Robb Wolf is on fire! The Paleo movement founding father shows why he is one of the true thought leaders of modern times with an assortment of breakthrough insights and aggressive challenges to stuff that ain’t right. It’s refreshing, it’s inspirational and it makes for an absolutely fantastic show.
We start with a check-in on Robb and his family’s incredible journey from Northern California to Nevada to Texas and soon off to establish a new home in Montana or thereabouts. Robb also describes his longtime passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and how he applies age-appropriate modifications to his training regimen.
Then Robb challenges the widespread fascination and popularity of intermittent fasting, saying that most data suggesting caloric restriction promotes longevity comes from animal studies where they restrict nutrient-deficient processed food. Of course one will live longer with less junk food! On the flip side, there is research to suggest that eating more species-appropriate food and being more active, especially preserving lean muscle mass, can extend lifespan! There’s an awesome takeaway point for peak performance and longevity: “Lift more weights and eat more protein if you want to perform better and live longer/”
Robb is not afraid to call BS when inclined. He describes how disgraced ex-CrossFit founder Greg Glassman delivered inappropriate programming that caused Robb to sustain a severe back injury in 2005. He calls royal bullshit hoax on the hallowed Blue Zones book and lifestyle movement, citing recent research that the Blue Zone population pockets happen to be pockets of poor birth record keeping and high rates of pension fraud. Robb is skeptical about our potential for increasing supercentenarian-ism, saying even today’s healthiest specimens might want to be satisfied with living well to 90 or 100. When Dave Asprey’s often-repeated boast of living to 180 was mentioned, he went on record saying with Dave’s wacky biohacking techniques he’ll be lucky to hit 70. I tend to agree when I heard Dave say a few years back that because he was so busy running a business and being a family man, that he wrote one of his books working for months between the hours of 3 am and 7 am—of course utilizing his favorite devices, tricks, and substances to give him superhuman productivity.
If you are new to ancestral health and haven’t heard of this guy, Robb is a former research biochemist and two-time New York Times/Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paleo Solution and Wired To Eat. He and co-author Diana Rodgers released their book, Sacred Cow, in 2020. which explains why well-raised meat is good for us and good for the planet. Robb has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world via his top-ranked Healthy Rebellion Radio podcast, books and seminars. He’s known for his direct approach and ability to distill and synthesize information to make the complicated stuff easier to understand.
We explore the insights in Robb’s books, Wired To Eat, and Robb discusses his landmark five-year project with Diana Rodgers called Sacred Cow, which became a popular book and documentary film. Get ready for some wild, controversial, and surprising insights with this hard-hitting and memorable conversation with Robb!
Brad’s guest today pulls no punches in bringing out some real misunderstandings being presented out there in the community. [02:02]
With so many people pulling up stakes and moving to other areas, it is important to respect the new location and be a good neighbor. [06:26]
Robb is into Brazilian jujitsu which is keeping him in very good shape as he ages. [10:40]
How can the aging process be delayed by physical activity? Robb talks about how he’s dealing with a severe back injury. [17:41]
Such a big part of coaching is trying to get people to slow down and rest more. [23:52]
Maybe we need to learn more about intermittent fasting. [26:31]
Overeating accelerates the problems of cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, etc. [31:15]
What is the real truth about Blue Zones? [34:37]
If you are using fasting as your weight loss regimen, the food you do eat needs to be the right kind. No matter what, you should be doing strength training. [38:39]
Is appetite a regulator of your caloric intake? [47:56]
Taking a cold plunge can be a stressor. It can just be 70 degrees. [55:40]
Sacred Cow is a book and a film taking on the ethical environmental and health considerations of a meat-inclusive food system. [59:28]
Why do we need to check our electrolytes? [01:06:57]
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Brad (2m 2s): Oh my gosh, I am so excited and inspired by this incredible conversation with the paleo founding father himself. New York times, best selling author, mover, shaker disruptor. It’s Robbbb Wolf catching up from his current home in Texas, but he’s on the move again. He’s gone from California to Nevada, to central Texas, and now he’s fixing to move on up to Montana and continue with his passion for Brazilian jujitsu at 48 years old. He’s looking and feeling better than ever. He’s going to tell us why. And he’s also going to get a little spicy and controversial. Brad (2m 43s): And that’s what I love about this guy and is so inspiring right at the time where I’m kind of reflecting on my role as a host and how I can communicate. And what’s important to me and I’m aspiring to be more straight shooting, more revealing and not so polite and withholding when I think something’s bullshit or something sounds funny. And, Oh my gosh, after interviewing Dr. Paul Saladino recently, and then Robb, Oh man, you just realize that these guys who are the true movers and shakers and thought leaders of the community are putting it out there and they don’t care what people think they’re telling their truth. And they’re calling out the bullshit. So turn on your bullshit meters people because Robb is free wheeling and throwing it out there. Brad (3m 29s): He talks about how he sustained a severe back injury, doing a inappropriate CrossFit workout at the hands of now, disgraced, CrossFit, founder, Greg Glassman. So that kind of sucks that the guy blew up his business and caused a severe injury to Robb Wolf. He goes on to discuss how the popular, the hallowed blue zones movement, you know, those pockets of centenarians around the globe and the intense study that’s turned into the best-selling book in the lifestyle movement. He says, it’s almost an entire hoax and that these blue zones are pockets of high rates of pension fraud and poor birth keeping records and there’s research and articles you can find. Brad (4m 13s): We’ll link to them to back backup what Robb is saying. He goes on to challenge and, and toss out Dave Asprey’s ridiculous and commonly repeated notion that he was going to live to be 180 years old with all his biohacking. And Oh man, it’s getting spicy. It’s fun, but it’s real. And it’s raw. And I think you’re going to love it. And we proceed from one topic to another. The one that’s really interesting is that there’s this second guessing of the hallowed benefits of fasting. And you’re going to find out why maybe we’ve gone overboard with this fascination with intermittent fasting, especially for fit healthy people. Brad (4m 55s): And we might want to pay more attention to preserving muscle mass rather than protecting against cancer by not eating so much. And that’s just a little bit of what Robb gets into. We’re going to talk about the rationale and benefits of electrolyte, supplementation, and area where a lot of people mess up, especially when they transition over into a keto low carb diet. And he’s got his wonderful operation called element. So you’ll learn about the importance of electrolyte supplementation. So many other topics. It’s a great show. It’s going to rock your world. The one and only Robb Wolf. Here we go. Robb Wolf. What a pleasure to connect again. It’s been a long time. Brad (5m 35s): We’ve passed each other in the hallways at the trade shows. We had you up to the Lake Tahoe Primalcon many years ago. That was a great retreat up there. But you’re a guy on the move. So I think we better start out by checking in on this, this global travel relocation schedule, the Wolf family. Robb (5m 54s): Yeah, well, it’s nothing I really wanted to do, but we gave a shot down in Texas. We really liked it, but most of Nikki’s family lives kinda out, out in the West, more like Reno and Idaho. And we, we, we may have some leverage on them to move somewhere else, but it’s not Texas. So we’re looking at trying to rally the whole family somewhere around like Wyoming or Montana. So we’re looking at maybe scooting towards Montana sometime in the spring. So yeah. Yeah. Brad (6m 27s): Just to depart from a health show into the, into the economic realm, it seems like there’s going to be a mass sort of relocation or Exodus from the urban areas prompted by the, the quarantine of course. But I’m also thinking that just the explosion of culture and the internet and all these things where now you can go waltz into some Podunk town in Montana and there’s a CrossFit box and there’s cool people at the health food store and hikers and mountain bikers. And it seems amazing to me to see this explosion. Robb (7m 2s): It’s cool. It’s a double-edged sword. The irony is that a lot of what makes these people want to flee the urban areas? Those people screw it up in short order. I think that a little bit of respect for the indigenous culture of an area that you moved to would be helpful instead of going in and immediately changing everything. And you’re kind of utopian of a worldview, maybe a tread lightly and try to blend in and assimilate a little bit, might, might go a long way towards, you know, making, making fewer ruffles and actually keeping the place nice because it, it, it was nice for, for reasons different than oftentimes the places that you’re leaving. Robb (7m 46s): So yeah, not to get overly political in that yes. Brad (7m 50s): Public service announcement for all of those of you wishing to move to cool places. Yes. It’s easy to spoil. You know, I lived in Auburn for a long time out in, you know, far suburb of Sacramento and the hub of Western States endurance running and the trails and everything. And people would come up there from, from town, you know, for their weekend trail run. And you’d see all this litter on the trail, like their energy gel packets and stuff. They, they shouldn’t even be consuming anyway, if they were eating a proper diet, but it was like, you know, there’s someone going to pick up after them or some kind of mentality where they’re just not really there in nature, but they’re not understanding the whole, the whole scene or something. Robb (8m 32s): Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s funny because I am from Northern California originally, but we’ve been in Texas coming up on two years and I have a bit of an Arkansas role from my mom. And I forget what I was in some crowd of people and some shenanigans were happening and the guy that I was chatting with a guy, and he was like, well, clearly you were local here like me. And so that was kind of cool that that was kind of cool that I, I passed the, the, the central Texas sniff test it, at least it, it, some, some superficial levels. So yeah, like treading lightly with, it goes a long way towards, you know, making, making for good neighbors. Robb (9m 13s): Yeah. Yeah. Brad (9m 14s): Okay. We’ll look forward to a future, update another, another relocation in store. I love the idea of rallying the family. And I, I, you know, I’ve, I’ve moved to the, the places that I love the most and that’s important, but I feel sad that, you know, we we’ve kind of chased careers or personal preference at the expense of having that, that nucleus of family that some people, you know, have for generations and generations. And now it’s so easy to move to a cool new place, but yeah. How, how are you going to do that? What are your, what are your enticements? Dinner every, every Saturday night? It’s a gourmet meal. Yeah. Robb (9m 54s): I mean, they’re, they’re in a similar spot where they with so many unknowns in the world, just kind of wanting to have that, that like kind of a base of operations for sure. And part of the thing that’s drawing us to this, this area of Montana is that the straight blast gym organization, that I’m a part of with Brazilian jujitsu, there are several gyms there and they’re very, they’re 10, 11 years old. They have a really deep culture there and a lot of folks. And so I guess somewhat similar to like plugging into a CrossFit gym or something like that, you can transplant and plugged into something like that. And it’s, it kind of accelerates the, the kind of developing some, some local networks and, and friends and both our daughters are six and eight. Robb (10m 40s): And so they’re enjoying Brazilian jujitsu, but what they really enjoy is having friends to play with. Live fully, you know, we homeschool them. And so that’s a primary part of their socialization. So in addition to hopefully getting our, our biological family closer to us, we have this jujitsu family that is already there. And, you know, we just need to again, plug in and tread lightly and should, should fare pretty well on that. Yeah. Brad (11m 8s): Okay. Well, good luck. And speaking of jujitsu, I just saw this, this shocking social media posts where you said you’re 48 years old and still looking good and feeling good. And I’m like, wait a second. The boy wonder if the paleo movement is now 48 years old. Oh my gosh, time is flying, but I am curious, you look great. You said you’re fitter than ever. And this seems like a heavy contact sport that it seems like there’s a point where you might want to transition out of that. But I’m just curious in general, how your fitness regimen has changed over the years and your competitive athletic goals. You’re still hanging in there on the jujitsu mat, which is amazing, but let’s get an update in that realm. Robb (11m 51s): Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. I just got my Brown belt, which is pretty cool. You know, it’s no, no small accomplishment. I’ve been pretty consistent for eight years. So I have made some, some good, good progress on that Brad (12m 7s): Honorary. It’s not an honorary Robb Wolf brown belt, like an honorary PhD from some school you had to actually earn it. Robb (12m 14s): Well, here’s the deal with jujitsu. You don’t want an honorary anything because all that getting an advancement does is paint a bigger target on you. And one it’s something that will cause people to quit is to get a new belt and they weren’t really ready for it. And then there’s an expectation of performance there and you get your ass kicked and you’re, you’re clearly not where you should be and that’ll bounce you. So it is, it is a place where participation trophies will get you murdered in, in that scene. So it’s, so it, it, it usually has some substance to it. And there is different considerations if I was 24 and, and, you know, a super hard go getter, then there would be different, you know, standards and considerations around that. Robb (13m 2s): But part of the reason why I liked this free class gym organization, people train plenty hard. They have world champions, people, people are go getters, but it has a culture of really measured on ramp. Like you don’t just throw people to the sharks. This is kind of again for a CrossFit analogy. I guess when we ran our gym, which was the fourth affiliate gym in the world, we discovered pretty quickly that just throwing people into this standard class was a great way to get them quit. Like if we just wanted to like beat everybody down and show them how not fit they were, then that was, that was fantastic. And we had like five people in the gym and you have no way to make a living off of it. Robb (13m 45s): And so these free class gyms are very well run. They, they have fundamentals classes that get people kind of work hard and, and ramp them up. And then they slowly expose them to the, to the more live rolling and whatnot. And it varies from place to place. But there’s definitely a strong culture of that there. And I’m also, I just tap early and I, I’m a little bit selective with who I roll with. If you’ve got kind of a, a young hard-charging knucklehead, I may tell them, Hey, you gotta, you gotta be a little bit mellow or I’m just not gonna train with you. You know? So I think that, that, that is a lot of, of what goes into longevity with this thing. Nicki just got her blue belt and we trained together a lot. Robb (14m 30s): And if I wanted to smash her, I could, but then I don’t have one of my best training partners to work with and I don’t get better and she doesn’t get better. So you really have to be committed to getting the thing that needs to be most important is your love of jujitsu. Not winning. If, if, if winning every single match is your singular goal, then you’re going to get hurt. And you’re going to have a very short tenure in the, in the process. So it’s got to be about more things other than just like winning every, every single match. And so when I trained with Nikki, I would start off say like, she may have a choke, like 95% sunk in, and then using posture and, you know, subtle movements. Robb (15m 14s): Can I get out of that versus like exploding and freaking out and breaking her wrist in the process, you know? And, and so there’s a, there’s a lot of interesting things that you can do. And she’ll choke me eight times out of 10, but then I’ll keep chipping away at it. And then she chokes me seven times out of 10 and then five times out of 10. And it’s all not using strength it’s using, you know, can I posture my shoulder against her choking arm in a way that then allows me to, you know, sink down and wiggle out and not even use. It’s pretty, pretty cool when you can get to where you can get out of a rear naked choke, not using your hands at all as, as an example. Yeah. Brad (15m 52s): Yeah. It sounds pretty graceful instead of just raw power. You’re also working on your technique at all times, and can spar with a opponent of a disparate ability where both of you guys gained so much from it. Robb (16m 5s): Absolutely. Yeah. And I mean, it, it, it, we all, I think endeavor to be as fit as we can, as long as we can. But if you build a game purely around attributes, strength, explosiveness, speed, what have you, then you have a game that every five years you’re getting asked to go in and take the end, the transmission out and change it because we are getting older. And even though I may be fit for a nearly 50 year old guy, when I was 35, I mean, physicality wise, I would’ve murdered my current self. Like I did 32. I could power clean and pushed your 350 pounds at about 175 pounds. Robb (16m 45s): Like I was pretty strong, pretty explosive. And I still do okay with stuff, but I mean, it’s fractional compared to what it was two decades ago. So this is another thing that I think is cool about jujitsu is that if you approach it with the right mindset, you’re so long as you’re focusing on technical progress until you die, you can keep improving technique. And so even though you want to maintain fitness, as much as you can, I don’t lose anything or win anything based off of my fit, my physicality it’s. I try to make it a hundred percent dependent on my, my technique. Robb (17m 25s): And a lot of that is just learning how to lay like a slovenly old man on people and make them carry my weight, like a backpack. But, but that is different than like a max effort trying to manipulate them in the way that I want them to go. Brad (17m 42s): So speaking of the, the aging question in general, you just referenced what, 15 years ago, when you were at your peak numbers and all that. Now, if you’re, if you’re, let’s say you’re your life depended on it, or someone gave you an incentive of a hundred million dollars. If you can go back and turn the clock back and dedicate your entire life to performance here in present day, what are the factors at play biologically that have caused this, this familiar decline? And you’ve probably delayed it. I like to think I’ve delayed it as well as any human could by putting all our parameters into play. Brad (18m 24s): But let’s say you had, you know, the performance labs and nothing else to do in life. So all your energy could go toward, back into the powerlifting competition. What’s, what’s inhibiting you from, from getting back to there? Or could you, if you had this perfect life where you became the elite athlete of, of, you know, middle-aged, Robb (18m 44s): Well, one thing is I, ironically, had a very severe back injury in 2005 at the hands of a Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit. And he cooked up a new workout with these things called glute ham bench sit-ups. And my, my initial exposure to them was 75. And I ended up with basically compartmental syndrome, you know, Abdo my abs. It was almost said, what is it a diastasis recti? Like when, when women have, you know, where their abs separate due to, to pregnancy, you know, issues. But I was pretty broken from that. It was terrible programing, terrible initial exposure. Robb (19m 27s): But I was, I was in the Santa Cruz area for a couple of months. And so training at the original gym pretty frequently. And it was maybe 12 days later that we were pulling max deadlifts and I had close to 500 pounds on the bar, which normally is not that big of a deal for me, but my abs were so compromised that I folded under very high load very rapidly and had a very severe spinal flection injury, some, some partial rupture of L four L five S one. And over the course of time, I’ve been able to rehab a lot of that, but a significant amount of the, the loss of say, like lower body strength. Robb (20m 9s): I just had to shift to mainly unilateral loading. I don’t really squat or dead lift heavy. I’ve been doing some kin stretch for the past couple of years with some, some different folks. And that has gotten me back in the game better, but anything very heavy. I feel it in my back, like I’ve, I’ve found some strategies for the better part of 10 years. I could not really squat or deadlift. And so I’m back to a spot where I can squat and deadlift, but it’s like low 200 pounds. And so it, you know, to answer that question orthopedically, I don’t know if I could get back to that. Like, I don’t know if I would need like a back disc fusion or something, and then, you know, what am I giving up there in general? Robb (20m 56s): What we see is that after about 25, maybe definitely 25, like with sprinters, we tend to see a decrease in max power production, like the maximum expression of, of fast-twitch motor units. If we are training hard and smart, you can maintain that for a good 15, maybe 20 years. So, so really kind of hang on to that. But this is one of the things that makes me a little bit crazy about the protein phobic people and the folks that are really excited about the tons of fasting and whatnot. They’re doing that mainly with the thought that they’re going to avoid cancer, avoid, you know, neurodegenerative disease, or what have you. Robb (21m 43s): And the reality is that for anybody even somebody’s eating a terrible standard American diet cancer, diabetes, neuro-degeneration, heart disease is all a potential that is worsened with poor diet, but sarcopenia and muscle loss is a guaranteed for everyone. Like it is a 100% guarantee. And so putting some really due diligence into maintaining muscle mass and particularly those fast-t,witch muscle fibers is, is pretty critical as we age. So I have put some effort into that, but circling back to your original question, I could probably get a fair amount of that back because my upper body strength is not dissimilar to what I had at that, you know, when I was 32, 35. Robb (22m 33s): The lower body is more impacted just from orthopedic issues. So I could probably scratch some of that back. And like, there were some examples of like Al Oerter was a shot-putter, discus thrower. He, he was in three Olympics, had almost 12 years off and then missed another Olympic team, a fourth Olympic team by one slot and, you know, barely missed it. And he was in his mid forties at that point. It’s interesting track and field athletes tend to age pretty well on the field. Athletes are arguably better even than the most of the rest of the people, because they are consistently doing this kind of a high rate of force development work and the kind of max power development. Robb (23m 24s): And so they’re constantly putting demands on their, their system to maintain the fast-twitch motor fibers. And, and that is something that I think translates really well with aging, but you’ve got to do it in a way that has some respect for your, your orthopedics. Also, like if you end up with a hip replacement or back fusion or something, and then how is that going to impact the rest of your, your physicality, you know, over the long haul. Brad (23m 53s): You talk about improving your technique, but also the intelligence element of adjusting your training over time from experience and from common sense, and maybe regulating your competitive intensity more to realize that you don’t have to go slam yourself every day. And these new insights that are coming into the fitness world are really, I’m really glad to see finally, because we’ve been programmed to think that you just put that gas pedal on nonstop, and that’s how you get to the top. And now, you know, even the leading athletes are kind of very, very much more structured with their stress and rest and emphasis on recovery. Robb (24m 29s): It would be awesome if being a world champion with just a matter of being mentally tough and just running yourself down to enough every day like that that’s, that’s easy, <inaudible> easy with a caveat. Clearly there’s some physical suffering that goes along with that, but with the real trick is, is figuring out how to pulse that. You know, it’s like, when do you have to drive forward? When do you need to reel it back in and what I, what I’ve noticed. And this is part of the reason why I kind of lost interest in really working with like elite athletes is that my main role as a coach was acting as a speed bump. Like these people were so pot committed into committing suicide, suicide via training that my main job was to try to slow them down. Robb (25m 14s): And that wasn’t particularly interesting for me, you know, and, and particularly in, in like the mixed martial arts, combatives arena, and also I did some work with some endurance athletes and the, you know, all props to people that wanted to get up and work hard and do all that type of stuff. But it was also kind of like, Hey, what are you doing right now? Oh, I’m just hanging out. And I’m like, Oh, that’s funny. I just saw you running down the esplanades and you’re supposed to be taking the day off. And I know for a fact you’re not. And so, like, it was kind of the opposite of, of catching somebody with their hand in the cookie jar, you know, and, and that got old like that for me personally, that got old. And that’s where the, the focus on helping people who had significant health issues and trying to pull them back from type two diabetes or auto immune disease, they were highly motivated to do it. Robb (26m 6s): They usually listened well and, and they were coming from, you know, with like, if I had some success or maybe saved their life versus, Oh yeah. Somebody wins another world championship. That’s really cool. But again, like almost any coach would have, would have achieved that with them so long as they just, you know, largely prevented the person from, from destroying themselves in the training process. You know, I, I couldn’t claim any really deep insight into much beyond that. Yeah. Brad (26m 34s): Yeah. You made an interesting comment there about the contrast between fasting like crazy and watching that protein and not stimulating evil IGF one and M tour versus trying to keep that muscle mass on and keep fit and keep strong. And I’m kind of wrestling with these, these insights personally. I’m age 55. I have all these athletic goals and, you know, enjoy being fit and, and recovering quickly. And then also, you know, not wanting to default into six small meals a day with the protein smoothie going constantly. And there seems like there’s a little bit of nuance that you could, you could come in on for people who, you know, have those have those goals, but also, you know, don’t want to get cancer and all that kind of stuff that we’re, we’re getting warned about. Robb (27m 28s): Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s interesting. My, the first article I had published on intermittent fasting was in 2005. And by 2006, I deeply regretted releasing it because it was, it went out into this pool of folks that were mainly CrossFitters. And these were people that they would CrossFit six days a week. And then on their recovery day, they would do hot yoga and a, a six hour hike. And they would intermittent fast 22 hours a day, eat five grams of carbs a month. And, and, you know, two months into this thing, like, Hey, my hair is falling out and I have no libido and what the heck’s going on. Robb (28m 11s): And it’s like, well, you took something that’s supposed to be a little like a cherry on the sundae type deal. And you made it before the whole meal, you know, effectively. And so I’ve always been intrigued by that middle ground of, of performance, health and longevity. But I also suspected really early on that there were shockingly rapid declining returns on investment on the performance side. Like once you get to a double body weight deadlift, you get to a body weight and a half back squat, you have a body weight and some change bench press, unless you’re a power athlete, how much more do you need? Like, and what are the, what are the things that you’re going to give up to, to maintain that? Robb (28m 53s): But it was kind of one side of, of that kind of like looking at the kind of Uber performance side. The other side of it has come to me a bit more recently was really digging into the research on calorie restriction. It, you know, first in animal models and whatnot, and looking at what was going on there and something that is, is suspiciously lacking as much research that looks at what does calorie restriction do? An animals fed a species appropriate diet, and the very few studies that have been done on that, what it consistently does is it shortens their lifespan every single time. Robb (29m 33s): So what, what is happening in these calorie restriction studies because dietetics wants and nutrition, science wants to be precise. They, these animals, this highly processed lab chow type diet, so that we know exactly how much protein carb fat they have, what their vitamins are, what they’re minerals are. So on the one hand, it’s kind of laudable because they’re trying to introduce accuracy and precision into this story. But at the end of the day, what these animals are eating is a shockingly highly processed diet. And, and if we know anything eating less of a highly processed diet is probably better than eating more of it. Robb (30m 13s): And so if the end of the day, I think that virtually everything that we associate as beneficial with a calorie restricted diet is simply reflecting that you are protecting the animal from eating a super processed diet. Because again, there’s not very many studies where they, they look at a species appropriate diet and say like for mice or rats or something like that. But the few of them that are there, it’s really interesting. You do not see a survival advantage for these animals when they’re eating kind of species appropriate diet. And funny enough, what you do see is an enhancement of longevity in these animals, because they’re living in basically like a safe modern world, but eating a species appropriate diet. Robb (30m 59s): Huh. Oh, okay. That’s interesting. So, and again, circling back around, we don’t know that tons of fasting and protein restriction is going to save us from cancer or neurodegenerative disease or really anything else it’s totally speculative. The extrapolation that’s being done is from animals that are over eating. Currently. We know that overeating accelerates the problems of, of cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and whatnot. We also seem to see very, very little of these problems in environments in which animals are not chronically overfed. Robb (31m 40s): So this is where I’m just very suspicious that once you get to a spot where you’re eating adequate protein, which I think is actually a lot more than what most people are eating, and it doesn’t mean you need six meals a day, but you should probably not eat one meal a day, something crazy like two meals and a snack might actually be good for both pulsing these growth signals, but also not being buried under growth signals. So like, you know, something insane, like two or three meals a day might actually not, not be a bad idea in doing some timing around, you know, exercise and stuff like that. But again, circling back, all of these chronic degenerative diseases are a potential, but sarcopenia and loss of muscle mass is a guarantee with aging. Robb (32m 27s): Like the only way you avoid that is by dying. And what I’ve noticed when we, when we used to do these things called in-person events, and you would actually talk to people in real life is that I would meet folks and in chatting with them, it’s like, Hey, so what are you up to? Well, I’m just finishing up my fourth, 72 hour fast, this, this month or whatever, you know, and the person didn’t look good. They didn’t look healthy. They didn’t carry any significant muscle mass. And to be honest, and maybe a little harsh, they were indistinguishable from a raw vegan that had kind of drank that Kool-Aid too much, you know. And when I would talk to them about how much protein are you eating, how frequently are you eating? Robb (33m 10s): They had just kind of uniformly fallen off of this cliff, where they had figured out a way of surviving on as few calories, as little protein and as infrequent eating as is, was potentially possible. But they looked frail like if their car slid off an icy road and they went down in a basement, they didn’t strike me as someone that was going to be able to climb back up to the top of that, generate some, some thermal energy to stave off, like freezing to death while they’re driving between Reno and Tahoe or something, you know. And that lack of resilience just didn’t didn’t impress me, you know, and who knows, maybe I’ll, I’ll be proven wrong on this, but some, some very smart people are beating this drum of like, Oh man, you know, caloric restriction, protein restriction fasting. Robb (33m 58s): And I am just completely unimpressed with what they’re, they’re selling on that stuff. And I guess one final piece on this is that because all of that is so speculative, I really just focus on, you know, like, so I’ve eaten more or less a ketogenic diet for the last 22 years. My cardiovascular health seems to be good, but if I’m going to buy dying five years from now from heart attack, I don’t know what else I would do, because if I introduce much more in the way of carbs into my diet and life, I don’t feel good. I’m foggy headed. Robb (34m 37s): I add GI problems. And so do I want my life to kind of suck over the next five years to, you know, like, I didn’t think so. I really just gotten to this point where it’s like, how do I look, feel, and perform my best now? And I’ve got a little bit of a hope that that’s going to translate into some good things later, but you know, it just struck me one final piece, the vegans and other kind of protein phobic people like to cite these studies about the blue zones. And there was a fascinating paper that was written about the data collection around the blue zones. And it made the case that it comes from regions that have terrible record keeping, no birth certificates. Robb (35m 21s): And exceptionally high rates of pension fraud. So what happens is grandpa dies and then the father assumes that the role of grandpa. Nobody knows he died. He gets buried in the backyard. And then as far as the government knows, he’s still alive and now father has taken on grandpa’s role so that he can, he can take the, the pinching. And this is rife through the areas that, that are characterized as blue zones. So that whole thing appears in to my mind to be an absolute hoax that has been spun into like all manner of, of, of just kind of bullshit along the way. Robb (36m 6s): And so, you know, lots of different things kind of zeroing in, in, in my thought it to maybe put a cherry on this sundae is I think if we, if we lift weights, maintain adequate cardiovascular fitness, some good mobility, do things that are cognitively challenging, I think we can be really, really fit into our late eighties, maybe early nineties, and then we’re going to die. And, and it should be like kind of a fallen off a cliff type thing, you know, kind of like Mark’s stuff, you know, live, live long, die quick kind of kind of deal. And I think that that’s very, very reasonable absent some sort of interesting medical intervention. Robb (36m 48s): I don’t see people living to 110 or 120 consistently. It might happen on an aberrational type of type of game. Brad (36m 55s): Yeah. Dave Asprey is going to go 80, so that’ll be an aberration. Robb (36m 60s): The funny thing is Dave, isn’t likely to make it to 70 because of the stuff that he does. I will I’ll, I’ll go on record that I’ll be surprised if Dave makes it 70, given some of the ridiculous stuff he does. So I think it’s actually going to be fractional compared to what he’s claiming. Yeah. Brad (37m 20s): Besides that no controversy from Robbb Wolf about Greg Glassman’s programming and the blue zones and the incredible, you know, just momentum. Robb (37m 29s): I don’t know that there’s any pet theory out there that I didn’t just like walk up and like pee in their punchbowl with all of that. Yeah. Yeah. Brad (37m 37s): That’s why we love you, man. I’m I’m, you know, my goal is to kind of, you know, shoot straighter and be more, you know, entirely forthcoming with my opinions on, on the show. And I’m doing a whole show about it actually, but you know, when, when you’re out there, you know, throwing these ideas out, that’s what advances the conversation and, you know, thinking critically is, is a wonderful exercise. I contend that this, you know, compelled me to get there when I listened to the, the carnivore rationale from all Saladino and Sean Baker saying, Hey, you know, these plant foods might not be good for you and you know, you don’t need them for health. Brad (38m 18s): And you know, it, it shattered like the only common ground that we still had from the vegan community and primal paleo, everyone’s eating their big salad and now it’s like, Oh shit, we gotta, we gotta backpedal even further. But it’s a, it’s a good exercise to just challenge these beliefs and not stay fixed and rigid. Yeah, Robb (38m 40s): Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Brad (38m 42s): So regarding that, you know, I guess you’d call it a dilemma maybe of, you know, how much nutritious foods should I eat. We know we don’t need any crappy calories for any sake, even an elite athlete, but in, in determining that path, could we look at body composition? And if you’re in, you know, adverse body composition zone, do we have a different set of parameters to choose from versus a guy who’s going for longevity preservation of muscle mass athletic goals, staying away from cancer, heart disease, risk, and all that. Robb (39m 17s): Yeah. So that’s a really good, good point that I didn’t make clear there at the beginning. If folks find some fasting beneficial as part of say, like a weight loss process, that that’s fantastic. The little bit of pushback I would provide even there, though, I would really encourage people. The big problem that I see with people using fasting as say like the sole means of, of a weight loss is something you have to eat again. And the food that you were eating before as his hyper palatable, processed crap, that it know bypasses neuro regulation of appetite and encourages us to overeat. And so with fasting is kind of the main tool you use, then you didn’t likely develop tools and, and patterns that are going to allow you to navigate the modern world. Robb (40m 4s): And if you, if you want to eat one day, don’t eat one day and that’s going to be your life. I guess that that’s one way to do that. But again, if you, you know, thinking about this from kind of a health and longevity perspective, lift weights. Like I would encourage people if you’re not lifting weights at all, for the love of God, do some strength training, and it could just be like a circuit machine deal where you go in and you get one movement and very lightweight do it 12, 15 reps, little heavier weight, eight or 10 reps, little heavier. And you just keep doing that until you can only do like three or four reps, then move to the next thing, work your way around the circuit, 10 or 15 minutes, do some mobility work done. Like it doesn’t have to be super, super complex. Robb (40m 47s): I wouldn’t recommend doing maybe a little bit of other stuff that some people hate the gym. So I get it like getting, get out. It’s like a military exercise, like, you know, spend as little time on the ground as you possibly can, but you’re not doing strength, training or resistance training do that if you’re doing some resistance training, but you’re contemplating, should I deal with 72 hour fastest month or a 48 hour fast? I would ask the question. I mean, it would suggest that doing a third or fourth day of strength training for a week is going to be more beneficial than an additional day of fasting per month would be my, my crazy used car salesman pitch on that, you know, and it’s interesting lifting weights improves autophagy. Robb (41m 40s): Drinking coffee improves autophagy. Getting adequate sun on our skin reduces all cause mortality as, as great as, as smoking or not smoking. And this is stuff that we know. We can take it to the bank. It’s well understood. It makes us feel better today. So these are, this is the type of stuff when people are doing these cost-benefit analyses that I’m kind of like go get some sun on your skin. Even if it’s five minutes in a low pressure, UVA, UVB, tanning bed, you’re not going to get a tan, but you’re going to feel better. And you’re going to reduce systemic inflammation. Don’t use it to tan, use it to, to supplements you, you know, basically sunlight or what have you. Robb (42m 22s): If you’re contemplating more fasting, how about lifting more weights, you know, or doing some sort of new cognitive endeavor like jujitsu or tennis or a guitar or something like that. Like I, I just see there are these things that are so well understood, whereas this, this just insistence on fasting and protein avoidance, it’s entirely speculative in my opinion. And what people cite as data I think is, has just been horribly misrepresented again, because it’s really looking at is the overfit state bad. Yes. But once you land on something that looks like ancestral eating and you’re not overeating, I just think that the return on investment from additional fasting or protein restriction is, is slim or nine, particularly when compared to getting some sun on your skin, doing cognitively engaging activities. Robb (43m 17s): And just trying to put on a, you know, five more pounds of muscle mass. Brad (43m 22s): This is, this is pretty heavy, man. Cause we’re, we’re, we’re shattering a lot of the, the, the strongest notions and the amazing sensation of fasting in, in culture now is the, the, the key or the direct path to health. And so you’re saying a lot of the, a lot of the research is on animals eating junk food, and then eating less junk food. And then we’re, then we’re taking that to town? Robb (43m 47s): Yeah. Wow. Yeah. I mean, it, it, it, it, I, I only have remarkably unpopular person, most places. Brad (43m 53s): That’s why he has to keep moving around from California to Nevada, to Texas. Wow. Robb (44m 3s): And again, I could be wrong maybe times of fasting and low protein is somehow going to lead to both longer life and a higher quality of life. Now, I don’t remotely believe that that is true. I think that a lot of the folks that are looking at this stuff are very, very smart, but almost smart to a fault where they get so downloaded the mechanistic weeds that they don’t pull back and just kind of look at the kind of evolutionary biology story. And also again, like going back to like the blue zones story, most of that is just an outright lie. It’s an outright fraud and fabrication that, that has been perpetuated. Robb (44m 43s): And the paper that was written about that has, has seen really remarkably broad circulation, but it hasn’t really changed the, the awareness of questioning these blue zones as some sort of like beacons of hope and information and whatnot. So, yeah. Brad (45m 2s): Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s easy to argue that you’re pulling insights out of context, for example, the active population with the great social parameters and Oh, guess what? They eat a lot of plant foods and they don’t eat a lot of processed meat and, you know, the cause and effect starts to go in a circle where, yeah, if you have good family life and you’re healthy and you’re happy and you’re getting away from all these modern stressors, they could feed you, you know, virtually anything that’s not, not junk food and they can do well. You got to find out, we got to find a carnivore ish blue zone, you know, and then put it up there to just throw the diet thing into the proper context rather than, I mean, it seems to me, most people associate blue zones with like the diet part of the blue zones rather than everything else. Robb (45m 54s): Yeah. Well, I guess did faulty talk one of my podcasts on the Turkana, which is a pastoralist people in Africa, and they’re interesting in that you still have a decent number of these folks living their traditional pastoralist Lifeway, and they have about eight different animals that they either take dairy from or eat the meat from. And they get afford to have 80% of their calories from animal products. And then you have these genetically effectively identical, you know, family members that have moved into more westernized situations and they eat a very starch based, more processed carbohydrate diet. Robb (46m 38s): And the free-living Turkana are, are remarkably healthy, effectively devoid of chronic degenerative disease. And then these folks that even a half a generation in, like they were, they were born in pastoralists Lifeway, but then move to the city. They are crushed by these chronic degenerative diseases. So we do have some natural experiments out there that, that look even, even closer along that, that more carnivores or more, more, you know, kind of kind of animal products, centric kind of angle. But we also have the <inaudible>, you know, some different folks that, that eat comparatively little in, in animal products that it’s interesting on that topic. Robb (47m 21s): Ages ago, it struck me that the ability to eat grains, legumes, tubers, what have you was wholly dependent on just getting enough animal products, protect you from those other foods like you to, to basically offset like nutrient deficiencies and get enough of whatever the vital nutrients are in the animal products. And it occurred to me, but I never really articulated it until, you know, noodling on the opposite side of this thing, looking at it from kind of the more carnivore perspective. Brad (47m 57s): Cool. So back to the optimal decision-making of what, when, how much to eat in the diet, and this might be a good segue into why or to eat. Cause you talk about appetite. Well, let’s read the subtitle, turn off cravings, rewire your appetite and determine the foods that work for you. So maybe we can tread down that path a little bit and ask, is the appetite going to be a great regulator of your caloric intake? And then my add on to that question is when I go into that low carb realm, I noticed that my appetite is much more stable. I’m actually not hungry for hours after I do a high intensity sprint workout in the morning. Brad (48m 37s): So am I being stupid by not eating? Or should I go there and deliberately consume calories because I’m an athlete and I want to recover, even though I’m not starving or feeling those sensations that are so familiar for people locked in that high carb high insulin pattern. Robb (48m 53s): Yeah. Really good questions. And I, the best answer I can provide is, I don’t know, but we, we might have some, Brad (48m 59s): I knew it, man. I predicted it because it was like Dom D’Agostino said, I don’t know. So many times during my first interview with him when we were writing the Keto Reset Diet. And I finally said, dude, that’s your favorite answer? And he goes, watch out for the distinction between a good scientist and a good critical thinker versus someone who’s a, you know, a promoter, a good scientist says, I don’t know all the time. Robb (49m 25s): Well, I haven’t said in there, man, I haven’t said, I don’t know too much on this, but what I’m selling people on is lift more weights, eat more protein and what have you. And I think that’s fairly defensible, but you know, when we, when we look at appetite control, protein tends to be the most satiating macro that, that we have. And there is kind of an interesting inflection point with this where a significant amount of protein is highly satiating. If you eat more protein, you actually get more stimulation of the appetite because it, at some point we need either carbohydrate or fat as a co-factor to deal with protein. This is the whole rabbit starvation, you know, kind of phenomenon. Robb (50m 8s): So, you know, for me eating somewhere around like 150, 170 grams of protein per day, maybe 200 grams protein per day, it’s plenty for growth and maintenance. It provides great satiety, but when I’ve tinkered with things, if I get up around like 225 grams protein, which is a lot, and it’s hard to just do that, that protein I’m actually hungrier than so there’s this kind of weird non-linearity to it. But like you have to really try to kind of, kind of get to that. So it’s not something that folks get too often for sure, something that happens. And we seek this if both kind of the vegan side of the story and interestingly, the protein phobic keto side of the story is it when people are eating very low protein intakes and there are folks out in keto land that recommend 40 grams of protein total per day for grown men, that’s not per meal that’s per per day. Robb (51m 8s): I consistently see people with terrible body composition and they overeat because this protein leverage hypothesis suggests that all organisms eat to a protein minimum. And whether that’s a cow grazing on grass versus clover, they will tend to prefer clover because it’s more protein dense. And therefore more, generally more nutritious. Nutrients tend to be more densely associated with protein, rich foods. And so any organism you care to look at, they tend to favor more protein, dense sources of nutrition because they get more broad nutrition in that context. So I think so long as we’re hitting adequate protein, which is somewhere around like a gram of protein per pound of body weight, or a gram of protein per pound of, of ideal body weight, or it depends on whether people are losing weight or, you know, they’re an athlete or what have you, but it, it’s generally more than what most people are eating that tends to work out well. Robb (52m 7s): And if they’re not hitting that, that protein, they tend to over eat whatever else it is that their dietary dogma allows them, whether it’s carbs or fat. And, and this is where I’ve seen folks in this ketogenic diet community where you’re eating a ketogenic diet is supposed to be like really satiating and they’re, and, and they’re gaining remarkable amounts of weight on it, on something that’s supposed to be virtue that others have claimed as impossible to gain weight on. And, and, and they’ll do all kinds of crazy like cognitive dissidence things where it’s like, well, the butter has just enough protein to stimulate insulin. And it’s kind of like, give me a break, man. Robb (52m 47s): They’re just, you don’t moat a relatively sedentary person. That’s eating 30 grams of protein a day. Doesn’t need to eat a stick of butter. They need to eat more protein, you know? So I think that that’s kind of that. And then on the, on the recovery side, you know, for someone like you, I don’t know, like it, it, there’s a fair amount of literature that suggests getting that, that nutrition post-workout enhances recovery. Like I think that there’s some good, good literature to support that. There’s some literature that suggests that fasting and low carb and what have you is kind of a hormetic, you know, kinda kind of aid. Robb (53m 32s): And it, it gooses fat adaptation and whatnot, but I mean, how many years have you eaten pretty low carb? Brad (53m 41s): Twelve. Comparison to massively high carb years before that. Right. And training too much and all those, you know, different. Yeah. Robb (53m 48s): But I would make the case that you’ve probably sucked all the juice out of fat adaptation that you’re gonna get, you know? And, and so then, so I’m going to be 49 in a month. You’re 54, 55? Brad (54m 5s): 55 Robb (54m 6s): 55. Okay. So in my mind for us, like that performance is important and everything, but, but a key part of that performance is maintaining that muscle mass, you know, and, and so in my mind that really kind of shifts some orientation towards yay, get that hard workout, get those four medic stress elements from being keto adapted from doing some fasted training and then eat. And, and, and, and I wouldn’t be surprised also if, if over the course of time, like if you have habituated to not eating until later than that, that is part likely of the reason why you’re not hungry till later, like you’re feeding and biology is kind of been trained to that, but I would personally kind of stack the deck a little bit favorably on that growth and recovery side and just kinda give it a one year experiment and see, see how you do with it. Robb (55m 1s): Like, are there ups obvious upsides? Are there any obvious downsides? And, and kinda kind of tinker with that. But I think the fact that you’re already low carb, you’re already doing some fasted training. How much more are you going to get out of it? You know, pushing that, that recovery phase, you know, out. And it is some of the critics of upstate like keto and low carb. They’re, they’re, they’re accurate in that it is a stressor. So training is a stressor. Low carb can be a stressor. Fasting can absolutely be a stressor. How many of those things do we want to stack and daisy chain together, you know? Brad (55m 40s): Cold water plunge. I forgot that too. Robb (55m 43s): Yeah. And it certainly couldn’t be 70 degrees. It has to be 48 degrees. Like for the love of gut, you can die in it other than Wim Hoff, or unless you’re really dialed in that breathing and have trained your Brown adipose tissue to produce a lot of heat. You can die pretty goddamn quickly in 70 degree water. So this is something that will kill you in a matter of an hour or two, if you are stuck in it. And that’s not even wind or anything else, but I really like you, you brought that up, like 70 degree water is a fine hormetic stressor and it doesn’t make you through the day that you were born going into it. But again, you’re like, wow, man. Well, while I’m all the way down to 48 degrees and I had to break the ice on this thing, and it’s absolute, it’s like, okay, if you want to adapt to that, like again, Wim Hoff and some people like that have adapted into that. Robb (56m 33s): And I don’t think it poses the same type of physiological stress to them because they have adapted to it. But man, take some baby steps on that. 70 degree water is cold and stick with that for six months or a year, and then start ratcheting it down. Like folks who are in such a ridiculous hurry to try to get somewhere with this. When, you know, 70 degree water is cold, it will kill you if you stay in it long enough. And it absolutely is good enough for like a hormetic stress response. You know, Brad (57m 6s): You’ll be shivering for a long time after one of those swim workouts when the pool heaters broken. I know that feeling. Yeah. I’m trying to get it over with quickly. So I’m going for lower water temperature in my chest freezer just because I don’t want to spend 12 minutes. I’d rather spend three. So hopefully that rationale makes sense, but Robb (57m 25s): I wouldn’t use it. It’s another one. Those things, there were dose response curves really do matter, you know? And like, if it’s it again and I might be wrong, I might be completely wrong on all this stuff, but you may have like thermally adapted to this. So they’d say like your Brown adipose tissue spins up and produces heat. And so it’s not as stressful for you as say like it would be for me. Llike being in 48 degree, water is miserable for me. Like I absolutely hate it. I just detest it. But I have slowly been, I’ve been doing my Wim Hoff breathing and tinkering with it, but I’m taking a, like a five-year approach to this thing. Robb (58m 8s): I’m not really in a hurry to, to, to, to get anywhere because I know I definitely, I know when I’ve done too much cold that I feel horrible later. Like I’ll feel pretty good in the moment because I’ve got a bunch of endorphins and then I crash and I in I’m actually doing something counter productive. Whereas if I do three minutes in 68 or 65 degree water, I feel great. And I feel great the whole day. So I’ve really been very careful at looking at that dose response to figure out okay, what’s, what’s optimizing everything that I have going on here. Brad (58m 43s): Yeah. Kelly Starrett. When I first started getting into this, he said, don’t, don’t, don’t go to the point of shivering because that’s stupid. And you’re just showing off if you’re trying to set a timer or something. Yeah. And back to your idea about experimenting testing, I’m thinking of an insight that Tommy Wood shared with me. And he said, it is as much nutritious food as you can, until you start adding body fats. And that’s your, that’s your curve right there, of course. And that makes so much sense. And it’s so simple and they counsel their, their athletes that they work with. And, you know, for most people with a, with a desire to drop that frustrating excess body fat, then you can try your fasting and do all those things. Brad (59m 27s): But yeah. Yeah. Good. Jeez, Robb, this has been pretty wild times. I want to plug Sacred Cow and I guess we can just give a little tidbit about the, the film and the book and then people can, can dive in for further details. Robb (59m 44s): Yeah. Yeah. So Diana Rogers and I worked for five years, four and a half, five years on Sacred Cow, the book and film, and it tackles the ethical environmental and ethical environmental and health considerations of a meat inclusive food system. So we, we try to take on some of the things like meat meat gives you cancer. Meat disproportionately produces greenhouse gases. Producing meat disproportionately uses resources. And there’s truth in lies to a lot of this stuff. And so it takes a lot of effort to unpack and unwind all these things. Robb (1h 0m 26s): Oh, I’ll share an example. I think again, I wouldn’t want anybody to read this and just believe me. It’s like, Oh, Robb’s a good guy. Great. You know, I would really encourage people to get in and actually vet the material that we cite in there. But this is possibly a decent example of us trying to be ethical and to try to do the very best job that we could. When we looked at the question of is pastured meat, more nutritious than conventional meat? We looked and looked and looked and looked, and we looked at every scrap of data we could find. And we, we had an independent party come man, and look at you, go and answer this question. We didn’t even provide the resources. Robb (1h 1m 8s): We paid this person to go do this independently. What we and they, and this person is a PhD in nutritional science came up with is that there’s virtually no difference between pastured meat and conventional meat. Now there is a massive difference nutritionally in dairy and eggs in wild caught versus pharmacy food. But when you really look at meat itself, there’s just not that big of a difference. And people will get all for clamped over differences in Omega-3 content of, of pastured versus conventional meat. There’s virtually no difference between the two pastured meat has a, a tiny bit more omega-3 and where this becomes a complete non-issue two ounces of salmon has as much Omega-3s as eight pounds of pastured meat. Robb (1h 2m 4s): If you’re looking for Omega-3, beef is not where you look for it. It is the long and short of that. Now there are amazing reasons why pasturing or, or holistic management of grazing animals is environmentally superior. It is ethically superior, but you cannot make a scientific case that it is nutritionally superior. And again, pastured dairy is shockingly more nutritious than conventional dairy pasture eggs, same deal and wild caught fish, same deal. But one more talk than about beef, lamb, et cetera. It’s just not the case. And we have had people just lose their minds on us, but like when you’ve got to have this wrong and I’m like, have you written a book on this? Robb (1h 2m 48s): Like, did you spend five years reading? Well, no, this guy said something. I’m like, well, I don’t know who that guy is. And he didn’t put as much time into this. And like, honestly, we considered just the lying about this. We’re like, what’s the big deal. Let’s just lie because it’ll be like, the vegans will just lie. And then it’s like this wall of truth because the vegans always do that. Like of course, animal, you know, it’s good for your bones. It’s good for this. It’s good for that. And we’ll ignore all the little inconvenient truths, but the, the reason why we didn’t is that a vegan doctor or researcher could get in and look at our claim that conventional meat and pastured meat are identical. Robb (1h 3m 29s): They could easily prove that that point is not true. And then it calls into question every other thing that we, we perhaps got accurate net things. So we really did the best job that we could to, to, to be correct in this. Even when the science led us to what an answer that wasn’t satisfying for our preconceived notions around it. But man, I tell you we’ve had more pissing, moaning and, and backbiting over that from like our meat elitist, paleo primal keto scene, then we’d gotten from the vegans. The vegans, I, I think have we, we did such a good job on the book that the vegans did something smart and they just don’t talk about it at all. Robb (1h 4m 13s): They don’t want any attention. They don’t want any hubbub. Cause we, we wrote it as like the, the absolute manifesto response to like Gamechangers and Cowspiracy and all the rest of that. So we’ve had no negative reviews, no pushback from the vegan quarter, but we’ve had a remarkable amount of pissing and moaning from like people that we would otherwise think would kind of be on our team. And it’s it mainly relates back to this, this topic of like, no, no pastured meat must be nutritionally superior to conventional meat. And I wish that that was the case, but it just is not with the current data that we have. Brad (1h 4m 51s): Wow. What a, what an interesting strategy to ignore it. And maybe we should do the same with Gamechangers and say, Oh, I haven’t, haven’t seen it. Don’t know anything about it. Next question. Instead of trashing it and attacking and giving all that attention to, you know, someone has to go watch it now, since we’ve heard how, how much criticism it be received. Robb (1h 5m 13s): Yeah. There is a little bit of an asymmetric warfare though, and that, you know, big name movie producers are backing these things. Netflix sayings, the, the film Sacred Cow, which, which is a companion to the, to the book. We Diana got it to the highest tier of leadership at Netflix and everybody below that was incredibly excited about the film. It hit that upper tier of leadership, and then they went dark on us and never said another thing. And so there’s an asymmetric warfare that’s being fought there where I think the vegans, when we have something good to say are smart and way, because they’ve got the total upper hand, like political culture, social media, all the do goodery kind of woke. Robb (1h 6m 3s): People are all very, very, very pro vegan. And so it’s a smart move for them. They totally have the upper hand with everything currently. And so some upstart film and book that really has the right of things. Oh yeah. By all means, ignore it. Like don’t, don’t shine a light on it. And he’ll think anybody curious about it. We unfortunately do have kind of a different task at hand because everything from school lunches to World Health Organization, dietary and climate change recommendation, social media, you know like the algorythms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram do and don’t suppress online are all very meat meat know, not favorable towards meat. Robb (1h 6m 47s): So we do have a very different battle to fight there Brad (1h 6m 55s): Just to call attention. Yeah, yeah, Robb (1h 6m 57s): yeah. Yeah. Brad (1h 6m 57s): Oh man, give me the rationale. Why we need to check on our electrolytes and then I’ll let you go. I appreciate your time so much, but I know you’re really excited about this new project and it seems like there’s been a lot of a struggle in this realm where people don’t even know why their diet’s not working and they haven’t, they haven’t addressed the electrolytes properly. So, and my mentee what’s wind him up here. Robb (1h 7m 21s): Yeah. Elements kind of an interesting story. Like I I’ve eaten a low carb diet for 22 years. Pretty much on the keto side have generally done well with it. But I noticed that I did pretty well with like gymnastics and weightlifting, but things kind of high motor activities, Brazilian jujitsu, you know, legit intervals. I really struggled on it. Like I didn’t have a low gear for it. And my solution with that was re-introducing some carbs. And then I didn’t really feel as good cognitively. I had GI problems and I was kind of back and forth on this stuff. And it was just a constant bugger for me. And I started hanging out with two guys, Luis Villasenor and Tyler Cartwright. Robb (1h 8m 6s): They found a keto gains, great guys. And they’ve probably worked directly with more people on intelligently formulated ketogenic diets and like anybody on the planet. Like they, they just have a huge community and do really work. But I started hanging out with them. I’m like, Hey, could you guys look at what I’m doing here? You know, I’m trying to do jujitsu. Here’s what I’m eating. What else do I need to do? And they took a quick look and they’re like, you’re not getting enough electrolytes, specifically sodium. And I was like, Oh no, no, no. I salt my food. I’m a biochemist. I know what’s going on. You know? And so I had, I had secured these guys as my coaches and what I did was what virtually everybody does when they have a coach, you ignore them, you nor they’re going to listen to it. Robb (1h 8m 50s): And so a good year went by and they patiently were waiting for me to have my breaking point. And I circled back around to them again. And they were like, no, man, you need to up your electrolytes specifically sodium. So I did. And it was literally like magic happen. Like I just couldn’t even believe it. When you think about it, the base currency of life is sodium potassium pumps. This is what drives electron transport and ATP process. Every thought we have is an action, potential driven by sodium potassium pumps, you know, and every muscle fiber we fire and whatnot. So it’s, it’s not surprising that if you are not on point with electrolytes and you’re, you’re not going to be at your best, you’re not gonna feel good. Robb (1h 9m 37s): You’re gonna have kind of, you know, foggy-headed and whatnot. And people are kind of familiar with this, like the keto flu and problems with shifting towards a lower carb type of diet, even just kind of eating paleo primal, but you’re, you’re putting in fruit and stuff. People will still experience this. And that’s kind of one part of this story. Then you’ve got the other part of this story, which is the demands, the increased demands for electrolytes specifically sodium. If it’s hot, if it’s humid, if you’re at high altitude, if it’s very cold air, because it’s had the moisture taken out high physical activity. The American council of sports medicine, depending on your size and the environment that you’re active in recommend somewhere between seven to 10 grams of sodium per day for active athletes. Robb (1h 10m 24s): And this is nowhere near where, where people generally are. And then interestingly, the other side of this, when some research was done on a type two diabetic heart patients, and they looked at all the like morbidity mortality within those, those groups, the low ebb of morbidity mortality, was it five grams of sodium intake per day. And it was a U curve. It was very steep at low sodium intake. So you had very high morbidity and mortality at two grams per day. It went down to five grams per day. And then you had the, it was a flat curve on the higher side, you had to get out to nearly 10 grams of sodium per day in this sick heart patient group to have the morbidity and mortality that you saw in the two gram of data. Robb (1h 11m 11s): People so was more dangerous to be low sodium and higher sodium. So we kind of had these things as these, these brackets, and we recognize that folks in this community and beyond even more mainstream really would benefit from better electrolyte management. And what we did initially was we, we created this pretty slick downloadable guide to make this stuff we call called ketoaide. And it was, you know, this much salt in this much, no salt in this much like magnesium citrate. Put some lemon juice in it, put some, some CVN, it go be achieved. And we had like a half million downloads for this thing. Like people loved it. And, but then we started getting tagged on social media where folks were like, Hey, love the keaide. Robb (1h 11m 55s): But when I was going through TSA, the guys didn’t like my three bags of white powder, LOL, you know? And so we just started asking the question, would some sort of a convenient ready, you know, add water mix kind of electrolyte thing. Would that be helpful for people? And we got together and created the company like two coming up on two years ago now. And it’s, it’s just, I’m great. We’re the, we’re the official hydration sponsor of team USA weightlifting. We’ve had significant inroads into the special operations community within the military. Robb (1h 12m 38s): We have a good number of NFL, major league baseball, basketball, like all the kind of big, you know, team sports stuff, hockey have kind of been buying into this. And it’s been cool in that when people try the product, they usually feel better immediately. And then they’re just kinda hooked. Like it has a very tight feedback loop on it. And like, if you’re at all fatigued, lethargic, just not feeling well, you get your electrolytes fixed and you just start feeling better immediately. So I mean that, that is a very long winded answer to that, but yeah, element has been motoring along pretty well and pretty exciting. Robb (1h 13m 18s): And we’ve had some interesting inroads into some medical conditions. We have a study that’s going to happen at Vanderbilt, looking at element, basically looking at the effect of supplemental electrolytes on breast milk production, because we had this breastfeeding community go crazy over element. Like people were very minimal breast milk production than they used E?lement and their breast milk exploded. And there’s some pretty good mechanistic reasons for why that is. And then we really had some great adoption within this pops community to postural orthostatic tachycardia community, which is a phenomenon where the individual goes from seated to standing and they can’t maintain normal blood pressure and people can pass out and they can die because of traumatic brain injury. Robb (1h 14m 6s): They hit their head on the way down and it’s a surprisingly common condition and it’s understood in those communities that sodium is important, but nice ways of getting in sodium are kind of tough to find. So like we just, we did a huge pots awareness campaign two months ago on, on social media and just had a really, really phenomenal kind of love given from those, those folks for shining some light on this problem. Brad (1h 14m 36s): Fantastic. I’m in man. I got to go get some Element listeners. I thought that we in my PO box waiting there. Yeah. That’s very nice gesture. I appreciate it. Everyone. We got to go grab some, you get it on Amazon or should we go to the website? Robb (1h 14m 50s): And then a drink element.com is the main website. And we have a ton of just educational material over there. Not just electrolyte related, but on a lot of different topics. Yeah. Brad (1h 15m 2s): And the best place to, to catch up to you and follow everything you’re doing. Robb (1h 15m 5s): I, the bulk of my time is over at the Healthy Rebellion now, which is our membership site. I do the social media equivalent of throwing hand grenades over a fence and running at this point. Like I post things on Instagram, but I do almost no curation of comments because I’m just over it. I throw a lot of great people on there and there are a lot of complete jerks too. And the, the jerk factor is kind of wore me down. And so I’m still trying to provide some value by posting some stuff on there. But what I do is I post things that are interesting there and we discuss it in the Healthy Rebellion. So if folks want to go check that out, that that is definitely where to hang out, Brad (1h 15m 51s): Robb Wolf, everybody. What an awesome show. Thank you so much first for setting everything straight. So much to think about and good luck to you with your next move and all the future ambitions. Robb (1h 15m 59s): Thank you. And hopefully I’m not wrong on everything I just feel about for one hour. (Brad) Thanks for listening!