There is no denying the carnivore diet benefits. Your physical and mental status both shift dramatically when you exclude certain food groups from your diet and consume entirely animal-based products instead. From carnivore diet for weight loss to muscle growth, mental acuity, and the decreased risk of common health complications - there are so many reasons to start the carnivore diet.
There is just one issue, though - with the exclusion of so many food groups, nutrient deficiencies are bound to arise. In fact, this is perhaps the biggest drawback naysayers point to when saying the carnivore diet doesn’t work. And it’s true. You’ll be missing out on key nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and many more.
Left unchecked, this could lead to health issues down the road - if nothing else, lowering your quality of life. But, that’s where carnivore diet supplements come in.
Today, we’re going to guide you through the key supplements for carnivore diet to fill in those nutritional gaps. This allows you to harness the full power of this diet by offsetting any potential nutritional deficiencies.
No more stressing over what you’re not getting on the diet - just smooth, effortless results as you walk towards a healthier, happier lifestyle. First, let’s take a look at the role of carnivore diet supplements before we address the burning question on your mind…what supplements should I take on carnivore diet?
The Role of Carnivore Diet Supplements
Embarking on the carnivore diet can feel like a departure from conventional nutrition wisdom. First thing first - What can you eat on the carnivore diet?
Chances are, you’re already somewhat familiar with this diet’s protocol. But just in case, know that it places an emphasis on animal products. It excludes the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains often hailed as essential components of a balanced diet.
While the carnivore diet can provide most of the nutrients we need in forms that are easily absorbed by the body, there are a few key nutrients that are less abundant or less bioavailable in animal foods. This begs the question…is the carnivore diet safe? Yes - you just need to fill in those gaps. This is where supplements come into play.
To fully illustrate the significance of carnivore diet supplements, we need to first take a look at the carnivore diet and nutritional balance.
Understanding the Carnivore Diet and Nutritional Balance
The carnivore diet is all about embracing the primal, inherent human instinct to consume nutrient-dense, satiating animal foods. By removing plant-based foods, the diet aims to eliminate potential irritants and antinutrients that can interfere with digestion and absorption.
However, achieving a truly balanced nutrient profile with this diet can be a challenge. While animal foods are high in protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and other essential nutrients, they lack certain other nutrients commonly found in plant foods. These include vitamin C, certain forms of vitamin E, dietary fiber, calcium (in non-dairy-consuming carnivores), potassium, magnesium, and beneficial plant compounds like polyphenols and plant sterols.
The Purpose of Supplements For Carnivore Diet
Carnivore diet supplements serve a crucial role in filling these nutritional gaps. They ensure that even while enjoying the simplicity and satiety of an all-animal diet, you're not neglecting your body's need for these other vital nutrients.
Supplements for carnivore diet offer a way to fine-tune your carnivore diet, helping you reap maximum benefits while minimizing potential deficiencies. By having the right supplements on hand, you can tip the scale of the carnivore diet pros and cons to lean more favorably.
Keep in mind, however, that supplementation should not be a substitute for a varied diet. Even within the framework of the carnivore diet, it's important to eat a range of animal foods - organ meats, seafood, eggs, and dairy (if tolerated) - to ensure a wider variety of nutrients.
If we could leave you with one piece of advice as it pertains to what supplements to take on carnivore diet, it would be this: consider supplements for carnivore diet as a backup plan - they are there to complement your diet, not replace whole foods.
Now, with that said, you will need some carnivore diet supplements if you want to offset vitamin and nutrient deficiencies altogether. The question now is what supplements to take on carnivore diet. And below, we’ll share our preferred stack with you.
What Supplements Should I Take on the Carnivore Diet?
So, what supplements should I take on the carnivore diet? The answer is not one size fits all - as your optimal supplement stack will likely differ from ours. With that said, we’ll highlight 5 key additions to your regimen below that will do wonders to fill in most nutritional gaps that could arise on the carnivore diet.
Electrolyte Supplements: Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium
One of the initial adjustments your body makes when switching to the carnivore diet relates to water and electrolyte balance. A lower intake of carbohydrates can lead to decreased insulin levels, causing your kidneys to excrete excess water and electrolytes. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium are three critical electrolytes that can be impacted.
Sodium is vital for nerve and muscle function and helps regulate fluids in your body. You can increase sodium levels by simply adding more high-quality salt to your meals or consuming broths (more on bone broth later).
Potassium works closely with sodium to maintain cellular function and heart health. While meat is a good source of potassium, you might still consider a supplement, especially during the initial phases of your diet.
Magnesium plays a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body, from nerve function to bone health. Magnesium supplements can come in handy since the nutrient is less prevalent in animal foods.
When looking for electrolyte supplements for carnivore diet, opt for those free from sugar and artificial flavors. After all, part of what leads to the profound benefits of carnivore diet is the elimination of these harmful, inflammatory ingredients. Some supplements provide electrolytes in forms that are more easily absorbed by the body, such as citrates or chelates, so look for these when possible.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fish Oil, Krill Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, are crucial for brain health, inflammation control, and overall wellness. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are excellent sources of these nutrients. However, if you're not a fan of fish or you're worried about meeting your omega-3 requirements, a high-quality fish or krill oil supplement can fill the gap.
When it comes to omega-3 supplements, quality is key. Look for products that provide a high concentration of EPA and DHA, the most beneficial forms of omega-3. Some people also prefer krill oil because it contains phospholipids and astaxanthin, which enhance the absorption and antioxidant capacity of omega-3s.
Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 Supplements
Vitamin D is important for bone health, immune function, and mood regulation. While our bodies can produce vitamin D in response to sun exposure, those living in less sunny climates or who spend most of their time indoors might fall short. A vitamin D supplement can help ensure optimal levels.
Vitamin K2 partners with vitamin D to help regulate calcium in the body and support bone and cardiovascular health. While it's found in animal products like egg yolks and certain cheeses, a K2 supplement can offer added insurance for meeting your needs. Preferably, your supplement of choice will contain both of these ingredients in one as they work in synergy together.
Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
Transitioning to the carnivore diet can be a shock to your digestive system, especially if you're used to a fiber-heavy, plant-based diet. This is the most unpleasant side effect of the carnivore diet.
That’s where this supplement comes in to ease the process and make your transition far more comfortable. Digestive enzymes can support your body in breaking down and absorbing the nutrients from your meat-centric meals.
Probiotics, beneficial bacteria that support gut health, can be another useful addition. Though the carnivore diet is low in fiber, the primary food for many gut bacteria, a healthy gut microbiome is still important.
With probiotics, diversity is key. Choose a supplement with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria and a high colony-forming unit (CFU) count. Also, ensure the product is shelf-stable or refrigerated to maintain the viability of the probiotics.
Bone Broth: The Natural Supplement
Last, but certainly not least, we have bone broth. This is a nutrient powerhouse and can be considered a natural supplement within the carnivore diet. It's rich in essential minerals, collagen, and amino acids that support gut health, skin health, joint health, and more.
Plus, bone broth is a fantastic source of electrolytes, making it a wonderful natural hydrator. We love bone broth because it’s so easy to incorporate into your meals, making it less of a “supplement” and more of an “ingredient”. Still, we had to list it here because it’s that powerful.
When choosing bone broth, ensure it's made from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals to maximize the nutrient content. It should be slow-simmered to extract the beneficial collagen, amino acids, and minerals. Avoid products with added salt, sugar, or artificial flavorings.
More Advice For Rounding Out Your Regimen Beyond Supplements For Carnivore Diet
Even as you harness the power of carnivore diet supplements, it's vital to remember that they are just one piece of this dietary puzzle.
There are other elements of your lifestyle and diet that can significantly contribute to your overall health and well-being on the carnivore diet. So, we want to take a moment to touch on these before wrapping up our guide to supplements for carnivore diet.
Hydration: The Often Overlooked Aspect
Proper hydration is a cornerstone of any healthy diet - but especially carnivore. This is particularly important in the early stages of the carnivore diet, when your body is adapting to a different nutritional balance.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and don't hesitate to add a pinch of natural, unrefined salt to your water for extra electrolytes. Your electrolyte supplement will only go so far if you aren’t actually drinking water - so shoot for a half gallon to a gallon a day.
Physical activity is crucial for overall health, and it can support the benefits of the carnivore diet. Regular exercise helps promote cardiovascular health, enhance mood, and support healthy weight management. Find a routine that works for you, be it strength training, cardio, or flexibility exercises, and stick with it.
Keeping the Right Snacks on Hand
Sticking to the carnivore diet doesn't mean you have to give up on snacks. In fact, the right snack choices can help you stay on track and satiate your hunger between your carnivore diet meal plan.
Our carnivore chips are a great way to introduce wholesome, nutrient-dense, and delicious snacks into your routine. These snacks are made from 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised meats, making them a rich source of high-quality protein and healthy fats. We have ribeye chips, steak chips, lamb chips, beef chips, brisket chips, chicken chips, and even pork chips.
Each of these offers a perfect solution for satisfying your cravings in a way that's completely in line with the principles of the carnivore diet. No fillers, no artificial additives, just pure, nourishing food. Learn more about our healthy meat snacks today and find out what you’ve been missing all this time!
The Power of Proper Sleep
Sleep is a time for our bodies to rest, repair, and rejuvenate. High-quality sleep supports everything from mental clarity to digestive health. Prioritize a good night's sleep as part of your wellness routine.
Parting Thoughts on Carnivore Diet Supplements
Embarking on the carnivore diet journey is a bold step towards reclaiming your health and wellness. While this diet is potent in its simplicity, like any other diet, it isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. The journey is highly personal and will likely involve some degree of trial, adjustment, and learning.
But, one this is certain for anyone starting carnivore diet. You need the right supplements in your arsenal to avoid nutritional deficiencies and all the consequences that come with them! Fortunately, this guide on what supplements to take on carnivore diet should have provided you with complete clarity. And at this point, you likely have a carnivore diet supplement shopping list.
So, what are you waiting for? Stack up your supplements for carnivore diet today and eliminate and stress or anxiety surrounding nutritional gaps in this transformative journey you’re setting out on.