How to Determine Which Supplements You Should Take

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Today we’re starting a series about supplementation. And we’re gonna give it to you straight.

We’ll show you the research behind which supplements will optimize your health – and which ones will waste your time (possibly even harm you).

The FDA regulates dietary supplements but they don’t regularly test them for safety or effectiveness. This is a $20 billion industry, and many manufacturers are in it for your money – not your health. It pays to be skeptical. Don’t waste your workout! With proper supplementation you’ll experience faster recovery and increased energy. But only if you’re taking the good stuff.

First, you need to know the standards. If you assumed a generic drug store multivitamin would fulfill your dietary deficiencies, you’re wrong. These vitamin products are full of fillers and additives which not only reduce quality, but pollute effectiveness, absorption, and nutritional value.There’s a wide range of quality and potency in today’s vitamin market that may surprise (and frighten) you. Here’s the breakdown arranged from lowest-quality to highest-grade:

Consumer-grade

  • Found on supermarket and drugstore shelves

  • Made from cheaper, less efficient components to maximize profitOne a Day

  • Artificial colorings and/or glazes conceal content

  • Long ingredient lists include non-vitamin and mineral substances such as fillers, preservatives, excipients, sweeteners, binders, and deodorizers

  • Examples: Centrum, One A Day, Nature‘s Way

Our verdict: Stay away. Far, far away.

 

Natural

  • Free of artificial colorings and allergenic additives

  • Free of fillers and stabilizersvega supplements

  • Focused on natural sources and compounds

  • Examples: Vega

Our verdict: Undecided. “Natural” is an unregulated term; purity in these products vary widely.

 

Opportunistic

  • Often very expensive; prices are elevated to create an illusion of quality or to capitalizeopportunistic supplements on a nutrition fad

  • Be wary of sensational marketing; research their nutritional claims

  • Examples: Acai berry supplements

Our verdict: Undecided. Best to research them thoroughly.

 

Professional

  • Sold in professional offices by doctors, nutritionists, chiropractors, dietitians, weight loss counselors, physical therapists, and private trainers

  • Organically-bound, natural, and patented substances for each individual mineral professional supplements(chelate, Krebs, aspartate, kelp, chromium GTF)

  • Tested to assure optimal assimilation, high bioavailability, and safety

  • Distinctive natural smell

  • Examples: Ageless Nutrition

Our verdict: These are the best of the best.

Need help determining whether a supplement is worth your while? Research the brand with these credible databases: Natural Products Association, NSF, US Pharmacopial Convention, and Consumer Lab.

Read more advice on supplement standards from Gut Sense here.

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