Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis extract that has rapidly moved from being illegal to possibly the fastest growing supplement on the market. If you jump on a google search you’d be forgiven for concluding that CBD will help with just about every aspect of daily life. If you’re an athlete, then you’d be silly to not be taking it.
The reality is that CBD is currently very under-researched in humans… The reason? - It has only recently been legalized in many countries. Regardless, brands are quick to make claims about CBD without any human based research. They're jumping on the bandwagon. Does CBD work in any way? - possibly. Should brands be making claims about its ability to reduce injury pain, inflammation and even enhance mental state in the athlete? - Absolutely not…. Yet.
Zinc Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA)
This one became popular in the late '90s and has had a recent resurgence in popularity. It's made from zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-6 and is marketed to increase muscle, fitness, sleep quality and testosterone. Unfortunately, the renewed interest isn't due to it working - It’s very cheap to make, and easy to market.
The reality? Aside from one study by the creator of ZMA, Victor Conte (of the BALCO steroids scandal), which showed promise in NCAA football players, study after study has shown that this was an anomaly.
To date we have not seen a well constructed human study on ZMA that showed it to work. Save your money.
Elk Antler / velvet antler supplements or spray
Antler derived products have been reported to relieve joint and muscle discomfort, rebuild and optimize joint function, improve strength and endurance, boost energy, increase libido, and so much more. Strangely, this leap of faith seems to have came from data that IGF-1 levels increase during antler growth in deer. To date there is no research showing this product has any impact on performance. In fact there are two studies, neither showing any real benefit: