We All Know the Supplement Industry Lies… Quit Lyin.
But, wait, why so must distrust???
Why the crooked glances? I mean, even before most people walk into a Nutrishop, a Vitamin Shoppe or a Whole Foods or Sprouts supplement isle, they expect the worst.
Most exercisers and athletes, notoriously buy about thirty-ish bucks in supplements before walking out of nutrition shop, powders and pills in tow, never to be heard from again.
I mean, we’re getting what we ask for: a cure.
Our physical curiosities packed into pill or powder form.
Wait…. nah, we don’t.
But, is it the industry? The marketing?
Why do we feel like we’re being hustled??? We’re the ones who decided to stalk the supplement isle with the sincerest of innocent intentions. So why feel robbed…scammed by the supplement industry?
Because there’s always something lost in translation.
I grew up an athlete, believing muscle building supplements don’t work.
I bought TRAC and EAS Creatines, MuscleTech’s NitroTech and CellTech, and all the supplements a sixteen year old could buy.
As I started training for tournaments as an adult, I refused to waste my money believing the nutrition supplement industry lies – that they never worked. I never gained the veiny muscle bellies, the barbarous visage or the manly workout room grunt technique promised by the Alphas, (although I never lost any muscle looking back.)
Half full buckets of Cell-Tech and whey protein were proof or something.
They reminded me of the aloof promises mouthed by a noodle-armed and gamine salesperson, their insistence on some tiny nutritional detail involving glutamine and branch chained amino acids closed this star crossed deal.
These nutrition shop guys/girls either looked too juiced up, or looked like they shuddered at the thought of a bench press.
(I once walked into a shop in Campbell, CA, run by a legit prize winning bodybuilder, and had his buddy try his ass off to sell me ZMA. “This burns SO much fat, it like melts it man…and you’ll be amped,” he jawed at his 6’2″, 190 lbs and 10% BF customer…. I declined. Many times. He was less a dumbass and more ripped Vitruvian bro who never asked any real nutrition questions in his lifetime yet maintained a thoroughbred genetic posture.)
I stopped building the muscle which my hard workouts dictated, plateauing only with my size and power.
As an adult, I decided to buy supps again, with a renewed awareness, buying organic, and only buying the stuff I needed.
My verdict: The nutrition supplement industry lies because it has to grab your doubtful attention.
No one told you whether you needed supplements.
Find the need, then buy organic, closest to real food as possible, and be surprised.
Supplements are supposed to be temporary fixes.
Packed in numbers divisible by three, the 30 to 90 days supply should last three months at most. And, by the end of those three months, you should have hit your fitness goals, improved your eating habits or cured your gastric distresses in orders that justify coming back to nutrition shop.
But it never happens this way.
So the Nutrition Supplement Industry “Lies” are Really Based On Our Overly Ambitious Goals
And the ingredient list on the back of the bottles reads like hieroglyphs to most people.
There are too many inorganics.
Too many conversions.
Too many promises that fall away from their design.
The hapless service rep is unsure, and somewhat delusional.
But it’s not their fault. They’re the messengers, the liaisons, whose banal knowledge of sports supplements acts like a linchpin of sports nutrition.
Dosages are myopic, unrealistic and force us to resign to an inner self that tells us a more comforting message, “I should be eating ______ anyways.”
And our 45.99 dissipates into a granular heap.
I sell supplements out of my training studio.
I have a minimal stock there; it’s more like a show room.
I will take an order and Europa or NutriBiotic will fill that order at speeds approaching Mach 3. I judge the market for these products then give my clients a very good price. I educate my clients and sell them stuff I know they need.
They need supplements because their habits demand so.
And, I carry an organic stock.
So I myself, have a distrust of mainstream sports nutrition, dodging the tubs of vanilla and chocolate flavored goop, then require a chef’s kitchen just to become palatable
But, I don’t believe supplements are useless, that the nutrition supplement industry lies though.
The best nutritionists and nutrition shops should educate you, all consumers, and here’s the key – we don’t mind if you walk away empty handed, as long as you learned something.
Here are the top 3 reasons why we feel our American nutrition supplement industry lies and our supplements don’t do sh*t.
You Forget to Take Them
My client, let’s call her Lucy, leaves her nutrition army in tight formation right in front of her when we sits down to write her next article for work.
And, like most do an overly ambitious 90’s car alarm, she tunes them out most days despite the urgency bleating out from them during a conscious stillness.
But, she needs to take her multivitamins, calcium and nutricuticals.Because she has trouble digesting milk, doesn’t get her groceries with any routine.
People do need supplements sometimes. And if we are nutritionists we gotta make sure the prescription matches the diagnosis.
Need your supplements. Know your nutrition habits created the need for supplements.
You’ve left a hole in your eating habits, because you are very busy, need huge gains soon, are allergic to a specific food, are on a dietician’s prescribed diet or whatever, and need to add vitamins, specific amino acids, prebiotic or lipoic acids.
Anna, after her last car accident, needed a neurologist to help heal her when she came to me. Her diet demanded she eat ketogenic diets… she lacked energy and needed pyruvate, ALA and fiber from supplements.
Your need will spur you to take your supplements.
Your exercise, your goals, determine the need for the supplements.
Since you want more muscle, more power for competition training during the off season, you will remember to take your creatine.
I suggest keeping your supps nearby, all day – bring a cooler, a pill box or bag, with the dose closer that your toll fare. Think: bus pass, purse/wallet, house keys, and supplements.
You Forgot to do Your Research
I rip through nutrition labels quickly. I can determine the usefulness of every food fast.
It is a simple skill that everyone has, that could be developed better.
Do not rely, ever, on someone else’s prescription, no matter how pristine their smock, how throbbing their pectorals.
Instead, research your supplements and I suggest doing so first empirically, then anecdotally.
Research sources like IDEAFit, or ConsumerLab provide secondary articles about the most common supplements, and their usefulness. Those articles link to primary, basic articles where a research company, or dedicated individual biochemist or nutrition nerd, did most of the hard, scientific work for you. Hard data is your guide.
Your research matters more than the claims on the package, than my or any nutritionist’s recommendation.
You know your needs better than anyone.
I suggest buying a nutrition supplement book from Barnes & Noble, a hard copy, where some dedicated biochemist lists every supplement commonly sold in black ink – refer to it often.
You Forgot to Ask More Questions
Danny bought a tub of Whey Isolate from NOW Sports from me. He needed something easy on his stomach, felt he needed more protein because he exercised three times per week, and he told me that his protein supplements don’t work for him anymore. I let him ask his deluge of questions, and we concluded an isolate, an organic protein powder, might serve him better than the brand he had with too much extra and artificial flavor in it.
He asked me a ton of questions and because his trainer and I had worked together for years, I let him ask all of his questions until we found an answer.
He read the back of the label twice, he ID’d ingredients that were written in English, and he bought a medium sized bucket.
He went on to ask me nutrition questions whenever he had some.
ZMA, ALA, CLA and DHEA all sound like bullshit.
But these are all things inside your body right now at varying levels. Increasing your ALA intake can benefit you if you lack legumes in your diet, because you have allergies, for example.
Ask questions – you should get a comforting answer.
I talk nutrition with my clients a lot. My informed and interested clients ask topical questions about supplements, we lightly debate their usefulness, resting on hard data and collective conscious.
Inquisitive exercisers, at all levels, need to be able to ask the most inane and sensible questions about all the micronized grain and encapsulated vitamin their bodies are set to handle.
I suggest getting an answer for all of your supplement questions up front and asking more and more – because unless you’re a competitive athlete, you probably do not know what pyruvic acid does for your roadwork.
Tower of Powder
Truthfully, supplements don’t work for a majority of people.
I have been witness to many a client who buy bottles of micronized proteins on a one-time basis.
Somewhere on the shelves, lies the half empty bucket of pills and powder, a constant reminder of some lofty fitness goal. An impulse, which on some random Tuesday, which piqued some curiosity, some grand design gone rogue.
It finds its way to the darkest corner of the cupboard, guarding the Cream of Wheat dutifully, used at a rate of two grains per Blood Moon. No food in the kitchen gets eaten less than those overhyped but useful supplements that don’t work.
And yet, money changed hands.
Nutrition Supplement Industry Lies Work Because You Try To Prove Em Wrong
- Competing in three months??
- Trying to lose more than 10 pounds in a few months?
- Someone who is prescribed a strict diet?
- Looking to bulk up with ten pounds of muscle or more?
- Trying to increase your lactic acid threshold?
- Have reasonable time limits for your goals?
- Eating real foods, not skipping meals and snacks?
- Then supplements will help you. Because supplements do “work.”
- They work for those who are eating good food, often and have timed fitness goals. Otherwise, skip them until you need them?