First, I searched for other threads on this topic and couldn't find any, so apologies if I missed something obvious.
over the last year I've accumulated a lot of points on this site so I began to explore how to redeem them. Wow, after doing so I'm terribly disappointed in this site and Dave Asprey. Why?
First, you can't just use your points. You gotta jump through social media hoops to move up to different levels in their rewards system, which starts at Rising and ends at Expert. But their system isn't smart enough to understand when you've left product reviews, or liked them on facebook or followed them on twitter. Their customer support folks are helpful with adding these things to your account, but then to move to higher levels you have to use referral codes to invite people to buy from the site. Basically they are turning their rewards system into a kind of network marketing scheme. I think that sucks.
But here's where it gets better. I was finally designed as "rising" so I looked to see what I can buy with my points. Answer: not a single product. They have some lame informational products (2 to be precise) that are available for purchase. So they've crafted the program that it won't cost them anything to let you redeem points. They just give you access to pre-recorded digital media. How generous of them.
But wait, there's more! I asked what is available for purchase at the highest level of the program that is not available at the Rising level. Is it even worth it to go through all this hassle? Here's what the rep emailed back:
"the product selections do not open up as the account moves up the tier ranks - They are the same for Rising as for the Expert level. "
are you freaking kidding me? So why in the hell would anyone go to the trouble of doing the required tasks to get to Expert if they can't use their points for anything other than what's available at Rising, which is basically not a damn thing?
This is without a doubt the lamest, dumbest, most ill-conceived and insulting customer 'rewards' program I've ever witnessed. It makes the airlines with their blackout dates look incredibly generous. I can't believe someone thought this made sense, and I'm profoundly disappointed in Asprey for approving it. I've long had the belief that I would shop here when I could to support Asprey's work, but this is so stupid and insulting that I'm going to adopt the opposite perspective. I'll only buy here if I can't find viable alternatives elsewhere. Way to go guys, if your goal of this rewards program was to create something that is the definition of insipid, and to alienate loyal customers, you squarely hit the mark. Congratulations.
Here's my summary and notes on supplements and nootropics. If you want full overview of science go to http://www.examine.com for each of the suggested nutrient or just google to your heart's content.
Sources: this blog, podcasts, this forum.
DISCLAIMER: not my recommendations, these are just notes. I am not a doc, so consult with yours first.
BP STACKS AND PROTOCOLS
Budget: D3 (drops), Magnesium, Iodine + Selenium.
Minimum recommended: D3, Magnesium + Potassium, Iodine + Selenium, DHA/EPA, K2, Vit C, Vit A, Copper, B12 + Folinic Acid.
Level 2 (other clear suggestions): Calcium-D-Glucarate, Collagen, Lipoceutical Glutathione, L-Glutamine.
Other: PQQ, Adaptogenic herbs, B1, B6, Idebenone, Mag Threonate, Calcium-AEP, DAO, Lipase.
Nutraceuticals (support, natural): ALCAR, DHA/EPA, Caffeine, L-Glutamine.
Core nootropics: Aniracetam (Â±choline), Creatine.
Nootropics, hardcore: modafinil (Provigil).
Injuries: BCAA (5g/d), L-Glutamine (40g/d for 2 weeks), Collagen. Extra: boron, phosophorous, silica.
Cold, infections that kind of thing: Vit-C, Activated charcoal, Vit D.
Liver support, fat digestion: N-Acetyl-Cysteine, Vit C, Lipoceutical Glutathione, Betane HCL.
Rapid fast loss: http://www.bulletpro...-loss-protocol/
Healing gut: L-Glutamine 8x10g for 5 days, then 10g 3 days out of 7; probiotics.
Mobility: Hydrolized collagen, Serrapeptase.
Detox: Lipoceutical Glutathione, Activated charcoal, Calcium-D-Glucarate, N-Acetyl-Cysteine.
Cortisol/Adrenal issues: L-Glycine, Adaptogenic herbs.
Drinking night: NAC (time release) every few drinks, Activated Charcoal with each drink.
What I take (as of late 2014) I have since toned down my supplement routine.
* Most days I make effort to take CILTEP, Mag, D3 (not in summer), K2, potato starch.
* I then take these somewhat randomly: Se+I, PQQ, C, fish oil, Thorne's multi, zinc when exercsing.
My shoppe of choice is iHerb.
iHerb COUPON: FOG475 - $10 off for you, I get some % for supplements - I'd appreciate it if you find my efforts useful.
Regardless if you use my code or not, iHerb is a great place to get your stuff, even if you are in EU (ends up cheaper even after VAT - not to mention you can't even find most of the stuff in EU shops..). Amazon is another choice.
D3 ($1/mo), Iodine (x1, $3/mo), Vitamin K2 (x1, $7/mo).
Alternative: Iodine, D3, K2 - x1.5, morning - $15/mo.
B12 + Folinic Acid - x1+1, $10/mo.
Alternative: B-Complex + lower dose B12 - x1+1, $10/mo.
Selenium - x1, $3/mo.
Vitamin A - x1, $1/mo.
Zinc + Copper. x1, $3/mo; NB: don't take if you eat liver (too much copper)!
Vitamin C - x1-2, $2-4/mo.
Krill Oil or fish oil. Dose up to you, but $20-ish.
Magnesium: Blends: Ultra-Mag (x3, $8! - note: hard to swallow); Citrate - Natural Calm (7.5g, $10/mo), Malate (x5, $9/mo), Glycinate (x6, $14/mo).
! MULTIVITAMIN OPTIONS (still lacking in D3, Mag, and K2), all by Thorne Research:
for women - Basic Nutrients IV (incl. copper & iron);
no copper/iron - Basic Nutrients III - probably best value if you add copper and other extras.
w/copper - Extra Nutrients.
Creatine - 5g/day - $3/mo.
Aniracetam x1-2 - $25-$50.
ALCAR x2, morning - $15/mo.
R-Alpha Lipoic Acid x1, morning. $18/mo. Don't forget to cycle.
N-Acetyl-Cystine - x1, $3/mo. Don't forget to cycle.
Calcium D-Glucarate - $35+/mo.
Serrapeptase - x1, night on empty, $10/mo.
Collagen - x1, night, $22/mo.
Vitamin C in bulk.
CILTEP - $60/mo, Upgraded Self brand. You can also DIY this for $15-20/mo (will require splitting pills and capping yourself).
PQQ+CoQ10 - Upgraded Self brand, $60+/mo.
Other links: Zinc (30mg), L-Glutamine (powder), Lipoceutical Glutathione, Whey, Ubiquinol, Potassium.
MONEY SAVING PROTIP:
Buy powdered supplements and cap yourself. Ends up ~half the price. Try here: PureBulk (lots of stuff), BulkPowders (UK), IronScience (UK). You'll need to get a "capping" machine. Cheap as well. Check different size capsules. 0 - 3-400mg. 00 is approx 0.6-0.7g, 000 is 1.1-1.2g. The process is very simple and easy. Takes 10-15 mins per 50 caps. Do not overdo this or you'll hate me
- A case AGAINST: imbalance of nutrients, low quality, can contain toxic forms of certain, imbalanced in the context of your diet, most amounts are too tiny to be meaningful.
- One pill a day - it's IMPOSSIBLE to put everything in one pill. Some nutrients are big molecules, and as such Magnesium. Some things you get plenty of already, so you end up getting too much.
- If you must do a multi, make sure it's packaged in 6-7+ pills per day, not the one pill variety.
Primary function: maintaining calcium/phosphorous levels, mineralization of bone, massive role in immune system.
Why: almost everyone is deficient, we don't see sun enough.
Form: D3 only.
Dose: 1000 IU per 25lb of body weight. In the morning. 1500kIU/25lb if brown skinned.
Notes: GET TESTED (!). Aim for 50-80 ng/mL. Adjust intake based on results.
Suggested brand: Purity Products, Life Extension.
Budget option: D3 drops (in oil) - dirt cheap.
Role: essential dietary mineral, heart, brain, neuronal health. Participates pretty much everywhere.
Why: second most deficient after Vit D.
Forms: Citrate, malate, glycinate, threonate, or orotate.
Dose: 600-800 (elemental) mg/day before bedtime.
Brands: Natural Calm, VRP (simpler).
Note: read the label of your supp. Elemental magnesium is usually sub-30% of the stuff you are taking - make sure you get enough.
Primary role: maintain bone mineralization.
Why: you didn't eat your butter and grass fed meat when you were small. Hard to get from food in good doses. Apparently amazing for teeth/gum health. "Activator X" from WAP studies.
Forms: MK-4 & MK-7.
Dose: 2000mcg/d total with 100mcg from MK-7. Take ideally with D.
Brand: Life Extension.
Role: antioxidant, co-enzyme for collagen, and lots of other functions.
Why: widely used antioxidant, needs a constant supply.
Forms: Ascorbic acid crystals, or time release formulas.
Brand: Solaray. Now Foods.
Cycle: YES, skip some days, take more/less sometimes, randomize.
Probably a good idea: take with collagen.
Role: electrolyte, proper nerve signaling, heart & muscle functioning.
Why: magnesium is absorbed better with it. Same with potassium. Synergistic.
Dosage: 200-400mg, take with Mg.
Note: actually common in foods BP limits (bananas, milk, potatoes, for example).
Note #2: somewhat impractical... each cap is max 99mg (regulations). Probably not critical.
Role: necessary for thyroid hormones.
Why: common deficiency, unless you eat seaweed and sea fish regularly.
Forms: Kelp Powder or Potassium Iodide capsules.
Brands: NOW Foods Kelp Powder (dirt cheap); Pure Encapsulations potassium iodide; budget - Lugol's Iodine.
Dose: 1mg/day, anytime.
Good idea: don't take without Selenium; it might be detrimental otherwise.
Role: vision, new cell formation, gene transcription, skin.
Why: essential to supplement if you don't eat organ meats (you should). Plants have beta-carotene, it is poorly converted in humans.
Dose: 10-15kIU/day, anytime.
Form: retinol (palmitate).
Brand: Green Fermented Cod Liver Oil (Arctic Mint flavor); cheap in pill form.
Role: to reduces damage of oxidation and toxins, helps other antioxidants.
Why: soil sources inconsistent, must take if taking iodine.
Form: Se Methyl Selenocysteine or Selenomethionine
Dose: 200mcg, anytime. Don't overdose (!) - it is toxic at high doses.
Brand: Life Extension.
Good idea: don't take without Iodine; it might be detrimental otherwise.
Role: part of various enzymes, necessary for collagen, melanin (skin/hair quality).
Why: you are not eating your liver (you should), a zinc balance issue for those who sup. with Zn.
Dose: 1mg/day. Don't take if you eat liver regularly.
Brand: Life Extension.
NB: Don't take if you eat nuts or liver regularly. 4 oz (~100 g) liver = ~14mg of copper.
DHA/EPA (Omega 3)
Role: essential fatty acid, brain function, cell membranes.
Why: you eat too much n-6 with a wrong balance.
Form: krill oil, if price is a concern, fish oil.
Dose: 1g/day of krill oil. 1g of actual EPA/DHA if you don't get grass fed meat (3g of krill oil?).
Personal note: 2/3 krill oil = 1 fish oil.
Brand: Jarrow for both. Budget option - liquid fish oil.
B12 + Folinic Acid (B9)
Roles: B12 - necessary for DNA functions, red blood cell and neurotransmitter production, works with folinic acid.
Why: B12 - common deficiency, needs folinic acid to be safe and absorbed/used well.
Dose: 5mg B12 as (Methylcobalamin or Hydroxycobalamin).
Dose: 800mcg B9 folinic acid (5-MTHF) - NOT FOLIC ACID.
Personal note (not D.A.): these seem excessive. A good B-complex seems like a better idea overall - I don't understand the rationale behind these dosages.
Primary function: becomes an essential amino acid if sick or injured, gut bacteria food, stomach lining.
Nootropic-esque: helps improve seratonin and GABA levels = less anxiety, more willpower kind of gig.
Other: reported to reduce sugar cravings/hunger.
Dosage: up to 40g/d for a few weeks if sick; even up to 80g for regular health issues; Take on empty stomach. 10-20g x3/week for maintenance.
Brand: Now Foods, lots of other brands, available in bulk as well.
Alternative: whey protein in as much as 1.5g per 10g of whey protein. So, if you take in 50g of whey post exercise 3 times a week, probably not necessary.
Protocol: if you have gut issues, do 80g a day (10g spaced every 2h) for 7 days. Original source - Poliquin.
What: main building block of connective tissue.
Why: you'll be more flexible, move better, lowers injury risk.
Form: Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides.
Dose: 1-2 tablespoons/day in evening.
Brand: Dave's Upgraded Self.
Personal note: Alternative: Neocells/Dr's Best collagen. Probably less effective but much cheaper.
Other notes: more effective than glucosamine chondroitin & MSM.
Why: fights strokes, thins blood, reduces visible scars, helps flexibility, dissolves internal scar tissue (!).
Dosage: 3 standard size caps (that's probably 1.2k IU)
Brand: Source Naturals, Dr's Best.
Other notes: for visible scars "you need a lot of it".
Side effects: do note some people experience dry eyes, less mucous that kind of thing when taking it.
Function: It binds toxins, vitamins, minerals as well as pharmaceuticals.
Form: acid washed coconut charcoal extra fine.
Brand: Source Naturals.
As a detox protocal: 2-10 caps (500mg each) 2-3 times a day.
Take 2h AWAY from other supplements or drugs. If used to counteract bad food: take within 1 hours after eating.
Personal note: other forms are probably fine too; non-toxic.
Protocol: not sure, couldn't find a good one.
What: primary detoxifier in the body (produced in body), recycles antioxidants, important for immune and brain function. More info.
Why: toxin rich diet and environment overstresses the natural production; anti-aging in a way.
Form: Lipoceutical Glutathione, Brand: Upgraded Self.
Alternative #1: Cold-Processed Whey concentrate (cheapest). Proven to work, not as effective.
Alternative #2: N-Acetyl-Cysteine + ALA. Building blocks. Can also be bought as L-Glutathione.
N-Acetyl Cysteine ("NAC")
What: antioxidant, amino acid.
Why: for glutathione production (precursor), direct anti-toxin, even some nootropic value.
Brand: NOW Foods, many others.
Alternative: comes in whey in as much as 800mg per 10g of whey protein.
Note: don't take if you eat whey regularly.
NB: antioxidant, cycle.
Protocol: if drinking, a time release cap might be a great idea.
Brand: Now Foods; Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay (Amazon)
What: natural compound produced in low amounts as a detoxifier
Why: cancer prevention, liver detox, excess estrogen, decreases LDL
More info: http://www.bulletpro...um-d-glucarate/
Dose: 500-1000mg for detox, anytime.
Dave takes 4x500mg as maintenance.
Dose: 25g for anti-mercury w/ fish.
Note: make sure you get a clean variety. Avoid grown in Japan.
Good Brand: Sun Chlorella, but expensive.
Please do your research before you go balls deep into this part. Unlike supplements, the information is limited, so just do your research so you know what you are doing!
A good idea is to TEST your "stacks" by doing some attention and cognitive tests such as www.quantified-mind.com or Dual-N-Back.
For your convenience here are some information sources for you to get you started:
http://www.gwern.net/Nootropics (start here)
Dave's suggestion - read Steve Fowkes "Smart Drugs & Nutrients II" (sort of dated by now).
What: part of acetylcholine (neurotransmitter) cycle, mitochondrial health and bioenergetic support. Necessary to put fat/carbs into mitochondria.
Nootropic value: alertness+, mitochondria health+, neuronal support, acetylcholine levels+.
Dosage: 500-2g of ALCAR. Usually recommended with Alpha Lipoic Acid (200-300 mg of R-ALA). Do not exceed 2g. Morning.
Brand: Jarrow, also available as powder.
Note: The older you are the more valuable this is (as with CoQ10).
Note: May help regulate cortisol levels (!).
Note: May be used instead of extra choline (it participates in ACh synthesis).
Role: antioxidant; helps raise liver Glutathione.
Why: (in context of taking with ALCAR) - reduces mitochondrial oxidation where ALCAR increases activity of them (apparently only in high dosages, reason to believe it's not an issue up to 2g at all). They are related molecules.
According to R.Wolf: "helps improve dopamine signaling".
Dosage: 200-300mg, with ALCAR.
Source for this: Examine.com, Robb Wolf.
Cycle: yes, antioxidant.
What: stored form of energy (ATP) that is fast to release.
Why: helps cells work better under high intensity, makes you a bit smarter, improves endurance.
Dosage: 3-5g/day. Loading and cycling not necessary.
Summary: safe, cheap, effective.
NB: might cause some water weight gain. Harmless.
NB 2: if you have a male balding pattern (genetic), then taking creatine may speed up hair loss. Anecdotal reports abound that it speeds up balding (not really supported by studies, though). Not a problem at all if you don't have MBP - it's a very safe and effective supplement.
What: coconut oil extract, about 15-20% of it.
Why: rapidly absorbed, produces significantly more ketones than coconut oil.
Brand: Upgraded Self.
Dosage: use it as oil in food/BP coffee.
Note: you might need to build up to it - nausea/diarrhea likely if you take too much in the beginning. Adjustment problem.
Piracetam - oldest and most studied. Cheap.
Aniracetam. From upgraded self. Stronger than piracetam, fat soluble so take with fat. Typical dose - 600-700mg twice per day (morning and mid). Effects - improved focus.
2/3 of people need choline support (Alpha-GPC, CDP-Choline, Choline Bitartrate) - common symptom for lack of it - 'brain fog.' Dosage will be individual. Test by taking something like Alpha-GPC and if you get weird all of sudden (like jaw tension and similar) -> you are choline dominant.
Effect: subtle. Different forms have different effects (some helps with focus, some - creativity).
Dave: "you feel it when you stop taking it."
Full description: http://www.bulletpro...nil-deficiency/
Dave: "I believe it's as safe as caffeine." (paraphrased)
http://www.bulletpro...finil-provigil/ & http://www.bulletpro...mment-589678294
How to get it: prescription.
Safety note: if you get a rash from it, stop immediately and see a doc ASAP.
Newer form - Nuvigil (armodafinil). Not necessarily better - try both.
Other mentions: Huperzine A, Hydergine.
OTHER ASSORTED MICRO-NOTES
B3 (niacin). Life extensions. Likely not needed.
CoQ10. Ubiquinol form. Useful for old people. If young & eat rare meat, probably pointless. Expensive. Must supplement if on statins.
Thorne - good brand, but expensive.