There’s is always a new health trend on the scene, whether it is a rehashing of old ideas or some new ones, and it is often difficult to know which ones have any merit. To save you wasted money and effort, here are 5 popular health trends that some experts deem are pretty pointless.

1. Expensive superberries

It’s likely that you’ve been frequently bombarded online and in magazines with the supposed merits of certain superberries. Not your standard berries, but berries that possess such qualities that you’d want to spend a good portion of your shopping budget on them.

However, these overpriced ‘superberries’ such as acai berries and goji berries could well be overpriced for the limited benefit they bring. Studies into acai berries found that the health benefits were no better than other standard fruits, and that acai berry juice contains less antioxidants than other less expensive options such as blueberries, pomegranates and even red wine. Many of the best superfoods can be found for fraction of the price at the local supermarket, and the best option of all may be, according to researchers at the Scottish Crop Research Institute, the blackcurrant which they considered to be the most healthy fruit you can lay your hands on.

2. Bottled water

Drinking more water is generally a good habit to foster, but is there actually any additional benefit in drinking bottled water? While there is a perception among many that bottled water is better for you, there is in fact no scientific evidence to back this up.

Some studies have suggested avoiding bottled water could actually be better for your health and your pocket. Research by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that bottled water was in general no safer or healthier; around a quarter of the bottled water they tested was found to be tap water. Some studies suggested that bottled water may be worse for us as harmful chemicals from the bottles leak into the water over time.

3. Gluten-free dieting

While going gluten-free is an option for some and a necessity for others, gluten in general has received a bit of a bad press in recent years, so much so that many people make a conscious effort to avoid the protein . However, while a gluten-free approach is essential for coeliacs and others with gluten sensitivity, research suggests that those cutting out gluten for weight loss reasons may be misguided.

Findings by researchers at Arizona State University published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggested that there is no benefit for the average healthy person of a gluten-free diet, and that avoiding gluten is not a useful weight loss strategy. Additionally, going gluten-free can be overly expensive, and can mean missing out on the useful health benefits of whole grains that contain gluten.

4. Juice cleanse

Doing a detox by means of a juice cleanse or some form of detox supplement could be a costly exercise for little return. A report in The Biologist by a University College London professor David Bender, described detoxing as pointless, as the body is naturally effective at detoxing itself without needing additional aids.

Additionally, any weight loss benefits brought by a detox tend to be short term, making them ineffective as a long-term method for weight management. Rather than spending your money on overpriced detox and cleansing kits, follow a healthy balanced diet , which will allow the body to detox itself as it should do.

5. Toning shoes

The idea that you can wear special shoes that will help burn more calories and tone up, with no extra effort required than regular walking, might just be a step too far, according to some experts. The claim by manufacturers is that their product, with a degree of instability in the sole, force you to work harder while walking. However, research carried out by several bodies, including the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), suggest that toning shoes really do not deliver on their promise and most are really not worth paying out for.

The issues is such that some manufacturers of toning shoes have had to refund customers as their product has failed to give people the desired impact. So clearly it seems like there is no real shortcut to burning calories and getting leaner legs, thighs and buttocks than properly targeted exercise and good diet.