How to avoid buying scam supplements

The Fight Nerd March 22, 2012 1

Day 58/365

One of the videos I enjoy making the most on this website are the gear review videos. I challenge various training gear companies to stand up to my extremely thorough testing by bringing their equipment to an MMA gym (or sometimes a “specialist” like a muay thai gym for a second opinion) and have different students test the product in a variety of ways. We push it to the limits and break down the pros, cons and if it’s worth the price they are charging.

Products like focus mitts and MMA gloves are easy to showcase, as you can see results immediately. One thing I have wanted to review to help educate MMA students is supplements. The only problem is how do you document without spending weeks tracking progress on a chart? Boring! I have not figured that out yet, but I do offer some advice for the smart consumer who want to know the most crucial query when it comes to buying supplements – how do I not get scammed?

Here are a few tips on how to not get taken by a snake-oil salesman and put the right things in your body that will help you become a better you!

- If it’s too good to be true, it probably is

We all know this already about many things in life, but buyers continue to fall victim to sales tactics that promise to change us from meek to sleek overnight. If something was really that easy, why wouldn’t everyone in the world be doing it?

Certain products do deliver instantly, such as those dietary supplements that claim to shed pounds. Why? Because it’s a diarrhetic, and will result in extremely unpleasant urination and discharge. Slow and steady wins the race, it’s up to you to remember that and not get taken by some sweet marketing buzzwords!

- Look for legit information

I was checking out a website for a supplement recently that I will not name, and was impressed to see that they offered a study about their product. I took a look, and was disappointed by the results. Not the test results, mind you, which were “positive” across the board. I was disappointed by how pathetic the test was.

The study tested their product with 27 people. That’s less people than a college classroom holds! How is that a fair study? A proper study should be testing hundreds of people at least, and the more the better. Furthermore, the legitimacy of the tester was in question as he could have simply been a hired shill.

Most supplements are not FDA-approved, which means they do not go through the rigorous testing that products like cold medicine go through. It is essentially up to the supplement makers to do their own independent studies (meaning outside of their company), and this allows scammers to be especially dishonest and just make up their own information and get away it.

- Avoid direct mail-order companies

There are very few products that are impossible to find in a health food store, nutritional supplement store, or even some larger supermarkets and pharmacies. For example, Acai Berry supplements are very popular and many companies exist online to sell you these, citing dramatic results and leading you around with a leash to their shopping cart. Meanwhile, you can buy this in Wal-mart and actually read the ingredients label.

We all know the reputation of the internet, home of deposed rich Nigerian kings who want to bequeath their fortune to you, or a Latvian duchess who needs your help to escape her oppressed home, so treat these internet stores with the same discretion. Is every store online evil? Hardly, but talk to people (actual people) at your gym or local health stores to see if what you need is right in front of you, and also to get unbiased answers from people who get paid to help you, not paid to sell to you.

- Do your research

That’s really the biggest point that needs to be made here. If you don’t know what you are buying or what you want to buy, you will get scammed! I have been to many GNC’s where the salesman pushes things on me as soon as he knows what I want. Learn to say no and not feel guilty about it. After all, it’s your body, not his. Go home, do your research online and look at a variety of sources for info. Once you feel confident that you know what you want and what it will do for you, make your choice!


One Comment »

  1. HB_NHB March 23, 2012 at 10:45 AM -

    Honestly….I got to say…I am no more smarter about supplement choices now, than I was before I read your article..I’m not trying to be mean, and maybe it has to do with the fact that I have been involved in taking supplements for a while, but it seems as though you just pointed out very, very generic things to look for when making your choices.

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