Dietary supplements can be a fantastic way to complement your diet and help you reach your health goals, but not all supplements are created equal. When our founder’s son experienced a serious sports injury, he was shocked to find an unsightly amount of fillers and sweeteners in the supplements that were supposed to be aiding his son’s recovery. That was a defining moment for Ultimate Phitness and the reason we created a line of superior-quality supplements.
If you take supplements, it’s important to be able to identify clean, quality brands that won’t do more harm than good. The following tips will help you scrutinize supplement labels and choose the best supplements for your health journey.
What to Avoid
If you see ingredients like FD & C Blue #1, Red #40, and Yellow #5 (tartrazine), you know you’re dealing with artificial colorings. These colorings are used to make pills, vitamins, and powders more attractive, but they certainly aren’t from a natural source. There is conflicting research on the matter, but some studies seem to indicate that artificial colorings could have negative side effects, especially for children. Either way, it’s always best to choose a supplement that opts to use natural ingredients for color, rather than artificial ones.
Aspartame, maltodextrin, sorbitol, and acesulfame K, among other artificial ingredients, are found in many supplements and vitamins. There is growing evidence that artificial sweeteners can have adverse effects on microbial activity in the gut, so why not opt for a supplement with natural sweeteners instead? It’s always better to see natural sweeteners, such as stevia, in a health supplement.
Fillers, binders, emulsifiers, preservatives, and anti-caking agents are all common supplement ingredients, and some can be quite harmful. Titanium dioxide, polyethylene glycol, tricalcium phosphate, and sodium benzoate are all examples of “other ingredients” that can be harmful to your health.
If you have allergies to milk, soy, wheat, or even nuts, check your supplement label carefully. These ingredients can be found in some supplements.
How to Tell if a Supplement is Clean
First and foremost, always read the full ingredient label. Pay close attention to the “Other Ingredients” section at the bottom of the label. That’s where you’ll find any unnecessary or harmful ingredients listed. If you aren’t sure about an ingredient you see in the list, look it up before you buy.
Think too about where your supplements come from. If they are from an international source, does the country regulate the production of the product? Are third parties involved in reviewing the ingredients or inspecting the factory where the supplement is produced? One good practice is to buy supplements that are manufactured in an FDA-inspected and GMP-certified facility.
Get the Most from Your Supplements
Once you find a trustworthy brand with clean supplements, there are a few more things you can do to get the most benefit from them. Always store your supplements in a cool, dry place, unless they require refrigeration. Only take the supplement for the recommended duration. If you are taking supplements to help with a confirmed deficiency, recheck your levels periodically with a healthcare professional to see if you still need the supplement. Only start one supplement at a time and stick to your normal routine when you do. If you notice any adverse side effects, stop the new supplement immediately.
Keep in mind that supplements are designed to complement a healthy eating plan, not replace foods you should be eating. A well-balanced diet and a good exercise routine are necessary for your overall health and can’t be replaced by simply taking supplements.If you aren’t sure about a specific supplement, don’t hesitate to contact a healthcare professional for advice. If you have any questions about the ingredients and manufacturing process of Ultimate Phitness supplements, please reach out to us via the chat box on our home page. We’d be happy to assist you.