How to Buy Supplements Online Safely for Beginners
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
According to research, the global online vitamin and supplement (ergogenic aids) sales have reached a whopping $18.3 billion as of 2020.
Since 2015, the market has grown over 17.4% as more people look into how to buy supplements online instead of having to go to the supplement store in person.
Dietary supplements are everywhere you look, and unfortunately, not all supplements have the same quality. There are many low-quality supplement companies that add fillers to their products and include low-grade ingredients.
Whether you are wanting to buy supplements online or in person, it is important that you know what to look for so you can ensure you are not only safe but also so that you can receive the maximum benefits that the ingredients have to offer.
The problem is, how do you know what to look for when buying dietary supplements online?
Thankfully, we've created this article to answer your questions on how to buy supplements online so that you can find the highest-quality products and get the best results and pack on that muscle.
Keep on reading to learn more!
Why Buy Supplements?
With so many changes to the food industry, there is no surprise as to why there are so many vitamin deficiencies these days.
This leads many people to have to supplement their diets in order to give their bodies the full nourishment it needs to stay healthy and strong.
The most common deficiencies are:
Without these, and many other naturally occurring vitamins, the human body cannot function adequately, which can lead to illness, disease, low energy, and other serious health problems.
In fact, according to a study done by the American Journal of Physiology, men who are low in iron also suffer from abnormally low testosterone. This low testosterone can lead to muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.
Why Buy Supplements Online?
Now that you understand the importance of supplementing your diet with the right vitamins and supplements, it is now essential that you know why you will benefit from purchasing your supplements online instead of having to go to the store in person.
Perhaps the biggest reason to buy supplements online is that it's so much more convenient, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. The last thing you want to do after a busy workday or on your day off is driving all the way to the supplement store to get your vitamins.
Save your time and your trouble by easily going online to purchase your supplements instead. We will cover later on in this article what to look for when buying your supplements online.
When purchasing supplements in the store, you are buying through a third-party dealer. This means that you are paying more to keep that middle business afloat. The price markups on supplements can range anywhere from 20% up to an astounding 900%!
These huge markups can be achieved for companies merely buying off the shelf formulas and adding their own label, these are called private label supplements and should be avoided.
Instead, save your money by purchasing the supplements through the manufacturing company online. Most companies will give you a much better deal if you buy supplements online directly through their website instead of through the store.
So not only are you now saving the time and energy by not going directly to the store, but you are also now saving a lot of money by buying from the label themselves online.
Going to a store to purchase supplements can be comparable to going to a used car lot to buy a car. You may go into the store with one thing in mind, and end up walking out purchasing hundreds of supplements that you may not even need.
The staff in vitamin stores are specially trained to upsell more products, which means that they will manipulate you into buying more supplements than you originally intended to buy. This common experience is out of integrity, as many people end up leaving the store with supplements that they do not even need.
Save yourself the money and trouble by simply purchasing the supplements online. This will help you stick to what you know you need and not be swayed into purchasing any more.
Purchasing the supplements online is safer because you can buy them from the safety of your own home, rather than increasing your risks by getting into your car to drive to the store.
You are also safer because you are purchasing the supplements directly from the product manufacturer themselves. This decreases your chances of purchasing expired or low-quality supplements because the staff is trying to move old products off of their shelves.
How To Safely Buy Supplements Online
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA), there has been a major surge in fake supplements being sold online. Not only are these fake supplements possibly risky for your health, but they also give a false sense of hope as they promote to "heal" a condition that will never work.
Back in 2010, the USDA pulled a popular weight-loss drug called "Meridia" from the market as studies found it was linked to the increased risks of heart attacks and strokes. This is another reason why it is vital that you know how to look for and buy supplements online, safely.
Avoid the Fake Supplement Scam
Unfortunately, there is no regulatory body that monitors how supplement companies can advertise their products. The USDA may pull products from the market, however, only if they feel the product will negatively impact your health.
Follow these tips to avoid the fake supplement scams, to save both your health and your bank account.
Watch Out For Miracle Cures
If you find a supplement online that claims to have some type of "miracle" discovery, allow your common sense to question their claims. If a company claims a new discovery or a revolutionary way to combat an illness, be very wary of their product.
If those ingredients really did "cure" that illness or condition, it would be well-known across the media and prescribed by doctors, not published in a magazine ad.
Don't Fall for Quick Fixes
The quick-fix or "magic pill" scheme is one of the most effective marketing scams to date. Millions of people fall for the fantasy of "losing 10 pounds in 10 days" or eliminating their stretch marks or wrinkles overnight.
Unfortunately, quick fixes are not realistic and those companies who claim them are not looking out for your best interest. Losing weight takes time and includes a proper nutritional plan and consistent exercise, not a "magic pill".
Avoid the One-Pill-For-All Approach
Another common scam for the supplement industry is the one "magic pill" that can help to cure multiple problems. If you find a supplement that claims to help with every single common insecurity that men deal with, chances are that product is a scam.
Many online supplements have testimonials to back-up their products. The problem with this is that many scamming companies create their own testimonials, instead of having real people comment on their experience.
The best ways to spot fake testimonials are:
- A claim that the product "changed their life"
- Only positive reviews, without a single negative review
- Reviews that the supplement cured something serious such as cancer (the entire world would know about this product if it actually had that effect)
- No pictures to support their claim, especially for muscle-gaining or weight-loss products
Keep your eyes out for fake reviews and use your common sense when checking out the testimonials section. For example, our testimonials for Military Muscle includes real people who describe their personal experience and have pictures of them holding their bottle of Military Muscle for proof.
Claims to Be Natural Without an Ingredient List
Perhaps one of the biggest issues when buying supplements online is the false claims of having "natural" products, yet not having the ingredient list to back up that claim.
The word "natural" is a bogus scientific term that is majorly misleading to the average person. Just because something is natural, does not mean that it is good for you. For example, Uranium is natural, yet if you take it in a pill form, you will die.
There are many studies that discuss the danger of using the word natural, especially without the ingredient list to back it up.
Military Muscle does have natural ingredients, yet we include the complete breakdown of every ingredient included in our product. It is free of any banned substances that are on the WADA prohibited list, or any ingredients on the prohibited list by the Department of Defense.
Proprietary Blend and Supplements
This is rife amongst supplements, even from some of the 'big' brands that are trusted by millions.
Take a look at the label on the product packaging, it should list every ingredient that is contained within it.
Now see if it lists the amount of each ingredient. Some companies hide their actual content breakdown under the term 'proprietary blend'.
All this means is that each of the ingredients listed legally has to contain a trace amount. The rest can be made up of cheap and inert filler to bulk it out.
Always make sure that you know exactly how much of each ingredient is included because the dose is equally as important as the ingredient.
Some websites may tempt you with a bottle of their product for free. Immediately your senses tell you this is a scam. So you look for the catch.
After a bit of searching on their website, you notice that you have to pay for shipping. Then you see that shipping is a bit more expensive than you would have thought is reasonable.
However, even with the expensive shipping, you think that overall it's a good deal.
After all, the company has to make a bit of a margin from somewhere.
So, with this in mind you think well, it's not really free as there's a markup on shipping, but it is still very cheap compared to other products - you feel good about yourself because you know you have worked their little plot out.
You're satisfied that 'the wool can't be pulled over your eyes'.
You fill in your details, click yes to the usual 'terms and conditions' that you never fully read, and then await your bottle.
About a month later another bottle arrives that you didn't order, you think it is odd but forget about it. Then it happens again and again.
By now you check your banking statements and realize that you have been charged for the other bottles at full price with shipping on top.
This is a common tactic employed by some companies to get you on a subscription service that you didn't really take notice of when accepting their terms and conditions for claiming your initial 'free' bottle.
You may actually find it very difficult to cancel this subscription through their customer services. You have been warned!
Look for Certifications
Many poor-quality supplement brands put more effort into boasting about their magical products than they will about the regulatory bodies that approve of their product.
The major regulatory bodies for supplements include:
- FDA Certified- The FDA does not "certify" their products, however, they do inspect that the product complies with their manufacturing practice regulations.
- Global Standards for food safety- If the product complies with the Global Standards for Food Safety, their products are ensured for more safety, integrity, quality, and legality. They also have safe manufacturing, packing, and processing standards.
- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)-If the product is up to standards with the HACCP, you are ensured that they have been following proper food safety management procedures. This includes the elimination of microbiological, chemical, and physical hazards.
- BCMPA Compliance- If the product complies with the BCMPA regulations, you can be assured that they follow the right protocols for packing, distribution, order fulfillment, and logistics.
Military Muscle is made in a facility that complies with every regulatory body, standard, and necessary certification needed. This is also why we only use clear capsules instead of colored capsules which are full of toxins and other hidden dangers, furthermore, we only use vegan friendly capsules, too.
Look For Illegal Ingredients
Many products that claim to boost testosterone, lose weight, or boost muscle gain typically include ingredients that are illegal to sell on the market. Be sure to cross-check every ingredient and do your research to check if those ingredients are allowed by the above regulatory bodies such as the FDA or WADA.
Military Muscle includes vegan ingredients that naturally enhance your testosterone production by focusing first on nourishing your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to be healthy. Our products improve strength, performance, libido, and mood by naturally enhancing your overall bodily functions down to the cellular level.
Watch Out For Amazon Products
Amazon is a great place for purchasing many products, except for supplements. Unfortunately, there are many counterfeit products that are sold on Amazon, and there is no regulatory body to stop them.
To ensure you are purchasing the right product, make sure that the company on Amazon is the official company that produces the brand you want to purchase, not a third party seller.
Consult With Your Doctor First
If you are considering supplementing your diet, make sure that you consult with your physician first. Even if a product is completely safe, it could have some contraindications with the current medication you are taking. This could lead to serious side effects and health concerns.
Learn More About How to Buy Supplements Online Safely
There you have it! Everything you need to know about how to buy supplements online safely so that you can get the results you want, and ensure your health and safety.
To learn more about Military Muscle and how it can help you to build muscle, boost stamina, increase your performance, and improve your mood, check out how it works, and how you can purchase it today!