How To Buy A Nutritional Supplement
Being the Supplement Police, we feel it is up to us to being a genuine governing body that boldly expresses and reviews all styles, types and kinds of health products and nutraceutical supplements so you can make a better educated, more informed decision when it comes to buying them and using them to your advantage.
As of year 2014, the supplement industry as a whole at large hums to the tune of over $33,000,000,000 billion dollars annually according to JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) and has no signs of slowing down (or in this case, aging).
I’ve got a hard truth for you: most of us are nutritionally deficient. We lack certain vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients, and our body suffers because of it. If you want life long super health, then this is your go to guide for in the know and on the go people who know they need the extra help and additional support pure, natural, organic supplements can provide.
If not addressed accordingly or in a timely fashion, the body can go haywire and start to malfunction from being malnourished. That is where nutritional supplements can come into play.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to solve this problem: take a nutritional supplement. According to a 2011 report from the United States Center for Disease Control, more than half of all Americans take at least one nutritional supplement every day.
40% of these Americans take a simple multivitamin supplement.
However, the remaining 60% take a wide range of other supplements which enhance fitness, cognition, or health in various ways.
Nutritional supplement usage has increased exponentially over the past few decades. Today, pharmaceutical and nutritional companies are applying cutting edge science to the field of nutritional supplementation and they’re creating some amazing benefits.
Do you want to feel healthier, think smarter, and get better results at the gym? A nutritional supplement may be the solution you need. Today, I’m going to teach you a step by step guide anyone can use to purchase a nutritional supplement:
Before you begin…
What Is A Nutritional Supplement?
Okay, let’s get the easy questions out of the way.
A nutritional supplement, according to the FDA, is any product “taken by mouth” that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to supplement your diet in various ways. Those “dietary ingredients” could include one or more botanicals, herbs, chemical compounds, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, metabolites, glandulars, enzymes, or organ tissues.
Obviously, that’s a long list of potential products. Today, dietary supplements can be purchased in the form of a liquid, powder, capsule or tablet.
Some people take nutritional supplements to meet their daily recommended dose of various vitamins. Others take nutritional supplements to go beyond that dose and unlock some additional benefits.
Realize that it’s up to you, not the FDA to determine whether or not a product is safe
Whenever I’m telling people how to shop for nutritional supplements online, I stress this tip above almost everything else. For some reason, people think organizations like the FDA are all-encompassing groups that have manually certified the value and efficacy of every product in existence.
That’s not true. In fact, the FDA is relatively useless when it comes to dietary supplements. The FDA, as you may have guessed from the name, is responsible for regulating “foods” and “drugs”. Dietary supplements don’t typically fall into either of these categories.
That means many popular dietary supplements are overlooked by the FDA. Some of these supplements are perfectly safe to use, but have not yet received approval from the FDA (and likely never will).
Just because a supplement hasn’t been approved by the FDA doesn’t mean it’s illegal to use. In fact, unless a nutritional supplement has specifically been declared illegal by the FDA, you can typically import it for individual use anywhere in the United States.
4 Steps To Buying Nutritional Supplement
Ultimately, this means that it’s up to you to decide whether or not a product is safe. That means you have to carefully research each product and each manufacturer yourself.
Step 1) Decide Which Supplement(s) You Need
Which supplements do you need? What kinds of benefits do you want to achieve? More importantly, which supplements should you be taking?
For this step, you’re going to want to talk to your physician or a local healthcare professional. Ideally, your doctor will understand your physiological conditions and may even be able to recommend certain supplements which would work well for your needs.
Step 2) Which Supplements Are The Safest And Most Effective To Use?
Not all supplements are made alike. Some supplements contain fillers which weaken their effects. Some contain toxins or dangerous chemicals which cause harmful side effects. And some contain natural ingredients which sound healthy, but actually have no proven benefits. “All-natural” supplements are particularly guilty of this crime.
If you want to choose the best and most effective supplement on the market, you need to be able to separate the bullcrap from the facts. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you’re reading through the product descriptions of nutritional supplements:
— If you read that a supplement is clinically proven to demonstrate a certain benefit, then that could mean a lot of things. Check if the supplement manufacturer has links to clinical studies from legitimate organizations or testing facilities.
— Check the manufacturer’s website for any peer-reviewed scientific journal sources. Just because the supplement has been mentioned once in a scientific journal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s proven effective – make sure it’s a reputable journal.
— Does the product make vague, seemingly exaggerated claims? Do the claims seem too good to be true? You don’t have to spend much time shopping for supplements online before you find some absolutely ridiculous claims.
— Is the manufacturer stretching the truth based on limited evidence? Check the sources and studies. Some manufacturers infer ridiculously exaggerated results from a single study. Ideally, the product will have multiple studies which demonstrate the beneficial results.
— Does the supplement manufacturer provide a full list of ingredients? FDA regulations require supplement manufacturers to disclose a full list of ingredients. However, not all supplements are regulated by the FDA, which means there are plenty of “grey areas”.
Ultimately, the best way to separate the bullcrap from the facts in the world of nutritional supplements is by looking at a lot of different supplement websites.
Eventually, you’ll notice a trend: low-quality manufacturers avoid making concrete promises. Instead, they make exaggerated claims like “you’ll gain 300% muscle mass in 10 days”. These claims are often based on a brief clinical study which had serious flaws with its methodology.
On the other hand, high-quality manufacturers will let scientific research and clinical studies do the talking. They’ll make reasonable claims and talk to their customers like they’re intelligent people.
Put your basic Googling skills to work. If you’re suspicious about a particular supplement, type its name into Google and try to find real customer reviews or research from unbiased third parties. Never immediately trust the reviews and studies posted on the supplement’s official website.
Step 3) Don’t Subscribe To Autoship Programs
“Autoship” programs are a huge red flag in the nutritional supplement community. Autoship programs will automatically ship nutritional supplements to you on a monthly basis.
This is often advertised as a “VIP” program. Autoship programs sell themselves as being beneficial for your health. After all, you’re getting more of this amazing supplement they’re selling. Why wouldn’t anyone like that?
The worst part about autoship programs is that users are sometimes automatically enrolled in these programs after purchasing a single order of a nutritional supplement. You may pay a single fee of $29.99 plus $5.99 for “shipping and handling” for one nutritional supplement order. Then, one month later, you’ll see an identical fee and another order will arrive on your doorstep.
You may protest and complain, but if you read the fine print in your first order, you’ll find that you actually agreed to pay that additional fee.
Ultimately, one of the best ways to avoid auto-ship programs is to read the fine print before you enter your credit card information.
Good manufacturers let their high-quality product sell itself over and over again to repeat customers. Bad manufacturers lure customers into enrolling in scammy autoship programs. This is very big in weight loss and muscle supplements, in which we talk about in our reviews about forskolin as well.
Step 4) Ensure The Website Has A Secure Ordering Process And Uses “HTTPS”
Finally, once you’ve meticulously answered all of the above questions, you may be ready to enter your payment information and ship your order.
But wait! Before you do that, make sure the supplement website has a secure ordering form. This is very important. It doesn’t totally eliminate your chances of being scammed and having your credit card information stolen. However, it does significantly reduce your likelihood of being scammed.
Always look for the “https” at the front of the URL in your address bar.
Conclusion – Is Ordering Supplements Really That Difficult?
I don’t blame you if you’re intimidated by all of the above information. It’s a lot to absorb. Given all of the above information, you may think, “Why would I buy a nutritional supplement if it’s this much work?”
Well, here’s a little secret: there are tons of sources online which have already answered all of the above questions for you. At websites like NootropicsInfo.com, we’ve meticulously researched some of the most popular nootropics and cognitive supplements on the market today. We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to.
I haven’t even mentioned the best benefit of nutritional supplements: you get to enjoy some amazing benefits. Whether you’re trying to improve your results at the gym, gain cognitive strength, improve your memory, treat depression, or enhance your cardiovascular health, there’s a nutritional supplement that can help you achieve your goals.