So there’s been some word going around of a magical weight loss and bodybuilding combo: Muscle X and apple cider vinegar. All you have to do is take the two supplements and you’ll start shedding the pounds like there is no tomorrow!
We dug a little deeper to see what’s actually going on, and whether it’s effective or not.
Is Muscle X and Apple Cider Vinegar effective?
Put simply, no. Muscle X is a scam just like the millions of other weight loss scams. Apple cider vinegar does indeed have its benefits, but by no means is it a miracle solution to shed weight.
There have been no clinical trials to prove the connection between these two substances, and any evidence provided is purely anecdotal with no way of actually verifying whether it’s true or not.
Snake oil salesmen are nothing new – they’ve existed in the past and the internet has enabled them to change their disguises even quicker than before.
What is Muscle X?
Muscle X is a typical internet marketing scam designed to prey on people’s insecurities about themselves combined with the human need to find an easy solution.
It’s a supplement that has been going around for a while, under many different names and guises. If you Googled “Muscle X” now, you won’t even be able to find the original sales page.
Note: Did you know the testimonials on these sales pages are almost certainly fake? They’ve certainly never been mentioned on MSNBC and Fox like they claim, either!
So on their sales page, Muscle X (formerly sold as Testo Boost X) touts that their product will help you increase muscle mass, lose weight, and increase your sex drive – all through the magical testosterone hormone.
Here are some of the ingredients they list, for which they don’t mention the proportions, by the way:
- Horny Goat Weed Leaf Extract
- Tongkat Ali Root Extract
- Saw Palmetto Fruit Extract
- Orchic Substance
- Wild Yam Root Extract
- Sarsaparilla Root Extract
- Nettle Root Extract
- Boron Amino Acid Chelate
Are all of these legitimate substances? Sure, why not? But are they enough to cause magical changes in your body? I strongly doubt it.
Just for arguments’ sake, I’m going to talk about the first two:
Horny goat weed leaf extract
According to WebMD, Horny goat weed is a herb that might help increase blood flow and sexual desire. The key word here is might. There has been no scientifically conducted study to verify these claims.
There are also a lot of side effects listed on the site – I am not going to list them here, though – and all of them are also possibilities. There’s just no conclusive evidence for any of this.
Wild yam root extract
We talked about a leaf, why not a root? According to WebMD, Wild Yam is promoted as a natural alternative to estrogen therapy. Estrogen is the female sex hormone and regulates many of the reproductive processes in the female body. Wild yam root contains a chemical which can act like estrogen in the body, but the body can’t change it into actual estrogen.
Additionally, there’s no sufficient clinical evidence that any of the touted effects are actually guaranteed or not.
As I was writing this post, I just chose two components at random and coincidentally they ended up being testosterone and estrogen boosters, the male and female sex hormones.
At best, you may see results: just because there is insufficient clinical evidence does not mean that it can’t work. It could also just mean not enough people have been interested to do a proper study.
However, you can’t out-exercise and out-supplement a bad diet and a poor lifestyle.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, is actually a really well-known and widely used food. It definitely has lots of benefits, but salesmen often tout it as a miracle cure-all to everything under the sun.
Like I said above, you can’t out-exercise and out-supplement a bad diet and poor lifestyle!
Benefits of apple cider vinegar
Vinegar helps with regulating your insulin levels and maintaining your glycemic index. Essentially, it helps regulate the release of insulin so you don’t experience insulin “highs” and “crashes”.
If your insulin rises too fast, it will remove sugar from your blood too quickly and the resulting insulin crash will leave you feeling hungry very quickly.
Vinegar has been shown to help balance the insulin wave in your blood so you end up feeling full for longer – it increases your satiety.
Obviously, feeling full for longer encourages you to eat less, which may help with losing weight.
However, please note that vinegar is not the only food that helps with insulin sensitivity! There are other foods like fenugreek, green tea, almonds, and so on that help too.
Apple cider vinegar is definitely good for you but chugging it won’t get you the results you need. It’s a great addition to an already nutritious meal you should be eating and the added boost of insulin sensitivity will help keep your appetite in check. It won’t completely kill your desire to eat but it will certainly give a bit of a boost in feeling full.
How to lose weight the right way
As much as we all hate to admit this truth, the only way to effectively lose weight is through eating properly.
All of the supplements in the world won’t help if you’re chugging sodas and candy bars left and right. You need to eat a balance of good carbs, vegetables, fruits, and proteins if you want to lose weight.
What’s a balance? Basically, the formula is very simple: eat less calories than you burn in a day.
A deficit of a few hundred calories per day will go a long way in helping you lose weight.
Combine a good balanced diet with a bit of exercise and that will do wonders for your body. Weightlifting and occasional cardio will help your body burn even more calories, so it will be easier to get the calorie deficit to kick in.
Make small changes that are sustainable
No diet is effective if you can’t sustain it and keep it going. The key to succeeding in any diet is sustainability.
Personally, I feel two changes are very sustainable and easy to implement, and a lot of people have had success with them:
- Drastically reduce or cut out added sugar: If you drink sugary sodas every day, stop! Replace the soda with something else like a freshly squeezed juice or better yet, water! If you crave the carbonation, club soda with a few drops of lemon is amazing. Reduce the amount of candy you eat – if you eat a whole bar, have just a couple of pieces. Cutting sugar is the first step to losing weight and many people have seen encouraging results that enables them to push further.
- Try intermittent fasting: There is a huge Reddit community dedicated to intermittent fasting and this method is really effective because you’re allowing yourself a lot less time to eat. By reducing the time you eat, your appetite will decrease, you’ll get the calorie deficit required, and you’ll lose weight, too. Join the community, introduce yourself, and get support from like-minded people. It will make a huge difference!
Manage your expectations
If you’re looking to lose 40-50+ pounds, you can’t expect to do it in a week, or even a month. The healthy way to lose weight is gradually so your body can get used to the changes and maintain them.