If you are a fan of dietary supplements and often look at the ingredients lists before buying one, chances are that you have come across the term "Proprietary Blend." Sounds pretty harmless, right? But have you ever stopped and wondered what these marketing gimmicks mean or what's actually in your supplements ingredients lists?
Well, stick to the article till the end to find out what a proprietary blend is and why you should avoid any product that contains it at all costs!
What Is Proprietary Blend?
A proprietary blend is when a company discloses the whole list of ingredients on the label, but not the quantity of each specific ingredient on their own. The regulators require a company to list all the ingredients within the product and the dosage of each and every ingredient unless that ingredient is part of a proprietary blend (in which case we get the weight of the entire blend itself).
You could be buying a pre-workout containing caffeine, beta-alanine, and other popular energy-boosting substances, but you can't be sure about each ingredient's dosages in the product.
The term "proprietary blend" usually is listed at the back of the tub, more specifically on the ingredients label. You may also find words like "Muscle Performance Blend," "Thermogenic Support Blend," etc. Please don't get confused; it's just fancy terminology by manufacturers.
There are two meanings to the term "proprietary blend."
There's a definition that the supplement companies provide you and then there's the actual truth.
What supplement companies want you to believe?
If you contact supplement companies to understand what this term "proprietary blend" means and ask for an explanation, you will get a staple answer which would something look like this -
"We use a proprietary blend to protect our highly secretive formula from our competitors looking to steal the combination of ingredients and extensive research that went into the development of this product. We do this also to protect you, the consumer, from cheap supplement brands, so you can always be positive you are getting the exquisite product for your cash."
And that explanation sounds fair and makes sense. Right?
After all, the companies want to protect their secret formula from their competitors looking to steal it and make a similar product out of it. They also want you to believe that they have discovered a never seen before formula that would transform your physique the moment you drink it.
What does Proprietary Blend mean in reality?
Yes, the above explanation is just rubbish. If you think these companies are concerned about your performance, fat loss, lean muscle gain, etc., think again. They are just like any other business and in the industry to make profits off their customers. The main motive behind using a proprietary blend for any supplement manufacturer boils down to a single term, "profits."
When these supplement companies use a proprietary blend, they don't want you to know how little of each ingredient the companies use in their product. Instead of disclosing the actual ingredients and their exact dosages, the companies mix cheap ingredients in a high amount to cut costs and increase their profit margins.
Let us take an example of a commonly found proprietary blend in pre-workouts these days for you to decipher the ingredients:
Endurance + Ripping Blend - 2.6g
Ingredients - Caffeine, Beta-Alanine, Green Tea Extract, Theobromine, Phenylalanine, Guayasa Extract, Rauwolscine, Teacrine.
Here is a total of eight ingredients for a sum of 2.6g of the proprietary blend. A study conducted on Beta-Alanine suggests that the daily effective dosage lies around 3.2g. We are not reaching anywhere near that. Next, the caffeine dosage recommendation is somewhere near 400-500 mg. Now, how can we possibly know how much caffeine is in this product? Also, what about the splitting up of other ingredients?
You have absolutely no idea on the dosage of each ingredient you are getting. And that's a disturbing thing, especially if you are a professional athlete or a bodybuilder who has specific requirements.
The Bottom Line
In simple lines, Proprietary Blends are legalized frauds. There's no genuine reason for the companies to use the proprietary blend in supplements. If they are doing it, the only reason behind it is to deceive you and hike their profits through your hard-earned money. Whatever the companies claim it to be in the name of trade secrets and magic formulas - it's just plain simple lies. The only truth is that if a company is not willing you to tell the exact dosages of ingredients in the supplements, it's just because they don't want you to know how much they are underdosing it. It's that plain simple.
Just Say No
The best piece of advice would be to avoid these kinds of supplements in the market altogether. Because buying these products would mean throwing away your hard-earned money for something that won't do much for your respective goals. You also are putting your health at risk as these supplements contain a heaping number of stimulants that could be dangerous for you. Therefore, buying an open-label and fully disclosed supplements are the best way to be sure about the dosages of ingredients that you are ingesting.
All Epicvita products follow transparent labelling with fully disclosed ingredients with accurate values and are backed with 3rd party lab testing for verification and potency.