If you watch the news chances are you heard about vitamins being pulled from big name stores for mislabeled products. So should you be worried about what’s in that multivitamin you take in the morning or the protein powder in your post workout shake? The answer is most likely yes.

What most people don’t know, and what most supplement companies don’t want you to know is that supplements are NOT regulated in the United States. That’s pretty scary when you think about it. I could mix together a few ingredients in my kitchen, bottle it and sell it as Melissa’s Magic Weight Loss formula. Would it be ethical? Nope. Could you sue me if you had it tested and realized the ingredients didn’t match the label? Absolutely. But the point is that I could do it. I wouldn’t need to go to the FDA for approval. And that’s a frightening thing.

Not only can supplements not contain what they claim to they can also contain additional substances not listed on the label. This can be dangerous for a number of reasons including possible drug interactions and allergic reactions.

There have been cases of athletes testing positive for banned substances because their protein powder contained a banned substance. According to Consumer Reports some protein powders contain levels of heavy metal that could be harmful if consumed on a consistent basis.

So how do you know what you’re getting? One of the most important things you can do is look for a company that offers pharmaceutical grade supplements and follows good manufacturing practices (GMP). Just because you’ve seen an advertisement or heard about it on a TV show or seen it in your local store doesn’t mean it’s safe or effective. Yet there are companies out there that offer what they claim. The company I use, Thorne Research, just launched a new supplement line: EXOS Performance Nutrition. This best-in-class line of products is designed to support your nutritional, performance, and fitness goals. Check it out at EXOSfuel.com.

Feel free to google them. For those of you who are familiar with Precision Nutrition, John Berardi is on the advisory board. One of my favorite products is their advanced multivitamin. It’s divided into an AM and PM formula. The AM formula is designed to give you energy throughout the day while the PM formula is formulated to regulate stress hormones and help you sleep better. They also don’t use any artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners in any of their products. 

So do your research and be willing to spend a little more money on your health. That $5 multivitamin isn’t really worth it if it’s giving you heavy metal poisoning is it? 

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