T Nation

Taking Supplements w/ Epilepsy?


Im new to the supplement game and I have been experimenting with a few supplements no xplode, no shotgun a few other bsn products and other stuff. I get alot of good results from the products I take but I have epilepsy so I feel im limeted (scared) on stuff I can take. Ive talked to my neuro about this topic and he told me no on all products except protein.

I was wondering if anyone else does or knows someone that has this type of problem and maybe could recomend some products that has worked for them and that hasnt triggered seizures. I do understand you may not be a Doctor and I promise i wont hold it against you.


Do exactly what your MD says. He is the expert in pathology and is more qualified than anyone on this site or anyone that is not a more accomplised neurologist than he is. As much as I hate it when MDs assume they know more than anybody about the workings of the human body, the simple fact is that as far as diseases go, they ARE the experts. If anyone on this site says they know more than your neurologist, they are probably full of shit.


I agree with you 100% its just my Doc would tell everyone no dont do it. But since I am taking supplements I just want to know what should I stay away from. I guess you can say its like driving a car no matter what you do theres always a chance you can wreck.


Okay, now that I understand a little more about where you are coming from, I will attempt to answer your question. Stick to supplements that are more food-based than herbal. Examples would be amino acids such as arginine, and BCAA. Superfood, Flameout, and Surge Recovery are also dietary supplements that are simply food and should pose no danger (I do not know of any dietary restrictions for epileptics so if there are any please let me know).

As for "bodybuilding supplements" (this is what I refer to as herbal supplements that usually have little to no science behind them), they may have an unknown (or even a known) reaction with your medication or exacerbate your condition so ask a qualified doctor and if they say no, do not use them. This goes double for supplements that claim to have an effect on your neural pathway such as Alpha-GPC and Power Drive. As for which products I recommend, Surge Recovery (.5 serving before working out followed by 1 serving after), Flameout, Superfood, Metabolic Drive in that order.

I do not know if you can take creatine, but you probably can (again talk to an MD). These are the only supplements I have taken and noticed any effect from.


You do not need any supplements to get results when lifting weights. All you need is plenty of food, heavy plates in the gym, and plenty of rest.

You WILL need a shovel. Pick a nice, warm day with plenty of sunshine and just a couple of clouds. Take the shovel and go out in the back yard. Dig a hole in the ground, preferably 24 inches across and three feet deep. Place the no-xplode and no shotgun in the hole. If you are recycling plastics, just put the powder in the ground and put the containers in the recycling bin. Refill hole with dirt. In a few weeks when you don't see any huge worms or ants, or chinch bugs, or any other mutant bugs coming out of the ground, maybe you will see how much you didn't need to waste your money.


good advice so far.

it sounds to me like you are the type looking at products rather than supplements, and that you like stimulants.

since you have special medical considerations you need to get smarter eg pubmed.com and go line by line so you know exactly what you are taking (or considering).


it sounds to me like you are the type looking at products rather than supplements, and that you like stimulants.


I do like stimulants but thats only cause I work long hours and i feel i need a little push in the gym so I can get the most of my workout. But I would like to expirement w/ other supplements but I want to do it in a safe way.


I wouldn't suggest any sort of stimulant product, just as your MD recommended. Other than the fact that stimulants decrease seizure threshold, they may also interfere with the medications you are taking. If you plan on taking them against the advice of your MD the least you could do is go to him/her with the product so he can take a quick look at the ingredients in it.


(if your doc thinks it's OK) how about grape juice with 5-10g creatine, and drink down 15g BCAA as you warm up at the gym. then take another 15g BCAA during your workout.


Best post......ever.

Lift - eat - sleep - repeat. Amen.


I also agree with mcook - there are many, many supplements that are essentially concentrated bits of food. Your body knows no difference if you get your creatine from powder or from eating more steak. Concentrated food should have no connection with epilepsy.

As for stimulants - you don't NEED them, best to stay away. I can't think of any other categories of supplements. Really you don't NEED any of it, but if you must, then creatine is your baby. Everything else is just for fun.


By your own word you said that anyone who claims to know more than his neuro is full of shit - yet you are now giving advice which is different to his neuro (let alone telling him to ask an MD to cover your back - yet he already has, and has been given an answer!)!

Good job i thought your first post was utter BS.

You would be correct in saying that those who know the most about diseases, illness and ailments are medically educated and qualified - however to assume this spreads into a thorough working knowledge of how the various sports supplements or PED affect the body - whether healthy, diabetic, epileptic or otherwise - you would be seriously wrong.

MD's have strict rules on what they can and can't advise on - so even if a doctor is a BB in his spare time and knows the ins and outs of supplement action/reaction thoroughly - they are restricted from advising the use of any.

A doctor IS allowed to prescribe food and as such he recommended he just use protein. He is likely totally unaware that Creatine is an Amino acid, and may just know it as a kidney excreted sports supplement.

You will find that this is most certainly the case.


This is not a stimulant..?


Not that I know a damn thing about it, but it seems like stimulants would be the last thing you'd want to be taking with epilepsy.


NO products are a load of shit and don't work. It's everything in your head. As far as supps are concerned just stick to some protein powder, fish oil and a multi V and you're good to go. Do yourself a favor and save yourself money and problems.



Sorry bro, but you are wrong. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Physicians are not bound to any rules - they can advise you however they please. If questioned, in court, for example, they are held to the "standard of care" - but even this is somewhat subjective and not written in stone.

You are right in saying that most of the medical establishment does not understand supplements, bodybuilding or otherwise. You are also right in suggesting a person with epilepsy not go taking everything willy-nilly. Stick to food and your neurologist's advice and you won't go wrong.


First, thank you koots for addressing half this post first, I couldn't have put it better myself. As for the first part, did you even read the first three posts or did you drift in and out? Only when the OP informed me his MD was against using any supplements regardless of medical conditions did I disagree with him and recommend supplements that are simply concentrated food found in anyone's diet. I told him to consult with his MD about any supplements containing ingredients outside those found in the diet because his MD will know better than me (or is better able to research) any possible reactions with his medication/exacerbate his condition. I never said his MD knows more about supplements, just that he knows more about pathology. And when it comes down to it, health/living is more important to me than taking some herb which may or may not increase the effects of my training by 1-2%. But I am just weird that way.


Not in the context being discussed here. The OP and others use "stimulant" to mean substances such as caffeine which decrease the seizure threshold. The stimulant effect of the grape juice concoction will come (mostly) from the insulin spike of grape juice. This will work, but using Surge Recovery as I recommended in my second post will have the same effect.


Ask your Neuro exactly why you can't take a certain supplement, ask for the science behind it. It will be clear whether he actually knows whether you can or cannot take it. There a high chance he's just being safe, as opposed to telling you he doesn't know.


For what it's worth, do you know how it was first "discovered" that a high protein/high fat/low carb ketogenic diet caused fat loss? This type of diet was developed about 40-50 years ago specifically for children with epilepsy. I don't presume to know what the theory was behind it, but researchers figured that a ketogenic diet would help reduce seizures. It did. But, as a side effect, they noticed that these children also became quite lean on this diet, as they dropped quite a bit of fat mass without cutting their caloric intake. I think it was this research that Dr. Atkins (of Atkins Diet fame) came across in some neurology journal. He then applied this fortunate side effect to design his famous diet.

None of this really addresses Noo2it's original question, other than to reinforce that extra protein and healthy fats like Flameout can't hurt when it comes to controlling seizures. On the other hand, if you were to significantly up your protein and fat intake while reducing your carbs, you might want to let your neuro know if only because the dosage of your seizure medication might need to be adjusted downward.