supplement mistakes I see:

Supplement Mistake 1: Incorrect Dosing

A very common but easily rectifiable supplement mistake is taking the wrong dose.

I’ve spoken previously about the importance of supplementing with the right dose, particularly as many supplements are only beneficial when a certain threshold or level is met. In other words, even if you are taking 75% of the recommended dose for example, taking 15g instead of the recommended 20g serving, sometimes this can still elicit no effect and be a complete waste of time!

Many people believe that it must be better to take some of the ingredient or supplement than none at all. While this may be true for other things such as exercise, it is rarely true in the supplement industry, based on physiological mechanisms I’ve researched over the years.

Without boring you with a whole post on complex metabolism and science, your cells and body is basically receptive to a signal. If the strength or level of that signal is not met, your body won’t respond. This is why a lot of the time, if your supplement is under dosed by 10, 20, or 50%, you see absolutely no better.

In other words, for a lot of supplements and ingredients, you better get the dose right, or not bother at all.

Supplement Mistake 2: Stupid Dosing by Stupid Companies

This is one of my biggest bugbears with some of the supplement companies.

Several “leading” supplement companies miss sell supplements to uneducated buyers who believe they are buying a wonderful tub, full of fantastic ingredients which will provide them with a host of magical benefits (I wish!).

In reality, there is often very little of the key ingredient in these products and certainly not enough to elicit all said benefits, which as discussed above, is vitally important.

The saddest part is that research and development departments within the supplement companies are often well aware of the misrepresentation they are selling,  they simply don’t care. As with all other industries, there is a lot of garbage companies around just trying to make money and not caring about you, the consumer.

In the supplement world it’s all to easy to scam you. Think about it logically, if you buy most other products you can physically feel or see if it doesn’t work.  Clothes, electronics, cars, laptops, smart phones etc, if they mess up or don’t work, it’s very obvious. However, unless you are an expert yourself, testing your blood levels in the lab, you have zero idea or indicator if the supplement works.

Sure, you may take it and believe that it’s boosting performance or helping you lose fat but that isn’t even true. This is known as the placebo effect, i.e. the power of belief. They have even tested this, giving lab participants steroids (which were actually injections of water – haha!) and the participants like tripled their gym progress.

Why? The power of belief.

Be very careful when purchasing supplements, particularly supplement blends or proprietary blends (which I don’t recommend) as these are likely to be under dosed and a waste of time.

In fact, out of the hundreds of companies available there are only a small handful, possibly less than 5% that have supplement blends using all the correct ingredients and dosages.

This is why I ALWAYS recommend Kaged Muscle products and as I said,  I’m not affiliated to them nor do I receive commission or any financial reward from them, I just truly believe they’re the best supplements on the market who care about using the correct dose and high quality ingredients (which as you can see, I am very passionate about!).

Rather than buying into the latest brands just because they are marketed well, stick with reputable companies that use high quality ingredients and efficacious doses or, don’t bother at all!

Supplement Mistake 3: Taking Too Many Supplements

I bet nearly all of us reading this have fallen in to the trap of taking too many supplements, myself included!

As discussed, it’s very easy to continuously purchase all these new supplements and products as they come onto the market, especially as they are so well marketed these days.

Over the years working as a researcher the quantity and variance in my supplement protocol has decreased as my knowledge has increased.

While this may sound like the opposite to what you may expect, it’s because as my research knowledge has expanded I have come to realize that 90% of the “common” supplements people use or recommend are in fact a waste of time and money.

In addition to taking too many supplements people also take too high a quantity. While this is most obviously a health risk (i.e. an overdose) it is also a huge waste of your hard earned cash.

The biggest advice I can give you is to remember that supplements only make up a small 5% percent of your physique transformation, instead really focus your energy, time and money on  getting all the other more important aspects in order, such as your diet, exercise and recovery right first.

supplement mistake

Supplement Mistake 4: Timing Your Intake Wrong

The final supplement mistake that I’m going to discuss today is the issue of timing.

This is a broad mistake that can cover many aspects of supplementation. One of the biggest examples here is people taking pre workout immediately as they hit the gym when most of the ingredients actually take 60-90 minutes to kick in or have a positive effect.

As most workouts are only 60-90 minutes in length, you can quickly see that the pre workout could only start to kick in as you leave the gym.

Another error with timing is the combination of different supplements or supplements with food. While this doesn’t apply to all supplements, some supplements absorption rate can be increased or, most importantly even decreased when taken with food.

Of course this is an important point because if you take a supplement with food when it can’t be absorbed fully you’re just wasting your time and money. In contrast, if you’re taking a supplement that’s been shown to increase absorption by 50% with food you would obviously want to do this, as it could have double the effect (or allow you to use half as much).

In addition, certain supplements may work by attaching themselves to the same receptor sites within a muscle or part of the body. What this means is, if you take two supplements that have a similar mechanism and work through the same receptors you may end up saturating that receptor and basically overloading it.

When this occurs, it often means that one or even both of the supplements you’re taking may provide no benefit because they can’t function properly or get into the area / cell that they need to be in order to elicit a positive effect.

supplement mistake

Stick With What Works, Ditch the Rest

After all of these points, the most obvious and important is sticking with the supplements that actually work.

For those of you that take a lot of supplements, I’m very confident that a few of those in your list have no documented research supporting their use and therefore are likely to just be a waste of your time and money.

You can learn about some popular supplements that actually have very poor or even no research in this blog post: 6 Supplements Wasting Your Time & Money

One of the other biggest mistakes is buying a blended supplement with multiple ingredients, unless you opt for a trusted brand such as Kaged Muscle. However, for the most part you are just wasting your time as the blend will contain multiple ingredients all under dosed (sometimes only providing a tiny 10% of which is actually needed) therefore not providing any benefit.

Depending on your goals and current fitness status, a well designed supplement protocol can certainly further enhance fat loss and muscle building, as well as improve overall health.

The advanced supplement protocols in the 90 Day Bikini Transformation Program certainly help members transform their physique and the efficacious use and dose is supported by research.

However, as I continually emphasize, when starting out it’s important to get the basics of diet, sleep and exercise right first before starting to use supplements. You can learn more about to optimize your program for rapid fat loss HERE.

About the author

Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN

Rudy has a 1st class BSc in Exercise, Nutrition & Health and a Masters in Exercise & Nutrition Science from the University of Tampa. Rudy currently works as a Human Performance Researcher, Sports Nutritionist and Physique Coach. Over 7 years he has helped over 500 people around the world achieve long last physique transformations.

He now works closely with a variety of professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, USA Athletics, World Triathlon Gold Medalists, Hollywood Celebrities and IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. If you would like to get in contact or work with Rudy please contact him on social media.

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