Top 5 Supplements To Take While Starting A New Exercise Program

Starting a new exercise routine can be tough on your body both mentally and physically so supporting it the right way can make all the difference in the world with how well your body responds and how well you feel going through the process. Here's a look at the top 5 Dr. Endel is taking and recommends right now while starting off the new year.

To listen to a podcast where Dr. Endel goes into this in more depth, visit our podcast page HERE.

And to watch it on video check us out HERE.


The first one I want to talk about is called berberine. This is an herb, a Chinese herb that's been around for a really, really long time, mostly in India and China. I have been taking this for at least six months now.  It is fantastic for conditions such as cardiovascular disease, GI disorders, neuro-degenerative disorderes and many others.  My biggest reason for taking it and why I recommend it to a lot of other people is for metabolic dysfunction. This refers to blood glucose regulation, insulin sensitivity, how your body handles glucose metabolism, and in general metabolic health.  There’s been a lot of research done about the cardiovascular effects, but also the blood sugar effects. There are recent research which shows benefits with berberine against hypertension and congestive heart failure. The biggest difference though, has to do cholesterol, LDL, HDL triglycerides, total cholesterol. one specific study looked at taking 500 milligrams versus a placebo twice a day for three months. This was a really well done study. And there was really significant weight loss and improvements in total. Cholesterol triglycerides, LDL HDL, compared to the control group.

There's been a long time use of berberine for diabetics and people with high blood sugars, people who are pre diabetic, and there's a lot of articles out there comparing berberine to Metformin, which is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for type two diabetes. And one of the biggest things is that berberine and Metformin  both use the same pathways in regulating blood glucose levels. The research is really varied and wide ranging in the dosages of this - there’s anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 grams, and two or three doses per day. And all the different trials range from eight weeks to 24 weeks.

Exercise has many metabolic benefits, especially at reducing insulin sensitivity. There's been some recent evidence about berberine and Metformin because they follow the same pathways that these molecules could reduce those benefits of exercise. And clearly we don't want to spend our time doing something positive like exercise, and then take something that would mitigate those benefits. And so I think timing is really important with this. That's why I don't take my berberine anywhere near the times that I am exercising. And so that way I'm hoping to maximize the benefits of berberine while also maximizing the effects of doing some exercise. If you're not exercising, what I would recommend would be the 500 milligrams twice a day, as long as there are no contraindications, any other medications that you're already taking.

Vitamin C:

Of course we know vitamin C is phenomenal for immune health. It's fantastic this time of year for fighting colds and viruses but I’m going to review some of the other benefits related to exercise.  It's really widely found in a lot of different fruits and vegetables, obviously more citrus fruits, I was surprised to learn that the highest concentrations of vitamin C are actually found in Kiwis, bell peppers, and guavas. So little interesting tidbit on vitamin C, you do not just have to have an orange to get your daily dose of vitamin C.

I’ve learned a lot over the last couple of months regarding the absorption of C and the relationship between maintaining high plasma levels.  The max that you're going to see blood volume wise is right around 200 millimoles per deciliter when you're taking it orally. So when you're taking the vitamin C tablet orally, that'll last that'll get your blood concentrations to about 200 if you're taking anywhere around 2000 to 3000 milligrams at one time, and you'll see kind of a spike of that blood plasma vitamin C levels and then that goes down again.  So the best way to maximize your daily blood volume of vitamin C concentration is basically to take about 3000 milligrams, or three grams, every four to six hours - that is going to keep your blood volume levels of vitamin C more consistent throughout the day.  When you take it through IV, you don't have to deal with what your body can absorb at one time or digest so you're going to see tremendously higher, even up to 1000 times higher. Depending on what your goals are, that might be something to take a look at.

How does this have to do with exercise? So, very similar to what we talked about with berberine, it’s great at reducing inflammation and when you exercise you create something called oxidative stress and free radicals.  As an antioxidant, Vitamin C is really great at combating those.  It’s important to remember that just like with Berberine - timing is important. If I’m taking it orally, i try to take it consistently throughout the day and avoid taking it right after a workout.


I got really interested with creatine when I was training for my climbing event, last Spring and summer. Your body does make creatine and when you eat meat, you're also eating some creatine. However, most of the time you hear about creatine, it has to do with people supplementing with it. Creatine acts as a cellular energy reserve so when you're exercising there's an increase and intense demand for energy, creatine aids in converting ADP to make ATP which is the primary source of energy in your body.

It's also been heavily researched on lowering blood lipids and improving glycemic control. One study has shown looking at adults between the ages of 32 and 70, who had cholesterol over 200. They had the group supplement with five grams of creatine a day and within two months saw a really significant reduction in total blood cholesterol. triglycerides and a 22% reduction in VLDL, which is the worst cholesterol. 22% is a really huge difference.  Another study looked at glucoses control and noted a significant decrease in A1c levels over a several month period with 3-5 grams  per day. Number one, it helps with athletic performance, especially anything strength based but the overall benefits of reducing cholesterol and glycemic control has me really pro- creatine.


I remember years ago, taking a nutritional neurology seminar, and the guy going over a load of research saying that people who just take a multivitamin every day, statistically, will live roughly seven years longer than those who don't take it. I'm pro multivitamin - as long as its a good one. Quality makes all the difference with a multi.  What I personally take is something called Mitocore from a company called Orthomolecular. It’s focused on nurturing and improving your mitochondria and metabolic health.

Some of the highlights that are related to mitochondrial health are the Acetyl-L-Carnitine, which is an amino acid and is associated with recharging cellular energy production. It helps free fatty acids so that your body can utilize them, which is the major fuel source for mitochondria, and is going to show a really big energy boost. It also promotes glutathione productions which is your body's natural detoxification system and pathway.

It also contains Resveratrol, which again is another antioxidant great at improving cardiovascular health and immune health as well as broccoli seed extract and many other vitamins and minerals that are going to have you covered.

Valerian Complex:

Sleep is so important so I wanted to address something that is fantastic as helping falling asleep as well as getting better quality sleep. Valerian complex, which has valerian root,  passion flower and Jujubee.  it's fantastic at just reducing overall tension and is a great aide to help you fall asleep and promote relaxation. Typically, I’ll take one or two between dinner and bedtime. I don't have trouble getting to sleep but the sleep that I get is more restful and I'm able to get into some deeper stages of sleep with taking this.



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