Right out of the gate, we want to state something clearly. This post is not about what supplements we think you should take. We don’t sell any supplements, and are hard-pressed to endorse any company’s entire product line and ingredient list. Nonetheless, we’ve had a lot of inquiries about what we personally take as a “bonus” on top of our pretty-darn-close-to-Whole30-quality diet. So, we’re going to share what supplements have made our cut once we ran them through our Supplement Evaluation Checklist.
Basically, we use two categories of supplements: things we take most days, and things we take intermittently, because we think they have some value in certain situations. We’ve included a link to an interesting study for each supplement, but we’re not presenting each link as a summative article on its subject. They’re just articles of interest, and if you want more, Google. We’ve also included a link to examples of brands that we like for some of our supplements, based (again) on our Checklist.
Fish oil We’re on a 0.25 factor dose, but your dose will vary depending on your own dietary and lifestyle factors. Look for one that doesn’t contain any soy lecithin, and avoid the sweetened varieties that taste like candy. We like the orange or lemon flavoured liquids the best.
Study of interest: Hone your Google skills, people. There’s a wealth of information out there about fish oil. If you choose, you can use our Fish Oil Calculator, based on Robb Wolf’s dosing recommendations, as a dosage starting point.
Vitamin D3 2500-5000 IU daily. We take less on days that we get some sun, and more in the winter when we’re not getting any sun. We generally prefer to get a few minutes of sun daily, but since we don’t live on the beach in Costa Rica, we add some D3 in varying daily doses. Look for olive oil-based or “dry” D, not the stuff in soybean or corn oil.
Study of interest: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/12/2813
Example: Now Foods Vitamin D3
Broad-spectrum digestive enzyme 2-4 capsules with each meal. We want to digest and absorb as much of our food as possible; simply eating more is not a good solution.
Study of interest: http://jas.fass.org/cgi/content/full/82/4/1053
Example: Now Foods Super Enzymes
Zinc 15 mg daily. Zinc does some cool stuff for immune and hormonal function.
Study of interest: http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/130/5/1399S
Example: Now Foods Zinc Gluconate
Magnesium 300-500mg at bedtime. We call our magnesium the “Magic White Powder” because of how well it makes us (and a number of our clients) sleep. (You can use capsule or powder form – we prefer powder, mixed in a little water, immediately before bed.)
Study of interest: http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/full/24/3/166
Curcumin (Turmeric) 500-1000mg daily with food. This is an inexpensive supplement (also obtained through a spice called Turmeric) that has been shown in numerous studies to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Study of interest: http://ajpregu.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/292/6/R2168
Example: Jarrow’s Formula Curcumin 95
R-lipoic acid (R-ALA) 200-500 mg daily. Robb Wolf answered a question Dallas had about lipoic acid in Episode 43 of his Paleolithic Solution podcast. He is a smart, smart dude and (insert PR plug here) is about to release a rockin’ new book, which we’re currently in the process of previewing. (Stay tuned for our review!) Lipoic acid has some potent antioxidant effects, and can improve insulin sensitivity.
Study of interest: http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/39/2/303
Example: Genceutic R Lipoic Acid
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) 3-5 grams before and after hard and/or long training. BCAAs tend to blunt exercise-induced catabolism (muscle breakdown).
Study of interest: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11985939
Example: Optimum Nutrition BCAA
Glutamine 5-10 grams post-workout and at bedtime. Some studies say that glutamine enhances healthy immune function. We like immune function.
Study of interest: http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/…abstract
Example: Optimum Nutrition Glutamine
We also use liberal amounts of ginger, garlic and cinnamon in our cooking, all of which have been shown to have significant beneficial properties. But, since they’re “food” and not “supplements”, we’ll only mention them in passing.
So now you’ve had your peek inside the Whole9 Supplement Cabinet – we hope you’ve found our series on supplementation helpful. One brief request, though… Please don’t post a general, “What do you think about (insert supplement here)?” question. Reread our Checklist, and ask yourself the hard questions about why you’re considering taking a “fat burner”, protein shake or overpriced, caffeinated, artificially sweetened energy drink. Ultimately, what you put in your body is your own responsibility – but we’re happy to provide some basic guidelines to help you figure it out for yourself.
Whole9 Additional References: Supplementation
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