Un­cover the supplement in­dus­try’s dirty se­cret and see how Nutrabolics plans to disrupt it.

Innovate Magazine - - Contents - 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.


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.


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.


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.

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