Step into any health store and the sheer variety of supplements and brands available for purchase is enough to confuse and overwhelm anyone. Even when it comes to pretty straightforward products like whey protein, the tubs will range in price from cheap to relatively expensive. Some will look low key, while others will be flashy and jazzed up with luminous green and silver labels. So, are the more expensive supplements better? What’s the difference in quality all about? Which supplements do you even need? Let’s see What to Look Out for When Buying Supplements.
We’ll look at a few key points that you should be aware of when purchasing supplements. This will help you to navigate through the hype and flashy marketing that’s employed by most of the major supplement companies in order to empty your wallet.
• Are you aware of which brands and products are reputable?
Just because a particular brand name is very popular does not mean the product is good. For example, many bodybuilding supplements are advertised in popular bodybuilding magazines. Many times, professional bodybuilders are paid to endorse the products.
The advertising budget alone runs into millions of dollars. Guess who the costs are passed on to?
Yup… you. That’s exactly why a generic brand of whey protein may be 3 times cheaper than the one that everyone is talking about.
You must do your research and know the ingredients, percentages, etc. Learning how to read the supplement labels is one of the best things you can do.
This will ensure that you know what you’re getting, and you’re not fooled by the hype and inflated prices. Many times, the cheaper versions which are not as popular are just as good.
• Speak to a qualified professional
Speaking to a nutritionist or a doctor will help you to understand just how much protein your body really needs. Common bodybuilding advice is usually ‘bro science’ and can’t really be trusted.
Most guys who are trying to gain mass will consume too much protein and creatine and even resort to dangerous supplements to achieve their aesthetic goals. Several years ago, weight loss pills containing ephedra were banned because they were causing heart palpitations and even death.
So, knowing the ingredients that go into a supplement is crucial. Do not blindly consume a supplement just because it was approved by the FDA. Do your own research and speak to a qualified professional before taking any.
• Are there side effects?
Check the label on the bottle and see if any side effects are mentioned or there are any ingredients that you may be allergic to. Speak to your doctor if you’re unsure.
When trying out a new supplement, it’s best to go with half the recommended dosage for a while to ascertain how your body reacts to it. If it’s all good, you can carry on. If not, seek medical assistance.
• Are the supplements tested?
Always look for supplements that have been independently tested by third-party labs. Many supplement manufacturers try to keep things transparent by having the labs conduct double-blind tests and clinical trials.
Now with easy access to the internet, you can do a ton of research before making a buying decision. Speak to some of the trainers at your gym or friends who are using supplements and ask for their feedback.
If several of them recommend a particular brand and are consuming it themselves, you know that it probably works. Ideally, the supplements should have verifiable results from tests, but if there aren’t any, getting reviews from satisfied customers is the next best thing.
Now you know what to look out for when buying supplements. To summarize it all, just know that sports supplements are not miracles in a bottle. They are merely meant to ‘supplement’ a good diet and training regimen.
No supplement can beat real, wholesome and nutritious food. Get most of your nutrients from real food and use supplements to help take your performance to the next level.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links to products and services I am passionate about. Purchasing via these links won’t cost you any extra but it will help me enormously.
This website is written by a regular human. I am not a Health Professional. Please get professional medical advice for your specific health needs.