Athol Kay’s Male Health Advice Is Cash Money

A couple years ago (just a few months into his blog if I recall correctly) Athol Kay at Married Man Sex Life penned a post on health tips, ostensibly centered around producing better-quality semen. This was when he was hitting hard on the point that being sexy was a matter of signalling fitness for making and raising children, so much of his writing alternated between describing why certain things were sexy and how to get more sexy by projecting the image of a more fit parent.

The post and by extension Athol’s general health advice for men turned out to be tremendously influential for me – I recall reading it and implementing it just a few weeks later – so I thought I would run it down for my readers. A disclaimer: you can pick any one of a million “top ten health tips for men” lists. I chose to follow this one because (a) it addressed the same sort of issues I have as a generally healthy man living in a culture of poor nutrition, (b) Athol himself uses it and swears it improves his sexual quality, and who am I to argue with Mr. 5000.

1. Exercise with weights. Weightlifting boosts your testosterone, makes your body more classically attractive to women and gives you carryover calorie-burning benefits. (Doesn’t have to be hardcore bodybuilding – I do a 30-minute dumbell circuit a few times a week, plus some bike rides for occasional cardio.)

2. Don’t drink soda. Mix juice with seltzer water and add crushed ice. I like pineapple juice.

3. Take a glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM joint complex. You’ll want it if you’re doing step 1. (If not, GOTO step 1.)

4. Take a men’s multivitamin daily. Take it with food or you’ll want to toss your cookies. (This requirement is why I am hit and miss taking the multivitamin. I also heard a funny story about a woman who thought she was pregnant due to vitamin-induced nauseau.)

5. Take Omega-3 fish oil supplements daily. This is the single most effective health tip I’ve gotten in the last three years, for both body and mind.

6. Take a whey protein supplement. I got around this by going to the paleo diet which has the added benefit of allowing me to eat all the foods I love.

6b. Don’t consume soy products. Remember Meat Loaf’s character in “Fight Club?”

7. Don’t smoke or otherwise use nicotine (and don’t make heavy drinking a habit).

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Athol Kay’s Male Health Advice Is Cash Money

  1. I’ve been really hit or miss about number one, but I actually just posted a photo journal of various parts of my life yesterday. I’m on paleo, taking omega 3, eat whey, all that. Plus I do short term fasting when I can. Anyone looking at what real ‘results’ look like without even a regular exercise can check it out – I’ve lost about 25 lbs on it. I also feel like my brain works faster, though it may be a side effect of being really strict on your advice on slowing down my reaction time so that I actually respond well instead of simply instinctively.

  2. sosweet2362

    Great post Badger. Just a note to add about the multi-vitamins. It should be taken with food because not all of the vitamins in it are water soluble. Some require fats to bind to in order to be metabolized and used by the body.

  3. DC Phil

    On the benefits of juicing:

  4. Anonymous age 70

    Multivitamin makes you sick? I accept that is the case for you, because you say so. I take three a day with extreme Atkins, and have no problem at all. So, do not assume a bad reaction is universal.

    [Dude, it's listed as a "common side effect" for a reason. People need to be aware of the risk so they can plan for it; if it doesn't affect them, then good.]

  5. OffTheCuff

    Lift anything heavy, even if it’s your own fat ass. Meaning, bodyweight exercises are quite effective, and go anywhere you do.

  6. Thanks for the shout out!

  7. Candide

    Regarding lifting, you need a balance, not just any random weight program. Make sure your training covers all basic movements: squat, hinge, push, pull and loaded carries. Train high tension as well as ballistic movements.

    I’d add coconut oil to the list of health tips. That has the biggest impact on my health this year. Since I started frying with coconut oil (known to boost the immune system greatly), I have not been sick at all through autumn and winter down under, despite coming in contact with various people with the colds and flu. In the past, this is the time of year I got sick all the time. Now I don’t even get runny nose. It’s also amazing for hair and skin too.

  8. Once you bust your carb addiction, intermittent fasting is a breeze. I skip lunch about half of the time and I don’t exercise worth a damn.

    When I got my physical this April, I was down 30 lbs from my previous doctor visit when I was 216. And I’ve dropped another 5 lbs since then.

    Cutting off beer will probably help me drop another 5-10 lbs in a month or so. At least, I hope so.

  9. That’s what I get for typing up something and not hitting “POST”….

    Candide’s right, but doesn’t go far enough. Coconut oil is heavenly in your diet. I freak folks out when I tell them I frequently eat a heaping spoonful by itself after scooping out what I need for cooking or whatever. It’s like silky bliss melting on your tongue.

    But I also shake Kosher salt into my mouth for no reason as well. I’m a bit strange to hear most folks tell it. :)

  10. Sounds like some good discussion. We all need different tips in our health regimens to address whatever we don’t have going on. Good health is a great investment, it really drives the rest of our life wellness.

  11. Candide

    Oh I always fry with plenty of extra coconut oil so I could use a spoon to eat the oil afterwards.

    One very important supplement you all should look at for health & strength is Vitamin D3. High dose > 7000 IU per day is recommended.

  12. just visiting

    @ Candide. Yes. The higher dose is the way to go. Some countries are trying to make D3 available in 200 iu dosage only. Which is less than worthless.

  13. daniel

    On advice number 4: Liver is nature’s multivitamin, the single most healthy food known to man.

  14. Almacantar

    Late to the party, biochemist in training here. Make sure you know what to look for before you buy a multi. Virtually every multi you buy at your local grocery store has some of the most worthless forms of vitamins and minerals in terms of bioavailability. Copper, zinc, iodine, selenium (selenomethionine is a good form), vanadium, chromium, and magnesium need to be chelated with amino acids or I can assure you they either are in a form that’s gonna accumulate toxic levels in the body (hello, selenium!) or you ain’t gettin enough. Be sure to try to mix up your dosing with zinc, selenium, magnesium, copper and iron though, because they actively compete for the same metalloreceptors in the gut and taking them at the same time can block the absorption of one or the other. An aside: a fun trick to seeing if you’re getting zinc in your diet is to order a bottle of zinc sulfate. If it tastes like water when you drink it, you’re not getting enough zinc and it will tastes worse and worse the more zinc stores you have.

    On the vitamin side, make sure that you are taking actual retinol from animal sources as Vitamin A; beta carotene is horribly inefficient (10-15% if memory serves) at converting to retinol, folinic acid instead of folic, methylcobalamin or hydroxocobalamin instead of cyancobalamin, the alpha, beta, delta and gamma forms of Vitamin E (most people get either too much alpha or gamma and miss out on some of the benefits), and Vitamin K2 as well as Vitamin K1.

    Given that chelated forms of minerals take up a lot of space (it’s 90%+ amino acid and 10% or less mineral by weight usually) the best way to know you have a good supplement is if you have to take a lot of pills.
    It’s a bit expensive but I highly recommend Animal Pak for a multi, it’s by far the best out there.

    Also, krill oil is a better way of getting omega 3s. It’s usually processed less plus it’s phosphorylated so it’s more bioavailable. Tastes worse though haha.

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