Kyani review – just another juice scam?

Kyani is a health MLM that focuses their products around the Alaska blueberry.

In terms of popularity, Kyani became more well-known in 2015 and 2016. Search engine traffic for Kyani was notably high during that timeframe, but looks to have peaked in spring of 2016.

Since then, the number of people searching for Kyani has declined by almost 50%, though the drop has not been precipitous.

Did I get on board? This explains everything:

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Remember, we schedule 30 minutes for each call, so only schedule if you’re serious:

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Unlike many other MLM programs, the greatest level of interest in Kyani actually comes from outside of the United States.  People in Australia and Eastern Europe seem more interested in Kyani than people in the United States.

The initial drop in search traffic might just be fading interest in the initial buzz about the product; sales could take off if its popularity spikes up after Kyani is more widely known.

Products

The Kyani “Triangle of Health” features three products designed to work together to help improve your health.

The first of these three is Kyani Sunrise, which as you may guess, is intended to be taken at breakfast.  Kyani Sunrise is an antioxidant-rich fruit juice that comes in either a large glass bottle or a single-use liquid pouch. The primary ingredients are superfood fruits that are well-known antioxidants: blueberries, chokeberries, pomegranate, red raspberries, wolfberries and more.

The label does pull a tricky sleight-of-hand maneuver, though—all the superfoods are listed as “active ingredients,” while the rest of the ingredients are listed separately.

If you just look at the active ingredients list, it looks like a pretty healthy drink.

In addition to the superfood antioxidant juices, there is spinach powder, broccoli powder, kale, and ginseng.

But the other ingredients list reads more like cheap supermarket juice: white grape juice and pear juice, which are cheap, nutrient-sparse, and fructose, which is the worst and most harmful form of sugar, not to mention coloring agents, flavoring agents, binders, and preservatives, including sodium benzoate, which is on LabDoor’s chemical watch list.

Because of the obscurantism of this labeling policy, it’s impossible to tell to what degree Kyani Sunrise is a real superfood drink, or a cheap, heavily-marked up sugary beverage.

Kyani Sunset is a softgel supplement designed to be taken before bed.  It’s a combination fish oil and vitamin E supplement, which is supposed to help with overall well-being and support a healthy heart, brain, and immune system.  Again, though, the label oversells the product.

While each serving (which is three softgels, meaning a bottle of 90 lasts only a month) contains one gram of fish oil, the active omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) make up only about half of this. Research conducted by the American Heart Association recommends 0.5 to 1.8 grams of EPA and DHA per day—taking Kyani Sunset daily would hit the low end of this, but at a pretty high cost.

At $43 per month, that’s an aggressively high price.  Even high-quality over the counter omega-3 supplements provide much more omega-3s for far less money. Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega, for example, is about three times cheaper per serving of omega-3s.

Finally, Kyani Nitro is a liquid supplement intended to boost your nitric oxide production.  This metabolic byproduct has been linked to everything from increased endurance performance to better sexual performance.  There are two variants, Kyani Nitro FX and Kyani Nitro Xtreme.  Strangely, even though they have exactly the same purpose, they are completely different supplements.

Kyani Nitro FX is a noni fruit extract supplement, which is a Southeast Asian fruit known to have anti-inflammatory properties (but, as far as I can tell, is not known to boost nitric oxide production)

On the other hand, Kyani Nitro Xtreme is just a low-concentration vitamin supplement—it provides 33% of your daily intake for vitamin B1, a little bit of magnesium and a small amount of coQ10.

Again, there’s no evidence that a small amount of basic vitamins you can get in a huge range of regular foods would substantially affect your body’s nitric oxide production.

Compensation plan

The Kyani Starter Pack is $40, which allows you to access wholesale prices, but to be eligible for commissions and bonuses, you need an auto-ship of 100 QV, which is about $140 a month.  The ranks are incredibly aggressive—to move up to rank 2, you need a total of 500 QV per month, which would be five different people (including yourself) enrolled in a $140 a month auto-ship.  Rank 3 is triple this amount.

The disclosure statement from Kyani isn’t that surprising given this very tough structure.  Only 38% of active distributors made any amount of money.  Even for distributors who have advanced past the first rank and can move over 400 QV per month, the median monthly earnings are only $37.

Recap

The Kyani products tend to be overpriced compared to what you can get on the open market.  On top of this, the compensation plan is extremely challenging to take advantage of, and even distributors who can sell a lot of products on a consistent basis tend to make very little money.

If you’re set on MLM, it’s not terrible, but probably not the best, either.

If you’re doing it for the money, there are better ways to kill your day job. You might like our coaching because it shows you the good life without peddling overpriced juice to your family and friends.

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Ranking the best prenatal vitamins of 2016 (review)

If you’re pregnant (or even considering it) and worried about your baby’s health, taking a prenatal vitamin might be something you want to think about to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals your baby needs to develop properly.

Here are the best prenatal vitamins on the market, ranked.  Afterwards, we’ll look in more detail about how a prenatal vitamin can help you.

1.  Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal

prenatal-1The well-selling prenatal vitamin from Garden of Life focuses on deriving its vitamins and minerals from natural sources, and providing them in chelated forms whenever possible.

The ingredients have everything you’ll need in a prenatal vitamin: 80 mg of folate, 2 mg of vitamin B6, and 6 mcg of vitamin B12.

The amount of vitamin B12 may need to be higher, as some scientific sources advocate for raising the recommended B12 intake, as low blood levels of B12 are associated with birth defects.

Garden of Life Vitamin Code lives up to its “raw” namesake with the inclusion of its fruit and vegetable blend as well as its sprout blend.  These include the extracts of dozens of different fruits, vegetables, and sprouted seeds.  These are included to shore up any deficiencies in dietary intake of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy plant sources of nutrients.

There is also a blend of ginger root and active bacterial culture to aid the morning sickness and stomach troubles that sometimes accompany pregnancy.

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal does pretty well on independent testing of the quality of its ingredients.  Though four of its vitamins were off from their label stated amounts by over ten percent, the worst of these (folate) was only off by about a third, and it was an excess, not a shortage.

Especially if you are drawn to the fruit, vegetable, and sprout concentrates, Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal is a great choice for a prenatal vitamin.

2.  New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins

“Perfect” might be a high bar to meet, but New Chapter’s prenatal multivitamin scores pretty well.

It’s got all the essentials in reasonable amounts: 100-300% of your recommended daily intake for most vitamins and minerals, plus extra vitamin B12 (500% of your daily needs) and a small enough amount of calcium so that iron absorption is not inhibited.

The vitamin includes an herbal blend too, with concentrates from brown rice, oats, berries, dandelion, rose hips, and a few other plants.  Additionally, several live culture probiotics are included for digestive health.

A few extracts from sprouted seeds are included too.  These ingredients draw from natural foods that would be a normal part of your diet, so there’s less of a risk of harming yourself or your baby with an untested and unknown herbal extract from an exotic plant.

3.  MegaFood Baby & Me

This best-selling and highly regarded prenatal is based around a philosophy of deriving its primary ingredients from natural instead of synthetic sources.

The vitamins and minerals in MegaFood Baby & Me come from carrots, cabbage, oranges, brown rice, and a species of yeast called S. cerevisiae.

Its label helpfully provides the recommended daily values for healthy adults and for pregnant and lactating women—these often differ substantially, as the Food and Drug Administration sets different standards for the nutritional needs of women who are pregnant or nursing.

Among the most important vitamins and minerals, MegaFood Baby & Me contains 18 mg of iron, 80 mg of folate, and 4 mg of vitamin B12.

In each of these cases, the amount of these vitamins and minerals is at or above 100% of the recommended daily intake.  Wisely, MegaFood Baby & Me keep the calcium content low, so as not to upset the absorption of iron from the supplement.

The supplement also includes a small fruit and vegetable extract blend, which includes orange, berries, ginger, chamomile, dandelion, and spinach.  It also comes in a vegetarian cellulose capsule, which is good news if you don’t eat animal products.

In terms of analytical testing, MegaFood Baby & Me had an average score.  Five of its ingredients had actual amounts more than ten percent off their label-stated amount; the folic acid content was 60% higher than the label claimed it to be.  It did pass all purity tests with flying colors.

4.  Thorne Research Basic Prenatal Multivitamin

From a quick glance at the nutrition label, Thorne Research’s prenatal vitamin formulation looks pretty unremarkable, until you take a closer look.

While most of the standard vitamins and minerals are present in the expected 100-250% of your recommended daily intake, the vitamin B12 content is through the roof at 3,333% of your recommended daily intake.

This aside, metal mineral content is pretty unremarkable: 45 mg of iron (on the high end), 200 mg of calcium (could inhibit iron absorption somewhat), and moderate amounts of other minerals.

Why such a high amount of vitamin B12 specifically?  It is one of the key vitamins for preventing neural tube defects, a very serious birth defect that can occur when intake of these vitamins is low.

Further, scientific research has called into question the levels of the recommended daily intakes for vitamin B12, since some research has found that increased risk occurs with levels of vitamin B12 intake not usually termed deficient (1).

Though Thorne Research’s own marketing literature does not go into detail on this outlier ingredient, it’s likely their motivations have to do with increasing blood levels of vitamin B12 as rapidly as possible during pregnancy, especially since neural tube defects can occur within the first few weeks of conception.

5.  Rainbow Light Prenatal One

As a top-selling traditional multivitamin manufacturer, it only makes sense that Rainbow Light would also sell a prenatal vitamin.  Its formulation is fairly traditional, using a tablet form and delivering mostly-normal amounts of the standard vitamins and minerals.

The B-complex vitamins are delivered at a higher than usual dose; vitamin B1 is provided at almost 600% of your recommended daily intake (10mg), vitamin B2 comes in at 500% (10 mg), and B6 comes in at 600% of your daily intake (15 mg).

The folic acid content is right where it should be, at 80 mg of folate, which is 100% of your daily needs.

Calcium content is moderate at 200 mg (15% of daily needs), which should help prevent malabsorption of iron.  The iron in Rainbow Light Prenatal One is delivered in the form of an amino acid chelate, which might help prevent gastrointestinal issues and also aid with absorption.

Like many other prenatal vitamins, Rainbow Light Prenatal One includes a blend of food powder isolates from raspberry, ginger, and spirulina, to make up for any deficits in fruit and vegetable intake.

Uniquely, it also includes a battery of enzymes to aid digestion and a culture of probiotics to improve GI tract health.

On quality testing, it comes in middle of the road:  Seven different ingredients differed from their label-stated amounts by over ten percent, but the worst of these was only 37% off its label claimed amount.

6.  Zahler Prenatal Vitamin + DHA

Zahler’s prenatal vitamin formulation is a serious supplement that delivers a concentrated dose of many of the critical vitamins and minerals for pregnant women.

With regards to the B-complex vitamins, it reads almost more like a sports supplement—the various forms of vitamin B are provided at anywhere from eight to sixteen times the recommended daily intake for pregnant women.

Fortunately, this is for the recommended serving size, which is actually two softgels, not one.

In pretty much every case, the essential vitamins and minerals are provided at 200% of their daily intake or more, so there is no reason you can’t go with only one softgel and still hit your daily needs.

Virtually all of the minerals are supplied as amino acid chelates or easily absorbed salts, so the bioavailability of the ingredients in this product should be very good.

The inactive ingredients communicate a commitment to purity and simplicity: the capsule is made from gelatin (an animal product, so vegetarians take note), two oils, and natural coloring.

One unusual aspect of the formulation is the decision to include the omega 3 fatty acid DHA in an amount of 250 mg.  It’s known that omega 3 fatty acids may help improve maternal mental health during pregnancy (2), but omega 3 fatty acids are usually delivered in higher doses than the 250 mg of DHA present in Zahler Prenatal Vitamin + DHA.

7.  Deva Vegan Prenatal Multivitamin

If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, it can be especially hard to make sure you are getting the right amount of the essentials for having a healthy baby.

The B-complex vitamins, as well as iron, are sometimes rare in vegetarian and vegan diets.  For cases like this, Deva Vegan Prenatal Multivitamin is a good way to shore up any deficiencies in your micronutrient intake.

As the name suggests, all of the ingredients are derived from non-animal sources.  The iron content is good (21 mg) and the vitamin B12 content is quite high, at 10 mg (1666% of your recommended daily intake).

The other B vitamins are also supplied in amounts ranging from two to six times your daily needs.

Deva Vegan also includes a number of herbal extracts.  Among these are cinnamon, apple pectin, alfalfa leaf, chamomile, rose hips, and acerola extract.

Usually you can assume herbal extracts at least do no harm, but in the case of prenatal vitamins, you should be extra vigilant—many herbal extracts are poorly understood and not well-studied, so their effects on your baby’s health are unknown.

If you’re serious about taking this prenatal vitamin, do your homework to make sure you are okay with all of the herbal extracts present in Deva Vegan’s formulation

8.  Vitafusion Prenatal Gummy Vitamins

Delivered in a chewable gummy format, Vitafusion’s prenatal offering might appeal to people who don’t like to swallow pills on a regular basis.  The active ingredients are mostly standard.

There aren’t any of the extras you might get from competitors, like fruit and vegetable powders or herbal extracts.

One serious disappointment about Vitafusion Prenatal Gummies is their complete lack of iron.

Given that iron is one of the most critical nutrients during pregnancy (since the increase in demand for iron to make blood cells taxes the mother’s iron stores heavily), it’s very unfortunate that Vitafusion does not include iron in this formulation.

It might have made sense to abandon iron to deliver a large dose of calcium, but there isn’t any calcium in the supplement either!

To top it off, Vitafusion does very poorly on independent laboratory testing for purity and quality.  Eight of its nutrients were off from their label-claimed amounts by at least ten percent, and the analytically-determined amount of folate was three times as high as it should be.

All of this together means there’s no good reason to be taking Vitafusion Prenatal Gummy Vitamins—there are just too many other good options on the market.

9.  One a Day Women’s Prenatal Vitamin with DHA

The prenatal vitamin offering from One a Day is one of the brands you’re likely to find at your local pharmacy, drug store, or big box retailer.

Unfortunately, as these low-cost vitamins tend to be, One a Day Women’s Prenatal Vitamin with DHA leaves a lot to be desired.

The daily values for its ingredients are all at 100%, giving the impression that the supplement’s designers simply wanted to check off all the boxes without putting much thought into the specific formulation.

The sources of the vitamins and minerals tend to be cheap compounds with poor bioavailability—metal oxides that can exacerbate an upset stomach, for example, instead of the more bioavailable and easily digestible amino acid chelates or soluble salts found in better-quality supplements.

On top of this, there are several ingredients you’d rather not see in a supplement you’re taking while pregnant—Red #40 dye, Yellow #6 dye, and titanium dioxide.  If ever there was a time to set aside, questionable coloring agents, it would probably be with a prenatal vitamin.

10.  Centrum Specialist Prenatal Multivitamin

Another one of the common brick and mortar store brands, Centrum Specialist Prenatal Multivitamin carries many of the same unfortunate markers of a cheap vitamin.

Centrum is worse than One a Day, because many of its vitamins and minerals don’t even reach 100% of your recommended daily value.

Most troublesome is the low level of vitamin B12—only 2.6 mcg, less than a third of your daily needs.  And this is for one of the most critical ingredients!

Centrum Specialist is an even more flagrant user of questionable ingredients.  Not only are many of the metal mineral sources cheap metal oxides, the formulation includes the preservative sodium benzoate and BHT—somehow, most other supplement companies find a way to make prenatal vitamins that don’t need to contain these synthetic compounds.

Even though you may see it on shelves everywhere, steer clear of this one.

Part 2: What can a prenatal vitamin do for you?

Prenatal vitamins are special supplements designed with the intent of helping your soon-to-be-born baby to be as healthy as possible.

The focus with prenatal vitamins is to provide nutrients that have been scientifically connected with better fetal development.

In an ideal world, your prenatal supplement is only one facet of ensuring your baby is as healthy as possible—staying healthy during pregnancy in other ways, like getting exercise and eating a well-balanced diet, is part of the equation too.

Given the name, you might think you should start taking prenatal vitamins once you know you are pregnant.  However, this is a mistake! Many critical developmental steps that rely on proper nutrition happen very early on during pregnancy—in the first few weeks.

Once you start considering having a baby, you should already start taking a prenatal vitamin.  The good news is that there is no real downside to taking a quality prenatal vitamin—they provide pretty much the same benefits as a regular multivitamin if you don’t get pregnant.

Benefits of prenatal vitamins

As the science of nutrition took off during the 20th century, scientists began to realize how important proper nutrition is during pregnancy.

As a baby develops, it is very vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies, and a deficit of a few critical vitamins and minerals are known to cause problems.

There is a substantial body of science that connects low levels of vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin B12 (cobalamin) with an increased risk of neural tube defects, a birth defect that affects the spinal cord as it develops.  Neural tube defects often have very serious medical consequences for the baby.

According to a scientific article published in 1993 by P.N. Kierke and other researchers at the Health Research Board in Dublin, Ireland, blood levels of both folate and vitamin B12 are directly and independently linked to prevention of neural tube defects in infants (3).

The authors followed over 56,000 pregnant women throughout their pregnancy and after childbirth, tracking blood levels of folate and vitamin B12.

The authors then used statistical methods to search for an association between the blood levels of these two vitamins and the probability that the woman’s child would end up with a neural tube defect.  Indeed, the vitamin levels in the blood were strongly correlated with a reduced risk of this type of birth defect.

Moreover, many of the women whose folate and B12 intakes were up to normal dietary standards still had low levels of folate and B12 in their blood, which caused Kierke and co-authors to call for revisions to dietary intake standards.

This research, and other papers like it, spurred the United States Food and Drug Administration to create new standards for fortifying processed foods with folic acid (another form of folate) and vitamin B12 in order to prevent neural tube defects.

As a result, the average blood folate levels in pregnant women more than doubled, but some women still have low levels of folate (4).

During pregnancy, your iron needs are also quite high, since you are producing blood for two people instead of one.  According to a 2000 article by Thomas H. Bothwell published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the total added iron needs during pregnancy sum to over 1000 mg (5).

Much of this required iron comes during the second and third trimester, and many women do not have enough bodily iron reserves to support this demand for iron.

Bothwell writes that, for many women, especially those with a subpar diet, fortification of their food or supplementation of their diet with an iron supplement.  For this reason, almost all prenatal vitamins include iron as a part of their formulation.

The format of the iron supplied varies from product to product—though many different types of iron are absorbable, amino acid chelates tend to be better-tolerated.

Another important consideration is that calcium inhibits iron absorption.  This phenomenon is well-described in a brief by Leif Hallberg published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1998 (6).

The interaction is strong enough that most high-quality prenatal vitamins have barely any calcium in them at all.  You should check your prenatal vitamin’s label to make sure there isn’t too much calcium in it.

However, it’s also important to get calcium during pregnancy too! The best strategy to avoid problems is to take a calcium supplement or eat calcium-rich food at least a few hours apart from taking your prenatal vitamin.

Recommended dosage

Fortunately, the recommended dosage is taken care of by the supplement designers in a quality prenatal vitamin.  You should examine the nutrition facts label to check the levels of four key ingredients, though: vitamin B9 (folate/folic acid), vitamin B12, iron, and calcium.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that you consume at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folate per day before and during pregnancy, and vitamin B12 and iron should be supplied in amounts close to or exceeding 100% of your daily needs (8).

The calcium content, as mentioned before, should be limited, otherwise you’ll be interfering with your iron absorption.

Side effects prenatal vitamins

Since they are specifically designed with safety in mind, a quality prenatal supplement should not have any major side effects.  Some women find that consuming high levels of iron (especially in inorganic forms) can cause mild gastrointestinal problems (7).

Still, it’s important to keep your body’s iron stores high during pregnancy, so if this occurs, you can try switching to a prenatal vitamin that supplies iron in a chelated form, or spreading the dosage out throughout the day.

Recap

A prenatal vitamin supplement can be a great way to ensure that you are on the right track for ensuring your baby develops in a healthy way.  Making sure you get enough folate, vitamin B12, and iron are key aspects of a prenatal vitamin.

Remember, if at all possible, you should start taking a prenatal vitamin before you try to get pregnant, as the first few weeks of pregnancy involve some critical development of your baby’s nervous system and spinal cord.

Especially when it comes to choosing a prenatal vitamin, talking to your doctor is a good idea, as you might have some specific individual needs that need to be taken into account when deciding on a prenatal vitamin supplement.

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Ranking the best pre-workout supplements of 2016 (review)

You know you need to hit the gym for a workout but you’re not really feeling it. What do you do?

A pre-workout supplement is the best way to ensure you are energized and motivated for your next gym session, cardio workout, or competition event. They also help prepare your body for exercise with lots of vitamins and minerals.

Here are the best pre-workout supplements for peak workout performance and optimal post-workout recovery.  Afterwards, we’ll dive in to the details on how a pre-workout supplement can help you out.

1.  Sheer Strength Pre-Workout

Exclusive Mockups for Branding and Packaging DesignThis powder form supplement is all about strength, power, and explosiveness.  Its formulation is fairly simple.  It aims to boost your workout performance through the combined action of creatine, beet root extract, beta alanine, and caffeine.

A few amino acids are included for boosting power and improving recovery as well.  Beta alanine works to improve your short-term muscle power and endurance, while beet root extract can improve your aerobic fitness through its nitric oxide producing properties.

With improved blood flow from the nitric oxide generated by the beet root extract, your cardio work will see benefits too.  Caffeine, of course, is a global performance enhancer, improving everything from task precision to strength to raw endurance.

Each scoop of Sheer Strength Pre-Workout contains 125 mg of caffeine, so it will be enough to get you jolted into action.  Aside from the above ingredients, Sheer Strength is pretty minimal.

There are no unproven herbal extracts or arcane compounds included on the off-chance that one might help your workout.  The only inactive ingredients are pineapple fruit powder (for flavoring), natural flavors, citric acid, and silicon dioxide.

The powder is also naturally sweetened by stevia extract, a natural non-caloric sweetener.

2.  BeetElite Sport

Before scientific research on the ergogenic properties of beets came out, it would have seemed laughable that a beet-based pre-workout supplement would become popular.

But it’s no joke now—BeetElite is one of the best-selling pre-workout supplements on Amazon.com, and centers its entire approach around using beet extract to improve performance.

Consuming large amounts of beets increases the availability of nitric oxide in your muscles, and this has been shown in scientific studies to have a profound effect on performance during aerobic exercise (1).

It’s important to note that the proposed mechanism at work affects only endurance-type workouts: a 5k run, an hour-long bike ride, etc.  Beets likely won’t have any impact on weight lifting or other power activities.

If an aerobic boost is what you need, BeetElite Sport is a great choice.  Its primary ingredient is beetroot powder, along with a few natural flavoring and sweetening agents.

3.  Legion Pulse

As the black label and serious, subdued style on the package would suggest, Legion Pulse is a pre-workout supplement for serious athletes.

Taken at its recommended dose, it provides the second-highest dose of caffeine of any supplement on this list, and it also contains large amounts of the power-boosting supplements beta alanine and other amino acids.

The caffeine content—350 mg in two scoops—is likely enough to make some people look elsewhere.  That’s as much caffeine as three and a half cups of coffee! Of course, you can always halve the dosage by using just one scoop.

Legion Pulse is one of the few pre-workout supplements to carry LabDoor’s “Tested for Sport” certification, meaning it’s been screened for the presence of substances prohibited by major sporting organizations, like steroids.

Aside from the active ingredient, Legion Pulse contains only a few anti-caking agents and natural non-caloric sweeteners.

4.  Alpha GX7

Power and energy are the name of the game when it comes to Alpha GX7.  All of the ingredients in this powder-based pre-workout supplement are geared towards boosting your energy levels and improving your peak power output.

In terms of stimulants, it’s got 250 mg of caffeine per scoop, more than just about any other competitor.

It also includes theobromine, a caffeine-like compound found in chocolate and cocoa, and taurine, which is a classic energy drink ingredient.

To round out the active ingredients, Alpha GX7 also includes Yohimbe, a West African herbal supplement that’s known to increase metabolism and virility.

For power, Alpha GX7 also includes beta-alanine and carnitine, which increase muscular anaerobic power.

There’s no denying that this is a potent mixture.  The real question is whether it’s right for you.

For many people, the high dose of caffeine and the strong synergistic action of the other energy stimulating compounds in this supplement might be too much—it could leave your heart racing and your head over-stimulated.

If you know you’re sensitive to caffeine or other energy-boosting supplements, you should probably look elsewhere.

5.  Do Vitamins PumpPills

The pre-workout supplement offering from Do Vitamins stands out for three major reasons.

First among these is that it is a pill, not a powder.  It comes in a vegetarian cellulose capsule that contains a small blend of amino acids to help boost power production and get recovery rolling soon after your workout.

The main active ingredients are beta-alanine, which has anaerobic energy boosting properties, the amino acids L-citrulline and L-arginine, and L-malic acid.  Aside from a few natural binders (rice extract and rice concentrate), there are no other ingredients, making this a great choice for simplistic-minded fitness enthusiasts.

Notably absent among the ingredients of Do Vitamins PumpPills are the kinds of stimulants found in other pre-workout supplements: there is no caffeine to get you jittery or sleepless, nor any risky stimulants like synephrine from bitter orange.

If you’re health-minded, or just don’t need any more caffeine in your daily life, this makes Do Vitamins PumpPills a great choice.

Finally, Do Vitamins PumpPills also boast’s LabDoor’s “tested for sport” certification.  This means that it has been rigorously tested for the presence of any contaminants that are prohibited by international sporting bodies.

Some unscrupulous or careless supplement manufacturers are known to have products contaminated with traces of steroids or other doping agents that could trigger a doping test (2).

If you are an athlete in the NCAA, a competitor in natural body building, or just want to make sure you’re not getting any contaminants inside your body, this is a big plus.

6.  Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre-Workout

The pre-workout supplement made by Optimum Nutrition has a more balanced approach than most: it is focused on both improving performance and also increasing alertness and getting you ready for post-workout recovery.

Many of the usual ingredients are still present—each scoop contains a hefty 200 mg of caffeine, alongside beta-alanine for power production, beet juice powder for aerobic performance, and grape extracts for their antioxidant properties.

One of the unique ingredients in Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre-Workout is red pepper extract.

Capsaicinoids, the active ingredient present in red peppers, can help increase metabolism and blood flow—it’s the same kind of energizing reaction you get after eating spicy food.

To get workout recovery kick-started, this supplement also includes citrulline peptides from whey protein isolate.  Unlike some other supplements that just boost your workout, Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre-Workout will also get muscle recovery going before your workout is even finished.
In terms of other ingredients, it does contain both milk and soy ingredients, so if you have food allergies, you will need to look elsewhere for your pre-workout supplement needs.

7.  NO-Xplode 2.0

One of the few pre-workout supplements you’re likely to find out on retail shelves, NO-Xplode 2.0 comes with flashy advertising and a very long list of active ingredients.

The usual suspects are present: 225 mg of caffeine, a tremendous amount of B-vitamins, and moderate amounts of phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium.

Other unsurprising ingredients include beta-alanine, taurine and several amino acids connected with workout performance.

The real attraction of NO-Xplode 2.0, however, is its proprietary workout blend.  It contains dozens of ingredients, many of which are not seen in other supplements and which have little or no scientific evidence behind whether or not they work as a supplement.

The real question you need to ask yourself is whether you trust the nutritionists behind NO-Xplode 2.0, since they are likely the only ones who know what the purpose of all of the ingredients is.

You may find that the formulation works very well for you, or you may find it an expensive way to get some caffeine in your system before your workout.

One downside is the decision to use sucralose and artificial colorings to flavor and color the powder—this might away some customers who are looking for naturally-sourced ingredients.

8.  Vintage Blast

Though its name and packaging evoke an old-school, no-nonsense attitude, make no mistake—Vintage Blast is designed with specific, precise scientific goals in mind.

The supplement contains three categories of active ingredients.  First, there are standard vitamins and minerals, much like you’d find in a multivitamin supplement.

The B-complex vitamins are provided in fairly high doses (1000% of your recommended daily intake of niacin, 500% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin B6, and 833% of your recommended daily intake of B12, for example), and there’s a substantial amount of zinc as well.

Zinc, of course, is known to be connected to testosterone levels.  The amount of zinc is quite high: three times your daily intake needs, so if you already take a multivitamin that has a large amount of zinc in it, you might be getting too much if you add in Vintage Blast to your workout routine.

After the basics, Vintage Blast includes a group of amino acids and energy boosters focused on delivering power and explosiveness early on in a workout.

These include beta alanine and L-Carnitine for anaerobic power, and caffeine (150 mg per scoop) for all-around performance and alertness.

The final segment of supplements included are supposed to be longer-acting performance boosters, including aspartic acid, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, and 100 more milligrams of caffeine in a slow-release formulation.

The formulation also includes synephrine, the active ingredient in bitter orange.  The very high concentration of caffeine (250 mg per scoop) along with synephrine, which has a questionable safety history, should be a cause for concern.  There are better and safer ways to get ready for your workout.

9.  Cellucor C4 Extreme

As the best-selling pre-workout supplement on Amazon.com, Cellucor C4 is certainly popular.  It’s a powder that includes a blend of B vitamins and vitamin C, alongside the workout-boosting supplements beta alanine, creatine nitrate, arginine AKG, and a proprietary “energy blend” that includes caffeine, several amino acids, and bitter orange, among other ingredients.

The goal of C4 Extreme is definitely to boost your workout performance as opposed to set you up for recovery afterwards.  Caffeine is a widely-known and very effective performance enhancer, and beta alanine similarly works to improve your short-term power production by fortifying your resistance to anaerobic fatigue.

The caffeine dosage is fairly high—135 mg per scoop.  This is around 50% more than what’s in a standard cup of coffee.  For this reason, you should be a little careful with Cellucor C4 Extreme if you already consume other caffeine products during the day.

There is also some concern about the presence of bitter orange—some case reports have highlighted serious side effects that are associated with synephrine, the active ingredient in the herbal extract (3).

It appears to be a very potent metabolism modulator, so employing it during a workout, especially in conjunction with caffeine, could be risky.

10.  ProSupps Mr Hyde

Chalk this one up as one for the maximalist category—ProSupps Mr Hyde provides a huge dose of all of its active ingredients.  Perhaps even too much for many people: its “caffeine matrix,” a blend of different caffeine salts, delivers an astounding 419 milligrams of caffeine per serving.

This is enough to give jitters and a racing heartbeat to all but the most caffeine-adapted coffee drinkers, and the ergogenic effects are just as good at more reasonable doses.

The formulation also includes a number of herbal extracts with supposed energy-boosting properties, like Yohimbe.

More problematic is the presence of picamilon, a synthetic compound that the FDA has been trying to crack down on (4).  It’s not an herbal extract, a vitamin, or a mineral, so it doesn’t fit the FDA’s definition of what is okay to put in a dietary supplement.  It’s likely only a matter of time before ProSupps is required to change their formulation to remove this ingredient.

Even if you are partial to the other ingredients in ProSupps Mr Hyde, there’s too much caffeine per serving for almost everyone, and the presence of a compound prohibited by the FDA is cause for concern.

Part 2: How can a pre-workout supplement help improve your performance?

Pre-workout supplements are a broad category that includes fairly simple blends of amino acids which increase protein availability to your muscles before and after a workout, to more advanced blends of stimulants, herbal extracts, and energy-boosting products that are designed to solicit the best possible effort from your body during a workout.

Obviously, these supplements are going to be geared towards people who work out seriously; many pre-workout supplements specifically target power sport athletes, like weight lifters.

Benefits of pre-workout supplements

Since pre-workout supplements include such a broad range of products, it’s more informative to look at what some of the most common ingredients can do for you

Caffeine: Present in nearly every pre-workout supplement, caffeine is a powerful and well-known ergogenic aid.  According to a review by the International Society of Sports Nutrition published in 2010, caffeine is a highly effective performance enhancer when it comes to a number of different physical tasks (5).

Caffeine boosts everything from sustained endurance exercise (running a race, doing a cycling time trial, working on the rowing ergometer) to tasks demanding intense coordination and starting and stopping (pickup basketball, ultimate Frisbee).

There is also some evidence that it helps with maximal strength exercise, like lifting weights, but more research is needed on that front, according to Erica R. Goldstein and the other authors of the position stand.

L-Carnitine: An amino acid that’s often found in pre-workout supplements, L-Carnitine is included principally to boost the hormonal response to resistance exercise (i.e. lifting weights).

A study published in 2006 by William J. Kraemer and other researchers at the University of Connecticut studied how taking a supplement containing L-Carnitine after a strength workout affected recovery (6).

The researchers followed ten weight lifters who consumed an L-Carnitine supplement over the course of three weeks, all while monitoring their blood markers of muscle growth.

The researchers found that the L-Carnitine supplement increased the activity of something called the androgen receptor response.  This meant that the lifters’ bodies were more attuned to the muscle-building effects of androgen hormones like testosterone.

This could mean bigger gains from your lifting program.  The researchers also noted that this androgen receptor response was better if you consumed a meal containing carbohydrates, fat, and protein soon after finishing the workout.

Beta-Alanine: An energy supplement that boosts your muscles’ ability to produce power anaerobically, beta-alanine is proving to be an increasingly popular ingredient in pre-workout supplements.

Regular intake of beta-alanine has been shown to increase your muscular content of a compound called carnosine, which helps increase your tolerance for the buildup of acidity in your muscles.

Carnosine acts as a buffering agent, delaying the onset of the “burn” during high-intensity exercise that causes fatigue. According to a scientific paper by Guilherme Giannini Artiolo and other researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, beta-alanine acts directly to increase muscular carnosine concentrations and directly improves performance in activities that are limited by intramuscular acidity (7).

Two categories of exercise that fall under this classification are intense intermittent exercise (like a high intensity interval training protocol) and continuous high intensity exercise lasting over sixty seconds, like longer sets of weight lifting or strongman exercises (e.g. stone carry).
Because short sets of lifting are not limited by intramuscular pH, they won’t be affected by a beta-alanine supplement, so make sure you know what your workout will entail before counting on beta-alanine to make a difference.

Creatine: Some pre-workout supplements, though not all, contain creatine, either in the nitrate or monohydrate forms.  Creatine is a widely-known performance boosting supplement; it increases muscular strength, enables higher quality workouts, and directly increases the concentration of phosphocreatine inside your muscles.

Phosphocreatine is a major power source for fast, maximal muscle movements, like doing a set of squats or bench press.  Among pre-workout supplements, creatine is likely the most effective when it comes to direct improvements in your lifting ability.

According to a 1999 study by Jeff S. Volek and colleagues at the Pennsylvania State University, supplementing with creatine can increase muscular creatine content by over 20%, and total body mass and lean body mass increases can be expected while taking a creatine supplement as well (8).

Muscular cross-sectional area and raw strength, as measured by bench press and squat, can be expected to increase by 25 to 30%.

Creatine is a powerful workout-boosting compound, and if your pre-workout supplement doesn’t have it, you should probably add a dedicated creatine supplement to your routine, assuming your goals are to increase muscular size and strength.

Recommended dose

Because the ingredients of different pre-workout supplements vary so much, you tend to rely on the supplement manufacturers to do most of the work when it comes to determining optimal dosages.  Nevertheless, some of the key ingredients can be analyzed for optimal dosing.

Caffeine achieves its best effects when consumed in amounts of 3 to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight—so a 170 pound man (77 kg) would consume 230 mg of caffeine to get a dose of 3 mg/kg.

Doses above 6 or 9 mg/kg don’t appear to be any more effective, and they have a higher incidence of negative side effects.  Creatine is recommended in amounts of up to 25 g per day, so you may need a separate creatine supplement to hit this amount.  Beta-alanine is usually recommended in doses of 1000-1500 mg per day.

Side effects of pre-workout supplements

As you might guess, the side effects of a pre-workout supplement are going to depend a lot on what’s in it.

Caffeine is one nearly ubiquitous pre-workout supplement ingredient that has a well-characterized side effect profile: caffeine can cause nausea, jitters, and sleeplessness, and when taken in too high of a dose, it can cause heart arrhythmias, seizures, and other serious medical problems.  This will become more of a concern if your pre-workout supplement contains a lot of caffeine per serving.

A few pre-workout supplements contain bitter orange or its active ingredient, synephrine.  This ingredient has caused some doctors to issue warnings that it has a side effect and biological profile similar to that of the banned stimulant ephedra; indeed, many weight loss supplements that used to contain ephedra now switched to using synephrine after the FDA banned ephedra.

If you’re concerned about the potential cardiovascular side effects of synephrine, avoid supplements that contain it—especially when they also contain caffeine (9).

Beta-alanine has some side effects too, but they are much milder.

When taken in doses above about 800 mg, it can cause paresthesia—a tingling or prickling sensation, especially in your fingertips, ears, or feet.

This appears to be the result of peak levels of beta-alanine in the blood, so all you need to do to avoid this in the future is split up your pre-workout supplement into smaller doses taken at thirty or sixty minute intervals.

Recap

Choosing the best pre-workout supplement is a matter of investigating the effects of the active ingredients, then comparing them to your own workout goals.

Doing a lot of heavy lifting will mandate a different pre-workout supplement than doing a lot of cardio or high intensity interval work, so do your homework before buying.

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Ranking the best zinc supplements of 2016 (review)

Zinc is an important mineral nutrient that is connected with a well-functioning immune system and higher levels of testosterone and other muscle-building hormones.

Depending on your diet, you probably aren’t getting very much zinc naturally. Zinc supplements are a great way to ensure you have recommended levels of zinc in your body for stronger immune systems and improved muscle building.

Part 1 of this guide will rank the best zinc supplements on the market. After looking at the top 10 zinc supplements, Part 2 will go in-depth on how they work and why they are healthy.

1.  Thorne Research Zinc Picolinate

zinc-1Thorne Research specializes in offering supplements prepared with a little more care than your standard shelf-stocker at a pharmacy.

In the case of its zinc supplement, the company chose to supply the mineral in a chelated form.  Chelation is an alternative to supplying a mineral salt which dissolves either in water or in your stomach acid.

A chelated form of a mineral is already surrounded by amino acids, making it easier for your body to absorb.

This means that the actual amount of zinc you get per serving is higher, even for equivalent amounts of the mineral in the chemical constituents of the tablet.

The zinc supplement from Thorne Research supplies 15 milligrams of zinc, which is 100% of your recommended daily intake.

This is a boon for people looking for more realistic zinc dosages; other competitors sometimes offer frustratingly high doses of zinc.

To top it off, Thorne Research contains within four percent of its label-claimed amount, according to independent analytical testing.

Though it’s in the wrong direction (less zinc than advertised), the amount lacking is so small that it’s trivial.

These factors combined make Thorne Research Zinc Picolinate a top choice if you are looking for quality.

The sole drawback is the higher cost per serving that’s inherent for a more carefully prepared supplement.

2.  Nature’s Way Zinc Lozenges

While non-tablet or non-capsule forms of a standard vitamin or mineral are usually formulated for people who dislike swallowing pills, zinc lozenges have a specific application in mind.

Some scientific research suggests that taking a zinc lozenge during the early stages of an upper respiratory infection (i.e. a cold) can limit the duration of symptoms, albeit mildly (1).

It’s thought that part of how this works is direct delivery of dissolved zinc to your mouth and throat.

Though Nature’s Way also makes a standard zinc supplement in tablet form, the lozenge form is quite good.

It delivers a label-claimed 23 mg of zinc and lab testing determines that it comes within two percent of this value.

The formulation also includes vitamin C and Echinacea, a vitamin and an herbal supplement (respectively) that are thought to help prevent and speed recovery from upper respiratory infections, underscoring the utility of this supplement for dealing with the common cold.

One drawback to any lozenge is that you have to mask the astringent, bitter taste of zinc somehow.  Nature’s Way does this with sorbitol and mannitol, two non-caloric sugar alcohols, along with fructose.

Purists might want to avoid it for this reason, though the other options for zinc lozenges have similar drawbacks.

3.  Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc

Garden of Life makes their name by offering vitamin and mineral supplements that derive their ingredients from real food sources.

Their Vitamin Code Raw Zinc supplement is no different: it delivers 15 mg of zinc and 30 mg of vitamin C per tablet (100% and 50% of your recommended daily intake, respectively), but alongside, it includes a raw blend of organic fruits and vegetables.

This raw blend is mostly recognizable plants: beets, apples, broccoli, Brussels sprout, and so on.

Thought this certainly raises the cost of the supplement, it means that you are deriving your zinc from totally natural sources.

Additionally, you are likely to get some additional benefit based on the phytonutrients, antioxidants, and other useful and nutritious extracts in the fruit and vegetable concentrates included in Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc.

It also includes a blend of probiotics and a mineral blend from spirulina, ancient peat, and cracked-wall chlorella, though the exact benefits of each of these is not particularly clear.

Amazingly, even though the zinc is derived from plant extracts instead of a lab-measured pure zinc salt, Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc fares very well on purity tests.

Each tablet contains only a few percentage points more zinc than the label states, which indicates that this product is very well-made with careful quality control.

4.  Metagenics Zinlori 75

Metagenics is a company that, until recently, made supplements that were very hard to buy unless you were referred directly by a medical professional.

Now, though, it’s possible to buy their products over the counter no matter who you are.  They do still carry an air of professionalism, communicated by their sleek and simplistic labeling.

The metagenics zinc formulation is an unusual chelated form known as zinc carnosine.  Chelated forms of metallic minerals are usually easier to digest, but there’s no specific independent research supporting this form of chelated zinc over any others.

Still, if other zinc supplements cause you stomach troubles, a chelated form like that offered in Metagenics Zinlori 75 is a good idea.

Each tablet contains 17 mg of zinc (107% of your recommended daily intake) and lab testing confirms this: each tablet actually contains, on average 17.6 mg of zinc, so well within an acceptable purity standard.

As we should expect from a more professionally designed supplement, there is little in the way of extra ingredients.  Aside from the zinc carnosine, the only other ingredients are cellulose, stearic acid, and silica.

5.    Nature Made Zinc Tabs

The zinc tablets sold by Nature Made are a common sighting at major retailers across the country.  They’re inexpensive and each delivers 30 mg of zinc per serving, or 200% of your recommended daily intake.

The zinc is delivered in the form of zinc gluconate, which is good news considering the low cost of the supplement.

Often, less scrupulous supplement companies will use a cheaper formulation like zinc oxide, which can upset the stomach’s acidity balance and is not as easily absorbed.

The supplement contains a few more binders and stabilizers than usual, but none of these ingredients raise any flags when it comes to their suspected safety.

Nature Made Zinc Tabs also do very well in purity testing.  Lab testing found that they contain only 0.3 mg less than their label claims, meaning you are getting exactly what you pay for.

When it comes to differentiating these inexpensive and solid-quality supplements, it is hard to make a call one way or another.

Many of the well-made brands are functionally interchangeable with something as simple as a zinc supplement.

6.  Pure Encapsulations Liquid Zinc

The zinc supplement offered by Pure Encapsulations, a smaller company, takes a different tack when it comes to this product: it’s offered in a liquid form, as the name suggests.

The amber glass bottle comes with an eyedropper cap, which serves as the measuring device.

A serving is two full droppers of the liquid, which is flavored with apple and cranberry juice concentrates as well as stevia extract, a natural non-caloric sweetener.

Each serving provides 15 mg of zinc, which is 100% of your recommended daily intake.

The supplement does very well on purity tests: independent lab analysis shows that it contains within three percent of its label-stated amount.

The real challenge with Pure Encapsulations Liquid Zinc, however, is knowing how accurate each dropper-full is.

The independent lab testing only verifies the concentration of the solution; they’re likely measuring it with a precision pipette.

You have to make do with the dropper.  This may sway the amount of zinc per serving simply by adjusting how much liquid is delivered.

Still, this aside, it’s very solid supplement choice.   This is probably your best option if you don’t like taking pills, or if you want to mix your zinc supplement in with a protein shake or smoothie.

7.  Bulk Supplements Zinc Gluconate

Bulk Supplements has a tried and true philosophy:  supply highly pure supplements at a low cost in a loose powder form, delegating measuring duties to the customer.

This results in an incredible value per dollar: for pennies a day, you can hit whatever zinc amount you need.

The major drawback for a supplement like zinc, whose recommended intake is so small (15 mg), is that you absolutely, positively, 100% must use a calibrated, high-quality micro scale to measure out your dosage.

Scoop based measurements will not cut it, and a high dose of zinc could be toxic.

For other supplements, the Bulk Supplements model works very well, but because it takes an analytical chemistry grade scale to accurately measure amounts on the 10 to 100 milligram scale, Bulk Supplements is not a practical solution for most people.

One situation in which it might be useful is for people who prepare large bulk servings of supplement mixes: say, if you mix up a month’s worth of post-workout protein shakes all at once.  Otherwise, leave the measuring to the professionals.

8.  Nature’s Bounty Chelated Zinc

Although Nature’s Bounty is a common brand at your local drug store, it is uncommon in that it offers its zinc in a very large dose and in a chelated form.

While your normal recommended daily intake of zinc is only 15 mg, each tablet of Nature’s Bounty Chelated Zinc has 50 mg of zinc.

Though the zinc is nominally “chelated,” it’s supplied in the form of zinc gluconate.  Usually when vitamins are advertised as chelated, they are bound up with an amino acid.  Nature’s Bounty gets off on a technicality here.

Nevertheless, the product does well on purity testing, delivering an actual 53.3 mg of zinc per tablet according to independent lab studies.

The other ingredients are pretty unremarkable, just the usual blend of stabilizers and binding agents.

Though the value in terms of dollars per serving of zinc is good, there are probably better choices out there. Unless you know for sure you need a large dose of zinc, 50 mg is probably overkill.

9.  Good State Ionic Zinc

Good state ionic zinc takes an interesting approach to their supplement.  It’s supplied in liquid form, meaning that it’s easier for you to mix it in with a protein shake or a smoothie.

It’s not flavored with anything either, so you can expect a mildly astringent or acidic taste if you drink it straight-up.

Each serving provides 18 mg in the form of “ionic zinc,” which is really just a fancy term for zinc lacto-gluconate dissolved in highly pure water.

Its purity is good, coming within three percent of its label-claimed amount of zinc per serving, but Good State suffers from the same problem as other liquid supplements—how do you accurately measure them?

A “serving” might be 2.5 milliliters, but given that your only measuring device is eyeballing half the bottle cap, the uncertainty with this kind of measurement is going to be pretty high.

The specialized preparation drives up the cost of this supplement too, although one bottle does contain almost 100 servings.

It’s an okay choice if you definitely want a liquid zinc supplement, but otherwise, stick to tablets or capsules.

10.  Now Foods Zinc Gluconate

If you are looking for an inexpensive, fairly pure zinc supplement in an easily digested salt form, look no further than Now Foods Zinc Gluconate.

It may not be the flashiest on the market but it’s a reliable buy; it’s the number one seller on Amazon.com for a reason.

Each plant cellulose tablet contains 50 mg of zinc in the form of zinc gluconate, which is 333% of your recommended daily intake.

Though chelated forms are likely more bioavailable (i.e. easy for your body to absorb), the gluconate form does just fine.

It’s not alkaline like zinc oxide (used in cheap, low-quality supplements: the oxide form forces your body to use stomach acid to make the zinc absorbable, which can cause digestive issues in some people), and it’s very soluble in water.

Now Foods Zinc Gluconate does well on purity testing too.  Independent laboratory analysis found that each tablet contains just nine percent more zinc than its label-claimed amount.

Some people looking for a lower dose will use a pill-splitting device to halve the zinc content, but be aware that this will drastically increase the inaccuracy of the dose.

It may be better to go for a supplement with a lower amount of zinc per serving instead.

Part 2: What is zinc and what can taking a zinc supplement do for you?

Zinc is a vital mineral that your body uses for everything from boosting its immune system to producing hormones.

Its two main uses as a supplement are attacking infections, like the common cold, and keeping your testosterone at a healthy level.

Having healthy testosterone levels is important for men, who suffer from fatigue, loss of muscle mass, and loss of virility when they have low levels of testosterone in their blood.  This is a natural consequence of aging, and as we’ll soon see, can be counteracted at least partially by taking a zinc supplement

Benefits of zinc supplements

On the illness front, zinc is a popular way to boost your immunity against getting sick, and a way to decrease your recovery time if you do come down with a mild illness.

Scientific research has found that zinc may effectuate some illness-preventing and immune-boosting functions.

One study among infant and preschool children (who, as any parent knows, get sick all the time) found that supplementing a child’s diet with 10 mg of zinc could decrease the incidence of getting sick, albeit by a moderate amount (2).

The study followed over six hundred children for six months, with half the children receiving a 10 mg daily zinc supplement and the other half receiving a placebo pill.

Halfway into the study, the researchers checked the children’s blood levels to make sure the zinc tablets were working.

Indeed, the proportion of children who had low blood levels of zinc dropped markedly—from 36% at the study’s outset to under 12% halfway through the study.

After the results were tabulated, the researchers calculated that the zinc supplementation did have a measurable impact on illness rates.  After controlling for other variables, the estimated reduction in risk of illness was 45%.

That’s a pretty good figure for just taking a supplement every day, but it also underscores that a lot more goes in to determining whether or not you get sick: even if your zinc intake is great, you are still going to get sick sometimes.

Not all the results are as ringing of an endorsement, though.  When it comes to speeding recovery from illness, zinc might have a tiny effect, but it’s not very big.

A 1989 study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine split 174 patients with a diagnosed upper respiratory infection into two groups (2).

The first group received a zinc lozenge that delivered 23 mg of zinc and took it every two hours while awake, and the placebo group did the same thing, except (unknowingly) with a lozenge that did not contain any zinc.

The test subjects were asked to rate their symptoms periodically throughout the study.

The study found that, although there were some small differences over the course of the study (the zinc group felt about 13% better than the control group on day 7 of the infection, for example), these differences were small and not statistically significant.

Once you do get sick, it doesn’t seem like zinc is going to help a whole lot.

One other area where zinc is useful is in keeping your testosterone levels high.  A 1996 study by researchers at the University of Michigan and Harvard Medical School tracked the relationship between zinc levels in the body and testosterone in a group of 40 men (3).

The researchers measured testosterone levels in the blood and compared them to zinc levels measured inside samples of cells from the men’s bodies.

They found that zinc concentration was positively associated with testosterone levels—meaning the higher the concentration of zinc in your body, the higher your testosterone levels are.

This is great news for any men who want an easy way to boost their muscle mass, feel more energetic, and have greater libido.

Taking this study a step further, the researchers gave a zinc supplement to a group of marginally zinc-deficient elderly men for six months.  The researchers observed a distinct increase in testosterone levels—in fact, they almost doubled!

The team of scientists also tested the converse of this experiment—they fed a group of young men a zinc-restricted diet over the course of 20 weeks, and observed exactly what we’d expect: concentrations of testosterone in the blood plummeted by a factor of four.

What this tells us is that zinc is critical for keeping your testosterone levels high.  Fortunately, taking a zinc supplement is both inexpensive and easy to do.

Recommended dosage

Happily, there’s no real reason to take ultra-high zinc dosages, because the scientific research shows that much more moderate does are plenty effective.

The research study on elderly men, for example, showed that a dose of only 30 mg of supplemental zinc per day (200% of your recommended daily intake) can double your testosterone levels if you are marginally zinc deficient.

Other research uses similarly small values (5).  Based on this information, a supplemental dose of at least 10 mg but no more than 30 mg per day seems appropriate.

Side effects of zinc supplements

Zinc, as a natural mineral that’s a part of any standard diet, is pretty slim when it comes to short-term side effects.

However, there is some concern that chronic zinc overload can increase your risk for prostate cancer.

According to a scientific brief published in 2003 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, men who took over 100 mg of zinc per day had about twice the normal rate of prostate cancer compared with men who took less than 100 mg per day (4).

An important point is that this is supplemental zinc intake, not total zinc intake.

It would take some very intense zinc supplement dosing to reach 100 mg per day.  Remember, the recommended daily intake is only 15 mg per day, so even several times higher than that should still be safe.

Recap

Zinc appears to be a modestly effective immune system booster, but where it really shines is helping keep your testosterone levels high.

If you want to help build muscle, have more energy, and increase your libido, taking a zinc supplement might be just what you need.

http://bodynutrition.org/zinc/ http://bodynutritionorg.tumblr.com/post/154827010774

Ranking the best melatonin supplements of 2016

Wouldn’t it be great if you could easily slip into a deep, restful sleep when you go to bed?

Melatonin is a supplement that promises just that: an easy, natural, safe, and effective way to improve your sleep length and sleep quality.

Here are the best melatonin supplements on the market, ranked.  Afterwards, we’ll dive into the details of how melatonin works and what it can do for you.

1.  Nature Made Melatonin

melatoninChalk this one up as simple and straightforward.  With Nature Made being a well-known brand, you know you’re not going to get anything fancy, but in this case, simple might be exactly what you’re looking for.

The Nature Made Melatonin offering supplies a moderate 3 mg of melatonin per tablet.  Given how cost effective this supplement is, if you need a higher dosage, you might as well just take two instead of look for a supplement with a higher per-tablet dose.

The melatonin is bound up in dibasic calcium phosphate, sodium starch glyocolate, and magnesium stearate; all of these are fairly common tablet constituents.

Quality is where this supplement really shines through.  Lab testing determined that each tablet contains within 4% of its label-listed amount of melatonin, and it contains no contaminants or adulterants.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, it’s hard to beat.  Each tablet is only a couple of cents—a small price to pay for the ability to fall asleep more readily when you really need it.

2.  Just Potent Melatonin

Just Potent Melatonin contains a moderate dose of melatonin, at 5 mg per tablet, but its real selling point is its vitamin B6 content and its precision.  The decision to include vitamin B6 is an interesting one; though not popular, a few supplement makers do decide to include it.

The reasoning for this, according to the marketing literature, has to do with vitamin B6’s role in promoting strong brain function.  Because the brain refreshes itself, stores memories, and performs other important functions while you’re asleep, the thinking is that providing B6 before bed will help the sleep you get be more restful and effective, leaving you more alert the next morning.

Thus far, no independent scientific studies have investigated using melatonin alongside vitamin B6 for improving cognition and alertness the next day, but it’s an interesting prospect for future research.

The other draw of Just Potent Melatonin is that its label-advertised amount of melatonin is within 1% of its actual lab-determined amount.  This kind of quality and purity is rare, and earns Just Potent a spot high up on the rankings.

3.  Puritan’s Pride Premium Super Strength Melatonin

This melatonin supplement is high powered and minimalist.  Each capsule delivers a hefty 10 mg of melatonin per capsule, so if lower doses of melatonin aren’t working for you, Puritan’s Pride might be just what it takes.

The supplement comes in a gelatin and vegetable cellulose capsule, so if you’re opposed to animal products, you might need to look elsewhere.

In terms of purity as assessed by independent lab testing, Puritan’s Pride Premium does well, but not outstanding.  Each capsule actually contains more like 11 mg of melatonin.

While this means you’re getting 10% extra, it also means that your dose is 10% higher than it ought to be.  Again, because these measurements are so small, it can be tricky and expensive to get them right.

Though the cost per capsule is higher than average, keep in mind that the melatonin content per capsule is also higher than many of its competitors, to the tune of 200 to 300%.

If you know that high doses of melatonin are what you need when you can’t fall asleep, it might be easier to opt for a high dosage supplement like Puritan’s Pride instead of taking several lower capacity melatonin supplements at once.

4.  Nature’s Bounty Triple Strength Melatonin

This is a brand you’re likely to find at your local pharmacy or drug store.  The triple strength formulation doesn’t actually contain a tremendously high amount of melatonin—each softgel actually contains only 5 mg of melatonin, which is indeed stronger than a regular supplement, but not by a factor of three.

The softgel formulation does mean there are a few more ingredients than usual.  The gel capsule and the liquid it contains are made up of soybean oil, gelatin, glycerin, beeswax, soy lecithin, and titanium dioxide.

This doesn’t mean much for most people, but if you can’t eat soy, or if you are vegetarian or vegan, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Being a softgel does mean that this product is likely to dissolve and get absorbed more quickly, so the onset of sleepiness should be more rapid and sudden than with other products. This could be  a good or a bad thing depending on what you’re looking for.

Purity-wise, Nature’s Bounty Triple Strength Melatonin is middle of the road.  Analytical testing shows that each softgel contains about 16% more melatonin than advertised, which is fairly typical.

If you want a medium dose of melatonin and want it to take effect rapidly, Nature’s Bounty Triple Strength might be the supplement for you.

5.  Now Foods Melatonin

This melatonin supplement is a solid middle-of-the-road choice for  delivering a reasonable dose of melatonin in a cheap and efficient way.  It provides 5 mg of melatonin per tablet, according to the label, and it’s got no extraneous or gimmicky ingredients.

In terms of the purity and accuracy of the product, Now Foods falls a bit short, as do a number of the other low-cost melatonin supplements.  Independent analytical lab testing concluded that Now Foods Melatonin contains 22% more melatonin than it should.

Not necessarily a bad thing; certainly, it is much better than the alternative (getting less than your money’s worth).  Still, this points to problems with quality control in the manufacturing process.  It is hard, though not impossible to get an accurate dosage measured out for amounts this small.

To some extent, this is one consequence of keeping costs low.  A more accurately measured supplement manufacturing process is going to cost more, and when the low-cost supplements are dominating the market, the obvious choice is to go with a manufacturing method that is a little less precise, but saves money.

If precision is important to you, choose a brand that has independently-verified label accuracy.  But if 6.1 mg is as good as five in your book, Now Foods Melatonin is a great choice.

6.  GNC Melatonin

This name-brand melatonin supplement comes in an extra-small dosage (just one milligram of melatonin per serving).  Uniquely, the melatonin is also delivered as an artificially-sweetened, non-caloric lozenge.  Aside from melatonin, the only ingredients are sorbitol, mannitol (both sugar substitutes) and natural flavoring.

In terms of purity, GNC Melatonin performs sub-par—lab testing reveals that each lozenge actually only contains 0.89 milligrams of melatonin, so the true dosage is even lower than what you’re paying for.

Considering this, GNC Melatonin is best-reserved for people who really don’t need much melatonin at all to fall asleep.  If the usual 3 mg supplements knock you out cold and leave you feeling woozy the next day, GNC melatonin might be worth a try.

7.  Best Naturals Melatonin

Best Naturals Melatonin is a high-dose melatonin supplement, delivering 10 mg per tablet.  The other ingredients are unremarkable, just your usual mixture of tablet binders and stabilizers.

The real surprise comes when you look at the lab-verified melatonin amount: Best Naturals actually contains 25% more melatonin than advertised—instead of the label-claimed 10 mg, each tablet contains 12.5 mg of melatonin.

That’s more than four times as much as a standard melatonin supplement.  Since you don’t want to over-do it with melatonin, you should probably choose a different product, unless you know you’ll need a very high dosage of melatonin to fall asleep and want to get your money’s worth.

8.  Natrol Melatonin Time Release

Natrol is a market-dominating melatonin supplement whose purple bottle is hard to miss.  It’s on shelves at pharmacies and drug stores everywhere, and it’s the number one best selling sleep aid supplement on Amazon.com.

Each tablet of Natrol Melatonin provides 5 mg of melatonin, along with 10 mg of vitamin B6 and a few stabilizing compounds in the tablet, like cellulose and stearic acid.  Aside from this, it’s a pretty simplistic supplement.

The physical properties of the tablet determine the rate of release; there is no special “slow absorption” form of melatonin.  A time release tablet will disintegrate more slowly in your stomach, while a fast-acting tablet will come apart more rapidly.

Unfortunately, independent lab testing finds that the label accuracy of Natrol Melatonin Time Release is questionable.  Analytical testing found that each tablet contains, on average, 7.4 mg of melatonin—quite the difference compared to 5 mg.

Part of this problem might be the technical difficulties of accurately measuring such a small amount on a consistent basis, but other brands seem to accomplish it.  For melatonin, as with many other supplements, more is not always better.  Ideally, you’d like the smallest dose that’s going to accomplish what you need, and an inaccurate label is not helping with that task.

9.  Vitafusion SleepWell Melatonin

It’s a top seller online, and it takes a different approach than many of its competing melatonin supplements.  What makes Vitafusion SleepWell Melatonin so popular? First off is its overall approach—it’s not a tablet or a capsule, it’s a gummy.

The gummies provide 1.5 mg of melatonin each, and are flavored with sugar alcohols and the herbal extracts passion flower, chamomile flower, and lemon balm leaf.

Though these are listed on the supplement facts panel, they’re really more of flavoring agents than anything else—these same ingredients are common in bed-time herbal tea formulations, as they have a pleasing aromatic flavor without imparting any caffeine like a traditional tea.

In terms of quality, Vitafusion SleepWell does not score tremendously well.  Its actual content of melatonin per gummy is 25% lower than its label-stated amount—so only slightly over one milligram of melatonin is actually in each gummy chew.  This pushes its cost per melatonin serving higher.

On the bright side, chews like this could be a good choice if you can’t or don’t like to swallow pills.  Though most melatonin tablets are fairly small and unobtrusive, some people still have trouble getting them down.

One final downside to Vitafusion—the gummies are made in a factory that also processes a number of allergens, so they are not guaranteed to be free from cross-contamination.  If you’re allergic to egg, shellfish, nuts, fish, or soy, you should look elsewhere.

10.  Now Foods Liquid Melatonin

Though Now Foods also makes a standard tablet based melatonin supplement, it also offers a liquid version of the same supplement, which is an interesting take on the concept.

The small amber vial contains an integrated eye dropper to aid measurement—conveniently, a serving is one full eyedropper’s worth of liquid.  Each serving contains 3 mg of melatonin dissolved in water, glycerin, and ethyl alcohol, along with some flavoring and sweetening agents: fructose, orange extract, vanilla flavor, lemon oil, and a few natural preservatives.

In terms of analytical accuracy, Now Foods’ liquid melatonin solution is a bit off its label-stated amount, but in the direction of excess.  Independent lab testing found that each serving actually contained more like 3.5 mg of melatonin.

More problematic, however, is the difficulty of getting precise measurements when you are doling out the servings yourself.  With tablets, precision measurement isn’t necessary—the manufacturer does that for you.

With this supplement, though, you’re relying on the accuracy of the eyedropper, which is not going to be as consistent from serving to serving as an industrially-measured tablet.

For most people, a tablet or capsule will be the best choice.  A liquid supplement version of melatonin might be a good call if you dislike or have difficulty swallowing pills—for just about anybody else, the extra cost, lessened dosage accuracy, and inconvenience aren’t worth it.

Part 2: What is melatonin and how can it aid your ability to sleep better and wake up rested?

Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone that your body uses to regulate its sleeping and waking cycles.  When taken at the right time in supplement form, you can induce sleepiness and improve the quality of your sleep.

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, especially as a result of getting older, you might want to consider taking a melatonin supplement

Benefits of melatonin supplements

Expounding on the ways in which melatonin can aid your sleep takes some scientific research to explain exactly how the biology of melatonin works and in what ways external (i.e. supplemental) melatonin can change this.

In a human in a “state of nature”—no artificial lights or rapid international travel—melatonin is reliably and consistently produced at the onset of darkness.  As a result, your blood melatonin levels go up when it gets dark out, and you become sleepy (1).

Of course, things aren’t this simple with modern humans.  We stay up late with artificial lights, and we often travel through many time zones, which can disrupt our body’s internal sleep and wake cycles.

Melatonin production also decreases as you age; some researchers hypothesize that this is why many elderly people suffer from insomnia (2).  In all of these cases, modulating melatonin levels in your body via external intake from a supplement at the appropriate time of day is one way to correct this.

For age-related insomnia, a 2001 study investigated whether melatonin supplementation can help.  A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examined sleep quality in fifteen subjects over 50 years old who had insomnia and poor sleep efficiency (3).

The researchers tested three doses of melatonin: 0.1 mg, 0.3 mg, and 3 mg, taken half an hour before bed every day for a week.  The results showed that the best effects came from a fairly low dose: the 0.3 mg dosage improved sleep efficiency, especially in the middle of the night, and restored melatonin levels in the blood to their normal values.

The 3 mg dose also improved sleep efficiency, but it caused blood levels of melatonin to remain elevated during the day, too.  This could have induced grogginess.  The researchers also noted that control subjects who did not have age-related insomnia did not experience any changes in sleep quality, even though  they had low melatonin levels.

It may be that some people’s bodies are able to adapt to lower physiological levels of melatonin and still get quality sleep; in these cases, a melatonin supplement probably is not necessary in these cases.

Melatonin can also help you deal with jet lag, which can strike when you cross numerous time zones while traveling.  Heading eastbound can be especially bad.  A review by A. Herxheimer and K.J. Petrie for the Cochrane Collaboration of systematic reviews looked at evidence from ten studies on melatonin for treating or preventing jet lag (4).

The researchers found that melatonin was “highly effective” at treating and preventing jet lag, as long as you take it close to your target bedtime at your destination of arrival.  The benefit is greater for trips that cross more time zones and for eastbound trips.

Taking the melatonin supplement at the wrong time of day (i.e. not within half an hour or so of bedtime at your location of arrival) can disrupt your sleep schedule, causing drowsiness and worsening your jet lag instead of improving it.

As many readers know, sleep can be disturbed even if you aren’t jet-lagged or reaching old age.  Fortunately, melatonin can improve sleep quality in healthy adults, too.  A 1996 study by M.E.J. Attenburrow, P.J. Cowen, and A.L. Sharpley at Littlemore Hospital in the United Kingdom described an experiment which examined the effects of a dose of melatonin on sleep quality in middle aged volunteers (5).

The authors tested a 1 mg and 0.3 mg dose of melatonin before sleep, then studied the brain waves and eye movements of the subjects during their sleep.  The subjects also underwent similar experiments using a placebo.

In the case of the melatonin, the researchers found that the supplement caused an increase in total sleep time, an increase in non-REM sleep, and “sleep efficiency,” which is a measurement of how “good,” qualitatively speaking, your sleep is.  Highly efficient sleep should leave you feeling alert and rested the following day.

Recommended dosage

Interestingly, melatonin appears to be effective at a wide range of doses.  In the studies discussed above, doses of as little as 0.3 milligrams have been effective at improving sleep quality.

The Cochrane review of studies on melatonin for jet lag noted that doses of 0.5 mg to 5 mg were equally effective in almost every respect.  The only difference was that doses of 5 mg seem to induce sleep more rapidly than doses of 0.5 mg.  Doses above 5 mg do not seem to have any additional benefits.

Slow release doses appear to be more effective for insomnia, while jet lag is just the opposite: it appears that a short but steep increase in blood melatonin levels is all it takes to help reset your biological clock once.   A slow release formula might be more appropriate for people who have issues staying asleep instead of falling asleep.

Side effects of melatonin

One of the real draws of melatonin is its very safe side effects profile.  A large review of numerous studies on melatonin use found that its safety profile for short to medium-term use (a few weeks to a few months) was excellent (6); the only major side effect of note is sleepiness and grogginess when it is taken at the wrong time of day.

Some case reports do caution against using melatonin if you have epilepsy or if you take warfarin or other blood thinners—in these cases, you should definitely talk to your doctor first before taking melatonin (7).

Recap

Melatonin, when used correctly, can be a very effective way to improve sleep quality, help with insomnia (especially as you age), and treat or prevent the negative effects of jet lag.

For best results, take melatonin within half an hour of when you go to bed—for travelers, note that this is your intended bedtime at your destination, so 10pm London time if you’re flying from New York to London.  Following these guidelines can help you get to sleep earlier, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling well-rested and refreshed.

http://bodynutrition.org/melatonin/ http://bodynutritionorg.tumblr.com/post/154782854584

Ranking the best ginseng supplements of 2016 (review)

If you want to boost your immune system, improve your concentration levels, and feel more energized, ginseng is a great place to start.

Part 1 of this guide reviews the best ginseng supplements on the market and ranks them in an ordered list. Part 2 breaks down what exactly ginseng is and how it benefits your body. Here are the top ten ginseng supplements on the market, ranked.

1.  Auragin Korean Ginseng

ginsengAuragin is a best-selling authentic Asian ginseng supplement produced in Korea.  Each tablet contains 300 mg of Korean ginseng root, of which 8% are ginsenosides, the suspected active ingredient.  It’s tremendously minimalistic; ginseng root is literally the only ingredient.

It’s pressed into tablets and packaged; there are no preservatives, additives, or fillers included whatsoever.

Independent lab testing calls into question the true content of ginsenosides, however.  Analytical testing shows that the true content is more like 5%, though part of this might be the difficulties of detecting ginsenosides at low concentrations.

Regardless, other supplements are able to come closer to their label-stated ginseng content, so it’s certainly doable.

Partially because it’s imported from Korea, Auragin is not going to be the cheapest ginseng supplement on the market.  Despite this, many people believe that Asian ginseng is superior to American ginseng, albeit while being more expensive to produce and import.  This has a lot to do with its place in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for a number of health problems.

2.  NuSci Panax Ginseng

If you know exactly how much ginseng you want, and you want it as cheap and as readily available as possible, this is the product for you.  NuSci Panax Ginseng comes in powder form, packaged in a foil bag, with only one ingredient; ginseng extract.  It contains 10% ginsenosides, making calculations easy to do, assuming you have a scale.

Therein lies the major advantage and disadvantage of free powdered ginseng extract.  You need to do all of the measuring yourself.

It’s a lot of extra work, and you’ll need to purchase a high quality micro scale to accurately determine the milligram amounts of powder that you want, but if you know how much ginseng you want to be taking every day, it’s a tremendous value. This has to be number one in the cost-savings department, assuming you already have a scale and are comfortable using it.

Lab testing confirms the purity of NuSci Panax Ginseng.  In fact, it seems that the powder actually contains more like 12% ginsenosides per serving, meaning you get even more value.

One tricky part about powder is figuring out how to consume it.  If you have your own capsule loading machine, that is one option, but that can get expensive and time-consuming.

Mixing ginseng powder into food is another approach that can work, but it has a fairly potent taste.  For best results, mixing it into a protein shake or smoothie will help it go down easier.

3.  Nature’s Answer American Ginseng

This ginseng supplement comes in an unusual form.  Instead of a tablet, capsule, or free powder, it comes as a liquid in an eye-dropper bottle.  The standardized serving size is listed in number of drops, and since it’s so high (56 drops per serving!) counting them out can be very tedious.

However, it delivers an incredibly potent ginseng dose, with each serving containing 2000 mg of ginseng extract, of which 75 mg (about 4%) is ginsenosides.

The other ingredients are included purely to dissolve the ginseng extract, and they are vegetable glycerin and purified water.

Because it already comes in a liquid format, it’s very easy to add to a glass of water to take your ginseng dosage.

The label is also very accurate: 2 mL of the solution (56 drops) is supposed to contain 75 mg of ginsenosides, and a lab-tested quantity of the same amount of solution measured 80 mg of ginsenosides.

Taking Nature’s Answer American Ginseng would be even easier if you had an accurate micro-pipette, but these are even harder to come by than a micro scale.  Most people will have to make do by counting out droplets from the eye dropper.

This is the only real drawback to this ginseng supplement, assuming you are okay with the ginsenosides coming from American ginseng instead of Korean ginseng.

4.  Solgar Korean Ginseng

The ginseng supplement from Solgar comes in a traditional capsule form, with each vegetarian cellulose capsule containing 250 mg of Korean ginseng extract, of which 8% is ginsenosides.  Interestingly, it also contains ginseng powder, which is presumably unextracted ginseng root.

For unknown reasons, the ginsenoside content of this second source of ginseng is not listed.

However, based on some simple math from the actual lab determined ginsengoside content of the supplement, we can figure out how much extra the root powder adds.

Assuming the 8% figure is accurate, 250 mg of ginseng root extract should provide 20 mg of ginsenosides.  Lab testing reveals that the supplement contains 28.8 mg of ginsenosides per capsule, meaning the extra root powder adds 8.8 mg of ginsenosides.

Because the supplement is in capsule form, it needs some extra ingredients to act as preservatives and bulking agents.  In Solgar Korean Ginseng, these com in the form of magnesium stearate and a proprietary blend of beta-carotene and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

In this case, these anti-oxidants aren’t included for a direct health benefit; they just prevent oxidative damage from degrading the ginseng over time while it’s in storage, preserving the shelf life.

5.  Puritan’s Pride American Ginseng

The proudly American-made Puritan’s Pride ginseng supplement provides a fairly high 500 mg of ginseng per capsule.  The capsule is gelatin based, which is fine for most people unless you have objections to animal products (gelatin, of course, being made from animals).

According to the label, each capsule contains 25 mg of ginsenosides, but lab testing found quite a bit more than that— 41 mg! Large errors of this magnitude (~60%) don’t give the impression that the product is carefully made and that manufacturing processes are sound, but the good news is that the error is in your favor—you’re getting a lot more ginsenosides than you pay for.

All this aside, the capsule contains the usual magnesium stearate and magnesium silicate, both simple binders and stabilizing agents.

If you are okay with some errors in the measurement accuracy of the manufacturing process, Puritan’s Pride is a fairly good source for an American ginseng supplement.

6.  aSquared Nutrition Pure Red Korean Panax Ginseng

aSquared Nutrition’s ginseng supplement sells quite well online, though you’d be hard-pressed to find it in a brick and mortar store.  Each vegetable cellulose capsule provides 500 mg of Panax (Asian) ginseng, and the only other ingredients in the capsule are rice powder and magnesium stearate, fairly standard for this kind of product.

Unfortunately, no independent lab testing is available to see what the actual ginsenoside content of the supplement is, and the label is similarly unhelpful.

Given how widely ginsenoside content varies from product to product (ranging from less than two percent to over 10%) it’s hard to give aSquared Nutrition’s ginseng supplement a ringing endorsement.

Nevertheless, if you assume that the ginsenoside content is fairly high (which is not guaranteed), it could be pretty good value in terms of cost.

7.  Buddha’s Herbs Ginseng

As the name suggests, this ginseng supplement makes use of strictly Panax (Asian / Korean) ginseng for its capsules.  In keeping with the name, the capsules are also made from vegetable cellulose instead of gelatin, which is an animal product.

In addition to 100 mg of Panax ginseng root extract per capsule, (with a standardized ginsenoside content of 10%), each capsule also contains rice flour, silicon dioxide, and magnesium stearate, fairly standard stabilizing agents.

Laboratory testing uncovers a difference in the actual ginsenoside content, however.  Testing shows that each serving contains 16 mg of ginsenosides instead of the expected 10 mg.

While this does mean you are getting better value per capsule, it also may point to problems with quality control in the manufacturing process—an error of 60% is quite large, and does not bode well for the overall quality of the supplement.

Because of these concerns over quality, Buddha’s Herbs is not ranked as highly as it could be if these were addressed.  Additionally, the absolute ginseng content per capsule is on the low end of what’s expected for a ginseng supplement.

8.  Nature’s Bounty Ginseng Complex plus Royal Jelly

Nature’s Bounty is a brand that’s commonly sold at drug stores and pharmacies, and its ginseng product is a top seller on Amazon.com.  The approach to this supplement is more maximalist or holistic; it’s not just a pure ginseng supplement.

First off, it includes two kinds of ginseng: American ginseng and Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng).  The Asian ginseng contains 2% ginsenosides and the American ginseng contains 5% ginsenosides.

Each is included at an amount of 25 mg per capsule, totaling 50 mg of ginseng from all sources per capsule.  Notably, this is substantially lower than some of its competitors.

The supplement also includes 500% of your recommended daily value for vitamin B12—this is probably an effort to further boost energy levels, since a lot of energy drinks also contain high levels of vitamin B12.

Additionally, as the name of the supplement suggests, it also contains royal jelly concentrate, which is a compound secreted by honey bees to feed larvae.  It’s concentrated in sugars and amino acids, as well as a small amount of fats and trace vitamins.

One thing to be aware of is that royal jelly carries and allergic reaction risk, since it contains many kinds of animal proteins and animal products.  You should think twice before taking this supplement if you have had allergic reactions in the past.

9.  NOW Foods American Ginseng

Depending on your opinion of the relative worth of American versus Korean ginseng, your opinion of NOW Foods’ ginseng supplement may vary.

The supplement, as the name suggests, uses only American ginseng.  Each capsule provides 500 mg of ginseng root, though the label does not list the standardized ginsenoside content.

Independent lab testing, however, did reveal the actual ginsenoside content: a paltry 11 mg per capsule.

This computes out to only roughly two percent ginsenosides by weight in the American ginseng root extract. Some other supplements contain five times this much in terms of ginsenoside concentration.

Because of this, even though the raw price of the supplement is fairly low, the actual value in terms of dollars per quantity ginsenoside per serving is not very good.

The capsules also contain a few stabilizers and bulking agents.  The capsule itself is vegetarian, being comprised of cellulose, and the only other two ingredients are rice flour and magnesium stearate.  These act as stabilizers and fill up the rest of the capsule.

Because of these deficits, NOW Foods American Ginseng does not find itself ranked very highly among the top ginseng supplements despite its best-selling status.

10.  Swanson Full Spectrum Korean Red Ginseng Root

Swanson Vitamins is typically a reliable and high quality brand.  How does their ginseng supplement stack up? For one thing, it’s Korean ginseng, which will win over traditional medicine purists.

Secondly, it comes in capsules containing a fairly respectable 400 mg of ginseng root each.  In addition to ginseng root, the capsule is comprised of gelatin—a negative for vegans and anyone else who avoids anima products—along with cellulose, magnesium sulfate, and silica.

Unfortunately, the label does not list the ginsenoside content.  However, independent lab testing has confirmed that each capsule contains 6.8 mg of ginsenosides.  This is a rather disappointing result.  This comes out to less than two percent of the total ginseng contents of the capsule.

This also hurts the value in terms of cost per milligram of ginsenosides.  Even though the relative price of the capsule is low, since it contains so little ginsenosides by weight, it is not your best bet for value or quality.

Combining these factors makes it clear that Swanson Vitamins’ ginseng offering does not measure up to its competitors, and indeed does not even measure up to the fairly high standard that this brand usually represents.

Part 2: What is ginseng and how can it benefit your body?

Ginseng is an ancient herbal remedy that’s been used for centuries to treat a range of ailments.  Currently, advocates for ginseng supplements believe that it can improve concentration, increase sport performance by giving you more energy, and boost your immune system.

Benefits of ginseng supplements

While ginseng has been an ingredient in traditional medicine for centuries, modern science has only recently begun to investigate its effects on the body.

Ginseng appears to modulate your body’s immune system response to external stimuli.  A 2008 study by Patricia D Biondo and other researchers at the Alberta Institute for Human Nutrition investigated the effects of a ginseng supplementation routine on the body’s immune response to exercise (1).

The experiment, described in a paper published in the scientific journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, recruited ten healthy men who received either a ginseng supplement (1125 mg of American ginseng extract per day) or a placebo supplement.

All of the men completed an exercise protocol and the researchers measured the men’s immune response to the exercise routine.  Three months later, the subjects returned, and the supplement and placebo were switched—this type of crossover design ensured that all of the subjects were exposed to both conditions.

The results showed that the men who had taken the ginseng supplement increased production of a protein called interleukin 2, which helps your body activate infection-fighting white blood cells.  This raises the possibility

The researchers noted, however, that the overall effect was a moderate one, and other parts of the immune system remained unchanged by the ginseng supplementation routine.

Ginseng also appears to have an effect on your psychological perception of fatigue.  This may be why people find that ginseng supplements seem to give them more energy.

A 2011 study published by Ji Young Choi and other researchers at Uimyung Research Institute for Neuroscience in Seoul, South Korea examined the effect of Asian (Panax) ginseng on physical and psychological energy levels in mice (2).

This might sound like a silly experiment—how do you measure psychological fatigue in mice?—but Choi and his fellow researchers subjected the mice to both exercise (which induces physical fatigue) and stressful conditions, which induces psychological fatigue.

Choi et al. found that, while the ginseng supplementation regimen had no effect on biological markers related to exercise performance, like blood lactate levels, mice who were usually sapped of energy and unmotivated after being exposed to stressful conditions had more energy when taking a ginseng supplement.

The researchers measured their baseline movement and activity levels, along with the amount of time they could swim in cold water.  In both cases, the mice taking the ginseng had more energy, meaning they moved around more often and swam longer in the cold water.

Not all the evidence is as promising, however.  Some studies have found that ginseng does not have an impact on some of the most desirable qualities that could be affected by such a supplement.

A 1996 study by Hermann-J. Engles, Josephine M. Said, and John C. Wirth at Wayne State University in Michigan tested the effects of a 200 mg per day supplementation routine of Asian ginseng in adult females (3).  The test subjects performed a graded exercise test on a treadmill before and after the supplementation routine, which lasted for eight weeks.

The researchers found that there were no detectable effects on the exercise performance test—further, the women’s self-reported activity levels did not differ either.

This might call into question the ability of a ginseng supplementation routine, at least one with these design parameters, to boost your energy levels and give you more motivation to be active in your everyday life.  Clearly, more research on more people is needed to determine whether ginseng is all it’s cracked up to be.

Recommended dosage

Despite its long history of use as an herbal medication, there are few good guidelines on what the appropriate or optimal amount of ginseng intake per day should be.  Most scientific studies use doses of 200 to 1000 mg of ginseng root extract per day, using supplements that contain on the order of 5% ginsenosides by weight.  This is a good place to start.

You can begin at the low end of the range (perhaps 200 mg per day) and see if supplementing at that level gives you the desired effect.  If not, you can try increasing the dosage.  If you still don’t have the desired effect, ginseng may not be effective for you, and you may need to look for answers elsewhere.

Side effects of ginseng supplements

Even though the science behind ginseng is not bulletproof, the good news is that ginseng appears to be a pretty safe supplement.

Studies on its use as a supplement, such as a 1995 study on ginseng therapy in diabetic patients, find that there are no well-known negative side effects associated with taking a ginseng supplement at the usual dosages used in these studies (4).

There are a few case reports of serious medical issues associated with ginseng use.  One study describes a 56 year old woman who suffered a manic episode when she started a ginseng supplementation routine (5).  Notably, she had a known mood disorder before she started taking ginseng.

Another study described a possible drug interaction with the blood thinner warfarin (6).  A 47 year old man with heart disease had abnormal blood markers of clotting at one of his regular check-ups.  After reviewing his medication, the doctors determined the only major change had been an introduction of a ginseng supplement.  After discontinuing the ginseng supplement, the man’s blood clotting factors returned to normal.

Though neither of these are definitive cause and effect relationships, they are worth noting.

Until there are larger studies on the possible side effects of ginseng, people with a history of serious mood disorders and people taking blood thinners like warfarin should refrain from a ginseng supplementation routine.

Recap

If you need a little more psychological energy to get through the day, or if you want a little boost to your immune system, ginseng might be what you’re looking for.

The evidence behind its efficacy is not as robust as some other supplements, but it does appear to be safe for the vast majority of people, so it may be worth a try.

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Ranking the best magnesium supplements of 2016 (review)

If you want to boost your testosterone levels or improve your heart health, a magnesium supplement might be the right place to start.

They are powerful, effective, and safe as long as they are taken as directed.

Part 1 will review and rank the best magnesium supplements of the year. Then, part 2 will break down how the supplements work and how to take them safely.

1.  Metagenics Mag Glycinate

mag-glycinateMetagenics made a name for itself as a prescription-style supplement company that offered high-potency supplements that were only available with a code from a doctor, chiropractor, or other medical professional.

Now, however, it’s possible to buy them directly online.  Does the quality still measure up?

Their magnesium supplement offering comes in the form of magnesium glycinate, a salt form of magnesium that’s not as well-absorbed as a chelate, but tends to be better tolerated than magnesium oxide (used in inexpensive magnesium supplements), which can upset the stomach because of its alkalinity.

The dosage is a fairly standard 100 mg per tablet, and the inactive ingredients are almost identical to a number of its competitors—cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, stearic acid, etc.

Its air of exclusivity still makes it a bit more costly than other competitors, so the value in terms of dollars per serving of magnesium is not as good.

Regardless, it does quite well on independent analytical tests of its contents.  Lab testing reveals that it contains 105 mg of magnesium per capsule, meaning there’s an excess of 5% magnesium in your favor.

Accuracy on this order of magnitude is good news if you’re worried about the overall quality of the product.

2.  Now Foods Magnesium Citrate

The magnesium supplement offered by Now Foods comes in a loose powder form.  It’s a best-seller, and is very simplistic.

Its only ingredient is magnesium citrate, which had decent absorption properties and comes with a sharp tart taste.

Since it’s a free powder, the serving size is up to you, but the recommended serving is half a teaspoon, which provides 315 mg of magnesium (79% of your recommended daily intake).

You might be wondering if eyeballing half a teaspoon is a reliable way to measure your magnesium intake, and surely it is not.

As with most other loose powder form supplements, you’ll need a micro scale to accurately measure your dosage.

If you already have an accurate scale that can measure milligram amounts, Now Foods Magnesium Citrate might be a good choice, but otherwise you might want to stick to a capsule or tablet.

The good news is that the cost per serving is fairly good, since there’s only one ingredient and there is less manufacturing involved.

3.  Life Extension Magnesium Caps

The magnesium supplement from Life Extension takes a hard-core approach to the absorption challenge—it attempts to hit your body with as many forms of magnesium as possible to maximize the absorption.

The per-capsule dosage is also very high.  Each vegetarian capsule contains 500 mg of magnesium (125% of your recommended daily intake), and it comes in four different forms.

These forms include magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, magnesium succinate, and an amino acid chelate.  The thinking behind this unusual approach is to take advantage of different absorption pathways.

While the magnesium oxide waits to be dissolved by your stomach acid before being absorbed, the magnesium amino acid chelate can be absorbed right away—or so the logic goes.  It goes without saying that there’s no independent peer-reviewed science on whether this kind of approach actually works.

Regardless, if you know you need to dramatically boost your magnesium intake, Life Extension Magnesium Caps are probably your best choice.

Their magnesium content is within 4% of the label stated amount, and though the cost per serving of magnesium is higher than average (presumably because of the numerous magnesium containing ingredients), its raw power when it comes to delivering a lot of magnesium is tough to beat.

4.  Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium

It’s the best selling magnesium supplement on Amazon.com for good reason—Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium provides a reliable dose of magnesium in each tablet.

The tablets themselves contain 100 mg of magnesium each, which represents 25% of your recommended daily intake.  If you’re wondering why this amount isn’t higher, it has to do with your body’s magnesium absorption mechanism.

There are diminishing returns associated with higher doses of magnesium—if you take 100% of your daily intake all at once, you won’t actually absorb as much compared to taking 25% at four different times throughout the day (1).

The form of the magnesium in Doctor’s Best is chelated magnesium—this means that each magnesium atom is surrounded by organic molecules that are supposed to help your intestinal tract absorb the magnesium more readily.

Putting the magnesium in a chelate form helps it get absorbed more readily than if it was in a simple inorganic salt form (2).

Aside from the active ingredients, Doctor’s Best contains cellulose and two stearate sources to help bind the tablets together, as well as a compound called croscarmellose sodium—it sounds complex, but really it’s just a powder that allows the tablet to break down more quickly.

Again, this is in keeping with the philosophy of maximizing absorption.  Though it’s not the most simplistic magnesium supplement on the market, Doctor’s Best is a great choice if the goal is to maximize absorption.

5.  Viva Labs Magnesium

If you want a simple magnesium supplement that comes in an easily-absorbed form, look no further than Viva Labs.  Each capsule provides 100 mg of magnesium (25% of your daily intake) in the form of an amino acid chelate.

The specific form is a proprietary formulation called TRAACS, which is used in a couple of other high-quality magnesium supplements, though not always by itself.

The amino acid chelate requires a few more stabilizers in the tablet, so the ingredients also list some unfamiliar compounds like hydroxypropyl cellulose and ascorbyl palmitate, which might be a disincentive if you’re not a fan of ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Still, the value and simplicity of this supplement is attractive.  Amino acid chelates aren’t the cheapest way to deliver magnesium, but when you factor in the better absorption (almost twice as much magnesium gets absorbed from a chelate versus a standard inorganic salt), the value becomes more apparent.

Its label-stated amounts are accurate, too—lab testing finds that the true magnesium content is within 4.5% of the stated amount.

6.  Natural Vitality Natural Calm

The approach taken by Natural Vitality to magnesium supplementation is a little different.  Instead of a capsule or tablet, Natural Vitality Natural Calm comes in a powder form that you scoop into a glass of water to drink.

One serving (assuming your teaspoon measuring skills are accurate) delivers 350 mg of magnesium, which represents 87% of your recommended daily intake.  Since it’s a powder, however, you can measure out as much as you want.

The magnesium is in the form of magnesium carbonate, alongside citric acid, presumably to boost absorption and give the drink a tart, pleasing taste.  Magnesium carbonate, however, is not absorbed as well as some other forms of the mineral.

Strangely, even though Natural Vitality Natural Calm comes in a powder form, it’s on the expensive side when it comes to cost per serving of magnesium.

Usually, powder form supplements are cheaper, since the manufacturers don’t have to worry about pressing the powder into capsules or tablets, which demands extra machinery and ingredients.

Taking the above considerations in mind, it’s hard to rank Natural Vitality too highly, unless you’re looking for something you can mix into a protein shake or smoothie to boost the magnesium content.

7.  Jigsaw Health Magnesium w/ SRT

Jigsaw Health’s magnesium supplement is more than just a tablet that provides one nutrient.  The philosophy behind this product is to provide several ingredients that work together to help magnesium do its job inside your body.

Whether this product is right for you depends entirely on whether you agree with this approach.

In addition to 125 mg of magnesium, each tablet of Jigsaw Health w/ SRT provides vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, and malic acid.  The rest of the ingredients are the standard binders and stabilizers you’d expect in any tablet—cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, silicon dioxide, and wax.

While each of these other vitamins and minerals have their own roles in the body, and many interact with magnesium, the real question is whether you need them in addition to magnesium in your own diet.

If your vitamin and nutrient deficiencies are widespread, it may be more productive to work on improving your diet directly instead of supplementing with so many different things at once.

These other ingredients push up the cost of Jigsaw Health Magnesium w/ SRT, but not as much as you’d expect.  It’s still competitive with other magnesium supplements on the market.

8.  Solgar Magnesium Citrate

Though its brand name is usually synonymous with quality supplements, Solgar’s magnesium supplement offering is a real disappointment.

It doesn’t offer anything innovative—its tablets contain 200 mg (50% of your recommended daily intake) of magnesium in the form of magnesium citrate, and have some extraneous ingredients that don’t seem strictly necessary, like titanium dioxide and dicalcium phosphate.

Worse, Solgar Magnesium Citrate also suffers from the presence of arsenic contamination.  Given the size and scale of Solgar’s supplement manufacturing operation (not to mention the other brands that also have arsenic presence problems), one should expect that they have the capacity to do analytical testing for heavy metal contamination.

Certainly, other manufacturers have been able to create magnesium supplements without arsenic contamination.  One of the most effective ways you can exert pressure to solve this problem is to simply not buy supplements that have traces of arsenic in them!

9.  KAL Magnesium Glycinate

The well-selling KAL magnesium supplement offers a simple and higher dose of magnesium than other competitors.  Each tablet contains 200 mg of magnesium in the form of magnesium glycinate, and the only other ingredients are the usual stabilizing agents.

If your magnesium needs are high, you can absorb more of a higher dose, but 200 mg in a single capsule is pushing the limit a bit—you may end up just excreting some of the magnesium unabsorbed, which hurts the cost-effectiveness of the supplement.

More alarmingly, lab testing revealed that KAL contains high levels of arsenic, a known heavy metal toxin.

Though there seems to be a problem with some magnesium formulations including detectable levels of arsenic, many brands are able to prevent its inclusion in the product without any problems.

This alone should be grounds to look elsewhere; it’s very hard to make up for heavy metal presences when competitors offer a superior product.

10.  Sundown Naturals Magnesium

Though it’s a top-seller on Amazon.com, Sundown Naturals does not rank highly when it comes to the quality and purity of its ingredients.

Each tablet contains 500 mg of magnesium oxide, which should be a red flag from the start—there’s no way your body can absorb all that magnesium at once, and delivering all of it in the form of magnesium oxide is a good way to upset your stomach.

Magnesium oxide is alkaline, meaning it will react with your stomach acid strongly and upset the balance of acidity until it gets dissolved.  This is less of a problem in smaller doses, but taking a large bolus of magnesium oxide like this is not the best idea.

Further, there’s a lot of extraneous ingredients in the tablets.  Dicalcium phosphate and titanium dioxide are two inactive ingredients which other manufacturers don’t feel the need to put into their magnesium products, so their presence here is a little puzzling.

The real problem, however, comes from analytical testing by an independent laboratory.  Testing uncovered unusually high levels of arsenic, a heavy metal that is toxic to your body.

The levels weren’t high enough to be acutely poisonous, of course, but the mere presence of a toxic heavy metal is a real concern.  Given that it’s not a market-topper in quality or in value, it’s best to leave this product on the shelf and look for something else.

Part 2: What role does magnesium play in your body and how can supplementation help you?

Magnesium is a vital mineral nutrient that helps your body produce energy, keep up testosterone production, and sleep well.

When your body does not get enough magnesium, you might have muscle cramps or weakness, fatigue, insomnia, and general malaise.

According to one study, almost half the population of the United States does not get enough magnesium in their diet, so addressing magnesium deficiency should be a priority for many people (3).

Benefits of magnesium supplements

If you get plenty of magnesium in your diet from foods rich in magnesium, like almonds, spinach, cashews, other nuts, and black beans, you probably don’t need a magnesium supplement.

But since these foods are not always cheap or easy to integrate into your normal diet, you might find you need extra magnesium from external sources.

One group of people who can often benefit from magnesium supplementation is older men.  One of the classic problems that comes with getting old as a male is decreased testosterone.

This male sex hormone is associated with strength, vigor, energy, and libido, and when levels of testosterone decrease, all of these qualities decrease as well.

You’ve no doubt seen advertisements for prescription drugs offered as a treatment for “low T.”  Wouldn’t it be great if you could get similar results without a prescription?

There is some tantalizing evidence that this might be possible with magnesium supplementation.  A scientific paper published in 2011 in the International Journal of Andrology by Marcello Maggio and other researchers at the University of Parma in Italy studied the blood magnesium levels in a group of elderly men over age 65 (4).

Maggio and his fellow scientists found that, among their sample of elderly men, lower magnesium levels were strongly correlated with lower levels of testosterone, as well as the muscle-building hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1).

This, combined with the fact that almost half of the American population does not get enough magnesium in their diet, indicates that you might see a boost in testosterone if you start taking a magnesium supplement.

Indeed, further evidence for this hypothesis was presented in a study published in 2010 by researchers in Turkey (5).

Martial arts practitioners took either a magnesium supplement or a placebo supplement over the course of a four week training program; during the study, the researchers tracked the testosterone levels of the subjects.

The researchers found that, as we’d expect, magnesium supplementation increased testosterone levels in the athletes; this increase was compounded by the exercise they did.

This suggests that the testosterone boosting effects of magnesium supplementation are better achieved when combined with a full-body exercise routine—in this case, tae kwon do training.

Beyond improving testosterone levels and their associated benefits (more energy, vigor, muscular strength, etc.), magnesium may also be helpful when it comes to improving sleep quality.

A 2012 study by researchers in Iran found that a daily supplementation regimen of 500 mg of magnesium improved subjective measurements of insomnia in elderly patients (6).

The magnesium supplementation program increased sleep time, decreased early morning awakening, and improved the speed at which the patients fell asleep at night.

Magnesium might also be helpful if you have restless leg syndrome at night.  A 1998 study by researchers at Albert Ludwigs University in Germany studied ten patients with restless leg syndrome who underwent a magnesium treatment during a four to six week period (7).

The 500 mg dose of magnesium helped decrease periodic limb movements during sleep by over half.  Given that other treatments for restless leg syndrome involve fairly powerful neurological drugs, using a magnesium supplement might be an attractive alternative or adjunctive treatment.

Recommended dose

Though research thus far is limited, most studies use doses of around 500 to 700 mg of magnesium per day.  The tae kwon do study discussed earlier used a dose of 10 mg of magnesium per kilogram of body mass—so a 150 pound male would take a dose of 680 mg of magnesium per day.

These by-weight formulas help compensate for the fact that larger people need a larger dose of medication to get the same effect as a smaller person.

Recall that the absorption of magnesium is related to the dose you take.  If you tried to take 500 mg of magnesium all at once, your body would not absorb it as well as if you’d split that dose into four or five daily portions (11).

Of course, this doesn’t stop some studies from taking this exact approach—the insomnia study on elderly patients conducted in Iran used a straight 500 mg bolus before bed.  In practice, this definitely means that less than the full dosage was absorbed.

Keep in mind that your own needs might be lower if your diet is better than average.  Indeed, if your diet is good enough, you probably don’t even need a magnesium supplement.

Side effects of magnesium supplements

As a water-soluble nutrient that’s ubiquitous in many kinds of foods, the human body is well-equipped to tolerate a range of magnesium intakes.

One study reports that slight abdominal pain and nonspecific musculoskeletal pain can occur, but this only occurred with a high dose of magnesium chloride consumed in a fasted condition (i.e. without taking any food) (8).

According to Healthline, excessively high doses of magnesium can cause cramping or nausea (9), and the Mayo Clinic cautions that only people with healthy kidney function should take a magnesium supplement (10).

Some types of magnesium supplements might upset your stomach, since some magnesium salts like magnesium oxide will react with the acid in your stomach.

This can be useful—magnesium oxide is sometimes used as a treatment for indigestion and heartburn for this reason—but if you don’t have these problems, it could disrupt the normal function of your stomach acid.

A citrate or amino acid chelate form of magnesium would be better if you’re worried about this.

Recap

There are two groups of people who will likely benefit most from a magnesium supplement.  The first group is older people, especially men, who want to boost their testosterone levels for more energy, vigor, muscular strength, and libido.

The second group is people with sleep disturbances like insomnia or restless leg syndrome.  Magnesium might be able to help your body get back to normal and leave you feeling stronger, more energetic, and healthier.

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