10 Tips On How To Choose The Right Supplements
The dietary supplement market continues to boom every year, leading to hundreds of thousands of products to choose from. While it’s always good to have a choice and supplements do help you become fitter, faster and stronger – however – do you know which one is best for you? Here, we have 10 things to look out for when you’re buying your next supplement.
Brand loyalty is something which is very important to consider. If the company has been around for a long time, they’re likely to have invested a lot of money in product quality and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) which all supplement business are required to by law. If you’re not sure about a certain company, then make sure to look it up on trusted service websites.
Many supplement manufactures use additives that help speed up the manufacturing process and production volume in order to increase profit margins. The problem with this, though, is these additives have zero health benefits for you and are potentially harmful to your immune system. You can always ask someone in a health food store to help you, as they are normally aware of what products do and don’t contain additives.
Do they have a phone number on the label? Then ring it. If there are real people on the other end, then it’s likely the company have spent time and money on building a solid infrastructure for the product. Many smaller businesses will outsource production and operations, making it impossible for customers to contact them. Be very wary of this.
The title gives it away – drug stores sells drugs, not supplements. They normally carry the cheapest and lowest quality supplements on the market. Cheaper supplements inevitably contain additives and fillers which could harm your health.
Weight loss and sports nutrition supplements usually have a couple of ingredients in clinically validated amounts, allowing them to make claims such as “build muscle”, “lose weight” or “recover faster”. Often the clinical studies will be referenced on the packaging or website. If they don’t, try searching on sites like ScienceDirect.com with the product name and ingredients.
In general terms, the more you pay for a supplement, the higher the quality. For example, cheap calcium supplements are made up of calcium carbonate and calcium nitrate. These ingredients are the least absorbable, making them less effective on the body. The best form of calcium is MCHC (Microcrystalline Hydroxyapetitie Complex) which are found in the more expensive supplements on the market.
We know it’s pretty obvious, but most of the time consumers leave reviews on the manufacturer’s website or third-party retailers. Scroll through them in detail and see if you can spot any common trends. Retailers normally have reports on previous sampling programs, so make sure to take advantage of this reliable source of information.
These types of multi-vitamins are a marketing myth. We want these nutrients to copy real food as close as possible. However, certain vitamins like C and B only last for around four hours in the body, meaning we need to keep them topped up throughout the day.
Superior brands and products will be clear with their nutritional benefits. In addition, they will have condition-specific formulas to help customers deal with problems like cardiovascular issues or joint pain. Avoid the complicated brands – their goal is to confuse you into buying their product.
You shouldn’t be scared of walking down the vitamin aisle. There are a lot of choices, but if you do the necessary research first, you can go in knowing exactly what you need. If you follow the tips above, then you should be able to find a supplement which is effective and safe.
About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.