Whether you’ve been combining supplements for years or are new to stacking, trying to get the right mix of supplements to turbocharge your health and fitness goals can be intimidating.
We always say when in doubt, look to the experts. And when it comes to stacking supplements, neuroscientist and Huberman Lab podcast host Dr. Andrew Huberman has made it an art form. The Stanford University professor’s supplement routine is robust, and (mostly) backed by science to promote healthspan and lifespan.
We’ve gathered every supplement Huberman takes along with the science to back why you should consider adding them to your stack, too. Consider these recommendations your master class.
Improved Focus and Overall Brain Health
Huberman is a fan of fish oil for “all the health benefits,” he told Derek Cole on his More Plates More Dates podcast.
Specifically, “I am a big believer based on really good data, peer-reviewed data, that you want to get two grams of EPA in your system every day for the anti-depressant effects, the blood lipid profile effects,” Huberman said.
One theory why: Omega-3’s easily cross the blood-brain barrier to interact with mood-regulating hormones—including dopamine and serotonin—which may counteract depression.
Evidence also suggests omega-3 fatty acids can lower your blood triglyceride levels and slightly improve HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
“To me, it tastes delicious,” he said. We’ll take his word for it.
While Huberman believes the best quality cognitive enhancer is sleep, he said on The Tim Ferriss Show he does take Alpha-GPC four days a week.
He found that 300 mg of Alpha-GPC taken “10 to 20 minutes prior to any time I want to focus or concentrate very deeply,” to be the sweet spot, he said on his podcast. “I’ll sometimes take it with yerba mate or with coffee prior to a workout or a bout of work in which I’m focusing on mental work.”
Alpha-GPC may increase brain levels of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which facilitates memory and learning, and plays an important role in cognitive function (3).
On his podcast, Huberman notes concerns around taking Alpha-GPC, stemming from one study that found Alpha-GPC was associated with a significant 10-year incident stroke risk.
The relationship likely stems from an increase in TMAO, “which is a marker related to the cardiovascular system,” he said.
Increased TMAO levels have been associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke (4).
To offset increases in TMAO and for general cardiovascular function, Huberman takes 600 mg of garlic any time he eats.
One study published in 2022 found raw garlic juice extract reduced TMAO levels in people with high levels after one week (5).
To stay focused on a deadline, Huberman relies on 500 mg of L-tyrosine, an amino acid that may enhance focus and attention, he said on The Kevin Rose Show.
Found in foods like chocolate, PEA is a stimulant that may increase dopamine and for Huberman, acts as a, “focus and work aid in order to do intense bouts of work,” he said on his podcast.
The dopamine increase improves motivation and plays a role in cognitive function including memory, mood, learning, and concentration.
Huberman takes 500 mg of PEA once a week, or once every two weeks.
Huberman’s taken glutamine for the potential immune-enhancing effects (which he acknowledges has some data) since college, he said on his podcast.
The immune benefits may, in part, be because glutamine acts as primary fuel in lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps your body’s immune system fight viruses and bacteria.
Huberman also points to glutamine’s potential cognitive benefits.
While one study found that glutamine could improve mood and cognition in people suffering from hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the blood) at high altitude (8), for those of you at sea level, more research is needed.
Huberman isn’t on the creatine train for gym gains, but instead for how it supports his brain function and, “the networks that generate focus and concentration,” he said on his podcast. He takes five grams of creatine monohydrate in the morning or post-workout.
Research suggests creatine may improve cognitive processing, especially after exercise or sleep deprivation (9). One study found creatine may improve short-term memory, intelligence, and reasoning (10).
Huberman takes this ancient herb, “to help me reduce my cortisol so that I don’t get some of the long-term effects of stress,” he said on his podcast.
While he doesn’t take ashwagandha every day, “I would only do this if I was feeling like I wasn’t managing my short and medium-term stress well,” he said.
KNOW YOUR T
Better Digestion and Gut Health
He told Cole that the green drink has replaced his need for traditional probiotic supplements.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria and yeasts that live in your body. While the jury is still out on whether healthy people need to take probiotics, research has found that certain strains of good bacteria may help support your immune system, control inflammation, aid in digestion, produce some vitamins, and support cells that line your gut which may prevent bad bacteria from leaking into your bloodstream.
Huberman admits a multivitamin is strictly in his routine out of habit.
“I’ve been taking [Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men] for something like 25 years,” he said on More Plates More Dates. “I just take one with the one full meal I have each day,” referring to his intermittent fasting plan. “To be honest at this point, it’s rational only in the sense that it’s never causing me a problem.”
The National Institutes of Health says if you want to take the multi you take, it should be designed for someone of your age and sex, but you should talk to your doctor about which specific nutrients it should contain for your needs.
Huberman said his multi is rich in B vitamins, which he says allows him to metabolize food more quickly. Which sounds legit: B vitamins are important for helping to release energy from carbs and fats and transporting nutrients around your body, helping to give your cells energy to function.
Makes sense: when you do intermittent fasting for 12 to 16 hours a day, you need fuel in between meals to stay full.
“When you eat protein, it activates a gut hormone known as peptide that can help you feel full or satiated,” says Susan Greene, ACE certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, and Nutrition Specialist. “Protein also reduces the hunger hormone known as ghrelin that sends signals to your brain that it’s time to eat.”
Hydration and Electrolyte Balance
To hydrate and optimize his balance of electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium, Huberman uses LMNT Electrolyte Drink Mix. These nutrients are important to maintain cognitive function and curb stress and anxiety, he says.
“Electrolytes send electrical charges between cells so that they are able to talk to each other,” says Greene. “If your body becomes electrolyte deficient it can cause you to feel lightheaded and weak, and can interfere with your cognitive abilities.”
Stress and anxiety symptoms increase with an electrolyte deficiency, says Greene. “If you stay well hydrated and maintain your intake of electrolytes it can quell anxiety and stress.”
Huberman’s a fan of all LMNT flavors except for one: “I’m not a fan of the chocolate [salt] one,” he said.
Essential Amino Acids (EAAs)
Huberman didn’t get into specific details on why he takes EAAs, but he told Cole that he uses Cole’s EAA supplement (Gorilla Mind’s Gorilla Mode EAAs) after he workouts out.
During a workout, you lose a large amount of sodium through sweat, says Greene.
“Your electrolyte balance can be compromised when you lose certain minerals, such as sodium,” she says. “Replenishing those minerals post workout with things such as EAA’s and BCAA’s is important for rehydrating and performance,” she says.
Tongkat ali and Fadogia agrestis
One study published in 2021 found taking Tongkat ali—in tandem with resistance and endurance training—improved erectile function and increased total testosterone levels in aging men with low male sex hormones such as T (16).
While human Fadogia studies are sparse, one animal study (which we usually steer clear of) found that when rats were given 18 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg per kg of body weight of Fadogia agrestis, researchers observed a significant increase in testosterone levels (18).
Kyle Gillet, M.D., told Huberman on the Huberman Lab podcast that Fadogia increases the release of luteinizing hormone. This hormone binds to Leydig cells in your testes to increase the release of testosterone.
Huberman takes 400 mg of Tongkat ali in the morning (because he says it can have a stimulant effect) and 600 mg of Fadogia agrestis in eight to 12-week cycles.
ALL-STAR SUPP STACKS
Sleep Supplements to Fall Asleep Faster and Sleep Better
Magnesium Threonate, Apigenin, and L-Theanine (aka Huberman’s Sleep Cocktail)
Huberman told Chris Williamson on the Modern Wisdom Podcast that he’s in bed by 10:30 p.m. and up at 6:30 a.m., clocking in around eight hours of sleep.
Before turning in for the night, Huberman combines three supplements from the company Momentous to help him fall asleep faster and sleep better.
He explains his regimen—which he swallows 30 to 60 minutes before bed:
- 145 mg of magnesium threonate or 200 mg of magnesium bisglycinate
- 50 mg of apigenin
- 100 to 400 mg of L-theanine
Some studies have found that magnesium may help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality, while L-theanine may promote relaxation to help you catch faster z’s and sleep better.
Apigenin is a flavonoid found in plant sources (it’s the ingredient in chamomile tea that makes you dozy). Studies suggest chamomile may help promote sleep quality (19,20) and that apigenin may have an effect, which may be brought about by binding to receptors in your brain that promote feelings of calm (21).
In addition to his sleep cocktail, Huberman takes two grams of glycine and 100 mg of GABA three to four nights a week. While glycine may promote sleep (22), research on GABA’s sleep benefits is limited (23).
Huberman also takes 900 mg of inositol (a sugar that influences the body’s insulin response and hormones associated with cognition and mood) every third night to improve the depth and quality of his sleep, and to help him fall back asleep faster if he wakes.
One study published in 2022 on pregnant women found inositol improved sleep quality, subjective sleep quality, and sleep duration in these subjects (24). While more research is needed to confirm inositol’s sleep benefits in men, studies suggest inositol may improve low T levels and enhance sperm motility to increase the chance of fertility (25,26).
Improve Heart Health
Huberman told Cole that after he started supplementing with vitamin K2, his cardiac markers—including his cholesterol and triglyceride levels—improved.
“My blood lipid profiles are really good, but they weren’t quite exactly where I wanted them. I put the K2 in and everything locked into place.”
One study published in 2020 found a higher intake of vitamin K2 was associated with a lower risk of heart disease (27).
In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2021 researchers found vitamin K2 lowered the risk of being hospitalized from heart disease related to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (plaque build-up in the inner lining of your arteries) by 14 percent compared to participants with the lowest K2 intake (28).
Vitamin E, Boron, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, and Vitamin D3
Huberman told Cole that he takes vitamin E, boron, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and green tea extract though doesn’t specify why.
Our best guesses:
Research shows CLA may reduce body fat, increase lean body mass, and enhance physical performance (32). Green tea extract can increase your energy levels—with about 28 mg of caffeine in a cup—and may help improve blood pressure and cholesterol (33).
Huberman said on his podcast that he also takes 5,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 per day, which helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus—which are important for bone health—and vitamin D may influence how your testes produce testosterone.