The Bulk of Ergo Aids

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There seems to be an endless supply of ergogenic aids available for sport and dietary supplements available for weight loss. In addition to those already discussed, here are some others you might encounter, along with what the scientific literature has to say. Our recommendations are in the right column.


Carnitine: made from amino acids lysine, and methionine.

Coenzyme Q10, aka Ubiquinone: found in all cells in the mitochondria (our energy station).

Glutamine: nonessential amino acid.

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT): fatty acids that are released during normal fat digestion.

Does it increase fat use?

Does it increase aerobic capacity?

Does it increase protein synthesis and limit synthesis, breakdown? Does it help with immune and gut health?

Does it increase fat oxidation during long-duration exercise?

Nearly all studies failed to find a benefit to increasing fat use.

Very little in the way of athletic performance improvements; may have antioxidant potential.

Although amino acids are helpful for protein glutamine alone doesn't seem to provide additional benefit.

MCTs will be used during exercise, but they don't appear to make a big difference on their own.

The science isn't there yet. A couple of studies found benefits for exercise, but it's too soon to supplement. . . . Back to the lab.

Insufficient data to call it a performance enhancer. May have antioxidant potential and should be investigated further for that benefit.

It appears to be safe, but it doesn't seem to have special benefits for protein synthesis or breakdown prevention. Additionally, may help with immune and gut health.

Sure, it's a fuel source, but the evidence that it's an ergogenic aid is lacking.

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