In 2012, $ 11.5 billion was spent on nutritional supplements in the United States alone [1]. It's easy to see why a lot of people rush to nutrition centers when they hear Arnold Schwarzenegger finished a product. The majority of people do not do research before they buy a product. They look at the models and decide that's how they want to look. They might think that the product is a magic pill or powder. But, if that's the case, why is America one of the most obese, high income countries [2], when over half of Americans proclaim taking or trying supplements [3]?

Supplement companies spend millions on advertising and marketing [1], while very little money has been spent on actual bodybuilding research [4]. Most of the models you see in supplement ads are probably not even using the products they're promoting. They achieved those results through hard work and discipline.

There are many reasons you can not count on supplements to give you greater gains, and you must focus on your diet to give your body the proper building blocks. Here are two of the most predominant reasons.

* Supplements are not regulated by the FDA

Because there are no purity standards enforced by the FDA, companies can put the smallest amount of ingredients inside of a blend, and you have no way of knowing if it will deliver on its promise. At most, you only know that it contains the ingredient. The most important factor, however, is how much of that ingredient does it contain.

Clinical trials use a strict dosage to test how effective an ingredient is. Most commercial products fall short. But, it does not stop supplement companies from showing how they tested in clinical trials. The point of all of this is to do your research. Make an informed decision about what your going to put in your body.

* Most research on supplements is for athletic performance – Not Bodybuilding

Pro athletes as well as amateurs want an edge, and every team wants to win. Since steroids are banned substances in most athletic sports, A lot of money gets spent on research for athletes [4] to perform better with “clean” supplements.

While some supplements do have their place, it's important to do your research thoroughly. You have to make sure your not putting yourself in danger, and that the contents of the active ingredients meet the dosage that was used in clinical trials.

Most supplements are extremely expensive, and offer no greater results. A healthy, clean diet and proper training techniques will provide you with the largest, most impressive gains. The main thing to take away from this is that you have to be more patient. In a world focused on instant gratification, being more patient will save you a lot of money, and a ton of frustration.

References
1. jewlscholar.mtsu.edu/handle/mtsu/3694
2. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-trends/obesity-rates-worldwide/#References
3. blogs.extension.iastate.edu/spendsmart/2012/07/16/the-secret-behind-supplements/
4. staff.washington.edu/griffin/muscle_growth.txt