These days, you can buy vitamins and supplements almost anywhere, including the gas station and the convenience store. It seems odd that vitamins and supplements are so readily available these days. It used to be that the only serious place you would really buy vitamins was the pharmacy. However, with the new surge of health foods stores and supplement outlets, there seem to be quite a lot of places to buy vitamins and supplements. Of course, if you don’t want to go shopping at all, you can always order vitamins over the internet.
There are pluses and minuses to buying vitamins and supplements at each outlet, so here is a breakdown of what you can expect at each retail outlet when it comes to purchasing vitamins.
Amazingly, you can now boost your immune system at the same place where you fill your tank with gas. This is because gas stations and convenience stores now sell vitamins at the counters where you pay for gas and convenience items. These vitamins are sold in individual packages, usually labeled something like “Energy Blast” or “Immune Zap”. Obviously, these overpriced packages are a gimmick to get the harried worker or the professional truck driver to pay almost six dollars for a handful of vitamins. Avoid these vitamins and supplements at all costs.
The grocery store aisle used to have a few multivitamins and supplements, but that has changed dramatically over the past decade. Now, in the larger grocery stores, you can usually find an entire aisle dedicated to vitamins and supplements. If you know what you need to buy and you find it cheaper at the grocery store, go ahead and pick it up. In general, however, you should avoid shopping for vitamins at the grocery store unless you are just buying a multivitamin. This is because the vitamins sit on the shelf under fluorescent lighting, which zaps vitamins of their nutrients. They are also stored and stocked by grocery store employees, who probably aren’t educated in the fine point of vitamin handling. This means that you don’t know where the vitamins have been stored before they make it to the shelves.
Pharmacies are also branching out to include all kinds of vitamins and supplements. Once again, however, these vitamins and supplements are stored under fluorescent lighting. Also, storage is still a concern. While prescription drugs are stored in a controlled environment, vitamins get stored with everything else. So before you purchase them, they may have been stored in extreme temperatures for months before hitting the shelves in the store. The one good thing, however, about buying vitamins and supplements at the drug store is that you can talk to the pharmacist about any interactions that the vitamins you are buying might have with medication that you are already taking.
Supplement stores, usually found in shopping malls, are a good place for athletes to find vitamins and supplements. Here, you will find all kind of supplements to boost performance, gain lean muscle mass, and heal sport injuries faster. Many supplements are sold together in packages that claim to produce a desired result in a much more effective and superior way than regular doses of vitamins alone. There are a lot of good products here, but beware of companies that want to sell you overpriced supplements that seem too good to be true.
The Health Food Store
This is the best place to shop for vitamins and supplements if you have a specific brand or type of supplement that you are looking for. If you have read about a new supplement in a magazine or on the internet, the best place to find it is at the health food store. Here, you will not only find almost every vitamin and supplement imaginable, you will also find it in every form. Supplements at the health food store are also stored properly. They are out of the way of sunlight and fluorescent lighting, and kept at the right temperature.
The prices are definitely cheaper, and you can find almost anything you want. Again, the only warning here is that you can’t see where these vitamins are stored before you get them. So what you get in the mail may be exposed to almost any condition imaginable.