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How can I tell whether I’m getting a good quality supplement?

Vitamins and supplements come in an array of many forms. Lets take a good look on how to choose an appropriate and good quality supplement product thats right for you.

A few good questions to be asking yourself and discussing with your health professional, before choosing supplements that are right for you:

  1. Can this supplement help me?
  2. What does the research say about this supplement and what are the benefits?
  3. How much should i be taking?
  4. When and for how long will i need this supplement?
  5. Should i be taking it as a pill, powder, or liquid?
  6. Are there any side effects/ What are the side effects?
  7. What are best brands of this supplement, in terms of quality, safety, and how well these supplements perform?

Some supplements can come in pill form because they may become dangerous, if they come into contact with the acid in your stomach. Some others come in the form of liquid to help with absorption, or to make that supplement easier to consume.

supplements and vitamins are not regulated the same by the TGA in the same way that drugs are. The TGA does not review these supplements for safety or efficiency.

So its important to do your research before jumping straight into purchasing a new product.

Now that we have that covered i want to focus on fitness supplements, Specifically the two most popular that i get asked about and how to tell if they are good quality!

Choosing a Protein powder

“Protein supplements can be stressful to shop for. Especially if you do not know where to look, in terms of quality and what is right for you.”

Let’s talk about some strategies to help with this dilemma:

What are your goals?

“Not all proteins are created equal. Narrow your selection down by identifying your goals and why you would like to add a protein supplement into your diet.” Are you trying to build muscle, Lose weight, or just trying to gain a bit more extra protein into your daily dietary intake.

The right Protein powder to help with weight loss..

..”You may be considering using a protein supplement as a meal replacement or a healthy snack.” In this case, look for one that is labeled “Concentrate.” This digests slower, which keeps you fuller for longer with the benefits of extra protein and smaller appetite.

A good quality Concentrate will say things like: ‘grass fed”

Building lean tissue mass with isolates

“An isolate powder can be an incredible tool when it comes to building lean tissue mass in the human body. With its amazing ability for rapid absorption it makes for the perfect protein supplement for building muscle, consuming before and after a workout.”

“When you exercise especially resistance training, you breakdown muscle tissue, which is then repaired by proteins. With Isolates, fast, rapid absorbing nature you won’t have to worry about your proteins taking too long to digest to reach and repair your muscles”

A good quality Isolate will say things like: “ultra microfiltered, and/or grass fed”

Finding your favourite protein

“My two favourite proteins as listed above have fantastic properties and health benefits. But what if you’re vegetarian or vegan? Don’t stress i haven’t forgotten about you! Vegan protein powder can be an amazing tool, if you also suffer from lactose issues and stomach upset when consuming non vegan protein supplements this can be a life changing and more appropriate choice for you.”

What to look for in a good quality vegan protein is a “complete protein” which will contain nine of the essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.)

“Opt for a complete protein powder that comes with a blend of different plants. To ensure you are getting all nine essential amino acids.”

Okay we have Protein covered let’s move onto our beloved Creatine.

“Creatine” what are the different types and what is the best choice for me?

Creatine has a similar structured molecule to that of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

“its use as a dietary supplement has been extensively studied for many years and is consumed world wide.”

The benefits are just countless, but some of these include improved exercise performance, musculoskeletal health, as well as potential benefits for brain health/ function. “well you can sign me up!!”

I do get asked quite frequently “how does it work?” and “what does it exactly do?”

Dont stress guys! I am about to cover that.

How does Creatine work?

“About 95% of creatine is stored in the skeletal muscle of your body and is used during physical activity. Creatine helps maintain a continuous supply of energy to working muscles.

The two types of Creatine that i believe to be the most effective

  1. Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine monohydrate is the most studied and most commonly used form. A large amount of research indicates its safe and effective.

Then we have..

2. Creatine HCL

The main difference between HCL and Monohydrate is the chemical composition but both having the same effect. HCL would be a particularly good choice if you suffer from bloating with taking Monohydrate.

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How can I compare the ingredients and doses in Supplements?

Shopping around for the right supplement for you can be a challenge in itself.

With such an extensive range of supplements on the market to choose from. There is also a lot of information crammed onto almost every product label. It can be extremely difficult to determine what supplement product is right for you, or if its better than another.

Dont stress, we’re here to help give you some strategies to read these confusing labels like a pro!

Therapeutic goods administration (TGA) and Supplements.

Dietary supplements are products that are intended to supplement your diet and improve your health, and wellbeing.

The variety of supplements on the market today come in array of forms. including powdered drinks, tablets, pills, drinks etc. There’s lots of them out there is what i’m trying to say.

It’s important to note that the Therapeutic goods administration. (TGA) does not regulate the safety or effectiveness of supplements the same way that it monitors drugs so to speak.

This means there is no promises that a supplement is produced accordingly to specified quality standards. or that it is consistent from batch to batch.

For this reason i believe it’s important to practise reading the labels and looking for the valuable information we’re about to talk about to ensure you’re getting the highest quality product available.

Labels and Supplement information.

Supplement fact labels include the most basic information about that specific supplement. including serving size, number of servings per container, ingredients, and the amount of nutrients it contains.

Checking the serving size first can help you determine whether you need more each serve or need to divide the serving size, too reach the desired quantity.

Be sure to always check the additional ingredients listed, down towards the bottom of the supplement label. These may include extracts, additives and other compound ingredients.

I spoke about why “Less is more” in a recent article, again this applies in some cases when looking for ingredients and nutrients in supplements.

Sometimes supplement companies like to use filler ingredients to make their products more marketable which makes the consumers believe they are purchasing a product that is more effective than another product of supplement with less ingredients that actually may be just as or in some cases more effective.

Read why less is more: https://www.universalsupplements.com.au/2022/04/27/supplements-why-less-is-more/

Keep in mind that ingredients are listed in their label order of predominance. For example the first ingredient listed will be what the product is mostly made of.

key – Ingredients are listed by quantity from highest to lowest. Try looking for products that list whole foods as the first three ingredients and be skeptical of supplements with long lists of ingredients.

Common terminology

“Organic” and “All natural” We have all read this somewhere, so what does this mean?

“natural” and “all natural” refer to products that don’t contain any artificial or synthetic ingredients including artificial flavours, or colours.

However, it’s important to note the use of the term “natural” is not strictly enforced.

Some supplement products are referred to as “whole food” supplements.

The supplements are usually made using concentrated blends of food substances that are dehydrated. While this can sound enticing, its important to note that this is not necessarily and indicator of good quality. I think ill be sticking to my local fresh produce store for good fresh quality rather than that meal replacement shake that is soooo irresistibly “good” for you..

Food based or whole food supplements often contain synthetic ingredients, including additives, fillers, and flavourings. Again – be skeptical of products with a long ingredients list.

Bottom line, paying close attention to the ingredients, dosage, quality, and health claims is key to picking the right product for you.

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Supplements – Why Less is More

We all know the saying “less is more.” Having only the necessary things is more beneficial, than having too much with excess. Let’s talk about how this could be true for supplements as well.

Many of us know that taking supplements can be extremely beneficial for our overall health and wellbeing. but can we be taking too much? short answer is “yes.” but let’s dive into why…

There is no real advantage to taking more than the recommended dose of any supplements. Over dosing any supplement may cause digestion issues, stomach upset, and can even be harmful to your general health.

Less Supplements

Consuming too many protein supplements.

I am a firm believer in using protein supplements to reach your protein goals in conjunction with a balanced diet. But i also believe it can be detrimental to your gut health if you use too much. Consuming too much protein powder can cause side effects including, bloating, increased bowel movements, acne, thirst, tiredness, and headaches. The good news is as long as you’re using a high quality protein supplement and sticking within the recommended dose, this powdered gold should not be causing you any discomfort. If you do experience any discomfort speak with your GP/Doctor about other alternatives.

Less Supplements

Lets talk about vitamins and minerals.

Everywhere you go these days, everything from juices, sparkling water, energy drinks, even the water you drink. A lot of companies are trying to market their food and beverage products with the push of vitamins and minerals, to the overall population and that’s great, because who doesn’t like more of the good stuff. But… getting too many vitamins and minerals daily can cause more harm than good.

Receiving too much vitamin C or zinc can cause stomach upset, hair loss, fatigue and mild nerve damage. Getting you’re recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals is not as hard as you may think, A lot of natural sources of whole food contain exactly what we need for our recommended daily intake of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. If you wish to use a supplement to help reach your nutrient needs make sure you read the label and use as directed.

Less Supplements

What about the next magic pill to help with x-y=z?

Short answer, you do not need 5 different fat burners in your cupboard. You do not need to keep 3 different brands of multivitamins to stay healthy. You saw this magic fat burning powder and they said you must have it to burn fat.

The problem today is you are being told, you need every supplement under the sun to stay healthy and reach your goals which is in fact not the truth.

Less Supplements