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What I really think about supplements (and which ones I take)

Supplements everywhere meme

New clients love to ask about supplements.

And I always say, “You’re gonna hate my answer.”

“Ideally, if you eat a balanced, whole-food diet, you take none.”

The truth is, you’re busy, we’re all busy, so a few of these may help.

So, for today, I will list the supplements I take. And more importantly, why?

First, let’s get real:

If you’re thinking about supplements before fixing a broken diet, you are setting yourself up for serious disappointment.

They are not essential.

I always say this to clients: “You can get absolutely jaw-dropping results — like, make your ex jealous results — by following a calorie-controlled plan, walking, and lifting weights. Save your money on supplements.”

The main benefit of supplements is convenience and perhaps plugging any holes in your diet.

With that said, here are the supplements I take

Protein Powder

Protein Powder with the spoon

Protein powder is a convenient, cost-effective form of high-quality protein when you’re stuck in a bind and need a quick shot of hunger-controlling, muscle-sparing nutrients.

Many health benefits are also associated with higher protein diets (0.8g – 1.0g per pound of body weight) and can even limit fat gain during periods of higher food consumption. I drop a couple of scoops of PrecisionWhey in a smoothie first thing in the morning before I start my day.

Fish Oil

Fish Oil Pills

Fish oil has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and research reveals fat loss and muscle-building benefits when the concentrated dose is approximately 4 grams, containing 1.86 grams EPA and 1.5 grams DHA.

Consuming concentrated fish oil appears to have both anti-breakdown and growth-supporting effects on muscle while activating brain centers responsible for motivation and mood regulation. I take 6-8 grams of Super Omega 3 daily with a meal.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 pills

Vitamin D3 deficiency is rampant. This can have a negative impact on your bones, hormones, immune system, and even mood. It’s a good idea to check your 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 levels once a year.

During the winter months, when you are less exposed to the sun’s rays, it’s typically a good idea for many of us to supplement with vitamin D3 (2000-5000IU/Day).

As always, check, don’t guess. Vitamin D lab tests are inexpensive ways to eliminate gaps with one of our most powerful hormones.

On days I’m not exposed to the sun, I take 5000IU of D3 + K2. I also use DMinder to keep track of my Vitamin D Levels.


Magnesium on the gray cloth

Magnesium deficiency is also extremely common. Low levels have been associated with diabetes and other conditions, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis.

Yea, pretty serious stuff.

Magnesium is responsible for more than 600 enzymatic processes in the body and has many health benefits, including improved sleep quality. Interestingly enough, in recent years, magnesium has been shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines (additional study here).

I take 400mg of Magnesium Glycinate daily with my last meal; 800mg on training days.

I especially find this useful when on the road sleeping in hotels. For these travel periods, I take a blend of magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin B-6, GABA, and inositol about 30-45 minutes before bed.

Sleep hygiene, baby.


Woman hydrating herself during training

Hydration loss is no joke, especially when you live in a hotter climate like Hong Kong or Las Vegas.

Want to maximize your performance?

First, maintain proper hydration!

That means upgrading from plain water to electrolyte-infused water.

Seriously, it’s science

Drinking plain water itself is like filling your bathtub with the drain unplugged. In other words, drinking water with low minerals such as sodium and potassium leads to dehydration.

Here’s my solution:

So that’s my stash. The ones I consider to be, at least for me, the important basics.

🙅🏻‍♂️ What I Don’t Use:

Fat Burners or Pre-workout mixes

Transparent red and transparent gold pills

Most of the ones you find in stores just jack up stress hormones and absolutely smash your adrenal system with about a day’s worth of caffeine which is just silly.

This creates serious withdrawal symptoms and consequences when used long-term.

That said, caffeine (coffee, for instance) can be used strategically and has been shown to improve workout focus & performance.

Use it wisely.

Don’t take it from me, do your due diligence when it comes to supplements…

If you’d like to educate yourself further (and you should), you might want to consider checking out EXAMINE.COM, which provides an “evidence-based” look at products on the market.

This gives you an unbiased look at supplements with sufficient evidence to support their claims.