Friends have been asking me for an update on my dietary supplement regimen. The last time that I wrote about it was four years ago. Since that time, my goals have continued to be pretty much the same: think better and maintain health longer. But pursuit of those goals has led me to make quite a few changes, mostly additions, to my regimen -- my "stack," to use the common biohacker term. I've continued to study and experiment with nutrients to support strength performance, nootropics to enhance mental ability, and geroprotectors to promote healthy life extension. And I'm presently supplementing with around 50 nutrients (40 on a daily basis, 6 on a regular basis, and 4 on an occasional basis) -- excluding a few with which I'm experimenting more tentatively.
Of course, supplementation isn't the only practice in which I engage to pursue my goals. I also aim, for example, to sleep 7.5 hours per night, exercise vigorously at least 3 hours per week, drink mainly water, avoid soft drinks, pray and meditate on gratitude daily, update my gratitude journal weekly, attend church services weekly, and spend time with family and friends regularly. I fast intermittently and over-eat rarely. I minimize consumption of junk food, but I don't eat as many vegetables as I should. I use legal drugs rarely and illegal drugs not at all. I don't smoke or drink alcohol. And I do my best to manage the high stress that arises from situations toward which I gravitate, professionally and philosophically.
My health is generally good for a 44-year-old. I'm approximately the same height and weight that I was at the end of my teenage years. I can do 50 pushups quickly, without breaking a sweat. My max is probably around 100. And I regularly run a 7.5 minute mile as a warm-up, with plenty of energy for a full weight training session afterwards. I'm not sure how fast I could run a mile if I pushed myself, mostly because I hate running -- unless, like a dog, I'm chasing a ball. My most recent medical checkup measured my blood pressure at 57/109 and resting heart rate at 60. And my most recent blood work found everything to be well within normal healthy ranges, with the exception of borderline-high eosinophils -- probably related to allergies that affect esophageal function, which is currently my only long-term health concern.
In that context, I'm happy to share with you the details of my current supplement stack. It's based on years of analysis of decades of research by scientists worldwide. In my analysis, I generally look for supplements that meet three criteria:
First, I look for supplements supported by multiple clinical studies on humans – not just anecdotal evidence, one study, or studies on non-human animals. I have nothing against placebo, but I prefer to spend my time and money on more than placebo.
Second, I look for supplements with the highest ratios of evidenced-efficacy to expense. Given innumerable options and a limited budget, I want to spend my money as efficiently as possible. Supplements are expensive enough without being wasteful.
Third, I look for supplements that are legal and generally safe. If it's likely to put me in a prison or a hospital, I'm not interested.
Please keep in mind that this isn't medical advice. I'm not a physician. And even if I was, information like this simply can't be applicable to everyone. While we all have much in common, we're still all significantly different. We have differences in genetics, varied anatomical states, and different environmental and social situations. These differences multiply quickly into complexities that will lead wise persons to do their own research and consult with their personal physicians before adopting any of the supplements that I describe here.
Here's my morning geroprotector and nootropic stack. I take these supplements with breakfast on most days. I also take several of these supplements a second or third time with lunch or dinner on some days.
- Acetyl L Carnitine Hydrochloride (ALCAR HCl) 500 mg -- nootropic geroprotector to protect brain from toxins
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 600 mg -- nootropic to enhance confidence
- Bacopa Monnieri Extract (Synapsa 55% Bacoside) 320 mg -- nootropic to enhance memory
- Berberine Hydrochloride (Berberine HCl) 500 mg with Milk Thistle Fruit Extract (80% Silymarin) 100 mg -- geroprotector to support metabolic health, in combination to improve bioavailability
- Blueberry Fruit Extract (25% Anthocyanin) 1400 mg -- geroprotector to support genetic health, and nootropic to support brain health
- Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract (ApresFlex 20% AKBA) 100 mg -- geroprotector to support joint health
- Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone) 100 mg -- geroprotector to support cellular health
- French Maritime Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol 70% Procyanidin) 50 mg -- geroprotector to support circulatory health
- Garlic Bulb Extract (1% Allicin) 300 mg -- geroprotector to support heart health
- Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract (24% Flavone Glycoside, 6% Terpene Lactone) 100 mg -- nootropic geroprotector to support brain health
- L Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha GPC from AlphaSize) 300 mg -- nootropic geroprotector to support brain health
- Lutein 10 mg with Zeaxanthin 2 mg -- geroprotector to support eye health, in combination to improve efficacy
- N Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) 600 mg -- geroprotector to support cellular health
- Omega 3 Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA from Fish) 200 mg -- nootropic geroprotector to support mood and healthy triglycerides
- Omega 3 Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA from Fish) 300 mg -- nootropic geroprotector to support mood and healthy triglycerides
- Phosphatidylserine (PS from SerinAid) 150 mg -- nootropic geroprotector to support brain health
- Polypodium Leucotomos Root Extract 240 mg -- geroprotector to support skin health
- Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract (2% Salidroside) 300 mg -- nootropic herb to enhance cognitive endurance (focus, mood, and energy)
- S Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) 400 mg -- geroprotector to support joint health, and nootropic to support mood
- Sodium R Alpha Lipoic Acid (Na R ALA) 150 mg -- geroprotector to support nerve health
- Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid (TUDCA) 250 mg -- geroprotector to support liver health
- Turmeric Rhizome Extract (95% Curcuminoid) 500 mg with Black Pepper Fruit Extract (95% Piperine) 5 mg -- geroprotector to support joint comfort, and nootropic to support mood, in combination to improve bioavailability
- Vitamin B Complex (B1 as Sulbutiamine 25 mg, B2 as Riboflavin 5 Phosphate 25 mg, B3 as Nicotinamide 100 mg, B5 as D Calcium Pantothenate 100 mg, B6 as Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate 25 mg, B7 as D Biotin 300 mcg, B9 as L 5 Methyltetrahydrofolate 400 mcg, B12 as Methylcobalamin 120 mcg and Adenosylcobalamin 120 mcg) -- high-dose bioavailable B vitamers to support brain health
- Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) 50 mcg -- high-dose D vitamer to support brain and bone health
- Vitamin K Complex (K1 as Phylloquinone 250 mcg, K2 as Menaquinone 7 125 mcg) -- high-dose bioavailable K vitamers to support bone health
- Zinc (from Zinc Picolinate) 11 mg -- bioavailable form of Zinc to support mood
Here's my evening geroprotector and nootropic stack. I take these supplements before sleep on most days.
- L Theanine 200 mg -- nootropic to promote relaxation
- Magnesium (from Magnesium Glycinate) 200 mg -- bioavailable form of Magnesium to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality
- Melatonin 5 mg -- nootropic geroprotector to promote sleep and support metabolic health
Here's my workout nutrient stack. I take these supplements before or after workouts, sometimes in combination with second or third servings of supplements from my morning stack.
- Beta Alanine 3 g -- nutrient to enhance endurance
- Creatine Monohydrate 5 g -- nutrient to enhance strength
- Inositol 5 g -- nootropic to promote relaxation
- Protein (from Peas and Rice) -- nutrient to support muscle health
- Spirulina 3 g -- nutrient to support immune health
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) 1000 mg -- high-dose C vitamer to support immune health
Productive Energy Stack
Here's my productive energy stack. I take these supplements occasionally, when I need an extra boost.
- Caffeine Anhydrous 100 mg -- nootropic to enhance energy
- L Theanine 200 mg -- nootropic to enhance relaxation
- Panax Ginseng Root Extract (7% Ginsenoside) 170 mg -- nootropic to enhance focus
Immune Booster Stack
And here's my immune booster stack. I take these supplements occasionally, when I'm concerned about the possibility of sickness.
- Echinacea -- nutrient to decrease length of sickness
- Pelargonium Sidoides -- nutrient to decrease severity of sickness
I think it's important to have realistic expectations in association with this stack. Unfortunately, nothing here is going to transform me or anyone else into a superintelligent immortal -- not even close. But what this stack can do, judging from clinical studies and my own experience, is make incremental improvements in day-to-day life. Hopefully, the daily benefits will add up to a significant extension of healthy life. And hopefully the extension of healthy life will increase my odds of being around long enough to benefit from more powerful therapies that biotechnological advances appear likely to enable in the future.
Why do I care? Probably like you, I care about healthy life in the future for all the reasons that I care about healthy life now. Today and tomorrow both matter to me. And while powers beyond our own (grace or luck, as you may prefer) will always be the most substantial factors, I trust our efforts, or lack thereof, can and will make a real difference.