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Anybody ever try "supplements"?(23 posts)

Anybody ever try "supplements"?LAIrish
Sep 27, 2001 10:17 AM
I'm a 50yr old, overweight, newbie who's trying to lose weight and become a decent cyclist. I'm watching what I eat (trying "the zone" thing), have given up drinking (not easy for an Irishman), and am riding regularly. (I've lost about 10 lbs and 5 or 6 percentage points of body fat in the last two weeks.) A weight-lifter acquaintance suggested that I use Xenadrine, a "supplement" consisting of an epehedra and caffeine "stack," along with a diet of mostly protein mix to lose weight quickly. When I said I didn't like the idea of spending my days hyped on stimulants, he replied that these are just "metabolic enhancements." I.e., your body does what it normally does, but at a slightly enhanced rate.

Also, another buddy gave me a "men's fitness" magazine that had an ad for "Oxydrene," which supposedly enhances the absorption of oxygen into the muscles. It was advertised as a way to keep the "fat burning stack" from decreasing testosterone and oxygen absorption. But is also sounds like it would be handy for cyclists.

Does anybody here have any experience with these sorts of things? Any insight or advice would be appreciated.
re: Anybody ever try "supplements"?cioccman
Sep 27, 2001 10:28 AM
Done all sorts of stuff. Gainer, creatine, etc. All in all, over the long run, a waste of money.
re: Anybody ever try "supplements"?raboboy
Sep 27, 2001 10:33 AM
Just keep up with riding. The only thing you may want to take is a good multi-vitamin.
My Two Cents: Stay Away From That Stuff...Greg Taylor
Sep 27, 2001 10:51 AM
...especially "supplements" that use stimulents to "burn" fat. They can put a load on your heart (increased pulse, blood pressure, etc.) that can be dangerous, especially for a person just finding their fitness.

Your best bet for losing weight is to count calories and keep riding, and go slow with the weight loss. There are some excellent guides/computer programs where you can calculate the number of calories that you burn per day based on size and activity level, and then tailor your diet accordingly. Hunt around on -- there was a feature by Chris Brewer called the "Little Green Book" (or something like that) that discussed how to do this.
Amen brother! This junk kills fit young men, we ain't young. nmMB1
Sep 27, 2001 10:56 AM
Try this...jaybird
Sep 27, 2001 11:16 AM
I took some stuff called "Diet Fuel" and "Ripped Fuel" neither one did a whole lot except keep me hyper all day. I didn't notice a significant weight loss from either one. Be careful when you buy something from a nutriton store, a lot of the people that work there are not trained well enough to provide solid ubiased advice. Also many of the supplements do not have to validate their claims or even be approved by the FDA.

If you are still in the process of getting to a core fitness level, go look for Bill Philip's book called "BODY FOR LIFE" It worked very well for me. It is not a "diet" but it promotes more of a lifestyle change and he gives you some really good advice that is not hard to follow. One caveat is the meal replacement shakes that he recomends. He will tell you to buy myoplex brand shakes but in reality you can use slimfast, power bars, or any other brand of a meal replacement shake.

The important thing to remember too much to fast is as unhealthy as being overweight.

Good Luck.
More Info....MB1
Sep 27, 2001 11:25 AM
Everything can be done the easy way or the hard way.Len J
Sep 27, 2001 11:08 AM
The Question is, which way do you want to go & how much risk do you want to take (& how patient are you willing to be). I guarantee you that if you ride regularly, train appropriatly and eat knowledgably. that you will not only lose weight, you will not damage your body, you will feel great about yourself and you will maintain your lower weight. I also guarantee you that this will not happen as fast as you want. If you want it faster, you have to cut corners (IMO). Suppliments are a cut corner. As someone (I think it was peleton) said in a previous post, If you don't know the long term implications of taking something, why take it?

My .02
I also admire that you have accepted that it's never to late to start a healthy lifestyle. I encourage you to stay at it, it is worth it.

Follow All of the Above AdviceJon
Sep 27, 2001 11:39 AM
Ephedrine is a central nervous system stimulant. Stay away from ALL CNS stimulants. They are
inherently dangerous. Second, the body over time will make its own metabolic rate adjustments in
response to the increased workloads you place on it. Artificial "assists" will make you prone to relapses
and unwanted weight gains when you come off the stimulant.

With respect to oxygen uptake, again, one of the very significant training adaptations you'll experience
is an increased efficiency and capacity with respect to O2 utilization. There are no shortcuts. So
keep on riding. VO2 max., fractional O2 utilization, heart stroke volume, increased vascularization
of muscle---all these and many more adaptations will occur over time. You'll lose weight, you'll
get stronger, and you'll get faster naturally.

Finally, most North Americans, and virtually all athletes, consume far more protein than they need.
So save your money and stay away from protein supplements. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, burn
more calories over a period of time than you consume and everything else will take care of itself.
Hope this helps. Happy hammering!
Sep 27, 2001 12:11 PM
The Green Book over at is an excellent primer on calculating your
net energy balance. Great referral from one of the above posts!
re: Anybody ever try "supplements"?Smo
Sep 27, 2001 12:34 PM
Save your money. Most of these supplements are nothing more than hype. If you want to spend money, try Dr. Moreys book "Nutrifitness" -, found on His diet advice is right on the money. He is a former Bodybuilder, and an avid cyclist.
See the news report in the messagebikedodger
Sep 27, 2001 1:12 PM
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The National Football League has expanded its doping ban to include supplements containing ephedrine and other high-risk stimulants, it said Thursday.

``These substances present significant health issues for athletes and others engaged in strenuous physical activity,'' the NFL said in a memo to all 31 teams outlining the expansion of its ban against anabolic steroids and related substances.

Testing and discipline for violations will be decided after further discussions with specialists and with the NFL Players Association, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said.

``This strengthening of our policy responds to the recent introduction of new substances, as well as new evidence addressing the risks associated with certain products already on the market,'' Tagliabue said in a statement.

The NFL statement said it was banning the use or distribution of ephedrine alkaloids and ephedrine (also known as Ma Huang, Bishop's Tea, and Chi Powder), methylephedrine, norephedrine (also known as phenylpropanolamine), pseudo-ephedrine, and norpseudo-ephedine.

Also banned were phentermine and fenfluramine/dexfenfluramine.

NFL clubs and players are also prohibited from any unauthorized endorsement deals with supplement makers or distributors.

Tagliabue noted there had been a dramatic increase in recent years in the production of products claiming to enhance athletic performance or fitness and that ``dietary supplements'' can be marketed without governmental review for safety.

Tagliabue said the league alerted teams last December that ''there is growing evidence linking ephedrine to fatal heart rhythm difficulties, strokes, thermo-regulatory problems, seizures and other serious conditions.''

Ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine were first put on the International Olympic Committee (news - web sites) (IOC)'s list of banned drugs after the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

At first athletes who tested positive for ephedrine were given automatic bans, but the penalties have since been reduced as it is found in many over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, asthma sprays and in some food supplements.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced this month that former world champion sprinter Ato Boldon of Trinidad had tested positive for ephedrine but would not be suspended.
Worked for meazdave
Sep 27, 2001 1:16 PM
I have been using Xenedrine and cycling for 5 months now, and I have dropped 30 pounds (220 to 190). Other than being a stimulant, it's a great appetite suppressant. I would avoid taking it directly before riding (especially when first starting on it), because it definitely elevates your heart rate. It is probably less of an issue with me being 25, but a 50 year-old heart might not be able to take the increase in heart rate from exercise and effedrine at the same time. For me, I noticed about a 15-20 beat per minute elevation on rides in which I took Xenedrine before hand.
thats disgustingishmael
Sep 28, 2001 9:10 AM
sounds like a bad idea, stops you from riding and makes your heart go fast
Let me add to the chorusTrent in WA
Sep 27, 2001 3:17 PM
I'm 38 years old, a fairly small-framed 5'10". I ran long distance when I was in my teens and twenties, biked recreationally through college and graduate school, and prayed for the day when I could gain enough weight to fit into medium clothes, since I looked pretty skeletal. At the age of 35, I fell in love with the woman I'd (blissfully) marry and started puttin' on the Love Fat, ballooning from a still pretty lean 155 to the porky 188 that I was at the beginning of this summer. My "fat" jeans were starting to fit me more like the black stovepipes I wore when I played in punk bands. I decided that enough was enough and started following the dieting recommendations in the Lance Armstrong training book, going so far as to weigh my cereal in the morning. It worked like a charm: I lost 23 pounds in about 8 weeks, got in as good shape as I've been in since high school, and celebrated by riding my first metric century this past weekend.

If you follow the recommendations in the LA book, or on the LA website, you will lose weight. You will not lose it dramatically at first, but you will lose it steadily, without artificially and perhaps dangerously amping up your heart rate, and will feel good throughout the process.

Hope this helps,
Great Testimonial!!! (nm)Jon
Sep 27, 2001 4:10 PM
Beware rapid weight loss generally ...Humma Hah
Sep 27, 2001 5:00 PM
... there are products on the market now which actually do cause higher calorie burn and more weight loss. They scare me.

Rapid weight loss has been shown, in repeated studies, to cause yo-yo weight gain cycles. I have not seen anything to indicate that it is different with the suppliments. Basically, rapid weight loss causes the body to think it is starving. The body switches on machinery which causes rapid weight GAIN at the first opportunity.

You want to adopt a healthy life style, and let the weight come off slowly. I've been losing a steady 2 lbs a month since January, just eating sensibly and riding like a lunatic.

I do take multivitamins, vitamin E, fish oil, and glucosamine/chondroitin, in modest doses. The fish oil helps my cholesterol/HDL/LDL, and the G/C helps my arthritis. I'm not totally down on suppliments, just down on rapid weight loss.
NO YOU DIDN'T!!!!!!!!!!Kerry Irons
Sep 27, 2001 5:31 PM
There is NO WAY you lost 10 lbs/5-6% body fat in two weeks. 10 lbs of lost fat = 35,000 calorie deficit = 2500 calories per day. If you were riding 30 miles a day and had a normal metabolism, you'd burn 2500 calories per day, total. They only way you could run that kind of deficit would be on a water only fast. You may have lost a bunch of water, but there's no way you lost that much real weight. If you could raise your basal metabolism by 25% (an outrageous amount!!) it would increase your calorie burn by 400 calories per day, and if you didn't eat any more, you could lose 4 of fat lbs in 5 weeks. The only way you can lose weight is to eat less than you burn. Burning more does no good if you eat more too.
Been there, done that.look271
Sep 27, 2001 5:42 PM
I used "ripped force" years ago. Made me lean, but I was constantly buzzed. Creatine? Did that too. Really affected my cycling (in a bad way.) Stick to eating in the "Zone". In the long run,. it'll work better. I lost about 20lbs eating by zone principles and have kept the weight off now for at least 8 yrs. Health wise? I'm great. Lower total cholesterol, higher HDL (good cholesterol), fewer colds. Thses guys will hit you with the carbo preaching. Don't listen. The Zone works just great for me and I've been riding for as long as I've been on the Zone.Perhaps it will work for you.
Not necessaryfishwheel
Sep 28, 2001 8:38 AM
I just can't get myself to use anything I have questions about the safety of when it is unnecessary. I'm sure you'll here lots of people tell you how well it worked for them, but I am way too concerned about possible side effects. I lost a lot of weight on this crazy new age plan, I have since calimed a patent for. And I call it diet and exercise ; ). I lost 60 lbs. in about a year w/o a whole lot of effort. Everything I've read by experts not trying to sell a specific diet plan or book says you need to change your lifestyle, which is pretty easy cause riding a bike is so much fun and burns lts of calories. MY advice would be to keep track of your weight so you can see how much progress you're making and a journal of your food (count calories whatever). When you're losing 1 pund a week it seems like it isn't enough, but when you've lost 30 lbs. in 7 months that been carrying around for ten years it does semm like you're making progress. By the way after losing the 60 my weight has remained stable. I now get all my exercise just by having fun and getting to workeveryday. I was never to keen onthe diet thing and eat whatever I can get my hands on.
Trying it nowmoneyman
Sep 28, 2001 2:07 PM
I began taking Xenadrine a week ago. I will take it, as recommended, unthil the bottle is gone. My plan is to drop about twenty pounds quickly, then keep it off with riding. I was injured in a MTB wreck and was inert for the better part of three weeks. I put on some weight that is difficult to take off. And with winter coming on, I knew it would just get harder. After losing the weight quickly, I am very confident that I will be able to keep it off through diet and exercise. I dropped 40 pounds about four years ago by eliminating fat in my diet and exercising more, and I have pretty much kept it off. However, I would like to drop another 20 pounds to make my hill climbing a little easier. I am at the point where I cannot exercise more, and I am already on a healthy diet. Four years ago, I went from zero exercise to lots. Now I ride 100+ miles a week, and I still fight the weight.

I was blessed (?) with a linebacker's body and a climbers ambitions. The two don't mix very well, but my plan is to make the Xenadrine work for me. One bottle, then stop.

Before I started, I was pretty leary, as I had heard all the problems about ephedra and ephadrine. A young man in Cheyenne, where I live, died from an overdose of ephedra this past summer. But he was taking huge amounts of it. From all I have read, it is like any other type of drug/herb/medicine: safe when taken at prescribed levels. That means two in the morning and two in the afternoon. And I am not suffering from jitters, either.

If you do this, you'll want to really limit additional caffeine intake. I didn't the first day, and I thought I was going to jump out of my skin. No more though.

Here's a site that has some good info -

I have done it the hard way, and that works. Now I am going to try it an easier way. My objectives have changed, and i think that this will help.

Caveat - The real key to losing weight and keeping it off is to modify your behavior. Eating less and exercising more will work, and if it is done for a month or more, it will become a habit. That is when the weight comes off and stays off.

Good luck.

Everyones said so much already... An easy 1, 2 rule for meKristin
Sep 28, 2001 2:33 PM
1. Losing more than 5 lbs a month should be a red flag. Any dietition (from a decent school) will tell you so. Losing more than that is a sign to see your doctor.

2. Caffine will cause your body to not retain enough water. If you take anything with caffine, your time on the bike will be less effective.

Personal Note: I OD'd on caffine when I was 17. (Ate a ton of chocolate on a dare). I've had heart problems ever since. Ever tried to ride with arythmia? Its no fun. Be good to your body, its the only one you're gonna get.
minerals are the key to liferyan
Sep 28, 2001 7:21 PM
Have you every thought of taking a mineral supplements. the best in the world, Ionyx International.

Minerals are the key to everything. they make you a more balanced person. extremely healthier. if you want to lose weight, or get rid of aches and pains, email me i will tell you more.