The supplement market is a wild wild world. From greens powders to protein powders, magnesium glycinate to magnesium taurate, how can you know which is *the best* when it comes to what you put in your cart? Keep reading to discover the #1 tip when it comes to picking your supplements.
As a nutritional therapist, my work relies largely on how open and honest a new patient is in my initial consultation questionnaire. I always like to warn people; this is NOT a quick process. And for any of my clients who are currently reading these lines...you know it wasn't a quick process lol.
Nutritional Therapy falls under the functional medicine realm; under my scope of practice I take into account various factors aside from what you're eating such as how well you're sleeping, what your toilet habits are like, your familial medical history, your exercise routine, your morning routine, whether you have kids or not, what kind of socio- economic status you have, what you value in life. It's an extensive list, and for good reason. I get a full spectrum picture of you, your health at the present, and what makes you tick.
One of the (refreshingly) surprising aspects of my clinical practice is that new clients are already taking supplements. Yes! Go you for trying to improve things on your own! I LOVE seeing that clients have already proactively attempted getting a handle on your health.
What I don't love? Supplement companies selling you s*** products. Rather than bombard you with what's bioavailable and what's not, I will simply offer the #1 tip when it comes to picking out your supplements.
Look For Supplement Brands That Are Third Party Tested.
But aren't all supplements third party tested??
No, unfortunately not. The food supplement industry is not regulated by the FDA in the US, and in the European Union food supplements are regulated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). So, when you're looking in the supplement aisle of your Walmart or Target, there's no guarantee that the supplement does as it says on the tin. Unless...
It carries one of these logos on its label:
Why does this matter?
Because you have seen them advertised on your social media scroll. You have seen influencers saying "use code ___ to get 10% off your first purchase." You have seen labels hit shelves at affordable prices (I'm not saying supplements have to be expensive to be effective) that make you think "heck YES, I am totally investing in this!"
One thing that doesn't come to mind when making that purchase? Fillers. Additives. Masking agents. Does what's stated on the label actually match the product? Am I getting a product that has been produced in a facility that undergoes regular health and safety audits?
You are putting this in your body. To correct deficiencies, to help manage. an autoimmune condition, to promote overall health and wellbeing. You wouldn't want to put just anything in your body, would you?
It's not as bad as putting diesel in a petrol automotive. But what if you had invested money (which you're tight on anyway, because Christmas is coming up and the cost of living has risen significantly for at least 70% of respondents in this global survey) in what you thought would be a quality enhancement to your daily health routine, only to discover that it was actually money spent on fluff with a pretty label?
When a supplement is third- party tested, this guarantees the quality of aspects of your supplement such as: dosage, ingredient integrity, sanitary production, and so much more. Companies which can display third-party tested logos on their supplement labels and websites have gone through the trouble of ensuring that they are delivering a quality product to you, because you are investing in them as a consumer.
Isn't that interesting? I could launch my own supplement line in the morning, have a team of internet personas advertise it, and probably make some killer sales from the hype. But I could also be selling you garbage at the same time.
(I wouldn't do that, FYI). I would, however, sit down with you in an Empowered Hour to review your supplement routine to make sure you're not ingesting weirdo ingredients that are potentially a waste of your money and time.