Friday, April 1, 2011

The magic potions never stop coming

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I'm no fan of supplements. In fact, for the most part, I downright despise them. It's often a comforting thought to assume that our training has evolved way past the ancient Greeks in the sense that we don't believe that some magic potion mixed up by a crackpot pseudo-religious oracle-shyster will make you bigger, stronger and faster than the next guy. The reality is that we haven't and the snake-oil carbetbagging of the American Reconstructionist period probably settled in Utah and became the modern supplement industry as we know it.

There might be a pattern to the supplement industry. In fact, you could call it the unofficial business model. Ready for it? Here it is, in a nutshell:

1. Find a semi-edible waste product from somewhere.
2. Turn it into a supplement
3. Find a quack doctor or scientist to come up with a bunch of half-bullshit claims about it.
4. Hand it over to the bodybuilding world...

Seriously, some of the most popular supplements out there right now came to us from WASTE PRODUCTS!

Let's start with the most flagrant, possibly the most dangerous: soy protein products. The modern soy protein supplements came to us compliments of the peeps (namely Henry Ford, one of the biggest advocates of the American Eugenics movement, I might add) who used soybean oil for industrial lubricants and paints. Someone must have realized that the defatted soy meal could be sold as a food product, maybe after finding out that people in Asia ate a lot of soy. They live a long time... maybe we can feed this stuff we just soaked in solvents to people! Now, all that was needed was to find some doctors, scientists, and studies to back it up...

Okay, so much of soy ends up, somehow, as a food product, including the oil. Still, a lot of that oil is extracted with Hexane. Yum.

Well, at least whey is a bit less dubious in terms of its origins and safety. If you look up whey in Wikipedia, it doesn't take long to figure out where the idea of whey supplements came from...
Whey or milk plasma is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Sweet whey is manufactured during the making of rennet types of hard cheese like Cheddar or Swiss. Acid whey (also known as "sour whey") is obtained during the making of acid types of cheese such as cottage cheese.
Hey, look on the bright side: you may have been suckered into buying the left-overs of Velveta or cheese-whizz, but at least it came from food manufacturing rather than paint manufacturing. Okay, maybe it's not Velveta. Maybe you could pretend your Whey protein was left over from a more dignified cheese. Maybe it's Cabot Extra sharp, which is a really good cheese, I might add. Not Paleo, mind you but still very good!

The biggest joke of all might be fish oil supplements. If you want to pull your hair out, try finding out what fish they use to make most of these Omega-3 supplements (Did you REALLY think it was coming from tuna and salmon? ). I found out, years ago in a magazine. I'm sure whoever wrote that article got bitch-slapped pretty hard by the supplement makers because I can't find the name of that damned, little fish. I do remember this: IT'S A FUCKING GARBAGE FISH! Maybe it's this little guy!

Seriously, it's a tiny, little bony fish that's completely inedible because there's so little meat on it it's barely any good for bait! It does have one thing going for it though: it's oily as hell! So, these little shit-fish are rounded up, put in a screw press, and squeezed for all their worth: their oil. Then, they filter out the little bits of bone, eyeball and scale, put it in a capsule, and VOILA! Fish oil supplement! Pay your $15.00 a bottle now...

All of this crap brings back shades of the early 20th century's thought process that food is, somehow inadequate on it's own and that science is desperately needed to make it perfect, or at least better. Even with the explosion of the organic food market, there's still a healthy number of unhealthy people who think that health comes from pills. Even if that were true, it's NOT coming from these concoctions that I just described. Supplement makers don't have to prove to anyone that what they're making and selling will do anything that they say that it will. They even go one step farther in the intelligence-insult-assault by getting people who didn't build their bodies with these things to say that they did. I could keep going on but that should tell you all you need to know about the state of the supplement industry these days.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog but I don't appreciate the "f bombs" you throw out in nearly all of your posts. Either you think it makes you sound tough or your are too ignorant to think of a proper word. Hey, just sayin'.

Justin_PS said...

I have serious compensation issues...

MOM!

TR said...

I agree and believe we should get our nourishment from natural food. However, I would say that things such as vitamins and omega-3s may be helpful as supplements for some people. But if you can get it naturally it would be better.

Here is a free report that Rusty Moore gave out after interviewing two scientists who had experience managing operations in companies in the supplement industry: http://fitnessblackbook.com/diet-tips/the-supplement-conspiracy-by-rusty-moore-exposing-the-supplement-industry/#more-219

As for the profanity, I'm not a big fan of it, but its your blog. It is a bit off-putting, and takes the reader away from your main message, but again, its your blog.

Sure Dere said...

It's only a swear word if you agree that it is... better to spend your time caring about something useful! Also great post Justin; always keeping it real.

SOFIA said...

FUCK! I was about to order whey protein, I guess I will have to eat more chicken
WOOT WOOOT post

TR said...

Did you ever get wrist pain after doing pushups? Does it go away?

Justin_PS said...

Yes and no.

Yes, I had wrist pain but I was doing plyos without enough padding on the floor.

No, I never got them from normal push-ups. It shouldn't be there though and there are a couple of ways to get rid of it.

You could do push-ups on the fists. A second option is to push the hands into the ground when doing them. A third idea is to find a way to improvise a rounded object that you could do push-ups on.

TR said...

I get pain from doing handstand pushups on the floor. But not always. I'm ectomorph body type so my wrists are tiny.

Anonymous said...

Unless the oil from the tiny fish is inferior in some way, what you have described makes perfect sense. Why waste all that good tuna and salmon by grinding the oil out of it when there are other fish perfectly suited to that job (and apparently good for nothing else)?

Justin_PS said...

From a business perspective, yes it makes complete sense. I will give fish oil makers that. It's a good idea!