The food industry is hijacking your best intentions. 'Low fat' foods are packed with sugar, 'diet' products are loaded with low rent sweeteners, and 'gluten-free' often means 'even worse lab experiment than the regular gluten version'. And this same industry that consistently prioritises profit and spin over quality product or customer health, is doing exactly the same to your sports nutrition.
In most cases, they're the same people making it.
The case study here is far from unusual, sadly it's pretty much an industry standard. Like a magician showing you one thing to divert your attention from what he's really doing, the food industry splashes bold product claims in big letters (in this case loads more protein), but look behind the obvious and you find a very different story.
In the case of Cheerios Protein here it turns out here the additional protein is all but non-existent, with most of the increase being achieved by doubling the quoted portion size and counting the protein in the milk.
At the same time a sugar increase that is off the charts goes unmentioned and is neatly disguised throughout the label thanks to the use of eight (yes, eight) different added sugars. If they used just one it would have to sit right at the top of the ingredients list, headlining how unhealthy the product really is, but multiple sugar sources allow the same whopping amount of sugar to be 'diluted' throughout the list making it look benign to all but the most clued up consumer.
- Cheerios protein: a negligible protein increase over regular Cheerios but 17 times the sugar. The industry doing this to your breakfast is doing the same and worse to your sports nutrition
This sort of behaviour is commonplace in mainstream products. Cheerios is one of the world's biggest breakfast cereals, eaten by families the world over. It couldn't be more in plain view. And yet the industry is still prepared to try pulling the wool over people's eyes.
The trickle down effect to sports nutrition, almost all of which is made by the world's largest food and pharmaceutical companies and built on the same dubious business model, is devastating.
Next to breakfast cereal, sports nutrition is a tiny, insignificant market. And compared to the number of regulatory eyes on the food market as a whole - which is minimal anyway as this everyday example shows - pretty much no one is watching sports nutrition.
The result for athletes is a lot of products claiming brilliance in massive letters, while actually delivering zero benefit and, often, a good dose of harm thanks to the low grade quality of ingredients used.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to beat this. Because your body will tell you if your sports nutrition is junk
- You will feel rubbish
- Your energy levels will see-saw unpredictably
- You'll suffer stomach trouble, bloating, wind and worse
- The products will taste nasty
- You won't enjoy using them
- You'll have force them down at times
This is not how good food or good sports nutrition behaves
Good sports nutrition, just like good food, leaves you feeling, performing and recovering awesomely. That's why it's all we deal in at 33Fuel.
So learn to listen to your body, not some shady marketing department, and you need never be taken in by junk like this again. Make your nutritional choices based solely on how you feel and the results you experience.
You're an experiment of one, make it count.