Do you read the front or the back of the label?
Supplement users are typically divided into two groups. First, there is Customer “A”, those who buy the product based on marketing claims made on the front of the label or claims made in marketing propaganda for the product. These are the uninformed consumers who will buy a product simply because it makes an unsubstantiated, outrageous claim like “lose 4 inches off your waistline is just 2 weeks”. They tend to also take product recommendations to heart from other uninformed supplement users about what is the best product to take. On top of that, they will purchase an inferior or ineffective product based on price, not realizing that the ingredients, while listed on the label, may be included in an inefficacious dose or not standardized to the active ingredients.
On the other hand, there is customer “B”, the educated consumers who skip the marketing propaganda and go straight to the back of the label. They buy strictly based on quantity and quality of ingredients and know exactly what they are looking for. They realize that good ingredients cost money and are willing to pay for quality, yet effective ingredients.
The issue lies in the fact that the market consists of 95% “A” and 5% “B” customers. This incentivizes manufacturers to put out cheap, ineffective products that make bold claims as to their effectiveness, as they can make more money faster and cheaper by pandering to uninformed consumers. “B” customers will generally pick a quality brand they can trust and stay away from the “latest and greatest” gimmicky products with no substantiation.
Here are a few precautions to help you make decisions like a “B” customer:
Do your research (obviously) – You are throwing your money away and getting nothing from buying a cheap product that unknowingly has cheap and ineffective ingredients. Don’t take the store clerks word as they are more often than not incentivized to steer you to a high margin product, and not what is the most effective choice.
Look for standardizations of ingredients – For example, “Tribulus terrestris” and “tribulus terrestris extract, standardized to 90% Furastanolic Saponins “ have tremendous effectiveness differences. This is like comparing a bag of sand that may have gold when you pan it out to a bag of 90% gold”
Read the back of the label! – The ingredient panel holds the key to what’s in the product. Read what’s in it, how much, how it’s processed etc.
– This is the manufactures way of not disclosing what is truly in the product. You have no way of knowing what you are getting. You wouldn’t buy anything else without knowing exactly what it is, so don’t buy supplements that way.
Don’t be scared by price: Chances are if it costs more, there’s a reason for it (but not always). Don’t go for the cheaper option unless you know exactly what’s in it. Sometimes there are equal products for less money, which of course make more sense to purchase these, but making a decision solely on price may leave you with $10 worth of nothing instead of $15 worth of something.
Overall, there are some excellent product and companies out there that have integrity and the customers best interests in mind. Spend some time researching and end up saving yourself lots of money and getting the results you are working for.