The promises of the ever-growing supplementation industry: harder, better, faster, stronger

Other than a classic of its time, Daft Punk’s harder, better, faster, stronger hit song has become a classic motivational anthem for many people: Gym rats and casual joggers, of course, but also young professionals looking to impress their bosses or university students on their straight A path to success. In a world that is ever more performance-driven, there is an industry that aims to give you an edge, to help you in on a little known secret formula to a better you and that is none other than the supplementation industry.

Similar to pharmaceutical companies who have a pill to solve any and all itches and illnesses, supplementation distributors promise strength, health, higher brain functions and a stable mood to boot, all in a half cup of magical powder or in a handful of caplets! The promises offered by supplement distributors are numerous and they are, in my opinion, highly effective in our modern world for a few reasons:

  • We’re obsessed with productivity: The whole supplement industry is built on the promise of helping you become the very best version of yourself. It’s a very modern goal and resonates with many people who are not only looking to be the best in their job, but also in their personal lives and hobbies. What are a few bucks spent on vitamins and fish oil if that’s what you need to become a better you?

 

  • Most of us are under-educated when it comes to food: Who am I to say that a scientifically tested protein powder from super-duper Inc. is or isn’t efficient in stimulating muscle growth? The bodybuilders at the gym take it; the bag says it’s scientifically proven to work, so it must be working right? The fact is that we are somewhat gullible when it comes to what goes in our mouth. Claiming that a product is efficient and naming a scientific study (no matter how biased) is probably enough to convince most people that the stuff is good!

 

  • We want to follow the latest dieting trend: What’s good and what’s not is an ever-changing concept when it comes to food. You’d think the whole concept could die off, but the supplementation industry exploits the underlying desire to be healthy masterfully by putting forward the principle that you’ve been missing out on something (missing out on a trend itself can have quite a pull). There is a key ingredient that you should include in your eating habits in order to fix everything. It’s not about forbidding you to touch X, Y or Z food; it’s about allowing you to add something (that usually tastes pretty good since they invest a lot in making their powder and pills taste like candy) to help you achieve greatness.

 

All in all, you shouldn’t be surprised if more and more of your friends and family open their kitchen-cabinet to reveal an ever-growing stock of bottles, big and small, filled with miraculous BCAA powder, Omega 3 caplets, testosterone treatments and whatever else that’s claiming to be the supplement that was missing for you to become the better you. Because why wouldn’t you want to be the best you can be?

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