5 Things to Look For When Choosing Supplements
I normally don’t talk about vitamins on my blog since I tend to focus more on food and fitness. But, I figured it was finally time to touch on this topic. You may not be a big believer in vitamins and that’s your call, but I’m a huge believer in quality supplements.
Note, I said quality.
I’m sure at one point or another, you’ve stood in front of a massive wall of bottles at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Vitamin Shoppe, GNC and the like…confused.
Yeah, me too. I remember being in a GNC store once on the advice of my mom’s doctor looking for vitamins for her. The sales associate couldn’t even answer the simplest of questions. I also remember her doctor telling me, “They’re all the same.” when I asked him which vitamin brand he recommended.
Sadly, I believed him and my mom bought $150 worth of vitamins for Women 50+…until I had doctor and scientist friends start educating me on this topic.
Well friends, I’m here to pass on the information if you’re on the hunt to find quality vitamins.
If you have questions on how to choose the right vitamins for you or how to choose high-quality vitamins, I think they should fall under this guideline below.
After I was educated more on this topic, I felt confident in what to look for. Now, when choosing supplements, here’s what I personally choose to look for:
1. Is there a pharmaceutical GMP rule they follow?
Also known as Good Manufacturing Practices, the first thing I’d look for is the how-they-make-it part. Anyone can make vitamins. If you don’t believe me, stop reading this article for a few minutes and look it up. (If you found that YouTube video…I know, I was just as shocked at how easy vitamins can be made.)
Understand that there’s a difference between food-grade and pharmaceutical grade products. Food-grade vitamins are more flexible in their manufacturing rules than that of pharmaceutical-grade, which has high restrictions and requirements.
2. Do they manufacture their own products in a FDA-registered facility?
Many companies outsource their products, so why would that be any different when it comes to vitamins? I want you to think about this next time you buy supps off of places like Amazon. Your product could’ve been made from someone’s living room or even from China. But is that really a surprise though? Anyone can slap a label on vitamin bottles and put them on the market and make beaucoups of money.
Aside from how vitamins are made, look at where it’s being made.
And if you wanted to, call up a few supp companies and see how many would allow you to go and see where the “magic happens” because my guess is not many. I only know of one so far and yes, I’ve actually visited a facility and wore scrubs and everything.
3. Do they provide a potency/purity guarantee?
What’s the point in spending money on something like vitamins if you don’t know if it’ll work? It’s like buying a flashlight without the batteries and expecting for it to turn on, get what I mean?
To me, providing a potency/purity guarantee means INTEGRITY. It means that what you’re taking will work. It means that what’s on the label matches what’s in the bottle. I double dog dare you to question that brand’s integrity by finding out if they have a potency/purity guarantee.
If you don’t want to, then next time you shop for vitamins, think about the possibility of fillers, contaminants, heavy metals, etc. being in that bottle you just put in your shopping cart. I know it sounds pretty harsh, but I just care.
4. Do they subject themselves to 3rd party testing?
If you say you’re making a great product and truly believe you are, you shouldn’t have a problem if someone else looks into it right? If you have nothing to hide, why not have a third party double check your work? To me, this is just common sense in general. Consumer Lab is a great resource to check and see if your brand of vitamins will pass their test or not. I know, you’re scared to check it out now aren’t cha?
If you like to experiment, try the apple test. Put a apple slice in a bowl with some water, drop your vitamins in with it and wait for a few days. If your apple slice is turning black and molding, your vitamin basically sucks at doing its job of protecting the apple. Look at the solubility. Meaning, does your vitamin dissolve? If it doesn’t, that just means your vitamin is passing through your body and it’ll be released. Try it with a couple of store brands and see what happens.
5. Can their products be customized to meet your needs?
My body and health goals are different than those around me. So an important thing I looked for was personal customization. I don’t want to take the same supps as some guy who’s on a bodybuilding journey. I want to take supps that fit my health goals/needs and that work for me.
It’s so crazy that when I order my vitamins, I get a different box compared to my family and friends! And it’s custom-made for me!
Yes, I wanted mine to say Avocado Lover, haha!
How about you? If you’re taking vitamins now, were you like me and thought that all vitamins were equal?
Remember, if you want high quality, you’ve got to look for high standards.
What do you look for when choosing supplements?
This post is based on my personal experience. I do not claim that vitamins will cure anything, but I will say that with the vitamins I’ve taken, I’ve slept better, have more energy and my knee pain is under control. How about them apples?
Please note that this content should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or disease and serves as informational purposes only. Always consult your professional healthcare provider before beginning any new program or consuming health-related products with any questions you may have.