The Supplement Industry | Friend or Foe?

The Supplement Industry

It’s a fascinating world. One that is loaded with contention, innovation and at times, controversy. If you are into fitness, bodybuilding or just training in general, then the likelihood is that you will have been exposed to the Supplement Industry somewhere along the way.

You’d like to think that these giant companies are here to spur your training and health on. Be your allie in achieving your goals.

They care more about you, the quality of your health, the quality of wha they’re promoting you to put in your body and that it doesn’t mean that you’ll be living off of Tesco’s basis noodles for the rest of the month once you’ve checked out on their website!

Yeah that’s right – this post is a rant. A sarcastically crafted piece of literature aimed at certain companies who seem to place profit over physical progress.

First off, why am I writing this now? I clearly take supplements to aid my training, so you might assume that I am used to the prices that companies bat around. In short yes I am.

I’ve just completed an order from a company that I rate and often use.  What really has pissed me off is seeing the price of a product that I want to use (I’m not naming names or products in a derogatory sense). It’s a ‘new’ mass gainer… I’ll leave it at that.

It rocks in at over £80 for 5kg – which is the only weight option. Which will provide 12 servings. No typo, 12 servings. How big must that scoop be? But more seriously, how? How can it be that expensive? For me and the way that I train, it would mean I’d need two tubs per month and I’d be looking at close to £170!

£6.66 per shake. Would you pay that if your gym sold shakes for you to have post workout?

The macronutrients in this product are okay — nothing out of the ordinary nor brand new.  The USP’s are three good (different) sources of Protein and ‘Premium Carbohydrate’ matrix.  However, from the same site I can order; albeit in separate pouches, the same form of protein and carbohydrate complex for literally half the price… The whole thing is madness!

There’s more your honour!

This is just one example and as you can tell it’s annoyed me. Obviously the guys in their marketing and R&D department haven’t thought this one through too well. I will give them credit in this instance, at the least they are naming exactly what ingredients go in to form their supplement blends.

Also, companies that list their ingredients as ‘proprietary blends’. What’s that when it’s at home? I mean this is about as vague as the claims that Saddam Hussein had WMD under Tony Blair’s government. What nasties are you hiding in your protein or pre-workouts that you don’t want us to read?

I’ve got Crohns – I want to be able to see exactly what I am putting through my system and also to be able to know if I should be avoiding certain products due to the content. Personally I think that there should be some sort of legislation that enforces that as consumers, we have a right to know what goes into the products we consume and that manufactures have to list these ingredients.

It also begs the question, are some companies only interested in lining their pockets?

There are however, two sides to every argument. If a company comes out and states that they are priced a little over the market average, but explains why – e.g., the purity / quality of their ingredients and can back up their supplements with clinical trails to show they out perform others, then I am cool with that. In fact, I love that. If it’s a premium product that delivers beyond premium results, then awesome! Kaged Muscle is a great example of this. I’ve used their Intra-Workout; InKaged and it’s an absolute beast as is another product of theirs, HydraCharged.

They use Premium ingredients, test them to the ‘N’th’ degree to ensure that they deliver clean results that aren’t to the detriment of your health. I’d say as a brand they’re well worth a look at! Plus the owner, Kris Gethin is a very interesting athlete to watch and follow.

It’s annoying, almost a little bit of a catch 22. These things are supplements. And they should be exactly that, something to supplement a strong and nutrient diet. A product or group of products that enhance your wellbeing and state of your body. Not something that puts more of a dent in your bank balance then a deposit for a two-week holiday in the sunshine!

Next time you need to restock on your chosen supplements, check the label, are you getting the macronutrients that you need? Can you get the same macro’s from ordering products separately?

Don’t just assume that you can’t and that nicely designed product is necessarily the best for you…

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