Why You Shouldn’t Buy Sports Nutrition or Supplements on Amazon

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In this article I discuss two polarizing topics, sports nutrition/supplements and Amazon, and why you shouldn’t mix them.

Previously, I have occasionally purchased sports nutrition and supplements from Amazon because of price savings and fast convenient delivery. My last order was pretty typical for me, a couple of different flavors of amino acid with electrolyte drink mixes (XTEND brand by Cellucor) that I like to use on longer rides. I used one of the flavors completely before opening the second and that’s where I ran into a problem. The second package of drink mix tasted bad, and I felt ill after consuming just a couple of sips. I contacted the manufacturer who asked me to reach out to the seller to see if I could return it. I contacted Amazon, but was informed that this product, but not the other one that I ordered at the same time, was sold by a third party and the return window was closed.

I let the manufacturer know the response from Amazon and they asked me for the lot number and expiration date on the package. The manufacturer, Cellucor, informed me that neither the lot number nor the expiration date were legitimate. They then told me that the specific flavor has been out of production for quite some time and that no unexpired products could still be on the market. The company said they were aware that some counterfeit products had entered the market, and although they can only control the products they sell directly, they immediately sent me free replacement products anyways. Above and beyond type customer service, thanks Cellucor!

I contacted Amazon to let them know about the counterfeit product and ask them about their policies with regards to counterfeit products. The Amazon representative refused to answer any of my questions about counterfeit product policies and actually hung up on me. I contacted Amazon again to let them know that the customer service rep hung up on me, and I again inquired about Amazon’s policies regarding counterfeit products. Again, Amazon refused to answer any questions with regards to counterfeit products.

I checked the product page and found that the product that the manufacturer confirmed no longer exists was being sold by seven different vendors, including directly from Amazon. This indicated that not only is counterfeit product selling rampant on Amazon, but buying direct from Amazon is also not a reliable way to avoid counterfeit products.

So, what did I consume in that counterfeit drink mix? I’ll never know, but it had a bad taste and it made me feel ill. Counterfeit products likely do not contain the specific beneficial substances that people buy these products for. Counterfeit products could also contain any manner of substances that you do not want to ingest, including toxic materials like heavy metals or substances that are prohibited from sport. Finally, there’s a high chance that counterfeit products are not produced according to good manufacturing practices or in clean, regulated environments. Amazon’s refusal to acknowledge these problems is clear negligence and could result in harm to consumers.

In summary, buying sports nutrition or supplement products on the Amazon market place or even directly from Amazon opens one up to the potential risks associated with counterfeit products. Therefore, I recommend buying these types of products directly from the manufacturer or a trusted specialty retailer.

Rowdy Fisherman

I enjoy combining adventure with cycling. Bikepacking, bikefishing, ultra distance, all road, former road, off road, and unusual locations. Riding the best and the worst roads. I hope that I can share these adventures with you and inspire others to take on their next adventure!

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