How to Identify Fake Supplements in India?
Every newcomer in the gym turns his attention very quickly towards the fitness supplements and rightfully so. Our Indian diet, especially the vegetarian diet is deficient in fast acting proteins which are essential for muscle recovery. Since this basic requirement for muscle growth is not met by our diet, we set out on a journey to find the best and cheapest supplements we can get our hands on. After an extensively detailed research conducted on various brands and supplement types, you decide on one supplement, believe that it would propel you towards your goals but end up getting little or no results, or sometimes even negative results.
Investing in any dietary supplements is very high and the only output from this investment is the betterment of your physique. So, if it is not providing you with the expected results, what good is it?
In many cases, people who unknowingly buy such fake supplements end up ruining their bodies. Some ended up putting on unhealthy weight; some ruined their liver while some damaged their kidneys or other sensitive organs. Since most of the supplements are consumed orally, you need to be extremely skeptical when buying such products from the Indian market.
Tampering with supplements is very easy for any knowledgeable chemist or a person with knowledge about the compounds and derivatives used in the product. All you need to do is replace this compound or derivative with a similar tasting, cheaply available material and mix it with the original. Using this you can generate multiple packages from one packet and if you are smart, even get away with it. This is the common practice with protein and mass gaining supplements. It’s almost similar to the adulteration of dal or rice that happens at ration shops. The main problem here is IGNORANCE. Many youngsters are not well versed with the science of health supplements which is why they fall prey to fake supplements in India.
The only way to avoid getting duped is to be hyper vigilant when buying any product. Yes, even when buying it off the Internet! Here’s a general set of instructions you should follow to ensure that the product you are purchasing is not fake.
Check the Distributor’s Authenticity
It is a little complicated to get an authorised distributor license in India. There are only very few number of distributors for every big international brand. The listing can be easily found on the internet. Check the name of the distributor on the markings on the box and then tally this with the list. If you don’t find the name there, then it is likely that you have just come across a fake supplement. The container would have the distributor’s sticker.
Check the seal
Never buy a supplement with a broken seal. If it has a marked seal with signatures of the company you are buying from, then it may be untampered. Fake ones tend to have some alterations done on this seal and the outer covering. Since most supplements are imported, their packaging is extremely meticulous and precise.If you find anything even remotely suspicious with the packaging of the box, return it. For example, the lids inner cover might be crooked or there could be loose covering under the lid. Also, check that the outer plastic cover is present.
Check MRP and Logo Hologram
The original one would have the price and manufacturing date printed on the neck or the bottom of the box. The fake ones go with a sticker. Most popular brands that are favourites with the consumers use a logo imprinted on a Hologram, which is difficult to forge. Check for this logo and confirm its authenticity with the website checking which is generally mentioned on the box.
Taste and Mixability
If you are purchasing a product for the first time, research about the expected taste. If it doesn’t produce similar taste, you’ll know that it’s not the thing you paid money for. Every product should be readily mixable with water or milk. Before starting to use it, check for its mix ability with three to five scoops. Record its texture and if it isn’t similar to the expected results, you’ll know.However many of the fake ones tend to taste highly similar to the original. So you can’t be sure with this test. It’s better to check the outer covering beforehand.
To sum it up, here’s what you do after buying any fitness supplement.
Check the distributor’s name and verify it online.
Check the outer plastic cover.
Check the manufacturing date, MRP and expiry date on the box.
Open the box and check the inner side of the cap. Then check the seal. If it hastily packed look you should be able to tell the difference here.
Mix 3-5 scoops of the supplement and check its mixability.