Andrew Tilin: The Doper Next Door – #18
By: Dave Asprey
February 15, 2012
In the name of science, Andrew Tilin became a citizen doper. In 2008, this freelance writer and amateur cyclist used supplemental testosterone and DHEA to improve his cycling performance. Andrew chronicled his journey in his book, The Doper Next Door. Andrew has written for many publications including the New York Times, Wired, GQ, Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, Runner’s World, and Yoga Journal. He was a senior editor for Business 2.0 and is a contributing editor for Outside. Andrew joins us to talk about his experience with doping, the dangers, the perks, and how it changed his life.
Did you know you can get a free PDF download of every transcript of every episode of Bulletproof Executive Radio by entering your email address in the box on the right side of this page? You also get a free copy of the Bulletproof Diet, the Bulletproof Shopping Guide, and much more.
What We Cover
- What prompted you to experiment with steroids?
- How hard was it to find T, and where did you get the drugs?
- What were some of the challenges you faced when starting your experiment?
- What were this biggest unforeseen obstacles you faced during your doping year?
- What were your biggest concerns before, during, and after the experiment?
- How common do you think doping is in cycling, and sports in general?
- What do you think of the efforts of people like Jonathan Laughers, Bob Stapleton, Allen Lim, and others who are trying to eradicate doping from sports?
- Have you considered trying anything else?
- What did your family think of your project?
- Was it hard to end the experiment?
- Did your exercise routine change once you began doping?
- What was the most profound change you noticed when you started doping?
- Was building muscle easier?
- Did you ever experience “roid rage?”
- What was it like after you stopped doping?
- Did you ever purposely push the limits of the experiment to make the book more exciting?
- Could you explain what second-hand doping is, and why it was such a concern?
- Do you think Lance Armstrong doped?
- Would you do it again? Do you have any regrets?
- Did you suffer any negative repercussions?
- Where can people learn more about you?
Links From The Show
The Doper Next Door by Andrew Tilin
Food & Supplements
The Doper Next Door by Andrew Tilin
Sex, Lies, and Menopause by T.S. Wiley
Light’s Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival by T.S. Wiley
The Better Baby Book by Dave Asprey
Don’t forget to leave a ranking in iTunes. It helps more people find our show.
Dave: Today’s cool fact of the day is that the velocity of a sneeze is around a hundred miles an
hour and when you sneeze, it can actually travel up to 5 feet, which is kinda gross. But sneezing is your
way of keeping your nose clean and usually it comes from dust or some other thing, sometimes even a
strong immune response that causes your mucous membranes to be irritated. And it’s true, it’s
impossible to sneeze with your eyes open, and you can’t sneeze when you’re asleep. And if you do
sneeze, it will change your heart rate variability but your heart won’t stop functioning when you sneeze
even though Urban Legends say that’s true.
Dave: You’re listening to episode 18 of Bulletproof Executive Radio with Dave and co-host from The Bulletproof Executive blog.
Dave: We have a great interview today with Andrew Tilin, the author of the book called, The
Doper Next Door. Andrew talks about his experience with performance enhancing drugs during a
competitive season of bike racing. We talked about the pros and cons of his experiment and we tried to
educate people on the use of steroids. We have an awesome listener Q and A where we discussed CES
machines and sleep hacking, improving compliance with the bulletproof diet, small LDL in carbs, whole
body vibration, marijuana detox, arginine growth hormone, gave them the right macronutrients, ZMA
supplements, and a lot more. As usual, we will close with our bio hacker report where you will hear a
brief summary of three new pieces of research that help you improve immune function by lowering
stress, prevent heart attacks by avoiding BPA, and ensure the health of your baby by not taking advice
from the CDC. If you would like more influence about this, you can find us on Twitter on
@bulletproofexec, you can get in touch with us on Facebook where we are
www.facebook.com/bulletproofexecutive, or you can sign up for our email and newsletter on
Dave: Alright co-host, what bio hacks have you been working on this week?
Co-host: I’ve been testing out the Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein that we sell on Upgraded Self, and
I’ve always had extremely cracky joints like I can pop my fingers extremely easily, I can crack my neck by
just turning my head. But after using this stuff about 10 grams a day for maybe the past three weeks at
least, it’s gotten noticeably better. It’s still not gone, but it’s improved drastically and I’m hoping it will
improve my joint function, too. And I’ve been doing a little research on this and there’s actually a lot
more research behind Collagen than there is on triple flex and osteo bi-flex and all these other
Glucosamine Condroitin glands.
Dave: It’s kinda funny but I have the same experience. I used to have really, really bad joints
like they diagnosed me with arthritis when I was 14 and I don’t have those kinds of joint pains anymore.
It just turns out you’re better and you feel better on regular doses of Collagen. It’s kinda funny you
mentioned it because this week I’ve actually been working on a new recipe using Collagen and coconut
milk and basically making the coolant of grass fed Collagen jello with extra fat in it and my kids like it. So when that recipe is perfected, which will probably include the upcoming Bulletproof Chocolate Powder,
we’ll be posting it on the site, but this week, it’s been all about Collagen jello.
Co-host: Yes, everyone loves jello. Now, we’re gonna move on to our exclusive interview with
Andrew Tilin, the Doper Next Door.
Dave: In the name of Science, Andrew Tilin became a citizen doper. In 2008, this freelance
writer and amateur cyclist use supplemental testosterone and DHEA to improve his cycling
performance. He chronicled his journey in his book called, The Doper Next Door. Andrew has written to
many publications including The New York Times, Wired, GQ, Rolling Stone, Yoga Journal and Runner’s
World. He was also a Senior Editor for Business 2.0 and is a contributing editor for Outside Magazine. He
joins us today to talk about his experience with doping, the dangers, the perks and how it changed his
Dave: Andrew, tell us, what prompted you to experiment with steroids in the first place?
Andrew: I’d like to think of it, Dave, as a social experiment. Really, a social experiment in seeking
and finding youth and that’s not necessarily how it started but that’s ultimately what happened and it
became a social experiment not just for my self, but for my family and friends and a larger circle of
Dave: So, would you mind if I asked how old are you now? And how old were you when you
started your social experiment?
Andrew: I’m 46 now, so, I was 42 when I began, and it began both as an interest in feeling young
again and it also began as a long time journalist following athletics. Following the lead athletes, seeing
what they can do and knowing that there’s a lot of doping going on, and wondering what would it be
like for a regular guy to do this kind of thing. What would it be like for a face in the crowd, so to speak,
to take these drugs? And do other people, and do other people do that? And then I was a bike racer, a
road racer at the time and I would go to these races and I’d be convinced that there were others doing
it. And I went through a long process of actually trying to find a “citizen doper” to write about. I wanted
to write a story, a magazine story, or a book about someone’s experiences doing this kind of thing. And
that was a long process, maybe 6-7 months of really looking hard before for various reasons I decided to
become the lab rat myself.
Dave: I wish we’d known each other back then. I’ve been taking supplemental testosterone for
the last decade except for the last 2 months because people say that my gain’s come from that of from
the diet so I quit doing it just to show that the diet works by itself. But we would’ve had a good time
chatting back then.
Andrew: Well, did you, were you a bike racer, too?
Dave: I was a bike racer before that but I was too busy being an entrepreneur to be a
successful racer. But, I’m intrigued to go further into our discussion. Can you tell our listeners which performance enhancing drugs or hormones you used just so they can get an idea of the scope of your
Andrew: Sure. I used the testosterone that was the big heir, and of course that is a taboo drug to
many red blooded males, you know, we know all about testosterone from what we hear on ESPN or
reading the Sports Illustrated or reading the Sports pages because it’s a prohibited substance because it
promotes the, it promotes the growth of muscle tissue essentially to simplify and it was easy for me to
access, that was also important. I had said in the book, The Doper Next Door, I took another hormone,
too. DHEA, another prohibited substance in my, in sports, many sports, and I took that sort of to prime
the pump for testosterone or so I was told by my hormone guru. And I took only those two drugs
because that’s what my, that’s what was suggested to me and I also only took those drugs because I
wanted to prove a point with this book and that is how easy it is to access, particularly testosterone.
Middle aged guys nowadays, they just, all they need to do is just watch golf on television to see giant
pharmaceutical companies to advertize for supplemental testosterone. And to promote testosterone
supplementation, they just need to go to their doctor, or they might just, they go to their doctor, have a
fake conversation about maybe, how they’re feeling, have blood work done, a highly interpreted read of
their testosterone levels follows and then they may or may not be given supplemental testosterones.
So, that’s why I start with those two. And the other reason I started with those two, they was to sort of
go further at the ladder in terms of performance enhancing drugs, human growth hormone,
retropolitan, or blood enhancers I would have had to go to a black market, so to speak, I would have had
to buy those drugs illicitly. My doctor wouldn’t have to prescribe me those drugs and that wasn’t within
sort of the spirit of the book which is how every man could be a “doper”.
Dave: So you skipped Modafinil and Adderall or commonly known as Meth which certainly in
the Meth side of things would have been a good idea to skip.
Andrew: This is, I’d be talking out of school to talk about things. I don’t know about those drugs.
Dave: Okay, so you just skipped about those ones. So, you focused on performance enhancing
hormones which is important. Now, you mentioned that it was relatively easy to find a testosterone and
what form did you take it in and where did you get it? How hard was this?
Andrew: Yeah, so, actually I began, really, this whole experiment began by, with my wife. My wife
was, she’s about my age, and she’s going through some early hormonal changes and I would notice
these hormonal changes quite often. Either in her mood, or her libido or lack thereof or her, or the fact
that she wakes up in the middle of the night with night sweats and she often went to a women’s health
doctor, was given hormone replacement therapy and I saw that these hormones are very powerful. It
created powerful changes in her body, I was impressed and sort of “wow!” and just did some internet
surfing on that and discovered that many middle-aged men were being prescribed testosterone, too.
And there were a lot of websites speaking to this and so I went to my doctor and I said, well, “Do I need
this stuff?” and this is my primary care physician, she, I had blood work done, and my blood work
showed that indicated that I was quite low within a “normal range” but very low within this “normal
range”. And so my doctor, my primary care physician said, “No, you don’t need it.” But I wasn’t satisfied. I mean, at that point, I was, I’m a journalist, I was curious, I’ve read a lot about it, I’ve read about a lot of
people taking it, testosterone is a billion dollar supplement industry, you know, millions of prescriptions
are written for testosterone every year and so it took up a lot of doctors, and that including my
neurologist. My neurologist wanted to put me on a modest amount of testosterone. Again, I’m a
journalist. I wanted to talk sort of a, the biggest, and most compelling story I could within the realms of
taking the stratum. And so I embarked on a little mission to talk to doctors in the anti-aging community,
and anti-aging is sort of a, an off shoot of medicine, so to speak. Some people would think that it is mere
quackery, other people would say, “No, you know, there’s, there is some that you didn’t see in the antiaging medicine.” Which doesn’t want that these people and there are physicians and some of them are
not, they don’t want you to live forever. They want your quality of life to be as high at it can be as long
as it can be and they believe that testosterone has a place there and I ended up going to a couple of
anti-aging doctors who once scared me because he was willing to give me testosterone without really
monitoring my blood levels very closely. And but then another woman was very thorough and looked at
my same blood levels that my primary care physician had looked at and said, “You should be on this.”
And she worked with a woman by the name of Suzie Wiley, has a protocol called, the Wiley Protocol
both for women and for men. And the one for men is the testosterone protocol and is very aggressive.
It’s very high levels of testosterone and again in the spirit of telling a great story, I started on this
protocol and it was a topical cream-based. I would put it on my groin and on my back between the DHEA
and the testosterone often, twice a day. The tea twice as I can be called testosterone the tea twice a
day, DHEA, once.
Dave: That’s a, it’s kinda funny we actually had Wiley on a very early incarnation of the show.
Andrew: What was that like?
Dave: You know, she’s an interesting lady. She’s certainly very, has a very strong opinion and
I’ve met her in person, and she actually gave me a copy of her book, “Sex, Lies and Menopause” at an
anti-aging show. I didn’t mention this at the beginning of the show but I’ve ran an anti-aging, non-profits
like education-research group for, good God, I’ve been involved in leadership there for almost ten years
so a lot of what I do comes from anti-aging and I hang out with a lot of the same kind of doctors you are
talking about there. It’s about living more and living longer not living forever which is an important thing
a lot of people don’t understand.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s an important distinction in that. Actually, to me lands to, to have the
credibility of that industry and that also, I think, you know, that industry asks a lot of questions that the
traditional medical industry can’t answer or sort of unwind to go to and you know, there’s a lot of profit
built in to the traditional medical industry and big pharmaceutical industry anymore. And so, that’s the
part that I find highly compelling about it. The anti-aging world, you know, the problem is, is that there
are still some questionable characters promoting things that you just don’t know about and that the
effect that they don’t know about and Suzie herself will be the first to tell you that she is a citizen
scientist. Now, does that mean that we shouldn’t listen to her because she is not a PhD, you know, or an
MD? And the answer is, I don’t know. She is very charismatic and passionate and her arguments are well
scripted.Dave: And her books, too, are one-third of the length as used as references, I would not want
to get into an argument with her at about hormones are bad for you in all cases because I would
absolutely know that you would lose.
Andrew: Well, she came to one of my readings in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was reading from
this book and my book is both supportive and critical as Suzie’s. And she was a, I honored the way that
she approached the discussion and the way that, you know, the debate we had afterwards, and the
dialogue and, you know, at the end of the day she just does not understand why in God’s name any
middle aged man, you know, who’s low in testosterone would not be on it. So, I just, it’s like 2 plus 2
equals 5 in that equation for her if you’re not on it. So, that’s her perspective.
Dave: And if it was tough a little bit about some of the problems with finding practitioners, you
know what they were talking about, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced throughout
your entire experiment?
Andrew: Well, one was that, you know, that was the start, and I finally went to, I finally found an
internist with many, many years of experiences in MD, and again, it doesn’t necessarily should demise
someone or you should demise someone, but I felt like she had a, she had a broad perspective and
should about thinking, she was very forth coming with me in terms of saying, “You’re a Guinea Pig. This
is, you know, you’re a part of a large experiment, I’m gonna watch you carefully, I’m gonna monitor your
blood level four times a year for about a year long experiment, and I’m going to, you know, tell you to go
higher or lower or I’m gonna be a critic, I’m just gonna be a cheerleader saying, “Take more.” She had a
raised eyebrow while still prescribing into me which I found was very healthy and, you know, I pushed
her to give me a human growth hormone ‘cause I wanted to try that and she was like, “You’re out of
your mind. I won’t do it. Not enough signs there, I could lose my license for prescribing it to you. I could
get into a lot of trouble and you don’t need it.” And I honored her for that. I thought that that was
reassuring. It was disappointing in a certain light but, you know, reassuring, and also reassuring for my
health. I didn’t want to hurt myself during this experiment and the growth hormone science is a, is not
complete. Other than that, my other concerns, I have a family, I have a wife, I have children, and I’m
worried about, or I wondered, part of going back to what I call the social experiment, what was life going
to be like taking these stuffs and having a family? And sort of the opening of a book is funny and dark,
I’m in my bathroom, putting in the testosterone for the first time. And I’m nervous, you know, and my
kids are on the other side of the door just banging on it because we’re gonna be late for school and I’m
taking them to school and I sort of asked myself to the extent they can take or have moments like these
and I wondered, too, you know, I mean, what would this stuff can it do to me? Would it make me
stronger? Faster? More masculine? More macho? Was it gonna make me a jerk? Was it gonna make me
scary? Was it gonna make me sick? Was it gonna change my relationships? And I would say that, you
know, that the year that followed, yeah, and a bunch of those notes. I’d be interested to know Dave,
how much testosterone you took and how you took it.
Dave: I took it in a cream form. It’s a bio identical form of testosterone that’s come hounded
for me. I took about 10, I’m blanking on whether it’s like grams or milligrams a day.Andrew: Substance is grams. Substance is always in grams.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah. It was a, it’s kinda crazy. I’m not thinking of it right now. But, yeah, I did that
for almost 10 years. I measured the blood levels a couple of times a year after the first year and it, for
me it had really positive mental effects as well as physical effects but keep in mind I was obese for the
first half of my life. I used to weigh 300 lbs. I weigh 200 lbs. now and because of that my estrogen levels
were very high and my testosterone was, you know, pretty much at old man level even though I was
only 30. So, there was a therapeutic reason.
Andrew: Oh wow. That’s quite a tale.
Dave: It is quite a tale. But part of the tale is that, you know, I’ve been off of it for a while and
throughout those 10 years I’ve gone off for a couple of months here and there just to see what would
happen and pretty much I am able to self sustain without it and I’m going to go off of it for at least 6
months now and look at the effects of just the bulletproof diet which is itself very testosterone friendly
and look at what you can do nutritionally. And I’m almost 40 I just turned 39 earlier this year. So I’m
getting older but I’m kind of, you know, seeing what happens without the testosterone just because I
think I can. But I don’t think I see anything wrong in taking it, I think it helped me enormously.
Andrew: Uh huh, well you were certainly in a sort of a different place in your life than I was with
mine. I mean, you know this already, I’m a little guy, I don’t carry a lot of extra body weight. I’m just built
small and, you know, 5’ 8”, 145 lbs. and so, and I was fit and I was adding this to sort of the regiment.
Dave: You’re the perfect cyclist frame but how did this affect your performance actually? You
know, what did it do to your times, or your heart rate, or how did you measure your performance on
Andrew: Yeah, so, I think, let’s be clear here, I was a journalist, I’m not a scientist, I am one guy.
This is not any sort of scientific experiment. This is an un-scientific-guy-next-door experiment. And so I
have a parlance called the power meter for my bicycle. A power meter is an elaborate electronic device
that actually measures the power that your legs push into each pedal stroke as you pedal bicycle and it’s
a very scientific way to measure your performance. And I say that not to sort of toot my own horn but to
say that that’s how power meters are basically are the ways that virtually every pro cyclist use to
improve upon their performances, right their coaches and support staffs hook them up to power, hook
up their bikes with power meters and so I had one of those. And my power went up dramatically over
the course of that year. These numbers won’t mean anything just sort of floating around but from 260
watts I could hold, I went up to 310 watts. Now, I would tell you that I also trained harder. And I trained
harder for a couple of reasons. One being the passion, I mean, it just became more and more fun. The
use with the testosterone really helped me with and the scientist will argue but this is, this is, these
were my experiences. It was a recovery drug for me. It allowed my body to snap back more quickly from
hard work outs but that it, it enables you to do, of course, is to work out harder more often and then it’s
just snow balls, the harder you can work out and the more often you can do it the faster your body
recovers, well, the fitter you are going to get. So did the testosterone, you know, would it have turned, will it turn anybody into, will any performance enhancing drug turn anybody into a world caliber athlete,
the answer is no. You have to add training and the next. But so many of these drugs will actually help
you recover which will help you train. So, that was, you know, the most scientific approach to, the most
scientific aspect was that and of course, I also had my blood measured and my testosterone measured
within my blood and I went from the high 200, in terms of testosterone content in my blood and the
energy unit of measure, to I believe it was nearly 800 and that is at the high end of normal. I stalled in
the normal spectrum. In fact, Suzie Wiley will ultimately want to give me more testosterone but I felt
like I had plenty going on because I had all sorts of other feelings. But it terms of my performance, there
was that ability to recover. And I went to races, and I raced. And I know I was breaking the rules. That
was part of the experiment, too. For myself, for my own head, for my friends, for my fellow racers that
liked to race either as or with a doper and you know I did better in my race. You know I did better in my
race. I’m not a great bike racer. I’m on sort of at the entry level and a cat 4, as you would say. I’m not a
cat 2 or cat 1, but I felt like that helped me in terms of the book because I wasn’t sort of, again, I wasn’t
racing anybody to as a livelihood. This is free racing, for fun, and bragging rights and, you know, maybe a
new tire or case of power bars. You don’t race at that level to make a living. But I did better in those
races and I would dictate in those races, I felt a lot of power laid in those races and I would sort of break
apart of the group and, you know, force people to ride fast to keep up with me. I wasn’t smart or good
enough to win, fortunately or unfortunately, but I tried.
Dave: It sounds, I mean, you got an increase in performance, an increase in recovery and an
increase in passion. It sounds like this was good for you. But what was the downside here?
Andrew: Well, there was a lot that’s good. I mean, you know, in terms of sheer black and white,
one down side was of course I was breaking rules, alright, right or wrong that a 40 something man
should be racing against 20 some things, and I did race against 20 some things in some of my races
because the category, the way the categories are shook out and the races shook out I would be racing
these guys almost half my, yeah, half my age. You know, I don’t figure this to be fair enough for a 40
year old has to race against 20 some things but those are the rules and I wasn’t playing by them. So one
down side was, I broke rules and I personally paid for it in terms of being suspended for bike racing for
two years, being banned from the sport and all my results being erased from my year of doping. But
beyond that, my relationships were challenged because, you know, there’s a term called “ride rage”
which the medical community does not embrace, does not believe exists but there are some experts,
hormone experts who believe that an excess of testosterone might prime the pumping. Someone who is
irritable, someone who has, who’s prickly, and I can be prickly and I would get short. Now I had
arguments with my wife and my children. My children are too young to really know what was going on.
They were, during the experiment they were in 8 and 6 range. So, you know, I kind of felt like they were,
they were victims at times of my short fuse of my anger and it never got to the point where I was tearing
apart my home or throwing things or anything like that but I did get to the point where I was having bad
arguments with my wife and she would say, “This is not the person I know.” And that sort of coupled
with the fact that Wiley had me on very amounts of testosterone, much higher than yours, Dave. And
when I was on the, and it was cyclical. It was the consistent amount all of the course of each month and
the deepest and highest parts of the cycles when I was taking the most I seem to be the most sort of prickly. And I would say the other challenge was that, like you, mine was a topical but I was using gobs of
it and I had to be very careful in terms of not getting it on towels or sheets or clothing, I might then grab
on to members of the family. I worried about my children. There are some isolated cases reported to the
US Government about how it’s called verilization which is when kids are exposed to hormones,
testosterone and their bodies develop prematurely and it’s just a bad thing, you know. I didn’t want my
8 year old sprouting pubic hair and there are documents and cases of that. And so, I had to be careful. In
fact, strong argument can be made that my testosterone didn’t rubbed off on my wife and her levels
went through the roof and her women’s health doctor at one point was like, “You’re on your way to
becoming a man! You guys got to be more careful.”
Dave: Well, so I don’t want to intercross it into personal areas here but there are, I know some
of the followers of my blog some women who occasionally have used testosterone for its performance
enhancing benefits more for quality of life. We’re talking about relatively small amounts. Maybe, even
less than your wife got but they have generally reported that in various small doses that their, just their
passion at work, their sex drive, and just like their energy throughout the day skyrockets without
growing a mustache. Did you see any of that in your relationship? Or was it mostly a negative effect on
your wife as well?
Andrew: Dude, there were many positives.
Dave: Okay. That’s what we were talking about. I sleep in the same bed as my wife.
Andrew: And you know, her levels just got very high. You know, and so I was concerned and it
was, although Suzie Wiley argues otherwise, and you know, I stated that in the book that Wiley didn’t
believe that my cream was rubbing off on her but my doctor that sort of an intermediary between me
and Wiley definitely was concerned about what was called, contamination and so, yeah, Wiley
prescribes testosterone or doesn’t prescribe, she’s not an MD, she suggests that women go to their
doctor and perhaps in them, mid life, take some testosterone like your listeners. People taking small
amounts for added libido, perhaps, you know, aggressiveness is not the right word but maybe added
assertiveness, maybe stronger in their convictions. I was in all those things, too. You know there is this
funny, blurry line between what was sort of, considered a little agro on my part and what was
considered swagger and fun and assertiveness. My libido shot to the roof, I mean, to the point where I
would touch myself looking at women in ways that I hadn’t done since I was a teenager and it was all at
once and it was like highly entertaining, a lot of fun and supremely obnoxious. And so, I was kind of a
like, “Wow! Who am I now?” You know, but that spilled over into my relationship with my wife and that
was largely a good thing and combined that was her sort of being contaminated drives and swagger
going up and, yeah, there were fireworks that were really, really fun, you know. And again, that line is
weird and blurry and inconsistent between when does the fun, you know, stop, and so that the
questioning of that stuff begin and you know, I don’t know. I never found that line during the year of the
experiment. By the time her testosterone had shot to the roof it was pretty much time for me to get off.
Get off with the testosterone, that is.
Dave: So, you stopped it entirely and to this day you’re not using even small doses, right?Andrew: I am clean for, at this point it’s not the word you’d like to use but that’s the word that
the doping cops really would like for me to use because I’m a sanctioned athlete and I can, is that the
right term? I am, they can come in whenever they want, US anti-doping agency knows where I am
theoretically, every minute of every day, and has the right to walk into wherever I am, cup in hand and
make me pee into it. And if they find exaggeness testosterone in that, in my urine, and it’s easy for them
to find, I will be likely banned for life from bike racing.
Dave: So as long as you race, this is not an option for you.
Andrew: As long as I race or I want to race, it’s not an option and yeah, that goes back to Wiley
and her to disconnect that she sort of encounters between or she believes exist between middle aged
men who wants to be variable or athletic and here’s this hormones waiting for him to put his levels back
up to what they were. When you were too young, younger men versus the rule book which says you
can’t do that. I mean, and I understand both sides of the equation. That’s a slippery slope for doping
agents to you know. They say that, you know, a middle aged man who says, “Hey, look at my levels are
low.” I feel like that guy and take the T suddenly the floodgates are open and you know, I will remind
you and your listeners that even while, you know, pharmaceutical companies can prescribe, can and do
prescribe testosterone and for many cases they prescribe it for men that are you know, very low or
estrogen dominant or you in a way it’s a no brainer, but for gray areas, people like me you know, who
are normal low, there’s no proof, long term that this is, that this is safe, right? There’s no proof that it’s
enormously thatched for now. But there had been long term studies using testosterone halted because
of side effects, you know, potential cardiac advanced as one study addressed that that was for 70 year
old men not in great health. Well, how does that translate for a 40 something guy who wanted to take
it? The answer is, nobody knows. Those studies have not been done. And so, you know, that was
another reason I stopped. What are the long term health effects of me taking this drug as a guy who’s
you know, sort of low, kinda low, interpretively low, but not lower than low? I don’t know that I wanted
to take that chance, so yes. I am not on the T right now, even though I miss it.
Dave: So you do miss it. That those actually going to be my next question for you. If there
wasn’t the cycling prohibition would you still be taking some of it now?
Andrew: The answer is a big, fat maybe. I would have to debate it, going back to I would have to
decide in what form to take it. There are times I think the best way to do it is with the syringe. You know
you don’t have to worry about contaminations, you don’t have to worry about rubbing the stuff on. It’s
a little bit more uneven apparently, in terms of its effect because you get these giant injections of it
there’s no sort of time release so it’s not absorbed in any sort of gradual fashion. Suddenly, you know,
hello bloodstream. And I know people that uses syringe to take their testosterone and I have done it for
years that way and are happy about it. But you know, they are being nagging questions that I would
have about these long term effects and really, David, bigger question here that I posted in the book is
“What am I chasing?” I’m not saying that I’m not chasing the right thing in wanting to be younger and
youthful and feel more feral but maybe God or if you don’t believe in God, some higher being or some
evolutionary decree has been put down where aging is maybe part of the process of living. And you
know, that doesn’t be look so well in the anti-aging community. They say, be all you can be, but maybe being less than you can be is maybe part of having a perspective on life. I don’t know. I’m just throwing
that out there. And that is where… Go ahead
Dave: That’s incredibly perceptive and it’s definitely a debate in the anti-aging community. I’ve
definitely angered a few people by looking them straight in the eye and saying everyone dies and the
universe will come to an end at some point and you’ll die then if you haven’t done before. So, you know,
we all know it’s there. But the idea of fighting against death to me isn’t that interesting anymore versus,
you know, making the most out of every minute that I have before I die recognizing that it’s going to
happen. It’s a little bit more of a holistic Buddhist kind of thing mixed in with the anti-aging thing. But
believing you’re going to die makes, makes it so that your life will be a little bit more precious. And that
actually may drive you to choose to be more viral or choose to be more powerful in your life. Maybe
even through the use of testosterone which is that weird conundrum, right?
Andrew: That’s right. Or, I mean, the foot side of that is you may choose to have a different
experience later in your life and that may be about less in your body and more in your head and in your
conscience and it may not matter to you but you’re, you know, I mean, there were some really
interesting moments when I decided to go off of this stuff and to never you know, I mean, to really go
away from it. First off, I failed a couple of times in trying to go off of it because I didn’t want to but
during those, some of those moments, I, yeah, I looked at myself in the mirror, and thought, “Well, I’m
never gonna be sort of…” I was a buff. “But I’m never gonna, probably, I’ll never be this powerful again.”
And it’s a weird feeling to consciously know that you’re not gonna be, you’re not gonna be, you know,
the physical specimen you are that very moment ever again because unless you perhaps go back on
these drugs but again, you know, who’s to say that what it is that satisfies us and brings us happiness
and wisdom and a feeling of fullness as we grow older some people it may absolutely be feeling strong
in their bodies and sort of sound in the mind, in a way that’s been enhanced by something, some sort of
additive, supplements, synthetic. For other people it may be like, you know, what I, I want to experience
what this is like without that stuffs. And you know, I mean, you can draw that to an extreme. Like, well,
great, so, I mean, that’s practically, Christian scientists doesn’t well, you know, don’t take anything then
and just suffers through pain, and you know, proves diet an early death, blah, blah, blah. I’m not saying
that. But I don’t know. There might be inside pad in growing older if you do it without this stuff. Maybe
not. And I would be laughing while saying this point is, I’m still pretty darn strong and fit in my mid 40’s. I
may sing a completely different tune 10 or 15 years down the line. I may be like, “Serve it all up, Buddy. I
am missing life.” You know, it’s a 46 year old perspective. Now, in 15 years it might be completely
Dave: That’s also a fair point. The members of the anti-aging group, which is called the Silicon
Valley Health Institute that I run, some of them are in their 80’s and they look like they’re 60 and they’re
dating 40 year olds and I can definitely say that they had more dense years. The impact of things like
these is, it’s shocking and amazing when you have a proper anti-aging protocol, that include some of
these. But you’re not middle ground, or, you know. You’re not old and you’re in good shape. So, it is a
very tough line and I respect the way you are thinking about this very much.Andrew: Well, I also think that, you know, I went to an anti-aging clinic in Las Vegas and sat down
with the guys there and I’d send in chats and in there, they were pretty clear with me they said, “You’re
a typical, you know, you’re a typical for somebody who’s your age. Not even because of your age. You
come in you’re in, you’re already in good shape, you’re not overweight. Usually the people we get
coming in are exhausted and have aged way too early, are carrying too much weight and, so, you know,
they can be offered sort of a second lease on life that perhaps they didn’t think was attainable now.” In
fact in cenogenics, cenogenics would also say, “You got to improve your diet, you’ve got to improve your
sleep, you’ve got to improve your fitness”, you know, it’ll be, it’s holistic. And I think that anti-aging
industry is largely that anyway. It is holistic. It’s not just sort of like, “Take these drugs and, you know,
doll back the clock.” It’s much more long lines of, “Take these drugs and be far more responsible for
yourself.” Right? I mean, wouldn’t you agree?
Dave: Totally. In fact, one of my favorite anti-aging physician, Dr. Miller in Los Gatos,
California, he looked into me one day and said, “Dave, the most impactful thing that I’ve been able to
recommend in a long time is that people do, are these breathing exercises from a book called,
‘Meditation is Medicine’.” He said, “I can recommend these but my patients are responsible, but I can’t
get them to do these things and it really frustrates me.” So, you know, the idea of a physician looking at
hormones, nutrition, supplements, exercise, sleep and then even meditation and trying to put it all
together into a program to make older people feel younger, it’s definitely not what you get at your
primary care physician but I find it valuable and I’ve seen it reverse the life of older, very sick people,
and it seems to work.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. But you know, I mean, where we live and have been trained to live in a
society, you know, the pills, and the syringes and the shots, and the lotions are which, those are the
answers, you know. We can abuse our bodies but this stuff will save us and we sort of, I hate using the
word brainwash, we’ve been heavily influenced in that thinking by the marketing of drugs in America.
And so, whatever people take, I still think that at the end of the day, and including what they take, you
are responsible for you. And you are your best advocate, and you are your best critic and whatever you
use, you should be mindful of how you use it and you should be mindful of the way you treat your body,
period. You know. Funny, Suzie Wiley will debate the idea that exercise and nutrition, totally exercise,
maybe not so much to nutrition, exercise really, she’s sort of shrugs her shoulders at the ability of
exercise to sort of make us feel young, but she’s a big proponent of a lot of sleep, I’ll tell you that.
Dave: It’s really funny that big variables soon to eat nutrition, sleep, and exercise and it seems
like you can achieve goals with almost any one of those three or certainly by focusing on just one and
finding a balance of those three that works for you. It is there and we’ve had Bill Andrews, an expert in
telomeres, come on and talk about the telomere lengthening effects of what I would consider to be
shockingly unhealthy amounts of cardio. So, it, there really are different access to making that decision
and I’m not sure there’s one right answer. I think it’s an optimizing thing that you’ll run your entire life.
You’ll optimize how you feel and perform, if you’re aware of how you feel and perform.
Andrew: Uh huh. Anyway, we digress. Sorry.Dave: Please do.
Co-host: Speaking of enhancing performance, what were the most profound changes you noticed
before dope, or after you started doping, and after you finished it? And another question is, did you ever
purposely pushed the limits of this experiment maybe to make the book a little more exciting since you
are kind of writing the book as you go?
Andrew: Yeah. Again, you know, I’m a small framed guy and I remained small framed, of course.
Throughout the experiment, I did have bigger muscles, more definition, that was apparent and then that
ability to recover. So again, going back to, you know, I would race against guys who I’ve been racing
against for years, I’d be leaving them behind. I mean, that’s a qualitative result. But that was pretty
apparent to all of us that some levers have been thrown inside of me and you know, after I got off it, I
was banned from racing, well, no, I was not thrown and banned from racing for a long time and
afterwards because I didn’t let the secret out. But I, after I got off it, it was winter, I stopped training, I
stopped taking this stuff, I did have some weird hormonal effects coming off the drugs and I was worried
coming off the drugs that would, you know, that my hormones are going way out of whack and that I
would develop man boobs, which can happen. But Wiley had assured me that sort of a bruise she
concocted wouldn’t allow that to happen as I went off and it didn’t. But I was, you know, mildly
depressed, and is that because of the hormones, or is that because of the experiment was over, is that,
yeah, for mention I’ll never be the man I was kind of thing. I think it was all those things that led to my
sort of down disposition afterwards. There’s this, there’s another part of that question. Forgive me.
Co-host: Yeah. Did you ever may spice up, what, your activities to make the book a little more,
Andrew: Oh yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, I was on, like they say, radical amount of testosterone at
times, I mean, going from very little at one point of the month to more than, you know, body builders
would use for a couple of days. That was just sort of the Wiley mind set. She believes that not only
women but men are on sort of a cycle hormonally and that, you should, so therefore, you should take
different amounts of, you should supplement your body, you should supplement your levels of
hormones with different amounts as the month wears on. So I, I did not feel the need to sort of spice or
spike the levels I was taking and in fact Wiley, it’s a big no, no on the Wiley protocol to radically, to stray
radically from her proposed levels and that’s just her stick and I’ve heard her get, I’ve heard of her
getting very upset with people for taking less or more than she recommends. And I was a little
intimidated by her and, you know, my doctor said, “You can stray a little bit but not a lot.” And so, I felt,
well, being honest here, I felt like, you know, there was about 10 months, I stopped the, I stopped taking
it after 10 months. But there was 10 months of plenty of spice in my life, sexually, physically,
emotionally. I didn’t feel a need to get cookie or still. And really, I mean, I tried that in terms of defining
growth hormone and I don’t know what you guys are feeling about growth hormones. But again, my
doctor wouldn’t prescribe it to me and I wasn’t going to go else where for it. I was afraid again to have a,
you know, my best medical advice or be what I could find in the internet was drugs I got without medical
help. And nobody had offered me growth hormones, you know, I went to several doctors, anti-aging
doctors and none of them were outspoken in terms of offering me growth hormones and EPO, which is a blood enhancer, is not something given to healthy people ever and so for me to take that would have
been a huge no, no. Although it would have had a huge impact on my bike racing because blood
enhancers are things that allow your blood to become more concentrated which red blood cells, you mix
those drugs with an oxygen hungry sport like distance running or competitive cycling like the Tour de
France and there are huge improvements but I wasn’t gonna go there.
Co-host: That’s an excellent say which my next question, speaking of the Tour de France, the
most tested athlete probably in history, Lance Armstrong, at a huge debate right now about whether or
not he doped and since you obviously have a pre-profound insight in this topic, do you think Lance
Andrew: This sport has been around for over a hundred years, the sport of cycling and
particularly, you know, long, long races like the Tour de France which go on for many, many, many days
have been, that race is over a hundred years old. That race began as a media event. That race began
when newspaper men wanted to figure out ways to sell newspapers on the other side of France all
throughout the summer and so they created this race called the Tour de France which would go all
around the country. And it was a circus event, and the people that raced in it were, they were victims
and Guinea pigs in as much as they were athletes and, you know, back in the early 1900’s nobody cared
what these guys took in order to race the race right. The newspapers got what they wanted, they got to
report on this race happening all over the country and people bought newspapers to keep up with it and
to find out what the other end of the country was like, or mind, you know, be mindful that the 1900’s,
the early 1900’s, there were no planes, there were no lots of cars, people didn’t know what life was like
on the other side of their own country. And so this race is sort of, would unite people and give them an
eye on to not only the races but their countryside. And these guys took everything. They took whatever
they could find. They smoked cigarettes, they took nitroglycerin, cocaine, amphetamines, heroine,
strychnine. These were the early years of the Tour de France and the race grew up and the sport grew
up and the sophistication in drugs grew up with it and I find it really hard to believe no matter, you
know, what any 2, 3, 4, 7 people tell me they’re trying to do in terms of cleaning up cycling, that these
drugs are not an enormous part of the sport. It doesn’t mean, I don’t know Lance Armstrong, I have no
idea at the end of the day, but I will tell you that he purchased and paid it in the sport that has a long
institutionalized track record of performance enhancing drugs and they’ve only, the drugs have only
gotten better. And the mice, and those would be the athletes and the teams that managed these
athletes have only become smarter in terms of avoiding the cats, and that would be the cops in terms of
being caught or not being caught. You know recently, the guy who heads WADA, the World Anti-Doping
Agency, said that the very low percentage of people being busted for taking these drugs isn’t because
there are so few drugs in sports, it’s because they are so bad at detecting them. This is the guy who runs
the World Anti-Doping Agency. So, for me, for me to hear Lance Armstrong say that he’s been tested
over and over and over again, means very little in terms of whether or not he’s taking these drugs. I
hope I’ve done something to answer your question. Sorry, it was a very long answer for a very quick
Dave: You showed a lot of thinking about the problem in general there. And as a citizen
scientist, that is someone who’s interested in pushing my own capabilities there, I look at Formula One racing. And the technologies that are out there in those cars over the course of ten years making it into
the cars we drive which make them safer and faster and more efficient. And part of me it looks at things
like, competitive sports and I just say, “I wish I just had a list of what all those guys are doing.” Because
we know that some of them are doing things they are not supposed to do. If we just opened up the
training journals and the experiments that they’re running, I feel like we would learn things about the
way the human body works that no one knows because it’s all secret. At the same time, there’s the
argument that athletes would kill themselves and some of which admit they would to be top of their
field so I don’t know how to optimize the answer to that but now I want the data.
Andrew: Well, I would agree, but I would disagree with you that all the time trickle down
happens with, you know, in terms of what professional athletes have used in and what amateur athletes
enjoy both in equipment stand point, right, I mean, we can ride the same bikes that the Tour de France
racers win on to the aerodynamic helmets they use in time trials to, I mean, the power bar was invented
by the lead distance runners. Gatorade was invented for the lead football players. You know, over and
over again, everyday, as to every year, we enjoy more that, enjoy more the technology that the lead
athletes enjoyed down to their coaching and the power, I have to mention power meters that I was
talking about, those that, you know, 20 years ago power meters were utterly exotic items and the idea
of training with them was not well known. But now, you know, $500 will buy you a power meter and
$100 will buy you, $100 a month will buy you a coach who can tell you exactly how to tail your workouts
to best work with those devices. And so I would say that we cut only enjoy trickle down from the lead
athletics and but I would also agree with you Dave, that where’s this all headed? Because I think that we
want to emulate our heroes in all ways and I think that is right down to the drugs they take. Right down
to the testosterone that they use and perhaps the other drugs, too. Although the T is the most
accessible, you know, effective performance enhancing drug to my mind. You might know more and you
might beg to differ but I would argue and worry about the idea of how far do we take this because
you’re right. Athletes have proven before that they would take whatever it takes to win even if it kills
them and we’ve seen it happen. They died in bike races, they died on basketball courts, they died in
plenty of places unexpectedly and perhaps because of what’s inside of them.
Dave: Most definitely. I don’t think we are gonna get to the optimal solution here on the show
today, but we do have time for the last question that we ask of all of the guests on the show. And that’s
based on your life experience, what are the top three things that people might consider doing to, this is
going to be bulletproof, in order to feel better, to have more energy, more power, it across any to the
many you have experienced?
Andrew: Well, other than the old deal, eat, sleep and exercise, I would say, be very curious about
where the scientist headed and be your own best advocate. Look at the hormone science. Listen to your
doctor, ask your doctor, should I be taking, should I supplement with other, should I take supplements?
Should I take, should I be on hormone replacement therapy, am I old enough for that? And if I should
be, well, tell me the reasons why I should or I shouldn’t, or are you going to monitor me if I do take this?
And if you’re not, if you’re unwilling to take me on to do this, can you suggest someone who else who
might be willing to monitor me. Again, you’re as bulletproof you’re as, well not as bulletproof, but I want
to say is you’re as healthy as sort of progressive as your own mind and curiosity allows you to be.Dave: I really, I really like that, it makes great sense. And thank you for answering that. Now,
can you tell our listeners where they can learn more about you? We will of course include links on the
website and in the show notes, but for people listening, what’s your URL and the name of your book
again and the other relevant contact info?
Andrew: My book is The Doper Next Door, my strange and scandalous year on performance
enhancing drugs holistic counterpoint. It’s out on hard back. You can find it of course as an E-book as
well. You can download it to any of the E-Book technologies. You can find me on Facebook, you can find
me on Twitter and those are the best ways to find me.
Dave: Excellent. Andrew, this has been a fascinating interview. I really appreciate you taking
the time to share your experiences and talk about your book today. Have a great afternoon.
Andrew: Dave and co-host, I really appreciate you having me on. Thank you so much.
Co-host: Thank you.
Dave: Now we’ll start with the Bulletproof Executive Radio listener Q and A.
Co-host: The first question is from Noah:
“First off, I want to thank Dave and co-host for answering my questions on the
podcast. I’m an athlete and have been looking into getting a CES machine in order to increase
restorative sleep to help with recovery. I know that sleep hacking and athletics are generally considered
to be a bad mix, but what if I’m trying to increase the quality of my sleep as opposed to reducing the
time? Also, given that the aim is not to reduce total sleep time, does the caveat as to sleep hacking for
adolescents still apply?”
Dave: This is a very thoughtful question. To Noah, thanks for asking this. I am philosophically a
fan of doing anything that improves the quality of the sleep. However, I have not seen any studies of CES
on adolescent brain, so, wow, I think you’d be taking some risks there. They are probably relatively
minor risks, but I just don’t know if there are changes in your brain over time. We know they have been
studying in adults after surgeo-neurons are all fully wired, but if you use it on occasion, maybe after
really heavy training to increase the quality of your sleep, it’s a good idea. But you should look at other
technologies like Light Sound treatment, you can do that with Goggles, we have the pieces software on
the site. Those things are gonna improve your quality of sleep and they are less invasive than CES. I don’t
think CES is particularly dangerous at all. I’ve been using it for a long time and there’s plenty of research
on it, but for your case specifically, I would tread carefully. In terms of increasing the quality of your
sleep as opposed to reducing the time for sleep for adolescents, I think it’s okay to hack your sleep when
you are an adolescent. In fact, I’ll tell you something. Every single person who listens to this podcast, is a
sleep hacker. And the reason is that you are not going to sleep when it gets dark, and you’re not waking
up when it gets light. You have electric lights in your house, you have LED’s, you’re looking at a screen
most likely right now, or you are looking at atleast some electric light bulb. So we’re all sleep hackers
whether we like it or not, and if we’re going to not be sleep hackers we’d probably sleep even more than 8 hours a night. But that comes at a big cost, so absolutely if you’re an adolescent hack your sleep
by improving the quality of your sleep and getting as much high quality sleep and as low quality sleep as
you can get away with. Finding that you’ll find your quality of life goes up a lot and that you’ll be
stronger for the rest of your life if you do that right.
Dave: Next question comes from Andrew:
“Any thoughts on improving compliance with the Bulletproof Diet or its impact
on performance? I’ve been cutting way back on carbs and sugars, but find it difficult to constantly do in
social settings. How much of the benefits do you lose if you eat a carb heavy meals 2-3x a week?”
Co-host: It depends on the carbs for one thing or are you talking about pasta or sweet potatoes?
If you’re consuming on post work out that’s also gonna change how they are used by your body. For
instance, carbs from pasta and other bread sources and grains are pretty high in toxins so these aren’t
going to be very conducive to long life performance. But if we’re talking about sweet potatoes, it will be
less of an issue. There are cultures around the world who eat a high carb diet and don’t have a lot of
problems we’re talking about like the Patalhans who eat up to 70% of their diet from carbs. So there is
grounds to say that maybe we might put on “clean carbs” aren’t as problematic. That said, they also
have proper sleep habits, they have low stress levels, and they move in a natural way. They are not
doing tons of chronic cardio, or torturing their bodies.
Dave: You know, if you’re trying to lose weight and you’re having a carb heavy meal even with
Bulletproof carbs 3 times a week, you’re probably not gonna be doing a great job with that being ketosis
often principle. It’s good for your body to go in to an added ketosis on some what regular basis so 3
times a week depending on your metabolism might just be too much. But like the co-host says, if you’re
working out 3 times a week, which I don’t recommend because 3 times a week is probably over training
if you’re doing real workouts, but if you’re working out 3 times a week, you can probably afterwards
have a nice sweet potato. But the problem here in this question is that it’s solely about social situations
which means you’re not eating Bulletproof carbs, you’re eating crap. So, either you need to do some
work on your psychology so that you’d feel confident enough to actually say, you know, “I just don’t eat
that kind of stuff. I’m full right now. Thanks very much.” Or whatever else you want to say. Or you could
just do what I do and just pull a stick or butter out and just take a bite of it and sort of stare down, you
know, you’re a social guest until they look away and, you know, a little bit of disgust and sort of like awe
and envy all mixed together. But aside from that really, it’s, I hate to say it, but just man up. Like, okay,
this isn’t what you eat. If you’re eating the Bulletproof diet you shouldn’t even be hungry when you go
out. So if you’re gonna go to a restaurant and it’s dinner time, eat something before hand. Have some
upgraded way. Have, seriously, a bite of Kerrygold butter. Have some avocados. Whatever it is, get some
fat into your body so you won’t be craving for these stuffs.
Co-host: I have two more suggestions. One is eat a lot of protein before going out. That’s just
extremely stay fitting and to make it clear you’re not gonna be craving that junk. And another thing is to
test yourself and get some numbers like your cholesterol levels, HTL/triglycerides ratios. So that when somebody asks you, “Hey, why aren’t you eating these stuffs?” You can say, “Look, it screws up my
numbers. So, back off.” Cool.
Co-host: The next question is from Randy:
“What is the whole body vibration therapy, and why should I try it?”
Dave: I’m a huge fan of whole body vibration so I love this question. It turns out that
chiropractors and some sports trainers have plates that you stand on that vibrate at a relatively high
frequency about 30 times a second and you do that and you stand on, you do very basic exercises and it
gives you the equivalent of 30 times more exercise. Not from a “calorie burning” perspective, which isn’t
necessarily have calories get consumed anyway. But what it does is that it train your muscles. This
sounds kind of lame but we’ve all seemed to shake way ads on TV with those ridiculous little dumbbells
that move back and forth. That’s a poorly implemented use of whole body vibration but I tell you if you
stand and do a one legged dead lift or even a kettle bell swing standing on a plate that’s vibrating 30
times a second, or even just a yoga pose, you will get more tired more quickly than almost anything else
you can do. So it’s one of those things where you stand on you get very rapid muscle results. It also
vibrates all of your lymphatic fluid. Your lymphatic fluid is another circulatory system outside your blood
that takes waste products and helps to remove them. Mostly through your lymph nodes and it’s
dumped through one of your veins in your liver. One of the portal veins I believe in your liver. But what
happens here is you have these things that say when you go for a long walk, move, move, move, it’s
really good for you. It is good for you to move and one of the reasons that’s good for you to move is that
the only way that lymphs move is when you move your muscles because it’s muscle contractions that
cause the lymphs to move around. There’s no circulatory system like you have with your heart. So
standing on this vibrating plate for 15 minutes a day gives you far better vast, and far better perfusion,
and far better lymphatic drainage than you’re gonna get from almost anything else. So you can see it
like of muscles that tighten up that you never use otherwise it’s kind of profoundly effective. And it can
relieve certain kinds of pain even when you stand on it just because it causes muscles that maybe never
would have fired to tighten up as you just stand there. I found it to be over the course of the last 4 or 5
years to be pretty darn amazing. Although during my 2 year exercise fast, so to speak, I did it very, very
rarely just because I didn’t want to influence my results. So I have one sitting behind me as I’m recording
this right now.
Co-host: Funny. Oh sorry. Go ahead.
Dave: Sorry. One more thing I’m coming out because some of these things run about $15,000
for the really high end ones, and the most common ones out there run about $4,500. You’ll see
something like Mercola sell some to that price. I’ve got one I’ve been working with the manufacturer on
coming out one that is absolute bulletproof and that it won’t break I’ve had several of them break, I
mean, from different locations of from manufacturers. So this is a really rock solid one that’s gonna hit
the market at $14,000 and it’s, it’s one that I fully expect be able to have in another 20 years. So once
we get that going we’ll announce it.Co-host: I was just going to say it’s funny that we’re talking about whole body vibration ‘cause a
study just came out today in a journal of strength and conditioning research showing that for elite
power athletes training on a whole body vibration plate improved power output and EMG rating which
is measure how much muscles being activated although it didn’t improve your one repetition max on
the parallel squad, it was simply impressive. I was actually surprised.
Dave: It’s one of those things. I have these like swede of technologies that I play with and that
I use for Bio hacking. This is one of those things where like, really, I do stand in this plate for 15 minutes
a day, maybe every other day and it just sounds almost too dorky to be true, like the differences in body
composition that you can get from that. I’m not wasting time. This is the fastest way I know of. And if
there’s a faster way, I would do that.
Co-host: Cool. The next question is from @_TLF on Twitter:
“Please consider discussing Marijuana detoxification in a future podcast.”
Dave: You know, we could do that in a future podcast. There’s a whole bunch of different ways
of taking Marijuana and I’m certainly a fan of the harm reduction strategy that says, “I’m going to use
something that will introduce toxins to your body, okay, do it consciously, and then take advantage of
the opportunity to reduce the damage or the harm that would come from that.” So, I think we’d have to
look at a, good finding the right guest for a Marijuana detoxification and certainly I have some ideas
there. I’ve helped out some friends with it but number one thing I’d think about right now would be
using Glutathione. Glutathione is really good for just general detoxification and after you’re done using
Marijuana I would use some activated charcoal. Also, I would look at eating this stuff instead of smoking
it. Smoking it just makes a lot of, a lot of problems for your body because of the smoke itself just like
smoking tobacco is much worse than, say, eating it or atleast putting it in your mouth. So this isn’t gonna
be a whole podcast on that but I’d be up for a podcast where we’ll really talk about, okay, you’re gonna
be smoking some pot, what do you do to remain as bulletproof as possible. There’s one little problem
though, if you’re looking at really reaching those alpha brain states, it turns out that pot inhibits your
ability to increase your alpha waves. It actually might cause some increases in alpha waves in some
studies but your ability to learn to do it yourself is definitely inhibited according to one of the neuroscience EG researchers that I’ve done some work with so I wouldn’t combine brain training and pot
smoking. But if you’re gonna use it recreationally at least don’t hurt yourself so much.
Co-host: I’d be afraid to post the bulletproof Marijuana brownie recipe in our forum either.
Dave: (Laughing) I might live in British-Columbia and we’re famous for B-C but up here but I’m
not a heavy user by any measure. I usually go to Amsterdam when it’s time for that.
Dave: Next question here comes from Payan and he says:
“Could you do talk about arginine before bed and what it does for growth
hormone? I would love to hear your discussion of the mechanisms and research on this and I’d like to know if I should take it after workout or before workout or maybe before bed. What are your
Co-host: Well, if not, we’re talking about his before the podcast and we settled on the idea that
in terms of muscle growth and fat loss, arginine really isn’t probably that effective atleast in terms of the
research we’ve seen, but in terms of taking it before bed it might help. That small boosting growth
hormone might be enough just to kinda ease you into sleep and improve your sleep status throughout
the night. I have a few studies I’d like to mention just to prove we’re not pulling this something out of
thin air. Once that they found out that injecting growth hormone (in chorus with Dave) increases ???
which tricks on people onto taking build muscle and cause fat loss, so the idea that even like, you know,
pharmaceutical levels of growth hormone causing fat loss or muscle gain really just doesn’t pan out. And
what arginine does, is it does cause a small increase in growth hormone but whether or no the small
boost is growth hormone affect body composition really has not been proven yet. A study in a journal in
physiology found no improvement in over all strength or body composition despite small pitch in growth
hormone after its several different workout protocols which are even more effective at boosting growth
hormone than arginine is. And this is also confirmed in another study less than 15 weeks by the same
researchers. Japanese researchers also found that despite higher levels of growth hormone spikes in one
training group, there were still no differences in strength or body composition. And then we start getting
in the actual arginine supplementation when combined with arginine, the boosting growth hormone is
far less when you combine exercise in arginine. So, arginine is somewhat negated in the benefit of
exercise. And the journal of medicine and science and sports and exercise found that supplemental
arginine had no effect on blood flow or cardio stiffness although there is some probably some refuting
evidence that to, we have look at that a little more. But I know you’d use arginine someday then you’d
probably know a little more about it in terms of improving sleep than I do.
Dave: So keep in mind that I run this anti-aging non-profit Silicon Valley Health Institute,
www.SVHI.com, and we’ve had a ton of anti-aging physicians and researchers and also, members who
are say, in their late 80’s dating people who are, like, closer to 50, it is well known that arginine
increases nitric oxide and if you want the poor men’s safe and natural Viagra this would be probably the
simplest substance that really helps with that. A relatively large dose of arginine, say, before bed, it is
not a bad idea for a lot of people. It also can cause expansion of your micro capillaries which isn’t
involved with, say, something as simple as gaining muscles that maybe involve with reducing toxins or
getting oxygen to tissues that aren’t properly oxygenated depending on your nutritional status and your
inflammation in your body. It’s on the list of things I take before bed, has been for a while, and there’s
actually a small but a noticeable difference that I can feel from it. So, it’s gonna stay on my diet but I
don’t think that it’s one of those things that will be in my top 20.
Co-host: Right. So the answer to Payan’s question is probably take it before bed. Jane, asks the
“How are you supposed to eat 60% of your diet from fat without counting or
measuring?”Dave: Well, you don’t need to count calories, but you certainly can look at the amount of fat
that you’re eating and you can take some rough measurements. I actually did go to the trouble of
measuring how much fat I ate and using a scale and it turns out if you might want to make good
consistent bulletproof coffee you might want to measure the amount that you put in there and notice
that the diet’s 50%-60%, it’s a target but like everything else in the bulletproof diet you want to move in
a certain direction but you don’t have to be perfect so a more like weight watcher’s style way of
thinking, which say, okay, you need to do exactly 60% so you can get your point and if you’re doing 55%
it’s not good enough, or you’re doing 65% is not good enough and well, it turns out in the bulletproof
diet, it is good enough because none of us is gonna be perfect when we’re eating a diet. What we are
gonna do is to try and make decisions that are moving us in the right direction. So if you need to
measure, by all means, go and measure. But it’s absolutely not required that you do that. The process of
learning, you can estimate it and really have a little scale there and see how much your butter weighs. I
have a digital scale everytime I throw my butter in my bulletproof coffee I’m within 1 gram and when I
slice off the Kerrygold, I can go to 1 gram of 80 consistently for a hundreds of cuts ‘cause I know how
much 80 grams of Kerrygold. So that’s all good but as you’re learning it’s okay to measure but what
you’re not doing, measuring calories, you’re not counting what you eat and you’re not focusing on the
volume of food or volume of calories. You are looking at ratios, and ratios can be estimated.
Co-host: The next question is from Ken:
“What are the actual cognitive and physical impacts of consuming oxidized
Dave: It turns out that the bulletproof diet has a good bar chart that shows you which fats are
polyunsaturated and the cognitive and physical impacts of eating those polyunsaturated oxidized fats
are pretty substantial. It turns out that they’re directly tied to inflammation through your arachidonic
acid pathway so the cognitive impact that you’re likely to have from eating these fats is you’re likely to
have more brain fog to be slower and have just less healthy coding function. You may notice it in terms
of word recall and things like these. I actually haven’t even thought of that one but I definitely read that
study and that’s really good point so you’ll be less able to handle sugar which is completely bad
because we have these incredibly bad foods out there which are basically canola oil or some other
equivalently bad food oil, say mixed with sugar and a little bit of artificial flavoring and salt as a dessert.
Even at places like whole food, at whole food I challenge you to go there and find one of their, you
know, vegan cake pudding dessert thing, it’s usually crappy oils mixed with some sort of sugar source
and it’s gonna do bad things to you.
Co-host: If you want to look this up, you can look at pop med articles that end in 12031970 and
3282462. Those are just among that you start if you’re really nerdy about these stuffs. But to quote one
of them directly that talk about saturated fat enhances glucose stimulated insulin secretion and then go
whereas unsaturated fat given in diet or by infusion impairs glucose stimulated insulin secretion so it’s
basically impairing insulin.
Dave: This question comes from Mark. It says:“What do you think of ZMA supplements? I’ve heard they boost muscle growth
and they’re one of the most common body building supplements.”
Co-host: They’re useless. And they might even be less than useless if you take in account a few of
their effects. One study published in a journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found they
marginally only increase Zinc levels and they had no effect on fat loss or muscle gain it also failed to raise
Magnesium levels to any significant degree. So what ZMA is, is Zinc Magnesium Aspartate and
Magnesium is a beneficial substance and there’s actually several studies showing it does improve muscle
growth. And Zinc is the same thing, it is also needed in testosterone production. And so technically,
taking these should improve your general physiology but there’s nothing magical about the combination
of ZMA and that’s never been proven and most of the claimed benefits are almost certainly due to just
fixing a deficiency in Magnesium and or Zinc. So while all these studies is really showing is that
deficiency in Magnesium or Zinc is bad. It’s not saying that Magnesium and Zinc are useless you should
probably should take them but they’re better taken in isolation rather than in ZMA form. It’s probably a
waste of your money ‘cause as that one study shows as I have mentioned, it failed to raise them to a
degree that you would normally find with larger amounts of isolated supplementation.
Dave: I have to say I’m a little skeptical of that conclusion. I’m not a fan of ZMA so I think
it’s mostly a marketing scam. So, for that perspective, yeah, don’t take these stuff but it turns out that
the formula of Zinc in it is that actually Zinc monomethionine aspartate not just Zinc Aspartate. So, I
would look at this as simply those three supplements B6, Magnesium Aspartate and Zinc. And whether
you take them in three separate pills at the same time or you take them together shouldn’t make that a
big of a difference because these are just separate compounds where they mixed them together and
form them into a pill. Magnesium Aspartate is one of the more absorbable forms of Magnesium basically
I take a mix of Aspartate, Orotate and Citrate in my Magnesium for optimal absorption. And I’m a little
confused I think we need to dig in more to that study why the Magnesium levels didn’t go up I would
look at doses and I would also look at the PH of the gut and look at whether there was something
blocking that. So am I a fan of taking Zinc, yes. Of Magnesium, yes. Am I a fan of Aspartate, yes. A fan of
B6 and limited amounts, yes. But why would I pay twice as much to take them all together in a ZMA
thing with a fancy sticker on it. Hmmm. Not okay, whatsoever.
Co-host: Absolutely. Yeah, that was basically my point there’s nothing magical about ZMA per
say, great that though the compounds that are in Zinc Magnesium Aspartate are utmost certainly
beneficial but like the study shows that number one, it doesn’t really improve body composition and
number two, it is probably better to take larger amounts in a separate dosage like you’re doing. Because
what probably happens is that this amounts you’re taking are so low that it’s not really enough to make
an effect yet they’re claiming in the bottle that it’s gonna turn you into Hulk Hogan or something. So..
Dave: Yeah. You’ve got a point there. I would put it on the skeptical side of things but most
people are Zinc and Magnesium deficient and B6 deficient so just take them separately.
Co-host: Absolutely. The next question is from Judy:“I found your site only a few days ago, but have been totally engrossed in the
podcasts and all the info you have to offer! I’ve been trying to think of ways to adapt the bulletproof
diet to my own preferences. My only hang-up so far is bread. I love the texture, and am trying to find a
suitable yeast-free recipe using rice flour. What are your thoughts on rice flour, and are there any
special considerations of which I should be aware when choosing a product?”
Dave: Well, first of all, there’s just something that I just have to say. The reason that you’re
having a hard time giving up bread is because bread is doubly addictive in addition to the op yeast that
form from the digestion of gluten, you also have all of that yummy yeast that cause the bread to rise.
That yeast is also addictive if you’re allergic to yeast, what will happen is, you’ll actually get used to the
stressed effects of the yeast. So for most people this is not well known but most people who have a
problem with yeast actually are attracted to bread even more. So your body will potentially raise your
heartbeat by as much as 20 beats per minute when you eat something you are allergic to. I’ll bet you
anything that if you look at your heart rate before and after you eat bread that there’s a difference to
their duty. And what’s going on there is you’re getting a little squirt of adrenaline when you eat that
thing you’re allergic to which is bread. So all of a sudden you’re like, “Man OP and plus Adrenaline, I feel
great.” Boy, I’m the same way with bread. You give me one piece of bread then the next day, I think I’ll
just have two. And the next day, I just need three. And pretty soon, like I’m bloated, my skin’s bad and
my brain is foggy and I’m cranky all the time. So what you’re looking for is Methadone essentially. The
problem here is that you can make yeast free rice bread but it doesn’t taste very good and it’s extremely
full of carbs and you’re likely to eat a high carb diet that way. So just because it’s Gluten free doesn’t mean it’s good for you. If you are going to try and make a bread substitute, it’s probably not gonna be amazing and it’s gonna be high in eggs and protein which are going to be heavily oxidized. I spent years looking at bread substitutes and the bottomline is I’ve never found one that’s particularly good for you.
If you’re gonna do it, things like muffins work. Work something well and your best white rice flour to choose is sweet white rice flour which is also known as Mochi flour. However, instead of baking bread out of it, why don’t you try buying some Mochi made out of white rice. It’s m-o-c-h-i. Mochi’s available at most whole foods or at most health food stores. It’s just steamed pounded white rice, you bake it, it puffs up, and it’s the closest thing to a bread substitute I found and it’s exactly the same nutrition as white rice.
Co-host: If you have any questions for the podcast you can contact us on Twitter, on Facebook,
or by leaving a comment in the show notes for this episode. The show notes will be displayed in
www.bulletproofexec.com along with links about everything we’ve talked about today including Mochi.
Dave: Alright, it’s time for the Bio Hacker report, my favorite part of the show. Our first study
today is based on chronic stress, immune dysregulation and health. You’ve often heard me talk about
the MYA and talk about breathing exercises and ways to control chronic stress. Well, this study really
plays into that body of knowledge. It comes from the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Rush
University Medical Center in Chicago. And this was published in the American Journal of Lifestyle
Medicine which of course all of us have rolled up on the back of our thoughts, right? Anyway, this is a
review looking at the research on stress how it affects the body and mainly how it affects the Immune
System. The scientists found that chronic stress is tied to a state of chronic low-grade inflammation, delayed wound healing, poor responses to vaccine and increases susceptibility to infectious illnesses.
They also found that behavioral changes under conditions of chronic stress contribute to immune
dysregulation. Its pretty powerful direct information that says stress isn’t just in your mind, it’s in your
body. My own experience has certainly reflects this that as I learned to manage my stress and I learned
heart rate variability and other sort of Bio Hacker techniques that my overall health went down and my
inflammation went down. There are also specific studies that weren’t part of this one about IL 6 which is
one of the inflammatory compounds and heart rate variability. It turns out having a higher heart rate
coherence equals lower IL 6.
Our next study is on how BPA can cause heart attacks. This comes from the University of
Cincinnati College of Medicine and it’s about to be published in the Endocrinology Journal. BPA, if you
haven’t heard of it is a very common synthetic estrogen plasticizer compound. This is some of that we’ve
just put in all sorts of plastics that we’ve been exposed ourselves to. This a bad idea for our health
because Estrogen generally should be made and controlled by our body, not rubbed all over you by the
plastic things you touch or eat from everyday. But, here the research has exposed human heart tissue to
parts per trillion of BPA. This is very, very low levels. The cells began beating erratically and off rhythm.
The conclusion of the researchers, well atleast the hypothesis, is that the stress from the toxin BPA
cause the cells to misfire, the cells stopped functioning correctly even when the BPA didn’t enter the cell
itself. So it’s just the presence of the BPA and the medium. This is pretty good evidence from my
perspective anyway that BPA may be even more harmful than expected and to be as safe as possible,
you really shouldn’t eat canned food because with BPA in the plastic that lines the canned food you
should stop eating out of plastic containers that are not guaranteed to be BPA free and you shouldn’t
drink bottled water. Your heart may really thank you.
This is one of the reasons that when we decided to carry MCT oil that we checked into
the status of the bottles and made sure that the bottles are BPA free. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to
ship glass bottles through Amazon or anywhere else because glass bottles full of oil tend to break so we
went with a lighter weight, safe bottle that had no BPA in it because it’s especially bad to have a fatty
type of food that is next to a BPA laced container because the fats will absorb the BPA more than say,
liquids or carbs would.
The final Bio Hack report today is about the inhibitory effect of breast milk on infectivity
of live oral rotavirus vaccines. Now I know when you hear that sort of headline, you’re likely to get very
excited but seriously there’s a reason we’re bringing this up. This comes out of the pediatric infectious
disease journal published by our friends at the CDC. They wanted to see how delaying breastfeeding
could improve the effect of this sort of vaccines. In the study, they found that mothers in less developed
countries produce milk with stronger anti-bodies and the vaccines were less beneficial for those babies
probably because the babies have stronger immune systems. Instead of asking why this might be, our
friends at the CDC saw stronger immunity as a negative effect and recommended breastfeeding be
delayed during immunization to make vaccines more effective. For my perspective, this is like telling
people to stop wearing seat belts during accidents to improve the function of their airbags. The next
time you think you’re making the rationale decision of taking help advice from the CDC or from the
government in general, think again. This is one of the most offensive studies I can possibly imagine. In a few months here, Wiley should be publishing the book that I spent a long time writing along with my
wife about how to have the smartest, best child you possibly can have. Our book is called The Better
Baby Book. We looked at 1,300 references and we actually implemented this program for my own two
children who are now 4 and 2. The idea that withholding breast milk to cause immune dysfunction in a
baby to let a vaccine work better is incredibly, incredibly bad. So if there’s one thing to take away from
this study it’s, not all studies are worth really paying attention to, that you should really think for
That concludes today’s Bio Hacker report and today’s show. You can find links to
everything we’ve talked about in the show notes that will be published at www.bulletproofexec.com. As
a public service we transcribe every one of these podcasts completely so, you can search for keywords, you can find anything that we talked about, you can read it and you can basically use it for your own
benefit. If you enjoyed this, we totally appreciate a positive ranking in iTunes. If you want to learn about
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news flowing. Co-host take care.
Co-host: See you soon. Bye.