by Matt Weik
If you’re anything like me, you get excited to take your joint and bone support supplements every day (can you smell the sarcasm?). I keep them next to my bed on the nightstand so I can wake up to the bottle every morning. You know what I’m talking about, right? It’s exciting to even think about. Wait, What??? You don’t get excited about joint and bone support supplements? Well, why not? Haven’t you snapped up some joints or ligaments while training? No? Well, aren’t you lucky…
HA! Ok, seriously. Joint and bone support supplements are some of the most boring products on the planet. How can they even market them in such a way that you don’t fall asleep reading the information on the bottle. It’s darn near impossible to get excited to take them unless you’re all banged up and need them daily to help with painful joints. When you look at the revenue from products like preworkouts, protein, and creatine, revenue from joint and bone support is a tiny fraction in comparison.
Not you? Well you should be! Much of the revenue with joint and bone heath products come from an older demographic—I get it, this might not be you (yet). We’re talking about those who wake up with minor aches and pains due to long-term wear and tear on their body from years of activity and movement. The sports nutrition industry caters to a younger demographic in search of products that they can FEEL—not necessarily concerned about preventative care at this stage of their life (that “invincible” feeling of being young and dumb). Unfortunately, the younger demographic ultimately learns the hard way by only worrying about joint and bone health when a problem arises and it’s too late.
More People Getting Active
Great news! Overall, the focus on health and fitness is a growing trend. In 2015 there were over 55 million gym memberships reported whereas back in 2000 there were only 32.8 million (that a 67% increase in a 15-year span). More people are getting active which would make you think more people would be worried about all the wear and tear they are putting on their joints due to their increased activity levels. If they aren’t worried about it right now, they will down the road.
How to Make Us Care About Joint Supplements
So how can companies and brands get people excited about joint and bone health products? They could hype it up with a bunch of outlandish claims, right? They could, but then they’ll be hearing from the FDA or attorneys who want to sue because research doesn’t support the claims. Over the years we have seen more and more companies being sued for false claims. Some of the companies simply don’t care as long as they still profited even after paying off their lawsuit.
But how can a brand push joint and bone support supplements when they really have no claims to back up their product? They have to start thinking outside the box, that’s how. Some companies are utilizing their athletes and brand ambassadors to help get the word out regarding their joint and bone support supplements. Being that they are extremely limited with the claims they can make, companies are pushing to have athletes and ambassadors include the supplements in their photos posted on social media. Many of these athletes are doing a “family” shot of all the products they use on a daily basis—including the joint and bone supplement. Clever. Some followers will inquire, bringing awareness to a product that otherwise wouldn’t get any attention.
A Painful Future? The Choice Is Yours!
As more research is published on joint and bone support products, the awareness will increase as claims are able to be made. Until that point, each side of the demographic spectrum will use and enjoy their respective products. Those who understand history know that if we don’t learn from prior mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them. Pay close attention youngsters. Start thinking about longevity and how you want to live in your body as you age. All of that heavy lifting year after year allows you to maintain and build your strength but at the cost of potentially wearing down your joints. Would you prefer to have daily aches and pains, or would you rather live long, active, and pain free? The choice is yours. While the category surrounding joint and bone health isn’t “cool” it’s definitely necessary.