Have you ever looked at the formula of your pre workout and seen the phrase “proprietary blend”?
If yes, I want you to throw it in the sea.
Because out of the many supplements I’ve reviewed over the years, over 90% of products which received two stars or less were based upon proprietary blends, therefore it’s something I’d like you to keep an eye out for.
So what does it mean?
Well, when a company uses a proprietary blend it means you cannot see the serving size of the individual ingredients (so you can see what’s in it, but not how much), which enables supplement manufacturers to laugh all the way to the bank at the expense of their customers – and that’s not fair. I mean, if you’re going to make a joke out of your pre workout, at least make it a solid one:
“Did I tell you about the dream I had where I weighed less than a thousandth of a gram? Seriously, I was like 0mg.”
WHAT PROPRIETARY BLEND MEANS (ACCORDING TO SUPPLEMENT COMPANIES)
If you ask a supplement company why they used a proprietary blend, here’s what they’ll say:
“We use a proprietary blend in (insert crazy pre workout name like “Death Pump” here) to protect you, the customer! In doing so, we can prevent rival companies from copying our cutting edge ingredients and creating poor knock offs.”
Sounds convincing enough, right?
But all is not what it seems…
WHAT IT REALLY MEANS…
Yeah, all of the above is bulls**t.
The industry has changed a LOT in the last 20 years, and the only companies who use proprietary blends nowadays are the ones which don’t deserve your hard earned cash.
Back in the early 2000s, however, it made perfect sense to slap a proprietary blend on a product.
For instance, I can still remember buying the legendary iSatori H-Blocker in 2006. If you’re too young to remember, H-Blocker was the first pre workout to use beta-alanine and is regarded as a true industry game changer – so it was understandable when iSatori hid the formula to prevent other brands from copying it.
The problem is IT DIDN’T WORK.
(Evidenced by the fact that every top pre workout is now fully dosed in beta-alanine!)
Turns out it’s VERY EASY for a company to test a product and discover the ingredients, so there was no point in locking down the formula, and thus the need for proprietary blends was over.
But here’s the thing…
The FDA still allows it.
The law states that “the company must list the ingredients used but don’t need to include the dosage”, and this legal loophole opens the door for manufacturers to “fairy dust” their products (tiny amounts of each key ingredient alongside lots of filler) and then sell it to unsuspecting customers as a “top of the range pre workout”.
So on the tub of you might see claims about increased energy (caffeine), better muscle growth (creatine), and skin-splitting pumps (citrulline), but if the formula is hidden behind a proprietary blend you are likely getting ineffective amounts of each ingredient, leading to no results at all.
So make no mistake; a good pre workout will NOT use a proprietary blend. Instead, it will clearly show you to dose of each key ingredient and it’ll boast about the clinical trials that support the effectiveness of the formula, leaving you with no doubt that it’s “the real deal”. You’ll see a good example of this by watching the way Jim Stoppani markets PRE Jym or Advanced Molecular Labs promote AML Pre Workout.
Next time you encouter a company offering a proprietary blend, slap it out of your shopping cart like this: