LifeHacker Guy is a personal-blog. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through our links. Learn more.

Are Supplements All BS? Do Supplements Really Work or Are They Just Hype?

Are supplements BS?

Are you a fan of taking supplements?

Do you believe there is a magical pill or powder out there that’s going to make you slim? Maybe the opposite, you believe it’s possible to get bigger muscles and raging testosterone from a jar?

If so, then this post is definitely for you. So please keep reading!

I wanted to tackle a somewhat controversial issue regarding supplements. An argument that often polarises people’s opinion as to whether supplements actually work or just marketing BS.

This may seem a strange post considering I have produced my own supplement in the form of a super greens powder supplement (you can check out my SuperGreen TONIK review here).

Clearly then, I don’t think ALL supplements are BS.

So what’s the point of this post? Simple really, I wanted to outline why I believe some types of supplements are rubbish and some are really overhyped. This has implications for whether it’s really worth taking some supplements and why it could be a good idea to take others.

Most Overhyped Supplements

Diet Pill Free Trial AdsLet’s straight away bust the diet pill myth!

The most overhyped supplements are without doubt diet pills (and I believe detox teas too!).

I say this because I know a fair amount about diet pills. In the previous business, I worked with a few diet pill manufacturing clients. I have also been an affiliate that marketed supplement brands online, many years ago now.

During this time I got to see many diet supplement ads.

You most likely know the ones I mean here eh?

Deceptive weight loss ads started way before the acai diet pills free trial ads first starting appearing ten years ago. With ads plastered all over the Internet promising not only just dramatic lbs lost but for just the price of shipping too!

You can see the archived picture in this section to show just how long this type of marketing angle has been used for diet supplements!

Any supplement promising you to lose kgs within a few days is clearly overhyped and spreading BS. Any product making such claims is misleading as it’s impossible to lose this amount of weight in a healthy way in such a short amount of time.

We can run through some basic numbers here to illustrate this point.

Losing 5kg – Doing the calorie maths

  • Average daily calorie intake for guy weighing 70kg = 2,600 Kcal
  • Average basal metabolic rate (e.g. minimum calories to survive) = 1,400 Kcal
  • 1kg of fat = 7,700 calories
  • To lose 5kg requires calorie deficit = 38,000 calories

All else remaining the same, you would need to restrict calorie intake to around 1,400 kcal per day for one month to lose 5kg of weight – without increasing your activity level.

To be blunt, but very few people have the will and determination to do this!

Any diet supplement promising to lose 15-20lbs of fat-loss per week is clearly BS!

Even strong prescription drugs are not going to help you burn 50,000 to 70,000 extra calories per week – that’s like running 20 plus marathons in a week!

Any diet supplement promising to lose 15-20lbs of fat-loss per week is clearly BS! That’s like running 20 plus marathons in a week!

So, this little exercise (no pun intended!) isn’t meant to depress those of us who are looking to shift belly fat, you know I am if you have been reading this blog!

But it’s the reality that anyway looking to lose weight has to be realistic and no pill or powder is going to a magic bean that will get you shredded within a few days.

Simpsons Magic Beans

Marketing BS: Before and After Pictures

Everyone has seen these, the convincing or in some cases terribly unconvincing, before and after pictures.

Even though most of us know these can be doctored and anyone with medium-level photoshop skills can make passable “after” pictures, we see them on many product advertisements.

I came across a nice little YouTube video that demonstrates this.

A nice article by Insider shows how before and after photos taken on Instagram can be deceiving.

A great example of this can be seen by Melanie Ventura, an Australian personal trainer who shows in the picture below how easy it is to fake a transformation.

The following pictures were taken just 15-minutes apart!

Fake transformation by melanie ventura

Check out my transformation! It took me 15 minutes. Wanna know my secret? Well firstly i ditched the phonewallet (fwallet) cause that thing is lame, swapped my bather bottoms to black (cause they’re a size bigger & black is slimming), smothered on some fake tan, clipped in my hair extensions, stood up a bit taller, sucked in my guts, popped my hip- threw in a skinny arm, stood a bit wider#boxgap, pulled my shoulders back and added a bit of a cheeky/im so proud of my results smile.Melanie Ventura

Supplements I Believe Actually Work

The whole supplement industry isn’t all BS though! If I thought so, I would never have started my journey creating my own supplement.

I do believe that the supplements that work and that are backed by science include multi-vitamins, super greens, fish oils, pre-workouts, some nootropic supplements, and protein powders.

A quick note here, this isn’t a complete list as these are the only supplements that I am most familiar with.

Crate of fruit and veggiesThese days there is little dispute that taking daily supplements for health, think multivitamins or probiotics, can be helpful. Although some may argue that if you eat a varied enough diet with lots of fruit and veggies then there is little need for vitamin supplements.

This is a debate that goes beyond the scope of what I wanted to discuss here, but certainly worth looking into another time as this is an important issue.

Supplements and Keeping It Real

A degree of reality is needed when it comes to considering supplements and how they are going to work for you.

Taking any supplement is not going to immediately affect you unless we’re talking about a big caffeine boost like those seen in some pre-workout powders.

The fact is whether its nootropic supplements or super greens they will need to be taken consistently for some time to really get any benefits.

Consistency is key when it comes to both nutrition and supplements.

This makes logical sense right?

I mean, eating one healthy meal doesn’t make you healthy overnight!

So, consistency is key when it comes to nutrition and supplements too.

Final Word on Supplements

Powder supplementsSo, this is my take on supplements having been on both the side of consumer and manufacturing, and for a little while marketing them.

I do take supplements every day since I finished my super greens I have been taking this every day. I like the fact I know that I have all my micronutrients covered each day.

More than that though, I used to be sick every month and now I am sick much less often. But to keep some perspective, since suffering from Chronic fatigue from overtraining I am not leaping out of bed each morning from just taking supplements.

So, I take advantage of the supplements that have been proven to add value and ignore the snake oil – you should too!

Lastly, there are some supplements that can certainly help and to find them you need to go beyond the marketing BS and delve into the ingredients and do a little research. I hope my blog can help a little here.

What are your thoughts and experiences with supplements? Do they actually work for you or is it more about reassurance?
Adam Author

About the LifeHacker Guy

Hi, I'm Adam the founder of the LifeHacker Guy.

I have a First Class Honours degree in Sports Science from Brighton University, specialising in exercise physiology and nutrition. In my youth I was a competitive Triathlete and long-distance runner placing top 10 in most triathlon races I completed.

Since suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I moved into web development, after a couple of years I then moved onto developing a number of online businesses. I've recently taken a sabbatical and I'm now looking to make big changes in my life, hopefully this may resonate with you - join me in my journey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *