If you’re not a first time visitor to Mr Supplement, you would know that there are literally hundreds of different supplements on the market. Not all supplements are created equally, and some are better than others. So you may be wondering which are best supplements. It’s not possible to recommend a single product which is the best for everyone, because our bodies and goals differ, but there are a few steps you can take to increase your odds of picking the best supplement for you. After reading this detailed article, you will hopefully be armed with new information to assist in making the most informed choices.
Clearly Define Your Goals
This is probably the most important step before starting to pick supplements. One of the reasons why there are so many different products, even within a single brand, is that different people have different goals. If you are a beginner to bodybuilding, it is much easier if you to set clear goals and not to try to too many things all at the same time. One common goal that many beginners have is something like, “I want to put on 10 kg muscle and lose 10 kg fat so I can look huge and shredded”. Although this is not impossible, it is difficult, and even more so for a beginner. A far more sensible approach is to try to concentrate on bulking, then when the time comes, do a cutting phase to get rid of excess fat. Having a clearly defined one-step goal at one time will help you choose the supplements best for you.
When you have picked your immediate goal, you can start shopping around for supplements to meet these goals. Almost every manufacturer has supplements that are designed for bulking, cutting, boosting performance, and maintaining overall health. Pretty much every one can use performance boosting supplements such as pre workout supplements, regardless of what your goals are. Likewise, general health supplements such as multivitamins, joint support, and antioxidants can be used at any phase of your training. However, when it comes to other classes of supplements, choose them according to your goals. A very simple example is to use a weight gainer protein if you are trying to bulk up, and use a fat loss protein if you are trying to lose fat. Yes, it’s that simple! But that’s only half the battle, now we get to the tricky bit.
Choosing the Best Brand
On the Mr Supplement site, we carry supplements from dozens of different manufacturers. Some brands choose to compete directly with each other, and as a result, churn out similar products. So choosing one over another is not going to make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things. However, others often take things in a completely different direction, in which case we need to look a little deeper into things.
One approach some people have is to pick their favourite brand, and then buy pretty much everything across their range. Sometimes this is based on their personal research on the company, and other times it’s based purely on marketing and packaging. It is advised that you do not pick a favourite brand based purely on marketing and packaging. Good products are not necessarily packaged well, and well packaged products are not necessarily good.
In general, purchasing supplements only from a single brand may not be the best strategy in building the best stack of supplements. The reason for this is simple, some companies may specialise in making protein powders, while others specialise in pre workout supplements. It is not often you can find the best of the best all coming from the same company. For the best results, it is a good skill to be able to look around and pick the cream of the crop.
Choosing the Best Product
This brings us to how to pick the best individual product. There are quite a few approaches to this, and there is no one single perfect method.
Choosing the Most Popular Selling Product
Pros: The rationale behind picking the most popular product is pretty logical. Good products sell more than bad products. It is common practice for people to continue buying the same product if they see good results, they then recommend these products to other people, who may then also see good results. Consequently, the popularity of the product grows, and it becomes well selling. Picking a well selling product is a fairly good way to start off. Here at Mr Supplement, we have made this simple for you by listing our products according to popularity.
Cons: What works for others may not work best for you. Choosing what other’s like does not tailor the products to your needs. Rather, it relies on the odds of you being similar enough to everyone else. Sometimes that’s just not good enough, especially when you are at a more advanced level.
Advice from Friends
Pros: Unlike salesmen and company marketeers, your friends do not benefit from selling you a specific product. They have your best interest at heart and will try to do their best to recommend the product that they feel is best.
Cons: You and your friend could be very different. For example, if your endomorph friend swears by a product, you as an ectomorph, may find the product gives little to no results at all. You can overcome this problem to a degree by asking more friends, but sometimes this gets more confusing as they may all recommend a different product.
Research the Product
Pros: This is by far the most bulletproof way to pick the best supplements. You can pick the supplement that is tailored exactly to your needs, that contains the best ingredients, at the optimum doses, and at the right price.
Cons: This is also the most time consuming method, and it also requires a higher degree of scientific know-how. However, with the help of this article, you will hopefully know how to pick the best supplement.
How to Research a Supplement
Here at Mr Supplement we have a team of university degree qualified researchers to pour through countless scientific articles in order to provide you with balanced and accurate information from the latest research from around the world. Here, we’ll give you a few tips on how to do this for yourself.
Look for Ingredients
Ingredients make the supplement. You cannot have a good supplement without good ingredients. Therefore, in order to pick the best supplement, you need to know what the main ingredients do. We’ve made this easier for you with our comprehensive list of ingredient articles. They contained detailed information about what each ingredient is, where it is from, benefits, negatives, doses & timing, supplements containing these ingredients, and how to stack these ingredients. Best of all, all the information is referenced to scientific trials and reputable sources, so you can be sure there are no unjustified bold claims. At the point of writing this article, there are already articles on all the major ingredients currently used in the supplement market, and we are continuing to expand this database. Here is a small list of ingredient articles that may be of interest to some people:
Nowhere else, will you find more comprehensive information. Browse through this database and use it as a tool to help to pick supplements with the best ingredients to meet your goals.
Look for Quality Information
Sometimes, the way ingredients are manufactured affect their quality. A good example is whey protein powders. These come in many different forms and processing methods. You can learn more about this in our “Choosing the Best Protein Supplement” and “Best Whey Protein” articles. Another good example is creatine. Although creatine monohydrate is the same compound between brands, they have varying levels of impurities. Choosing a Creapure creatine will ensure a higher purity product compared to other forms because the ingredient manufacturers are known to enforce high degrees of quality control. Companies confident with their production methods will often give more detailed information on their product labelling. However, you need to be able to distinguish between quality information and marketing hype. A general rule of thumb is to only read the information on the nutrition and ingredient panel, and ignore a lot of the other information.
Again, here at Mr Supplement, we have made this a little easier for you because we have supplement reviews on many of the more popular products, as well as other articles with detailed information on how to pick the best specific type of supplements. These include:
- Choosing the Best Protein Supplement
- Best Pre Workout Supplements
- Choosing the Best Protein Bars
- Choosing the Best Testosterone Supplements
- Choosing the Best Multivitamin
- Fat Loss Proteins – Part 1
- Fat Loss Proteins – Part 2
- Fat Loss Proteins – Part 3
Look for Price
After you have picked the best ingredients made in the best possible way, it is now time to find the product that is best value for money. Sometimes different brands will source ingredients from the same manufacturers, but the recommended retail price can vary significantly. So having a look at products from different brands could result in you buying the same product, under a different label, but at significant savings.
Before finishing off, let us take a look at some things to be aware of.
Proprietary blends are a blend of ingredients in which the exact concentration of each ingredient is not disclosed. The primary purpose of doing this is for manufacturers to keep their awesome formula a secret from competitors, so they cannot be stolen. However, one downside to having a proprietary blend is that the consumer also does not know exactly what they are getting. So in theory, a proprietary blend could be really good or really bad, and just by looking at the label, it is nearly impossible to tell which side of the spectrum it falls on.
There are a few ways to overcome this. First of all, the best proprietary blends have been used in independent scientific trials. Published results of proprietary blends in reputable scientific journals, conducted by reputable unaffiliated organisations are probably the most reliable way of getting high quality information on the blend. However, many products have not necessarily been put through the rigors of scientific scrutiny, so you will need to fall back on to other methods of picking the best supplement. For example, you could avoid the product altogether and try to find another product with disclosed ingredients, or you could choose based on user feedback and popularity.
Another important thing to know is that due to differences in laws, supplements under the same/similar name may differ in formulation depending on the country of purchase. Many supplement manufacturers are located in the USA, which have a different list of legal ingredients to Australia. Therefore, what is illegal here may not be in the USA. The manufacturers need to then reformulate their product to comply with local laws. This does not necessarily mean it is an inferior product, but it is something to consider when browsing for information on the internet. An American review may not be applicable to the Australian product. Furthermore, do not try to import an overseas product if it contains an ingredient banned in Australia. It will most probably be seized by our thorough team of customs officers. To be sure that the product you are researching is actually the product you are going to buy, try to stick to Australian sources of information. Here at Mr Supplement, we only write about products available in Australia, so you know the information we provide is most relevant to you.
Some of Our Favourite Supplements
While we hope that this article provides some useful information to guide prospective customers in their quest to choose the best supplements, we also realise that some people just like to be told straight up. So in this short section, we'll give you a quick rundown of some of our favourite supplements.
Starting with whey proteins, its hard to go pass Optimum Nutrition's 100% Whey Gold Standard. This protein has arguably been the best selling blended whey protein powder for the past few years. The whey protein in the product are sourced from Glanbia, who acquired Optimum Nutrition in 2008. Glanbia also happens to be a well respected international leader in whey protein manufacturing. For more information, read our ON 100% Gold Standard Review on the product.
Gaspari Nutrition's Myofusion is the other popular blended whey protein powder that's worth mentioning. This product has a great reputation for its creamy taste and Gaspari Nutrition are increasingly emerging as a leading innovator in the field of sports nutrition. Gaspari Nutrition's Myofusion Probiotic Series is the latest impressive addition to this line, being the first protein supplement to include the well researched probiotic, Ganaden BC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086). With the release of this product, Gaspari have again raised the bar when it comes to whey protein powders. Click here to read our review on this product.
Growth Hormone Supplements
A popular and increasingly crowded supplement category; growth hormone supplements are generally a second or third tier supplement following on from a protein powder and/or pre-workout. Our favourite supplement in this category is Elemental Nutrition's HGH. Elemental Nutrition represents a great value-for-money brand who also place a high emphasis on quality. HGH contains pharmaceutical grade arginine and lysine without the addition of many of the other elaborate ingredients in growth hormone supplements, which unlike arginine and lysine, have questionable efficacy concerning stimulation of growth hormone release.
Arguably, the most popular supplement category, it can be quite dauting having to choose a good pre-workout product if you are relatively new to the sport. Two products are worth mentioning; namely, Muscelpharm Assault and MuscleTech Neurocore.
Musclepharm Assault contains a great range of pre-workout nutrients with proven efficacy in respectable amounts. To add to this, Musclepharm is quickly making a name for itself as a progressive company with a highly visible and reputable brand. Check out our Assault Review for more information on the product.
Lastly, MuscleTech's Neurocore is another popular concentrated pre-workout powder, packed with therapeutic amounts of some of the most well-researched pre-workout nutrients. Check out our Neurocore Review for more information.
In one of the most hotly contested categories, its hard to come up with a single product, but we can't go pass the immensly popular USPLabs OxyElite Pro. Built on the success of USPLab's infamous Jack3d, OxyElite Pro is a bit different from many of the traditional fat burners. In addition to containing the highly contentious 1,3-dimethylamylamine, OxyElite Pro also contains extracts of Bauhinia, Bacopa, and Cirsium, which are not commonly found in other fat burners. Since its release, OxyElite has quickly risen to become one of best selling fat burners.
To choose the best supplements, be sure to have clear single goals set. When you have done this, do not try to stick to a single brand. Pick the best individual products based on popularity, advice from friends, or better yet, your own research. Look for specific ingredients you are after, high quality information, and then try to find the best value for money product. Be aware of proprietary blends and how to overcome problems associated with them. Finally, because of differences in laws between countries, make sure all the information you collect apply to local products. If you ever need more personalised advice, feel free to contact us to have a chat to one of our technical advisors about any of our products.