My supplements buying guide for men is based on the recommendations in my book, Best Supplements for Men’s Health, Strength, and Virility. I either use all these products myself or vouch for their efficacy and safety. Please keep in mind that there’s a lot of overlap between the following categories. Click on product photo to buy. (Note, if you use an ad blocker, this page works better if you turn it off temporarily.)[Click here for my guide to important blood tests.]
Whey protein and BCAAs: Undenatured and cold-processed whey is best, since it contains bioactive peptides that have important health benefits, beside the superb amino acid profile that makes whey the best protein for anabolism and glutathione support. NutraBio Whey Concentrate (or Isolate, with a higher protein content) is the brand I recommend. Take 20 grams immediately before or after a workout. Can also substitute for a meal.
Creatine: Creatine helps build strength and increases muscle hypertrophy, and extends life in lab animals. Purity is important with creatine, since it’s taken in gram amounts. NutraBio is a highly pure product. Suggested dose: 2 grams daily, or 5 grams two to three times a week.
MYO-X: MYO-X contains follistatin, a myostatin inhibitor made from egg yolk. Myostatin is a negative regulator of muscle growth: less myostatin, more muscle. Not only that, but less myostatin leads to longer life. I haven’t tried this product myself, but studies using recreationally trained weightlifters show that it works to increase lean mass substantially.
Epicatechin: This is a substance found in green tea and chocolate, and when given to healthy people in pure form, inhibited myostatin and increased grip strength by 7% in just 7 days. Epicatechin promotes survival of diabetic mice.
Gut absorption is important; magnesium oxide (common drugstore magnesium) has virtually zero absorption. NOW Magnesium Citrate is virtually 100% absorbed. Suggested dose: 200 to 400 mg (one to two tablets) daily.
L. reuteri Probiotic: In mice, the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri raised testosterone levels dramatically, from 4 to 8 times higher, and yielded much more luxuriant and shiny fur. L. reuteri increases oxytocin and immunity, and promotes wound healing, mental health, metabolism, and muscle maintenance. Nature’s Way Lactobacillus reuteri probiotic. Suggested dose: one capsule daily.
L-citrulline: This amino acid improves erectile function nearly as much as more well-known drugs such as Viagra, and increases energy metabolism and time to fatigue in exercise. I take up to 1.5 grams (2 capsules) before my workouts and it extends my time to fatigue, and has given me greater vascularity. Suggested dose: 750 to 1500 mg daily, and/or before a workout.
Suggested dose: one capsule daily.
Zinc: NOW Zinc Gluconate
Suggested dose: 15 mg daily. Alternatively, 50 mg once or twice a week.
N-acetylcysteine: Helps relieve oxidative stress by supporting glutathione levels, very important for illnesses like depression and chronic fatigue. I’ve covered n-acetylcysteine extensively on this blog; this supplement is perhaps the most underrated in terms of healing illnesses hitherto thought incurable. My go-to brand for this is NOW N-acetylcysteine. Doses vary from one to three capsules daily.
Vitamin D: Has many important health functions, including for athletes and for men’s sexual health. An oil-based form is best for absorption; some dry forms don’t raise serum vitamin D levels much or at all. NOW Vitamin D is oil-based. Suggested dose for a 75 kg man: one 5,000 IU cap daily. Less often for someone who weighs less.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K ensures that calcium goes to bone, not arteries, and is an absolute must for preventing coronary artery calcification. It prevents cancer and heart disease. Adequate amounts of vitamin K are difficult to get from dietary sources; the most abundant source is full-fat, pastured dairy, which most people don’t eat much of. I use Carlson Vitamin K. Suggested dose: up to 1 mg a day.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Reduce inflammation and have many beneficial effects on the brain, including increases in cognition and elevated mood, and might even raise IQ. Capsules are more subject to oxidation during storage, so use a liquid form. Carlson Cod Liver Oil is a premium brand. Store refrigerated. Suggested dose: one teaspoon, which supplies 1 gram omega-3, daily or every other day.
Prescript-Assist is the best probiotic bar none, containing 29 different species of bacteria originally obtained from the soil. Prescript-Assist more closely matches intestinal flora than other probiotics that contain only a couple of different species. Prescript-Assist is a must if you need to take a course of oral antibiotics, as it could save you from much intestinal distress, not to mention a C. difficile infection. Can also be useful in other cases of intestinal inflammation as well as chronic fatigue. Suggested dose: 1 to 3 capsules daily.
IP6 (inositol hexaphosphate): Also known as phytic acid or phytate, this cheap natural supplement chelates iron, prevents cancer and neurodegenerative disease like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The gold standard is IP6 Gold, Dr. Shamsuddin’s formula. One reader used it to lower his ferritin from over 400 to around 100 in a year and a half. Suggested dose: 500 mg to 1 gram daily on an empty stomach. Does not interfere with fasting.
Resveratrol: Promotes mitochondrial biogenesis and autophagy, extends lifespan in lab animals, and inhibits aromatase, raising testosterone levels in lab animals. Bulk resveratrol is the least expensive. I like NutraBio trans-Resveratrol Powder. This is a 100-gram supply, which if taken at 100 mg a day, ought to last about three years, so it’s worth the cost. Suggested dose: 100 mg daily.
Curcumin: Hormetic supplement that activates antioxidant defenses and autophagy, chelates iron, decreases inflammation and cancer risk. Don’t get ripped off by companies selling turmeric. Doctor’s Best Curcumin is 95% curcuminoids and contains piperine for maximum bioavailability. Suggested dose: 600 mg, one to three times daily, with a meal.
Lithium: Extends lifespan in lab animals; natural levels of lithium in drinking water are associated with longer life in humans too. It’s most commonly formulated as lithium orotate; best brand here, with 4.6 mg lithium per tablet, is Nutrient Carriers Advance Research Lithium Orotate. Suggested dose: one tablet two to three times a week.
Green Tea Extract – powerfully prevents disease, promotes autophagy, chelates iron. I take one capsule daily.
Berberine: Berberine is as effective as the renowned anti-aging drug metformin in producing a healthy metabolic state: lowering blood sugar, and activating AMPK and autophagy. Results in fat loss in the overweight and in diabetics. The nearest thing to an anti-aging pill that you can get over the counter.
Niacinamide 5% Face Serum: Skin care products are notorious for making claims that have no backing and don’t withstand scrutiny. This one is the real deal though: lotion that contains niacinamide (vitamin B3, also known as nicotinamide) has a significant effect on wrinkles and in lightening dark skin. InstaNatural Niacinamide 5% Face Serum.
Adrafinil metabolizes into modafinil, the prescription attention-promoting agent. Adrafinil (and modafinil) do not increase heart rate or blood pressure, the main unwanted side effects of stimulants. With a relatively long half-life of 15 hours, adrafinil keeps you focused all day; take in the morning with a coffee and you’re ready to concentrate on your work and get things done. Adrafinil is unregulated, legal, and safe. (Note: Not a health recommendation, just a suggestion for those interested in a nootropic.)
Obviously not supplements, but anyone interested in preserving his health should have them for protection against the most dangerous predators: other human beings.
Pepper Spray: OC Police Magnum Pepper Spray: good value with the 4-pack. Have one for bedside, desk, by the front door, and car. Stops criminals in their tracks. Suggested dose: use until criminal stopped in his tracks.
Tactical Flashlights: The ProTac 1L is just over 3 inches long, weighs 0.13 lbs, and has high, low, and strobe variations for its light. It’s very bright at 180 lumens strength. As bright as a Mag Light, but weighs only a small fraction of it. Fits in your pocket, or keep it at your bedside.
The ProTac HL3 emits about 5 times the light power as the 1L, at 1100 lumens.