TESTS OF "MUSCLE ENHANCEMENT" SUPPLEMENTS SHOW QUALITY PROBLEMS WITH SOME CREATINE AND BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACID PRODUCTS
—Review of Muscular Enhancement Supplements Published by ConsumerLab.com —
WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — July 21, 2010 — Athletes often turn to supplements to enhance muscle strength and recovery. New tests of such supplements by ConsumerLab.com showed quality problems with two creatine supplements (one of which contained more degradation compound than actual creatine) and one branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement. Several other creatine and BCAA supplements passed quality testing.
Creatine has been shown to be useful in maintaining strength in repetitive, brief, high-intensity sports activities. Branched-chain amino acids, which are essential nutrients, may help athletes reduce muscle breakdown. The market for sports nutrition and supplement products has grown steadily, reaching $2.9 billion in 2009 according to Nutrition Business Journal.
Creatine's popularity among athletes has spurred a variety of product forms other than traditional powders. ConsumerLab.com found problems with creatine in liquid form — likely due to poor stability. These products were contaminated with creatinine, a breakdown product of creatine. One of these contained more than twice as much contaminant as actual creatine, delivering a significantly lower amount of creatine than is typically used. The amount of contaminant in the other product equaled 7% of the amount of creatine it contained. To pass testing, ConsumerLab.com required that creatinine represent no more than 0.1% of the amount of creatine in a product. Among BCAA products tested, one was found to provide a slightly lower amount (86%) of isoleucine than claimed.
“Athletes, like all consumers, need to be careful with the supplements they use. There are high-quality products on the market and there are rip-offs," commented Tod Cooperman, M.D., ConsumerLab.com's President. "People considering muscle enhancement supplements should be realistic about the effectiveness of these products and skeptical of their contents unless verified by a third party."
The new Product Review of Muscle Enhancement Supplements provides test results for thirteen supplements – eleven selected by ConsumerLab.com and two tested at the request of their manufacturers/distributors through CL's Voluntary Certification Program and included for having passed testing. Also listed is a product similar to one that passed but sold under a different brand name. Brands included are Betancourt Nutrition, Body Fortress, BodyTech, Dymatize Nutrition, DiMaxx, EAS, MET-Rx, MRM, Muscle Marketing USA, ON, Precision Engineered, Prolab, and Universal Nutrition.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.