Many products in the world are counterfeited; more than most people know. You can find anything on the black market, from counterfeit designer clothing to fake watches, but the danger lies in when a product ends up on the regular market, sold as a real model.
Counterfeit products become more dangerous when they are the type of object that can end up harming someone. For example, more and more bogus airplane parts are sold by the year, and those can be responsible for aviation incidents across the world.
Today, we are going to be looking at a different kind of phony product, however.
In this case, we are not even looking at fake products, but we will be looking at exercise supplements which make use of ingredients that can end up being dangerous.
This is the case because of the unique position that supplements hold in the eyes of the FDA.
Let’s not get too far into detail before making sure that every one of our readers is on the same page. So what is a workout supplement?
This can be any substance which is used to ensure that your workout goes more smoothly and is sold under the label of a supplement.
Workout supplements can contain anything from vitamins to caffeine, but the ingredient which is most common is protein. This is due to how protein helps your muscles regenerate after a workout session, growing back stronger.
Even without protein, this is how you develop your muscles, but it will be much faster if you use a supplement.
Why Are Shady Supplements Legal?
The answer to this question depends on your exact definition of legality. While it is illegal to cause harm with your products intentionally, this is a grey area of the law.
How else would it still be possible to sell cigarettes if that was the case? Unfortunately, shady supplements are usually sold entirely legally.
You may be wondering why it is possible to sell a supplement which is known to cause harm without any repercussions, and the answer lies in the Food and Drug Administration (the FDA).
It is so difficult to regulate the supplement industry because supplements are classified differently from food and other drugs.
This different classification as a supplement means that they will not have to undergo the same level of stringent testing that drugs and food go through.
Since the process is less prohibitive, you will find that some ingredients pass trials, and they could result in harm to the user.
There is a historical precedent as to why you should take care to avoid shady supplements, and that example is the slew of deaths that resulted from several unreliable supplements.
The supplements which were responsible for these deaths contained ephedra, an ingredient which made it easier to gain muscle mass.
It was only once the deaths had occurred that the FDA decided to go ahead and ban every supplement that contained ephedra, but the damage was already done by then.
The reason for shady supplements being so widely available simply comes down to a lack of regulation.
If potentially harmful drugs can be blocked by the FDA, there is no reason why the same can’t be done for supplements (aside from either a lack of funding or a lack of interest).
This widespread availability means that you can end up purchasing a shady supplement by accident, even if you are buying them from a reputable seller.
Keep in mind, however, that there are some ways that you can ensure that your supplements are real and they can’t end up hurting you.
The Best Ways To Avoid Shady Supplements
So now that you know the risks involved in buying shady supplements, you may be wondering how you can avoid them.
It is not as simple as you would imagine to ensure that you don’t end up taking supplements that will damage your body.
There are many things that you should do, but you will never eliminate the risk of receiving shady supplements. You can, however, reduce the risk of acquiring shady supplements immensely.
One of the best ways is to ensure that you are buying your supplements from an authorized retailer for your brand.
If the brand of supplement that you are buying does not supply your local retailer, it is very likely that they are receiving that supplement from another source.
While some third-party sources can be legitimate, you will find that this dramatically increases your risk of purchasing the wrong supplement.
Aside from the retailer, you can examine the product itself to ensure that there is nothing off about it.
Keep in mind that some fake supplement vendors will use the packaging of the real product, while other brands will not even attempt to emulate a reputable product, and they will have their own brand.
When shady supplements come in their own brands, you will still want to inspect the packaging, as it will usually look cheaper than the packaging of real supplements.
You will find that some shady supplements will come in packaging that is falling apart before it is even used, or other ones have peeling labels and other issues.
You will also find that shady supplements will taste different thanks to the ingredients that they contain.
This is not always the case, but it can occur since you will not be used to the consistency or flavor of an ingredient that would be typically banned or one which you have never had before.
While not every difference will indicate whether or not you should stay away from a supplement, you will find that a combination of factors will instead point towards that being the case.
We hope that we have been able to help you ensure that you purchase only the safest of workout supplements. Enjoy your workouts and stay safe out there!