Anyone who regularly follows my content knows that I’m hugely critical of the bodybuilding and fitness supplement industry.
I’ve been weight training consistently for over 15 years now, and while I don’t regret all those hours spent in the gym and the solid nutritional habits I’ve cultivated over that time, the one thing I do regret is the huge amount of money I wasted on so-called “muscle building” and “fat burning” supplements that didn’t truly work.
I was too naive back then to realize just how misleading the majority of the industry really was, and the various ways that it preys on the insecurity and gullibility of those trying to get into better shape and improve their health and fitness.
Yes, the right supplements in the proper dosages can certainly provide a worthwhile boost to your training performance and bottom line results, however, the “good ones” are extremely few and far between.
The simple fact is that most of the items lining the shelves at your local supplement store (probably 90-95%) are quite simply NOT worth your hard-earned money and will do very little (if anything) when it comes to helping you build muscle and lose more fat more effectively.
Dietary supplements are a 37-billion-dollar-a-year business in the U.S alone, and here are 7 different ways these companies are trying to take advantage of you that you should definitely be aware of…
Despite the endless list of different supplement compounds that are commonly claimed to build muscle, burn fat and improve performance, the truth is that only a very small percentage are truly supported by legitimate scientific research in this area.
The rest are based entirely on false promises and misleading claims that leave you with nothing but a thinner wallet and a minor placebo effect at best.
In the world of supplementation, marketing is everything.
Take some obscure ingredient, hype it up as the “next big thing”, support it with some seemingly convincing yet misleading “research”, and watch the sales come pouring in.
Here are just a few examples of popular supplements that are heavily promoted for their supposed fitness benefits yet have been directly shown in research to be ineffective for improving body composition and training performance:
This is another area where a huge percentage of supplements fail miserably.
Even in the rare formulas that do contain a decent ingredient profile, you almost never end up getting the proper dosage of each one.
It doesn’t matter how effective a particular ingredient is – if it isn’t consumed in the right amount, its benefits will either be hugely reduced or completely non-existent.
And since many companies blatantly hide their specific ingredient amounts behind a bogus “proprietary blend”, you often have no way of even knowing what’s really in the product in the first place.
Not only is the list of legitimate, research-supported supplements available a very short one relative to the thousands of different products being sold nowadays, but it’s also important to keep in mind that even those few supplements that do work are by no means a replacement for proper training and nutrition.
Sure, I like the idea of popping back a few pills and seeing a huge instant boost in muscle growth and fat loss over night just as much as the next guy, but it just doesn’t work that way in real life, no matter what that supplement ad with the photo-shopped fitness model on it told you.
Supplements are just that: supplements.
Yes, if your goal is to fully optimize your results over the shortest period of time and with the greatest level of convenience, a few evidence-based supplements can certainly have their place in rounding out your overall fitness plan. Just don’t expect them to work any miracles, and remember that consistent proper training and nutrition is where the majority of your results will be derived from no matter what.
Not only are you being sold a flat-out ineffective product far more often than not, but you’ll usually be paying a decently high price for it as well.
It’d be one thing to spend 5 or 10 bucks on something that didn’t work, but in most cases you’ll be dishing out 20, 30, 50 dollars or more per month, which can add up quite a bit over the long term especially considering that most trainees will be using multiple supplements at any given time.
The markups on most popular fitness supplements are absolutely through the roof, with companies often paying just a few bucks to produce each bottle and then selling it for 10 times the cost.
I can’t even count the number of cases that have popped up over the years where popular supplements have been found to just straight up not contain what the label says they do.
One recent example involved the mega vitamin retailer GNC, along with Target, Walmart and Walgreens, where it was uncovered that only 20% of their top-selling herbal products actually contained the herbs listed on the label, with cheap fillers like rice flour and asparagus making up the rest.
Amino spiking has become another huge issue in the protein powder category where many companies have been routinely adding cheap free form amino acids into their blends (such as l-taurine, l-glycine or l-methionine) as a way of cutting costs and artificially raising the protein count.
The bottom line here is that just because something is listed on a supplement label doesn’t even necessarily mean that that’s what you’re truly getting.
And if some of the biggest, most popular supplement companies out there are getting away with false labeling tactics like this, you can only imagine how prevalent it must be with smaller brands as well.
Aside from supplements being frequently under-dosed and mislabeled, some companies have even gone as far as mixing certain banned substances into their formulas to increase their effectiveness.
For example, the largest retailer for online bodybuilding supplements recently pled guilty to selling products laced with synthetic anabolic steroids, while another highly popular brand was caught putting methamphetamines into their pre-workout formula.
These sorts of cases are fairly rare overall, but it’s just another reason to be cautious when making supplement buying decisions, especially if you’re a competitive athlete who undergoes drug testing.
Even in the rare case that a particular supplement does overcome all of the previous obstacles we just outlined, you still have to consider the issue of underlying product quality.
For example, are you receiving pure raw ingredients from verified high quality sources, or cheaper alternatives from overseas?
Are your supplements being made in a cGMP/NSF certified facility, or one that uses unregulated, cheaper processing methods?
Are the products third party tested? Are they free of harmful contaminants?
When supplement companies opt for inferior quality processing in the interest of greater profits, it’s like playing Russian roulette with your body. You’ll never know if the end product you’re getting is truly effective, or even worse, if it’s safe for you to consume.
You might be thinking that the 7 common practices above add up to a pretty bleak picture for most bodybuilding and fitness supplements, and you’d be correct.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way…
You work hard for every ounce of muscle you build, every pound of fat you burn, and every strength gain you achieve.
You stay consistent with your workouts from week to week, follow a properly structured eating plan, and manage your rest and recovery to support your fitness goals.
That’s why you deserve honest, effective supplements that truly work when used in conjunction with your training and diet.
Over-the-top promises, “high profile” endorsements and flashy labels might look great on paper, but they don’t deliver what actually matters in the real world: results.
Let’s face it, the last thing the industry needs is another over-hyped, over-priced, run-of-the-mill line of pills and powders backed by nothing but lies and false promises.
My goal in creating RealScience Athletics was to identify every single thing wrong with nearly all of the current “muscle building” and “fat burning” supplements on the market today, and to formulate a product line that directly addressed and overcame all of these issues.
At RealScience Athletics, we’re NOT like the vast majority of other companies out there. And quite frankly, it’s something we’re very proud of.
We wanted to take a different approach.
An approach based on true science, real research, and intelligent product formulation… NOT on “fancy ingredients”, flashy labels and fake endorsements.
An approach based on honesty, transparency and fairness… NOT on false marketing gimmicks, hype or deception.
We don’t mislead you. We don’t cut corners. We don’t do anything that would compromise our integrity or detract from your muscle building and fat burning goals in any way.
What we do is very straightforward…
Create for you the supplements that we ourselves would want to buy.
100% research-backed, clinically dosed, safe and effective formulas that optimize body composition, training performance and overall health… and for an affordable price. Period.
A huge amount of research, testing and tweaking goes into every product we create, and each one is subject to incredibly high standards before being released…
Every single ingredient used in our formulas is fully supported by legitimate peer-reviewed scientific literature and has been thoroughly assessed for safety and effectiveness.
If a particular compound isn’t research-proven to increase overall health, fitness and performance, you’ll never see it included in any of our supplements.
Each of our product pages includes a detailed breakdown of every ingredient used, along with the specific benefits and scientific studies supporting each one.
That way, you know exactly what you’re getting and why.
High quality ingredients aren’t enough – you need the proper doses too.
That’s why we don’t skimp out on potency to save on costs or “pixie dust” our products with minimal amounts of a large number of ingredients just to hype up the label.
Every ingredient used is present in its clinical, research-validated dose to ensure you get the greatest benefits possible, and you can even confirm this for yourself since we provide all of the relevant scientific references for each one.
There’s no reason whatsoever why you should have to “guess” at what’s included in a supplement you’re paying your hard-earned money for.
That’s why we show you exactly which ingredients are included, in the precise amounts, without any bogus proprietary blends, hidden ingredients, cheap fillers or other dangerous substances added in.
What’s on the label is what’s in the product, and what’s in the product is what’s on the label, guaranteed.
An effective supplement plan shouldn’t break the bank. It should give you the results you deserve for a fair price.
Since our products are sold directly from our manufacturer to you (we don’t sell anything in retail stores and there’s no “middle man” involved in our supply chain), we’re able to offer our formulas at a very affordable price.
“Making a bunch of money” was never our goal in the first place – it was to create an honest exchange of value so that everyone benefits equally.
Product safety and control is our top priority.
That’s why our products are manufactured in a USA-based cGMP/NSF approved facility, the most widely-respected global third-party certification provider for supplement production.
It costs a bit more on our end to go this route, but guarantees that you’re getting the purest ingredients and highest quality processing available.
While there’s certainly no consensus that artificial sweeteners/flavors are harmful when consumed in moderate amounts, the research in this area is still fairly mixed.
That’s why we opted to exclude the commonly used artificial substances found in most other popular supplements, such as sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium and chemical flavorings/dyes.
Instead, we went with 100% natural alternatives such as stevia, fruit flavors and organic cane sugar to stay fully on the side and be certain that our products were safe for long term use.
In an industry completely overrun with gimmicks, false marketing claims and blatant lies, we pride ourselves on an honest, fully transparent, no nonsense approach.
We acknowledge that supplementation is only one small piece of the puzzle, and that our products are only designed to provide a modest additional boost to your results while filling in any potential “holes” in your diet.
Although we technically could sell any product we wanted, we stick to the proven basics instead (our current line includes just 3 individual formulas) so you can achieve the results you’re after as efficiently and affordably as possible.
Our personal promise is simple: if we honestly wouldn’t buy it ourselves, we’ll never sell it to you.
The bottom line is this…
I believe that you’re much smarter than all those shady supplement marketers give you credit for. You understand gimmicky advertising when you see it. You’re skeptical of paid endorsements that are more about exchanging money than providing true benefit to the end user.
You value your health and fitness, and so you want to know exactly what’s going into your body and why, and which specific ingredients are scientifically supported as safe, healthy and effective.
And just as importantly, you understand that a lean, strong and muscular body isn’t built by supplements alone. It takes consistent proper training and nutrition to get there, and you know that supplements are simply an extra “add on” to help you get the very most from your efforts.
Does this all sound right?
Then RealScience Athletics was created for you.
Clean, simple and straightforward supplements may not be as “glamorous” as those hyped up by flashy endorsements and fad ingredients, but that’s fine with us.
Our focus is purely on what works and what will provide the greatest benefit to our users, and everything we do is centered around that basic vision. At the end of the day, it’s your muscle building and fat burning results that truly matter.
We look forward to supporting you in your fitness journey.