About 80% of adults in the US already take supplements. About 98% also use vitamins and minerals to support their diets.

While over 170 million adults take supplements daily, not every supplement available online meets safety standards. You could even buy supplements full of useless or dangerous fillers.

Here are seven online supplement buying mistakes you need to avoid before clicking “add to cart.” With these tips, you can feel confident choosing an online supplement store.

Shop smarter with these tips today!

1. Not Considering Your Health

One of the biggest online supplement buying mistakes you can make is assuming you need certain supplements. Instead, think about the specific health concerns you have. Make a note of any symptoms or changes you’re experiencing.

Then, schedule an appointment with your physician. Ask them to complete a blood test to search for vitamin deficiencies.

Talk to your doctor about the symptoms you’re experiencing, too.

For example, if you experience hair loss or feel tired and depressed, you might have a vitamin D deficiency. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. As many as 1 billion people worldwide have low vitamin D levels.

If you’re overweight, elderly, or stay indoors, you’re possibly at risk of a vitamin D deficiency, too.

Your doctor can help you determine your specific healthcare needs. Then, you can work with them to create a list of supplements to purchase.

Consulting a physician first will save you time, money, and stress. You can also make sure the supplements you choose align with your health goals.

During Your Appointment

Before the appointment with a doctor, make a list of questions you want to ask about supplements. The answers they provide could help you avoid certain online supplement mistakes.

For example, you might want to ask:

  • How much of each supplement do I need daily
  • What are the side effects of each supplement
  • Should I take them with food or on an empty stomach
  • Are they safe to take while nursing or pregnant
  • What time of day should I take them

Make sure to talk to your doctor about future health concerns you might have, too.

For example, perhaps you plan on becoming pregnant. Your doctor might recommend supplements for fetal development.

Perhaps you’re not getting enough greens in your diet. Consider the Pure Nature Daily Greens Supplement.

If you work out every day, you might experience muscle fatigue. There are certain supplements you can take for fitness goals.

If you’re at risk of osteoporosis, take vitamin D and calcium for your bone health.

Ask About Interactions

Before leaving your doctor’s office, make sure to discuss potential interactions you might experience.

Does your doctor have you on any prescription medications? It’s possible your medications and supplements can have a negative interaction.

For example, you should take vitamin K if your doctor already has you on a blood thinner. Otherwise, your blood could clot.

If you have surgery scheduled, don’t take omega-3 supplements, which can increase your risk of bleeding.

Certain foods and beverages (like milk) can have negative interactions, too. Ask your doctor if you should take vitamins with juice, milk, or water. Maybe they want you to take supplements with meals or an empty stomach.

Even taking certain supplements at the same time can cause negative results.

Make a note of potential interactions before you start shopping.

2. Forgetting to Read Labels

As you review your options for supplements, make sure to review every label.

Don’t let flashy marketing messages grab your attention. Avoid falling for guarantees, too. If it seems too good to be true, it likely is.

Instead, make sure the product has certifications from the:

  • NSF International
  • ConsumerLab.com
  • United States Pharmacopeia

These products likely meet manufacturing standards.

If the product mentions medical research, follow up with your own research.

Neglecting to Compare Brands

Make sure you’re getting the most bang for the buck. Take the time to compare brands before making a purchase.

First, make sure the company has existed for at least a few years.

Visit the US Pharmacopeia website, too. They list brands you can trust.

Make sure the company doesn’t have a long list of product recalls by visiting the FDA website.

Not Reading the Ingredients

Before choosing a supplement store website, read each product’s ingredients list. Avoid products that include chromium, kava, or bitter orange.

Consult the FDA’s list of tainted products to avoid adverse effects, too.

If you have any questions about the ingredients featured in any of the products, talk to your doctor.

3. Not Reviewing the Site

Each time you visit an online supplement store, look around the website.

First, don’t make any purchases unless you see “HTTPS” in front of the URL. This indicates the website has an SSL certificate. The site is secure, meaning it’s safe for you to make purchases.

Sites that lack an SSL certificate could leave you vulnerable. Hackers might steal your credit card information.

Make sure the site offers contact information as well.

4. Ignoring Reviews

Take the time to read online customer reviews for each online supplement store and product. Customer reviews can help you learn from shoppers who were once in your position. They’ll let you know which products to avoid.

Look for comments about the company’s return policy, too. If people complain they weren’t able to contact the company, remove them from your list.

You can find reviews on Supplement Reviews, Protein Daily, and other online forums.

5. Choosing Cheap Options

Comparing supplement prices can help you gauge the average price for each product. If one price seems too good to be true, question why that is.

Don’t make the mistake of choosing products based on the price. Make sure you’re purchasing high-quality products.

6. Trusting Trends

One of the biggest online supplement buying mistakes you can make is trusting trends. Don’t start buying products because you see posts on social media.

Always consult your doctor and do your due diligence by gathering research.

Smart Shop: 6 Online Supplement Buying Mistakes to Avoid

Making these online supplement buying mistakes could cost you more than money. Take the time to vet each online supplement store on your list. Vetting your options for supplements can ensure your health and safety.

Become a savvy shopper with these tips today.

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