Q&A Database:
Supplements and Steroids

Every week on the podcast, Greg Nuckols and Eric Trexler discuss recent research and answer listeners’ questions about anything and everything related to training, nutrition, science, and life in general.

Here, we’ve compiled all of the supplements and steroids topics discussed and questions answered on the podcast along with time-stamped links so you can quickly jump around and find the content you’re most interested in.

You should also subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts to make sure you’re getting new episodes and answers to your questions every week.

All supplement and steroids questions

Caffeine

Is it a good idea to use caffeine as an ergogenic aid if you can only train in the evening?

Episode 62: Energy Deficiency, Training Frequency, and Beginner Gains


Research Roundup – Caffeine naps

Study reviewed

Episode 57: Caffeinated Naps, Intuitive Eating, and Q&A Catch-Up


Is it necessary to cycle caffeine for its ergogenic effects?

Episode 48: Breakfast, Glycine, Muscle Knots, and Trigger Points


Caffeine increases strength and power performance in resistance‐trained females during early follicular phase

Study Reviewed

Episode 47 – Bench Angles, Appetitive Traits, and Mesocycle Progression


Research Roundup – Caffeine and genetics

Study reviewed: Grgic et al.

Episode 44: Caffeine Genes, Brown Adipose Tissue, Concurrent Training, and Hangovers


Research Roundup – Effects of acute caffeine, theanine and tyrosine supplementation on mental and physical performance in athletes.

Episode 33: Doping, Collagen, Goals, and Hyperplasia


Research Roundup – Is Coffee a Useful Source of Caffeine Preexercise?

Episode 28: Glycogen Loading, Lower Back Pain, PowerBuilding, & Physical Culture with Ben Pollack


What is the interaction between caffeine and creatine, and gastrointestinal discomfort associated with creatine supplementation?

Episode 1: Creatine, Genetics, and Dr. Peter Fitschen


How does habitual coffee consumption affect arterial stiffness?

Episode 6: Caffeine and Health, Sex-Based Caffeine Differences, and IPF World Champion Natalie Hanson


Is caffeine bad for heart health?

Episode 6: Caffeine and Health, Sex-Based Caffeine Differences, and IPF World Champion Natalie Hanson


What’s the highest daily caffeine dose that seems to be okay?

Episode 6: Caffeine and Health, Sex-Based Caffeine Differences, and IPF World Champion Natalie Hanson


What factors affect caffeine metabolism and the relationship between caffeine and health? (Genes, diet, hormones, etc.)

Episode 6: Caffeine and Health, Sex-Based Caffeine Differences, and IPF World Champion Natalie Hanson


What is the relationship between caffeine, theacrine, and sleep issues?

Episode 6: Caffeine and Health, Sex-Based Caffeine Differences, and IPF World Champion Natalie Hanson


Do men and women experience the same performance effects from caffeine?

Episode 6: Caffeine and Health, Sex-Based Caffeine Differences, and IPF World Champion Natalie Hanson


Creatine

Should creatine be consumed after workouts to maximize its effects? 

Episode 83: Lifting & Mortality, Global Versus Localized Hypertrophy, and Pre-Sleep Meals


Should you stop taking creatine before and/or during a water cut? 

Episode 70: Reverse Dieting, Bodybuilding Mortality, and Optimizing Biomechanics


Is there any benefit regarding creatine cycling?

Episode 49: Protein & Kidney Function; Cholesterol & Training Adaptations


Creatine Supplementation Does Not Influence the Ratio Between Intracellular Water and Skeletal Muscle Mass in Resistance-Trained Men

Study Reviewed

Episode 47 – Bench Angles, Appetitive Traits, and Mesocycle Progression


Is it okay to mix your creatine drink the night before you drink it?

Episode 36: Antioxidants, Injury Risk Factors, and the Conjugate Method


Can you tell if you’re a creatine non-responder by whether or not you gain weight when you start taking it?

Episode 13: Q&A: Warming Up, Calculating Volume, Assessing Fatigue, and Creatine Non-Responders


What is the link between creatine and hair loss?

Episode 1: Creatine, Genetics, and Dr. Peter Fitschen


What is the interaction between caffeine and creatine, and gastrointestinal discomfort associated with creatine supplementation?

Episode 1: Creatine, Genetics, and Dr. Peter Fitschen


Are you ever concerned about a client having high creatinine levels?

Episode 25: Q&A: Rest Periods, Deadlifts, Bulking, and Hypertrophy for Powerlifters


HMB

What does the research say about HMB supplementation?

Episode 1: Creatine, Genetics, and Dr. Peter Fitschen


What does the research say about how HMB supplementation affects hypertrophy?

Episode 8: Drug Testing, New Supplement Research, Squat Science, and Dr. Eric Helms


CBD

Is CBD oil actually a supplement, legally speaking?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


What is your opinion on CBD?

Episode 7: Q&A: CBD, Junk Volume, Eccentric Training, and Building a Following in Fitness


General Supplement Questions

Research Review: Spirulina for allergic rhinitis

Episode 82: Spirulina, Satiety, And Vitamin Supplementation


Some people in the fitness industry are fairly outspoken critics of multivitamin, vitamin D, and fish oil supplementation. What’s Eric’s take on the matter?

Episode 82: Spirulina, Satiety, And Vitamin Supplementation


Research Review: Effects of fish oil on recovery and body composition

Episode 76: Fish Oil, Body-Fat Set Points, and Junk Volume


Are we underestimating the effects of certain supplements due to a lack of dose-response studies?

Episode 74: Energy Compensation, Interference Effect, Underestimating Supplements


Does ashwagandha improve performance?

Episode 73: Q&A: Protein Overfeeding, Individualizing Training, and Strength Changes During Weight Loss


Research Review: ATP supplementation 

Studies discussed:

Episode 72: ATP Supplementation, Goal Alignment, Glycemic Index


Q&A: Turkesterone supplementation 

Episode 63: Metabolic Rate, Blood Flow Restricted Training, and Turkesterone


Evidence for Rhodiola usage as a pre-workout supplement 

Bonus Live Q&A: Energy Constraint Model, Training Volume, Creatine Kinase Levels, and More


Does mouthwash blunt the ergogenic effect of nitrate supplements? 

Bonus Live Q&A: Energy Constraint Model, Training Volume, Creatine Kinase Levels, and More


Research Review: Fish Oil and Recovery

Studies reviewed: 1, 2

Episode 61: Responders, Non-Responders, and Fish Oil


Is there any validity to the idea that athletes should avoid things like NSAIDs or fish oil in order to better realize training adaptations?

Episode 61: Responders, Non-Responders, and Fish Oil


Research Roundup: Capsaicin for performance

Study reviewed

Episode 60: Capsaicin, Multivitamins, and Time Off


Multivitamins: good or bad?

Episode 60: Capsaicin, Multivitamins, and Time Off


Research Roundup: Beta-Alanine

Studies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Episode 59:Beta-Alanine, Training Frequency, and Strength for Hypertrophy


Is combined supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin an efficacious strategy for older lifters? Will it prevent or repair any joint wear and tear?

Effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of hip or knee: network meta-analysis

Effectiveness and safety of glucosamine and chondroitin for the treatment of osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Episode 57: Caffeinated Naps, Intuitive Eating, and Q&A Catch-Up


Research Roundup – Vitamin D

Letter from FDA

Peer-reviewed paper on the topic

Episode 57: Caffeinated Naps, Intuitive Eating, and Q&A Catch-Up


Research Review: Testosterone boosters

Studies reviewed: 1, 2, 3.

Episode 56: Testosterone Boosters, Sticking Points, and Bar Velocity Technology


Is ATP supplementation effective for performance enhancement?

Episode 55: BMI, Plant-Based Protein, Stretching, and Mouthguards


Is phosphatidic acid supplementation effective?

Relevant study

Episode 55: BMI, Plant-Based Protein, Stretching, and Mouthguards


Research Roundup – Fish oil
  • Studies discussed: 1, 2, 3

Episode 53: Protein, Fish Oil, Glycogen, and What Limits Muscle Growth


Research Roundup – Essential Amino Acids

Article discussed

Episode 52: Protein, Lactate, and Strength Phases to Boost Hypertrophy


What’s your take on supplementing with leucine at every meal to optimize MPS?

Episode 49: Protein & Kidney Function; Cholesterol & Training Adaptations


Does the effect of citrulline malate decrease with continuous use?

Episode 49: Protein & Kidney Function; Cholesterol & Training Adaptations


If you are supplementing with collagen to help repair soft tissue and possibly mitigate pain, do you think it would be beneficial to antagonize the problem areas during your workouts to elicit an inflammatory response?

Episode 49: Protein & Kidney Function; Cholesterol & Training Adaptations


Shedding Some Light on Vitamin D Supplementation: Does It Increase Strength In Athletes?

Papers discussed: One, Two, Three.

Episode 51: 2020’s Most Notable Research (with guests Eric Helms and Mike Zourdos)


Glycine supplementation for tendons and ligaments

Relevant studies: 1, 2, 3

Episode 48: Breakfast, Glycine, Muscle Knots, and Trigger Points


L-theanine: purpose and dosing guidelines

Episode 46: Season Finale: Tons of New Meta-Analyses and Q&A Catch-Up


Does acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) blunt hypertrophy or strength gains?

Episode 46: Season Finale: Tons of New Meta-Analyses and Q&A Catch-Up


Is it likely that habitual intake of nitrate-rich vegetables can induce the same ergogenic benefits that highly-concentrated supplements can?

Episode 46: Season Finale: Tons of New Meta-Analyses and Q&A Catch-Up


L-citrulline dosing guidelines

Episode 46: Season Finale: Tons of New Meta-Analyses and Q&A Catch-Up


Eric reviews several recent supplement meta-analyses and systematic reviews

Episode 46: Season Finale: Tons of New Meta-Analyses and Q&A Catch-Up


SBS Article Discussion: Betaine

Eric’s betaine article.

Episode 45: Betaine, Sodium Bicarbonate, and Evaluating New Research as it Develops


Vitamin C and recovery

Study reviewed and Eric’s antioxidant article

Episode 45: Betaine, Sodium Bicarbonate, and Evaluating New Research as it Develops


Sodium bicarbonate supplementation and strength/muscular endurance

Studies reviewed: 1, 2.

Episode 45: Betaine, Sodium Bicarbonate, and Evaluating New Research as it Develops


Given its osmolytic properties, could taking trimethylglycine (betaine) during “peak week” be a good idea for natural bodybuilders? Has it been tried before?

Episode 37: Heart Rate Variability, Antagonist Stretching, and Chrononutrition


I am currently taking a stim-free fat burner with several ingredients, and I feel like it helps curb my appetite. Are these ingredients actually doing anything, or am I just wasting my money?

Episode 38: Immune Function, Home-Based Workouts, Fat Burners, and Lifting with Long Limbs


Do either of you guys still see a point in vitamin D and fish oil supplementation?

Episode 35: Metabolic Rate, Artificial Sweeteners, Electromyography, and Non-Failure Training


Does collagen or glycine supplementation provide any benefit to connective tissue, muscle, or skin, beyond simply increasing protein quantity?

Episode 33: Doping, Collagen, Goals, and Hyperplasia


What are your thoughts on sodium bicarbonate supplementation for the enhancement of sprint performance?

Episode 31: Q&A: Myonuclei, Sodium Bicarbonate, Bands For Hypertrophy, and More Game Changers


Which supplements don’t suck?

Episode 27: Q&A: Bands, Chains, Useful Supplements, and Tweaking Your Program


Are essential amino acids (EAAs) more useful than branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)?

Episode 21: Q&A: BCAAs, Mini-Cuts, Sex Differences, and First Meet Tips


If we say that metabolite accumulation may play a causative role in hypertrophy, shouldn’t that mean that supplements designed to enhance the pump actually increase hypertrophy?

Episode 7: Q&A: CBD, Junk Volume, Eccentric Training, and Building a Following in Fitness


How do combinations of dietary supplements work when consumed together?

Episode 1: Creatine, Genetics, and Dr. Peter Fitschen


How does betaine supplementation affect body composition and strength performance?

Episode 2: Sex Differences in Fatigue and Recovery, and Dr. Jason Cholewa


How exactly are dietary supplements regulated by the government?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


What is the history of prohormones on the supplement market?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


What exactly counts as a “dietary supplement,” according to the law? How do new ingredients find their way onto the market?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


How can consumers make safe, informed decisions about which supplements to take?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


How does the government regulate dietary supplements?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


What are “current good manufacturing practices” for supplements?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


Do new supplement ingredients require “approval” from the government?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


What is the history of non-supplement ingredients being sold as supplements (pro-hormones, stimulants, etc.)?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


Are “designer stimulants” still prevalent on the supplement market?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


People often blame failed drug tests on tainted supplements. Are they being truthful, or is that just a convenient excuse?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


Do we need more laws to help regulate the supplement industry?

Episode 4: Supplement Regulation, Steroids, and Rick Collins, Esq.


What does the research say about ecdysterone supplementation?

Study reviewed: Isenmann et al. Ecdysteroids as non-conventional anabolic agent: performance enhancement by ecdysterone supplementation in humans.

Episode 8: Drug Testing, New Supplement Research, Squat Science, and Dr. Eric Helms


What are your thoughts on sodium intake for lifters, whether in absolute terms or relative to potassium intake?

Episode 23: Q&A: Carbs, Sodium, and Experimenting with Your Training


Steroids

Research Review: Bodybuilding Mortality

Episode 70: Reverse Dieting, Bodybuilding Mortality, and Optimizing Biomechanics


µ-Opioid receptor–induced synaptic plasticity in dopamine neurons mediates the rewarding properties of anabolic androgenic steroids

Study Reviewed

Episode 47 – Bench Angles, Appetitive Traits, and Mesocycle Progression


How much of a difference do steroids make for muscle growth?

Articles referenced:
How Much More Muscle Can You Build With Steroids?
The Steroid Strength Advantage: A Theoretical Approach

Q&A: Training frequency, reducing caloric intake on rest days, and isometric training


New documentary about doping in weightlifting

Episode 33: Doping, Collagen, Goals, and Hyperplasia


I once heard Greg say that one reason he’s never taken anabolic steroids is their potential impact on cognition, but I’ve never seen anyone else reference that as a side effect. Could he elaborate?

Episode 25: Q&A: Rest Periods, Deadlifts, Bulking, and Hypertrophy for Powerlifters


How strong do people get when they think they’re on steroids, but actually aren’t?

Episode 1: Creatine, Genetics, and Dr. Peter Fitschen


What do Greg and Eric think about drug testing in sport?

Papers discussed: Cohen et al 2014Van Wagoner et al 2017

Episode 8: Drug Testing, New Supplement Research, Squat Science, and Dr. Eric Helms


How do anabolic steroids affect myonuclei? Do myonuclear changes revert back to normal when people stop using steroids?

Episode 20: Reading Research, the Placebo Diet, Muscle Memory, and Alex Kolliari-Turner


How long should someone be banned from sport when they’re caught using steroids?

Episode 20: Reading Research, the Placebo Diet, Muscle Memory, and Alex Kolliari-Turner


Does an increase in DHT necessarily mean more rapid hair loss? And how does this relate to anabolic steroids and hair loss?

Episode 1: Creatine, Genetics, and Dr. Peter Fitschen


What percentage of strongman competitors do you think are drug-free? How’s the plan for drug-tested nationals coming along?

Episode 26: Protein, Fiber, Phototherapy, and Intro to Strongman with James Deffinbaugh


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