Written By Reggie Moore / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
If you have been researching supplements that can allegedly improve your productivity and health, you may have come across the claim that “boosts your brainpower” or “creates lasting energy.” These claims are not always accurate and some of these products can even be quite dangerous. There are so many websites out there making bogus claims about supplements, but they usually lack any real science backing their claims.
So what can you do to check out these “supplements” yourself? In this article, I will show you how to spot fake supplements and products that are just plain bad.
This article will go in-depth into the numerous supplements, pills, and powders that are ineffective or potentially dangerous. By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of how to spot bad supplements and if a product is beneficial or just another scam.
What is a Placebo?
A “placebo” is a fake pill or treatment that has no active ingredient. Placebos have been shown to have some benefits in the treatment of ailments such as pain, depression, and yes, even catching colds.
The reason why placebos work is because people’s beliefs can affect their mental and physical health. Some people are susceptible to placebos, while others are not. What a placebo can do is get the body to believe that it is receiving treatment or medication and by doing so, the patient’s health can improve.
The placebo effect has been proven to work through studies in which one group of patients has been given effective treatment in addition to another group given a placebo. The patients’ health was then monitored over time and both groups would have similar positive results.
The placebo effect can also occur when people are given a drug or treatment they do not know is fake, but they are told that it is an effective medication. When they believe that the treatment will help them, it does. This would be called a “hidden” or “unlabeled” placebo since the patients didn’t know that it was a placebo.
How to Spot a Placebo
Is your medication from a credible source?
Any medication that you take should be prescribed by a doctor. The FDA requires that medications must be approved before they are put on the market. If you find pills, powders, or liquids that have not been approved by the FDA, they are likely to be placebos.
Does it have an official seal?
Any FDA-approved product will have a seal on it. The FDA produces seals for products that are approved by the government. You can check their official website to confirm what their seals look like. If you do not see a seal on the product, you should be skeptical and don’t buy it.
Is your supplement safe?
If you plan on taking any supplements of any kind, make sure they are safe for human consumption. The ingredients should be listed on the packaging. If you cannot find the ingredients, do not take the product. If you find high amounts of additives or other questionable ingredients, do not buy them.
“Performance Drinks” and How to Know if They Use Helpful Ingredients
“Performance Drinks” are a group of supplement drinks that make claims that they: “increase energy”, “boost brain power”, and “enhance concentration.” These products do not claim to treat any specific illness. They have similar behavior to the many supposed male enhancement pills out there. The only active ingredient in these products is caffeine, yet they are marketed as performance enhancers and energy boosters.
The main ingredients in these products are:
Vitamin B6 (20mg)
After researching many of these supplements, I have concluded that they use a common ingredient called “L-Theanine” which is an amino acid. L-Theanine may help with relaxation and sleep prevention. The problem is that these drinks often are watered down or do not contain sufficient amounts of L-Theanine to have any real effect.
The second problem is that the benefits of L-Theanine are mild and may take a lot of consumption to see any difference.
How to Spot Bad Supplements From Great Ones
There are so many supplements on the market and it can be difficult to choose which ones are good and which ones aren’t. Some products are quite beneficial and some of them have not been proven effective yet. Some supplements have been proven to be beneficial, but with a few drawbacks.
You can spot bad supplements from good ones by looking at ingredients and product reviews. Keep in mind that not everyone uses these ingredients, and not all supplements are safe or effective for all people.
When you read the label, it is important to know what a supplement contains and for what purpose it is meant to be used. Here are some signs that a supplement may be bad:
-The ingredients do not have any scientific benefits: “Bad” supplements often include herbal extracts, nutrients, vitamins, or minerals when they in fact do not have any real benefit.
-The ingredients are often dangerous: The FDA has banned quite a few ingredients from being used. These include ephedra, sibutramine, and many others.
-The ingredients and claims are exaggerated: Supplements that make strong claims (such as “100% effective”) are most likely to be fake or not backed by science.
-Ingredients have no listed amounts: If the product does not list the amount of any of its ingredients, you should be skeptical and check out the product reviews first.
Beware of all supplements that make strong claims on their packaging. At the end of the day, you should always remember that there are no magic pills or nutrients that will keep you healthy for life.
There are many useful and helpful ingredients and products out there though, so make sure to take these instead of fake supplements or useless ones from unknown sources. Keep these things in mind if you are looking for the best BCAA powder supplements.
Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Reggie Moore is a freelance writer and proto-entrepreneur. When not trying to tinker with a new process or idea, Reggie can usually be found saying the words “Well, actually…” to an unsuspecting bystander.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.