The supplement industry has grown dramatically over years due to the increase in the fitness community. Anyone with money to spend can create a supplement company in the matter of weeks. Dietary supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA like pharmaceutical drugs before they reach the market, therefore potentially putting the customers at risk of consuming “unapproved drugs”. These drugs have potential of causing serious health issues. Supplement companies have customers from all fitness levels to market their products. From bodybuilders to cross fitters to the average person in the gym, products are constantly being advertised across all social media platforms and fitness expos. I’m not here to bad mouth any supplement companies because I truly believe in some products that truly work. But just because they work, doesn’t mean you necessarily need them.
There’s a place and time where I believe supplements are beneficial. Supplements shouldn’t replace real food. Supplements are meant to fill in certain gaps in your nutrition. As an online trainer/coach I provide my clients with specific macro nutrients that I want them to reach every day. Depending on the individual, protein may be a bit higher than what they were previously accustomed to. If consuming the desire protein intake becomes difficult to reach, adding a protein supplement can help them reach your daily protein intake without having to consume another meal. Some individuals like myself can force an additional meal easily, but for someone who can’t, adding a protein supplement can definitely assist with that gap.
Supplement companies are in the money business meaning that the lower the cost to create these products, the more profit they will earn. It’s a business and every business has a goal to turn the biggest profit. Some companies have sold the public dreams on what there products can really accomplish. I remember reading a pre-workout label that guaranteed 8lbs of muscle in just 8 weeks! Now let’s be realistic, not even illegal substances can guarantee that. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. But there are a few approaches you can take so that you aren’t being taken advantage of by these companies:
- Buy from trusted companies! New companies may be out to make a quick dollar off of you but a company that has been established for quite some time will have a lot more to lose by trying to deceive their customers. Simply do your research and read/watch reviews on these products.
- Read the nutritional labels! Beware of proprietary blends where companies don’t disclose specific amount for each ingredient. Instead they provide a total of the variety of ingredients. This is extremely common in pre-workouts. Pre-workout ingredients need a specific amount that make them effective. If a proprietary blend in is a product, you don’t actually know if the effective dosages are included for each ingredient.
- Don’t just follow your favorite bodybuilder or fitness icon! These individuals make money based on the amount of people who use their discount code. Only support if they are in fact promoting a solid product.
- Don’t shop at a local store! You’ve never taking supplements before so take some time research why you need them, the effects and the benefits. The internet is a great way to educate yourself on practically anything. Certain representatives at local a GNC or vitamin shop don’t educate themselves or personally use all the products in the store therefore mislead you to buying something you don’t actually need or even want.