Anabolic complexes are a collective group of supplements and sports nutrition that have a putative and often unproven ability to increase muscle mass. Anabolic complexes vary significantly in composition; they can contain plant extracts, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, creatine and much more. Quite often, sports nutrition manufacturers exploit the term “anabolic complex” for commercial purposes, assigning supplements to this group that have nothing to do with it.
It should be noted that in 90% of cases, anabolic complexes are marketing profanity, not justifying even a tenth of the stated promises given by the manufacturer. Many anabolic complexes do not have any effects at all, and this has been proven by independent research, but they continue to be successfully sold, since buyers do not have objective information support. Be extremely vigilant when choosing an anabolic complex, carefully study the composition, checking the information for each component, collect all possible supplement data from independent sources and consult with an expert in sports nutrition.
Even reputable brands such as MHP, MuscleTech, BSN and others produce anabolic formulas that do not affect muscle mass and other athletic performance. The term “anabolic complex” is very vague, and in itself should alert the buyer. The fact is that even ordinary food has anabolic properties. The more we eat, the more anabolism prevails, so formally we can say that a loaf of bread is also an anabolic complex.
Effective anabolic drugs are usually highly controlled and not freely distributed, so manufacturers have to look for various plants and food components that, according to some information, may be useful.
It has been empirically proven that there is not a single remedy that is highly effective and at the same time does not have side effects. Therefore, consider buying a “super effective supplement” that has no side effects.
Experts have identified the most popular ingredients included in anabolic complexes and analyzed their effectiveness in sports, based on independent research, scientific literature and athlete reviews.
Of the herbal ingredients, the following active substances are often used:
- Eurycoma longfolia is effective. Increases testosterone production and increases libido;
- Icariin – effective;
- Arachidonic acid – effective;
- Agmatine (also known as 4-aminobutyl guanidine) – increases gonadotropin secretion, confirmed in only one animal study;
- 3,4-Divanillyltetrahydrofuran – blocks sex hormone binding globulin, the evidence base is fragile;
- Tribulus Terrestris – enhances libido, but does not affect testosterone levels;
- Protodioscin is the active ingredient of the Tribulus Terrestris plant. Effectiveness in humans has not been proven;
- Ecdysterone – the effectiveness is in doubt;
- Forskolin – the effectiveness is in doubt;
- D-aspartic acid – ineffective;
- Methoxyisoflavone – ineffective;
- Peruvian Maca – ineffective;
- Avena Sativa (Oats) – ineffective;
- Phytosterols are ineffective;
- Beta-sitosterol – ineffective;
- Common hops (Humulus lupulus) – ineffective;
- Valerian derivatives are ineffective;
- Mucuna Pruriens – ineffective, but it can increase libido by affecting the dopamine system;
- Griffonia simplicifolia – ineffective;
- Fenugreek – ineffective (according to recent studies, only the effect on libido has been proven);
- Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) – ineffective.
- Omega-3 – effective;
- Arachidonic acid – effective;
- Phosphatidylserine – effective;
- Choline is effective.
- 6-OXO – effective;
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) – ineffective;
- ZMA – ineffective.
In addition, amino acids and creatine are often included in anabolic complexes – however, it is more economical to purchase them separately.