One question fitness newbies usually ask is: “Which supplements should I be taking?”
This is a great question. As a fitness expert, I’d rather hear that question than: “Can I lose (insert ridiculous number)in weight in 30 days?” Heck no.
Supplement shopping isn’t for the novice fitness guy or gal. Hell, it can be downright daunting for us veterans, too! Price, information, flavor... there's just too much out there in the world of commerce in 2018.
For example, you have endless supplement options to choose from, including:
· Fish oils
· Protein supplements
· Pre-workout and post-workout supplements
· MCT oil
· Muscle and joint recovery supplements
· Herbal supplements
And that’s just to name a few! (You can go here to see a more expansive list of available supplements.) If you’ve found supplement shopping difficult, know that you’re not alone. This is the article for you! We’ve complied a list of 5 rules to ensure you’re getting the right supplement(s) for your body.
5 Rules For Choosing The Right Supplement
1. Choose Supplements According To Your Health Goal & Lifestyle
Are you vegan? Or how about paleo? Whatever lifestyle you follow dictates the supplements should take. It wouldn’t make sense to invest in whey protein if you’re vegan and you wouldn’t get weight gainer supplements if you’re trying to lose weight. Know what your goal is for your supplements, make sure you do your research and read the bottles before buying anything.
2. See If The Supplement Has Been Made in A GMP Facility
One thing lots of fitness newbies fall victim to is buying bullshit, useless supplements. These supplements contain additives, fillers and other chemicals to bolster the company’s profit, not the products.
Look for supplements that have been manufactured at a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility. A GMP facility must comply with high standards; the same standardsmandated by the US Food and Drug Administration for pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Overall, this ensures that the supplements are chemical-free and labelled accurately.
3. Make Sure The Manufacturer Has A Certificate of Analysis (COA) For Each Ingredient
A studyof 55 brands of vitamin D supplements found they contained a ridiculous amount of variation. Some had as little as9% of what they were supposed to have while others had as much as 146% morethan what they were supposed to have. Neither are okay.
To avoid these kinds of companies, ensure that the supplement’s ingredients have a COA.
COA ensures that the ingredients are derived from raw materials (tested by an independent lab) and contain no contaminants.
You should also look for supplements that have been approved by a 3rdparty quality assurance organization.
You can find supplements that meet quality standards here:
Informed Choice (sports nutrition products)
Consumer Lab (must be a paid member to access reports)
4. Avoid The “Proprietary Blend” Supplements
If you see “proprietary blend” on the ingredient label, avoid that supplement like the plague!
Supplements using proprietary formulas are required to reveal only the ingredients in the formula and the total amount of all combined ingredients.
However, they DO NOT have to list the amount of each ingredient separately. Thus, they put a small amount of combined ingredients that offer little to no health benefits.
Some companies claim they use proprietary blends to hide their ingredient list from competitors. While this may be a legit excuse, that company is not giving the consumer enough info about what they’re putting into their body.
You should be able to identify every ingredient in a supplement and not have to take a chance on an unknown concoction.
5. Look For Ingredients That Have Been Clinically Proven As Effective
This rule may be last, but it is certainly not least. You can follow rules 1-4 but still have a lackluster supplement if the ingredients aren’t validated by scientific research.
The supplement you choose should contain ingredients that have been clinically proven to be a health source.
You should be able to go on a research site such as NCBI or PubMed and confirm the effectiveness of a certain vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid or other supplement ingredient.
Contend, don't pretend
Following these 5 supplement rules separates the pretenders from the contenders. Don’t let a GNC employee or a hyped-up website convince you what supplements are beneficial for you. They just want your dough!
Do your homework, follow the 5 rules and determine which supplement(s) is best for you.