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Table 3 Categorization of the Ergogenic Value of Performance Enhancement, Muscle Building, and Weight Loss Supplements

From: ISSN Exercise & Sport Nutrition Review: Research & Recommendations

Category Muscle Building Supplements Weight Loss Supplements Performance Enhancement
I. Apparently effective and generally safe • Weight gain powders
• Creatine
• HMB (untrained individuals initiating training)
• Low-calorie foods, MRPs and RTDs that help individuals maintain a hypocaloric diet
• Ephedra, caffeine, and salicin-containing thermogenic supplements taken at recommended doses in appropriate populations (now banned by FDA)
• Water and sports drinks
• Carbohydrate
• Creatine
• Sodium phosphate
• Sodium bicarbonate
• Caffeine
II. Possibly effective • Postexercise carbohydrate and protein
• BCAA
• Essential amino acids (EAA)
• Glutamine
• Protein
• HMB (trained subjects)
• High-fiber diets
• Calcium
• Phosphate
• Green tea extract
• Pyruvate/DHAP (at high doses)
• Postexercise CHO/PRO
• Glutamine
• EAA
• BCAA
• HMB (trained subjects)
• Glycerol
• Low doses of ephedrine/caffeine (now banned by FDA)
III. Too early to tell • α-Ketoglutarate
• α-Ketoisocaproate (KIC)
• Ecdysterones
• Growth hormone releasing peptides (GHRP) and secretogues
• HMB (trained athletes)
• Isoflavones
• Sulfo-polysaccharides (myostatin inhibitors)
• Zinc/magnesium aspartate (ZMA)
• Appetite suppressants and fat blockers (Gymnema sylvestre, chitosan)
• Thermogenics (synephrine, thyroid stimulators, cayenne pepper, black pepper, ginger root)
• Lipolytic nutrients (phosphatidyl choline, betaine, Coleus forskohlii, 7-keto DHEA)
• Psychotropic Nutrients/Herbs
• Medium chain triglycerides
• Ribose
IV. Apparently not effective and/or dangerous • Boron
• Chromium
• Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA)
• Gamma oryzanol (ferulic acid)
• Prohormones
• Tribulus terrestris
• Vanadyl sulfate (vanadium)
• Yohimbe (Yohimbine)
• Chromium (nondiabetics)
• CLA
• HCA
• L-Carnitine
• Pyruvate (at low doses)
• Herbal diuretics
• High doses of ephedrine/caffeine
• Inosine
• High doses of ephedrine/caffeine