The start of a 2.7 Billion dollar industry was some egg protein. Since then it has evolved into one of the most deceptive yet profitable industries in America with such low regulation standards that you can never tell what is inside. The popularity of egg protein took on and soon many bodybuilders, dieters, and athletes were looking for the magic pill that could help them drop off tons of weight quickly or gain muscle fast.
In the 1970’s bodybuilding became a lot bigger and soon there was a large demand for these supplements. The industry exploded to become what it is today. The problem was that every company was trying to advocate how effective their product was through lying and deception. This type of false marketing took off as people wanted to believe there was a way for a supplement to make them big without experiencing any side effects. Soon the whole industry turned into the new wild west where anything goes.
Early Supplements In The 1970’s
For example a test done by consumer reports showed that multiple highly popular brands of protein supplements had traces of toxic heavy metals such as cadmium in it. So why does this happen in a developed country such as the United States? It’s a combination of dangerous mentalities and legal problems that have surfaced with the obesity epidemic in America. In the 1970’s Americans were decently fit, but after portion sizes and processed foods became more popular, Americans started to gain interest in taking supplements to counteract these effects. The word “drug” isn’t appealing to Americans, and this was when the herbal supplements of traditional Chinese medicine started to take appeal in the late 80’s and 90’s.
FDA And The Problem With Supplements!
People didn’t consider the herbal medicines to be drugs, and felt comfortable taking as much of it as they wanted. On top of this mentality, There was also the problem of the FDA not being able to take action because of the legal classification of supplements. Supplements were considered to be food products, not over the counter drugs.
This means that a company could essentially dish out any product they wanted to and advertise it however they wanted without strict regulation. In fact the FDA can’t even look into the manufacturing process until health problems are reported directly relating to the supplement. This led to the current state of supplements where they are able to lie about how effective the supplement is and continue selling it until health problems occur. To give you a better example of how messed up this system is, let me explain their business model for you.
Supplement Companies Playing Cat And Mouse!
The Supplement company first starts off with a study done awhile back, or not at all, and make a supplement that contains some of the ingredients in it. They usually also add an illegal drug or two in there for good measure. After this, they market it as much as they can and try to sell as many as possible before they get hit by the FDA for health problems.
These companies are so successful that it usually ends up being the same companies doing the same repeated offences over and over again, possibly changing their names for better publicity. Sometimes they don’t even bother. A company advertises and sells a product making 10 million profit. Then liver problems and heart attacks happen and the FDA intervene. They get charged with fraud and pay fines that are like 3-4 million. They take the profit and start this cycle over again, making quick profits. I call this the Americanator cycle. They take our money, and terminate us for all we’re worth using our health and relaxed laws to profit.
Research Your Supplements For Peace Of Mind!
Now, for all the bad in the world there are some actually effective supplements. I would first start off by suggesting you research whatever company you are buying from to make sure they haven’t been hit with fraud at all and that people are getting failed livers from their product. I would say don’t try something new since those are the most suspect.
The first effective supplement to take is creatine. Now, there has been tons of research done on it, and since it’s effectively 3 different amino acids, it won’t hurt you. DON’T take any creatine supplements mixed with anything. Just take your pure creatine monohydrate and nothing else. This is effective and the cheapest option you have. Creapure is good if you can afford it since you know the quality is there as well.
The next effective supplement to take is a multivitamin. Take a multivitamin and don’t get an expensive one at gnc, get a cheap one at costco or walmart. I would also suggest taking one every other day or something along those lines since as a developed country here in the U.S. or any developed country, we probably are not lacking in anything other than Vitamin D or some magnesium and zinc.
The third good supplement is fish oil. In America we generally don’t get enough omega 3 and have an extremely unbalanced ratio of Omega 3 to omega 6’s. Take a fish oil supplement daily to get your needed intake daily. When buying fish oil, just make sure it has EPA and DHA as those are what we all need.
EPA and DHA is the way to go for fish oil
Make sure to look for EPA and DHA when buying Fish Oil!
After this, I suggest taking a whey supplement. Actually scratch that, it’s not even COMPLETELY necessary, but it can be beneficial for right after a workout. I am NOT advocating for a person to take 3 scoops of protein a day, but I do suggest taking maybe one after a hard workout. My terms for a good protein are a little strict ever since finding out there was a problem with heavy metals and such, but I think buying an expensive protein is worth it, as you shouldn’t be drinking a can of protein in a week anyways. Here is my view on what a good protein is.
Now, the rest of your calories should come from whole foods. Not the store whole foods, but WHOLE foods. (although whole foods is pretty good, if not expensive) Think about it, you should be able to get 100 grams of protein or whatever your goals are eating whole foods.
There is a synergistic effective on eating whole foods, and this should compose how you meet your diet goals. Supplements are just that, supplements. Rely on a healthy diet and I guarantee you will see the same if not better results than taking a bunch of supplements. You will save a lot of money as well. So go workout and eat things like eggs and chicken and lentils. If you get anything out of this, just remember that your biggest “supplement” should be the whole unprocessed foods you eat!