The Scary World of Workout Supplements

So, when I first read about the IBJJF testing for steroids and immediately went to the Anti-Doping Agency’s website to see if caffeine was a prohibited substance (whatever, it was a legitimate concern), there was a video on site with an athlete who warned against illegal substances in supplements. And at first I scoffed a bit. I thought it was a rare event, if possible at all.

After reading this article on the death of soldiers who used the supplement Jack3d though, I’m not so sure. I knew the FDA rules were more lax when it came to supplements, but jesus, this is ridiculous. I know everyone is all about the brand new product to train harder, faster, stronger and all but there needs to be some testing done, and maybe a few more rules when it comes to the regulation of the ingredients that are put into these supplements.

And to put it crudely, it’s hard to sell a product to someone who’s dead.



Filed under bjj

3 responses to “The Scary World of Workout Supplements

  1. I’m not sure about the circumstances with the “Jack3d” incident, but many times supplements have warnings that are often ignored. Especially by young men. When supplements include stimulants (pre workout supplements have tons of them), they have warnings about the caffeine and other the compounds in them. This is to steer you away from using high doses or drinking coffee and sodas on top of using these supplements.

    Years ago there was the fat burning “ECA” stack. Ephedrine, Caffeine and Aspirin. This supplement worked very well but had to be used carefully. People started dropping like flies from this stuff. Several professional baseball and football players had deaths which linked up to the use of ECA. Our typical “go big or go home”, “more is better” American kind of attitude mixed with a complete disregard to the warnings on the labels. Using higher doses of the supplements along with consuming lots of coffee and sodas led to people during exercising. The deaths were caused by a combination of things that correlated with dangerous levels of caffeine, dehydration, their body’s overheating.

    The FDA does a pretty piss poor job. . . no doubt about that. This is why people need to take more time to research and understand the mixtures they are putting in their body.

    Sorry for the long rant comment.

  2. MC

    I clearly remember when ECA was killing people. It was a notable ingredient in something called hydroxycut, among other supplements. The physical readiness test at that time involved a weigh-in immediately followed by a run, first thing in the morning. It was logical for a service member concerned about passing the PRT to use hydroxycut, a legal OTC supplement, hand in hand with dehydration, coffee, and exertion (normal and daily things), in an effort to pass. Needless to say, a number landed in the hospital or worse. I expect wrestlers had a relatively high casualty rate too, seeing as “used carefully” and “product specifically for cutting weight” are obviously incompatible concepts for a substance with the drawbacks Chewy describes. When used for its intended purpose, Hydroxycut was highly likely to put you in intensive care.

    It’s worth remembering that a “natural” and readily available product isn’t necessarily good for you. Cocaine used to be in Coca Cola, after all. It is a natural plant extract. It can probably enhance some people’s physical abilities temporarily. But it sure ain’t good for you.

  3. Thanks for the article link. Great points made. I’ve been using supplements since the bodybuilding days of the late 80’s and 90’s. I still remember when Met-RX came in two different canisters and the bars literally tasted like chalk. The pre-workout supplement though is something I still use. Ephedrine – still the best. I’ve also used Jackd. Maybe because I’ve been using supplements so long I’m a little oblivious to their side-effects. I might have to re-think that, forego the pre-workout supplement and stick with the “red-eye” (coffee with a shot of espresso).

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