There’s some scary facts about your Halloween treats.

Frighteningly, many of the same elements in that bloody-looking candy might also be in your dietary supplements.

This is true even though dietary supplements and candy are kind of at opposite ends of the spectrum.

One heals. One harms.

Yet, they often share similar ingredients.

Here’s what you need to know to make sure you’re not being tricked.


  1. Fun Colors Beware

Halloween fare requires ghoulishly bright shades, created thanks to generous amounts of food colorings and dyes.

And if the kids are up all night, sugar may not be the culprit.

Artificial food dyes increase hyperactivity in children, found a paper in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics that looked at 15 studies on the topic.

Food dyes are also linked to irritability, depression, trouble sleeping, allergies and other rather serious health implications.

Halloween is only once a year, so a little luminescent candy may not hurt you long term, but your dietary supplements are something you take daily.

If your pre-workout supplement is so bright it emits the kind of day-glow that would make a mad scientist proud, do your research on the types of colors and dyes it boasts on the labels.


  1. Melting Maltodextrin

If it’s a deliciously chewy eyeball, there’s a good chance that scary bit of candy has some maltodextrin.

This sweetening additive improves the mouthfeel of many products such as infant nutrition, baked goods and even beer.

It’s fast digesting and often included in sports drinks because it is high in calories and delivers plenty of energy.

This means it’s often found in mass gainers and protein powders, which isn’t a problem if you’re trying to add size.

However, if it’s one of the first three ingredients on the label of your supplement, and your goal is to lose weight or simply stay lean, then you may want to rethink the product because it could make you gain weight.


  1. Door Knock for Quality

You may not be able to test candy dished out to anyone wearing a wolf mask, but you can and should ensure the supplements that go into your body are subject to strict quality control and contain what they claim. Quality control in the dietary supplements industry can be kind of like a dark Halloween night, you never know what you’re going to get.

To scare yourself safe, choose supplements that have a third-party certification like the Banned Substance Control Group (BSCG) Certified Drug Free or Certified Quality seals.

These seals show that your supplements have had an in-depth review of quality control, regulatory compliance, and have been made in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). They also test for drugs or environmental contamination and verify label claims.

The Certified Drug Free program is the sport standard built to protect professional athletes, first responders, and military service members from dark forces like performance enhancing drugs hiding in their supplements. Every lot is tested for more than 500 drugs with an annual check to verify label claims and contaminant testing for toxins like heavy metals, pesticides, or microbiological agents.

The Certified Quality program is designed for retail and consumer protection. This annual testing program screens for our industry leading testing menu covering more than 500 banned substances and verifies label claims and checks for heavy metals, microbiological agents, pesticides, and solvents.

The Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG) Certified CBD program offers a complete quality solution for CBD brands, athletes, and consumers. The one-of-a-kind program includes WADA prohibited substance screening, verification of THC and CBD content with a THC limit for drug testing protection, testing for environmental contaminants like heavy metals or pesticides, synthetic cannabinoid screening, and evaluation of regulatory compliance and manufacturing quality control.

The BSCG seals should fill you with a sense of trust that your supplement has what it claims on the label and is free of any tricks or surprises. Without third-party certification, you risk turning your supplement routine into a cheap B-grade horror movie when it could be a Hollywood blockbuster.