T Nation

Branded and Standardised Supplements

Hey guys,

So when you’re browsing around for supplements you can usually separate products into categories. One of those categories consists of the sexier, more emphatic and more expensive branded products produced by the Biotests, Balances and Met-Rxs of the supplement world. Then in another category you have your cheaper, standard/homebrand range of products that aren’t as processed as some of the other stuff out there. These baskets of Whey, BCAAs and etc don’t claim to be the best thing out there or try prove their claims with scientific explanations and graphs. Most of these types of supplements are purchased online. I’m talking about the unflavoured budget whey and standard BCAAs you can buy.

So what I’m specifically wondering is whether there’s a significant gap between the effectiveness of the branded stuff and more standard stuff.

I fully understand that some of the branded products have specialised mixes and ingredients added on to the base of generic supplement (i.e. optimal mix of whey concentrate and isolate, added carbs, etc) that justifies the added cost. I typically view products like these for the more experienced and serious trainees out there anyway.


Micronized Creatine Monohydrate I’ll trust regardless of the lable. Similar opinion on BCAAs. “Comprehensive peri-workout supplementation”? More expensive is usually better. But at some point the supposed fractional benefits really aren’t necessary if this isn’t more than a hobby (aka you’re looking for every pound where you can get it). General Health supplements will run the whole gamut and something like superfood is really hard to one up.