I am asked frequently about the supplements that I routinely take. Little do people know that I take a lot of supplements. Every time I find one that I believe could benefit my body, I try it out. Some people express concern at the large quantities of supplements that I take, or my willingness to experiment with new supplements. It’s easy to direct them to statistics, where thousands of people die every year from prescription drugs, and virtually zero people die from supplements. On the other hand, I see the potential benefits of supplements as being extraordinary and I can vouch for the fact that they have helped me boost my energy, removed my brain fog, prevented me from getting sick as frequently, and improved my workouts. Results like that have made a believer out of me.
All of my posts have a disclaimer indicating that I am not a medical expert, and that you should not act on my advice alone. For this post, I feel that it is especially warranted that I discuss this up front. The supplements that I take are designed to address my body’s conditions. Every person is unique, and different considerations must be taken. I had specific conditions that I was trying to address, and had general wellness in mind. I encourage everyone to routinely visit both a primary care physician and a naturalistic doctor to understand your body and what issues need to be addressed. The purpose in sharing the below list is to share my perspective of each supplement, as well as observations having taken it. I also want to make you aware of some of the supplements available so that you can do your own research and discuss them with your doctor. Please do not take a new supplement without consulting your physician first!
With that said, the below is a complete list of what I take each day. I essentially take the experimental ones in the morning, and then nothing else until I take a pre-workout just before my evening workouts. Immediately after my workouts, I take my protein drink cocktail, and follow that up with the plethora of capsules that I take daily. It’s certainly a long, expensive, exhaustive list; however, I feel like the results are beneficial. If you have any questions or concerns about these below, please leave a comment. I’m also always interested in any that I may have missed that should be considered.
First and foremost, here are the experimental ones that I take first thing in the morning. They are supposed to be taken more often, but I tend to forget.
- L-Arginine: Supposedly helps circulation and helps boost Nitric Oxide levels throughout the day, which is important to weight lifting and muscle building. My workouts have improved, but I am unsure if this is a result of my new pre-workout combination (see below), or the L-Arginine supplements. I highly suspect the pre-workout is responsible for the improvements.
- Garcinia Cambogia: This was a free sample that is supposed to help reduce food cravings. Because of the bariatric surgery, I don’t experience hunger like I once did. However, I figured I would give it a try. So far, I cannot detect any difference. UPDATE (August 20, 2018): I have since thrown out this bottle and ceased taking it! I have read that it can lead to liver failure, so I decided it was not worth the chance.
The below are my pre-workout supplement combination that I take about an hour before every workout. While not technically supplements, they make a huge difference to how I feel and I treat them as such. The wafers are also a healthy snack that provide a good energy boost throughout the day!
- 100% organic Cacao wafers: Most people think that chocolate is bad for you and is some sort of cheat food. It turns out that chocolate is extremely good for you, it’s the added sugar that makes chocolate bars a junk food. By itself, chocolate is packed with nutrients. I have also discovered that it gives a tremendous boost in energy, especially before a workout. While this isn’t a true supplement, I treat it as such and eat 5 or so of these wafers before every workout or if I’m feeling tired.
- Local Raw Honey: Dr. Axe indicates that local raw honey can reduce the chances of allergies, because they contain local pollen and your body builds up an immunity to them through daily exposure. I have since read articles to the contrary, but still take it because I believe honey is good for its anti-microbial abilities and can help keep things like candida at bay.
The below combination of supplements I mix together in almond or cashew milk and drink immediately after a workout. It’s important to get at least 20 grams of protein after a workout so your body does not break down your muscles for fuel. Also, your muscles will be in sad shape following a workout and require extra protein to recover.
- Chia Seeds: Not a true supplement, I take these with my protein powder. These contain protein and other helpful nutrients.
- Plant-based Protein Powder: The brand I buy contains probiotics, vitamins and minerals and essentially acts like a multivitamin. Furthermore, I get 30 grams of protein to help repair my muscles after a workout, when they need it the most. The fact that it’s organic and has a list of ingredients that I clearly recognize is a huge bonus. It’s also delicious!
- Creatine: Bodybuilders have been taking creatine for decades. It’s often touted as harmless, as your body expels excess creatine in urine. It is taken to increase circulation to the muscles and help develop a better “pump”, which results in better and faster muscle gains.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that is essential to most body functions and areas. Furthermore, scientists are now realizing how deficient we are as a result of diminishing supplies of magnesium in our crop soil and other foods.
- Hemp Seeds: I began taking this as an alternative to flax meal so that I would get a healthy amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is important for our bodies, and the ratio to Omega-6 is important. Unfortunately, we eat way too much Omega-6 and not enough Omega-3 with our standard diets, therefore I supplement.
The below list of capsules I take also after my workout, and I usually drink them with the post-workout cocktail.
- Vitamin C: Currently I take Buffered C Salts, and a Vitamin C capsule. Vitamin C is an important anti-oxidant that cannot be made by the body, therefore it is an essential nutrient that we all must consume. We’ve all heard that we should take Vitamin C when we’re sick. I have found that large quantities of Vitamin C (6000 mg/day in my case) have done an excellent job at keeping me healthy and free of most illnesses. In the past, my wife would give me a hard time that I was perpetually sick. However, now I’m one of the least frequently sick in my family and I believe that Vitamin C is at least partially responsible for that.
- Black Elderberry: I’ll be honest, I didn’t research Black Elderberries as much as the rest before taking it. Many people swear by the ability for Black Elderberries to boost the immune system and keep sickness at bay, so I figured I would give it a shot. I can’t say conclusively whether my boosted immune system is a result of the Black Elderberry supplements or others, but I have certainly become sick far less frequently than before.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice that is used heavily in Indian and other south Asian dishes; however, it is also an excellent natural anti-inflammatory supplement. Inflammation can cause issues throughout the body, and I believe that taking turmeric daily helps reduce a lot of issues that arise because of inflammation.
- Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM: Glucosamine is well known to maintain cartilage and joint health. I take it daily for that reason, with the hopes that it will reduce the risk of arthritis or any other cartilage loss. I also drink plenty of bone broth that is full of collagen for similar reasons. The MSM is an added bonus, because it is also an anti-inflammatory supplement similar to turmeric.
- Vitamin B1: In 2017 when I was vacationing in West Virginia, my family was listening to a park ranger explain the various tree species that were local to the park. During that discussion, we were all getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. The park ranger mentioned that if people take a B1 (also known as Thiamine) capsule daily, that mosquitoes will avoid them. Since then, I have read conflicting stories about the accuracy of that claim. However, since that vacation, I have taken B1 daily. I have observed that mosquitoes bite me much less frequently, and generally prefer to bite the other person that I’m around instead of me. In summary, I don’t think it will make mosquitoes avoid you completely, but it does appear to cause them to prefer the people you’re with. I believe that is the price that they should pay for not taking their supplements!
- Alpha Lipoic Acid: Alpha Lipoic Acid claims numerous possible health claims; however, I take it because it is yet another anti-oxidant. With all those free radicals running around stealing electrons from our body, they need all the help they can get from anti-oxidants!
- Mushrooms: It is basically a dried, crushed blend of known healthy mushrooms. Mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane are known to boost cognitive function and memory. A while ago, I was suffering from brain fog and began taking this to see if it would help. I will never know which supplement fixed it, but my brain fog eventually disappeared and I feel cognitively sharper than I have for a long while, since at least my 20s.
- Citicoline: Citicoline is another supplement that I began taking while on a mission to cure my brain fog. It was cured because of supplements I haven’t yet pinpointed, and I may never know which supplement was responsible. I also do not want to mess with success, so it’s unlikely I will change my combination of brain-supporting supplements to find out.
- Lithium: Lithium is well known to help people with severe mental disorders. Dr. Brownstein mentioned that he takes Lithium daily and believes that most of the general public are deficient of Lithium. For that reason, I take the identical amount that Dr. Brownstein indicates that he takes for himself. Again, something worked toward fixing my brain fog, and Lithium is a likely contributor.
- Probiotics: Gut health is something that few understand and appreciate. I’ve read enough material from Dr. Axe, Dr. Brownstein, and other authors to appreciate the fact that neurons and the bulk of the immune system are connected to the digestive system. Because of this, having a wide variety of beneficial bacteria is key to good health throughout the body. In fact, it was Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, that stated that “All disease begins in the gut.” It turns out that he was thoroughly correct, despite saying that approximately 2,400 years ago. Along with the large assortment and quantities of fermented foods and drinks that I consume, I also take two probiotics daily to help maintain optimal gut health.
- Iodine: The topic of Iodine is controversial; however, Dr. Brownstein has convinced me that most of the general public has an Iodine deficit that is contributing to numerous health issues and thyroid disorders. He believes that the bromine found in most bread and flour-based products is responsible for leeching the iodine from our bodies. Because of this, he believes that we should supplement with iodine, and I subsequently take a high potency iodine supplement.
- CoQ10: CoQ10 is produced by your body and goes hand-in-hand with cholesterol to help repair cells and aid in numerous body functions. As we get older, our body produces less than it used to. Furthermore, drugs such as statins negatively impact CoQ10 production. I do not take a statin, but do take a CoQ10 supplement per the guidance of my Naturalistic Doctor.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is helpful to numerous bodily functions and areas. The body produces Vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Because I tend to cover myself in the sun, I was Vitamin D deficient and therefore take a supplement.
- Vitamin B-12: Vitamin B-12 is key to good health, and is usually deficient in people that avoid eating meat. Sometimes I get my protein from meat, other times I resort to beans and nuts. Either way, I play it safe and take a Vitamin B-12 supplement. I have read that cyanocobalamin is basically cyanide bound to B-12, so I avoid that version of B-12 at all costs. My preference is methylcobalamin, which is supposedly more natural and has less potential health risks. I should note that I don’t take this capsule with a drink. Instead, I place it beneath my tongue and let it dissolve, per the instructions on the bottle.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is based entirely upon my experiences and observations. I am not a medical professional and you must do your own research and consult your doctor before making any changes to your eating, fitness, medication, or supplements. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional.