Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bodybuilding.com 2005 Supplement Awards

Bodybuilding.com has given out awards for "Supplements of the Year" for 2005. The awards were given based on votes placed by users. I didn't vote and wasn't aware of it, although I guess I don't pay much attention to the main bodybuilding.com site, just the forums. These awards can be used by supplement companies on their products as a little seal to use in advertising and other promotional items.

What Are The Supplement Awards?

The Bodybuilding.com Supplement Awards are the industry standard for recognition of the best products and brands in the fitness and supplement industry. They not only help customers find the best products in their class, but also give the winning companies a way to set themselves apart from their rivals by displaying the award seal in their ads or on their site.

Bodybuilding.com also uses these awards to promote products on our own site and in our own magazine ads to further help customers make a smart choice when buying supplements.
Here are the supplements and my personal review of them.

Supplement of the Year - Optimum 100% Whey Protein Powder
This one is no big surprise. Optimum whey is really the standard whey protein of all the industry. It's cheap, it tastes good, you can buy it in bulk, and it's high quality. The only downside for some of us is the fact that it contains whey protein concentrate, which can cause some gastrointestinal difficulty. Otherwise, it's a product that's hard to beat. It comes in the three standard flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry as well as chocolate mint, cookies n' cream, rocky road and tropical punch. With the new flavor additions, and additional protein products by Optimum, like 100% Natural Whey, Classic Whey and their Pro Complex MRP, you can tell Optimum is a company that aims to please. Which leads us into our next award...

Brand of the Year - Optimum Nutrition
Optimum Nutrition has a great line of quality products at very affordable prices, and at extremely high quality. When you buy something from Optimum you can count on it being what's in the label, tasting good, and being the best quality the industry has to offer. We should be seeing some more good stuff from Optimum in the near future and hope they stick to their ideals of keeping their supplements simple, cheap and effective.

Muscle Builder of the Year - BSN NO-Xplode
NO-Xplode is contains really what you could call a muscle building cocktail. Stuffed with so many ingredients, and most in proper proportion it's hard to find fault with this leading edge product - with the exception of the price. Coming in at close to $1 a serving and with a recommendation of 2-3 servings on training days it can be very expensive. None the less, NO-Xplode is jam packed with the latest and greatest ingredients, including esterfied amino acids, creatine precursors, insulin influencing substances and stimulants - it takes the kitchen sink idea to an excess. If you can afford to use this, it would most definitely be worthwhile. However, most of us will have to stick with the basics or make our own blends using bulk powders.


Fat Loss Product of the Year - Nutrex Lipo 6
The last time I looked at Lipo 6, it had ephedra. Looking at it now, it seems like a pretty basic formula probably comparable to most other fat burners out there. However, I still have a high opinion of SAN Tight! and some of the other fat burners and even the basic E/C stack.




Creatine Product of the Year - BSN CellMass
With all the BSN winners in the categories, it makes me wonder if the contest was rigged towards BSN. Basically, BSN is an overpriced CEE product with an "uptake system" which consists of some electrolytes and cinnamon extract. Yawn. As usual, just take your creatine in whatever form you wish and mix it with some Gatorade.


Protein Bar of the Year - EAS Myoplex Lite BarsMost people known my opinion of protein bars is pretty low. They're generally stuffed with junk "filler" protein like collagen, trans fatty acids, tons of sugar, and then covered with vitamins to make it sound like it's good for you - sort of the same trick breakfast cereals pull on you. The Myoplex Lite bars don't seem to do that, which I commend them for, but still contains some stuff I wouldn't want to use often - such as high fructose corn syrup. For the most part though, it looks pretty decent overall. The flavors sound good and so I would have to say that in a pinch, this would definitely be a bar I would consider eating - which is what protein bars should be used for, emergency situations and not as an addon to a regular diet.

New Product of the Year - CytoSport Muscle Milk RTD
I like Muscle Milk, I admit it. They have the best flavors out of all the proteins there are. Despite the fact that they have high GI carbs and not the greatest fat content, I still think it's a decent protein powder. I also recently tried their Muscle Milk oatmeal and thought it was great. However, I'm a little torn on RTD drinks. I really doubt that the ingredients stay stable after such a long shelf time in liquid. It would just be cheaper to get a shaker bottle and mix up your own shake for yourself on the go than drink this. The ingredients of the RTD are very similar to their protein powder, so if you are in favor of that, then I would say this would probably be on par.

New Brand of the Year - Anabolic Xtreme
I don't really have a lot to say about this company since I'm not very familiar with their products. They seem to have come out with some very new and interesting compounds in the last year, yet most all of them have since been discontinued for legal reasons. Still, we might see more interesting products from this company if their R&D keeps to their high standard.

Glutamine Powder of the Year - Prolab Glutamine
We all pretty much know glutamine is worthless, so there's really no point in getting into this again. Unless you have gastrointestinal issues, which supplementing with glutamine can sometimes help, it's overall worthless for muscle gain or fat loss. For more info, see this thread here.



Multivitamin of the Year - Universal Animal Pak
Universal's Animal products haven't changed much since I did my writeup about them in 2003. I do admit that the Animal Pak multivitamin is a pretty decent vitamin, with a wealth of ingredients. A lot of them in good ratios, some in far too low. Still, for the price for close to a month supply being $20 it's a fair deal. You could still find better multivitamins for a much better deal though.



Joint Supplement of the Year - NOW Glucosamine & Chondroitin Plus MSM
An excellent joint supplement by an excellent GMP certified company, NOW. With all the ingredients in all the right ratios, and at a good price, I would highly recommend this product for anyone with problems experiencing joint pain from exercise or arthritis.



Energy Supplement of the Year - VPX Redline
Redline seems more at an attempt at a fat burner than an energy supplement. I guess it fits in this category because it's a liquid, instead of oral tablets. Redline seems to be an attempt to recapture one of VPX's most favorite products, Clenbuterx, which was one of the communities ECA darlings. The ingredients are typical of what you would find in your average fat burner, but in a proprietary blend so we don't know how much of each you're getting. With only 637mg total of the stimulating substances, it's hard to really say this is a great energy supplement. Probably not a supplement I would waste my money on.

See the result of the Bodybuilding.com 2005 Supplement of the Year Awards along with a video webcast of the presentations.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

GPZ Raided or Hacked?

UPDATE: GPZ Responds!

Popular online medical supply company, getpinz.com, appears to have either been raided or hacked. People who have purchased from them in the past have gotten emails claiming to be from the FDA or DEA notifying them that they are in trouble for making purchases. Syringe laws very state by state and you can find your state laws here.

The samples of the emails look very unprofessional so it is extremely doubtful that GPZ has truly been raided. For example, there is mention of dea.com, which is not the DEA's website - it is dea.gov. The acronym SRT. is also listed, which I assume should have been SGT for Sergeant.

"Drugdealer@dea.com

The Fda has logged all use of this site (getpinz.com) Your ip address and all personal information is now on file with the fda and dea. Do not visit this site again for illegal purchases or you will be investigated. Jail time and or fine may be imposed."

"The Fda has logged all use of this site (getpinz.com) Your ip address and all personal information is now on file with the fda and dea. Do not visit this site again for illegal purchases or you will be investigated. Jail time and or fine may be imposed. SRT. [sic] Ricky Gonalez."
However, the fact that their database seems to have been compromised should be a privacy concern for most. If email addresses were accessible, it is possible that other information could be accessible, including credit card information and other information that could be used by identity thieves. I attempted to search for an email address or phone number to confirm or deny the allegations, but their domain is registered using proxy registration to hide their personal info. I couldn't find an email or phone number listed anywhere else I searched.

GPZ's website now shows to be offline and the page on their store says they are closed for business. In the meantime, you can order from gearboxinc.com which I highly recommend.

Bodybuilding.com Discussion Thread on GPZ

Anabolicminds.com Discussion Thread on GPZ
Anabolex.com Discussion Thread on GPZ

UPDATE: There have been some unconfirmed rumors that the owner of Gearbox was the person responsible for the hacking of GPZ. He has responded to these slanderous comments on the bodybuilding.com forums.

This post is to clear up any confusion that people may
have due to rumors that gearboxinc has anything to do
with getpinz problems.

For over 4 years we have provided this community with
nothing but upstanding service. Its a shame that when
another competitor has issues certain people jump on
the next biggest competitor. Drama gotta love it.

Gearboxinc has never once comprimised the security of
any clients. It will never happen. I cannot help if other companies
do not have safe guards in place to protect thier clients information.

All I can say is intead of bashing everybody help out getpinz. I mean
if I were in that situation Id be stressed out to the max. I would want the
community that I HELPED out in a big way to be helping me out.

Mods jobs are to provide members with CREDIBLE information so they
can make the best decisions to protect themselves.

Most boards will take this post down, the credible ones will leave it up. Any boards that let their mods post lies and mis inform their members should not be around or supported. I mean its your whole life being put on the line if misinformation lands you in the slammer.

I urge everyone to read "Legal Muscle" I dont get any compensation for reccomending that. You just need to have all the information possible. The best written manual Ive read.

Everyone give GETPINZ some time. They need your support just like they have given to you.

tsingtao
gearboxinc
Some customers of GPZ have claimed to have received emails from GBI right after GPZ was hacked. I will look over these emails soon and determine where they were legitimately sent from. Stay tuned...

Xenical Going OTC?

In an extremely strange move, an FDA advisory committee approved the idea of selling the lipase inhibiting drug, Xenical (orlistat) over the counter. Xenical works by blocking fat absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, thereby reducing the amount of dietary fat consumption. The obvious reaction to this would be a reduction in levels of fatty acids (essential and nonessential) being processed in the blood stream and stored as fat. A novel idea, with many flaws.



Olestra

In 1996, Procter and Gamble introduced the artificial fat addictive, Olestra, to the general public. Initial fanfare was good, because it seemed like a sound idea. Olestra is a fat, that's not really a fat. That is, it is similar to most other fats with a sugar backbone, but the main difference is that it can't be absorbed by the body. Here we have a very similar substance that follows the main idea of Xenical. Don't absorb the fat and you won't gain fat. Unfortunately problems emerged very quickly.

The first problem (which is shared with Xenical) is that Olestra caused problems with vitamin absorption. Since many vitamins are fat soluble, Olestra takes up the vitamins and passes them through the GI tract without being absorbed - causing a potential deficiency in certain vitamins. The other, and more commonly known problem with Olestra, was "leakage". When someone consumes lots of fats that are expelled quickly or not absorbed, they have to go some place and they pass through the system very quickly. Olestra became notorious for this and many jokes abounded regarding the synthetic fat's problem with "anal leakage".

Since it's original release, Olestra has been modified to correct most of these problems, and fewer products now use Olestra as its source of fat. Products that use it also supplement with extra vitamins to compensate for the absorption problems Olestra can present when it's being used.

Xenical, on the other hand, has not. Results below show some results of the most common side effects of using Xenical.


Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


As you can see, when one uses Xenical, one can almost expect a result of oily discharge, gas and fecal incontinence due to the fact that the fats are being passed immediately through the system and not absorbed. This is more common with meals high in fat, causing the manufacturer to issue the following guidelines for using the drug:

The patient should be on a nutritionally balanced, reduced-calorie diet that contains approximately 30% of calories from fat. The daily intake of fat, carbohydrate, and protein should be distributed over three main meals. If a meal is occasionally missed or contains no fat, the dose of XENICAL can be omitted.
So, exactly what is the point of eating a reduced fat meal when the entire point of Xenical is to reduce absorption of fat from the standard diet? Why not just eat less fatty foods altogether and skip the drug?

In the article, it mentions that the manufacturer would recommend OTC users only use the drug for 6 months. However, benefits after that time period stop and a large percentage of users gain the weight back that they lost.
The pill's effect ends once its use is stopped, said Dr. Julie Golden, a medical officer in the FDA's division of metabolism and endocrinology products. A previous study showed a progressive weight gain in patients after they stopped using orlistat, Golden said.
It's interesting to note that prior to ephedra being banned, Cytodyne, the manufacturer of Xenadrine, came out with a study showing that it's ECA product was more effective than the prescription drug, Xenical - a move that probably pissed off the pharmaceutical industry and could of hypothetically influenced the FDA's decision to ban the herb.

Either way, if I invested in stocks, I would probably invest in underwear if the plans for Xenical go through. There are going to be a lot of people buying new briefs, boxers and panties once the fat dams burst.

CNN.com - Diet pill gets closer to store shelves - Jan 23, 2006
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