T Nation

Does Quality Matter?


Quick question in regards to supplemement quality. Does a higher price mean it's better? Some companies say they have "Pharmacetical grade" etc. I usually go for the best buy.

If I had the choice between a fish oil that costs 10.00 for 60 pills(store brand) and another that costs 40 dollars (brand name). Can I get by with cheap supps or is it a waste? Is something better than nothing?

here's an example..great buy but not brand name



Yes quality matters. Price does not always equal quality thought.

with fish oil it's important to look at the total epa/dha as well, not just overall fish oil content.



I believe there's a middle ground. Unless you're pro, extremely expensive, high quality, and cutting edge supplements won't make a huge difference.

At the same time, if you're an active individual, low quality supplements designed for regular joe blow might not benefit you. Personally I would look for companies geared towards bodybuilding folks, without alot of crazy marketing behind them. They're easy to spot.

But something is better than nothing


I just buy what my budget allows, really. I buy store brand fish oil and cheap-ish whey isolate. I'd love to buy Surge, Grow!, Flameout, etc, from here, but I can't afford the shipping atm. Xmas coming up and whatnot. Maybe in the new year.


Are you in the States? Biotest has free shipping regardless of order amount now.

And I've shopped around a bit, and if you take into account the concentration of Flameout, and the addition of CLA, it's not much more expensive, if at all, than buying the generic brand products separately. Also, the Grow! is a pretty good deal with free shipping, but that could also be because nowhere near me sells it in bulk.


Grow! is a pretty kickass deal unless you can find it or ON on amazon or someplace else on sale.


I usually get my supplements from Biotest or from vitacost.com

As far as fish oil, I switch between Flameout and Carlson's.

One thing to think about regarding quality, look at water. Would you want tap water or brita filtered water? You can get by on tap water, but the brita water is probably better for you and not much more expensive.


Nah. UK. Me and a couple of work colleagues are going to chip in together and buy a bulk order so the shipping is more affordable. Have to wait 'til the new year, though :frowning:


Quality definitly doesn't matter, I buy my protein from a small village in China :wink:. Honest people over there.


Ineresting outlook. I talked to a guy that owns a mom and pop health food store today. I asked him about all of this. One thing he told me was that most companies get their base ingredients from the same one or two big importers. In other words Walmart's whey may have been purchased from the same companies as the brand names. Also he said the major difference in supps is the label because most companies contract big manufacturers to make their supps for them anyhow.


I think for the average person who doesn't compete or play pro sports it depends on the supplement and frequency of use.

IE I eat whole foods 95% of the time, so if i aren't using the greatest protien product available for 1 shake every couple of days i cant see how it matters (i still use mostly Metabolic Drive, simply because i like the taste).

If however i were trying to live off protien shakes (god forbid) then I imagine quality would become very important.


i was just kidding. lol. sry for the confusion.


I make sure I get my four Flameout every day. On top of that, I'll have about 6-8 more trader joes brand fish oils (that my mom buys hah) just to add to my EFA's I'm getting.

I know I'm getting my quality stuff from Flameout, so I'm not terribly concerned about the quality of the other fish oil I'm taking.


price does not matter

what does matter is word of mouth public relations of how that supplement worked for others, did it give noticable benefits and were there any side effects

eg. with this site people will post their independent experiences with Biotest supplements so prospective buyers can have an idea of what to expect, instead of just seeing a high price tag in some store and thinking "DAMN DATZ THA GOOD STUFF"


I know. I wasn't confused,just being informative.


Just making sure, sometimes sarcasm is lost over the internet.