Dr. Mariel’s Go To Supplements

The Continual Search

We are always looking for the next supplement or bio hack that will bring eternal health and happiness to our lives. Being a physical therapist for the last five years has taught me that instant gratification is just a figment of our imagination, and although there are some good supplements out there, we will still have to work hard to achieve optimal health and wellness physically and mentally.

I do believe, however, that there are some supplements and additions we can all add to our diet to improve energy levels, gut health and muscle function. 

Here are a couple of my go to’s: 

Supplement Pick #1: Magnesium

Magnesium is another vital micro nutrient that humans need for optimal function.. Unfortunately most are deficient in magnesium, with research citing that approximately 50% of Americans are lacking the appropriate amount of magnesium in their diets daily.

Studies are showing that magnesium has many beneficial effects, including fighting depression, increasing muscle mass and power output, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels, and improving bone and heart health.  

Magnesium can act as a natural muscle relaxer and can have a calming effect, helping you to down regulate the nervous system, promoting parasympathetic activation and digestion, and anxiety reduction. Magnesium can also act as a laxative at high doses, so be aware of how much you are adding to your daily intake!

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults 19-51+ years is 400-420 mg daily for men and 310-320 mg for women. Pregnancy requires about 350-360 mg daily and lactation, 310-320 mg. If you are like me and have a hard time calming down at night, you can use a powder form of magnesium called Natural Vitality Calm, which may help you feel drowsy and ready for sleep at night. Just add 2 teaspoons to an 8 ounce glass of water and drink 30 or so minutes before bed.

Supplement Pick #2: Grass Fed Beef Liver

I know, I know. No one wants to eat organ meats, not even me! But the research on this is sound, and as a scientist I can’t deny that adding even 1.5 – 2 ounces of grass fed beef liver to your diet can make a huge impact on your health. From a nutritional perspective, eating liver provides an amazingly rich source of essential vitamins and minerals that support fertility, vision, energy, muscle building, and the immune system. Liver contains high sources of Iron, folate many americans can be deficient in vitamins B12 and A, and liver is an excellent source of both of these vitamins.

On top of getting increased Vitamins B12 and A, eating beef liver can help add protein to your diet, which is an imperative macro nutrient we all need to maintain muscle and bone mass, recover from exercise and boost your immune system. Sounds like a great bang for your buck if you ask me!

Fortunately for you, Other practitioners have recognized the importance of adding organ meats to our diet, and some have created a line of organ meats you can take daily in pill form if the raw organ meat train is not for you. The brands I recommend are Heart & Soil or Vital Proteins Beef Liver which we here at Well balanced if you’re interested.

If you are interested in returning to our ancestral way of eating you can get raw beef liver at Long‘s Meat Market for cheap. I cut mine into 1.5 to 2 ounce squares and freeze them. When it is time to eat one I pull it from the freezer and allow it to defrost for only about 5 to 10 minutes. Eating it still mostly frozen can sometimes help with the taste in my opinion, and a dash of smoked sea salt never hurt anyone either (wink wink). I have been playing around with additives and supplements to my diet for many years, and without a doubt the addition of grass fed beef liver improves my energy levels, my mood and my digestion. Eating it directly before a workout can act as a natural pre-workout as well!

Written by Dr. Mariel Hammond Doctor of Physical Therapy at Well Balanced Center For Integrative Care