There are two sides to the fitness industry.
The good side; where science-based information leads the way.
And the bad side; where pseudoscience is king, and people focus on minutia as the root cause of all their problems.
They battle for supremacy every day, like He-Man vs Skeletor, vying for your time and attention.
In this article I smashed the detox industry into pieces and exposed it for the fraud it truly is. You know what prompted me to write that article?
Well, after speaking recently about the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, I was contacted by a sales rep recommending I start taking rather expensive capsules “to combat all the mercury which is in tuna.”
To obtain so much mercury from tuna that it resulted in liver toxicity, you’d quite literally have to bang Aqua-Man.
But here’s the thing…
Silly advice is just the tip of the iceberg.
This sector of the fitness world is like walking into Mad Max: The Thunderdome. Chaos reigns supreme. Lunatics run the show. The laws of physiology are seemingly disregarded.
It’s as funny as it is scary.
So today I’m going to show you 5 of the worst detox diets (and supplements) ever created.
1. Detox Juice Drinks
There’s a pushy parent in every schoolyard who sells these things.
Yes, Sandra stalks the playground like a powerful lioness looking for weak antelope to sell a detox pack to.
And you genuinely feel sorry for the poor parent she finally snags (but not sorry enough to take their place), as she reels off sales blurb about “cleansing their system” and “rebooting their body”.
But at least it wasn’t you.
Until one day it is you.
That’s right. As you roll up to school after sleeping in late, a 5 year old tucked under your arm wearing a pair of underpants on his head and a Nutella smile reminiscent of Heath Ledger’s Joker, you made a crucial mistake.
You forgot to check the whereabouts of Sandra. And suddenly she is upon you.
What do you do?
Well, of you’re like most people, you buy her stuff just to be polite then kick yourself all the way home.
Because that’s how the f**king get you.
So today I’m going to arm you with sufficient ammo to ensure you don’t get sucked in by Sandra’s woo.
Detox juice drinks have been popular since the early 2000’s and continue to make a financial killing at the expense of people trying to lose weight and be healthier.
But that doesn’t make them effective.
Because when we look at what’s actually in these products, it’s quite shocking.
Let’s look at Green Supreme, from Suja Juice.
Costing $8 for a bottle which contains only two servings, we get a couple of vitamins and 36 grams of sugar.
It’s no wonder you feel energetic after you drink the f**ker!
And they can’t even tell you what those vitamins are, as they “currently only test for calcium and potassium”…
For a fraction of the cost (and the sugar content), you may as well just start adding some veg to your meals.
2. Toxin Exorcisms
Strange name, I know.
But a “toxin exorcism” is a product I refer to when the goal is to literally pull toxins from your body.
One of the most popular choices is the detox foot pad. These little bad boys are stuck under you feet at night, and slowly turn brown while you sleep.
You will awaken to a pad full of nasty brown sludge, which the manufacturers claim are the result of “toxins which have been drawn from your body through the night”…
As you’ve probably guessed, all is not what it seems.
Turns out there’s a substance within the pads (wood vinegar) which turns brown when mixed with human sweat.
Shall I go two for two?
Okay, another entry into this category is a colon cleansing pill which turns your poop into something which resembles a long, black snake.
You’re supposed to think “Bye bye, toxins!” as it slithers away in the flush.
But what’s really happening here is the pills contain a polymerising agent to give your poop a plastic overcoat.
This has absolutely nothing to do with toxicity.
3. The Master Cleanse
If you’ve never heard of The Master Cleanse, I’m delighted to be the one to show you it.
It’s next level crazy.
It’s first hit the spotlight when Beyonce used it back in 2006.
Here’s what researchers from Harvard had to say about this one:
“The Master Cleanse remains a popular Hollywood diet despite having no data to show its effectiveness.
The dieter is following a very low (600) calorie diet which is lacking in protein, fatty acids and other essential nutrients.
Also, the daily laxative regimen can cause severe dehydration.
Once the dieter resumes normal eating, rapid weight gain follows, and much of the weight lost comes through fluid lost due to the nature of a very low carbohydrate diet.”
The Master Cleanse program entices people in by claiming it has the potential to eliminate every single disease.
You read that correctly.
Every. Single. Disease.
Starting with curing your wallet of having money.
In making such a bold claim (without any proof), the creators of the program show their lack of conscience, and they openly target customers who are willing to try anything and everything in a bid to better their lives from where they are right now.
I hope their next poop is a hedgehog.
4. Detox Pills
Celebrity-endorsed detox pills are a fresh batch of hell none of us wanted.
Yet they exist.
But while I can forgive a celebrity for putting their name on something without knowing the full info, I can never forgive a trainer for doing it.
Jillian Michaels, of The Biggest Loser fame, claims that her detox pills will “clear away harmful toxins” and “support the colon and digestive system”…
Does she provide any science to support the claims being made?
Don’t need any. Proof is for d**ks.
Yes, this is the same lady who has been sued three times (so far) about fat loss pills.
She also featured in a recent Women’s Health article in which she claimed to address “Calories, weight loss, and fitness BS”. I don’t believe she included any of her own advice or products.
But as bad as she is… she’s not the absolute worst. I’ve saved the absolute worst for last.
5. Anything Gwyneth Paltrow Sells
Gwyneth Paltrow is the queen of the detox.
As a businesswoman, I think this lady is a genius.
Despite having no background and/or qualifications in health and fitness, the actress-turned-liar has one of the most profitable supplement companies in the world.
She realized that people were going to follow all the crazy diet nonsense which comes out of Hollywood anyway, so why not make a stack of cash from it??!
Her wellness company Goop is truly at the forefront of pseudoscience.
Sadly, people in search of a magic bullet just lap it up.
And this seemingly encourages the company to get crazier with each hair-brained scheme they launch.
Because even though she buckled on TV when pressed on the science behind their products, those profits continue to roll in.
She can do no wrong.
My favorites include a $66 egg which is quite literally shoved up your lady garden (please save your money, it’s complete s**t), and her recommendation that busy parents should go on a two week raw goat milk cleanse.
They even suggest that breastfeeding parents ween their children with the stuff.
(Spoiler: it is. It really f**king is.)
And that about wraps it up.
Please, please, please, whatever you do, stay away from the dark side of the fitness industry.
The next time you see the word detox or cleanse on a product I want you to run in the opposite direction as fast as you can!
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