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Supplement Hacking 101

Anyone that spends much time with me generally knows I spend an inordinate amount of time reading up on studies regarding health and tracking key biometrics. My favorite research website is examine.com – a great resource for those looking to hack their health. I’m a very skeptical person by nature and generally think the newest health fad is planted in our collective consciousness by saavy marketers. I don’t eat gluten-free, don’t eat organic (I wash my fruits and vegetables thoroughly) and don’t fear GMO foods. That being said there are some supplements out there that have shown a lot of promise – regardless of any attached hype. Here is my list of supplements I take in no particular order… remember always talk to your physician before trying new supplements

  • L-RG9 L-arginine supplement – While there is some doubt about L-arginine supplementation being effective across the general population at increasing nitric oxide levels, this supplement also contains L-citrulline – which shows more promise than L-arginine at consistently producing NO2. It also has 20 mg of CoQ-10, Chlorella (eh), and red wine extract. I am luckily a responder to L-arginine supplementation – it works every time for me. My blood pressure is consistently 5-10 points lower on days when I take the product. Your mileage may vary.
  • Spirulina – I take 5g per day in my morning smoothie. I would take more than that if I could stomach the disgusting taste. For someone my weight – the rat models say I should be taking more like 15g per day – that’s a half ounce of algae. Spirulina has been shown to reduce lipid peroxidase, triglyceride levels – and according to examine – has a study that shows it is effective at reducing arsenic levels in the body! If you take one supplement – this would be it. Seriously, if you are on the fence go click through that link to examine and get convinced. The benefits are astounding.
  • Fish Oil – while the case for supplementation of fish oil varies depending on your personal health circumstances, its such a cheap, well studied supplement that the risk of harm is essentially nil – and increasing your omega 3:6 ratio can only help. I personally take a high DHA fish oil supplement from melaleuca called Vitality Omega-3 creme delight. It tastes great – my daughter will take it – and the effects of DHA supplementation are profound. On days where I megadose – my memory is off the charts. I’ve recalled memories from my childhood that were long forgotten. If you’ve taken fish oil before with no noticeable results – maybe you just needed a bigger dose. I’ve take as much as 10g of DHA in a day with great result. Medline says 3g per day is safe, more can prevent your blood from clotting properly
  • Sulbutiamine – this one I don’t supplement every day – as there appears to be an issue with developing tolerance (n=1). Sulbutiamine is a synthetic version of the B vitamin Thiamine. Sulbutiamine was created by the Japanese to deal with low B-1 vitamin levels among the population there. I take it on the mornings when I need a pick me up. Sulbutiamine gives a serious boost to energy and alertness – something the other straight B-Vitamins have never done for me. Sadly there is little evidence regarding this one – so if you aren’t trying to cut down on your coffee/caffeine intake you may consider passing this one by.
  • L-Theanine – caffeine’s better half – found in tea. L-theanine is likely the reason tea is as popular as it is. It’s calming – without making one tired. It modulates the uptake of caffeine into your bloodstream and evens it out so you don’t have a huge crash like straight coffee. I love coffee – so adding a little L-theanine to my cup every day has paid dividends. Go buy some, the british empire probably got this one right.

I have a lot of other supplements that I toy around with – piracetam, pramiracetam, tianeptine, melatonin – but the ones above are my staples because they have made a measurable impact on my life. All of our bodies are different though – so I encourage you to test them for yourself.