supplements-header

Supplements, Part I: The Whole9 Supplement Evaluation Checklist

This month, we’ve taken a hard line on some popular, well-marketed supplements. The unsupported claims, inflated price points and aggressive sales tactics of products ranging from recovery beverages to meal replacement drinks can make the vast nutrition marketplace more than a little confusing.  And it becomes even more challenging when those hawking the products are well-known fitness brands imploring you to put your health in their hands.

Understand, the Whole9 doesn’t sell any supplements.  We actually don’t push supplements in any way – everything we’ve ever written about, from fish oil to Vitamin D to magnesium, has been presented as an optional addition to your daily, healthy, eat-real-food diets.  But there are a few supplements we take on a daily basis, so before we tell you about them (and why we take them) in Part II, we thought it might be helpful to let you in on our own evaluation process.

Today’s post details our Supplement Evaluation Checklist – the criteria we use when purchasing vitamins, minerals or other supplements. We run each product through this checklist, making sure it meets every single one of these criteria before continuing with our evaluation.  If a supplement fails at any point, with very few exceptions, we skip it.  If a product passes each test, we’re then left with one final question – one that we are able to answer only for ourselves.

Start at the top, and ask yourself the following questions about each and every supplement you’re being pitched, sold or pressured to take.  Does it pass the test?

1.       Does it contain garbage ingredients? Does your supplement contain, in no particular order:  added sugar (in any form), grains (wheat, corn, or other grain by-products), dairy (whey, casein, or other dairy by-products), soy (in any form), artificial colors or chemical-sounding ingredients you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce?  Even worse, does the manufacturer refuse to clarify their “proprietary blend”, leaving you in the dark as to what their supplement actually contains?  If quality or full disclosure is compromised, your evaluation ends here, folks.

2.      Is the product designed to replace real, high quality, fresh food in your diet? Meal replacement shakes, vegetables-in-a-pill or breakfast bars all promise to do just as much good as real food in your everyday diet.  Foolishness.  There isn’t a powder, pill or shake in the world that can replace the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber (the stuff that actually makes you healthy) found in natural, healthy, fresh foods.

3.      Are the product’s claims too good to be true? The supplement industry is wholly unregulated – which means manufacturers can make all sorts of claims about their product’s ingredients and benefits.  Beware of inflated, unsupported claims that sound too good to be true, and have little to no peer-reviewed long-term research to back them up.  The idea that a pill can “put a protective coating around your muscle so only the fat is trimmed off” should be enough to make you both laugh out loud and run for the hills.

4.      Does the label focus on aesthetic changes? Products that are designed with the primary purpose of slimming/leaning/trimming you out miss the forest for the trees, often in a dangerous way. Most of these “slim” pills, powders and shakes contain ingredients that could be harmful to your health, like stimulants and diuretics.  And all of these supplements are asking you to focus on what’s in the mirror instead of long-term, sustainable health and body composition.  Let’s face it – if you lose a few pounds by taking a pill without effectively changing your eating habits, how likely are you to actually stay at that weight?

5.      Is there a hard and heavy sales pitch behind your consideration? If your motivation to buy is based on an aggressive, big-business marketing campaign, fear-mongering (“If you don’t take this pill, you won’t succeed!”) or generalized group-think (“All the CrossFit Games competitors use our shakes”), then think twice.  Beware of products who yell, scream and intimidate to get your attention. When was the last time you saw a You-Tube commercial for kale?

6.      Finally, is it cost-prohibitive to eating better quality food? Even if the supplement meets all of the above criteria, if the daily cost means you’ll have to cut your real-food budget just to afford it, it’s simply not worth it.  You’ll always get more benefit from improving your meat, fish and egg quality and choosing fresh, local vegetables and fruits, so skip the supplement and save your pennies for a quarter cow and a CSA share instead.

If you’ve run the supplement-in-question through our entire checklist and it still makes the cut, then it’s time for you to exercise your own judgment.  At worst, your vitamin, mineral or supplement is going to put you out a few dollars and still not provide the purported benefits – a waste of money, but no negative effects on your overall health and fitness.  At best, the supplement will provide a boost to the already high quality food you are eating, and help you fill in those small missing pieces in your daily diet and lifestyle.  Make up your own mind.  Do your own research, talk to someone you trust, or try it for yourself for 30 days and evaluate your own experience.

Next week, we’ll be sharing the list of supplements that make the cut for us.  We’ll be giving you a peek inside the Whole9 supplement cabinet, and sharing with you why we think these pills and powders add value to our already solid health and fitness plan. In the meantime, take a peek inside your own cabinets, and see which bottles would pass our Evaluation Checklist. Post your results (and your thoughts) to comments.

Comments

  1. AmyP says

    Hmmm, I take both a Kirkland Fish Oil pill, and a Kirkland Vitamin D3 pill (well, pillS really, for both) each day. The D3 pill contains: Soybean oil, gelatin, glycerin, water, corn oil, caramel color, cod liver oil, vitamin D3 (in that order)

    The Fish Oil contains: Fish oil concentrate, gelatin, glycerin, water, tocopherol (in that order)

    I have been taking these while knowing they contained some not-so-great ingredients, but was hoping that the good out-weighed the bad. Maybe I need to keep looking for a better quality source?

  2. says

    Amy,

    The soybean and corn oil have got to go. NOW Foods makes a olive oil-based vitamin D that we use sometimes, and you can find a “dry” vitamin D that contains no soy or corn ingredients. Hunt for cleaner stuff.

  3. Jess says

    Do you guys worry about the toxic load in your fish oil supplements? I’ve got some generic CVS fish oil pills and was curious about their efficiency and/or their contaminant levels… Man, you try to do right and there are so many factors trying to make it wrong!

  4. AmyP says

    I realized after posting that, that the D3 pills I take are those pretty, liquid-filled caps that probably isn’t really necessary. I’ll search around for “dry” pills. But otherwise, it sounds like the fish oil pill is okay?

  5. Kathleen says

    Question- my husband leaned out too much for his liking when 100% Paleo. He’s since incorporated At Large Shakes and he put a few pounds back on. I’ve never been crazy about protein shakes but he’s always used them for this reason. I’m happy he’s dropped Muscle Milk but is there anything he can do (real food wise) to ensure he doesn’t drop so much weight? He’s eating avocado, almond butter, and almonds, etc. but he doesn’t seem able to consume enough food to prevent the weight loss. I think he said the shakes are 800 calories and he usually eats them at night. Thanks Dallas and Melissa for any insight. FYI- he’s 6″2 and about 186 right now. This is a perfect (appearance-wise) weight for him. He was down to 182ish not too long ago and he looked really thin…

  6. Devon says

    I love New Chapter brand multivitamins. They pass everything on this list, EXCEPT the soy addition. They seem to pride themselves on this ingredient as well. I could sleep better knowing soy isn’t in there, but it seems the cost-benefit analysis favors continue taking the supplement despite the (organic, non-gmo) soy presence. Thoughts?

  7. says

    Cindy,

    While I haven’t yet had the opportunity to take Poliquin’s Biosignature courses, I’ve heard some very good things from some very smart people I respect and whose judgment I trust. I don’t know if you’re asking this in the context of our ongoing discussion of supplements, or just in general, but my general answer is that if you have some experience with and/or education in basic nutrition principles (i.e. NOT the conventional nutritionism), some of Poliquin’s Biosignature principles would probably be a valuable addition to your toolbox.

    Jess,

    You’re totally right. There is a LOT of information out there, and unfortunately, a lot of it is generated by the companies that sell the products, so it’s totally foolish to trust what they say. As far as the contaminant (PCBs, heavy metals, etc.) content of our fish oil, no, we aren’t too concerned about that. Almost all of the fish used for fish oil are from small (low on the food chain), wild-caught fish like sardines, herring, and anchovies, so the risk of there being higher concentrations of some of these contaminants is substantially lower than, say, eating tuna or swordfish regularly. Besides, most of the potential heavy metal contaminants won’t stay in suspension of oil (fat), so it’s not a big concern. Your bigger concern with the fish oil capsules is what else they’ve added… soy, corn, processed additives and stabilizers are commonplace. Read your labels.

    Amy,

    Sorry, I forgot to answer your fish oil question the first time. Yes, those ingredients sound okay. Unfortunately, a LOT of brands of fish oil use soy lecithin as an ingredient, but if you look around, you can find (like you have) brands that have all of the upsides of the omega-3′s without the soy/corn additives. Two thumbs up on your fish oil.

    Kathleen,

    Good question. I know exactly how he feels, since I have that same struggle. I’m 6’4″, 205ish, and have been right around that weight for years now. I’ve been as heavy as 215 (lean), but I feel a ton better now. I tend to have a hard time maintaining muscle mass, so I eat a LOT, and I don’t have to stoop to shakes to stay where I’m at now. I’m not familiar with the At Large shakes, but I feel pretty safe assuming that they contain a BUNCH of dairy ingredients and maltodextrin (corn!) as a carb source (basically all of those high-calorie shakes use maltodextrin as a super-cheap, ultra-processed calorie source). I’d recommend that he eat enough protein at each meal (a piece the size of the palm of his hand), LOTS of veggies, and add more fat to each meal. Use avocado, coconut milk (I try to consume a can a day, in small sips here and there), olives and EVOO, and some nuts and nut butters. There’s almost as many calories in a can of coconut milk as in one of his shakes, and that’s a MUCH better source. If he’s hungry, tell him to EAT. Eat more meals, more snacks, whatever. But eating a really poor “food” choice like the shakes before bed not only has the downside of the dairy/corn/artificial ingredients, but drinking it right before bed will also blunt the secretion of growth hormone (key in recovery from exercise and general health). Hope this helps.

    Devon,

    Another good question. I’d make the case that the inclusion of soy ingredients has so many downsides that it does actually outweigh the potential benefits of a multivitamin. In fact, we generally don’t encourage multivitamin use, mostly because we believe that if you’re actually following our recommendations of eating a large amount and a large variety of vegetables and fruit, you don’t need the addition of a multivitamin. So, in our opinion, the soy ingredients far outweigh the “good stuff” in your multi. P.S. It’s great that New Chapter uses non-GMO, organic soy in their products, but our concerns are with the soy itself, not with the genetic modifications or pesticides used to grow it.

  8. Kathleen says

    Thanks for the response, Dallas. I forgot to mention that he does drink about 5 cans of full-fat coconut milk each week. He adds it to his shakes along with almond butter, unsweetened almond milk and berries.

    Bingo on maltodextrin- in the first ingredient of his shake powder. That AND dairy. I checked our coconut milk- 600 calories in a can. As a crossfitter, I know he’s not going to want to hear he is inhibiting growth hormone by eating before bed! I will pass this info on to him.

    Question- we eat dinner at 6pm on most nights. Should he refrain from eating before bed PERIOD or is it the SHAKE he should avoid eating before bed? If you think a small meal around 9pm is acceptable for him, what do you recommend? Thank you so much for the detailed response above. I know this has been a struggle for him and he’s really improved his diet over the past year minus the shakes.

  9. says

    Kathleen,

    The major (food) inhibitors of GH secretion are sugar (or fast-digesting carbs like maltodextrin) and fats circulating in the blood stream, so a hunk of protein around 8 or even 9 would be fine, but avoid fatty and carb-dense foods right before bed to optimize the GH response in the first hour or so of sleep.

  10. says

    do you have any recommendations for vitamins for children? Everything on the market contains a lot of garbage. I just started incorporating fish oil into mine & my girls diets; however, it says on the label that if the child is under 2 years to see a doctor about the usage first. Any reasons for that?

  11. Alex says

    Hi Dallas,

    I’m sure you’ve heard of Natural Calm. Do you think the stevia in the flavored versions is bad enough to recommend against it? They have a plain version but I actually like the taste of the raspberry lemonade flavor. Thanks.

  12. AmyP says

    I found a liquid Vitamin D that is just vitamin D and olive oil. SCORE! I plan to add a few drops to my lunch each day with hopes I won’t taste it :)

  13. says

    Kamille,

    A. We are not pediatricians, and thus are very careful not to construe our opinion as medical advice. However, since you asked, our opinion is that kids do not need to take vitamins, they just need to eat lots of real, fresh food, including tons of vegetables, some fruit, and good quality meat, fish, and eggs. B. Lots of supplements add the Child Disclaimer (or the Pregnancy Disclaimer) as a backup, but in general, your girls should be safe with small amounts of fish oil (1-2 grams per day). Look for a fish oil supplement that is rich in DHA. It seems like you’re sold on giving your girls fish oil, but we’d be just as happy with them eating more wild-caught fatty fish, grass-fed meat, and organic omega-3 eggs. Hope this helps.

    Tori,

    Thanks for the link!

    Alex,

    We’ve heard of and recommend the Natural Calm to lots of folks. However, we say break free of the crutch of sweetened, flavored stuff. If you think the stuff is worth taking (as we do), hit it straight (sans raspberry lemonade flavor).

    AmyP,

    Awesome plan. We use the liquid D sometimes, too.

  14. meredith says

    Beta Alanine? Any thoughts on this as a pre workout supplement barring any soy or other additives of course….having taken it in the past I always got the itchy hot burn it promotes…I notice now I get that same feeling with a larger dose of protien, usually 6 blocks or more, since beta alanine is naturally occuring I assume this is normal but if anyone could explain it that would be great! I should maybe see if Robb could geek it out for me!

  15. says

    Meredith,

    I don’t know what reason you have for wanting to use beta alanine, but I’ll go ahead and directly discourage you from continuing to spend your hard-earned money on it. Buy more organic veggies and grass-fed meat instead. Here’s an excellent review of a beta alanine study: http://evidencebasedfitness.blogspot.com/2007/04/another-beta-alanine-study-dont-buy.html At least read the last paragraph. The Beta Alanine Sellers have done a good job of convincing some pro bodybuilders to endorse the product, but there’s precious little scientific research to back up their claims. In my books, it fails on our #3 criteria, and probably on #1 and #6, too. Best,

    Dallas

  16. meredith says

    Thanks Dallas for the reply. I had taken it as a pre workout supp to reduce fatigue for my double days when I add CFE. There was some science on it from Dr.Conelly’s CFJ interview he did with Glassman that seemed to make sense. I havent taken it for a while and was more curious about the sensation it causes as you metabolize it. I am getting that same sensation with larger hunks of protien PWO without the supp and was curious of the cause if you had heard of that at all. Thanks!

  17. says

    Meredith,

    Dr Connelly SELLS supplements. ‘Nough said, right? It’s dangerous when science-y stuff “makes sense” – because making sense doesn’t mean it actually works. I haven’t heard of the beta alanine causing that itching, though niacin is well-known to do that. Shoot Robb or Andy Deas a note and see if you can get them to take it for a podcast question.

  18. Vicki says

    How about using chai seeds instead of a fish oil supplement? Is it just as good? In addition to eating wild salmon 2x a week.

  19. says

    Can you comment on Dr.Sinatra’s supplement.Omega Q Plus. from AdvancedBioSolutions. We have been using this for about a year & seem to be doing well.
    Thank you,
    sylvia

  20. says

    Vicki,

    Chia is like flax, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds – it’s very high in inflammatory n-6 fats (linoleic acid), and the “omega-3″ content (alpha linolenic acid) converts very poorly to the beneficial EFAs, EPA and DHA. Skip the marketing hype and get your concentrated EPA and DHA from wild-caught fish and, optionally, your fish oil.

    Sylvia,

    Well, the Omega Q Plus is a non-fish source of EPA and DHA (made from squid), but we’d skip it because of the soy ingredients. All in all, it’s up to you, but for me, I’d look for a lower cost CoQ10 supplement (if you think you need one) and simply use fish oil as a concentrated, lower-cost omega-3 source. Hope this helps.

  21. sylvia says

    Hi, telling us that soy & corn oil are now good is helpful. HOWever, I would love to know what brands you suggest using. Seems I’ve been paying a lot of money, for something that is not the best source. Also, when there is a reputable doctor backing it , laymen like myself assume it’s the best. Would love to see your list of supplements & the sources you get them from.
    thanks again,
    sylvia

  22. sylvia says

    Hi, telling us that soy & corn oil are notw good is helpful. HOWever, I would love to know what brands you suggest using. Seems I’ve been paying a lot of money, for something that is not the best source. Also, when there is a reputable doctor backing it , laymen like myself assume it’s the best. Would love to see your list of supplements & the sources you get them from.
    thanks again,
    sylvia

  23. Kathleen says

    I just began the Paleo plan 5 days ago, so far feeling great. I found Nordic naturals locally but not OmegaMaine. According to the calculator I need about 7 caps a day. I chose the “Ultimate Omega-D3″. Serving size 2 gels = EPA 650mg, DHA 450mg, Vit D3 1000 I.U., Omega 9 56mg.
    Whats your opinion on this product.

  24. says

    Kathleen,

    Looks fine to me, but don’t add a ton of extra vitamin D on top of the D you’d be getting from your fish oil, since you’d already be getting 3500IU from your fish oil. Good luck!

  25. myles says

    HI Whole9, Just a quick one for you…

    Pills – more specifically pill shells often are made of gelatin and glycerin. Thoughts on this? Is it minimal enough to not worry about?

    Thanks

  26. says

    Hi Dallas–in response (a couple months later) to my comment on my girls (ages 2 & 4 now). My husband and I finished doing Whole 30 with our gym (good ole’ Jogo) and have been serving primarily Whole 30 food to them as well. I’m about to take the plunge and remove all gluten from my families’ diet. We have a pastured pig & grass-fed cow in our deep freezer. We eat eggs everyday from a friend’s hens. We don’t eat as much fish, due to having the other meats in our freezer. I know Robb Wolf recommends giving a fish oil with high DHA for kids, while little amounts of EPA (affects them negatively). Can you expound upon the fish oil (DHA vs EPA) for kids? Is there any need for them to have any supplementation at all? thanks.

  27. says

    Myles,

    Don’t sweat the gelatin/glycerin. We think fewer “ingredients” is better, which is one of the reasons we choose liquid over capsules, but that’s up to you.

    Kamille.

    First, good on ya for taking your family’s health so seriously. It’s work, and it’s time, but it’s SO worth it. On your DHA question, we think some additional DHA is a good idea for kids, since so much of their developing neural cells use DHA as a building block. Kids, like adults, wouldn’t (and didn’t) need any supplementation when we were all eating only wild meats and fish, and not consuming any processed foods or vegetable oils. But… that’s not how most of “us” live now, so a little help is a good idea. Beware, though, the companies that sell sweetened fish oil (using stuff like xylitol or sucralose), and steer clear of the brands that use soy lecithin. We like StrongerFasterHealthier’s liquid for its purity and concentration, but they don’t make a DHA concentrate for kids. Try the Nordic Naturals chewables for kids: http://www.nordicnaturals.com/en/Products/Product_Details/98/?ProdID=1442 It’s flavored but unsweetened, and though it’s cod liver oil, there’s not enough vitamin A to be concerned about getting too much. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  28. chase says

    i saw what you said about beta alanine i am currently taking beta alanine and creatine and am looking into paleo would you suggest getting rid of the creatine too

  29. says

    Not necessarily – but you want a straight, pure monohydrate version, and the ingredient list should be (as above) squeaky-clean. Whether you continue or not is up to you – perhaps try going without for a while, see how things feel, and then add it back in and ask yourself if you notice a difference. That’s good self-experimentation!

    Melissa

  30. Paul says

    Dallas,

    You made a statement early on in the discussion that the comsumption of a protein shake shortly before going to bed at night would inhibit the body’s ability to produce HGH. Would you mind providing an explanation of this statement?

    Thanks,
    Paul

  31. Ed says

    Dallas – you commented (waaay) back last September about fat intake before bed blunting the release of growth hormone during sleep. I had previously read that it had the opposite effect on Testosterone levels and the research seemed solid to me. Could you comment on this and maybe cite a source about the growth hormone inhibition?

    BTW, love the site and materials. You guys do an awesome job of bringing a lot of high quality information to the community… thank you a hundred times over!

  32. says

    Paul and Ed,

    I’ll respond to you collectively, as your questions are similar. Paul, to clarify, I was saying that eating in general (not just protein shakes) would blunt pulsatile GH secretion in the first couple hours of sleep (the largest pulsatile release of GH occurs early in sleep). So my statement should be clarified: free fatty acids (FFAs) and glucose tend to blunt GH secretion. This makes sense, since GH has a sort of preservational role in the body (ghrelin, a “hunger hormone” upregulates GH secretion). If you’ve got a bunch of fatty acids and glucose floating around, you don’t need that preservational function. Amino acids don’t seem to blunt GH secretion, and in larger doses, some have been found to actually stimulate GH secretion – in some circumstances. In this case, as with most others, context matters. For example, GABA can act both as a GH stimulant and a GH suppressant – context matters. So what I’m getting at is that, while GH is far from the whole story with strength, mass gain, and health, it’s part of the story. We usually don’t recommend eating right before bed, or even within several hours of bedtime, and this is part of the reason. Unless you’re on a mass gain program or need obscene amounts of calories (i..e. professional cyclist), eating right before bed might not be giving you the desired effect. Here are a couple studies that talk about this stuff. Note that they’re a few decades old – this stuff is not new. Hope this clarifies my statement a little.

    http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/35/4/592.short
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC292082/pdf/jcinvest00196-0073.pdf
    http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Doi=125716

  33. says

    Tony,

    We’ve teamed up with StrongerFasterHealthier because we think their stuff is 1) squeaky clean of ugly ingredients, 2) processed in a manner that promotes minimal/no oxidation of those fragile PUFAs, 3) tastes pretty darn good (for fish oil), thus improving long-term compliance, and 4) is very concentrated, maximizing the EPA/DHA content while minimizing other PUFAs. Here’s a link for 10% off your entire order: http://strongerfasterhealthier.com/ref/whole9/ We like the lemon and tangerine flavors.

    Dallas

  34. Morten G says

    This is a great post but I have issues with point 1. “Chemical-sounding names or ingredients you can’t pronounce”. If it were my blog (which it isn’t I know) I would go with “Google any ingredients you don’t know what are”. Take AmyP’s fish oil tablets “gelatin, glycerin, water, tocopherol”.
    Gelatin is hydrolysed collagen. So basically a breakdown product of the bits in your steak that are hard to chew. It’s not pretty production-wise but it’s not very different from anything your ancestors would have been eating.
    Glycerin is one of the products of triglyceride breakdown, the other being free fatty acids. Completely normal thing in your body.
    Tocopherol is vitamin E and was probably added for it’s antioxidative effects. Basically it will suck up oxygen before it has the opportunity to harshen (is that even a word?) the fish oil.

    I have a question of my own though! Not supplements but it relates to gelatin. Should I chew the hard-to-chew bits of meat as much possible and then just swallow or should I spit it out? I mean it’s probably very high in protein but will I digest it to any appreciable amount? Will it disturb digestion?

  35. says

    Morten,

    Thanks for your comment. Our intent was not to demonize tocopherol or glycerin, of course. Note that we used the words “pronounce or recognize“, which implies some degree of understanding of what the substances are. I can pronounce AND recognize “gelatin, glycerin, water, tocopherol”, and know that none of those are cause for concern. Our intent was to spawn investigation and education, not paranoia about sound ingredients.

    Concerning the chewier meat parts… chew and eat them. Assuming normal digestive function, you’ll be able to digest some of that stuff, and it has overtly healthful properties. An alternative to that is making broth with soup bones or leftover carcasses. Long story short is that we (Westerners) generally overeat muscles and undereat organs and other body parts. Good luck!

  36. Morten G says

    Thanks Dallas! I must admit there were some bits of my ribs yesterday evening that I discarded but they looked more like bone than connective tissue (the bones I did not eat either) =)
    And it was only the wording of half a sentence I took issue with. I know you guys are pretty darn knowledgeable. Maybe it’s because my degree is ~ a fourth chemistry that I get riled up about “chemical sounding names” – everything is chemicals. Except maybe the noble gasses and some radicals.

  37. nopavement says

    I have to ask, even though I know you guys are not proponents of shakes.
    What about pea protein extract?
    I wasn’t sure if it was one of the accepted peas or not.

    What is your stance on high(ish) (2,000mg and up) doses of vitamin C, especially in the
    Liposomal form which is easily absorbed.

    Lastly, what about using some of the better Cod Liver Oils for Vitamin D & A, vs. the synthetic VIt. D that comes in many capsules?

    Thanks.

    Great site, just found it this weekend, bought the e-book, and started my New Year by
    dragging 10 garbage bags of food out of my fridge and cupboards. Now for a trip to the store
    and I am ready for my new life!

    I started going through my supplements and hate that most of them use rice flour as a filler, looks like the ones I will keep will need to get replaced with better quality ones.

  38. says

    No Pavement,

    I wish we had time to analyze every supplement folks wanted us to look at! Unfortunately, we don’t… which is why we created our Supplement Evaluation Checklist. http://whole9life.com/2010/08/whole9-supplement-evaluation-checklist/

    Pea protein is not a complete protein, so not really a good source of protein in general. Plus peas are legumes, (the seed of legumes, specifically), so we’re not big fans of that, either.

    The rest you’ll have to Google!

    Best,
    Melissa

  39. says

    Okay I just looked at the fish oil i’ve been taking and it has soy lecithin in it. Guess I need to look around for some clean fish oil pills. Thanks for all this great info!

    I’m going to download a whole30 ebook! I do crossfit and triathlons but haven’t really made the progress that I’ve wanted to and I think it’s mostly due to my ‘dieting’. I’m stick with a pretty good eating plan but have been counting calories and probably overtraining too.

    Anyway, I’m super excited about all this information! Thanks!

    Kayla Kimbrell

  40. Morten says

    Hi guys,

    Have you had a look at urosolic acid? From the reviews I found on the net it sounds a lot like the effects of eating a Paleo diet ; ]

    (PS the blinkie-smiley is because I’m being facetious – eating lots of crap with a supplement is like a pile of crap with a flower on top: still stinks)

  41. Jeanine says

    Is cellulose one of the prohibited ingredients in Whole 30? I just found out most if not all my supplements have this ingredent! ACK!

  42. John Monroe says

    I have looked everywhere trying to find the omega 6′s ration and omega 3′s for almond milk vs. soy milk. I’m trying to drop the 6′s and increase the 3′s in my diet.

  43. says

    @Kayla, sorry for the delay in response, but our thought process has changed a bit on soy lecithin. Unless you’re super sensitive to soy (or on the Whole30, which prohibits all soy products), we’re not super concerned about a high-quality fish oil that contains soy lecithin.

    @Morten, haven’t done any research into that one, but the claims are outrageous, I’m sure.

    @Jeanine, cellulose isn’t a problem, and is fine on the Whole30.

    @John, neither of those options are going to do much for your 6:3 ratio, to be frank, and both have some pretty significant downsides in our book. Your best bet is to eliminate common sources of 6 in your diet (eliminate all vegetable oils, limit consumption of nuts and seeds, improve the quality of your meat, seafood and eggs) and get more 3′s by consuming grass-finished meat and butter, lots of wild-caught, cold water fish, and perhaps supplementing with a high quality fish oil like Stronger Faster Healthier (as featured in our sidebar).

    Best,
    Melissa

  44. Anahita Shafa says

    Can you please let me know if this is Whole30 compliant or not?

    I just bought Trader Joe’s Women’s Once Daily Multivitamin & Mineral, 60 tablets, Gluten Free –

    Trader Joe’s Once Daily Women’s Multivitamin provides complete nutrition for women, including bone supporting calcium and other nutrients plus iron, a high potency B complex, and a nourishing blend of botanicals and green foods.

    Per 1 tablets :
    Vitamin A 5,000IU
    Vitamin C 120mg
    Vitamin D3 800IU
    Vitamin E 100IU
    Vitamin K 100mcg
    Thiamine (Vitamin B1) 25mg
    Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 25mg
    Niacin (Vitamin B3) 25mg
    Vitamin B6 25mg
    Folic Acid 800mcg
    Vitamin B12 25mcg
    Biotin 150mcg
    Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) 25mg
    Calcium 200mg
    Iron 6mg
    Magnesium 100mg
    Zinc 10mg
    Selenium 200mcg
    Copper 1mg
    Manganese 2mg
    Chromium 200mcg
    Molybdenum 75mcg
    Choline 20mg
    Inositol 20mg
    Boron 1mg
    Citrus Bioflavonoid Complex 25mg
    Women’s Nourishing Blend 125mg (Dong Quai, Spirulina, Red Clover)
    Vegetable Juice Complex 10mg (Kale, Spinach, Dandelion Greens & Beet Juice)
    Digestive Support (Protease, Amylase, Lipase, Cellulase, Lactobacillus Sporogenes, Betaine HCI)
    Other: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Stearic Acid, Vegetable Cellulose, Magnesium Stearate, Silica

  45. Anahita Shafa says

    Can you please let me know if this is Whole30 compliant or not?

    I just bought Trader Joe’s Women’s Once Daily Multivitamin & Mineral, 60 tablets, Gluten Free –

    Trader Joe’s Once Daily Women’s Multivitamin provides complete nutrition for women, including bone supporting calcium and other nutrients plus iron, a high potency B complex, and a nourishing blend of botanicals and green foods.

    Per 1 tablets :
    Vitamin A 5,000IU
    Vitamin C 120mg
    Vitamin D3 800IU
    Vitamin E 100IU
    Vitamin K 100mcg
    Thiamine (Vitamin B1) 25mg
    Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 25mg
    Niacin (Vitamin B3) 25mg
    Vitamin B6 25mg
    Folic Acid 800mcg
    Vitamin B12 25mcg
    Biotin 150mcg
    Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) 25mg
    Calcium 200mg
    Iron 6mg
    Magnesium 100mg
    Zinc 10mg
    Selenium 200mcg
    Copper 1mg
    Manganese 2mg
    Chromium 200mcg
    Molybdenum 75mcg
    Choline 20mg
    Inositol 20mg
    Boron 1mg
    Citrus Bioflavonoid Complex 25mg
    Women’s Nourishing Blend 125mg (Dong Quai, Spirulina, Red Clover)
    Vegetable Juice Complex 10mg (Kale, Spinach, Dandelion Greens & Beet Juice)
    Digestive Support (Protease, Amylase, Lipase, Cellulase, Lactobacillus Sporogenes, Betaine HCI)
    Other: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Croscarmellose Sodium, Magnesium Stearate (vegetable), Silicon Dioxide, Spectrablend Coating, Methylcellulose [HPMC], Medium Chain Triglycerides [MCT], Inluin

    Contains no Sugar, Lactose, Gluten, Wheat or Soy or Allergenic yeasts. Contains no artificial flavor, sweetener, color or added preservative (per the bottle label).