By Gabriel Rivera & Krysten Maier
Whether you are a professional bodybuilder or a weekend warrior, you want the best products to help you obtain your physical goals. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts pay strict attention to what they are putting in their bodies, always seeking out the best fuel for results. But in a market flooded with trendy products and over-hyped supplements, the right choice isn’t always evident. This sea of brands is riddled with landmines, and what you see isn’t always what you get.
Finding a nutritional supplement company that deals in pure, properly-dosed ingredients can seem almost impossible. In fact, many brands have been deceiving the public for years as to the contents of their products. From cutting corners with low-quality ingredients to scam-companies that only care about making a quick buck, many go to the extreme to get an edge by producing misleading formulas. These products appear beneficial at first glance, but fail to deliver on promised results. How have manufacturers been able to carry out these shady dealings for so many years? Two words: proprietary blends.
MASKING THE TRUTH
Proprietary matrices are a collection of ingredients whose respective amounts are displayed as one total number. In other words, the label doesn’t specify the exact dosage of each active ingredient. Since the birth of the supplement industry, a vast majority of companies have hidden behind proprietary blends in order to inflate the value of their products, all the while masking the fact that their formulas contain very little of key active ingredients. This tricky term creates the illusion that the companies are merely protecting their assets, preventing competitors from stealing their “exclusive” formulas. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Perpetuated by hyper-real marketing and misleading label tactics, the use of proprietary blends is the best-kept conspiracy in the industry. This wrongful gimmick has led many consumers to believe that when purchasing supplements one only needs to look for familiar ingredients and benefits on a label. This is simply not the case, but for companies, big and small, this pattern of deception has gone largely unnoticed and unchecked for years, leaving the trusting customer at their mercy.
When supplement shopping, many consumers superficially scan labels for buzzwords: specific ingredients that are popular and recognizable. While they certainly will contain these ingredients, being lumped together in an undisclosed formula means that they are likely of a low quality, low dosage potency, or loaded with various synthetic fillers. Known by industry insiders as “pixie dusting,” this method is used by many companies to hide low inclusion amounts. Companies will take advantage of the current popularity of certain ingredients to boost the marketing hype and increase sales. Since the doses are small, this all happens at the expense of the user.
DISRUPTING THE PLAYING FIELD
To this day companies still hide behind the deception of proprietary blends. There is hope for the consumer, however, in the form of modern brands that are 100% committed to offering an alternative to the confusion, negligence, and unsavoury tactics propagated by companies using proprietary blends. Innovative brands like Nutrabolics are seeking to break this cycle of deceit with products that contain zero proprietary blends and clinically-dosed ingredients.
Pre-workouts and test boosters are among the most notorious supplement categories in the industry for constructing proprietary blends. Nutrabolics’ offerings in this department, Supernova and Aggro, veer far from that path, displaying every cutting-edge clinically-dosed ingredient on the label for the world to see. And what’s more, they work.
In addition to offering consumers an array of 100% transparent products, the Vancouver-based brand has also taken up the mantle of actively shedding light on the supplement industry’s dirty little secret of proprietary blends. They believe this to not only be an opportunity, but a responsibility to the general public. “We want to re-empower our loyal existing and new customers out there who may not be aware of the inherent deception in products that contain prop blends,” says Nutrabolics Co-Founder Rodney Dupont. “Our goal is to blow the lid off this wide-spread industry cover-up and give people what they want and deserve: clean and effective supplements.”
A recent Knowledge Is Power campaign reiterates the brand’s dedicated advocacy for transparent formulas in the supplement industry, urging modern consumers to choose products that disclose key information about their benefits. For Nutrabolics, this pioneering approach to supplements isn’t just about setting a new standard for the industry, it’s about giving people the power to be able to choose effective products to fit their needs. Their formulas ensure that every milligram of active ingredient holds additional value for the consumer. One couldn’t find a better template for other big players in the industry to follow.
REAL TRANSPARENCY MATTERS
Opening up this discussion about the importance of accuracy in labels will undoubtedly facilitate an industry shift towards complete disclosure. According to global consumer research, 37% of consumers are confused about the information companies put on their labels, and 38% are skeptical. This shows just how in the dark most consumers feel. For the average person, heavy research would be needed to determine what ingredients or blends work, and whether a product in question has the ability to provide the benefits it claims. While more and more consumers are beginning to look with a critical eye at the back of health product labels, why should they be left guessing about how products will actually effect things like strength, energy or muscle mass? When it comes to the substances we are putting into our bodies, there is no room for such confusion. Companies need to follow the example Nutrabolics is setting by disclosing accurate information on its labels. Consumers must refuse to be fooled again by yet another company’s misleading content.