Supplement List – 2018
These two have been staples in my personal life for about 5 years now and the brands I recommend hasn’t changed.
With that said, over the past 10 years, I’ve probably tested close to a 100 different supplements. From protein powders to multi-vitamins, to specific vitamins, minerals, brain supplements, pre-workouts, electrolytes, to immune boosters, etc.
Overall, I don’t like recommending a lot of supplements, because I know that something that works for me, may not work for you. This can be due to a number of factors, but usually comes down to genes (which influence how well you convert certain precursors to the bio-available forms), your level of stored toxins, gut health, the bacterial composition of your gut, your various levels of your body’s ability to detox certain things (some people are better at phase I detox in their liver, than phase 2 and that can be dangerous), amongst other factors.
So when it comes to recommending supplements I’m hesitant beyond the ones I listed above. With that said, I will just discuss the supplements that I now take, the reasons behind them and you can make your own choices.
Overall, when it comes to supplements, you want the absolute lowest dose.
Like most things, moderation is good, but in this case, sometimes nothing is even better. More can absolutely be worse and throw your body off from its natural cycle which is not good.
Your Background Matters
In college, I worked full-time, went to school full-time and partied hard 6 nights a week. I managed well on 4 to 5 hours of sleep per night, along with a 30-minute nap. This was normal to me.
During my last year in college, I started taking antibiotics for acne. I shouldn’t have drank, but I did…and a lot.
That combo led to two years of extreme fatigue (I NEEDED 8-9 hours of sleep per night and a nap, to function at what felt like one-third of my mental capacity). It was also during that time that I became gluten intolerant.
Needless to say, my energy levels never fully returned.
Therefore most of the supplements I take are to have consistent energy, stay healthy and to get my brain to work the way I feel it should.
Those are my goals and why I take certain supplements. What you’re looking for might be very different. Also, your history might be different (and probably is), and those factors are important with how you react to supplements. Therefore, it should go without saying, if your pregnant or take medications, don’t start taking any of these without talking to your doctor first.
Finally, the supplements listed below are what works for me now. In a year or two, this list could be different, based on how I feel, the results I get and discussions with doctors, etc. With all of that out of the way, here are the supplements I take.
My Supplement List Winter 2018
Multi-Vitamin (1 tablet, which is one-sixth of a serving, every 2 days – Aka, not every day). In general, you don’t want to take a strong multi-vitamin (like the one I take) around your workouts. The high dose antioxidants can interfere with your body’s signaling after a workout. In other words, the antioxidants remove the oxidation inherent in the workout. The oxidation from the workout informs your body that it has undergone stress and should make improvements for the future. The antioxidants mess up that signal and the cardiovascular improvements never come because your body never got the signal to improve it’s self.
*Fun fact: The neon yellow pee you see is from the Riboflavin in multi-vitamins (B2) and if you’re deficient, you can be at an increased risk for migraines.
For men and post menopausal women, you want to take the iron-free version.
Liver Optimizer (3 tablets, two with breakfast, one with dinner, every second day). Your liver is your body’s main detoxification organ. Your skin is important, but your liver is the workhorse. This supplement is really high in antioxidants, that work together to ensure that your liver is working effectively and helps to balance Phase I and Phase II of liver detoxification. If you don’t go to the bathroom often, or have trouble going, don’t take a liver or any detoxification agent for that matter. Seriously, you can cause more problems.
I use this less for the liver (but will take it more often if I know I’m going to drink), and more for general health.
I take this the same day I take the multi-vitamin, since the vitamin is high in methyl co-factors and this is high in sulfur co-factors and generally, you would want to increase both simultaneously. Again, ideally, you don’t take this supplement around a workout (think 3-4 hours before or after a workout).
Probiotics – This is a hard one to recommend, but usually one with at least 50 billion with strains that include acidipholous, lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus plantarum. I’m not married to any brand, but this is the one I like: Renew Life.
In general, probiotics, should be good for helping to digest food, modulating your immune response to foods and allergens, helping you go to the bathroom and fending off food borne bacteria and parasites, while simultaneously helping with sleep, digestion, and overall mental and physical well-being. With that said, I still prefer probiotic foods (not foods with probiotics added to them) over a pill.
Multi-Mineral – (One Tablet every other day)
If there is one thing, nearly every American is deficient in, it’s a mineral, most likely magnesium.
If you sweat a lot, you might deficient in zinc amongst other minerals. Extra calcium can help, especially for women.Do you even know what molybdenum does?It’s all good. If it wasn’t for Google, neither would I.* Considering that taking a multi-mineral may help with anxiety, sleep issues, cramping, bone health, blood sugar regulation, immune health, amongst other things (tendon health, allergies, ability to go to the bathroom, etc), taking this just makes sense.
This brand is my favorite, but it’s a horse pill. If you prefer capsules, take 2 every other day.
*Molybdenum tells your body to not over react to foods, specifically sulfites, so your body can digest them without an allergic reaction.
Some minerals, though can be really bad in high doses (think selenium overall or Iron in men) and so, I don’t take it often, or as much, as recommended because I take the multi-vitamin and eat relatively healthy. I will up my dosage in the summer if I workout more often and sweat a lot more than normal.
Vitamin D3 (D3 – 1000 iU) – One per day with Vitamin K, during the late fall thru early Spring months only (aka, when I’m not getting sun regularly).
I take this 5 days per week and don’t believe in mega-dosing. A couple of days I’ll take 2 instead of 1. Also, I stop taking Vitamin D if I start getting sick.
Vitamin D is great at fighting off initial infections (which is part of why you should take it in the winter), but can inhibit your body’s learned response to fighting off future infections of the same illness. That means if you take a lot of Vitamin D and have kept getting the same sickenss or sniffles during the winter, you might want to cut it out for a little bit.
Think about it. During the summer, you’re probably less likely to get sick, but if you do get sick, you’re not going to go rest in the sun to get better, so why would you continue taking Vitamin D3?Basically, I’ll stop taking it for a few days if I start getting the sniffles or something more serious.
Most people are deficient in Vitamin D, and are especially prone to being deficient in the winter. Vitamin D is used by every cell in your body and therefore can help with a lot of things – from bone health to hormone health to immune function.
Vitamin K (both forms of K2 – MK-4 and MK-7: https://www.amazon.com/Country-Life-Certified-Vegan-500/dp/B00J0JK0Z2/). 2.5 mg in chewable tablet, which is a 5 mg tablet broken in half and I take this almost every day of the week.This supplement can be taken in the winter months, like Vitamin D and then a couple of times per week during the summer.
Vitamin K both thins your blood and directs calcium on where to go. Calcium can go in one of two places in your body – your bones or the lining of your arteries.
Vitamin K2 tells your body to calcify your bones and not your arteries, leading to your heart.
Supplements I take for my age and personal history:
*There won’t be any links for these, because I doubt you should take these
DHEA (10 mg, 5 days per week) – This hormone is the precursor to testosterone and estrogen. In men, after the age of 30, levels start to decline. Some research says that it can help with keeping more muscle and losing some fat, but that’s not why I take it. I take it for “more rigid” reasons.
The difference since I’ve been taking this has been noticeable, which is why it’s stayed in the repertoire. I had tried this supplement in the past, but was taking 25 mg and that was too high of a dose. The 10 mg works infinitely better and points back to my point that when it comes to supplements, more is not necessarily better.
Iodoral – (12.5 mg tablet, broken in half 6.25 mg), nearly every day. Some people can be deficient in iodine and there are a slew of benefits of iodine. Specifically, it protects the thyroid and helps the conversion of T4 (the unusable portion of thyroid hormone) to the usable T3. It also helps protect your cells from the harmful effects of radiation, but that’s not as relevant…unless of course you believe that the radioactive leak of the nuclear reactor in Japan, where lots of fish are farmed has seeped it’s way and worked its way up the fish food chain or you think modern conveniences like cell phones and wifi might not be the healthiest for you, but that’s a different story.
Although it’s only 6.25 mg, it’s still a ton of iodine, like 4000% more than the RDA. Personally, I feel like my energy levels never fully recovered after I got rid of gluten, and this helps with that. I definitely take this in the morning and won’t take it past 3 pm.
For some supplements, you could probably use a different brand with the same specifics and it wouldn’t matter, but when it comes to iodine supplements in particular, most people would benefit from testing different brands. Some people do well with Iodoral. Others do well with Lugol’s 2% and others with kelp supplementation (which has iodine in it).
Overall, I take 8 supplements per week. Some days I’ll take all 8, but most days I take about 4-5 supplements.
Right now, the ones I take nearly every day are the Vitamin K2, Iodoral, DHEA and in the winter, Vitamin D3. Beyond that, every second day, I’ll take all of the others.
Remember, with supplements, please do your own research, get blood work done, listen to your body and talk to your doctor. My recommendations are only meant as starting points to discuss with your doctor.
With that said, if your blood work is fine (or whatever test is most appropriate), but you have all the symptoms of something that may be improved by a supplement, experiment and see how your body feels. It may be because you’re deficient in something or it could be a placebo effect. Either way, if it works and you can afford it without any side effects, does it really matter why it works?
If you have any questions for me, please feel free to let me know.