Most of the websites start by telling a simplified history of Hoodia and the San Bushmen who have used it for centuries. They often forget to mention that the San eat fresh Hoodia to suppress their appetite. They do stress the primitive and almost mythical powers of the San, however, as well as the great benefits they supposedly derive from eating Hoodia.
The websites will then tell you how their product is far superior to other products, as they are the only trustworthy source of real Hoodia. A nice touch is to explain how one can be scammed from unscrupulous Hoodia companies. They may then explain that only their product is grown by REAL SOUTH AFRICAN FARMERS (apparently it is important to stress this by using all capital letters).
Another common gimmick is the use of false comparison websites that purport to compare without bias a selection of Hoodia products. Check to see if you have ever heard of the organization doing the comparison, as some supplement distributors have been known to create fake organizations in order to direct business to their products.
Many websites seem to offer expert testimony on the effectiveness of their product. However, when examined carefully, either the experts are unnamed or they are quoted as to the effectiveness of Hoodia in general, and not the product being sold on the website.
Another card the nutritional supplements play is the conspiracy theory of the big bad pharmaceutical companies. Apparently, these companies believe in the effectiveness of Hoodia, but since they cannot patent it, will not try to release a Hoodia product unless they can synthesize it, which they can patent.
Careful reading of one website found that the makers of that supplement recommended combining a reduced calorie diet and regular walking of several miles with Hoodia. Apparently their product works best if you also eat properly and exercise!
Many websites claim to offer money back guarantees and free samples, but how easy do you think those will be for something you buy off the internet? It is best to assume that any money you send out will not be coming back, no matter your satisfaction with the product.
Most websites do offer a disclaimer, often in a very small font at the bottom of the page. A typical disclaimer will say things like
Please Note: The statements contained on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, mitigate or cure any disease. Your actual results may vary. Please check with your physician before taking any diet pills or starting any weight loss program.
And finally, it is probably a good idea to be wary of outlandish claims, such as one website that claimed their Hoodia product would give you superhuman-like strength to make love all night long!
I recently caught up with Jon in New York City where he was training one of his professional clients. Jon works a bit differently from other trainers as he does not name many of his all-star clients.
They have all signed a strict non-disclosure agreement and as Jon puts it “If you have just one athlete that tests positive for a drug test your reputation is ruined. And while my guys are clean, I cannot risk my reputation on something I cannot control” (obviously referring to if an athlete were to take performance enhancing drugs behind his back).
So while most trainers are lying about who they train, Jon’s hiding them. I had a feel this interview was going to be good!
My purpose of this meeting was to get the scoop on performance enhancing supplements and what the average athlete can do to improve their game.
PR “Jon, thanks for taking time out to meet with me. Can you please start out by telling our readers a little about yourself?”
JD “Sure Phil, no problem. In short, I make athletes better. Even though I’ve built my reputation in baseball, my clients include athletes from all four major sports as well as Olympians. These athletes all call me when they absolutely need results.”
PR “So I presume the athletes you work with are all subjected to strict drug testing procedures.”
JD “That’s correct.”
PR “What’s your stance on performance enhancing drugs such as steroids and Human Growth Hormone?”
JD “Well there’s no question they work. However, they are illegal and banned by most organizations. So I will not work with any athlete who isn’t clean.”
PR “Doesn’t this put your athletes at a disadvantage? How do you get your athletes ready to perform against others who are clearly using these performance enhancers.”
JD “It’s certainly no easy task. My athletes all come to me wanting what every other athlete wants: increase speed, power, strength and muscle mass and a decrease in body fat, recovery time and injury rate. Obviously with performance enhancing drugs this becomes easier, but in my mind that’s not an option because it’s illegal and unethical. So we utilize a combination of unique training methods, proper nutrition and over-the-counter supplements.”
PR “Ah, over the counter supplements. Now that’s what I came to get the dirt on. What’s the deal with these anyway. There’s like a million and one company’s out there. It’s so confusing to figure out what works and what doesn’t. And, it seems whenever an athlete test positive they blame in on a ‘tainted’ supplement. What’s the deal here?”
JD “Well first of all if an athlete pawns his drug use off on a ‘tainted’ supplement he’s full of it. These guys know full well what’s going into their bodies. They are lying.
Second, you’re right. Choosing a supplement from the very crowded shelves can be downright impossible. The big secret is that almost every company is selling the same thing!
It all comes down to marketing. Very few companies have anything ‘cutting edge’ like they claim. Except for a few unique products, it’s all window dressing.
Of course I cannot tell you, or anyone else what supplements to use as I’m not a doctor, I can provide insight into what my athletes use. This of course is for informational purposes only, agreed?”
JD “First of all we start with the basics. Nothing fancy here. A multi-vitamin, omega-3 fish oils, creatine (5 grams per day is all that’s needed) and some protein powder when needed.
Then it gets interesting. Please realize I get boxes of supplements sent to me on a daily basis from supplement companies who want me to use their products with my athletes. They know that if they get my endorsement that means big bucks for them down the line. But I’m not for sale so I only use what have been proven to work for us and by the researchers. Even further we must know without a shadow of a doubt that the product is safe and is not banned from any organization.
It’s almost hard for me to give this away, but we’ve been using a combination of products from a small supplement company out of Texas called USPLabs. We ‘stack’ their Anabolic-Pump, PowerFULL and SuperCissus RX products and we are simply blown away with the drug-like effects they are delivering.”
PR “Sounds cool. I’ll have to check that out. Well, Jon I know you have to run, but I appreciate you sitting down with me so I could gain a little insight into your world.”