Updated: March 2018
Ryan's daily Supplement/Vitamin Universe totaling ~$8/day.
A good understanding of yourself and your body first. Consistent rhythms and habits for a health first lifestyle second. Good whole natural foods third. Consistent hard workouts fourth. Supplemental nutrition last.
The supplements that I take are designed to complement my body based on my ability to understand what my body responds best to and may be needing at the current moment. I've learned this through being sensitive (meditation helps) to how my body feels after meals, workouts, and supplement ingestion. Further, these supplements are geared to advancing my health and performance towards my personal health goals (health is my number one priority):
- longevity - Be the most productive possible for the most years as possible
- mental performance - Be creative, sharp, non-anxious, focused, and engaged for the longest time possible
- physical performance - Build endurance to compete in triathlons, build muscle while staying lean so that I can look good with my shirt off, and be injury free
These supplements are extra boosts that I give myself to help me accomplish the goals above. With health as my number one priority, I believe that a healthy body and mind will enable me to achieve my other social and economic goals. Therefore, I'm willing to invest in health, just like I would invest in my education (books/classes) or social agenda (bars/events).
$8/day or $240/month that seems like a lot. It is, no doubt. But it is my number one priority. So I've done some things to make this level of spending possible, while rationalizing it for the reasons above. That $8 a day is supporting my long-term health and my current mental and physical performance. It is my life/health insurance, my caffeine/nutropics, and a way to attract good looking mates. It's an investment.
To offset the investment, I do not have a daily spend at coffee shops as I'm free of the stronghold of caffeine (due to the consistent rhythms I employ such as getting 7.5-8hrs of sleep), good quality whole food that I eat which is light in carbs (preventing any post-meal crash I may experience and providing my good quality energy), and some of the supplements that I take such as b vitamins, choline, and a performance mushroom blend. Further, I cook the majority of my meals which is about 85% or 12 out of the 14 meals I eat during the week. I currently only eat two full meals a day with a protein shake (included in the $8/day) and a snack or two mixed in. Because, I eat good whole fresh food, I spend about $10-13/day on groceries which brings my daily total to about $20/day on my food and nutrition. Compare this to someone who eats out for the majority of their meals, this is pretty competitive - $3/coffee + $5/egg sandwich + $8/chipotle + $10/chicken dinner = $26/per day.
I developed my supplement regime through reading the latest research, looking at my genetic tests from 23andMe, and by listening to my body for feedback. Next to each supplement, I put the why behind my reason for taking it as well as any source material that led to my decision to invest in that supplement. As the research into genetics and nutrition changes, my supplement list and my reasons for taking each supplement will update (and I'll update that information here periodically).
I've found that buying bulk powders is the must cost effective way to consume the supplements on the list. I add them together in my shaker bottle and on average take down about 3 separate shakes per day - I'm not optimizing for taste here. I'm constantly cycling through reputable brands to find a cheaper, high-quality product. That said, it's hard to beat the quality of Pure Encapsulations, Thorne, Swanson, Standard Process, and Nordic Naturals. Or the price of Micro Ingredients, Bulksupplements, and MyProtein each of which may be lacking in quality compared to other brands but are very attractive from a price perspective. Do your due diligence before buying anything from the guy on the corner (aka Amazon vendors) selling any substance you will put in your body and don't buy something, just because I use it. Look for brands with NSF certification and use your judgment - you can pay for what you get, and you can pay for a large marketing budget in the supplement industry.
Some supplements are water soluble vs. fat soluble and some have energizing properties while others work best over night. Be sure to understand the properties of the supplements you are taking, if you choose to take them, so that you time them properly (check out our supplement risks page to learn more). The next couple of paragraphs outline my preferred, but not always actual, daily routine.
When I'm doing morning workouts (currently my preferred time to workout and I'm able to do it about 75% of the time), I have a pre-workout shake with 3g Maca, 3g of creatine, 5g leucine, 5g l-arginine, 6g l-citrulline malate (l-arginine + l-citrulline malate has been shown to increase nitric oxide greater than either of them alone ), Cataplex B, and 600mg of NAC (NAC + l-arginine has been shown to decrease blood pressure and other favorable blood markers in diabetics ). Separately I have a tsp on the Performance Mushrooms with warm water and a tbsp of Coconut oil. On my endurance days, such as a 45min spin session, I will reduce this down to just the Maca, Performance Mushrooms, and Coconut Oil and add a Nuun to my water that I sip on during the ride. This combination gives me the best tradeoff of stomach lightness and comfort with energizing effects that do not spike my heart rate. If I work out in a caffeinated state, I find that my heart rate will spike during my warm-up resulting in a shortness of breath and feeling of fatigue, earlier in my workout due to surpassing my anaerobic threshold (to calculate this I use the heuristic of 220 - age to get my maximum heart rate and then apply 85% to the max to get my anaerobic threshold. There are also at home exercise tests that you can do to determine this more empirically.)
Post workout, my shake contains about 50g of whey protein isolate (which I find to be pretty light and not filling - at least 25g is recommended to stimulate muscle growth  but over 50g is not recommended) , 10g of collagen powder, 1tbsp of barley or wheat grass, 1tsp of spirulina or chlorella, 1 tbsp of flaxseed, 2g of creatine, 5g leucine, and 3g of l-citirulline malate. I do not currently add post-workout carbs but will start doing so as I'm currently trying to build muscle and size. However, insulin commonly referred to as a very important anabolic hormone may not be necessary for stimulating muscle growth . On a typical day, I'll finish my workout at 8:30am, have this shake, and then eat lunch at about 11:30am allowing my body the ability to continue to use my fat stores as energy but also getting the muscle building benefits of protein.
Throughout the day, I will have decaffeinated black or green tea with lemon. At lunch, I take my multivitamin, choline, and vitamin d, and I have about a tbsp of fish oil (for the really good omega 3s) and olive oil drizzled all over my salad.
Lastly, in the late afternoon, I'll have another shake with 25g of bone broth protein, 5g leucine, and 3g of l-citrulline malate in an effort to get my protein intake to about 1g per lean muscle (studies have shown that muscles respond best to protein intake throughout the day and not all in one big meal )
With dinner, I will take digestive enzymes and a probiotic as our gut lining deteriorates throughout the day  leaving the body less capable to digest food, and more insulin resistant. Then at night, I will take another 600mg of NAC, DHA, resveratrol, and about 300mg of magnesium to repair my body as I sleep. My goal is to eat dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime or to stop eating before 7pm (this is my hardest challenge). I want to do this because I have a mutation on a gene rs2305160(C;C) that is related to an increase risk of prostate cancer due to disruptions in the body's circadian rhythm (learn more about the body's circadian rhythm).
As you can see, I'm on a journey to determine what the best structure of supplementation is for me. I first start with outlining my goals, listening to my body, having the right rhythms, and eating whole foods. I know that no amount of supplementation will make up for that - there is no pill that will allow me to stay up 24/7 and eat whatever I want while enabling me to perform at my highest level possible, build muscle, and not get sick. These are refinements, that are driven in large part by my genetic make up as you will see below. If you'd like to dig into your genes visit Rhonda Patrick's site to learn more and I'll work on getting a blog post out on my experience shortly. My workout regime below is geared toward lean muscle building and recovery, while limiting any fillers or untested products.
Link note: Most all product links will take you to Amazon where I've found the most competitive prices online and in-store. If you don't have Prime already, this is a reason to try it out for 30 days free or become an Amazon Prime member for free 2-day deliveries, access to movies and music, as well as the new Whole Foods perks!
Workout note: Scroll to the very bottom of this page if you're intrigued about my workout supplements for muscle growth, performance, endurance, or recovery.