Achieve your fitness goals with our step-by-step nutrition and supplement guide

The Fitness Guide:
A blueprint for optimizing nutrition and supplementation

  • Optimal fitness requires more than just lifting weights or doing cardio. We also cover joint health, cardiovascular health, testosterone production, and sleep — six incredibly common roadblocks to optimal fitness and body composition.
  • Step-by-step directions on what supplements to take, and on how and when to take them
  • Guidelines to evaluate your fitness and track your progress
  • The latest evidence on popular diets
  • Evidence-based tips on movement and body positioning, so you can move and train without pain
  • Dozens of professional infographics specially designed to clarify complex topics
  • Free lifetime updates: as new research comes out, we update our guides to ensure they stay up-to-date and accurate
  • 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee; no questions asked
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What is fitness to you?

How fitness is interconnected (and what it means to you)

Ask ten people “What does it mean to be fit?”, and you’ll get ten different answers.

  • Being fit could mean running a half-marathon to one person.
  • For someone else, it could be going on a 2-hour hike and not being exhausted afterward.
  • For others, it could mean being able to play with their grandkids, or simply waking up without pain and stiffness.

Fitness is usually oversimplified: it’s all about muscle and fat, weights and cardio. But to solve a puzzle as complex as optimal fitness, you first need to figure out your personal bottlenecks, rather than hammering the same routines over and over, hoping for better results.

Next, you should use the most recent evidence to reduce those bottlenecks, or even turn them into strengths.

Let’s look at a quick example of personal bottlenecks, and how they change with time: Kamal Patel, co-founder (aka me!)

A decade ago, my main goal was to pack on muscle. Forays into powerlifting, strongman competitions … muscle was all I cared about. I had a 430-pound deadlift, and both my squat and bench were above 300. I was roughly 175 pounds at 12% body fat, and my goal was to be consistently sub-10%.

(Note that I hail from a family of rail-thin Indians, and am among the naturally skinniest of them. My max bench was a shaky, grind-it-out 65 pounds after my freshman year of college. Suffice it to say that my fitness journey took quite a lot of time, effort, and learning.)

Fast forward to today, and my definition of fitness has completely changed. I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a disorder that affects connective tissue throughout the body. I’ve had well over a dozen MRIs and multiple joint surgeries. I still research fitness on a daily basis, but now with a broader understanding of interconnected factors such as joint pain and sleep.

When it comes to your own fitness (not just this year, but in the decades to come), these are the six most important factors to consider:

  1. Joint health

    Healthy joints allow your body to deal with the strains of exercise, sports, and normal everyday activities. A lack of pain should be your daily normal state!

  2. Sleep

    Deep, restful sleep lets your body recover from the day’s activities and wake up energized.

  3. Muscle and exercise performance

    Muscle is one of the two obvious fitness factors, but optimal muscle mass isn’t just for looks: it helps keep testosterone levels high and lets you enjoy physical activities.

  4. Fat loss

    Fat is the second obvious fitness factor: high body fat leads to lower testosterone, lower self-esteem, and declining organ-system health as you age..

  5. Testosterone

    Optimal testosterone levels have far-reaching effects, including more muscle, increased mental clarity, and improved mood.

  6. Cardiovascular health

    A factor that grows in importance as you age: improving your cardiovascular health now will help prevent future heart complications and boost your recovery.

Importantly, each factor affects all the others. So if you focus on just a couple, you’re setting yourself up for greater roadblocks in the coming years!

To truly be fit, you need to address all the factors

Our bodies are complex machines. So, as an analogy, let’s look at a much less complex machine. Imagine you found a VW Beetle from the 1950s. Everything is original — the chassis, the engine, the tires, and so forth.

Let’s say you upgrade just the engine … say you swap it out with something from 2018. What would happen?

The drivetrain would underperform. The shocks would fail pretty quickly. The wheels would not be able to handle the speed.

By only focusing on one component and neglecting the others, you’ve only marginally improved the performance, and instead you’ve created new risks.

This is what happens if you don’t focus on the big picture.

Here’s a real-life example: your knees.

When you walk, every pound of excess weight you carry is about 4 pounds of extra pressure on your knees. This doubles up to 8 pounds when you run.

If you’re just 10 pounds overweight, that’s 40 pounds of extra pressure on your knees for every step you take!

So you have to be careful not to overdo cardio. It would be safer to slowly ratchet up your activity levels and lose a bit of weight.

But if you approach the problem through multiple angles, synergies start to form. You can decrease some of your knee pain with smarter nutrition and supplementation, making it more comfortable for yourself to move around. The more you move around, the stronger your cardiovascular system becomes, and the easier it is to lose weight. And as you lose weight, there’s less pressure on your knees. Less joint pain means better sleep and faster recovery, leading to improved exercise performance.

As you improve one component, the others naturally start to improve.; it's all interconnected!

Too many gurus and books focus on only one facet of fitness. While they can help, most people don’t have time to read six different books and figure out what’s true and what’s just good salesmanship; fitness is about how all the facets come together.

The job of our Fitness Guide is to translate all the most evidence about those six interconnected factors, so you know which diets, supplements, and lifestyle approaches work, which don’t, and which might but don’t have enough evidence yet.


Introducing The Fitness Guide: A blueprint for optimizing nutrition and supplementation

In our Fitness Guide, you’ll find six of our top-selling Supplement Guides, plus added information on dieting efficiently and assessing your fitness level. You’ll learn which supplements work best, and more importantly, how to combine them to get the results you want.

Optimal fitness is a complex and personalized puzzle; luckily, we’ve made it easy-as-pie to put the pieces together.

  • We begin each of the six primers with an overview of strategies to address common fitness-related problems.
  • We follow with a comprehensive list of the core supplements you should consider taking to reach your desired outcome.
  • Next, we move to primary options (which may provide substantial benefits in the right context), secondary options (which have less evidence for their effects), promising supplements (for which evidence is still mostly lacking), and inadvisable supplements (which are more likely to harm you or empty your wallet than support your efforts).
  • Finally, we look at different ways to combine your supplements so you reach your health and fitness goals, faster.
  • We also delve into measuring fitness, the psychology of dieting and weight loss (super important), how to diet for fat loss, and frequently asked questions around dieting.
  • Finally, we cover movement and body positioning to help keep you healthy and pain-free.

Here’s a teeny tiny sliver of the hundreds of questions we answer, utilizing the latest peer-reviewed research:

  • Which supplements most deserve the saying “the dose makes the poison”?
  • Fitness tracking: so hot right now. But how do you track most accurately without getting lost in the weeds or obsessive?
  • Can you lose fat both quickly and sustainably? And without extreme dieting?
  • Do you know how important LDL-C is, compared to LDL-P or cholesterol particle size?
  • When your diet self-destructs, is there any dieting psychology evidence that can help?
  • Which one ability is most correlated with achieving long-term fat-loss?
  • Why is the standard treatment for joint pain so problematic?
  • What are the two ways of monitoring fitness progress, and why are both equally important?
  • How many calories do you burn while using a standing desk?
  • What is the the connection between your testosterone levels and your prostate?
  • How exactly does coconut oil affect heart health?

How the Fitness Guide helps you optimize your fitness:

Supplement Synergy

Learn how to best combine science-backed supplements for optimal results.

Easy-to-Follow Directions

Learn which supplements to take, when, and how.

Up-to-date Information

Your guide comes with lifetime updates. Benefit from the latest research on fitness supplementation.

Unbiased Information

We’re 100% unbiased and unaffiliated. We do not sell supplements, provide coaching or consulting, or accept donations, sponsorship, or advertising. All our recommendations are based strictly on the evidence.

What are the topics covered in our Fitness Guide?

  • Muscle gains & exercise performance
  • Fat loss
  • Joint health
  • Body movement and positioning
  • Measuring fitness
  • Testosterone
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Sleep
  • Dieting
  • Food psychology

Who will benefit from the Fitness Guide?

Athletes who have hit a plateau in their fitness journey

You’ve tried high-reps, low-reps, pyramids, drop sets, supersets, jogging, HIIT, and all the rest. So why aren’t you getting any faster, stronger, leaner? Are there supplements that could help you break through your plateau? We’ll see which ones are best supported by the evidence; we’ll even see which forms to take, in what dosages, and in what combinations. But more importantly, we’ll examine fitness factors that are routinely neglected yet are often the real causes behind a plateau.

People who want to get (back) in shape

This is the year you’re getting back in shape! But where to start? Are there supplements that could help you lose fat and give you more energy to exercise? Certainly, and here again we’ll see which which forms to take, in what dosages, and in what combinations, based on the evidence.

But supplements are the cherry on the fitness cake; there are many other factors to consider first. So many, in fact, that fitness can seem an overwhelming puzzle! But we’ll break it down and guide you.

Whether you’re overweight and find dieting and exercising difficult, or you’re just out of shape and wish to start an exercise regimen, we’re here to help. Whatever your age, it is never too late to get fit!

People who want to stay in shape — no matter their age

Fitness is a journey. You don’t want to be muscular today but a wreck in ten years. We’ll guide you through the basics that make lifelong fitness possible.

Not just how to lose fat, but how to keep it off.

Not just how to pack up muscle, but how to stay pain-free.

Not just how to improve your sport performance, but how to be fit enough to enjoy life and your favorite activities at any age.

Whether you've just turned 20, are in your 40s, or have retired and want to stay healthy, our Fitness Guide can help.

We’ll explore dietary habits, sleep hygiene, body positioning, and yes, even supplements — which forms to take, in what dosages, and in what combinations. All based on the latest evidence.

Who is
and why should you trust us?

  • is an independent encyclopedia on supplementation and nutrition. We’re unique because we don’t sell supplements and aren’t affiliated in any way with any supplement company. When we recommend a supplement (or say another is garbage), it has no impact on our bottom line. Consider us the Switzerland of the nutrition world.
  • Since our inception in early 2011, we’ve had but one goal: to be the best source of unbiased information on supplements and nutrition. Our team comprises medical doctors, biophysicists, pharmacists, nutritionists, sports dietitians, kinesiologists, etc. — all accredited experts, but with very different backgrounds, so that when we do research, we get the full picture. It’s why we have over 50,000 references on our website — we’re happy to show our work.
  • This single-minded dedication to providing well-researched, unbiased information has made us the #1 site for supplement information. Over a million people visit us every day. We have over 65,000 happy customers. And when major media organizations (such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Men's Health, the BBC, and many more) need experts, they turn to us.

Health professionals trust

Medical doctors. Researchers. Registered dietitians. Professional athletes.
They all rely on our evidence-based analyses.

Jennifer Sygo uses to get “the lay of the land” quickly’s updates help me to stay on top of current research on supplements and diet trends. I appreciate the detail on topics like supplement-nutrient interactions, and their in-depth summaries are a great way to get “the lay of the land” quickly and efficiently.

Jennifer Sygo
RD Cleveland Clinic Canada | Performance Toronto Raptors
Bryan Marshall recommends us to any fitness/performance professional has been a long-time favourite resource of mine. Everything that the team at puts out is relevant, trustworthy, and most importantly, actionable. I would highly recommend these resources to any fitness/performance professional or anyone interested in learning how to live a healthier lifestyle.

Bryan Marshall
Player Development & Applied Sport Science | Vancouver Canucks
Lindsay Langford’s “go-to” for supplement research has been my “go-to” when looking for the latest in supplement research. I find the site easy to navigate and appreciate the easy access to scientific information, when time is of the essence. I appreciate the ability to view all citations and trust as a sound scientific tool.

Lindsay Langford
MS, RD, CSSD | Sports Dietitian, Indiana Pacers
For Stuart Phillips, is a signal in a sea of scientific noise provides up-to-date, informative, factually correct and unbiased research reviews that I trust. is a signal in a sea of scientific noise!

Stuart Phillips
Director, Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE) | Director, McMaster Centre for Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Research | Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, Skeletal Muscle Health
Ramsey Nijem relies on for credible and relevant information on all things sport performance

As the Head Performance and Strength Coach for an NBA team, I am responsible for delivering credible and relevant information on all things sport performance. is my go-to source when it comes to nutrition and supplementation and their Fitness Guide does a great job breaking down the supplements (and even nutrition) that will help you optimize your overall fitness.

Ramsey Nijem
Head Performance & Strength Coach, Sacramento Kings
John Meadows trusts to tell him the truth on supplements

I’ll keep this simple: is where I go when I want to look up what the science says on supplements and nutrition. If you want the truth on supplements and what works and what doesn’t, no one does it better. You can tell they spend the time and effort to get the full picture. And as a pro bodybuilder, that’s exactly what I need.

John Meadows
IFFB Pro Bodybuilder
Tavis Piattoly leans on for the most current evidence to help his athletes

I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with high performance athletes at all levels. The majority of my athlete clients are not only looking to maximize performance through diet but also through safe and effective supplementation. With over 50,000 supplements on the market, it’s difficult to keep up with the latest research, which is why I lean on the brilliant team at for the most current evidence-based data on dietary supplements.

Tavis Piattoly
MS, RD, LDN | Co-Founder, My Sports Dietitian | Former Sports Dietitian for New Orleans Saints & New Orleans Pelicans
Michael Easter turns to when he needs to understand complex nutrition topics

I turn to any time I need to understand complex nutrition topics. The team consistently delivers science-backed, practical, and digestible information that I can trust.

Michael Easter
Lecturer, Journalism, UNLV | Journalist, contributor to Men's Health, Outside, and more
Mike Hart visits daily is the most trusted resource on the internet for making intelligent decisions regarding your health. I visit it daily and frequently suggest to my patients to visit before purchasing any supplements or making any dietary changes.

Mike Hart
MD is where Tom Venuto goes to find the truth

With, never again will you need to worry about knowing whether the claims of the billion-dollar supplement industry are true or false. You’ll have the truth right at your fingertips. Use this encyclopedic resource as your go-to-guide and you’ll never have to waste time searching google and wondering whether what you found is evidence or (biased) advertisement, you won’t have to waste your money or risk your health on personal trial and error, and you won’t even have to sort through the real research (pubmed) because the guys at Examine have spent years doing it for you. Maybe the best part is that, finally the evidence-based trustworthy information we need is all in one place, and is smartly organized so you can find the answers you need in just minutes. Whether you’re a consumer or a fitness pro, this is a no-brainer must-have for your library.

Tom Venuto
Bestselling author, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle
When John Berardi needs unbiased, meticulously researched, and scientifically credible supplement information, he visits

Whenever I want unbiased, meticulously researched, and scientifically credible supplement information, I turn to my friends at They review thousands of studies and give bottom-line supplement recommendations better than anyone else in the industry. For me, my team, and my colleagues, they’ve become a trusted resource.

John Berardi
PhD, CSCS | Co-founder Precision Nutrition
Eric Cressey trust’s research-backed, unbiased perspective

The supplement industry can be tremendously confusing for a number of reasons. First, the margins are incredibly high — so there are a lot of unethical weasels with no scientific background making bold and unsubstantiated claims to separate you from your money. Second, it’s a dynamic industry, as new products, brands, and research emerge every single day. Fortunately, the guys at have streamlined the process of educating us all by providing an incredibly up-to-date resource on the supplements we encounter on a daily basis, as well as some of the more obscure ones that are out there that might “stump” us. This is an excellent product not only because it’s a completely research-backed, unbiased perspective without any financial conflicts of interest, but also because it’s exhaustively thorough and well written. I highly recommend it.

Eric Cressey
For Dr. Bryan Chung, is the repository resource for nutritional supplement information has become THE repository resource for nutritional supplement information. Most other similar databases fail at what they’re good at, which is being accessible and being comprehensive. Their frequent updates stay on top of the literature as it evolves. gives me an excellent overview of the body of work, which helps me filter and refine my search strategy when I’m looking up supplements that I get asked about that I’ve never heard of. The Human Effect Matrix provides interpretation that is lacking in every other supplement database in the world. Most people don’t have the time or interest to develop high-level expertise, but need somewhere to turn to to make informed decisions about their supplements. That information is at

Dr. Bryan Chung
Dr. Yoni Freedhoff sees in a massive and helpful undertaking

It’s insufficient to simply rely on belief, conjecture or internet advice to determine if supplements are right for you. Instead you need to rely on research. With’s reference guide not only will you find their summary of the research, but also links to the original papers should you want to do your own due diligence. Truly a massive and helpful undertaking.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff

This week only: get a physical copy of the Fitness Guide

We’ve always prided ourselves on providing you with the latest research. That’s why we include free lifetime updates with all of our products. We don’t want to be one of those companies that sell you information and then charges you an arm and a leg to buy the updated version a year later.

We also pride ourselves to sticking with what we know best. And that’s researching information, making sense of it, and sharing it with you online. No mess, no fuss; we like to keep it simple.

This is why we’ve never sold a physical copy before, for any of our products. There’s a lot of logistics to figure out. Printing. Handling. Shipping. Returns. But — we also pride ourselves on listening to our customers, and many of you have told us you want a copy you can hold in your hands. That’s why, this week only, we’re offering a physical copy.

We’ve spent a significant amount of time making sure this book will look gorgeous, with vibrant colors bringing the infographics and tables to life.

PLEASE NOTE: Since this is a test run, we don’t want to rush the process, so the physical copy will not ship until early March. Furthermore, due to shipping costs, for this test-run we will be shipping to North America only.

So if you’re interested in getting the physical copy, get it now!

The Guardian
Men's Health
Fast Company
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Boston Globe
Mens Fitness
Muscle Fitness
The Huffington Post
  • What does it mean to be fit? — Tips on how to measure your fitness level and progress.
  • What should I take? — A list of supplements for each fitness goal, organized by effectiveness.
  • How should I take it? — Step-by-step directions on how to take each supplement and guidelines on how to combine them depending on your situation.
  • What else should I know? — Answers to common questions on the supplements mentioned in the guide.
  • What diet should I choose? — A look at some popular diets (why they do or don’t work) and at what makes a diet successful.
  • What should I avoid? — A list of supplements that aren’t worth your money or that present possible health risks.
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Fitness Guide


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Fitness Guide


Digital and Physical Copy

comparable value over 60 months only $16.67/month + $799.41 Savings

  • ERD Monthly Digest
  • ERD Private Facebook Group
  • ERD Audio Format
  • Free A-to-Z Supplement Reference
  • Full Catalog for Life

Refund Policy

100% Money-back guarantee

All purchases are risk-free. Our Fitness Guide comes with an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee — no questions asked. If you don’t like what you see, just email us via within 30 days for your full refund.


What is

Founded in 2011, is an education companyal led by a team of experts — PhDs, researchers, medical doctors, pharmacists, and more. With over 2.5 million visitors each month, our website is the trusted resource on nutrition and supplement research.

Who is the Fitness Guide for?

It is designed for anyone who wants to meet their individual fitness goals using clear and concise guidelines. We bring an evidence-based approach that helps you maximize all facets of fitness.

I own the Supplement Guides bundle; can I get the Fitness Guide at a discount?

Yes. If you own the Supplement Guides bundle, you can get the Fitness Guide for just $20.00. Please email us at and we will send you a special link for the discounted price.

Are you shipping the physical copy outside of North America?

We currently only ship to Canada and the United States. Since this is our first foray into physical distribution, we are shipping a limited amount of copies of the Fitness Guide in March 2019. Once all the guides have been received and we’ve smoothed out the shipping process, we will make print versions available internationally.

When will I get the physical copy?

We will begin shipping out the print versions in March 2019. Please note that you will immediately, upon purchase, get access to the online version of the guide. So make sure to check your email and Member’s Area.

Can I buy just the physical copy of the Fitness Guide?

Not at this time. This is just a test run to see if we can fulfill the demand.

With free lifetime updates, how do I get access to the latest version?

We will notify you of each update via email. With that said, you can simply download a new copy from the Member’s Area and it will be the latest version of the Fitness Guide.

Does my print version of the Fitness Guide come with free lifetime updates?

The print version of your guide will not include free lifetime updates, simply because that would be very hard (and expensive) to do with any physical product. However, your purchase does come with a copy of the online guide (the PDF), which does include free lifetime updates. You will receive an email notification with a copy of your updated PDF everytime we add anything new.

Is the Fitness Guide composed of all-new Supplement Guides?

The Fitness Guide combines 6 guides we’ve been updating since 2014:
  • Muscle Gain & Exercise Performance
  • Fat Loss
  • Testosterone
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Joint Health
  • Sleep
We didn’t just throw six guides under one cover, however: we used them as a base to start with. We then merged them into a coherent whole to provide you with a unified reference on fitness supplementation, and added sections on dieting, nutrition, psychology, movement, assessing your fitness level, and more. It is, bar none, the most comprehensive guide you will find that isn’t a textbook.

Will you ever add new Supplement Guides to the Fitness Guide?

Yes. As we create new Supplement Guides, we’ll add the fitness-related ones to your Fitness Guide.

How often will the Fitness Guide be updated?

We will update the Fitness Guide the same way we update our Supplement Guides. Our goal is to update our Supplement Guides at least once a year.

Will you sell a print version of the Fitness Guide?

No, we won’t. In order to provide you with the latest information, we don’t offer hard copies of any of our products. So, like our Supplement Guides, the Fitness Guide will be a PDF, and each time you download it, you’ll be downloading the latest version.

What is the refund policy for the Fitness Guide?

We offer an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee on all our products. Should you be unhappy with the Fitness Guide for any reason, simply email us at and we will refund your purchase.