The M&F Fall Supplement Guide - The Best Supps for You

Knowing what to look for on a label goes a long way toward ensuring that you spend your money wisely.

The truth about supplements is this: The best ones can help you get fit and improve your health. They combine cutting-edge or sometimes well-known ingredients that have been shown in studies to work. The worst ones? They’re useless or dangerous. But how do you know which ones to choose? How do you know how to evaluate products when online scams and bombshell investigations make the news on an almost weekly basis? Use this checklist of what to look for before making your next supplement purchase.

Do you know the company?

Brands spend a lot of money trying to way to verify that the supplement is of Leading retailers will often do build trust, and trust equals consumer a high quality is to look for third-party independent analysis, which means preference, followed by loyalty. If a brand has been around for some time, then it is likely to have invested in product quality and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) compliance, as all supplement companies are required to by the FDA. If you’re not sure of the company, then look up the name on the sites of Dun & Bradstreet or the Better Business Bureau.

Can you reach customer service?

If there is a toll-free number with real people on the other end of the phone, chances are the company spent the money on investing in the infrastructure to support the products in the marketplace. Many times smaller companies will outsource the production and operations of products, then have no way for customers to contact them. If you can’t reach them, be wary.

Can you find a third-party-analysis mark on the label?

There are sites out there like consumerlab.com that do a lab analysis on products to see if they meet label claims. In fact, you can request a Certificate of Analysis from the manufacturer to ensure that what’s on organizations’ trust marks on the label. Marks like NSF, USDA Organic, or even USP are awarded only if the supplement company has passed the stringent review process.

Look for clinical studies

Weight-loss or sports-nutrition products typically have one or more ingredients in clinically validated amounts, which allows them to make claims like “build muscle,” “recover faster,” or “lose weight.” Oftentimes the clinical studies will be referenced on the product packaging or on the website. If not, searches on sites like PubMed, Google Scholar, or ScienceDirect with the ingredients and/or product name will help yield results you can evaluate. The amount of micrograms, milligrams, or grams of the active ingredient listed in the clinical study should be in the product. Protein, creatine, EFAs (essential fatty acids), and other ingredients have a variety of different dosages and source types, so be sure you look specifically at the ingredient when searching. For example, pea protein versus whey protein concentrate or 180mg of EPA to 120mg of DHA for your EFA blend would be a more specific search.

Buy from reputable retailers

Leading retailers will often do independent analysis, which means that when considering a product, you should try to buy it from a store you trust. Some retailers even train associates to help answer any questions you may have, which is helpful in whittling down choices.

Look at ratings and reviews

This may seem obvious, but oftentimes you can find consumer ratings on the manufacturer website or third-party retailers. Look through them in detail to see common questions and comments. Other consumers often post about their experiences, good and bad. If you follow these tips you should be able to find supplements that are effective and safe. There are a lot of quality products and companies out there that are continually raising the bar. This guide will help you keep up.

The M&F Fall Supplement Guide - The Best Supps for You

Knowing what to look for on a label goes a long way toward ensuring that you spend your money wisely.

The truth about supplements is this: The best ones can help you get fit and improve your health. They combine cutting-edge or sometimes well-known ingredients that have been shown in studies to work. The worst ones? They’re useless or dangerous. But how do you know which ones to choose? How do you know how to evaluate products when online scams and bombshell investigations make the news on an almost weekly basis? Use this checklist of what to look for before making your next supplement purchase.

Do you know the company?

Brands spend a lot of money trying to way to verify that the supplement is of Leading retailers will often do build trust, and trust equals consumer a high quality is to look for third-party independent analysis, which means preference, followed by loyalty. If a brand has been around for some time, then it is likely to have invested in product quality and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) compliance, as all supplement companies are required to by the FDA. If you’re not sure of the company, then look up the name on the sites of Dun & Bradstreet or the Better Business Bureau.

Can you reach customer service?

If there is a toll-free number with real people on the other end of the phone, chances are the company spent the money on investing in the infrastructure to support the products in the marketplace. Many times smaller companies will outsource the production and operations of products, then have no way for customers to contact them. If you can’t reach them, be wary.

Can you find a third-party-analysis mark on the label?

There are sites out there like consumerlab.com that do a lab analysis on products to see if they meet label claims. In fact, you can request a Certificate of Analysis from the manufacturer to ensure that what’s on organizations’ trust marks on the label. Marks like NSF, USDA Organic, or even USP are awarded only if the supplement company has passed the stringent review process.

Look for clinical studies

Weight-loss or sports-nutrition products typically have one or more ingredients in clinically validated amounts, which allows them to make claims like “build muscle,” “recover faster,” or “lose weight.” Oftentimes the clinical studies will be referenced on the product packaging or on the website. If not, searches on sites like PubMed, Google Scholar, or ScienceDirect with the ingredients and/or product name will help yield results you can evaluate. The amount of micrograms, milligrams, or grams of the active ingredient listed in the clinical study should be in the product. Protein, creatine, EFAs (essential fatty acids), and other ingredients have a variety of different dosages and source types, so be sure you look specifically at the ingredient when searching. For example, pea protein versus whey protein concentrate or 180mg of EPA to 120mg of DHA for your EFA blend would be a more specific search.

Buy from reputable retailers

Leading retailers will often do independent analysis, which means that when considering a product, you should try to buy it from a store you trust. Some retailers even train associates to help answer any questions you may have, which is helpful in whittling down choices./p>

Look at ratings and reviews

This may seem obvious, but oftentimes you can find consumer ratings on the manufacturer website or third-party retailers. Look through them in detail to see common questions and comments. Other consumers often post about their experiences, good and bad. If you follow these tips you should be able to find supplements that are effective and safe. There are a lot of quality products and companies out there that are continually raising the bar. This guide will help you keep up.