Unless you are a professional in the industry of dietary supplementation, or have experience with using supplements it can be hard to determine which supplements you should get. There are about a million and HALF different brands when it comes to dietary supplements!
At some point we’ve all walked down the supplement isle and picked up a tub of protein and wondered how to pronounce the twenty different ingredients listed on the label. You aren’t sure what the ingredients are and if they will actually help you reach your goals. I’ve asked myself these questions when I first started getting into taking supplements.
“What is the best brand to use”,
“Will this even work?”,
“Do I even need to take this?”,
“What ingredients do I need to look out for?”,
Well, you are not alone because we’ve all been there at some point! I’m here to help! Here are some tips and tricks I use to figure out if a supplement product is legit! Let’s dive in!
1. Look at the Ingredients list
The first and MOST obvious tip you should do before buying a product is look at the ingredients list. The problem with supplements is that they aren’t regulated by the FDA. Which means they don’t go through the normal screening process like medications, vaccinations, and food. Since they aren’t certified any supplement company can make claims about their product that aren’t valid or true. However, supplement companies do have to provide an ingredients list, this is a good way to figure out what potentially is in the product.
Ingredients lists in all food/supplements products are listed from most prevalent to least prevalent in the product. For example, the first ingredient listed is the one that is mostly “made up of” in the product. So, if you are looking for a whey protein powder the first ingredient that should be listed is “100% Whey protein Isolate” or something along those lines.
For example, the protein powder above looks like a good option because the first ingredient is Whey Protein, but the second ingredient is Maltodextrin (a carbohydrate filler), followed by BCAA’S So, this product does contains mostly protein, but it also contains a decent amount of carbohydrate filler which makes it seem like there is more protein in the product.
2. Don’t fall for the “Too Good To be True” Products
Then there is the “to good to be true products”. Most of the time it’s a “magic” diet pill, fat burner, waist wrap, or tea detox that MELTS YOUR FAT CELLS AWAY IN JUST 1 DAY! Any product that promises you results in a week or less is full of BULLSHIT. These products are normally sold online or through sponsors that are trying to make a quick buck and scam you. The rule is simple, if it sounds too good to be true then it most likely isn’t effective.
3. Research the products ingredients list
So how do consumers combat the false claims made by supplement companies and products? My go to tool for researching products is on examine.com, you simply type in the first 5 ingredients in the search bar and it provides a summary of the ingredients and if they are effective or not.
4. Look for Certified brands
Another way to tell if the product is legit it is to look for certified labels on supplement products. Usually if a product is certified by a third party quality control organization the supplements listed on the label are actually what is in the product. The organizations test random batches of the companies products (not all batches) to comply with consumers that the product is safe to take and the labeling is accurate. Here are some organizations to look for on supplement labels
- USP ( I see this label the most)
- NSF International
- Informed Choice
5. Cost Vs. Value
With many things in life… you get what you pay for.
If a protein powder costs $17.99 for 40 servings while the other costs $40.00 for 40 servings its probably best to go with the more expensive brand because they most likely have higher quality ingredients. BUT of course, always look at the label first before you buy something.
This isn’t always the case, unfortunately shitty supplement companies may have a huge marketing budget, which means they have to increase their product pricing to make a profit. So, the products may still be expensive but they can actually suck. A good way to tell if the product is high quality an effective is to look for companies that pay for research/ clinical trials to be done on their products.
6. Do You Know and Trust the Brand?
A lot of times people search the web for a supplement product and the first recommended product that pops up is the one they buy. This is a NO NO! I would encourage you to research a product first, look to see if clinical trials have been done on the product and that they ARE EFFECTIVE. Next step would be to try the brand out and see if you like them! If one of their products brings you results then it is likely that most of their products are legit and will also give you good results!
Overall, the take home message here is to get a little nerdy, and research the products that you are considering using. It’s so important to know what you are consuming and putting into your body, and how it can affect it! Be SMART and don’t buy products just for marketing purposes to try and save money. It’s your body and your health so make conscious decisions that will only help you, not hurt you!
My personal preference, as you can tell is PEScience! I know and trust this brand and have been using their products for years. I’ve seen amazing results using a combination of their products but mostly their Select Protein line. They have the best tasting protein on the market, and it includes all the quality amino acid profiles you need in order to build muscle! I order mine from Amazon! It’s cheaper, and it receive it the next day ☺️ Try it out and let me know what you think!