[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Supplement labels can be confusing. Because there are so many companies adding miscellaneous things to their supplements, it’s easy to get lost in the various words which no one actually knows how to pronounce. So, what should you look for on a supplement label amidst all the jargon?
There are really a few key things to consider when evaluating a label:
- Sweetener being used
- Proprietary blends
- Number of ingredients
Sweeteners in the supplement
The hard truth is there is not enough evidence one way or another about many artificial sweeteners. While some evidence shows aspartame (the sweetener found in almost every diet soda) has been linked to cancer and other diseases, it cannot be found conclusively one way or another.
Similarly, sucralose has been shown to pass through the system completely undigested – so does this indicate it to be a healthy choice? Our own research says yes, but there are always varying opinions.
Sugar alcohols such as erythritol and malitol also show up on various labels. These are generally thought of as okay, but again, research differs. Stevia and monk fruit are also extremely popular and have been shown to be 100% safe. However, it has to be said that neither has been extensively researched in the United States.
What’s the best choice? The one which works for your goals and with your body. If your stomach hurts after you drink one of these sweeteners, you need to change it up. A member on our team absolutely cannot consume erythritol so he stays away from it. Additionally, if you are trying to consume only completely natural products, stick with stevia and/or monk fruit.
Proprietary blends are a no-go for us. The supplement industry is not regulated by the FDA. This means a proprietary blend could be hiding specific ingredients you want to stay away from. They could be entirely fine, but you just can’t know. For us, that’s enough reason to skip them entirely.
As we see athletes in the CrossFit world continually being caught with banned substances, you have to wonder how many times this has been something in a proprietary blend on a supplement. If you cannot read ALL of the ingredients, skip the supplement.
The reason we never have and never will put a proprietary blend together is that we want you to know what you’re consuming. We want you to feel comfortable with what you’re putting into your body and to know exactly what is in our products. RedLeaf lists its ingredients right on the package, and every additional product we come out with will continue to do the same.
Number of ingredients:
When in doubt, choose the supplement with less ingredients. It is never a bad choice to get closer to unprocessed food. Supplements will ALWAYS be a processed choice, and that’s okay, but taking in 45 chemicals you’ve never heard of and can’t even pronounce may not be. Fewer ingredients means less opportunity to ingest something which may take you away from your goals rather than toward them.
In summary, take the time to read the label. Marketing is where all supplement companies go for extra sales. Make a flashy label! Show someone inspiring with the product! None of this helps you – educate yourself on what you’re trying to gain with your supplement choice and make the best choice from that standpoint.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]