“Let food by thy medicine, and thy medicine be food.” – Hippocrates (father of Western medicine)
Some people don’t like taking supplements. They consider it “unnatural“. They say “I eat healthy, so I don’t need supplements.”
I agree: you don’t need supplements. But allow me to suggest a different perspective: You might benefit from them. A lot. They might even change your life.
Consider this: You are always supplementing something. If you drink water, you are supplementing against thirst. If you are eating food, you are supplementing against starvation. If you are climbing Mt. Everest, you’d better be supplementing oxygen! And if you are taking vitamin D3, you are supplementing for lack of sun exposure (you might as well just consider sunshine, fresh air and clean water vitamins too).
For me, learning about nutrition and supplementation has been part of a long journey of healing, about 17 years now. It began with quitting drinking soda and sugary drinks, then quitting cigarettes. I did a year of fulltime studies in massage therapy, and from there I began yoga, hitting the gym, and balancing macronutrients. Building on that I became a hugely passionate CrossFit trainer (as well as CanFitPro and NSCA personal trainer) and explored many whole foods, greens, and other nutritional supplements.
I believe my greens and protein supplementation played a key role in supporting my immune system against malaria during my time in Africa in 2012. In the past year and a half I’ve gone even more seriously into supplementation, including nootropics, to deal with serious insomnia and a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. These came about as a result of some difficult living situations and massive stress in my family life – including mental illness, suicide attempts amongst family members, and a separation from my wife and child.
In short, I’ve learned a lot and it’s been a long, hard road. I hope the knowledge and experience I’ve gained can help you with your health, wellbeing, energy and fitness – and especially if you’re dealing with insomnia (which is a form of torture and I wouldn’t wish on anyone!), anxiety (I didn’t know the difference between anxiety and stress until the shit hit the fan last summer), a mood disorder or low energy.
I’ve listed the supplements below by their predominant benefit, but understand that these are not firm boundaries, and each supplement can play multiple roles in your health. In future I’d like to make this list sortable by category and priority, but for now I hope it’s useful as-is.
Note: Some of these are given by generic names as individual supplements, and some of these are brand name products containing multiple compounds. All are products I have used personally and found value in at various times and for various needs. I also do my best to balance quality and price, always seeking the best value for my health and dollar (I tend to favor quality over price, but I’m good at finding the deals because of my habit of doing per-unit calculations).
Also note that I try to buy larger sizes when possible, and when I’ve already tried and tested a product and decided I like it. If you click through any of these you’ll generally find other/smaller sizes available.
[Disclosure: these are affiliate links, which means if you click through and buy any of them, I’ll get a small commission. Which means you’ll be helping me continue my mission of learning, sourcing and sharing the best resources I can find to improve health and quality of life. Cool, right?]
- General health support – nourishment, anti-inflammatory and immunity
- Vitamin C powder
- Ideally from a whole foods powder – I take this daily, and more when my glands are swollen or I feel run down. This is my #1 supplement for immune support!
- You may want to add in a pure ascorbic acid vitamin C to make your dollar stretch further (or get only this if budget is an issue) – combine these and take advtange of the natural cofactors in the Synergy Whole Foods Vitamin C
- MacroGreens Powder
- Pure whey protein concentrate
- Co-Enzyme B-Complex
- Moringa powder
- Creatine Monohydrate
- Turmeric / curcumin
- Vitamins D3 + K2
- Vitamin A
- Argentinian Beef Liver Powder
- Vitamin C powder
- Insomnia and sleep aids
- Kava kava
- L-tryptophan The most reliable supplement I’ve found to help my sleep, both in onset and duration. It is a precursor to endogenous production of melatonin and serotonin
- Collagen (mainly to go with l-tryptophan)
- California poppy
- Chamomille tea
- Skullcap tea
- Magnesium threonate
- Mucuna Pruriens
- Bell’s “Sound Sleep” formula
- Bulletproof Sleep Mode
- Stress, anxiety, and adrenal support
- B vitamin complex
- Tianeptine sulfate
- Kava kava (tea, capsule or tincture)
- Tulsi tea
- Chamomile tea
- Matcha green tea
- Raw cacao powder, or
- Dark chocolate (80%+)
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Lithium Orotate
- AOR OrthoAdapt
- Nootropics – energy, mood and focus
- Microgram weigh scale (to weigh accurate ammounts, important!)
- Matcha green tea (or caffeine + L-theanine)
- Phenylpiracetam, Aniracetam or Noopept
- Acetyl L-Carnitine
- Adaptogens – neuroprotective, immunity
- Sacred Mushrooms (eg. Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Cordyceps)
- Bacopa Monnieri