Want To Know What The Examine.com Supplement Goals Reference Guide Is All About? Read On..
In this post, I’ll be reviewing examine’s supplement goals reference guide
, which is one of the most comprehensive resources on supplements out there. Stay tuned to see what I like about it what I don’t like and if I think it’s worth its price tag. Let’s get started.
As you probably know the right diet is a lot more important than the right workout. the problem is getting the right amount of macros, vitamins and minerals can be tricky and if you are like me then micromanaging every aspect of your diet is not something you want to do for the rest of your life. That’s where supplements come into play. even though I always tell my students that supplements can never substitute whole foods, they can make an already good diet perfect.
Now a lot of people that want to lose weight, build muscle or simply live a healthier life ask me which supplements they should buy to reach their goal faster. and here is what I tell always tell them:
To be honest most supplements suck. they are either overpriced don’t work or both. the bitter truth. fortunately, there a few supplements that really are worth their money and will help you build an amazing body or boost your immunity and health.
And that’s where the searching begins. finding the right supplements for your needs is like finding a needle in a haystack. I know because that’s what I been doing for the last few years. The problem is that I don’t like to base my advice on just hearsay so even if a supplement worked for me or a friend it doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone out there. people are different and their body will react differently to certain substances.
So about a year ago when I was doing some research on supplements I stumbled across examine’s supplement goal reference guide. Now for those of you that don’t know what examine.com does here’s a short summary.
In short, examine is a group of researchers and diet experts that gather and analyze peer-reviewed scientific studies on supplements and diet strategies. They don’t sell supplements and aren’t affiliated with any of the large supplement companies. Basically, they compiling research to see which supplements are scientifically proven to work and which are nothing but hype.
On their side, they say that they analyzed around 33,000 studies and then decided to summarize their findings into one giant ebook.
So after I found their website I decided that I liked their no nonsense approach and got the guide which is 50 bucks (I linked the sales page below). Ok, so after having read through most of it here’s what I think you should know before buying it.
First what I didn’t like, which is the introduction. The guide itself is huge, which I’ll talk about in a second, but the introduction to the overall topic of supplements is quite short. They basically just tell you how to use the guide and give you a short overview of which supplements are worth buying for the average person. Now don’t get me wrong the content in the introduction is great and the list is very helpful but I would have liked to see a little more detail here. Just to give the reader a broader overview of what the guide and examine is all about.
Now I have to say that I got the guide a while back and I know that they update it quite frequently so the intro might be different now. All future updates are included when you get the guide I just haven’t downloaded the newest one yet.
Ok, with that being said here what I liked about it.
First of all the guide is huge. Huge as in over a thousand pages. It sounds crazy but when I first looked at the page count I thought it was a bug. What they did was basically create an entire encyclopedia of all the research available on all the supplements out there. The way it is presented is actually pretty cool because you can either search for a certain supplement or for a certain health goal. So for example, if I want to find all the research on vitamin d, I would go to the supplement overview, find vitamin D and click on it.
You then get taken to the page with all the research on vitamin d. At the top, you find a quick summary of what vitamin D is and what it’s needed for along with detailed instructions on how to take it. After that, you can see a table with all the effects vitamin D supplementation can have on your health. To make things easier for you let me explain what the different columns mean. So the column on the very left where you can see an A states the level of evidence of the effect.
For example, A states that robust research was conducted with several double blind clinical trials (which are the most reliable). B is a little less reliable but still indicates multiple studies where at least two were double-blind and placebo controlled. C is even less reliable with only one double blind study and D indicates a low level of evidence based on observational studies only. So A represents the highest level of evidence and D the lowest.
The next column states what kind of effect the supplement had on the test subjects or what effect was studied. So, in this case, the first effect studied was a risk of falls in elderly people.
When we look at the next column we can see that the change was negative because the arrow is pointing down. So we know that vitamin D supplementation leads to a decrease in the risk of falls in elderly people. The next step is to check the magnitude of this effect, mean how large the change really was.
This is indicated in the next column. One star means a minor change, two stars represent a notable change and three stars a strong change. In this case, the change is notable because there are two stars. The last two columns will show you how many studies actually analyzed this effect and a short comment explaining the overall results.
As you can see if we scroll down a little bit vitamin d is a very well-researched supplement and all the effects were ordered by their level of evidence.
Ok, so the second thing you can do is look for supplements that fit a certain health goal. So if we go to the health goal overview we can see a list of goals to choose from. Then what you want to do is go through the list and click on one of the health goals that interest you. I’ll just take a random one so you know what I mean, let’s say blood pressure.
Once you clicked on a health goal you’ll be taken to a similar page as you before, but now instead of all the effects of one certain supplement, you get a list of all the supplements that lead to one specific effect. Just like before the results are ordered by their level of evidence.
So, in this case, we can see that fish oil is actually one of the most proven supplements to reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, however, the effect is only minor as we can see in the magnitude column. If we scroll down the list you can see various more supplements and their effects and in the case of blood pressure, there are quite a few.
So now that you know how the guide works and what it looks like what are some other things I liked and what is my overall recommendation. I have to say that this is by far the most in depth resource on research done on supplements. What I like is not only the simple structure but also that the authors don’t make any brand recommendations. That way you know they aren’t paid by any supplement company and their results really are unbiased.
I personally use the guide all the time mostly when researching a supplement and before testing or buying a new one and this is what I recommend you do. The lists I just showed you put it all the research together in an easy-to-use manner and you simply look up whichever supplement or health goal you’re interested in, and you will instantly know which supplements work (and which don’t).
This has helped me save dozens of hours of research and is why I fully recommend the guide to anyone intersted in science based health and fitness advice. If you are a personal trainer of diet coach I’d say the guide is a must but even if you are just an average gym goer or want to lose weight this is one of the best ressources I have come across so far. Once again I linked the sales page for you to check it out and I know from their customer serive that they offer a 60 day money back guarantee if you buy and don’t like it for some reason.