Book Review: The Sports Supplement Bible for Health and Fitness, by Will Brink
Review by Evan Peck M.D.
The sale of dietary supplements produces over $28 billion annually. In the fitness industry, dietary supplements also represent a large proportion of the marketing effort, as evidenced by brief perusal of most popular exercise magazines or websites. Many training and nutrition articles in the lay press are cleverly-schemed (or thinly-veiled) advertisements for dietary supplements, and essentially all major bodybuilding magazines are owned by dietary supplement companies.
Simply put, dietary supplements are big business. And where there’s money to made, integrity is not always found. In The Sports Supplement Bible, Will Brink examines with scrutiny a large collection of popular dietary supplements on the market. Of note, Mr. Brink is a private nutritional and exercise consultant, does not work for any dietary supplement company, and has no conflict of interest with respect to the material contained within this book.
The book organizes dietary supplements into several categories: Amino Acids, Metabolites (e.g., creatine monohydrate), Protein Powders, Essential Elements, Anti-Estrogens, Herbal Testosterone Boosters, Phytochemicals, Adaptogens, and Miscellaneous Compounds. For each supplement, a concise and information-dense chapter is written. The supplement is defined, the purported effects are defined, and then those claims (and any other effects) are examined using the available scientific literature as well as what has been reported anecdotally. The information is then summarized into a general recommendation.