August 9, 2022
I'm often asked questions such as, “Do I need supplements?”, “Why should I take supplements?”, and “What supplements should I take?”. After all, if you, like me, are leading a healthy lifestyle, I'll wager that you probably eat plenty of plants, prioritize sleep, hydrate with filtered (or, dare I say, at the risk of wearing my tinfoil hat, structured) water, and expose yourself to the sun as much as possible.
In other words, you, like me, are probably what I call a “healthy, woo-woo geek.” You are an intelligent, well-informed person who embraces your softer side of spirituality and prides yourself on being passionate about health, nutrition, science, and fitness.
So why would you need to take supplements for health, fitness, and longevity? Doesn't nutrient-dense food, good water, and relatively clean living give you enough crucial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants?
I get the question: life is already complicated, there is a dizzying array of supplements to choose from, and the expense can add up fast, as can the clutter and confusion from eight billion bottles of capsules, tinctures, powders, oils, tablets and packets in your pantry. Things can get complex fast, and no one—including me—wants to spend their precious time counting and swallowing pills. I've certainly been overwhelmed by the physical space supplements can occupy (in fridges and travel suitcases) and the time and monetary expenses of tracking and ordering new bottles.
Moreover, supplements can be dangerous. I've dedicated podcasts to exposing the deceptive tactics that some supplement companies employ and explored controversial fringe supplements.
So in this article, I'm going to present you with some pretty compelling information (all research-based, mind you) to support the notion that supplements can indeed amplify the benefits of your healthy, woo-woo geek lifestyle, especially if you're a hard-charging, high-achiever like I profess to be. I'll provide scientifically-validated reasons that supplements help optimize health, performance, and longevity. Then I will outline the exact supplements I take (which I also recommend to my family and friends) and give you a handy-dandy guide for proper dosing and timing.
The Science Behind Why You Need Supplements (Even If You're Doing Everything Right)
Let's begin with this: your modern, post-industrial, polluted, toxin-laden lifestyle demands more nutrients than food can provide.
That's right: the chronic stressors of modern life—whether it’s the iPhone screen interfering with your circadian rhythms and chronobiology, or the never-ending work deadlines, increase your nutrient needs.
Every day, you face hundreds of toxins—pollutants in the air, degraded plastic byproducts in drinking water, chemicals in cleaning products, and pesticides in your food—which further increase your body’s need for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are necessary to help shuttle toxins through natural detox pathways and prevent the formation of DNA-damaging free radicals. Even exercise is a stressor that increases your body’s need for nutrients.
Furthermore, if you're a hard-charging, high-performing exercise enthusiast (like many people reading this), your nutrient requirements far exceed the recommendations for the general, sedentary population.
To make matters worse, you're likely not getting the full array of nutrients from the food that prior generations enjoyed. Due to modern farming techniques and fertilizers, most soil is depleted of nutrients, which decreases the beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in conventionally-grown crops.
So perhaps eating organic is the ultimate solution? While some studies suggest that organically-grown foods contain more nutrients than non-organic, other studies conclude that there are no significant differences. Furthermore, for most of human history (and prehistory), your ancestors ate now nearly-extinct, dense cell-rich carbohydrates in the form of foods such as wild tubers, which provided essential prebiotics that helped probiotic bacteria flourish (in contrast to the refined “acellular” grains and white rice that comprise modern carbohydrates).
Along the same lines, the abundance of refined carbohydrates and processed foods create significant blood sugar swings and glycemic variability your ancestors also didn't deal with to as great an extent. A glance at a coffee shop display case or hotel breakfast bar laden with bagels, muffins, and sugary cereals explains why many people need a snack a couple of hours later just to make it through the inevitable mid-morning blood sugar crash. Blood sugar imbalances lead to chronic inflammation and may be responsible for up to 80% of modern diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (nicknamed “type 3 diabetes”), obesity, depression, and cancer.
Similarly, the meat, eggs, and dairy products commonly found in grocery stores deliver fewer anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, than wild or pastured animals. Speaking of omega-3 fatty acids, most Western diet munchers consume an imbalanced ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids, further predisposing us to rampant chronic inflammation.
To make it even more complicated, modern harvesting, shipping, processing, and storage techniques degrade the nutrient content of food. Plants grown with modern fertilizer can contain only 25% of the micronutrients of those grown using more traditional farming methods, and nutrients degrade as they are shipped and sit on store shelves. A fresh-picked apple is more nutritious than the apple you buy at the supermarket in winter, which was likely treated with 1-methylcyclopropene and could be up to 10 months old (according to an FDA spokesperson). And the very preservatives used to maintain “freshness” could impede the bioavailability of the food’s nutrients—and increase your body’s need for nutrients to process these synthetic additives. Similarly, many common medications for acid reflux and hypertension also inhibit nutrient absorption.
Then there are precious fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin D. Though the recommendations for sufficient Vitamin D levels are controversial, it’s safe to say that many Americans do not get enough of it. Even if you're doing your best to get sun exposure—whether it’s a morning walk or going outside for lunch—it’s rare to get as much sunlight (and Vitamin D) as your outdoor-dwelling ancestors did.
Last but not least, your ability to absorb nutrients from food decreases as you age. Given the scientifically-demonstrated longevity benefits of caloric restriction, it seems silly to argue that one could ignore calories and simply eat more food to obtain nutrients. This is another crucial area where supplements come in—a helpful boost if you want to live longer using strategies such as intermittent fasting, alternate-day fasting, or caloric restriction.
But Wait…My Ancestors Didn't Take Supplements, So Why Should I?
I love to use ancestral wisdom to optimize my life, but I also believe in a healthy dose of “better living through science”—the ultimate marriage of ancestral wisdom and modern science.
In this case, the assumption that previous generations didn’t take supplements is simply not true. Ancient supplements included root, stem, and leaf teas targeted for specific symptoms, medicinal powders ground by mortar and pestles, and highly concentrated oil extracts. Just because those dietary add-ons don’t look like the capsules and ridiculously-oversized tubs of today's powders, doesn’t mean that they weren’t supplements.
Additionally, your ancestors consumed dirt, which is now known to contain a wide range of beneficial probiotics. Perhaps even more compelling is the notion that animals, ranging from insects to chimps, self-medicate and supplement by consuming specific plants. Furthermore, the methods used today to gather, cook, and consume food drastically differ from those in ancestral times, leading to different nutrient availability and absorption degrees.
For example, most of the time, people only eat animal muscle and discard the collagen-rich connective tissues. Previous generations—as recent as your grandparents'—simmered animal carcasses for hours, liberating collagen, gelatin, and fat-soluble vitamins from connective tissues. In a way, the soups your ancestors consumed are equivalent to the glucosamine/chondroitin joint supplements that line the shelves of GNC and the now-trendy bone broth found at high-end restaurants. To learn more about ancestral nutrition, the Weston A. Price Foundation provides useful guidelines on finding and preparing nutrient-dense foods in ways that your grandparents would recognize.
OK, I'm Convinced…So What Supplements Should I Take, And Where Do I Start?
I’ve translated the knowledge gained from years of reading, researching, and experimenting to co-found my very own supplement company, Kion. All the Kion supplements satisfy my strict standards for quality and “scratch my own itch” as products I use, endorse, and take daily.
The goal in creating the Kion supplement line—for both the existing products and some extremely unique formulations that are currently being developed using some of the best raw ingredients on the face of the planet—was to merge the best that modern science and ancient wisdom have to offer to enable you to optimize your body and brain.
For the Kion supplements that you are specifically about to discover, Kion team members and I personally sourced each ingredient, designed optimal ratios, and controlled the manufacturing processes to ensure the highest purity, potency, and value. Several specialized non-Kion products on here are also part of my daily supplement arsenal.
So, without further ado, here is a list of the top thirteen supplements my family and I take daily, along with their benefits.
1. Kion Aminos
Kion Aminos is a unique blend of nine essential amino acids that can naturally boost energy, build lean muscle, and enhance athletic recovery, in very precise ratios that we have, over the years at Kion, dialed in to be exactly what your muscles need (unlike any other amino acid blend out there).
I first began using essential amino acids when I was racing the Ironman triathlon and needed a fast energy source that I could take any time, any place, for energy, muscle, recovery, and a host of additional functions. For the last two decades, aminos have been a staple supplement of mine.
You're likely aware of the benefits of a protein-rich diet, especially for athletes, since muscle cells are built from protein. Essential amino acids (definitely not to be confused with their inferior cousins branched-chain amino acids), which include only three of the nine essential amino acids your body needs, are, in the simplest terms, the components of protein that your body uses to build muscle. While essential amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, they also perform many other important physiologic functions. For example, essential amino acids regulate genetic expression, including genes related to oxidative stress and immunity.
The amount of essential amino acids you need for optimal function is heavily influenced by your stress levels and workout intensity. While some amino acids can be synthesized by your body, other amino acids, specifically these essential amino acids (EAAs) I'm talking about, must come from food—and that’s why you eat complete protein sources such as, say, steak or eggs. I've been putting on about a half pound of muscle per week this summer by doing two ARX workouts weekly, along with 20g of aminos three times a day, plus a chunk of my aminos/collagen jello (and you can find that awesome recipe here). I talk in-depth about the science behind my reasons for upping my dose in this recent podcast episode with Angelo Keely, my co-founder and the CEO of Kion.
Because there is so much information (and misinformation) out there about amino acids, including the BCAAs vs. EAAs debate, I also recently published a comprehensive article covering the latest research and outlining detailed recommendations for the consumption of aminos. You can read that article here, or if you're already convinced of their superpowers, you can find Kion Aminos available in a capsule form (with no binders, fillers, stearates, coating, or dyes) or a dissolvable powder with refreshing natural Cool Lime, Mixed Berry, Watermelon, or Mango flavors.
2. Kion Flex
In my research and travels, I've discovered remedies from across the planet that are efficacious for bouncing back faster from injury, recovering from a workout, fighting inflammation, and making you want to leap out of bed in the morning feeling fired up every day.
Then I took all of those ingredients and added them to Kion Flex.
With Kion Flex, I wanted to create a veritable “shotgun” of nutrients I could mainline into my body when overextended or sore from exercise without using three to ten different bottles. This formula contains everything you need for mobility, recovery, healing, flexibility, and beyond.
Those ingredients include:
- Turmacin®. Turmacin® is the first water-soluble extract of turmeric to contain turmerosaccharides, which support a balanced inflammatory response to physical activity and have unique benefits for joints.
- AyuFlex®. AyuFlex® is a non-GMO, organic extract of the ayurvedic superfruit haritaki. It supports whole-body joint function and can help you move more freely.
- Serrapeptase, Serrazimes®, and ProHydrolase®. These are proteolytic enzymes, meaning they're biological catalysts that speed up chemical reactions in the body. Certain blends of enzymes can help you recover faster and bounce back to your favorite daily activities.
I typically like to take three Kion Flex on an empty stomach (this is important because otherwise, it will digest the protein/food in your gut rather than breaking down inflammatory products in the blood). I do this in the evening on hard workout days or days I'm especially sore or injured. Kion Flex is a veritable powerhouse if you're active.
3. Kion Lean
Managing blood sugar is paramount for health, high performance, and longevity.
With my genetically tested propensity for type II diabetes and my desire to not eliminate carbohydrates from my diet (what can I say—I dig Italian food, dark chocolate, and red wine), I wanted something that would immediately lower my blood sugar after a meal.
Kion Lean is a formula that combines the benefits of wild bitter melon (Momordica charantia) fruit extract (as Glycostat®), astragalus membranaceus root extract, and panax notoginseng root extract (as InnoSlim®). Panax notoginseng and Astragalus membranaceus have been proven to decrease glucose absorption and circulating blood glucose. That means fewer blood sugar spikes for you. InnoSlim® may also reduce fat accumulation by helping correct the metabolic issues that lead to weight gain.
In laboratory studies, wild bitter melon extract has been demonstrated to reduce inflammation in macrophages,protect against fatty liver disease, activate signaling pathways that support fat loss and longevity, and regulate blood glucose and blood pressure. I've tested my blood sugar after a carbohydrate-rich meal, for which I've popped two of these beforehand. It gives me a night and day difference in my blood sugar levels, allowing me to return to ketosis quickly after a carbohydrate refeed.
And because of that, this supplement is good not only for your waistline but also for anti-aging. Kion Lean enhances longevity by regulating the blood glucose and insulin responses, leading to healthy liver function and healthy body fat levels.
So here's the deal: I take two of these before any meal with significant carbs—I'm talking 50g+—or alcohol. I've compared it to every blood glucose stabilizer out there, like berberine, apple cider vinegar, Ceylon cinnamon, etc., and I'm telling you, nothing beats Kion Lean‘s formula. The only thing that works better for glycemic variability stabilization would be a 2-5 minute extremely cold soak or hard strength training session (and hey, feel free to do that too).
4. Kion Colostrum
I first began using colostrum when I wanted to protect my gut from the rigors of racing triathlons and endurance competitions in hot and stressful environments, especially when competing in events such as Ironman Hawaii.
But it turns out that colostrum is good for far more than simply sealing up the lining of a leaky gut or helping your stomach feel impervious to the stressors of hard physical exercise.
As a matter of fact, this goat milk-derived colostrum in the form of Kion Colostrum is one of my favorite supplements since it contains a huge variety of macro- and micronutrients, including growth factors, growth-promoting hormones, lactoferrin (a protein that helps with iron absorption), and immune-modulating molecules such as cytokines and immunoglobulins. Additionally, a broad spectrum of enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are in colostrum. Together, these compounds can effectively rebuild your gut, decrease intestinal permeability brought on by strenuous exercise, increase your VO2max, strengthen your immune system, and help build lean muscle mass.
My favorite way to get my colostrum in lately is blending vanilla Kion Clean Protein with frozen blueberries, goat milk yogurt, Kion Colostrum, vanilla stevia, 5g of Kion Creatine, ice, and then top it with coconut flakes, cacao nibs, or a chopped up frozen Kion energy bar. This is a seriously delicious way to start the day.
And if you're looking to enhance your growth hormone levels without fringe injections or hormone replacement therapy, colostrum is, bar none, your best bet to get that done naturally.
5. Kion Omega Fish Oil
I've always said, “taking bad fish oil is worse than taking no fish oil at all.”
So I'm constantly on the hunt for a joint-protecting, brain-enhancing, vision-assisting fish oil that isn't rancid, is sustainably sourced, and contains a powerhouse of antioxidants to keep the oil stable, such as astaxanthin and antioxidant vitamins.
Enter Kion Omega, a premium fish oil supplement that offers 1,000mg of EPA and DHA (530mg of EPA and 435mg of DHA). The fatty acids are also in triglyceride form rather than ethyl ester, which boosts absorption even more.
Made from sustainably-sourced cold-water anchovies to minimize mercury content, Kion Omega is naturally preserved with the antioxidants astaxanthin and rosemary leaf extract (which have benefits for skin, athletic endurance, and cognitive function).
Kion Omega is also GOED (Global Organization of EPA and DHA Omega-3s)-compliant and processed in a GMP-certified facility. (Basically, this means that Kion has demonstrated a strong regulatory commitment and compliance to international good manufacturing practices.)
You just pop two Kion Omega soft gels daily, preferably with food, for over 200% of your daily omega-3 recommendation. Due to my desire for a slightly higher dose omega-3 fatty acids, I usually take 4-6 caps of Omega daily on any days I don't eat a serving of cold-water fatty fish, and 1-2 caps on other days. When I do eat fish, I stick to the SMASH list, which stands for salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring. These are the fish varieties that are the safest and healthiest to eat because they're nutrient-rich, high in omega-3s, and low in mercury.
6. Kion Clean Protein
You probably already know that protein is generally good for you.
It’s a vital macronutrient that promotes muscle growth and repair, metabolism, sleep, skin and nails, brain function, the immune system, and so much more.
The thing is, because protein is used for just about every bodily process, it’s constantly being broken down and must be replaced with adequate amounts from your diet. However, the answer to how much protein you need is not that straightforward. In this article, I give general guidelines for protein intake based on your activity levels, goals, and age. (And I cover pretty much everything else you need to know about protein, too, in that article…which is why I called it the “Ultimate Guide.”:)
If you are looking to up your protein intake—whether it's because you want to put on muscle, you're getting older (aren't we all), or you want to improve your recovery—there is no cleaner, healthier, higher-quality protein out there than Kion Clean Protein. There are many research-backed reasons why Kion's protein rises to the top, including that it is sourced exclusively from grass-fed cows, contains a whopping 20g of complete protein, is thoroughly tested for toxins, and is virtually free of toxins. Finally, and importantly, it's hands-down the best-tasting protein I've ever tasted (and I've tasted a lot). Somehow the Kion team accomplished this using absolutely zero added sugar: just organic natural flavors, Himalayan sea salt, and stevia. Plus, it comes in chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored—so yes, there’s something for everyone.
My current favorite flavor is vanilla, and as I mentioned above, I've been making a delicious smoothie daily with the Clean Protein and Kion Creatine. Honestly, it's kind of like having dessert for breakfast, which is not a bad way to supplement if you ask me.
7. Kion Energy Bars
I used to have a love-hate relationship with energy bars.
On one hand, they’re a convenient, on-the-go snack that can prevent hangry breakdowns. But they can also taste like cardboard, be loaded with sugar, and end up in a pile of goo in your backpack.
The Kion Energy Bar is different.
The reason why sugar is abundant in most bars is to try to make them more appetizing. What they were able to do at Kion was put together a formula in which the ingredients that contribute to the delicious taste are also packed with nutrition. The chocolatey flavor and nutty texture are thanks to ingredients including cocoa nibs (rich in minerals and antioxidants), coconut flakes (contain natural medium-chain fatty acids for energy), almonds (source of plant-based protein), and cocoa powder (high in magnesium).
Additionally, the bars contain 11g of satiating protein from a combination of gut-friendly, vegan rice protein, and pea protein, which completes the amino acid profile.
I've been using the bars to mix in with other recipes of mine, such as smoothies (which you'll find described right here in this very article). They've gotten rave reviews as one of the best-tasting bars on the market, so if you're looking to stock your gym bag with the right kind of healthy convenience, Kion Energy Bars are the way to go.
8. Kion Creatine
I've taken 5 grams of creatine daily for as long as I can remember, ever since my collegiate bodybuilding days.
Why? Frankly, it's one of the most researched and safe performance and cognition-enhancing molecules on the face of the planet.
Creatine plays a crucial role in cellular energy production by making ATP, a molecule needed by all cells in your body. An organic acid naturally produced in the body from other amino acids, creatine is found in foods such as meats, eggs, and fish and is commonly deficient in heavily exercising individuals, the elderly, and people who eat a primarily plant-based diet. With increases in exercise or as a result of muscle damage, your physiological need for creatine increases.
Creatine supplementation has been shown to support increased muscle work capacity and power output while promoting physical endurance and lean body mass gains. Outside of the athletic population, creatine has also been shown to lessen muscle breakdown and support cognitive function, especially in aging populations. Because creatine stores high-energy phosphate groups as phosphocreatine, it releases energy to aid cellular function during stress. This effect causes strength increases after creatine supplementation and can also benefit the brain, bones, muscles, and liver. Another less well-known benefit of creatine is its sleep-optimizing properties, which you can read more about here.
I currently only use Kion Creatine. The creatine in Kion Creatine is derived from Creapure, a micronized form of creatine monohydrate that’s colorless and odorless. This form of creatine has highly enhanced solubility, so it mixes well with water, juice, smoothies, or just about anything you toss it into. Whatever your health needs, creatine is worth the pantry space.
9. Kion Sleep
Approximately 70% of US adults experience at least one bad night of sleep every month, and one-third report getting less than seven hours of sleep each night.
That's quite a bit.
Sleep latency (how long it takes you to fall asleep), duration (the length of time you’re asleep throughout the night), and restfulness (the quality of your sleep) are the three most important factors that contribute to a good night’s sleep. And each of these factors is affected by two key neurotransmitters: GABA and serotonin.
Kion Sleep naturally supports your GABA and serotonin function with three amino acids that—when taken together—work with your body’s own sleep system to promote a deep, restful slumber:
- Gamma-aminobutyric Acid (as PharmaGABA) reduces stress, promotes relaxation, and improves the quality of your sleep.
- L-theanine elevates levels of the neurotransmitters GABA, serotonin, and dopamine. Increasing levels of these calming brain chemicals promotes relaxation and can help with sleep.
- L-tryptophan is converted to the sleep-regulating neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), which then works to increase levels of the calming neurotransmitter serotonin, as well as the sleep-signaling hormone melatonin.
Kion Sleep has been my-go since we developed the formula, so I usually do three capsules or one scoop of the new honey lavender powder. With Kion Sleep, you can “rest assured” that you're getting only the best, natural, high-quality sleep. (And for much, much more on sleep, check out my article “The Last Resource On Sleep You’ll Ever Need: Ben Greenfield’s Ultimate Guide To Napping, Jet Lag, Sleep Cycles, Insomnia, Sleep Food, Sleep Supplements, Exercise Before Bed & Much, Much More!”).
10. Element Health CBD
The evidence that CBD is a powerful health enhancer is indisputable, which is why I have written and podcasted on it extensively in the past.
My friend Adam Wenguer is the founder of Element Health, a company in Florida that makes an ultra-concentrated, full spectrum CBD extract dissolved in organic, raw, cold-pressed hemp seed oil.
Adam was my guest on the wildly popular show “The Official CBD FAQ: Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About CBD, Combining Psychedelics With Cannabinoids, Smokeable Ayahuasca, Microdosing With Plant Medicine & Much More!” and then returned to answer your questions about CBD in the article “CBD & Hormones, CBD Dosage, Combining Workouts With CBD, Effects Of Caffeine On CBD & More: Your Top 7 CBD Questions Answered.”
Element Health's products include full-spectrum oils, soft gels, gummies, topical salves, and pre-roll CBD flower—everything you need to reduce stress and improve the quality of your sleep and recovery. I've been using their maximum strength, full-spectrum CBD (I get their 60 ml bottle with a whopping 4,800 mg of CO2-extracted CBD), and holy hell: this stuff is potent. My go-to dose is usually 80-100 mg for eight hours of sleep and 10-20 mg for a power nap. This formula works like magic. Now, if you're not used to CBD, my personal dose of this stuff could kick you onto your ass for a while (so start slow). Since I started using Kion Sleep, I don't use CBD as often, but on a very stressful day or during travel, it definitely comes in quite handy.
I swear by this stuff for a good night of rest with through-the-roof deep sleep scores. Element Health's CBD oil (use BEN15 to save 15%) can also help alleviate stress and anxiety, and their high-potency products will simultaneously optimize your immune system, cardiovascular health, and overall brain function.
11. Magnesium Breakthrough
Magnesium is probably the single most studied mineral in existence.
It powers over 300 critical, life-saving reactions in your body. To date, thousands of studies have proven magnesium beneficial for the heart, energy, metabolism, immunity, sleep, pain, and more. The only two-time Nobel Prize winner in history, Linus Pauling, recommended daily supplementation of magnesium of at least 350mg per day.
But, despite knowing its importance, most people still have a big magnesium deficiency problem.
Food and supplement industries have tried to put a bandaid on the problem by fortifying foods with synthetic (chemical-made), low-grade magnesium that the body can't absorb. Plus, most supplements only contain one to three forms of magnesium (at best). So, chances are, unless you supplement with all seven forms of magnesium, you're likely still “magnesium deficient” and not functioning at your peak.
Each of the seven different forms of magnesium below plays a critical role in different functions in your body, and the magic happens when you get all of them.
- Magnesium chelate is especially important for muscle building, recovery, and health.
- Magnesium citrate helps with the effects of obesity. In fact, one study found that this form helped arterial stiffness in healthy overweight individuals.
- Magnesium bisglycinate is used to treat symptoms of excess stomach acid, such as stomach upset, heartburn, and acid indigestion.
- Magnesium malate may be the most bioavailable form of magnesium. It’s found naturally in fruits, giving them a tart taste. Magnesium malate can help with migraines, chronic pain, and depression.
- Magnesium sucrosomial improves the effectiveness of energy production. It also supports the immune system and is critical for bone health and skeletal development.
- Magnesium taurate is the best form of magnesium for your heart. One study noted: “The complex magnesium taurate may thus have considerable potential as a vascular-protective nutritional supplement.”
- Magnesium orotate is also helpful for the heart and is believed to be the best form for metabolic improvements. This makes it a favorite for athletes seeking enhanced recovery, energy, and performance.
With all seven forms of magnesium in their natural form and at optimal dosages, Magnesium Breakthrough can help reduce cortisol, provide deep relaxation, reduce stress, and lead to deeper sleep. That's why it's become a crucial part of my sleep routine, especially in getting to sleep and staying asleep so I can wake up well rested the next day. I typically take 6-8 capsules before bed for deep, restorative sleep and a very nice bowel movement the next morning.
12. Feel Free
Feel Free is one of my absolute favorite natural energy shot.
Their Wellness Tonic is made with a combination of kava and kratom, which together basically mimic the euphoric effects of alcohol—without, of course, destroying your liver or leaving you with a head-pounding hangover the next day.
I'll pop one of these in the afternoon before a workout for a stable energy boost or before a social event or party as a mood-boosting alcohol alternative. My friend Brian Sanders and I even recorded a “drunken” podcast while sipping on some Feel Free (and I must say, things got a little silly). I also had Feel Free founder JW Ross on the podcast to dive into what makes the Feel Free formula uniquely effective for improving mood and performance.
The story behind the founding of Feel Free is pretty interesting. After inpatient treatment for alcohol dependency, JW Ross was looking for a way to feel more relaxed in social situations. Then he learned more about kava and kratom while living in Vietnam. Kava is a plant that's native to the Pacific Islands and is used to promote relaxation. Kratom, which has been used as herbal medicine since at least the nineteenth century, is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia. The leaves have traditionally been chewed to relieve musculoskeletal pain, improve mood, and increase energy, appetite, and sexual desire. JW was the first to combine the two ingredients for his formula, which has a five to one ratio of kava to kratom.
With Feel Free, I usually down a bottle most days mid-morning. It's worth noting that I take other nootropics, so before diving into these botanical energy shots, you may want to check out my recent nootropic/smart drug guide. And, quick warning: more than one bottle a day can cause many folks gastric discomfort and/or a slight “dependency” so I don't personally recommend more than one a day.
13. Niacinamide Powder (for NAD)
NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) keeps you alive.
Yes, I know that may sound a little dramatic, but it's true. If you didn't have NAD in your body, you'd be dead in less than thirty seconds.
NAD (also known as vitamin B3) is critical because it is involved in two major bodily functions:
- Energy production. NAD is required for the process that converts the energy in the food you eat into ATP, which is the form of energy currency that your cells can use to function and survive.
- Proper cell function. NAD acts to alert your body that cells need maintenance or repair and then enables your cells to react appropriately to restore balance and function.
When you're younger, your body can productively recycle NAD. Unfortunately, as you age, NAD levels dramatically decline and can be depleted, contributing to the premature effects of aging and chronic disease. To prevent NAD depletion, you need to correct the decline in the NAD salvage pathway, which is a short sequence of enzyme-catalyzed reactions necessary for NAD maintenance. Supplemental NAD through niacinamide powder increases the enzymes in that pathway, allowing your body to continue to recycle NAD and fact is, your body can do it without super expensive NAD/NMN/NR supplements (although admittedly, some such supplements combine the NAD or NAD precursors with other compounds that help to repair DNA or fight aging, such as resveratrol, other sirtuins, chlorella, etc.).
In addition to increasing your NAD levels, niacinamide powder also has some other pretty great anti-aging benefits specifically for your skin. Those benefits include helping to build keratin (the protein that keeps your skin firm and healthy), minimizing redness and blotchiness, sun damage protection, and acne treatment.
So five mornings of the week (I typically take a couple days of the week off NAD), I put an extremely small amount (about 1/30th of a teaspoon) of 100% niacinamide powder into a giant mason glass jar of water with two hydrogen tabs from Water & Wellness, one Quinton packet or one packet of Protekt electrolytes, two scoops of Jigsaw Health adrenal cocktail, and one teaspoon of baking soda. This is the exact protocol outlined in this article by Dr. Joseph Mercola (who has also been a guest on my podcast for this episode and this episode).
This is a fantastic and inexpensive way to supplement NAD to increase those levels, among other awesome benefits.
Supplement Dosing and Timing Guide
Now that I've covered which supplements I take for optimized health, performance, and longevity, there are still more questions to answer to ensure that you're getting maximal benefit from supplements.
When should you take which supplement? Which supplements should be combined or with a meal? And what's the proper dosage?
The timing and combinations of your supplement protocol can significantly affect how well your body absorbs and uses nutrients. I designed my supplement routine based on data from the latest studies, including advice from resources such as Nutrition Expert from Healthspan, the Examine Research Digest, Suppversity, Alan Aragon's Research Review and my own master's degree in exercise physiology, biomechanics, and human nutrition, to help you maximize your health and value from supplements.
So here’s a handy timing guide that considers each of the supplements' solubility and mechanisms of action. This is what a typical day looks like for me in terms of supplements:
Morning, empty stomach
- Kion Colostrum: 2 scoops. I take up to 4 scoops during periods of heavy exercise. I am not too brand specific on probiotics and “rotate” the probiotics I take. But I always stack probiotics with my colostrum, especially if I'm traveling and don't have access to a wide variety of fermented foods.
- Kion Flex: 4-6 capsules, depending on how beat up my body is. If I'm injured, I take another six capsules at night before bed, so my body can recover optimally during sleep. For this supplement to work best, take it on an empty stomach in the morning or evening.
- Kion Creatine: 5 grams every morning.
- 100% niacinamide powder: Giant mason glass jar of water with two hydrogen tabs from Water & Wellness, one Quinton packet or one packet of Protekt electrolytes, two scoops of Jigsaw Health adrenal cocktail, and one teaspoon of baking soda.
- In the morning, I’ll add 10 drops of oil of oregano to a glass of water if I’ve been traveling, have been around sick people, or need an energy boost. Honestly, my timing of oil of oregano intake varies widely – e.g., before I hop on an airplane, after I've been around a kid with a cold, before a book signing, or extensive handshaking at a conference, etc.
- Kion Omega: 4-6 caps on any days I don't eat a serving of cold-water fatty fish, and 1-2 caps on other days. To enhance absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A and D, fish oil should be taken with a large meal, especially meals that contain dietary fat. Breakfast is usually the perfect time for fish oil, unless you have a hard workout or race immediately following, in which case you don't want many oils in your stomach. In that case, take your fish oil with dinner.
- Kion Aminos: My first 20g of the day. This supplement works best 30 minutes before a workout to go in with high blood levels of amino acids. For long workouts, repeat the dose once every one hour of exercise. To avoid competition with other amino acids, avoid taking it with much other protein. This one also works well before bed to support sleep or any time during the day if you are fasting. It can also be used for post-workout recovery. The sky's the limit on aminos!
- Kion Clean Protein: 1 scoop contains a whopping 20g of complete protein. I've been making a delicious smoothie daily with the Clean Protein and Kion Creatine, usually for breakfast.
Mid-afternoon, pre- or post-workout
- Kion Aminos: My second 20g of the day.
- Feel Free: 1 bottle.
- Kion Energy Bar: 1 bar (great for an afternoon snack or breakfast).
- Kion Lean: 2 capsules. Take this supplement before or after your largest (or highest carbohydrate-containing) meal of the day to regulate the blood sugar response. For me, this meal is usually dinner, but adjust accordingly if you like to get your carbs at a different time of day.
- Kion Aminos: My third 20g of the day.
- Kion Flex: If my body needs recovery or is excessively sore, I take three Kion Flex on an empty stomach in the evening.
- Magnesium Breakthrough: 6-8 capsules before bed.
- 80-100 mg of Element Health full-spectrum CBD oil 30 minutes before bed (10-20 mg for a power nap earlier in the day) – only if stress/anxious.
- Kion Sleep: 3 capsules or one scoop of the honey lavender formula 30 minutes before bed. If traveling across multiple time zones or “rebooting” my circadian rhythm, I will also add in a melatonin suppository Sandman from my friend Dr. John Lieurance.
So that's it! I trust this guide gave you ideas on enhancing your health, performance, and recovery without needing to pop a dizzying array of pills.
I also get many inquiries about other supplements like greens powders, l-carnitine, high-dose Vitamin B, beta-alanine, sleep supplements, etc. This list, for many, is by no means complete, or could be different than what your own unique body needs for your health, activity levels, genes, goals and the like. So I highly recommend tailoring your supplement protocol to meet your specific goals and using the comments section below to ask me your other questions. Ideally, you should choose supplements that address your genetic results or blood biomarkers. To learn more about personalized nutrition and supplements for your genetics, listen to my podcast with Dr. Ben Lynch, author of Dirty Genes, or read my article about customizing your diet.
So what do you think? Which supplements have you found to be personally useful? Do you still think supplements are a waste of time and money? Do you have questions about other supplements folks have recommended to you? Leave your questions, comments, and feedback in the comments section below!
130 thoughts on “Ben Greenfield’s Ultimate Supplement Guide: My Top 13 Must-Take Supplements, Supplement Timing, Dosing & More!”
I’ve been following you for quite sometime and I love all of your content. I recently received an email of yours that was in regards to your daily supplements. I was interested in the Kion protein powder, but when I looked at the ingredients I was surprised to find “natural vanilla flavors” as opposed to vanilla bean. I was also curious if the protein was grass fed & finished. Where the cattle is from? Also was curious why stevia was used, as well as sunflower lecithin? I am genuinely curious and seek to understand why each of these ingredients were chosen.
Thank you so much.
Hi Jennifer. Kion Clean Protein has a rich, velvety flavor brought to you by organic natural flavors, Himalayan sea salt, and stevia. Nothing else. No added sugar or artificial sweeteners. We rigorously test our Clean Protein for contaminants such as mold, unhealthy bacteria, and heavy metals to ensure you’re getting the purest, safest protein on the planet. Fore a more in-depth response, please contact the Kion Team directly: [email protected] — thanks!
Hi Mr. Greenfield,
Can you please tell me what your thoughts are on fish eggs supplements? Any pros or cons of taking them instead of fish oil supplements?
I discuss “How To Get More Omega Fatty Acids Into Your Diet” here: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/article/supplements-articles/omega-3-benefits/
Hey Ben, pretty informative stuff as always. Ive been an everyday CBD user for about 4 years I’d say. I use it for various reasons, better mental well-being managing anxiety, depression and stress; post workout to combat inflammation and joint pain & for a more restful transition into falling asleep. CBD has been so profoundly impactful in helping me in all those categories. From the early days of me using CBD I’ve probably tried 10-15 different brands. Some descent, some ok and some were absolute garbage. And as it turns out I heard your podcast about CBD with the company owner from Element Health Supply and I gave them a try right after that podcast came out. I’d say that was near or a little over two years ago and I’ve been using Element Health everyday since. In my honest opinion and from my years of trying company after company, I can say undoubtably Element Health has the best CBD. Not only do I keep reordering from them because their tincture oil is in a class of its own but I’ve tried their CBD salve, hemp pre-rolled joints & I’m waiting on my latest order to arrive as I’m about to try their gummies.
Not only will I be a customer for life but they have my highest recommendation I can give. And disclaimer to every other person who reads Ben’s articles, I am not an employee, I am in no way affiliated with the CBD company & I did not get paid for this recommendation. I’m truly just a very happy customer that found this brand from Ben’s podcast. If you like or need CBD, try them next, I can almost guarantee you’ll agree with me.
Great article. I had a question about feel free, my wife and I love taking it (once a weekend) but recently have felt a “hangover” (headaches, slight shaky, anxiety, general uneasy feelings) in the evening after taking it. Have you had a similar experience? And do you have any thoughts on how to eliminate that?
Thanks for sharing this. Please contact them directly and let me know if you don’t hear back: https://botanictonics.com/pages/contact-us
Ben, what about the Thorne Multivitamin as well as Vitamin D? Wouldn’t you cover your basis with a good multivitamin, high dose Omega 3 fish oil and Vitamin D and the rest is an add on? Remember most people can’t afford taking all the supplements you suggest so what is essential and gives the most bang for the buck (acknowledging that this is very personal).
Thanks and love what you do and have to say!
Hola una pregunta, xfa que debo tomar, ya que tengo 64 años y soy una persona muy sana, Gracias a Dios, pero siempre estoy pendiente de mi salud, que me recomendaría, para estar equilibrada, gracias
Hola Sonia. Lo siento, por el momento todas nuestras asesorías y programas de nutrición están solamente disponibles en ingles. Estamos trabajando para poder ayudar a nuestro publico internacional. Gracias por tu mensaje.
The current trend of the country is “Whole 30” diet plan, in which all three meals consist of nutritious food. The purpose of this particular diet plan is to bring about a positive change in our eating habits. So that we can understand the benefits of food and choose them.
I constantly get comments about “taking too many supplements” -thing is, it’s usually by people in terrible shape and often holding a can of soda at the same time as judging me.
It’s a humble request that could you allow the sales of kion and thorne products in India as well. We would be grateful for such initiative.
Hi Arpit. Feel free to get on the waitlist for Kion’s Wholesale Program here: getkion.com/pages/wholesale
Wondering, which NAD patches do you use? I don’t see them recommended here. Listened to your pod cast about using them when traveling and for EMF exposure, but having a hard time getting my hands on good ones. Love your show!
You mentioned Gaba to get back to sleep on a recent podcast i listened to. Which brand do you use?
Hi Ben fantastic article. I notice that the Thorne multivitamin and qualia mind nootropic supplement have many of the same vitamins in high amounts. It seems you could be overdosing taking them both?
Hi Ben – I find your podcasting and articles/ lifestyle fascinating and enlightenting. I have been taking Athletic Greens daily greens for the better part of the last year now but have had my doubts about the true efficacy as i find it challenging for them to truly pack the full daily supplement value into once scoop. Have you researched and written anything about them? Vs. the listing above?
What is your “go-to” for Glutahione? I know you have mentioned this before, but I did not see this in the show notes. Thanks
Hey Ben. Thanks for all this info. When you say you take colostrum and oregano when you wake up do you mean as soon as you’re done your intermittent fast or does it not break the fast?
Sorry you answered it already a few comments down, my bad. Will check out the fasting guide.
Hi Mr. Greenfield!
My question is about Dr. Davis’s coconut yogurt. You mentioned that instead of using a food dehydrator, you can place the yogurt in the oven for 100º. For how long do you leave it there?
Thank you. I appreciate the amazing content you put out there.
At least 24 hours I believe. You can use and Instant Pot as well. They have a setting specifically for making yogurt.
Can I use Kion Lean even if I’m trying to add muscle mass and not lose weight?
I have recent read a few articles on NAC and cognitive/liver benefits. Just wondering your thoughts on this and if you have or do take it?
I’ve read from Dr. Rhonda Patrick that EAAs may negate the beneficial effects from intermittent fasting.
I work out in the morning (no real time otherwise), generally mostly lifting with some tabata cardio at the end. All before work around 6am.
I’m hesitant to purchase the EAAs for that reason, would love to take it directly in the morning prior to working out if it wouldn’t break my fast. Thanks Ben!
What constitutes something "breaking" a fast can depend on your reason for fasting. Check out my company, Kion's fasting guide here: https://getkion.com/fasting/#gettheguide It breaks all of this down.
That link to the Fasting Guide does not work. Please post a functioning link. Thank you.
This link should work: getkion.com/blogs/all/what-breaks-a-fast
How come most amino acid supplements don’t contain glutamine? Isn’t glutamine the most abundant amino and important for recovery? I see your supplement does not include it, and was wondering if there is a particular reason. Also, do you know of a good multi that does not require 6 pills? I know one-a-days are bad but a multi that has 2-3 pills would be better for me, considering I already take a lot of supplements. Thanks bud.
Glutamine is not in Kion Aminos because it's not an essential amino acid… most people get adequate amounts through their diet. I use Thorne Elite, but they also have a good basic one here: https://www.thorne.com/products/dp/basic-nutrient…
Thanks Ben! One more question if you have time. How come you recommend EAA’s over a protein powder such as whey? Wouldn’t whey have all the eea’s plus some peptides as well? Also, will EAA’s take me out of ketosis, since they can be converted into glucose ? Sorry for all the questions, but you know your stuff lol
The link to the NatureCleanse is now directing me to a product called CapraCleanse Pro. Is this the same company, but new name? Just want to make sure before I place my order that this is what you were recommending.
Yes, NatureCleanse is no longer available, so this is a good alternative.
I have tried taking BCAA for my workout before and it caused me to have depression. I read that it there are too many aminos in the system then it will affect serotonin uptake. Can you share if you think this is true and will your Kion aminos do the same thing? I want to try the aminos but don’t know if it would have the same effect
I have had nervous system and lympathic issues, headaches, and other pain issues my whole life.
2 Supplements I noticed the biggest difference from are:
Fermented Chlorella (I use Dr. Mercola’s)
Chlorella has significantly helped my gut health and Magnesium L-Threonate has eliminated the grogginess I used to wake up with every morning.
I’m going to try a couple on this list. Thanks Ben!
Thoughts on Kaged Muscle supplements?
Is there a protein powder that you recommend? I am trying to get 160 grams a day and it is hard with just food protein sources. So I have been using whey protein (johns Killer whey) post workout and casein (like progenex cocoon) in the PM.
I have also begun taking KION EAAs….
Organifi has a pretty solid one: <a href="http://www.organifi.com/ben” target=”_blank”>www.organifi.com/ben I generally don't recommend whey as it isn't very effectively absorbed/utilized.
Any issues with stacking caffeine and beta alanine with aminos as a pre-workout?
It would be best to take the Aminos and allow them to absorb before taking other aminos, as it could potentially throw off absorption. The Aminos only take about 25 minutes to fully absorb.
Thank you Ben, How do you know the protocol is working? I am a life long vegetarian and have started taking two fish oil pills with my one meal a day and essential amino acids – four tablets twice a day. Appreciate your guidance!
How long before bed do you take the Thorne PM multi-vitamin. And with food or just water? Thanks Ben!
Hey Ben, any updates to your supplement list in terms of your daily routine/regiment since producing this great article in early 2018? I’m the typical health/fitness/nutrition dork who has a ton of supplements that I’m in the process of trying to trim down to minimum effective amounts and doses. By adding these, I can cut out almost all others I use (and reduce my number of total bottles/powders), short of my multi-collagen, greens powder and a couple others you’ve suggested that fall outside the scope of this article. Just trying to stay on the up and up here and appreciate your insight and consideration in all matters of human optimization!
I've been tinkering here and there, but these are still the go-to's.
Thanks for all of the help and research it’s much appreciated!
I actually live in the UK and I’m interesting in your products, main concern is shipping and fees when ordering monthly supplies, do you have a UK supplier or even European supplier?
We're based in the US right now, but we're actively working to improve our ability to better serve our international customers.
“Without needing to pop a dizzying number of pills?”
I added them up… it comes to 47 capsules and 1 scoop of powder per day. Yikes!!!
If you could narrow it down to 3 products per day or less, what would they be? In my case, for an athletic 30-something male interested in longevity, staying fit, good skin, and mental clarity. Bonus points if you can take into consideration that I’m getting hardly any sleep with a new baby in the house. Is it even possible with 3 products?
I was especially surprised to see that the multi-vitamin (which seems pretty all-purpose, based on the article) is only recommended if you’re overly-stressed or traveling in this article. Can you help me understand why the multi-vitamin isn’t an “everyday” kind of thing, and only for these special situations? Thanks.
It's optimal to get as many vitamins/minerals that the multi offers through food if possible, but it isn't always possible with busy schedules, traveling, etc. and could be a great option… I'd also consider Essential Amino Acids/creatine for body comp, strength, recovery, etc & CBD for sleep
Thanks for the reply Ben. Couple follow-up questions: first, I notice that the NatureCBD product recommended here isn’t available at the link provided in the article. There are two products on the target page: total body care, and one for joint relief. Is the Total Body Care product the same thing as the NatureCBD product recommended in this article, and should be used in the same way?
Also, I still don’t think I really understand what the Essential Amino Acids supplement does. It sounds like it increases your body’s efficiency with which it can use the protein and other nutrients from food, am I reading that right?
I’m especially confused by: “get the same benefits without the calories or added fillers found in supplements such as protein and collagen powders.”
It almost sounds like if I take this supplement, I can consider 20g of protein from chicken to have the effect of 60g, since the absorption would go from 32% to 99%? And the same for collagen? If so, that would be pretty amazing – if my food suddenly provided 3x as much protein and collagen punch, I’d be able to get all my protein and collages from food instead of having to supplement for each. Or am I reading it wrong? Please help set me straight here :-)
Yes, I'd opt for the total body care or one of the vape pens if you want fast acting… Regarding the absorption: It would mean that your body can more effectively use/absorb closer to the 20g of protein, whereas usually there's only a 20-40% utilization.
Hey Ben, just wondering about doseage for EPA/DHA. I sometimes see 3000 mg combined daily recommended, but for instance the Livingfuel Super Essentials recommends far less than that, as well as many other fish oil products. Haven’t really found a straight forward answer on that, and I was taking cod liver oil from Vital Choice and don’t want to double the doseage and get vitamin A toxicity, but it’s only about 1,000 combined dha/epa. However, it states overall omega fatty acids equals to 4500 mg, not sure what the extra fatty acids consist of then. Also I lift heavy frequently and still have achy joints sometimes, so was hoping for some clarification on how much to take, thanks.
Living Fuels utilizes 1:1 ratio of EPA/DHA as mounting research is showing that higher levels of DHA is optimal for health.. Recommended dosage is 1 cap/25lbs of bodyweight (ie. 8 caps/200lbs)… Personally, I utilize a combo of Aminos, Kion Flex & Fish Oil to really ramp up my recovery.
Great post. I recently listened to your interview with Dr Panda and have been learning more about TRE. Given his position on coffee, I’m assuming that supplements taken outside of the eating window would not be allowed. Assuming the same with intermittent fasting – no supplements during fasting period. Does TRE or IF (eg where perhaps you don’t eat until late morning/12/1pm) impact any of the timing above?
Thanks for all the knowledge!
Do you recommend any of these for teenage boys trying to add muscle? My 14.5 year old son is 6”5″ tall, 210 pounds and starts lifting with a trainer in a couple weeks. Looking for supplements that can help him but that are safe for developing teens. Thanks!
Starts with nutrition.. I'd recommend asking your doctor about recommended supplements for teenagers… You can also post this question to the Kion Community. I bet someone has some good recommendations: Facebook.com/groups/GetKion/
Is there a marker whether done through an Organix Acids test, 23 and Me or otherwise that can indicate your ability to absorb nutrients? Is taking a micro-nutrient test enough? I ran my 23 and Me and I have an issue with metabolizing pharmaceutical drugs, I’m wondering if this could cause the same issue with nutrients and supplements.
What are your thoughts on Athletic Greens https://athleticgreens.com/ as daily supplementation? Is it necessary if already taking everything listed above?? Tim Ferriss endorses it.
I like Athletic Greens. It's important to note that when you're taking multiple supplements, to ensure they don't overlap too much and expose you to excess levels.
I’ve noticed that some of your recommendations for dosing are different from what is on the bottle for things such as fish oil and Kion Flex. How do you determine whether you should take more or less than the recommended dose?
It really depends on a number of factors, for fish oil for example, did you eat fish that day? If so, you might want to skip your supplement that day. For Flex, if you're recovering from an injury, you're going to want to take more. You can use this guide for additional information: https://getkion.com/articles/body/nutrition-body/…
New here to all your information and Podcasts, amazing indeed, thank you very much.
Curious question. I see that you take Sleep Remedy that contains 5-HTP and Tryptophan. As you have written before, you are aware of the depletion of Dopamine that comes with long term supplementation of 5-HTP. How do you get around this? Is it because all the EAA’s daily that gives you the precursor to Dopamine? Or you just don’t consider it a risk because it is a low dose of 5-HTP (It seems that it doesn’t say how much 5-HTP per serving contains), or maybe I’m just ignorant about something here.
This isn't a supplement I'm taking every night, only on occasion when I know I may have trouble falling asleep.
Quick question… I’ve been taking the key on flex in the morning now for about six months right when I wake up. Great product! The one thing I was curious about is I take it along with the qualia mind, Lions mane from Paul statments, and the Thorne a.m. multivitamin. Given the collagen and goat milk minerals, is this breaking my fast? And also is there any cross contamination or malabsorption issues with the fact I am taking all those at one time? Thanks in advance for your reply and insight!
No. There is an extremely minimal number of calories in something like this. The bigger concern here is that you should be taking a multivitamin with a meal…So be sure to make that switch.
Is there a less expensive cbd brand that you would recommend?
Also, don’t mean to double question you— but I killed my nervous system a year ago with too intense workouts combined with life stress, caffeine, supps… at least that’s the only explanation I can come up with for why when I train hard now, my nervous system doesn’t recover (near immediate symptoms of overtraining)- it’s never been the same. It’s been a year.
Do you have recommendations for supplements that restore a too sensitive / shot nervous system? 😢
I would check out these podcasts: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/biohacki… and https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/recovery…
Good CBD oil isn't cheap. The brands I've used and recommended are all around this price point.
I have been waiting to take “AM” supps until I break my fast… curious what your opinion is on this? I have heard some mixed reviews. Rhonda Patrick and Sachin Panda saying technically it would break the fast.
Depends on what the supplements are. Here's another good guide on when to take supplements: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/pill-pop… Rhonda Patrick and Satchin Panda say anything other than water will break a fast. I'm not as much of a purist :)
Is it OK to bring your CBD overseas? Would not want them to confiscate at the airport!
Thank you for all that you do!
Hi Rosanna, I no longer sell CBD, but the one I recommend, BioCBD+ has this video on their site all about traveling with CBD. Worth watching… <a href="http:// .https://www.biocbdplus.com/can-travel-cbd/ref/5″ target=”_blank”> <a href="http://.https://www.biocbdplus.com/can-travel-cbd/ref/5” target=”_blank”>.https://www.biocbdplus.com/can-travel-cbd/ref/5
Awesome:) Thank you Ben! Worth watching indeed!
I usually take a whey and/or vegan protein powder several times a day as a protein source. I know from your site that you recommend the Thorne vegan powder. What’s your latest whey recommendation, and do you take whey anymore?
Mainly pea protein isolate, as far as other protein sources it's mainly meat or EAAs: https://getkion.com/shop/body/kion-aminos/
I’m a female athlete and looking for faster recovery. I currently don’t take any supplements. I’ve never known or heard of any female athlete supplementing with creatine. Do you know of any specific research that says it may be efficacious for woman to use on a long term basis or would you suggest something else?
Would love to know your thoughts on this? I’m a female also and wondering the same thing.
Yes, many studies on both men and women. I would do a search on pubmed and you should be able to find some.
I would recommend a product called LactiGo. I use it for recovery, I don’t think there is a better recovery product out there.
In calculating amino acid gram amounts, is it safe to say that 1 gram EAAs is roughly equivalent to 1 gram protein? Like, say if EAAs were to be used as a dietary replacement in extremis or during a fast.
Hey Ben, for someone on a budget, do you recommend any of these supplements more than the rest? I’d love to add a lot of them into my lifestyle, just not sure if its affordable or sustainable for me right now. Thanks so much, love your site and appreciate all the content you consistently put out!
It was never my intention to suggest anyone needs to take all of these. Think about what your body needs, and go from there. If you need help sleeping, try CBD. If you need help with recovery, try Kion Flex, etc.
I have been using Qualia over the last couple weeks Trying to narrow down the amount of supplements I carry with me to work the days I dont work from home. They recommend doing 5 days in a row then 2 says off as I’m sure you know. I read your review on the product but am curious to hear when you use it, and if you do regularly do you substitute it with any of the other daily supplements. I honestly don’t know that I feel any different then when I did my usual supplement routine with some lions mane after lunch to keep me sharp through the day.
I use it as suggested. You can learn more about my experience with it here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/brain-ar…
First off thanks for all the great info. I appreciate how you get back to me. I take a wide arrange of supplements and aminos. The aminos before my workout and my supplements with a meal. Usually lunch. Is that ok?
Depends on the supplements. Read this: https://getkion.com/articles/body/nutrition-body/… and this: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/pill-pop…
How long should I wait to take my antioxidants after my workout such as my greens drink, magnesium, Vitamin D3, Ubiquinol, astaxanthin, fish oil? Should I wait 2, 3, 4 hours or longer?
Check out this article: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/pill-pop…
I am interested to know how you would adjust your pill regime for an eighty year old woman with a fatty liver and a lazy pancreas. In my day we never had all this information that you have collected but there is no reason not to try to keep complaints down and to keep as healthy as possible. I realise you haven’t been 80 and who knows, even you might not get there with this fearsome regime you inflict on your body! I think that it is good to be kind to your body by letting it work for itself at least for 2 days of the week. But this is just my opinion..
You are right, I never have been 80 :) This type of question is great for the Kion community! Because I get so many questions like this and it's impossible for me to respond to everyone individually, I built this community of like-minded people who both have advice and are seeking advice! Facebook.com/groups/getkion/
Hey Ben, do you still use the Mahler’s aggressive testosterone booster or do you recommend something else now?
Still recommend Mahler's. https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/aggr…
Does Kion Colostrum kick you out of a fast?
Yes, it would.
Hey Ben, love your stuff! I’m a very active 26 year old. I play sports often and enjoy a good workout or some kind of movement everyday. Can I (should I?) be taking all of this? Or is there some that I could skip because I’m only mid twenties?
I’m currently taking a collagen supplement that just says “Collagen Peptides”–derived from pastured beef hide. Is this different than the Type II collagen in the KionFlex?
Yes, it can be far different.
Type II Collagen is the principal structural protein in cartilage which provides strength, flexibility and joint support. It comprises over 50% of the protein in cartilage and over 90% of articular (joint) cartilage. A recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the efficacy of oral supplementation of type II collagen on moderating joint function and joint pain due to strenuous exercise in healthy subjects.* The study showed that collagen supplementation increased joint mobility, prolonged how long one could exercise before joint pain occurred, improved recovery speeds after exercise, and less joint pain after exercise.*
The Type II Chicken Collagen used in Kion Flex provides structural support needed for healthy joints.* It also contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulfates and comes from chickens free of growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and insecticides. This form of collagen is a whole food concentrate that has no known side effects and provides maximum absorption. According to recent studies at Harvard University Medical School, the Type II Collagen derived from Chicken Cartilage can also help to strengthen the immune system.*
Fascinating. Any reason one shouldn’t take the KionFlex with another collagen peptide supplement? I suppose, do you see any virtue in taking these other collagen powder supplements (Type I & III)?
I also make a pretty killer bone broth (if I do say so myself)–very gooey; is it correct to assume you’re getting the myriad of collagen from such a thing?
Also, my wife is also one of the senior SoulCycle instructors on the West Coast (not to brag or anything) and they don’t really have any formal nutrition or supplement coaching. Any reason I couldn’t bring your name up to maybe offer something like that?
No reason that I know if, but I am not a doctor and would recommend asking a doctor if you have any concerns with supplements you're currently taking. I also can't be sure of what's in your broth, so that's tough to say. For partnership inquiries, please email [email protected] If you mean can you bring my name up as a good resource for nutrition advice, of course!
I recently purchased some collagen before reading this article and the label says types 1 and 3 and has amino acids should i continue taking it? Or just finish the can and get a different product with only type 2. I live in Canada and with the exchange rate the shipping Kion products become a little expensive.
Hey Ben, per your recommendation I’ve been doing 5mg Creatine every morning and I dump it into a post-workout smoothie. Should I switch to taking it right upon waking? For clarity, when I awake I do 16 of water with a scoop of ‘Athletic Greens,’ then I’ll exercise in a (mostly) fasted state taking a scoop of Thorne BCAA’s beforehand. Then I do a post-workout breakfast smoothie with coconut water, full fat coconut milk, a handful of dark greens, frozen banana or blueberries, 1 scoop Shakeology, hemp seeds, chia seeds, brazil nuts, and cacao powder. Curious if the creatine is getting lost in the smoothie and I should add to first water I drink in the morning instead? Thanks as always.
Creatine will still get absorbed by you having it in your smoothie, Zack, so that's fine to do it then.
Would you advise against taking Kion Lean post workout? I eat dinner after my workouts in the evening. (Usually the highest carb meal of my day.)
Yes. It will shove your blood glucose to low if you take it before work out in my opinion. Just take before a carbohydrate rich meal.
I think the question was post workout but Ben’s reply appears to be for “before workout.”
Well thought out line. Your thoughts on DHEA as part of your line offering?
I technically can’t take or endorse that because it is banned by world anti doping association. But at 25-50mg/day not a bad option.
Hi Ben, I am currently cycling 30-50miles a day as a courier. Lots of stops and starts so more anaerobic than general road biking. Looking at the Vaxxen labs stack as an option to improve performance? Can it be used at same time as the Mahler’s aggressive strength? Many thanks
If I had to choose, I'd go with Mahler's, but then also include plenty of aminos for those harder efforts: https://getkion.com/shop/body/kion-aminos/ & https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/aggr…
If you take a greens powder such as Living Fuel. Would you still recommend taking a multi-vitamin supplement as well?
Yes, generally would toss it into my smoothie…
Great article. I’m asked ALL the time why I take so many supplements. I used to be so sceptical about them but the one that I noticed the biggest difference was Calcium D Glucarate. I had a bio signature analysis test done to measure my body fat and as with a lot of girls, I had a higher % reading on my hamstrings. I was advised to take CDG and after only 4 weeks I was tested again. All readings were the same except for my hamstrings which were down. Ok so there were a few other lifestyle things I changed like stopping using plastic bottles and cling film but I was really amazed. I also use Aloha Lipoic Acid, green tea, garlic and CoQ10, onnit krill oil, magnesium/Calcium/zinc, as well as greens powders, grass fed whey protein, psyllium and collagen powder. How my mind has been changed and believe all these things are helping me perform better and live more healthily.
Thanks for all you do
Hi Ben. Love your stuff. What multi-Vit and/or supplements are you giving your children? It’s hard to find good sugar free options, particularly as we have limited selection in Canada. I’ve got two boys close in age to yours. Thanks.
https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/blue-ice & https://amzn.to/2E7GT3X & https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/exos-D-K
Wrapped up chemo and radiation last August, cancer free now and working hard to get my strength back. Any reason I should not take anything you listed?
Glad you're all done with that! I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. I'm not aware of any reasons you wouldn't be able to take any of these, although I would "cycle" colostrum 8 weeks on 4 weeks off as it has a pretty potent anabolic effect. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of healthcare whatsoever.
isnt this a conflict of interest? Your recommending your products, how can I consider this impartial advice??
I eat my own dog food. I designed all my products to "scratch my own itch". ;)
Hi Ben, do you still take creatine?
Forgot to add that in. Yes, Thorne Creapure 5g daily.
Ben, a few questions: My kidney function is low. I was advised to minimize proteins. Are the Kion Aminos for me? My vitamin A levels too high. Will the fish oils exacerbate my Vit A levels? Would you say that taking all of the supplements you listed will fulfil all my needs or should I take, additionally others. E.g. iodine, trace minerals (zinc, selenium, etc), berberine….. What about CoQ10, picnogenol, PQQ….. will you, can you, come up with other supplement combinations/ stacks so I don’t have to take so many individual pills.
Love your “stuff”.
You can still take aminos and fish oil. Zero issues there. The aminos are quite easy on your kidney and there's not much A in the fish oil – only enough to keep it from oxidizing. You can still take a multi too. I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever.
Just wondering if multi-vits (elite) factor into this also. Thx in advance. Doug
Yep, that's the one I take.
Hi, what do you recommend for high cholesterol? I was thinking of fish oil, krill oil, or cod liver oil perhaps and garlic ?
My triglycerides (235) and LDL (192) numbers are high/ Hdl (62). Thanks !
Depends. If you have high glucose, high inflammation or high triglyceride to hdl ratio then you need to do something about it. In your case, your triglycerdies are through the roof. I'd be limiting vegetable oil and starch and really upping dark leafy green and fish oil intake if I were you.