Achieve your 2022 fitness goals with our step-by-step nutrition and supplement guide

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

  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • Men’s Health
  • BBC
  • The Guardian
  • Medpage Today
  • Forbes
  • Eatright

The truth about being “fit”

The problem — when it comes to fitness — is that too many people just focus on building muscle or losing fat. But those are only two parts of a much bigger picture!

Fitness is about optimizing systems of the human body to work well together. That means understanding everything from optimal sleep quality and hormone regulation to joint health.

And years of research have taught us this: fitness is usually oversimplified. For many people, it is all about muscle and fat, weights and cardio; but to solve a puzzle as complex as optimal fitness, hammering the same routines over and over will not work.

You need to figure out your personal bottlenecks among the six main fitness factors and take advantage of the most recent evidence to remove them, or even turn them into strengths!

The six main facets of fitness:

  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 everyday 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 accelerated aging.

  5. Testosterone

    Optimal testosterone levels have far-reaching benefits, including more muscle, greater mental clarity, and better mood.

  6. Cardiovascular health

    Cardiovascular health grows in importance as you age: improving it now will not only boost your recovery but also help prevent future heart complications.

It’s all interconnected:

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

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

Every pound of excess weight you carry means about 4 pounds of extra pressure on your knees when you walk, 8 when you run. In other words, if you’re just 10 pounds overweight, that’s 40 to 80 pounds of extra pressure on your knees with every step you take!

And yet, if you’re overweight, the first thing friends told you was likely to run, either outside or on a treadmill. Miles of running every day. Hours of running each week. “No pain no gain!”

That’s a recipe for disaster.

Instead, you could alternate between running, swimming, and lifting, so that your efforts don’t all put pressure on your knees. You can also decrease your knee pain with smarter nutrition, supplementation, and body positioning at work.

The Fitness Guide gives you a comprehensive approach at fitness, realizing that you should not just improve one facet, but all facets.

We also provide you with free lifetime updates to the Fitness Guide. Originally launched in 2018, we have spent over a thousand hours updating it with the latest research.

Nutrition research never stops — we are always learning something new, and we make sure to pass it on to you.

The Examine Fitness Guide is the best of both worlds: it ensures you have a handle on the big picture of interconnected fitness, and it is meticulously research-backed

Optimize your fitness: Get started with the Fitness Guide

The Examine Fitness Guide will help you improve all facets of fitness

Diet the right way

Learn why most diets fail. Understand the psychology of dieting to find the regimen most likely to work for you.

Build muscle

Muscle doesn’t just look good. It promotes healthy aging, hormone balance, and metabolic health.

Take the optimal combination of supplements

Discover how to best combine supplements based on your situation and goals — and save money by avoiding the supplements that don’t work.

Protect your joints and eliminate pain

Implement research-backed lifestyle and supplementation changes to keep your joints healthy.

Lose fat and keep it off

Dieters who keep fat off in the long term have one important trait in common.

Save yourself time and stress

Jump straight to implementing the changes that will revolutionize your fitness. Our expert researchers have already reviewed the evidence!

Get quality sleep

Good sleep is crucial to your health, especially when you’re under stress. Tune up your sleep hygiene to ensure you get deep, restful sleep every night.

Get the evidence behind healthy habits

10,000 steps and 6 meals per day? Find out which habits give you the most bang for your buck, and focus on those.

Ready to improve your fitness with science?

The Fitness Guide is the culmination of years of research and experience - we’ve distilled thousands of studies into practical steps you can take right now.

Stop wasting your time and money on supplements that don’t work.

Stop getting information from biased sources trying to sell you supplements.

Start taking the supplements that will help you achieve your fitness goals.

Get the Fitness Guide for only $79
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For "cleaning up the dirtiest business in the fitness industry," Fast Company recognized Examine as one of the most innovative companies in health and fitness.

Our promise to you: You will love the Fitness Guide or we will refund every penny.

We’ve always wanted to build a company that we would trust and like to deal with. In fact, Examine was founded in 2011 because of how frustrated we were with the quality of available nutrition information.

So if you’re unhappy with your purchase, we offer a 60-day unconditional money-back guarantee. No questions asked. It’s how we wish other companies did business.

We want what you want: unbiased and trusted information on nutrition and supplements. That’s why we focus on nuance and context, not sensationalism and quick fixes.

We’re very open about our company and what drives us, and we’re confident that not only will you find the Examine Fitness Guide extremely insightful, but that there’s also nothing else so focused on research out there.

We guarantee you’ll find our information useful. If, for any reason, you want your money back, just contact us and we’ll send you a prompt refund, no questions asked.


Kamal Patel
Co-Founder, Examine

Get started with the Fitness Guide »

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

  • Fitness tracking: so hot right now. But how do you track most accurately without getting obsessive or lost in the weeds?
  • Low-fat or low-carb? Which diet is healthier, and which works better?
  • Can you lose fat both quickly and sustainably? And without extreme dieting?
  • Which one ability is most correlated with achieving long-term fat loss?
  • Does eating six meals a day actually promote muscle growth?
  • In which two cases might BCAAs help you more than regular protein powder?
  • How could you burn upward of 30,000 extra calories per year while typing on your computer?
  • How important is LDL-C, compared to LDL-P or cholesterol particle size?
  • How exactly does coconut oil affect heart health? And is it even a good source of MCTs?
  • Which vitamins and minerals should you take together and which separately?
  • Why is the standard treatment for joint pain so problematic?
  • Can you lose weight just walking, or is running really necessary? Should you even target 10,000 steps a day?
  • How can you measure your body fat percentage? And how does it compare with that of your peers and of athletes?
  • Is there anything you can do to curb food cravings and snacking habits? And why do you crave food even when you’re not hungry?

Take a peek inside!

Over 400 pages. Nearly 1000 references. Hundreds of informative tables, graphs, and infographics.
You won’t find a more research-backed guide to help you improve your fitness.

[Click here to preview the Fitness Guide]

What you’ll find inside the Fitness Guide

Easy-to-follow directions

Learn which supplements to take, when, in what form, in what dosage.

  • Core supplements have the best safety-efficacy profile.
  • Primary options can be very effective in the right context.
  • Secondary options could be worth adding if you have the money.
  • Promising supplements are backed only by preliminary evidence.
  • Inadvisable supplements are likely to harm your health or wallet.

Ideal supplement combinations

Learn how to best combine the various supplements depending on your personal situation and goals.

Dieting the right way

Explore the psychology of dieting, not just to learn why most diets fail, but so you can select the right diet for your needs and personality — the diet most likely to work for you. We provide you with the latest evidence on the most popular types of diet, and we answer the diet-related questions we’ve been asked most often over the past seven years!

Getting the basics right

Learn to assess your fitness and measure your progress. Learn about movement and body positioning (not just for the gym, but for the many hours you spend at work) to keep yourself healthy and pain-free.

Unbiased information

We do not sell supplements or provide consulting to supplement companies. We do not accept donations, sponsorship, or advertising. All our recommendations are based strictly on the latest scientific evidence.

Up-to-date information

The evidence evolves. New studies change our outlook on known supplements, and bring new supplements to the forefront. Which is why your Fitness Guide comes with free lifetime updates.

What topics does the Fitness Guide cover?

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

Who benefits 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. Page by page, 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.

We are the experts other experts rely on.

Please note that none of the following individuals were provided any kind of compensation, either directly or indirectly.

For John Berardi and his team, Examine is unbeatable value

When I was a grad student, it was easy for me to keep up with the latest research in exercise, nutrition, and supplementation. Of course, staying current was essential to my development as a scientist, writer, and coach. Nowadays, though, with the epic rate of research output in our field PLUS everything going on in my life (i.e. parent of four young children, founder of two businesses, author, competitive athlete) staying up to date feels impossible.

John Berardi PhD, CSCS | Co-founder Precision Nutrition | Advisor to Apple, Nike, Equinox, and Titleist

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Examine’s updates help me to stay on top of current research on supplements and diet trends. Their in-depth summaries are a great way to get “the lay of the land” quickly and efficiently.

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I tend be really busy these days which makes it really challenging to keep up with the latest research. If you know science, you know that reading and evaluating research is not as simple as reading an abstract. There is a great deal of nuance involved. Put more succinctly, I just don't have the time to do it justice.

John Meadows IFFB Pro Bodybuilder

When James needs trusted nutrition information, he turns to Examine

I turn to for quick, reliable data on a whole host of health topics. It’s rare to find such guidance that is meticulously researched yet easy-to-digest, but Examine manages to deliver on both. I strongly recommend it as a trusted resource.

James M. Gaylor James M. Gaylor, MD | Health Policy Fellow, Georgetown | Attending Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine

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What is Examine and why should you trust us?

  • Examine 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 ineffective), it has no impact on our bottom line. Consider us the Switzerland of the world of nutrition and supplementation.
  • Since our inception in early 2011, we’ve had but one goal: to be the best source of unbiased information on supplements and nutrition. Molecular biologists, biophysicists, pharmacists, dietitians, sports nutritionists, kinesiologists … the members of our team are all accredited experts, but with very different backgrounds, so that when we review research, we get the full picture. That’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 2.5 million people visit us every month. We have over 50,000 happy customers. And when major media organizations — the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Men’s Health, and many more — need experts, they turn to us.

Frequently asked Questions

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.

The Fitness Guide combines 6 guides (sold individually for $49 ) we’ve been updating with new evidence 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 combined them to provide you with a unified reference on fitness supplementation, and we added to each a topical overview that looks beyond supplementation — you’ll learn, for instance, what the scientific evidence says on the effects of sleep on exercise, and of exercise on sleep. We’ve also added sections on nutrition, dieting, fitness assessment and tracking, and body movement and positioning, to make the Fitness Guide the most comprehensive reference you’ll find that isn’t a textbook.


If you own the Supplement Guides bundle, you can get the Fitness Guide for just $19.

Simply login and the price will automatically be updated to reflect the discounted price.

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

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

We will notify you of each major 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.

We offer an unconditional 60-day money-back guarantee on all our products. Should you be unhappy with the Fitness Guide PDF for any reason, simply email us at and we will refund your purchase.

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About Examine

Examine started because we were frustrated.

We were frustrated with supplement companies misrepresenting scientific research. We were frustrated with social media “influencers” peddling products they didn’t use themselves. We were frustrated with famous doctors and mainstream media disregarding context to produce sensationalist headlines.

This frustration drove us to create what we sought and couldn’t find:

Examine is a 100% independent company that lives or dies solely by the accuracy and usefulness of its analyses.

Since our founding in 2011, we’ve been working for you, and only for you. We don’t sell or advertise supplements and don’t accept sponsorship or donations — not from companies, not from organizations, not even from individuals. You are our sole source of income, so there is no conflict of interests: the only interests we serve are yours.

Or to put it another way, you empower Examine to keep providing unbiased information about nutrition and supplementation — two topics rife with misinformation and disinformation.

Back in 2014 Men’s Fitness called us game changers for bringing an evidence-based approach to nutrition and supplements.

In 2020, Men’s Health UK had us #1 on their Most Influential list.

Today, the hundreds of free articles on our website are read by 2.5 million visitors each month, and over 50,000 people have bought our publications. Medical doctors, dietitians, coaches, and personal trainers entrust the health of their patients, athletes, and clients to our analyses.

We are the experts other experts rely on. And like the health professionals, each time you purchase any of our publications, including the Examine Fitness Guide, you purchase thousands of work hours from a dedicated team of experts with degrees in nutrition, exercise science, public health, pharmacology, toxicology, microbiology, biophysics, biomedical science, neuroscience, chemistry, and more.

Kamal Patel, MPH, MBA

Michael Hull, MSc

Wyatt Brown

Bill Willis, PhD

Gregory Lopez, MA, PharmD

Pierre-Alexandre Sicart, PhD

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Unbiased Information

Zero conflict of interest

Examine is an unbiased resource on nutrition and supplementation. We are not influenced by commercial interests, product manufacturers, or any other organization, and we will not advertise products or brands. Examine does not accept donations, third-party funding, or sponsorship of any kind. One hundred percent of our revenue is generated through our information products.


Unconditional Refund Policy

100% money-back guarantee

All Examine purchases are risk-free. Examine Fitness Guide comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee — no questions asked. If you don’t like what you see, just email us via within 60 days for your full refund.