We always give our clients a detailed plan of when to take what supplement.
This is important because if you take the wrong supplement at the wrong time it can either negate the benefits of the supplement or cause it to pass through your body without being absorbed.
This just creates really expensive pee!
And the other thing is that each person has different supplement needs at different times due to their activity.
So what supplements should I take when?
For instance when athletes (or anyone for that matter) exercises it creates lots of free radicals (Reactive Oxygen Species-ROS).
In general we want these ROS low as they are implicated in virtually all disease processes from cancer to diabetes.
However, like anything that happens in the body there must be a good reason for it and we have to be careful about manipulating that process.
That good reason is that the body mounts an adaptive response to these ROS especially after exercise.
And in that case we don’t want to blunt the adaptive i.e. muscle building effects of the exercise.
By flooding the body with anti-oxidants during or directly post workout we may blunt the effectiveness of that workout.
So anti-oxidants should be taken as far from a workout as possible.
However other nutrition like amino acids (protein) are best taken within 45 minutes after finishing a workout.
Supplements like Vitamin C and B-Vitamins are water soluble so can be taken anytime.
Others (Vitamins A, D, E and K) are fat soluble and should be taken with meals when we are ingesting some fat.
This increases bio-availability and absorption.
Below is a super basic chart that shows when to take supplements. (Source-Ben Greenfield Fitness)
Be aware that your individual needs may vary depending on your age, your health and fitness goals, the types of activities you do and your fitness levels.
The other thing to be aware of is that the body has a rhythm to it and just like how different hormones are higher at different times of day, the same is true with our vitamin and mineral needs.
This is a great chart that illustrates how timing affects the body and the best time to take your supplements.
What are the supplements that I take personally?
My supplement regimen varies as I can get tired of taking pills.
But…..I generally take the following.
These are supplements and dosages that I take based on lab testing and I do not recommend these for you without a visit with your physician.
Vitamin C: 2000-3000 mg per day. I have a genetic pre-disposition for Vitamin C deficiency I found through 23andme and the gene calculator from Promethease and Silverberry Genetics.
Vitamin B Complex with methylfolate: I found out I have a genetic variant (MTHFR) that gets in the way of vitamin B methylation so I take the methylated version of this.
Vitamin D with K2: 10000-50000 IU per week depending on the season. In winter I take more because I’m not out in the sun as much.
Additionally when the sun is at a low angle as it is in winter it we don’t receive intense enough light to create vitamin D in the skin.
Vitamin D should never be taken alone and should always be taken with K2.
This is because Vitamin D moves calcium from the gut into the bloodstream and K2 then directs that calcium into the bones and teeth.
Without the K2 and just the Vitamin D calcium can get deposited in the wrong places like vascular tissue (arteries and veins) as well as the heart.
Magnesium: 400-800 mg generally before bed.
Curcumin: 600-2400 mg per day as an anti-inflammatory. My preferred brand is Integrative Therapeutics Theracurmin or Metagenics Inflavanoid.
Fish Oil (Omega 3): 3-6 grams per day depending on exercise intensity.
I take Integrative Therapeutics fish oil as you can audit your individual bottle of oil and see exactly what is in it from IT’s excellent lab testing.
Fish oil is one of the supplements that is pretty much a must take these days.
Most people that I have tested are usually deficient in Omega 3 fats and have too many Omega 6 fats.
This results in a pro-inflammatory environment.
Though anecdotal only I have seen many many people get rid of joint and other body pain simply by adding high doses of fish oil to their diet.
Probiotics: Thrive probiotic 1 per day.
There’s lot’s of data about probiotics out there and my takeaway is that anybody who tells you they know what’s going with probiotics is probably full of it.
That doesn’t mean we have not seen benefits from specific strains like S. Boulardi and others.
However Thrive has some great clinical studies behind it for gut lining protection and if you know anything about disease you know that the gut is implicated in most of them.
Collagen Protein: I use Vital Protein’s hydrolyzed beef collagen.
It’s easier to digest than whey protein, has a great amino acid profile including branched chain amino acids.
I use these after a workout or before bed because it helps me sleep better probably due to the high levels of glycine.
Greens: I use Amazing Grass Raw Reserve.
A green powder is like insurance when I’m not getting enough greens, fruits or other vegetables during the day.
Phytonutrients and bioflavanoids are crucial for proper cellular functioning and defense.
Since I exercise frequently I need a ton of anti-oxidants and this is a way to get some through food.
I take other vitamins and minerals less frequently but include
Multi-vitamins: (DFH Twice Daily Essentials) if I’m traveling and I don’t want to carry a ton of pills.
Adaptogenic herbs: Eleuthero, Rhodiola, Ashwaganda, Shizandra and more.
Anti-oxidants: Resveratrol, CoQ10 and others.
Performance Enhancers: Mitochondrial NRG and others.
Liver Detoxicants: N-Acetyl Cysteine, activated charcoal and other detoxification supplements.
Brain Supplements: High DHA fish oil, Blueberry extract and hesperidin methyl chalcone.
Exogenous Ketones: These are used as meal replacements or to kickstart my body into Ketosis.
Okay I’m sure I’m forgetting some but that covers the basics.
Please let us know below what supplements you take and why and if you have any questions.