A product label is worth 1,000 words. But if 999 of those words are misleading or marketing buzzwords… just put it back on the shelf.
Let’s be real, when was the last time you were prescribed an antibiotic and decided to take a look at the label? Like we mean REALLY look at the label and try to understand what this particular compound is doing to your body?
Did you take a moment to understand all of the side-effects and contingencies to ensure that it works to the best of its ability?
If you have done this then kudos! We will get along swimmingly and we think you’ll really love the mission of PWR. No B.S., just science and transparency. Even if you didn’t critically analyze the drug there was probably a moment when you thought to yourself, “do I really need to take this?”
And to the rest of us thriving on an ‘ignorance is bliss’ mindset, we did what seemed right… we trusted our doctors. We took the [entire] dosage exactly as prescribed (right…RIGHT?!) and went on with our lives. Why? Because doctors are supposed to have our best interest in mind. We shouldn’t have to worry about being intentionally misled.
Unfortunately, this expert/client trust dynamic is becoming less and less of thing in the supplement industry.
Trust is being misused to sell miracle supplements to the unknowing and, honestly, even those of us who think we are doing the right thing by trying to stay educated. We are all being mislead. Companies LOVE to hire a doctor or ‘expert’ or cite scientific studies without any peer reviewers to say why their new formula is what you need to turn your life around. They are experts on selling the dream…not the results.
When it comes down to it, there is no magic supplement and anyone who says otherwise is simply lying.
The best example might be when Deer antler velvet hit the market.
Dr. Andrew Weil an M.D. says “deer antler velvet is the tissue that covers the bone and cartilage that develop into deer (and elk) antlers. It has been harvested for centuries and used traditionally to increase strength, boost the immune system, and counter the effects of stress. Now it’s promoted to improve athletic performance; raise testosterone levels to increase sex drive, fertility and erectile function in men; as well as to reduce the signs of aging and treat problems ranging from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma and osteoporosis to migraine headaches, indigestion, and many more.
WOAH, seems like deer antler velvet might actually be that mystical supplement. Could it be too good to be true? Well… Dr. Weil follows up with this bullshit…
“I know of no scientific evidence to support any of the marketing claims made for these supplements.” and “…notes that the two studies examining the effects of deer antler velvet supplements taken by athletes have yielded conflicting results. One showed some improvements in endurance and knee strength in weightlifters, but the other found no differences in rowers after 10 weeks of supplementation.”
The supplement industry loves to throw around certain buzzwords and make baseless claims with little to no research behind them. We need to be more aware and avoid falling in these marketing traps. We have simply become a sales metric and are no longer treated with respect by these big supplement corporations trying to make a buck.
First, always be mindful of where you are buying your products from
We absolutely love local supplement stores for a few reasons
1. You are supporting local business
Support the small guys and gals! Like us! We don’t care about global domination and selling our soul for stockholder profits, we care about YOU!
2. Knowledge and industry experience
These people live in the scene. They deal with supplements every. single. day. Ask them and pick their brain, that’s why they are there. It’s what they love and they would love to share their knowledge with you.
3. Most importantly, return policies!
Most stores will exchange products if you buy something that doesn’t work for you… or just tastes gross. Local businesses know how important returning customers are. You are their lifeblood! They are going to work hard to make sure you come back. If you choose to shop online, always remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you see your favorite product on a site you’ve never heard of for half the price… it’s probably counterfeit. And yes, that happens in the supplement industry more often than you might think. Funnily enough, it happened to Extenze a few years ago. Don’t believe me? Check it out. The market was flooded with a dirt cheap knock off that was sold from off-brand websites and looked identical AND was half the price. Some people got really sick. Definitely a dick move.
Always do your research! If there is something on a label that you can’t pronounce, Google it!
Try to understand what it’s purpose is. Why would a company decide it was important enough to include in their product? When searching the internet, keep an eye out for fake websites.
Say you find a new product that catches your eye so you google a couple ingredients to see what they are all about and find a page that looks fairly creditable. Half way down the page they reference the exact product you were curious about and they just happen to mention how it’s revolutionizing the industry.
You’re falling right into their trap. MLM products were notorious for this a few years ago. Marketing teams have dialed in their SEO optimization to lure people into their products. Great marketing from a business standpoint, but terrible to do to customers. What a page is advertising can tell you a lot about what they are trying to sell you. Read the annoying pop-up ad twice before you close it.
Now let’s talk about the products.
I’m going to say this once. If a product is marketed as a cheaper version of another product and you still choose to buy it, you deserve everything you get. It’s a cheaper version for a reason.
These people aren’t making new products, they are making cheaper versions of it to cater to the masses. The same ingredient on the label of a cheap product doesn’t mean its the same quality as a more expensive brand’s supplement.
Can I pronounce this?
Cheaper price vs Serving size
Labels can be misleading and a lot of companies like to take advantage of this. It’s incredibly easy to make claims that can’t be measured. I always get a chuckle when I see something marketed as “the most effective”. If the effects aren’t defined and there isn’t a clinical study to go with it, it’s complete bullshit. Imagine Aunt Jemima saying she’s got the most effective pancake in the baking isle. Basically the same thing.
Keep an eye out for the words that are vague. “May” is one that gets used a lot. As in a new product that “may promote muscle growth”. Interpret it as, “we don’t have enough information on it yet.” or “there isn’t scientific evidence to say it won’t”. Basically a big MAYBE. How can I be so sure of this? Supplement marketing is aggressive. Like 90’s Slim-Jim commercials aggressive. They want to make the biggest claims they can. “May” is too subtle. They aren’t screaming it from a rooftop.
However, once in a while companies are being honest with their vagueness. CBD products are exploding right now. The FDA or any other government agency hasn’t been able to test its performance or recovery abilities in dietary supplements because it is still listed as a schedule 1 narcotic. For that reason, all they can say is that it “may promote recovery” until more clinical testing is done. I’ll get into the wild ride of doses of CBD, but that’s a story for another day. So far, we’re fairly sure it’s safe, but we have no idea how much to take to achieve desired results OR what happens to the unprocessed excess we may be consuming.
In summary, there are a lot of people who want your money. They’re willing to do a lot of work to get it, too. Always take a step back and make sure everything adds up. This industry is meant to sell products to better your health. Don’t let the parasites outsmart you and steal your gains!