Something Extra

Emily —  March 27, 2014 — 4 Comments

So although this question doesn’t come straight from one of our readers, every time I bust out my old lady pill box at work and pop my supplements, invariably someone asks, ” What is all of that??”


Don't hate.  You know you want one.

Don’t hate. You know you want one.


Vitamins and supplements and protein powders… oh my! The options available are infinite and the data on some is controversial or lacking at best.  So how do you know what you need and what to take, or if you should even take anything at all?  Our suggestion:  Really do your research.

Seeking out a healthcare professional that is knowledgeable about vitamins and supplements, such as a functional medicine physician would be a great place to start.  But if you’re not willing to make a trip to the doc there is good information available.  I think a good place to start is on the Weston A. Price foundation website ( and Chris Kresser’s website (, and there are plenty more.  Once you’ve decided what to take, make sure you are assessing the quality of the supplements and vitamins you purchase…all are not created equally and their purity and efficacy is not regulated by the FDA as it is with pharmaceuticals.  There are some wonderful companies out there.  Some of the ones we order from are: Thorne Research, Pure Encapsulations, Prothera/Klaire Labs and Biotest.

We wanted to share what we take and why, but by no means are we suggesting that you start taking anything based upon what you read here.  We all know that every one of us is unique and so is what our body needs and what our bodies can handle.


  • Vitamin E: to aid in surgery recovery
  • ZMA: sleep and training recovery
  • Z12: sleep
  • Probiotics: gut/immune system health


  • Tumeric: anti-inflammatory/antioxidant
  • Vitamin D: deficient on bloodwork
  • Krill oil:  source of essential fatty acids, anti-inflammatory, skin and joint health
  • Chaste tree: to improve PMS symptoms/manage fibroid issues
  • Zinc/magnesium/melatonin:  sleep
  • Multi-vitamin: make up for any diet deficiencies
  • Rhodiola Rosea: improve mood, manage stress


  • Vitamin D: lack of sun exposure
  • Biotin: hair and nail strength/health
  • Fermented cod liver oil: source of fat soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids; skin health and hormonal balance
  • Probiotics: gut/immune system health
  • Multi-vitamin: make up for any diet deficiencies
  • Rhodiola Rosea: to improve mood, reduce stress
  • Tumeric: anti-inflammatory/antioxidant


  • Vitamin D: lack of sun exposure
  • Fermented cod liver oil: source of fat soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids; skin health and hormonal balance
  • Probiotics: gut/immune system health


  • Cranberry: urinary tract health
  • ZMA: sleep and training recovery
  • Krill oil: source of essential fatty acids, hormonal balance
  • Probiotics: gut/immune system health


  • Vitamin C: immune system health
  • Folate: baby health
  • Vitamin D: lack of sun exposure
  • Magnesium: aid in calcium absorption
  • Probiotic: gut/immune system health


  • Magnesium: combat muscle cramps
  • Fish oil: hormone balance
  • Evening primrose oil: improve PMS symptoms
  • MCT oil: increase energy


As far as specific performance-based supplements…you just won’t see them here.  Our ultimate goals with training are overall centered on our general health and well-being.  We do however utilize protein shakes, BCAAs and creatine to support the demands of the training on our bodies.

Tell us what you’re doing to keep on your A-game or feel free to ask us questions about why we’re doing what we do!





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4 responses to Something Extra

  1. Will you do a post with info on the protein powders and bcaas, such as brands, quantity and timing? Thanks

  2. Emily

    Hey Erika- Sorry for the late response! Those of us who use protein shakes will use them within an hour post-workout, or very rarely as a meal replacement. My favorite powder was a whey/BCAA blend from Thorne Performance that has unfortunately been discontinued. I am currently experimenting with a few new ones, including Nutiva Hemp Protein powder and Reservage whey protein. I do add creatine to any of the whey isolates I use.

    Jen likes to use Prograde or Isopure low carb whey isolates. She adds creatine and mixes with almond milk and ice. This helps her reach her protein intake goals, because she only eats fish and occasionally lacks adequate protein in her diet. She likes the “milkshake” blend to help satisfy her sweet tooth. She’s also used Sun Warrior hemp protein or Plant Fusion pea protein as alternatives to the whey isolate.

    Suzanne will on rare occasion use Primal Fuel as a meal replacement but mostly uses Surge Workout recovery from Biotest and mixes with creatine and leucine. She also likes Isopure if she’s looking for a low carb option.

  3. I’m thinking about adding creatine to my list of supplements. Please tell me, is the water retention awful? I’ve heard mixed results and I’m worried. :-/

    • Emily

      Your concern is definitely understandable. I usually only supplement with creatine the 10-12 weeks before powerlifting meets. I also increase my carbohydrate intake during this window. I do notice that I definitely retain more water (3-5 lbs) during that timeframe but that could be due to a combination of those two things.

      It honestly may just take some trial and error… I think everyone will respond a little differently. Good luck!

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