A supplement can be considered “clinically dosed” when the doses of each ingredient are the same as the doses used in a formal study, or “clinical setting”. More often than not, an ingredient will have a “clinical range” because it has been demonstrated to be effective at different doses throughout different studies.
Below are some common ingredients used in bodybuilding supplements along with the corresponding clinical dose/range…
- Beta-Alanine: 3-6g
- Betaine: 2.5g+
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate: 1-2g
- Taurine: 1-2g
- Creatine: 3-5g
Why Is Clinical Dosing Important?
Think about it…if you’re taking a supplement but it contains lower doses than the doses used in the studies that proved it effective, it isn’t guaranteed to be effective. Beta-Alanine is one of the most reliable, effective supplements for increasing muscular endurance, but if you take 500mg a day it won’t work!
Many supplements contain the RIGHT ingredients, meaning ingredients that have proven effective in studies, but are using far less than what is considered an effective dose.
How to Tell IF A SUPPLEMENT IS CLINICALLY DOSED
There are a few ways to tell if a product is under-dosed. One good indication of under-dosing is a proprietary blend. If a company doesn’t tell you the doses of each ingredient, it’s probably because they’re hiding something.
Do the Math If You Want To Be Sure
If you know the clinical doses for certain ingredients, you can estimate what would be needed, even when the ingredients are concealed in a proprietary blend.
Say product A lists a proprietary blend weighing 5500mg that contains the same ingredients we used above: Beta-Alanine, Betaine, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, Taurine, and Creatine.
Using the lower end of our clinical ranges from above, we can easily tell that most of the ingredients in Product A are under-dosed on a per serving basis. If it contained true clinical doses, it would weight about 10,000mg, not 5500mg.
Avoid Proprietary Blends Altogether
Although there are a few tricks, like the one described above, to help decipher proprietary blends, it’s really best to just avoid them. As a consumer, you vote with your dollars. If everyone stops buying supplements with proprietary blends, they will eventually go away. In fact, they are on the decline. So just look for fully-transparent supplements and accept nothing less.
You will never see a proprietary blend-bearing, under-dosed supplement from Momentum Nutrition. We don’t believe in intentionally misleading our customers in order to make a short-term profit. We believe in consumer education. Once you develop an understanding of what makes a truly effective supplement, you can decide for yourself if our products are worth a try.
DO YOU FEEL SMARTER?!
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I'm Matt, Founder of Momentum Nutrition and SuppWithThat.com. I've spent the better part of the last decade researching and experimenting in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and supplementation, and this is where I write it all down.