The supplement industry is worth more than $40 billion in the USA alone. Between protein supplements, vitamins and minerals, and probiotics, there’s a huge choice of suppliers and products online.
So how do you go about making your selection? And what are the warning signs to avoid when purchasing supplements online?
Keep reading for a rundown on buying the best health supplements via the internet.
1. Take a Good Look at the Label
The first thing you need to know about purchasing supplements online is the importance of labels. Supplement labels will often claim to do wonders for your skin, muscle mass, digestion, and so on. These statements are designed to hook you in, but it’s worth overlooking these bold claims and taking a closer look at the details.
Check if the labels on products show any official certifications. The supplement might be certified by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), or it might be officially recognized as cruelty-free.
Double-check the dosage and number of tablets included on the product label, as this will help determine if the price is a good value or not. Last, you should also check for expiration dates and potential side effects of the ingredients.
2. Explore the Reviews
Next, when purchasing supplements you should always take some time to explore the online customer reviews. These can give you a more realistic expectation of what to expect from the product.
Supplement reviews can help prevent customers from falling for scams. Google My Business is a good place to start if you want to check out what other people are saying about a company.
An extra tip is to be wary of third-party sellers, such as those on Amazon or eBay. These sellers can sometimes be legitimate, but it is much smarter to choose companies that have their own websites. In addition to reviews, ensure they have a contact page and an official business address listed.
3. Shop Around Before Purchasing
Another great piece of advice is to browse several different providers before making your selection. By comparing supplement prices you can get an idea of the general market range.
Remember that supplements with incredibly low prices tend to be too good to be true. They might offer low prices by using low-quality ingredients, or because they contain non-FDA-approved ingredients.
For example, supplements imported from China can boast lowers prices, but sometimes have dangerous adulterants such as lead or mercury in them.
It’s always a good idea to buy from online supplement stores that have a guarantee and returns policy. Check if the company’s website lists the official safety standards that they meet.
4. Consult a Physician
Before buying any supplement, both in person or online, you should always speak to your doctor. They can help you determine which vitamins or minerals you might be lacking, and what quantities you might need them in from a supplement.
There are many types of supplements with different combinations of ingredients. Each claims to have different effects on our health, but your doctor can confirm the combination that will work best for you. A blood test can help identify which nutrients you’re lacking.
One supplement your doctor is likely to recommend is an immunity booster. These are needed every year, not just during times of a global pandemic. Why not check out these immunity boosters to learn about the different benefits of taking one.
5. Confirm the Website’s Security
A good way to make sure you’re not dealing with a dodgy supplement provider is by checking out their website. Most browser platforms like Google Chrome and Firefox will warn you if you try to access a site that is unsafe.
If a website does not have a lock icon in their URL, this means they are not secure. You should definitely avoid making purchases via websites without a secure connection.
The website should also ask for a copy of your prescription when purchasing supplements that require one. Companies are legally required to ask for this, so breaking this rule should be a huge red flag.
6. Research the Ingredients
Doing thorough research into the ingredients listed in the supplement is another key step when purchasing these products online. A good idea is to cross-check each ingredient with the FDA’s list of tainted products and banned substances.
This way you can order your supplement and enjoy the benefits, knowing that no harm is being done to your body.
Some legal ingredients can have unwanted side effects, which is another reason to explore the ingredient list before making a purchase. Bitter orange, chromium, and kava are all examples of these, as they can damage organs such as the heart and liver.
7. Check Your Expectations
A final tip when buying supplements online is to review your expectations. If a product claims to drastically improve your health, or make a noticeable difference overnight, this is very unlikely to be true.
Even when friends and family make recommendations, it’s worth remembering that our bodies all react differently to different substances.
Don’t start looking for a supplement expecting a miracle to occur. Supplements are not the same as prescription drugs and do not have the ability to cure diseases.
That being said, taking supplements alongside a balanced diet and regular exercise can have proven health benefits.
Now You’re Ready to Start Purchasing Supplements Online
By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re buying good quality supplements for fair prices. You’ll soon see how buying supplements on the internet allows a wide range of choices, suppliers, and prices, as well as greater ease than in-store purchases.
Don’t forget the golden rule: always confer with a medical professional before purchasing supplements online.
If you found this article interesting, make sure you take a look at our other health-related posts!