As I've stated in various articles and videos, when I first began bodybuilding 57 years ago (which itself is interesting since I'm only 39!) I didn't exactly have a huge range of food supplements to choose from related to helping me to build added muscle mass and strength. In a way that was good, since I couldn't afford them even if they did exist. Back then, the major food supplements for helping to add muscle mass and strength were protein powers and desiccated or dried liver tablets or powder. I recall once purchasing a desiccated liver powder supplement, which I kept in a desk drawer in my room. One day, while I was at school, my mother found it, smelled it, and promptly threw the can away. She told me that obviously, it had "gone bad," and she was concerned that it would attract roaches and other vermin. In fact, I had only purchased the product one day earlier, spending the little money I made as a newspaper delivery boy on it. As such, I could not say whether desiccated liver was an effective muscle-building supplement, although a few years later I ingested 50 liver tablets a day (not all at once) when preparing for bodybuilding contests. Desiccated liver was one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements in the 60s and 70s. I began using it following the advice of Frank Zane, who had already won the Mr.America and Mr.Universe contests and would win the Mr.Olympia contest three times in 1977, 1978, and 1979.
For protein supplements, you had three choices back then: Milk and egg protein; meat-based protein supplements; and egg protein supplements. Soy protein was also available but wasn't popular because it seemed to not produce much results. Indeed, later research showed that soy protein is preferentially taken up by internal organs rather than muscle, but when combined with other proteins, such as whey and casein from milk, could produce some good anabolic effects in muscle. But soy protein is not something you would not want to ingest if your goal is fat loss. A recent study found that the isoflavones contained in soy protein can inhibit thyroid hormone function for up to six months. A slow thyroid output will definitely hinder weight-loss efforts.
Over the course of years, a plethora of products have been introduced to the sports supplement market, all touted to produce near-miraculous effects in helping to build added muscular mass and strength. Some of the claims for these products are suggestive of hyperbole, however. Adding to the problem is that nearly all the studies that confirm the efficacy of these muscle-building products are sponsored by the same companies that sell the products. This produces a huge credibility gap in relation to whether the products will produce the results claimed for them. The good news is that more recently, various independent . . .