Competition and word of mouth marketing are the engine that drive the supplement industry. If it becomes known that someone gets great results from a product, then that person’s inner circle of friends is likely to want to get some for themselves. If that single person becomes ten people from the gym….the hum is likely to turn into a buzz, with quite a few members jumping on board the “new supplement” train.
Project that word of mouth endorsement an a national platform (extra credit if you can throw in a celebrity endorser)…and you’re sure to have copycat companies rushing to steal the formulation to throw their own label on and call it “New and Improved”. But what happens if the word of mouth results are great…BUT…negative side effects are equally public! What happens then?
Sadly…sales grow larger (and so does the copycatting!) It has become a sad fact, that in the realm of nutritional supplements, no news is “BAD” news and any news (GOOD or BAD) is GREAT news! Think back a few years when ephedrine was all the rage. It was an effective stimulant (with known risks) that was eventually banned. What triggered the ban was a sudden rash of well publicized negative reactions and side effects, including heart attacks and deaths in young athletes or gymgoers who were using it. You’d think that would be enough to steer people 180 degrees away…but it didn’t!
In fact, the reaction most people had was “Holy Sh%t, if this stuff is killing people…it REALLY must work!” Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you admit it if you felt this way (but if you did…you’d have company!) Supplement companies literally ramped up production of the ephedra products to try and capitalize on the national attention and media craze before the ban would prevent them from selling them!
There are stories of companies (reputable ones included) that literally doubled up the production of their ephedrine-containing products and had their factory workers producing them round the clock…just to dip their buckets into the Ephedra River of Gold one last time before it dried up. Nice huh?Well, sadly, the story hasn’t changed much today. As a matter of fact, it may be worse.
THE NEW KID ON THE “CHOPPING BLOCK”
The latest rage is 1,3-dimethylamylamine (or 1,3-Dimeth as it’s called). This somewhat new kid on the block looks eerily similar to it’s ugly step sister Ephedrine. Guys…it’s an amphetamine derivative, banned as a matter of fact for use by the World Anti Doping Agency. Though chemically different in it’s structure from what is structurally defined as an amphetamine, it’s effects are intense (and potentially uncontrolled stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system…of which the heart is one of it’s featured controlled muscles!).
There have already been anecdotal stories of guys having extremely adverse reactions to this stuff and in my opinion, it’s only a matter of time until this ingredient experiences the same fate as epehedra based products.
That said…what do you think is happening? Well, ever since a certain company made this it’s primary active ingredient in its preworkout supplement and experienced a fast growing buzz…every company with the ability to put something in a bottle rushed out to create their own preworkout with 1,3-Dimeth in it! No surprise by now…..UNLESS YOU THINK LIKE ME! Seriously.
When I was a kid, my mom would always ask me, “If you saw someone running off a cliff, would you follow them“? Though she’s no longer here now to put her hand on my shoulder to say it to me, her words have never left my head. And this is what puzzles me about the industry. You would think, that in the name of “health”, that ALL supplements would actually HELP you without putting you at risk. But it’s obviously not the case.
Maybe I’m in the wrong here? Maybe in an expression of freedom of speech and the entitlement of a business to make it’s money any way they see fit…I’m off base here for criticizing? Let me know what you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and leave your comments below. In the meantime…stay tuned for #3 up next! I’ll show you why a quick trip to the local supplement store could leave you broke and dizzy! You won’t want to miss that (or any of them as we lead up to #1!)
PS. In the meantime, if you’ve been thinking about starting a program to get in shape for Summer but were torn between this “X” and the “other X”…P90X …CLICK HERE to get your head to head comparison and decide ‘apples to apples’ what would work best for you!
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.