GNC vs. eVitamins vs. VitaminShoppe vs. Branded Vitamins?
Not only are there many health supplements to choose from, there seems to be an equally large number of vitamin and health supplement stores to buy them from. There are differences in what each health store carries as some are more specialized and others are more general in what they carry. This article will focus on three different companies that sell vitamins, minerals, herbs and health supplements.
GNC or General Nutrition Centers has a large selection of name brand vitamins and health supplements including eight separate GNC brands of vitamins and supplements. Along with their selection of vitamins, herbs, minerals and health supplements, they also carry a large selection of supplements that are more for the athletic, hard core fitness and bodybuilding customers. GNC also sells fitness equipment and exercise apparel. A look at their product categories and a few of their products in each category will give you a good idea of what they sell.
- Vitamins and Supplements: Multivitamins, amino acids, omega-3, minerals and antioxidants.
- Sports Nutrition: Exercise, fitness and bodybuilding supplements.
- Protein category has protein supplements made from whey, egg, soy and combination protein supplements.
- Diet: Products related to diet programs and diet systems, appetite control, meal replacements and Total Lean.
- Cleaning and Digestion has supplements for a healthy digestive system including probiotics, whole body cleanse and immune health support.
- Sexual Health includes prostate health supplements, men’s vitality, women’s vitality and DVD’s and games.
- Herbs and Natural Remedies: Herbs from A to Z, tea, resveratrol, super fruits and botanicals, chia and more.
- Energy and Endurance has endurance bars, drinks, supplements, gels and formulas.
- Beauty Care: Aromatherapy and beauty supplements.
- Pets: Health supplements for dogs and cats.
- Equipment and Accessories includes apparel, exercise equipment, kitchen accessories and heart rate monitors.
Their website is easy to navigate and you can search for health supplements by category, health condition, fitness goal, by brand or by ingredients. You can also sign up for their Gold Card membership and get discounts of up to 20% off of health supplements during the first week of every month. Their Gold Card membership costs $15 to join. In addition to their online website, GNC also has retail stores in every state and numerous countries. You can currently get 10% off and free shipping with orders over $80 with this GNC coupon.
eVitamins sells many of the same brands and types of vitamins and health supplements as the other companies do including supplements for fitness and bodybuilding. eVitamins also carries their own eVitamins brand of vitamins and health supplements. You can search their website by health supplements for men, women, kids and seniors in the following categories.
- Vitamins and Supplements include all types of multivitamins, vitamins, minerals and supplements such as CoQ10, fish oil and probiotics.
- Weight Loss: Stimulant free weight loss products, CLS, fat blockers, metabolism boosters and more.
- Sports Nutrition: Supplements for bodybuilding and protein products.
- Beauty products for hair, skin, soaps and deodorants.
- Herbs: All types of herbs from alfalfa to valerian root.
- Sexual Supplements for men and women.
- Kids, Children and Baby: Products for ADHD, colic, multivitamins and more.
- Pet Care: Health supplements for dogs and cats.
Their website is easy to use and you can search for health supplements by brand or category and then narrow your search by supplement, price, pill type or dosage. eVitamins has a low price guarantee. If you find a lower price online within 24 hours of placing your order, email their support team and your order will be credited the difference. You can currently get a 5% discount on your entire order with this eVitamins coupon.
The Vitamin Shoppe
The Vitamin Shoppe is similar to both GNC and eVitamins in that they sell all name brands including their own Vitamin Shoppe brand of vitamins, minerals, herbs and health supplements including fitness and bodybuilding supplements. One difference with The Vitamin Shoppe when compared with these other stores is that they also sell a large selection of homeopathic remedies. The Vitamin Shoppe has their categories divided into main categories and then sub-category listings.
- Vitamins, Supplements and Herbs: Vitamins & supplements, herbs & homeopathic, foods & beverages, kids & pets and articles & recipes.
- Sports, Nutrition and Workout Support: Sports protein, performance supplements, muscle builders & food and workout necessities.
- Home, Spa and Green Living: Juicers & appliances, air & water filtration, home spa, ecoshoppe conservation, ecoshoppe kitchen, ecoshoppe cleaning and ecoshoppe home.
- Natural Bath and Beauty: Hand & body care, facial care, oral care, hair care, baby products and aromatherapy.
The Vitamin Shoppe’s website makes it easy to find health supplements and brands. In addition to all of the health supplements they sell, they also carry kitchen appliances, home spa items and products for your home. You can watch videos on their website that will help you learn about different health supplements and homeopathic remedies. Along with their online store, The Vitamin Shoppe also has retail stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico. You can currently get 10% off online purchases with this Vitamin Shoppe coupon.
All three companies carry many of the same name brands plus their own brands of vitamins and health supplements. The following price comparisons are for the exact product, brand, size and dosage.
Nature’s Way Alive Max Potency multivitamin 90 tablets:
- At GNC, the cost is $15.99.
- At eVitamins, the cost is $6.25.
- At The Vitamin Shoppe, the cost is $14.99.
Nature’s Way Vitamin D3, 2000 IU - 120 softgells:
- At GNC, the cost is $8.99.
- At eVitamins, the cost is $5.11.
- At The Vitamin Shoppe, the cost is $7.99.
Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard – 5 lbs:
- At GNC, the cost is $57.99.
- At eVitamins, the cost is $76,54.
- At The Vitamin Shoppe, the cost is $57.99.
Store Brand Vitamins Compared with Name Brand Vitamins
There are so many name brand vitamins on the market today it is hard to choose which one is better. Some name brand multivitamins will just have vitamins and nothing else while other multivitamins will have vitamins, minerals, green foods and probiotics. It is important to compare labels and ingredients when buying multivitamins.
There is still much debate over natural versus synthetic vitamin E. Many now agree that natural vitamin E is more easily absorbed by our body than the cheaper synthetic version and healthier for us. Natural vitamin E will be listed as D-alpha tocopherol (or d-alpha tocopherol) and the synthetic will be listed as DL-alpha tocopherol.
Sometimes, the manufacturer of vitamins will have their vitamins tested for purity, listed amounts and other standards. This is not mandatory and the absence of a seal does not mean the vitamin is inferior. You can look for one of these seals:
- United StatesPharmacopeia (USP)
- NSF International
- GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) quality seal of the National Nutritional Foods Association. The National Nutritional Foods Association is now called the National Products Association.
GNC Brand Vitamins vs. Brand Name Vitamins
GNC has so many GNC brand multivitamins to choose from, it can get confusing. One of their all-purpose multivitamins for men and women is the GNC Ultra Mega Gold without iron. The amount of each vitamin listed is comparable to brand name vitamins and in many cases better than some brand name vitamins. Some GNC vitamins state that they conform to USP standards. Most of their vitamins have the natural vitamin E.
eVitamins vs. Brand Name Vitamins
eVitamins does not sell any multivitamins under their eVitamins brand name. They do sell other eVitamins brand vitamins and supplements such as vitamin D3 and vitamin B complex. Their eVitamins brand products carry the GMP seal and they are a member of the National Nutritional Foods Association. Their vitamins and supplements compare favorably with name brand vitamins and supplements.
The Vitamin Shoppe vs. Name Brand Vitamins
The Vitamin Shoppe sells different vitamins, multivitamins and supplements under their Vitamin Shoppe brand name. All listed ingredients and dosages are comparable or better than popular name brand vitamins. Many health experts now believe that the methylcobalamin form of vitamin B12 is a better for us than the more common cyanocobalamin form. The Vitamin Shoppe brand vitamins I checked have the methylcobalamin form and customers also noted this in their positive comments. The Vitamin Shoppe has been voted the #1 vitamin store three years in a row by ConsumerLab.com.
All three companies manufacture and sell their brand of vitamins and supplements that are comparable and in many cases better than popular name brand vitamins, and in many cases will cost less than popular name brand vitamins.
Product Reviews and Customer Service
Customer reviews and ratings of products you are interested in buying can be helpful when it comes to deciding on the right health supplement.
- GNC has customer comments and ratings for many of their products listed with each product under Health Notes. You can call their customer service at 1-877-GNC-4700.
- eVitamins has related health articles listed with many products and supplement type. You can contact their customer service at 1-888-222-6056 or outside of the U.S. at 1-586-731-6101, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm EST.
- The Vitamin Shoppe has an entire section devoted to health articles, references and healthy recipes in their Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements category. They also have a video section with videos about their various health supplements. You can contact their customer service at 1-866-293-3367 or outside of the U.S. at 1-201-868-5959, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 9 pm EST.
Special Shipping Discounts
Shipping is an important factor to look at, since great prices can disappear by the time the shipping costs are added in. At this time, each of these companies offers special shipping rates.
- GNC offers free ground shipping on all orders $49 or more within the 48 continental United States.
- eVitamins offers free shipping on orders over $49 within the continental United States. They also have free shipping with certain products.
- The Vitamin Shoppe offers free shipping on orders of $25 or more in the United States including U.S. territories.