I’ve been a long time contributor in reddit (in the fitness subs mainly, where I am a moderator of both /r/fitness and creator of /r/supplements). About two years ago /u/AhmedF and I created Examine.com, which is a a scientific database for nutritional supplements (some other entries on topics of health and wellness in general, but due to the bounty of information on those two topics relative to the lack of good information on supplements the supplements are currently the priority). The website is based on a pseudo-wikipedia model, where users can edit or contribute studies to us but the edit needs to be approved by our admins before it appears on the website. At the moment, I do most of the primary research, and we sometimes get input from our advisory board (purely voluntary, they help keep us in line).

Our main niches in regards to supplements is that we cite everything to an external academic source (mostly NCBI related links or Sciencedirect, although on some pages in the traditional medicine sections you may get CNKI which is a chinese database) and avoid citing any possible unreliable sources. We cite any claim that we can be called out on, and we do our best to try and elucidate a topic and make some practical conclusions based on the evidence (usually, if cruising in a 'complete summary' of an article there are small blue quote boxes that give a Tl;Dr of the section)"

I am also currently working on a systemic review of testosterone boosters that will hopefully be published in a journal by the end of this year. There's a fair bit of them on the market that we've got around to assessing thus far.

So yeah - AMA about nutrition or supplements (fitness/exercise as well, although it is less of a forte of mine) of whatever. (Verification if need be, from Twitter)

Comments: 719 • Responses: 80  • Date: 

eric_twinge61 karma

What's in your current supplement stack?

silverhydra50 karma

Answered elsewhere but copying it here:

The things that are staples in my diet are just the things I feel follow a pseudovitamin motif (Examine page here) and then Vitamin D and Magnesium. That being said, I do not take SAMe at the moment due to its price and I am starting to take nitrate supplementation.

Things I take more because of how I feel: Bacopa, Psyllium Husk, Eurycoma (I'm actually not a lovingless blob with eurycoma), Silk Amino Acids (my skin is so damn soft) and I've also started to take finasteride (not a supp, but it should be mentioned) and Noopept in a few days

ctyt15 karma

How much magnesium and vitamin D do you take daily?

silverhydra26 karma

400mg (as citrate) and 3,000IU (will go down to 2,000IU once summer, as I'm canadian)

Ejdl3 karma

For me at mid 20s living in a northern climate (Sweden), should I also take 3000IU?

silverhydra9 karma

2-3k IU or so; that tends to be the lowest effective range (higher doses are fine, but something like 5,000IU shouldn't be taken indefinitely)

Chrisg218 karma

Big fan of examine.com, played a large role in helping me with my nootropics stack.

How do you plan on dosing the Noopept? I've experimented around with it with varying dosages (Anywhere from 10mg 50mg), with little to show for other than increased irritability.

silverhydra6 karma

I'm starting with 20mg and seeing how I feel, then upping or reducing the dosage according. Standard label dosing.

WTF-BOOM5 karma

What's your source for the eurycoma? I can never find anything good or well priced.

silverhydra4 karma

I got truenutrition's brand; it isn't as well priced as you would like overall but it appears to last a long time.

brotz50 karma

This is all very interesting, but how much do you squat? Let's quantify the progress in absolute terms we all understand, like pounds on a bar through full ROM.

silverhydra54 karma

Max evar was 535 for a single (belted, no suit, at around 190) although I would hazard a guess I weakened and can only hit 495 or something (180 or so bodyweight, same conditions)

Mogwoggle21 karma

Can we see a video?
Otherwise it's clear you're just taking photos for BB comps.

silverhydra29 karma

I will go back in time to secure a video of my strongfat self.

Hopefully he won't kill me

phrakture39 karma

  • Is it true that lower back and stomach fat is a sign of high insulin resistance? I have heard this from various people but no real sources.
  • Assuming the above is true, what is the best way to improve insulin resistance sensitivity? I am currently fasting coupled with daily fenugreek. What more can I do?
  • CheatMode recommends glucose powder in pre-workout shakes. /u/eric_twinge mentioned elsewhere that a 50/50 mix of fructose and glucose has been shown to improve performance. What is the rationale for glucose in CheatMode and should this be revised?

chaconc11 karma

For the second point, /u/silverhydra suggested Cinnamon.

On the last point, he also suggested a similar split here (40g corn flakes, 40g sugar; 60g glucose 20g fructose).

silverhydra20 karma

^ This

[deleted]4 karma

Isn't there a risk of muscle loss taking this stuff? Same mechanism as statin muscle wasting?

silverhydra8 karma

No, berberine doesn't do anything to the statin target enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase). It isn't really clear what berberine does to the muscle to be honest, but it isn't related to statins

[deleted]5 karma

Atrogin-1 induced muscle loss is a side effect of statin administration; statins turn on the gene.

Berberine activates atrogin-1 as well it would seem. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2911075/

Berberine administration decreased protein synthesis and increased degradation in muscles of normal and db/db mice. The protein catabolic mechanism depended on berberine-stimulated expression of the E3 ubiquitin ligase, atrogin-1. Atrogin-1 not only increased proteolysis but also reduced protein synthesis by mechanisms that were independent of decreased phosphorylation of Akt or forkhead transcription factors. Impaired protein synthesis was dependent on a reduction in eIF3-f, an essential regulator of protein synthesis. Berberine impaired energy metabolism, activating AMP-activated protein kinase and providing an alternative mechanism for the stimulation of atrogin-1 expression. When we increased mitochondrial biogenesis by expressing peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ coactivator-1α, berberine-induced changes in muscle protein metabolism were prevented.

silverhydra5 karma

Oh, that was the locus you were looking at?

Berberine induced atrogin-1 via mitochondrial dependent pathways (secondary to AMPK activation) whereas statins activate atrogin-1 via the mevalonate pathway (via HMG-CoA pathway). Actually, most things related to nutrient deficiency would activate atrogin 1.

Think of atrogin-1 as a unifying signal which then goes to the genome to exert 'muscle loss' effects; many things can activate atrogin-1, but abolishing it would be sexy.

shrayk2 karma

Is there a brand on amazon you would suggest? The price disparity amongst the brands is a bit confusing.

archbox2 karma

silvy uses Doctor's Best brand. He doesn't recommend the swanson ones.

silverhydra3 karma

^ This again

Although I should mention that I don't use Doctor's Best because "Yay Doctor's Best", I use it because "Oh damnit, Swanson, what else is there?"

UncleZed32 karma

Examine.com is an incredible source for getting real, credible data and information.

What is your favorite article on Examine.com, and what is the organization currently researching?

silverhydra40 karma

What is your favorite article on Examine.com, and what is the organization currently researching?

I have a few favorites:

  • Spirulina, because I went into the research thinking "this is going to be some hippy crap" and I came out saying "Wow, immunosuppression can cure metabolic diseases? We need some human trials on this"

  • Berberine, since it is potently anti-diabetic and gets absolutely no love in society. We have huge followings for resveratrol and curcumin, nobody loves poor ol' berberine despite being even more awesome

  • Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ). It's a funny name, and it just feels like it is going to be more important in the near future when human data comes out. It is possible a vitamin-like compound pending more data too

At the moment, we just finished a stevia and eleuterococcus page and are currently revamping our CoQ10 page.

KomradeKettlebell24 karma

What is your favorite article on Examine.com

Not the bull semen?

silverhydra23 karma

That is also a favorite of mine:

For those who are unaware

Coldhardt29 karma


silverhydra20 karma

The things that are staples in my diet are just the things I feel follow a pseudovitamin motif (Examine page here) and then Vitamin D and Magnesium. That being said, I do not take SAMe at the moment due to its price and I am starting to take nitrate supplementation.

Things I take more because of how I feel:

  • Bacopa, Psyllium Husk, Eurycoma (I'm actually not a lovingless blod with eurycoma), Silk Amino Acids (my skin is so damn soft) and I've also started to take finasteride (not a supp, but it should be mentioned) and Noopept in a few days

chaconc5 karma

Is the finasteride to prevent hair loss (1mg/day)? What has been your experience with it so far?

silverhydra10 karma

5 days in, too early to tell.

ManlyBeardface4 karma

Silk aminos you say? Would you divulge your source and dosage?

silverhydra10 karma

I take a small level teaspoon and the stuff I buy is from truenutrition.com (the house brand; cheapest I've found so far).

iBS_PartyDoc24 karma

  • How do you think being a student has effected your "respectability" within the field of nutrition and fitness?

  • How do you plan on differentiating yourself with so many other researchers?

silverhydra40 karma

How do you think being a student has effected your "respectability" within the field of nutrition and fitness?

I've sort of gotten the short end of the stick when I was 'just an undergrad' last year and preceding that, but it isn't much better now that I'm 'a guy with an undergraduate degree'. Admittedly, without a PhD I draw a lot of scrutiny and people tend to not like the work I do as much as if it were done by a PhD.

I can't blame them, to be honest; it's just a tad annoying at times.

How do you plan on differentiating yourself with so many other researchers?

Hopefully my work will do that (get more well known the more people compliment or critique it); admittedly I suck at marketing myself (where /u/Ahmedf comes in) and haven't thought much about how to place my own person into a niche. I just want to be researching the things and collating the data.

Edit: We also have a few other collaborations coming up in the next few months that would be pretty nice in setting me apart from other researchers, such as my possible getting published soon.

CaptainSarcasmo24 karma

How much can you YSP?

silverhydra33 karma


CaptainSarcasmo17 karma

I heard you tried it once, and didn't even leave the floor.

How did kicking that box feel? Did you cry afterwards?

silverhydra28 karma

Oh shit, that; I guess I repressed those memories.

the pain is coming back now...

dhelmet6923 karma

I drink like a fish stuck in a bourbon barrel. What supplements should I take to forestall my death? (I currently take turmeric, ZMA, vitamin D, and horse chestnut [the latter for crummy veins]).

silverhydra20 karma

I'm sort of stretching here, but I'd look into milk thistle for the morning after drinking and perhaps spirulina.

Those were all in regards to your liver, btw; spirulina is somewhat tentative as although the first big trial on fatty liver is being conducted right now it is unpublished. If you don't want to use spirulina, use N-acetylcystine.

archbox8 karma

We were literally just talking about this in ##nutrition (Freenode) and decided on:


B complex (especially B1. Fat soluble B1's especially, like benfotiamine and sulbutiamine)

Milk thistle

Bacopa (for stomach lining)

Green Tea





Vitamin C

Sources consulted: examine.com


silverhydra11 karma

To be fair though, I have seen tons of molecules protect the stomach lining; look at examine for theaflavins (pretty damn anti-ulcer).

It just needs to have an anti-oxidant capacity, and I don't think Bacopa is the most potent anti-ulcer agent.

jousephus22 karma

How seriously should I take advice in 4 Hour Body?

silverhydra30 karma

Not very.

I cannot speak too much on the 4 hour body as I have not read the book in its entirety, but every excerpt I have read has critical flaws in what it proposes.

The one time he recommends supplementation (The PAGG stack) that I have heard of was pretty bad too; that isn't a good supplement stack in any way.

That being said, if modifying your diet according to the body makes you lose weight then go for it; just don't assume it is the best source of information.

ObsidianOrangutan21 karma

What experiments would you conduct if cost, ethics, and other boring things weren't an issue?

silverhydra23 karma

It cost wasn't an issue, I would accelerate research into nootropics and cognitive enhancers. Once we make people smarter, it can just be a snowball effect of advancement in other fields.

As for ethics, I'd love to do more testing on myostatin inhibitors and their possible involvement in society (one of the myostatin inhibitors is a virus that ablates the myostatin gene, so it might not be wholly safe if it isn't incredibly selective).

I'd also be interesting in doing a lot more research on people at around the age of puberty. The idea that a mechanism is outright dormant for 10-15 years and then suddenly just decides to activate is pretty remarkable, and whatever mediates this long dormant period could probably open up a lot more research avenues.

Ethics would need to be removed on that last one though since you would be ablating some puberty and causing kids to not advance... poor kids :'(

herman_gill7 karma

On the opposite end precocious puberty is caused when people's pituatary OR pineal glands are messed up. I think we talked once about how melatonin has estrogen-like effects in some tissues, which might include the HPTA. Also as you get older the gland slowly calcifies over time ("less useful"?), so there's that.

silverhydra10 karma

I do remember rat studies where the pineal gland from young rats was excised and put in old rats, and the old rats lived far longer; there appears to be a neuropeptide structurally related to melatonin that is implicated in longevity.

Funny thing, it was discovered in Russia in the 50s or something. I like to imagine that the russians are keeping Stalin alive by swapping pineal glands from young virile boys.

edge_of_reality20 karma

Really, no one yet? Fine, I'll be that guy...

Creatine and hair loss, what's the skinny? I'm almost 26 and still have a full head but my Dad is a cueball. I stopped taking it a couple months ago.

If creatine can cause hair loss, are there any supplements you can take to mitigate this?

silverhydra25 karma

DHT (derivative of testosterone) accelerates hair loss in people predisposed to it. Creatine was found once to increase DHT in the body (and it was a pretty solid study) but the connection between creatine and hair loss has not been made yet.

It is theoretically plausible creatine can accelerate hair loss in people with a genetic susceptibility to it, but I cannot say more than that.

archbox6 karma

Don't I want DHT, though?

silverhydra9 karma

DHT is basically testosterone but more involved with hair loss, sexuality, prostate cancer and (IIRC) power output while being less involved with muscle protein synthesis (as it is sequestered by SHBG really bloody fast). DHT has its benefits, but sometimes less DHT is desirable.

For people who want to minimize risk of hair loss and prostate cancer and are willing to go with a reduced libido and perhaps lower power output, lessening DHT is fine.

If you have no problems with your DHT level then I would advise not screwing with it.

baronjpetor17 karma

With the growing popularity and credibility of Examine.com, have you ever been approached by some big industry players who tried to convince you to present biased (or false) data on some products ?

silverhydra34 karma

Not yet, although somebody asked me personally if I wanted a blatantly overpriced 'growth hormone boosting kit' (arginine, ornitine, and catnip...) for free if I blogged about it. When I asked to talk to them in person, they stopped conversing with me; I feel like they were going to warp my words.

That is about it though.

And yes, catnip.

shartinabucket17 karma

What are the most effective and/or necessary supplements that most people should take everyday, but don't?

silverhydra30 karma

It is really hard to answer, to be honest. The most important ones would probably be nutrients that are deficient in the diet you choose to have but due to other circumstances cannot change your diet to better accomodate your dietary needs.

This usually means Vitamin D and perhaps Magnesium, although dietary fiber (psyllium husk is a popular one) and fish oil for those who never eat fish would also be good.

Most other effective supplements cannot really just be stated outright, and are more conditional; being recommended after a few criteria are hit.

ishitconeguns11 karma

What's the bare minimum amount of fish that should be consumed each week to eliminate the need for fish oil?

silverhydra12 karma

I've seen some agencies saying 300mg EPA+DHA a week is sufficient for just general function. You don't need too much fish oil to get its benefits (there are a different subset of benefits associated with superloading, but those don't tend to be unique to FO or health related)

eltoshan3 karma

What would be an appropriate substitute for fish oil for someone that has fish/shellfish allergies?

silverhydra14 karma

Flax might be your best bet in low doses, although there are some companies that sell plankton supplements with EPA/DHA that would be better suited (I am not sure how the processing goes here though, so tread with caution).

ObsidianOrangutan14 karma

Where does the name "Silverhydra" come from anyway? (Also I love your site)

silverhydra28 karma

I wanted a hotmail account with random numbers after it, and kurtisfrank was taken (I was not going to get kurtisfrank58 or anything). I chose two random words and got [email protected] (not in use currently)

Then I just started using it as my screenname because it was something.

Hybrid01713 karma

Totally unrelated to nutrition, what is your most recently saved reddit link?

nimr0d13 karma

Which supplement companies do you find to be the best(well rounded), in terms of quality, price, trustworthiness, reputation, etc?

I tend to stick to NOW foods for pill/capsule stuff and Optimum Nutrition or smartpowders for powders(whey, creatine, preworkout ingredients).

And if you need to, to avoid conflict of interest ... I guess speaking personally, not as a representative of examine.com.

silverhydra38 karma

NOW Foods, Jarrow Nutraceuticals, Life Extension Foundation (although a tad overpriced) and TrueNutrition/Smartpowders.com are my go-to five sources for supplements.

I would also like to personally insult Swanson once again since I should be dead right now from 'overdosing' supplements if the actually put the active ingredient in the supplements they sell.

I have overdosed senna alexandria (potent laxative) from swanson and felt totally fine; that should not happen, and the stuff was air tight too so molecular degradation isn't a problem.

Adventure_Pig7 karma

I would also like to personally insult Swanson once again since I should be dead right now from 'overdosing' supplements if the actually put the active ingredient in the supplements they sell.

Holy shit, what happened? I get that Swanson was making false claims--but why should you be dead? What did you take as a test?

silverhydra28 karma

One does not simply take '250mg' of vinpocetine, '20g' of rhodiola rosea, and entire bottle of senna alexandria, or '3g' reseveratrol (for resveratrol, doses above 1000mg always gives me cold chills, nausea, and vomiting due to hypotension when I take such a retardedly high dose).

All these tests should have hurt me or at least made me shit out my internal organs, none of them did anything. Swanson was either horrendously underdosing their products or just using placebo.

I did the above tests thrice over the course of 2 years; it was not just 'one bad batch'.

Cammorak12 karma

This is definitely more of a "feel" question, but:

If you had to estimate, what would you say would be the maximum sustainable ergogenic benefit (as in an increase in mental/physical performance of 10%? 20%?) of nonhormonal supplements? So basically, if you stacked everything that worked together and manipulated the dosing to minimize negative long-term side effects, how much extra would you get out of it?

silverhydra14 karma

I'd go for the 10-20% range if we are to assume you were perfectly fine to begin with; greater benefits could be seen in people who were 'hindered' in such a way beforehand (like, people with attention deficit who then taken caffeine+theanine would report much more than 20%).

I feel, especially for weightlifting, once we get a reliable topical supplement we can increase the efficacy of a lot of these supplements by avoiding pesky pharmacokinetic interactions. Ecdysteroids might actually be useful in that case!

Cammorak6 karma

What's the average Theanine/Caffeine content of a serving of green tea? I see that Examine notes there may be some efflux issues when Theanine is consumed in the form of green tea, but it also seems shaky in the current state the page is in.

Are there any known human ecdysteroids? I've worked some with those in my past life as a researcher, but they were all arthropod morphogenesis factors.

silverhydra12 karma

I am pretty sure tea is an abysmal source of theanine actually; best natural source, but it is still like 10-20mg IIRC.

Are there any known human ecdysteroids?

Not that I know of, the studies just use the insect ecdysteroids in mammalian tissue and hope there is an effect. We lack the classical ecdysteroid receptors in insects, so they're just treated like any other saponin-like molecule

fucktheocean11 karma

I have heard nitrate supplements make you really horny/ random boners. Is this true?

silverhydra20 karma

Possibly. Anything that influences nitric oxide production (which nitrate does) can increase blood flow to extremities; your penis is an extremity of sorts.

It shouldn't inherently make you horny, but boners themselves might make you horny.

Schroedingers_gif8 karma

Uncle Silvy how did you get so wise?

silverhydra27 karma


(4realz I was kinda a loner in high school and just studied chemicals; totally no suspicious at all)

swagga_mcdaddy11 karma

I'm curious about your formal education (degrees etc.) if you don't mind sharing.

silverhydra22 karma


sixtycakes13 karma

Any plans for grad school? You seem like a really good candidate for a PhD. You're doing the research part already!

silverhydra20 karma


markiedee8811 karma

Is DAA worth looking into? If so, are there any other substances that should be consumed in conjunction with DAA to offset side-effects?

silverhydra16 karma

As long as you don't hope for magic, then it should be interesting to look into. It does appear to boost test (based on one study, it isn't like we have a mountain of evidence for it) but it seems a lot more promising than other herbs to boost test.

The low potency of it should be sufficient for libido and possibly making your balls bigger, but won't be enough to boost muscle significantly; due to the latter, I don't think you will need to worry about side-effects with D-AA if you keep it within the recommended doses.

Dizzy_Slip9 karma

Do you think there's a major difference in terms of effectiveness between CoQ10 and its reduced form ubiquinol?

silverhydra7 karma

CoQ10 just gets reduced into ubiquinol when it gets transportered in the blood, so I doubt it.

ServerGeek8 karma

Flax oil or Hemp oil: Which is better?

silverhydra14 karma

For what purpose?

If we're talking about getting dietary omega-3 fatty acids, then the choice is akin to choosing between getting punched in the gut or the face; you're unnecessarily choosing the lesser of two evils here.

If fish oil is definitely off the list (veganism) and you cannot procure any fatty acid mixture with an EPA/DHA content, then flax > hemp

xtremeprv8 karma

What's your affiliation? Academic-wise?

Do you intend to keep on studying (MSc/PhD/whatever)?

Anyway, your work is great, thanks and congratulations.

silverhydra11 karma

What's your affiliation? Academic-wise?

I was affiliated with the University of Guelph where I did my undergrad, but I am not affiliated with them now. I am likely to do a MSc or PhD at the university of Ottawa in the near future (hopefully pharmacology, but I want to build up Examine and my CV first)

TedElliot8 karma


silverhydra16 karma

My thoughts on it now are the same as before; it is a nice idea that lets you eat carbs during a fat loss or muscle gaining workout but at the same time isn't magical, just feasible.

I would just clarify that now I 'say-dislike-because-hate-is-too-strong' John Kiefer due to his abuse of citations. Regardless of the science of carb backloading, Kiefer is really bad at this whole 'citation' thing.

babyimreal7 karma

  • Do you still follow cheatmode?

  • Do you still lift? I've noticed you fitocracy logs are sort of old

  • I've tried cheatmode for about a month or two now and like it a lot but I've wondered this: The point of the "carb free/light mornings" is to sensitize the body towards insulin and keep glucagon levels high, but will eating a protein rich breakfast cause insulin spike?

  • Edit: Are you gonna go to grad school/med school?

silverhydra11 karma

  • Yes
  • Yes, I just don't log it onto fitocracy much anymore
  • F'ed if I know
  • Probably

BastardoBini7 karma

Thank you so much for doing this! I will check out your website but I snuck out of work to get a couple questions in, which I may find the answers to on your website later but Ill just leave them for you anyway.

What are the most cutting edge ingredients you know of on the market today? Risks? What don't supplement company's want us to know? Best methods for insulin growth factors? Do you have any opinions/insight on the effects of marijuana on the body in terms of helping with recovery/performance? What's the deal with 7-Keto/DHEA?

I have so many questions but those are all I had for now, I hope to hear back and thank you again!

silverhydra3 karma

What are the most cutting edge ingredients you know of on the market today?

There aren't too many 'cutting edge' supplements, unfortunately. The term (cutting edge) implies that it is magical and at the same time very new, but it takes time to establish something as awesome and when that happens it isn't new.

That being said, probably berberine. It has a ton of evidence for it but has gone under the radar for so long I wouldn't be surprised if it just suddenly became very popular.

What don't supplement company's want us to know?

That the majority of the industry is filled with scumbags. Some newer companies might also be giving less ingredients than listed on the label, and although it is rare it is not unheard of for some companies to spike their supplements as to create a consumer base.

Do you have any opinions/insight on the effects of marijuana on the body in terms of helping with recovery/performance?

I haven't done a full assessment on it, but it seems most of the harm comes from if smoking would impair the performance of your next workout. There is likely not going to be much impairment with function if you smoke up the day before a rest day (after a hard workout) and that is it, but you could likely have your strength hindered if you toked daily.

What's the deal with 7-Keto/DHEA?

We just finished our page on 7-keto (just FYI, although '7-keto DHEA' is a supplement so is 'DHEA' in general yet they are very different). It is said to increase the metabolic rate, and the evidence is kinda suspicious right now.

It is potentially a pretty cool neuroprotective agent though.

Everything related to 7-keto needs more evidence though, it isn't understudied by any means but it has opened up more possible research options than it has closed.

drhani7 karma

What are the best supplements I can/must take to improve my memory ?

I'm still in my early 20's, but I'm starting to feel so limited...

silverhydra14 karma

BACOPA is my baby, try bacopa.

Be forewarned that it tastes like crap.

beastmode_sd6 karma

What is your workout methodology/philosophy?

silverhydra11 karma

  • Warmup
  • Do the select powerlift for the day, working up to a max for that day (does not need to be overall max)
  • Rep 80-90% of that for triples, do about 5-10 sets of it (very smolov inspired)
  • The I have some fun with other exercises afterwards, working either the muscles I just did (If I benched, I would target pecs and triceps) or work muscle groups that act as synergists to the movement (If I benched, I would do some high rep rows)

That's about it, but the last bullet takes up 75% of the time.

abwcorporation3 karma

Fellow dietetic major here, to nitpick.

The synergists of the bench press are the anterior deltoid and the triceps. The latissimus dorsi is the antagonist.

Otherwise, keep up the great work. I just discovered your website and it's already changed the way I look at supplements. The fitness world needs more people like you.

silverhydra3 karma

Figures I'd screw up on physiology; I have a back track record of that stuff :(

Thanks for the kind words

Hellshield6 karma

Any particular thoughts or opinions on creatine use?

silverhydra20 karma

I love it so much I put my mother on creatine; she's loves the monohydrate as well.


Any thoughts on losing weight with the aid of 5 HTP (Griffoina Extract) ? Are there any other promising supplements or foods you would recommend to help a person lose weight effectively… or is it even possible????

silverhydra10 karma

I'm not the biggest fan of 5-HTP. It does work, but it works at higher than recommended doses (recommended to take 100-200mg; works at 600mg or above well) and at these higher doses there could be adverse interactions with other drugs, specifically anti-depressants.

It would only work secondary to reducing food intake by making you more full after meals.

Practically speaking, I don't think any supplement is as potent at suppressing appetite as merely removing yourself from the stressors in question (excluding stimulants that give you nausea; those effectively kill appetite)

ios_k6 karma

Is there a thing as creatine-resistance (i.e. people that are not benefited by creatine supplementation)? If yes how can one tell?


silverhydra12 karma

Yes, there is. I have no clue why to be honest, but it appears to exist. It is just an issue where you absorb the creatine through the intestines but it doesn't get stored in the muscle.

If you do a loading protocol (20g of creatine a day with carbohydrates for 5 days) and you don't gain a ton of water weight, you are resistant to creatine.

jousephus5 karma

  • Firstly: Big thanks for what you are doing: With help of examine I get rid of incessant fatigue.
  • Could you please put on examine affiliate links on more eshops? I would like to help you even when I order from sites other than amazon.com (bulkpowders.co.uk, amazon.co.uk...) :-)

silverhydra11 karma

We're currently working on expanding the affiliate links, but it is going a bit slow at the moment (our top priority is not being affiliated directly with any company in isolation, and we routinely walk a tightrope on the issue of income so we need to take it slow). :(

TheIronNeverLies5 karma

Do you think trying to manipulate acute changes in hormones levels (sans drugs) is a waste of time? If not, attempting to manipulate which give a measurable result, and what supplements would help achieve this change.

silverhydra7 karma

Do you think trying to manipulate acute changes in hormones levels (sans drugs) is a waste of time?

Chronic, yes; acute, no. You need to give the hormone some time to act and a single acute pulse won't do too much (reasoning why, formatting sucks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Area_under_the_curve_(pharmacokinetics)#drug)).

The only excuse would be melatonin supplementation, where an acute pulse to knock you out is perfectly sufficient.

stratius4 karma

Where do you see the future of nutrition research going? A lot of the literature seems to be lacking in controlled studies, do you see ethics approval for these studies getting better? Do you think internet crowd-sourced/volunteer based nutrition research being a feasible concept?

silverhydra8 karma

I honestly have no clue as I've been switching from dietetics to pharmacy lately, where my interests lay.

That being said, I cannot think of any reason why I should be expecting a sudden surge of amazing studies with diet. There will always be inherent flaws with the stuff, if anything the public perception of the study's conclusions will change.

tmpsox804 karma

Off topic...maybe?

Energy drinks. Redbull, Rockstar, Monster, etc... are trash. This I know.

Are there any that you have found to be loaded with good stuff? A good pre-workout boost, in a pinch.

silverhydra6 karma

Not really; my ideal pre-workout supplement mixture is not currently on the market in one mix (rather being collected in a lot of different products) and when it comes to stimulant boosts you just use caffeine or ephedrine.


What is your choice… Butter or Margarine of what (?oil?) ? Why?

silverhydra23 karma

I tend to use coconut oil for cooking because I like coconut. I can also put some in my hair and on wounds to make me pretty.

archbox5 karma

And it works as a personal oil-based lubricant.

silverhydra4 karma

Cooking gets pretty hot pretty fast, eh?

archbox3 karma

Hot showers. Coconut oil is good for hair ALL over the body, right?

silverhydra4 karma

Not just one body ;)

MeOnTheInternet3 karma

What's your take on that guy who replaced most of his meals with nutritional supplements?


silverhydra8 karma

We actually did a blog post about it earlier; he seems well intentioned but that thing needs a reformulation.

ranza3 karma

Any nootropics you'd recommend?

silverhydra8 karma

Bacopa monnieri; seems like the only one with a nice degree or reliability with it.

Anything that aids your sleep would also be nice I guess.

Nick3573 karma

Is there an ideal micronutrient ratio for cutting fat and building muscle?

silverhydra5 karma

If there is, I do not know of it.

tactical_garment3 karma

Do you think the work that you and others are doing around evidence based supplement research will make a dent in the prevalence of "snake oil" other other ineffective supplement shilling, or do you think that the naturalistic fallacy / silver bullet effect is just to strong to overcome?

silverhydra13 karma

I like to approach this somewhat illogically since I really, really want to destroy ineffective supplement selling and snake oil. I doubt we'll get that far, but I do believe we'll at least make a dent.

JB523 karma

What are your guidelines for bulking (if you have any)? When bulking, how much above a person's BMR do you recommend one eat to maximize muscle gain? Also, anything you would recommend to aid in digesting all the food I'm eating? I currently supplement with NOW foods superenzymes.

silverhydra5 karma

I tend to recommend 500kcal extra daily, and then the subject can play around with the calories a bit more beyond that and use performance in the gym as an assessment; increased calories being okay if they are met with an increase in physical power output.

I tend to just recommend slow music and relaxation for digestion, but bromelain (from pineapple) is a pretty cool enzyme. You can even just have some pineapple with your meal and see if that helps.


What supplements or foods would you recommend for reducing the risk of or mitigating diabetes… I have heard though, cinnamon does wonders!!

silverhydra7 karma

Berberine and Benfotiamine paired with a moderate carbohydrate (50% total calories or less) and high fiber diet and an exercise regimen.

baronjpetor3 karma

Are you planning to try the "new Racetam wave" (Sunifiram, Coluracetam, Phenylpiracetam...) like many nootropic enthusiasts on r/nootropics or Longecity ?

silverhydra5 karma

I'm trying Noopept for now (so I guess there is no need for phenylpiracetam?) but have no interest in colu or suni at this moment in time; I'd want to try moda first.

peynir3 karma

What is your opinion on fasting for 24h two days a week or more? Good/Bad?

silverhydra4 karma

If you're in an unhealthy state and you don't have any hypoglycemic issues during the fast, some fasting at times can be good and the 2 nonconsecutive days a week seems to have a lot of people reporting good effects with it.

I'm a bit hesitant to recommend more than that though.


I have tendonitis. Are there any supplements that increase the strength/comfort of tendons? Any supplements that help with the inflammation itself?

silverhydra3 karma

The vast majority of supplements are actually antiinflammatory (most of them are weak though), and at least for joint pain I have heard good things with both boswellia serrata and curcumin (with piperine) seem to have good anecdotes. Theoretically spirulina as well, but that has no human evidence.

mxmxmxmx3 karma

Interesting you mentioned you're looking into nitrate supplementation. I read recently about NO patches being used to enhance tendon injury healing. Any thoughts on that or is that something you could include in your research? Is there something different about patch delivery that makes it better for tendons or should an oral supplement have the same effect? What NO supplement do you recommend and how much?

And in that same vein, what are your recommendations for tendon/ligament/joint injuries? Is there anything you've seen that makes a significant difference? Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, and Gelatin/Collagen seem to be the standard mix for the generic "joint formulas", I saw you've done glucosamine and chondroitin, but I'd be curious about the last two, too (particularly collagen since it seems like that would just be broken down into regular amino acids no different than protein powder).

silverhydra3 karma

Any thoughts on that or is that something you could include in your research?

We might include something on that indirectly when talking about wound healing. That does sound like an NO thing to do.

What NO supplement do you recommend?

At this moment in time I recommend beetroot. Arginine is displaced by Citrulline (a better absorbed form) but is kinda expensive, and nitrates from beetroot are cheaper. Citrulline in addition to nitrate would be awesome, but nitrates come first.

Is there something different about patch delivery that makes it better for tendons or should an oral supplement have the same effect?

NO also vasodilates blood vessels, and superhigh levels could cause low blood pressure. Patch delivery will avoid this by localizing the NO.

I am honestly not well versed on joint health at this moment in time to be honest. Sorry bout that.

TardGenius3 karma

What do you guys think about "green powder" supplements?

silverhydra5 karma

Although they are not an ideal replacement for a diet high in vegetables, they're something at least.

Although I do tend to recommend the fruits extracts since compliance seems higher with fruit powder than veggie powder.

DaMasterDebater2 karma

As a basic bitch of the supplement world, what would be the best brand/protein for freshman in college looking to build some muscle mass? Pre and post workout?

silverhydra5 karma

Optimum Nutrition has a good track record of giving tasty protein for not expensive.

Benditlikebaker2 karma

How do you feel about pre-workout supplements? I currently use C4 and I love working out with it

silverhydra5 karma

As long as they are treated as stimulants with the dosage respected, some time off, and not taken by people with heart conditions then I am for pre-workouts.

Whatever it takes to get a better workout :/

imagirlimagirl2 karma

How much of a benefit is it to buy organic/is it worth the extra cash for a college student on a budget?

silverhydra6 karma

The amount of benefit you get from eating organic food (versus regular food of the same type) seems to be very minimal when compared to the benefit you can get from just eating healthier overall. Since there is a higher markup associated with it, I would not be too worried about buying organic.

masterburn922 karma

Hi my current major is nutritional science and I'm having issues with job prospects when I'm done, btw it an undergrad bsc nutritional science. Could you help me out and point a couple careers I could do. Since dietetics are off the table because we are not Dietitians.

silverhydra3 karma

Asking a fellow unemployed dietetic about how not to be an unemployed dietetic might not yield desirable results. I really don't know much about career options, unfortunately

FrankieSucks2 karma

Any tips on boosting testosterone naturally?

silverhydra5 karma

Avoid blatant nutrient deficiencies that would suppress test (zinc and maybe vitamin D) and be active, both physically and sexually.

bzippy482 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this!

I use Oxy Elite Pro, despite doing research on the product, I was wondering if you could tell me just how effective it is in the long run/what you know about the side effects of the product in the long run?

I eat right, and exercise regularly, this helps with the weight loss but I don't want to find out later that I'll be in diapers when im 50

silverhydra7 karma

Should you even be using oxyelite for 'the long run'?

It might help with a pound or two during the cycle, but stimulants should be cycled off eventually.

Taking oxyelite for too long would lead to the basic stimulant side-effects; dependency and perhaps weakened cardiac tissue/endothelium (blood vessels). I doubt they are too much of a concern, but they can happen.

There shouldn't be too many side-effects if you don't overdose on it and cycle off every now and then though.