Are Bodybuilding Supplements a Scam?

It always irks me how quickly people are to proclaim bodybuilding supplements as being worthless and wastes of money.

On the other side of the spectrum, you have typical gym bros who tell you to get the newest version of creatine that doesn’t make you retain water, regardless of the lack of research behind it.

That same bro will spend hundreds of dollars a month on BCAAs to ensure that his mighty muscles never go ‘catabolic’.

Given these two extremes, it becomes rather difficult to discern which one of these fools is actually right.

This is because the answer to this debate is as usual:

It depends.

Numerous factors can determine whether or not you should dish out all of your money on bodybuilding supplements.

To make a blanket statement about their worth without considering any of these factors would be idiotic.

So given this, let’s look at just what factors can determine whether or not you should splurge on the latest, hottest supplement craze.



This is a huge one.

If you follow an amazing muscle-building diet, consisting of meats, eggs, and healthy carbs, then your need for supplements will be minimal.

As I explain here, spending money on protein powder when you already consume over 200 grams of protein a day from food makes no sense.

Buying fish oil when you already eat fish 5 times a week would be dumb.

And truth be told, using creatine monohydrate will not have a huge impact on your gains if you already eat fish and red meat every day – two foods that are very high in creatine.

Having said this, the opposite concept applies if your diet is shitty for bodybuilding.

If you follow a vegan diet and you still want to optimize muscle growth, then supplementing will be a must.

If your diet consists of hardly any protein, then of course buying protein powder would make a difference; a big difference in fact.

Therefore, before you decide whether or not you should spend your hard-earned cash on certain supplements, look at your diet first.



After you have weighed the benefits of supplements against what your current diet is like, it’s time to see which supplements are worth buying, even if your diet is crap.

The fact of the matter is that some bodybuilding supplements are straight-up scams.

Some supplements will either not do anything, or they will claim to be the next best thing for muscle growth when the reality is that the developers just took creatine monohydrate and put a different label on it.

This is why you need to be very careful when selecting your supplements. This means carefully reading the ingredient list, and ignoring the paragraphs of hype and the juiced up monsters who plaster the front of the container.

I can tell your right now that supplements such as creatine monohydrate, whey protein, fish oil, beta alanine, and a good multivitamin (high in Vitamin D) are all excellent supplement choices that have been backed by research.

Anything other than these supplements should be considered with deep caution.



This factor should always be considered when looking at ANY bodybuilding supplement.

Spending an inordinate amount of money on something that may only make a small difference should not be done unless you are competing.

For instance, while whey protein will give you a boost if you eat like shit, would it be worth dishing out $100 for a month’s supply when you could just start eating better?

Is it worth dropping 50 bucks on a pre-workout when you could simply get a good night’s sleep?

Only you can answer these questions, as your desire to get every ounce of muscle growth combined with your disposable income will determine how much you are able to spend on products.

I can tell you right now however, that creatine monohydrate is not only the most effective bodybuilding supplement in history, but it is one of the cheapest.

I spent 40 bucks Canadian on a 200 serving container of the stuff. That’s a 7 month supply if used every single day.

As far as I’m concerned, you would be stupid to not invest in creatine if you want to maximize your ‘gains’.



To say that all bodybuilding supplements are scams is clearly an ignorant thing to state.

The same can be said for saying that all bodybuilding supplements are Godsends.

As always, the value of a bodybuilding supplement depends entirely on a variety of different factors, the main ones being listed above.



  1. Great article. I’ve always been a believer of taking a multi vitamin to make sure that my body has all the raw materials to perform the chemical reactions for building muscle and burning fat