If you’re going to bother to take supplements, it’s worth doing the research and spending money on the good shit.. Aka probably don’t be buying supplements from White Trash Mordor (Walmart) or CVS. Steer for places like Whole Foods, Amazon, or VitaCost.
If you missed the headlines a few years ago, a bunch of researchers banded together back in 2013 and did a write-up for The New York Times. They tested 44 bottles of popular supplements sold by 12 different companies. What they discovered was pretty depressing, as the majority weren’t what they claimed to be. Supplements were either super diluted or full of junk. Meaning your bottle of “B Vitamins” could just be a capsule full of cheap fillers (like rice, wheat, or soybeans) with uh, zero B Vitamins. Of the 44 supplements tested, 1/3 were “an outright substitution” – meaning 0 of the advertised supplement was present. Swaaate.
Cheap supplements can also mean icky & and ineffective sources. If we want to use Vitamin D as an example, a cheap vitamin D bottle may land you a bottle of lanolin. “Lanolin” being a synonym for “sheep grease.” Our little puffy friends secrete lanolin to protect their coats from the environment. While this grease makes them water-resistant, it also contains Vitamin D. So supplement companies extract this waxy substance, heavily process it, and then consolidate it into a pill for consumption. You also find sheep grease in products like baseball mitt softeners and shoe polish. We’ll stick with supplements derived from food, thankkk you.
When it comes to whey protein, also necessary to be picky. Whey protein should NOT have more than 4-5 ingredients, period. If we see a laundry list of ingredients, digestive enzymes or gums, and tons of artificial sweeteners, run for the hills. It’s a big indicator that not only is your protein super processed, but so much to the point that they had to roll in enzymes so you could digestive it and gums to keep the product “together”: Hello digestive woe city.
sfh is a perfect example of a great protein: Their whey has 4 ingredients – Whey, apple pectin, sunflower lecithin, & stevia – and it comes from grass-fed happy cows (not conventional sad cows pumped full of hormones and antibiotics).
Looking for Reputable Supplements?
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, look for supplements that are FOOD-based. For example, Garden of Life makes a raw, whole food vitamin D3 delivered in a whole food lipid base of cracked-wall chlorella to promote absorption that’s blended in a base of 23 fruits and vegetables. No allergenic fillers or junk. Just food-originated goodness.
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