At 50 years of age, Joe Rogan is in better physical shape than many 30 year olds. And it’s not just his physique that’s impressive, he’s also managing to stay mentally sharp too.
Whether he’s injecting testosterone, devouring elk meat or hulking down vegetable smoothies, Joe is always on the look out for performance enhancing substances.
In this post we’ll look at the actual supplements Joe has discussed taking, with sources.
Joe Rogan’s Daily Vitamin & Minerals:
- Multivitamin – Pure Encapsulations Athlete Pure Pack
- Omega-3 Fish Oil – Carlson’s Omega-3 1600mg Fish Oil
- Vitamin D – Thorne Research – D3 1,000iu
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin – 365’s Glucosamine Chondroitin & MSM
- 1 Daily Vitamins & Minerals
- 2 Nootropics
- 3 Sober October Chest Strap / Workout Monitor
- 4 Closing Words
Daily Vitamins & Minerals
You can see from this old YouTube clip that Joe has always taken a lot of supplements. However, as far as we can tell from his podcasts, he keeps things a bit simpler these days.
Multivitamin – Pure Encapsulations Athletic Pure Pack
Due to Joe’s UFC and stand up comedy commitments, Joe has to travel a lot around the USA. This explains his choice of multivitamin supplement, which is offered in handy little packets, containing a range of different vitamins, minerals and fish oil. This is a time saver, because you don’t have to open up x number of different vitamin tubs to allocate your daily ration.
As the name suggests; Athletic Pure Pack – is formulated around those involved in sports. On top of the regular vitamins and minerals, it contains things like creatine (for strength), Co-enzyme Q10 (joints) and L-Glutamine (supplying muscles with their most used amino acid).
Each sachet contains a number of pills, specifically:
- Vitamins & Minerals – 3x capsules
- EPA/DHA Omega-3s – 1x capsule
- Creatine (Kre-Alkalyn) – 2x capsules
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) – 1x capsule
- Coenzyme Q10 – 1x capsule
- L-Glutamine – 1x capsule
Personally, I need a good multivitamin supplement, but don’t need the extras this contains; like creatine, l-glutamine etc. The same company who make Athletic Pure Pack also make a multivitamin called Pure Encapsulations – O.N.E. It is used by Joe’s regular guest Dr Rhonda Patrick. For more discussion on O.N.E see this post on Dr Rhonda Patrick’s supplements.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
Joe values omega-3 fish oils highly, and ensures he’s taking them regularly. In the same Tom Papa podcast above, you can skip to 1:02:40 where they talk about the importance of fish oils, and how it’s more effective than getting your omega-3s from flax-seed or hemp oil.
Based on Joe’s Instagram post, his YouTube tour of his vitamin cupboard, and the latest Dr Rhonda Patrick podcast, Joe currently takes Carlson’s Super Omega-3 fish oil in liquid form. He currently takes 3 tablespoons daily (he mentions the dosage in his latest podcast with Rhonda Patrick).
If you find capsules more convenient (as I do), it also comes in two capsulated versions; one with beef gelatine capsules, and another with fish derived capsules (suitable for pescetarians). A 2 capsule serving contains 1,200mg omega-3s, including 600mg EPA & 400mg DHA.
In this section of Joe’s podcast with Tom Papa he discusses how important vitamin D3 is to our health.
Since then, Joe’s had Dr Rhonda Patrick on the podcast, who suggests the average person needs around 4,000iu of D3 per day in order to maintain an ideal blood concentration of 40 – 60ng/ml. She points out that not only is too little D3 bad for us, too much is also bad! See her video on Vitamin D3 for all the juicy details.
Joe’s multivitamin already contains 500iu of D3, so you’d want approximately 4 of these Thorne D-1000 capsules in addition.
Glucosamine & Chondroitin
Since Joe was young, he trained as a taekwondo fighter, competing nationally. Even after he finished fighting competitively, he still trains hard. This leads to a lot of wear and tear on the joints, and thus Joe uses glucosamine & chondroitin.
He first mentioned it in a 2009 post on MMA underground:
Then in his 2011 supplement cupboard video, he shows that he’s using 365s Glucosamine Chondroitin & MSM.
Cognitive Enhancers – Alpha Brain Instant + Kegenix Prime
These days the term “nootropics” is common place, and it seems most people are familiar with the idea of cognitive enhancing supplements. However, as with many things, Joe was ahead of the curve. One of the first (if not the first) he took was one called Neuro1. The product came about after NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski started losing his memory, following a 16 year career. In the market for solutions, Bill brought together doctors, scientists, and nutritionists to create a solution which solved his cognitive decline – Neuro1.
Given Joe’s involvement at Onnit, and his prior use of Neuro1, I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that Onnit’s flagship product Alpha Brain took some “inspiration” from Neuro1.
These days, Joe’s go to nootropic is Alpha Brain, both in pill form and sachet form. Although he notes that all the supplements ingredients could be bought separately for less, it would just require more time and effort.
Interestingly, Onnit did sponsor a 63 person study that published results showing that Alpha Brain improved “delayed memory recall” vs a placebo. Specifically that’s where participants are told/shown something, then a break occurs, then they’re later asked questions that requires them to recall the information they were earlier provided. Now, given that Onnit sponsored the study, we should use appropriate scepticism in interpreting their positive results; but thought it interesting to mention nonetheless.
Active ingredients of Alpha Brain include:
- Alpha GPC
- Huperzine A
Alpha GPC, a type of choline, is also favoured by Dr Rhonda Patrick, a regular guest on Joe’s podcast. She takes around 800mg (substantially more than 2 capsules of Alpha Brain contains) before intense writing or public speaking events. See more on Rhonda’s use of it here.
Recently, the thing that gets him “fired up” is to combine Alpha Brain Instant (a flavoured, powdered form of regular Alpha Brain), with an exogenous ketone supplement called Kegenix:
The difference between Kegenix and other exogenous ketones is their hybrid formula. It contains both exogenous ketone salts (beta-hydroxybutyrate) and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs, in particular C8 (caprylic acid) are readily converted by the body into ketones
Since Joe’s post about Kegenix, the company have re-branded the product to “Kegenix Prime” and discontinued their Wild Berry flavor. The formulation has removed the green tea extract, but maintains the same combination of exogenous ketone salts and MCTs. It comes in two flavours; Orange Blast & Lemon Twist.
Ok, so, coffee – what’s the big deal? It’s one of the most common drinks in the Western world, and probably not worthy of a special spot in this list. True.
But at the same time, coffee is one of the strongest (unregulated) cognitive enhancers available to man – and Joe’s a big fan.
Whilst it may be difficult to find reliable evidence on the effectiveness of some of Alpha Brain’s ingredients, there are hundreds of studies on caffeine and its effects.
UFC star Chael Sonnen has talked in the past about how he’s able to supplement caffeine before a fight, and it gives him a boost.
Joe’s current coffee beverage of choice is one called Caveman Coffee Nitro Cold Brew. It’s a single estate coffee, “infused’ with nitrogen, containing 250mg caffeine per can (!) It’s fairly pricey, even when bought in bulk (12 pack); at $4 per can.
Sober October Chest Strap / Workout Monitor
Whilst this isn’t a supplement, I thought this product was interesting enough to warrant a mention. For the month of October 2018, Joe was competing in “Sober October”, with his co-conspirators Ari Shaffir, Bert Kreischer & Tom Segura. This year they opted to use workout monitors called MyZone MZ-3.
It’s a simple chest strap that connects to your phone via bluetooth. The MyZone phone app then tracks things like heart rate & calories burned. It also uses a metric called MEPs (MyZone Effort Points), which Joe et al. are using as a metric to compare performance. Whoever gets the most MEPs in the month; wins. The MEP scores are calculated as follows:
- Grey (50% to 60% of max HR) = 1 MEPs per minute
- Blue (60% to 70% of max HR) = 2 MEPs per minute
- Green (70% to 80% of max HR) = 3 MEPs per minute
- Yellow (80% to 90% of max HR) = 4 MEPs per minute
- Red (90% to 100% of max HR) = 4 MEPs per minute
(Yep, that’s not a typo, both Yellow & Red zones apparently deliver the same number of MEP points. Weird, eh? Source = MyZone FAQ)
The different colour bands (green, yellow, red etc.) are based on percentages of your max heart rate. This by default is set based on your age (Max HR = 206.3 – (0.711 x age)). However, if when wearing the device you push your heart rate beyond this, the app will adjust your max heart rate to the new value. Pretty cool.
To me, the main utility of a device like this (beyond challenging your friends to sober october), is to be able to measure fitness over time. So for example, if you notice your resting heart rate decreasing; that’s a sign of improving fitness. Another method is to setup an identical workout (for example running a fixed speed on the treadmill for a fixed amout of time), and checking your activity reports to see if over time, your average heart rate is decreasing for that workout.
Hopefully this post has given you a window into the products Joe takes to keep himself healthy and in shape. I’ve included a list of sources below, so you can verify for yourself the information. Planning to update this post soon with all the info I can gather on Joe Rogan’s Testosterone Replacement Therapy – let me know in the comments if this would be of interest.
1. Two minute clip of Joe Rogan’s house tour, where he shared his supplement cupboard:
Discusses glucosamine, chondroitin and vitamin B complex
2. Joe Rogan’s post on the MMA Underground forums (from 2009)
3. Joe discusses his morning supplements in a 2013 Instagram post
– Pure Encapsulations Athlete Pure Pack
– Carlsons Super Omega-3 Fish Oil
– Onnit Spirulina & Chlorella
– Vitamin C & Lysine
4. Joe Rogan Experience episode #802 with Tom Papa (May 2016):
Covering his multivitamin, vitamin D3 and omega-3s.
– 1:08:50 discusion on Pure Encapsulations Athletic Pure Pack
– 1:01:55 discussion on vitamin D3, vitamin B12, vitamin B3 & omega-3s
5. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel group, efficacy study of alpha BRAIN administered orally
6. Joe’s Instagram post about Caveman Coffee’s Cold Brew Nitro
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