Study Says Claims Of Fitness Products Mostly Smoke

July 24, 2012 9:20 am 1 comment

Ever wonder how close to reality come the advertising claims of fitness products? Dr. Matthew Thompson, a senior clinical scientist at the University of Oxford, decided to find out. His conclusion: not so much. Nicholas Bakalar, writing in the New York Times, reports that Thompson and his colleagues examined advertising for sports drinks, oral supplements, footwear, clothing and devices like wrist bands and compression stockings in 100 general–interest magazines and the top 10 sports and fitness magazines, as well as websites, in Britain and the United States. The researchers stopped short of including bodybuilding magazines and advertisements for weight loss, skin or beauty products, and equipment like bicycles and exercise machines. The researchers tried hard to find studies backing up the claims, and even wrote to 42 companies, 27 of which responded. Their scholarly conclusion: There is a striking lack of evidence to support the vast majority of sports-related products that make claims related to enhanced performance or recovery, including drinks, supplements and footwear. Half of all websites for these products provided no evidence for their claims, and of those that do, half of the evidence is not suitable for critical appraisal. No systematic reviews were found, and overall, the evidence base was judged to be at high risk of bias. Half of the trials were not randomised, and only 7% reported adequate allocation concealment. We found only three trials that were reported with sufficient details to be judged high quality and free from bias. Download the study here.  Read more in the New York Times.

1 Comment

  • When I exercise, one to two hours a day I sweat. Along with the water I lose electrolytes. This almost always results in cramps if I hydrate with water alone. I find if I put electrolytes in the water, primarily table salt I reduce the number and severity of the cramps. Sports drinks actually help, but not really as effective as sodium chloride, half a teaspoon in 8 oz of water. None the less I will use sports drinks in addition to salted water. I find plane water does not help with cramps from dehydration and electrolyte loss from intensive exercise.

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

  • Fitness Gear Rating iPhone Fitness Apps

    Rating iPhone Fitness Apps

    At the University of Florida, yes, the place where Gatorade was first concocted four decades ago, researchers took a close look at 30 free fitness apps made for iPhones, paying particular attention to their adherence to guidelines for physical activity from the American College of Sports Medicine, including parameters for safety, warm-ups, cool-downs, stretching, intensity, frequency and progression. Ready? The envelope please…..A U of Florida news release reports that when compared to the guidelines for aerobic exercise, strength or resistance, […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Women's Health How Mosquitoes Find You: Smell, Sight and Temperature

    How Mosquitoes Find You: Smell, Sight and Temperature

    How do mosquitoes find us before they bite us? Let me count the ways. One, they smell us, or more specifically, they smell the carbon dioxide that is exhaled every time we breathe out. Two, they also see us, or at least they use their eyes to detect dark objects, which are particularly attractive to mosquitoes who have already detected carbon dioxide. And three, they sense our body heat and move in our direction. How do we know this? Because […]

    Read more →
  • Pain How To Remove A Tick

    How To Remove A Tick

    Yes, ticks are creepy, especially when their pointy barbed heads are burrowed into your flesh. What to do? The Wall Street Journal has some advice, along with descriptions of several special tick removal devices that are, according to experts, no more effective at removing ticks than a good pair of fine-tipped tweezers. First, the journal warns, “although most tick-borne pathogens, including the one that causes Lyme disease, generally aren’t transmitted before the tick has been attached for at least 24 […]

    Read more →
  • Attitude Books Immediate Rewards Keep People Exercising

    Immediate Rewards Keep People Exercising

    Exercising to lose weight? Nice idea, unlikely reality. Exercising because it makes you feel good? Nicer idea, and one with a pretty good chance that you’ll actually follow through with it. That’s the thesis put forth by New York Times health columnist Jane Brody, who backs it up with personal experience and the wisdom of Michelle Segar, director of the Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy Center at the University of Michigan. Segar, who is also the author of “No […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain To Reverse Bone Loss; Squats With Weights

    To Reverse Bone Loss; Squats With Weights

    No, it doesn’t sound pleasant, but doing squats with weights has been shown to reverse bone loss in middle-aged men. Ditto for deadlifts, lunges and the overhead press, none of which is anywhere near as much fun as and good tennis game. A news release from the University of Missouri reports that researchers at the school studied 38 active, middle-aged men who completed either a weight-lifting program or a jumping program for a year. Both programs required 60-120 minutes of targeted exercises […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Non-Aspirin Painkillers Riskier Than Believed

    Non-Aspirin Painkillers Riskier Than Believed

    Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) pose a greater risk to heart health than had been believed. That’s the word from the FDA, which, according to the New York Times, will soon ask drug manufacturers to change the labels to reflect new evidence that the drugs increased the risk of heart attack and stroke soon after patients first started taking them. The Times quotes Dr. Peter Wilson, a professor of medicine and public health at Emory University in Atlanta, and a member […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Pain Uncategorized Two Weeks of Inactivity = Muscle Loss of 40 Years

    Two Weeks of Inactivity = Muscle Loss of 40 Years

    Two weeks. That’s how long you have to be inactive to cause appreciable muscle loss. How much is loss that? According to researchers at the University of Copenhagen, young men who have one leg immobilized for two weeks lose up to a third of their muscular strength, and older people lose approximately one fourth. Yikes! Futurity reports on the research, and the site quotes Andreas Vigelsø, a PhD student at the U Copenhagen’s Center for Healthy Aging and the biomedical sciences department, saying […]

    Read more →
  • Pain Women's Health Men and Women Feel Pain Differently

    Men and Women Feel Pain Differently

    He hurts; she hurts, but she hurts differently–and probably more often. That’s the opinion of researchers at McGill University, who took a close look at the longstanding theory that pain is transmitted from the site of injury or inflammation through the nervous system using an immune system cell called microglia. Their research, yes, on mice, not humans, shows that this is only true in male mice. When the researchers altered the function of microglia in a variety of different ways, […]

    Read more →