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A human performance scientist shares the 9 supplements he takes daily for gut, brain, and muscle health

Kim Schewitz   

A human performance scientist shares the 9 supplements he takes daily for gut, brain, and muscle health
  • A human performance scientist shared the 9 supplements he takes daily to optimize his health.
  • Professor Andy Galpin said a healthy lifestyle is the goal but supplements can play a role in great health.

A human performance scientist who's coached elite athletes and celebrities, from the LA Clippers to Travis Barker, shared the nine supplements he takes daily for gut, brain, and muscle health with Business Insider.

Andy Galpin, a professor of kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton, encourages a well-rounded approach to health that encompasses movement, a diet packed with whole foods and high-quality protein, positive relationships, plenty of sunshine, and quality sleep. He also believes supplements can play a role in enhancing performance and optimizing health.

Most experts agree we should take a food-first approach to nutrients, and Galpin is a paid scientific advisor at the supplement brand Momentous. But he told BI that while he doesn't want to "oversell supplements at all," he's seen them improve people's nutrient levels hundreds of times. They're not a panacea by any stretch, he said, but there's compelling evidence of the benefits of some ingredients.

Galpin is part of a growing number of people who personalize their approach to health in the hope of preventing disease and living longer, in a trend dubbed "Medicine 3.0." It can involve taking supplements or undergoing medical treatments that might not be backed by robust scientific evidence as an insurance policy.

He himself just launched RAPID Health Optimization, an online company that offers a "custom, state-of-the-art solution" to health problems with extensive testing and personalized nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle advice.

Each quarter, Galpin does blood tests and adjusts his supplements based on the results, plus his workout goals. (Galpin previously shared his longevity-focused exercise regime with BI).

This means his regime is personalized to his specific needs and may not be right for another person, he said. Consult a medical professional before taking new supplements.

Here's Galpin's current supplement protocol.


While many studies suggest taking a multivitamin is mostly useless, some people take them as a cheap insurance policy.

"It's a few cents a day and people that are very active and exposed to high amounts of stress, there is some literature suggesting they could benefit," Richard Bloomer, a researcher at Memphis University, who tests how effective supplements are, previously told BI.

Galpin falls into this camp. He eats a healthy diet but also takes a multivitamin daily to ensure he's covering his basic nutritional needs. He takes two capsules of Momentous's multivitamin in the morning and evening.

There's also some evidence to suggest that older adults may derive subtle memory benefits from taking a multivitamin.

Fish oil

Every day, Galpin takes 4 grams of fish oil to support brain health and reduce inflammation, he said.

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies need but can't produce. They play important roles in brain function, normal growth and development, and reducing inflammation, according to Harvard Medical School. Deficiencies have been linked to cardiovascular disease, some cancers, mood disorders, and more.

Some evidence suggests fish oil has anti-inflammatory effects that can be protective against muscle soreness and damage from hitting the gym. One small study found that men who took 3 grams of fish oil capsules a day for four weeks experienced less muscle soreness after working out than those who didn't.

Foods high in omega-3 include fatty fish such as salmon, some vegetable oils, walnuts, flax seeds, and leafy vegetables. It's unclear if capsules provide the same benefits as whole foods containing omega-3 fats, according to Harvard Medical School.


Galpin takes 7.5 grams of creatine daily because he believes it provides numerous short and long-term health benefits, including helping build muscle mass.

The body can make creatine from three amino acids, the building blocks of protein. It mainly stores creatine in the muscles, where it's used for energy, but also in the brain, according to The Mayo Clinic.

Studies consistently suggest that taking creatine supplements can enhance physical performance and strength and reduce recovery time after workouts, according to a 2021 review of research.

The results of studies looking into the potential benefits of taking creatine supplements on brain function are mixed. A 2019 meta-analysis of studies on the subject found that creatine may improve short-term memory and reasoning in healthy adults but its effect on other cognitive skills such as planning, attention and response time were unclear.


Collagen is the most abundant form of protein in the body. It's the primary building block of skin, muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments, and other connective tissues, and is also found in organs, blood vessels, and intestinal lining, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Galpin said he takes two collagen shots before a workout for joint health.

Collagen supplements are made of components of collagen broken down into a form absorbable by the body, according to MD Anderson Cancer Center.

There's not robust evidence to suggest collagen improves physical performance but some studies have reported positive results. One small study based on 24 active men found that those who took 20 grams of collagen a day for seven days before and two days after performing 150 drop jumps had a moderately better recovery time and less muscle soreness than those who took a placebo. But it had no impact on inflammation and bone collagen synthesis.

Whether taking collagen supplements supports joint health or improves joint-related conditions such as osteoathritis is a tricky question to answer based on the information currently available.

A 2018 meta-analysis published in the journal International Orthopaedics found that overall, collagen was effective in reducing pain and stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis.

However, in a 2022 STAT article, Paul T. von Hippel, a professor of data science and statistics at the University of Texas, Austin, noted that only five articles were used and their results appeared contradictory at times.


Magnesium is a mineral that helps more than 300 enzymes carry out various chemical reactions in the body, such as building proteins and bones, regulating blood sugar and blood pressure, and relaxing muscles, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Galpin takes 200 mg a day of magnesium for muscle health, recovery, and sleep. "Most high-exercising people are going to benefit from magnesium supplementation," he said.

According to the American Sports and Fitness Association, without enough magnesium, muscles are less efficient and more prone to fatigue and injury. It also acts as a relaxant, helping to ease muscle stress and tension from intense workouts, which aids recovery.

The mineral has also become popular as a sleep aid, and there is some evidence to suggest that it can help people who are struggling to sleep.

For example, a small 2012 study found that participants ages 65 and up who took 500 mg of magnesium daily for eight weeks slept longer and woke up less in the middle of the night compared to the placebo group.

However, if you don't have a magnesium deficiency, increasing your intake is unlikely to improve your sleep, Dr. Rami N. Khayat, a professor with the University of California Irvine School of Medicine and director of the UCI Sleep Disorders Center, previously told BI.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea is a herb that's been used in parts of Europe and Asia for centuries to increase physical endurance, and treat fatigue and depression, among other things.

Galpin takes 200 mg daily for stress management and muscular endurance, he said. It's considered an adaptogen, which are plants and mushrooms that are said to help the body respond to stress, anxiety, and fatigue.

More research is needed, but some studies suggest Rhodiola rosea could help with stress. In one small single-arm study, participants experiencing stress-related burnout took 400 mg Rhodiola rosea daily for 12 weeks. Participants reported that their symptoms lessened, and in particular, they felt less tired and tense, and felt more joy.

One study highlighted in a 2023 literature review found that participants could cycle for longer than normal after taking and felt they were exerting less effort after taking Rhodiola rosea. But the improvements were statistically small, the authors said.

Green tea extract

Galpin said he takes 225 mg of green tea extract once a day to support his immune system.

Antioxidants, such as polyphenols in green tea, can neutralize free radicals, which damage cells and DNA and contribute to the aging process. Free radicals are also thought to cause health problems such as cancer and heart disease, according to Mount Sinai.

Research suggests green tea could aid the immune system, but more research in humans is needed.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorous and is needed for healthy teeth, bones, and muscles. Although some foods, including egg yolks and red meat, contain vitamin D, sunlight is thought to be the best source.

Galpin takes 5,000 International Units daily for muscle, brain, and gut health.

Studies consistently show that vitamin D plays a role in the healthy functioning of the digestive system, however, there's less evidence that vitamin D supplements mimic this. One study based on 80 women who were deficient in vitamin D but otherwise healthy found that vitamin D supplementation increased gut microbial diversity, which is a sign of a healthy gut.

Research suggests that vitamin D may play a role in preserving cognitive function.


Galpin takes 5 mg of L-Glutamine twice daily for gut health and immune support.

L-Glutamine is an amino acid that plays a key role in digestive and immune health. It's a vital source of energy for immune cells such as white blood cells and intestinal cells, according to Healthline. It also helps maintain the barrier between the inside of the intestines and the rest of the body.

L-Glutamine is sometimes used in clinical settings to treat people with low levels of the amino acid as a result of injury or illness.