It is sometimes difficult to find your way around the wide choice of food supplements available on the market. What are the best products for a particular lens? What should you pay attention to on a food supplement label? Nutrimuscle supports you in choosing your first food supplements.
What is a dietary supplement?
A food supplement is a foodstuff, which can be found in the form of powder or capsules. These foods are intended to complement a balanced diet. They are a source of nutrients, alone or in combination with other substances.
Why take dietary supplements?
Today's diet rarely makes it possible to reach the recommended daily nutritional capital. With intensive agriculture, soils become impoverished and lose their nutrients. The vitamins and minerals that were once found in abundance in the soil are in low proportions.
Animals intended for breeding are now fed soy and corn, foods that are too rich in omega 6 and which unbalance the balance of omega. Western countries are the most affected: this gives rise to many health problems (cardiovascular, inflammatory diseases, obesity, etc.)
The daily way of life (stress, pollution, old age, etc.) tends to weaken the immune system, making it more vulnerable to diseases. As a result, complementing each other makes it possible to achieve or compensate for a lack of nutrients, necessary for health or sporting objectives.
For example, an athlete in mass gain hardly reaches the number of calories needed per day. He can use a Gainer, a carbohydrate-rich supplement, to supplement his calorie intake for his athletic goal. Thanks to supplementation, he can also progress more easily, target fat, improve his recovery or preserve his joints.
How to choose a food supplement?
It is sometimes difficult to navigate when faced with a wide choice of food supplements. What are the key elements to decipher on food supplements? How to check the purity of a product? Nutrimuscle lists the easily verifiable criteria for choosing the healthiest and most effective supplement.
The concentration of active ingredients
The list of ingredients should be as short as possible. Obviously, it must meet the standards of European legislation.
The concentration of each active ingredient must be mentioned. Be sure to compare the concentrations between different dietary supplements. Indeed, some brands use a low dosage and therefore not very effective. Conversely, one can find a dosage that is too high and therefore harmful to health.
Always respect the dosage of the product and consume it according to the indication. An overdose of vitamins or minerals can also affect the body. To do this, pay attention to combinations of products that contain the same active ingredients.
The addition of other ingredients may affect the effectiveness of the products. Certain additives and preservatives degrade the composition of the active ingredients and can compromise health. Most additives are safe provided they are consumed in low doses.
If a substance is added in a food supplement, it must prove real effectiveness to the product. If the addition is not justified, chances are that the composition is not optimal.
Beware of food supplements at knockdown prices. Some brands use end-of-life raw material cut with flavors to extend the expiration date. It is a common practice and easily identifiable since the prices are up to two times cheaper. Prefer food supplements that guarantee a quality raw material based on studies or certificates.
Check the bioavailability of the components. The ease with which the body absorbs the ingredient is called bioavailability. Good bioavailability is always mentioned by quality suppliers.
The same is true for the active forms, in particular for the vitamins. Each vitamin has an active and inactive form which must be mentioned on the ingredient list.
The mention “standardized extract” for plant extracts guarantees the presence of active ingredients. The extraction process makes it possible to isolate the active ingredients from the inert materials of the plant. The solvents used for the extraction must be harmless to health and the environment. Most of the time, they are composed of water and ethanol. The proportion of each solvent is important: the more water there is in the extraction process, the better the component.
The origin of the ingredients
There are sometimes products that bear the mention “natural origin”, for certain ingredients. This mention can be reassuring, but it does not guarantee a better product. Indeed, some components may be of synthetic origin and harmless to health, or even more effective. It is relevant to inquire in some cases.
From one region of the world to another, food products are not subject to the same regulations. Check that the list of ingredients is subject to European standards (organic, purity index, GMO-free, etc.). A product that meets kosher and/or halal standards must show a quality certificate or a standardized certificate.
On the supplier side, microbiological analyzes can be carried out to check the quality of the raw materials. In some cases, the methods related to their production and their impact on the environment are published on the supplier's site.
The country of origin, the means of extraction and the different components of the ingredients can be verified through technical data sheets.
Brands with their own factory are more interesting since they have total control of their merchandise and their quality. Information such as the names of suppliers is a positive point: access to certifications is easier and verifiable.
At Nutrimuscle, our factory allows us to supervise our production, from the storage of the raw material to the packaging of the parcels. Analyzes are carried out by external laboratories and we only work with suppliers who certify the very high quality of their raw materials.
Choosing the right protein: the aminogram, biological value and origin
The biological value corresponds to the efficiency of the organism to digest the protein. These data are rarely published because it requires a long process of study. When the biological value is mentioned, it is worth paying attention to.
The aminogram of a protein reveals its proportion of amino acids. It is specific to each type of product and meets specific sporting objectives. Together, these two data indicate whether the protein is qualitative.
The more essential amino acids there are in the aminogram, the higher the biological value of the protein will be. In other words, the protein will be of high quality and will make it easier for athletes to achieve their goals. If the protein is deficient in one or two essential amino acids, it is less absorbed and less well used by the body.
For example, native whey is preferred over cheese whey. The latter contains few amino acids, many fats, and has undergone high temperature treatments which have degraded the protein. Native whey, cold processed, contains all the nutrients necessary for muscle development.
Know your needs well
Depending on the objectives sought, the choice of food supplements will focus on one range to the detriment of another.
Dietary supplements serve different purposes. They can improve lifestyle, improve health or sports performance.
If you want to supplement as part of a sports practice, several types of food supplements may be suitable for you: native whey, casein, creatine, gainers... These types of supplements are aimed at athletes concerned about their physical development and their recovery. .
If you want to alleviate seasonal fatigue, vitamins and minerals may be right for you. It is common to carry out cures during the winter or to use certain food supplements on an ad hoc basis, when one feels a drop in energy. This is the case of caffeine, for example.
Food supplements can prevent or compensate for deficiencies. For example, our Women's immune health is a mixture of vitamins and minerals enriched with iron, to compensate for losses due to menstruation. There are also products containing only a single vitamin or a single mineral (vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium citrate, potassium, etc.).
It is often with the practice of a sporting activity that food supplements are essential, because they increase performance. Depending on your age, your sports practice and your lifestyle, your dietary supplement needs vary.
Nutrimuscle has created a free and personalized diagnosis, which meets the supplementation needs of athletes according to their lifestyle. This online diagnosis has been designed to be easy to use and to make information related to food supplements as clear as possible.