We often get asked, “should I be taking supplements if I want to …. <insert look good naked goal here>.” Before answering this question, please be aware that the following post is only our opinion based on our experience and research, you can choose to take it or leave it. We are not a “qualified nutritionist”, and I don’t pretend to be.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, and just by taking a supplement you can never balance out a bad diet, your nutrition is important, just like exercise and sleep. We’ve spent years learning about health, fitness and nutrition by listening to experts, continued the study, asking questions, reading and researching to build our own opinions, you should do the same. There are many conflicting views in the nutrition industry, and we need to find what works for us. We like to practice what we preach, and we never take one person's word as fact. Do the research, and everything you hear is bullshit until you can prove otherwise….
We have been very fortunate to have trained with some amazing coaches and been lucky enough to have had some fantastic mentors. We’ve attended countless workshops and seminars, trained with some incredible coaches, built partnerships with blood labs, holistic nutritionists and holistic doctors. Each of them has their own professional experience and advice to offer.
Where are we going with all of this, and what does it have to do with one of the best supplement? Over the years, we’ve noticed that many of the experts talk about the importance of digestive health and fixing the gut. We could have the best diet in the world and be eating all of the right things, but if the digestive system is not functioning correctly, our body will struggle to absorb any of the high-quality nutrients we are eating. A healthy digestive system is critical to a strong, lean and healthy body.
We could go on and start quoting countless studies that talk about the links between gut health and mood, weight loss, immune system, disease, energy levels, mental and physical performance, hormones and so much more… If you want to know more about the research, then start digging and reading more about how gut bacteria can make us fat or thin and how faeces transplants are helping obese people lose weight. A good place to start would be examine.com
It's not rocket science, everybody who is looking to improve their health should start by taking a good hard look at their digestive system. Unfortunately, those of us who live in large cities (like London), should all be taking a probiotic every day, all year, for the rest of our lives. The high levels of stress and the exposure to pollution in the air, water and food are killing many of the bacteria that live in the digestive ecosystem.
We will slap you in the face if you say “I eat yoghurt” or “I drink Yakult” as this is a crock of shit in term of probiotics. Not all probiotics are equal, and there are many crappy brands on the market that contain very little probiotics or have poor shelf life.
Our bodies need vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and lean, and if the gut can not digest these nutrients effectively, the impacts can cause illness, depressions and even weight gain.
It's also worth noting that if you are taking antibiotics, you MUST take a high dosage of probiotic during and after. Why? Antibiotics kill the good guys as well as the bad guys in your digestive system and level us susceptible to illness and weight gain.
The best brands I’ve come across to date in the UK are:
VSL #3 – Contains 450 billion live bacteria, and if you order it directly from VLS #3, they will post it to you on ice (as it should be). Don’t be a cheap ass and buy it from a reseller as most will not deliver it to you on ice, and the quality will be compromised.
Holistic nutritionists and doctors have recommended this brand to us and to our clients in the past. We’ve also read some great reviews on this product from people we hold in high regard.
Boulardii (from http://www.omnicareexpress.com/) – contains 7.5 billion bacteria and a slightly different species called “Saccharomyces boulardii.” Typically clients who suffer from diarrhoea or undigested food in the stool. This is not normal and needs to be treated as soon as possible
Bio-Kult – Contains 14 strains of bacteria and 2 billion live bacteria in each capsule (recommended dosage is 2caps twice per day = 8 billion bacteria). We found this one while researching probiotics online. We’ve been using this one for a while now and find that works well for us and our clients.
Which one is better? Ideally, you would go and have a stool test and let a crazy mad scientist pull apart you poo to tell you what species of bacteria you are low on. The alternative is to buy one brand and use it for 10-30days and see how you feel. If your plumbing, digestion, sleep , mood and energy levels improve you have probable found a winner. If not, try one of the other brands and figure out which one works best for you. A little trical and error is always a good way to fiogure out what is best for you.