Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thoughts on supplementation

I don't like swallowing pills.

In fact I have an overactive gag-reflex, which is clearly psycho-somatic because when I just start thinking about swallowing pills I get nauseous.  But since I am the captain of this ship wreck of a body, I will not be deterred by such silly responses.

This, however, has historically meant I have developed all sorts of avoidance mechanism to not take daily vitamins, heart burn meds, etc.

No longer.

The 4HB plan doesn't require, but entourages you to use a combination of supplements to maximize fat loss.  The combination is called PAGG, and if you want the science and formulation behind it go read the book.  :P

In addition to the PAGG stack there is a supplements I want to take to help promote fat loss and general improve my health.

So here is the total supplement stack (not for the faint of heart.)

1. Centrum Silver - No I don't remember why I have a multi-vitamin aimed at people 50+ in age... there was reason... but it's the only  multi-vitamin  in the house at the moment.  I'll fix that soon.
2. Lysine - Essential Amino Acid for muscle build.  Am probably getting plenty of this with the amount of meat and legumes I eat.
3.  CitraCal - No fruits on the diet, I'd like to keep my vitamin C working, although I am eating a lot of baby spinach so I am probably fine.
4. CLA - Fatty acid linked to fat reduction and lean mass gain.
5. B-Complex: Plant Based.  So one side effect of the PAGG stack is it can lower your B vitamins, which means it is good to take a B supplement, as B vitamins are pretty much metabolically essential.  I picked this one because my reading suggested that plant based B-complex are more easily absorbed then mineral supplements.  This may be the worst mistake of my life as it tastes like (what I would imagine) a horse dropping condensed mightily down in into a pill form.  Couple this with my gag-reflex and it it damn hard to choke down.
6. Alpha Lipoic Acid - Anti-oxidant and Vitamin C & E scavenger, helps carbs get used by muscles for energy instead of stored in fat.
7.  Green Tea Extract - Anti-oxidant, and off-label side effect of inhibiting storage of carbs into fat cells and appears to increase cell death in fat cells (a major boon in my book since typical wight loss just leaves em deflated and waiting to be refilled.)
8. Garlic Extract (allicin) -Lowers blood pressure and inhibits fat regain.  I'm taking an "oderless" formulation, which is true to the extent that my breath does not smell like garlic.  Not so in other cases.  I'll leave you to use your imagination.
9. Policosanol - Purportedly lowers cholesterol, but was found within the test group using AGG alone to boost the weight loss effectiveness of the whole package.

That is a lot of pills...  but it gets worse some of them are taken several times a day ...  So it looks more like this:


I should note that Lunch and Snack are two separate meals with identical dosing, so one picture but two doses.  And on further review I don't need to be taking the Green Tea extract at night so there is one to many pills in the bed dose photo.

I take a total of 21 separate pills everyday, assuming I'm not eating a bunch of legumes every day (which... I generally am so throw 2-6 Beano into the mix)

That is a lot of dam pills for someone who hates swallowing pills.  I probably don't need the Lysine or Citracal if I am eating healthy (which I am) so really I only need ummm...19 pills a day?

So... what to do?  The good news is there are now companies making PAGG stack specific supplementation.  Even better ones that included B-complex so I can get rid of the damn Horsepills of doom.

It's designed so that you take 4 pills a day for the whole stack.  I probably don't need the Lysine or Citracal.  So that means my daily take would be multi-vitamin, 3 CLA, 4 PAGG (3 AGG + PAG)... and that's it.
From 19 pills to 8.  

The drawback is the cost is $92 a month + shipping ($82 + shipping on my first order) vs. about $76 for my locally sourced supply.  And I just called all the local vendors and none of them have ever heard of PAGG or the 4HB... so...

Or I can order a 2 month or 3 month supply both with free shipping and that brings the price down to $71 and $61 respectively for the first order.

So I can prepay for a three month supply, save $15 a month and swallow 286 fewer pills each month? 

Someone tell me why this is a bad thing?


As I was picking up the massive stack of bottles to put away post review I thought I would also give you photo showing the ridiculousness of the current supply.

I could reduce that to just 3 bottles...

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