Muscles, Speed and Lies: What the Sport Supplement Industry Does Not Want Athletes or Consumers to Know

Overview

In 2005, health-conscious consumers and athletes combined spent approximately $6 billion on various sport supplements that promised to enhance their health, physical development, or performance. But do these supplements really offer the benefits they claim in their advertising and on their packaging? And are they safe?
David Lightsey, MS, a nutrition and food science advisor to an award-winning consumer advocacy Web site, maintains that the sports supplement industry regularly ...

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Overview

In 2005, health-conscious consumers and athletes combined spent approximately $6 billion on various sport supplements that promised to enhance their health, physical development, or performance. But do these supplements really offer the benefits they claim in their advertising and on their packaging? And are they safe?
David Lightsey, MS, a nutrition and food science advisor to an award-winning consumer advocacy Web site, maintains that the sports supplement industry regularly and knowingly makes false claims, and since it has yet to be properly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, consumers are unprotected from products that are unnecessary, may cause great harm, or even lead to death. Aware that much of the problem stems from a lack of information about general nutrition, dietary supplements, and beneficial lifestyle changes, Lightsey provides answers to such questions as:

Do excessive protein supplements actually hinder performance and strength gains?
Can over-the-counter supplements be more effective than steroids?
Why are fat cells so easy to accumulate and so hard to diminish in size?
Are antioxidant supplements helpful or harmful?
Which dietary changes have the most effect on physical development and training?
How much body fat can safely be lost in one week?
How much muscle mass can realistically be developed in one week without steroids?

In Muscles, Speed & Lies, Lightsey helps educators, consumers, coaches, athletes, and parents navigate through all of the hype about supplements, and he offers advice on alternative dietary changes that can yield much healthier and longer-lasting results than the latest “miracle” pill.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Mark E. Lavallee, MD, CSCS, FACSM (Memorial Sports Medicine Institute)
Description: This book will enlighten readers about the often murky world of the sports supplement industry. Readers will be surprised at the steps which the $16 billion dollar supplement industry takes to sell their products, involving everything from misrepresenting research, the addition of banned substances, inaccurate marketing, incorrect product labeling, and lobbying congress for protective legislation to outright lying to consumers and athletes.
Purpose: The author's purpose is three-fold: first, to expose the sport supplement industry's history of lies, deceit, and greed, similar to Ralph Nader's campaign that exposed the safety concerns of the Corvair; second, to educate athlete-consumers on the real science behind vitamins, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, and other supplements; and, finally, to give athlete-consumers some practical applications and ways to apply the information to their lives.
Audience: This book is essential reading for the interested athlete or coach. Particularly, it should be required reading for those studying in the field of clinical sports science (undergrads, grad students), allied health professionals (ATCs, personal trainers, dieticians), and primary care sports medicine physicians.
Features: This well researched book starts by exposing the sports supplement industry for what the author sees it is: big business, and not necessarily concerned about health, safety, truth, or honesty. The book then tackles in systematic fashion the complex myths and realities about vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and carbohydrates. The author pulls it all together in the end, making his recommendations. The list of resources, references, and index are quite extensive and well done.
Assessment: This well written book keeps readers' attention while discussing very eloquently the science of nutrition and the myths revolving around the supplement industry. The author accomplishes the difficult task of addressing two different groups with this book: the athlete and the more educated sports science/sports medicine student. This book parallels Faust's Gold : Inside the East German Doping Machine by Steven Ungerleider (St. Martin's Press, 2001) which exposed the doping issues associated with East German athletes in the 1970s and 1980s.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592289127
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2006
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Lightsey, M.S. is an exercise physiologist and nutritionist who has worked for the past sixteen years with the National Council Against Health Fraud, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization combating misinformation in the health marketplace. He is also an advisor to Quackwatch.org, and has appeared on Dateline NBC, the CBS Evening News, and has provided research support for ESPN's Outside the Lines.

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Table of Contents

1. Fleecing and Swindling
2. The Deceptive Marketing Methods
3. The Three Mechanisms That Maintain Vitamin and Mineral Homeostasis Over a Broad Range of Intakes
4. Antioxidants--Help or Harm?
5. Protein and Muscle Mass Development--How Little It Takes and Why
6. Carbohydrates, Fluids, and Hydration--The Real Ergogenic Aids
7. Body Composition and Weight Control--A Reality Check
8. Soils--Are They Really Deficient?
9. What to Do--Some Simple Guidelines

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