My Top 50 Supplements and Biohacks (UPDATED FOR 2019)
It's hard to believe this is the fourth year of this blog and as always, very important to note that each year it evolves with the times. Products and brands come and go from this list, while others have remained constant since I started it.
This year I changed the category titles. The first is now “Essentials” to help people pin-point where to begin their journey. The “Essentials” is the list that I believe everybody needs or could benefit from starting today to achieve greater health. The next category is “Nice-To-Have’s” which are things I use often or daily to improve already strong levels of health and mental performance. Then the list continues from there to “Detox”, “Performance”, and “Sleep”.
To make this lis the foods and supplements have to be either things I consume personally, or that I recommend to my friends, family and clients frequently.
DISCLAIMER 1: Before YOU start consuming anything new or from this list, do your own due diligence, know your body, and check with your doctor.
DISCLAIMER 2: I’d also like to ensure you are aware that I may receive a small commission in association with the purchase of these products. These commissions are laughable, some as low as $0.08, and are in place simply for me to maintain understanding of the impact I’m having on my audience’s wellness journey.
DISCLAIMER 3: If you are nursing, pregnant or may become so, please be extra careful about what you're putting into your body. This list is simply what I do and is by no means a recommendation for everybody. In fact, many of the items listed below are contraindicated for pregnancy.
Last, all of the following assumes the subject is already consuming a fantastic, plant-rich eating strategy. Adding supplements and hacks to a less than ideal eating strategy is like polishing the brass on the Titanic.
Cold-Pressed Organic Olive Oil: I’ve said it for years, olive oil is the healthiest food on the planet! I believe it should be core to a healthy diet and have even been known to take shots of olive oil when I find a quality source. It’s first on the list because it’s heart-healthy, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial plus offers a potent antioxidant profile, just please always buy organic, cold-pressed as not all Olive Oils are the same.
Cold-Pressed Organic Coconut Oil: Artisana has many of the highest quality, raw / cold-processed oils and nut butters. These days I use a lot more "whole" oils than highly refined ones, i.e. "Brain Octane" oil or MCTs. I also buy both coconut oil and coconut butter in these epic 8lb. containers.
Grass-Fed Ghee: Vitamin A (in the form of retinol) and healthy fats, a travel-friendly high-fat-butter-coffee hack.
Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil: This is without question the highest quality fish oil on the market.
Thorne Research D3 / K2: Vitamin D is one of the most critical nutrients on the planet, and to be properly absorbed it needs many other nutrients including K2 and a few others found below. (Note: this link brings you to my Thorne Dispensary, which contains all the Thorne products I recommend throughout this article.)
Magnesium Bigylcinate: Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals for health, and our needs for it are only growing with the times. An estimated 80% of Americans are deficient and even informed adults avoid high doses due to the laxative effect it can have. I have had no reports of any GI-distress with this product, even in high doses, and I personally take 3-4 servings per day. (I switch to this one while traveling and take even more.)
Ancient Nutrition Multi-Collagen: Collagen is super good for you, your gut, your mind, and this powder is convenient to have in your cabinet, mixes into your coffee, etc.
Vitamin C: I switched to Quicksilver Scientific this year and have not looked back. I take 1000mg of Vitamin C 1-2 times daily, especially on days when I’ll be out in the sun more than usual.
Amino Acids: Kion provides best essential amino acids supplement I've found, and an absolute must for all my vegan athletes.
Goat Milk Colostrum Powder: I took some years off of this, but it’s great to be back. Colostrum is incredible for the gut and the immune system, and with frequent liquid caloric fasts, for me and my coaching clients, has been a really positive add-on.
Vitamineral Greens Powder: One of the few organic greens powders out there. You will feel a noticeable difference when you start the day with this, especially if you add 1 tbs of olive oil to enhance absorption of the fat soluble vitamins in it!
Meriva / Curcumin: Your body's inflammation extinguisher - this stuff is anti-everything bad, plus can give you a noticeable cognitive boost. I take 1,000mg per day and occasionally empty 3-4 of the pills into an ounce of water and take it as a shot. Meriva is absorbed 29X more effectively than normal curcumin extracts.
Kion Coffee: The world’s healthiest coffee. Kion is a medium roast that's also versatile, making a delicious espresso at home or on the road, a great cup of coffee from a french press.
Berberine: is as powerful as Metformin at regulating blood sugar levels and promoting longevity.
PQQ/Ubiquinol: PQQ + Ubiquinol is like the Secret Service for your mitochondria.
Thorne Elite Multivitamin: I have not recommended multivitamins in years because they're often low quality and ineffective, or I've noticed even "good ones" often exacerbate nutritional imbalances people already have (lots of what we don't need and little of what we do!) However, this twice-a-day Multi is exceptional, it has everything in the right ratios most people need, and and contains a lot of nutrients I'd push people to buy as stand-alone products included inside. If you are looking for an "insurance policy" this may be it, even if you don’t take it every day. I’ve also worked with quite a few pregnant women this year where I recommended the “Prenatal” version!
Prescript Assist Soil-Based Probiotics: We had a gut before we had a brain and 70% or more of our widespread 'dis-ease' starts there! Most of the helpful bacteria in refrigerator probiotics is dead long before you buy them, where as these soil-based alternatives are FAR better. This product is shelf-stable and has made the list for all four years.
Lion’s Mane: I take this every day to support BDNF production. Use code “RUNGA” to save!
Oregano Oil: The first thing I pack in my carry-on while traveling and the critical "first defense" to any germs you'll come in contact with on the plane. I switched to capsules after accidentally spilling an entire jar of the liquid in my carry on!
Iodine: Another nutrient most people need. I take this in somewhat random chunks throughout the year as maintenance, given I am not deficient, but recommend it to anybody with high stress/adrenal/thyroid issues. (Tyrosine is a really nice compliment to iodine for that purpose.)
Digestive Enzymes : Many folks could use some help with digestion, this is one of the best products to do it.
Dry Farm Wines: If you're going to drink - drink this. Way beyond just organic and 3rd party tested for purity, DFW’s are sugar-free, low sulfite, low alcohol (< 12.5%) and mycotoxin/mold-free.
Daily-ish Detoxifier: Calcium D-Glucarate is a somewhat gentle detoxifier you can take regularly without any of the negative health consequences you may get from over-consuming more intense detoxifies like Activated Charcoal.
Kion Lean: One of my favorite new longevity products developed by my good friend, Ben Greenfield. I take this with all high-carb meals (holidays/date nights/parties) to improve my blood sugar and insulin responses to the sudden rush of carbohydrate.
Blue-Blocking sunglasses: Important to remove the blue-light if you’re going to on a laptop or cellphone within 2-hours before bed, otherwise, you’ll suppress your melatonin and therefor the body’s ability to achieve the requisite amount of restorative, deep sleep.
Essential Oils Diffuser: This little thing is pretty handy. Allows you to pump your room full of relaxing aromas like chamomile and lavender.
Reishi Mushroom: Medicinal mushroom that really helps with decreasing stress and improving sleep. I usually sip on this at night after taking zinc and magnesium. Use code “RUNGA” to save on Foursigmatic.com.
Ashwagandha Root: If your problem is staying asleep - here's your fix. Also a great adaptogen to consume throughout the day.
Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil: I recommend this form of magnesium for people that cannot tolerate oral supplements or that need to relax before bed. Shower 30-mins after application to avoid ruining your sheets.
Chlorella Tabs: Greens supplement I've used for years, mostly for detox, that also travels well.
Activated Charcoal: I always take 1-2 capsules after a flight and/or alongside less than optimal food choices or foods from unknown sources. I also take 1 capsule per serving of alcohol on the rare occasion I drink a beer or a conventional wine.
Extra Strength Toxin Binder: I started using this in 2018 in 4-5 day period for serious detox. Please do your research on detoxifiers before messing around. However, I personally take this product to help optimize detox pathways and pull toxins from tissues about 30 minutes prior to taking the binder.
Creatine: I take a few grams on most days, especially since I am not eating much meat these days, which has demonstrated health benefits apart from the gym.
BeetElite: I usually do not take pre-workout drinks, however, I do take BeetElite with some frequency, usually mixing in a dash of baking soda, creatine, and maca!
Arginine: Great for blood flow, sexual, and cardiovascular health. The sustained-release of Perfusia-SR is great, I just take it in the morning with other supplements 4-6 weeks on, 2-4 weeks off.
Biomarker Testing: EverlyWell has done an amazing job at making quick, at-home blood tests a breeze! Order only the tests you need and pay less than it would cost you at your doctor. I push all my coaching clients, at a minimum, to order their “Vitamin D + Inflammation” test as well as Hemoglobin A1C which all-in costs you about $130 with code “2019”. Crazy!
Blood Testing with Inside Tracker: There's nothing like popping the hood and seeing exactly what's going on "inside" with a full blood panel. Not to mention, InsideTracker takes 100% of the "guess work" out of interpreting your results. Use Code "COACHJOE" for a discount on your next comprehensive blood panel :)
Schwinn AirDyne Pro: My all-time favorite air bike -We bring four to all our RUNGA events.
Kettlebell Kings: Affordable and reliable bells for any occasion. Generally I recommend my coaching clients begin with two light bells and one heavy bells. Men, start with two 12kg’s and a 20kg or a 24kg. Ladies, start with two 8kg’s and either a 16kg or a 20kg.
Joovv: Red light therapy is an investment but the Joovv is like buying a Ferrari for the price of a Hyundai. I went through the trouble to bring four to Panama for RUNGA if that says anything, and I have two in my home, and one in my mother’s house.
Polar H7 Heart Rate Strap: Connects to the NatureBeat App to reliably measure your Heart Rate Variability, including the balance of your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
Breville Infuser Espresso Machine: Almost instantly became one of my favorite possessions. If you love your crema - this machine is for you. The infuser is the perfect balance between quality and ease of maintenance. I also intentionally opted for the Infuser over the Barista model, which is $100 more, because I still hand grind my beans with this
Hand Coffee Grinder as part of my morning ritual. If I am feeling lazy, I’ve also got this one now which I researched extensively before buying. This is the best affordable grinder if you’re making espresso.
Vitamix Blender (refurbished): You simply cannot beat $199-$249 for a Vitamix. I’ve used a Blendtec for years but when I needed three blenders for our RUNGA events this year, it was time to make the switch.
Human Charger: I've been using "pocket sun" for 4 years now to avoid jet lag.
The Antidote (by Oliver Burkeman): Get your mind in the right place. A super insightful and entertaining mix of Buddhism, Stoicism, and rigorous rational thinking.
Lights Out (by T.S. Whiley): An investigatory look into the effect of light and sugar on human health. Enjoyable read that's nearly 20 years old now, which is apparent in some spots!
The Key Muscles of Yoga (Ray Long): Stellar book with fabulous illustrations of many of areas I am most interested in, i.e. psoas and diaphragm.
Anatomy of Breathing (Blandine Calais-Germain) A masterful work with nothing to sell. Highly recommended read.
Anatomy for Runners (Jay Dicharry): A highly-quality action-oriented book on anatomical liabilities of running and what to do about them.
AROUND MY HOUSE
Luna Sandals: I LOVE my Lunas! I wear the "OSO FLACO" model almost every day for training, hiking, or to the office. Use code "RUNGA2017" for a discount.
Coffee Frother: These little things are so handy! I use it every single day to mix everything from nut milk to BeetElite and magnesium!
Amber Light Bulb: Because it’s a healthy idea at night to avoid blue-light!
KBee Balm: Made by-hand by my good friend and bee-keeper, Todd Cambio. A honey-based grip, skin care and repair formula.