In This Chapter

Supplements may do more harm than good

V The truth about creatine, DHEA, chromium picolinate, and androstenedione Using coffee to boost energy and performance

V The good stuff about energy bars

No matter the field—computers, architecture, nutrition, you name it—we constantly strive to make improvements, partly because it's in our nature to do so and partly because we're out to make a profit from our innovations. Indeed, these "new and improved" versions are often more cosmetic than substantive because manufacturers are constantly trying to get the public to believe that they've perfected the egg when most of the time they've only come up with a new advertising slogan.

This is especially true when it comes to the wide-open field of nutritional supplements, but that's not to say that there aren't some valuable products on the market that can help you feel and look better. In this chapter, we'll help you decide what supplements will help you meet your fitness goals and which ones may not only fail to help but may actually harm you.

First of all, the most common deficiencies are carbohydrates and fluids—neither of which requires a trip to a health food store. Second, vitamin, protein, and mineral deficiency is rare in people with a balanced diet. You should also know that while a shortage of a nutrient can have a negative effect, taking an excess of one particular substance usually does more harm than good. For instance, a protein deficiency can

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