The other day, Sol Orwell of Examine.com talked to you guys about what supplements you’re better off not dropping any money on. Today he is back for part two to talk about supplements that can be worthwhile.Before he gets started, I should remind you that today is the last day where you can claim the special introductory price for Examine’s Supplement-Goals Reference Guide. This resource came out a couple months ago now – but I arranged for this special discount for my email readers.
You can check that out here:
www.examine.com/referfriend/SeanFlanagan. I make a couple of bucks if you make a purchase through my link – I hope you’re cool with that.Okay…enough blah blah blah from me. Here’s Sol’s part 2 of 2 email for you guys…
3 Supplements to Consider Taking
by Sol Orwell
If there was a supplement that was in the running to be the ‘best’ supplement to recommend to the population as a whole, it would be creatine. Its mechanism is very simple actually: all cells use an energy molecule known as ATP, and the cell can work optimally as long as ATP is available in high levels. Of course ATP gets “spent,” but creatine acts as a bit of buffer, giving you an “extra” amount of available ATP, and thus aids cellular function a little bit in pretty much everything.
This was first noted in muscle cells where it increased power and growth, but with further research we learned this occurred to pretty much all cells that can take up creatine. Heck, artificially modifying a cell to accept creatine makes the cell much more robust and resistant to damage.
There are many supplements that cater towards improving the cellular energy state (carnitine, CoQ10, PQQ, alpha-lipoic acid, etc.) but creatine and glucose are the two kings. Any word about kidney damage is overblown, and the result of fast positives from creatinine.
An interesting ‘supplement’ that you can just get at the grocery store. Garlic is referred to as a panacea, but most of its benefits are around cardiovascular health (where it truly shines). It reduces triglycerides and cholesterol (increase in the good type) with amply human evidence, and increases blood flow in both unhealthy and normal humans.
It seems to work via nitric oxide signalling (what most preworkouts and l-arginine work via) as well as its sister molecule, hydrogen sulfide. Beyond activating the second pathway of hydrogen sulfide, garlic has some preliminary evidence where its increase in nitric oxide (224% more than control) greatly exceeds that of L-arginine and all other ‘nitric oxide enhancing supplements’.
And those benefits are seen with eating a two gram clove of garlic.
In part because fish oil and vitamin D are already so well known to take, the last slot here goes to a supplement with just as much potential and safety yet is completely under-appreciated.
Vitamin K is a vitamin that works by modifying proteins by ‘activating’ them in a sense (this does not affect all proteins, just those that respond to vitamin K) and it is called a vitamin because a bunch of proteins it acts on work to clot the blood. Most people are actually sufficient in vitamin K in this regard – if you were deficient in vitamin K, you would have trouble with blood clotting (just like vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy).
There are proteins involved in keeping bones and the blood vessels healthy though, and they are maximized in activity at a higher supplemental dose. In fact, the most worrying concern with overdosing on vitamin D (putting too much calcium on your vessels and making them stiff) is partly prevented by vitamin K, and vitamin K even augments the actions of vitamin D.
Vitamin K and vitamin D are essentially sister vitamins, both with great potential in supplementation and surprisingly safe for fat soluble vitamins.
Sean again: I hope you’ve learned a thing or two about evidence based supplementation. There’s so many bogus claims out there – it’s important to cut through the nonsense and get some real deal info. Supplementation can be a very effective tool in your arsenal – but it’s important that supplementation is evidence based and now just the result of emotionally persuasive over-the-top marketing about ‘changing your life’.
Go here to learn more about the Supplement-Goals Reference Guide. Examine has a ton of free info on their website too (Examine.com). I can’t recommend their materials enough.