There’s a seemingly unlimited number of supplements on the market and each one claims to do something better than competing products. But the trouble is that quality, purity, and efficacy vary significantly, and it’s hard to go beyond the advertising hype to separate which supplements could benefit you from those that might harm you (or, at the least, waste your money).
What supplements should be avoided?
The unfortunate truth is that many protein supplements contain things you wouldn’t want to consume: low-quality ingredients, banned substances, and occasionally byproducts of manufacturing or other environmental contaminants. These undesired ingredients are simply the result of companies looking to save costs and drive up margin.
Proprietary blends can also be problematic. For example, if a product that claims to give you more energy lists a “proprietary blend” containing a combination of caffeine and several other ingredients, then there may not be a way for you to understand the exact contents of the product you’re consuming.
The efficacy of many nutrients is dose-dependent. Understanding the precise composition of supplement formulas is key to assessing their quality.
Additionally, a bad supplement can be as simple as one that doesn’t provide you with any value. A good example of this might be a herbal formula with big claims behind its ingredients, yet little-to-no research behind those purported benefits. Even if the product is completely harmless, it doesn’t meet a need, address a deficiency, or accomplish something that you wouldn’t be able to achieve otherwise.
Lastly, it’s also possible that a supplement could be used as a sort of “band-aid” to compensate for underlying lifestyle factors. This might be the case if you consistently need large doses of caffeine and other stimulants to get fired up for workouts.
You may want to spend some time looking at your sleep and eating habits, before reaching for a pre-workout powder with caffeine. In this case, you would find the pre-workout energy supplement to be valuable, but that does not make it a good solution to your problem.
What makes for a quality protein supplement?
Ultimately, a good protein supplement is one that adds value. Therefore, the better question to ask is what exactly should we value in a supplement? There is no one right answer to this. For some people, the best protein powder might simply be the one that tastes the best while others might prefer a powder with only high-quality ingredients. With this in mind, our goal is to offer a high-quality product that also does its job.
The first component – quality – is a matter of thoughtful sourcing, precise manufacturing, and third-party testing to repeatedly confirm every process and ingredient.
A protein supplement can also be an effective tool for optimizing specific processes, such as workout recovery. Of course, it’s very much possible to consume enough protein without using a protein powder, but the convenience of supplementing with a high-quality protein shake immediately after training leaves you with one less thing to worry about in your busy schedule.
What Sets Freeletics Supplements Apart?
We want Free Athletes to know that what’s on the label is actually in the bottle and that our products are free of contaminants and banned substances. That’s why we only offer products that have been independently tested by NSF Certified for Sport®.
Not only that, Our Grass-fed Whey Protein and Vegan Plant Protein powders are made specifically for the needs of Free Athletes. Highly digestible, easy to mix, and tasty, they allow you to supplement immediately after training. This optimizes the muscle repair process to help you recover more effectively before your next scheduled workout.