5 Popular Wellness Trends That Don’t Do What They Claim To

Alyssa Atkinson

Now you can stop suffering through them.


Photo by Dose Juice on Unsplash

I want you to think about the most recent wellness trend or product you bought into. What was your motivation for doing so?

Was it supposed to give you an immunity boost? Help you shed weight? Or maybe aid in muscle growth or repair?

For me, the product was kombucha (a fermented tea drink). I wanted to try it out so badly after hearing about all of the potential health benefits it has to offer. I thought the probiotics would be good for my body, so I bit the bullet and paid $2.50 for a small glass bottle of liquid that was gone in a matter of days.

While I did enjoy the taste of the kombucha, I’m still not sure that the cost of the drink is truly worth the money.

Even so, there are far worse wellness trends out there that I could’ve tried. You know, the ones that are carefully disguised as miracle workers, but in reality they are dangerous to engage in.

Thus, here are five wellness trends that don’t do what they claim to. In fact, some of them are actually dangerous to take part in regularly. After reading this, you’ll be able to save money and stop suffering through them.

1. Detox Teas

Detox teas are packaged tea drinks that are often sold as programs where you drink the tea every day for a few weeks. They claim to cleanse your body of toxins, help you shed weight fast, and get healthier.

But, according to Women’s Health, this is how they really work:

“‘Walk into a chemist and buy several packets of laxatives and you’re likely to be questioned by the person behind the counter,’ says nutrition consultant Dr. Lauretta Ihonor. ‘But when I walked into a reputable high street store and bought a teatox programme, the sales assistant tried to sell me more as part of a special offer.’ ”

Essentially, most of these detox teas contain an ingredient called senna, which is an “herb containing chemicals called sennosides, which irritate the lining of the bowels, triggering a laxative effect”.

So, the detox teas are really laxatives in disguise, which can lead to malabsorption of food and nutritional deficiencies. This can then cause your body to enter “starvation mode, leading to weight gain when you stop drinking the teas.”

Therefore, not only will the teas not help you lose weight long term, they will actually do the opposite. Plus, they could deplete your body of essential nutrients, and they’ll cost you a pretty penny. So, while their claims may seem promising, it’s best to avoid them all together.

2. Celery Juice

Celery juice is a recent wildly popular trend that has been popping up everywhere. I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, but I’ve certainly seen it all over social media.

According to The New York Times:

“Stories posted to Instagram and elsewhere are anecdotal, but say that the juice is the biggest medical remedy for digestive issues, autoimmune disorders, psoriasis, acne, chronic fatigue syndrome, acid reflux, the shingles virus, strep bacteria and weight loss.”

However, assistant research scientist in nutrition Rachel E. Scherr states that:

“There’s no scientific evidence to support any of the claims being made.”

Furthermore, nutritionists say that:

“other factors could be influencing juicers’ sense of well-being: better hydration from celery’s water content (celery juice is literally a tall drink of water, 94 percent so); or a placebo effect.”

So, while there’s no certainly no evidence that celery juice is bad for your body, it also has not been proven to be the miracle worker that everyone claims it is. If you’ve tried the drink and can’t stand it, you’ll probably be just as well off drinking water instead.

3. Heated Workouts

In recent years, heated workouts, such as hot yoga, have become increasingly popular. There are many claims that these heated workouts are far superior to any other methods of exercise.

And while they can offer some great benefits to certain groups of people, others should proceed with caution.

According to Marni Sumbal M.S., R.D:

“Individuals who do not respond well to working out in hot conditions or individuals with underlying heart issues should be careful. It’s important to acclimate slowly and to always stay hydrated. Understand your own limitations.”

Therefore, if you do plan to take a heated workout class, you should be aware that it’s easier to get dehydrated due to the warm conditions. And if you haven’t done one before, make sure you don’t overdo it.

4. Restrictive Diets

This one may seem obvious, but it’s actually a very common method that people try out to lose weight more quickly.

And while this may be true at first, the long term impacts on your health can be very detrimental.

In fact, according to researchers at UCLA:

“Dieters typically shed 5 to 10 percent of their starting weight within the first six months…But there’s a catch: The same researchers found that at least one- to two-thirds of people on diets regain more weight than they lost within four or five years.”

Therefore, by taking a fast and aggressive approach, your odds of keeping the weight off that you do lose decreases immensely.

And because of the restrictive nature, the diet could lead to many negative side effects, like experiencing anxiousness, failing to provide your body with key nutrients it needs to function optimally, and feeling severely deprived (which may result in overeating/bingeing later on).

Instead of falling pray to the toxic wellness trend of eating as little as possible, try to take a more slow and steady approach to getting healthier. Your body and mind will thank you in the long run.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

I don’t know about you guys, but I can hardly stand the smell of apple cider vinegar. I couldn’t imagine taking a shot of it first thing in the morning. Luckily, you don’t have to.

According to Harvard Health:

“The scientific evidence that vinegar consumption (whether of the apple cider variety or not) is a reliable, long-term means of losing excess weight is not compelling.”

However, what’s even more worrisome is that taking shots of apple cider vinegar can actually have negative health impacts on certain groups.

Harvard Health states these three issues with the high vinegar content:

  • “Vinegar should be diluted. Its high acidity can damage tooth enamel when sipped “straight” — consuming it as a component of vinaigrette salad dressing is a better way.”
  • “It has been reported to cause or worsen low potassium levels. That’s particularly important for people taking medications that can lower potassium (such as common diuretics taken to treat high blood pressure).”
  • “Vinegar can alter insulin levels. People with diabetes should be particularly cautious about a high vinegar diet.”

Therefore, the claim that a shot of apple cider vinegar each morning is going to do wonders for your body is very misleading. You certainly don’t need to be drinking it daily in order to be healthy.

Final Thoughts

While some wellness products truly do live up to their claims, others are simply marketed strategically to boost corporate profits.

If you can distinguish between the two, you’ll save yourself a lot of money and suffering. A great place to start is with the basics — exercise regularly and consume mostly minimally processed foods.

Once you’ve got that part nailed down, you can branch out and try new things. Just make sure you actually enjoy them and feel that they are worth the money and trouble.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - nomeatfastfeet.com | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC

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