The Top Supplements Everyone Should Be Taking For Optimal Performance
Optimal Performance always starts with removing sources of kryptonite. That’s the subject of another article, but to start with, analyze your diet and environment and assess how you are doing around sleep, stress, rejuvenation, processed food intake and movement. Begin to analyze and remove the things that make you weak. We’ll touch on that in another article, but for now, go here to learn more.
Next, the second part of performing at your best is to correct any micronutrient deficiencies.
I used to wake up full of energy every single morning. I would bound out of bed, throw open the curtains and look forward to starting my day. The world was full of possibilities.
At some point I lost that enthusiasm and energy in the morning. It took me longer to get out of bed and get going.
Over the years I worked out a very strategic way to regain that energy and enthusiasm. There is a process anyone can use to have more energy and begin living life more fully.
It starts with ensuring your body is getting necessary micronutrients to function properly. After that, you must remove foods that are zapping your energy and health and add in specific foods that give you energy. The rest comes down to understanding your values and goals, working with breath and mindfulness and movement.
Let’s start with correcting the most common micronutrient deficiencies. Remember, work with your own qualified health practitioner as we are not doctors and our goal is to educate you. You must understand your own personal situation and do what is best in partnership with a qualified health professional.
In a market so saturated with false promises and snake oil, it can be very difficult to separate fact from fiction.
There are tons of people out there saying you should be taking this or that.
The purpose of this article isn’t to dispute anyone else’s claims or to say you shouldn’t be taking something. These things are completely up to you to decide. Your needs will be different from my needs.
How much and of what you should be supplementing depends on a few different factors. Your lifestyle, diet, activity level and exposure to toxins all contribute to what you do and do not need.
The best way to know what you need or do not need is to have your blood tested. You can get that lab work done through your doctor or order your own labs from a company like WellnessFX or LifeExtension.
What we’re going to do here is look at the top few vitamins, minerals and supplements that most people could benefit from taking.
Can’t we meet all of our nutritional needs from eating properly?
I hear this all the time.
“If you eat right, you don’t need to take supplements.”
50-100 years ago, I may have agreed with you. Definitely not today though.
Roughly 50 years ago all food was organically grown. Soils were taken care of and fertilized with plant and animal waste. Today most food is grown with agricultural chemicals that almost certainly affect our health. Instead of fertilizing fields with plant and animal materials, the way nutrients have entered the soil for millenia, we add synthetically produced phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. These three nutrients are enough to allow the plants to grow for the minimum cost. This means all the other micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, selenium and more are missing and likely already depleted in the natural soil. Since nothing is added back into the soil but these three plant growing nutrients, we receive food that is deficient in other nutrients.
Thats not to say that you shouldn’t get as much of your nutrition from high quality food as you can. Just realize that you should be supplementing in areas that you could be deficient in.
Isn’t my multivitamin enough?
Probably not. It may even be doing more harm than good. Most multivitamins have inferior quality vitamins and fillers that the body doesn’t absorb well or at all. I’d rather have a little more control of what goes in to my body.
Multivitamins try to throw a whole lot of ingredients into one pill. This may not be even close to what most people need and often the nutrients come in a form that is really inexpensive to manufacture but are not well absorbed by the body.
Here are the top supplements that we recommend to almost everyone.
Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin
- Maintains healthy bones
- Boosts immune system and prevents infections
- Modulates inflammation
- Repairs DNA
- Important to every cell and tissue in the body
Unless you live in a warm sunny climate AND are outside every day completely naked, you could probably stand to use some extra Vitamin D. If you want to get your D from the sun, use the app Dminder on your phone. This will tell you when you can get vitamin D from the sun based on your location. For people like me in a more northern climate, that’s only from mid May till September. And I have to get outside on a sunny day with about 70% of my body uncovered at the right time of the day to absorb the right rays to create D.
Vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin. It is considered a hormone since the body is capable of producing it through sun exposure on the skin.
3000-4000 IU for someone of average weight is what most experts recommend, but this varies a lot by individual. You may need more if you’re overweight. The only way to know exactly how much D you should take is to get a blood test.
- Important for Blood Clotting
- Dental Health
- Proper Calcium Absorption
- Reduces Inflammation
- Prevents Heart Attacks and Atherosclerosis
- Many Longevity Benefits
- Prevents or Improves Diabetes
K2 is one of the least known and talked about vitamins and yet one of the most important not to overlook.
Vitamin K2 is not the same as K1 that comes from vegetables. K2 is available in decent quantities only from certain foods like the fermented soy product natto, and fermented vegetables, and egg yolks. Not all fermented vegetables contain sufficient vitamin K to be noticeable. I make my own sauerkraut and kimchi using a special culture from Dr Mercola that is designed to optimize the amount of K2 in the vegetable ferment.
If you are consuming fermented veggies that you know have high K2 and egg yolks you might be just fine. Most of us are not in this category and supplementation may be beneficial.
Vitamin A – Cod Liver Oil
- Strengthens Bones
- Improves Neurological Function
- Maintains Healthy Vision
- Improves Skin Health
- Reduces Inflammation
- Supports Immune Function
- Helps Prevent Cancer 
Most of us aren’t eating many, if any organ meats.
If you are, that’s great and you can probably ignore this one.
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant.
Contrary to popular belief, carrots and other vegetables don’t have vitamin a. They have beta-carotene which your body converts into vitamin a. The only problem with this is that our body does a poor job making this conversion.
EPA/DHA – Krill Oil/Fish Oil
- Improves ADHD
- Prevents Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Reduces Inflammation
- Maintains Healthy Brains
- Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s
- Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Krill oil is much talked about and recommended and said to be more sustainable and bioavailable than fish oil. However, there is some controversy over krill’s processing methods. The only way it is processed today is with harsh industrial chemicals like acetone and hexane. These are very problematic chemicals and it’s unknown if the chemical processing leads to a poor quality end product.
Fish oil is processed without the harsh industrial chemicals and has been used for centuries. Some people claim the absorption of fish oil versus krill is negligible.
Ultimately the key is to get the highest quality fish oil or krill oil. Oxidized fish oil (meaning the very delicate omega 3 oils have been exposed to heat, light or oxygen for long enough to spoil the oil) will actually increase inflammation in the body and give you the opposite of the benefit you are looking for in taking these oils. So it’s hugely important to only buy very high quality fish oil or krill oil to ensure you are helped and not harmed by taking this supplement.
- Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
- Maintains normal muscle and nerve function
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Supports a healthy immune system
A study from 2005 found that most of us are deficient in magnesium. 
It is almost impossible to get enough magnesium from food alone. Due to the aggressive farming practices of the last century, our soil is depleted of many vital nutrients. Magnesium is one of them.
- Repairs DNA
- Reduces cancer risk
- Protects against cognitive decline
- Increases immune system function
- Improves symptoms of depression
Vitamin B12 deficiency is another one of the top deficiencies in the world. 
Having adequate levels of B12 in your body can help you maintain a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system.
It can help you regulate your glucose and increase your metabolism which can give you more energy and reduce signs of fatigue.
B12 also plays a major function in the brain, lowering risks of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers and dementia. Anyone struggling with depression or mood swings may also benefit from this supplement.
- Boosts immune system
- Improves digestive and urinary health
- Reduces allergies
- Contributes to weight loss
- Improves mental health
- Reduces chronic pain
This is a challenging and controversial area. It is known that the bacteria in our guts impact everything from health to immunity and even how much we weigh. We know having the right gut bacteria can keep us healthy and performing at our best. What bacteria are best and how to get them into our body is not well known.
With the widespread use of antibiotics and anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers, we are killing all of the beneficial bacteria along with the harmful. This is very troubling because some figures day that 80% of our immune system is located in our gut. Our gut is also a large part of our nervous system and is why it is called our second brain.
Your best bet here is to eat lots of vegetables and supplement your diet with fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi.
If you choose to take a probiotic supplement, choose one with very high bacteria count to have some hope that these guys will reach your intestines before being inactivated by your stomach acid.
This list is by no means complete. These are just the top one everyone should be taking.
These are all brands that we have personally used and trust. There are many other great brands out there though. We will never recommend anything here that we have not tried and had good results from.