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Supplements can either give you essential vitamins and minerals that complement your diet or they can aid in energizing a workout. Some supplements also aid in helping your body recover after a vigorous gym session. Regardless of why you choose to use supplements, the brand you choose to support matters. 

Three Things You Should Look For In A Good Supplement Brand

Before you start shopping, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor to ensure that any supplements you’re considering are safe for you to take. This is especially important if you live with a health condition or are taking certain medications. Even though supplements from trustworthy brands are relatively safe, you can never be too careful. 

Once you get the all-clear from a doctor, you’ll be able to make informed decisions on what products are suitable for your particular health or fitness goals. Now the important question is what makes a good supplement brand? There are three things to look at so you can shop supplement brands that are worthy of your time and money. 

Three Things To Look –

1. Expert Knowledge 

Supplements aren’t formulated based on the same rules as medications, so when selecting a brand to try, you want to know that the individuals behind the brand know what they’re doing. You want to ensure they’re committed to safety and science-backed ingredients. Branding should include a list of ingredients and should be able to describe the importance of those ingredients in the overall efficacy of the product. 

Brands like Huge Supplements, for example, will give explanations for how their products should be used. Furthermore, Huge Supplements knows what it’s talking about as evidenced in its product descriptions and its subsequent blog that shares about nutrition, workout tips, and supplement education. 

Knowing the brains behind the supplement brand is key because it’ll inform you about the expertise formulating their products. You want a brand that has knowledge in nutrition and science. Brands that sell supplements along with other products that have nothing to do with science or fitness may just simply be slapping their brand name on a generic supplement. 

2. Transparency

Some supplement brands will try to make outrageous claims in an effort to try and crush competition. While creative marketing is fine, being transparent about what’s in a supplement product, how it works, and the process that goes into creating a product. There’s a fine line between explaining what a product can do in an exciting way and making false health claims

A supplement brand will describe the potential benefits of a product. For instance, a pre-workout can help give you some essential energy to gain momentum during your workout. A muscle recovery supplement can help ensure your muscles have the nourishment they need to repair themselves after a workout. If using science-backed ingredients to make these claims, there’s no issue with this type of marketing. 

Since supplements don’t have to go through any kind of verification process with the Food and Drug Administration, some brands will simply put their products on the shelves after they’re made. What you want to see in a trustworthy supplement brand is some evidence of testing and research before they sell their product. 

A good supplement brand will not market its products as a cure or a miracle product that will promise flat stomachs and big muscles along with unlimited energy. Good supplement brands know that some work on your end is involved with seeing results. Supplements are meant to aid in your health journey; they are not shortcuts. 

3. Quality Ingredients

Even if a supplement brand tells you what’s in the product it doesn’t necessarily mean that those ingredients are good for you to consume. A good supplement brand will source the highest quality ingredients possible with nutrients and vitamins that come from healthy sources. Where ingredients come from is also important to know as it can determine quality. North American and European ingredients are your best bet. 

Additionally, a good supplement brand won’t include a ton of additives. While some additional ingredients might be needed for flavor, there are some artificial ingredients used in supplements that aren’t needed for a good tasting product. The biggest thing to look out for is an influx of artificial sugars or sugar alcohols. 

Being able to read a supplement label and understand where ingredients come from, what they do, and how much of each ingredient is in the product can take some research. When you go to the brand’s website, you should be able to easily find information about ingredient testing and sourcing.
Some examples of quality ingredients are L-Citrulline, Beta Alanine, Caffeine, and Alpha GPC. 

Supplement Brands and Accountability 

Supplements have become such a mainstay in the daily routines of so many, meaning we don’t often stop and think about what we’re consuming. One would assume that since supplements are a health-related product that they would be tested and regulated, but they aren’t. Unfortunately, some supplement brands take advantage of this to make as much money as possible off of questionable products.

This is why expert knowledge, transparency, and quality ingredients are such key data points to look at when trying to determine if a supplement brand is good or not.  How can you know for sure if you can trust a brand? If a brand is accountable. 

Brands should be able to explain the science behind their product and they should be open about how they’re testing products before they’re put on the shelves. A brand should also be honest about the results of their testing and who they went to get testing done. Ideal testing is done by an independent, third-party company or laboratory. 

Types of Supplements

There are supplements that help fill in nutritional gaps, supplements that are helpful before working out, and supplements that are helpful after a workout. The same rules apply to each of these kinds of supplements in terms of what makes a good supplement brand. 

All types of supplements should be independently tested and should have open communication about the process. This can be accomplished with a brand also protecting its proprietary information. No supplement brand should be secretive about every part of the process, and if they are, you might want to be wary about what the brand is putting in their supplements. 

What Makes A Bad Supplement Brand?

You can narrow down your search for a good supplement brand by knowing the signs of a bad brand as well. Big promises and guarantees about gains and results may sound exciting on the surface, but the reality is that each person is going to have a different result based on a number of individual factors. As such, guarantees can’t and won’t be made by an honest brand. 

A bad supplement brand will cut corners where possible to make a cheap product and mark up the price because profit is ultimately their main goal. While these brands might have the ingredients they say they have in their product, it might be such a small amount that you won’t actually be getting what you need from the supplement. 

As mentioned, ingredients that come from North America or Europe tend to be the highest quality when it comes to supplements specifically. When a supplement or its ingredients come from places like China, there’s a chance that you may not be getting what you’re paying for. 

Final Thoughts

While it’s unfortunate to learn that not all supplement brands can be trusted, the good news is that reputable brands do exist. Some of the signs of a bad brand are obvious while others take some research to uncover. Don’t be fooled by cool packaging, endorsements, or pretty words that sounds too good to be true. 

Good supplements can be of great help to your personal fitness and wellness journey when taken as directed and accompany a healthy lifestyle.
A doctor and nutritionist are great sources of information to make sure a supplement is right for you once you’ve found a product you like from a company that meets all the markers of a good supplement brand.

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Ann Musico

Certified Health Coach

Ann is a certified holistic health coach, author and independent nutritional consultant who empowers women to live well.