First things first, we don’t sell supplements and we are not affiliated with any supplement companies.

With that said, we realize that you probably have a lot of questions regarding supplements, so we want to provide you with the supplements that have been the most researched, we have tried ourselves, and have been successful for us and our clients.

What supplements do you take?

Unfortunately, some trainers and coaches focus on this first. . . . If someone tries to sell you supplements before assessing anything else, run the other way as fast as you can!

Supplements are meant to supplement your diet & lifestyle. Unfortunately, most supplements don’t even work . . basically all you get is expensive pee! Don’t get scammed on buying a whole bunch of supplements that you don’t need, instead buy only what is absolutely essential. But on the other hand, if you are going to invest in supplements, quality is the key.

We all agree that both food quality AND food quantity are important, but why do we not ask the same question when it comes to supplements?

When it comes to supplements, unless you have a specific medical condition or nutrient deficiency, we typically only find value in the following.

Vitamin D

It’s estimated that anywhere from 30-80% of the U.S. population is deficient in vitamin D.

Are you deficient in Vitamin D?

Should you be supplementing with Vitamin D?

The best way to know if you are deficient is to spend $79 on a Everlywell vitamin D test. Optimal levels are considered to be between 75 and 100 nmol/L. We see people sitting around the 30-50 range all the time.

Did you know that we get vitamin D through food, the sun, and from our own body producing it? Nearly every cell type in the body is stimulated by Vitamin D to promote calcium and other mineral absorption. Calcium is key for bone & tooth formation and signaling between brain cells.

If you have low levels of Vitamin D, it’s up to you to take action and get in the sun and/or consider supplementing. Race, ethnicity, physical activity, oral contraceptive use, adiposity, and baseline vitamin D and calcium status should all be considered before supplementing.

As always, consult with your doctor and get testing.

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Fish oil

Are all fish oil supplements created equal? Don’t be so sure…

Do you really think the walmart brand fish oil for $9 is good quality? I hope not…

Not all fish oil supplements are created equal…

How do you know which fish oil supplement to buy?

Fish oil is rich in 2 very important omega-3 fatty acids called DHA & EPA.

Did you know that DHA & EPA actually originate in algae? Algae is the base of the food chain for fish, which is why fish concentrate such a high number of these healthy fats in their tissues. Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for our bodies cardiovascular function, immune health, nervous system function, and brain development.

Earlier in our discussion on fats, we noted that you should aim to consume a 1:5 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthy fats found in olive oil, flax oil or ground flax, salmon, avocados, fish oil, nuts & seeds, etc. Omega-6 fatty acids are the not so healthy fats found in processed foods high in saturated fats, vegetable oils, foods with trans fats, etc. Our ancestors used to eat about a 1:1 omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio, but these days most americans average closer to a 1:20 ratio! As mentioned previously, we should be maintaining at least a 1:5 ratio respectively. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids compete for space in the cell membrane, this is why it is so important that we eat a healthy diet with a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

1-3 grams of EPA + DHA per day
Source fish oil from a high quality source that doesn’t use primarily fish discards
Herring, Mackerel, krill oil, and algae oil are all lower on the food chain, therefore less likely to accumulate environmental toxins
Avoid cod liver oil, trans fats, and vegetable oils as these are higher in omega-6 fatty acids
Avoid fish oil if you are on a blood thinner medication

At the end of the day, if we can focus on eating good quality whole foods in amounts that support our lifestyle then we shouldn’t have to worry about our EPA to DHA ratio too much. If you eat fish, incorporate a variety of good quality fish sources into your diet. If you are someone that does not eat fish, then you might want to consider looking into a good quality fish oil supplement.

Just as you wouldn’t buy frozen fish from walmart, please don’t waste your money on a low quality fish oil either. We would suggest a high quality brand like Thorne Research. Here is a link to all of there fish oil supplements, let me know if you have any specific questions!

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Protein Powder

Our strongest recommendation here to choose a protein powder with minimal ingredients, because most protein powders are filled with a bunch of unnecessary ingredients. Whey protein isolate is the ingredient that you should be looking for, as other protein blends can yield a much lower protein quality that have been seen to cause gas and bloating. The only exception would be something like a collagen peptide powder or a pea/rice protein powder. Again, quality sourcing should be a priority.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Milk protein which includes whey, casein, and milk protein blends are high in BCAAs, may enhance immunity, highly studied, but may cause digestive issues for some people due to sensitivities & intolerance.

Rice protein is hypoallergenic, gluten free, 100% plant-based, neutral taste, economical, and sometimes derived from GMO rice.

Soy protein is 100% plant-based, contains some anti-nutrients, and sometimes derived from GMO soy.

Pea protein is 100% plant-based, saturated fat & cholesterol free, highly digestible, hypoallergenic, economical, and rich in lysine, glutamine, & arginine.

Egg protein has concentrated amounts of amino acids, fat free, but may also cause digestive issues like upset stomach.

Protein Quality

Protein efficiency ratio (PER) is based on the weight gain of a test subject divided by its intake of a particular food protein during the test period. From 1919 until very recently, the PER had been a widely used method for evaluating the quality of protein in food.

The net protein utilization, or NPU, is the ratio of amino acid converted to proteins to the ratio of amino acids supplied. This figure is somewhat affected by the salvage of essential amino acids within the body, but is profoundly affected by the level of limiting amino acids within a foodstuff.

Biological value is a measure of the proportion of absorbed protein from a food which becomes incorporated into the proteins of the organism’s body. It captures how readily the digested protein can be used in protein synthesis in the cells of the organism. Proteins are the major source of nitrogen in food.

Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) is a method of evaluating the quality of a protein based on both the amino acid requirements of humans and their ability to digest it.

iCoach Favorites:

Whey Protein Isolate

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Plant Based Protein