Dietary supplements are products intended to supplement the diet and contains one more dietary ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids botanicals and other substances. When combined with proper diet and training, supplements can catalyze your progress.
Unfortunately, supplements are a tricky business. With thousands of products on the market, it feels like a lost cause to discover the truth unless you have private access to confidential information that exposes the facts, prevents confusion and a dent in your wallet. Supplements are still puzzling for many fitness enthusiasts, and supplement myths continue to advance. Fortunately, I am privileged to be connected with a handful of supplement insiders to know the truth so let’s review the facts to prevent you from becoming overwhelmed or broke.
You’re Missing Out If You’re Not Taking Supplement X
If you’re like many people, you don’t want to be left out in the dark if there is a hot new product available and it’s got all the claims of being the “next big thing.” Supplement companies use this technique to get you to spend lots of money with over-hyped claims before the supplement has been on the market long enough to stand the test of time. I like seeing a supplement on the market for at least four years before giving it personal attention.
If The Packaging Is Sexy, Then It Must Work
Some supplement companies spend more time researching techniques for packaging, and drawing your eyes to the labels instead of the actual ingredients and doses in the product. Do your research on the company before you take a trip to your local nutrition store.
The New Version Is Always Better Than The Old Version
How do supplement companies stay in business? By making money — lots of it. They don’t become profitable stating their old line or Version 1.0, was inferior. Although there are some new innovations and formulas available, the old products don’t lose their effectiveness just because Version 2.0 has arrived.
The Science Backs It Up So It Must Work
Yes, a good handful of companies can back their formulas and products with clinical studies (done on humans, not rats), but not all companies back up their claims with reliable research. Be aware of the use of “scientific slant” – when companies put scientific references on ad materials or product packaging. Many supplement companies don’t reveal the entire truth of the science — just what you want to hear.
What It Says On The Bottle Is In The Bottle
What you see is not always what you get. For almost all supplement companies, there is a 10% variance, which means you could be getting 10% less or 10% more. Upstart companies are found more guilty of “pixy dusting” their products compared to a long-standing company. Always look for the FDA approved or CGMP certified classifications on the products to increase the chances of getting what the label says you’re getting.
Cheap Prices Mean a Better Deal
Like anything in life, there is no such thing as a “free lunch” and if it looks too good to be true, most likely it is. Just like you won’t ever find a diamond on sale, don’t expect to find a high quality product on sale. If it’s super cheap, then it’s cheap for a reason. If you’re serious about your health, don’t penny-pinch your supplement arsenal.
Higher Prices Means Higher Quality
For the most part, I live by the belief, “you get what you pay for,” and supplement marketers know that many of us hold this belief, so they intentionally jack up the price to create a higher perceived value. Oftentimes, the extra cost is going towards inflated advertising costs.
The Owner Of The Store Knows Best
How many times have you been in a supplement store and asked the owner or store clerk, “Which one is the best?” Even if there is a better quality product on their shelf, sometimes they will recommend the product that the store gets the highest profit margins on — which, in most cases, is not the best quality product. Store clerks are trained to say, “Go with this one. It tastes great, it’s great quality and a decent price.” How can you say ‘no’ to that if you don’t know any better? I strongly recommend doing meticulous research on the variety of supplements available, before, you walk into the store so you don’t get suckered for the next ‘shiny object.’
Supplements Are Safe Because They Are Natural
Just because you can buy them at a local health food store does not mean they are not filled with synthetics, fillers, artificial sweeteners and low quality ingredients. Some fat burners will not faze certain people, while other people can develop heart and blood pressure problems, so beware and consult with your doctor before taking any new supplement. The supplement store owner is rarely a registered dietician or medical doctor.
Supplements Are Safe Because You Can Buy Them Over The Counter
The government does not regulate supplements so it’s up to you to do your research and determine which products have long-term scientific evidence to support their claims. The only way an unsafe supplement will leave the market is if the free market — you and I — regulate it out of existence.