Supplement Goals Reference Guide – A Review

Being the frugal person that I am, it usually takes me some time to come to the decision of actually buying something. I also talked about this in my review of the Paperwhite Kindle from Amazon. I thought and thought about it, but when I finally pulled the trigger, I realized I should have bought the thing months earlier.

Today, I am in the same kind of situation, as I have finally bought an item, which I have had my eyes on for a very long time – The Supplement Goals Reference Guide by Examine.com.

This is a genius guide, that contains a mountain of information about every health supplement you can think of. It is a gigantic PDF file, that is still really easy to navigate via the inserted hyperlinks. If you are looking for a great place to get your supplements then check out iHerb there is also a coupon for iHerb so you can try it for a cheaper price. I always recommend their supplements.

One thing you can do with it – which you can also do for free on the company’s website – is look up almost all supplements in the world, and quickly learn what they can and cannot do for you.

But what this guide further does, is tell you which supplements to take, if you want to accomplish a specific “goal” – hence the name. This is the main value proposition. It means you can look for enhancements in everything from brain function, lean muscle mass, acne, constipation and a ton of others, and find the supplements with the most scientific backing to help.

The guide is made by the independent analysis bureau Examine.com, who pride themselves in being impartial and non-biased. I think it is fair to say, that they don’t have an incentive to be neither overoptimistic nor pessimistic about certain supplements, taking their business model into consideration, so in most cases, you should be able to trust their advice.

Let me give you an example of how the guide works.

Let’s say I have trouble sleeping at night, and I would like to find a supplement that might help.

I would open up my guide, and find the Health Goals section, and look for Sleep Quality:

Health goals reference guide - review

By clicking the link, I am instantly taken to the Sleep Quality section, where I will quickly learn, that with a “B level of evidence”, Melatonin and Ginkgo Biloba might be what I am looking for while Valerian root may show ineffective.

Examine Health Goal guide review

(I always thought that Valerian root had a positive effect on sleep! If I were to investigate this claim further, I could click on the “4 studies” link, and see how they came to the conclusion)

As you can see, this guide is neat, as it quickly will specify what you can do to solve a certain problem. Furthermore, it makes the available research much more accessible and easy to find, by referring to the included studies. I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent on Pubmed, searching for the basic benefits of a certain supplement. Those days are over now that someone has organized 4,000 studies for me in this manner.

As you can tell, I am pretty positively bend towards this product, and I strongly recommend it to all the health nerds, personal trainers and the other fanatics out there.

It is a fairly cheap investment, that you will probably find use from in the years to come. I say this, because Examine.com promises lifetime access to all updated versions of the guide, as new research comes out.

Thank you for reading!

[Review] The Wim Hof IPhone App

Wim Hof is all over the internet these days. He has been on all of my favorite podcasts recently (Joe Rogan, Tim Ferriss, Ben Greenfield and so on), which has made me really interested in the guy. Mainly because he is such an interesting and funny character. He is super charismatic, and you can’t help but feeling uplifted, when you hear him speak,

If you don’t know him, and haven’t seen it yet, you should watch the Vice documentary on The Iceman right now.

So I got really excited about his philosophy and wanted to learn more about his methods. I therefore, decided to download his iPhone app , and thereby get some of his teachings. And in this post, I would like to tell you, what I think of it.

In short, about the app: It is the worst app, I have ever not regretted buying! (?)

The app is just a collection of short videos, that might as well could have been released on YouTube. Of course, with the app, Wim gets to earn a little extra – which I don’t hate.

What I am saying is, a smartphone app really isn’t the best format for this material.

And there is really only 1 video in the app, that I’ve had real use of – the video that explains “The Wim Hof Method” – his special breathing technique. The rest of the videos are basically just him stretching and talking in an uplifting fashion (which I love listening to BTW).

The Wim Hof Breathing Technique

I will shortly explain how this works, as this was my biggest takeaway from the app. If you understand this concept, I don’t think you need to purchase the app, unless you just want to hear the charismatic man talk.

The breathing exercise works like this:

– You do 30-40 big, full inhales and releasing exhales in a row. That means you breath all the way in, and only release and let go without breathing all the way out again. The idea is to get more air in than out. This should increase oxygen levels in your body.

– When you do your last breath and breath out, you will notice, that you are able to hold your breath without any oxygen in the lungs for much longer than normal.

– You hold it for as long as you can, and then take one big in-breath again, hold for 10-15 seconds, release again, and see how long you can hold it, without any oxygen one more time.

– This is 1 full repetition. And you can do it 1,2,3,4 time – as many as you like.

What this exactly does for you, is a little hard to understand from just listening to Wim. It, for sure, has something to do with “the nervous system” and “the deep physiology” – both phrases he uses a lot! 🙂

I can tell you from my own experience, that the exercise gives me great energy, and I am better able to stand and stay in my cold showers when I do this alongside.

Unfortunately, Wim is often a little unspecific, which makes it hard to understand, what he is really “selling”.

My verdict on the app: Don’t buy it. It is very mediocre at best, and it contains very little useful material.

On the other hand, if you just love Wim’s personality, and you want to support him, and get more content from him, the app is a way to do that.

Hacking full time job fatigue

This is a feeling you might know, if you work a full time job:

Day in and day out, you dream about one day getting free – maybe by starting your own business. You have tons of ideas, you could start working on today, but it is really hard finding the time and, most importantly, the energy to do something, when you get home from work.

When the 8 – 10 hours of work are over, you feel beat, and just want to go home, turn off your brain and not think about anything that’s remotely demanding.

I certainly feel like that many days of the week.

It is terrible, because I constantly tell myself I will get out of the pay-check nightmare soon enough, but how is that going to happen, if I am not able to move forward outside of my normal job? Fortunately, I also have some days of my week, where I do feel capable of going home, and getting something done.

Some months ago, I therefore decided to find out, what it exactly is, I do right on those days where I have enough energy. That way, I could replicate it and maximize my productivity outside of work.

So I initiated this grant self experiment.

 

First

I determined, how I was going to measure this.

I decided to ask myself every day, when I was done with work: “On a scale from 1 to 10, how likely are you to go home and read a book, provided you don’t have anything else to do?”.

I thought that would tell me something about, how mentally fresh I felt.

Every day, this number between 1 to 10, was recorded in an excel sheet.

I ended up calling this measurement my “Level of Mental Clarity” or LMC, and this was what I wanted to hack. (It would be the “Y” in my graphs -> the thing that goes up or down, depending on “X”)

 

Then

I thought really hard about, which factors might be influencing my LMC?

“Which Xs might be involved in making my “Y” (LMC) go up or down?”

I came up the following list of things I decided to track as well:

  • Sleep
  • Hours of standing at work, as opposed to sitting
  • Smart drugs taken,
  • Tea/Coffee consumption in the afternoon
  • Other relevant nutritional supplements

I recorded all this data for 30 days, and underneath are some of the few lessons I learned. The experiment was extremely simple, and it didn’t cost me anything. You can therefore just as easily make a similar experiment yourself, and find out what keeps your energy levels up all day.

 

Lesson #1 Mondays suck

Different levels of energy on different weekdays

The first correlation I was able to make, after collecting all the data, was between weekdays and LMC. I calculated my average LMC level for each day in the week, and found that I hate mondays, just as much as Garfield. I tend to lighten up again and accept the fact, that the week has started on tuesdays, and then I slowly decline from there.

This is actually valuable information to me. Now I know, I should always book important appointments after work on tuesdays, and stay away from booking anything on mondays and fridays in the future.

 

Lesson #2 Sleep = very important

Level og mental energy and sleep

Just like you would expect: there seems to be a correlation between how well I sleep during the night, and how fresh I feel mentally in the afternoon.

All of the blue dots are data points, and the black line is the tendency line, that indicates there is a positive correlation.

I often times get up really early in the morning to have more productive hours, but that doesn’t really help, if it wrecks my whole day.

 

Lesson #3 Stand up at work (& plan your self experiment)

Getting energy from standing

Here is a valuable lesson I learned from doing this experiment: always make a detailed plan for your self experiment. Let me explain.

In the beginning of this experiment, I simply thought I could record, how many hours I was standing up during a particular work day, and then correlate it to my LMC later.

But there is a major problem with me just standing up, however much I feel like on any given day. This is because, I was probably standing up more on the days where I felt fresher anyway. That means, me standing up a lot, could be indicative of me having slept very good the night before.

I found a positive correlation as shown in the graph above, but I am not sure, that tells me much.

What I should have done instead, was to plan, how much I was going to stand each day, so I could see, if I would be able to manipulate the LMC with more or less standing.

 

Lesson #4 Supplementing with Q10 may work

Supplementing with Q10 for energy

I started supplementing with Co enzyme Q10 halfway into the experiment. I thought it might be able to enhance my LMC score, as it is a compound involved in the Krep Cycle or creation of energy/ATP in the human body.

The diagram above shows, that there may be a chance that it helped me, but this could also be a mere coincidence or placebo effect. The effect is not profound, and my score could have gotten higher, as a byproduct of me being more aware of all this stuff.

 

Lesson #5 Smart drugs are not a help in the afternoon

Smartdrugs and energy in the afternoon

Here is something I was really looking forward to do, while collecting the data for the experiment: Sorting my LMC column by the highest value

That way, I would be able to see my top 5 days, and then analyse what I exactly did.

 

It is no secret to readers of my blog, that I am a big proponent of smart drugs, and during this experiment, I approximately took something every third day. I took AlphaBRAIN, Ciltep & Bulletproof GABA.

I always take my smart drugs in the morning with the rest of my supplements, but according to the data shown above, it seems like I burn out later in the day because of it. Smart drugs give a nice burst in the morning, but when I am in for a very long day at work, I might be better off not taking them at all. Or at least take, them in the afternoon, so they can help me on my own time.

 

To summarize, here are the five lessons I have learned from doing this experiment:

 

  • It is not optimal for me, to schedule important appointments on mondays and fridays after work.
  • Sleep should be a priority – no surprise there
  • Standing a lot at work is probably a good idea, but so is making a strict plan for a self experiment(!)
  • Supplementing with Co enzyme Q10 might work, but it is not profound
  • Smart drugs should be taken right before a high performance event. They do not enhance focus for hours and hours.

 

 

And that is about it!

Please let me know, if you have any questions about the experiment underneath, and I will gladly provide you with further details.

Thanks for reading guys!

5 recipes for biohacking multitaskers

You may already know, that it isn’t really possible to multitask in the traditional sense.

What people normally understand as true multitasking, will always be rapid switching between tasks, and since it costs you time to switch between tasks, you will never going to be efficient in it.

However, one type of multitasking is possible, and that is when you combine a high-focus task with a low-focus task(s).
An example of this, could be driving your car (high focus), while listening to music (low focus).

Aligned with this way of thinking, I have underneath created 5 multitasking recipes for biohacking, that enables you to boost your health in more than one way at a time, in order to maximize efficiency.
Happy hacking:

1. Do cold thermogenesis and brain training

Cold thermogenesis means to expose your body to cold temperatures, as this results in you having to reheat, which causes a “hormetic stress respons”, less inflammation and an increase in metabolisme.

You can easily do CT by taking a cold shower, but since that makes multitasking difficult, a Cool Fat Burner Vest, may be even more optimal.
By wearing this ice vest, you can also do brain training simultaneously with programs such as Lumosity or Dual-N-Back, in order to enhance your IQ and mental abilities.

You may even find, that you are better able to do your brain training, while being cold. I, a least, have found that being cold gives me a boost.

2. Sleep and learn

It sounds like it almost can’t be true, but a study has actually found, that we can be productive, while sleeping.
At least, in this study it was shown, that students studying the dutch language, was able to score higher in a word recall test, when they had been played back some of the words learned from earlier that day, during sleeping.
So while you get some of the optimized sleep, that I often talk about here on the blog, you can actually also learn something in the meantime.
Let’s say you are learning a new language, and you have been listening, to a language learning podcast earlier that day. When you go to sleep, you can actually rehearse the words, by playing them once again, right when you black out and go to sleep.

However, this method isn’t adviced in periodes of high stress or sleep deprivation, as this might have a reducing effect on your sleep quality.

3. Hang out in a sauna, while stretching and follow a breathing pattern

(I actually came up with the idea for this blog post, while sitting in a sauna today).

Sauna’s are great. They have been shown, to increase metabolisme, cognitive function and recovery, and it is pretty “low focus” to sit in them.

That is why you can easily work on your flexibility/range of motion, while sitting there, and if there is something that goes together with stretching – it is breathing.

Work for example on stretching you hip flexors, by doing the cobra pose, while doing the box breathing pattern – breath in 4 secs, hold 4 secs, breath out 4 secs, hold 4 secs.

4. Do yoga while wearing a training mask

You can do yoga by yourself in order to enhance flexibility/range of motion, state of mind and decrease stress.
But you can actually also add another layer to this, by using the altitude training mask, that is going to allow you to enhance your cardiovascular capabilities, or simultaneously “grow a third lung”, as the manufacturer calls it.

You can even take this method to another level further by doing it in your backyard, while being in the sun.
This is also going to give you the grounding effect from touching the earth, while your skin synthesizes Vitamin D at the same time.

5. Listen to podcast while doing HRV Training and wearing compression gear

I have found, that you can actually do some form of meditation, while, for instance, listening and learning something from podcasts.

With the Emwave2 from the heart math institute, you are able to train your HRV, by getting into a state of coherence (making the light turn green), and thereby de-stressing, and recover.
All you have to do, is focus on your breathing pattern, your heart area, and try to think of stuff you are grateful for, while listening to your favorite podcast.

Furthermore, you can enhance this experience by wearing compression gear, on for example your legs, that is going to increase blood flow to you legs, and enhance recovery after training.

Thanks for reading!

 

Which is best? AlphaBRAIN or CILTEP?

I put up this picture on Instagram some while ago, with the accompanying text saying, that I was going to find out, which one was the best. AlphaBRAIN or CILTEP?

Later on, I was pleasantly surprised, when both the maker of CILTEP (Natural Stacks) and one of my favorite bloggers Ari Meisel asked me on Instagram about the results of my little self experiment – so here is what I found.

Læs mere Which is best? AlphaBRAIN or CILTEP?