Are You Wasting Money on Rubbish Supplements? What to Look For

I have to admit, it's taken me years and much wasted money to see the value of pharmaceutical supplements versus your typical store-bought stuff in the shiny packaging. Even as a fitness professional with a keen eye for nutrition I've been just as confused as many of you as to what supplements I actually needed, if I needed them at all, and which brands were best. I'd try this and that, and largely based many of my decisions on taste, what they had in the store when I happened to be in and, of course, price. It's an out-of-control free for all out there in the supplement marketplace. On one hand, there's the crazy, seductive marketing of products promising to give you an edge over the rest of these mere mortals. On the other hand, there seems to be no shortage of negative studies showing the inefficiency of just about any supplement. It was all so overwhelming. I've recently heavily schooled myself in all things nutrition and supplementation and I now understand there's a huge difference between your typical hyped-up, store-bought supplements and pharmaceutical-grade kind. The former is much more accessible (everyone can buy it just about anywhere), is not subject to much control and gains popularity by the millions of dollars they put into marketing: think ads in magazines, endorsements by fitness models and shiny packaging. On the other hand, the later is typically only available through health and medical professionals, is heavily regulated and instead of advertising they put their millions into paying leading scientists, nutritionists and doctors. The truth is those studies that state certain supplements are useless, ineffective or even down-right dangerous, are right -- about most store-bought supplements, that is. The typical charges against such products are:
  • They do not contain levels of the nutrients stated on the label. Or if they do contain the levels as stated, they are inadequate to have any meaningful effect.
  • They lack the proper purity to be effective, or even safe. Aside from fillers, sugar, artificial coloring and flavoring, preservatives, and additives such as shellac, chlorine and other chemicals they may even contain toxic ingredients such lead, mercury, pesticides and insecticides.
  • They use a grade or form of the supplement that has poor bioavailability -- meaning the body does not fully absorb the nutrient.
  • Their formulations are not research-driven, and have no independent research proving their claims.
[caption id="attachment_113727" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Image of trout, primary focus on second one, and fish oil pills on white Image of trout, primary focus on second one, and fish oil pills on white[/caption] On the other hand, reputable nutritional supplement manufacturers formulate supplements based on scientific research, buy the best raw materials and pay independent labs to make sure their products meet label claims and contain no contaminants. Such companies are certified by Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP). To get this seal of approval every part of the production is scrutinized, from the raw materials, employee training, all the way to the equipment and facilities. In order for a supplement to be considered pharmaceutical grade, it has to be manufactured using GMP and achieve 99% purity or higher – that means it contains nearly no fillers, binders dyes or other foreign substances. The best way to make sure you are purchasing a high quality nutritional supplement is to buy a pharmaceutical grade form, and one that is backed with GMP. These are most often only sold by a licensed health care practitioner such as a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, chiropractor, osteopath or highly educated fitness professionals. The manufacturers of pharmaceutical grade supplements know their high quality products can have a profound effect on an individual’s health and are intended for people who really need them; therefore, they want a licensed health care practitioner monitoring the use of their product. [caption id="attachment_113725" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Allow nurse Edith to take care of you. Allow nurse Edith to take care of you.[/caption] Though some parmaceutical-grade supps are available from good supplement stores. Simply seek out the GMP seal of approval. Yes, pharmaceutical grade sups are typically more expensive. Like in many things, price has a bearing on quality. But you can be sure you are actually getting value for your money, and not just making expensive pee. I am a strong believer that quality supplements can both support your hard work in the gym and ward off chronic illness and disease. Do you follow us on Instagram? [caption id="attachment_114150" align="alignnone" width="100"]snapchat code @BodyRockTV[/caption]

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