Five real guys share how supplements help them stay healthy

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Nelson Saenz

Age: 37

Los Angeles

Occupation: Vice president of technology for a publishing company

With a fast-paced IT career and an even faster-paced young family at home, Nelson Saenz describes his personal health lifestyle as fairly conscientious. The 37-year-old weight trains and trail runs four to five times a week to help make up for the sedentary nature of his job. His diet is mostly healthy too. He eats a lot of protein in the form of chicken and fish, and also enjoys an occasional dessert indulgence.

Saenz says that dietary supplements have been a key part of his day-to-day health routine for the past two years. “My supplement intake is the constant in my day to day activities,” he says. “They ‘supplement’ my lifestyle by complementing my daily diet and exercise routine.”

Saenz takes the following dietary supplements daily, along with a multivitamin:

Protein drinks: Saenz drinks protein shakes three to four times daily to keep his daily protein intake at 1–1.5 gm per pound of body weight. “On training days, I drink a mix of isolate protein and creatine HCL for muscle recovery,” he says.

Amino Acids: Saenz routinely drinks branched-chain amino acid (BCAAs) beverages during his workouts for muscle stamina.

Fish Oil: Fish oil supplements deliver important omega-3 fatty acids to help Saenz maintain his heart health.

Zinc Monomethionine and Aspartate (ZMA): A combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6, ZMA is typically used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts to support muscle strength and muscle recovery. “It is also supposed to be a good sleep aid, but I have never had any sleep issues not caused by my small children,” Saenz jokes.

John Nicholson Headshot

John Nicholson

Age: 41

Location: North Hollywood, Calif.

Occupation: Actor

For John Nicholson, health and fitness are as important personally as they are professionally. While staying in shape is critical in ultra-competitive Hollywood, Nicholson says he’s equally driven to set a healthy example for his 3-year-old son. He’s also trying to increase the odds of good health despite a family history of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. “You’ve got to be diligent about how you treat your body,” he says.

An athlete in high school and college, Nicholson admits he let himself go during a stint in the corporate world. After catching sight of himself in a mirror, struggling to button his shirt, he decided then and there that something had to change. That was 15 years ago, and now eating healthy and working out are just a part of his normal routine.

Dietary supplements are also key. “Supplements work best for me in conjunction with healthy eating and working out,” he says. “If I’m trying to put on muscle, protein supplements help me most. I can see the evidence in the mirror.”

Nicholson does not take a multivitamin, but he does take the following supplements to help maintain his peak shape:

Protein Drinks: Nicholson drinks them at night before bed and on workout days, before and after exercising.

Green Tea: When prepping for a role that requires him to be lean, green tea supplements help Nicholson boost metabolism.

Zinc: Nicholson likes zinc not just as an immune system booster, but also because “I read that it helps boost testosterone levels, which helps keep me lean, too.”

Glucosamine: Joint pain is often a by-product of working out. Nicholson takes glucosamine to alleviate that discomfort naturally.

Matt Dayka - Vitamin Angels GT14-8635

Rich Beatty

Photo: by Matt Dayka

Age: 33

Location:Apex, N.C.

Occupation: Vitamin Shoppe Store Manager

As the manager of a North Carolina Vitamin Shoppe store and a father to two young sons under the age of three, Rich Beatty is a firm believer in the benefits of supplements. He says he relies on supplements to help maintain his energy levels, and after taking the same supplements for three years, can testify to the health effects he’s experienced firsthand.

“I had high blood pressure for four years,” he says. “I started taking this array of supplements daily, and now my blood pressure is perfect—in fact, it was perfect four months into my taking these supplements on a consistent basis.”

Beatty splits his dosing schedule, taking half of his supplements in the morning and half in the afternoon/evening to maintain consistent levels in his body. “It’s like I tell the customers who come into my store. You have to find what works for you,” he says.

In addition to a multivitamin, Beatty takes the following dietary supplements regularly:

Fish oil: One of the most important supplements in Beatty’s regimen, fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and helps support brain and cardiovascular health.

Garlic and Cayenne Pepper: These two supplements help Beatty maintain good circulation.

CoQ10: Beatty likes CoQ10 for its antioxidant, free radical-fighting benefits.

John Reese Headshot

John Reese


Location:Charleston, S.C.

Occupation: Retired

Freshly transplanted from the snowy winters of Cleveland to warmer Charleston, S.C., John Reese, recently retired, thrives on keeping active. “Exercise and diet are on my mind daily,” he says.

Reese has a family history of heart disease, so in addition to a healthy diet he incorporates cardio workouts four times a week and strength and flexibility exercise three times a week—a routine he admits is much easier to accomplish now that he’s retired.

Dietary supplements have been an integral part of Reese’s wellness regimen for the last 10 years. “Taking care of the body’s nutrient requirements is essential to a happy and healthy life,” he says, adding that maintaining spiritual and emotional well-being are equally important parts of his healthy lifestyle too.

Reese takes the following dietary supplements daily:

Vitamin D3: Reese’s physician found him to be vitamin D-deficient and advised him to take 2,000 IU per day to support his immune and bone health. Having recently moved to sunnier Charleston, Reese anticipates his doctor will soon scale back that dosage.

B-Complex: Reese takes a B-complex about four times per week to supplement a healthy metabolism.

CoQ10: On statins for cholesterol control, Reese says he heeded the advice of Dr. Andrew Weil, who advocates the use of CoQ10 for those on statin therapies because the supplement not only supports heart health, but can also help alleviate the common statin side effects of fatigue, aching joints, and sore muscles.

JackChallem Headshot

Jack Challem

Age: 64

Location: Tucson, Ariz.

 Occupation:Writer and fine-art photographer

Jack Challem is no stranger to good health. The author of 20 books on the merits of healthy eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Challem practices his own good advice, eating a diet consisting of mostly organic foods and excising regularly.

“Good health is necessary for physical and mental functionality,” he says. “I have been taking supplements since I was 19 years old [and] I am convinced they reduce the risk of disease and, if health problems are present, reduce symptoms and severity.”

Challem takes a number of dietary supplements and firmly believes they are essential for good health. “Studies have shown that it is difficult to obtain RDA levels of all vitamins and minerals, so at the very least supplements provide dietary insurance,” he says.

In addition to a multivitamin, Challem takes the following dietary supplements regularly:

CoQ10: Challem takes CoQ10 for energy support.

B-Complex: A top combo supplement that plays an essential role in energy production.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC): Challem says he turns to NAC to ward off colds and the flu.

Vitamin C: This venerable vitamin has numerous roles in health, including immunity support.

Curcumin: Challem credits the anti-inflammatory nature of curcumin for helping him heal from athletic and other types of injuries.

Joanna Cosgrove has been covering the dynamic facets of the health and wellness industry for more than 15 years.

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