The human body needs certain substances in order to stay in optimum health. As people, there is a long laundry list of vitamins and minerals and fats and nutrients we need to stay happy and healthy. If you are ever lacking in one area, you could easily make it up by taking supplements.
Whether you have a vitamin deficiency, need a boost of quick muscle, need to lose some weight or simply if you’re feeling a bit groggy and need a pick-me-up, there is a supplement out there on the market that will handle the job.
You can find countless supplements to match a variety of needs.
Here are just a few types you can find:
- Vitamin supplements
- Mineral supplements
- Protein supplements
- Fish oil
- Other oil supplements
- Weight-loss-specific supplements
- Testosterone boosters
- Herb supplements
- Fruit/veggie/berry supplements
- Muscle-growth supplements (not always protein)
However, not every supplement is the same and not every store selling them is giving you the goods. Some supplements contain a lot of fillers and other add-ins that detract from the main ingredient. For instance: If you’re purchasing a weight-loss supplement, say a supposedly natural herb supplement, be very aware of the other ingredients used.
Caffeine and other “booster” ingredients might cause jitters, crashes or a nervous feeling, and other, more dangerous boosters can cause heart palpitations and other serious side effects.
There are many beneficial supplements out there and hundreds of working ingredients. However, there are also many dangerous ingredients.
Here are some ingredients to watch out for, and their side effects range from the aforementioned jitters to stroke, kidney and liver failure, and heart arrhythmias:
- Colloidal silver
- Bitter orange
- Greater celandine
- Country mallow
Then you have the supplements that are simply watered down. Their fillers may be harmless, but the amount of the main ingredient contained within the serving size can be miniscule and produce no results.
Off-brand stores selling these generic, watered-down supplements make up the majority of online avenues. With so much competition out there to sell supplements, price is the biggest factor in determining which company survives and which companies die out.
To that end, many out there simply try to make a quick buck, passing off weak supplements packed with filler as the real deal and charging bottom-shelf prices for a bottom-shelf product.
Where to Buy Supplements
1: The Pharmacy
Going into a legitimate pharmacy is going to produce legitimate results. More often than not, nationally branded pharmacies act quick to get any dangerous supplements or any garbage supplements off of their shelves. That being said, of course, their stores are still packed with generics and hybrids (multi-ingredient supplements), meaning you still have to be a smart shopper.
Know what you are after before you shop. Know that a vitamin C supplement, for example, needs to say “vitamin C” on the ingredient list and perhaps ingredients like gelatin and water (natural ingredients not interfering with the supplement dose) with no other fillers getting in the way.
2: Health-Food Store
Health-food stores take what they do very seriously. (You can find them online as well, but we will get to that later; this is about on-location stores.) When you’re in the market for an all-natural supplement, not those multi-packs or doctored-up supplements, any store focusing on all-natural, whole, healthy foods is going to deliver the best of the bunch.
You may pay a little more money when you choose to take this avenue, but you are getting what you pay for.
3: Body-Building, Nutrition Outlet
Health and fitness is a huge niche, and body-building/weight-training is a very strong subset of that niche. In a fitness store, they do not play around with the products. The individuals shopping here as regulars are great customers and know what they’re doing, so no one is going to pull the wool over their eyes with generic crap.
If you are looking for any type of protein supplement or something pertaining to muscle growth and/or weight-loss, this is a great location to shop at.
Yeah, I know: We came down hard on the Internet. That’s because for every one legitimate store out there, you can find 10 donkeys looking to take your money.
The trick here is to the find the best supplement stores online, and you do that by reading up on user reviews, checking our forums, and always remembering to check out the ingredients list of each supplement and to practice comparison shopping to get the best ingredients at the best prices.
At the end of the day, you can find supplements at a wide range of locations, from eBay to the local grocery store. The most important factor in shopping is that you do your research to find out what you need and always check out what’s in the product before you take it.