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With how 2020 has proceeded thus far, it’s fair to say that if you had to describe this year in one word, it would most likely be along the lines of “apocalyptic”. And that’s putting it lightly!

What’s going to happen next?!

You might be feeling overwhelmed, scared, anxious, and perhaps maybe even depressed. All of these feelings are completely understandable when everything is so uncertain and there’s still so much out there that we don’t know. But not to worry, there is hope after all! It doesn’t all have to be so dark and gloomy.

As the old adage goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. That certainly rings true here. So today, we’re going to go over how you can prepare for what appears to be the zombie apocalypse headed our way (or whatever else this year has to throw at us!).

More specifically, what supplements can you take that’ll aid you not only on your quest to survive, but hopefully even thrive!

Whether it be rushing through a swarm of zombies or surviving the upcoming nuclear winter, these supplements are going to act as key players in your survival toolkit if you want to make it out of this thing alive.

Most Helpful Supplements to Use During the Apocalypse

Caffeine

Caffeine Extract

Let’s start out with a pretty obvious one here; caffeine. You know, the stuff that’s in everybody’s styrofoam cup at the office?

Now I get it, you might be thinking to yourself: “Well since I’m already anxious during this apocalypse, wouldn’t taking in more caffeine make me, even more, wound up?” Well yes, you’d certainly be right about that if you’re not careful about it.

However, I’m talking about those times where you need that wakefulness-promoting aspect of caffeine the most [1]. When is that, you ask? Well, when are zombies most likely to catch you by surprise the most? That’s right, at night!

Now I’m not promoting sleep deprivation, but sometimes (especially in scenarios like these), sleep has to temporarily be put on the back burner when survival is your main goal. Remember, succumbing to the zombies in this instance won’t equal a permanent slumber for you, rather, it just means you become one of them instead!

So get that coffee maker brewin’ or that teabag steepin’ (or pop some caffeine tablets if you prefer) and get to work!

Would be Useful For:

While caffeine is certainly useful in garnering the strength [2] and energy [3] to make your way through congested swarms of zombies in order to get to where you want to go, there are other useful applications of this stimulant:

  • Swimming your way to the mainland from the island in which you were previously stranded on
  • Hoisting, swinging and throwing homemade weapons at enemies (and yes, this includes zombies)
  • Providing you with the mental fortitude to disable the hidden bomb that was disguised inside that luxury briefcase [4]

How Much to Take?

This is going to dramatically vary from person to person, depending on things like tolerance and sensitivity. Start with 100mg or so if you’re new to caffeine and work your way up (or down) from there to determine what feels best for you.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwaghanda Tea

Let’s face it; surviving an apocalypse is exhausting. It’s also very overwhelming. How do you cope with all of the stress? Well, it’s your lucky day, as ashwagandha is here to save the day (does rhyming “day” with “day” still count?).

The stress hormone cortisol is likely to be extremely active in your body at this time. Its job during these tough times is to provide you with energy by breaking down and extracting energy from particular tissues throughout the body. Unfortunately, this includes muscle, as well as vital organs like the heart and liver. During an acute, isolated incident, it isn’t too much to worry about. However, over the long term, it can wreak havoc on your body’s functioning. This makes it more difficult for your body to even just function normally.

Thankfully, an herb called Ashwagandha, which is used in traditional Indian medicinal practices, has demonstrated great ability to significantly lower cortisol in those who take it consistently every day [5]. People who have taken this supplement have reported primarily anti-anxiety-like effects, as well as reductions in insomnia, fatigue, and the symptoms of depression.

Hey, we don’t know how long this apocalypse is going to last for, so if I can take a supplement that has the ability to drastically reduce my stress levels, I’m taking it.

Would be Useful For:

  • Calming down potentially hostile members of your survival team who may have gotten a tad on the loopy side
  • Helping to fight off the apocalyptic blues, especially if it tends to go on for quite a while

How Much to Take?

While there is no “official” dose, somewhere between 300-500mg seems sufficient.

Magnesium

Sources Of Magnesium

Magnesium is the 2nd most commonly deficient nutrient in the United States behind Vitamin D [6]. Now, if this mineral is commonly deficient in people during normal circumstances, imagine how many people would be deficient during times of crisis! It would be off the charts!

So that’s why taking a magnesium supplement would be smart during these unprecedented times. One of magnesium’s many strengths is its dramatic blood-pressure-lowering effect [7]. During times of high stress, blood pressure is sure to rise, which is absolutely normal. However, just like with cortisol, when blood pressure is chronically raised, it can wreak havoc.

It can cause damage to blood vessels, among other aspects of your cardiovascular system, including your heart. Yeah, we want that thing to keep tickin’, or else we’ll end up like one of those lifeless walking corpses.

Magnesium has also demonstrated that it can improve insulin sensitivity [8]. In other words, it can help your body to utilize insulin more efficiently, therefore, lowering blood sugar. So now at least you won’t seem nearly as tasty to those zombies compared to your more insulin-resistant counterparts.

Would be Useful For:

  • Calming you down while trying to disable a booby trap set by other survivors
  • Making the food you can actually find more useful to you by being able to absorb more of its nutrients without detrimentally increasing your blood sugar
  • Increasing your chances of survival overall

How Much to Take?

Anywhere between 200-400mg per day

L-Theanine

Sources Of L Theanine

This is a supplement that’s often paired with another supplement on our list, that being caffeine. This is because it promotes sedation, but not drowsiness. Therefore, when it’s combined with caffeine, it provides the user with a synergistic combo that, put simply, takes the “edge” off of the caffeine [9], particularly if you happen to drink just a bit too much of those cups O-Joe.

On its own, it has shown great potential in reducing stress responses, more specifically to acute stressors such as test-taking [10]. So it sounds like you’re getting the best of both worlds here; both energy and stress-relief. Well during an apocalypse, I’ll take whatever I can get!

Would be Useful For:

  • Calming down that overactive brain during times of crisis
  • Providing damage control for all that espresso you drank earlier

How Much to Take?

100-200mg, with or without caffeine. However, taking it with caffeine will most likely show more profound effects.

Melatonin

Melatonin Supplements

A combination of stressful times, along with some extra aid coming from caffeine can make sleeping pretty difficult during this time. That’s why melatonin can make a great addition to your apocalyptic supplement stack!

Melatonin has demonstrated its dramatic effectiveness most notably in those who suffer from insomnia [11], which you’re most likely suffering from right now from all the carnage that’s surrounding you.

Another added bonus is that it adds to that blood pressure lowering benefit from magnesium we learned about just a little while earlier [12]. And to top that all off even further, there are no withdrawal effects from coming off of melatonin, unlike sedative drugs such as Xanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam).

Would be Useful For:

  • Drowning out the sound of those nasty zombie noises
  • Being able to finally fall asleep amongst the (let’s just say “poorly built”) raft you made in order to get you back to the mainland
  • To actually have the energy the next day to do this exhausting survival work all over again

How Much to Take?

Most people find benefits anywhere from 0.5mg all the way up to 5mg about 30 minutes before bed. Be wary though, more than this is often not better and will not help you to fall asleep any faster. Rather, you might just end up with a “hungover” feeling, such as lethargy and headache the next day.

Zinc

Sources Of Zinc

Many people think of zinc the same way they think of vitamin C; that being its association with reductions in common cold and flu-like symptoms [13]. While it is particularly effective for these purposes, one of its benefits that is of particular interest here is its effects on antioxidant levels and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in humans [14].

To put this more simply, it has the potential to maintain and support the growth of brain cells that support long-term memory, as well as areas of the brain that support learning and higher levels of thinking. This is super important, as you’re going to need all the help you can get when you’re making those tough decisions, like which materials you need to make that oddly effective weapon you saw in a zombie video game that one time.

Would be Useful For:

  • Preventing sickness before it starts. The last thing you need is to be bogged down with a nagging illness as you bash the undead with a wooden nail bat.
  • Supporting healthy brain function while those around you appear to go mentally insane.

How Much to Take?

5-10 mg appears to be effective for general maintenance. But if you feel as if you might be deficient in zinc, then upping the dose between 25-45mg is also acceptable.

Creatine

Creatine Supplements

You know what you really need right now? Yeah, that’s right, power! You want to be able to hit those zombies with some force, don’t you? You’re gonna need to be able to push, shove, climb, and kick your way through to the end of that survival tunnel.

One thing that creatine is really good at doing is drastically being able to increase muscular strength and overall weightlifting performance [15], which will carry over perfectly to your given scenario.

Interestingly enough, it can also support your efforts for sustained energy, along with the caffeine you may be taking during this time as well. What I mean by this is that it appears to increase one’s level of alertness not like caffeine per se’, but rather strictly during times of stress and/or sleep deprivation [16]. And let’s face it, that’s what you’re most likely going through at the moment as you desperately try to protect your friend from being eaten alive.

Would be Useful For:

  • Giving you the needed strength to wack yet another member of the walking dead with your homemade weapon of choice
  • Provide you with the focus you need with all the added stress and lack of sleep this is causing you.

How Much to Take?

Anywhere between 2.5-5 grams seems to be acceptable for most people to witness benefits.

Whey Protein

Whey Protein Powder

Well isn’t this technically food, you might ask? Yes, you’d be right if you said that this is food. But also, it is considered to be a supplement due to its convenience and the fact that it doesn’t comprise the bulk of your diet; it simply adds to it. Therefore, it’s a food supplement.

Now that that pointless argument is over, let’s go over how it can help you during various apocalyptic scenarios.

Protein is essential not only for building muscle and strength, but also for maintaining and optimizing bodily functioning. So if you’re going to not only survive, but thrive, you’re going to need some good ole’ protein. But what if those members of the undead have already ransacked the grocery store? There’s no more food left, and you’re left with nothing.

Well, the great thing about protein supplements is that they have an incredibly long shelf life relative to common sources of protein like meat and dairy products. All you need is some water to mix it together to make sure you get some good nutrition in you. Or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, feel free to shotgun it down with some of your buddies (the ones who are still with you at this point, anyway.)

Would be Useful For:

  • Maintaining the strength you need to fight off zombies [17]
  • Keeping you alive basically

How Much to Take?

You certainly don’t want to waste the protein here, so you wouldn’t take as much as you normally would in order to gain muscle. As long as you’re within a daily target of 0.8g/kg bodyweight (0.36g/lb bodyweight), then you’ll be solid.

L-Carnitine

Sources Of Carnitine

This supplement is both for the physical aspect of your survival as well as the mental/psychological aspect.

Yes, you need strength and power. But something you may not be thinking about is something called your anaerobic running capacity. Simply put, this would refer to high-intensity forms of running, like sprints. When you’re confronted with danger, you’re going to want to run away from it as fast as you possibly can, not simply jog away from it.

This is where L-Carnitine comes in. One study showed that those who took this supplement were able to perform more work while simultaneously reducing lactate production [18], which is the metabolic waste product that is produced from high-intensity exercise.

At the same time, L-Carnitine has also been shown to improve factors related to attention and chronic fatigue [19]. This powerhouse of a supplement should most definitely be in your survival toolkit if your goal is to come out of this thing in one piece.

Would be Useful For:

  • Getting rid of that pesky brain fog to help you formulate that master survival plan
  • Providing you with the ability to sprint through the dense crowd of zombies to your team of fellow survivors waiting for you on the other side

How Much to Take?

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is used for cognitive enhancement, while L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) is most often used for physical performance.

The dosages for each would be 630-2,500mg (ALCAR), 1,000-4,000mg (LCLT) respectively.

Citrulline

Source Of L Citrulline

This survival thing is really hard work, isn’t it? It can most certainly be exhausting, that’s for sure. So how can you fight off that ever-lingering fatigue?

Well, bring on in the L-Citrulline! This amino acid increases what’s called nitric oxide, which possesses the unique ability to widen your blood vessels and allows faster delivery of nutrients to key parts of your body [20].

It also complements the effects of L-Carnitine, as it significantly reduces fatigue and increases the amount of physical work a person can tolerate [21]. So not only can you perform better, you will recover from the day’s work more quickly as well.

Talk about a one-two punch! Maybe this survival thing won’t be nearly as hard as we thought after all!

Would be Useful For:

  • Maintaining your body’s integrity as a result of the overall physical demands of survival
  • Helping to recover from the absolute carnage you’re putting your body through right now; from the constant running around, to fighting off the undead, to transporting heavy materials on foot.

How Much to Take?

Between 6,000mg-8,000mg appears to be optimal for survival scenarios

Multivitamin

Multivitamins

It would be pretty smart of you to include something in your supplement arsenal that covers all of your bases, wouldn’t you think? Well here’s where a good ole’ multivitamin can come into play! Most people think of this supplement in a perspective revolving around improvements in general health. While it does help in that aspect, there are other benefits you may not be aware of in a stressful situation like this.

First off, let’s address nutrient deficiencies. This can be a very serious issue during this kind of crisis; the grocery store shelves have all been emptied, people are hoarding food for days, and your stomach has been growling for as long as you can remember. While I’d usually advocate to get as many of your nutrients as possible from whole-food, minimally-processed sources, it’s not likely possible during this time. Therefore, it’s imperative that you address deficiencies that will significantly affect your physical and mental health! For example, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 are common deficiencies during normal times, nevermind during a time like this [22, 23, 24]. Deficiencies in these nutrients can cause lethargy, muscle cramps, poor mood, and cognitive deficits. These are certainly symptoms you do not want to deal with when your health needs to be at its peak in order to get out of this thing alive.

As briefly mentioned, your mental health is definitely taking a toll here. But having a multivitamin in your arsenal could help improve mental health factors such as anxiety, stress, and fatigue [4]. And as if this apocalypse wasn’t enough to deal with on its own, your immune system is bound to take a huge hit as well. So giving it a boost definitely wouldn’t hurt you; with Vitamin C and zinc having been shown to improve people’s resilience to various illnesses [25, 26].

Would be Useful For:

  • Improving your mental state as this apocalypse drags on
  • Decreasing the likelihood that you’ll come down with an illness/disease
  • Put you in a better mood in general, despite the anxiety-provoking and depressing circumstances

How Much to Take?

Every multivitamin is different regarding how much of each vitamin and mineral is included in each serving. Therefore, it’s best to follow the manufacturers’ directions, which is often to take one serving size 1-3 times daily.

Wrapping Up

While survival is definitely no easy walk in the park, having these 10 supplements in your toolbox will make that “run” seem like more of a “trot” in the metaphorical park. You’ll gain improved physical and psychological abilities during these super high-stress times.

With all this in mind, just please make sure to not let those pesky walking dead get a hold of any of these valuable supplements, or who knows what could happen?!

Keep Reading: 10 Best Supplements for Fasting

ⓘ Any specific supplement products & brands featured on this website are not necessarily endorsed by Zachary.

Stock Photos from Anton Brand / FOTOGRIN / Visual Generation / Shutterstock

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