Ingredient Profile – This rating parameter refers to the dosages of specific ingredients and if there is a synergy of ingredients in a given supplement. In order for certain ingredients to be effective, they need to be taken at a specific or clinical levels (i.e., creatine at 5g daily/serving) or in combination with another ingredient or else there isn’t enough to make an impact within the body. If a product is underdosed it will receive a poor dosing rating. This is a very objective rating as proper dosing levels are usually published and widely discussed. A product may include adequate dosages for ⅔ of the ingredients and ⅓ of the ingredients are underdosed. Understanding dosage levels is key to this rating parameter.
Effectiveness – This rating parameter refers to how well the product worked. Some supplements can be effectively dosed but because of individual tolerance levels may not work or work too well for certain people. Generally speaking, effectiveness is subjective but combined with dosing information, it is a great indicator if a product will work or not.
Value – This rating parameter refers to the cost of the product and if the user is getting a good bang for their money. Price per serving is often used when discussing value. The amount of servings in a tub of preworkout is also taken into consideration. For example, a 20 serving supplement priced at the same price as a 30 serving supplements would be seen as a low value. That said, if a product is unique, effective and clinically dosed some users would be willing to spend more on the product.
Only on powder and Beverage/RTD products:
Flavor – This rating parameter refers to how a supplement tastes. A product that has a poor taste or does not taste like the package describes would receive a poor flavor rating. This is very subjective as everyone has different tastes but when writing a review, it is important to call out aspects of a flavor and to be as detailed as possible when describing the flavor.
Only on powder products:
Mixability – This rating parameter refers to how well a supplement mixes with water or liquid in a shaker cup or when mixed with a spoon. Some users will only mix for 10 seconds and others will mix for 30+ seconds. The rating a user gives for mixability often comes down to their individual and subjective preference for how long a supplement should take to be mixed entirely and with what method (i.e., shaker cup or spoon). Generally speaking, the faster someone can mix the product and remove any chunks or excess powder, the better. Users do not want to put any more effort into mixing a supplement than a typical 10 to 20 second shake. Beyond that, a product that is difficult to dissolve in water and/or produces a chunky solution would receive a low mixability rating.
Only on pill/capsule products:
Pill/Capsule Size – This rating parameters refers to the size of the pill and the ability to swallow it with ease. A lot of users do not like or struggle to swallow large or horse-sized pills and this should be noted. Even though pill size can be subjective, if you are a person that typically struggles with swallowing pills of all sizes please note that as well.