The fitness industry releases new products every year. This includes workout apparel, supplements and exercise equipment designed to increase the output of your performance during high intensity workouts. Manufacturers have spent millions of dollars on these products and even backed them up with “scientific research.” However, a recent study reveals that nearly all these items do not live up to their claim when placed under unbiased studies.
The research was headed by Dr. Mathew Thompson, a clinical scientist from the University of Oxford. Thompson examined the claims made by companies that produced fitness products, such as sports drinks, running shoes and exercise clothing. This included websites that advertised such products with claims of improved performance and speedier recovery.
In all, 615 products found in health and fitness magazines were studied. 54 of these claimed that the product could enhance performance output, though only three of them backed it up with reference to scientific research. Even then, most of the research provided was done on laboratory mice and not on human test subjects.
Thompson contacted 42 of the companies that did not contain references for their products. 27 of them replied but only nine of them provided sources to additional material to back up their claims.
What’s more, the ones that had scientific research either funded the study themselves or were conducted by their own team of researchers, which greatly increases the chance of researcher bias. Coca-Cola, for example, also created Powerade and provided the grant necessary for the research in order to support claims that the sports drink can boost the performance of endurance athletes.
What this study appears to show is that all you really need is the common sense to exercise and eat a well-balanced diet if you want to stay fit and healthy. No overpriced sports drink or piece of equipment can do the job for you.