Ep5 – Ryan Munsey from Natural Stacks on CILTEP and body biohacking

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welcome to another episode of head first with dr. hill this is your vodcast on
all things brain and I’d lean into it and get some science get some inspiration about what is happening
inside that 3 pounds of jelly sitting on top of your shoulders today’s guest is Ryan Muncie Ryan is a
personal trainer and nutritionist he’s also the chief optimizer at natural stacks and works with a wide variety of
clients including athletes from around the world have them optimize their brains Ryan’s the heads to the optimal performance podcast but actually I was a
guest on not too long ago and he is a two-time best-selling author has two books to nutrition blueprint and abs for
athletes that’s kind of exciting so Ryan wants to tell us a little more about you what you’re doing what you keep your
days busy with as a biohacker yeah so I guess for the longest time or
for as long as I can remember I’ve just been obsessed with a weak human performance whether it’s in the mental
or physical realm and I think anybody who has seen it or experienced that you know it when you see it and it’s almost
a mesmerizing thing and I got to witness it firsthand in college and it’s just
been a pursuit ever since then too you know optimize it for myself but to figure out the
mechanics behind it how do we achieve it how do we get there and how do I help other people do the same thing and it is
evolved over the course of 10 or 12 years I started with weightlifting and
bodybuilding and that became sitting this model moved to New York did that that wasn’t really where I wanted to be
I thought that that would give me a platform I knew I needed some sort of platform for people to listen to me yeah
but it turned out you know that that was a little bit more of a superficial world to live in and I wanted to modeling I
can’t imagine yeah right who would know so I moved back home to Roanoke was a
personal trainer started my gym house of strength in 2012 where house style performance-based training and from
there got really heavily involved in biohacking was listening to Dave Asprey Joe Rosen
and that’s where I was introduced to natural stacks and things just started snowballing with them I knew I wanted to
get out of the gym to be able to help more people on a daily basis and reach a
wider variety of people instead of just the people who lived in Roanoke Virginia sure sure so it’s just kind of
everything timed perfectly got married my wife finished residency she’s a physician animal we knew that we were
going to be moving so we moved to Virginia Beach recently and so she’s internal medicine hospitalist and I get
to be the chief optimizer for natural stacks and so what is that what is the chief optimizer it’s a really cool title
and an uncool question to answer because no two days are the same for me you know right now I’m we’re in LA I’m traveling
out here to get my brain hooked up that pea brain in the cerumen site we’re doing some EEG s looking at you know how
my brain works based basically being a human guinea pig testing all realms of
biohacking and and and performance optimization whether it’s you know
things like heart rate training or heart rate variability whether it’s Fitness related whether
it’s mindfulness or anything that can help us that we can use as a tool I’m
learning it I’m experiencing it you know I get to take advantage of being that curious person by nature mm-hmm we
accumulate that information and then we’re sharing it with our audience and helping as many people as we can put
these tools in their toolbox is about curating information out there as well as producing products yes so with
natural stacks you know our our mission is to provide all of those tools and all
that information you know we do have supplements we do have the things that people can can take on a daily basis to
help but we also realize that you know that stuff doesn’t work unless you’re living the lifestyle that supports your
the results that you want to get so we’re putting that information out there we’re educating people so for me it’s
it’s the podcast it’s blogs it’s emails okay you know helping all of our customers who write in you know you
mentioned in the intro helping people all around the world we’ve got endurance athletes who are out there doing
100-mile races we’ve got Olympic athletes we’ve got Hollywood celebrities movie
stars the the spectrum of people that we get to help is so cool so varied it’s
just it’s a it’s a blessing to be able to do this so do you still have time to keep yourself healthy and fit and moving
forward in that peak performance biohacking realm or you still are you working more on helping other people this point it’s definitely been a
challenge yeah it was something that you know with given my background in I had a
degree in food science and human nutrition I have you know the string Coast background used to own a gym so
you would think that those would be things that I could put on autopilot sure and I sort of made that mistake
over the last few months when things got really busy and and that’s not to say that there was this huge dip mm-hmm but
it was noticeable to me and and for make sure so it’s definitely something that I still even ten twelve years into it you
know being as I don’t want to call myself advanced but you know I know what
I’m doing sure but I still have to focus on it in order to get the results I’ll have to actually execute you can’t just be my momentum with physical fitness
yeah yeah so so that has been a little bit of a challenge but fortunately you know I have people around me who you
know kind of give you that check I call it a check I don’t know if you can say that on here carbon gut check but
you know they give you that check and make sure that that you move forward and you’re doing what you’re supposed to be
I mean it to me that’s part of accountability and surrounding yourself with people that you know will hold you
accountable and keep you moving forward that’s wonderful say let’s let’s dig into into natural
stacks a little bit so you know I of course helped design a product called true brain natural stacks main product
is called silt silt app I’m somewhat familiar but actually not thoroughly familiar so top is a blend or a stack
right yeah that’ll things yeah so so for us the the stack is several ingredients
included in one formula formulation to provide a synergistic effect of that is
greater than you know the individual component sure so with silt up we’ve got
five ingredients all natural it is patented but part of what we do at natural stacks is that we’re trying to
avoid well not we’re not trying to we do avoid proprietary balloons but we go we
hate the industry standard of hiding behind proprietary because that’s do I good nice well well done I’m highly
approve of actually disclosing ingredient amounts yes that’s nice yes and we call that open source if people
are familiar with like coding you have open source code it’s the open source initiative and you know we want to know
exactly what we’re putting in our body we want to know the ingredients we want to know the amounts and we think that the consumers have that right to know as
well absolutely so we make sure that that’s you know for fun on all of our labeling but with natural stat or with
silt up specifically we’ve got artichoke extract and forskolin okay those are the
kind of heavy hitters in that now what is forskolin so it’s an herb it so it’s
a plant and it’s been used in bodybuilding circles for a long time to promote fat loss and muscle gain okay
but that daily dose is typically somewhere around 20 milligrams okay insult up I think it’s a lot closer to
four milligrams but with the artichoke extract that’s actually a PDE for
inhibitor Casa de ester is mmm and so by inhibiting that that that enzyme P de
for down regulates cyclic AMP a sure so by preventing that we get an indirect boost in cyclic a.m. pica and then with
forskolin that is a direct increase or of cyclic AMP II so we get elevated
levels of cyclic AMP EA or camp and what you experience when you’re on set up is
this increased engagement or increased focus desire to be engaged in whatever it is that you’re doing okay and then
because we have elevated camp that leads to increase long-term potentiation 30 Peter sure so when we say focus and
memory on the label that’s how we’re achieving it and you know if you’re better able to catalogue the information
that you take in while you’re on it you know then you’re better able to recall it later so much more Feder encoding
therefore better consolidation exactly and better recall later so we’ve done some some short small tests with memory
champions who improve their recall after using silt up the other ingredients in
the stack are acetyl l-carnitine which provide brain fatigue yep in the early iterations of silt’e people were
crashing like noon without the alcohol interesting that prevented brain fatigue
and then there’s phenylalanine for a slight kick down that dopamine pathway so you get a little bit of motivation shore and then b6 just to keep
everything you know from you’re not missing out on that rate limiting factor yes absolutely so it’s wonderful so i’m
kersten me uh phosphodiester is being manipulated or suppressing it caffeine
also is broken down essentially by phosphodiesterase do you get a potentiation of coffee or caffeine when
there’s silt up in your system they certainly work synergistically I don’t notice feeling profound yeah I
wouldn’t say that I feel more caffeinated about taking silt’e okay but they definitely work together so you
know we Dave Asprey and bulletproof you know that’s that’s a strong relationship
that we have he loves sill tab were the only non bulletproof product that they sell on their website he’s a big fan of
salt up so it definitely worked synergistically if you want to even either drink black coffee or add butter
to it and do a butter called a ninja so when you make your own bulletproof are you butter in and MCTS or what’s your IM
recipe I actually use ghee instead of butter okay I’m I don’t respond well to dairy okay so about the dairy proteins
the ghee is the fat is that is that true I’m not yes but totally formula mean I cook with ghee but I don’t know what it
is beyond refined or a clarified butter clarified butter so you can make a at home and basically what you do is you
boil it until you get these solids at the top and skim them off and those solids are small amounts of dairy
proteins okay like if you look at the ingredient label of butter it would say
zero protein but if you cook it you will see some studies about so there is some in there and so for me I don’t get that
inflammatory response from those dairy proteins with ghee but I do get that
from butter got it for me that manifests as like bloating filmy skin I actually
get like a psoriasis or eczema type rash on my foot okay and that’s that I’m
O’Leary that’s always an indicator for me like if I have certain whey proteins or any kind of dairy protein that always
flares up not interesting okay okay cool see I used to do some coconut oil and butter but honestly
I like coffees flavor way too much and I’m a huge fan as I’m sure you are of minimizing starches and sugars and
maximizing fats in your diet but I’ve gotten away from the bulletproof approach to coffee because I like coffee
too much I like the flavor and if I actually had enough fat to make it quote-unquote bulletproof it masks the
flavor too much so I have intended to get my fat and other sources like you know avocados and bacon and yeah yeah
like that I’ve actually gravitated more towards that recently um you know when
we were in your your office this morning at peak brain you guys were making coffee and it smelled so good I like I’ve got a had some of that and I
actually I’m drinking it black today but but normally I would do I do a French press at home so for a full French press
I do about 20 grams of ghee and 1 tablespoon ok Thrain octane ok so it’s
not the full heavy low and a half of like David suggests yet it’s enough to
get you know my vitamin k2 and all the good stuff yet on the ghee and those fats but not enough to make it taste
like butter and less like coffee because I’m a huge fan of coffee I just love coffee yeah me too I wake up in the morning with way too much blood
in my caffeine stream so tell me what else you do to biohack personally I mean
I’m assuming you’re taking this tilt up you’re doing you know doctored coffee to get the good fats and to have stable
blood sugar and good you know MCT sort of brain metabolism being supported what
else you doing day-to-day as a bio hacking intervention beyond just living in a momentum sort of lifestyle yeah I
think there’s there’s so many things we could talk about in in a sense of like daily practices or habit uh-huh um that
I don’t know people would necessarily consider biohack ok like what do you mean yeah what other things are just lifestyle versus so I think you know I
have a morning routine ok and and for me you know I I try to I try to make my day
my own I try to dictate my day as opposed to so many people wake up and the first thing they do is they check
their email and to me that automatically puts you in a reactive Ursula yeah you
know scenario so you know I’m not checking my email on my smartphone while I’m still laying in bed ok good good you
know I don’t do that I actually won’t check email until I do until I accomplish the first thing the one thing
that’s all my to-do list for that okay so to me biohacking is is less about how many things can I add on to
like what I do as much as it is about how can I achieve maximal happiness
productivity efficiency motivation whatever so life hacking not just body and biohacking yeah I’m not I’m not bio
hacking to collect things to do yeah now every once in a while I will do some
experiments and currently for the sake of our podcast I’m experimenting with a pea EMF post electromagnetic field Delta
sleeper okay so that’s a little like a two inch by five inch square that I put
below my cloud paulownia and and I use that to induce delta waves and fall
asleep faster okay to work on the chest because it’s hitting the vagus nerve or what the reason is supposed to be the
break you okay I kept this show him and so I’m doing that I played with the
ketones for podcast that we did with Dominic Yaga steno let’s see I’m testing
some some heart rate variability measurements to assess recovery and readiness okay which I think is
phenomenal I have not found the hardware yet that I like yep yeah it’s a big
issue with HIV and I understand problem I played with quite a few the chest strap for me is a pain in the butt
because you have to get it wet I’m not going to sleep with it on right so that means I have to wake up get it wet slap it on somehow I’m not a huge fan of that
I’m playing with a finger sensor right now that hooks up just like in the hospital when you have a shirt or some get rolling up and it looks straight
into the it was the most reliable but they’re necessarily easy to manage it’s actually not it takes me anywhere from
right now five to twenty minutes every morning to get a solid reading or really okay which that’s not sustainable for me
I will do it temporarily but you know the data is invaluable but it’s kind of
a pain in the butt to deal with that right now yeah you tried the either the aura ring or the beddit strip that’s the
aura ring is next on my list yep I actually had not heard about that until recently yeah then then greenfield
interests me the RS seems like an interesting device yeah that’s how that’s how I was into it and if then
introduces a lot of things to people yeah is all about being the ambassador so yeah yeah so I think those would be
kind of like little hacks that I’m doing but I think going back to like what I was saying about practices and habits and you’re so
so I’m a big you know to me productivity is a big thing um in some of the
productivity hacks that I employ you know I don’t check email often I try not
to okay I’m not as good at that how many times a day do you plan at least to check email to deal with you know the
plan is like three to five okay sometimes it’s like late morning midday
mid-afternoon and then don’t be stressed about reacting yeah so I’m a yellow legal pad guy oh wow I cannot live
without that I write everything down on that every single day I have a to-do list written on there okay and then on
the right side I have my one thing that if nothing else gets done I do this thing because I had a mentor coach early
on and and he used the analogy of football and three point four yards per play his name is Paul Reddick and if you
play football if you’re familiar with the game then you know that it takes ten yards to get a first down and as long as you don’t get to fourth down you never
have to punt and if they never stop you you know you’re scoring a touchdown right you know the goal of the game is
to score points team with most points wins sure sure so if you average three point four yards of play you win essentially
or you clear all data field always moving the ball down the field you’re always getting first downs and that’s you know to me life and whether it’s
business or whether it’s working on neurofeedback you know if I’m a client of yours and I’m working neurofeedback
the thing that you want to see from me is progress that I’m writing I’m doing the work I’m focusing on the actions not
the outcomes to get there yeah and so for me it’s like that one thing that I
write down on my to-do list that’s my three point four yards if nothing else happens on this day I got that done and
I do it first thing in the morning so you still you’re still moving the ball every single day you’re still making progress yeah and then everything that I
get accomplished after that so the rest of the day is gravy right right right you know so I won’t check email until after that I do that
one thing so I kind of out of order here but I wake up I actually drink a morning
detox drink every morning okay we can talk about that in a minute but as I’m drinking that I’m drinking
that as my coffee is brewing sure and I go outside and I said I’ve got a front porch swing and I sit there
if it’s nice if it’s not I’ll sit down quietly inside do breath work going to set my intentions for the day sometimes it’s
gratitude journaling sometimes it’s you know I’ve got this thing where I randomly if I’m in a bad mood I feel
better when I check on other people or send encouragement to other people you know so send a text to like five people
and say you know hey you got this or like hey you crossed my mind thinking about you whatever you want to say to
the people who you know are in your life so I do that that takes about five minutes go inside get my coffee go to my
desk knock out that one thing yep and typically it’s you know all that’s accomplished by 8:00 or 8:30 in the
morning and like at my days I it’s done is that it’s not done but I’ve had a
productive day and it’s really only just starting and you know you build momentum your focus you and then you just roll
from there that’s wonderful so that’s that’s the first hour hour and a half two hours a day and I’m guessing that
you aren’t sitting out back and resting your laurels rest of the day no it’s I have call it like the
entrepreneur verse employee mindset okay where a lot of employees they look at how can I make time pass right like
right if you work an 8 to 5 you go into the office and it’s like okay how little can I do between 8 & 5 and and make that
time pass and get out no that’s not everybody but some jobs sure so you’re
marking time versus accomplishing tasks right and for me it’s completely opposite it’s okay how much can I
possibly get done and I think that’s why I gravitated towards the whole biohacking movement when it first you
know kind of exploded onto the scene was wow there’s other people out there that think like me that want to get as much done as possible you want to move
forward that want to do you know be involved with as many amazing projects as possible I mean you’ve got a lot
going on you have a lot of different and a lot of plates spinning so to speak right yeah and it was it was cool to
realize that there were other people like that and that there are people optimizing that and learning how to be
better and more efficient at all that so nice very cool all right switch to diet for a second that we should always talk
about diet and these kind of you know podcasts I’m guessing you’re pretty congruent with the way that I tend to
eat which is essentially leaning minimizing all starches and sugars maximizing fats but beyond that general
rule which I’m guessing is not a big surprise to most people who are in this space what sorts of things do you adhere to as have you found is really effective
for cognitive supporting good out the continued effort and cognitive output
and what have you found can like throw you you know what are your big like oh I did this today and I’m going to have two
days of fog or yeah whatever actually that’s a good question so background on me my degree is actually food science
and human nutrition okay if I done an internship after college I would be an RD okay but I had that chance to become
a model and it was you know do I want to be an intern and pay to learn things that I already know that I don’t agree
with right or do I want to try to get paid to lift weights and you know alright well tell myself and Aubry yeah
yeah so you know in school right away you know the curriculum was was split
into two different sides one side was the nutrition and the the programming
the community type stuff how do you teach what are you are you telling people to do the other side was the
science-based stuff okay so in the science-based classes you know we took them all microbiology biochemistry
organic chemistry you name it I took it and in those classes you learn how the body works and as a scientist you’ve
been there you know and if you understand systems then you know how you can manipulate them and bend them to achieve whatever you want to achieve
so I’m sitting in these classes and that’s just kind of how my brain works anyways I’m always thinking about it
like that and then I go into the you know the nutrition classes and we’ve got you know an overweight unhealthy looking
teacher saying avoid fat well at all foods fit you know it’s okay to drink a can of Pepsi you know blah blah blah and
I’m like no like yeah I know you wouldn’t be saying this if craft or Nabisco or General Mills was not paying
for you know the programming right No so right away I saw the influence of big food in you know everything that was
going on but you know I am a minimal effective dose for carbohydrates okay
proponent what is that what does that mean for you effectively I mean women effective does I say it that way because
I want to try to clearly communicate that I’m not no I’m not no carb I’m not anti
carbs I realized that like the ketogenic diet has a ton of amazing benefits and
and I follow it myself most of the time I do intermittent fasting and a majority
of the time ketogenic I will have carbs I guess you could call it a cyclical
ketogenic I don’t get caught up on you know labeling it or when it has to join I am also a strength athlete right and
when I talk to dominate D’Agostino and Mike Nelson on our show you know they were in agreement with me that the more
often and this is this is how I define minimal effective dose as well the more
often you’re training at a high intensity the higher the intensity and the more frequently you do it the
greater your need physiologically for Carla absolutely absolutely and and so
it’s impossible for me to say how many carbs or how frequently you need carbs without knowing that yep so as to me
that’s the determining factor okay so it’s all about the glycogen Reserve and muscles essentially that you’re stripping away with intense exercise
essentially and and if we can have so so Mike Nelson is a big proponent of what he calls metabolic flexibility ability
to go back and forth between your carbohydrates or fats as a fuel source and with Dom that was the same thing you
know he doesn’t necessarily call it that but you know if we are healthy and not
dysfunctional then we can do that right and if you are generally fat adapted you
know that’s kind of where we want to stay that’s where we want to live but for somebody like me or for somebody who maybe even more frequently you know I’m
certainly not a competitive CrossFit athlete but if I was doing crossfit five or six times a week I’m going to need carbs more often than
once or twice a week yep but the idea is that we want to keep so for me I look at
it as a time under the insulin curve oh great that’s what we want to that’s what
we want to minimize yep not only in an acute like daily weekly monthly setting mm-hmm but over our lifetime so how
interesting I know as soon as I say that you you can visualize it sure yeah but if somebody’s not a scientist if you
look going from left to right you know as time goes as time elapses you’re moving left to
right on a graph insulin will increase or spike following the ingestion of
carbohydrates because they’re always no matter how good quote-unquote good the carbs are they’re always broken down
into glucose is the usable form of energy with glucose we get an insulin
spike that’s how it clears through your blood and that as that spike is up the
longer it’s up then you have what we would call like area under that curve on the graph so that’s actually time under
the insulin curve we want to minimize that on um like I said on a daily weekly
monthly and lifetime basis so you know as Mark Sisson says that you want you want to burn as much burn as little
sugar over your lifetime as possible you know and I say you know minimum effective dose so if you’re if you’re so
so you do some people do need carbohydrates and if we have them if we eat them you know we want to we want to get that window up and then close it as
quickly as we can and get back to you know fats for a fuel source minimizing that time under the insulin curve so so
for me it’s it’s almost like the default setting is being fat adapted or ketogenic or whatever and then you know
having carbs when you need them you know as needed sure now from my perspective I
would sort of conceptualize that as remaining insulin sensitive and keeping
yourself sent it to the oscillatory signal of insulin and the signal that goes up when you have sugars and goes down when you don’t and so for you it’s
about not pegging insulin keeping it up from my perspective the lack of variability of signaling molecules in
the brain and body means that the system’s receiving that signal become less sensitive to signal and that’s one
of the things that leads to degradation in cortisol and insulin everything else yeah but the way that I typically manage
that is just minimizing carbs unless I maximizing carbs I sort of have a you know I’m perfect eighty percent of the
time yeah and then you know we have ice cream on those other days but for you it
sounds more like you’re thinking about the the length of exposure if you will to the sugar signal when do you do your
carbs is it right after you work out hard you have empty muscles and your refeeding that 50 gram mikage in that you can take in or are
you doing it before sleep for GH Bert Boote bursts or when I do it personally is it different than when I recommend it
for most people and that’s only because like I said I do intermittent fasting and what does that mean for you is that
a window eating or I typically eat one meal a day okay mid midday kinda thing midday somewhere between 2:00 and 4:00
p.m. okay so so that’s why I say what I do like I’m not going to recommend that to other people now if other people do
it great okay here’s how we can do it but I realized that most people will hear that and they’re like oh that’s weird yeah so
for me it’s just if it’s going to be a carb day then I have them in that meal
okay so it’s really easy for me to figure out when to have them right because I like eating more like yeah no
that’s not to say like you know there are anomalies or there’s days where our travel like today we may have a small
lunch and then a small dinner and I’ll just basically have two meals can I take what I would normally have I’d it into two but but yes I think for
me I think about it as a window and it’s if I had to put a time on it it’s probably a 20 hour fast and a 4 hour
feeding window but if it’s one meal it’s usually like an hour feeding windows or um so you know I would have my carbs
then and you know for other people I think later in the day we know we’re
better able to handle carbohydrates later in the day I’m a big proponent of not having carbs with breakfast okay we
know what the hormonal profile of our body looks like early in the day when we wait no recorders all should be peaking yes if we don’t mess with that then you
know we get the growth hormone we get glucagon we get ghrelin and that cascade
promotes fat loss it promotes mental clarity and it is actually muscle
preserving the growth or them so the other thing that we can do to really screw up our mornings that way is to
introduce carbohydrates because as we said earlier you’re going to have insulin then you’re going to have insulin present when cortisol is at its
high and those two things don’t play nice right now those are the two storage hormones one stress one storage and they
don’t play nice that leads to cloudiness in your brain brain fog as well as fat
storage so like the two things that basically define optimal performance you’re going to screw up right right so
so just so I understand I’m actually not a biochemist so when you spike insulin through dietary sugars you suppress
cortisol that direction goes in no you wouldn’t suppress it because so the cortisol peeking in the morning is
what helps you get out of bed and that’s basically our circadian rhythm sure or your biological clock so cortisol should
actually be at its lowest around like 6 7 8 p.m. and then it Peaks around 4 a.m.
or something a little bit after that actually but it starts to rise at that time and it will actually peak around 6
7 8 a.m. okay and it’s different for everybody sure but basically it should kind of follow like you know the Sun and
you know dark schedule yet but it Peaks and then as long as we don’t do anything
to disrupt that cortisol pathway it’s going to slowly trend down from first
thing in the morning until later in the evening now anybody who has driven in LA traffic or works a desk job or basically
lives the typical 2016 lifestyle there’s so many things that disrupt cortisol sure
but when cortisol and insulin are both you know present they don’t play nicely and you know it does lead to that fat
storage so it’s not that it disrupts the cortisol pathway as much as just you
just don’t want them both elevated it so then some more disrupting secondary things cortisol we producing I mean I
know this in relationships between growth hormone for both cortisol and for insulin yeah so if if you do introduce
insulin at that time in the morning you’re going to prevent well first of all you would definitely prevent
glucagon because glucagon insulin or inverse yeah and then you would not get
the growth hormone release you would not get ghrelin because you’re having the carbohydrates you’re having insulin
secretion yeah interesting hey let’s go back to a second to the education thing you’re talking about so you have a
degree in food science yes I’ve been seeing a lot of this you know of course we’re both in this sort of biohacking
world we’re both focused on ways of eating which to a large extent fly in
the face of conventional wisdom for the past 50 years now I think both you and I would agree the conventional wisdom is with regards to diet and
nutrition and I feel that it was bad marketing in the 70s and 80s that really on this really bad path for obesity
diabetes cancer and even Alzheimer’s which is really driven by blood Sugar’s regulation to some extent so I mean
you’re preaching to the choir here but I I come across people who are interested in doing dietician or nutritionist
programs or studying you know biochemistry and food science and they often get to meet people who I often
interact with are believers of this paleo primal keto approach and they get
very frustrated when they try to find an actual education program that has that mean there is science out there showing
that keto is pretty good for your brain right there’s no science out there that’s actually good science that shows
that fat is bad for your brain at least not recently and all the studies in the 70s that showed fat was bad didn’t
control for sugar so it’s fat and sugar is very very bad but sugar is kind of bad in the absence of fat and fats not
bad at all in the absence of sugar so I’m wondering if you as a sort of lean of food scientist guy have discovered
that there are there’s a shift or not towards embracing you know some of the
science around these high-fat low-carbohydrate low starch based dietary seeing the the field of food
science shifted all did still stuck 20-30 years ago you know I was so disenchanted with okay academic world
that I haven’t visited it or seen it since I left college what was that when I was a 2008 okay so
still pretty reason and and like I said earlier in our talk you know when I was
in school we were taught one thing in the science classes and then the nutrition curriculum was completely opposite of that and that’s you see this
as you put it conventional wisdom but it was clearly paid for by big food then
which it was you know as we know there was that New York Times article that came out a few weeks ago you know where
the Harvard scientists were paid by the sugar industry to fudge and say that you
know it was fat there was the enemy not sugar you know and and that set the precedent in the late 60s that formed
the last half a century of what was taught what was promoted you
know big food the all the government regulations it’s all opposite what we
here in yeah paleo keto you know new science worlds so you know academia will always lag
behind yes cutting-edge research it just it has to use and marketing gets in the
way gets stuck I mean we you know we think that fat is bad culturally in Western size because we’re told that on TV with every commercial for the past
you know 30 years right by the same token I’m of course a brain guy this feels very similar to this idea that we
have a chemical imbalance in our brain the chemical imbalance doing mental illness is utter bunk there’s there’s been no ever not one bit of shred of an
evidence that you can have a chemical imbalance chemical imbalance in the brain or what happened right before you died right like the only time you have a
chemical imbalance is before you die or when you have a seizure otherwise it’s a regulatory domain that’s very complicated but the absolute level of a
neurotransmitter isn’t really meaningless unless you know everything else about the circuit receptor density
phosphorylation and even then it’s very imperfect this strikes me as that where it’s sort of thought to be true but it’s
really sort of secondary to what’s probably real well and it’s really frustrating because you know you you
can’t fight the government right you can’t fight big food we’re doing a great job of you know getting the whole grass
fed the pasture raised that all of that is growing but the if you still have
that I think it’s a generational thing to like sure people my age and younger are very inclined to you know seek out
their own information seek out alternative sources you know they’re their main source of information input
is not you know the local news at 6:00 p.m. where my parents generation sure and older you know that’s whatever
whatever is said there or whatever my doctor says that’s gospel sure that’s
that’s an interesting thing and it’s very hard to fight conventional wisdom in those demographics yeah yeah but but
the younger generations and people who are more inclined to seek out information on their own yep that
information we’re getting it out there and and I think we’re definitely making that change and you’re seeing so many
signs of that I mean you see you know Whole Foods are everywhere now you see things that are grocery stores and
markets that are even you know on a higher level than the sheriff for sure heroin exposes us of a lower-end whole
foods that is you know more selection assume that so we see that we see you know there’s there’s so many podcasts like this there’s alternative education
you know outlets we’re getting it out there people are interested in it they
want it but but in academia that will always lag research because you have to have follow-up studies you know nobody’s
going to teach anything until they’re sure of it but also you have to remember that those those programs are funded by the people that were basically trying to
out poorhouse you know with this new research so I don’t see that changing
without some kind of you know cataclysmic you might be right although I will say my mom who is president says
I think she’s 68 eat paleo exercise three hours a day and calls me for
piracetam refills every three months oh where did she get that information she got it because she we have live Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in the
family and she’s very concerned and I’m a neuroscientist and so you know she’s someone appointed she got I got a preemie she didn’t get it home I know
the one that knew that door right so so I think it’s up to us to continue to you
know be relentless and tireless with what we’re doing sure you try to get that information out there because you’re certainly not going to come from
mainstream so let’s speak more about sort of misinformation earlier and not
to jump on you earlier you mentioned the word detox and for me that’s a hot-button term what did you mean by you
say she doing a detox drink every morning tell me more about so what you’re doing there I call it a detox drink I’m not into detox as a sore point as I
hate that stuff thank you but it needed a name and morning detox drink is what I call it because really all it is so
originally I’ve been doing this every morning for like seven eight years and Louise gentleman first lady of nutrition
she is big on like fat flush and detoxification she was a big proponent
of warm water first thing in the morning guy with organic lemon juice that one
water opens up the digestive system you don’t want to wake up and drink ice-cold water because everything will clench up
and sure that’s not a good way to start the day tonight but lemon has a compound
in it the moon which is highly researched it has even anti-cancer properties but it
also supports liver function yeah which you know the liver is the body’s filtration system so it can have
detoxification properties but it also helps with bile production yeah the lemon and the D Lamoni which for those
of us following a high-fat diet is incredibly important yeah because if we can’t metabolize the fat that you’re eating you’re not really loans and I’ll
try the exact call them exactly so so the drink is warm water with a tablespoon of organic lemon juice a
tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar I do a teaspoon of sea salt okay some
people can do a little bit less it depends on your size and then I do a dash of cayenne so that’s my drink I
didn’t have a name right when I did it myself so so that’s where morning detox drink came from I certainly don’t see it
as like a cleanse yeah yeah but you know the benefits of apple cider vinegar are you know they’re wide spread they’re
huge the salt helps up regulate blood pressure every morning is Monica pulling
that water into your cells get the salt and that actually protects the adrenals which you know in our life again
anything we can do to protect adrenal function sure helps and the Cayenne has
metabolic enhancing properties and you know so I just I drink that and it wakes
me up it’s wonderful it’s not caffeine there’s nothing wrong with caffeine but yeah yeah it has a whole lot of health
promoting well I’m glad you didn’t follow down on the side of actually saying was detoxing cells I mean of course as you probably know there is no
way to you cannot put toxins in your body to clear out you know things but you can’t accelerate the natural process
of removing toxins from cells it’s just happening all the time and if you drink you know special drinks or do special
diets you’re not going to actually clear things out of your system it sort of falls into that category things like quantum or 10% your brain or other sort
of urban legends of biohacking that just aren’t remotely true and so well I’ll enlist your help to help me come up with
a new name all right there we go there we go cool so um you’re flying around
the world you’re doing all kinds of things I’m just curious I mean you’re here in LA it’s a Friday morning what did the
past week or so look like in terms we’re what you know who have you seen where have you been what kind of ventures have you had I mean how many
different directions are you moving in this you know sort of evangelist biohacker kind of chief visionary kind of
perspective you have yeah so it’s been crazy let’s see last weekend was
actually a weekend at home so I’m trying to go back to last Friday that was probably my first weekend at home with
my wife in a long time something we both enjoyed that tremendous area the weekend before
that I was in Austin Texas at an event called the vanguard okay and one of our
natural Stax co-founder and I Ben were there and that was a 48-hour basically
the ultimate man camp okay but there were females there as well so I think the ultimate men camp includes women
will set you know but that’s an event run by some special forces guys okay and
some of their friends and it’s a really cool thing that they have it’s basically their circle of friends and what they’ve
done is they have it’s I have not been lucky enough to be introduced to the xpt oh sure yeah but it aside Sun similar
it’s a very similar thing there where you have this group of high performers and edge one has their own skill set that I bring to the group and as a
collective group they’re getting better by focusing you know you’re becoming a more well-rounded individual by
attacking and learning where you’re weak and bringing the things up to the strengths so you know we did 90 minute
instructional blocks on some survival skills land navigation butchery so we actually butchered our own chickens on
Friday and then we had them for dinner on Saturday so you know you really get to see where your food comes from it’s a
very intimate relationship with your food and I mean as a hunter I’ve had that experience before but a lot of
people don’t have the reference of where their meats coming from exactly they’re able to ignore lots of things political
health-wise yeah you know around this thing I’m eating so yeah so back to your question I mean that was that was a
really cool experience to be around people who are they’re high performers in their own right but they’re also um
they’re not getting complacent and they’re they’re always pushing to try to get better so to get to be around people
like that is phenomenal they also own too those guys who run that on a gym called atomic athlete in Austin Texas okay
amazing Jim so that’s where I lift when I’m in Austin one of the cool things about traveling like I do is I get to
create these relationships almost in every major city so I know people that run amazing facilities in every city so
I know I know where I float when I’m in Austin I know where I float when I’m in LA I know you know which gym I go to so
so just on this la trip we got out here Tuesday night saw you Wednesday morning we got the baseline readings on the EEG
went from there to a gym here called deuce gym which was actually the
epicenter of the butter coffee a really a bulletproof stuff that’s their story
so I can introduce you maybe about a little bit that’s a guy yeah and so we did that we did something else
we were we were at erawan which is one of those stores where we were doing staff training so that they’re better
able to educate the customers we did a demo I got to run into a bunch of people who are other influencers at erawan you
know we were back with you meeting with some other champions and ambassadors this afternoon we’ll be a bulletproof
coffee shop there’s a home show tomorrow where I’m meeting with Klaus a guy from
tsamina beds with the world’s healthiest bed it’s just everybody who’s into some
aspect of health and wellness and fitness optimization you know we’re
lucky enough to have interactions with them and every time we travel I’m like okay who’s out there yeah that have a
relationship with and everybody’s less what’s touch base women let’s stay in contact and you know foster those
relations great yeah I mean I was on your we recorded an audio podcast two weeks ago or something and then I could
see twice this week when you’re in LA should we talk about if you pull back the covers a little on your on your brain for our listeners let’s do it all
right nice so for folks that have either seen the show or are familiar with quantitative EEG this is an assessment
process we do which compares one person’s brain to a normative database essentially and you end up with heat
maps you know statistics that say how unusual your brain is we did yours a couple days ago totally clean no caffeine no silt up
and your brain looked a little bit inattentive essentially it was really healthy overall I haven’t seen many many
more things if you see been she’ll you’ll see that this was pretty horrible to start but but your brain Ryan was
actually really quite intact performant no anxiety markers no sleep issues no head injuries really pretty clean except
you made about two to three standard deviations higher amounts of alpha waves eyes open and eyes closed than the
average person who’s your age or gender etc now what that probably translates to functionally is a little bit of in
attention getting stuck in being Spacey you know you might even have been called something like a DD you know twenty
thirty years ago we don’t use that label anymore for that problem but inattentive
essentially in it’s had some issues with shifting attention being stuck in neutral a little Spacey my wife would agree with what she okay she listened is
laughing as we speak probably and then today you came in and we did exactly the
same thing another qejy resting baselines nothing fancy but you had silt up in your system and the difference was
all of the Alpha X s is dropped by about a standard deviation now to put that in
context when we actually make changes in brains with neurofeedback which is one of few things in permanently change the
brain we get about one to two standard deviations in about three months of
aggressive training and with one dose of silt’e probably not a permanent change obviously but you’ve got a baseline
shift of equivalent to a month or two of hardcore work on your brain so I think
that you know it’s an end of one of course we should may talk about doing a little bit larger and but yeah this is
how you do research is your first see what happens on the individual level your brain waves are you know essentially self blinding because you
can’t control them and we saw a statistically significant change dropping excess alpha meaning that you
which you should I would assume feel more crisp more alert more engaged and that’s sort of what you described the
effects of silts up in general anyways pretty semantic sense of engagement versus maybe checking out a little bit
yeah and I mean I was hoping that that’s what we would see so we do it you don’t know and and right I was really really
excited to see those results and you know the interesting thing to me is I only take one pill and then the dose
vers lo does ya the dose for silt up is three pills and I’ve just seen over experimentation over the years that I
actually do best with one pill so it’d be interesting to see like you said with a larger and then one so we’ll
definitely talk about that I think that’s something that has a company we want to pursue you know research and
quantification and all of that stuff so we are actually underway with some clinical trials now but as you know
those take a long time it’s complicated they’re expensive they’re they’re they’re they’re so time-consuming and then your data is
never quite what you wanted to be when you’re done yeah and for us it’s going to be 18 months to two years before we
have that result which is a fast study I thought that is a fast human study we actually the guy reading it is the
world’s leading researcher on PDE 400 then because that’s perfectionism interaction sure yeah that’s that’s the
way we went with that but I think that’s probably all I can say on the study for now but we want something that’s you know a faster to get the results out and
I think with with some EEG readings that would be amazing but you know it’s funny that you
mentioned you know the I guess seeing the original brain scan one the one without sill temp was was I guess not I
don’t say valuable but validating sure me yeah because it’s like that’s I know you know might I tend to be very fast
thinking I tend to definitely see things kind of big picture and I’m very you know it’s very hard to hold my attention
there for a long time I’m just curious I want to know as much as I can I want to move quickly and that’s pretty much what
the brain scans showed it did and you know sometimes seeing these patterns in brain it goes oh this is not a function
of my willpower I’m not just being lazy my brain is oriented or tuned to do specific things better and some other
things not as well I think that the qejy process can also often be very validating it’s like oh oh great there’s
my strength here’s weaknesses it’s real it’s not a function of willpower or failure or you
know we suppose in a broken leg you don’t go why aren’t you running down the block but if somebody has inattention
it’s like why aren’t you paying attention we don’t see the invisible brain things as valid physical things
until we actually look at brain activity and say oh well here’s your inattention or here’s your impulsivity here
sleep issue I think we very you know grounding in terms of thinking about what your how you performance levels can
be conveyor yeah and I think you said of something really valuable for for
listeners is that you know it back to what we were saying in the beginning you know we’re looking at like life hacks
and long-term hacks habits practices you know that’s definitely where neurofeedback would fall in your you’re
doing something that changes your brain you know beyond just short-term or
transient Noah topics give you that short-term that yep that transient okay we changed it today that’s a state
not a trait absolutely and yeah it’s it’s amazing to see that silt up can can
produce that that states yet stay yeah then we want on a single day with a single dose even a single pill yep but
combining that with something like neurofeedback to where you’re getting that long-term shift of you know not a
state but a trait that could be really really powerful and there might be something where the PD for actually
enhancing I mean learner feedback is learning it’s just basic learning right I mean we’re doing some fancy things to tell the brain what to learn but it’s
not tapping it as a magical technique it’s really is tapping into long-term potentiation PD for so there may be
something where we get accelerated gains you know there’s a there’s a strong a yoga studio right next to mine neurofeedback Center and I find when
people do both hard Quivers exercise and brain training they seem to have faster
changes in the brain well I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that you as a neuroscientist you know that that
exercise can increase BDNF passively yeah brain derived neurotrophic factors
and rage elseís you get brain you know basically new brain cells and you know they’re studies that show just walking
for 20 minutes increased brain activity which potentiates you know learning or absolutely yeah you
know Thomas Edison I love a quote from him that says the main function of the body is to carry the brain around and
you know movement and optimal brain health are not independent things yep
absolutely you you very rarely I’m sure there are exceptions but very rarely will you see people that are operating
on a high level that are ignoring one or the other right I mean if you are sedentary or not physically active I’m
gerontologist and we often think about minimum level of physical activity to avoid risk factors merging and for
cardiovascular risk which of course is involved heavily in aging as well as young sort of health I think the current
guesstimate is less than 7000 steps per day is a health risk to the
cardiovascular system equivalent to a 2 pack of cigarette happen a day I have not heard that that’s crazy so if you’re
sitting on your butt watching TV you know if you’re you know using your mind using your attention and staying effortfully engage mentally if your body
is not the cardiovascular system isn’t being stretched and challenged by your
your your activity then it’s actually a cardiovascular risk I’m looking at my fit right now now it’s what your her
well I’m looking at my steps I’ve only taken 1,900 step oh I know I need about 5,000 more steps but it’s interesting my
wife got one of these recently and I was so like jealous of her having that data all the times right I could get one of
those but I will probably get that or a ring instead because that will give me
the same stuff but also the HRV which to me that’s the more valuable information but it is kind of fun to look at steps
and you know it’s interesting that you know I would consider myself fairly active I know that when I ran the gym
and I was on my feet and moving I was a lot more active than I am now you know I’m you know standing at a desk most of
the time I do my best to stand up I know that that doesn’t do a whole lot but at least I’m standing instead of sitting ok
but for me to get 7,000 steps I probably average between 5 and 7 thousand a day
5,000 used to the old number to avoid the decline with age so it’s just interesting north of 5 definitely yeah but but to me
like looking at my data I know for me that that’s close to like 3 to 4 miles a day but if you think evolutionary humans
are supposed to walk at least 3 to 4 miles a day I mean we we have we’ve done that for you know how many thousands of
years only until the last hundred years and yep you know that for a hundred thousand years we’ve been walking everywhere and for our hundred years
been sitting on butts yeah and to scale that’s you know such an insignificant portion of the I’m and it’s not enough
time for our bodies to adapt evolution has not occurred in the past 100 years now on humans we haven’t evolved too
generations didn’t change anything not at all well never yeah actually they did not not fundamental things in expression
like you know you are experiencing metabolic species of chemicals based on
the stress or was your parents experienced in your grandparents experience turning on certain genes right but grossly there has not been a
change in the human creature for tens of thousands right years right right so yeah and that’s I guess to me that was
kind of like the eye-opener words like wow you know three or four miles you know we should should be doing that yeah
very very easily all right let’s let’s uh let’s go we’re coming into our hour here but let’s first ask you do you have any general
advice or takeaways for people when you’re you’re talking in this biohacking brain health body health performance
space what are some of the bits of wisdom you love to drop or a single piece of advice that you think is
important to a prospective shift actual item whatever it is but what it makes you always ought to make sure to tell
people this I think to me it would be on the on the perspective shift side okay I
just I just want every single person to take control of their own life to
realize like for me we get we get one go with this thing and my biggest fear is
getting to the end of it and not having experienced something okay I don’t want
to have I hate that like no regrets or you only live once although right but you know it’s so true I mean I want my
life to be filled with as many amazing experiences as possible I want to learn as much as possible I want to share that
with you know the greatest people you know that I can possibly surround myself with and so I guess my advice or the one
thing that I would want people to know is just you know you are in control you know you captain your own ship make this
life as great as you can um and I think adopting that or or living that mindset
for me makes biohacking something that I want to do because it helps me optimize
that experience absolutely um so that’s that’s what’s great well thanks so much Ryan can you tell our listeners where
they can find you where they can get involved and and figure out the different projects you’re working on and
project products you’re working on yeah where can they hunt you down so personally on Instagram is Ryan Muncie
underscore I’m on Facebook but most of what I’m working on you will find
through the optimal performance podcast and that is here that’s pretty good yeah we have some great high-profile guests
on there but optimal performance podcast and then natural stacks is the company
and at natural stacks on all social media all the cool stuff that we’re working on you’ll hear about through
there either on the newsletter on the podcast so Ryan Muncie underscore and Instagram or at natural stacks and all
social media you can check Ryan out ask them questions I’m sure he’d love to hear from you about your own individual brain journey and if you’re using silt’e
or if you’re doing different you know physical things I’m sure like you’re sort of a scientist the way I am and
you’re always want to find what individuals are doing that’s really working because yeah everyone’s their own little testbeds yeah absolutely okay well Ryan thanks so
much for coming on the show today and I’m sure we’ll be working in the future together folks this has been another episode of head first with dr. hill take
care of those brains and we’ll talk to you soon [Music]

Ryan Munsey

Ryan is a former fitness model and gym owner turned writer, speaker, and biohacker. He’s a mental and physical performance specialist with a degree in Food Science & Human Nutrition from Clemson University. An avid hunter, you’ll often find him in the woods.