Dietary Nutritional Health Supplements Guide
Feeling, being and living healthy is our chief aim and sole goal here. Providing quality information, knowledge, wisdom and truth is our top priority. And we know after a decade of dedicated Trying to keep your health in balance can be a difficult task for anyone.
With dizzying amount of information available regarding health care products, beauty supplies, vitamins, and supplements, it’s getting more and more difficult to find reliable resources and to be certain that you are making informed decisions about your health.
We know how hard it is to find reliable information from sources that you can trust. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you identify and understand the latest breakthroughs in health, fitness, and beauty.
We’ve spent dozens of hours researching everything from supplements to skin creams, and have compiled our findings in this eBook. We filtered through thousands of (often contradictory) statements, claims, and research articles to bring you the facts without any of the confusion.
It is our hope that this information will help you to understand all of the conflicting information that is out there regarding health and beauty supplements.
The products, programs, and supplements that we recommend have been thoroughly vetted by their creators and their users, but we also wanted to make sure that they were backed by science.
We took the time to research each and every product (or its active component) to make sure that any claims regarding its effectiveness were backed by scientific evidence.
We also wanted to make sure that you were aware of the many dangerous supplements on the market that you will want to stay away from, so we spent time researching potential problems with popular supplements and have included information about any supplements we believe you should honestly avoid.
We’ve compiled this eBook for you as a labor of love, to try to simplify the already chaotic life you certainly lead. We hope you and your family benefits from the information you find here, and wish you the best of luck on your journey to a healthier, happier you.
Table of Contents
- 1 Dietary Nutritional Health Supplements Guide
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Chapter 1: Core Daily Supplements
- 4 Chapter 2: Recommended Supplements
- 4.1 Weight Loss
- 4.2 Fitness Supplements
- 4.2.1 Fat Burning Supplements
- 4.2.2 Energy & Power Boosting Supplements
- 4.2.3 Muscle Building Supplements
- 4.2.4 Brain & Cognitive Supplements
- 4.2.5 Testosterone Supplements
- 4.3 Skin Care Supplements
- 5 Chapter 3: Supplements to Avoid
- 6 Conclusion: Beware of Health Supplement Scams Or Poorly Sourced Ingredients
They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an apple may not be enough to battle the effects of the average daily diet. In the average American diet, several vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, such as vitamin D, iron, and essential amino acids are either in short supply or are missing altogether.
At the same time, things such as carbohydrates, fats, sugars, and salts are not only common but significantly over represented. Considering this, it is no wonder that obesity and heart disease are among the most common of fatal ailments in the world today.
Research into the American diet for the 2015 update of Dietary Guidelines, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, found that nearly half of all Americans suffer from preventable diseases.
These diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even certain forms of cancer, are a direct result of poor diet and a lack of sufficient exercise.
Beyond the impact to the health of the average American, the economic impact of these preventable conditions is staggering. The same report found that the estimated medical costs of diagnosed diabetes topped out at $176 billion, while the cost of lost productivity due to complications of diabetes was as high as $69 billion.
These two figures alone represent $245 billion that could be better spent serving our families, our communities, and our country as a whole. And that is just the impact of one disease!
The impact of other preventable conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension, and obesity, can easily exceed this cost many times over, resulting in billions (if not trillions) of dollars wasted.
Whether your goal is to lose weight to fit into your favorite bathing suit this summer, build muscle to impress that cute girl at the coffee shop, or just to improve your health so you can enjoy spending more active time with your friends, children, and grandchildren for years to come, you can be assured that diet and exercise are the twin pillars that will get you there.
But when diet and exercise aren’t enough to achieve the results you desire, supplementing your diet and exercise with safe, effective products can improve your chances of success exponentially.
With supplements, you can improve your health faster and reach greater heights than with diet and exercise alone.
Certain supplements such as wrinkle creams or water retention supplements operate primarily on the surface. These products generate the appearance of change, either by smoothing skin or by making muscles or fat appear larger than usual. But the best supplements will also work within your body to regenerate and strengthen your cells to produce lasting, long-term results.
We took a look at hundreds of products, chemicals, and supplements, and have included only those that are proven to improve your health rather than simply improving how healthy you look on the outside. With this guide, you can skip the hassle of weeding out the fakers and get right to the products that will truly help you. You can also check out our detailed description of how to buy nutritional supplements online if you are interested.
Chapter 1: Core Daily Supplements
The products listed in this section are the ones we recommend every single person, young or old, fit or unfit, strong or weak, to consider as a part of their daily routine. Each benefits the user significantly in ways that go far beyond normal medical or dietary treatments, which typically serve to treat only the symptoms of a given condition.
Instead, these products work to treat the cause of the condition itself. We believe wholeheartedly, based on the evidence we’ve compiled on each product and its ingredients, that each of these products deserve a vital role in your daily nutritional regimen.
The average daily multivitamin contains a mixture of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional elements to support dietary intake of the recommended daily doses for each component.
Most multivitamins will at least contain vitamin A, a mixture of B-vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Some will also include additional fiber, to help with digestion, and antioxidants, to improve cellular health and regeneration.
Daily multivitamins are available in various specialized formulas designed for people of different ages, sexes, and medical conditions (such as neonatal multivitamins for pregnant women). Because of this, there are a number of multivitamin compositions that can be recommended depending on your specific needs. The best way to ensure that your multivitamin is right for you is to find a formula that reflects your individual needs and desires.
For older folks, for example, a formula high in calcium would be recommended to improve bone health. A person who works on the night shift or in a cold climate might seek a multivitamin that is high in vitamin D, as they have fewer opportunities to absorb vitamin D from sunlight as those working during the day or in warm, sunny climates. If you are unsure which multivitamin to choose, there is an excellent way to ensure that you select the one that is best for you.
Simply ask your local pharmacist, your nutritionist, or your family doctor. They will be able to help you find the perfect mixture for your needs.
In addition to the standard daily recommended multivitamin, several products have emerged on the market that we recommend adding to your daily supplement regimen. The first three supplements we will review with you are NAC, PQQ, and CoQ10, which are fairly common in the daily supplement regimens used by individuals worldwide.
Luckily, rather than deal with figuring out the individual dosages for each one, we were able to locate a product called “Vitapulse” that combines all 3. Vitapulse is able to deliver NAC, PQQ, and CoQ10 all in an antioxidant-packed power pill designed to improve your health from the inside out. But of course, the real question is why you should be taking these three supplements in the first place.
NAC, or N-acetyl cysteine as it is formally known, is a product of the amino acid L-cysteine produced naturally in the bodies of many living creatures. NAC has a vast array of uses and benefits to the human body.
We recommend NAC for its power to fight bacterial infections and battle the symptoms of issues such as cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and influenza A. It has even been found to assist with psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder and depression.
It helps to protect your liver and kidneys from the wear and tear that they experience in performing their daily duties, which is extremely important as this damage it done even by the healthiest of diets.
It is commonly used in the medical field in the treatment of acetaminophen and carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as the treatment of chest pain, bile duct blockage in infants, amyotrphic lateral sclerosis (or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), Alzheimer's disease, allergic reactions to certain prescription medications, keratoconjunctivitis (a type of eye infection), and severe kidney disease. In addition to these common treatment uses, NAC is also used in the medical field as a preventative agent in heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
This is due to the fact that it reduces lipoprotein (a), a type of bad cholesterol, and homocysteine levels. Additionally, N-acetyl cysteine has shown positive results in the treatment of chronic bronchitis, hay fever, head and neck cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD), lung cancer, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), ear infections, complications of kidney dialysis, Sjorgen's syndrome (an autoimmune disorder), and radiation sickness.
It can assist in increasing immunity to flu, H1N1 flu (swine flu), and H5N1 (bird flu), and in preventing complications from sports injuries. Further, NAC is used to detoxify heavy metals in the body, such as mercury, lead, and cadmium, which can lead to sickness or even death.
NAC has been shown to prevent alcoholic liver damage (to an extent), protect against environmental pollutants (such as chloroform, certain herbicides, and even carbon monoxide), reduce the toxicity of certain drugs used in the treatment of cancer, stomach ulcers, prevent damage to the kidneys from certain dyes used in x-ray analysis, cure hangovers, and even help in the treatment of HIV!
In a medical setting, NAC can either be administered intravenously or through inhalation to deliver an immediate, concentrated dose.
It can also be absorbed into the bloodstream through the digestive tract for normal, daily supplementation.
NAC is an antioxidant, which may help in the prevention of cancer and reduce signs and symptoms of aging by reducing free radicals throughout the body. NAC acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body by suppressing the activation molecules for many inflammatory mediators, inhibiting the expression of cytokines that cause inflammation, and regulating the production of the enzyme COX-2, which produces the pain and inflammation causing chemicals which are responsible for a host of chronic conditions.
NAC helps the body produce glutathione, which is an antioxidant in the cells of the body that often declines in level with age and chronic illness. NAC can also reduce the inflammatory response caused by exercise. It can reduce pain and injury from exercise while boosting recovery times and effectiveness.
NAC is extremely safe, with studies confirming a lack of danger in patients taking as much as 2,800mg per day for nearly 3 months. The recommended daily dosage for NAC is between 250mg and 1000mg, with levels varying depending on desired effects, conditions being treated, and supplementation type. As you will probably receive some NAC from the foods and other supplements you take, Vitapulse contains only about 250mg per pill.
This makes it perfectly reasonable as a starting point for your daily intake of NAC. With over 40 years in use in the medical community, both by itself and as an agent in other compounds, NAC is a safe, healthy way to improve your overall health and well-being.
PQQ, known formally as pyrroloquinoline quinone, is a redox cofactor. Simply put, this means that it is a chemical used by the body in the process of breaking down, building, and transporting other chemicals between cells.
PQQ helps to reduce damage to the heart, and can even help with recovery in the event of a heart attack or stroke. PQQ also acts to improve memory and cognition, especially that which is lost as a result of aging.
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone reduces oxidants in the body and each molecule can be used and reused by the body thousands of times. This can boost your antioxidant benefits exponentially, assuming the correct nutrition and support framework of vitamins and minerals are available.
PQQ supports mitochondrial function within the cellular structure of the body as well, and, as we all remember from middle school biology: “The mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell!” By supporting the mitochondria in your cells, you can improve their energy, and therefore their ability to fight back against the debilitating effects of aging and disease.
PQQ can not only improve the functionality of mitochondria within the cell, but can also help the cells produce more mitochondria in general, thus multiplying its benefits exponentially throughout the body.
PQQ is fairly unique in that it can even help to improve the regeneration and growth of nerve cells, which support mental acuity in aging patients and patients at risk for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. This same nerve growth is supported throughout the body, so the benefits don’t end at improved cognitive function.
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone also has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that PQQ supplementation could reduce or even reverse the symptoms of conditions such as fibromyalgia. PQQ can support patients at risk for diabetes, as it has been shown to play a beneficial role in relation to insulin resistance when taken at appropriate doses.
It also operates as a growth factor, which can greatly support the regeneration of cells after injury or in the process of building and maintaining a healthy body.
PQQ has shown to improve sleep quality and reduce pain in patients suffering from poor sleep, which can be caused by environmental factors, such as shift work sleep disorder, or medical factors, such as insomnia.
PQQ also helps the body to reach a peak metabolic rate, which means that proper supplementation can aid weight loss significantly.
The recommended daily dosage of PQQ has not yet been determined by studies with humans, but studies do indicate that the beneficial effects of PQQ can be observed at dosages as low as 2mg.
Each Vitapulse capsule contains a heaping dose of 10mg of PQQ, which is within the daily recommended levels as currently understood, and should provide a marked boost in overall health and well-being.
CoQ10 is a coenzyme, also known as a cofactor, making it similar to PQQ in the type of role it plays in the body. CoQ10 helps to improve the power and efficiency of every cell in the body, especially in organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys, which require the most energy.
More precisely, much like PQQ, CoQ10 operates to aid the mitochondria in the production of energy within the cells of the body. It acts to improve the transfer of energy within the cells, thus reducing the load on the body and improving the user’s quality of life.
CoQ10 also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can significantly aid in the prevention or reversal of certain signs of aging, including loss of skin elasticity, joint pain, brain fog, and more. Consistent use can reduce the chance of heart attack, improve virility in men, reduce migraines, and improve the symptoms of Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Conversely, many conditions, such as depression, migraines, and Parkinson’s disease can cause a deficiency of this invaluable resource within the body. This means that a person who has or is at risk for these conditions could benefit even more from direct supplementation.
CoQ10 can also work within the blood to improve circulation, repair and prevent damage to the blood vessels, and remove plaque from the heart and arteries. CoQ10 is a commonly suggested supplement after a heart attack, and has been shown to significantly improve the capacity for exercise in those who have suffered from one.
It also improves capacity, if slightly less significantly, in those who have not suffered any damage to the heart.
CoQ10 supplementation has shown to greatly reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Combined with other supplements, such as PQQ, it has the potential to reduce the symptoms further and even reverse some of the damage caused by the condition.
CoQ10 also helps to improve male virility and testosterone production, as well as the body’s ability to heal muscle damage. This can significantly improve the quality of results that men, especially men over 40, receive from exercise.
Furthermore, CoQ10 supplementation has been shown to benefit those suffering from or at risk of depression, general anxiety, and migraines. It has also been shown to have a beneficial effect in the reduction of insulin resistance to prevent and treat diabetes.
The daily recommended intake of CoQ10 is between 90mg and 200mg, if supplementing directly. Vitapulse contains a 100mg dosage in each one of its capsules, making it the perfect daily dose of CoQ10 to improve your health and wellness.
Overall, we believe that each of these supplements should be a part of everyone’s daily intake. When we found that Vitapulse offers not only a combination of the three, but also a high quality standard for both the components and the finished product, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share it with you.
Luckily, the pill is small and can be taken with or without food. So even if you live your life on the go, Vitapulse is safe, effective, and beneficial. To make matters even better, Vitapulse offers a 90 day money back guarantee with no questions asked! With all of the glowing reviews, the incredibly high quality of the ingredients, and the pride that Princeton Nutrients puts into Vitapulse, we believe it is a solid choice to ensure you receive your daily dose of these 3 vital nutrients.
Probiotics work to restore the balance between the good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract, thereby improving digestion, metabolism, and autoimmune response. This reduces the symptoms of digestive disorders such as IBS, prevents kidney stones, and improves overall health. Proper gastrointestinal health can even help to prevent heart disease by reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract supports the breakdown and absorption of food, supplements, and other ingested substances, while feeding off of the toxins, fats, and other unhealthy components that are often inherently contained within those foods. Bad bacteria, on the other hand, can actually produce toxins, causing you to crave sweets, fats, and salty foods. This can directly contribute to heart disease, obesity, and a general overall decline in your health.
Beyond the direct benefits of probiotics, they also help with the absorption of other vitamins, thus improving the effectiveness of every other vitamin and supplement in your body.
Thousands of probiotics are available in the marketplace, with many boldly claiming to be the best. In our research we came across one, Perfect Biotics, which truly outshined the competition. This powerful blend combines 15 different beneficial probiotic strains. All 15 strains work together to give you the maximum potential benefits of each and every probiotic contained inside.
Even more amazing, Perfect Biotics has managed to place within every pill nearly 30 billion CFU (colony forming units), which is a measure of the amount of probiotic material actually contained within the probiotic pill itself.
Many manufacturers produce products similar to Perfect Biotic, but all of them fail to meet the quality and quantity of benefits that Perfect Biotics can provide. In a world where many products in many industries are striving to offer you less product for more money, Perfect Biotics proved to us that they are able to provide more value than their competition. And they did so at prices which are extremely competitive in their market. Even better, Perfect Biotics is manufactured in the U.S.A. and is certified gluten, soy, and allergen free.
Perfect Biotics stands behind their product, offering a full, money back, no questions asked, 90 day guarantee on their product. If you want to improve your health from the inside out, the best place to start is by providing some much needed TLC to your gastrointestinal system, and Perfect Biotics is the best way we’ve found to do that.
In addition to probiotics, which help to balance the levels of good and bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, you need a way to clean out the years of buildup from your daily struggle against greasy fast food cheeseburgers and one too many helpings of your favorite sweets. What we have found to help with this is silica. More specifically, we found a product called Silalive, which combines both food grade diatomaceous earth and orthosilicic acid (also known as organic silica) to help supplement your lacking daily nutritional amount of silica.
Diatomaceous earth is a silica based element. On a microscopic level, diatomaceous earth is covered in sharp edges. These sharp edges are not sharp enough to damage the tough internal or external tissues of the human body, but are just sharp enough to scrape away at plaque and other harmful elements within the gastrointestinal tract.
Diatomaceous earth also helps the body with mineral absorption, metabolic processing, skeletal maintenance and repair, and maintaining the balance of various minerals within the body.
Organic silica augments the properties of diatomaceous earth, as both are silica based elements. Without sufficient silica, the body cannot take advantage of various minerals, such as calcium. This means that even with calcium supplements, the body won’t be able to take advantage of the calcium it needs to heal and strengthen bones if it does not have enough silica.
Silica helps to slow the degradation of ligaments and connective tissues (such as collagen, which makes skin firm and elastic), and helps to maintain and improve the elasticity of the same ligaments and connective tissues. Silica also helps to improve the health of other tissues in the body, including lung tissue. Hair, teeth, gums, nails, joints, muscles, and so much more benefit from having a sufficient supply of silica within the body.
Orthosilicic acid specifically has been shown to help treat health conditions including Alzheimer’s, arthritis, atherosclerosis, hypertension, heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, chronic respiratory disease, and many others.
While there is no standard daily recommended intake level for silica, nor a recommended daily value for either diatomaceous earth or orthosilicic acid, studies indicate that as much as 50% of the silica ingested through normal food sources is excreted through the body without being used. What this means is that silica supplementation could very well improve the levels of silica your body can make use of, even if you eat a diet rich in silica containing foods, such as bananas or string beans.
Silica supplementation is a great way to ensure that you are actually benefiting from your daily nutrient regimen. With no known side-effects to either diatomaceous earth or orthosilicis acid, Silalive is a truly fantastic way to ensure that the body has an ample supply of this vital element.
Fish Oil (Omega 3/6/7/9)
Fish oil supplementation is a common recommendation by doctors across the world, but most people don’t truly understand the benefits of adding fish oil to their daily routine. Fish oil is one of the few substances that contain all 4 of the omega fatty acids (3, 6, 7, and 9) that are imperative to proper physical and mental health. Each omega fatty acid shares traits and roles with the others, but each is used by the body in different ways to achieve the same happier, healthier you.
Omega-3 fatty acid promotes cognitive abilities, improves cardiovascular health, supports the development of healthy cholesterol and triglycerides, reduces bad cholesterol and triglycerides, reduces the risk of stroke, reduces inflammation, supports joint health, supports eye health by improving the health of the maculas, decreases the chances of premature birth, improves symptoms of depression and anxiety, improves response to insulin (and therefore helps regulate blood sugar), aids weight loss, and helps regulate blood pressure.
Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3, are found naturally within the brain and other vital organs, and are essential to the development and maintenance of the body, but the body itself cannot produce these fatty acids. This means that any supply of essential fatty acids must be consumed or otherwise absorbed into the body to maintain every single tissue in the human body.
Most Americans do not consume enough essential fatty acids in their natural diet, and should consider supplementation of these necessary components.
Omega-3 fatty acids come in “short-chain” forms and “long-chain” forms. The long-chain forms are most beneficial to the health and well-being of the human body, yet the human body has less than 5% efficiency at converting short-chain forms into long chains. Furthermore, different types of fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, may compete for absorption and conversion within the body. Americans average a ratio of about 20 to 1 omega-6 to omega-3 in their average diet, and come up significantly short on their daily recommended intake levels for omega-3.
To improve health and balance, supplementation of omega-3 is recommended as a daily regimen. Be warned, though! Low-quality fish oil or other omega-3 or omega-6 supplements may contain trace amounts of heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, nickel, arsenic, or cadmium.
These can all be toxic to the human body, even in small doses. Other contaminants, including chlorines and carcinogens, are sometimes discovered in less refined fish oil supplements as well, meaning there is potential for even further toxicity when consuming these low quality supplements.
The largest and most potent benefits of omega-6 are its ability to promote cell growth during and after physical activity, and its ability to reduce the inflammation cascade effect in the cells, which can halt cell damage and promote cell repair.
The receptors that omega-6 binds to are found in every tissue in the human body, making it an important essential fatty acid.
Omega-6 is very similar to omega-3, and there is even an enzyme that can convert omega-6 to omega-3. Unfortunately, the human body lacks this enzyme, so both must be consumed regularly and simultaneously for proper health.
Low quality omega-6 supplements have been found to include lipid peroxidation products, which act as free radicals within the body. Free radicals cause cell damage and inflammation, which can further exacerbate signs of aging, such as joint pain, wrinkles, and cognitive decline.
A proper balance of omega-6 and omega-3, obtained through high quality supplements, can combat all of these, and can even help reduce inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies have even shown that a proper omega-6 to omega-3 ratio can be beneficial to sufferers of asthma.
Omega-7 is a lesser known fatty acid that is gaining popularity rapidly in the nutritional world. Omega-7 is hard to find naturally in either plant or animal food materials. Some of the richest sources of omega-7 are macadamia nut oil and sea buckthorn oil, which are not likely to be a common part of the average kitchen.
Omega-7 has been shown to produce benefits similar to omega-3 and omega-6, including improved gastrointestinal health, improved health of the hair, nails, and teeth, improved moisture in the skin, hair, and nails, improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and improved metabolic ability, specifically as it pertains to weight loss and management. Furthermore, omega-7 has shown promising results in reducing the risk of type II diabetes, reducing plaque in the arteries, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, and combating inflammation.
Omega-7 supplementation has been shown to improve the conditions of those suffering from type II diabetes by lowering glucose and insulin resistance in preliminary studies, as well as reducing fatty liver deposits, which can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
But there is a dilemma with trying to supplement a diet with macadamia nut oil or sea buckthorn oil in order to increase intake of omega-7. The problem is that these oils also contain palmitic acid, which is actually a form of saturated fatty acid.
This cancels out most of the benefit one might receive from the omega-7 dosage in these oils. Ideally, consumption of a purified, high quality omega-7 supplement would produce the greatest beneficial results.
Omega-9 contains a few different fatty acids: oleic acid, mead acid, erucic acid, and nervonic acid. Of these, erucic acid, which can be found in canola and mustard oils, shows in preliminary studies that it might be dangerous to humans in some ways. It should be avoided in large doses if possible, but have not been shown to be harmful in moderation. The other acids (oleic, mead, and nervonic) all are completely safe for human consumption, and contain a wide range of benefits, similar to the benefits of the other fatty acids.
They have been shown to be important in the preservation of healthy cognitive functioning, reducing inflammation in the body, improving cardiovascular health, reducing cholesterol, and strengthening the immune system.
While doing research for this book, we found 2 products that we believed should be included to complement your daily nutritional intake beyond the normal daily recommendations for supplements.
The benefits we discovered and the evidence for their power was so compelling we decided to make these a daily recommendation to go side by side (or even inside) the foods you eat every day.
Patriot Power Greens
The first nutritional supplement we need to share with you is Patriot Power Greens. Patriot Power Greens is a product which was originally developed to help military servicemen improve their overall health and stay at the top of their game in the field, even as they age. The formula was developed by Dr. Lane Sebring, who is a veteran of the United States Air Force himself. Patriotic Power Greens combines 38 fruits and vegetables, 10 probiotic strains, and 7 digestive enzymes to prevent inflammation and reverse the damaging effects of aging and inflammation, including joint pain, muscle stiffness, heartburn, memory decline, and fatigue.
Inflammation is commonly known to cause joint pain and fatigue, but many do not know that it can also cause problems with their heart, arteries, nerve cells, brain functionality, and cellular growth.
Recent studies indicate that inflammation is at least partially responsible for over 90% of the regular aches, pains, and ailments experienced daily by individuals both young and old. Inflammation can even contribute significantly to heart attack and stroke! In addition to improving the user’s health, this product can also help to improve the look of the user’s skin, hair, and nails.
It improves the overall health of the user and takes years off of their appearance. Patriot Power Greens is completely GMO, dairy, gluten, soy, peanut, and allergen free.
The second nutritional supplement we just had to share with you was something that many of us have in our kitchens already, but aren’t taking full advantage of: turmeric.
Turmeric is a spice common in Indian cuisine that has shown significant promise in studies as a valuable supplement to the daily diet.
Research shows the turmeric contains extremely valuable holistic properties, including cancer prevention, improved cognitive function, Alzheimer’s prevention, depression prevention and treatment, reduced aging, reduced inflammation, increased strength of joints and ligaments, boosted immune system function, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, reduced blood clotting, lowered blood sugar and reduced insulin resistance, improved gastrointestinal health, and even pain relief.
Further results show promise for turmeric use as a supplement to prevent acne, treat asthma, help with diabetes treatments (or even reversing type II diabetes), deal with and prevent cataracts and glaucoma, help with mood disorders (such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder), and treat insomnia.
The research surrounding turmeric is powerful and compelling.
These nutritional supplements work to treat the causes of pain and aging, and to improve the overall health of the user.
Separately, each is a powerful addition to your daily routine, but combined they offer the opportunity to significantly improve your overall health and well-being.
Chapter 2: Recommended Supplements
The next few sections we decided to break out individually, as not everyone will see the need to partake of each and every supplement we list here.
Depending on your goals and where you are in your journey to a healthier, more exuberant self, some of these supplements will be more important to you, and other will be less so.
Each section contains a complete explanation of our reasons for its inclusion, as well as an explanation of its benefits.
Some sections have recommendations for products that we found met our high standards for quality and effectiveness, but other sections describe supplements that we either didn’t feel required a specific branded product recommendation or that we haven’t yet found a specific product that outshines all the others.
That said, we want you to have the best, so when we were able to find a product that truly stood above the rest, we made sure to include it here for you.
The first category, and the most commonly-cited reason for seeking out supplements, herbs, or other cures, is weight loss. Many of us struggle or have struggled in our lives to rid ourselves of excess body fat that stubbornly refuses to remove itself from our stomachs, arms, thighs, or backs.
We have sought out everything from diet pills to crash diets to fad diets to help us lose the weight.
Some of us experience more success than others, and some even complete their journey to a new and healthy body. However, the majority of us will struggle time and again with results that fall well below our expectations.
Worse than that, many crash diets and fad diets, as well as many diet pills and routines, will lead to short-term weight loss that can rebound into long-term weight gain once the diet or “treatment” has ended.
Many of us have experienced this “rubber-banding” effect first-hand and know how devastating it can be to struggle with a new diet or routine only to see the numbers on the scale go back up after all is said and done, sometimes even higher than before.
We know this struggle, and we want you to succeed in your journey, so we scoured the archives, so-to-speak, to find the best weight loss supplements and routines to help you reach your goals.
Weight Loss Supplements
Green Tea and Green Tea Extract
Green tea has been touted as a great addition to any weight loss regimen for many years now, with anecdotal evidence and scientific evidence supporting its claim as a high-quality weight loss enhancer.
The tea itself, as well as the extract made from its leaves, has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for centuries. Medicinal references date as far back as the Shang Dynasty, which ruled in China in 2000 B.C.
The primary benefits of green tea are from the antioxidant properties of green tea catechins. Catechins are present in nearly all forms of tea, but green tea in particular boasts the highest concentration of catechins overall.
Green tea catechins act as an antioxidant in the body, meaning that they combat free radicals within the cells that can lead to the breakdown of DNA, cell membranes, and more.
Free radicals are one of the most commonly-cited causes of aging, both in the appearance and health of the body. A sufficient supply of antioxidants to combat free radicals can significantly contribute to the fight against the effects of aging.
Furthermore, green tea and its extracts can serve to improve blood flow, reduce bad cholesterol, combat cardiovascular disease, prevent or fight cancer, combat chronic or acute inflammation, and improve weight loss.
Working together, green tea catechins and the caffeine in green tea can improve your energy levels and help you burn fat at the same time. Green tea catechins have shown in lab studies to improve the body’s levels of norepinephrine, which is partially responsible for the body’s ability to burn off fat.
Furthermore, studies indicate that green tea, extract or otherwise, can improve the resting-metabolic rate of subjects, and lead to noticeable and significant fat reduction in patients who took roughly 700mg of catechins per day.
Green tea can make an excellent substitute for coffee in the mornings and throughout the day, while providing a powerful dosage of catechins and other nutrients to stabilize and improve health. For those of us who prefer coffee in our lives, green tea extracts can be used instead without sacrificing the nutritional and metabolic benefits of green tea.
However you decide to get your catechins, whether through tea or extracts, you can rest assured that, with over 4,000 years of results, you are getting some of the oldest and best weight loss medicine out there.
Forskolin is primarily regarded for its powerful weight loss and muscle building properties. Commonly used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years, forskolin is derived from the roots of a medical plant known as the Indian Coleus plant.
It has been used for centuries to treat problems such as gastrointestinal disease and distress, cardiovascular problems, respiratory problems (including asthma), cognitive decline, skin problems, such as eczema or rash, and rheumatism.
Further, forskolin is used to improve cognitive function, reduce inflammation, control blood pressure, prevent and treat glaucoma, and heal the effects of damage from chronic problems, such as scarring on the lungs from chronic bronchitis or asthma.
Forskolin’s most desirable effect for weight loss is the effect it has on metabolism. It stimulates the fat-burning mechanisms within the body to help regulate metabolism and improve the results of weight-loss efforts.
Dosages as high as 250mg per day have been studied, and have shown no negative side-effects. These studies have shown forskolin to be a potent weight loss supplement which works by stimulating the body to release fat stored in fat cells to be used for energy, rather than using protein or carbohydrates.
In a controlled study of the effects of forskolin on overweight and obese men, the effects of forskolin were astounding. Compared to men who took a placebo during the 12-week trial, men who took forskolin lost nearly 10 times as much fat, built nearly 3 times as much lean muscles mass, improved their testosterone levels, and experienced improved overall health.
Low-quality supplements of forskolin typically contain low amounts of pure forskolin and are generally less refined, making them less useful for dietary supplementation. For those seeking the benefits of forskolin from supplements, it is better to spend a little more money on a more-refined product than to skimp on a lower-quality product.
While researching these higher-quality forskolin supplements, we came across Natural & Pure Forskolin, a well-known manufacturer of the highest quality, most potent forskolin supplement on the market. They boast a full 250mg, fully controlled, fully standardized dosage in each capsule.
This means that their forskolin supplement can proudly boast the highest concentration of active forskolin of any product we were able to find. Natural & Pure Forskolin impressed us with their strict, stringent manufacturing controls, their strict adherence to using 100% natural ingredients, their 100% money-back guarantee, and the fact that they manufacture the supplement in the United States, meaning that they are subject to all of the stringent quality controls of the US of A.
Garcinia cambogia, or Malabar tamarind, is a small tropical fruit that looks a little bit like a pumpkin. It is used as an ingredient in many weight loss supplements and has been rising in popularity since late 2012. The fruit’s power is in its rind, where you will find an acid known as HCA (hydroxycitric acid). HCA is similar to the citric acid found in other fruits like oranges, limes, and lemons.
HCA blocks the enzyme citrate lyase that is needed for the body to create fat, and simultaneously increases serotonin levels in the brain. This has the effect of boosting fat loss while also suppressing the appetite.
Garcinia cambogia has been linked to better blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity. This makes it great for use by individual with diabetes, as long as medication levels are closely monitored. Using garcinia cambogia in conjunction with other diabetes medications can lead to hazardously low blood sugar.
You should also be careful using garcinia cambogia if you have asthma or anemia, or are taking pain or psychiatric medications. HCA has been known to have adverse reactions in these cases.
If you do choose to use garcinia cambogia, it is important that you use the correct type and dosages for your needs. As study performed in 1998 by the Journal of the American Medical Association proclaimed that garcinia cambogia had no measurable effect on human subjects, claiming that it was actually only effective in mice.
However, it was later found that this study was majorly flawed. They did not use the correct amounts of garcinia cambogia or the correct product to see the results that HCA can produce. The study used a pure concentration of calcium hydroxycitrate, which simply doesn’t work in humans. The best formula to look for is one in which the hydroxycitrate is bound not only to calcium, but also to potassium.
The addition of the potassium bond greatly improves the body’s ability to absorb the HCA and massively boosts its effectiveness. When you are ready to buy any garcinia cambogia product, make sure that the product you select utilizes this form of both calcium and potassium bonds.
There are a lot of fitness programs available on the market today, but how can you decide which one is right for you?
Most of the programs are advertised using models that are in the prime of their youth who seem to spend hours every day exercising, counting calories, and generally focusing their entire lives on being in the best possible shape.
Obviously, we don’t all have the time, patience, or youth to spend 4-6 hours a day in the gym, so where can we turn?
We researched several programs, and we focused our research into programs that we felt would be possible for even those of us who no longer possess the “youthful vigor” of our younger days when we could work all day, workout at night, manage a family, and somehow still feel rested after only 4 or so hours of sleep.
Several programs boasted an ability to rejuvenate and reinvigorate, a chance to return to that youthful state, but we only wanted to best. After scouring through hundreds of pages of reviews, results, and studies, here’s what we believed to be the top program.
Abs After 40
The reality of any and all fitness programs is that the greatest, most important focus isn’t so much on the exercises you do or the weights you lift, but on the foods, chemicals, and supplements that go into your body. For years, people on TV, the internet, and in movies have talked about the “calories in; calories out” method of weight loss, but they haven’t bothered to dig deeper into the issue of overall health than this simple (and largely incorrect) platitude.
The quality of the calories you ingest is more important than the quantity of calories you take into your body and how many you burn off. Foods like leafy green vegetables, fresh fish, and chicken breast, for example, provide substantially more vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber, than a greasy fast-food burger, which may contain added preservatives, sugars, and artificial flavorings.
Nourishing your body is about providing for your health from the inside out.
Most fitness programs are composed with people between the ages of 15 and 40 in mind, as these are the demographic most likely to become involved in the process of cultivating strong, healthy bodies. They often involve extreme dieting, such as juice cleanses, fasting, or extreme calorie deficits as a method to lose weight fast.
They often also include exercise routines geared towards the average 15 to 40-year-old, which include various high-impact, high-stress exercises, including extreme regimens of heavy weight-lifting, extreme cardio exercises, and heavy resistance training.
Mark Mcilyar’s “Abs After 40” is instead designed to focus on the men over 40 who desire to regain their youthful vigor, or who desire a body even better than the one they had in their youth. The program encourages the ingestion of healthy, safe, affordable foods to balance hormones, promote muscle growth, promote fat loss, and promote overall well-being.
Combined with an exercise routine tailored to men over 40, Mark Mcilyar’s “Abs After 40” is a program designed to rejuvenate the safe, healthy method of increasing testosterone production in men over 40, while also building lean, powerful muscles and burning off excess fat.
Most fitness programs recommend a certain diet and supplement package to accompany their exercises.
They stress, for good reason, the importance of regulating the types of foods you allow into your body and the quality of the foods and supplements you ingest. To use a simple example, vegetables, such as zucchini, squash, and potatoes, can be very beneficial to your health due to the amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutritional components they contain.
However, if you bleach, fry, and salt them, though they may satisfy that primal craving for salty, fatty foods, they will lose a significant amount of their value as a healthy food. The same is true for supplements and exercise, in that the quality of the supplement or exercise and the quality of their preparation is often as important as the product itself.
A comprehensive diet including testosterone boosting recipes, recommended weight loss, testosterone and health boosting supplements, a well-researched and practiced exercise routine geared towards helping men over 40 boost testosterone production and prevent injury, as well as an online community of people to encourage and support you through your endeavor to lose and keep off the weight, are all available with the “Abs After 40” program.
The program is 3-months long and includes in-depth guides, recipes, exercise routines and more to ensure your success. After the 3 month process, maintaining the weight loss and the overall health benefits provided by the program is a simple process of maintaining the habits built in the first 3 months, which will lead you to the body you’ve always dreamed of and a lifetime of better health.
Obviously, most of us want to get the maximum efficiency out of our exercises. To this end, we delved into the depths of the fitness world, through medical journals, fitness magazines, forums, and more, to find out what actually works.
More importantly, we wanted to figure out what works in each step of the journey to fitness. With all the protein powders (even new ones like bone broth protein) to all of the new preworkout and postworkout products flooding the market, it can be very difficult in deciding which are the right dietary supplements you need that are both safe and effective without breaking the bank.
Certain compounds are simply more effective for those already in shape, while others are more beneficial for getting in shape.
Conflicting information about various supplements, diets, and routines are everywhere, so we made it our duty to sort the fact from the fiction to bring you a list of the things that you need to be the very best you can be.
A lot of the substances advertised or recommended through various sources contain ingredients, such as whey protein, which are nearly universally recommended, but the same sources often misunderstood or flat out didn’t know why these substances work the way they do.
Rather than throw out our list of the “best” or the “most explosive” compounds, we thought you might want to know why we recommended each one. So we took the time to find the scientific evidence to support even the boldest claims.
The following supplements are what we found most supported by the science and the results, and we hope they help you in your journey to health and fitness success.
We’ve separated them into a few different categories, based upon their primary benefit to your health, but many of these have benefits that transcend their categories to promote your overall health and well-being.
Many pre-workout mixes contain several or even all of the ingredients listed below, and can be a great addition to any supplement or exercise routine.
A pre-workout mix is a combination of various supplements designed to give you the best results from your workout.
The specific formula of a pre-workout mix and the levels of each supplement vary greatly from mix to mix, but their general idea is the same: to improve your power, endurance, performance, and recovery to provide you with the ultimate boost to your exercise routine.
In general, a pre-workout mix will come with several of the ingredients on the list below, but some will skip important ingredients in order to reduce cost or reduce complexity of the mix. A product that does not contain all of the listed ingredients below may still work as an incredibly reliable addition to your workout regimen.
Be wary, however, of those mixes substituting ingredients on the list below for ingredients on the list of “Supplements to Avoid”. Some mixes will try to include the ingredients on the “Supplements to Avoid” list in order to more readily appear “natural” or “organic”, but can actually endanger the quality of your workout, as well as your health.
We found several mixes that were of high quality and in good standing with their communities of users and researchers. There were so many, in fact, that we weren’t able to choose just one to suggest here. Instead, we’ve decided to list the ingredients for you, and their benefits, so that you can make the most educated, well-researched decision for yourself as to which pre-workout mix and supplement you want to take to reach your fitness goals.
You can take a look at our evolving health guide on pre-workout and post-workout supplements here.
Fat Burning Supplements
The first group of supplements we wanted to address is the most ubiquitous to all of us who seek greater levels of confidence and fitness: fat burning supplements.
While there are several drugs and medicines available that focus on weight loss through avenues such as hunger suppression, both over-the-counter and available with a prescription, we instead wanted to focus on supplements that would allow you to lose fat, rather than just lose weight.
The distinction here is important, as weight loss from crash diets or diet pills can just as often be weight lost from the muscles and bones losing nutrients, or even just from losing stored water.
Losing muscle or bone mass is not only dangerous for your health, it is counter-productive to improving overall health and well-being. It can also lead to issues with confidence when the weight drops, but the fat remains.
Green Tea and Green Tea Extract
As we talked about before, green tea and green tea extract can be a powerful addition to any weight loss routine. Most notably, though, is that green tea and green tea extract don’t promote the type of dangerous water-weight or muscle-weight loss that other dietary supplements can promote in the interest of quick results. They instead work by improving the body’s base rate of releasing fat from fat cells.
The catechines in green tea literally work with the body to improve the rate at which fatty acid is released, which can drastically improve weight-loss, promote the use of fat as a fuel over protein or carbohydrates (compounding the fat-loss benefits), and improve your base metabolic rate. Green tea is one of the greatest, most easily-available compounds you can add to your daily routine to really produce noticeable results in fat-loss and health improvement.
Energy & Power Boosting Supplements
If your goal is to burn fat and look your best while also improving your overall health, it is important to make sure that you have the energy needed to complete the exercises to the best of your abilities.
Crash diets and fad diets often leave you feeling tired and fatigued, even when doing only moderate to light exercises. This can make it difficult to get the results you truly desire. Along with eating right and getting enough sleep, you can supplement your diet with the compounds on this list to improve the energy and power you have to get through the day.
Some of these compounds, such as caffeine, you may already be familiar with, and even already supplement unintentionally with coffee or soda. Others will be new to you and your routine.
This list was designed with your health in mind, and we want to make sure that you have access to the safest, most reliable supplements to truly get the most from everything you do. Whether you prefer cardio exercises or strength-building exercises, these substances will give you the extra boost you need to meet and exceed your goals.
Everyone enjoys a nice morning cup of coffee to start their day and improve their overall wakefulness, mood, and energy. This same compound found in every morning cup of Joe (even slightly so in decaf!) can help you improve your performance in the gym, or wherever you prefer to get your workout on!
Studies indicate that caffeine can greatly improve your perception of exercise as well as reduce your fatigue when exercising. This allows you to improve your performance and get the most out of every session.
Obviously, some people are more susceptible to the effects of caffeine, based on their frequency of use and amount. What this means in that the perfect amount of caffeine for your daily routine, assuming you have a cup or two of coffee every day, may be significantly higher than someone who doesn’t drink coffee.
Pre-workout supplements often include a dose of caffeine to ensure that you get the most out of your workout, but feel free to accompany the supplement with a little extra kick if you feel that you need it.
Caffeine has also been shown to have potential benefits in the prevention of diseases such as Parkinson’s, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. Certain negative side-effects can be seen with extreme dosages of caffeine, but the dosages required to reach dangerous levels are equivalent to drinking nearly 100 cups of coffee in a single day, or approximately 10 grams of caffeine.
If you do your workouts at night, especially if you work out shortly before going to bed, you may want to reduce the intake of caffeine. The effects can last several hours and can make it difficult to get to sleep or stay asleep.
Chronic use of caffeine at high doses can lead to a minor dependency, with side-effects including headache and irritability.
If you miss a workout or a cup of coffee and begin to feel these effects, you may want to cut back on the caffeine or increase your water intake to help offset the increased metabolic functionality caused by caffeine, which is often the cause of these symptoms.
Another option for caffeine intake, as mentioned a bit before, is to switch your morning cup of coffee for a few cups of green tea. Green tea contains those catachines that are so beneficial to your health, but it also contains about 1/3rd of the amount of caffeine of a cup of coffee.
For those seeking the health benefits of caffeine who don’t enjoy coffee or who prefer to spread their caffeine intake throughout the day, green tea (or green tea extract) makes a perfectly suitable alternative.
Beta Alanine is a nonessential amino acid that converts to carnosine when ingested. When additional carnosine is present in the bloodstream (over and above what the body “needs” to function normally) it serves to help balance PH levels in the blood during extraneous workouts.
By providing your body with an additional source of carnosine and balancing the blood’s PH levels, one can improve their endurance and longevity in the gym without adversely affecting the health of the muscles or other systems in the body.
If you work out regularly, and if your workouts are sufficiently intense, your body’s natural beta-alanine and carnosine levels will most likely be significantly higher than a person who does not.
This is the body’s way of adjusting to your new “normal” activity level. Even after your body has adjusted however, the supplementation of additional beta-alanine can improve endurance, reduce muscle fatigue, and improve the overall quality of your workouts.
Creatine is a composite of 3 amino acids (glycine, arginine, and methionine) found naturally within the body that is responsible for a number of tasks.
Most notable for exercise, muscle-building, and weight loss is creatine’s ability to regenerate the molecule known as ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, which is the main source of energy for your body.
During physical exercise, such as running, weight lifting, or even yoga, ATP is consumed by your body to produce energy for your muscles. As you burn ATP, your body then uses up its stores of creatine to produce more ATP. When your body runs out of creatine, it is no longer able to produce ATP at nearly the levels necessary to continue the exercise. Because of this, you become fatigued, and must cease the exercise.
The primary benefit from creatine supplementation comes when the body is saturated with its full potential load of creatine.
For most people, a supplementation of about 5-7 grams per day is advised to build up to and maintain saturation levels. For those more active, larger, or smaller, a different dose may be ideal. Fortunately, studies have shown that even at twice the recommended dose, creatine supplementation does not adversely affect the kidneys or other internal organs or processes within the body.
For those supplementing creatine, the most noticeable immediate result will probably be the increased energy or the increased water retention. The increased energy, as we’ve talked about, is due to the increased availability of ATP, but the water retention is something that may come as a surprise to those looking to creatine as an aid in their weight loss regimen.
Fortunately, this water-retention is primarily focused within the muscles, where the excess cellular hydration can actually work to improve protein synethesis, thus building more muscle. This can also cause the muscles to swell slightly, making them appear larger and fuller.
Many people will claim that taking creatine either before or after a workout is better than the other, but studies have shown that the benefits to taking creatine are primarily in the saturation of the muscle tissue, and so the time that one takes the supplement is irrelevant, so long as they are absorbing a full dose and maintaining the levels over time.
Some will also indicate that creatine “cycling” is beneficial to those taking the supplement. “Cycling”, in this case, means to take the recommended dosage for a number of weeks (usually 4-8 weeks depending on who is presenting the information) and then cutting creatine supplementation for a similar period of time.
The reasoning behind the idea of “cycling” is that the human body tends to develop coping mechanisms to deal with changes in environmental factors, such as supplementation. The goal of cycling is to “trick” the body into its previous state (before creatine supplementation) so that it does not become partially or wholly immune to the increased dosage.
In reality, studies on the benefits of creatine “cycling” have shown that the benefits are mostly negligible, and so long as the stored amounts of creatine remain at or near capacity, the benefits of creatine will continue to be realized.
Some programs recommend that those supplementing creatine forward load their creatine by taking a much higher dose of creatine for the first few days (up to a week) in order to saturate the body more quickly.
After loading up on creatine, the same 5-7 gram dosage is used to maintain the saturated levels within the body. The benefit of forward loading creatine in a routine is that the body will reach the saturation point more quickly than if beginning at the normal 5-7 gram dosage, but the long-term benefits remain identical whether forward loading or not.
Many pre- or post-workout mixes will contain all or some of your daily recommended dosage of creatine, but for those seeking to maximize their benefits, be sure to check to see if it might require additional supplementation to reach optimum levels.
Creatine is great to include in your pre-workout mix to get the absolute most out of your workout. By including it within a mix, you can ensure that you are getting a nice boost of energy that will last all throughout your workout, you are combining it with the other supplements on the list to help maximize their absorption into the body, and you can help jump start your metabolism.
One important thing to note when purchasing creatine supplements is to be wary of any liquid product claiming to contain the recommended dosage of creatine. Creatine degrades in water, and so any product claiming to contain an appropriate dosage of creatine in a liquid base is likely to have contained that dosage when produced, but will contain very limited amounts by the time of consumption.
Taurine is a non-essential amino acid, also known as a conditional amino acid. This means that it can be produced in the body in the pancreas given the right diet. Taurine is a pretty common component of most energy-boosting drinks and snacks, as it supports neurological performance, regulates the levels of water and minerals in the blood, and has antioxidant properties.
Taurine is believed to improve athletic performance as well, especially when combined with caffeine, but studies haven’t been conclusive on the issue as of yet. Studies have shown that taurine is effective for use as a medicine for congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, ADHD, epilepsy, liver disease, and more, making it a powerful addition to your daily supplement routine.
The largest concentrations of taurine in the body are in the brain, heart, eyes, and red blood cells. Taurine is necessary in the development and maintenance of skeletal muscle, the eyes, and the brain, as well as for cardiovascular function.
In addition to all this, taurine acts as an antioxidant in the body, preventing free radicals from damaging the DNA and cellular structures.
Muscle Building Supplements
These supplements are designed to give you the muscle-building power you’ve always dreamed of. We’ve compiled this list based upon the desire to build big, powerful muscles that not only look good, but feel good as well.
Muscle-building supplements serve an important function within the body, by providing the fuel and resources the body needs to prevent the body from reverting to the natural process of breaking down proteins for energy.
As the body gets tired or requires nutrients, it will break down various tissues in the body for energy and nutrients, and muscles are high up on the list of tissues to prioritize, even above fat in certain cases. Taking these muscle-building supplements will ensure that your body retains all the resources it needs to get the absolute maximum potential from each and every repetition.
Whether your goal is to get the six-pack abs you always wanted, to join body-building competitions, or just to feel more attractive and desirable, these are the supplements for you.
Protein is one of the major building blocks of the human body, and is important to every single cell in the body. Some cells require more protein than others for proper maintenance and construction, such as muscles, cartilage, bones, and skin. Other parts of the body, such as hair and nails, are almost entirely made of protein, and therefore require even more protein to develop and maintain.
Your body further uses protein in the production of enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals in the body.
The body does not, unfortunately, store protein in the way that it stores fat or carbohydrates, and therefore the supply of protein must be readily available through consumption of foods high in protein (or protein supplements) in order to keep the body running smoothly. Protein is readily available in meats, such as steak or fish, but these sources often come with extra nutritional “baggage”, such as an excessive amount of saturated fat.
Furthermore, not all protein sources are equal, as even in supplement form there are different sources of protein which can vary in their ease of digestion, amino acid capacity, and purity.
Whey protein contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it one of a few “complete” proteins readily available.
Whey protein supplements, however, come in various forms and purities. Before you buy them, you should consult their label to verify the amount of protein you are getting per serving. Some dietary whey protein supplement brands also include extra sugars or flavorings to improve the taste of the whey protein, which can affect the caloric value of the protein in each serving and decrease the value of the protein as a dietary supplement, depending on your other nutrition.
Be sure to check the label for added chemicals and other supplements within the powder, as you may need to adjust your intake of other supplements to offset the increased dosage from the powder.
Whey protein probably won’t be in your standard pre-workout mix, at least not in dosages that you’ll want to get the most from your workouts. This is one of the supplements on this list that we recommend acquiring separately.
Depending on your daily activity levels and your desired results, your daily recommended intake value for protein can vary greatly, so it is difficult to recommend an amount. Most sources for building muscles and physique recommend about 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
This means that protein will, in most cases, be your highest daily amount of any supplement. But this is normal, especially if you are trying to lose weight (fat) without losing too much muscle mass.
There are literally hundreds of whey protein supplements on the market that we could recommend, but each contain nearly an identical product. One important thing to note is that powders that advertise themselves as whey protein isolate contain a much more purified form of the protein (up to 90% pure), meaning that there is virtually no lactose and very few carbohydrates in the mixture.
For those that are lactose intolerant or who are seeking to minimize their carbohydrate intake, it is recommended that you stick to an isolate. For those who can tolerate lactose or who aren’t as concerned with the carbohydrates in whey protein (the amounts of each will be listed, so it is fairly simple to account for the carbohydrate amounts if you are dieting), a whey protein concentrate may be the better decision.
This will digest slower, allowing you to feel full longer. Concentrates also typically cost significantly less than isolates, generally speaking.
For those seeking to lose weight quickly without sacrificing muscle-mass, a high protein and low carbohydrate diet can induce a state within the body known as ketosis, in which the body converts from burning carbohydrates as its main fuel source to burning fats.
By supplementing whey protein and cutting carbohydrates in your diet, you can induce ketosis yourself, which is essentially what a keto or ketogenic diet is seeking to do.
Be vigilant when using this method, though, as the buildup of too many ketones in your system can cause your body to become acidic.
The cool thing about creatine, and the reason we’ve listed it here for a second time, is that it really serves a multifaceted role in your workout supplementation. We’ve already explained the process by which it helps to produce greater energy and more explosive workouts, but the fact that it does all of this and helps to keep you going into every last repetition warrants it an extra spot on the list.
This is truly one of those supplements we talked about that transcends the barriers of our sorting system, so if you skipped to this section seeking bigger, more powerful muscles, you’ll want to make sure you’ve read through the energy and power-enhancing section, as well.
The quickest way to build the biggest, most satisfying muscles is to make sure you are getting the most out of your workout. Beyond that, creatine also serves to increase water-retention in the muscles, which can make them look bigger, feel fuller, and make sure they are well-hydrated to get the most out of your workouts.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a division of amino acids found naturally in any protein-rich foods. The function of BCAA supplementation is to prevent the onset of serum decline in the body’s BCAA count, which occurs during exercise and is responsible for the influx of tryptophan and serotonin in the brain.
This is part of what causes fatigue during exercise.
Those who ingest the entirety of their daily protein from natural sources, such as meats and eggs, may not require additional supplementation of BCAA, but those who supplement their protein intake with protein supplements should be sure their supplements contain these vital amino acids.
BCAA supplementation has been shown to prevent both physical and mental fatigue during and after aerobic exercise in scientific studies BCAA supplementation has also shown promise in improving fat oxidation, weight loss, reaction time, processing accuracy, and endurance. BCAAs are made up of three different amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which each serve a unique purpose in the body.
Leucine is the primary BCAA responsible for the desirable effect of muscle building. It works by activating a protein (mTOR) which causes the body to undergo muscle protein synthesis, thus working to repair and build new muscle tissues. Leucine is sometimes taken by itself, rather than in a mix of the three BCAAs. Its effects are more pronounced and more heavily studied than that of the other two BCAAs.
Leucine also acts in the blood stream to reduce blood sugar. However, its effects in stimulating muscle protein synthesis also indirectly result in reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, so those with diabetes or at risk for diabetes should not consider leucine as a potential cure for high blood sugar. Fortunately, the other two BCAAs (isoleucine and valine) also help in regulating blood sugar. Leucine has also been shown to benefit the reduction of fat, weight loss, lean mass gains, and overall power of those taking it.
Isoleucine also has some effect on the induction of muscle protein synthesis; though its effect is lower than that of leucine. Instead of focusing on muscle protein synthesis, isoleucine is focused primarily on the significant increase in the usage of glucose during exercise and the uptake of glucose into the muscle cells. Isoleucine also functions to help break glucose down into energy within the muscle cells, providing an even more efficient release of energy. This release of energy and increased uptake of glucose serves to not only improve the strength, endurance, and effectiveness of your workouts, but also to improve muscle-building, recovery time, and muscle health.
Isoleucine is most effective for enhancing performance if it is taken before a workout, but its effects can be severely limited if the body does not have access to enough carbohydrates to convert to glucose for the muscles. For those on a low-carb diet, or especially those on a ketogenic diet, it is recommended that a carbohydrate supplement is taken with isoleucine to help provide the body with the fuel isoleucine craves. Something as simple as a protein shake with an added scoop or two of masa harina (a Mexican corn flour which is high in niacin, dietary fiber, protein, and iron) can make the difference between moderate and exceptional results.
Valine is the last of the three branched-chain amino acids. As far as muscle-building benefits go, valine is the least productive of the three BCAAs. However, the body can only process so much of each BCAA, so it is recommended for muscle-building, endurance, and performance nonetheless.
Furthermore, valine works to help support the body during exercise and dieting more effectively than either leucine or isoleucine in regards to beneficial effects towards insulin resistance. Because of this, as with all supplements, those with or at risk for diabetes should be aware of their blood glucose and insulin levels, and should watch them more carefully when beginning a diet, supplement regimen, or exercise regimen.
As always, if there are any concerns, you should consult a doctor for testing to be sure, but, generally speaking, valine is safe for everyone to use.
Of all the supplements on this list, glutamine is probably one of the most important. This naturally-occurring amino acid is the most abundant free amino acid in your body, and it is used in several major cellular processes.
Amino acids are the building-blocks of proteins, and glutamine in particular makes up about 60% of skeletal muscle tissue. Glutamine is produced primarily by your muscles for distribution (via the blood) to a number of organs within the body. Your muscles produce nearly 90% of the body’s naturally occurring stores of glutamine. Glutamine is one of the major nitrogen-transporting substances within the body.
It is responsible for the majority of nitrogen transportation to the muscles and for nearly 1/3rd of all nitrogen used by the body’s vital organs. Nitrogen is vital for the human body, as it is used in the production of proteins for the muscles, skin, blood, hair, nails, DNA, enzyme production, and more. Nitrogen is also used in the repair of cells and the production of new cells in the body, such as in the repair of a wound or in the process of repairing and building muscle mass.
Glutamine deficiency is one of the major causes of the drastic loss of muscle tissue seen in patients going through cancer chemotherapy, radiochemotherapy, and those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
In times of stress, such as recovering from a medical procedure or when performing high-intensity exercises, your body will consume a great amount a glutamine in order to benefit from the nitrogen it stores and for glutamine’s role in the processes of metabolism, anti-catabolism, cell volumizing, human growth hormone secretion, glutathione synthesis, fueling cellular defense mechanisms, fueling enterocytes responsible for the functionality of the intestinal barrier, the proliferation, function, and maintenance of immune cells, and providing energy for cells throughout the body.
Catabolism is the process of breaking down complex molecules in order to produce energy for the body. If the body enters a catabolic state, it will break down muscle fibers for energy, thus causing cachexia, or muscle wasting. In order to prevent and even reverse cachexia, glutamine supplementation can help the body focus on catabolizing fats instead of muscle tissues, ensuring that your weight loss remains more fat loss than muscle loss, even during a cutting period.
Glutathione synthesis is the production of glutatione, which acts as an antioxidant in the tissues of the body, deters redox signaling, supports immune function, and more. It is a vital chemical within the body, and glutamine supplementation helps to support its production.
This improves the health of the intestines, the metabolic system, the immune system, and more.
Glutamine is actually used medically to treat the side effects of procedures such as chemotherapy (including but not limited to diarrhea, mouth pain, mouth swelling, and nerve pain), improve the well-being of people recovering from traumatic injuries, prevent infections in those considered critically ill, improve the recovery of bone marrow transplant patients, treat stomach ulcers, treat ulcerative colitis, treat Crohn’s disease, treat depression, treat insomnia, treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), treat sickle cell anemia, and support alcohol withdrawal during treatment for alcohol dependency.
Glutamine supplementation is widely-regarded as being completely safe for use for people of all ages. Even extreme doses of glutamine, well over the recommended dosage of about 1-5 grams per day, tends to produce only mild side-effects, such as intestinal discomfort or feeling bloated.
Most people’s goals in working out are to lose fat, build muscle, and improve their overall health. If that is your goal, too, then carnitine supplementation is a must.
There are a few different forms of carnitine: L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and propional-L-carnitine. Each of these has a different specialized function within the body, though their functions often cross to varying levels of effectiveness. An important note about carnitine supplementation is that the absorption rates of each of the three forms of carnitine can be greatly affected by the sodium levels in the body.
In order to ensure that you are able to absorb the full dosage of carnitine, you must make sure that you are eating enough sodium.
Most people in developed nations have less of a problem with too little sodium and more of a problem with too much sodium, even when dieting. Because of this, most people will not have any problem ensuring that they have enough in their system, but it is good to note for those who are taking steps to minimize their sodium levels.
The most common supplemental form of carnitine is L-carnitine, which can be found in many pre-workout mixes as an endurance and energy-boosting compound that also helps with weight loss.
In the body-building and fitness communities, the reasons for L-carnitine supplementation focus on the benefits that supplementation has towards fat loss, energy production, appetite suppression, muscle building, and bone health.
L-carnitine is a substance naturally produced within the body through the synthesis of the amino acids lysine and methionine. It is used by the body to convert stored fat into energy. L-carnitine works by transporting long-chain fatty acids into the cellular mitochondria so that they can be used to produce energy for the cells, and also to transport out toxins from the cells so that the toxic compounds do not build up within the cells.
By increasing the L-carnitine levels in your body, you can improve the transport of energy and the removal of toxins, which can improve your endurance, strength, well-being, and overall health, including appearance and cognitive functioning.
As mitochondrial function decline is one of the contributing factors of aging, L-carnitine supplementation can literally make your body feel younger and more powerful. It can also prevent the onset of age-related diseases such as Alzeheimer’s disease, age-related cognitive decline, or age-related chronic fatigue syndrome. Furthermore, carnitine acts as an antioxidant within the body, neutralizing free radicals and preventing the cellular and DNA damage that they can cause.
Carnitine supplementation is also used in the treatment of various conditions, including heart disease, vascular disease, diabetes, Alhzheimer’s disease, age-related cognitive impairment, kidney disease, male infertility, erectile dysfunction, hyperthyroidism, chronic fatigue, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), leg ulcers, Lyme disease, and congestive heart failure.
Those who are dieting, and especially those who are limiting the consumption of red meat or dairy products as part of their diet, are encouraged to supplement L-carnitine. Studies have indicated a protective element to L-carnitine supplementation as well in recent years, with L-carnitine supplementation being directly linked to the reduction of the muscle tissue damage and loss caused by medications for and symptoms of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and chemotherapy treatment.
Certain medications, such as isotretinoin (a medication for the treatment of severe acne), can cause a drop in the body’s levels of L-carnitine. The negative side-effects of this and other medications can be reduced greatly with the addition of an L-carnitine supplement regimen.
Acetyl-L-carnitine, which the body can produce from L-carnitine but which can also be supplemented directly, is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain conditions by itself, and can be combined with other drugs in the treatment of dementia. Acetyle-L-carnitine can sometimes be supplemented as a nootropic to improve the mental acuity and cognitive abilities of the subject. It is often used as a supplement in younger people for its neuroprotective benefits.
This means that Acetyl-L-carnitine can actively protect the brain from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and age-related cognitive decline. It can delay or even prevent their onset, especially in those at risk for these types of conditions.
Acetyl-L-carnitine also supports the release of nerve growth factor in the body, which can induce the regeneration of damaged nerve cells. This can reduce the pain caused by conditions such as diabetes, HIV, celiac disease, lubus, vasculitis, certain cancers, and the side-effects of certain medication. Acetyl-L-carnitine has shown promise in the treatment of hyperthyroidism as well, though the research into how effective it is at treating the condition is still incomplete.
Previous colloquial stories indicated that Acetyl-L-carnitine may have a negative effect on those with epilepsy or other seizure conditions, but research has proven those testimonies to be false.
Those with epilepsy or other seizure conditions are actually encouraged to supplement carnitine (in all its forms) as their medications can often drain the body of carnitine, leading to carnitine deficiency. The last form of supplemental carnitine is Propionyl-L-carnitine, often supplemented in the form of glycine propionyl-l-carnitine, or GPLC.
Propionyl-L-carnitine is also produced in the body from carnitine, but direct supplementation is often used in the treatment of heart disease and vascular disease. Therefore, if part of your goal is to improve heart and cardiovascular health, you may seek to supplement Propionyl-L-carnitine directly to ensure your body maintains optimal levels. Propionyl-L-carnitine is also used in the treatment of conditions such as poor blood circulation, congestive heart failure, erectile dysfunction, low testosterone levels, chronic fatigue syndrome, and heart-related chest pain.
Recent studies into glycine propionyl-l-carnitine (GPLC) have shown amazing results in the reduction of blood lactate levels during intense workouts. A double-blind study at Florida Atlantic University found a 16.2% reduction in the blood lactate levels after a group of subjects took GPLC before a workout. Reducing blood lactate levels will reduce muscle tension, reduce muscle damage from workouts, and improve recovery of muscles after a workout. Furthermore, similar studies have shown some impressive results in GPLC supplementation in regards to improving the anaerobic threshold, maintaining the levels of carnitine within the muscles, and improving the production of nitric oxide.
The anaerobic threshold is the point at which the body can no longer clear lactic acid faster than it is being built up. Lactic acid is responsible for much of the muscle fatigue and pain caused during a workout. An improvement, even a marginal improvement, in the anaerobic threshold can greatly improve the consistency, effectiveness, energy, and recovery times of your workouts.
Improving the nitric oxide production within the body is also an important find, as nitric oxide is imperative in the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles during and after workouts. This can further improve the effectiveness of both your workouts and your recovery, which can greatly improve your results both immediately and in the long run.
GPLC has also shown to act as an antioxidant within the body, reducing cellular and DNA damage within the body by combating free radicals within the cells. These combined benefits make GPLC a true powerhouse in the supplement world, and earn it a position on this list.
Arginine is another one of the 22 amino acids used in the body to synthesize proteins. Arginine is used in the treatment of heart and blood vessel conditions, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, senile dementia, erectile dysfunction, improving kidney function, improving athletic function, and boosting the immune system. Arginine also improves blood flow and nitric oxide levels in the body, which can greatly improve the quality of your workout and your life. The daily recommended dose of arginine is around 17.5 grams per pound of body weight.
The major benefit of citrulline supplementation is to improve the arginine levels in the body. The kidneys convert L-citrulline into arginine, which allows for a slow, steady release of arginine into the bloodstream, as opposed to the short-term spiking effect provided with direct arginine supplementation.
Supplementing both citrulline and arginine directly provides the body with a quick boost of energy that tapers off gently, rather than leading to a full-blown crash. Citrulline has also showed promise as a sports performance-enhancing supplement, with evidence suggesting a direct benefit to nitric oxide levels. This helps improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure, reduce fatigue levels, improve endurance in aerobic and anaerobic exercise, and enhance cardiovascular health.
Citrulline supplementation also increases ornithine in the body, which helps to reduce ammonia concentration in the blood. This allows for longer, more efficient, and quicker-healing exercises.
Brain & Cognitive Supplements
Cognitive supplements are not a new field, but they are certainly a field that people are wary of.
When you hear “cognitive supplement”, you might assume that we are talking about drugs, such as adderall or ritalin, which work as stimulants to unnaturally boost perceived cognitive ability and energy. In reality, all we are talking about here is supplementing nutrients that your body needs and wants to operate at peak efficiency. These are things that you should be getting from food in certain dosages, assuming you have a perfect diet. If you’re like us, however, you don’t always (or often) have a perfect diet, so supplements like these listed below are taken to enhance our diet with the nutrients we may not be able to get.
No matter your fitness goals, whether you are trying to become a body-builder or you just want to improve your health, cognitive supplements will not only give you the boost to willpower that you might need to push out those last few repetitions, but will also provide you with the cognitive stability to operate at peak healthiness, happiness, and intelligence. We want to make sure you nourish your mind AND your body, so we have included this list to help you be the best you that you can be.
Tyrosine is another one of the amino acids, the protein building blocks of the body. Tyrosine is used in the treatment of several different issues, including depression, ADD/ADHD, narcolepsy, stress, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and even as an appetite suppressant. Some research indicates that tyrosine can also be effective to improve mental acuity, alertness, and memory, especially under stressful circumstance like sleep deprivation or multitasking.
Because of this, we recommend tyrosine be taken as a part of your daily regimen for cognitive function. The recommended daily dosage of tyrosine is approximately 11 mg per pound, but higher dosages can be taken without much risk.
Choline (also called choline bitartrate, choline chloride, choline citrate, and L-Choline) is a naturally occurring micronutrient that can be produced by the liver or ingested through foods such as liver, red meats, nuts, eggs, fish, spinach, and more.
Choline works in the body to support liver function, brain function, brain development, nerve function, metabolism, energy levels, and muscle movement. Choline is a major support element in a number of processes within the body, making it a valuable nutrient to include in your diet, supplement or otherwise.
Choline is used by the body in a process known as methylation, which is part of the process for the creation of new DNA. Choline is also used in the brain and nerves to promote nerve signaling and in the functioning of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is used, among other things, to help communication between the brain and nerves, and between the brain and muscles.
Beyond its uses as a supplement to an exercise or weight loss regimen, choline has been used in treatments for hepatitis, cirrhosis, depression, memory loss, Alzheimer’s, Tourette’s, seizures, dementia, cancer, cholesterol, asthma, and neonatal neural tube defects.
A choline deficiency can lead to issues with the nervous system, the endochrine system, the digestive system, and reproductive systems. Deficiency of choline can also lead to increased fatigue, memory loss, muscle ache, mood change, nerve damage, and cognitive decline.
The recommended daily dosage of choline for the average adult ranges from 425mg to 550mg. However, some studies recommend daily levels of choline significantly higher than the standard recommended daily intake in order to improve brain function, including memory and cognition. These same studies have found a genetic condition which exists in as much as 50% of the population, which increases their dependability on dietary methyl. As choline is a major contributor to the methyl processes within the body, these people require more choline than the average person, and go through choline much faster.
With low-quality supplements, it is difficult to measure the amount of choline absorbed, and studies indicate that the level of choline absorption from foods and low-quality supplements is significantly below optimal levels. Furthermore, certain types of supplements use different forms of choline, and some of these forms have difficulty in crossing the blood-brain barrier to be used by the processes in the brain.
One of the most common forms of choline, choline bitartrate, is perfect for increasing the health and well-being of most bodily processes, including those of the muscles, heart, liver, and nerves. For those seeking nootropic benefits from choline, however, the best option is alpha-glycerophosphocholine, also known as alpha-GPC. While both forms will support the cognitive processes and help to prevent cognitive decline, more-refined supplements like Alpha-GPC will produce more noticeable and immediate benefits to the brain than choline, which is more readily used throughout the other areas of the body.
Alpha-GPC is a choline compound specifically designed to promote cognitive function more effectively than other forms of choline. Alpha-GPC is more-readily absorbed into the brain through the blood-brain barrier than other forms of choline, which ensures that the maximum dosage of choline is delivered to the brain.
When Alpha-GPC is absorbed into the brain, it is used by the brain to produce acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a primary neurotransmitter in the human brain. It is known also as the “learning neurotransmitter,” because of its imperative role in the process of cognition, memory, and motor function. Technically speaking, acetylcholine is actually a neuromodulator, rather than a neurotransmitter. This means that rather than transmit signals directly from neurons to other neurons, acetylcholine actually works to alter the way that various parts of the brain and nervous system process information, This improves the efficiency of communication between the various regions and within the regions themselves.
Acetylcholine is also used in the process of converting electrical signals from the nervous system into usable input to the musculature of the body, An increase in the amount of acetylcholine can literally improve your ability to control your muscles with precision, strength, and endurance.
Alpha-GPC also has a unique property to other choline compounds, in which it has shown to support the construction and strength of cellular membranes. This process can improve the overall health and well-being of a host of different cells within the body, which can improve overall health, well-being, and even the appearance of skin.
Alpha-GPC’s primary market consists of people who are interested in its nootropic properties. Nootropic properties are properties of a drug or supplement that noticeably improve the functioning of the cognition, reasoning, memory, or overall health of the brain. Nootropics, including Alpha-GPC are being researched increasingly for their cognitive-enhancing abilities and for their ability to prevent or even reverse the side-effects of diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease, age-related cognitive decline, and dementia.
Alpha-GPC in particular also shows promise as an athletic supplement due to its ability to increase the levels of growth hormone production and enhance the power output of the muscles. It also shows promising results as a weight loss supplement, with studies indicating a noticeable improvement in fat oxidation levels in users who supplement Alpha-GPC.
Combining Alpha-GPC supplementation with choline supplementation is safe, as Alpha-GPC is more focused on delivering the choline levels to the brain, whereas other, less-refined choline supplements (such as choline bitartrate) are easily absorbed throughout the other regions of the body. You could get the entirety of your choline supplementation from a single, more refined supplement such as Alpha-GPC, but the financial costs of only Alpha-GPC supplementation versus a combined Alpha-GPC and a less-refined choline supplement would be significantly higher.
Uridine is a naturally occurring chemical that is involved in the formation of long-term memories and maintaining the plasticity of synapses in the brain. What this means is that uridine can actually act to help offset or even heal some of the damage caused by various cognitive disorders, including things like dementia, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.
Uridine also helps to support short-term memory and higher-order cognitive functions, making it an absolute must for anyone seeking to improve their mental fitness. Uridine can also improve the dopamine levels in the brain, which can help to elevate and stabilize mood, making you feel more ready and energetic to take on anything the world can throw at you.
Citocoline, also known as cytidine diphosphate choline or CDP-choline, is a naturally occurring form of choline found in every cell of your body, and, in fact, in every cell in every living creature. Citocoline works in the body by being broken down into choline and uridine after ingestion. So, in a sense, it is a way to give your body a double dose of brain-enhancing nutrients.
The really cool part about citocoline is that the effects of choline and uridine actually operate much more efficiently if the body has stores of both available. The combined effects of choline and uridine have shown to be truly astounding, with promise in studies for the prevention of symptoms from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, age-related cognitive decline, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Arguments have been made by some that you should alternate citocoline and Alpha GPC, but studies have not shown any pronounced benefit from alternating them as opposed to taking both, so we wholeheartedly recommend you employ both in your regimen.
Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) is a molecule related to choline, though it contains one less methyl group than the standard choline. DMAE’s primary beneficial aspect is its ability to reduce the buildup of lipofuscin.
Lipofuscin, also known as the “age pigment”, is a byproduct of many cellular processes and builds up in the body as it ages. It is primarily found in the muscles, liver, nerve, and heart cells, and is a major risk factor for several degenerative conditions, including macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and age-related cognitive decline. By reducing the buildup of lipofuscin, DMAE helps to combat and prevent these and many more degenerative conditions.
Beyond its health benefits in preventing degenerative disease, DMAE also acts as an antioxidant in neurons and other cells by embedding itself and protecting the cells from the harmful effects of certain forms of cellular oxidation. Furthermore, DMAE works to empower metabolic processes within the body and can be used in a topical formula to improve the appearance and health of skin. DMAE also helps to improve cognitive ability, and can act as a mild stimulant, thus improving focus, drive, and power.
Huperzine A, also known as selagine, is a purified chemical derived from Chinese club moss. Sometimes used as a medication in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, huperzine A has beneficial properties for any and all seeking to improve their mental capacity and cognitive ability.
Huperzine A works by inhibiting enzymes from breaking down acetylcholine, also known as the “learning neurotransmitter”. This inhibiting effect of huperzine A produces a noticeable increase in the acetylcholine levels by itself, thus improving cognitive ability and capacity while also preventing age-related cognitive decline. This same process is thought to contribute to the prevention of age-related degenerative conditions, including age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and muscular atrophy.
Acetylcholine is also involved in the process of muscular contraction. Athletes, body-builders, and weight-lifters alike often seek methods to increase the amount of acetylcholine in the body to reap its benefits for their workouts.
Huperzine A has shown in lab studies to be safe for supplementation with no known side-effects. The combination of huperzine A with other acetylcholine enhancers, such as choline supplementation, dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) supplementation, or Alpha-GPC supplementation can further boost the body’s acetylcholine production. This results in a marked improvement in both cognitive and kinetic functioning, giving you the best possible results from every mental and physical exercise you perform.
Bacopa is a plant used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat several conditions, including anxiety and allergies. Studies into the medicinal properties of bacopa have indicated that it improves brain chemistry and might serve to treat Alzehiemer’s disease, improve memory, alleviate anxiety, treat ADHD, help with allergies, and fight stress. Bacopa has also shown promise in treating general pain and inflammation, mental illness, epilepsy, and increasing libido.
The memory-improvement properties of bacopa have been studied for years, and the results have been significant in patients young and old, making it a powerful nootropic. It is recommended that you take bacopa with food to get the most out of its nootropic benefits.
Folic acid, or folate, is a form of B-vitamin that can be found in things like cereal, pasta, leafy vegetables, beans, and orange juice. Folic acid is used to treat conditions such as anemia, liver disease, certain forms of cancer, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, depression, and nerve pain.
Folic acid is used in the process of creating DNA, as well as dozens of other bodily processes, and has been clinically shown to act as a powerful nootropic to improve memory and cognition. It is a safe, natural way to improve your brain, so we recommend a daily supplement of folic acid with other nootropic solutions, such as Rhodiola, Oat Straw, Gaba, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D3.
Nowtropic is a supplement that we’ve come to love, because it takes the hassle out of trying to keep track of all of the supplements on this list.
Nowtropic is a supplement that contains all of the supplements in our “Brain and Cognitive Supplements” list, making it an extremely convenient way to make sure you are squeezing out every last ounce of your potential without resorting to dangerous substances or having to stress out over remembering the dosages for each supplement on the list.
The Nowtropic team has produced one of the highest-quality, highest-rated, and most sought after nootropic supplements of all time, and they managed to do it with all natural ingredients, manufactured in America, with a 100% money-back guarantee. We couldn’t believe how well-renowned they were at first, just because of the sheer volume of positive reviews and peer-reviewed studies, so we dug deeper to try to figure out what makes it tick.
What we found was that Nowtropic offered everything it promised, and more, by combining 15 components that had already been studied extensively in the scientific community into a powerful pill. This pill makes it possible to get all of the benefits of each component in an easy-to-use, easy-to-remember, and easy-to-digest way.
The Nowtropic customer list includes entrepreneurs, teachers, students, and doctors alike. It really surprised us, going above and beyond even our high expectations of the product, and we’re so glad we were able to find it and suggest it for you.
As men age, testosterone levels can drop off significantly. Testosterone deficiency can lead to a ton of side-effects in men, including loss of muscle mass, loss of energy, decreased libido, and depression, among other problems.
As men age, it becomes difficult to maintain testosterone levels, so it’s important to increase these testosterone levels with a supplement. Fortunately, there are a number of compounds on the market designed to give aging men their daily dosage of testosterone boosting compounds, such as arginine or taurine. One of our favorites came up while researching arginine, specifically.
Megadrox has a ton of phenomenal results, both clinical and anecdotal, that showed us and their users how powerful their results can be. The increase in muscle mass, reduced recovery time, increased stamina, sharper mental acuity, and improved metabolic rate that Megadrox provides are unprecedented in nearly every other compound, so we felt that we absolutely needed to include it here.
Skin Care Supplements
Your skin is the largest organ you have. As it is exposed to the elements more than any other organ, it stands to reason that it would require more care and nutrition than the other organs as well.
While the skin will absorb most of its nutrients through the bloodstream, it is also possible to supplement the health and wellness of the skin with endermic supplements, or those absorbed through the skin, to help keep your skin looking youthful, vibrant, and beautiful.
There are a ton of products on the market to help deal with wrinkles, blemishes, and lost elasticity, but it can be hard to determine which products are right for you. We aimed to find the safest, most complete products to give you a glowing complexion that lasts long into your golden years, and we were fortunate to come across a line of products by Abella Mayfair that boasts to be just that. In practice, their products have shown incredible results that truly speak for themselves, and their customers couldn’t speak more highly of them. On top of that, the science behind their products is sound, as verified by a number of studies on both the individual ingredients and the products themselves.
Most skin products and creams typically operate by nourishing the skin, hydrating the skin, boosting collagen levels, boosting elastin, and introducing anti-oxidants to reduce free radicals, thereby preventing skin damage and allowing the skin to heal existing damage. Abella Mayfair’s products do all of this and more.
The ingredients of Abella Mayfair’s products include sodium silicate, silicate, cellulose gum, peptides, aloe leaf extract, magnesium, grape seed oil, and iron oxides. Much like with ingested supplements, endermic supplements, or those absorbed through the skin, operate by providing the body with necessary and often lacking doses of the vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that make up our overall health. Abella Mayfair’s products actually contain whole collagen molecules as well, which helps to rejuvenate the look and feel of skin, as well as reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. Providing the skin with collagen in addition to providing the nutrients and minerals necessary to boost production is a two-fold approach. It allows the skin to recover quickly in the short term, reducing the wrinkles and fine lines within an incredibly short period, but also allows the skin to recover from the inside out, allowing for long-term results. Using this method improves the look, feel, and strength of your skin, as well as your confidence.
Chapter 3: Supplements to Avoid
In our research, we also came across several products that seemed helpful at first, and appeared to be very popular among their respective communities. Many of these products even had rave reviews, going back for months or even years. Unfortunately, upon further review, we found some of these products to offer some extremely dissatisfying side-effects or risks.
We know that many of these have been around for a long time, with some having been in use for hundreds of years to treat various conditions, but scientific research into their application brought us to understand that the benefits simply didn’t outweigh the potential risks. We have to include them here just in case you come across them as well. We want you to be the best you can be, make the fitness journey, and come out on the other side as the best possible version of yourself. To help you get there just a little bit faster, here’s a few of the pitfalls you should avoid on the way.
Aconite is an herbal remedy most commonly used in areas of Europe and Asia in the treatment of symptoms such as fever and inflammation. Ingestion of aconite can yield results which include reduced fever from diseases such as cold or pneumonia, reduced heart rate, induced sweating, sedative effects, hypotensive effects, and diuretic effects.
Homeopathic remedies with aconite are used to treat everything from fear, anxiety, and restlessness, to headaches, fever, extreme hot or cold exposure, and even to counter irritation from conditions such as sciatica, rheumatism, and neuralgia.
Aconite is derived from the aconitum plant genus, which includes plants such as monkshood, wolf’s bane, devil’s helmet, and about 250 other plants. Those familiar with the plants in the aconitum genus will recognize many of these plants as being extremely poisonous to humans. Historically, the roots and other parts of the plants have been used to create deadly poisons, with references to the plant’s poisonous nature as far back as Greek mythology, in which Medea notably tried to poison Theseus with wolf’s bane.
Even current traditional hunters in various regions, from Nepal to the Arctic Circle, use aconite to paralyze and kill prey as large as whales. Due to the aconite’s extremely poisonous nature, even mild doses can lead to numbness of the limbs, tingling, weakness, vomiting, hypotension, arrhythmia, dizziness, difficulty breathing, headache, sweating, paralysis of the cardiovascular muscles, paralysis of the respiratory muscles, and death. Even doses as low as 20 milliliters can prove fatal. While lower dosages may yield the properties described in traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic, and European homeopathy, the results have been as of yet unverified scientifically. The side-effects or short-term and long-term use are as of yet unknown.
Aconite should be avoided in supplements. Related derivatives, such as anything containing the alkaloid pseudaconitine, should be avoided at all costs, especially in homes where children may seek to emulate the habits of their parents. Aconite is known to be transferred to infants through the mother’s milk as well, and can be absorbed through the skin nearly as easily as it can be absorbed through the digestive tract.
Bitter orange refers to a hybrid citrus plant that is commonly used in homeopathic medicine in the treatment of everything from gastrointenstinal disorders to hair loss. Bitter orange peel, flower, leaf, fruit, juice, and oil are all used in different types of remedies and medicines.
Many uses of bitter orange have not been studied extensively, but scientific studies have confirmed that the oil can be used to treat fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or ringworm, on the skin. The peel can be used to treat a lack of appetite, help lose weight, treat upset stomach, reduce nasal congestion, and in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The flower of the bitter orange plant, as well as the oil extracted from the peel, can be used in certain remedies for the treatment of gastrointestinal distress, ulcers in the stomach and intestine, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowels, bloating, gas, regulating fat levels in the blood, lowering blood sugar in those who have or are at risk for diabetes, stimulating cardiovascular health and blood circulation, liver disorders, gallbladder disorder, kidney and bladder diseases, hair loss, frostbite, anemia, certain forms of cancer, and to combat insomnia and other sleep disorders. The oil is also used sometimes in aromatherapy as a treatment for pain.
Food manufacturers use bitter orange oil to impart bitter, sour flavors into things such as Curacoa, Triple Sec, and other liqueurs. The oil is further used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics for various purposes. The peel of the fruit is sometimes applied directly to the skin to treat inflammation in the tissues surrounding the eye, as well as for treating inflammation or bleeding of the retina. The peel is also used to treat exhaustion, headaches, pain in the nerves, joints, and muscles, bed sores, and swelling veins.
When combined with caffeine, bitter orange can lead to significantly increased heart rate and blood pressure. It is also often used as a replacement for ephedra in products. Research is inconclusive on the effectiveness of bitter orange, and no evidence has yet surfaced to suggest that bitter orange is any safer to take than ephedra, which was banned by the FDA in 2004 due to serious side-effects linked to its usage. One of the active ingredients in bitter orange is known as synephrine, and is present on the banned substances list of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), so student athletes should be especially careful to avoid bitter orange. Bitter orange has also shown some risks in medicinal dosages when taken by woman who are pregnant or are seeking to become pregnant, as well as in those with glaucoma, heart disease, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
Care should be taken if one chooses to take bitter orange, as many of the effects are as of yet unstudied, and its interactions with medications or other supplements are mostly unknown. Many homeopathic advocates recommend bitter orange for its stimulant effects, but the presence of so many other risk factors means that a simple cup of coffee may better serve to improve cognition and energy, and may offer fewer side-effects.
Chaparral is a plant whose leaves have been used to make medicines to treat things such as cramps, colds, infections, arthritic, chickenpox, obesity, and toxification. It is believed to operate as an antioxidant in the body, but studies into chaparral’s effectiveness and safety have brought places like Canada to not allow the product to be sold as an herbal remedy.
Chaparral has a lot of anecdotal evidence supporting its value as a natural remedy to various ailments, but the risk of toxicity to the liver and kidneys places this herb squarely on our list of supplements to avoid.
Colloidal silver is merely a suspension of microscopic silver particles in a liquid base. Journals and magazine report colloidal silver as a cure for bacterial or viral infections, inflammation, and pneumonia. The problem with these claims is that studies into the properties of colloidal silver fail to find any sufficient evidence that the effects of colloidal silver are due to the supplement itself, or that the effects that can be attributed to the supplement aren’t dangerous to the host.
One study, for example, found that colloidal silver was able to bind to the DNA of a bacterium, causing it to fail to unravel the DNA and therefore be unable to replicate. While, in theory, this would explain the antibacterial effects of colloidal silver, it was found in other studies that the same process can occur with “good” bacteria in the intestines and in the blood, causing the natural, safe, and necessary bacteria and cells within the body to fail to replicate as normal. Furthermore, colloidal silver was shown to draw oxygen away from bacteria and viruses, which would lead them to die without proper cellular respiration, but the same process occurred on “good” bacteria and other cells within the body.
There have been no studies of sufficient quality to completely rule out some form of colloidal silver as being beneficial, but there have also been no sufficient studies to prove its benefits or its safety.
Misuse of colloidal silver or use of impure versions of colloidal silver can lead permanent bluish-gray skin discoloration, among more serious side-effects. Colloidal silver can even prevent the body from properly absorbing or using other drugs, including antibiotics. That said, colloidal silver does have some uses in the treatment of burns, skin wounds, or skin infections, which have been verified by doctors. While it may be safe to use topically, it should not be taken as an oral supplement under any circumstances.
Coltsfoot is daisy-like plant native to Europe and Asia. Traditionally speaking, coltsfoot has been used as a remedy for respiratory conditions, skin disorders, flu, colds, gout, viral infections, and rheumatism. It has also been used to treat sore throats, dry coughs, asthma, and inflammation.
Studies have indicated that coltsfoot does have some medicinal properties, but unfortunately coltsfoot has been classified as potentially unsafe due to concerns about its toxicity to the liver and its potential to cause an unsafe spike in blood pressure. Due to concerns about coltsfoot’s severe mutagenetic properties, which caused several known cases of liver disease and even death in infants and elderly patients, it has been banned in some countries.
There are forms of coltsfoot that have had the dangerous alkaloids removed, but it is unsure whether or not these forms are any safer or more useful than natural coltsfoot. Until research is more substantial into the safety of modified coltsfoot, we have to recommend you stay away from all forms of coltsfoot entirely.
Comfrey is a plant native to Europe, though the most commonly used form of comfrey is a Russian hybrid of common comfry and rough comfry.
Comfrey has been used traditionally to treat conditions such as bronchitis, broken bones, arthritis, ulcers, burns, acne, indigestion, certain forms of cancer, chest pain, gum disease, sore throat, inflammation, and gout. Clinical studies into the effects of comfrey have been relatively inconclusive, though they have confirmed the presence of allantoin, which can stimulate cell reproduction and growth.
The problem with comfrey is that it also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, much like coltsfoot, which means that the dangerous liver toxicity issues and concerns with kidney toxocity that we have with coltsfoot also exist with comfrey. Further, internal use of comfrey, such as an ingested supplement containing comfrey, has been banned by the USDA, so you should be especially careful not to unintentionally (or intentionally) ingest any.
Country mallow is a plant native to India, though it is now found all around the world. It is used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as a cure for inflammation, bronchitis, nasal congestion, asthma, respiratory problems, libido loss, colds, heart disease, stroke, nerve pain, rheumatism, unwanted weight-gain, and decreased energy levels. It can be applied to the skin directly for the treatment of numbness, nerve pain, muscle cramps, and wounds or ingested as part of an herbal remedy.
Country mallow contains ephedrine, which is similar to amphetamine in its stimulant effects. The FDA has banned ephedrine and substances that contain ephedrine due to concerns about the increased blood pressure and stress on the heart. The FDA studies concluded that the benefits that may have been experienced from the use of country mallow did not outweigh the risks. After reading the results, we have to agree with the FDA and recommend that you stay away from any country mallow supplements.
Greater celandine is native the Europe and Asia, though it has been spread throughout North America as well. In light dosages, greater celandine has been used to treat upset stomach, gastroenteritis, stomach cancer, liver disorders, toxification, loss of appetite, cough, cramps, chest pain, hardened arteries, high blood pressure, asthma, and arthritis. As a topical ointment, it is also used to treat scabies, eczema, warts, rashes, and toothache.
Unfortunately, the evidence to support the claims of greater celandine’s effectiveness in treating these issues is few and far between, while other evidence suggests that greater celandine can actually cause hepatitis, rashes, and serious allergic reactions. The alkaloids present in greater celandine may have potential for medicinal use, but the extreme toxicity of the plant at higher doses and the potential for life-threatening reactions makes us uncomfortable recommending this product to anyone until further testing and safety measures have been taken. Until then, we highly recommend you stay away from greater celandine.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort, also known as Hypericum perforatum, has often been recommended for the treatment of conditions such as minor depression and chronic pain. Although the herbal remedy has shown promise as an anti-inflammatory agent, its effects on issues such as depression have not been thoroughly studied. Furthermore, St. John’s Wort has been shown to have a negative effect on the body’s ability to absorb and use other medicines.
While taking a St. John’s Wort supplementation, patients have been noted to suffer from failures in medications ranging from birth control, leading to unwanted pregnancies, to anti-rejection medication for organ transplant, causing the organ(s) to be rejected. While the plant itself seems to be safe enough for human consumption, its relationship with the absorption of other chemicals in the body means that anyone planning to take St. John’s Wort should strongly reconsider.
At the very least, consult with a specialist to observe and regulate any other medications and symptoms during and before the use of St. John’s Wort.
When ingesting other supplements, especially those that are ingested for the purpose of being directly converted into other chemicals, one should avoid the use of St. John’s Wort, as it will make it nearly impossible to figure out a correct dosage. This can lead to too much or too little supplementation, and even overdose of certain drugs, such as painkillers.
St. John’s Wort is relatively non-toxic, and it does have some noted potential uses. However, its negative reaction with the absorption of other drugs, medications, and supplements makes St. John’s Wort a huge taboo in the supplement and medical world.
Conclusion: Beware of Health Supplement Scams Or Poorly Sourced Ingredients
We know there is a lot of information to take in and we’re so glad to have been able to bring it all to you here in one place. We are dedicated to bringing you the best and most up to date information in this and all of our writings.
There are a boundless number of new studies taking place at any moment, and the world of health and fitness is constantly in flux. Supplements are not immune to this ever changing landscape, and new products rise and fall daily.
We have done our best to bring you those which have stood the test of time and proven to be beneficial and efficient. As new information becomes available, we will be sure to release new articles on the latest and greatest in supplements, as well as any diets and exercises that can help you along your way.
We will also be keeping watch for any potentially dangerous fad diets that surface or supplements that could cause you harm.
Remember to consult with your doctor regularly. Let your doctor know about any supplements you are currently taking, and discuss any new supplements with them before adding them to your routine.
This is the best way to ensure that you will be 100% safe in your day to day endeavors for a healthier lifestyle. Only your doctor is sure to know if any vitamins or supplements you plan to add to your diet may have an adverse reaction to your medical history or any other medications you are currently taking.
At one point or another, many of us seek to become better versions of ourselves, and throughout that journey there will always be obstacles, challenges, and an absolutely overwhelming amount of information to process. It is our sincere hope with this book that we can take some of the guesswork out of your daily journey to becoming the best version of yourself and help you to achieve your goals of health and happiness.