Anabolic complexes are a collective group of supplements and sports nutrition that have a putative and often unproven ability to increase muscle mass. Anabolic complexes vary greatly in composition; they can contain plant extracts, amino acids , vitamins and minerals , fatty acids, creatine, and much more. Quite often, sports nutrition manufacturers exploit the term “anabolic complex” for commercial purposes, assigning supplements to this group that have nothing to do with it.
It should be noted that in 90% of cases, anabolic complexes represent a marketing profanation, not justifying even a tenth of the stated promises given by the manufacturer. Many anabolic complexes do not have any effects at all, and this has been proven by independent studies, but they continue to be successfully sold, since buyers do not have objective informational support. Be extremely vigilant when choosing an anabolic complex, carefully study the composition, checking the information for each component, collect all possible supplement data from independent sources and consult with a sports nutrition expert.
Even reputable brands such as MHP, MuscleTech, BSN and others produce anabolic complexes that do not affect muscle mass and other athletic performance. The term “anabolic complex” is very vague, and in itself should alert the buyer. The fact is that even ordinary food has anabolic properties. The more we eat, the more anabolism prevails , so formally we can say that a loaf of bread is also an anabolic complex.
Effective anabolic drugs are usually highly controlled and not freely distributed, so manufacturers have to look for various plants and food components that, according to some information, may be useful.
It has been empirically proven that there is not a single remedy that is highly effective and at the same time does not have side effects. Therefore, consider buying a “super effective supplement” that has no side effects.
SportsWiki experts have identified the most popular ingredients in anabolic complexes and analyzed their effectiveness in sports, based on independent research, scientific literature and athlete reviews.
From herbal ingredients, it is often used:
- Eurycoma longifolia is effective. Increases testosterone production and enhances libido . [one]
- Icariin – effective
- Arachidonic acid – effective
- Agmatine – increases the secretion of gonadotropin , confirmed in only one animal study
- 3,4-Divanillyltetrahydrofuran – blocks sex hormone binding globulin , the evidence base is fragile
- Tribulus terrestris – enhances libido, but does not affect testosterone levels. Currently, the Tribulus turnover in Russia is limited.
- Protodioscin is the active ingredient of the Tribulus terrestris plant. Effectiveness in humans has not been proven.
- Ecdysterone – the effectiveness is in doubt.
- Forskolin – the effectiveness is in doubt.
- D-Aspartic Acid – Ineffective
- Methoxyisoflavone – ineffective
- Peruvian poppy is ineffective
- Avena Sativa (Oats) – ineffective
- Phytosterones are ineffective
- Sitosterol – ineffective
- Common hops (Humulus lupulus) – ineffective
- Valerian derivatives are ineffective
- Macuna Pruriens is ineffective, but it can increase libido by affecting the dopamine system. 
- Griffonia simplicifolia – ineffective
- Fenugreek (Fenugreek) – ineffective (according to recent studies, only the effect on libido has been proven).
- Kudzu (Pueraria lobota) – ineffective
- Omega-3 – effective
- Arachidonic acid – effective
- Phosphatidylserine – effective
- Choline is effective
- 6-OXO – effective
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) – ineffective
- ZMA – ineffective
In addition, amino acids and creatine are often included in anabolic complexes – however, it is more economical to purchase them separately.