The supplement industry is HUGE and is projected to be over $270 Billion by 2024, Not million but BILLION! With that being said we have so much to choose from and from my experience, 95% of the stuff you see on the shelves of GNC or other vitamin stores is garbage. Simply garbage and that's for a variety of reasons such as inactive, poor and even underdosed ingredients. Now, why do companies do this? From a business point of view its simple, they want to cut the cost of production and the best way to do it is by finding cheaper alternatives and we all know that majority of the times cheap doesn't always mean quality but even with cheap quality ingredient, companies will always look for a way to save money and one way is by listing them as proprietary blend".
What is Proprietary Blend?
A “proprietary blend” on a dietary supplement’s Supplement Facts panel is a list of ingredients that are part of a product formula specific to a particular manufacturer. FDA requires manufacturers to list all of the ingredients in a product on its label, along with the amount of each (in terms of weight), unless the ingredients are part of a proprietary blend—then the specific amount of each individual ingredient in the blend does not have to be listed, only the total.
Why do companies do this? Companies will do this for a couple of reasons. One being that they don't want their competition to know the recipe, Which is fair enough. This leads me us to think "Well, why don't they just copyright their products?" The answer is simple, Most of the supplements contain very similar ingredients. Take pre-workout for example, What makes a pre-workout, a pre-workout? The ingredients such as caffeine to give you energy, Niacin to open up the blood vessels, Beta alanine for performance, and Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) for focus. These are just a few of many ingredients which are legal to use so far and to my knowledge, if I'm being honest, right now there are probably only 10 ingredients that are legal which actually work for pre-workout products. The rest is just sugar and nonsense which have no research studies done. This is why I always do research before buying a new product with unfamiliar ingredients listed. Take time to actually look at studies that are done to make sure that it's not just placebo that's causing the hype.
I never tell my clients or friends to purchase products that have a label like the one above. I have no idea how much creatine or beta alanine is in there. 60% of the product can be Creatine which is very cheap to purchase in bulk and the rest being the other ingredients listed or even sugar. We as the consumer have NO idea. But I have gotten a ton of supplements that have been listed like that and I felt them working! Placebo is a real thing. For the ones who don't know what that means, Placebo is basically your brain believing that whatever you're taking is working when it could be just pure sugar in a pill. Your brain is basically lying to you. This is why I say DO YOUR RESEARCH before buying anything. A good website I use is examine.com It has a ton of researchers listed with the effects of whatever ingredient you want to look into. Until next time, Have a great day!