5 Fitness Supplements To Boost Your Gains, Recovery, & Performance Right Now
My brother is a 17 year old football player in high school, and my father is a discus thrower who has been training and staying fit throughout his life. Well, my Dad has spent a long time coaching my brother, and recently asked me for some biohacking help to get my brother fitness gains quickly.
You see, my bro is a great player, but he’s also a teenager, and he’s not going to do the ketogenic diet, get good sleep, or prioritize recovery like he should. This got me thinking, “Ok, what are the best supplements someone could take to quickly boost their fitness, no matter what they’re doing?”
After sending them the list, I realized this would be a great quick article for my readers. Without further adieu, these are my top 5 recommendations for boosting your fitness, be it gym gains, recovery, or performance.
1). Creatine: I know you’ve heard of this one. Creatine is a supplement associated with increasing in size very quickly, but it is so much more than that. For one thing, it is one of the most well studied supplements in existence, and also one of the safest. But wait, Keenan, isn’t too much creatine bad for your kidneys?
Well, yes, but so is too much protein, too much fat, too much salt, and even too much water. Here’s the thing, creatine is more like a fourth food group than a supplement. Furthermore, you only need to use 5g a day. More than that will just be excreted through your urine, and your creatine stores will be full anyway.
The kidney damage scare stems from people who would megadose 80g or more creatine a day. Similar to eating too much protein all at once, the negatives are a result of the fact that anything can be bad if you take massive, overblown amounts.
What are the benefits of creatine? Well, it loads up your creatine phosphate system, which is the energy system used by your body for short bursts of highly intense energy, such as during powerlifting or sprints.
Furthermore, it has cognitive benefits and is efficacious even for non-athletes as a nootropic, or mental enhancer.
On top of that, it’s inexpensive, and can be taken without cycling due to its incredible safety. Look for Creatine Monohydrate, which is the kind used in most research studies and most widely offered.
For quality-control purposes, I like Thorne Creatine Powder available on Amazon.
2). Magnesium Glycinate/Malate and/or topical magnesium: Magnesium is considered by many in the functional health industry to be a miracle mineral, and for good reason.
Estimated to be involved in over 700 enzymatic process in the body, magnesium is important for everything from bone density to heart function, and is intricately involved with your mental health as well.
Want to know just how important it is? In Dr. Carolyn Dean’s book: The Magnesium Miracle, she describes some people who have become psychotic due to severe magnesium deficiency. These patients were obviously not treated for nutrient deficiencies initially, but when they finally found magnesium, their psychosis resolved.
That’s not to say every disease is because of magnesium deficiency, it often isn’t, but that magnesium is so interwoven into our biology that severe deficiency can manifest into almost anything.
Due to soil depletion and other modern farming practices, most people are deficient in magnesium, especially athletes who sweat all the time.
Because of this, I think everyone should supplement with magnesium, especially athletes. A good, bio-available magnesium supplement will balance your electrolytes, improve and protect heart function, increase energy, balance your mood and prevent anxiety, and improve recovery.
With that said, many forms of supplemental magnesium are not bio-available, meaning that your body can’t actually use them. For this reason, I always recommend Magnesium Glycinate or Magnesium Malate. These are two of the most well tolerated forms of magnesium on the market, and have an added benefit of being calming.
I use the Vital Nutrients brand, which has a blend of both of these. Get Vital Nutrients Magnesium Glycinate/Malate on Amazon.
For a more information on magnesium, including other forms, as well as how to do testing in case you suspect major problems, check out my article: Why Magnesium is a Miracle Mineral, and How You Can Get The Benefits.
3). Essential Amino Acids: But Keenan, I already take a BCAA supplement, I’m good! Actually, no you’re not. You see, BCAA supplements only include branch-chain amino acids, but these alone may actually be detrimental to gaining muscle rather than helpful.
Essential Amino Acids, on the other hand, are blends that include every amino acid that is essential for performance and recovery, and in blends that are beneficial. Essential Amino Acids help with sleep, muscle gain, recover, stave off cravings and much, much more.
Personally, this might be the single most beneficial supplement I use for training. Even when I’m not doing a strength cycle, I always take these as a simple dietary supplement.
I enjoy improved recovery, stable mood and mental function, and improved sleep all increased by essential amino acids.
There are a few brands out there doing essential aminos, but the one I use personally is the brand Kion, created by one of the smartest biohackers in the industry and the guy voted America’s best personal trainer, Ben Greenfield.
Kion Aminos are available on Amazon or on GetKion.com
Another amazing source of essential amino acids is from Black Ant Extract. Yep, it’s made from black ants. This stuff is great though, and has one of the best and most potent blends of essential amino acids in nature.
I predominantly use the Kion aminos, which are more convenient and also vegan (which doesn’t matter to me but might for you.) However if you want to feel like a real biohacker, get yourself some ant powder. Plus, it has more zync than oysters, which is a great mineral for testosterone. Empire Black Ant Extract available on Amazon.
4). Molecular Hydrogen: Molecular hydrogen is when 2 hydrogen atoms are paired to create the H2 molecule. This molecule, which is a gas, has some of the most profound antioxidant effects in the world. Already being used clinically in japan, H2 is particularly selective at eliminating the most harmful free-radicals.
For those who aren’t biology super geeks like me, free radicals are the “materials” so to speak, that cause inflammation in the body. Some free radicals are more harmful than others, linked to cancer and also caused by environmental factors.
Other free radicals are actually necessary though. The reason you get bigger and stronger after exercise, for example, is a response triggered by specific free radicals that are created from the stress of exercising.
For this reason, many common antioxidants may blunt the effect of exercise when they eliminate your inflammation. Molecular hydrogen, however, does not appear to do this. Instead, it is a selective antioxidant that targets the most harmful free radicals, usually those that are known to cause cancer, while leaving alone those that help with exercise.
For this reason, molecular hydrogen is one of the best antioxidants in the world, both in general but especially for athletes.
Now, since molecular hydrogen is a gas, one of the ways you can get it is with a machine that injects it into your water, or lets you inhale it. However, these machines often cost thousands of dollars.
Thankfully, some companies have created an alternative: tablets that dissolve in your water and release the gas. Not all these companies are created equal, and many of the tablet products are low quality and provide little hydrogen. However, Trusii is one brand that is spearheading self-funded research on molecular hydrogen and has some of the best products on the market.
I recommend their molecular hydrogen tablets, available on their website at: https://trusii.com/collections/h2now/products/h2now
5). Bioptimizers P3–0M Probiotic & Masszymes Digestive Enzymes: Bet you didn’t see this one coming, however these two specific products may be one of the best for fitness while also greatly improving your general health.
You see, almost everyone has a suboptimal gut microbiome. What with over-exposure to antibiotics, pesticides, and chemicals, the average American has 20,000 less healthy bacteria strains in their gut than the average, untouched tribesman.
Furthermore, many of the probiotics on the market are weak and ineffective. Not bioptimizers. This probiotic is a unique strain that is powerful at eliminating pathogenic bad bacteria, but also has a side-effect of boosting gym gains.
I’m not kidding, one of the most common reviews of the bioptimizers probiotic is how much it helps with gym gains.
Furthermore, the company also offers one of the most awesome digestive enzyme blends on the market, and many people don’t realize this but digestive enzymes are one of the best supplements you can take for fitness.
I wrote a quick article analyzing the studied benefits of digestive enzymes for fitness over at: The Best Workout Supplement You’re Not Taking: Digestive Enzymes
Anyway, I do a lot for my gut health, but in truth, these are the only probiotic and digestive enzyme I use. They are available either separately or in a bundle on amazon or the bioptimizers site. Links ahead:
Bioptimizers Gut Health Bundle
So there you have it, 5 supplements to boost your pursuit of fitness no matter what you’re doing. Personally, I always prioritize my life from a health and longevity standpoint first, then performance.
With that in mind, all of these are phenomenal supplements even if you are not active. They will help with day to day life as well, and I’ve used most of these for health.
Yet combining them with a good fitness routine is where things really shine. Try training for a week without Essential Amino Acids, or the molecular hydrogen. Then do the next week with one of these. I guarantee you will like the way you feel, and you’ll see your body optimize in some really cool ways.
Thank you guys, and as always, good luck on your biohacking journey.