9 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sports Supplement Provider
If you feel that you need to take more vitamins and supplements, you are not alone. According to research, over 80% of Americans are not getting adequate amounts of micronutrients from fruits and vegetables.
If your body is not getting enough nourishment, it will negatively impact your ability to participate in physical activity. Without enough nutrients, your body goes into a catabolic state and will begin to use your hard-earned muscle for fuel instead. To prevent this from happening, you need to find the right sports supplement provider so you can make the most out of your gym routine.
The only problem with this is, with so many different options for supplements, how do you know which sports supplement provider is the best choice for your goals?
Thankfully, we’ve narrowed that list down for you and created this handy guide for finding the best sports supplement provider that matches your specific needs. Keep on reading to learn more.
Why Take Sports Supplements?
In a perfect world, your nutritional intake through your diet would be sufficient enough to fuel your body for your workouts. Unfortunately, this is not the case anymore. With so many changes to the agricultural industry, most of our food has been stripped and depleted of its nutrient content. Also, pesticides and herbicides have become so common, that you would have to spend triple your food budget for organic produce.
In addition to that, the meat industry has also changed dramatically, and you would nearly make yourself sick by consuming the amount of meat needed to sustain a bodybuilding diet.
Aside from the nutrient content, there are other vital reasons to take sports supplements. For example, the more you train, the more your body needs specific amino acids to repair itself and grow. If you have goals of gaining muscle, you may be wasting your time if you do not have adequate nutrients and amino acids. Ideally, you want to be in an anabolic state, rather than catabolic.
An anabolic state means that you are muscle preserving and building. This means that you are getting in enough nutrients that your body can organize smaller, simple molecules into complex ones.
Being in an anabolic state, you can get shredded while maintaining your dense muscle mass.
A catabolic state means that you are essentially muscle wasting. Catabolism is the breaking down of larger molecules into smaller, simpler ones to use for energy.
In terms of physical fitness, your body is using your hard-earned muscle mass for energy because it needs those nutrients. This is another reason why yo-yo dieting does not work for physique training, as you will just lose your hard work.
To prevent your body from going into a catabolic state, you should start supplementing with BCAAs. These are branched-chain amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. BCAAs also help to fight off fatigue, stay focused, maintain energy, and maximize muscle gain.
1. Know What Your Body Needs
Your sports nutritional intake completely depends on the type of physical exercise you are doing. It also depends on your age, sex, body weight, medications, and medical issues.
For example, if you are a bodybuilder wanting to pack on muscle, you need to find a sports supplement provider that specialized in muscle growth such as BCAAs, protein, creatine, SARMS, or peptides.
If you are a long-distance runner, you need to find a sports supplement provider that specializes in endurance running, sports gels, adequate carbohydrates, fats, and nourishment.
If you are older, you will also need to ensure you are taking a multivitamin as our bodies tend to become more depleted as we age, especially in calcium and vitamin D levels.
Also, if you are currently taking any medications, you must know what supplements are safe to take with them. This prevents the chance of any contraindications or harsh side effects from happening. Check-in with your doctor before you begin any sports nutritional plan.
2. Gender Differences
While the human body is very similar in terms of physical exercise when it comes to both men and women, there are still some differences you need to know.
Women tend to need more calcium, iron, and folate. While men tend to need higher protein levels, and a larger amount of phytonutrients. This also depends on your fitness goals, so if you are a female bodybuilder, you may need more protein levels than a geriatric male who is trying to maintain his muscle mass.
3. Look for References and Reviews
There are many governing bodies beside the FDA that help to ensure there are quality supplements on the market. Look for the seal of approval on either the website or the bottle of the sports supplement provider you are considering.
This means that the supplement has been tested multiple times in a lab to ensure it is not only safe but also that it works. The last thing you want to do is waste money on a supplement that does not even work, as it will just become really expensive urine!
Also, look for reviews on the specific brand online. If they are full of 5-star reviews, they are probably good, on the contrary, if there are a lot of complaints, stay away.
4. Compare Prices
When comparing supplement prices, it can get quite frustrating to discover the best one. As a rule of thumb, if it is outrageously expensive or extremely cheap-do not get it!
Shop around and look for an average price for the supplement you have in mind, the more you look, the more you will discover what an ideal price point is.
That being said, do not shop at major warehouse stores such as Costco or Walmart for your supplements, they are low-grade and do not have the same effect as a company that specialized in your desired goals.
5. Do Your Research
Perhaps one of the most important factors when searching for the best sports supplement provider is to research the benefits of what that specific product offers.
For example, if you want to build muscle and hear about the benefits of taking peptides, do your research on using peptides in general. Look for more scientific-based articles that do not have a biased opinion, and are not trying to sell you anything. This way you can ensure you are reading science rather than persuasive selling.
6. Check the Ingredients
Let’s say that you did your research and found a protein powder that seems to have great reviews, perfect! However, if you did not read the ingredient list, you could be sabotaging your health. Many supplement manufacturers stuff in fillers such as starch, synthetic sweeteners, and other forms of cheaper amino acids because it is much cheaper than pure protein.
In fact, there are multiple lawsuits against protein powder manufacturers for having less than 44% of the required amount of protein.
7. Check the Sources
Now you have done your research and checked out the ingredients, that must mean that you found a quality supplement right? Wrong!
One of the most important keys to discovering the right sports supplement provider is to check where they source their ingredients. For example, whey protein is not the same across the board.
Many low-grade whey protein sources are synthesized and extracted from very unhealthy cows, pumped full of hormones. Also, many low-quality BCAA brands are sourced from human hair clippings, duck feathers, and animal skin, yuck!
The moral of this story is to discover the source of the product you want to consume. If the brand has integrity and cares about its consumers, it will clearly display their sources on the packaging, if it doesn’t, then stay away.
8. Trust Your Gut
When it comes to deciding between sports supplement providers, you need to listen to your gut instincts first. The saying: “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” is very applicable to the sports supplement industry.
The supplement industry makes its money off of false promises, which is why diet pills are one of the highest sellers of the $15.6 billion industry.
If the product is more focused on giving you promises than it is speaking about the quality and source of its ingredients, you need to look elsewhere.
9. Compliment Your Diet
Another key factor for determining the right sports supplement provider is to know how it will compliment your current diet. For example, if you are on a vegan diet, you need to ensure that you are consuming adequate levels of vitamin B12 and iron.
If you are on a ketogenic diet, then make sure you are selecting sports supplements that do not have too many sugars or carbohydrates. It is also important to consider your digestion when making your decision, if you have a sensitive stomach, then you may need to stay away from any added sweeteners or synthetic ingredients.
Learn More About Finding the Right Sports Supplement Provider
After reviewing these important steps to finding the right sports supplement provider, you will have a better sense of confidence in trusting your decisions.
To learn more about making the most out of your workout, check out our guide to getting into peak performance shape!