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The Importance of Supplementation for Athletes

Joshua Naterman

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Joshua Naterman

This topic is here to help outline the vital importance of supplemention for athletes. I'd really love to hear Ido, Gregor, and any other high level athletes weigh in on this topic, and share their personal experiences. Ido mentioned the results of his clients, and if he'd be willing to share some stories(sans names for anonymity) I think we could all learn from them.

This thread is the home for the off-topic discussion I started in another thread, "Gymnasts benching 350 pounds and inserting static pauses" which started thusly:

Some of his stuff is shady only in the sense that he seems to gloss over the heavy supplementation that is needed to get results from some of his protocols, like his super accumulation program. You're not going to be able to do that without one hell of a supplement budget and possibly designer steroids that are legal on the market. Poliquin himself says in his article on super accumulation that:

Crucial Points

• Use your normal recovery methods: pre-workout drinks, during workout drinks, post-workout Surge, beta alanine, whatever. You'll need it. Take at least 40 grams of BCAA during each workout. Yes, I said 40.

• To combat deep muscle soreness, take 4-5 grams daily of the amino acid lysine. Lysine stores go down when you overtrain.

• During the two weeks of overreaching, if you don't bother to eat two grams of protein per pound of body weight, stay home.

• Don't take Testosterone boosting supplements during the loading weeks. You want to train to the point of depressed Testosterone! Save the T-boosters for the five day off period.

• Consume 30 to 45 grams of fish oil per day during the loading phase. (No need to do this during your five off days because you'll want more calories from carbs and you don't want to slow down the insulin response with the fish oil during this off/rebuilding period.)

5 Day Recovery Period Guidelines

• During this five days off, you'll want to eat something every hour and a half. Alternate solids meals with liquid meals. Always start with solid.

Wake up and have a high protein breakfast — buffalo steak and berries, for example. Ninety minutes later, have the equivalent of 250 grams of Surge or a bunch of whey protein and carbohydrate powder. Add about 20 grams of glutamine into these shakes. That's 80 grams of glutamine per day during your five recovery days.

• Massage and frequency-specific microcurrent acupuncture will accelerate recovery. Ice massage is for dorks, only raises your cortisol, and doesn't do shit.

• Double-dose Alpha Male during this off period. By your third off day, you'll be hornier than a three-balled billy goat because your Testosterone levels will be shooting through the ceiling.

That is straight off of his interview with TMUSCLE.com. You can see that he relies HEAVILY on supplements. This would NOT BE POSSIBLE without them, as well as a massive dietary intake of both supplements and solid food.

I don't have any problem with any of that, I mean that's how the top athletes in nearly every sport are built. I just don't like how, whether it is him or just people in general (I don't know), the massive amount of supplements (some dangerous without proper use) is just glossed over. In a nutshell, most of his training methods won't work if you aren't taking testosterone supplements.

Read very carefully: the only ones worth your money are designer steroids. They all convert to steroids in the body. They are "designer" because even though they turn INTO steroids when you take them, chemically speaking they are not steroids at the moment you purchase them. This is by design, hence "designer steroids." What Poliquin recommends is touted as one of the most powerful on the market at the time of the article's writing, and he recommends a DOUBLE DOSE. He also doesn't tell you that to be safe you need to be taking an aromatase inhibitor or a SERM.

My problem is the lack of full disclosure with certain protocols, not the method itself. As Ido says, Poliquin is unparalleled as a strength coach.

My purpose there was to point out that nearly all training methods that develop a professional level of athletic ability RELY on heavy supplementation to work. Without supplements, from high protein intake to vitamins, minerals, hormonal support, and other chemicals, these training methods will not produce results.

I have found that this disclaimer, which should be in big bold letters every time the training methods are described, is often relegated to secondary status, which to me is unacceptable since the program WILL NOT WORK without the supplements!

Ido Portal then made a very true, and very relevant point:


first, how is this related to the original post? I am sorry, but the forum is full of unrelated posts everywhere. Users trying to find some information are required to browse through huge piles of unrelated data. Lets try to keep it closer to the original post subject.

Second, and I will not say anything more about the subject, most of Charles Poliquin recommendations are just way over the heads of all kind of amateur and internet experts. Or real college degree experts, for that matter... I would not be quick to judge. Let us not forget that this is a man who was recommending paleo diets, fish oil supplementation, creatine, German Volume Training, rotator cuff work, time under tension and tempo principles, etc... before the rest of the industry even heard about it. (I myself started using fish oil back in the mid 1990's, according to his recommendation and when I went to buy them the pharmacists would laugh at me. They dont laugh anymore nowdays, ha?)

Poliquin does not advocate the use of pro-hormones and you can check his own supplement line and see that it is clearly free of such products. You can also check his article archive. The afordmentioned article is part of a commercial website and they have clearly edited his recommendations and plugged their product. (Although I am unfamiliar with this 'Alpha Male' and am not sure if it is pro-hormone or not)

Also, yes, most people nowdays are in great need of heavy supplementation. I do not only believe in that, I am 100% sure of it, after seeing blood work of countless clients over the years and witnessed the success some supplements bring in body composition, health, a sense of well being and of course performance.

People are starting to realize it. More and more experts are recommending essential supplementation protocols such as: essential fatty acids, vit-d, magnesium, zinc, HCL, and more and more. If you want to use your full potential, I recommend you investigate into such matters and get some tests done.

The option of using less intense training methods and 'taking it easy' is not an option for me or my clients. I think you will agree with me on that point.

If further discussion about this interest you, please open a new thread and I would be happy to continue there.


First off, Ido pointed out that any discussion we had in the old thread would be wasted, since the valuable information would be hard to find.

Next, Ido makes a very important point. I'm going to paraphrase and go beyond what he said, so if I am saying anything that Ido doesn't agree with he'll correct me. Ido's point, and he's right, is that advanced training methods are largely experiential. They are outside of the direct understanding of scientists in the sense that a) research labs have not had the time, money, or a combination of the resources required to figure out exactly what is happening in the body. Exercise science is a very new field, academically speaking, and there is very little FACTUAL knowledge, meaning knowledge that has come from a lab. That doesn't mean the methods are fake, it means science has no idea why these methods work yet.

Because there is no hard data on exactly what is happening in the body, amateurs who have insufficient experience and internet gurus who just read a whole bunch of stuff are unable to truly understand and apply these methods because there is no laboratory evidence to read up on.

A lack of laboratory evidence means that the only way to learn is to DO. You have to train yourself in these methods to learn their effects, and then you can take this knowledge and understanding and apply it to clients. As you build a client base and see the wide range of results, you get an even better understanding, and after years of working with people and constantly seeking other successful athletes and coaches and implementing their methods, you can honestly claim to understand these methods and be able to properly apply them.

You can take one look at just about any of Ido's videos and realize that he understands more about these things than I do, because he has taken them further and been exposed to them longer. He works with clients, sees the range of results, and adjusts accordingly as well as having used many of the training methods in his own training. We can see from his videos that Ido is at a very, very high level of athletic and physical development.

This ties into his third and final point, which is that the benefits of heavy supplementation are becoming more widely recognized all the time. Furthermore, he and his clients have lofty goals, and less intense programs that do not require the supplementation are simply not going to give him or them the results they are looking for.

Since this discussion already contains good information and the continuation will become even more important, as well as it being completely off topic in the other post, I've taken it here so that Ido, myself, and anyone else who wants to know more about supplementation can really have a good resource from which to add to their knowledge and to which they can impart knowledge of their own, as well as experiences and questions.

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Joshua Naterman

This was my reply to Ido in the off-topic post:

I do agree Ido, don't think I'm saying supplements are crap. As for the prohormone issue, there are a bunch of new classes of testosterone supplements designed to take the place of the banned prohormones and prosteroids. They are, in essence, clever chemical engineering, but in the end they turn into similar substances once metabolized. It's pretty interesting, really, there are some brilliantly clever biochemical engineers out there!

I'm not even saying that stuff is bad or wrong, but I stand firm in my opinion that the vital importance of the supplements to the success of many training programs is under-stated. Poliquin's the classic example of a true seeker in his field, and I am not trying to take away from him, because you're right when you say he has always been way ahead of the curve. It has been his life pursuit to find and implement every effective training strategy that he can, and he's done better than anyone else.

As for the alpha male, Biotest claims that one of the main ingredients turns into some steroid. All reviews seem to indicate that there is little to no actual performance gain from the supplement, though it does seem to elevate mood in a number of people. Like most over the counter test supplements, there is a very unattractive ratio of supplement cost to supplement benefits.

I'm not claiming to be a fitness guru, and I'll be the first to admit that when I was at my absolute best I was taking vitamins, creatine, HMB, BCAAs, ZMA, and a few times I tried the 6-OXO style aromatase inhibitors, which do seem to work well. I don't even know what's still on the market anymore, because I don't delve into the hormonal stuff anymore at all, so I'm not exposed to the latest products on the market. I also don't know what Poliquin's specific feelings on various methods of hormonal support are, but I'm willing to bet that while he'd never advocate using anything banned or illegal, he would support safe usage of anything not banned by whatever governing body oversees an athlete's sport(s) so long as it improved performance and didn't damage the athlete. I'm not suggesting that he secretly advocates steroids, prohormones, or anything else, but I am curious as to how he would state his opinion during the time when prohormones were 100% ok, as opposed now.

That's just a guess, so don't take that as fact, but the truth is that anyone who wants to reach the absolute pinnacle of athletic achievement is going to have to use every legal chemical advantage they can in addition to every functional training method and nutritional plan for their sport. Can we agree this last sentence is an accurate statement?

I'm just putting this here to catch your attention, I know it's off topic. I'm starting a new thread in the nutrition forum, "The importance of supplementation for athletes."

That brings us up to date, and I am looking forward to learning a lot. My own experiences with heavy supplementation are a few years old now, and there are a lot of things I didn't use that I perhaps should have.

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Charles Weill

Supplements are scary stuff for me because they are such a new science. Honestly the only supplements I ever take are oils (flax, fish, olive...) and ground fruit, veggies, or herbs with healing properties (eg. cranberry for kidney pains). I used to use protein isolates, but no more. Isolated chemicals just do not seem natural for me.

For example, soy protein isolate used to be (and still is) a popular alternative to whey. But now it's attributed to disease such as enlarged thyroids and pancreas. Soybean products in general is worrisome to many individuals when consumed in large quantities because it contains phytoestrogens, chemicals that act similarly to estrogen in the body.

I feel like Poliquin knows his stuff in terms of strength gains by using supplements, but nobody really knows the long term health effect of using many of the products he suggests.

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Joshua Naterman

Supplements CAN be scary! It's hard to know what's what. Labeling in the US is much less strict than in Europe, so you're never quite sure just HOW good the ingredients are, for one thing. Supplements cost a bunch of money, and so many are not worth it that it's hard to know what's worth taking!

I know when I was in the navy I tried just about everything, because my shoulder was totally jacked up. I couldn't lift a glass of milk to my face with my left arm for nearly 8 months! Scared the hell out of me. I tried the growth hormone enhancers like secragogue 1, which worked well, but was somewhat expensive, and while I felt better and did notice some gains in the gym, I didn't notice as much as the manufacturer claimed. Some of that may have been due to my obviously limited ability to train. I tried the methyl 1 test, which was by fat the most powerful prohormone on the market, and to THIS DAY everything is compared to it. When a company wants to catch someone's attention, they say "LOOK! Our new product is as powerful as Methyl 1-T!!!" Inevitably the claims seem to fall short. Methyl 1 Test was banned somewhere around a year or two after it was developed, because it was actually MORE POWERFUL THAN INJECTABLE STEROIDS. HOLY SHIT SON! Here's my experience, so that you guys can perhaps get a better appreciation for how regular humans develop, and how to spot someone with "extra help":

Prologue: From the time I got on the ship it had taken me around 11 months to go from 190 to 205, though part of that delay had to do with my extreme limitations on exercise due to injury and my extreme physical state due to BUDS. My body had a lot of recovering to do, and my nails didn't even grow at normal speed for 8 months. I bit my nail too short once and it hurt for two months! Took that damn long to grow like 1/8 inch of nail.

I put on around 30 lbs in 2 months, from 205 to 235. During this time I dropped from around 14-15% body fat to around 9%. Am I particularly proud of this? No. It was amazing to walk into the gym bigger and stronger every single time. Sounds nice right? Hold your judgment, you haven't heard the rest of the story: I have always had excellent emotional control, and that's the only thing that saved me from throwing a few people overboard, literally. The aggression and constant energy are simply impossible to accurately describe. Imagine that you've had great sleep for a week, eaten perfect, so you feel powerful like superman. Then you go into your room only to find someone that you don't particularly like waiting for you, and as soon as they see you they set your most prized possessions on fire. Try to imagine feeling that powerful all the time, even when you're tired, and every little stressful situation triggers that anger. It was like that all the time. Some people like that, but I personally hate having to fight for control. The only reason I did this was to accelerate my shoulder recovery, which still wasn't doing very well. And guess what happened: My shoulder was nowhere near recovered, and I ended up getting stronger much, much faster than the shoulder could handle. I was fine and kept all my gains, which is unusual, but without the extra healing factor from the hormones I quickly damaged my left shoulder by working it so heavily that it couldn't stay stable. I ended up having to take a 6 month total layoff from upper body work, during which all I could do was deadlift and front squat, and that was only once a week. Anything involving the shoulder being loaded was painful as hell. I went all the way back to 200 lbs. Once I could work out my upper body again, it took me almost 15 months to get back to 230 lbs. I was working hard, resting hard, eating a ton of good stuff, and taking protein like crazy, along with my vitamins and other stuff. I haven't messed with anything hormonal since. Been tempted, sure, but a) I really didn't care to be any bigger, and b) I did not want to take any more risks.

I bounced between 210 and 225 after that, depending on whether I wanted to be super lean or not, but my muscle and strength stayed pretty constant.

Remember those numbers: It took me almost 15 months to do clean what it took around two months to do with a strong prohormone and proper post cycle therapy. Knowing what I know now, I think I could have achieved that in 8-10 months, but still, we're talking about 4-5 times more time at least.

Having had that experience, it was easy to determine to what degree other supplements that claimed to boost muscle gains actually worked. I'll be honest with you: None of them did squat. The only thing that did work was an aromatase inhibitor, and that wasn't bad for the money, and you have to cycle those on and off. They won't hurt you, and as far as I know they are not banned by most governing bodies. Even poliquin has some supplements that inhibit aromatase, like EstroClear. When I say I tried everything, by the way, I mean it. I literally went through the list of products, picked out the best of each type, and tried them for 6-8 weeks. The most powerful Tribulus supplements? They made me feel more alert and more aggressive, but that didn't translate to increased performance. My gains were unchanged. Fenugreek? Didn't do anything. Forskollin? Crap. Ecdysterone? Crap. Myostim? crap. The only thing that did anything was Secragogue 1, and for the money I was better off not really worrying about taking it. Granted, I was and am still too young to really get the most out of a growth hormone enhancer, but still: It was too much money for relatively small gains. For the same money I could have done a whole cycle of 1 test WITH post cycle therapy. Just not cost effective. I spent nearly 900 dollars a month, half my income, satisfying my curiosity for a year and a half. Often I was stacking several products of varying types to see what I could get out of them, and all I got was disappointment. ZMA is ok, but it's not going to change your life. For people like Ido and for what I was then, people who are striving for the pinnacle of their abilities, these small advantages add up to big differences over time. For regular people who don't want to achieve superb levels of ability, these things are just a waste of money. Even today, as I look at things, there isn't much that I haven't tried in the past.

I found out that part of why heavy supplementation is so important is that each supplement individually, with the exception of steroids and HGH, do very little. You MUST take BCAA, Creatine, HMB, extra Leucine, EPA/DHA, a great vitamin, ZMA, glutamine, perhaps some herbal testosterone support, and I don't know what else to get a significant change in training results. It is EXPENSIVE, just as or MORE expensive than a cycle of steroids, illegal prohormones, HGH, and any other direct hormonal supplement, including intra and post cycle therapy, which works much faster. I don't recommend this faster approach, but I do think it's important to be honest, up front, and bring these issues completely out into the open.

My reasons for not recommending the approach are equally important, and may or may not be popular here. Regardless, this is how I see it:

1) They are illegal. If you get caught, not only are you kicked out of your sport but you can face criminal charges. That's just stupid to do.

2) Being illegal, a doctor can't give you advice without losing his or her license if caught, making it nearly impossible to get proper medical supervision. Used properly, steroids can do great good for an athlete, particularly when recovering from injury. However, lack of proper and qualified supervision is unacceptable in my opinion. Back when you could go to the doctor and say, "Hey man, I want to get BUFF LIKE AAAHNULD!!!" you could get a prescription for everything you needed to keep yourself safe along with specific dosage instructions, blood tests to make sure you're not over or under dosing, intra and post cycle therapy, and full supervision the whole time. Pretty much no one got hurt, and when they did it was because they disregarded what the doctors told them. Now it's illegal, and your sources are pretty much limited to local gym steroid users or online advice, both of which are hard to verify as being safe.

3) Every person possesses an individual tolerance towards androgenic side effects. Some people grow man boobs easy, some don't. Some go bald, some don't. It's individual, and because of point 2 there is no way to protect yourself from your own genetic vulnerability. By the time you know something is wrong, it's going to take you at least a week to get the fix, and by then the damage is done.

4) As for HGH, it can cause benign tumors to become cancerous, and there is no going back once that starts. You can literally be taking your life into your hands. This is why I am too scared to screw with any growth hormone enhancers now.

I do not believe there is any inherent moral status for steroids or HGH. I believe that the severity of possible societal and physical consequences of use is so detrimental that it is not worthwhile to use these substances. I believe you are a fool to risk being banned from your sport, and just as big a fool to take the chance of permanent physical harm that must be corrected surgically.

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Guest Ido Portal

Phew, long posts you have there, Slizzer. They are cutting into my training time...

Well, i have split opinions about many things you have said, but I will concentrate on the most important issues:

I understand that comming from your type of experiences with supplements, you will have that opinion. (Only the most agreesive and strong prohormone type products realy give you some bang for your buck)

The problem lies in many factors:

1. You have not been dealing with real quality products. How do I know? You purchased them by yourself. The real quality stuff is usualy being sold through health care practitioners only. Crayon's supplement line, Poliquin's, Bowden's, Pure Encapsulations, etc, etc... There are some exceptions on both sides of course, but when people buy some fish oil in costco and expect to recieve the same benefits of a phramaceutical brand which is tested for PCB's, heavy metals, dosage, etc... they are crazy.

(By the way, for all of you who are buying some fish oils from common companies, maybe you should read this:


There are some things in life you should not look for a discount with:

1. Scuba diving equipment.

2. Parachutes.

3. Nutritional Supplements.

So next time someone tells you: 'I used ZMA for a year and it didnt do shit for me, dont buy it!', take it with a grain of salt. I have seen few people who did not report back with significant improvements in sleep quality, recovery and sense of well being after a period of using a quality chelated zinc and magnesium products and in the correct dosages. (I recommend 2000mg a day of Mag for a male athlete, for example)

2. You do not know what is going on inside your body, biochemicly. Because you do not perform extensive tests like ASI, various stool, blood and urine tests or even a simpler, less expensive Biosignature 12 site test.

This means you do not know what to take, when to take and how much to take.

Yes, certain amino acid will do nothing for one person, but it will do wonders for another.

Supplements are not something easy to recommend and use. Dont let the internet 'experts' fool you, nor should you listen to some advice thrown at you, from someone's personal experience, as apealing as it may sound.

3. Lack of some basic nutrients can mean you will not get any substantial benefits from your supplement intake, nor from food.

Certain trace minerals, co-factors, Hydrochloric Acid, etc..

For example, one can increase his protein intake from 1 gr per pound of BW to 3 gr per pound of BW in an effort to break through a plateu in training intensity and assist in recovery, and after 3 weeks conclude it does not do nothing for him, after seeing no results. Take the same person, test for HCL levels (simple, inexpensive test, by the way) and correct them, and he will see AMAZING benefits from the same habit he concluded to be worthless just a few weeks ago. That is just one example.

In summery:

Supplements should not be taken lightly.

1.Some things are basic and should be used by most if not all people:

Chelated Mag (up to 2000mg a day for male athlete adult), Chelated Zinc (30mg), Quality Fish Oil(1 gr per each percent body fat you have), PWO Whey/Casein + glutamine + Glycine, Vit-C (1-3 gr a day), quality multi vit, etc..

2.Some things are easy to test by yourself or use your doctor to test for: performing a zinc Tally test, HCL loading test and getting a simple vit-d test at your MD. Cheap and will give you quick results if deficient.

3. For more advanced stuff and to solve personal nutrient needs, I advice you to consult a professional and get some tests done. Expensive? Maybe, but less expensive than buying all that in sight and getting.... expensive URINE.


PS. HMB? Come one, my friend, give me a break.... Nostalgic, but completely worthless supplement that have been proved as such a long time ago... I know some people have had results with it, back in the day, but some people even had results with Boron, so... Placebu effect.

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(By the way, for all of you who are buying some fish oils from common companies, maybe you should read this:

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Articles ... spx?ID=263)

Now I understand why looking to save money can be not only useless but also dangerous :(

Maybe this is the reason why many package inserts say that the recommended dosis must not be exceeded!

Ido - Somewhere on your BLOG I read that you sell fish-oil, too. I searched through http://www.hacasa.co.il/ but couldn't get any info. Do you sell Poliquins products? If so, which one of the numerous products do you recommend? By the way, I prefer capsules..

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1.Some things are basic and should be used by most if not all people:

Chelated Mag (up to 2000mg a day for male athlete adult), Chelated Zinc (30mg), Quality Fish Oil(1 gr per each percent body fat you have), PWO Whey/Casein + glutamine + Glycine, Vit-C (1-3 gr a day), quality multi vit, etc.

I like this short summary :) exactly what a supplementation newbie such as myself needs to know to get started. Would it be an idea to make a sticky post with such a list of recommended basic supplements + some guidelines and perhaps trustworthy brand names?

I'm a big fan of self-education but I'm under the impression that in this case it's more beneficial to get the advice through you guys directly, instead of through Google and books. Note that I'm talking about basic stuff, for athletes like myself who are mostly interested in general health and fitness, and not in achieving elite-level strength.

Thanks in advance!!

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Guest Ido Portal


I would be happy to make a sticky new thread titled: 'Basic supplementation for beginners'. I would do it later today.

No, while I was in Israel (I am now all over the place) I sold a different brand of pharmaceutical grade fish oil, also HPLC tested and more importantly, imported by air and in ice.

Most companies import by boat, the product sits for three month at sea, under a blazing sun in some container. When you open it, it is completely oxidized and useless. (Even harmful)

I suggest you go to poliquin's EU online shop if you are around Europe and order one of his products. I cannot recommend a specific product, but generaly, if you feel inflammation is more of an issue with you (we are not only talking about full blown inflammation, but more importantly 'silent inflammation') than go with a higher EPA product. If you feel brain function is more of an issue, things like concentration, brain fog, neural drive, etc, take one of the DHA rich products.

Poliquin himself suggest to rotate between the product as much as possible. I tend to agree. I try to rotate everything - protein sources, veggies, supplements, etc... and find it is not only important to prevent allergic reaction to certain chemicals, (again, this does not have to be a full blown allergy, but a more silent one - can be tested, but better yet, prevented by rotation) but also to prevent boredom. (from certain tastes, textures, etc)

I hope this helps,


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I'm using peak nutrition and I'm very pleased...

Here is a copy paste theirs guarnty for good qualty:

Quality in the production plant

We guarantee our products to be produced in accordance with currently most advantaged quality standard "GMP", "GSP", "GLP" and Hazard Analysis Critical Point Concept (HACCP) and ISO 9001:2000 certifications.

Specifications according to GLP

All inputs (raw materials, packaging material, devices) for all finished products the specifications are made by HPLC,GC UV, gravimetrical and/or microbiological procedures or/and in general according to Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) requirements.

Doping-free products

Our products are tested on traces of doping substances by an independent laboratory (Arotop, Mainz, Germany). Thus, we do our very best to correspond to our athletes’ desire, who have been using our products for work-out and competition purposes, to make sure no unpleasant incidents will happen concerning doping-tests.

Functional Flavour Extracts

Many of our products have a distinctive (sometimes medical) taste and smell due to special plant extracts with functional effect. These extracts improve by partly several hundred percent the bio-availability and, thus, the functional efficiency of our products and/or single nutrients in them, in the so-called “Carrier-Over-procedureâ€.


ISO 9001:2000

The ISO-Norm premises every single step of the production process to be documented exactly. This certificated quality management ensures an accurate quality assurance. It starts with the selection of the right resources, passing the production ending at dispatch. There is only a very slight tolerance zone for deviations regarding the resource quality. Thus, a constant, high quality of the end product is guaranteed.

Goods Manufacturing Practices (GMP)

GMP is a body of legislation to assure appropriate production.

The guidelines concern:

fuse of all working steps

avoiding mix-ups

avoiding impurities

hygiene during production

quality control

documentation of production and control

Goods Storage Practices (GSP)

The storing of resources, packaging materials and end products is nowadays seen as integral part of GMP-oriented quality systems. Instructed are as follows:

Peak Performance Products

Peak Performance Products S.A. runs/owns

store documentation systems


interim storage facilities

storing conditions and environmental monitoring

distribution and charge tracking

status labeling

I use heavy dosage of supplements! alot of Fish oil-EPA/DHA/GLA (12g per day), whey, casein, BCAA(15g pre workout), creatin, EAA, vitamins&minerals, glutamin (10-20g per day), ZMA (original patented bought formula)...

IT HELPS!! LIKE HELL! Especialy when you are near to overtrain.

Slizzardman you said that for few % of better regeneration or strength is noth worth,...depends, for recreation not, for me it is!

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Neal Winkler

What about the studies that show heavy supplementation of fish oil in older subjects decreases immunity?

(1) Thies F, et al. Dietary supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid, but not with other longchain n-3 or n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, decreases natural killer cell activity in healthy subjects aged >55 y. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Mar;73(3):539-48.

(2) Rees D, et al. Dose-related effects of eicosapentaenoic acid on innate immune function in healthy humans: a comparison of young and older men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):187-8.

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Ido I'd appreciate that list a lot :D Is there any information on how long time I can store unopened fish oil in my living room? So far it seems like putting it in a glass container in the fridge is the only I advice I can find but nothing about how long time it will last without that treatment.

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Joshua Naterman

Thanks Ido! You're right, HMB is a bit silly, and I've never taken it alone so I don't know how it works. At the time there was a lot of push to take HMB and creatine together for a synergistic effect.

In the end, it appears that L-leucine supplementation is far more effective since HMB is a metabolite of leucine. And yea, I read poliquin's site, I was surprised to see the number of legal actions being taken by California! I was doing cost analysis and his high potency EPA/DHA oil is by far the most cost effective of the high grade supplements I could find. It ended up being 42.5 cents per gram of EPA/DHA combined, and at a nearly equal level of each. Compared to 15 cents per gram for the stuff at Wal-Mart (I know, go ahead and laugh!) it's expensive but that's not bad, really, not for such a useful supplement! I'm going to try some of Poliquin's formula and see how it works out. That'll be interesting.

And you're right about the lack of quality, I got what I could find but surprise surprise, I've never heard of any of these companies you mention! I never did get tests done, I didn't think about it for one thing, and my ship was just moving around too much to get anything done most of the time. I wish I had known!

To clear up any misunderstandings without taking up too much training time(lol!!!) I definitely agree that high quality supplements, despite not being as powerful as pro-hormones, are absolutely vital to a professional athlete's success. It is amazing what a difference even a lesser percent of extra recovery makes. For a regular guy, they won't help enough to justify the cost, perhaps because the right tests havent been done and perhaps because that person isn't working hard enough to need the supplement. For people who are serious about training, that little bit is what keeps you moving forward instead of overtraining, like Gregor says! Very true.

Ah, I had a lot of expensive urine back in the day lol! I wish I didn't, so much money wasted. I really appreciate what you've said so far, and I'm going to look into these tests and what they cost.

I had good results with the vitamins, which included a pretty complete co-factor profile (Animal Paks, the best I know of. If you know of a better vitamin I'd love to try it!), the ZMA while I used it, which wasn't that long(3 months), and of course BCAA and higher protein amounts, though I never even got up to 2g/lb of bodyweight. That's a lot of protein lol! I had better results with 10-20g once an hour for most of the day. I definitely didn't notice much from the herbal testosterone boosters, but that could have been due to a number of factors, as you pointed out. I won't know until I get those tests done lol!

The only thing I know off the top of my head is that my testosterone is close to 500ng/L. That's with no supplements, and spotty vitamin usage at best. I think that's the concentration they test, right? The number was 480-something.

I'm with everyone else: I'd love to know where you choose to buy your supplements!

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Joshua Naterman

Gregor: I just checked Peak Nutrition and their prices are great! WOW! Thanks for the company name!

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Neal Winkler

What about Carlson's and NOW brands? They are far cheaper than Poliquin for fish oil.

What blood tests would prove that BCAA's are worthwhile? You're already getting a a ton of BCAA's if you're eating a lot of protein from high quality sources.

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Philip Papandrea

Thanks Ido for the link to that article, although now i'm kind of freaked out. Here I am thinking i'm doing something good for myself by taking fish oil only to find out i've been taking one of the brands that had the law suit against them. To reply to trianglechoke, the NOW brand was on the list in the article. I will have to look into switching brands although i'm wondering if i'm just better off skipping the fish oil all together and trying to just eat a couple of more pieces of fish a week?

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Neal Winkler

Ah, I did not see the article. That's not good.

I wonder what fish oil was used in the studies that have shown benefit from supplementation.

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Guest Ido Portal


I do not know what kind of knowledge and experience you have with reading scientific research, but it is not as simple as punching some words into pubmed and reading some abstracts.

First, abstracts are only used to get to the real thing. Without the full article, you cannot know if it is worthwhile or not. Second, a lot, and I mean a lot of research is worthless.

I did not read the articles you published so I will not comment on them.

Without taking some college courses in scientific research review or reading extensivly on the subject, (something I devoted a lot of time to, back in the day) I suggest you refrain from concluding things from random pubmed browsing. That is a common mistake now a lot of 'internet experts' do.

Also, triangle, BCAA is useful for recovery from training and in muscle mass preservation under stressful conditions. You do not need any tests in order to use it, it will work. If it will give you an edge over a good PWO shake, yes, but unless you are very serious with your training, I would not use it. Save it for more demanding microcycles, or when you are under a lot of stress and afraid to lose muscle.


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Charles Weill
i'm wondering if i'm just better off skipping the fish oil all together and trying to just eat a couple of more pieces of fish a week?

I know that quite a few medical doctors and veterinarians who prescribe a combination of fish oil and flax oils to their patients for weight loss. Both contain essential fatty acids, flax seed oil provides some Omega-3s in addition to lots of O-6s and O-9s while fish oil is mostly an omega-3 provider. This combo allows you to consume less fish oil to get the O-3s you need.

I was curious what people's thoughts on flax seed oil were?

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Guest Ido Portal

I am not a fan of flax oil. There are big problems with rancidity, and also an enzymatic conversion problem in the body, for it to use it as omega-3.

Flax seed hulls can be used for many things, on the contrary. Just make sure you buy them in a vacuum, organic and keep them inside a dark jar closed tightly inside your fridge. Grind them just before spreading on salads, etc... Good stuff.


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Ido do you have any way of determining if fish oil is oxidized or any info on how long time it takes to oxidize in general at room temp? Need to find myself a huge glass jar and put it in the fridge :P

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Guest Ido Portal

Make it an opaque jar, and yes, store it in the fridge.

One method to know if it is oxidized is to bite a capsule and taste the liquid, but its hardly scientific.

I also noticed that high quality fish oil products usualy do not freeze if put in the freezer, but again, hardly scientific.

Just buy a good product, rotate them as much as possible, (buy small batches and change every time you finish a package) and keep them chilled, when possible.

The important thing is to do your best, but DO NOT worry about things you cannot control. Getting stressful because you took your pills out of the freezer and with you when eating out is not wise... Making cortisol over things out of your control will make your umbilical fat go up...


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Neal Winkler


I have said the same words on this very board about not arguing from abstracts.

Both of the articles I cited are available for free.



I quote these studies because it seems to contradict the 1g fish oil per % body fat recommendation that you gave above, for older men, but not young.

In regards to BCAA, the only study that I am aware of that has looked at the long-term effects of BCAA supplementation on top of a large protein intake is unpublished and had good results. It was funded by the supplement company and the researcher is good friends with the companies staff, so after it gets published it's doubly important to see the results repeated.

Is your advocacy of BCCA supplementation on top of an already large protein intake from the literature or personal experience?

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my personal experiences and my teammates experiences are that high dose of BCAA prior workout has great effect on "be at higher level trough training", less DOMS or non, better recovery, and due to more water drinking due to BCAA use, less dehydration.

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Joshua Naterman

You dont always need a study to directly figure something out. Sometimes all you need is recorded information from other studies. Granted, the scientific community won't accept that, and for their purposes that's both legitimate and ethical. In science you have to actually prove an interaction through direct trial, regardless of what the currently recorded data suggests. Nonetheless, there is a good bit of information regarding skeletal muscle amino acid breakdowns. For example:

Original Russian Text © S.A. Khatataev, 2007, published in Doklady Rossiiskoi Akademii Sel’skokhozyaistvennykh Nauk, 2007, No. 1, pp. 40–42. States that according to balanced nutritional practices, essential amino acids should be 36-40% of total protein intake.

My analysis of the amino acid profile of various whey proteins shows EAA content to be around 50%. This means that there's plenty during the day. However, the body quickly disposes of unneeded BCAAs, it does not store them. THis appears to be because Valine metabolites can become highly toxic at higher concentrations, so our bodies get rid of extra valine right away. If you take a bunch in the morning and don't work out, you will just have expensive pee. Right before and after exercise is a different story, because skeletal muscle(the muscle under our direct control) can and does burn BCAAs directly for energy. This sets up the following conditions:

1) There is no reserve of BCAAs(without direct supplementation before exercise) in the body. There is only what exists in muscle tissue, both intra(inside)- and inter(outside, freefloating in water between muscle cells)cellularly.

2) This pre-existing BCAA content gets used for energy during exercise, creating a deficit.

3) When consuming animal or whey protein after exercise, the BCAAs are used to replace the ones burned for energy first, and what is left gets used in new protein synthesis. This creates a net deficit of BCAA in the bloodstream for use in protein synthesis, since there are specific ratios of each amino acid in muscular proteins. Without sufficient BCAAs to form proteins, new protein synthesis stops when ANY one substrate is depleted. All the rest of the excess amino acids that COULD be used are wasted, sort of like running out of sugar when you're mixing gatorade. You can only make a certain amount of good-tasting gatorade no matter how much water and how much gatorade powder you have if you don't have a sweetener.

BCAA supplementation is therefore only useful immediately before and after exercise, and should vary according to the intensity and duration of training. The longer your training the more you need the BCAA supplementation.

Leucine supplementation alone will not help. While leucine does have a large effect on protein synthesis, leucine metabolites are what actually facilitate BCAA consumption by muscle cells! So if you don't have extra Isolucine and Valine available, you're basically making your body burn what it has EVEN FASTER, creating a LARGER DEFICIT, further INHIBITING MUCLE REPAIR AND GROWTH!!! So make sure you don't increase leucine without increasing the other two BCAAs as well, and don't take your BCAAs when you aren't about to work out!

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Neal Winkler


Are you sure that you and your training partners didn't alter any variable besides BCAA supplementation?


I agree you don't always need a peer-reviewed study to support everything. If that were so, the strength and conditioning community would progress at a snails pace. Most things are figured out by coaches first.

But, you have a draw balance between "in the trenches" and science.

I really can't look at the article that you cited, so I can't comment on that.

The thing I am skeptical of is BCAA supplementation when already consuming high amounts of protein (1g/lb or greater). Like I said, only one unpublished study has looked at BCAA supplementation under such conditions for longer term gains in strength and hypertrophy.

I'm not anti-BCAA, it's just that right now I am in the wait and see mode.

If coaches and athletes like Ido and Gregor have honestly controlled for other variables and found BCAA supplementation to be beneficial (again, I am stressing under conditions of high protein consumption), then that evidence can serve as justification for their belief. But, it cannot for me, unless they have kept records that can be observed by me other individuals. Otherwise, it is anecdote.

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