In the bodybuilding world, supplements are more popular than ever. Increasing numbers of people are taking advantage of – and, sometimes, even becoming reliant on – supplements of all types.

But not all supplements are created equal. In fact, with the number of proprietary supplements on the market, there are more supplements than we know what to do with. Considering each one comes with its own recipe and formula, it can be hard for you to figure out which supplements are worth your time.

That’s why we’ve written this article on what makes or breaks a supplement. We’ll tell you some things to look out for so you can decide for yourself whether or not a certain supplement is your style or not.

What Are You Looking For In a Supplement?

The first thing that you need to know is what you’re actually hoping to achieve by taking a supplement.

People use bodybuilding supplements for different reasons. So, for example, if you end up purchasing an energy-boosting supplement when what you really want is something to help you add muscle mass, you’ll be wasting your time.

Here are some common reasons that people use supplements to enhance their performance in the gym.

  •  Increased energy. Many people use supplements so that they can have more energy in the gym. This allows them to work out for harder and longer.
  • Improved muscle gains. Many people prefer their supplements to be loaded with protein and substances that help them gain more muscle.
  • Decreased fatigue and muscle pain. Other people use supplements to help them fight post-workout fatigue and muscle pain, either so they can work out again soon after or so they don’t struggle through the rest of their daily activities.

There are other reasons that people use supplements, but these are some of the most common.

What Makes or Breaks a Supplement?

There are a lot of things that you will want to consider when choosing a supplement. Ultimately it depends on what you want. What ‘breaks’ a supplement for one person might actually ‘make’ the supplement for another.

What Makes a Good Supplement?

These are some things to consider if you want to make sure that you’re going to get a good supplement

  • It’s made by a quality, transparent company. Companies that are open, honest, and transparent about their business practices and ingredients usually provide good-quality supplements. On the other hand, if a company doesn’t show their test results or share their business practices, they might be hiding something shady.
  • The ingredients are high-quality and sourced well. You want to make sure that you’re getting a supplement that uses high-quality ingredients that are ethically sourced. This is especially true if you are getting a supplement using herbal ingredients. Again, company transparency plays a role here.
  • The recipe makes sense and ingredients don’t interact. You want supplements that are formulated by professionals who understand what sort of ingredients work well together and which ones don’t.

What Breaks a Good Supplement?

You’ll also want to consider these things. Even if the supplement otherwise looks good, these issues might ‘break’ the supplement (depending on your moral and ethical standards).

  • Too many side effects. Most supplements carry at least some risk of side effects, but some carry a greater risk than others. You want to get a supplement that doesn’t use extremely high doses of any substances or have any ingredients that adversely interact with each other.
  • Untested or new ingredients. Many companies are quick to promote products using newly discovered ingredients. While these ingredients might show promise for things like weight loss or muscle gain, it’s also important to be smart. Any ‘new’ ingredient will also have no long-term testing done on it, which means you can’t be sure whether or not it’s safe.
  • Unethical or immoral standards. While this might not be a deal-breaker for everyone, good-hearted people should be concerned about the ethical standards of companies. If you see a company offering a product that is extremely cheap or too-good-to-be-true, you might want to look into their labor practices or sourcing. There’s not much point using a supplement to buff up quickly if it’s destroying the rainforests that produce the oxygen you need to breathe.


There are a lot of supplements out there, and what ‘makes’ or ‘breaks’ one supplement might vary from person to person. Hopefully this article has helped you decide on how you can purchase a high-quality supplement that supports your workouts and the people who produce it.

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