There are some scary facts about your Halloween treats.
Surprisingly, many of the same elements in that bloody-looking candy could also be in your dietary supplements.
This is true even though dietary supplements and candy are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
One heals. One hurts.
However, they often share similar ingredients.
Here’s what you need to know to make sure you’re not being scammed.
- Beware of fun colors
Halloween food calls for ghoulishly bright hues, created thanks to generous amounts of food coloring and dyes.
And if the kids are up all night, sugar may not be the culprit.
Artificial food colors increase hyperactivity in children, found an article in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics that analyzed 15 studies on the subject.
Food colorings are also linked to irritability, depression, sleep problems, allergies, and other pretty serious health implications.
Halloween is only once a year, so some glow-in-the-dark candy won’t hurt in the long run, but your dietary supplements are something you should take on a daily basis.
If your pre-workout supplement is so bright that it gives off the kind of daytime glow that would make a mad scientist proud, do your research on the types of colors and tints that are boasted on the labels.
- melting maltodextrin
If it’s a deliciously chewy eyeball, there’s a good chance that scary candy has some maltodextrin in it.
This sweetening additive improves the mouthfeel of many products, including infant nutrition, baked goods, and even beer.
It digests quickly and is often included in sports drinks because it is high in calories and provides a lot of energy.
This means it’s often found in mass gainers and protein powders, which isn’t a problem if you’re trying to pack on size.
However, if it is one of the first three ingredients on your supplement label, and your goal is to lose weight or just stay slim, then you may want to reconsider the product because it could cause you to gain weight.
- Door knock for quality
You may not be able to taste the candy handed out to just anyone wearing a wolf mask, but you can and should make sure that the supplements that enter your body are subject to strict quality control and contain what they say. Quality control in the dietary supplement industry can be like a dark Halloween night, you never know what you’re going to get.
To be safe, choose supplements that have a third-party certification, such as the Certified Drug-Free or Certified Quality seals from the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG).
These seals show that your supplements have had a thorough quality control review, regulatory compliance, and have been made in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). They also test for drugs or environmental contamination and verify label claims.
The Certified Drug Free program is the sports standard created to protect professional athletes, first responders, and military service members from dark forces like the performance-enhancing drugs hidden in their supplements. Each batch is tested for more than 500 drugs with annual monitoring to verify label claims and contaminant tests for toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides or microbiological agents.
The Certified Quality program is designed for retail trade and consumer protection. This annual testing program curates our industry-leading menu of tests covering more than 500 banned substances and verifies label claims and checks for the presence of heavy metals, microbiological agents, pesticides, and solvents.
The Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG) Certified CBD Program offers a complete quality solution for CBD brands, athletes and consumers. The one-of-a-kind program includes screening for WADA-banned substances, verification of THC and CBD content with a THC limit for drug test protection, screening for environmental contaminants such as heavy metals or pesticides, the detection of synthetic cannabinoids and the evaluation of regulatory compliance and manufacturing quality control.
The BSCG seals should fill you with the confident feeling that your supplement does what it says on the label and is free of any gimmicks or surprises. Without third-party certification, you risk turning your supplement routine into a cheap B-grade horror movie when it could be a Hollywood blockbuster.