I am an experimentalist. If you can prove 2 things to me, then I'll try it at least for a couple of weeks. Does this have a potentially great benefit? Will it kill me? If the answer is Yes and No, then let's get it on.
There is quite a lot of arrogance in the scientific community as I imagine it has always been this way in history. The only thing that has been proven is that every scientist in the past has virtually been wrong. They may have been close in approximation, but always wrong.
Galileo's persecution of finding out that the universe did not revolve around us is a classic case used. If we look today who gets persecuted in challenging the status quo, we have political revolutionists (Assange, Snowden, etc), dietary & medical revolutionists (Mark Sisson, Dave Asprey, Douglas Graham, etc), and physics & reality revolutionists (Richard Feynman, Rick Strassman, etc).
The case I am making is experimentation is the very heart of discovery. However, our society demonizes it. One area I have very intimate experience is with diets. I never had even one supporter for anything I was trying, and I also had to deal with extremely difficult social situations because of it. Nonetheless, here are some key lessons from being my own guinea pig.
1. We are all different
I can't say this enough. What works for someone may or may not work for you. I can't for the life of me take Vitamin D supplements. It always causes some kind of depression or sore throat. However, sun tanning for 10 minutes a day works really well. I become better looking and feel 10x better. In addition, low carb diets don't work very well for me and believe me, I've tried. However, adding in daily portion of white rice and fruit works wonders.
2. Quality of food matters
Just like Christ, there is a Before Carl and After Carl. Before Carl was pre 2004 and this guy was massively insecure, acne ridden, and just not a very cool dude. After Carl happened at the very moment I decided to try a raw diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, raw egg yolks, and brazil nuts. I became bold, much more attractive, and started to think outside of the box. Sure, it's possible that it might have been psychological, but nonetheless, it happened. Eat foods that are minimally processed and full of nutrients.
3. Supplements matter
We live in the modern world and shit ain't what it used to be. I tried eating a very enlightened vegan diet consisting of only raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts for many years. I managed to make it work, but every year it got harder. In a competitive world, high quality supplements give you an edge over others. The basics may include Weston Price's recommendation of Vit A & D from fermented cod liver oil and Vitamin K from butter oil (Green Pasture).
4. Cognitive boosters matter
Once you've got your diet and supplements in order, you should feel awake and rested, but you're too damn comfortable in this manufactured life. That's why we simulate being chased by a tiger with performance enhancing drugs like caffeine. You think the European renaissance would have happened without coffee? Think again. I'm currently writing this post with vengeance using a new technology of caffeine intake by taking it through the skin (Sprayable Energy). And it ain't just caffeine, try some of the nootropics as well.
5. Your life matters
Working 100 hours a week and destroying your health? You will pay for that one day. The people who tell me they don't care about being healthy because we are going to be shitty old people one day anyway. Well let me tell you, I'd rather one badass great feeling grandpa than a fat sick diabetic monster. Find work life balance. There's always a way. You don't need a bigger house and car.
I'm not here to tell you what to do. I'm just asking you to try. JUST TRY for maybe 2 weeks something different. You may be surprised at what happens in your life. My experiences have resulted in 95% poor results, but trust me, those 5% in positive results can be so mind blowing that you really feel like you're the guy in Limitless even if it's just for a moment.
Great observations from someone out on the field. I haven't even heard of adaptogen's until I saw Paul's reply.
I find your commentary on cognitive boosters interesting as well. After having grown up around a lot of coffee/caffeine addicts I've taken Steve Pavlina's stance on caffeine as a sort of poison the body detoxifies which gives the illusion of energy (due to the emergency overdrive the body goes into to flush caffeine). If there are analogues to caffeine that have none of the bad stuff or it's proven that despite the withdrawal syndromes and dependency caffeine has no real long term harm I'd be tempted to buzz up again.
If you don't have impeccable health habits, caffeine will only amplify your problems since you are running on an empty tank. The only resources of caffeine should be high quality fresh teas (green), single origin coffees (Guatemala), and pure sprayable versions through the skin (Sprayable.co). I'm currently experimenting with the latter and am finding it's amazing effectively in spreading out the caffeine absorption. People don't realize that caffeine has a very rapid half-life and won't stay in your system more than an hour.The way I see caffeine is it's a way to simulate the mental benefits of physical activity without actually doing any physical activity.Health is deeply personal and based on your circumstances. I'm always changing as I live in different places/lifestyles etc. Also another thing aging men suffer from is low testosterone of which there are natural solutions for as well, but I won't share those to the general public since it makes you just a more aggressive form of yourself. Selfish and arrogant people need not apply.
Thanks for the clarification. It seems then from your experience caffeine is merely an amplifier which makes good health even better and bad health even worse. I've also read about the half life of caffeine and I've seen some really wild figures with some going into 6-8 hours and yours being the shortest I've read at 1 hour.
I have not experimented much with caffeine mostly because of paranoia given what it's done to everyone around me. I guess I should just balls up and try it out and see what happens. Speaking of balling up I did have clinically low testosterone tested in the 220 levels due to tiredness/depression up until I changed to a more paleo/bulletproof like diet and started working out again after not exercising for 6 years. 7 months later my levels tested at ~460 and my clinical hypogonad'ism was ruled out of the books. I could almost write a 'double your tetosterone naturally' book now rofl. There probably is an optimal level of T out there as I had loads of it back when I was younger and I got worked up over things really easily (though felt a lot more sexual before then also). Anyway you mentioned low carb didn't work for you and I understand totally. We must all have different dietary types as there are so many diets with supporters out there now that the truth must be relative. The big challenge for the future will be creating a process to determine your nutritional type. Until then I guess we are still at the trial and error phase and that may just be the optimal solution.
Ah, thanks for sharing the testosterone experience. This is my recent fascination. I haven't gotten it tested by I kinda gauge it by how many boners I get at night :P. Mine virtually disappeared the last couple of years and I was suffering from a lot of fatigue. Eating meat again (grass fed of course) helped a bit, but cod liver oil, butter oil, and brazil nuts solved it. I'm also experimenting with some other stuff right now, but not ready to share. But anyway, testosterone is hugely key to motivation, aggression, and simply being a man.
My mom is Korean is I get most of my genetics from her as a male. I've always been very skinny and always had high metabolism, so I figured I naturally burned through carbs quickly. If i had too few, my sleep quality would dramatically drop leaving me very tired. If I have enough, I sleep like a baby. White rice seems to be cleanest/cheapest carb for me to feel satisfied. It's empty calories but I get enough nutrition elsewhere.
My dad and my sister could use a more Paleo approach as just by looking at them, they have a much more scandinavian build (stockier).
It really is an insane trial and error experience. There are so many factors that it's almost impossible to know if you are accurate in your assessment. I hope blood testing can get cheaper soon.
Do you have any experience with Yerba Mate? I've heard very positive things Yerba Mate and its supposed benefits related to energy.
I also highly recommend taking an adaptogen of some sort. I currently take Rhodiola Rosea; other adaptogens include ginseng and ashwaganda. Helps your body to deal with physical and mental stress. I've noticed a significant increase in mental acuity and physical endurance.
Awesome. I've come across that in my research. Will upgrade it on my experimental list. One of the problems with experimentation is that it takes time because you should try it in isolation for 2 weeks at least.
Magnesium, via the brand Natural Calm (or other imitators), is another supplement I highly recommend. Helps to regulate bowel movements, and improves sleep considerably. Due to soil depletion, many fruits and vegetables are low in magnesium.
Three servings of fermented shark, hakarl, the first thing I eat when in Iceland. Anthony Bourdain has called it "the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing." I wash it down with a shot of brennivin, which is adorably nicknamed "Black Death."
Consuming an indigenous fermented dish is my no. 1 adaptation & sickness-prevention strategy.
The water will still get you sick in some areas of the world if you're not careful, but more often than not sickness will be due to the lowered defenses that come with living in a "cleaner" plasticized, sanitized environment.
We weren't designed to be thrown into a totally different part of the world over the course of a few hours. Traveling by foot historically allowed for our gradual acclimation to foreign bacteria cultures.
For the longest time I was obsessed with summoning up massive energies within myself to perform all the goals I had laid out for myself in life. Then, I realized that it would be much more awesome to just get there via effortlessness instead. So now I try to do things smoothly by default, and only use the massive energy once in a while.
Self-talk is a big part of this. Notice how Ronnie Coleman always yells "light weight baby!" or "ain't nuthin' but a peanut!" before he pulls or squats 800 lbs? That's what I'm talking about. Those lofty life aspirations you have? Ain't nuthin' but a peanut.