Anabolic supplements are a group of supplements that have the alleged and often unproven ability to increase muscle mass in bodybuilding. Anabolic complexes vary significantly in composition. They can contain plant extracts, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, creatine, etc. Manufacturers of sports nutrition often exploit the term «anabolic complex» for commercial purposes, claiming their supplements to be associated with this group.
In about 90% of cases, anabolic complexes are marketing shams, not only failing to cause the action claimed by the manufacturer but not causing any action at all. Independent studies have proved it, but they continue to be successfully sold, as buyers do not have reliant information support. Be extremely vigilant when choosing an anabolic complex, carefully study the composition, checking the information for each component, collect all the possible data on the supplement from independent sources and consult with a sports nutrition expert.
Even such giants of sports nutrition as MHP, MuscleTech, BSN, and others produce anabolic complexes that do not affect muscle mass or athletic performance. As a matter of fact, the term «anabolic complex» sounds kind of fishy, and should already alert the buyer. The point is that even ordinary food has anabolic properties. The more we eat, the more anabolism prevails compared to catabolism, so formally, we can say that, say, full English breakfast is also an anabolic complex.
Truly active anabolic agents, as a rule, are subject to strict control and are not for free distribution. It is the reason why manufacturers resort to using various plants, herbs, and food components that, according to some (quite often – unreliable) information, may be effective.
It has been proven again and again that there is no single medication or substance that would be highly effective and, at the same time, have no side effects whatsoever. Therefore, think twice before you buy another «wonder-powder» that does not have a single side effect.
Anabolic Supplements – Analysis Of Effectiveness
Experts identified the most popular ingredients included in anabolic complexes and analyzed their effectiveness based on independent research, scientific literature, and athlete reviews. Take into consideration that most of the research that covers these supplements is not legitimate.
Following ingredients from plant components are often used:
- Tribulus terrestris – increases testosterone production (effectiveness in humans has not been proven), enhances libido
- At least they claim it, here is an article that debunks Testosterone Busters
- Eurycoma longifolia – effective. Increases testosterone production and enhances libido;
- Forskolin – effective (able to reduce fat mass, in addition to anabolic effect);
- Protodioscin – the active substance of the plant Tribulus terrestris, which means that its effectiveness is debatable;
- Icariin – effective;
- Aspartic Acid – effective;
- Ecdysterone – effectiveness is not proven;
- Methoxyisoflavone – not effective;
- Avena Sativa (Oats) – not effective;
- Phytosterols – not effective;
- Sitosterol – not effective;
- Uncaria tomentosa – not effective;
- Common hop (Humulus lupulus) – not effective;
- Derivatives of valerian – not effective;
- Macuna Pruriens – not effective in terms of anabolism. However, it’s able to enhance libido due to the action on the dopamine system;
- Griffonia simplicifolia – not effective;
- Fenugreek – effective (in the study, lean muscle mass increased by 3% in 8 weeks)
- Kudzu (Pueraria lobota) – not effective.
- Omega 3 – effective;
- Arachidonic Acid – effective;
- Phosphatidylserine – effective;
- Choline – effective.
- 6-OXO – effective;
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) – not effective;
- ZMA – not effective.
Besides, amino acids and creatine are often included in anabolic complexes – however, it’s better to purchase them separately. It’s just cheaper that way.
Effective Anabolic Complexes
Analysis of the composition and reviews allowed for selecting the most effective anabolic complexes:
- T-Bomb II by MHP
- HyperTEST by Axis Labs
- T-911 by Legal Gear
- Stenandiol 3.0 by German American Technologies
- Animal M-Stak by Universal Nutrition
- Axis-HT by BSN
- Vitrix by Nutrex