Adding supplements to our daily health and training regime can help us achieve results in our health and fitness goals.
They are manufactured in the form of powders, tablets, pills or drinks and are there to supply us with the nutrients we may be unable to get from the food we eat, not to completely replace our diets.
Currently, dietary supplements is a booming multi-billion dollar industry and there is a plethora of supplement brands out there, telling us that we must buy their products to achieve the results we want.
These can vary from each individual, whether it be to boost performance (endurance, muscle mass, recovery etc.), address a vitamin or mineral deficiency, weight loss goals or just increase general health.
There are many companies that really do care about our health and fitness goals and will do their best to provide quality supplements, be transparent in their practices and provide us with lots of information.
However, many supplement brands don’t care about our long-term health or performance. It’s important for us to all know what’s REALLY in our supplements and choose a reputable, honest brand.
HOW TO TELL IF A SUPPLEMENT BRAND IS TRUSTWORTHY?
1. CHOOSE SUPPLEMENT BRANDS ONLY IF THEY REVEAL ALL INGREDIENTS AND NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION ON THEIR LABELS
If a brand is deliberately not revealing certain ingredients or changing the names so they sound better (eg. renaming ‘sugar’ to ‘dehydrated cane syrup’), they may be hiding something.
2. QUESTION EVERY INGREDIENT ON THE LABEL
Generally, the lesser amount of unrecognizable ingredients (usually fillers and excipients), the better the product. Research ALL ingredients, we may be surprised as to what is actually in the supplement and how it was sourced.
It’s best find the products whose ingredients are closest to their organic sources.
3. CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Supplements which meet USDA certified organic standards will state “USDA Certified” and “100% Organic”. As detailed in the United States Department of Agriculture website, to be labeled organic, 95% of the supplement must meet the following standards:
– All produce grown in soil free of synthetic pesticide and fertilizer
-No synthetics at all, unless on a USDA-certified list
– No GMOs
-No antibiotics or growth hormones
4. CHECK THE COMPANY’S HISTORY AND REPUTATION
Google the brand name and do some background research. The more transparent a company is about their practices (where and how their products are sourced, how they are tested, proof of safety and effectiveness), the more we will know whether we can trust them to provide high quality products.
For example Thorne Research provides an entire section on their website to educate you on everything they do, from supplement research and statistics, educational resources, their own clinical trials and quality control.
5. INDEPENDENT TESTING CERTIFICATIONS
There are independent organizations that do product and practice testing and inspections to give their stamp of quality on a supplement product.
NATURAL PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION (NPA, FORMERLY NNFA)
U. S. PHARMACOPOEIA (USP)
EMERSON ECOLOGICS – EMERSON QUALITY PROGRAM (EQP)
6. GO TO THE COMPANY DIRECTLY
Any honest and reputable business who care about their customers should be happy to talk to you about their product. By doing this you can get a feel of the type of company they are, how much they know about their product, but most importantly, if they care about you.
If they are good, they will know what type of person their product is aimed at, and will do their best to determine whether their product is right for you.
Taking supplements to compliment your health and training CAN truly maximize your body’s performance, increasing your overall wellbeing and quality of life… ONLY if you choose the right product and brand for you.
There are many amazing supplement brands out there that provide quality products and who really care about your health and performance, but there are more out there who couldn’t care less.
It is extremely important to choose the right brand, not just so you achieve the results you want, but also so that you do not damage your body and long term health.
Be aware and educate yourself, as there are currently limited regulations regarding what brands are allowed to sell you. Do your research, look at the ingredients and choose a good brand of supplements.
Interested in quality supplements to address your health concerns?
GritWell can help. We have a team of functional and integrative trained health specialists who create personalized treatment plans, inclusive of supplement recommendations, to help you alleviate symptoms and reach your health goals.
About the Author
Ali is a personal trainer, yoga teacher and health coach who has dedicated her life to helping others achieve optimal health for 10 years. She is passionate about using her expertise to help others positively transform their bodies and minds through fitness and nutrition. To learn more about her work and Ali herself, visit her website here.