I hope you’re enjoying reading this “Top 5 Biggest Problem with Your Supplements” series I’ve been putting together for you over the last week or so. Not so much in that the information makes you happy or puts a smile on your face (since, like me you’ve probably come to the conclusion that you’ve wasted plenty of money and time on crappy supplements in the past!), but more so in that moving forward…you’ll be much more prepared and armed to make smarter decisions when it comes to what you put in your body to assist your efforts in the gym.
That said…if you didn’t already have a bad taste in your mouth about the information I wrote about in the first three parts…you will now (and ironically, it has to do with the supplements you have may have used or are using…that taste great!) Let me explain!
TASTES TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!
When it comes to supplement taste (particularly with protein powders, meal replacements, post workout recovery supplements, etc) if it tastes too good to be true…..IT IS!! If the last postworkout meal replacement you had reminded you of a McDonald’s vanilla milkshake…in truth, it may not have been too far different nutritionally. How can this be you ask? Doesn’t the label make trustworthy claims about the contents inside? Oh, it does make claims, but in the eyes of the unregulated supplement industry…SAYING and HAVING TO BE SO are two completely different things.
You see, with the lax guidelines and lack of clear specifications in place for standardizing supplement content and ingredient quality…we kind of still find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the SUPPLEMENT WILD WEST! Anything Goes!! Not only can harmful substances like the previously talked about 1,3-Dimethylamylamine be included in the things you’re taking, but on the flip side…things you think are INCLUDED in your supplement (because you’re told they are on the label) don’t necessarily have to be in there in the amounts they’re claiming! I told you things were about to get worse!
WAVING THE MAGIC WAND OF DECEIT
You see…there’s a little talked about practice in the industry called the “magic wand” effect. Manufacturers will often times boast certain levels of an ingredient on their labels only to shortchange the dose and drop in far less than is advertised (saving themselves lots of money in product creation costs along the way)! If the supplement were to be analyzed, and a recommended dose were to be shown to contain only 1mg of HMB for instance, when the label claims 30mg…the company can simply claim “uneven distribution” during the mixing process and get the green light to bring the product to market anyway! Think this doesn’t happen? Think again. It happens far too often.
One of the biggest giveaways when this practice might be occurring is the good old fashioned taste test! Again, if you’re supplement tastes too good to be true, it is…there’s simply no way around certain ingredients. Let me give you an example, by their very nature…branch chain amino acids are guess what? Acidic! They are rather bitter and “grungy” tasting to say the least. This is the reason that most BCAA’s are delivered in pill form, so you can simply swallow down the horse pills without hardly having to endure them sitting on your taste buds for too long.
That said, take a sip of one of the leading postworkout BCAA’s right now and you’d think you were drinking Kool-Aid for crying out loud!! How can that be?? Let me guess…special flavors with “Anti-Amino” Taste Technology? Hardly. More like, one of two things. The first…there really aren’t as many BCAA’s in the product as their claiming (remember, we’re dealing with an UNREGULATED industry) or enough sugar and sweeteners thrown in to drown out the bitterness (only to leave you with a much less healthy version of the supplement you thought you were getting). It’s a lose lose any way you slice it. Even regular vitamins.
Any post workout with a general vitamin profile is going to have a hard time masking that unless they’re not using what they claim or are using massive amounts of fattening sweeteners to do so. Think about the last time you had a multivitamin dissolve on your tongue for a quick second while you were taking it. Pretty distinctive taste huh? The bottom line is that the way the supplement industry has conducted business over the past few decades has forced us as the consumers to become far more proactive and vigilant in what it is that we put in our bodies.
We sadly can’t just TRUST that the “powers that be” will look out for our best interests by putting out quality products (even if at a premium price) with exactly what they claim they’re delivering to us in them. I don’t know, maybe I’m an idealist, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go back to the days when our moms would say “EAT THIS….IT’S GOOD FOR YOU” and it really be true again?!? Sure the Brussels Sprouts may not have always tasted the best, but at least they were actually Brussels Sprouts and they were good for us after all. Ahh, the days! Let me know YOUR thoughts! LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.
PS. Don’t forget #1 is coming next and along with it a BIG announcement!
For those of you wondering about the ATHLEAN-X Sneaker Contest, my infrequent appearances on facebook, and the new TNT Triceps DVD Release….this post is going to answer ALL those questions!! Trust me, you’ll be happy! Stay tuned!
Jeff Cavaliere M.S.P.T, CSCS
Jeff Cavaliere is a Physical Therapist, Strength Coach and creator of the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs and ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy (MSPT) and has worked as Head Physical Therapist for the New York Mets, as well as training many elite professional athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, MMA and professional wrestling. His programs produce “next level” achievements in muscle size, strength and performance for professional athletes and anyone looking to build a muscular athletic physique.