Scandals in the Supplement Industry
For those of you not paying much attention to the happenings if the supplement industry, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Some of which you can sit back and laugh at and other things that you should definitely be aware of. Back in the day the supplement industry was created to help people reach their health and fitness goals. These days, it seems greed has infiltrated this niche of the market and has caused many people to simply stop buying and not due to the rising costs—because of the lack of transparency and not meeting label claims.
Protein claims are out of whack
You work hard for your money, right? You don’t want to pay more than what you should and you don’t want to support a brand that doesn’t align with your morals and ethics. It’s for that reason you should really pay attention to the brands you do business with. Sure, you check out their social media and their marketing both online and in print, but that doesn’t truly tell you who the people are behind the scenes. They are painting a picture of what they want you to see which isn’t a good representation of who they REALLY are. You could be buying from some of the biggest scumbags in the industry and not know it.
Recently there have been several brands that have had their protein tested. Some of those brands were spot on with their label claims. Others, well, let’s just say they have some ‘splainin to do. Without getting into the specific brands (you can find them through Google searches on your own), let’s just say there are some brands out there who have around 40% less protein in their product than what the label claims on the tub. So in essence, you are wasting your money on those brands—and for that reason I encourage you to do your homework on whatever brand you are currently using or looking to try next. Then you have brands (which this blows my mind), who have been tested and the results show contain around 10% MORE protein in their tubs than what is claimed on the label. This gives you the consumer more bang for your buck, yet blows my mind how a manufacturer wouldn’t know about this as they are literally shrinking their margins and losing money. Not to mention the margins on protein powder are extremely low to begin with when compared to other products on the market such as pills and capsules.
Let’s not forget the whole amino-spiking debacle that took place as well. Some companies were getting away with adding additional amino acids to their products and claiming it as “protein” on their labels. This inflated the protein content as well as giving their margins a boost when compared to actually putting the true amount of protein in the product. Lawsuits began being thrown around and before you knew it the supplement industry had yet again another black eye. While this cleaned up one piece of the industry, it seems to have led some companies to cut corners other ways. It’s a vicious circle that many of these deceptive companies go through in order to make more money.
A barking dog draws attention
Within the last few weeks, news hit the industry that a famous trainer and bodybuilder blew the whistle at a company he was working with. This particular individual was formulating products for the brand as well as doing some marketing as an athlete. He caught wind that something might be going on with the products that his name is one. Using his own money, he sent one of the products out to be tested and when the results came back he was floored.
Similar to what was mentioned above, there were ingredients in the product that did not meet the claim on the label. This dog showed his teeth and after several attempts to fix the situation with the owners of the company, he decided to make things public via his social media. He gave the company every opportunity to correct the label issue and the owners seemed to brush it under the rug. For what reason? That is yet to be known. Was it to make more money? Maybe. Was it simply an oversight due to them not making sure their manufacturer was producing the product and following all quality assurance measures? Possibly. Whatever the reason, this gentleman wasn’t about to have his name drug through the mud and wanted to be totally transparent about what was happening—which very few people in the industry would be willing to do and I tip my hat to him.
This situation escalated quickly and one owner decided to personally attack this athlete while the other (who left the company before this all started, but still had equity in the company) seemed to want to help the athlete, but only because something was being worked behind the scenes that I’ll touch on in a second. The water got muddier and social media blew up attacking this company and the owner for his actions, both with the situation and his unprofessional video he posted on social media blasting the athlete. The actions of this owner in his video rant is exactly what I mentioned earlier in this article. You truly don’t know what type of person you are dealing with because all you see is the brand and what information and marketing they put out there. Everyone was used to seeing the fancy cars, high-end clothing, and gigantic homes. Then the real man behind the brand showed his true colors when he posted the video on social media looking like a loose cannon. That’s not how a true businessman conducts himself—which makes me question how intelligent this individual truly is.
Now back to where I left off to start the paragraph above. Then when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, the owner who left the company came back into the equation after this scandal broke and with the help of another partner bought the rest of the shares from his previous partner. You following so far? I know there’s a ton of moving parts. Even I had to go through a few times to fully understand the timeline. So where does this leave the company? The name is still covered in mud and they will need to have a complete rebuilding process to earn the trust of the consumers again. This will cost a lot of money and take a lot of time. Not something a business owner wants to hear.
What does all of this come down to?
The bigger question is where did this industry start to go sideways? It went from helping people reach their health and fitness goals to now where the only thing that matters is money? We all understand that businesses need to make money. But there’s a right way to make money and a sleazy way to make money. The industry is choosing the latter these days. Tainted products, cutting corners on quality, lying on the label, the list goes on and on. I don’t want to generalize and throw that label on all the supplement brands out there as they aren’t all bad. But these days it seems like there are more scumbags coming out with worthless products than good brands coming out with beneficial products.
To answer the initial question as to what it all comes down to is this… supplements are just that—a supplement. Do you really need preworkouts? No. Do you really need fat burners? No. Think about some of the underlying issues within yourself and fix them before you go in search for a miracle supplement—because it doesn’t exist. If you read marketing that makes a product sound like the next best thing since sliced bread, take it with a grain of salt. And in my opinion, stay away from that product all together. While marketing is important to get trial on a product, I like products that speak for themselves. If a product is truly great, you will hear it from all your buddies at the gym. Until then, be very careful with the brands you do business with and what you put in your body. Do your homework and become educated on the topic.