Confused about supplements?

Are you confused about supplements or wonder which ones are a total waste of money?

It’s one of the questions that comes up a lot from my clients. What do you think about this one or that one?

So here is a list of 3 that I think, and the research backs this up, are a total waste of money.

BCAA’s or branch chain amino acids:

These are one of the most popular supplements that personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts recommend.


For those that don’t know, BCAA’s contain three building blocks of a complete protein and are the main drivers to signal muscle growth.

Now that sounds like it would be worthwhile if that’s your goal to build some lean muscle, or perhaps recover better from the gym or train harder.

But sadly unless you are a lab animal the effects just aren’t seen in humans when compared with a normal protein meal. There seem to be no special or added benefits from consuming these extra BCAA’s when all you can do is have a protein lunch that tastes better and is cheaper. Once you eat protein you stimulate the mechanisms that are used to build muscles. More amino acids will not do anything but give you expensive urine.

Save your money and skip the BCAA’s.

Fat burners:

Another con from the supplement industry, promising to speed up your metabolism and burn body fat.

There is absolutely nothing legal in any over the counter supplement that does this. There were a few ingredients, years ago that were in fat burners that made them effective, but these have all been banned and classified as drugs. So bye-bye any potential fat burning properties.

Similar to BCAA’s, there is no research in humans that prove any of them work- at all. The only thing that they could do is put your health at risk so save your money. If you do feel an effect when taking them, its just the caffeine, so rather have a simple cup of coffee.


CLA was full of promise when it came out. It is a type of fatty acid found in certain dairy and grass-fed beef, and it has the allure of it helping you lose body fat. A lot of the hype came from, once again, animal studies where a significant fat loss was observed. This sadly did not translate into human trials, and even if it did the quantities that you would need to take would make the cost exorbitant.

But that didn’t stop the supplement companies from marketing it as one of their go-to products for fat loss. Taking 2-3 capsules a day of this fatty acid and hoping for the magic to happen, will only leave you with one thing – money literally going down the drain.

It’s understandable for people to buy supplements, with the hope that now they will be in control of their body composition and by taking them they will be able to finally get their weight down. After all, supplements work right?

Sadly, it just isn’t going to happen, no matter the marketing hype behind them.

These are just 3 supplements that are a waste of money- do you have any others on your list?

Grant Koch