Most people know that supplements, if used correctly, can be good for their health.

However, that’s where the knowledge ends for a large proportion of the population.

Many of us are unsure what supplements to take and why. And a great swathe of us have no real understanding of what’s in the supplements that we do actually ingest.

So what exactly is a supplement?

The US Congress defined the term “dietary supplement” in mid-90s as a product taken by mouth that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to supplement the diet

These days with a busy lifestyle and a lot more processed food it can be hard to get all the substance your body needs from just your daily food intake. This is where supplements come in.

Supplements can be divided into the following major groups:

  • amino acids
  • animal products
  • concentrates/metabolites/constituents
  • herbal and botanical extracts
  • proteins
  • vitamins and minerals
  • other ingredients

And we’ll further break down the components of these groups below:

Amino Acids

Alanine, L-glutamine, L-glutamic acid, L-lysine, Serine, Glycine, L-methionine, Proline, L-histidine, Taurine, Asparagine, L-tyrosine, L-phenylalanine, L-arginine, Threonine, D-phenylalanine, L-ornithine, L-leucine, DL-phenylalanine, L-asparic acid, L-isoleucine, L-tryptophan, L-cysteine, L-valine. 

Animal Products

Adrenal, Pituitary, Chondroitin sulfate, Shark cartilage, Liver, Thymus, Fish oils, Thyroid Gelatin (check only if active ingredient), Parathyroid.

Concentrates, Metabolites, and Constituents


DHEA, Melatonin, Pregnenolone, Anrostenediol, Androsterone, Gamma aminobutyric acid, Norandrostenedione.


Creatine, Choline, Pyruvate, DMG or pangamic acid, Nicotinamide dinucleotide (NAD), Inosine, adenine Nicotinamide dinucleotine hydrogen (NADH), Carnitine, Glucosamine, Alpha-ketoacids, Chondroitin sulfate, Inositol, Coenzyme Q, Lipoic acid, Lecithin.

Plant-Derived Substances

Yohimbine, Ferulic acid, Ginsenoside, Gamma-oryzanol, Ginkoloids, Sitosterol, Ephedrine, Diosgenin, hecogenin, Psuedoephedrine, Isoflavones, Ecdysteroids, Phystostanols and phytosterols, Octacosanol, Glycosides.

Herbals and Botanicals

Garlic, Evening primrose, Gotu kola, Ginseng, Velarian root, Feverfew, Ginkgo biloba, Vegetable oils, Fibre supplements — psyllium, Echinacea, Saw palmetto, Wheat grass, St. John’s wort, Cayenne, Ma Huang — Ephedra, Goldenseal, Ginger.


Soy proteins, Vegetable proteins, Whey, Collagen, Casein, Gelatin, Milk protein, Egg protein.

Bodybuilding supplements - scoop of protein, bcaa and creatine, omega3 in pills on wooden background

Vitamins and Minerals


Vitamin A, beta carotene, retinol, Vitamin B-2, riboflavin, Choline, Vitamin D, calciferols, Vitamin B-6, pyridoxine, Folic acid, folate, Vitamin E, tocopherols, Vitamin B-12, cobalamin, Niacin, Vitamin B-3, Vitamin K, phylloquinone, Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-1, thiamin Biotin.


Boron, Magnesium, Calcium, Chromium, Molybdenum, molybdenum-enriched yeast Copper, Phosphorous, phosphates, Flourine, fluoride, Potassium, Germanium, Selenium, selenite, Iodine, iodide, Vanadium, Iron, ferrous, Zinc.

Always ensure you read the label of what you buy so you know exactly what it is you are taking. 

If you are unsure what you are doing when it comes to supplements then talk to a accredited fitness coach at your local gym or trained health professional.

Only take advice from those who have years of nutritional experience behind them. Don’t rely on #KillakittenBulksupps69 on Snapchat!

Now, for whether supplements are actually necessary for our modern lifestyles please continue on to our article: The ABC’s of Supplements

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