Do I need supplements?
First off, why even use supplements?
Every diet needs proper micronutrients. Micronutrients are necessary for metabolism, liver function, skin, hair, nails and even energy levels. They are found mostly in fruits and vegetables. The recommended daily dose of fruit and vegetables is 8-10 servings per day in order to receive adequate micronutrients. I don't know about you, but I don't have time to be eating all that. Most people don't. Thats why multivitamins were invented.
But I heard that multivitamins are useless because I'll just pee it out?
Wrong! The color change in urine is due to the B vitamins. This is expected, but it does not mean your body has disposed of the vitamin. It is true that hard pressed tablets cannot be fully digested. This is why you should use a capsule, gel or gummy multivitamin. In the off chance that your body is full of micronutrients, it will dispose of the extra, but you probably aren't over eating micronutrients. Effective multivitamins are also gender specific. Males and females need different hormonal support. Make sure your multivitamin meets the following requirements: capsule/gel/gummy, at least 100% daily value of most vitamins on the label, gender specific.
A well rounded diet must also include omega fatty acids. Fish oil is the best source of omega fatty acids which are essential to joint health lowering blood pressure, reducing triglyceride levels, lowering “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels while at the same time increasing “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels. The omega-3 essential fatty acids are also known as “brain food” because they improve cognitive functions. Research on omega-3’s has also shown it to assist with weight management by helping regulate insulin sensitivity as well as keeping cortisol levels moderated. If you eat a fatty fish such as salmon 3 times a week, then your diet contains enough omega fatty acids. If you're like me however, you don't eat enough fish regularly. In that case you should be taking a fish oil supplement. An effective fish oil should contain 700-900mg of EPA and 400-600mg of DHA.
Now, the benefits of both multivitamins and fish oil can be achieved through whole foods in your diet. Using supplements is a means of convenience. I personally use a multivitamin and fish oil every day because I know I will not get enough through my diet alone. But one area where whole foods will never be as effective as supplements is right after a workout. After your workout, your body has a unique window of opportunity to maximize results. It needs carbs to replenish glycogen (the body's energy source stored in muscle tissue) and protein (to repair muscle tears created during the workout). Both the carb and protein need to digest very quickly to repair your body and make your workout effective in burning fat and building muscle.
The best form of carbs post workout is a pure dexanhydrous glucose which is super fast digesting. It will quickly be absorbed to spike your insulin after a workout. By spiking your insulin, you'll recover WAY faster, your body will get out of survival mode (burning muscle tissue for energy) and into building mode (replacing torn muscle fibers). This is why some body builders take insulin shots (DO NOT EVER TRY THIS). Their goal is muscle recovery, but they are doing it in a very dangerous way. Insulin shots can have very negative side effects. On the other hand, taking a dexanhydrous glucose will naturally spike insulin with no side effects. You will notice that you feel way less sore, or maybe even not sore at all.
The fastest digesting form of protein is hydrolyzed whey isolate. 100% isolate has all the fat and lactose taken out. Both of which slow the digestion process. Whey concentrate still has fat and lactose making it less useful post workout, but great for meal replacement during the day. After a workout, always use isolate.
Hydrolyzing is a process by which the whey isolate is forced through ceramic filters to break the protein chains into smaller pieces. This is essentially pre-digesting the protein for you.
For the best results you need a low temperature processed protein. Low temperature = more useful for your body. Imagine a chicken breast you cook in a crock pot over 8 hours vs. a chicken breast your leave on the grill for 1 hour. The crock pot chicken will be plump, pull apart and taste way more delicious. The grilled one however will essentially look like a charcoal briquette. Definitely not appetizing and also no nutritional value. Supplement companies do the same thing when cooking protein. It is way faster to cook at high temperatures, that way the manufacturer can keep cost low by making more protein faster. But you lose the effectiveness of the protein. Unfortunately the FDA does not require companies to disclose this so they get away with it. Make sure your protein label states low temperature processed.
Why 1st Phorm?
I've tried tons of proteins, but they always tasted chalky. 1st Phorm's protein is hands down the best tasting protein I have ever tried! And they are the only company I know of who offers 110% money back (yes, 100% + 10% extra) if you don't like a product for any reason.
I use 1st Phorm products every day to enhance my body's performance. I found 1st Phorm in 2016 after trying tons of other products. I always bounced between brands as I struggled to find results. I noticed a huge improvement with 1st Phorm for two reasons. First, the products are very high quality. Second, and more importantly, 1st Phorm as a company focuses on helping and educating clients. As I began to understand how and when to use products, I stopped wasting my money on things I didn't need. I started eating more whole food meals and using the products which I needed. Because of these changes I was able to break through my plateau. 1st Phorm has a culture I have never found elsewhere. They truly care about helping people live a healthy lifestyle. They put quality above profitability. For these reasons, I will always be a loyal customer of theirs.
Last year I partnered with 1st Phorm as a legionnaire. As a legionnaire I have full training on 1st Phorm products and I can offer you free shipping on all 1st Phorm orders.
Below are the products I currently use every day. You can always send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or need suggestions for what you should be using.
Multivitamin - Micro Factor
Whether you are an athlete or a couch potato, trying to lose a few lbs. or working on improving health, you need proper micronutrients in your diet.
The first supplement I always recommend is a multivitamin. You need essential vitamins because guaranteed you do not receive enough through your meals. Micro Factor has been my go-to multi for almost a year. I've seen great results in my energy levels and overall wellbeing. But there is so much more I (and you) can be doing for our health.
That's why we've created Micro Factor. Micro Factor is a daily vitamin pack which includes the same powerful multivitamins in M-Factor plus a whole lot more...
Probiotic: Good bacteria are essential for digestive gut health and battling sickness. A lot of diseases and sickness start in the gut. With flu season coming we need all the help we can get.
Antioxidants: Target free radicals, the result of stress to the body. Free radicals must be balanced with antioxidants or the body falls into oxidative stress. Think rust on metal. Rust is an oxidation process. If we don't have enough antioxidants in our diet, the "rust" (aka free radicals) gets out of control.
Fruit & Veggies Super Food Blend: I know you don't eat enough of them, don't lie ;) Our bodies need the micronutrients in fruits and veggies to battle oxidative stress and balance alkalinity. Improper levels can keep you from losing weight and increase cancer risk. Coffee and alcohol both throw off your alkaline level and I know you drink both.
CoQ10: Powerful supplement for overall heart health. It's also a powerful antioxidant.
Essential Fatty Acids: Essential to decreasing joint inflammation and balancing overall hormonal levels.
What can you expect to feel from taking Micro Factor?
Higher energy levels
Better digestion 🚽
Less aches, pain, soreness
Buying each of these products individually from a vitamin store costs $100-$150. Micro Factor is $55. Or $50 if you subscribe to monthly delivery ("easy phorm").
Fish Oil - Full Mega
1st Phorm uses deep sea fish which are rich in nutrients, not farm raised fish. Full Mega contains the full recommended amount of EPA and DHA with 900mg EPA and 600mg DHA. It is extremely helpful for recovery, protecting joints, and lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) while raising the good (HDL). And the capsules themselves are thicker than cheaper products which means you won't get fish burps caused by the capsule dissolving in your esophagus.
Post-Workout Shake - Post-Workout Stack
I use this after every workout. It is a two part system. First, Ignition which is a pure dexanhydrous glucose, a carb to rapidly replenish glycogen for faster recovery. Second, Phormula-1 which is a low temperature processed, 100% hydrolyzed whey protein isolate to repair and build muscle after working out. This is my favorite product because I noticed immediately that I was no longer sore for days after every workout.
Meal Replacement Shake - Level-1
Level-1 is a whey isolate and concentrate blend. This is perfect for use throughout the day because it is formulated to mimic the digestion time of a chicken breast. Add a source of carbs such as an apple and you have a complete meal. I use this frequently at work whenever I don't have time to eat a full whole food meal between meetings.
Adrenal Support - Adrenal Restore
Our generation is so dependent on stimulants such as caffeine to stay awake. But prolonged stimulant use leads to strain on the adrenal system. If you feel nothing after 1 cup of coffee, then your adrenal system is diminished. Adrenal Restore is a natural, no stimulant product which helps your body rebuild its adrenal receptors so that you can continue to feel awake without the need for 3 cups of coffee in the morning.