Supplements are a powerful way to upgrade your quality of life. Even if you’re eating a nutrient-dense, whole food-centered diet like the Bulletproof Diet (check out the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap for free here), odds are your body would benefit from getting more of certain vitamins and minerals.
Part of it comes down to soil quality. In the last 70 years, pesticides and antibiotics have changed the bacteria in the soil. The result is that the plants we eat – and the plants our cows, pigs, and chickens eat – have very different nutritional profiles from the plants our ancestors ate.
On top of that, supplements are a great way to get vitamins and minerals that are inconvenient to find in our daily lives. Vitamin D is a perfect example. In fact, vitamin D is one of the most important supplements around, so let’s start the list with that one.
Before we do, though, a quick note about the supplement industry: there are a lot of faulty claims out there, and a lot of companies that make cheap or mislabeled products. Always look at the label before you buy or take a supplement. Many companies put in a tiny amount of the advertised product (which is often quite expensive to produce) and fill the rest of the pill with cheap, useless crap like sand or other fillers. Stay away from anything that lists a “proprietary blend” on the label. Also stay away from supplements that use corn oil, soybean oil, or vegetable oil as a carrier. I’ll include a reputable brand for each supplement on this list, as well as the form of the supplement that your body will absorb most readily.
Now that that disclaimer is out of the way, back to vitamin D.
You may have heard about the many benefits of vitamin D before. It’s the stuff we get from the sun, and it’s pretty damn powerful. Even if you spend all day outside, you can probably use an extra helping. Your body uses it for everything.
Vitamin D participates in over 1000 different genetic processes. It helps your body synthesize important sex hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and human growth hormone. It also boosts immune function, decreases inflammation, and helps the body maintain bone density. It’s the king of supplements.
Dose: 1000 IU per 25 pounds body weight, taken every morning
Form: D3 (cholecalciferol)
Recommended Brand: Jarrow Formulas vitamin D3 – it’s cheap, high quality, and packed in 100% extra virgin olive oil. Woo!
Vitamin C has been around for forever, so its effects have been exhaustively studied and well documented. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, it enhances immune function, and it aids in collagen synthesis, promoting radiant skin and flexible joints. It’s also very safe. One study showed that participants could consume up to 120 grams of vitamin C a day with no side effects.
Dose: 1-2 grams/day, taken morning and night. Take more if you’re sick or recovering from an injury
Form: ascorbic acid, or extended release capsules
Recommended Brand: Solaray two-stage, timed-release capsules
Collagen is the main protein found in animal connective tissue, including your connective tissue. Your joints, tendons, ligaments, and skin will all benefit if you take collagen. It improves flexibility and makes your bones less brittle. It’s even good for your brain. It provides glycine, a neurotransmitter involved in energy synthesis, motor control, and sensory pathways. You can get collagen from foods like grass-fed organ meats and bone broth soup made from grass-fed cow bones. A more convenient source is grass-fed collagen powder.
Dose: 7-50g a day, taken a couple hours before bed (if consumed later in the day, collagen will help you sleep better, too!)
Form: Hydrolyzed grass-fed collagen
Recommended Brand: Upgraded Collagen (this is my brand. I began producing collagen myself because it’s difficult to find good, clean, grass-fed collagen elsewhere)
Glutathione is an extraordinary antioxidant. All your cells produce it, and it’s the body’s main line of defense against oxidative stress. It also acts like a battery, charging other antioxidants like vitamins C and E so they can do more work in your body. It removes heavy metals from your system, increases resilience by improving immune system function, and crushes both systemic and neural inflammation. There’s plenty more glutathione does, too. Check out some of the research on your own if you’re curious – glutathione is very well studied.
Typical glutathione supplements break down in stomach acid, turning into amino acids that don’t impart all the exceptional benefits listed above. As with collagen, I recommend my brand of glutathione: Upgraded Glutathione Force. It’s bound to a peptide called lactoferrin that protects it as it passes through the stomach, delivering it intact to your gut, where it can work its magic. Upgraded Glutathione also contains molybdenum, a mineral that activates enzymes involved in glutathione activity to boost its effects even more.
Dose: 1 mL/day, taken on an empty stomach or at least 20 minutes before a meal
Form: Liposomal glutathione with lactoferrin
Recommended Brand: Upgraded Glutathione Force
Magnesium is another heavy hitter. It’ essential to more than 300 enzymatic processes. It improves cardiovascular function, ATP (energy) production, metabolism, insulin sensitivity, anxiety, and PMS. It also relieves stress and dramatically improves sleep quality. You can feel it calm you down. Add in the fact that 68% of Americans are magnesium deficient and you see why this supplement makes the list.
Dose: 600-800 mg/day, taken before bedtime. To avoid disaster pants, start with a smaller dose and work your way up
Forms: citrate, malate, glycinate, threonate, or orotate
Recommended brand: Natural Calm (the lemon flavor is delicious)
Dave Asprey is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur who spent 15 years and $300,000 to hack his own biology, losing 100 pounds, upgrading his IQ, and lowering his biological age. He runs the No. 1-ranked iTunes health podcast and The Bulletproof Executive blog about using biohacking to increase human performance — and he invented Bulletproof Coffee.
You can find more about biohacking, the art of changing your environment and your biology so you perform better in his new book The Bulletproof Diet, and also on The Bulletproof Executive website, Facebook and Twitter.
Originally posted: Best Supplements For Your Health