IT MAY BE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN BUT THERE IS A GROWING TREND OF BRANDS THAT ARE NOW FULLY DISCLOSING THEIR FORMULAS
Here’s the problem: Brands don’t want to disclose their formulas to customers and it has nothing to do with keeping the formula a secret from competing supplement companies. For whatever reason we’ve grown into a society eager to believe the lie. It doesn’t matter how big the lie is. Tell it to me again and I’ll believe it.
Take a second and think back to all of the crap we see for sale on TV. Remember the magnetic bracelet? As I remember, they would make a person stand with their feet together with both arms held straight out at shoulder level. Next, they would put their hand over theirs and push downward. The result, the person would stumble and struggle to not fall over.
Out would come the magical magnetic bracelet with its amazing invigorating powers. Once on, the same ritual would be repeated, except this time the participant had superhuman strength. No matter how much force was applied to the hand it would not lower. It was as if the bracelet capacitated the bear with the power of the magnetic Gods. When the bracelet was removed the poor smuck resorted back to their human self.
Sometimes I feel like the supplement industry isn’t far from this circus act. A big, huge, 10,000 calorie a day eating bodybuilder gets paid $$$$$ to say he loves a particular product and people come out of the woodwork to buy it. It doesn’t seem like anyone takes the time to say: “Wait, what’s in this thing?”
This past weekend I went to the gym to conduct my own informal survey. I asked a number of questions, one of them being if they used a pre-workout supplement. If they did in fact purchase a pre-workout product I went on to ask a series of question. The responses were revealing, check these out:
I found 10 individuals that recently purchased a pre-workout supplement.
- A total of 9 out of 10 pre-workout products purchased consisted of proprietary blends.
- A total of 8 out of 10 individuals who had purchased a pre-workout knew what a proprietary blend was.
- A total of 8 out of the 10 individuals (80%) DID NOT feel the presence of a proprietary blend in their product was an issue while to expressed a mild concern.
- When asked how important it was that they know what ingredients was going in their bodies and how much of it, all 10 individuals said it was very important.
- When re-asked if they were concerned that their product featured a proprietary blend, 10 out of 10 individuals (100%) changed their mind or reaffirmed that a proprietary blend in their product was an issue.
- A total of 7 out of 10 felt that brands using a proprietary blend was cause for serious concern while the remaining 3 felt it was serious.
- A total of 8 out of 10 individuals hadn’t given much thought to the proprietary blend issue until I brought it up today.
- A total of 10 out of 10 individuals felt that supplement companies should not be trusted.
What I found interesting from this issue was the consensus among the 10 individuals polled. They felt that proprietary blends was and is a part of the “status quo” of pre-workout supplementation. One of the individuals said none of the products disclose the formula.” Only two individuals expressed a concern and a casual one at that while an overwhelming majority of the individuals didn’t have an issue or an opinion at all.
It wasn’t until I challenged them with how unimaginable it is to me that people would consider putting something in their body and not know what it is or what it does. I expressed utter disbelief that they hadn’t thought about how much was or wasn’t going in. I suggested that as consumers, they were giving a lot of trust to supplement companies, whose #1 priority is to sell their product. There are a number of companies out there that put person before profit but you have to wonder about the ones using proprietary blends.
The practice is simply to conceal the formula in a blend usually with a really cool name, i.e., Vaso Expander Matrix. What is it? In this example, it is a blend of nitric oxide boosting ingredients.
Here is how it might look on your label:
Vaso Expander Matrix 2,500 mg
Arginine HCl, Agmatine Sulfate, Vitamin C, Glycerol Monostearate, Grape Seed Extract, L-Norvaline
Here are the problems: How much arginine, agmatine and glycerol is present in the blend. The only thing we know is that combined, everything adds up to 2,500 mg.
Maybe it’s a good formula. Maybe it offers 1 full gram of agmatine and 250 mg of l-norvaline but why is arginine in there and at what dose? Why is vitamin c listed ahead of glycerol. When present in a formula like this, glycerol is dosed at 1 gram + and vitamin c between 250 and 500 mg so why is it listed behind vitamin c? Another problem is grape seed being placed ahead of l-norvaline. If this blend is listing ingredients in the correct order of dominance there are obvious concerns with under dosing of ingredients.
As you look to your own pre-workout and ask these same questions, you’ll agree that by declaring the ingredient dosage, scrapping the proprietary blend, the brand will answer all questions and concerns. It will no longer be under suspicion. Do you agree?
Not every product using a proprietary blend is shady or trying to pull one over on you, but there is no justifiable reason for doing so, therefore; it is suspicious.
A common practice is to put a full dose of one or two ingredients and go light in everything else. When this is done it is because they don’t want for consumers to see how underdosed all or certain ingredients are.
A transparent supplement facts will accomplish the following:
Provide customers everything needed to make an informed comparison with other products. Provide customers with the capacity to determine if the proposed product offers a good cost value. Provide customers with the ability to trust the brand. The purpose of this article is not to call any out any brand, instead, it’s to challenge you to evaluate the product you are currently using and in the process, make you better and informed consumer.
AN EMERGING TREND
Although there is an emerging trend among brands to offer better products, most still hide their formulas in the ambiguity of the infamous proprietary blend. BUT THINGS ARE IMPROVING!!!
One such brand is INFINITE LABS and one such product is JUGGERNAUT® X. This is an amazing pre-workout that equips you with everything you need to put it up next to any of the top pre-workouts you might find on the shelves of GNC and the Vitamin Shoppe. In fact, one of their ingredients alone, citrulline is dosed at 8 grams per single serving. A dose higher than most brands proprietary blends. I challenge you to do the comparison.
TRUST ME TRUST ME!
I do want to circle back to the proprietary blend issue with another question for you to consider.
How many supplement facts have you looked at with a proprietary blend? When you see them, isn’t it true that you have no choice but to “trust” the brand? Am I right? You have no choice but to hope that there is enough of the “good stuff” in the bottle. Now, imagine walking into a supplement store and asking the clerk “How much of these ingredients is in this product?” “I’d like to know what I’m about to put into my body?” The response; “Well, we don’t really know but don’t worry about it.” “TRUST ME, the product works!” Maybe you shouldn’t. Maybe there’s too much at stake.
With products like JUGGERNAUT® X you won’t have that issue. The supplement facts, account for every milligram of every ingredient you see in a fully disclosed 19.5 gram serving. This is how a brand needs to go about earning your trust as a consumer.
Thankfully, the trend also shows consumers tired of being shortchanged, deceived and being asked to just “TRUST” the brand.
Now go and be a better, informed consumer getting for yourself the best value on the market.