Why I supplement.

The supplements I use are not technically Paleo, but that doesn’t really matter.

There are a few reasons for this. One, is that Paleo is not a reenactment. We aren’t trying to reproduce EVERYTHING that Paleolithic human beings did. We don’t live in caves and wear loin cloths. What we are trying to do is emulate perfect health and do the best we can in this modern world.

The second reason I allow certain supplements into my body is that they are all natural, or are naturally contained in many whole food sources. Some of them are even synthesised in our own bodies. Creatine, for instance, can be found in large amounts in red meat.

The third reason I supplement is simple: it makes muscle-building and fat-burning easier to accomplish.

Basically, taking 5 grams of creatine per day is like eating a whole shit-ton of steak, without all the excess nutrients. So I get all the muscle-building benefits of eating a whole food, without putting on extra body fat.

Now, what exactly do I supplement with?

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in vertebrates and helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle. This is achieved by increasing the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Creatine was identified in 1832 when Michel Eugène Chevreul discovered it as a component of skeletal muscle, which he later named after the Greek word for meat, κρέας (kreas).

Extensive research over the last decade has shown that oral creatine supplementation at a rate of 5 to 20 grams per day appears to be very safe and largely devoid of adverse side-effects,[22] while at the same time effectively improving the physiological response to resistance exercise, increasing the maximal force production of muscles in both men and women.[23][24]

Arginine (abbreviated as Arg or R)[1] is an α-amino acid. Arginine plays an important role in cell division, the healing of wounds, removing ammonia from the body, immune function, and the release of hormones.[2][7][8] Arginine taken in combination with proanthocyanidins[9] or yohimbine,[10] has also been used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.

The benefits and functions attributed to oral supplementation of L-arginine include:

Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) is an amino acid having aliphatic side-chains with a branch (a carbon atom bound to more than two other carbon atoms). Among the proteinogenic amino acids, there are three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine and valine.[1]  The BCAAs are among the nine essential amino acids for humans, accounting for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40% of the preformed amino acids required by mammals.[2]

Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that acts as a stimulantdrug. A number of potential mechanisms have been proposed for the athletic performance-enhancing effects of caffeine.[95] In the classic, or metabolic theory, caffeine may increase fat utilization and decrease glycogen utilization. Caffeine mobilizes free fatty acids from fat and/or intramuscular triglycerides by increasing circulating epinephrine levels. The increased availability of free fatty acids increases fat oxidation and spares muscle glycogen, thereby enhancing endurance performance. In the nervous system, caffeine may reduce the perception of effort by lowering the neuron activation threshold, making it easier to recruit the muscles for exercise.[96]

Whey protein is a mixture of globular proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production. Research indicates that the use of supplementary whey or soy protein combined with resistance training offers some benefit over no protein supplementation.

Beta-Alanine is a naturally occurring beta amino acid, which is an amino acid in which the amino group is at the β-position from the carboxylate group. Supplementation with β-alanine has been shown to increase the concentration of carnosine in muscles, decrease fatigue in athletes and increase total muscular work done.

Carnitine is a quaternary ammonium compound biosynthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine.[1] In living cells, it is required for the transport of fatty acids from the cytosol into the mitochondria during the breakdown of lipids (fats) for the generation of metabolic energy.

Tyrosine is a precursor to neurotransmitters and increases plasma neurotransmitter levels (particularly dopamine and norepinephrine)[9] but has little if any effect on mood.[10][11][12] The effect on mood is more noticeable in humans subjected to stressful conditions (see below).

Citrulline is an α-amino acid. Its name is derived from citrullus, the Latin word for watermelon, from which it was first isolated in 1930.[1] Citrulline malate is sold as a performance-enhancing athletic dietary supplement, which was shown to reduce muscle fatigue in a preliminary clinical trial.[5]

The rind of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a good natural source of citrulline.[6]

A number of studies have found tyrosine to be useful during conditions of stress, cold, fatigue,[13] loss of a loved one such as in death or divorce, prolonged work and sleep deprivation,[14][15] with reductions in stress hormone levels,[16] reductions in stress-induced weight loss seen in animal trials,[13] improvements in cognitive and physical performance[11][17][18] seen in human trials


6 thoughts on “Why I supplement.

  1. Hi Daniel.
    Could you tell me which brand and supplement products do you take exactly?

    Do you take a multivitamin/multimineral ?

    • I do not take a multivitamin, because my diet is complete with organ meats, lots of other animal products, tons of veggies, and I get plenty of sun for vitamin D. My belief is that a multi is not only expensive, but mostly useless to your body because much of it is synthetic, and not as beneficial as consuming a whole food.

      That being said, I do supplement for my workouts. I am currently trying something called “Jack3d” That contains arginine, caffeine, some other stimulant, and creatine. So far I like the focus and energy it gives me in the gym.

      I also use creatine, arginine in bulk from NutraPlanet. I’ve used Gaspari Nutrition SuperPump in the past, but it contains maltodextrin, which isn’t the best thing to be consuming. I like Jack3d because it uses sucralose as a sweetener, which is not digestible.

      After the gym I use a protein shake, unless I’m really hungry, then I’ll have a meal, because the best way to get your protein is to chew it. My protein powder is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey, in vanilla flavor. It’s by far the best tasting I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried a lot.

      The only “vitamin” I take is Green Pastures butter oil capsules during weeks when I haven’t had any organ meats available.

  2. Hi Daniel. My situation is a little different.

    I don’t eat any organ meats, which unfortunately I don’t like (except some beef liver+onions cooked in Anchor butter) every now and again.
    I don’t like caffeine in supplements due to a little insomnia problems, even though they have improved since I don’t watch TV or computer anymore after the sunset.
    Reading your post I was wondering where to buy a single supplement to get creatine-arginine-beta alanine-carnitine-tyrosine-citrulline.

    As for carbs, I’m doing better with 50 grams of white rice at lunch.

    I’m doing an intermittent fasting with two meals: breakfast and lunch.
    Fast is 17 hours (from 2.00 pm to 7.00 am): time for autophagy, good for longevity, and to shrink a bit of love handles.

    Cortisol release is stronger in the morning so I prefer fasting in the afternoon/evening.

    Breakfast is a shake with three eggs, 50 grams of whey protein, 30 grams of banana for flavour, 100 grams of cream (35% fat).
    Lunch is half a pound of meat, butter, vegs and 50 grams of white rice.

    50 grams of white (40 grams of carbs) rice gives me a little water retension to not have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. A good thing for me.

    I never exceed 60 grams of carbs a day.

    • Liver, as long as it comes from 100% grass fed cows, is all you need! Caffeine I only use as a tool for getting more gym energy, but it’s definitely not necessary for everyone. I’m glad you found a carb range that works for you. As always, it’s usually best to tie it to activity level. Sounds like you have it all figured out. That’s a pretty solid plan you have.

      What do your workouts/schedule usually consist of? What are your goals

  3. Ah… grass-fed… here in Italy nothing is grass-fed at this point.
    I workout three times each 9 days (1 day w.o. – 2 days rest).

    3-4 compound exercises (chosen among squat, deadlift, pushups, shoulder press, bench press, pulldown on lat machine, overhead press…) each workout.

    First set I aim for 5-8 reps, second set for 8-10 reps, third set for 12-15 reps.
    When I am in the higher numbers (ex. 8 in the first set or 15 in the third set), I up the weight next workout.

    Rest between sets is 3 minutes.

    I always workout in the morning, pre-workout (30 minutes before) is 6 grams of BCAA (I weight 63 kg.) and a banana.
    Post-workout is my usual lunch, meat and rice, but without the fat.
    I don’t have whey protein post-wo.

    My feeding window is in the morning (7-14) so this fits perfectly with workout time.

    I’d like to experiment a bit with D-Ribose, but I have to study the details… have you ever tried it?

    My love handles are slowly shrinking, and without any aerobic exercise (or interval training)…

    I’ve always been a sort of skinny fat.
    Now, in a month I’ve gained 2-3 kg and my trousers are a little loose-fitting.

    But yes, my diet is not a FULL-PALEO diet.

    • Nice lookin’ good. Seems like whatever you are doing is working for you!

      There’s got to be a way to find grass fed meat out there. The liver from grain fed animals is not very healthy for us, because the liver concentrates all the toxins, antibiotics, etc that the animal ate while it was alive. If you can’t find grass fed, I would look into Green Pastures supplements. They are all natural, and their butter oil comes from 100% grass fed cows.

      D Ribose is just a simple sugar found in all living cells. Ribose can be synthesized in the body, meaning you do not need to get it directly from foods you eat in your diet, so you often receive a source of ribose by ingesting riboflavin, which is also known as vitamin B-2. A number of foods provide riboflavin, and therefore also serve as sources of ribose.

      Just eat lots of meat, and there’s no reason thesupplement with ribose.

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