Are you still taking a multi-vitamin? Stop.

Ah yes. I remember like it was yesterday. My 15 year old self would surf Bodybuilding.com back in 2002 and purchase whatever they told me to. I sunk hundreds, no, thousands of dollars into that site back in the day. One of the things that was pumped to consumers then was a multi-vitamin. They told me it was the crux of all you do nutritionally, and if you’re not taking one, you’re likely to have some sort of terrible imbalance that could give you a disease or create a serious deficiency. In other words, if you don’t take one, you’re essentially going to die sooner than most people.

Thankfully i’m not dead yet.

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These 4 supplements are slowly killing NFL players

supplements_killing_NFL_Players

Concussions aren’t the only thing killing NFL players.

There is a constant fire storm surrounding the NFL with it’s substance abuse, domestic violence and DUI’s. Of course the NFL is always under scrutiny with it’s drug policy and the idea of HGH and steroids still as prominent as ever. And then there is injuries, particularly head injuries, that have absorbed the focal point of the publics attention as very real dangers to the players.

Having played in the league, it’s clear that the majority of these issues are getting fair amounts of attention. The NFL has instituted educational programs players can attend and are beefing up the NFL Rookie Symposium seminar as well.

But it’s a death by a thousand cuts that’s killing the players. Not immediately. No, no one is going to drop dead immediately from the below list. But over time these 4 supplements will prove detrimental to long term health.

1. Pre-workout Vasodilators and Nitric Oxide

jack3d-dangerousThe safety concerns over these supplements is well documented in the press, yet these supplements fly by under the radar and are marketed as safe for most athletes. They go by the names: N.O. xplode, Superpump, Jack3d and a bunch of other names, but these supplements pose very potent risks that many NFL players are willing to risk.

Being supplements, they are unregulated by the FDA. This means they’re labels are not always accurate. One main concern is the amount of caffeine in these supplements; no one really knows how much is in them. One of the companies claims their is around 100mg of Caffeine per serving but if you take a scoop of it, you might disagree based on the hyperactive intensity you achieve! NFL players aren’t stopping at one scoop either. Players take up to2-3 scoops right before a practice or lift. An accelerated heart rate in 95 degree heat during training camp is a breeding ground for things like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or even cardiac arrest.

Another danger inherent is the dilation of the blood vessels in the body, so blood can get to the muscles quicker than normal. This causes a series of dangerous effects like a possible drop in blood pressure. This also causes wicked headaches once the workout is over and vessels return to normal size.

Long term the effects aren’t good either. Anxiety attacks are a key symptom of too much repeated caffeine ingestion. 300-450mg a day in pre workout caffeine might do that to you.

Here are some other symptoms:

  • Jitters
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Nervousness
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Kidney damage
  • Sleeplessness

 

2. Anti-inflammatories

NFL players gobble these down like Marshawn Lynch eats skittles.

Any NFL player experiencing any swelling or minor pain/discomfort can walk into their trainer’s office and ask for some anti-inflammatories and usually get them that day. In terms of pain relief, they do work. You can eliminate joint swelling quickly. The problem is that players have the ability to abuse this easily.

With the way players hit one another on the field, players are in a constant state of discomfort. Some are in a constant state of mild pain. Some players will do anything to give them some relief and this is seen as the safe drug of choice.

These NSAIDs can cause liver issues with long term use and kidney damage. Repeated users also have a greater chance of heart attack

The NFL culture has made repeated use of these drugs seem innocuous enough that no one is asking any questions about this. We’re all worried about marijuana and steroids, when the real culprit might be something we take everyday.

Speaking of everyday, the next supplement is:

 

3. The pre-practice Tylenol/ibuprofen cocktail

nsaids_NFLTylenol is an NSAID with the same liver/kidney effects as the prescribed NSAID’s only this one has a more safe association to it. So much so that many players are perfectly ok with popping 1000mg of Acetaminophen along with 600mg of ibuprofen right before practice to cover the expected aches and pains coming from a long practice. I’ve seen players supplement with this cocktail everyday for years! I’ve partaken of this personally as well.

The main problem is that this is wide spread and very consistent. Some players go years taking this stack and it can cause long term health damage.

Tylenol limits the liver’s detox function and depletes glutathione levels (a crucial detox entity). This means your body can’t flush out toxins efficiently. Now if NFL players don’t already have enough inflammation and toxins in their body, this certainly doesn’t help their cause.

 

4. Gatorade

These drinks are packed with extra sugar and artificial flavors for taste. It also contains one of the worst thingsgatorade_dangerous_NFL you can consume: High fructose corn syrup. Some of these companies are getting clever, trying to disguise HFCS with other names, but make no mistake, it’s in there in one form or another.

When it’s 100 degrees during camp and your dehydrated, HFCS might be one of the last things you’d want to drink.

I honestly think sports drinks are one of the greatest marketing scams on the planet. They’ve all but convinced the public that their product is the only place you can get electrolytes. This is coming from someone who played in the NFL and has drank gallons of gatorade in his lifetime. There are also a million other better things to hydrate you than Gatorade with just as many minerals, vitamins and electrolytes and none of the dangerous fake sweeteners.

The worst part is NFL players drink Gatorade during camp nearly as much as water. Gatorade has gotten advanced by printing out hydration level charts with their name on it and posting them all around training camp. With some teams, players are also greeted with a full case of gatorade in their room.


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Bone Broth: Don’t throw your bones away

Ok, so you’ve just finished destroying a big, grass-fed rib eye and it’s time to clean up. You and your family all have their plates cleaned (I hope. Don’t be throwing away meat) except for the cow graveyard on your plates. Your first thought is to scrape the leftovers, starting with tossing those old gross bones into the trash. But if you knew how those bones are packed with so many nutrients you wouldn’t just toss them out all willy nilly. I want to share with you how to repurpose these old bones into immune building, mood improving and health boosting broth.

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Download: 6 natural workout supplements you’re not using

Being an athlete, i’ve tried more supplements than I care to admit. Outside of Illegal drugs like steroids or human growth hormone, i’ve tried every kind of workout supplement on the market. Many of these were unsafe and ineffective and some were a complete waste of money.

So to save you time and cash I put together this list of workout supplements i’m sure you’ll enjoy. These have produced results for me in my workouts, and best of all they have the rest of my life at heart as well. These are all 100% natural and are free of artificial sugars and GMO’s, to keep me healthy in the future

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5 natural supplements everyone NEEDS to take

As a follower of forums like Bodybuilding.com in high school (I know, I know), I was always experimenting on supplements, trying to get the edge in athletics and in the gym. With the exception of illegal Steroids or prescription Growth Hormones, i’ve tried just about every kind of supplement on the market.

Some were ok, but most weren’t. Many were just junk food with neon colors on the bottle. In fact, if you go into Costco today, there will be junk supplements as high as the eye can see (I’m looking at you, gummi-vites). Protein powders will be packed with artificial flavors and GMO corn and soy products and multi-vitamins are loaded with filler ingredients.

I don’t recommend multi-vitamins because everyone is different. We all have varying excesses and deficiencies and those need to be addressed on an individual basis. But there are a few supplements I recommend to just about everyone. (Remember: make sure you are doing your own self testing. Not everyone should be taking every supplement all of the time.)

Here is the the list:

1. Magnesium

This is the king of minerals. Magnesium is an essential mineral that we all need for a variety of reasons. A magnesium deficiency plays a role in several different dysfunctions including, high blood pressure, poor sleep quality, heart arrhythmias, tachycardia, cholesterol, dehydration, heart disease and many other things. It is also linked to diabetes and asthma. If that isn’t enough motivation, nearly 80% of people are magnesium deficient.

I usually supplement with magnesium citrate or glycinate. There are some other quality forms that are effective but these two I find work best when taking before bed. I sleep much deeper when taking magnesium. Taking a ZMA supplement stack could also be effective, as zinc is a power supplement as well and works hand in hand with magnesium.

I’m also doing weekly magnesium injections. These are “magic shots”. You feel better, happier and more calm throughout the day. And considering magnesium aids the recovery of just about every disorder or disease, it’s worth getting an extra weekly shot on top of supplementation.

Strength coach Charles Poliquin has said that even people with perfect diets are lacking in magnesium, so make sure you are adding this in regularly.

Aim for 1-2g per day, around bed time.

2. Omega 3’s/Fish Oil (EPA and DHA)

Fish Oil is packed with Omega 3 Fatty acids. Most Americans are very deficient in Omega 3’s and very high in Omega 6’s due to the amount of junk oils like canola, cottonseed and vegetable oils and trans fats. You need some omega 6’s but not the ratio of 6 to 3 fatty acids like most americans have now. Omega 3’s like DHA and EPA have incredible effects on things like joint health, but the real money is in brain function. DHA/EPA supplementation can help preserve quality brain function and keep you thinking sharp. It also promotes better sleep quality.

If you are looking to shed some excess fat, Omega 3’s can help as it helps improve insulin resistance. If your fat cells are made up of unhealthy fat cells, insulin will not bind with them easily leading to resistant insulin and higher cortisol levels. High cortisol levels can lead to fat storage.

Fish oil quality is key. Don’t just pop any old fish oil from Wal-Mart and think you are getting quality supplements. Fish oil from farmed fish is one of the worst things you can eat and can cause mercury poisoning among myriad of other problems. Or at the very least you will be wasting your money on junk and will feel worse after taking them. I recommend Krill Oil as a quality omega 3 source.

Dosage is tricky depending on the person, and too much is not a good thing. Aim for an extra 1-2 grams depending on the individual.

3. Vitamin C

No, don’t go chug a bunch of sugary orange juice for vitamin C. Orange juice is a very inefficient way to get your vitamin C. But vitamin C is one of the most effective supplements on the market. It has a very powerful effect on immune function and when you are sick, vitamin C is one of the best things you can take. The only problem is it’s very difficult to get enough of the vitamin in regular food. A study has found that nearly a third of people are vitamin C deficient (Study here). In fact, on one of my first nutrient tests, I was deficient in Vitamin C!

I pop Vitamin C every few hours while traveling to help keep my immune system firing. I recommend 250-500mg every 2 hours when traveling. Just avoid those sugary vitamin C packets like Emergen-C. They are loaded with real and artificial sugars.

On a regular day, get 1.5 grams minimum.

4. Collagen Protein

collagen proteinIf you can tolerate it, Collagen is one of the best life giving supplements out there. It is a building block protein that renews cells in your body and is that elastic protein in your skin that allows it to shift, bend and move. Collagen renews organ tissues, skin, hair, nails and muscles.

Collagen production slows as we age, which is why we see these chemical-packed collagen products geared towards older women. Supplementing with it can help fill in for this lack of production. The list of benefits is very long:

  • Reducing Wrinkles
  • Tighter skin
  • Restful Sleep
  • Immune system rejuvenation
  • Healthy Joints
  • Improved energy
  • Stronger and healthier nails and hair
  • …and more

Collagen is plentiful in things like animal bones and cartilage, making bone broth a potent super food. If me, my wife or kids gets a cold, we take bone broth. My wife and I have gone on Bone Broth fasts for a day or two for detox when sick. This stuff can arm your white blood cells with machine guns!

Another way to get it in is with Collagen protein powder. You can mix this in your butter coffee in the morning or take it with your greens shake. I supplement with it in my greens shake or after workouts.

5. Kombucha

Kombucha has caught on as a very popular drink in places likes Whole Foods, but this one is for good reason. Kombucha is a fermented beverage made with tea and some sugar. It contains colonies of bacteria that cause the fermentation process. After fermentation, Kombucha produces carbonation and probiotics, polyphenols, a variety of acids, and enzymes that lead to a variety of positive benefits.

One of the biggest side effects is an improved gut biome. GERD symptoms, heart burn, low stomach acid and leaky gut syndrome can all effects of a poor gut biome. Kombucha can help aid recovery from these problems. The Gut Biome has been called the second brain by many doctors and researchers including Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life (I highly recommend this book for a better understanding on the gut biome’s connection to health and disease). Kombucha can help restore the gut back to optimal health and hence heal a lot of these issues we as a nation seem to be dealing with incessantly.

Kombucha is also a fantastic detoxification food. Resetting your stomach after eating bad food or recovering from a long life of poor eating is essential. Kombucha will help usher healthy bacteria into the stomach and is especially helpful if you’ve taken antibiotics in the past. Antibiotics wipe out all stomach bacteria, including the good stuff, and Kombucha can help replenish that.

(Note: As Kombucha has caught on as sort of a fad, some brands have come out with these high sugar Kombucha drinks. These are to be avoided. There is now need for excess sugar, and these things will take you out of ketosis as well. I stick with Synergy’s Organic, Raw Citrius Kombucha, which has very little sugar compared to many of the others.

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