The Benefits of Adding Glucosamine To a Dog’s Diet

Everyone knows that a dog is widely known as a man’s best friend. A dog is an obedient and compassionate companion for anyone and one thing that is always overlooked with dogs, is their diets. If a proper diet is maintained with a dog then its possible that your buddy could live a long and prosperous life. One addition to a dog’s diet that can prove beneficial is glucosamine. There are options for liquid glucosamine on the market that are designed for dogs and it can be very helpful for their health. These liquid glucosamine for dogs is a great way to help our friends get the glucosamine that they need.

The same reason that humans use glucosamine is the same reason that it helps dogs. That reason is bone health. Dogs use their legs and joints more than a person. It is common sense. Dogs have four limbs just like their human counterparts but humans are only on two of them most of the time; dogs are on all of them. This means that there is more wear and tear on the dogs’ bones which can lead to osteoarthritis. Glucosomine is widely prescribed to combat this condition.

Some of the signs that a dog may be needing glucosomine treatments are if the dog is having problems with running and doing the activities that it was used to doing before, constantly limping, having a hard time getting up when the dog is laying down, and signs of pain when getting petted. These are usually signs of some kind of bone pain and just like in humans, glucosomine is used to combat the effects.

The Benefits of Adding Glucosamine To a Dog's Diet

When it comes to finding out what glucosamine product to get for a dog you first want to make sure that you get the liquid glucosamine. You also want to know how much the dog weighs so that the proper amount of medicine is given to the dog. The best thing to do is consult with your veterinarian and they will be able to tell you exactly what name brand to get and exactly how much dosage should be given to the dog. Doing some research on the internet is helpful as well.

Just like with anything new that you put into your dogs diet, there can be side effects and they can be found with glucosamine for dogs. The main side effect that has been reported with the use of glucosomine for dogs is vomiting and diarrhea. This does not happen to every dog and it is not always a direct result of the glucosamine supplement. If your dog displays any of these symptoms always consult a vet. Most of the time these symptoms are very mild and usually disappear when the dosage is scaled back.

All in all the reports of people who use glucosamine to help treat their dogs for bone and joint health are very positive. The reports tend to say that the dog responds very well to the supplement and that any symptoms are reduced or gone. Liquid glucosamine is the best form but again you should always give the recommended dosage.

The best thing to do is consult with a vet when it comes to using glucosomine for a dog. It has been used for decades as a viable treatment and it can be used today as long as it is used properly.

Liquid Health provides a wide range of products for both people and for pets. Make sure to check out our premier liquid supplements.

If you are looking for more information, or you are interested in carrying or purchasing our products, please do not hesitate to call us at 800.995.6607 or send us an e-mail at

Ashwagandha in the News

The Ayurvedic medicine Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has made recent news after trials performed at the National Brain Research Centre (NRBC) of India demonstrated ashwagandha’s potential to clean out protein deposits or amyloid plaques from vessels of the brain within 30 days. Researchers were so astonished by the results that they had a second lab in Canada repeat the trials and they experienced similar results.

The suspected mechanism of action occurs by stimulating production of special protein in the liver that once in the main bloodstream assists in the removal of damaging plaques from the brain into the blood stream Where the plaques are then excreted from the body. The results/findings appeared January 30, 2012 in the reputable US journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”. While the initial studies were on mice, this is an important discovery in the realm of circulatory and brain health as many diseases that affect neural behavior have no present cure. Researchers state that human trials will soon be under way.

Ashwagandha in the News

To your Health,

Dave Rigby Nutritionist, MS, PAC, Member of the American Society for Nutrition
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jan 30. Withania somnifera reverses Alzheimer’s disease pathology by enhancing low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein in liver. Sehgal N, Gupta A, Valli RK, Joshi SD, Mills JT, Hamel E, Khanna P, Jain SC, Thakur SS, Ravindranath V. Division of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, National Brain Research Centre, Nainwal Mode, Manesar, Haryana 122050, India.

Complete Multiple Featured in Men’s Fitness Magazine

Even health-conscious Americans struggle to get the balance of vitamins they need. Liquid Health, Inc.’s Complete Liquid Multi Vitamin was designed to support your regular diet with a Complete list of vitamins and minerals for your daily needs. Liquid Health touts that Complete Multiple covers all nutrients in a form that is easier to swallow.

(PRWeb February 16, 2012)

Read the full story at

Calcium Supplementation: Why Should I?

Aside from wanting to ward off the negative side effects associated with not getting enough calcium, there are plenty of other reasons to make calcium supplementation part of your daily routine. As we all know, calcium plays is a big part of our bone make up, but did you know that our bones will continue to grow in mass until we reach the age of 30?

At this point we can start to experience bone loss which happens over time, but can be accelerated by not receiving enough calcium or not doing enough regular exercise, which can help strengthen our bones. To help avoid developing osteopenia (which is when one has low bone mass) or even worse, osteoporosis, we must get regular calcium to help keep our bones strong and healthy. The more bone mass we acquire by age 30, the longer we can keep our bones from losing enough mass to become a problem.

Calcium Supplementation: Why Should I

There have been studies that show a connection between high levels of calcium and lower overall weight and a lower weight gain over time. According to the National Institutes for Health, there are two possible reasons for this. First, it is proposed that by taking a high level of calcium you may reduce the amount of calcium stored in fat cells which can inhibit fat buildup. Secondly, it is though that calcium might prevent the absorption of fat by binding itself to small amounts of dietary fat and then being flushed out of the body in your urine. While most clinical trials to test the relationship between calcium supplementation and weight loss show no concrete connection, according to the National Institutes of Health “any apparent effects of calcium and dairy products on weight regulation and body composition are complex, inconsistent, and not well understood” – so hopefully over time the studies and clinical trials will come to a more definitive answer.

Another reason to consider calcium supplementation is to curb symptoms associated with PMS (premenstrual syndrome). According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a study of women taking 1200 mg/day of calcium reported a 50% decrease in their PMS symptoms, such as bloating, food cravings, headaches and overall moodiness. Another study claimed a reduction in menstrual pain due to an increase in calcium intake. So in addition to preventing some scary side effects from not having enough calcium, there are clearly some benefits to getting this mineral. Whether you’re getting your calcium from food sources or a supplement, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right amount of calcium for your age and circumstances. Check RDIs and with your doctor if you have questions about your calcium intake before starting any kind of calcium supplementation.

Calcium Supplements Side Effects: What You Should Know

Calcium is one of those supplements you don’t really think twice about taking because it really seems so harmless, but is it? Are there calcium supplements side effects we’re unaware of because we haven’t thought to ask? According to calcium is considered “likely safe” when appropriate dosages are taken, however if excessive amounts are taken there is a chance for some negative side effects. The most common, and minor, side effects include gas, belching, and constipation. Some other possible side effects to taking a lot of calcium include: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination, kidney damage, confusion, and irregular heart rhythm.

There is also a chance that calcium supplements side effects can be much more serious than an upset stomach. The National Institutes of Health says that a higher risk of kidney stones has been associated with a high intake of calcium from supplements. There have also been studies that have linked high levels of calcium, from food sources, to an increase in prostate cancer.

Calcium Supplements Side Effects: What You Should Know

Now wait just one minute before you spit out your milk. These potential side effects can sound awfully scary, but the thing to remember is most of these calcium supplements side effects become a risk when extreme amounts of calcium are taken. According to The Institute of Medicine the daily tolerable upper intake level (UL) for calcium based on age is as follows:

0-6 months, 1000 mg
6-12 months, 1500 mg
1-3 years, 2500 mg
9-18 years, 3000 mg
19-50 years, 2500 mg
51+ years, 2000 mg

And while doses above these levels should be avoided, you’d have to be getting this much (or more) calcium consistently for quite awhile before these side effects could come into play. Just to be safe, try keeping track of your calcium intake for a few days and make sure you’re within a safe range, just make sure you include calcium from food sources in your calculations. If you have any questions or concerns about taking additional calcium, make sure to talk to your doctor.

The Efficacious B Vitamins

A recent study from the Australian National University (AM J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):194-203) showed that taking daily folic acid supplements and B vitamins supplements improved brain function, this was particularly true for people that had delayed memory performance. The objective of the study was to determine whether folic acid and vitamin b12 supplements prevented cognitive decline in a cohort of community-dwelling older adults with elevated psychological distress.

This randomized controlled trial comprised of a daily oral 400 mcg of folic acid and 100 mcg of vitamin B12 supplementation. The people were then compared to those in a placebo group. The groups of people were between the ages of 60-74 years old with elevated psychological distress. The Study found that long-term supplementation of daily oral 400 mcg of folic acid and 100 mcg of vitamin B12 promotes improvement in cognitive function after 24 months of beginning supplementation.

The Efficacious B Vitamins

I have seen a noticeable difference when I take the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid. I get my b vitamins and folic acid from Liquid Health products. They have a supplement specifically for Vitamin B12 and it is in the form of Methylcobalamin. You can find the folic acid that you need in several of their products including; Complete Daily Liquid Multivitamin, Women’s multivitamin, Diabetic supplement, Children’s multivitamin, Kids Multivitamin Complete, and our Daily Multiple.

The Liquid Vitamin Difference

In the world of nutrition we aren’t what we eat, we are what we absorb.  The bioavailability and usable content of a vitamin is an important issue when it comes to supplementation.  I believe that successful absorption of a product depends on 3 factors, quality farming, quality manufacturing, and individual absorption.

First fresh quality ingredients are key.  Farming includes soil content, harvesting technique, and transit time to processing.  When dealing with natural products, each of these steps plays a major role in ensuring active and bioavailable ingredients.  The choice of farmers or suppliers and verification of product by techniques such as NIR spectroscopy are two of the most important parts of a quality product.  If your supplier isn’t reputable or doesn’t have the scientific ability to verify product you may not be getting what you paid for and you can’t absorb what isn’t there.

Second, Manufacturing.  Manufacturing differs greatly between pill and liquid formation.  Pill formation may include heat processing, pressurized shaping, and added ingredients such as fillers and binders.  These processes can destroy active ingredients or make them difficult for your body to use.  Liquids vitamins are often formed without pressure or heat, and involve fewer steps in manufacturing.   While liquids involve less steps in manufacturing they do still contain natural flavorings and preservatives to maintain safety and freshness.

The Liquid Vitamin Difference

Finally, individual absorption.  Absorption starts with a person’s ability to ingest or swallow a supplement.  For many such as the elderly or children it doesn’t matter how well a pill is made if they can’t swallow it.  For these populations liquid forms provide an excellent advantage.   Once swallowed liquid supplements begin to be broken down and absorbed to some degree by enzymes in the mouth and acids in the stomach, but most absorption occurs within the small intestine.  In the intestine many factors at this point come into play including current nutrient status, other competing ingredients that may impede absorption, intestinal disease (such as inflammatory bowel disease or those who have had gastric bypass) or other disease states like celiac or those with gluten sensitivity that may reduce absorption.

Depending on the quality of a pill and its coating, pills can vary widely in their breakdown and nutrient release.  A poorly formed pill can be bound tightly to ingredients allowing little usable absorption.  In terms of breakdown however liquids are ahead of the curve as they are already in liquid state which can lead to quicker delivery to the bloodstream.

In conclusion, while pills have had a dominant presence in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry, for certain populations liquid vitamins have some definite advantages over pills:

•    Easy to swallow for kids and seniors
•    Superior absorption
•    Less fillers, excipients, binders, gluten or other substances found in pill forms
•    Less processing including No heat or pressurized processing

To your health,

Dave Rigby MS, PA-C, Member ASN

The Safety of Glucosamine

We’ve all heard about the benefits of using Glucosamine (especially in conjunction with Chondroitin and MSM) to help treat sore and painful joints. We also think of Glucosamine as generally safe, it’s been rated a toxicity level 5 (on a scale of 0-100) by the Task Force of the European League against Rheumatism. In addition, recent OARSI (OsteoArthritis Research Society International) guidelines for hip and knee osteoarthritis also confirm its excellent safety profile, but have you ever heard much about the glucosamine side effects in humans? There are a few possible adverse affects you should be aware of when taking Glucosamine, most commonly are some mild reactions such as an upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, and heart burn. Some rare reactions include headache, loss of appetite, rash (or other skin reactions) and drowsiness.

According to there is a possibility that taking Glucosamine Sulfate may increase your risk of bleeding. If you are someone with a bleeding disorder, or taking medications to control bleeding, take extra precautions and discuss with your doctor before taking a Glucosamine product. Another possible glucosamine side effect in humans discussed on is abnormally high levels of protein in a person’s urine, although “the clinical meaning of this is unclear.”

The Safety of Glucosamine

There is lots of discussion on the glucosamine side effects in humans who have an allergy to shellfish. Since most forms of Glucosamine are derived from shellfish (you can sometimes find it derived from corn) it would seem obvious that someone allergic to shellfish shouldn’t take it. However, Glucosamine is derived from the shells of the shellfish and most allergies are to the meat of the shellfish, based on this, according to the National Institute of Health “There are no reports of allergic reactions to glucosamine in people who are allergic to shellfish.” Nevertheless, caution should always be taken when dealing with your health, so always talk with your doctor before starting any medication or supplementation.

If you are looking for more information, or you are interested in carrying or purchasing our products, please do not hesitate to call us at 800.995.6607 or send us an e-mail at

Vitamin A: Moderation Is Key

We are what we eat, but for most of us the nutrients and vitamins we take in daily are poorly understood and frequently taken for granted. So in an effort to gain appreciation for these important nutrients, I have decided to study and write about a few in particular starting with Vitamin A.

What is vitamin A?
The term “vitamin” refers to any nutrient required by a living organism that can’t be self synthesized and must be obtained from your diet. In the case of Vitamin A, the name actually refers to several different compounds that have similar biochemical functions. These compounds include Retinol, Retinal, and four carotenoids including beta carotene. Vitamin A is most commonly known for its role in vision, but also plays an important role in gene transcription, immune function, bone growth, reproduction, Iron transport, and blood cell formation.

What are the recommended daily allowances and upper levels of intake?

Adult RDA or RDI for Vitamin A
Males(18+): 900 mcg/day RAE (3000 International Units)
Females (18+): 700 mcg/d RAE (2300 International Units)


  • Pregnancy 750-770 mcg/day RAE (2500-2600 International Units)
  • Lactation 1200-1300 mcg/day RAE (4000-4300 International Units)

Upper Limit of intake (UL)

Adults: 3000 mcg/day RAE (10,000 International Units)

Pregnancy: 2800 mcg/day RAE (9200 International Units)
Lactation: 3000 mcg/day RAE (10,000 International Units)

Pediatric RDA

1-3 years old: 300 mcg/day RAE (1000 International Units)
4-8 years old: 400 mcg/day RAE (1333 International Units)
9-13 years old: 600 mcg/day RAE (2000 International Units)
14-18 years old: 900 mcg/day RAE (3000 International Units)

Pediatric Upper Limits of normal intake

0-3 years old: 600/day mcg RAE (2000 International Units)
4-8 years old: 900/day mcg RAE (3000 International Units)
9-13 years old: 1700 mcg/day RAE (5700 International Units)
14-18 years old: 2800 mcg/day RAE (9200 International Units)

Vitamin A: Moderation Is Key

What happens when you are Vitamin A deficient?

Those at risk for vitamin A deficiency include vegans, recent immigrants, alcoholics, preschool children living below the poverty line, patients suffering from fat mal-absorption, Inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, sprue, pancreatic insufficiency, and persons who have undergone small-bowel bypass surgery.
One of the first signs of Vitamin A deficiency is poor vision,particularly night blindness. There is also increased interest in subclinical vitamin A deficiency where low storage levels of vitamin A lead to an increased risk of respiratory and diarrheal infections, poor bone development, decreased growth rate, and decreased ability to survive serious illness.
According to the National Institute of Health(NIH)“Vitamin A deficiency is common in developing countries but rarely seen in the United States. Approximately 250,000 to 500,000 malnourished children in the developing world become blind each year from a deficiency of vitamin A. In the United States, vitamin A deficiency is most often associated with strict dietary restrictions and excess alcohol intake.”

What happens when you get too much Vitamin A?

Vitamin A can be derived from two different sources, animal or a plant.Animal source Vitamin A is called preformed vitamin A. It is absorbed in the form of retinol. Retinol is one of the most bioavailable forms of vitamin A. Vitamin A that is found in fruits and vegetables is called provitamin-A carotenoid. These can be made into retinol in the body. As a preformed vitamin is fat soluble, it is more difficult for your body to get rid of excess levels. This makes animal source or preformed vitamin A more dangerous in terms of toxicity because storage levels continue to increase over time. Beta-carotene is a safe source of vitamin A because the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A is regulated in the body.

The four main negative effects of toxic levels of vitamin A storage (Hypervitaminosis A) are: birth defects, liver abnormalities, reduced bone mineral density, and central nervous system disorders.
Toxic symptoms can also arise after consuming very large amounts of preformed vitamin A over a short period of time. Signs of acute toxicity include nausea and vomiting, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, and muscular incoordination. Although hypervitaminosis A can occur when large amounts of liver are regularly consumed, most cases result from taking excess amounts of the nutrient in supplements.

Pregnancy Vitamins

During pregnancy Vitamin A plays several important roles including, neural development and development of heart, ears, eyes, limbs, and lungs. Pregnant mothers need to be careful as excess vitamin A is teratogenic, (a term for anything harmful to the normal physiological development of the baby) The UL(upper limit) during pregnancy is 9200 IU, 800IU lower than that recommended for an adult female as excess Vitamin A may cause cardiovascular, craniofacial, thymus, and nervous system malformations. The following is a warning from the national institute of health;“Over the past 15 years, syntheticretinoids have been prescribed for acne, psoriasis, and other skin disorders. Isotretinoin (Roaccutane® or Accutane®) is considered an effective anti-acne therapy. At very high doses, however, it can be toxic, which is why this medication is usually saved for the most severe forms of acne. The most serious consequence of this medication is birth defects. It is extremely important for sexually active females who may become pregnant and who take these medications to use an effective method of birth control. Women of childbearing age who take these medications are advised to undergo monthly pregnancy tests to make sure they are not pregnant.”

Sources of vitamin A

So after all of this discussion about what vitamin A is and what it does, the next question is what are the vitamin A levels in common foods we eat? The following is a chart provided by the NIH**.

Table 1: Selected animal sources of vitamin A
Food Vitamin A (IU)* %DV**
Liver, beef, cooked, 3 ounces



Liver, chicken, cooked, 3 ounces



Milk, fortified skim, 1 cup



Cheese, cheddar, 1 ounce



Milk, whole (3.25% fat), 1 cup



Egg substitute, ¼ cup




Table 2: Selected plant sources of vitamin A (from beta-carotene)
Food Vitamin A (IU)* %DV**
Carrot juice, canned, ½ cup



Carrots, boiled, ½ cup slices



Spinach, frozen, boiled, ½ cup



Kale, frozen, boiled, ½ cup



Carrots, 1 raw (7½ inches)



Vegetable soup, canned, chunky, ready-to-serve, 1 cup



Cantaloupe, 1 cup cubes



Spinach, raw, 1 cup



Apricots with skin, juice pack, ½ cup



Apricot nectar, canned, ½ cup



Papaya, 1 cup cubes



Mango, 1 cup sliced



Oatmeal, instant, fortified, plain, prepared with water, 1 cup



Peas, frozen, boiled, ½ cup



Tomato juice, canned, 6 ounces



Peaches, canned, juice pack, ½ cup halves or slices



Peach, 1 medium



Pepper, sweet, red, raw, 1 ring (3 inches diameter by ¼ inch thick)



As you can see one portion of liver on the animal side and carrots on the vegetable provide 400-550% each of the daily value requirement of vitamin A. Many other sources provider lesser amounts but certainly add up to make vitamin A deficiency unlikely in the typical American diet.
In conclusion, vitamin A plays many important roles in the human body but should be respected in terms of toxicity and may have some implications amongst certain populations for deficiency. Pregnant women need to be most careful with intake and beta carotene is a safer form of vitamin A to use during this time. Finally, a well-balanced diet should provide most people with all of the vitamin A they need.
To Your Health,

Dave Rigby MS, PA-C, member ASN
*definitions of medical terms:

The Hidden Value of Vitamin D

Is it just me or has Vitamin D been getting a lot of attention lately? I’m wondering if it’s because we’re headed into the time of year when people generally spend less time outside and that’s how lots of people get additional Vitamin D (from the sun.) Anyway, I decided to do a little research on our friend, Vitamin D, and here are a few things I learned:

1.) According to fat in our body acts as a Vitamin D “battery” and will store Vitamin D and save it for times when we aren’t receiving enough.

2.) Also on they say that 6 days of modest exposure to the sun can make up for 49 days without any sun exposure (as far as replenishing out Vitamin D levels!)

3.) For all babies who are exclusively breastfed the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 400IU daily of Vitamin D until the time they are drinking enough milk to receive the necessary amount of Vitamin D.

The Hidden Value of Vitamin D

4.) An easy way to prevent Vitamin D deficiencies, according to is through sun exposure. They say that even just 10 minutes a day can be enough to make a difference.

5.) Check out this study which shows that Vitamin D3 is more potent than Vitamin D2:

If you are looking for more information, or you are interested in carrying or purchasing our products, please do not hesitate to call us at 800.995.6607 or send us an e-mail at

Who Needs Vitamin D?

I was shocked when I took my baby in for her 2 month check up and her doctor told me I should be giving her a vitamin supplement.  I went home and decided to do a little research, not that I don’t trust our doctor, I was just curious.  I was a little surprised to learn that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 400 IU/daily of Vitamin D for all infants who are exclusively breastfed.

They recommend starting the supplement “shortly after birth” and continuing until they are consuming enough fortified milk to receive proper amounts of Vitamin D.  I know it’s said that Vitamin D deficiency is huge right now, and this made me wonder what other groups need Vitamin D (and probably aren’t getting it).

The Office of Dietary Supplements listed these as the groups at the highest risk of being Vitamin D deficient:

-breastfed infants, since it’s likely they are not receiving adequate amounts of Vitamin D from breast milk alone.

-older adults, over time your skin loses the ability to synthesize Vitamin D.
-people with limited exposure to the sun, a lot of times our diets alone do not provide enough Vitamin D so some sun exposure is necessary.  Those who do not get much exposure to the sun may need additional supplementation.

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-people with dark skin, dark skin comes from having a larger amount of pigment melanin in the epidermal layer, which has been shown to inhibit the skin’s ability to produce Vitamin D from sunlight.

– people with fat malabsorption, people with conditions such as cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease and some forms of liver disease, have a harder time absorbing dietary fat.  Some dietary fat in the body is necessary in the absorption of Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin.

-people who are obese, those who have a higher percentage of body fat are found to be Vitamin D deficient because “greater amounts of subcutaneous fat sequester more of the vitamin and alter its release into the circulation”

-those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, after a gastric bypass surgery, “part of the upper small intestine where vitamin D is absorbed is bypassed and vitamin D mobilized into the serum from fat stores may not compensate over time.”

If you are looking for more information, or you are interested in carrying or purchasing our products, please do not hesitate to call us at 800.995.6607 or send us an e-mail at

5 Simple Steps for a Healthy New Year

With a new year upon us many people are working on their resolution to live a healthier lifestyle.   As a medical practitioner and nutritionist I see a wide variety of scientifically unsound or unsustainable diet and fitness plans that lead to more frustration than good.   So for this coming year may I suggest a simple plan with 5 easy to follow steps that are sustainable and practical.

1.    CHOOSE AN EVENT – First, select a specific event with a date.  This could be anything from a 5k or triathlon, to a high school reunion or wedding.  The key to this is a defined goal and a set deadline.  By creating a time frame with a purpose, what once seemed like a never ending journey becomes an attainable and enjoyable goal.   Have fun with this goal and advertise to yourself.  You can even make a poster collage of this event with pictures that inspire or remind you of what you hope to accomplish or simply promise yourself a reward.   As you prepare for this event the sacrifice, effort, and pain can be associated with the higher purpose or goal and this will increase the likelihood of success.  As you succeed with this first event make sure and choose another and you’ll find yourself in a life full of success and accomplishment.

2.    FITNESS PLAN – Second, commit to a specific fitness plan that will help you achieve the desired goal.  For most of us it is too hard at the end of a long day to go out and exercise when we don’t have a plan.  By choosing and committing to a plan we are likely to be more mentally prepared and will often push ourselves more than if we do just what we feel like doing that day.  This plan can be a video series, a plan from a book or website, training from a coach, or even a handheld phone application.   Whatever plan you choose make sure that it is specific enough to write out your daily tasks for the month.  This will help avoid hesitation or excuse making.   If a workout is in the plan and you committed, just get it done.  Of course be responsible and allow yourself proper time for rest and make sure your plan isn’t so far beyond your present fitness level that it can lead to injury or burnout.

3.    PEER SUPPORT – Third, enlist a friend.  The buddy system and accountability work.  Choose someone to take this challenge with.  Share your goals and if possible a similar event and goal to work towards.  Have some type of documenting system to track your success and push and motivate each other.  You can use a written journal or online website.   One of my favorite websites, allows people from all across the world to log their workouts and see workouts their friends have accomplished.  We are able to comment on each other’s workouts and cheer success, commiserate with setbacks, and share in adventure.  Other similar sites include and   Each of these allows accountability and support in a fun way that exponentially increases our ability to continue forward with a plan.

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4.    NUTRITION PLAN – Fourth, develop a nutrition plan that is sustainable. Notice I did not use the word diet.  I believe improving what we eat is much simpler than the torture that many endure under the various diets that are popular for a season.  I believe as people become conscious of what goes into their body they will naturally choose those things that help them feel energetic if they are available.  To improve nutrition I recommend a person to do a 7 day food journal and observe the calories associated with the foods in their normal diet.  There are many programs online and for phone applications that will help you do this.  (My favorite app is my fitness pal.)

Then, and this is the key, I recommend choosing 10 items which are either low in nutrients and high in calories or foods that simply make you feel sluggish or ill and place them on your “Black list”.  This is a written list that you may choose to keep with you to help you consciously avoid foods that don’t contribute to your sense of energy and well-being.   Foods such as soda, excess alcohol or coffee, overeating, donuts, candy, or fast food can be placed on this list with a short written reminder of why we have chosen not to eat them.   Then get any food on the black list out of your house.

We then move to the “Green list” which is a list of lower calorie options or foods that consistently help you feel energetic and well.   Write down your top 10 favorite and fill your refrigerator and pantry with these options.  As you simply trade one for the other you will notice a difference in the way you feel and very likely a significant reduction in the mindless calories you take in.

5.    Supplement support- Fifth and finally research and implement one of the various supplements available to enhance your energy levels and athletic performance.  An old fable talks of a man who took 5hours to chop down some trees with a dull axe and another who took 2hours to sharpen his axe and 1 hour to cut down the trees.  There are natural supplements out there that can significantly improve our efforts and keep our bodies healthy and intact while we push for our goal.   With the scientific understanding available to the public today each of us can enjoy the advanced nutritional benefits of supplementation once enjoyed only by elite athletes and the ultra-wealthy.  I recommend talking with someone you trust or a sports nutritionist and your medical doctor to discuss the various options available and give yourself an edge on success.

By following these simple and practical techniques I know you can make the upcoming year one of your most energetic and accomplished yet.

To your health,

David Rigby MS, PA-C, Member of American Society of Nutrition