For most people, the supplement industry can feel like the Wild West. Seemingly everywhere you turn, someone is trying to sell you on the latest “snake oil” with health and weight loss promises that seem too good to be true. The number of brands are so overwhelming (and sometimes fleeting, companies and go in the blink of an eye), it feels near impossible to determine which is the “right one” to take. And to top it all off…the FDA doesn’t regulate this industry nor test supplements, so you have no idea what you are actually getting.
It’s no wonder so many people are so confused when it comes to vitamins and supplements.
As a certified exercise physiologist, I believe our first line of offense when it comes to getting the micronutrients that you need is making sure you eat a well balanced diet. This will always be my first recommendation to clients.
That said, as an athlete I also recognize that there are often certain vitamins, minerals, or other supplements that are easier to source in pill form. So yes, I do take supplements.
I recently learned about a new supplement subscription service that really appealed to me from a company called made for_ and so I decided to accept the offer to give it a try. made for_ is a supplement company that helps you personalize your supplements with the vitamins, minerals, and herbs you want, and none of what you don’t want. Here are a few thoughts from my experience:
What I liked about the made for_ process:
1. Personalized Consultation.
When you first visit the website, you start your free personalized consultation that asks a number of questions. It starts with your basic info (age, gender, etc.) then dives into more specific health questions (pregnancy and menstruation status for females, any specific allergies, if you are currently taking any medications that may interact with specific supplements).
The consultation then dives into questions about your lifestyle. Are you vegan? How about Keto? How many servings of fruits/veggies do you eat in a day? Do you smoke or drink? How active are you? How many hours of sleep do you get per night? (There are a number of other lifestyle questions, but I’ll let you dive into the consultation yourself!)
Lastly, the consultation covers your specific health goals, with a number of follow up questions based on what you choose as your goals.
Based on your answers, made for_ gives you a list of 5 recommended supplements for you. Of course, you are welcome to remove any of those supplements from your cart, as well as add whatever you like. But if you need help with a starting point, the consultation gives you great suggestions.
2. They answer the “why’s” .
Once your suggestions are given, you can scroll through a bunch of information about each specific supplement. This includes information such as:
- why this supplement was recommended
- the benefits of this supplement, including actual research citations
- information on the specific product (how to take it, what sorts of foods it can be naturally found in)
- where this specific made for_ supplement’s ingredients comes from
As mentioned earlier, the FDA is not required to test vitamins, so it’s often unclear where ingredients come from. made for_ keeps it transparent by performing (and publishing) a chemical analysis for each vitamin. Most of their pills are non GMO, gluten free, and vegan. Many are even from certified organic sources. And all are sourced from active substances in the form that your body can most readily use and absorb.
4. Talk to me
At any point you can log into your account, and hit the “Coach Chat” button to set up a free consultation with one of made for_’s in-house nutritionists. They are there to help you monitor your progress and update your vitamin mix based on your lifestyle.
What I didn’t love about the made for _ process:
Much of the supplements sold by made for _ are what I would refer to as almost “accessory” supplements. While one of your 5 suggestions might be an essential vitamin or mineral (say, Vitamin B or Iron), others, like melatonin or ashwagandha are simply a complimentary herb/non essential supplement.
This in and of itself is not a bad thing, however, I would hate for anyone to take the consultation and assume that these 5 suggestions are ALL they need. Since a lot of made for_’s platform is educating the consumer, I would love it if there was a greater explanation of the 9 essential vitamins and minerals required for basic health. And then of course, perhaps an offering of some sort of multi-vitamin for those who might need it.
The vitamins come to you packaged out in daily servings, placed into plastic pouches, or sachets, that roll out of a small cardboard cube. I understand that this is not only done for convenience, but also as a great way to remind you to take your daily vitamins (they are all right there in your face!). But for this outdoor loving gal, it didn’t feel very environmentally sounds.
So I reached out to made for_ and was given good news: they are already actively reducing the waste from the plastic from standard 2g per sachet to only 0,63g per sachet. I was also told that if you compare the sachets to regular plastic bottles for supplements, you actually have less plastic! They are currently looking into other materials like paper, glass, compostable plastic and reusable materials. Thank you for looking out for the earth, made for_!
I really like the approach made for_ is taking in helping customers make more informed, educated decisions when it comes to supplementation. Further, they allow you to completely tailor your supplement regimen 100%, not buying into pre-made combinations that may or may not be of any benefit to you, specifically. Do you want JUST a months supply of Garlic and Magnesium supplements? Well then you can get exactly that, nothing more, nothing less.
I also love their honesty about the use of vitamins, as displayed by this quote on their “About Us” page:
We know that supplements alone don’t perform miracles – you can’t turn a couch potato into a mountain climber with just vitamins.
Curious to learn more about made for_, or even take the consultation quiz to see what supplements are recommended for you? Head over to www.made-for.com to get started! And if you like what you see, enter code BLOGLOVE10 for $10 off of your first order.
**Disclaimer: the above review was sponsored by Made for_, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.