First, let me just say that supplements are exactly that… SUPPLEMENTS.
They are there to SUPPORT a healthy, whole food diet.
When it comes to supplements, I always like to use Paul Chek’s analogy of the “Golden Nails”…
?Vitamins (supplements) are like nails, and your macronutrients [carbohydrates, protein and fats] are like the wood used to build a boat. It doesn?t matter if you use golden nails, building a boat out of junk wood will only result in a useless boat that sinks, taking your golden nails right to the bottom.?
-Paul Chek, Author “How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy”
So it doesn’t matter if you have the best protein powder, creatine or fish oil…
…if you’re chomping down on donuts and twinkies, supplements will do NOTHING for you.
BUT, if you’re looking for an edge, or if you KNOW that your diet is lacking in certain areas, then these are the supplements that I deem essential to take for men, over 35…
Experts say that your gut is your 2nd brain.
Your gut contains about 3-5 pounds of bacteria (about enough to fit a soup can).? Keeping that in mind, it’s important for you to maintain homeostasis of your gut microbiome.? That means that you have a good ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria.
Here’s a cool fact that you may not know…
If you’re sleep deprived (like if you consistently get less than 6hrs per night), you may be carrying more harmful bacteria than helpful bacteria.
At night when you sleep your body recovers. And part of that recovery is allowing the good bacteria to replicate and help you regain homeostasis in your gut.? Being sleep deprived slows this process and if you wake up before this process is complete, you’re basically walking around in a state of stress (from too much bad bacteria).
In addition to that – and the obvious benefit of better digestion – probiotics will help you…
- Improve your immune system and help you stave off sickness
- Helps decrease inflammation in your body
- Helps increase insulin sensitivity and helps reduce the risk of diabetes
I’ve used a lot of probiotics, but P3-OM by the guys at BioOptimizers is by far the best.
A word of warning though…
These ProBiotics aren’t cheap.
But they’re worth the investment if only because of the extensive 3rd party research that this company has done to make sure that they put out the highest quality product.
HACK: A bio-hacker friend of mine who is “in the know” with this kind of stuff once told me that if I ever ended up sick – like with stomach flu OR cold-like symptoms -?to down an entire bottle of P3-OM.? An ENTIRE BOTTLE.? A few weeks ago I did, in fact, end up getting sick – with flu-like symptoms.? So I downed a whole bottle at 4pm.? I went to bed that night and woke up the next morning fine… actually feeling great.? Not saying that you should do that, but I had nothing to lose.
This should be a no-brainer.
When used properly, fish oil can make your cardiovascular system damn near indestructible, tamp down virtually all inflammation, improve your insulin sensitivity, and turn you into a lean, fat-burning machine.
To know how much to take depends on the individual and how much Omega-3s they are getting from their food.
When in doubt, I like Dan John’s dosage recommendation…
Increase your daily intake of fish oil by ONE CAPSULE (or one teaspoon) every other day until you get “runny”.? Then scale back by 1-3 capsules and that is the ideal amount.? When/if you get runny again, scale back by another 1-3 capsules, and so on.
I’m currently taking Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil for my fish oil supplementation.
If you decide to go with Blue Ice, I’d suggest the “Cinnamon Tingle” flavour (or any other flavour) because the actual pure, unflavoured cod liver oil tastes like feet.
I’ve written about the benefits of Magnesium for men before.
Your body cannot absorb Vitamin D unless you have sufficient levels of Magnesium.
So that alone – considering Vitamin D is essential for a healthy life and essential for maintaining testosterone levels in men – should indicate the importance of Magnesium.
And with the poor soil quality that we have in North America these days – even with organic produce – it’s not uncommon to find more and more people with a Magnesium deficiency.
There are 2 basic types of Mg supplements: salts and chelates. Salt forms typically have names like magnesium oxide (essentially magnesium rust) and are very cheap to make.
On the other hand, chelates are elemental magnesium bonded to amino acids, these are more expensive.
Salt forms are hard for the body to actually digest, after all the body doesn?t want rust in it!
The chelates are recognized by the gut to be the same as the amino acid they are bound to, as a result they are far easier to be readily absorbed.
The Magnesium that I use is from a company called BiOptimizers.
I use this brand because it contains the 7 primary forms of Magnesium that our body needs.
Most Magnesium supplements only contain 3 or 4 forms of Magnesium so even if you’re taking Mg, you still may be deficient.
This really isn’t a “supplement” per se but an adaptogenic herb.
I don’t call it a supplement because there aren’t many foods in a regular diet where you can get Ashwagandha.
Nonetheless, this herb is powerful when it comes to dealing with stress and helping calm the nerves by mitigating the cortisol response and improving DHEA (the ultimate stress management hormone) which in turn increases testosterone.
What I’m currently testing…
Probably the most researched supplement in the history of fitness, creatine helps increase the amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to your muscles.? ATP is your body’s main source for energy.
Creatine has also been shown to enhance recovery from hard workouts, increase your capacity to perform hard workouts and even helps increase brain function.
The first time I cycled with creatine was in the late 90s when I was in highschool.? During that cycle I was able to increase my back squat to 225lbs (that was 2 “big boy” plates and it was a big deal when you only weighed about 150lbs) and dunk a basketball for the first time.
Recently, I’ve been researching supplements for the over-40 crowd and this is one of them that I’ll be cycling for 8-12 weeks… and I want to dunk a basketball again 🙂
I’ve currently got an order of ONNIT’s Creatine Monohydrate coming through.
I’ll report back and let you know.
I never understood the “meat sweats”.
But living in the tropics now, I just don’t eat a lot anymore because it’s too damn hot and when I eat in the middle of the day – especially a bigger meal – I just don’t feel like doing anything for the rest of the day.
As a result, I KNOW for a fact that I’m not eating enough protein.
According to the research done in the book “How Much Protein” by Brad Pilon, ideally a male who trains hard would need around 120g of protein per day.
I get nowhere near that and haven’t for almost 2 years.
So I did some research to find a good whey protein source and decided to give ONNIT’s Grass Fed Whey a try.
I’ll mix a scoop of protein (20g) with creatine (5g) post workout.
***I like ONNIT mainly because I had a chance to meet and talk to Aubrey Marcus when I went to visit and train at the ONNIT Headquarters in Austin, TX. He really believes in focusing on the quality of the product he produces and an amazing customer experience. So I will endorse their products because I believe in those things as well.
Do you take supplements?
Or do you not believe in them?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
I’ll send a bottle of P3-OM to whoever leaves the best comment (I need at least 10 comments for anyone to qualify).