If you work out regularly, you probably take some sort of supplement, be it whey protein or creatine or a pre-workout energy drink. But do the supplements you’re taking actually work?
My guest today on the show has spent his career studying the effects of what we put into our body and is the director of the online encyclopedia of supplements and nutrition called Examine.com. His name is Kamal Patel. He’s a researcher with an MPH and MBA from Johns Hopkins University and is working on his PhD in nutrition. Today on the show, Kamal and I discuss why there’s so much confusion when it comes to supplements and nutrition. For example, he explains why one study can say cholesterol is bad for you, while another one says it’s vital for health. Kamal then breaks down how to read scientific studies on nutrition so you can make informed decisions about your diet instead of relying on clickbait headlines published by pseudo-journalists. We then get into which supplements actually work and which ones are a waste of money. Kamal also shares his insights on the growing field of nootropics and if there really are supplements that will make you smarter.
- Kamal’s background and why he decided to run examine.com
- Why does the public get so much contradictory information regarding nutrition and health?
- Why nutrition is more complex to study and understand than it might seem
- How to read a research study paper — the mindset to have and things to look for
- Why abstracts of research papers can lead you astray
- The types of research papers to read — randomized controlled trials vs. umbrella reviews
- Why you should pay special attention to the group of people being studied
- Can you make strength gains while cutting bulk?
- Why healthy, athletic people should be especially wary of nutrition and health studies
- The importance of finding out who is funding a study
- How to approach studies done on animals, and transferring those findings to humans
- The biggest nutrition and supplement myths
- Kamal’s thoughts on the Paleo diet
- The real keys to losing weight when it comes to diet and nutrition, and the importance of sustainability
- The right way to gain weight if you’re trying to bulk up
- Why there are so many supplements, and some background on the industry
- Quack Miranda warnings on supplement bottles
- Why Kamal doesn’t take supplements every day
- The supplements people regularly take that aren’t doing anything
- Are there any supplements that actually work?
- Is there any credence to the efficacy of nootropics? Or is it all flim-flam?
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- Examine.com study guide to reading studies
- My podcast with doctor and strength coach Jordan Feigenbaum about nutrition and strength training
- Cochrane Collaboration
- Confidence interval
- Randomized controlled trial
- “Umbrella review” and meta-analyses
- Getting Strong vs. Getting Ripped
- Ketogenic diet
- Eat Man Food, Lose Weight
- Everything You Know About Cholesterol Is Wrong
- Martin Berkhan and intermittent fasting
- Muscle Building Supplements: Which Work and Which Don’t
- Circadian rhythm
- Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act
- Mel Gibson’s Vitamin C commercial
- Quack Miranda warning
- My podcast with Jareem Gunter, whose baseball career was cut short after liver failure
- Do Testosterone-Boosting Supplements Work?
- Creatine: A Primer on Its Benefits and Use
- A Primer on Nootropics
Whenever I have a question about a supplement, Examine.com is the first place I go to. Head over there and search their detailed and easy-to-read analyses of studies on supplements and nutrition. It will save yourself a ton of money on supplements that aren’t really doing anything for you.
Connect With Kamal Patel and Examine.com
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
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Last updated: April 6, 2017