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Matt Lovell

Episode 55- How to Supplement Your Performance with Matt Lovell

Episode Highlights 

00:07:06 Changes on the Sport
00:09:32 First Steps
00:14:52 Matt’s Advice for Dads
00:19:56 No Reason to Feel Different
00:21:15 Importance of Recovery
00:24:26 Recommendations Before Taking Supplements
00:34:03 Symptoms for Deficiencies
00:40:06 Vitamin D and Vitamin K Correlation
00:43:27 What People Should Be Looking For Choosing Multivitamins
00:50:56 What Aminoman Can Provide  For You
00:55:41 Five Key Tips
00:59:25 Reaching Matt



Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fast and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host, Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for dads in their 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode fifty five. And joining me on today’s show is Matt Lovell from Amino Man. Matt is a specialist performance nutritionist with 20 years practical experience in elite sports. Matt has worked directly with international teams like England rugby football teams such as Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa, and many individual athletes such as Johnny Wilkinson, James Haskell, Jermaine Defoe , Jodie Taylor, Will Sharmin, to name but a few. Hi Matt, thanks very much for joining me on the podcast today. How are you?

Matt: Very good, thank you. How are you?

Darren: Yeah, good, thanks. Enjoying the weather and I’m glad to say that we don’t have to start a podcast of talking about lock down and all the rest of it. I think that we kind of kind of coming out of that. So, yeah. And really enjoying the sunshine and enjoying about it, getting back a little bit to a bit more normal way of life.

So, Matt, before we kick off with the show today, you’ve got a really interesting and in-depth background. So for people that haven’t come across Matt Lovell before and amino man. Can we get a bit of back story on you and how you came to create amino man?

Matt: Yeah. Sure the without kind of life storying it ,I’ve been in the in the working as a professional nutritionist for 20, almost exactly 20 years now. Before that, I was a personal trainer for about 10 years before that. So kind of in the realm. I suppose from a really early age, I’ve always had a sort of enthusiasm and a passion for all things training and nutrition related, and that from just getting involved in martial arts from age 12.

Darren: Right.

Matt: It was obviously pre Internet. So all we had was books, if you were lucky, and plus advice from other people. And I went through this kind of standard, a standard academic route, and then realized that actually I could make a career out of what was a very passionate hobby, which was, you know, training, nutrition and martial arts. So that was that was the journey, really. And I’ve been lucky enough along the way to to to work in elite sports across Premiership football, premiership, rugby, England rugby for a long time, 15 years, I was a nutritionist in England rugby for World Cup cycles there. But just also lots and lots of normal people. Yeah.

So I started life on working at a clinic on Harley Street. For five or six years, so we saw everyone specialized in female hormonal health, so and they made choices, polycystic ovarian syndrome, but it invariably get. A long list of people have been to every specialist to try and sort problems out, and then suddenly they thought it might be malnutrition. Yeah. Oh, that’s where I cut my cloth in a way, because be eight hours a day seeing lots of different people, lots of different problems and trying to find solutions for them.

Darren: Mm hmm.

Matt: And in terms of Aminoman, we used back in the day, I mean, Dr. Adam Carey, who we were doing the nutrition for the England rugby squad, we used everything you could take naturally. So aminos vitamins, minerals, herbs to maximize recovery, lean mass sleep, all those kinds of things. So we had lots of different protocols.

Darren: Right.

Matt: And lots of different pots of supplements that we used to send to the players and. It was quite complicated, know they might they’d have a two page letter and up to 16 pots of powders to mix together, and then about five years ago I thought actually I could I could take the bits that we used, which we really found effective, and then consolidate those all into simple solutions so you can make them taste as nice as I could without using artificial sweeteners and so on.

And that was the sort of birth of the amino man route really. 

Darren: Yeah.

Matt: Yes, so that’s a potted history.

Darren: Yeah, yeah, it’s it’s it’s very interesting, I think a couple of things, really. One is, you know, as we’ve already discussed, really, the supplement industry is so broad and there’s so many different elements to it. It’s understanding really kind of what it is you need and what products on the market, you know, which are right for you. And obviously, you know, you’ve come from a background which you’ve gone through professional sport and you’ve identified the various different elements which make up, you know, the supplements and everything else that people need for various different uses, i.e. performance or general health. So, yeah, I mean, it’s a fascinating topic for me personally.

But also, I think the other thing that you picked up on that you mentioned earlier about being 15 years in nutrition is for English rugby for me and my son plays rugby. It’s kind of the rugby landscape, if you like, has changed dramatically, hasn’t it, for me anyway? Because I would say 20 years ago it was very much about your big brawn, almost big belly type players.

And now when you look at them now and you look at the younger guys that are coming through the sport, they are absolute, you know, refined machines on a yes, they still big, but, you know, the kind of how big the belly and all that kind of stuff is definitely gone. And they’re the absolute, you know, solid, muscular units now. So which were you in that period in English rugby when you kind of that transition change and what kind of prompted it?

Matt:  Well, I think one of the reasons we were successful back there is we got the jump on the other international teams. And I think we did that both, both from a conditioning and fitness perspective, but also within the back up in terms of the clinical nutrition. So we know, we were running the Bloods. We were up and find efficiencies. We had every player had an individualized food and supplementation plan.

Darren: Right.

Matt: And that’s that’s what got us the edge, as it were obviously combined. You know, in terms of high performance, I think it always starts with a unique group of players. You can never not acknowledge that. But once you’ve got those, you know, uniquely talented individuals and the right coaching staff. Yeah.

If you’ve got those two things and then you’ve got the best fitness programming and the best weights programming and then and then you feed them properly, then you’ve got then you’ve got a winning combination. And yes, to answer your question, we were just on the other side of that curve, really, so the game is not long gone, fully professional, so.

Darren: Right.

Matt: A lot of the lads were from the old era and were enjoying all the then the new support they were getting by being full time professional athletes.

Darren: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yes, I think it’s yeah, I think for me, it’s just really fascinating, like you say, it is definitely a step change and I hadn’t actually realized it was at that point when it all became professional. But that, you know, that just completely makes sense. So when we’re talking about amino man, I mean, you obviously realize that you could put all of these together and formulate a really good product for the market. So what did you see at the time, kind of outside of just putting all of these pots together? What did you see that was kind of missing or the industry needed which prompted you to create your products.

Matt: There was a couple of things. One was that generally to make something effective, you had to buy all the individual components and put it together. Yeah, and the reason for that is probably all about profits. So, you know, people can list a few items on the label and put like token amounts at the nutrients in. They’ve got they’ve got the ingredient listed, but the effect, the dosage is on the effective. Yeah. So that was one thing. So that’s one of the fundamentals.

Philosophy behind me, not mine, is to never use token amounts of any nutrients, and that obviously affects the kind of monetary side of things because they cost quite a lot of money to produce. And so Squeeze squeezes everything down a bit. And the only exception to that is sometimes if you’re including an antioxidant blend and that that wouldn’t be in there for the actual merits of the antioxidant blend, but it would be in there to protect the other nutrients so that, yes, life is better. And then and then the product remains effective for longer.

So that was certainly there was a need in that sort of sense. And then there was those also for me is looking at. Things like just the amount of artificial sweeteners that were in standard way protein and and I’m not really a fan of those. Right. Generally, I think if you can consume the minimum amount of additives, preservatives, chemicals, then that’s a good thing for health. So, yeah, you know, opting for natural solutions in terms of that sort of sense.

And then I think there was a little bit of a gap in terms in terms of. This is being filled, but much more now, but specific products like nootropics, mental focus, but you’re seeing a massive rise in this area now, which is because people need to perform at their maximum mentally.

Be a busy executive, you know, he’s got to be fully, fully firing on all cylinders all day long in meetings and so on to someone. It needs to not drop off at all for 90 minutes. Yet there’s no room for error if you lose concentration of focus and a mistake will be made. And then that’s when that’s when goals are scored or tries or tries to middle or in the ring, that’s when you get hit a bit too hard and it puts you off your game plan.

Darren: Yeah.

Matt: So, yeah. So it was a mixture of things like that. And, and then along the way it was thinking, well people were coming to me and saying, well Matt do you do, do you do a green tea, do you do creating . And so there’s a few things that I know which are you know, that they’re the best types of creating the best green tea I can find. Yeah, but you can also, you know, you can get those things from many different places as well.

Darren: Yeah. Yes, it’s very interesting, I think, like you said, you know, there is I’ve noticed, you know, there is a huge rise in the appetite for just more call ordinary, not not professional sportsmen, but ordinary either recreational athletes or just people in general wanting to get a better performance. And this is not necessarily related to fitness. It’s not cognitive performance and alertness and awakeness. You know, I think these people are starting to realize that they don’t necessarily have to accept where they’re at.

And I think that was the biggest thing for me when I kind of changed my nutrition and I realized the impact that you can have. And it’s not it’s definitely not to be underestimated. And I find it really difficult to kind of convey this and get this across to people that I work with. And that is ordinarily, when you think about fitness and nutrition, it comes from either a weight standpoint or an aesthetic standpoint where actually the unexpected results, I guess, of improving your nutrition. Or, you know, for me personally, it was about the kind of mental fog that was lifted.

And then once you realize the effects that you nutrition can have, it kind of just gives you the appetite to want to discover more. And I think that potentially is where there’s this demand for performance is coming from. And I don’t mean an athletic performance, I mean just the general cognitive performance. So are you seeing more people coming to you and asking you those questions around? Well, you know, I’ve done X, Y, Z. What supplements can I take which are natural, which can help me perform even better?

Matt: Yes. So there’s a few things in there. I think. I think one of the things is often guys will get to 40 something and then just start to not feel on top of that game at all.

Darren: Yeah.

Matt:  And for me, you know, I think that is that’s an unnatural place to be. You shouldn’t be feeling that different, probably up to sixty five than you did when you were twenty five. I think I think obviously there will be some changes in that you will need to spend longer in recovery mode. Right. And you know, you can’t smash out two days a day on day on day. So there’s obvious things that slow down.

But in terms of wellbeing, cognitive performance, testosterone levels, they shouldn’t be that and even strength and fitness, they shouldn’t be that different to when you’re sixty five to when you’re twenty five. And yeah, what we see all the time is guys really struggling, you know could, could be depression, could be in the bedroom, could be lackluster, could be mental fog. All these things that quite frequently kick in and you’re even early 40s people can start reporting this, these types of symptoms.

And like you, I’ve gone through periods where, you know, you might not always get everything right. And then and if you do start eating a sub optimal diet quite quickly, you start to feel exactly like all these other people are feeling. And I realize why all these, you know, fast food choices, poor foods really do mess with your metabolism. Wellbeing and nutrient deficiencies will affect you, your testosterone balance. I mean, people talk about an andropause. But actually, if you look at people that keep a healthy level of body fat and train intensively with resistance and good endurance work, your testosterone levels shouldn’t shouldn’t really drop off suddenly like that. That is maybe a slight, steady decline over from twenty five to sixty five.

But it wouldn’t be more than, say, five percent in a healthy and a healthy amount. Yeah. And it’s a wonderful thing when you start to plug the gaps and help people feel better, even in even in just a sort of in a body condition center.

I’ve lost count of the amount of people who, if you start them on a decent fish oil, collagen, and then all these little niggles and. Yeah, I haven’t been able to run again, that if they get a slight niggle, they recover quicker from it. You know, I had a little bit of a wake up call this week because I’d laid off my collagen and for a couple of weeks and then got a couple of little niggles. And I was like, I think I’m going to have to I do believe in cycling supplements, but I think collagen is going to have to go back in as one of my staples. Yes. Go to ones just in terms of tissue recovery.

Darren: Yeah.

Matt: And, you know, sleep is the same, you know, a lot, I think, at any given moment. Twenty five percent of the population has got some kind of sleep disorder. Yeah, but if you if I always like to boil things back down to very simple take home messages, so and if you can’t if you can’t write the answer on the back of a postcard, it’s probably because you don’t understand the area enough yourself. Yeah.

And so if we boil a human performance back down to simple areas, is it sleep well, eat well trained well, and then in the middle of all that, try and stay as happy and have as much laughter and all of that sort of thing in your life as you can.

Darren: Yeah.

Matt: And so quite often we’re just I’ll be looking at things like that and try and trying to assess, assess need and assess status. But I think the other area people often don’t do well is they don’t they don’t do bloods, they don’t do hormonal work. 

Darren: Yep.

Matt: They may not have a decent tracker. So you can say to someone, well, you know, we need to be specific about this. We need to get some numbers on this so that once we put in an intervention case, we can show a measurable performance improvement. So it’s really applying the kind of the same models you used in elite sports. Yeah, into the corporate arena and into individuals that come along with help, with the nutrition.

Darren: Yeah, I think yeah, I mean, there’s loads of things in there that I kind of want to pick out on, and I think, you know, the biggest one is that I think it’s changing. But I think largely it’s almost like you start to get already starting over this magic number of 40. And it’s almost like it’s socially acceptable that you start to deteriorate. And I don’t agree with that at all. I don’t think you made a really good point there about being, you know, the same condition or the same feeling when you’re twenty five is when you’re 65.

And I completely agree with that. I mean, honestly, I’m not about 65 yet, so I don’t know. But yeah, there is no reason around why you shouldn’t be. And if you are, then you should I think definitely question why that is, but also around getting testing and getting stats, markers and everything else. We’ve never been in a time where it’s been so easy to do that. Now, where are there you know, there are all these online companies where you can have your bloods done that, that they are looked at by a professional doctor and you get your results back.

Now, I’m not saying you can then go and implement that. You probably need to speak to someone about it. But the point I’m trying to make is that you don’t necessarily need to put up with where you’re at. And there are some very simple, basic changes that you can make.

You mentioned there about collagen. I drink bone broth daily. But when you say that to somebody, you know, even my mum was here yesterday and she went in my fridge and she was like bone broth. Was that for? And I was like, You know, that to me just is crazy, that as a society we don’t necessarily know what that is and how effective that can be on your general health. So, yeah, I think it’s yeah, I think it’s very important that we realize that and the other things as well.

One, and I don’t know if this is a middle aged male thing, an ego thing, but recovery. So I think recovery’s way underestimated and I’ve learned the hard way actually my boy actually, you know, going too far and getting overly fatigued and thinking that because I’m fitter now than I was when I’m in my twenties, I can just keep going. And, you know, your body just can’t, it has to recover. And, you know, a lot of I’ve done a lot of reading on this and, you know, you hopefully knows better than anybody. You know, a lot of your gains actually come when you rest and recover.

Matt: Always, yeah. Yeah, always, I think it is hard if you love your training. Yeah, because you can be so enthusiastic that you don’t actually factor in pure recovery as a session.

Darren: Yeah,

Matt: But I think sometimes you can. For the person that’s always wanting to strive to improve, you can sometimes make those recovery sessions into more of a kind of event, as it were. I mean, it could be it could be hot yoga. Yeah. So that is, you know, that’s quite, quite challenging in its own right. It could be it could be a roller session. I’ve seen a couple of guys on YouTube doing roller sessions with one of those breathing restricted masks on,

Darren: OK.

Matt: And I see what you might do. You might be doing, say, 20 jumping jacks and then roll a few bits of your lower extremity and then basically end you into space, then roll off the session with a little bit of aerobics.  And because you’ve got the breathing restricted device, you’re training your diaphragm muscles a little bit along the way.

Darren: Mm hmm.

Matt: So it makes it that whole and the whole lot like a lot of guys. I’m, I’m one of them. I won’t necessarily do a dedicated stretching routine. It has to be something that’s integrated into something else, which is a little bit more taste. Yeah. So, but as you get older, if you don’t do the if you don’t do the flexibility work, all that happens is it just comes back to bite in the ass and you end up with an inveigle or tear. Yeah. That becomes more and more important. That’s something I’ve noticed.

Darren: Yeah, I agree, I think for me now, as much as I love Ironman as a sport, what I’ve realized is that movement and mobility are going to be absolutely key for me as I get older and in order for me to continually have an active and an injury free life movement on mobility, making sure that I can move in ways that the body should be able to move is very, very important. And yeah, I’m just kind of learning all about that area now.

But you were talking about some of the other things about sleep and testosterone levels and things like that. But before we dove into what supplements are ripe for that kind of thing, in a general sense, when we think about testosterone levels and we’re thinking about sleep, what kind of modalities or protocols do you recommend before you start to run down the supplement route.

Matt: For, well, sleep. Sleep would be it, it sounds obvious, and wherever you go, there’s a ton of information on this on the Internet, but it would be the sleep hygiene route.

Darren: Right.

Matt: And. It’s funny, actually, a lot of a lot of the things that really work are the things that are super obvious, but the things that people just don’t do. So I was having a conversation with someone the other day and he was like saying, I’ve got all the sleep hygiene covered, blue light, etc..

As we dug deeper into his routines, it then transpired that he’d always gone to sleep with the TV on because he liked the white noise in the background. So I was like that. So I said, well, have you got a TV in your bedroom then? And he’s like, yeah. And and I was like, well, come on, you know, you’re breaking. You’re breaking the rules already. And you said you were on top of your sleep hygiene. Yes. You know, that exposure to blue light is an obvious one.

And you can adjust your phone settings so it tones down the blue light at night. You can do the same on the computer. You can get glasses which are down. But actually the best thing to do is just not be near any of those devices for a couple of hours before we want to go to sleep. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to be watching an action packed, adrenaline based movie, which is going to be, you know, possibly spiking your cortisol and adrenaline if it’s a good movie and you’re into it because that’s going to take a little bit of time to unwind from an evening.

So there’s all there’s all those sorts of side of things. And that ties into the autonomic nervous system. So really, when you want to when you want to be getting ready to sleep, you want to be in parasympathetic dominant. So it’s rested, just it’s breathing slowly and you want to be flipping that on the head for the morning stuff in the morning. You want to be. Yeah. Let’s go, let’s get up. Stress stress hormones are going to be useful for you then in fact for people that get burnout. Sometimes they don’t have enough stress hormones to get up and get going in the morning, so you have the extreme morning fatigue.

So I think about regulating the body around. The art of relaxation, I suppose, is a skill and the people that can master that are the ones that do better. Yeah, and animal animals are quite good to watch because you could have done if you’ve got any pets, pets, but. Years ago, I had a cat that had probably the fight of her life. To within an inch, you know, of that kind of mud, that kind of thing.

And then within 15 minutes, she was asleep, purring on my lap, right. So animals can switch between parasympathetic and sympathetic, you know, unconsciously, whereas we’re human, a human in the same situation would be coming in and be thinking, what if that dog’s outside tomorrow? And then you’d be starting to overthink it and then you’d end up in a permanent state of low grade stress. Right.

And, you know, that can be that can be the pressured deadline. It can be the boss that’s being a pain in the ass. You know, it’s about managing all the people around, your relationships. And it’s difficult. You know, it takes a lot of work and it takes a skill set, really a separate skill set to nutrition and supplementation. Yeah, that’s where it’s you know, that’s where I start people. And then and then I’d start looking into.

Well, is that where the nutritional stress. So is is the person chronically dehydrated. Right. Obvious place to start, but lots of people just don’t get that one right, especially with the. I put out a slide the other day on how much sweat you lose in around an hour of exercise in 15 degrees vs. 25 degrees, and it’s nearly three times as much.

Darren: Wow.

Matt: I think I think I had a sweat suit on the other day and I lost two point seven kilos in 45 minutes or so. So, yeah. So if you’re not on top of the hydration, then you’re going to put your body in a state of stress when the dehydrated brain will produce more cortisol.

Yeah, and then and then people might be in a light which is really common, especially in lockdown, I think. With the stress of everything, booze sales have gone up massively, I think Waitrose booze is up by one hundred and forty percent.

Darren: Wow.

Matt:  Because people are going for a substance which they feel like will be lowering their stress, whereas in fact it’s going to be increasing the stress on the system. And then, you know, you can get in that cycle of a, you know, a few wines at night and then loads of coffee in the morning because you’re feeling all groggy. And then the caffeine, the caffeine is an additional stressor. Sugar sugar’s a stressor in excess, yet it will be pushing that insulin system.

And if you’re getting the highs and lows, when you get the low, you’ll release stress hormones in order to create energy. Yeah, and that brings me on to one of the first things I get clients to do, which is, is it is a notion of metabolic flexibility. So by reducing refined carbs and excess carbohydrate intake and shifting people over more to vegetables, moderate protein, good fats, you encourage the body to be better at burning fat. Yeah.

And then in that situation, if you suddenly skip a meal, you don’t get the sugar crash because your body can just use fat for fuel. And let’s face it, we’ve all got many of us got enough of even if you lean, you’ve got enough of that to survive for quite a while.

Darren: Yeah,

Matt: Yeah, so that , those would be some my first roots before I’d consider any supplementation. 

Darren: And and that for me, you know, that what you’ve explained there for people listening who perhaps, you know, this is all new to them, it might seem quite complicated and quite overwhelming, but actually, if you just take one area at a time, so, for example, like sleep hygiene is actually all very basic stuff, isn’t it? Just a basic level of understanding and some common sense that you need to apply, particularly around, for example, things like my kids hate me for this, but the blue light scenario, so obviously the blue light, which, you know, reduces the melatonin production in the body, which then doesn’t put you in the right kind of state to get a nice night’s sleep, having things like that in place.

And yes, it might seem inconvenient and uncomfortable, particularly if you’ve got a job where you have to work late. But then there are other things, like you said, like the blue light blocking glasses that you can use. So, you know, little things like that and little changes like that can yield huge results in the long term. And one thing that I want to point out to people is that you don’t expect miraculous results when you just do it for a night. You know, it has to be consistent over a period of time, doesn’t it?

Matt: 100 percent. And back to what you can’t measure. You can’t improve yet. You do something to track your sleep quality. So if you feel like it’s a problem, go get some numbers on it. And just so many devices that do a good job of measuring that at the moment.

Darren: Yeah, there is. I mean, I missed the tracker at the moment, so I’ve got a sleep cycle app. I’ve got the overing, which I’m using to track and I’ve got a continuous glucose monitor in my arm at the moment because I want to understand blood sugar and a lot of things happen. But yeah, you’re right, there are lots of simple things that you can use. So, if people have got to that stage, let’s make an assumption that they’ve gone through the kind of basics that we discussed.

And then they’ve seen the results, they’ve seen improvements. And then they want to start looking at supplements so they can kind of take it to the next level. There’s a lot of talk about us being deficient in various areas, for example, like vitamin D and magnesium is starting to become a big one as well. Now to where would you say that people start because they like supplementation is huge and you could probably spend your month’s salary on supplements, but where would you say people start to look at first?

Matt: I think it’s in terms of prioritizing needs. So, you know, with a simple symptom questionnaire or short interview, people will just know this is I’m feeling really bad in this area. Yeah. If we think about sleep, then magnesium is a commonly deficient mineral, probably because of intensive farming. So,

Darren: Okay.

Matt: So you only need nitrogen and phosphorus for something to grow really quickly and big. You don’t need any of the trace minerals. So if people don’t let the fields go fallow and really invest in the quality of the soil year on year, then invariably the produce you grow in the soil will be lower and trace minerals. But you can assume that if you have, you could look at a series of magnesium deficiency symptoms or better still, correlate that with a blood test. Yeah, magnesium deficiency symptoms can be things like twitchy.

Lots of people, lots of people report getting that, you know, that’s where you get that little tiny flicker, you know, in the edge of your eye. And that can also occur in muscles as well. I have another magnesium deficiency symptoms, muscle cramping. So, OK, as long as you’ve hydrated and used electrolytes, if your muscles are still cramping up unusually that can often be magnesium. Yeah. And people sometimes refer to magnesium as a stress mineral.

So if you increase the amount of magnesium you consume, you know, you can do it through foods. But if you really want to know that you definitely need. Two hundred milligrams or 300 milligrams, then a supplementation is the preferable route. Yeah, and if you take that a night and the chances are you’ll sleep a bit deeper. Right. And you can look at that. You could just get a supplement, try it for a couple of weeks and look at the difference in the results on the sleep tracker.

Darren: Yeah.

Matt: Vitamin D is another one which is right up there was probably more insufficiency in deficiency in the population generally just because we don’t go outside as much as we should do. Really important given the current pandemic, because there’s a direct correlation between vitamin D deficiency and severity of covid symptoms, which in a recent study.

So right now, it’s for free, so you can. As long as you can, yeah, you just just go out and. I think the caveat is try not to, you know, don’t burn because skin sunburn is DNA damage. So, yeah, kind of get around slowly and carefully and probably get 20 to 30 minutes in the morning and then and then use sunscreen. Sunscreen blocks your absorption of vitamin D. Right. So that’s something we discovered a while ago.

We knew it was the case, but we were getting footballers and rugby players coming back off summer holiday look. And as brown as a not. Yeah. And they were still lower than we’d expect right now because everyone’s, you know, rightfully paranoid about skin cancer. But yeah, I think, you know, if you get a moderate amount and don’t burn, I think this is a safe and natural route to the top of your vitamin day.

And then you can then you can supplement, you know, October through to March. Right. I think the defrays when you share Shadow’s longer than you are told. Chances are the sun isn’t strong enough to give you enough vitamin D just because of the angular atmosphere. So that’s quite a nice one.

Yeah, and then you can take you know, you can safely take a couple of thousand dollars through the winter months unless you go in for some winter sun and then you can stop taking it. Right. Okay. So right now I wouldn’t be using that at all because there’s no point because the body’s going to be making tons every day. Yes. Just being outside and training in the sun.

Darren: Yeah, definitely, I think yeah, I think that’s important and I just wanted to I don’t want to kind of going to wash off on a tangent with this, but there’s the correlation between vitamin D and vitamin K. Can you explain explain what that is?

Matt: Well, what you’ve got with almost every vitamin and mineral is that they work. They won’t work alone. So this is one reason why high dosing with single supplements isn’t a good idea for long periods of time, certainly. Yeah. So they all work in a concert, really. So in order for vitamin D to have its regulatory effects on calcium, you have to have vitamin K, K one and K two. Okay. And you know, it’s hard to measure K2 in the blood.

Actually there’s only indirect measures. Okay. But some people suggest that due to the obsession with consuming lower fat foods, that vitamin K, too, can get a bit low in athletes. Okay, so K2 is at least as important as vitamin D for bone density. Yeah.

And that’s what vitamin D is most widely known for, because it’s the you know, when it was first discovered, it was the kids in the cities who are developing rickets and the countryside had nice straight legs and strong bones. So one of one of the key roles of vitamin D to regulate calcium metabolism right now.

So the way where you want calcium to end up is in the bones. Yeah. And where you don’t want it to end up is in the arteries is calcification. Right. So both magnesium and K2 will make sure that the calcium gets into the bones. It doesn’t get into the tissues for things like arterial stiffness, which is one of the ways you can slowly develop atherosclerosis or so ferring of the arteries. Yeah. You want adequate levels of all the cofactors alongside the vitamin D and that without, you know, plugging it may not amount to much. That’s my vitamin D complex. It’s vitamin D. Two thousand units, but it’s got all the other cofactors with it.

Darren:  Cool. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That makes perfect sense. So you mentioned a little bit there about multivitamins. Well you, you actually mentioned about not taking individual vitamins in large doses. So I’ve got a kind of a view among vitamins and it will be really interesting to get your view on this. And that is that there again, there are so many on the market. But my understanding of them is that the large majority of them and I don’t know if this is price related, obviously, you’re in the industry.

So you and I better than me, that they put the bare minimum of the recommended daily amount in the multivitamins. So I guess these two questions really, one, you know, you obviously make a multi vitamin. Do you recommend it? And to you know, what should people be looking out for when they’re choosing a multivitamin?

Matt: That’s a really good question, so like a lot of things, you can get a multi vitamin from one company. It’s going to be very, very different to multivitamin them for another company. Yes. So some multi vits will have just a small selection of nutrients and they’ll all be at 100 percent of the RDA. So the recommended daily allowance. Now, generally, that will be the lowest amount that you need to guard against the deficiency symptoms associated with deficiency in that vitamin mineral.

So, for example, if you have less than 60 milligrams of vitamin C, you’re at risk of getting scurvy. OK, so scurvy is where your collagen falls apart. So obviously not very nice. Yeah. And it was one of the earliest vitamin deficiencies discovered with sailors .

Darren: OK.

Matt: So they then sent them off with limes and lemons. So that’s why they end, we end up really being called limeys. All right. Yeah. So you were guarding against. Deficiency and disease. You then got to think about, well, what would be the optimum amount of vitamin C to boost the immune system function? Mm hmm. And that might be closer to two hundred and fifty milligrams. Right. So so you have to sort of pick through and see what has the multivit got of all the nutrients you need and.

Are they at the levels that you’d expect for the money, for the money you’re paying for that nutrient and then the next next thing to say is a lot of the vitamins are derived from synthetic sources. So they’re not food food derived. Right. So there’s a big movement now to only get you B Vits from food form and not not from Culter. So most cheap B vitamins are made from Culter. Right.

And you can sometimes tell that because when you open the lid of a cheap multi or a cheap Beevor, it really doesn’t smell that good. Right. OK, now that being said, you will your body will still make use of those. B vitamins, but it won’t be in an optimal way. And then and then the final thing with a quality multi is that often you need the minerals in the most highly absorb-able form. So the best way to absorb minerals is when they’re bound to amino acids like those other complexes.

So you might have a citrate form of a mineral which will have a higher absorption profile. as opposed to an oxide formula, but if you’re magnesium deficient, you can still take magnesium oxide and it will help you. Yeah, but it’s going to be 30 percent less good than taking a magnesium glycinate, for example. So it’s what you can afford and how well you want that vitamin to work with your body and also getting it in the form which is as close to nature intended. Yeah. So, I do make a multi and I think the phrase I use is it’s like an insurance policy against deficiencies.

OK, so we can’t necessarily guarantee what’s in the food, but you can guarantee what’s in the multi vit. Yeah. But also I am against high dosing. Even a nutrient complex locomotive it for too long, so I make one, which is the full dose is three tablets a day, but 

I quite often only take one a day. What it just means that the bottle is going to last you a really long time, which is one good thing. So it suddenly becomes comparable to some of the really budget vitamins. But you but you’re then getting a very high quality of all everything I just spoke about, all the other B vits of the enzyme activated all the minerals, amino acid chelated and everything’s derived from food, food from sources. So it is a complex area that you can, you know, you can waste money and not do your body the justice.

You know, the thing is, it brings out another point is it’s often quite hard to get people to invest in their health, isn’t it? Yes. You know, they’ll spend a lot of money getting their car service, perhaps. Yeah. But the bulk of the same kind of money getting their body serviced. Yep.

And yet and yet, you know, for longevity and and, you know, feeling as good as you can until it’s time for us to go. I mean this thing isn’t it. It’s not it’s not that you can say you’re going to definitely lift one hundred. But if you live to an average age. Yeah. What you don’t want to do is have the last 15 years of your life hampered through poor health and illness and. Yeah. And things like that. So it’s keeping as high as you can until we fall off.

Darren: Yeah, I’m definitely you’re, you know, speaking to the converted there because that’s the analogy that I use all the time. And that is I would argue that 90 percent of the population would spend more time and effort on and money on getting their cars serviced and making sure their car service, when the little light comes up on the dashboard, then the rest of us do on our health and maintaining that.

And unfortunately, I think we’re in this society not meaning to kind of get on my soapbox where it’s kind of seen that health is only really paid attention to once you have a problem as opposed to, you know, constantly maintaining it. So, yeah, yeah, I definitely agree with that man. I think that’s a great point. So if we look at the products that amino man does you know, you’ve got lots of bundles on there. You know, you’ve got lots of different products, you know, from the Greens products to the collagen peptides and stuff that you’ve got on there.

And, you know, when the listeners are looking at this and they’re looking at all the various different areas, you know, we’ve obviously spoken about we kind of take know basic principles first and we look at doing what we can, you know, through either changing habits or looking at nutrition. So, you know, what kind of services and products can amino man provide to just kind of take us up that level?

Matt: Well, I think I think back to that needs analysis, so. The range is really developed in line with systems in the body, which can go wrong, so the they are five immunizes is was the first product which was designed to encourage deep sleep and tissue recovery. OK, and it still is still the best selling product.

Then shortly after that, the focus, the focus sustained was developed, which is the nootropic stuff. So that’s the that’s focusing for work out. It’s anti fatigue. Yeah. It can help with burn out. So basically that’s the wake up and go solution. Right. And then around other things, the collagen is all about tissue recovery.

Fish oils, again, you can just you can have lots of places, you can get fish oils, but what people need to look at when they’re purchasing a fish oil is the milligrams of EPI and DHEA. So the one that I make is seven hundred fifty five milligrams of EPA and two hundred and fifty five milligrams of DHEA. And those are the fish oil which regulate cellular metabolism and inflammation. Yeah. So you could look at that and say, well actually that that tub of 100 tablets costs 40 quid and I can get one for twenty five from yet another high street store.

But then you might look in the other products and you’re having to take six capsules to get the same dose. Yeah. So you just, you can just do comparison like for like and also thinking about well is all the ingredients so sustainably, you know, ethically what’s the purity of the ingredients like is everything that I can make organically is an organic ingredient. Some, some, just some. You just can’t get the organic certification on. And then there’s a bit of bread and butter in there, so there’s, you know, there’s a very good way of protein, a very good plant protein.

This is a very highly bioavailable form of curcumin, so that’s OK, that’s a wide, widely studied nutrient for, you know, for brain health and regulating inflammation. Yeah, sort of. And then there’s two types of adaptogens. Adaptogens of herbs which increase resilience in the body, the herbs that either grow in very adverse circumstances, so high altitude, extreme cold, or they grow really prolifically. So and.

Actually, by consuming these herbs, they transfer the properties into the host. OK, you can, you can just you know, you can cope with more when you use when you use adaptogens. Yeah, I. Even though it’s better for me, for people to, like, take lots of different things, I don’t I normally get people on two or three things to begin with just because if you start taking 12 things all at once, you just won’t know what’s working, what’s not. And also, it can be really overwhelming for people. So even even actually, if you can start with one or two things, that’s a good place to start.

Darren: Yeah, yeah, I definitely agree with that, because otherwise you could end up, like I said previously, really spending a lot of money on supplements. And like you say, you don’t know what ones are having the effect and you don’t know necessarily that, you know, which one is making you feel better or, you know, which one is is right for you in terms of what you’re naturally deficient in right now. So. So, yeah, I think that’s that’s a great point.

So in terms of five key actions that dads listen to this or men in general ready to take away to improve across their performance, I guess it comes back to some of the stuff that we’ve discussed. But what would you recommend would be your five key tips for people listening to them at.

Matt: Well, that’s a good one, isn’t it? It’s like I mean. Fast food first, yeah, yes, fix the diet before you consider any supplement supplementation. Yeah, that’s really important. So everything the foundation is built on a quality diet. Then look at stress and sleep, optimize those two things and then get the best training program, a recovery program that you can possibly get. Yeah, so those would be my first three. OK, then I would say.

Detailed needs analysis yet, so that would be questionnaires are quite good, you know, OK, but always nice to back those up with a with hard science and hard data. Yeah. So hormones, if you’re feeling lackluster, then a hormonal profile would be a good idea. Basic blood, so nutritional blood. So like you said, this does a ton of companies that are doing these types of services.

Darren: Yeah.

Matt: Either at home kits I use, I use a central London lab. I can refer people in there if they’re interested. I can. Or you could go for Medichecks striver or something like that. Yeah, what I found with the with those ones is the skin prick tests are quite difficult to fill up the little vials of blood. Right. Just from a skin prick. So. So actually taking a venous draw is a lot easier. A lot less hassle. Yeah. And then but, yeah, based on those based on those readings and wearables, wearables give you a ton of information. Yeah, right. So the deciding on a wearable that you’re happy with.

Darren: Mm hmm.

Matt: And then on the back of that, you’d leap into number five, which would be performance supplementation.

Darren: Ok,

Matt: And that would be everything we just discussed, really prioritizing the need to pick two to three things which are going to fix your problems quickly. And then if you’re really into your training, then you can expand from there.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah, I think I think that’s great. Five actions that people can look at. I think, again, you know, for me it comes back to starting simple first starting at the basic principles and tracking, like you say, knowing yourself, knowing your body, paying attention to how you’re feeling and not just kind of brushing off that like normal. And you made a great point at the beginning of the episode around, you know, if you should feel as good as sixty five as you did at twenty five.

And I think unfortunately, society is meant that we kind of seem to accept that as we get past this magic number of 40 that we start to deteriorate. And that absolutely does not need to be the case. It’s just kind of maintaining yourself better than maintaining your car. So it’s. Yeah, it’s been great talking to you today, Matt. So is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you feel I should have asked you which would benefit the listeners?

Matt: No, I don’t think so, I think that was pretty comprehensive, it was a good chat. Really good. Oh, excellent.

Darren: So how can people connect with you, Matt? Where can they go and find a minimum wage for social issues and all that kind of good stuff?

Matt: Well, my email was really easy to remember. It’s Matt. [email protected] . And aminoman is just the word amino and then, man, yeah, that’s the same handle is the website. If you wanted to go have a look, this is a pretty extensive blog section on there. So lots of lots of nice articles on all the areas we’ve spoken about overtraining and sleep and everything like that motivation. Instagram is aminoman or aminoman nutrition and Twitter. I don’t use that much, but it’s @mattlovell.

Darren: Awesome. Well, that’s it, like I said, it’s been great to have you on today,Matt. It’s been really interesting talking about all the various different areas of supplementation and basic principles that people can follow. And we’ll put links to, obviously, all your socials and, you know, the website in the show notes. So, yeah, it’s been great talking to you. Hopefully we’ll catch up again soon and enjoy the rest of your day.

Matt: You too. Thanks a lot. Thanks again for having me on.

Darren: No worries.

Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe and I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes all the things mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes and a full transcription is over at

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