Have you ever got excited about this new amazing supplement only to discover that it made no difference to you or just didn’t work? Here’s how to check what’s worth buying.
1. Quick Research – Examine.com
Examine focuses on education around sports and health supplements. Type in the name of the supplement to see a summary of what it is, does, dosing and related FAQs. On scrolling down you’ll see the ‘Human Effect Matrix’, which compares every claim about the benefits that the supplement claims to provide with evidence found in studies.
This allows you to quickly look up your desired health effect and find out what the level of evidence behind it is. This is my go to for quick research on a given substance.
2. ‘I wanna see for myself’ – Pubmed.com
Pubmed is primarily a search engine for accessing the U.S. National Library of Medicine database of life sciences and biomedical information (MEDLINE). It takes you directly to the source of information and allows you to assess the evidence yourself.
However, if you just want to look something up this will be a waste of time :D
I use Pubmed when writing blog posts, because I need to be absolutely certain that what I say is correct. It is also useful when there’s a lot of conflicting information on a subject and it’s hard to tell what’s true and what’s just pseudo-scientific crap. If you need to conduct proper research into a topic Pubmed is invaluable. For everyday use Examine is much less time-consuming.
Key things to look out for:
- The number of studies that confirm that a substance has had a significant influence – the more studies arrived at the same result, the more proven the product’s properties.
- Who it was conducted on and under what circumstances. E.g. when writing the post about vitamin D the most relevant studies for me were those conducted on athletes practicing indoor sports since such conditions are most similar to training conditions in BJJ.
For a good beginner’s guide to reading scientific papers check out this article.
Whether you decide to go down the path of a supplement nerd or take the more normal path of Examine, I hope it’ll prevent you from being disappointed be disappointed ever again!