Protein: When and How Much Do You Need Each Day and Each Meal?

How Much Protein Should You Eat Each Day?

If you’re following the current dietary recommendations, then chances are you’re not getting enough protein. That’s a big problem because we lose 3–8% of muscle mass per decade starting at age 30 and the rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60.

In this article, you’ll learn:

i.) the bare minimum amount of protein you should be eating each day,

ii.) how much protein your body can absorb each meal,

iii.) the best time to drink your protein shakes, and

iv.) the number of grams of protein per day you should be eating if your goal is to build muscle and lose fat.

Why do we need protein?

Protein is found in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part, tissue, and cell. It makes up the enzymes and hormones that power many chemical reactions, the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood, and the amino acids needed to build and repair muscle and bones.

At least 10,000 different proteins are responsible for making you what you are and keeping you that way.

Bottom line: proteins are an essential part of all living organisms and form the basis of living cells, muscle and tissues, so it’s vitally important to ensure your cells are getting enough to maximize muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

How much protein do you need each day?

Your daily protein requirements depend on several factors:

how much protein do you need each day

1. How much muscle you currently have. The more muscular you are, the more amino acids your body needs to maintain your current body composition levels.

2. Your activity level. The more you exercise, the more protein your body needs.

3. Your age. The older you get, the more protein your body needs to maintain muscle.

4. Your hormones. If your body has high levels of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), it will use protein more efficiently than someone with low levels. These hormones decrease as you age, which is one of the reasons why older adults need more protein.

Current Dietary Protein Guidelines

The current recommendation based on the 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines and National Academy of Medicine for protein intake is 0.8 g/kg (or around 0.36 g/lb) of body mass in generally healthy adults.

That’s around 50 grams per day for the average adult.

However, this probably isn’t enough for most of you reading this. According to a 2019 paper published in the scientific journal Nutrients called Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit:

The current protein RDA, however, is often incorrectly applied when used as the definition of recommended intake, rather than its true designation as the required minimum intake.

How Much Protein Should You Eat Each Day? 

Protein researcher Don Layman, Ph.D., says that 1.2 – 1.8 g/kg is a better number to strive for when it comes to overall protein intake and that protein needs to be a higher percentage of your overall calories as you age (jump to the section at 43:03 “Is the Protein RDA Sufficient” in the video below).

Protein Requirements for Older Adults and Elderly to Optimize Muscle Protein Synthesis

According to a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition called “Defining meal requirements for protein to optimize metabolic roles of amino acids”:

Research suggests daily needs for older adults of ≥1.0 g/kg and identifies anabolic and metabolic benefits to consuming at least 20-30 g protein at a given meal.

A 2016 paper published in the journal Nutrients recommended a protein intake between 1.2 and 2.0 g/kg/day for elderly adults, which is close to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

How much protein can you eat and absorb at one time?

A 2018 study from Brad Schoenfeld and Alan Aragon published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that 0.55 g/kg/meal would be around the upper limit most people can absorb, which translates to 35-45 grams of protein for the average person per meal.

Here’s a good overview from protein scientist Don Layman on Peter Attia, M.D.’s podcast (jump to the section at 1:20:02 “Muscle protein synthesis: ideal timing, small meals vs. big meals, and more”):

When should I drink a protein shake for best results: pre- or post-workout?

You may have heard that you need to ingest protein immediately before or after a workout.

However, in a 2013 study called “Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window?”, the research team had this to say:

Despite claims that immediate post-exercise nutritional intake is essential to maximize hypertrophic gains, evidence-based support for such an “anabolic window of opportunity” is far from definitive.

Here is the position of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN):

  1. Meeting the total daily intake of protein, preferably with evenly spaced protein feedings (approximately every 3 hours during the day), should be viewed as a primary area of emphasis for exercising individuals.
  2. Ingesting a 20-40 gram protein dose (0.25-0.40 g/kg body mass/dose) of a high-quality source every three to 4 hours appears to most favorably affect muscle protein synthesis (MPS) rates when compared to other dietary patterns and is associated with improved body composition and performance outcomes.
  3. Post-exercise ingestion (immediately to 2-hours post) of high-quality protein sources stimulates robust increases in MPS.

A 2017 study called Pre- versus post-exercise protein intake has similar effects on muscular adaptations concluded the following:

Pre- and post-workout protein consumption had similar effects on all measures studied. These findings refute the contention of a narrow post-exercise anabolic window to maximize the muscular response and instead lends support to the theory that the interval for protein intake may be as wide as several hours or perhaps more after a training bout depending on when the pre-workout meal was consumed.

How much protein is needed in grams per day to build muscle?

How much protein is needed to build muscle?A 2018 study called “Recent Perspectives Regarding the Role of Dietary Protein for the Promotion of Muscle Hypertrophy with Resistance Exercise Training” found that to grow or build new muscle, daily protein intakes should be:

1.6 g/kg/day – 2.2 g/kg/day.

In other words,

~1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day is optimal for gaining muscle.


To improve or maintain your current body composition, aim for at least 1.2 – 1.8 g/kg of body weight (or 1 gram per pound if you’re an older adult, avid exerciser, and/or want to lose weight) with 30-40 grams of protein each meal spread out every 3-4 hours.

If you’re looking to boost your protein intake quickly and efficiently, try Pure Food Protein Powder.

7 Science-Proven Health and Wellness Habits to Start Doing Now

healthy habits for a longer life

How can you get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to your health and wellness?

In other words, what are the best, science-proven health habits to maximize your investment of time, energy, and money?

That’s what we’ll explore in this article.

We’ll uncover research that shows how making small improvements to some key areas and creating a few new habits can pay big dividends, health-wise.

Here goes … 

Health Habit # 7: Limit sugar intake to < 30 grams daily

If there’s one thing most doctors who have studied nutrition extensively would advise you to avoid in your diet, it would be sugar.

That’s because eating too much sugar doesn’t just make us fat; it can also make us sick.

Research shows that getting more than 20% of your daily calories from sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

On top of that, a 2018 research review found that excessive sugar consumption may trigger neuroadaptations in your brain’s reward system that leads to compulsive overeating.

Added sugar is now found in 75% of packaged foods, and the average adult in the U.S. eats 77 grams of added sugar per day!

That’s quite alarming, since the American Heart Association recommends that adult females consume ≤6 teaspoons (∼25 g) and that adult males consume ≤9 teaspoons (∼38 g) of added sugar daily.

So here’s a good daily health habit to strive for: consume 30 grams of added sugar or less each day.

If you consistently eat more than this, then try reducing your intake of any beverages with added sugar and limiting your dessert portion sizes.

Paying attention to the “added sugar” in the foods and drinks you’re consuming can go a long way to keeping your sugar consumption in check too.

Health Habit # 6: Eat at least 2/3 of your weight in grams of protein daily

I don’t track my calories, carbs, or fat, and don’t feel that it’s necessary for most people, but the two things I do mentally monitor each day are: i. my sugar intake and ii. my protein intake.

Here’s why …

A 2016 meta analysis (an analysis of several available research studies) found that:

Higher total dietary protein intakes (1.2–1.5 g/kg/d) are reported to preserve lean mass and improve body composition during weight loss in young, middle-aged, and older adults when compared with normal protein intakes (0.8 g/kg/d).

My personal goal is 0.75 – 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight daily because I’m an ectomorph that wants to keep a little more lean mass on my frame.

But generally speaking, most people should aim for at least 2/3 of their body weight in grams of protein daily for optimal health.

If you’re trying to build lean muscle mass, consume closer to 1 gram per pound of body weight.

And shameless plug alert: if you’re looking for a high quality, organic, plant-based protein, then check out Pure Food protein.

Health Habit # 5: Do at least 30 minutes of active movement every day

“Active movement” doesn’t have to be “exercise”.

Just get up and move.

Go work in your garden, vacuum the house, chase your kids around the yard, do some stretches, walk your dog or on your lunch break at work …

Doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something.

Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day can help you reduce your risk of dying young,  getting heart disease, getting certain types of cancer, and delay onset of 40 common chronic conditions!

But even if you only have 5-10 minutes to get a little exercise, a little bit every day goes a long way.

I routinely take 5-minute breaks throughout my day / week to stop working and walk, stretch, or just do anything active.

Over the course of a week / month / year, these minutes really add up!

If you make exercise a habit, it will reward you for the rest of your life.

Health Habit # 4: Do at least 2 strength training sessions every week

If you can take your exercise habits a step further and do 1-2 strength training workouts, it can help you improve your lean body mass (more lean muscle and less fat), strength and endurance, and mobility.

For older adults in particular, studies have shown just 2 strength training sessions a week can build muscle strength and muscle mass and preserve bone density, independence, and vitality with age.

You don’t have to lift weights, either.

Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and pushups work great.

You can also invest $10 or so into some exercise bands to provide a little more resistance.

Health Habit # 3: Try eating more of a Mediterranean-style Diet

Many folks are ditching grains for more protein and fat as part of a low carb, keto, or Paleo diet.

While these dietary approaches can have short-term weight loss gains, the longer term implications are less clear.

One dietary approach that’s backed by plenty of credible evidence though over the long-term for overall health and wellness is the Mediterranean Diet, with its emphasis on healthy fats from olive oil and fish, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. A little bit of wine is even encouraged!

Try eating more of a Mediterranean-style Diet and your health markers are likely to improve at your next checkup.

Health Habit # 2: Get 7+ hours of sleep

The importance of getting a good night’s sleep can’t be overstated enough.


Because in the short term, lack of sleep can lead to increased stress, pain, reduced quality of life, emotional distress and mood disorders, and cognitive, memory, and performance deficits.

For kids, in particular, not getting enough sleep can affect their psychosocial health, school performance, and risk-taking behaviors.

Long-term consequences of poor sleep in otherwise healthy adults include hypertension, cardiovascular disease, weight-related issues, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer. All-cause mortality is also increased in men with sleep disturbances.

While everyone’s sleep needs are different, research shows you should aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night if you want to maximize your health and your performance.

Health Habit # 1: Prioritize you

While being “selfless” and putting others first are highly sought after virtues in our society, here’s what I’ve learned in 40-something years here:

If you don’t take care of yourself physically and mentally, you’re going to have a hard time taking care of others.

Taking care of yourself can mean different things to different people but here are common self-care strategies:

  • Managing your diet / eating well
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Exercising
  • Yoga / meditation
  • Spirituality / religion
  • Artistic expression – music, writing, drawing, painting, gardening, crafting, woodworking, building, etc.
  • Spending time outdoors in nature

In short, self-care means finding time to do the things that make your life better, both mentally and physically.

And that, my friends, is the “secret sauce.”

Taking care of yourself is the single most important habit you can create for your overall health and happiness, because once you figure out how to make yourself better, you’ll be better equipped to help others and make a difference in this world.

KOS Organic Plant Protein Powder Review

kos plant protein powders reviews

The majority of KOS protein powder reviews you’ll find online (and this applies to most brands) are biased because they get commission.

This one is different.

Because, in full disclosure, we sell our own line of plant-based supplements.

And for the last several years, we’ve been publishing honest reviews of our competitors’ products to help our customers understand how they compare to ours.

This KOS protein powder review will focus on objective criteria like ingredients, nutrition facts, and price and analyzing verified customer reviews on Amazon.

Read on to find out more.

Who Owns KOS Protein Powder?

KOS is a privately owned company started by a couple of entrepreneurs based out of Washington.

Where Can You Buy KOS Protein Shakes?

KOS organic proteins and shakes are available for sale at Whole Foods, Target, Vitamin Shoppe, and Amazon.

KOS Organic Plant Protein Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Is KOS protein powder healthy? Here’s what they say on their website:

KOS’ suite of superfoods are designed to give your engine the high-octane punch it needs — and without the fuel contaminants found in today’s dysfunctional food system. We want to infuse you, and your community, with vibrant, sustainable, organic health and well-being. At the risk of sounding saccharine, we really want to do good by the world, and by you. Blame it on our moms. Food has a problem. KOS is approaching the issue at its energy base, building a brick-by-brick model of individual sustainability that can’t help but scale to the larger world. Because the larger world is All of Us.

Ok, pretty cool, we can definitely get down with that philosophy which closely mirrors our own.

But let’s dig into the numbers a bit deeper and see what we find …

KOS Chocolate Protein Powder Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

KOS Vanilla Protein Powder Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Overall, I think KOS appears to offer some of the higher quality plant protein powders on the market.

I like that their protein blend is organic and contains a mix of several different plant proteins (bonus points for this because you get more amino acids / better absorption with multi-source plant-based powders).

Here’s a complete list of pros and cons:

KOS Protein Powder Pros and Cons



  • Get rid of the 2 grams of added sugar and boost the fiber intake. Most people already get more than enough sugar, and it’s one of the biggest causes of weight gain. Even though organic coconut sugar is a lower glycemic sweetener choice compared to others, we’d like to see them use a bit more organic monkfruit instead.
  • Ditch the “natural” flavors and gums (although they do use organic versions, which are much better than non-organic flavors, which are often loaded with mystery chemicals)
  • It’s not clear where their ingredients are sourced from. Most plant proteins are grown in China, where standards aren’t as stringent and soils are often more polluted due to industrial contimination–so it’s always a good idea to ask where the ingredients in your protein shake are grown (not just produced).

KOS Flavors

KOS now offers protein powders in these flavors:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Blueberry Muffin
  • Chocolate Chip Mint
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Salted Caramel Coffee
  • Unflavored

KOS Protein Cost Per Serving

On their website, KOS offers several different pricing options, depending on the serving size. Here is current pricing for their chocolate protein powder:

  • 10 servings: $24.99
  • 14 servings: $34.99
  • 30 servings: $49.99

They also have a Subscribe & Save program that can save you 15%.

KOS Protein Powder Reviews

As discussed, it’s hard to find unbiased reviews on the Internet … but Amazon is still a pretty solid source (despite their many other shortcomings).

Here’s what reviewers on Amazon say about KOS protein shakes:

kos protein powder reviews

Here’s the most liked KOS protein positive review on Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars The absolute BEST protein powder I have ever had
Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2018
Size: 30 Servings Verified Purchase
Alright, I’ll start off by saying this is the BEST protein powder I have ever had. I have tried multiple brands (big and small, MLM or bought at target) and a lot I have trashed. I have a degree in nutrition and fitness, I’m a wife, a boy mom chef, a very busy online nutrition and fitness professional.

I don’t have time for crappy products. I don’t want to be eating or drinking them, I won’t recommend them to my clients and I certainly won’t give them to my kids or family. Thankfully this product hit the amazing mark in everything.

1. The plant protein sources; pea, flax, quinoa, pumpkin and chia. Pea protein is an awesome source of protein along with the carbs we want. Flax and chia are great sources of omega 3’s (which we all need more of since we are typically high in omega 6 which causes inflammation), Chia seeds are perfect for adding in additional fiber into our diets with very little effort. Quinoa is the perfect mix of protein and good carbs and pumpkin is amazing for our reproductive health – women and men!

2. The awesome enzyme blend; amylase, protease, lipase, lactase, and cellulase. Protease which digests protein.
Amylase digests carbohydrates. Lipase for fats and oils digestion. Lactase which digests dairy products. And cellulase that converts glucose. Who wouldn’t want this in their protein shake?

3. The sweet stuff. Organic agave, Organic Coconut Sugar, Stevia, Monk Fruit. Perfect blend of sweet without being too sweet and a bonus because it doesn’t upset any of the little bellies in my home.

4. The fruit and vegetable blend they have formulated is perfect! It leaves no grit, even with foods like quinoa and seeds being in it. It blends perfectly, super smooth, cooks well, freezes in other foods well, isn’t clumpy, and it’s $39? People pay $200+ for a shake that doesn’t taste half as good and is loaded with things that can cause a lot of GI distress. I would easily pay $200 for this shake. They batch test their own weird, sketchy other company needed. If something is too high – the ditch it!

5. This one is pretty important. Their customer service is amazing! I work in an industry where client relations is SO important and these guys nailed it with their team. They’ve answered tons of questions for me and have been so kind!

I ordered the Vanilla to try first – but I love it so much I know that the chocolate will be just as good if not better! I’ll be ordering that tonight. Happy to say I will never have to try or search for another protein powder again! I will 100% be recommending this to ALL of my clients, family, friends and anyone I know because I love it that much!

The most popular negative review of KOS on Amazon is:

1.0 out of 5 stars Gross!
Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2019
Size: 30 Servings Verified Purchase
With all the positive reviews I thought this was the ONE! Boy was I wrong! Disgusting! If Amazon had a negative star I would say -10!
And no returns at all! Way bad intestinal issues as well!

Compare Our KOS Alternative–Pure Food Real Meal

Here’s a quick comparison of KOS Organic Plant Protein Powder (Chocolate) vs. Pure Food Real Meal:

KOS Chocolate Protein Powder Pure Food REAL MEAL
Calories:  150 170 (note: in order to compare an equivalent serving size with 20 grams of protein, we used a 44 gram serving of Real Meal, which would get you 12 servings/bag.)
Protein Per Serving 20 grams 20 grams 
Sugar Per Serving  2 grams  0 grams 
Cost Per 20 Gram of Protein Serving $2.00 $2.46
Contains Gums and Flavors  Yes No 
Organic ingredients Sourced from the U.S. and Canada ? Yes
Servings Per Bag 10 12

How to Reduce Joint Pain and Inflammation Naturally: The Best Supplements and Foods to Avoid

In a 2015 paper published in the medical journal Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, Leslie J. Crofford, MD wrote:

Unfortunately, treatments for chronic pain are woefully inadequate and often worsen clinical outcomes. Developing new treatment strategies for patients with chronic pain is of utmost urgency. 

Chronic pain affects 20% of adults in the U.S., myself included. After multiple broken bones in my formative years and a diagnosis of reactive arthritis (an inflammatory autoimmune condition) in 2016, I set out on a journey to discover the best natural treatments for my joint pain. 

After talking to countless health and wellness experts, reviewing research papers, and years of self-experimentation, I found a number of exercises, dietary restrictions, and supplements that significantly reduced my joint pain. 

That’s not to say these are going to work for your specific condition–because pain is highly individual–but some of these may work for you. 

Read on to learn more. 

Avoid These Foods That May Increase Inflammation Cause Muscle and Joint Pain

When you’re experiencing joint issues like arthritis, your body is in an inflammatory state, which can trigger pain and other symptoms. 

What you eat may increase inflammation and have an impact on your pain levels

Here are some of the most common foods that are known to cause joint pain for certain people: 

  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Dairy

Sugar and Joint Pain 

Researchers have found that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines, which can have an impact on joint pain.

This is a problem, because the average American consumes a hefty 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which amounts to an extra 350 calories. The CDC recommends a maximum of 12 teaspoons. 

Long story short, avoid added sugar in foods and drinks if you’re dealing with pain in your joints and see if it makes a difference. At worst, you’ll probably lose a little weight, because added sugar is one of the biggest causes of weight gain

Gluten and Joint Pain

Can gluten cause joint pain?

There’s not enough clinical evidence to this point to know for sure but it’s clear that people who are gluten sensitive have a different type of immune response to grain proteins. 

When some, but not all, people with gluten sensitivity eliminate these from their diet, they may find their arthritis symptoms also improve. For some with gluten-related joint pain, symptoms may improve within weeks after ditching gluten. For others, it may take a little longer, and for many, the problem may not be gluten at all.

So long story short, it doesn’t work for everyone, but if cutting out gluten helps you feel better, then stick with it

Dairy and Joint Pain

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2015 found that eating dairy foods increased low-grade inflammation in a small sample of German adults.

Another study of more than 40,000 people with osteoarthritis (OA) found that those who ate more dairy products were more likely to need hip replacement surgery.

While more research is needed to better understand the link (if any) between consuming dairy and joint pain, we do know that a large number of people (over 2/3 of the world’s population) are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar naturally present in milk products. 

So it stands to reason that if you’re lactose intolerant and you have joint pain, it’s probably a good idea to avoid dairy products

FODMAPs and Joint Pain

“FODMAP” stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, a group of carbohydrates that are not easily digested and may ferment in the gut, leading to bloating, gas, water-retention, diarrhea, and inflammation. 

Foods that fall under the FODMAP umbrella include wheat, certain fruits, vegetables and dairy products, and sugar alcohols, which are in some artificial sweeteners.  

Studies have found a low FODMAP diet can alleviate symptoms of IBS and reduce inflammation by reducing the amount of foods in your system that feed problematic bacteria.  

This can have a calming effect in the GI tract and may help reduce inflammation in other areas, including joints.

While there’s no peer-reviewed research to suggest a low-FODMAP diet improves arthritis symptoms, following the diet for a couple of months can help improve bacterial balance which, in some, may help to reduce inflammation. 

The Best Supplements for Arthritis-Related Joint Pain and Inflammation

Magnesium for Joint Pain

Magnesium strengthens bones; maintains nerve and muscle function; regulates heart rhythm and blood sugar levels; and helps maintain joint cartilage. 

So does magnesium work for joint pain? 


Low magnesium intake is associated with increased knee pain in people with osteoarthritis. The famed Framingham Heart Study found that eating foods high in magnesium and potassium increases bone density and may help prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis. 

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 420 milligrams (mg) daily for men 31 and older; 320 mg for women. 

Side effects of taking magnesium are rare, and may include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness, according to the Arthritis Foundation

Magnesium may interact with some diuretics, antibiotics, antacids and laxatives. 

Fish Oil 

The research available on fish oil and joint pain is fairly limited; however, there are two studies that suggest fish oil may be a promising treatment option.

In the first study, researchers reviewed 17 randomized, controlled trials assessing the pain relieving effects of omega-3 fatty acids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or joint pain. They found that taking a fish oil supplement for 3-4 months reduced joint pain intensity, minutes of morning stiffness, number of painful and/or tender joints, and NSAID consumption.

In the second study, a 12-week, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, sixty patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (49 female and 11 male) underwent rheumatologist examination and disease activity score were calculated. Then patients were enrolled in this 12 week, double blind, randomized, placebo- controlled study where one group received a fish oil supplement and the other received a placebo. At the end of the study, researchers concluded:

Daily supplementation with omega-3 has significant clinical benefit and may reduce the need for concomitant analgesic consumption.


Studies have shown that curcumin, a compound found in turmeric supplements, may support patients suffering from autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Curcumin inhibits these autoimmune diseases by regulating inflammatory cytokines and associated signaling pathways in your immune cells.

For those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, in particular, turmeric can reduce joint swelling and stiffness.

It’s important to note that curcumin has poor bioavailability alone. For maximum absorption, make sure you choose a turmeric supplement with black pepper extract.


Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are the building blocks for cartilage and appear to stimulate the body to make more cartilage.

There are conflicting studies on the efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin, but based on what we know now it does appear that glucosamine and chondroitin can reduce the rate of collagen (joint tissue) degradation and symptoms of osteoarthritis, particularly in the knees.

Glucosamine and chondroitin’s effectiveness for rheumatoid arthritis isn’t as clear, as only a handful of studies have been conducted in relation to RA. …

One study found that for RA patients, glucosamine appears to have positive effects for pain. When compared to NSAIDs for pain relief, glucosamine has shown evidence to produce similar or improved pain reduction in RA patients as NSAIDs, without the side effects.

CBD Oil for Arthritis Pain

Phytocannabinoids in CBD appear to have neuroprotective properties that could play a role in pain management.

A research review called published in the European Journal of Rheumatology stated:

Preclinical and clinical studies support the therapeutic application of cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic pain, and to date, patients suffering from chronic arthritic and musculoskeletal pain.

Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D., research investigator in the department of anesthesiology at the University of Michigan’s Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center notes that ongoing preclinical studies in animals have demonstrated that CBD reduces pain and inflammation, and studies of CBD in humans show that it is well-tolerated and has few negative side effects. He states:

There are observational studies that ask why people use CBD and if it’s effective, and results tend to be quite positive. People report using CBD for anxiety, pain, sleep — all things that go hand-in-hand with chronic pain.

We need more clinical studies to help us better understand how, exactly, CBD affects pain, what dosage is safe and efficacious, and whether or not it’s a safe and effective long-term option.

Other Causes of Joint Pain

Can Antihistamines Cause Joint Pain?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, H2 antihistamines, which help with stomach issues and include Tagamet HB, Pepcid, and Zantac, are most likely to cause joint pain

H-1 antihistamines, which are typically used to treat allergies, are not as likely to lead to joint pain. 

Cold Weather and Joint Pain

There’s not a lot of evidence around how cold weather affects joint pain but some theories suggest that the drop in barometric pressure caused by cold weather makes the tendons, muscles and the surrounding tissues in your body expand. This can cause pain, especially in joints affected by arthritis.

Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Joint Pain and Inflammation?

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, there is no definitive relationship between food allergy and joint inflammation. But other doctors argue that since allergies cause inflammation, they may play a role in joint pain. 

Joint Pain and Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you’re at increased risk of various bone and joint disorders like charcot joint, diabetic hand syndrome, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis, says the Mayo Clinic.

And the American Arthritis Foundation says that people with arthritis have a 61% higher risk of developing diabetes. 

Joint Pain After COVID

Research published in The Lancet in October 2020 found that almost 15 percent of COVID-19 patients report experiencing joint pain. And for many of those who already have arthritis, it appears getting the virus may exaggerate the symptoms as well. 

However, the long-term impact of COVID on our bones and joints are still unknown, and joint pain often has other underlying causes. 

If you’re experiencing joint pain post-COVID, go talk to your doctor and ask for a referral to a pain specialist or physical therapist who may be able to better help you. 

Further Reading: 

My 10 Favorite Exercises for Reducing Aches and Pains

The Best Science-proven Natural Herbal Nutritional Supplements for Stress Relief, Anxiety, Sleep and Recovery

In this article, we’ll look at what natural nutritional supplements are recommended for managing stress and reducing anxiety, based on data and science

While there’s no such thing as “magic pills” that will remove all anxiety from your life, there are some supplements out there that can help you de-stress and feel a little better at the very least. 

Natural Supplements for Stress and Anxiety

If you’re considering taking a nutritional supplement during times of stress and anxiety, there’s no shortage of supplements out there that claim to help you manage turbulent times.

But which ones (if any) actually work? 

To answer this question, we’ll turn to the most objective source of information available: PubMed, the online database maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health that catalogs all science journals and clinical studies. 

Here are four natural supplements that may help you get at least some relief: 


Do Magnesium Supplements Work for Anxiety?

Magnesium is an abundant mineral in the body that’s naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, and available as a dietary supplement. 

Magnesium is required for energy production, contributes to the structural development of bone, and plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm. 

A 2017 research review found that magnesium supplements do appear to work for anxiety, based on several small studies. 

In a 2017 study, researchers found that: 

“Existing evidence is suggestive of a beneficial effect of Mg on subjective anxiety in anxiety vulnerable samples. However, the quality of the existing evidence is poor. Well-designed randomized controlled trials are required to further confirm the efficacy of Mg supplementation. 

In a 2020 research review, researchers stated that, “stress could increase magnesium loss, causing a deficiency; and in turn, magnesium deficiency could enhance the body’s susceptibility to stress, resulting in a magnesium and stress vicious circle.”

And a 2021 study found that taking a magnesium supplement “with or without vitamin B6, could provide a meaningful clinical benefit in daily life for individuals with stress and low magnesemia.” 

There is some conflicting evidence about the ability of magnesium to treat depression, so if you’re depressed, talk to your doctor and seek other treatment methods. In a 2020 research review called The Role and the Effect of Magnesium in Mental Disorders: A Systematic Review, researchers had this to say: 

“We found three positive studies showing the efficacy of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression. In contrast, Fard et al. (2017) showed that magnesium did not reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in postpartum women.”

Magnesium Safety and Side Effects

High doses of magnesium from supplements or medications can cause nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea.

In addition, the magnesium in supplements can interact with some types of antibiotics and other medicines. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re considering a magnesium supplement, especially if you routinely use magnesium-containing antacids or laxatives.

Can Vitamin B6 Work for Stress Relief? 

Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is important for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous system and immune system healthy.

Food sources of vitamin B-6 include poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas, bananas and fortified cereals. Vitamin B-6 can also be taken as a supplement, typically as an oral capsule, tablet or liquid.

Research has shown that stress depletes your body’s stores of B-6 and supplementation with B6 vitamins could help reduce stress levels. 

In contrast to the study mentioned above in the Magnesium section, a 2018 study showed that taking a magnesium supplement with vitamin B6 provided more stress relief benefits than just magnesium alone. 

Vitamin B6 Safety and Side Effects

The Mayo Clinic says that taking Vitamin B6 in supplement form is generally safe. 

Consuming vitamin B-6 through food appears to be safe, even in excessive amounts.

However, taking too much vitamin B-6 from supplements may cause:

  • A lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements (ataxia)
  • Painful, disfiguring skin lesions
  • Heartburn and nausea
  • Sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity)
  • Numbness
  • Reduced ability to sense pain or extreme temperatures

Check with your doctor before taking vitamin B-6 if you’re using any medications. Possible drug interactions include:

  • Altretamine
  • Barbiturates
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Levodopa
  • Antiepileptic Medications
  • Cycloserine
  • Theophylline

Is Lemon Balm Good for Anxiety? 

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a member of the mint family, is considered a calming herb.

Several small studies have shown that lemon balm supplements may be good for anxiety: 

  • A 2021 metaanalysis found that “lemon balm significantly improved mean anxiety and depression scores compared with the placebo”. 
  • A 2018 study showed that 8-week supplementation with 3 g MO can decrease depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep disorder in patients with CSA.
  • A 2014 study found that lemon balm could have beneficial effects on mood and cognitive performance. 
  • In a 2011 non-placebo-controlled trial, researchers had this to say regarding treating anxiety with lemon balm: “treatment has been demonstrated to improve mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders, its associated symptoms and insomnia in humans.”

Lemon Balm Safety and Side Effects

Lemon balm supplements are possibly safe when used at a dose of up to 500 mg daily for up to 6 months. Side effects are generally mild and might include increased appetite, nausea, dizziness, and wheezing. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if lemon balm is safe to use for more than 6 months.

Lemon balm may change thyroid function, reduce thyroid hormone levels, and interfere with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Avoid lemon balm if you have thyroid disease.

Does CBD Help Treat Anxiety? 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in the cannabis plant, and is usually derived from hemp, a cousin of marijuana. 

Here’s what we know about CBD and anxiety: 

  • In one study, 80% of patients decreased anxiety levels within the first month of using a CBD supplement. 
  • A 2019 research review that looked at articles published from case reports, case series, or randomized controlled trials on human subjects found that “CBD has a promising role as alternative therapy in the management of anxiety disorders. However, more studies with standardized approaches to dosing and clinical outcome measurements are needed to determine the appropriate dosing strategy for CBD and its place in therapy.” 
  • A 2021 journal article called Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety and Mood Disorders said that “given its safety profile, CBD is considered a promising new agent in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders.” 
  • A 2020 journal article called Use of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety: A Short Synthesis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Evidence stated that “existing pre-clinical and clinical evidence supports a possible role for CBD as a novel treatment for anxiety disorders. The findings reviewed in this study demonstrate the potential of CBD to produce anxiolytic-like effects in pre-clinical models and the potential of CBD to induce acute anxiolytic effects when administered as a single dose in healthy volunteers and individuals with SAD. 
  • A 2019 double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study that assessed the efficacy of CBD treatment for Japanese late teenagers with social anxiety disorder found “significantly decreased anxiety” for study participants who took CBD. 

Will CBD Get You High? 

CBD does not cause a “high” like marijuana because it’s too low in THC, the psychoactive substance. 

CBD is non-toxic and non-intoxicating. 

Is CBD Safe to Use?

According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

That being said, there are several serious safety considerations:

  1. CBD can thin blood, so people with thin blood or who are on blood thinners should consult a doctor before taking it. 
  2. CBD is known to inhibit the CYP450 enzyme system which is a primary means with which the body processes a large assortment of conventional medications (NSAIDs, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, steroids, anesthetics, etc.). Meaning, with both CBD and these drugs in the system, they’re processed slower than normal which can lead to problems, especially liver toxicity. 
  3. Another issue is that certain drugs are designed (prodrugs, like codeine which metabolizes into morphine inside the body) to activate during processing, and CBD can inhibit the amount of the drug being activated. 

According to a 2017 review from the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the three most common side effects from clinical studies looking at patients who used CBD to treat epilepsy and psychotic disorders were strong changes in food intake, some diarrhea, and tiredness at high doses. 


Can taking nutritional supplements during times of stress and anxiety really work to help you get relief? 

Based on the current body of evidence available, there do seem to be some supplements available in pill form that can help you achieve these outcomes … but larger studies are definitely needed to better understand the efficacy, safety, and dosing. 

Talk to your doctor if you’re having persistent anxious thoughts and before taking any new supplement for anxiety, stress, or sleep so they can help determine the best option(s) for you. 

And if you’re interested in trying any of these supplements, then check out Pure Food’s American-sourced, NSF-certified supplements for stress, anxiety and sleep right here:

Turmeric Supplement Benefits, Dosing, Risks, and FAQs

turmeric curcumin health benefits

Turmeric is a spice that comes from the root of curcuma longa, a plant in the ginger family. Its main active ingredient is a compound called curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellow color. 

Curcumin is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown it may help you better manage conditions in which inflammation plays a role.

But it also has poor bioavailability, which means your body doesn’t absorb it well.

In this article, we’ll answer your most common questions about:

  • The benefits of turmeric
  • Safety and side effects
  • Dosing – how much to take and when for best results
  • What to look for in a turmeric / curcumin supplement

Let’s get started!

Turmeric Health Benefits

Turmeric is best known for its antioxidant properties.

One study showed that it may help protect your body from free radicals and another study found that turmeric’s antioxidant effects may also stimulate the action of other antioxidants in your body.

Although most research studies have been small, early results seem promising.

Here’s a deeper dive into some of the health benefits of turmeric. 

Reduce Inflammation

According to a 2017 research review called Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health, turmeric “aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia”.

In one study of patients with ulcerative colitis, a common autoimmune disease, patients who took 2 grams of curcumin / day along with prescription medication were more likely to stay in remission than those who took the medication alone. Since many medications for autoimmune disorders come with unwanted side effects, this research is promising. 

Turmeric may also reduce joint swelling and stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis. 

However, a 2019 review found that “Turmeric or curcumin did not decrease several inflammatory markers in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases.” 

Clearly more research is needed to understand the effects of turmeric / curcumin supplements on inflammation. 

Boost Memory

A 2018 clinical trial showed that taking 90 milligrams of curcumin twice daily for 18 months helped improve memory in adults. Researchers from this study found that: 

  • Curcumin led to significant memory and attention benefits.
  • Curcumin’s cognitive benefits may stem from its anti-inflammatory and/or anti-amyloid brain effects.

Reduce Arthritis Pain

A 2016 metaanalysis found that taking turmeric extract could potentially reduce arthritis pain. 

And a 2021 study showed turmeric supplements had similar pain reduction effects on osteoarthritis knee pain as NSAIDs. A 2017 research review stated: Curcumin may offer an alternative to NSAIDS for patients with OA seeking treatment but experiencing negative side effects. 

Support Heart Health

Due to its ability to help reduce inflammation, turmeric may also lower the risk of heart disease.

A 2017 study showed that turmeric may help reverse heart disease. In healthy adults who took curcumin capsule supplements for 12 weeks, resistance artery endothelial production (which plays a significant role in high blood pressure) was increased significantly. 

Another study found that patients who took 4 grams of curcumin a day saw a 65% decreased risk of having a heart attack in the hospital following coronary artery bypass surgery. 

And a 2017 metaanalysis that reviewed results from 7 studies found that turmeric may protect those at risk for heart disease by lowering certain levels of cholesterol. 

Helps Combat Depression

In a 2020 metaanalysis, researchers concluded that “curcumin, if added to standard care, might improve depressive and anxiety symptoms in people with depression.” 

While scientists are still uncovering the exact mechanisms for how curcumin/turmeric may help with depression, it appears as if curcumin can boost BDNF levels (BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, is a protein that is reduced when you’re depressed). 

Another study found that curcumin may be just as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in reducing symptoms of depression. 

And finally, curcumin / turmeric also appear to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine — which are brain chemicals that regulate mood and other body functions. Researchers had this to say: 

The coadministration of curcumin along with piperine may prove to be a useful and potent natural antidepressant approach in the management of depression.

Turmeric Safety and Risks 

Doses of up to 8 grams of turmeric / curcumin have not been shown to cause serious adverse effects in humans. However, larger studies are needed. Here are some potential side effects that may occur: 

  • High doses of curcumin may produce nausea and gastrointestinal complaints. 
  • Use of curcumin with piperine may cause adverse drug reactions, as piperine greatly increases intestinal permeability. 
  • Turmeric may cause bloating, and there is a theoretical concern that it may interact with blood-clotting medications. 
  • Avoid turmeric if you have gallbladder disease.

Always talk to your doctor before starting a dietary supplement, since they could potentially interact with other medications you’re taking. Turmeric can help supplement your conventional care, but it’s not a substitute for medicine.

While the risk of side effects is low and drug interactions are unlikely, stop taking turmeric / curcumin supplements if you notice ill effects. 

Turmeric Optimal Dosage: How Much Should You Take Per Day? 

As a dietary supplement, research shows that 500 milligrams twice daily with food appears to be effective for most people. The dose that’s right for you depends on your overall health. More isn’t always better, so talk to your doctor.

On its own, curcumin is poorly absorbed. So look for a curcumin / turmeric capsule with piperine (a black pepper extract) or combine it with some healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts, etc.). 

It’s usually best to take turmeric with or immediately before a meal to avoid any side effects. 

Best Time to Take Turmeric

The best time of day to take turmeric really depends on what you’re using it for. Turmeric can be used in the morning to reduce minor aches and pains and sharpen your mental focus and memory or in the evening to reduce anxiety and stress, if you prefer. 

How Long Does Turmeric Take to Work? 

Turmeric generally takes 30-60 minutes to take effect. Pairing it with healthy fats and/or black pepper extract will improve absorption time. 

How Is Turmeric Best Absorbed? 

It’s widely known that turmeric is not absorbed well by your body. However, there are several ways to help your body absorb it better, to exert maximum benefit. 

A number of all-natural compounds have been studied to help increase the bioavailability of curcumin. 

One of the most popular is piperine, also known as black pepper extract. 

One study showed that curcumin bioavailability was increased by 2,000% at 45 minutes after co-administering curcumin orally with piperine. 

So make sure whatever turmeric supplement you’re choosing has black pepper extract (like BioPerine, a safe, proven, and patented extract) to improve absorption. 

How to Find the Best Turmeric Supplement

There are a few things to look for to find the best turmeric supplement for you. 

  1. Seek out turmeric / curcumin supplements with organic ingredients, so you ingest  less pesticides/chemicals. 
  2. Choose a product with the optimal dose of 500–600 mg of turmeric per capsule. 
  3. Look for turmeric pills with 5 mg or more of black pepper extract (like BioPerine) because the black pepper extract makes the turmeric easier for your body to absorb. 
  4. Look for a turmeric supplement made in the USA in a GMP-compliant, FDA-approved facility that’s been third party lab tested for purity and safety. 

Learn More About Pure Food Turmeric + Ginger 

What is Ashwagandha and What Is It Used for? 

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, is an evergreen shrub that’s found in India, Africa and parts of the Middle East that been used in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years to increase energy, improve overall health and reduce inflammation, pain and anxiety.

In this article, we’ll unpack the health benefits of ashwagandha along with potential risks, safety considerations, and tips for choosing an ashwagandha supplement. 

Ashwagandha Health Benefits

Ashwagandha is best known for its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects, probably due to its ability to reduce cortisol levels (a common “stress hormone”). 

Here’s a deeper dive into some of the health benefits of ashwagandha. 

Reduce Anxiety and Stress Levels

Ashwagandha appears to significantly reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety, fatigue, and cognitive impairment, along with stress-related biomarkers like cortisol (see this study and this one). 

Another randomized, double blind clinical study found that 600 mg of ashwagandha for 60 days in people with chronic mental stress improved perceived stress levels and reduced serum cortisol by 27.9%.

Improve Sleep

One study showed that ashwagandha may benefit sleep quality as well—researchers found that study participants slept much better with 250 mg / day or 600 mg /day doses of the herb compared to placebo doses.

Another randomized, double-blind clinical trial showed that ashwagandha root extract can improve sleep quality and can help in managing insomnia. 

Lower Blood Sugar and Fat

A couple of small clinical trials found ashwagandha to be helpful in reducing blood glucose levels and triglycerides (the most common type of fat in the blood). 

One study compared ashwagandha’s blood sugar-lowering effects to those of medications commonly prescribed for type 2 diabetes. More research is needed in this area. 

Increase Muscle Strength and Power Output

One study found participants who took 500 mg / day of ashwagandha experienced increased speed and strength. 

Another study showed that taking 750 mg of ashwagandha each day results in increased muscle power, lower body fat percentage and reduced cholesterol levels in study participants. Some participants also experienced better sleep, but this study did not compare ashwagandha consumption against a placebo.

Another study compared men who took 600 mg daily to a placebo group and found that the men who received ashwagandha saw significant gains in muscle strength (measured using bench press and leg extension exercises) and muscle size in their arms and chests, as well as a significant reduction in body fat percentage and post-workout muscle damage.

Sharpen Focus and Memory

Ashwagandha may also help improve cognition and memory. 

Small studies have found that, compared to a placebo, ashwagandha significantly improved participants’ reaction times during cognition and psychomotor tests. 

One study also found that ashwagandha significantly improved participants’ attention spans, as well as their “executive function, attention, and information processing speed”.

Long story short, many clinical trials have tested the herbal substance on a relatively small number of participants. Larger studies are needed to establish ashwagandha’s benefits and risks, especially over the long term.

Boost Immune Function

Ashwagandha has long been known in Ayurvedic medicine for its immunomodulatory effects.

One study found that the herb’s immunomodulatory properties helped to improve phagocytosis, a process where the body’s white blood cells attack and remove harmful foreign particles, bacteria, and dead or dying cells.

Regular intake of ashwagandha can support the immune system and bolster the body’s natural defense mechanisms.

Enhance Sexual and Reproductive Health

Traditional Ayurvedic practices have also long valued ashwagandha for its aphrodisiac properties.

The root is considered a tonic for enhancing sexual and reproductive health, with small studies showing promising results in improving semen parameters in infertile men when consumed regularly.

Additionally, it’s been suggested that the herb may enhance sexual function and satisfaction in women, further contributing to its reputation (no clinical studies to support this one though).

Support Cardiovascular Health

Ashwagandha may also offer heart health benefits.

Studies have indicated its potential in enhancing cardiorespiratory endurance, making it beneficial for athletes and those with physically demanding lifestyles.

Moreover, it has been shown to have a protective effect against heart damage, reducing the risks associated with heart disease.

May Provide Neuroprotection

Emerging research suggests that ashwagandha could have a neuroprotective role too.

Its antioxidant properties may help protect against neural oxidative stress.

Also, some studies have found it may help delay or prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. More research is needed to confirm these findings and understand the mechanisms involved.

Ashwagandha Safety and Risks 

Ashwagandha is generally safe. According to Dr. Yufang Lin, integrative medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic

“Most people can take this supplement, although it is always best to discuss it with your healthcare provider first. Ashwagandha is generally tolerated well. However, the most common side effects are diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, vomiting and nausea.”

Avoid ashwagandha or talk to your doctor if any of the following apply to you:  

  • If you have any issues with your thyroid, check with your healthcare provider before taking ashwagandha.
  • Don’t use ashwagandha if you’re pregnant because it may cause abortion (end your pregnancy).
  • Talk with your doctor if you have hormone-sensitive prostate cancer because ashwagandha may increase testosterone levels. This can interfere with your treatments.
  • Ashwagandha may increase the drowsiness effects of some prescription medications so talk with your healthcare provider before taking it.

Ashwagandha Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Optimal Dose?  

As a dietary supplement, research shows that 300–700 mg of ashwagandha root extract daily can help you achieve the most benefit. Take it with a meal if you experience any GI discomfort.  

What’s the Best Time to Take Ashwagandha? 

”Do I take ashwagandha in the morning or night?” is one of the most common questions we get. 

The best time to take ashwagandha depends on what you’re using it for. Ashwagandha can be used in the morning to sharpen your mental focus and memory or in the evening to reduce anxiety and wind down for a better night’s sleep. 

How Long Does Ashwagandha Take to Work? 

Ashwagandha generally takes 30-60 minutes to take effect. 

Is Ashwagandha Better with Black Pepper? 

Black pepper extra is often added to adaptogenic supplements like ashwagandha and turmeric to increase their bioavailability. In other words, black pepper helps your body better absorb the beneficial compounds from these adaptogens. 

Ashwagandha Capsules vs. Powder: Which Is Better? 

Ashwagandha means “smell of the horse” in Sanskrit, and it does have a bit of a pungent smell to it. That’s why we recommend capsules vs. taking it in a powder, which doesn’t taste very good. 

How to Find the Best Ashwagandha Supplement

Long story short, there are a few things to look for to find the best ashwagandha supplement for you. 

  1. Supplements with organic ingredients means less pesticides/chemicals. 
  2. Ashwagandha with black pepper extract because the black pepper extract makes the ashwagandha more bioavailable (easier for your body to absorb). 
  3. Choose a product with the optimal dose of 300–700 mg of ashwagandha per capsule. 
  4. Look for an ashwagandha supplement made in the USA in a GMP-compliant, FDA-approved facility that’s been third party lab tested for purity and safety. 

Learn More About Pure Food Ashwagandha + Ginger

New Product Update

pure food supplements

Back in 2014 when I started this business, it was always my vision to create a full line of health and wellness supplements that could help people feel better and create healthier habits in their lives.

Seven years later, this has finally come to fruition.

Each of our 12 new supplements are the gold standard in their respective category … they’re all:

  • Sourced from American-grown ingredients (never China like 99% of others)
  • NSF-certified (the “Michelin Stars” of supplement certifications)
  • Produced in a GMP-certified, FDA-approved facility in the USA
  • Lab tested for purity and safety

Whether you’re looking to boost your immunityenergy levels, or GI healthreduce stress / sleep better, or move better, we’ve now got you covered.

Check out our new shop now!

Explore the New Pure Food Shop

The Best Ozempic (Semaglutide) Alternative Supplements to Burn Fat and Lose Weight Naturally

safe ozempic alternative weight loss supplements

Looking for a safe alternative to the medication / drug Ozempic (semaglutide) for weight loss, without the side effects?

In this article, we will uncover some of the most effective fat burning, all natural weight loss supplements for both women and men that have been shown to work in human clinical trials.

Let’s jump right in.

What Is Ozempic (Semaglutide)?

Semaglutide, sold under the brand name Ozempic, is a weekly injectable medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and an anti-obesity medication used for long-term weight management.

What Are the Side Effects of Ozempic (Semaglutide)?

The most common side effects of Ozempic are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach (abdominal) pain, and constipation.
According to the Ozempic website (

Ozempic® may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Possible thyroid tumors, including cancer. Tell your health care provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In studies with rodents, Ozempic® and medicines that work like Ozempic® caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if Ozempic® will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.
  • Do not use Ozempic® if you or any of your family have ever had MTC, or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

How Much Does Ozempic Cost?

The average retail price of Ozempic is $1,015.97 per 3 mL dose. Both and list semaglutide at a cost of around $1000 per 3 mL.
Best Ozempic Alternative Supplements to Lose Weight / Burn Fat

Green Coffee Bean Extract 

Green coffee bean extract is a dietary supplement made from unroasted coffee beans, which are high in compounds called chlorogenic acids that have antioxidant and thermogenic effects.

While an early study showed mixed results of green coffee bean extract for losing weight, more recent studies have shed new light on its effectiveness. Here’s a look …

Research Study Findings
The Use of Green Coffee Extract as a Weight Loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials (2011) The meta-analytic result reveals a significant difference in body weight in GCE compared with placebo (mean difference: −2.47 kg; 95%CI: −4.23, −0.72). The magnitude of the effect is moderate, and there is significant heterogeneity amongst the studies. It is concluded that the results from these trials are promising, but the studies are all of poor methodological quality. More rigorous trials are needed to assess the usefulness of GCE as a weight loss tool.
The effects of green coffee bean extract supplementation on lipid profile in humans: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2019) The evidence from available studies suggests that taking green coffee bean extract supplements leads to significant reductions in total cholesterol, HDL-C, and LDL-C levels, and has modest, but, non-significant effects on triglycerides levels.
The effect of green-coffee extract supplementation on obesity: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2019) In the subgroup analysis, studies that were conducted on baseline BMI ≥25 kg/m2 revealed a significant greater reduction in body weight and BMI than those performed on baseline BMI <25 kg/m2. Moreover, short supplementation periods of less than 4 weeks had no effect. The results of current meta-analysis study support the use of green coffee extract supplementation for the improvement of obesity indices, with sub-group analysis highlighting greater improvements in individuals with a starting BMI ≥25 kg/m2.
The effects of green coffee extract supplementation on glycemic indices and lipid profile in adults: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of clinical trials (2020) Green coffee bean extract supplementation improved fasting blood glucose and serum levels of insulin and total cholesterol. Also, there was a significant improvement in other markers of lipid profile in some subgroups of clinical trials.
The effect of green coffee extract supplementation on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2019) Results revealed significant reduction in systolic blood pressure after green coffee supplementation with low heterogeneity among the studies. In addition, a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure  in studies with hypertensive patients, green coffee dosage <400 mg, and administered for 4 weeks was identified. The results of the current meta-analysis study support the use of GCBE supplementation for the improvement of blood pressure indices, with subgroup analysis highlighting improvements in hypertensive patients.

Does Green Coffee Bean Extract Have Caffeine? 

Yes, green coffee bean extract does contain caffeine, but in much lower amounts than regular coffee. Green coffee contains about 10% caffeine, or 10 mg per 100 mg. Compare that to 100 mg of caffeine in one cup of regular coffee.

Green Coffee Bean Extract Side Effects 

According to the National Library of Medicine, Green coffee extracts taken in doses up to 1000 mg daily have been used safely for up to 12 weeks.

Consuming large amounts of green coffee bean extract may lead to caffeine-related side effects, including headache, anxiety, agitation, and irregular heartbeat.

There isn’t enough reliable information to know if green coffee is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Consuming a high dose of chlorogenic acid might increase homocysteine levels, which might be linked to conditions such as heart disease.

Green coffee and other supplements with caffeine should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional in people with anxiety disorders, bleeding disorders, diabetes, epilepsy, glaucoma, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and osteoporosis.

Green coffee bean extract may cause interactions with medications and other drugs, including Adenosine (Adenocard), Alcohol (Ethanol), Alendronate (Fosamax), Clozapine (Clozaril), Dipyridamole (Persantine), Disulfiram (Antabuse), Ephedrine, Estrogens, Fluvoxamine (Luvox), Lithium, Medications for asthma (Beta-adrenergic agonists), Medications for depression (MAOIs) such as phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs), Nicotine, Pentobarbital (Nembutal), Phenylpropanolamine, Riluzole (Rilutek), Stimulant drugs, Theophylline, and Verapamil (Calan, others).

Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia is a supplement that comes from the fruit rinds of the garcinia tree. These rinds contain a compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which may help prevent fat storage, control appetite, and increase exercise endurance.

Here’s a look at some of the research studies that have been conducted on the effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia on body composition:

Research Study Findings
Long-term effects of Garcinia cambogia/Glucomannan on weight loss in people with obesity, PLIN4, FTO and Trp64Arg polymorphisms Garcinia cambogia may reduce weight and improve lipid and glucose blood profiles in people with overweight or obesity.
Risks Associated with the Use of Garcinia as a Nutritional Complement to Lose Weight Regarding safety, although Garcinia supplements have been revealed as safe in the vast majority of the studies carried out in animal models and humans, some cases of hepatotoxicity, serotonin toxicity and mania have been reported. In conclusion, the results suggest that Garcinia-based supplements could be effective in short-term weight loss, although the data are not conclusive. In addition, the safety of the complement should be further studied.
THE EFFECT OF GARCINIA CAMBOGIA AS COADJUVANT IN THE WEIGHT LOSS PROCESS Studies suggest positive results about the effectiveness of the GC on the weight loss process. However, the ideal dosage has not been well established yet.
Effects of garcinia cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid) on visceral fat accumulation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial Garcinia cambogia reduced abdominal fat accumulation in subjects, regardless of sex, who had the visceral fat accumulation type of obesity. No rebound effect was observed. It is therefore expected that G cambogia may be useful for the prevention and reduction of accumulation of visceral fat.

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects 

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrate Health:

  • Don’t use if you have liver disease or take medications that can harm the liver (hepatotoxic drugs).
  • Other side effects associated with garcinia cambogia include headache and nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • Little is known about whether it’s safe to use garcinia cambogia during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
  • Garcinia can worsen mania in bipolar disorder. Don’t use if you have bipolar disorder.
  • The HCA in garcinia might affect blood sugar levels and slow blood clotting. This might make it more difficult to control blood sugar and bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking HCA at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  • Garcinia might increase a brain chemical called serotonin. Some medications also have this effect. Taking garcinia along with these medications might increase serotonin too much. This might cause serious side effects including heart problems, seizures, and vomiting
  • Garcinia might lower blood sugar levels. Taking garcinia along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
  • Garicina might slow blood clotting. Taking garcinia along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

White Kidney Bean Extract

White kidney bean extract is a carbohydrate blocking dietary supplement that works by inhibiting the digestion of starches. These starches are either excreted and their calories not absorbed, or fermented by bacteria in the colon.

White kidney bean extract can help fight the effects of alpha-amylase, an enzyme involved in breaking down carbohydrates into sugar. By slowing alpha-amylase activity, white bean extract is thought to prevent the body from turning excess sugar (glucose) into fat.

Here’s a look at some of the research studies that have been conducted on the effectiveness of white kidney bean extract on body composition:

Research Study Findings
It’s No Has Bean: A Review of the Effects of White Kidney Bean Extract on Body Composition and Metabolic Health The evidence presented in this review indicates that WKBE aids weight loss, inducing small (average −2.6 kg) but potentially meaningful reductions in body weight in humans on a short- to medium-term basis (28 to 84 days) compared with a placebo, particularly when consumed alongside a high-carbohydrate diet
Regular intake of white kidney beans extract (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) induces weight loss compared to placebo in obese human subjects Phaseolus vulgaris extract has the potential to induce weight loss caused by carbohydrates through its alpha‐amylase inhibiting activity.
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of a Proprietary Alpha-Amylase Inhibitor from White Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) on Weight and Fat Loss in Humans Phaseolus vulgaris supplementation showed an average effect on weight loss difference of −1.08 kg (95% CI (confidence interval), −0.42 kg to −1.16 kg, p < 0.00001), and the average effect on body fat reduction was 3.26 kg (95% CI, −2.35 kg to −4.163 kg, p = 0.02). This meta-analysis found statistically significant effects of Phaseolus vulgaris supplementation on body weight and body fat.
A proprietary alpha-amylase inhibitor from white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris): A review of clinical studies on weight loss and glycemic control White kidney bean has the potential to induce weight loss and reduce spikes in blood sugar caused by carbohydrates through its alpha-amylase inhibiting activity.
A Dietary Supplement Containing Standardized Phaseolus vulgaris Extract Influences Body Composition of Overweight Men and Women After 30 days, subjects receiving Phaseolus vulgaris extract with a carbohydrate-rich, 2000- to 2200-calorie diet had significantly (p<0.001) greater reduction of body weight, BMI, fat mass, adipose tissue thickness, and waist,/hip/ thigh circumferences while maintaining lean body mass compared to subjects receiving placebo.

White Kidney Bean Extract Side Effects 

  • There is some evidence that white kidney bean extract appears to be safe in doses of up to 3 grams daily for 2-3 months for most people.
  • Eating large amounts of fresh white kidney bean husks is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Raw husks contain chemicals called lectins. These chemicals can cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cooking destroys these chemicals.
  • White kidney beans and bean pod may lower blood sugar. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Summary: What’s the Best Ozempic (Semaglutide) Alternative for Weight Loss?

So, we looked at three of the best supplements instead of Ozempic for fat burning and weight loss for both women and men that have been shown to work for some people in human clinical trials–green coffee bean extract, garcinia cambogia, and white kidney bean extract.

They may or may not be best for you personally and there are safety considerations to discuss with your doctor … but these three supplements are backed by research studies to help you lose weight and potentially burn fat, which is more than can be said for most weight loss products on the market.

Regardless, the most important thing when trying to lose weight is to create healthy habits. You can’t just take a pill and expect it to melt fat and change your body without putting in effort elsewhere (preparing healthy meals, exercising, etc.).

As many of the studies we looked at have shown, supplements may be able to help you lose weight in the short-term, but for permanent, sustainable weight loss, exercise + proper nutrition are key.

The Best Supplements to Build Lean Muscle Naturally

Most people who have tried to build lean muscle have taken nutritional supplements at some point in time. 

And unfortunately, most of those supposedly magical all-natural / herbal remedies just don’t work … especially for those of us “hard gainers” who seem to struggle with growing new muscle. 

But in this article, we will uncover three of the best muscle building, all natural supplements for both women and men that actually work in human clinical trials. That’s right–all of these are backed by real, credible research studies. [Anecdotally, I can attest to having personally used and seen great results when using this supplement stack!]

We won’t keep you waiting … let’s jump right in. 

Best Supplements to Build Muscle

Protein Powder for Lean Muscle Gain

Protein helps build, maintain, and replace the tissues in your body. Your muscles, organs, and immune system are made up mostly of protein, which is why it’s the most important nutrient if you want to build muscle. 

Many people, particularly those who adhere to a plant-based diet, struggle to get enough protein to gain any muscle. 

That’s where protein powder supplements can help. But first … 

Plant vs Whey (Animal Protein): Which Is Better for Building Muscle? 

There is not a significant body of evidence to support whey and other animal-based protein powders as being more effective than plant-based protein sources for building muscle.

  • A 2021 study found that whey and plant (soy) protein were equally effective in supporting lean muscle gains.
  • A 2019 study showed similar body composition improvements after taking whey and pea (plant-based) protein for 8 weeks.
  • A 2015 study found that supplementing with pea protein produced similar muscle gains to whey protein. 

And since an estimated 68% of people are lactose intolerant, it stands to reason that many folks probably not be consuming dairy-based proteins like whey.

There are other animal-based proteins like collagen but they haven’t been studied as extensively for building muscle as whey and certain plant proteins. Some studies have shown that collagen may not be as effective as whey for muscle protein synthesis.

Regardless of which source you decide is best for you, one thing is for certain: protein powders work if your goal is losing fat and gaining lean muscle. Here’s proof … 

Protein Powder Benefits 

Here are some known benefits:

Research Study Findings
The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review Protein supplementation may promote muscle hypertrophy and enhance gains in muscle strength in both untrained and trained individuals. Evidence also suggests that protein supplementation may accelerate gains in both aerobic and anaerobic power.
Protein Supplements and Their Relation with Nutrition, Microbiota Composition and Health: Is More Protein Always Better for Sportspeople? While studies on athletes have shown that protein and amino acid supplements may increase MPS and reduce fatigue, muscle soreness and low-to-moderate exercise-induced damage, current studies showing clear negative effects associated with high-protein diets or, e.g. BCAA supplements, are mainly reported in subjects with some type of metabolic disturbances.
Intake of whey isolate supplement and muscle mass gains in young healthy adults when combined with resistance training: a blinded randomized clinical trial Supplementation with whey protein, combined with RT can increase muscle mass with no effects on muscle strength. Whey protein supplementation may alter body composition in favor of additional fat free mass with no significant changes in body fat.
Effects of Protein Supplementation on Performance and Recovery in Resistance and Endurance Training There is robust evidence which shows that consuming protein pre- and/or post-workout induces a significant rise in muscle protein synthesis.
A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults Dietary protein supplementation significantly enhanced changes in muscle strength and size during prolonged resistance exercise training in healthy adults. Increasing age reduces and training experience increases the efficacy of protein supplementation during resistance exercise. 
The Effects of Protein Supplements on Muscle Mass, Strength, and Aerobic and Anaerobic Power in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review For untrained individuals, consuming supplemental protein likely has no impact on lean mass and muscle strength during the initial weeks of resistance training. However, as the duration, frequency, and volume of resistance training increase, protein supplementation may promote muscle hypertrophy and enhance gains in muscle strength in both untrained and trained individuals. Evidence also suggests that protein supplementation may accelerate gains in both aerobic and anaerobic power.
The Effects of Protein Supplements on Muscle Mass, Strength, and Aerobic and Anaerobic Power in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review Protein supplementation may enhance muscle mass and performance when the training stimulus is adequate (e.g., frequency, volume, duration), and dietary intake is consistent with recommendations for physically active individuals.

How Much Protein Do YOU Need? Find out in this FREE guide.

Protein Powder Side Effects

Since protein powders are dietary supplements, the FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labeling of products. So first, ensure that whatever protein powder you’re using is routinely third party tested for mold, pathogens, and heavy metals. Supplement manufacturers should have COAs they can share with you and if they don’t, it’s definitely a red flag! 

Some research suggests that whey protein might cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

However, there’s limited data on the possible side effects of high protein intake from a combination of food and supplements.

Don’t use whey protein if you have an allergy or sensitivity to dairy products.

Possible interactions include:

  • Albendazole (Albenza). Avoid using whey protein if you are taking this parasite-killing drug. The supplement might delay or hinder the drug’s effects.
  • Alendronate (Fosamax). Use of whey protein with this drug used to prevent or treat osteoporosis might decrease absorption of the drug.
  • Certain antibiotics. Use of whey protein with quinolone or tetracycline antibiotics might decrease your absorption of the drug.

Plant protein powders all absorb small amounts of heavy metals from the soils they’re grown in. Usually these levels are not high enough to have negative impacts on human health but it’s a good idea to check with the supplement manufacturer and review their heavy metal testing reports. 

Creatine to Increase Strength and Build Lean Muscle

Creatine is an amino acid found in your body’s muscles and in your brain. Though it can be made synthetically, most people get creatine through seafood and red meat. The body’s liver, pancreas and kidneys also make creatine.

Creatine is one of the best supplements for building lean body mass and increasing athletic performance.

Here’s proof …

Research Study Findings
Effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscular strength in older adults: a meta-analysis Creatine supplementation increases lean tissue mass and upper and lower body muscular strength during resistance training of older adults. . 
Effect of creatine supplementation on body composition and performance: a meta-analysis Creatine can help increase lean body mass.
Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance Of 22 studies reviewed, the average increase in muscle strength following creatine supplementation plus resistance training was 8% greater than the average increase in muscle strength following placebo ingestion during resistance training (20 vs. 12%). Similarly, the average increase in weightlifting performance (maximal repetitions at a given percent of maximal strength) following creatine supplementation plus resistance training was 14% greater than the average increase in weightlifting performance following placebo ingestion during resistance training (26 vs. 12%).
Effects of two and five days of creatine loading on muscular strength and anaerobic power in trained athletes The study found that a 5-day creatine loading regime coupled with resistance training resulted in significant improvements in both average anaerobic power, as measured by the 30-second Wingate test and back squat strength compared with just training alone. 
Effects of twenty-eight days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the physical working capacity at neuromuscular fatigue threshold Beta alanine and creatine supplementation both may delay the onset of neuromuscular fatigue. 
Effects of 4-Week Creatine Supplementation Combined with Complex Training on Muscle Damage and Sport Performance creatine supplementation combined with complex training improved maximal muscular strength and reduced muscle damage during training.
Impact of creatine supplementation in combination with resistance training on lean mass in the elderly Twelve weeks of low-dose creatine supplementation associated with resistance training resulted in increases in lean mass in the elderly.

Creatine Side Effects

According to the Mayo Clinic, evidence suggests that using creatine generally won’t hurt if taken as directed.

When used orally at appropriate doses, creatine is likely safe to take for up to five years. As with any dietary supplement, it’s important to choose a product that follows recommended manufacturing practices and subscribes to third-party testing to ensure the product’s quality.

Creatine can cause weight gain, generally as lean body mass (more muscle). 

Creatine might be unsafe for people with preexisting kidney issues. One case study suggested that creatine might worsen kidney dysfunction in people with kidney disorders, but creatine doesn’t appear to affect kidney function in healthy people.

Possible interactions of creatine include caffeine. Combining caffeine with creatine might decrease the efficacy of creatine. Use of creatine with a daily amount of caffeine greater than 300 milligrams might also worsen the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Further research is needed.

Glutamine to Speed Recovery and Increase Strength Gains

L Glutamine is the most abundant essential amino acid in our bodies and one of the “building blocks” of protein. It’s a “conditional” amino acid, which means that your body can make some on its own but uses it in large amounts. 

Around 60 percent of your skeletal muscle is made up of glutamine, which is why it has been used by athletes and bodybuilders for years to help build and preserve lean body mass.  

Let’s look at the available evidence on the effect l glutamine supplements have on muscle gains. 

Research Study Findings
The Influence of Oral L-Glutamine Supplementation on Muscle Strength Recovery and Soreness Following Unilateral Knee Extension Eccentric Exercise L-glutamine supplementation resulted in faster recovery of peak torque and diminished muscle soreness following eccentric exercise. The effect of L-glutamine on muscle force recovery may be greater in men than women.
L-Glutamine Supplementation Enhances Strength and Power of Knee Muscles and Improves Glycemia Control and Plasma Redox Balance in Exercising Elderly Women Glutamine supplementation, mainly when associated with physical exercises, improves strength and power of knee muscles and glycemia control, besides boosting plasma antioxidant capacity of elderly women.
Glutamine as an Anti-Fatigue Amino Acid in Sports Nutrition Studies evaluated observed that glutamine supplementation improved some fatigue markers, such as increased glycogen synthesis and reduced ammonia accumulation, but this intervention did not increase physical performance. 
Effect of Glutamine Supplementation on Muscular Damage Biomarkers in Professional Basketball Players Glutamine could help attenuate exercise-induced muscle damage in sport disciplines with predominantly eccentric actions.
L-glutamine Improves Skeletal Muscle Cell Differentiation and Prevents Myotube Atrophy After Cytokine (TNF-α) Stress Via Reduced p38 MAPK Signal Transduction L-glutamine administration could represent an important therapeutic strategy for reducing muscle loss in catabolic diseases and inflamed aging. 

Glutamine Side Effects

L-glutamine is generally safe but may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • constipation
  • nausea
  • headache
  • abdominal pain
  • cough
  • back, leg, feet, hands, or arm pain


So, based on a solid body of evidence, protein powder, creatine, and L glutamine are three of the best supplements for lean muscle gain. 

Finding a protein powder that works for you can be a highly personal ordeal. Whether you choose an animal protein like whey or collagen or plant-based protein, we recommend sticking with a product with USA-sourced ingredients and no added sugar (especially the latter if gaining LEAN muscle is your goal).

And any supplement you choose should be produced in a GMP-certified, FDA-approved facility, and third party lab tested for impurities like mold, food borne pathogens, and heavy metals.

The most important thing when trying to build lean muscle, regardless of your gender or age, is to create consistent habits. Supplements are just one piece of the puzzle. Doing resistance training several days a week and improving your diet with more clean, high protein foods are imperative if you want to get lean and actually stay that way!