Alright, so here is where I’m supposed to sell you on how amazing these supplements are and how they will change your life.
To be honest, they’re a slow burn. They’re a thing you do every day, day after day and then all of a sudden realize how much better you feel.
This is obviously NOT medical advice. This is my personal blog where I share my life and travels. You should consult a physician before taking any sort of supplement as you don’t want to be supplementing with something that could contradict.
Also, I’m a man so I can only write from a male perspective for what has worked for me. If you’re a girl you may have different needs.
Supplements are unregulated
Lastly, supplements are unregulated so use only the best. Kirkland (from Costco), Jarrow, Life Extension, NOW Foods are all brands I trust.
Anyways, let’s get into the my essential supplements for me.
#1 Magnesium (with zinc)
Magnesium is the most helpful, but under rated supplement I’ve ever started taking. Cheap and effective. Everyone always talks about multi vitamins and fish oil but BY FAR, supplementing with magnesium has provided some noticeable benefits.
What benefits pray tell? Easy. Improved mood, better energy levels and a more efficient sleep cycle. When I take magnesium every other day I just notice I sleep a whole lot better. I’m good after only 8 hours in bed and wake up feeling good.
I also like to take a magnesium supplement that has zinc included in it. Zinc boots your immune system and both magnesium and zinc can optimize your testosterone levels.
You should consider taking magnesium because you normally get this essential mineral from the soil, but with soil depletion it’s likely that you’re deficient. Magnesium is used in over 500 different biological processes in your body and sub optimal magnesium levels can lead to problems like insomnia and depression.
#2 Grape Seed Extract
Want to improve your focus? Take grape seed extract. What this supplement does is to help reduce inflammation in the body. Reduced inflammation helps to improve your overall focus.
I read about this supplement from John Gray (author of Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus) who suggested this as an alternative to ADHD medication. In short, taking this supplement every other day roughly over the course of a month has given me a noticeable improvement in my ability to concentrate and focus.
One of the most studied sports supplements and one of the few that have been shown to work. Creatine is an amino acid you get from meat. But you typically can only get it in low doses.
What Creatine does when you start taking it is to help make you slightly stronger by allowing you to push a bit more than you normally can without it. So, say you can bench 140 lbs for 3 reps, creatine will give you that boost to help you do 4 reps which in turn will make you stronger.
Creatine also has numerous benefits for your energy level and the mind. The only thing to be aware with creatine is the potential damage you can cause to your kidneys if you over use it as well as using a lower quality creatine. Always use a website like labdoor.com when looking to purchase a supplement.
The supplement I avoid – Fish Oil
Fish oil / krill oil is noted for it’s properties to reduce inflammation in the body. Omega 3 fatty acids are considered a must have, must take supplement by a majority of doctors.
The only issue I have with this supplement is the quality control. It’s a type of oil and can go rancid in a way a magnesium capsule can not.
Instead of supplementing with fish oil, I now make it a habit to eat sardines on regular basis as much as possible. Usually eating sardines 5 times a week.
I try to get most of my nutrition from my diet
You should always try to get your nutrition from food. I know this list is not extensive and I can already anticipate BUT WHAT ABOUT XYZ.
So in this section, I’ll address various other popular supplements.
I tried NAC for a month on the high praise of it from Mike Cernovich. For me personally, I did not notice any particular change. My mood is pretty positive so long as I’m exercising and getting enough rest. I don’t have skin issues and I don’t suffer from any sort of acute anxiety.
However, other swear by it so I’ll leave it at that.
I like to eat a big salad with a lot of veggies and fruit with NO salad dressing at least 4-5 days a week. If you can’t do this for whatever reason, Greens+ is an excellent source of all those vitamins and nutrients you can normally get from a big, leafy green salad.
You get this from being out in the sun for 20 minutes each day. D3 is a hormone that primarily affects your mood. Simply get enough sun each day. If for some reason you’re having a hard time getting enough vitamin D3 then consider using a supplement.
Most whey protein is crap in my humble opinion. I much prefer pea protein to whey, but if you can get a quality whey protein then it’s a good idea to incorporate it into your diet if you struggle to get enough protein through what you eat.
This is normally an issue for the big boys. Guys weighing over 200 lbs. As a 166 lbs guy, my lead body mass is roughly 140 lbs and my protein needs are 140 grams roughly of protein a day. This amount is easy to obtain through food. Again, supplement when you need to.
From the periwinkle plant, this supplement is used as a natural nootropic. It helps boost blood flow to the brain which could lead to better cognition.
The precursor to serotonin, tryptophan is an amino acid the body can not produce by itself.
Another precursor to serotonin, 5-HTP has been shown to be effective at treating mood disorders and to reduce symptoms of anxiety.
You don’t want to over dose on vitamins and minerals. You also want to be taking enough essential minerals like zinc and magnesium (most mult-vitamins are under-dosed for minerals) that your body needs.
Last avoid mult-vitamins that contain iron, unless you like having an upset stomach for 2 hours.
In general, I would focus on proper nutrition. If I knew I would be going somewhere that would make this difficult, then I would consider supplementing with a multi-vitamin.
So there you go, those are my essential supplements for men. If I could only choose one supplement to take for me that would be without a doubt magnesium followed by grape seed extract.