Category: health

 

Everyday you have to navigate a toxic nutritional landscape. You have to hunt and gather in a food desert.  You have to survive the American supermarket and dodge the dangers of industrial food.   The good news is that if you follow ten simple rules you can eat safely for life.

Think of them as shortcuts or tricks to use when shopping or eating. If you just do these things and nothing else, you will automatically be eating real, fresh food that will prevent, treat, and even reverse most of the chronic diseases that drain our energy, stress our families, and deplete our economy.

You don’t even have to understand anything about nutrition.  Just follow these goof proof rules for getting healthy, losing weight and feeling great.

  1. Ideally have only food without labels in your kitchen or foods that don’t come in a box, a package, or a can. There are labeled foods that are great, like sardines, artichoke hearts, or roasted red peppers, but you have to be very smart in reading the labels.   There are two things to look for: the ingredient list and the nutrition facts.  Check out my special report on How to Read Labels for more information.Where is the primary ingredient on the list? If the real food is at the end of the list and the sugar or salt is at the beginning, beware. The most abundant ingredient is listed first and the others are listed in descending order by weight. Be conscious, too, of ingredients that may not be on the list; some ingredients may be exempt from labels. This is often true if the food is in a very small package, if it has been prepared in the store, or if it has been made by a small manufacturer. Beware of these foods.
  2. If a food has a label it should have fewer than five ingredients. If it has more than five ingredients, throw it out. Also beware of food with health claims on the label. They are usually bad for you – think ”sports beverages.”  I recently saw a bag of deep-fried potato chips with the health claims “gluten-free, organic, no artificial ingredients, no sugar” and with fewer than 5 ingredients listed.  Sounds great, right?  But remember, cola is 100 percent fat-free and that doesn’t make it a health food.
  3.  If sugar (by any name, including organic cane juice, honey, agave, maple syrup, cane syrup, or molasses) is on the label, throw it out. There may be up to 33 teaspoons of sugar in the average bottle of ketchup. Same goes for white rice and white flour, which act just like sugar in the body.  If you have diabesity – the spectrum of metabolic imbalances starting with just a little belly fat, leading all the way to diabetes— you can’t easily handle any flour, even whole-grain. Throw it out.
  4. Throw out any food with high-fructose corn syrup on the label. It is a super sweet liquid sugar that takes no energy for the body to process. Some high-fructose corn syrup also contains mercury as a by-product of the manufacturing process. Many liquid calories, such as sodas, juices, and “sports” drinks, contain this metabolic poison. It always signals low quality or processed food.
  5. Throw out any food with the word hydrogenated on the label. This is an indicator of trans fats, vegetable oils converted through a chemical process into margarine or shortening. They are good for keeping cookies on the shelf for long periods of time without going stale, but these fats have been proven to cause heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. New York City and most European counties have banned trans fats, and you should, too.
  6. Throw out any highly refined cooking oils such as corn, soy, etc (I will explain which oils to buy in Week 1 of the program in my book The Blood Sugar Solution). Also, avoid toxic fats and fried foods.
  7. Throw out any food with ingredients you can’t recognize, pronounce, or are in Latin.
  8. Throw out any foods with preservatives, additives, coloring or dyes, “natural flavorings,” or flavor enhancers such as MSG (monosodium glutamate).
  9. Throw out food with artificial sweeteners of all kinds  (aspartame, Splenda, sucralose, and sugar alcohols—any word that ends with “ol” like xylitol, sorbitol). They make you hungrier, slow your metabolism, give you bad gas, and make you store belly fat.
  10. If it came from the earth or a farmer’s field, not a food chemist’s lab, it’s safe to eat. As Michael Pollan says, if it was grown on a plant, not made in a plant, then you can keep it in your kitchen. If it is something your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food, throw it out (like a “lunchable” or go-gurt”).  Stay away from “food-like substances.”

That’s it – just ten simple goof proof rules for staying healthy for life. It is a simple recipe for staying out of trouble and automatically leads you to a real, whole foods diet.  And the side effect will be weight loss, energy, reduction in the need for medication, and saving our nation from the tsunami of chronic disease and Pharmageddon!

When you make these simple choices you will not only improve your health, and your family’s health, but you will create a “wellness spring” that will shift the demand in the marketplace.  You will not only take back your health, but also help America take back it’s health.  You vote three times a day with your fork and it impacts our health, how we grow food, energy consumption, climate change, and environmental degradation.   You have more power than you think.  Use it!

My personal hope is that together we can create a national conversation about a real, practical solution for the prevention, treatment, and reversal of our obesity, diabetes, and chronic disease epidemic.

To learn more and to get a free sneak preview of The Blood Sugar Solution go to www.drhyman.com.

Now I’d like to hear from you …

What are your rules for eating healthy for life?

How have you transformed your health with food?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

 

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 

Affiliate Disclosure

biohacking tools
 
Two years ago, in the post, “11 Indispensable Lessons I Learned From The Biohacker’s Handbook Of Exercise,” I introduced you to my biohacking friends from Finland – a pioneer of holistic medicine in Finland, human technology and self-quantification specialist, Teemu Arina; superfood hunter and nutritionist, Jaakko Halmetoja; as well as Dr. Olli Sovijärvi, MD.

Then, just a few months ago, in the article “14 Biohacking Secrets I Discovered In The Brand New Biohacker’s Handbook,” I announced that their entire, 544-page “Biohacker’s Handbook”—an absolutely stellar read jam-packed with tips, tricks, and hacks I’d never before seen—had been released in the English language and is the ultimate addition to any health, fitness, and nutrition enthusiast’s coffee table or bookshelf (if you’re in the US, you can pre-order here and use 10% code BEN to save).

In that article, I shared with you 14 biohacking secrets I gleaned from the brand new beautiful hardcover book, which my guests on today’s show – the authors of the book – describe as the “definitive guide to upgrading yourself and unleashing your inner potential.” Five years in making, Biohacker’s Handbook: Upgrade Yourself and Unleash Your Inner Potential has more than 540+ pages, 1560+ references, and hundreds of illustrations. It is “the missing manual of the human body” and an essential addition to the library, work desk, kitchen, gym, suitcase, and bedroom of anyone with a genuine interest in optimal human performance, health, and well-being. You can click here to get the new book, and use code: BEN for a 10% discount.

The same guys who wrote the book also put on the extremely popular Biohacker Summit in global hotspots such as Helsinki, Stockholm, Estonia, London, and Toronto—summits where I’ve personally spoken and where many brands have hit it big for the first time, including Four SigmaticOuraGoodio, and Ambronite. Biohacker Summit is one of the top optimal human performance & health conferences on the planet that focuses on combining ancestral living with modern biohacking practices.

The upcoming Biohacker Summit 2019 is the 5th year anniversary edition that will be organized on 1-2 November 2019 in Helsinki, Finland with the theme “Optimize Your Day 24/7” and includes a wild-plant foraged VIP dinner, upgraded parties, a fantastic expo floor to play with new biohacking devices, and much more. You can click here and use code: BEN for 10% off tickets to this upcoming summit in Helsinki, Finland.

You can also get a bundle of videos from all previous summits by clicking here (use 10% discount code: BEN). 

My first guest on this show, in which we take a deep dive into Biohacker’s Handbook, is Dr. Olli Sovijärvi. He is one of the pioneers of holistic medicine in Finland. In 2006 he graduated from the University of Helsinki with a Licentiate degree in Medicine. In 2010–2011 Dr. Sovijärvi completed an integral theory degree at John F. Kennedy University, focusing on psychology and philosophy. For the first five years of his career as a physician, Dr. Sovijärvi was employed by Finland’s first medical recruitment agency. He has worked at nearly 50 different clinics and ERs around Finland. Dr. Sovijärvi has also acted as consultant to various companies and service providers operating in the fields of wellness and health technology. Between 2013–18, Dr. Sovijärvi practiced medicine at a private clinic that specializes in nutrition and holistic health care. At present, Sovijärvi focuses primarily on the production of scientific content for preventive health care and wellbeing. He is a co-author of the Biohacker’s handbook and co-founder of Biohacker Center. He also runs training sessions and presentations on the topics of biohacking, performance optimization, nutritional issues, and maintaining the intestinal balance. In his free time, he is an exercise enthusiast and an electronic music DJ.

Teemu Arina, my other guest, has a professional career of two decades as a technology entrepreneur, author, professional speaker, and biohacker. Mr. Arina is one of the forefront thinkers on the digital transformation of learning, work, leadership, health, and—eventually—the future of humanity. His work focuses on studying the intersection of man and machine and ways to improve productivity, health, and wellbeing with biological and technological tools. He is a co-author of the Biohacker’s Handbook, co-founder of Biohacker Center and curator of Biohacker Summit. In 2015 he received the Leonardo Award under the title “Humanity in digitization,” in 2016 he was selected as Top 100 Most Influential People In IT, in 2017 Speaker of the Year by Speakersforum, and in 2018 Leadership Trainer of the Year by Turku School of Economics. In his free time, Teemu enjoys foraging, photography, and hiking.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Why Olli doesn’t use an alarm clock to wake up…12:30

-Why Teemu is fascinated by birch and maple sap…20:30

-Dynamic coffee blends, chocamine powder, the best way to make ghee and more…32:00

-The efficacy of slapping one’s self with birch leaves in the sauna…45:30

-Some unique hacks for the workplace…51:40

  • Stand, move around as much as possible
  • Hydrate often
  • Eating disrupts the flow (no casual social contact)

-Evening and sleep routines…53:00

-“Stacks” that Olli and Teemu use…1:14:05

-And much more…

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Click here to get the new Biohackers Handbook, and use code: BEN for a 10% discount.

– You can get a bundle of videos from all previous Biohacker Summits by clicking here (use 10% discount code: BEN).

– You can also click here and use code: BEN for 10% off tickets to the upcoming summit in Helsinki, taking place Nov 1-2, 2019 in Finland.

– Olli’s testosterone hacking guide (use 10% discount code: BEN)

– Olli’s deep sleep optimization guide (use 10% discount code: BEN)

– BioMed Green Plus cubes

– Birch Sap

– Sprout Powder

– Ambronite meal replacement (use code: BENGREENFIELD for a 20% discount)

– FourSigmatic 10 Mushroom Blend Mushroom Extract (for Agaricus mushroom) (15% off with code: BENGREENFIELD)

– C8 Caprylic Acid

– Ceylon Cinnamon

– Madagascar Vanilla

– Organic Cayenne Powder

– FourSigmatic Chaga (15% off with code: BENGREENFIELD)

– Omica Organic Stevia

– Chocamine powder

– Neurosonic vibration tool (Use code: BIOHACKER for a 5% discount on the device)

– Powerplate vibration plate

– Jumpsport Mini-Trampoline

– Ben’s wild plant pesto recipe from Instagram

– Deep sleep enhancement article Olli wrote for the Ben Greenfield Fitness website

– Bemer PEMF mat

– Olli’s evening supplement stack: magnesiumzinctaurinephosphatidylserinetheaninefish oilcurcuminseleniumresveratrol, and EAAs

– Acupressure spike mat for sleep

– Pzizz app

– Sleepstream app

– Brain.FM

– NUCalm

– The Oura Ring

– Health Meditation (Guided By Sadhguru) – YouTube

– Black LED light blocking tape

– JOOVV Go (use code: BEN for a free gift at checkout)

– MobilityWOD balls

– Ben’s podcast on the NeckNest

– O2O2.com Facemask

– Biohacker’s chocolate (use code: BEN for 10% discount)

– Longevity tea

– Book: Inner Engineering by Sadhguru

– Boneco air humidifier

– Airinum air mask

– Eurolyser Smart

– Optimal mental recovery “stack”: Red light/infrared therapy + spike mat/spike pillow + PEMF or Bemer mat + binaural beats with noise-cancelling headphones + meditation + certain supplements (reishi & lion’s mane) + essential oil of lavender, power naps to maximize mental recovery

– Optimal business man’s workout “stack”: Vibration plate + electrical muscle stimulation + X3Bar + elevation training mask + cacao/coffee/cordyceps/beetroot juice for business man’s workouts during breaks

– Self-quantification “stack”: Tracking recovery with morning resting heart-ratemorning saliva cortisolurine test stripsKetonix for evaluating state of ketosis & fasting, night-time HRV (Oura), day-time HRV and periods of recovery (Garmin Vivomove HR), blood sugar fluctuation with Freestyle libre (combined with application of agaricus blazeiberberinecinnamonJarrow Formulas Glucose Optimizer, etc.), pulse oximeter (ihealth Air), blood pressure (ihealth Clear), quick sampling of hsCRP / homocysteine in the future (portable Eurolyzer Smart 700/340)

– Sauna “stack”: NiacinFourSigmatic 10 Mushroom Blend, cinnamonvanillacurcumingingerholy basiloregano.

Episode sponsors:

– Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations, Kion blends ancestral wisdom with modern science. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners receive a 10% discount off your entire order when you use discount code: BGF10.

– Organifi Green Juice: Now you can get all your healthy superfoods in one glass…with No Shopping, No Blending, No Juicing, and No Cleanup. Get a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code: BENG20

– Hyperice: Hyperice is offering free shipping on all orders over $99 AND a chance to win the full recovery kit from Hyperice! You’ll be entered to win the full Hyperice recovery kit when you enter code: BEN

– Birdwell Beach BritchesQuality is our Gimmick isn’t just our slogan, it’s a commitment we honor with every stitch we sew. 100% money back guarantee. Get 10% off your order, PLUS free shipping on any order over $99 when you use discount code: BENG.

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Teemu, Olli or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

 

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

Get The Low Carb Athlete – 100% Free!Eliminate fatigue and unlock the secrets of low-carb success. Sign up now for instant access to the book!

 

22 THOUGHTS ON “MIND-BLOWING BIOHACKS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF, DEEP SLEEP ENHANCEMENT TRICKS, UPGRADING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM FOR TRAVEL, MINIMALIST TIME-HACKED WORKOUTS & MUCH MORE!”

  1. LENAR ABBASOV says:

    Ben, or Teemu: can you please specify the exact model of the Garmin watch Teemu is using? There are so many types, and it seems to an older model in the Garmin line-up… Really appreciate it!

  2. Darrin says:

    Hi Ben, do you have any info on where to get the salt that Teemu mentioned in the podcast? I’ve been searching for a while and haven’t come up with anything for an Indonesian mountain salt mine? Thank you so much!

    1. I tried on the podcast, it seems like it’s something that isn’t sold anywhere, but that he gets straight from the source.

  3. Dave Fellows says:

    Hi, what was the name of the continuous HSCRP monitor? I recall it was pretty expensive but interested in checking it out. Thanks!

  4. Clint moran says:

    Amazing notes and links!!!
    Many thanks for doing that.

  5. Mark says:

    In this episode you mentioned a pillow that you recomend for back sleepers. Can you share that? I could not find it in the show notes

  6. Livet says:

    How / when do you guys get to even get an actual date?

  7. Cara L Zaller says:

    Is there a less expensive option for the vibration mat for sleep? $5,000 is not in my budget but I need help with getting better deep sleep. I already use the Joov and haven’t seen any improvements in that area.

  8. Brennan Buchan says:

    Thanks for all the info and your obvious passion for your work! Was wondering if you could elaborate a bit more on the Niacin IR Sauna Protocol? Do you recommend a 1x/wk approach or more of the 30 day Hubbard-esque protocol? What dosage of niacin do you recommend using? Does it matter what form of niacin (flushing vs non-flushing)? Thanks guys!

  9. Scottie says:

    Looks like Oura “Moment” feature only available for iPhone right now. Android coming later this year..

    1. Fernando says:

      Thanks for that. I was wondering after not seeing it on my android.

  10. Chuck says:

    Does anyone commercially sell butter from cows which primarily eat wild herbs rather than mainly grass?

    1. Alpine Raw Milk Butter – SUMMER 2019

      This is what I use. Expensive but heavenly delicious.

  11. Bill Greenfield says:

    Really really boring

    1. Bob Carson says:

      Great contribution!

  12. Trevor says:

    Ben,

    I noticed you didn’t mention using blue light blocking glasses in the sleep section. Do you still use blue light blocking glasses, and if so, what brand?

    Thanks,

    Trevor

    1. Yes, I still use them. I like RA Optics: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/raoptics (Code: BEN10)

  13. Jose says:

    Hi Mr. Greenfield,

    Do you know if the Viper 2.0 vibrating roller emits a significant amount of EMF?

    Thank you!

    1. No, they use lithium ion batteries which don’t emit EMFs, they simply are used in many devices that emit EMFs. The roller doesn’t have any sort of wifi, bluetooth, etc that would cause an issue either.

  14. Dale AKA Healthnut says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!! I already have the book. Very helpful information for longevity. Sure hope after 10 years of trying to
    have my hamstring back, I may find a golden nugget that will assist by trying some of the hacks. What a blessing all of you are to me!

 

Affiliate Disclosure

 

Welcome to Part 2 of 2 of my top 10 steps to biohack longevity. If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here. In this two-part series, I’m outlining in nitty-gritty detail some of my top tactics, hacks, strategies, systems and habits for ensuring that each of my days are completely conducive to optimizing not just physical performance, but also long-term health and longevity.

Before jumping into the seven habits I didn’t have a chance to address in Part 1, let’s begin with something highly relevant to longevity that just happened yesterday and that I’d be remiss to leave out of this article…

…I recently posted the following to my Instagram page:

So what exactly was I alluding to?

If you listened to the podcast episode “Telomere Testing: Everything You Need To Know About A Cutting-Edge New Longevity Test That Tells You Your Cellular Age.“, then you may already know about the company “TeloYears“, which I’ve been using for the past couple years to measure the efficacy of my anti-aging “biohacks”.

In short, inside every cell in your body are telomeres, the changing protective caps on the ends of your DNA strands that get shorter with age at a rate that can increase or decrease with lifestyle factors either positive or negative. Decades of research published in scientific journals has shown that shorter telomeres are associated with accelerated aging and aging-related conditions. When you are born, your telomeres are generally at their longest. However, throughout your life, every time your cells divide, the telomeres shorten. At a certain point, your chromosomes will reach a critical length and can no longer be replicated. When this occurs, a cell enters into a state of growth arrest known as “cellular senescence,” which is the cellular equivalent of aging.

TeloYears is a is a telomere health tracking program that uses your DNA to help you measure and improve your telomere. They specifically measure the length of your telomeres, then provide a results report that shows the age of your cells. This is important, since the rate of change of your telomere length is very individual and can be affected, both positively and negatively, by many contributing factors – including genetics, lifestyle, stress and environment. In fact, the rate of change is not constant even within the same person’s lifetime. You may be able to slow the rate at which your telomeres shorten with lifestyle interventions. For example, telomeres can shorten more rapidly during periods of stress such as serious illness or infection. Likewise, during periods of good health, the telomeric rate of shortening can slow significantly. Proper diet, exercise and stress management have all been shown to even increase telomere length.

Get The Low Carb Athlete – 100% Free!Eliminate fatigue and unlock the secrets of low-carb success. Sign up now for instant access to the book!

 

In the Telomere Diagnostics lab at TeloYears, they measure the average telomere length (ATL) found in the DNA using a procedure called qPCR (quantified polymerase chain reaction), which is apparently a pretty accurate method of measuring telomere length and by far the most referenced in scientific literature. ATL is the mean length of all telomeres in a given blood sample that you provide via a single drop of blood from your finger that you mail into TeloYears.

So why am I telling you all this?

As I alluded to above, I was pretty shocked when I received the results of my latest TeloYears analysis. Check it out:

In short, compared to my first TeloYears test, in which I tested at a chronological age of 34 and a biological age of 37, and my second test, in which I tested at a chronological age of 35 and a biological age of 36, I’m now at a chronological age of 36 and a biological age of…

…20!

That’s right: what you are about to read here in Part 2 and what you already discovered in Part 1 actually freaking’ works. And as I briefly alluded to in Part 1, this isn’t all about grasping at straws and an endless pursuit of trying to live longer simply for the sake of living longer or desperately “running from death”.

Instead, this is about looking, feeling and performing like a million bucks – being able to leap out of bed in the morning, jump and click your heels together, and tackle the day; being able to not just see your grandkids hit a home run but actually be out on the baseball field throwing the ball around with them; being able to have sex, climb mountains, do triathlons, lift weights and experience life’s adventures in your 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and beyond.

In other words, it’s not just about quantity of years, but also the quality of those years. That’s what I’m trying to teach you with posts like this. So, that being said, let’s dive into Part 2, shall we? 


Step 4: Eat A Big Ass Smoothie (Or Some Kind Of Biohacked Cocktail)

In the past, I’ve recorded some very interesting podcasts with folks such as Darin Olien and Shawn Stevenson, in which we discuss specific foods and compounds that can increase one’s own stem cell health and support endogenous production or proliferation of stem cells. 

Since I’m a big fan of the shotgun approach (AKA, take everything that’s been proven to be good for something and simply shoving it all into my gaping maw at once), I dump quite a few such nutrients into my morning smoothie, including:

Pau D’ Arco bark tea blended with turmeric and sunflower lecithin as a smoothie “base” (read details here)

Colostrum, consumed in capsule form or broken open and dumped into a smoothie

Curcumin, found in both my morning multivitamin and also added to the bark tea mentioned above

Marine phytoplankton, added as a whole dropperful into the smoothie

100% aloe vera juice, added as a shot to the smoothie

Coffeeberry fruit extract, added as a whole dropperful into the smoothie

Moringa, added as a heaping tablespoon to the smoothie

Typically, I’ll blend the concoction above with about 20g of a good, clean protein powder along with a big Theodore Roosevelt sized mug of ice and a dropperful of organic stevia, and then, once blended, I top with crunchy goodies such as organic unsweetened coconut flakesspirulina or chlorella tabletscacao nibs or organic frozen blueberries – all of which (except the coconut flakes perhaps) also confer good longevity-enhancing properties.

Finally, it should be noted that although my morning smoothies are hefty, voluminous, and push 800+ calories, I’m only consuming them after having fasted for the previous 12-16 hours (e.g. if I finish dinner at 8pm, the approximate time I’d eat breakfast would be about 10am), and during that fasted window, I’m typically performing some kind of easy morning workout, along with a cold soak or a cold shower. Once I drink this smoothie, I don’t eat anything at all again for the next 4-6 hours.


Step 5: Don’t Work Like A Normal Person

I’m often asked how I get anything productive done when I’m “biohacking” all day long. After all, how can one churn out an article like the one you’re reading when they’re splayed out on the cold bathroom floor with a coffee enema up their butt?

In reality, the majority of the self-improvement techniques I use are simply things I’m incorporating passively while I work. Allow me to paint a picture for you to show you what I mean. As I type this article…

…my desktop essential oil diffuser is diffusing rosemary essential oil for cognition and memory…

…behind me is an infrared JOOVV light panel for promoting collagen and skin health, along with testosterone and nitric oxide production…

…on my head is a Vielight photobiomodulation device for enhancing alpha brain wave production and increasing mitochondrial activity in neural tissue…

…I’m sitting on a Salli saddle chair to keep my pelvic bones in alignment, but I’ll switch frequently through the workday (about every 20 minutes) to a FluidStance balance board, a Topo Mat, a TruForm treadmill and a Mogo stool

…I’m blasting the air I’m breathing with a NanoVi Eng3, which enhances DNA repair and good reactive oxygen species production…

…my overhead lights during the day blast me with blue light via the Lighting Science Awake & Alert Bulbs, and then switch to a RubyLux red bulb for the evening work…

…I have a Flexpulse PEMF device that I move around my body throughout the day as I’m working to hit any sore spots or injured areas…

…I’m sipping throughout the day on mushroom tea blendsgreen tea polyphenolsexogenous ketones and essential amino acids – all calorie-free ways to mimic calorie restriction, increase muscle repair and protein synthesis, and increase cognition…

…and most importantly, none of what you’ve just read takes me any additional workday time to implement. I walk into my office, hit a few switches, and jump into 4-5 hours of deep work with all this stuff working on my body while all I do is simply focus on working.

In other words, figure out how to hack your environment to sustain movement and “making your body better” throughout the workday, but figure out how to do it in a way that still allows you to be a productive member of society. You’ve just discovered how I do just that.


Step 6: Eat A Big Ass Salad

I’m a firm believer that about the maximum amount of deep, focused work that one can do on a daily basis is about 4-6 hours (read Cal Newport’s book “Deep Work” to learn more about this idea). Based on this, after I’ve finished my morning smoothie around 9:30 or 10 am, I often don’t emerge from my office to eat lunch until 2 or 3 pm.

My entire lunch – and frankly, every meal I eat each day – is highly focused on the concept of…

…”glycemic variability.”

In a nutshell, as you can see in the article, “Glycemic Variability: How Do We Measure It and Why Is It Important?“,glycemic variability (also known as “GV”) refers to blood glucose oscillations that occur throughout the day, including hypoglycemic periods and postprandial (after a meal) increases, as well as blood glucose fluctuations that occur at the same time on different days. According to the article I referred to above “the broad definition of GV considers the intraday glycemic excursions, including episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia”.

Now, if you find white lab coats sexy, science makes you salivate, and you know your biochemistry cycles back-and-forth, you may want to get into the nitty-gritty science of glycemic variability in this fantastic podcast by my friends from NourishBalanceThrive.

But in plain speak, glycemic variability basically refers to how much your blood sugar bounces around at any given point in your life. And when it comes to your health, it is, in my opinion, a more important variable to consider than cholesterol, vitamin D, minerals, telomere length, cortisol, testosterone or just about any biomarker one could ever measure (except, perhaps, inflammation, which I would rank right up there with glycemic variability).

This is why, in a food presentation I gave last month in New York City, entitled “A Biohacking Adventure: 7 Culinary Tactics For Enhancing Health & Longevity“, I began by tackling the concept of glycemic variability, and discussing a host of tactics to keeping blood sugar fluctuations at bay, including chewing your food 25-40 times, carb backloading, the pre-meal use of digestifs and bitters, two teaspoons of ceylon cinnamon each day, bitter melon extract , organic apple cider vinegar shots, fish oil, pre and/or post-meal physical activity and much more.

Based on this concept of glycemic variability, and also based on the concept that to reduce decision making fatigue and to reduce dietary variation (e.g. not knowing how many damn calories you’re eating because your meals fluctuate so much) my lunch is just about the same thing every day, this is what my midday meal looks like:

I add a handful of wild plants or organic produce, such as arugula, nettle, spinach, thyme, cilantro, parsley, etc. to a large bowl. Over the plants, I put Japanese shirataki noodles (they’re zero calories and zero carbohydrates) that I have sauteed – along with one can of sardines – in fennel seeds, olive oilsea salt, black pepper, cayenne and turmeric. I then top with a handful of walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, almonds or any other “healthy” nut and a squeeze of half a lemon. I then eat the entire salad wrapped like a burrito in a nori seaweed wrap. The size of my salad typically necessitates two seaweed wraps, and thus my lunch is basically two big-ass salad-sardine burritos. And that’s lunch, folks. I can make it in 10 minutes flat, it tastes amazing, and if you haven’t yet tried this salad method, you are, in my opinion, missing out on a crucial component of your culinary existence.


Step 7: Nap Like A Princess

Lunch now gently settled in my stomach and my blood glucose well-stabilized, it is now time for my daily nap. Not only do I sleep 7-8 hours each night, but nearly every day of the week, I inject my body with an enormous “second surge” of energy by passing out in bed for an afternoon 20-45 minute siesta.

But – and you probably saw this coming – in the same way that I do not work like a normal person or eat like a normal person, I do not nap like a normal person. Here is my patented 3-step napping sequence, which allows me to blast my body with infrared rays, negative ions, artificial intelligence relaxation sounds and pulsated compression therapy, all while asleep.

Step 1: turn on Biomat. This bad boy produces deep-penetrating, far infrared rays along with negative ions that act on the cell membranes to restore a proper electrochemical gradient. It’s basically like snuggling up with a warm, highly scientific teddy bear.

Step 2: slip into Normatec boots. Designed by a NASA engineer, these boots use pulsated compression to pump blood from my toes all the way up to my heart, making my legs feel light as a feather when I get up from my nap.

Step 3: turn on my Brain.FM app with Sony noise-blocking headphones. This app, which has settings for creativity, focus, and relaxation, uses a sequenced series of sounds to lull my body out of work mode and into sleep mode, and has settings for a 15, 30 or 45 minute power nap.

And that’s it. Yes, I will admit: that is one damn spendy nap. But it is oh-so-glorious to wake up with a head as clear as a bell – ready to conquer my workout and crush the rest of the day, instead of spending the latter half of my day tired and demotivated with a slight haze of brain fog.


Step 8: Do A Weird Workout

Based on your built-in chronobiology, it’s in the afternoon when your body temperature peaks, your post-workout protein synthesis peaks, your reaction time peaks and your ability to handle a difficult workout session peaks – making the latter half of the day a perfect time to throw down a difficult workout. This is far superior to working out hard in the morning, when your body already has produced a natural surge of cortisol and when you’re far more likely to engage in post-workout compensatory eating and justifying sitting on your ass during the workday because you crushed a 5 am WOD.

So what do I mean by “weird workout”?

While I can often be found running through the outside forest, climbing ropes, hauling sandbags, carrying rocks and flipping tires, if my time is limited or I’m in an intensive season of writing, working or building Kion, I will definitely use specific biohacks to enhance the efficiency of my workout and squeeze a huge amount of fitness-building into a very short period of time.

For example, a typical afternoon workout for me would involve:

-15 minutes of hypoxic/hyperoxic training on my bicycle, which is set up next to a LiveO2 unit that allows me to switch between hypoxia (low oxygen) and hyperoxia (high oxygen) as I work through a series of short, explosive sprints. This exposes my body to the mitochondrial building equivalent of spending an entire 24 hours in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber or going on a 3-hour bike ride, but squeezes it all into a brief 15 minute window.

-15 minutes “single-set-to-failure” training. I’ll then move on to perform 60-90 seconds of an isometric contraction to complete failure by using a special force plate called a “PeakFitPro“, which pairs to my phone and allows me to completely exhaust a muscle group during one single, difficult set. A typical workout would include benchpress, pulldown, overhead press, deadlift and squat. Doug McGuff’s book Body By Science does a good job explaining how this approach develops both cardiovascular fitness and strength simultaneously, while resulting in a very large surge of post-workout growth hormone (which is enhanced even more by the fact that I do not eat anything for 2-3 hours following my afternoon workout). 

-15 minutes infrared sauna. To boost red blood cell production and nitric oxide production, and to further enhance cardiovascular adaptations to the workout above, I’ll finish things off with a sweat and several ELDOA and Core Foundation moves in a full spectrum infrared sauna

You do the math. That’s 45 minutes total. If you complete a workout like this 2-3x/week, you are using better living through science and fun, cool tools to gain big breakthroughs in fitness in a relatively short period of time. When combined with an active workday in which I take frequent breaks for movements such as kettlebell swings, hex bar deadlifts, burpees and jumping jacks, I can keep myself in very, very good shape with just 3-4 hours per week of formal training using the scenario I’ve just described.

Of course, I understand that a LiveO2 system, a PeakFitPro and a Clearlight infrared sauna cost a chunk of change. But look at it this way: if you’re biohacking on a budget, you can simulate these type of workouts with less expensive equipment. For example, try 10 rounds of a 30-second sprint with a TrainingMask on, followed by a 30-second recovery with the mask off. Then move on to a super slow 60 seconds up, 60 seconds down repeat of pushup, pullup, overhead press, deadlift and squat. Finish up with an extremely hot soak in a hot tub, a dry sauna or a steam room at the gym. Voila!


Step 9: Be With People & Learn Stuff

I’ve always taught my twin boys that love is the greatest emotion you can have in your life. Heck, love is the greatest emotion in the universe. In the book “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest“, you can read about how love in relationships, love in families, being loved, feeling love and giving love is one of the biggest keys to happiness and longevity.

On the flipside, the mortality risk for people who find themselves socially isolated is just about equal to that caused by obesity and physical inactivity. Having close relationships actually increases your lifespan at a rate equal to that of quitting smoking (a Dr. James House at the University of Michigan has discovered the chance of dying over a period of 10 years increases by 10% for people who live alone or have only a few friends compared to people surrounded by friends and family). Dr. John Cacioppo from the University of Chicago and Dr. Steve Cole from UCLA have also  researched the effects of loneliness on health, and shown that people who are socially isolated possess weaker immune systems and have  higher rates of cancer, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes than people with more social connections, along with increased levels of inflammation, higher blood pressure, and higher heart rate.

This is why, as evening approaches, we place such an enormous value on hanging out as a family, eating dinner together, sharing our gratitude journals, gathering with friends, playing music, singing, sitting in the sauna and hot tub and (my personal favorite) playing Exploding Kittens and Bears vs. Babies.

The evening is also a time I often reserve to learn new stuff and “make smoke come out my ears”. Why? It’s just another longevity tactic. See, for a long time, it was believed that as we age, the connections in our brain become fixed. But research has since shown that the brain never stops changing through learning. Neuroplasticity is the name given to this capacity of the brain to change with learning, literally by forming new neuronal connections and altering the internal structure of the existing synapses in the brain.

Take London taxi drivers, for example. They possess a larger posterior hippocampus than London bus drivers. This is because this specific region of the brain specializes in acquiring and using complex spatial information in order to navigate efficiently. Taxi drivers have to navigate around London while bus drivers follow a limited set of routes. No…I’m not cruising a taxi around town at night with my family. Instead, I’m a fan of relaxing but challenging activities that have been proven to induce neuroplasticity such as delving into a new language, reading a challenging book, or playing guitar and ukulele.

I’d be remiss not to mention the fact that the evening is also the time when – after restricting carbohydrates the entire day – I eat carbohydrates ad libitum (that means “as much as I feel like” for those of you who don’t fancy Latin) from healthy starches and sirtuin-rich foods that promote longevity. This means that I typically eat about 100-200g of carbs from sources such as sweet potato, yam, taro, slow-fermented sourdough bread, berries, soaked and rinsed quinoa, amaranth, millet, etc. – along with a touch of dark chocolate and red wine. This is always preceded by a couple capsules of Kion Lean to shove that glucose into muscle and liver tissue more easily. If you really want to wrap your head better around why I do these carb evening “refeeds”, then check out the carb backloading program by my friend John Kiefer.

As for the wine? I do indeed have a specific timing sequence for any alcohol I drink at night. Here’s a separate article I wrote that spells it out.


Step 10: Sleep Like A Ninja

My sleep is amazing. I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but after years of struggling with insomnia and poor sleep cycles or lack of deep sleep, I really have cracked the code on getting a good night’s rest. My friend and Kion Certified Coach Alex Fergus has written an excellent post at “How To Improve Sleep: 25+ Experts Share Their Helpful Tips” that is jam-packed with plenty of amazing sleep hacks, but currently, my biggest wins are as follows:

Sleepstream app to play relaxing sounds and binaural beats while I sleep. I prefer to set it on the white noise-ish setting of “Sleepstream Noise” and use the “deep sleep” setting for the binaural beats. 

Chilipad. I set mine at 55 degrees to keep my core temperature low during the evening.

Lavender essential oil. Similar to how I diffuse rosemary, peppermint or cinnamon in my office to keep me awake and alert, I diffuse lavender (or occasionally chamomile, rose or bergamot) at the bedside to enhance relaxation.

Wraparound sleep mask. You need something luxurious that will block out all light – not the free, crappy sleep mask you received on your last international airline flight.

Blue light blocking glasses. A must for any evening screen-viewing activities, and for a bonus, pair this with Iris installed on your computer and this nifty phone red light trick.

-Low blue lights in the bedroom. I prefer the “biological LED” sleepytime bulbs created by the company “Lighting Science”.

-PEMF via the FlexpulseDeltaSleeper and/or Earthpulse. I have a few different Pulsed Electromagnetic Field devices and each acts somewhat similarly by simulating the natural electromagnetic frequencies the planet earth produces to enhance deep sleep. 

CBD. I take about 40mg before bed.

Sleep remedy. I take one packet before bed (with the CBD) then another packet if I wake up during the night.

CBD vape pen. I take a few puffs on this if I wake up during the night.

Similar to my office setup, this isn’t as laborious or time-consuming as it appears at first glance. Within 5 minutes I can have all these sleep hacks set up and ready to rumble for a solid night of rest and recovery.


Summary

So that’s it!

You can click here to go check out Part 1 if you missed it.

You can click here to get your own telomeres analyzed with Teloyears.

You can click here to see 10 of the other best ways to see how fast you’re aging and what you can do about it.

And sure…I know things can get confusing because as a self-experimenting immersive journalist and author I certainly try new supplements, tools, gear, technology and biohacks for many of the health and longevity enhancing goals you’ve just finished reading about. So yes, this means my “routine” two years from now may be markedly different than what you’ve just discovered, but my promise to you is that I will continue to keep you informed of all the new tactics I discover, implement and find success with so that I can tell you what works best, what doesn’t work at all, and what simply gives you explosive diarrhea, a pounding headache, strange smelling sweat and odd skin growths. Fair enough?

And finally, if you have questions, thoughts or feedback for me about any of the ten steps you’ve just discovered, simply leave your comments below and I will reply! Thanks for reading.

 

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

37 THOUGHTS ON “PART 2 OF 2: MY TOP 10 STEPS TO BIOHACK LONGEVITY (& HOW TO GET MANY, MANY WEIRD LOOKS FROM YOUR NEIGHBORS)”

  1. Trisha says:

    Do you still recommend honey (with coconut oil and sea salt) before bed to promote sleep? Would that interrupt the fast that began when you finished dinner? Does having a tiny shot of glucose help your brain “clean house” while you are asleep?

    1. Yes, it would break your fast, but it can still be helpful for sleep… Simply start your fast after consuming your “treat”, and probably best to do so a couple hours before sleep.

      1. Trisha says:

        Thank you for replying so quickly! I have tried what you suggested for the last month or so, and I’m not sure the honey/oil/salt mix is as effective when consumed a few hours before sleep. I’ve read that some people keep this sort of salty sweet fat “treat” mixed up in a jar by their bed to take immediately before sleep, because it is meant to fuel your brain during sleep, not to be burned off by your body by activity in the hours before sleep (not exercise, just movement and tasks). So you have an opinion on this?

  2. My associate just said – Ben is a better version of you! (currently working at my desk with a blue light filter on the computer and kneeling on an air disc). Great post, keep it up

  3. CSue says:

    I did a teloyears in May 2017 and was 4% older than my chronological age. I re-tested in Sept 2018 and was 29% younger than my chronological age! I am now 54 and am 37 in teloyears

    I live a healthy lifestyle, had been taking supplements and exercising, using a sauna, intermittent fasting, eating lchf, always trying to optimize sleep. What I changed between the 2 tests was:

    – started extended fasting (42-120 hours)

    – took NAD+ (nicotinimide riboside) the last 7 months

    – took DHEA the last 7 months

    – started bio-identical estrogen and progesterone around the time of the first test

    – started lifting weights regularly and built muscle

    – used Oura to track sleep (although haven’t really made any progress on improvement)

    1. CSue says:

      I forgot, I also started taking iodine during this time. This has improved my thyroid function and improved my fluoride toxicity.

  4. Attila says:

    Hi Ben. Is there a possibility to have teloyears measurement in Europe?
    Thanks,
    Attila

  5. RangerUp13 says:

    Ben, regarding glycemic variability, what blood glucose range should a healthy, fit, non-diabetic in their 20’s shoot for? Thanks.

 

Affiliate Disclosure

 
Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

June 14, 2018, Listener Q&A Podcast: 386 – The Best Biohacks For Longevity, The Best Biohacks for Libido, and Suppository vs. Vitamins.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, or click the contact link in the footer..

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Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories about his morning, day and evening routine! 

Ben’s Adventures:

-NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar.

– June 15 – 17, 2018: Revitalize Conference, Marana, Arizona. Each year, #mbgrevitalize gathers the world’s most knowledgeable experts and influential thought leaders for discussions on the future of wellness for you. Join me and dozens of other inspiring leaders in the vibrant Sonoran Desert, the perfect home to revitalize. From spiritual sunrises to star-filled evening skies, this is a special place which will touch your soul. I will lead a nature hike during the conference on Sunday, June 17. Register today!

– June 23, 2018: Boise Sprint, Thomas Pence Ranch, Payette, Idaho. Don’t let the beautiful scenery of Idaho fool you, this 3+ mile sprint will prove to be a formidable task for even the most seasoned Spartans. Register today and I will see you there!

– June 28 – July 22, 2018: Mind Valley U, Tallinn, Estonia. Mindvalley U is a month-long transformational event that is designed to create a university style education model for all ages. This will be one of those things you look back on and say: it changed my life. Mind Valley U will be held in Tallinn, Estonia. Tallinn, Estonia has one of the highest number of startups per capita and is one of the most cutting-edge tech nations in the world. Sign up, join me, and transform your life!

– July 19, 2018: Ancestral Health Symposium, Bozeman, Montana. “AHS” is a scientific conference which provides a forum so that learning and qualified discussion on all areas of human health can take place. Most noteworthy, at this conference you will go beyond diet and learn about the latest research across a wide range of topics, all united by an evolutionary perspective. speakers present on topics including diet, movement, sleep, stress, epigenetics, and more. Join me this summer! 

– August 17 – 19, 2018: Colorado Rockies Ultra Beast and Sprint Weekend, Breckenridge, Colorado. The mountain is calling! This is an extra-special Spartan race. Team members from my company, Kion, and I are competing together in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Experience the immense beauty of Colorado while conquering climbs, crawls, carries and traverses. See you there!

– October 5-7, 2018: SPARK BioHacking Conference, Toronto, Ontario. The 2018 SPARK Bio-Hack Conference features a series of talks by leaders across a range of fields with an eye on optimizing human performance, recovery, and longevity. Researchers, medical specialists and other biohacking experts will share provocative, informative, and inspiring presentations meant to invigorate your curiosity about health and amplify your life journey. Registration is now open, secure your spot here.

– October 11 – 14, 2018: 2018 RUNGA California Immersion Retreat. Runga is going to Napa! Join me, my wife, Jessa, Joe DiStefano and a small, intimate group of like-minded individuals for a weekend-long getaway. We’ve rented a beautiful mansion located in one of the most iconic countrysides in America– Napa Valley. We’ve thought of everything that you could possibly need to gently “press the reboot button” on your body and completely tune in to your heart, mind, body, strength, and spirit. Join the waitlist!

– December 2-8, 2018: RUNGA Retreat, Dominican Republic. You’re invited to join me at RUNGA in December 2018. Join me in the Dominican Republic, one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean, for this retreat. In all RUNGA activities, RUNGA invites you to come home to yourself. To see everything you’ll be getting into, just click here. Use code BEN when you register so you get your gift when you arrive! I’ll be there, too. Join the waitlist here.

– June 23 – July 7, 2019: Restorative Detox Retreat with Robyn Openshaw Join us for an immersive experience including total liver detox, and rest and relaxation at the beautiful Paracelsus Clinic al Ronc in the Italian quarter of Switzerland. You will stay on-site and receive diagnostics and treatments from the best doctors of biological medicine to detox your liver and your soul. Plus you’re going to have a wonderful time hiking, sightseeing and enjoying one of the most beautiful places in the world. Get all the info to sign up here!

-View the Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Calendar Here

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——————————————

Listener Q&A

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick.

The Best Biohacks For Longevity [00:38:29]

Ian says:  I am wondering where a good place to start would be when I start purchasing some biohacking devices for longevity. I only have a few thousand dollars kicking around that I want to invest in these devices so if you could point me in the right direction of where to start, I would appreciate it. I am looking forward to purchasing some of your Kion Coffee.

In my response, I recommend:

-Ancestral Living vs. Modern Biohacking presentation at this year’s AHS (see calendar above!)
Neubie – alternative: Compex or MarcPro
PowerPlate vibration platform – alternative: mini-trampoline rebounder
Cold pool – alternative: Luke Storey’s freezer hack
NanoVi – alternative: essential oil air diffuser with rosemary
LiveO2 – alternative: TrainingMask – (use code GREEN1 for 20% discount)
JOOVV – alternative: a good fence in your backyard for sun bathing
Vielight – alternative: RadioLab 9 volt battery episode
Infrared Sauna – alternative: a sauna suit + a Biomat
-PEMF – PulseCenters – alternative: FlexPulse
Chilipad – alternative: cool mist humidifier
Water and Wellness

The Best Biohacks For Libido [01:06:17]

Joshua says:  Question about all the experimenting you have done on your penis. I have not been sexually active for about six years and am getting married in a few months. I am interested in doing one of the experiments that you have done to have better sexual performance. I know they are costly, so do you have a suggestion as to which one gives you the best “bang for your buck” – no pun intended. I don’t think I have any problems, I am just looking for heightened performance.

In my response, I recommend:

-Level 1: JOOVV
-Level 2: GainsWAVE
-Level 3: Exosomes + PRP (the video of Part II of my surgery with Dr. Amy Killan)

BUT first address the following:

-Zinc (recommend black ant extract)
-Vitamin D (recommend Thorne D/K)
-Creatine (recommend Thorne Creapure)
-Nitric oxide (recommended photobiomodulation with sunlight/JOOVV/Vielight)
Multiorgasmic Male book

My testosterone articles on how to biohack testosterone:

Could Lance Armstrong Have Increased His Testosterone Levels Without Cheating?
How Testosterone & Hormone Injections Work (Along With Growth Hormone, Peptides, SARMs, PRP & Much More!)
-Biohacking Your Manhood: The Proven Habits, Foods, Exercises, Workouts, Nutrients & Tools That Boost Testosterone & Drive.
-How Low Testosterone Can Destroy Your Heart And What You Can Do About It.
-The Ultimate Guide To Biohacking Your Testosterone: 17 Ways To Maximize Muscle-Building, Drive & Anti-Aging.
-Doubling Your Testosterone Levels, Tactics From The World Of Speed Golf, Primal Endurance & More With Brad Kearns!
#312: How To Increase Testosterone And Decrease Estrogen, Meditation To Replace Sleep, The New Gluten Study And More!
2018 January Men’s Health magazine
OneTaste

Suppository vs. Vitamins [00:00:00]

Thomas says:  As biohackers, why aren’t we taking advantage of the higher absorption rate of suppositories? I would rather stick something up my butt than swallow dozens of pills every day. Maybe that is just me? Plus there is the DIY factor.

In my response, I recommend:
Glytamins

Prior to asking your question, do a search in the upper right-hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!

If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works.
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, but females also have small amounts of it.

It is a steroid hormone, produced in men’s testicles and women’s ovaries (1Trusted Source).

The adrenal glands also produce small amounts.

During puberty in boys, testosterone is one of the main drivers of physical changes like increased muscle, deeper voice and hair growth.

However, having optimal levels is also important throughout adulthood and even during old age.

In adults, healthy levels are important for general health, disease risk, body composition, sexual function and just about everything else (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

Additionally, increasing your testosterone levels can cause rapid gains in muscle mass and vitality in only a matter of weeks (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

Interestingly, it also plays an important role in female health and sexual well-being (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

The research is pretty conclusive: both genders should ensure they have healthy levels of testosterone, especially as they age (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

Here are 8 evidence-based ways to increase testosterone levels naturally.

1. Exercise and Lift Weights
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent many lifestyle-related diseases. Interestingly, it can also boost your testosterone.

A large review study found that people who exercised regularly had higher testosterone levels. In the elderly, exercise increases testosterone levels, fitness and reaction time (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

New research in obese men suggests that increased physical activity was even more beneficial than a weight loss diet for increasing testosterone levels (17Trusted Source).

Resistance training, such as weight lifting, is the best type of exercise to boost testosterone in both the short- and long-term (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also be very effective, although all types of exercise should work to some extent (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).

Taking caffeine and creatine monohydrate as supplements may further boost your levels when combined with a training program (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).

BOTTOM LINE:
All forms of exercise may increase your testosterone levels. Weight lifting and high-intensity interval training are the most effective.
2. Eat Protein, Fat and Carbs
What you eat has a major impact on testosterone as well as other hormone levels (25Trusted Source).

Therefore, you must pay attention to your long-term calorie intake and diet strategy.

Constant dieting or overeating may disrupt your testosterone levels (26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source).

Eating enough protein can help maintain healthy levels and aid in fat loss, which is also associated with your testosterone (28Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).

Carb intake also plays a role, with research showing carbs can help optimize testosterone levels during resistance training (22Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).

However, research demonstrates that sufficient healthy fats are also beneficial for testosterone and health (25Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).

A diet based mainly on whole foods is best, with a healthy balance of fat, protein and carbs. This can optimize both hormone levels and long-term health.

BOTTOM LINE:
Don’t overeat and don’t restrict calories too much for too long. Try to eat balanced amounts of carbs, fat and protein.

3. Minimize Stress and Cortisol Levels
Research is always highlighting the dangers of long-term stress, which can elevate levels of the hormone cortisol (38Trusted Source, 39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source).

Unnatural elevations in cortisol can quickly reduce testosterone. These hormones work in a seesaw-like manner: as one goes up, the other comes down (40Trusted Source, 41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).

Stress and high cortisol can also increase food intake, weight gain and the storage of harmful body fat around your organs. In turn, these changes may negatively impact your testosterone levels (43Trusted Source, 44Trusted Source, 45Trusted Source).

For both optimal health and hormone levels, you should try to reduce repetitive stressful situations in your life.

Focus on a diet based on whole foods, regular exercise, good sleep, laughter and a balanced lifestyle, all of which can reduce stress and improve your health and testosterone levels (46Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source, 48Trusted Source, 49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source).

BOTTOM LINE:
High levels of stress are bad for your long-term health and can reduce your testosterone levels.
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4. Get Some Sun or Take a Vitamin D Supplement
Vitamin D is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular vitamins.

Research has shown that it has various health benefits, and may also work as a natural testosterone booster (51Trusted Source, 52Trusted Source, 53Trusted Source, 54Trusted Source, 55Trusted Source).

Despite its importance, nearly half of the US population is deficient in vitamin D, and an even higher percentage has sub-optimal levels (56Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source).

A 12-month study found that supplementing with around 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day increased testosterone levels by around 25% (54Trusted Source).

In the elderly, vitamin D and calcium also optimized testosterone levels, which led to a reduced risk of falling (58Trusted Source).

To boost testosterone and reap the other benefits of vitamin D, try to get regular exposure to sunlight or take around 3,000 IU of a vitamin D3 supplement daily.

If you’d like to try supplements, Amazon has a good selection available.

More information on vitamin D here: Vitamin D 101 — A Detailed Beginner’s Guide.

BOTTOM LINE:
Vitamin D3 supplements may boost testosterone levels, especially in the elderly and people who have low blood levels of vitamin D.
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5. Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Although the benefits of multivitamins are hotly debated, specific vitamins and minerals may be beneficial (59Trusted Source).

In one study, zinc and vitamin B supplements increased sperm quality by 74%. Zinc also boosts testosterone in athletes and those who are deficient in zinc (60Trusted Source, 61Trusted Source, 62Trusted Source).

Other studies also suggest vitamins A, C and E can play a role in your sex hormone and testosterone levels, although more research is needed (25Trusted Source, 63Trusted Source, 64Trusted Source, 65Trusted Source).

Out of all the vitamins and minerals available, the research on testosterone shows vitamin D and zinc supplements may be best (54Trusted Source, 66Trusted Source, 67Trusted Source).

BOTTOM LINE:
Vitamin D and zinc have the strongest evidence as testosterone boosters. Other micronutrients may also have benefits, but require further research.

6. Get Plenty of Restful, High-Quality Sleep
Getting good sleep is just as important for your health as diet and exercise (68Trusted Source, 69Trusted Source, 70Trusted Source, 71Trusted Source, 72Trusted Source, 73Trusted Source).

It may also have major effects on your testosterone levels.

The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but one study found that sleeping only 5 hours per night was linked to a 15% reduction in testosterone levels (73Trusted Source).

One long-term study observed that those who slept only four hours per night had borderline deficient levels (46Trusted Source).

Other long-term studies support this. One study calculated that for every additional hour of sleep you get, testosterone levels rise 15% higher, on average (74Trusted Source, 75Trusted Source).

Although some people seem to do fine with less sleep, research suggests around 7–10 hours of sleep per night is best for long-term health and your testosterone.

BOTTOM LINE:
Make sure you get plenty of high-quality sleep to maintain healthy testosterone levels and optimize your long-term health.
7. Take Some of These Natural Testosterone Boosters
Only a few natural testosterone boosters are supported by scientific studies.

The herb with the most research behind it is called ashwagandha.

One study tested the effects of this herb on infertile men and found a 17% increase in testosterone levels and a 167% increase in sperm count (76Trusted Source).

In healthy men, ashwagandha increased levels by 15%. Another study found it lowered cortisol by around 25%, which may also aid testosterone (77Trusted Source, 78Trusted Source).

Ginger extract may also boost your levels. It is a delicious herb that also provides various other health benefits (79Trusted Source, 80Trusted Source, 81Trusted Source, 82Trusted Source, 83Trusted Source).

Most of the research on ginger has been done in animals. However, one study in infertile humans found that ginger can boost testosterone levels by 17% and increase levels of other key sex hormones (80Trusted Source, 84).

Other popular herbs that are supported by some studies in both animals and humans include horny goat weed, Mucuna pruriens, shilajit and tongkat ali.

Yet it’s important to note that most of the positive research has been conducted in mice or infertile humans with low testosterone levels.

If you have healthy testosterone function and normal levels, it is unclear whether you will benefit much from these supplements.

BOTTOM LINE:
Several herbal supplements are a natural way to boost testosterone for those with infertility or low levels.
8. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle and Avoid Estrogen-like Compounds
There are several other factors that may affect your hormone levels.

A healthy sex life plays an important role in regulating your sex hormone and testosterone levels (85Trusted Source, 86Trusted Source).

High exposure to estrogen-like chemicals may also affect your levels, so try to minimize daily exposure to BPA, parabens and other chemicals found in some types of plastic (86Trusted Source, 87Trusted Source, 88Trusted Source, 89Trusted Source).

It’s probably no surprise that excess alcohol or drug use, whether it’s medical or recreational, can also decrease testosterone levels (90Trusted Source, 91Trusted Source, 92Trusted Source, 93Trusted Source, 94Trusted Source, 95Trusted Source).

In contrast, laughter, happiness and success may help boost your health and testosterone levels — so make sure they’re a part of your daily life (96Trusted Source, 97Trusted Source, 98Trusted Source, 99Trusted Source).

BOTTOM LINE:
Reducing exposure to estrogen-like chemicals, alcohol and drugs can positively affect your testosterone levels and health.
Why Do Testosterone Levels Matter?
From the age of 25–30, a man’s testosterone levels naturally start to decline.

This is a problem because strong research shows a link between low testosterone and obesity, increased disease risk and premature death.

Healthy testosterone levels are also important for women, along with other key hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

Therefore, everyone should take the necessary lifestyle steps to optimize testosterone levels. You will improve your health and body at the same time.

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