How To Have A Secure Online Supplement Shopping Experience
Buying nutritional supplements online can be a tricky process – but it can also be a very beneficial one. Knowing how to avoid common pitfalls is essential to avoiding wasting your money on products that aren’t going to help you.
It’s also important to know what types of vitamins, minerals, and supplements tend to work the best. Unfortunately, the online supplement business is a bit like a no-man’s land, in the sense that it’s a bit ‘uncharted’, and sometimes unregulated as well.
So how can you avoid buying the wrong thing? In this guide, we’re going to discuss buying supplements in detail, and share some ideas with you that might help to make your online supplement shopping experience as secure as possible.
Why buy supplements?
To put it simply, most of us (as humans) are nutritionally deficient. When your body begins to lack the proper vitamins, minerals, or essential nutrients that it needs to operate at peak efficiency, it begins to show visible symptoms.
Sometimes, these symptoms are easy to miss. They can appear as fatigue, anxiety, a change in appetite, etc. And sometimes, of course, they tend to be more pronounced. Sometimes, deficiencies can lead to major health problems!
The main point is this. If you want to live a long, full, happy, and healthy life, then getting everything that your body needs should be a first-priority.
This, of course, leads us to another point. The modern-day diet for humans in developed countries isn’t that great anymore. A lot of people are eating cheeseburgers and French-fries, when they probably should be eating fruits, vegetables, and lean animal protein.
As a result, even our diets have ended up nutritionally deficient. Humans in developed countries also tend to eat a lot of the same types of foods on a regular basis – which makes them more likely to develop deficiencies of one kind or another over time.
This makes supplements a very important part of the modern human diet.
And humans are definitely taking it seriously. In fact, according to the CDC, more than 50% of adult Americans currently take a vitamin or supplement regularly.
Failing to consume the proper nutrients in your day-to-day diet can lead to malnourishment, which can cause a number of other problems.
Supplements are not just a good idea – they’re really a necessity for most humans who care about balanced nutrition and good health.
What is a nutritional supplement?
The FDA defines nutritional dietary supplements as follows…
“A dietary supplement is a product intended for ingestion that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to add further nutritional value to (supplement) the diet.”
Of course, supplements take many different forms. Some of them come in tablet form, while others are made up of soft-gels, gel-caps, capsules, powders, or even liquids. All of them do different things, and it’s important to understand their function before you purchase and use them – but that’s not the only important step.
Buying supplements can be a tricky ordeal – and in this article, we’re going to help you figure out exactly how to make sure that you’re buying something that’ll be a benefit to your health and well-being.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that everyone has a different opinion about supplements. Some people believe in them, while others don’t. When shopping for products that are intended to make you healthier, it’s very important that you utilize your own judgement and make your own decisions.
If you want to buy a particular product and believe that it seems to be a good idea, then go for it. If you don’t feel right about something, then pass on it. Do your own research, and try to come up with a plan that works for you.
With that being said, not all supplement are created equal – so let’s talk about the process of finding the perfect product for you.
Determining which supplements to purchase
Figuring out how to make smart, safe, and secure supplement purchases isn’t rocket science – but there are a few things that you should probably know.
Here are some steps to keep in mind.
Decide what types of supplements you need
This is probably the most time-consuming step, as it may require you to do some research. Figuring out which supplements you should take is a lot like picking a needle out of a haystack that’s made out of needles. There are literally thousands of choices out there to choose from.
To start with, try to identify what problems you have. Do you wish you had more energy? Do you want better weight gains at the gym? Do you have stomach problems? Do you need to improve your vision?
Your doctor might be able to help you by recommending certain types of supplementation – but in the end, remember that only you can make final choices for yourself.
Do some reading, research your problems, and try to figure out which types of vitamins, minerals, or nutrients you need. Once you’ve figured this out, you’ll be ready to move on to the next part.
Finding a supplement that’ll be safe and effective
Not all supplements are created equal. Some of them contain more fillers than actual nutrients – and could be more accurately described as ‘gimmicks’ than actual supplements. Some even contain toxins or chemicals that can produce dangerous or harmful side effects.
There are also quite a few different supplements that claim to be useful, but actually aren’t. There are actually quite a few different types of supplement products on the market nowadays that make unrealistic claims about their key ingredients without actually doing much good.
So how do you navigate through all of these issues to find the product that’ll work for you?
Here are some steps that will help to get you started in the right direction.
1… Check for clinical studies
If the supplement manufacturer makes a claim, try to review the science for yourself and see if the clinical results really back them up.
2… Avoid supplements that seem ‘too good to be true’
Supplements are not a silver-bullet for anything. There’s no such thing as a literal ‘miracle vitamin’, so approach products that sound like this with a healthy level of skepticism.
3… Read science journal entries and find out what the ingredients really do
If a particular ingredient is mentioned in a clinical journal, you should go to the journal yourself and find out what was actually found during the research. Some companies claim that their ingredients are ‘clinically proven’, when they were really just mentioned – not proven to be effective.
4… Avoid companies that make exaggerated claims about their products
If a company seems to be exaggerating the effects of a certain product or supplement, odds are good that they’re not sharing information in an ethical and responsible fashion – and you would probably be best-suited to avoid their products altogether.
5… Be skeptical of ingredients that have only been subjected to one study
Proven products will usually be supported by several consistent clinical trials. You might want to be skeptical of ingredients or supplements that have only been tested once – as one-off clinical trials might not always be the best indicator of whether that ingredient is really as useful as the company claims.
6… Only buy products from companies that are transparent about ingredients
If you can’t find an ingredient list for the product, then you should probably be a bit skeptical of it. The best supplement companies know that people need information to make an informed decision – and they will do their best to give you what you need to make such a decision.
In the end, you’ll end up realizing that most products fall into two main categories. There are those that are low in quality, and those that are engineered to a higher standard than average.
Proven products don’t need to make huge, exaggerated claims about their supplements, because they know that the evidence and the clinical trials speak for themselves.
Products that aren’t proven, on the other hand, might be more likely to be advertised with exaggerated, unrealistic claims. The companies that advertise these products usually try to make it sound like the supplement is all that you need – which isn’t true.
Companies that sell quality products will be honest with you. They’ll tell you that no supplement, by itself, is going to keep you healthy or give you amazing results. Results come from working hard, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting enough exercise.
Another good rule-of-thumb is to avoid auto-ship programs.These programs might seem like money-savers, but companies that use these types of programs sometimes tend to employ them because they’ll end up making them more money – but because they’re necessarily better for customers.
Once again – proven, high-quality products will tend to sell themselves over and over again, and won’t need to rely on auto-ship programs to generate sales revenue.
Only order from secured websites!
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s extremely important! Always make sure to check the website before ordering to make sure that it uses HTTPS and provides a secure ordering form.
You definitely don’t want your credit-card information in the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to keep the information secure… so make sure that the company is reputable and that they can be trusted to keep your sensitive information locked-down and under wraps.
Ordering supplements is an awesome way to fill in nutritional gaps in your diet – and it is important to make sure that you’re ordering something that will work.
Our website can help by posting in-depth reviews of some of the most popular supplements and health products on the market. We actually do a lot of this research in an effort to find out which ones work the best, and post our findings regularly to keep our readers updated – so keep checking back for new reviews and content!