Heading over to the nutrition section of your local grocery store can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Outside of maybe the protein powders there really aren’t all that many options to choose from.
Maybe you’ll be able to snag some creatine, or you might find some other basic supplements in the vitamin portion of the store, but outside of this, you can’t always find a great selection.
Now, you could head over to your local GNC or similar store, but then you’ll be forced to talk with the store clerk. These can be very nice people, but they also often work on commission, in which case they may try to sell you items you don’t want.
In this modern world, we live in where COVID makes it dangerous to go outside and openly communicate with strangers it is often better to stay at home and order your supplements online. This not only is the best way to avoid unnecessary human contact but it is also a solid way to save money on your purchases.
If you’re just starting out in the world of online supplements and want to find a way to invest in quality supplements that will help you maximize your performance, here are some of the cheapest supplements online and what to look for when shopping.
What are the Best Cheap Supplements?
In terms of available supplements, this is one that’s readily available at your local grocery store.
However, if you shop around you can likely find it for less online. You can even purchase a store brand when protein powders through a shopping portal (such as Rakuten) and buy your whey powder from sources like Walmart or Target and get a percentage kicked back to you.
You can use shopping portals for most of what you buy online to buy these supplements. Rakuten is one of the more popular options, but you can shop through Delta Shopping if you want to receive Delta Sky Miles instead of money back. If you’re someone who prefers to shop through your mobile device instead of a computer you might want to check out Ibotta. This app provides cashback for in-store purchases as well as through certain online stores. However you decide to purchase your whey powder (and other supplements), when you want to save money, this is the way to do it.
Now, beyond your method for buying whey, you’ll want to compare some of the nutrition facts to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. For example, when looking at whey you should look at the amount of protein you get per calories.
Also, depending on your current dietary requirements you need to consider the sodium amount as well as the carbs. There might be some products that have a slightly higher calorie count yet come with a significantly lower sodium level.
Just some specifics to keep in mind when shopping for discounted products online.
Much like protein powder, you can easily find creatine. It has become the go-to supplement for many lifters.
You can even find energy drinks boasting of creatine levels, although the manufacturers of these drinks often advertise them toward gamers (our recommendations is to not drink large amounts of caffeinated beverages containing creatine if you’re going to sit around for hours moving only your thumbs. For inactive individuals this is more a heart health risk as it isn’t accustomed to beating so hard).
With regards to finding creatine online, you can usually find store brands as well as name brands for the creatine. You will want to look at a few of the nutrition facts when buying the creatine online.
First, check out the number of grams of creatine you receive per serving. Some might be on the lower side and under 1 gram, while others will be on the higher side and pack five or even 10 grams per serving. You don’t necessarily need to automatically go with the higher number. This is especially true if you’re just starting to work out with weights. The 10 grams is more for if you’re a serious bodybuilder and you’re hitting the gym hard every day.
Beyond the grams per serving, you should look at the calories (creatine powder doesn’t have much in the way of calories). If you’re down to one product over another you may want to go with a product that has half the calories.
If you’re someone that likes to add your creatine to other powders for a pre-workout drink it is ideal to purchase a flavorless product.
Mixing fruit punch and chocolate together for a pre-workout drink is not a great way to go, and if you’re drinking three or four drinks prior to hitting the gym you’ll find yourself going to the bathroom between sets.
You might end up just with a personal preference for creatine. Some products might mix better with your protein powders and your pre-workout mix. At the same time, there are also creatine supplements in pill form.
If this works easier for you by all means go that route (it’s helpful if you need to drink it while at work prior to hitting the gym as then you’re not measuring out scoops of powder while wearing a business suit).
Just know that it is an inexpensive supplement to buy online.
You might not automatically think of fish oil when it comes to workout supplements, but if you’re not taking fish oil you absolutely need to add it. First of all, omega-3 is excellent for your heart. As you’re going to be workout your heart just as much as the rest of your body you should do what you can to support it.
Additionally, fish oil is exceptional for fighting off inflammation following your workout. This way, you can repair your muscles faster, which helps get you back into the gym and hitting the weights full blow quicker.
Fish oil can become expensive if you just grab a random container at the grocery store.
However, there are some ways you can save money on the product when buying it online.
First, consider the store brand instead of the name brand supplement. With vitamins, you really can’t go wrong with the store brand. It’s almost always the same thing, only with a smaller price tag (if you end up buying a Walmart or Target brand product make sure to shop through those online portals mentioned above to get some money kicked back your way).
Now, we like to go with the smaller fish oil supplements. If you’re not careful a fish oil supplement can be massive.
Like, choke if you’re not careful massive. That’s why we like to go with the half-size option. These have a concentrated amount of fish oil, so you’re still getting the same amount of omega-3 but in a smaller, condensed size.
This is really where the different brands start to separate themselves. With the other supplements like whey and creatine, everything is basically straight forward.
However, a pre-workout isn’t one specific vitamin or supplement, so different manufacturers will sell different variations. While there are ways to save money you should also know what to look for. If you don’t, you might just end up with a powder that’s full of caffeine and nothing else.
Now, the purpose of the pre-workout is to help pump up your body and get the blood flowing to your muscles, so caffeine is a necessary ingredient, but you’ll want to have a few other ingredients in there as well.
First, some pre-workouts will come with creatine packed in. You’ll want to keep this in mind if you’re also shopping for creatine. There is only so much your body can absorb with regards to creatine, When first starting off it may not be a bad idea to just go with a pre-workout with creatine included and then begin adding secondary creatine supplements later on, once your body has become accustomed to using the added supplement.
Ideally, your supplement will have Vitamin D, which helps improve your body’s recovery both after the workout and during it.
This way, you’ll be able to push through more sets and reps, which means you’ll be able to pump additional weight. Beta-alanine is another favorable ingredient to have in your pre-workout supplement.
Beyond what you should look for there are some marketing items you don’t need to have. BCAA, for example, is an excellent product to take following your workout. This is beneficial for repairing your body and helping you recover faster. However, it doesn’t exactly do much for your system during the workout. So, while it isn’t going to harm or impact your workout, you should save the BCAA until you’re done and add it to a post-workout recovery drink.
When shopping for supplements online it’s a bit easier to pick up a product that may include ingredients you want to avoid.
This is especially true if you’re buying products through Amazon or some third-party selling websites. One product you want to check for and make sure your pre-workout doesn’t have is DMAA.
This is a product that can dangerously elevate your blood pressure, tighten your chest, and even lead to heart attacks. In fact, the NCAA has it listed as a banned supplement.
Another product to avoid is synephrine (which may be referred to as bitter orange on the label). This is a fat-burning supplement, but when combined with regular caffeine, the synthetic product can again elevate your blood pressure to dangerous levels. So always check the labeling of your pre-workout supplements before making any kind of purchase.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Speaking of BCAA, you do want to include this in the workout supplements that you buy online. You just don’t need it as a pre-workout supplement.
Instead, you’ll want to take it following your workout. The supplement is made up of valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Known as essential amino acids because the body is unable to make them naturally, these products help not only with recovery following a workout but help with the building and growing of your muscles.
These amino acids help with the crafting of proteins in your muscles, which will allow your body to rebuild damaged muscle fibers following the workout.
According to The U.S. National Library of Medicine, these amino acids will help break down nutrients you consume following a workout (such as your whey protein powder) and improve the body’s ability to deliver the protein to the areas in need.
There are a number of BCAA supplements out there, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding these supplements for purchase online. You just need to make sure you are buying products that are labeled as essential amino acids and include the three listed amino acids above.
Because these are the specific amino acids that help with delivering nutrients to your broken-down muscle fiber.
Amino acids are separated into three categories: essential, nonessential, and conditional. Essential, as we mentioned above, are not produced by the body and help improve its functionality. There are actually nine essential amino acids, although the three you need to know about are the three we mentioned above.
Nonessential amino acids are naturally produced by the body and while there are supplements that include these amino acids you likely already get enough from the food you consume. Lastly, there are conditional amino acids, which are only produced when your body is sick or you’re stressed.
There are all kinds of supplements out there. If you’re not careful there are some products and brands that are especially expensive and may provide you with some ingredients you don’t need.
It’s always a good idea to look over the label before making a final purchase. You might find that while one product costs a dollar or two more than a cheaper alternative that more expensive product includes better ingredients and will deliver improved results when taking it.
Whatever you decide to do, the supplements listed above are all inexpensive and will help you take your workout routine to the next level