As you probably know, getting in shape is not an easy feat. If a person is serious about their training, and about their health and wellness in general, they must be willing to put the hard work in, both in the gym, and in the kitchen. Sadly, it is much, much harder to get in shape than it is to fall out of shape, though it is not impossible by any stretch. You may also be aware that health and sports supplements are currently more popular than ever before, with supplement companies raking in millions upon millions in profit every single year. The supplement industry alone is worth billions, and as we seemingly can’t get enough of our vitamins, protein shakes, and amino acids, more and more people want their slice of the cake and are trying to muscle in on the action. All you need to do is browse a supplement store, either in person or online, to get an idea of just how competitive the market can be. There are countless different brands and manufacturers for customers to choose from, so who do you go with? Well if you’re in the process of compiling a supplement stack to help get you in shape then take a look at the following, as we look at a few crucial things to look for when choosing a supplement company.
Find out how often they test their products
A true supplement company will be proud of the products they create, and will always be striving to go one better and to improve things even further. When you’re looking to buy supplements, it doesn’t matter whether you go with protein powder, vitamin tablets, amino acids, or anything else, you want a company that frequently tests the ingredients used to create their products, as well as the products themselves, to ensure they’re up to scratch. As modern science, technology, medicine, and research, is now more advanced than ever, testing practices are becoming increasing complex and sophisticated, which is great news for the consumer. Ideally you want a company that tests their products regularly, although if they have tests carried out by an unbiased third party, this is even better. There are chemical reaction tests, HPLC tests, mass spectrometry tests, and much more besides. These tests are carried out to ensure that the products supplied are safe, effective, and reliable. Ideally the supplement company you have your eyes on will have their products tested on an infrequent basis.
A good reputation
Of course some supplement companies are bigger than others, and of course there are some people who prefer other brands, and that’s fine. Generally speaking however, when you go with a supplement company, you want to read reviews left by other customers, and try to find out what they have to say about the products they used, and the company in general. For example, if you come across a protein powder that you like the sound of, only to find that the majority of other users of the powder found it to be ineffective, awful tasting, and clumpy, this may make you think twice. If the company as a whole, has a poor reputation, this is a red flag so you may wish to look for a company with much more of a stellar reputation instead.
Qualifications and credentials
Believe it or not, but pretty much anybody can now set up and create their own supplements and supplement company, with virtually no experience or credentials at all. The last thing you want is to be buying supplements from a company lacking the skills, qualifications, and credentials required to become a trusted supplement company. Ideally you want a company with an NPA Certification, Pharmaceutical Consulting Services credential, and a USP Certification, at the very least. These certifications and credentials are widely recognised, though obviously it all depends on where in the world you happen to be, because different countries have different certifications and governing bodies etc. The best advice here is to find out which are the most respected and most widely recognised in your region, and to go from there.
How long have they been operating?
As mentioned, the supplement industry is hugely competitive, which is why a number of new supplement start-ups fail to get off the ground in the early stages. Of course they make some sales, and enjoy some success, but if their products are inferior to others, or if their prices are too high, they may very well go under. If you’ve been looking to purchase, say, some creatine and whey protein to help you pile on the muscle, ideally you want to purchase supplements from a company that have been in operation for a long time. If they’ve been around for a long time, they’re obviously doing something right, so this will definitely fill you with confidence. Put simply, if it’s a choice between a company that has been around for 10 plus years, or one which is less than a month old, ideally you want to go with the tried and tested company.
Are their blends pure?
One common underhand trick used by less reputable companies, is to hide behind the ‘proprietary blend’ label when listing their products. This sometime is known as amino acid spiking, and it is an underhand tactic used by companies to reserve their more expensive ingredients and to instead use cheaper ingredients in their supplements. For example, in whey protein blends, they may use less whey protein than they would have you believe, and would instead bulk it out with a cheaper amino acid which is found in the protein. As the protein contains the amino acid, technically they can get away with doing this, even though you aren’t receiving as much pure whey protein per serving as you should be. Look for companies that use pure blends, rather than cheap proprietary blends and the products you receive should be purer and of a much higher quality.