If you’re someone who’s interested in general nutrition and health then you must be familiar with The Drive — a podcast that discusses all topics related to health and nutrition. The host of this podcast — Peter Attia, MD — is a well renowned nutritionist and medical doctor.
His primary goal now is to improve the healthspan of his patients through supplements, nutrition and exercise. In this post we’ll be discussing the supplements Peter Attia uses himself and his reasoning behind their use.
While these supplements might not necessarily provide you with the same benefits, they’re still worth discussing to gather insight on the expert nutritionist’s views about supplements in general.
Who is Peter Attia MD?
Apart from being the host of The Drive podcast, Peter Attia is a licensed medical doctor in the states of Texas, California and New York.
He’s most famous for developing his own medical practice — Early Medical. It’s built on the principles of Medicine 3.0 and is primarily focused on lengthening patients’ lifespan through healthy diet and exercise.
Dr. Attia received his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine. After which he trained for 5 years at Johns Hopkins Hospital in general surgery where he was rewarded with multiple awards including resident of the year.
Peter Attia’s Views on Multivitamins
As a general rule, Peter avoids multivitamins due to their excessive and unnecessary ingredients — while often lacking the essential vitamins your body requires.
He instead prefers a targeted approach by consuming multiple supplements throughout the day, all of which feature one single ingredient in their formula. That way you can control and consume the ideal amount of each nutrient your body needs.
However, he does make an exception for Athletic Greens’ AG1 which contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
What Brands Does Peter Recommend?
In this short clip extracted from his AMA #3, Peter recommends 2 main brands and then goes on to mention 3 others. Main Recommendations:
He also mentions the brands below but with not as much enthusiasm;
A Detailed Look at the Supplements Peter Attia Uses
We’ve briefly discussed the supplements Peter Attia takes on a daily and occasional basis. In this section we’ll be discussing his reasoning behind consuming each supplement and the benefits they provide.
The information in this section is coming straight from Peter Attia himself who mentions these supplements in his podcast.
Omega-3 Fish Oil — 2 grams per day
Omega-3 fish oil has been a constant in Dr. Peter’s supplement list since 2011. Studies suggest that Omega-3 fatty acids (PUFA) can play a major role in reducing risk of heart disease.
Peter trusts only two brands when it comes to recommending Omega-3 Fish oil supplements for his patients (Quoting Chapter 15 of his book Outlive) — Nordic Naturals and Carlson. Peter himself takes around 2 grams daily of one of two types of Omega-3 fatty acids — EPA or DHA.
To gather more information about his thoughts on these two fatty acids listen to episode 83 of “The Peter Attia Drive” from the 17th minute mark, where he first mentions the supplements.
Magnesium — 1 gram per day
Peter discusses magnesium supplementation on episode 145 of “The Peter Attia Drive”. He states that he usually starts off his patients with about 0.4 grams (400mg) of magnesium oxide if they’ve never taken any before.
He himself consumes around 0.4 to 0.5 grams of magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate daily. He usually takes 2 capsules (143 mg each) of magnesium chloride during the day and two capsules of magnesium l-threonate (96 mg each) before bed.
He categorizes magnesium in its oxide and citrate forms as the poorly absorbed type. Mentioning that it’s poor absorption can help improve your bowel function.
Peter categorizes magnesium into 3 different types:
1. Poorly Absorbed
These are the Oxide and Citrate forms mentioned above. These are the base of his daily intake and has said that these should be the first thing people should try if their bowel movements have slowed down.
2. Well Absorbed
Peter says that Magnesium supplementation can cause upset stomachs, for this magnesium Chloride is a better format. Peter describes it as well absorbed and recommends it in the form of SlowMag which releases it slowly. This links to Amazon, I couldn't find it on iHerb.
3. Absorbed by the brain
In order to cross the blood brain barrier Peter recommends a compound called L-Threonate which essentially binds to the magnesium. In this form it can cross the blood brain barrier. Peter has said he takes 2 capsules of L-Threonate before bed, which contains ~96 mg of elemental Magnesium.
L-Threonate is a patented compound owned by the company Magtein, they license it to many supplement manufactures so no matter who you buy it from the underlying ingredient is the same. Here are some options for you:
Protein Powder — 1 shake per day
Peter discusses taking a single protein shake per day in episode 227 of his podcast. He then goes on to mention his personal preferences when it comes to choosing a protein powder. He looks for:
You can watch him speak about this on this clip on linkedin.
His daily protein shakes usually consist of two 25g servings of protein powder. One flavorless and the other slightly flavored (preferably sweetened with sucralose), to give his shake some taste without being too overpowering.
Unfortunately though, Peter doesn’t specifically mention any specific protein powder brands he likes so based on his brand recommendations from earlier I have found the two branded protein powders he likes;
Vitamin D — 40 – 60 ng/ml blood level
Just like all vitamins, Peter doesn’t recommend a random and negligent use of vitamin D. We also couldn’t find many instances where Peter talks about his own Vitamin D intake.
However, we did find an instance of him citing that the optimal range of consuming vitamin D lies between 40-60 ng/ml in 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D form. This specific instance took place when Joe Rogan interviewed him as part of episode 1735 of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
He also mentions that to figure out your own optimal range you’ll have to get your blood tested twice. Once prior to taking a supplement — to understand your current position — and another some time after the supplementation, to understand its effects.
From Peter's Recommended Brands
Green Powder-AG1 — One scoop per day
Peter Attia mentions on episode 211 of his podcast somewhere around the 1hr 11 minute mark that he's partial to Athletic Greens’ Green Powder-AG1 supplement. Here’s what he says about the supplement:
- 1He mentions he’s an investor in Athletic Greens and takes about one scoop daily of AG1, regardless of the diet he’s following;
- 2He likes the product especially because he gets a firsthand look into how it’s made and processed;
- 3If he has any hunting or doing any other energy draining activity for the day — he increases his intake to two scoops;
Supplements to Augment Sleep
Peter mentions all three of the supplements mentioned below on episode 233 of The Drive, around the 37 minute mark.
Glycine — 2 grams before sleep
Attia strongly believes in the importance of glycine as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brainstem and spinal cord. His primary reason for taking glycine is to calm down the nervous system in order to go to sleep quicker.
In AMA #44, he himself cites a study which recorded the effects of 3 grams of glycine on human subjects. Results showed that the supplementation shortened the time it took for subjects to fall asleep without affecting any other aspect of their sleep system.
Ashwagandha — 0.6 grams before sleep
In the same episode, Peter also admits to taking evening naps. Prior to which he takes around 0.6 grams (600 mg) of Ashwagandha to better the quality of his sleep.
Surprisingly, Peter also admits that more research is required to fully understand if the compound is beneficial for humans. However, he also says that he’s experienced a significant increase in the amount of sleep he gets from taking the supplement.
Scientific research supports this idea. For instance, I found a study showing that ingesting 0.3 grams of Ashwagandha twice a day for 10 weeks can shorten sleep onset latency and improve sleep efficiency and quality.
From Peter's Recommended Brands:
Magnesium L-Threonate — 2 capsules before sleep
Rapamycin — 0.006 grams per week
The latest mention Peter made of taking Rapamycin was in one of his July 2023 Instagram posts. From 2018 to 2020, Peter mentioned that he only took the drug for 8 weeks consecutively and then took a break for 6 weeks.
However, back in September of 2021 he stated in an interview with Matt Keaberlain that he decided to start again and now takes Rapamycin once every week.
Peter admits that the use of Rapamycin for its healthspan benefits hasn’t received any backing from the FDA yet. Rather, he takes the drug as a personal choice.
Statin and PCSK9 Inhibitor — no specific dose
Peter recently stated in his October 2020 interview of special guest James O’Keefe that he takes a low dose of Pravastatin, a known Statin inhibitor.
Specifically in episode 134 of The Drive podcast, somewhere around the 1 hour 48 minute mark. He unfortunately does not mention the exact dosage he takes.
Furthermore, he mentions in the same interview that he’s taking a PCSK9 inhibitor but doesn’t further elaborate on the type and dosage.
Upon conducting my own research, I also found a study suggesting that Statin and PCSK9 inhibitors both help reduce the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases as you age. Primarily
by increasing the availability of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) receptors.
Supplements to Help with Jet Lag
Listeners of Peter’s podcast would know that he travels a lot and has recently come up with a few supplements that help him sleep better during those long flights.
He often mentions on his podcast that he likes to put himself in the time zone of the country he’s flying to — while he’s on the flight. For example, if he takes off at 2pm and it’s already 10pm at the destination he’s flying to, then he prefers to get some sleep on the flight.
However, forcing your body to sleep at unusual times can be difficult, hence the use of supplements is needed. Peter uses the following supplements to ensure that he gets enough sleep mid-flight.
Melatonin — 0.002 to 0.005 grams
Peter generally tends to avoid taking melatonin for sleep during regular days. However, he makes an exception when he’s trying to avoid jet lag on long flights.
According to his words, to avoid jet lag he will “slam himself ” with 0.002 to 0.005 grams (2 - 5mg) during or before his flight.
Phosphatidylserine — 0.4 to 0.6 grams
Even though Peter talks about phosphatidylserine being an “incredibly potent” supplement that is part of his jet lag protocol, he admits that it’s not a supplement he uses regularly.
In terms of dosage, Peter takes around 0.4 to 0.6 grams of phosphatidylserine before or during the flight.
He describes his reasoning for using the supplement is to reduce cortisol and shut down his adrenals. Doing so encourages his body to sleep.
Supplements to Maintain Cognitive Function
In episode 251 of his podcast The Drive, Peter discusses topics like Alzheimer's disease and maintaining cognitive functions in older age. He specifically puts focus on three supplements:
- A curcumin extract called Theracurmin
- Cocoa extracts (suggesting that it may benefit those with hypertension or insulin resistance specifically)
- Magnesium L-Threonate
Out of these three, Peter says that he currently takes two — theracurmin and magnesium l-threonate.
We’ve already discussed the reasoning he provided for taking Magnesium L-Threnoate which leaves us with Theracurmin. Let’s look at this supplement in greater detail.
Theracurmin — no specific dose
Peter first had his team assess the efficacy of theracurmin by gathering proven scientific evidence involving its use on humans. His team came up with a 6 out of 10 rating regarding evidence for the supplement which encouraged him to start using it as well.
After reviewing the evidence himself, Peter stated that it can be mildly helpful for patients who have inflammation and suffer from mild cognitive impairment. Additionally, Dr. Attia cites two specific studies that he found particularly convincing.
The first one was an 18-month study consisting of 40 human subjects, half of which were given two doses of 90 mg of theracurmin while the other half was given the same amount of a placebo.
The study resulted in the theracurmin group showing improvements in memory and attention scores. Furthermore, it also showed a decrease in amyloid and tau accumulation in some regions of the brain — resulting in improved mood and memory.
The second study entailed giving 180 mg of the supplement to patients suffering with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.
The results showed that the supplementation actually stabilized the subjects’ cognitive function, while the placebo couldn’t stop it from declining.
All in all, Peter Attia remains a solid believer that a healthy diet and regular exercise is the most surefire way to prolong your life. Moreover, he is convinced that the supplements he takes amplify the effects of his diet and exercise — deeming them essential elements of his regimen.
So, if you consider taking the same supplements as a renowned nutritionist, you should also be prepared to follow his exercise and diet regimen.
• Daily Supplements
1. Omega-3 Fish Oil
- Purpose: Reducing the risk of heart disease
- Dosage: 2 grams per day
- Recommended Brands: Nordic Naturals, Carlson (buy it here on iHerb or here on Amazon).
- Purpose: General health, improve bowel function
- Dosage: 1 gram per day (various forms)
- Poorly Absorbed: Magnesium Oxide, Magnesium Citrate
- Well Absorbed: Magnesium Chloride (SlowMag: slow release)
- Get it here on Amazon
- Absorbed by the brain: Magnesium L-Threonate
3. Protein Powder
- Purpose: General health, muscle building
- Dosage: 1 shake per day
- Recommended Brands: Pure Encapsulation (Get here on Amazon), Jarrow Formulas Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (Get it here on iHerb or here on Amazon).
4. Vitamin D
- Purpose: Bone health, inflammation reduction
- Optimal Blood Level: 40-60 ng/ml in 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D form
- Recommended Brands: Vitamin D3, 125 mcg (5000 IU) by Jarrow Formulas (Get it here on iHerb or on here on Amazon), Vitamin D3 25 mcg (1000 IU) by Pure Encapsulations (Get it here on Amazon)
5. Green Powder
- Purpose: General nutrition
- Dosage: One scoop per day
- Recommended Brand: Athletic Greens (get it here on Amazon)
• Supplements to Augment Sleep
- Purpose: Calming the nervous system for better sleep
- Dosage: 2 grams before sleep
- Recommended Brands: Pure Encapsulations Glycine (Get it here on Amazon), Thorne Glycine (Get them here on iHerb or here on Amazon).
- Purpose: Improving quality of sleep
- Dosage: 0.6 grams before sleep
- Recommended Brands: Jarrow Formulas (Get it here on Amazon), Pure Encapsulations (Get it here on Amazon)
3. Magnesium L-Threonate
- Purpose: Better sleep
- Dosage: 2 capsules before sleep
- Recommended Brand: Pure Encapsulation (Get it here on Amazon)
• Experimental Drugs
- Purpose: Healthspan benefits (not FDA-backed)
- Dosage: 0.006 grams per week
2. Statin and PCSK9 Inhibitor
- Purpose: Cardiovascular health
- Dosage: Not specified
• Supplements to Help with Jet Lag
- Purpose: Avoiding jet lag
- Dosage: 0.002 to 0.005 grams
- Purpose: Reducing cortisol for better sleep
- Dosage: 0.4 to 0.6 grams
• Supplements to Maintain Cognitive Function
- Purpose: Cognitive function, reducing inflammation
- Dosage: Not specified
2. Cocoa Extracts
- Purpose: Cognitive function (suggested for hypertension or insulin resistance)
- Dosage: Not specified
3. Magnesium L-Threonate
- Purpose: Cognitive function
- Dosage: Not specified
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