Some say you should avoid them for several months; others say they are essential right from the start. I’ll get to my personal recommendations below, but the important thing to keep in mind is that all drastic diets can result in certain nutrient deficiencies.
Unlike the vegan diet with strict moral and ethical guidelines, you should bear in mind that many recommendations below are plant-based or have some plant ingredients. Read on to find out more.
Our Top Carnivore Supplements in 2020
1 - Performance Lab Whole-Food Multivitamin
What I like about it is that you can buy it in a formula for men or women. As there are subtle differences in the amounts of nutrients both genders need, it’s convenient to get the ideal dose.
Yes strictly speaking it contains a lot of plant ingredients, but the fact is that it contains vital nutrients that you could be lacking in your diet.
LMNT Recharge Electrolyte Hydration Powder
This will minimize muscle cramps, fatigue, and many people have reported it to help with their sleep. I switched to these packs after getting them recommended to me by a lady in one of the carnivore Facebook groups.
Redmond Ancient Fine Sea Salt
Redmond's is unrefined and packed with a wide range of minerals (just check out the chart on the package).
4 - Kettle and Fire Beef Bone Broth
I supplement with Kettle and Fire when I don't have time to make my own broth from scratch.
Usually, I'll prepare a pot in the morning and fill up a thermos before work or long trips in the car.
It's made with 100% pasture-raised grass fed beef and provides natural collagen and amino acids—a good choice for a quick and easy snack.
5 - Ancestral Supplements Grass Fed Beef Organs
Each capsule is filled with beef liver, heart, kidney, pancreas, and spleen. Beef liver was a staple of our early ancestors' and considered one of the first "superfoods."
Packed with vitamins B, D, A, and E, along with iron, phosphorus, and copper. You take 6 capsules per day and there are 30 servings in a container.
6 - Ancestral Supplements Colostrum
From my experience, Ancestral Supplements does a good job of providing a quality product, and they are starting to build their reputation in the carnivore community. One customer even referred to it as immunity and skincare game-changer.
7 - Omega-3 Wild Alaskan Fish Oil
Each capsule contains fish oil from wild-caught Alaskan Pollock, and it's one of the few brands I can take before bed without waking up with that nasty fish taste.
This product won't be necessary if you're already eating fresh fatty fish or fish eggs weekly.
8 - Codeage Protective Polyphenol Supplement
Codeage is a premium supplement manufacturer, and this polyphenol is one of the most popular on Amazon. You can read more about the actual benefits in the next section, but there is good evidence that it helps to fight cancer cells in your body.
The product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee which means you could have before and after blood tests done to find out what the exact effects are on free radicals in your blood.
The downside is that for very strict carnivore dieters it won’t be an option as it’s entirely plant-based.
9 - Transparent Labs Proteinseries Collagen
If you’re particular about not having artificial crap added in for flavor and sweetening, the Transparent Labs is the way to go.
This collagen supplement uses natural ingredients to create a chocolate flavor, without giving you something with tons of carbs to mess with your ketosis.
While you do get 11 grams of collagen sourced from beef, it’s not grass-fed beef. For a lot of carnivore dieters, that is a very important factor, so keep that in mind.
Common Nutrients Lacking In Meat
Because the carnivore diet takes such a restrictive approach, there inevitably can be risks of some nutrient deficiencies.
Your protein intake will certainly not be lacking from all the beef, but if you ignore certain micronutrients and salt for long enough, you can start to feel generally bad and even develop some more serious health issues.
The good news is that the above supplements will provide a good solution and eggs contain most vitamins.
1 - Magnesium
Unfortunately, most meat doesn’t contain high amounts of magnesium, and even when eating several pounds of meat per day, you can become deficient over time.
And here’s the health risk in that happening.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals that your body needs. It is used for countless different functions that within a few months of deficiency can lead to substantial health issues.
Your metabolism needs it to process energy, it plays a role in regulating hormone levels, your muscles need it to synthesize protein, and it’s even required for DNA production .
One option is to eat fish eggs on a regular basis or to prepare your own beef bone broth using a slow cooking method. Find the our recommended one here. Alternatively, you can get extra magnesium from an Epsom salt bath.
2 - Potassium
This is another important nutrient, and as an electrolyte, it plays a vital role in the fluid balance in all your body’s cells. Meat, in general, is not a great source of potassium, unless you regularly opt for organ meats.
A lack of potassium on a consistent basis can lead to an increase in blood pressure , risk of kidney stones, weakened muscle function, and even irregular heart rates.
With the risk of heart disease generally on the rise, electrolyte deficiencies have to be carefully monitored. See the best ones here.
3 - Vitamin C and E
One option to boost your vitamin C levels is to eat more organ meat like spleen and lung. Not the most appetizing idea, which is why supplements are a good option. Vitamin E deficiency on a carnivore diet is not as common, but if you tend to eat cheaper grain-fed meat, then this can happen.
4 - Fiber
One thing you won’t find in
On the one hand, high fiber carbs are hailed as a vital part of a fat loss diet because it fills you up and keeps your digestion moving.
The question is whether this is actually an issue when you eat only meat?
For this, there is no definitive answer yet, but my personal approach has been to supplement fiber from plant foods, especially in the early days when your digestion is still adapting.
It’s not necessary for the long term, but I found it did help initially.
5 - Ketones
The carnivore lifestyle is often referred to as the keto diet in overdrive. It certainly is true that you will be eating high-fat and high-protein from mainly beef. While avoiding carbs from plant foods and dairy products, including yogurt, milk, and cheese.
But these are not long term effects, and within a few days, your body will be producing ketones for energy, with the added bonus of some fat loss.
Until this happens, your blood sugar can fall low, despite eating plenty of protein and fat. You can either suffer through it or take some ketone supplements to make you feel a bit more energized.
6 - Polyphenols
I only recently stumbled upon polyphenols while reading a nutrition magazine at my dietitian's office.
The plant-based antioxidants have been studied through clinical trials, and while the full facts and understanding are still pending, it does look like there is a link to protection against cancer and heart disease .
Again, animal foods don’t contain any polyphenols, so the only option is to use supplements. See polyphenol options here.
7 - Collagen
When I spoke to my dietitian, collagen came up, and it was almost too obvious.
Unless you're eating the rather unappetizing parts of an animal like connective tissue and tendons, you’re not going to be getting much collagen through your food.
It’s a vital protein for healthy skin, joints, and connective tissue , and it’s fast becoming one of the more common supplements that people on the carnivore diet take. Check this collagen supplement.
You can hit your protein macros without going overboard by consuming more collagen, which is a source of protein that doesn’t contain the same amino acids as a steak. Instead, collagen is high in glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline — amino acids also support a strong gut lining.
Nutrition Entrepreneur, and Author
Deficiencies won’t happen overnight, and there are good options available to make you less reliant on supplements.
Alternatives To Using Supplements
So, we’ve identified some nutrients that are lacking in beef, pork, and poultry; while some of these nutrients may only be needed in the short term, there are ways that you can make sure you boost most of them without resorting to supplementation.
Let’s get right to it.
3 options for getting more nutrients from animal foods.
1 - Organ Meats
Eating animal organs has fallen out of fashion quite a bit. Just a few generations ago, most organs would be on prominent display at your local butcher. These days, the majority end up in factories for dog food production.
It might take a bit of getting used to and learning some new cooking techniques to preserve the nutrients, but you’ll be amazed at how great you’ll feel if you start adding things like beef liver and chicken liver to your diet. Chicken liver is another good low cost meal option that you can frequently find on sale.
2 - Bone Marrow
If you make your own broth from bone marrow by slow cooking it over 10 to 12 hours at a low temperature, then you can get all the magnesium and most vitamins you need on a day-to-day basis .
I usually make a batch once or twice a week and use a small amount either as a soup or sauce on my meat dishes.
Ready for a tough one?
3 - Connective Tissue
Yes, eating pigs ears and snout, or the full range of tendons and ligaments from cows sounds as appealing as it is.
However, they are great options to use as natural carnivorous supplements. You’ll need to ask your butcher about getting some, and it might help to find one who kills his own animals.
If you’re looking for more advice about eating the types of animal foods that are less commonly used, then I recommend checking out Shawn Baker’s and Paul Sorbo’s podcasts and online resources.
Does the carnivore diet put you in ketosis?
Is the carnivore diet dangerous?
Can you eat mayo on the carnivore diet?
Can I eat yogurt on the carnivore diet?
Is the carnivore diet expensive?
Does the carnivore diet increase testosterone?
Can you eat cheese on the diet?
How do you get enough vitamin C?
Nutrient deficiencies can become a serious health problem, but it's not something you should expect to be facing immediately when you start the carnivore diet.
In the early days, it can be helpful to take some ketones for the mental fog, and fiber to allow your digestion to adapt.
After that, you really don’t need a whole lot of supplements. The above Performance Lab multivitamin and
If you’ve found some other products that have helped your carnivore journey, then make sure you share them with us on social media.
Performance Lab Multivitamin
Our #1 Supplement
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