by Matt Weik
Honestly, I'm not sure what to say on the subject. I saw something as I leafed through my Facebook feed, causing me to step back and think about the direction the supplement industry might take. While not all supplement brands try to convince you that you can make a bad lifestyle choice and still be alright, a brand just seems to go in that direction, and that's quite worrying to me.
Cheers for your health?
There's a brand called Thrive + that has released a product that helps after drinking the next day. I understand that supplements should be used exactly as a supplement. But what kind of rabbit hole does that bring us down?
Well, I'm sure there will be some people who disagree with my statements, and that's fine – we all have our own opinions and can have meaningful and respectful conversations about such topics. For me, this Thrive + product is, in my opinion, exaggerated.
Thrive + has released a product called ORS, which stands for Oral Rehydration Solution. Essentially, it is an anti-hangover product. You should use the product after the last drink at night or at bedtime to reduce the effects of morning hangover. A hangover is a good reason for me not to drink irresponsibly. This product is mainly used to allow people to make bad decisions with their alcohol consumption. Look, I'm not a party animal, nor am I someone who stays home with a stick and is a party pooper. What I am is someone who has seen the negative effects of someone with an alcohol problem and the result that it had.
This product literally masks the effects of a night of overconsumption and does not help to change bad habits and behaviors. I'm not saying that people with alcohol problems or alcoholism are considering this type of product or that it would even help them the next morning (or their problem in general). I say that we already have problems in our population that are due to poor lifestyles and that seriously endanger people, to hurt themselves and others.
To look at numbers
According to the grand scheme of things, the number of US deaths from DUI accidents is much lower than cancer or heart disease, but one death alone, caused by something as stupid as drinking and driving, is one too many.
According to statistics from the CDC in 2015, 10,265 people died because they had taken to the wheel after drinking. This accounts for almost a third of all traffic-related deaths. In the same year, 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Every 51 minutes someone dies of an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident. That's 28 people a day. Looking at the cost of these crashes, the annual figure is more than $ 44 billion.
When people drink, they do not think about how to get home. They have a good time there and only worry about the consequences when they are directly affected – which is sometimes too late. On the other hand, those who know that they will spend a night drinking will generally worry about how they will feel the next day. Maybe they have to work the next morning or just do not want to spend a part of their weekend recovering from a hangover. Here, Thrive + tries to market its product.
I'm talking from both sides of my mouth
I know what you're thinking, "but Matt, the sports nutrition and dietary supplement industry, is full of products that are just like Thrive + ORS and just tell a different story." Yes, I totally agree. Take fat burners, for example. Sure, fat burners can be useful, but we would not need their help if we made better nutritional choices and led a healthier lifestyle that required more exercise than sitting on the couch and watching TV all night.
So yes, you can say that I speak from both sides of my mouth. However, you also do not see that I push my customers fat burners to quickly lose weight and deliver the desired results.
The bottom line is that we stop using products as patches. We must begin to take responsibility for our actions and our way of life. The person who drinks irresponsibly may decide to stop drinking if she spends the next day puking, has a headache, and feels terrible overall. In my opinion, it is not a good idea to give them a supplement that can help to reduce the consequences of a night full of wrong decisions. They activate bad behavior.
Maybe my thinking is distorted because of my job? Maybe the health of the public is just too important for me? I think we need to stop focusing on the quick fix in a bottle and get back to a healthy lifestyle that can extend life and longevity.