A Biohacker’s Guide to the Holiday Feast

The holidays are a wonderful part of the year. They’re healthy, too. Not that we need to science it, but the expression of gratitude has been directly linked to positive health benefits, and the holidays are prime time for engaging with your family and social communities to share gifts and to be thankful for each other.

However, despite the gratitude benefits that happen during the holidays, this is also the time of year when most of us experience permanent weight gain. This study found that this wonderful season is also when people put more pounds on than any other part of the year.

Furthermore, though a little of this weight is lost in January when the Holidays are over, most of it sticks around permanently.

The effects appear to be even more pronounced if you are already obese or overweight. Those who gain 5lbs or more during the holiday season are the most likely to already be overweight, meaning that if someone already has a weight problem, they are likely to put on even more weight during this time of year than other people.

Now, I did think about writing a guide to eating healthy during the holidays. I can see it now: “12 keto-recipes for thanksgiving” or maybe “gluten-free pies so good your relatives might actually eat them!”

Truth be told, though, I’m not going keto this holiday, or even gluten-free.

When the chickens—or turkeys—come home to roost, I will be first in line on the gravy train with a double helping of whipped cream on my pumpkin pie.

Besides, the benefits of community and gratitude are immense, and I don’t recommend avoiding gatherings just to protect your diet.

And so, this article isn’t about manhandling your holiday feast into a fad, health-diet imitation of one.

Instead, I’m going to show you how to armor yourself using good old fashioned biohacking to mitigate the damage with the least effort and to enjoy your feast as thoroughly as possible.

Let’s carve this turkey.

Strategy 1: Movement

In this study from North Carolina, researchers determined that 45 minutes of high-intensity exercise raises your metabolic rate for 14 hours. Because of this, my number one strategy for combating holiday weight gain is to exercise hard on the day of the feast.

Now, this study promotes 45 minutes of exercise, but I actually only do about 15 minutes. I train using a program from the book Body By Science by Doug McGuff M.D. and John Little. This program is backed by over 100 studies and is aimed at getting you the greatest health benefits from the least training time.

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The program is designed to recruit as many muscle fibers as possible in as safe a manner possible to elicit the greatest metabolic and hormonal response.

The workout involves 3 to 5 exercises performed super-slow, taking up to 10 seconds for both parts of the exercise. For example, doing a push-up would mean taking 10 seconds to lower yourself to the ground, and then 10 seconds to raise back up to a plank position.

Your aim is to keep doing reps until you’ve spent between 90 seconds to two minutes on the exercise. You want to keep doing reps until you cannot do one more. Then you do an extra rep anyway, which you will not be able to finish.

During the last rep that you cannot finish, when you get to the point where you can no longer move your body or the weight, flex and try to hold the weight there for 10 seconds. When you finish, write down your results and move onto the next exercise quickly with very little break time (30 seconds or less.)

The Body By Science Big 5 workout is typically done on Nautilus machines using these five movements:

  1. Seated Row
  2. Chest Press
  3. Lat Pull-down
  4. Overhead Press
  5. Leg Press

If you are new to exercise, using a machine is advantageous because they control your technique for you. However, I personally prefer free-weight, balance, and/or bodyweight exercises because I believe they are less likely to create imbalances and are better at developing body awareness and preventing injury in the long run.

For the holidays, I do an easier, modified version of this workout just to raise my metabolism. I use weights for many of these moves, but if you don’t have any weights you can still do this workout.
Keenan’s Body By Science Holiday Workout:

  1. Push-up
  2. Pull-up, or Door Frame Rows if you lack a pull-up bar or are not strong enough to do slow pull-ups
  3. Squats (bodyweight or goblet squat if you have dumbbells or kettlebells)

For each of these moves — except the pull-ups — I do 10 seconds down, 10 seconds up, just like the regular body-by-science workout, and I do as many reps as I can. When I can’t do any more complete reps, I try to do one more. When I get to the point where I can’t push myself any further, I try to hold a position for 10 seconds.

For the pull-ups, I can’t do more than 3 or 4 reps if I do 10-second intervals, so instead, I typically do 5 seconds up and 5 seconds down. However, I still hold for 10 seconds when I reach the endpoint where I cannot complete the rep.

The idea is that if you cannot do reps smoothly, shorten the time. You want to go as slowly as you can without being choppy. This could mean five seconds down and up instead of ten. Go as slowly as you can while still performing the exercise in a smooth and stable fashion.

In terms of when to work out, I train as close to my holiday meal as I can while I am still in a fasted state, meaning that I haven’t eaten anything yet for the day. Fasting is another tactic we’ll talk about more later, but training while fasting has a positive effect on fat burning and also depletes muscle glycogen.

Basically, by training fasted, when you eat later, your body will be more efficient at burning fat and also will use some of the carbohydrates from your meal to restore muscle glycogen.

The second movement technique I use is to move immediately after my meal. I know, I know, very few of us are probably in the mood to work out immediately after Thanksgiving dinner, myself included.

Fortunately, I’m not asking you to do another workout — just go for a walk or do something that will keep your body moving immediately after you eat. This study found that walking immediately after a meal is more effective for weight loss than waiting an hour and then walking.

We’ve already primed our metabolism with the body-by-science workout, now just go for a walk around the block to keep the fat-loss effect active.

Strategy 2: Eating & Not Eating

One of the best tactics for preventing weight gain from a meal is to fast leading up to the meal. Fasting helps to control blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, which is why I make a point to use it on the day of a big feast.

Generally speaking, it takes 12 hours without eating for your body to enter into a fully fasted state, and any time after that is when you are metabolically fasting.

Holiday feasts are a perfect time to implement fasting. Many holiday dinners start in the mid to late afternoon, rather than the evening. This means that even as a fasting newbie, you won’t have to fast as long as if you were going to fast until dinner on any other normal day.

For the second part of this tactic, I recommend breaking your fast a few hours before the big feast with a few very specific foods.

Known as the second meal effect, research found that eating low-glycemic, resistant starch carbohydrates a few hours prior to a bigger meal resulted in a better blood sugar response when the later meal was eventually consumed.

In less scientific terms, you’re less likely to gain body fat from a meal if you eat resistant starches a few hours beforehand.

Resistant starches include foods such as beans, unripe bananas, and authentic sourdough bread (which also does not contain gluten when made correctly.)

However, my favorite resistant starch is either cold or reheated potatoes. You see, when you cook a potato, then allow it to cool, it actually forms more resistant starches than if you just ate it fresh.
So at some point a few hours before your feast meal, have some potato salad or some reheated sweet potatoes. As long as the potatoes were cooled at some point after cooking, they will be high in resistant starch which will allow for the second-meal effect to kick in and keep your blood sugar more stable during your upcoming feast.

Strategy 3: Protective Supplements

This is one of my favorite strategies because it is just so geeky. Basically, you can actually protect yourself from both weight gain and negative mental and physical health effects from food using supplements.

At the time of this writing, I do not have any affiliation with the companies whose products I recommend here.

My three top supplements for self-protection are:

  1. Kion Lean for Blood Sugar Control
  2. Bioptimizers Gluten Guardian for any and all things bread
  3. Bioptimizers Masszymes HCL Breakthrough – supplement for heartburn prevention and general digestive health

Kion Lean

I don’t personally worry about weight gain. I am 24 years old, and I simply do not carry much body fat on my person. I also seem to take after my mother’s side of the family. Though my mother is in her 50s, she has always been lean regardless of her exercise or eating habits.

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With that said, sugars and carbs have a different effect on me: they make me feel inflamed and massively increase my brain fog. Not good for someone who writes for a living.

Because of that, one of the most important things I protect myself from is blood sugar spikes.

Kion Lean is a supplement developed by my go-to source for health information: Ben Greenfield. It is a blend of Bitter Melon Extract and Rock Lotus.

Rock lotus has been shown in this study to increase glucose consumption independent of the presence of Insulin, meaning it is likely effective even in diabetics. This has been further implied in other studies. It has also been shown to reduce symptoms of diabetes as well as improve liver function.

Similarly, Bitter melon has been shown to have anti-diabetic effects in cell, animal, and human studies.

The way I use this supplement is that I take it as soon as I start the Thanksgiving feast, and then a second dose with desserts. This supplement helps me keep my blood sugar from spiking in response to simple sugars and carbohydrates, and this is the main one you’ll want to use if blood sugar and/or weight gain is your concern.

Kion Lean uses high-quality sources for both the Bitter Melon and the Rock Lotus in its ingredient blend. However, you can buy Bitter Melon on its own from many reputable brands for much cheaper.

Rock Lotus, on the other hand, I have yet to find from a clean source. All the ones I’ve found online are either made in china or have additives that I do not trust, such as magnesium stearate which is a soap used to get supplements to flow through machinery more easily.

So, if you don’t want to buy Kion Lean, get some bitter melon extract from a quality functional medicine supplement brand. Source Naturals is a pretty good option.

Bioptimizers Gluten Guardian

Bioptimizers is a company that specializes in digestive enzymes and probiotics, and their Gluten Guardian is one of my favorite supplements ever.

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Sensitivity to gluten may be more common than people realize, especially among Europeans. The result is inflammation and gastrointestinal distress, and I personally believe that it contributes to chronic disease and mental health as well.

When I had chronic fatigue and panic attacks for two years, gluten-based foods always triggered symptoms. No one in my family has celiac disease, and my symptoms were both mental and physical with increased levels of fatigue, heart palpitations, or anxiety.

I’m healthy now, and I still avoid gluten as much as I can, but during the holidays, when so many foods contain wheat, I prefer to use supplements to protect myself rather than try to avoid gluten entirely.

Gluten Guardian is a blend of 8 plant-based enzymes that break down starch, including peptidase DPP-IV, which has been shown in research to break down gluten specifically and is used as a protective measure for those with Celiac’s disease.

Now, this enzyme is not meant to be a cure. If you have a medical condition where you react to gluten (such as Celiac’s disease), I don’t recommend trying to use these enzymes to eat gluten anyway. However, anecdotally, many use it as a back-up for accidental consumption.

For myself and others who do not have a severe gluten-related disease, this supplement is a great way to mitigate the damage during a bread-heavy meal.

If I know I will be eating gluten during my holiday meal, I’ll take a few of these enzyme pills, and like the Kion Lean, a few extra if I’m really laying it on with the bread and butter.

I suggest taking a few of these at the start of your meal, even if you aren’t going to eat bread. Most holiday feasts have high amounts of gluten, and unless you know 100% that yours is gluten-free, it’s better to be safe. These enzymes will help you digest any starches you eat anyway so it won’t hurt.

Digestive enzymes & HCL supplements

Kion Lean (Rock Lotus and Bitter Melon) and Gluten Guardian (8 digestive enzymes for starches, including peptidase DPP-IV for breaking down gluten) are my must-haves for the holidays, and frankly, they will do 80% of the job for you.

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With that said, there are a few add-ons you can grab to really help mitigate the holiday feast.
For one thing, a good complete digestive enzyme supplement. Digestive enzyme supplements have been shown to be beneficial for gastrointestinal disease, and they help you break down foods more easily.

Gluten Guardian contains 8 enzymes, but they are pretty much all targeted at carbohydrates and gluten. Getting a good quality complete digestive enzyme blend will help you digest the other proteins and fats you eat with your meal.

The other big one is a betaine/HCL supplement to support your stomach acid levels. These supplements have been shown to restore stomach acid levels in both those with low levels without adverse effects.

If you ever suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, these can be a great way to avoid that.
Again, I use BiOptimizers for these supplements. My preference for things like thanksgiving is their HCL supplement, which is a natural betaine/HCL supplement that also contains digestive enzymes for fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

As mentioned at the beginning of this section, I am not at this time affiliated with BiOptimizers in any way. They are just the best I have found so far for digestive enzymes, and one of the few companies I’ve found where I notice a difference from using their products.

Other good companies for these and similar products are Thorne Research, Pure Encapsulations, and Designs for Health. These are all clinical-grade supplement companies that can often be found in the offices of functional medicine practitioners.

With all supplements, I recommend prioritizing quality over price, as supplements are an unregulated industry where the cheapest options tend to also be fake or ineffective.

Bonus: Easy and Fun Food Modifications

I promised this wouldn’t be a recipe article, and it isn’t. However, there are many holiday foods and drinks that you can swap for delicious healthy alternatives with little to no effort on your part.
This section is a simple list of some great keto, gluten-free, or just downright healthier alternatives of classic holiday table foods.

Dry Farm Wine & Fit Vine Wine

The wine industry is fraught with misinformation, and wine corporations are notoriously found in lawsuits related to harmful ingredients that aren’t on the label. For example, a few years back a class action lawsuit unveiled that many California wine companies have high levels of Arsenic in their wines.

This isn’t even to mention mold toxin content, and other problematic ingredients. However, wine can be a great and even healthy addition to the Holiday feast.

The “In Vino Veritas” study found that wine had positive effects on cholesterol markers for those who also regularly exercise, and did not negatively affect cholesterol and certain other health markers in those who do not.

Dry Farm Wines, & Fit Vine Wines are both lab-tested wine companies created with health in mind. They are also delicious and very unique. If you are a fan of wine but not of the buzzy, sugar-fueled headache the next morning, these are both a great, clean brand to try.

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I won’t promise you won’t have a hangover if you drink several bottles, but personally I feel much better when consuming these than your typical store-bought reds.

If you want to find your own healthy wine, look for biodynamic organic wine. A google search will show you if you have access online or in your area.

Simple Mills Cookies

You’re going to see the brand Simple Mills a few times on this list. This company specializes in baked products while being simultaneously gluten-free, non-GMO, and paleo-friendly.

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Furthermore, their products feel and taste like the real deal. From cookies to crackers, Simple Mills knocks it out of the park.

Considering how difficult it is to find paleo desserts, I love Simple Mills cookies. These are a phenomenal treat to leave by the fireplace for Santa, especially when paired with the next item on the list.

These guys are widely available, from Whole Foods to Target. If you can’t find em’, consider ordering online from a site like Thrive Market, which provides health-conscious food products at lower prices through a Costco-style membership program.

A2 Milk

If you feel inflamed or just generally worse after consuming dairy, you may be reacting to the A1 Casein protein found in high amounts in American dairy.

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This protein is different in structure from the protein found in human, goat, and many other animal milks. It is also similar in structure to gluten, and if you have a gluten sensitivity, this may be fueling your dairy sensitivity.

Not everyone wants to switch to goat’s milk, which is often more sharp in flavor, but thankfully there are companies selling all A2 casein cow’s milk. The A2 Milk company is pretty easy to find and is even on the shelves of Walmart these days.

Not worried about Casein but you are sensitive to lactose? No worries, try Fairlife milk. They don’t advertise it on their bottles, but Fairlife milk is lactose-free. My Dad gets bad gastrointestinal problems if he drinks milk, but he can consume Fairlife products with no issue.

These are also available in most stores.

Simple Mills Crackers

I told you you’d see these guys a few times on this list. One of the most annoying things about going gluten-free can be the lack of crackers.

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Cold platters of meats and cheeses are an awesome part of the holiday feast that many people can enjoy even if they can’t eat gluten, but if you’re like me, it feels strange not having that decadent, crunchy base that is a perfect cracker.

Not to mention all the awesome and healthy dips you have to miss out on, such as guacamole or hummus.

Simple Mills saves the day again here. I love their rosemary almond crackers, but they have several different crackers to choose from. Frankly, I think you should look for Simple Mills first for any gluten-free pantry alternatives.

Simple Mills & King Arthur Flours

Okay, like I said, this isn’t a recipe article. However, I am aware that many of you are chefs, at least for the holidays. If you are in need of bread and are going to make it yourself anyway, I strongly recommend using Simple Mills Artisan Bread Flour.

This bread flour creates one of the best gluten-free breads that I have ever found, and it’s fairly versatile as a flour replacement as well.

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The other brand I strongly suggest is King Arthur Flour. They make flours for all occasions and aren’t strictly gluten-free, but they do have such options.

If you’re bold or love cooking, one of my favorite things to do is make authentic sourdough using King Arthur’s mixes.

Sourdough bread is lower in gluten when made properly, but unfortunately, supermarket sourdough is almost always fake. The reason is that sourdough bread requires several hours of fermentation when it is made correctly and has a low shelf-life.

This fermentation process creates resistant starches in the bread, which makes it a great option for use in the second-meal effect mentioned as a tactic earlier in this article.

Now, there is likely still some gluten content in sourdough even when it is made correctly, so I still pair it with the Gluten Guardian supplement. However, I love bread, and I love sourdough the most.

Home-made sourdough is delicious and an incredible way to get your bread fix this holiday without consuming massive amounts of gluten.

I make mine using King Arthur Sourdough starter and their crock. If you have some time and want to go completely gluten-free, you can make a gluten-free starter using their recipe here. For the flour itself, I use King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour.

For a recipe on how to make the sourdough itself, either follow King Arthur’s classic recipe but using the gluten-free flour and starter, or try their flatbread, or sourdough English muffin recipes.
King Arthur has phenomenal recipes for gluten-free baking in general, so if you’re trying to figure out gluten-free pie crust or sandwich bread, look no further. Here is their entire gluten-free recipe section.


So there you have it, a whole article on how to protect yourself from weight gain and unhealthy eating during the holidays — without actually changing your holiday feast.

I realize that most of the time people write guides on how to eat keto or adhere to a special diet during the holidays, but in my opinion, that’s a losing battle.

If you can maintain your diet during the holidays, I think that’s great, but it’s not worth it if you have to avoid holiday gatherings or skip out on time with your family.

Instead, I suggest leveraging exercise, movement, fasting, protective supplements, and easy food-swaps to armor yourself and mitigate the damage.

From exercising hard on the day of the feast to eating resistant starches a few hours prior, these are the techniques I use to stay healthy during the holidays. I find they work great for me at avoiding the pitfalls of blood-sugar spikes and poor eating that typically occurs during this time of the year.

I hope these tips were helpful, and as always, good luck with your health and fitness journeys — and happy holidays!

9 Great Brain Games and Brain Training Websites

are abundant. Folks of all many years utilize these games to enhance psychological functioning and mind aging that is counter.

Mind training can help enhance your memory, reaction time, and logic abilities, although studies have shown that the connection between mind training games and enhanced functionality is intellectually complicated. A good work out and have now enjoyable too, decide to try these games and tasks which could boost your psychological focus and physical fitness if you wish to offer your head.


Sudoku is just a real quantity positioning game that utilizes short-term memory. To perform a Sudoku puzzle, you need to look ahead and follow tracks of effects – this one must undoubtedly be an eight and this one a 4, and such like if you place a 6 in this field. This kind of preparation helps enhance memory that is short-term concentration.

You’ll play Sudoku online, for an application, or in writing. Locate a regular Sudoku in your newspaper, obtain a guide with several puzzles, or install free software on your phone or tablet.

Sudoku puzzles can be found in varying quantities of trouble. When you are starting, have fun with the simple games. You learn the guidelines. If you should be playing written down, make use of a pencil!


Lumosity the most mind that is made and psychological fitness programs. You’ll join an account free to play three games each day or pick the registration solution for lots more offerings. In either case, you can keep an eye on your outcomes and enhancement.

Lumosity’s enjoyable mind training and physical fitness are psychological, tests, and tasks supported by technology. You can play them on the internet site or install the apps, which are free iOS and Android. Lumosity also offers a mindfulness and meditation application called Lumosity Mind.


Crosswords are a mind that is classic, accessing not merely verbal language but a memory from numerous measurements of real information. There are lots of how to do crossword puzzles, both online and down. If you are given a daily paper, you will almost always get yourself a crossword here.

Or select a guide up of crosswords, exceedingly worthy of your level of skill and passions.

Additionally, find many choices for crossword puzzles online or via free or apps being affordable. The AARP site supplies a crossword that is day-to-day’s free to everybody else, whether or otherwise not you are a person in the team.


You will have to download an application to try out Elevate’s 35 (and counting) different mind training games, which may have a belief is highly academic. It is free (with in-app acquisitions), and both iOS and Android variations have tens and thousands of five-star reviews.

Elevate’s games focus on reading, writing, talking, and mathematics, and you will personalize your training to pay attention to whichever areas you like. Much like almost every other mind game, you can monitor your progress to observe your increasing abilities.


The peak is another choice that is app-only for iOS and Android that delivers mind games to focus on focus, memory, problem-solving, psychological agility, and much more intellectual functions. If you are competitive, you could be inspired by seeing the way you perform against other users. The application is absolved from making use of, but a membership that is affordable more features.

Happy Neuron

Happy Neuron divides its games and tasks into five crucial: memory, attention, language, executive functions, and visual/spatial. Like Lumosity, it personalizes working out to suit you, tracks your progress, as well as the games depend on medical research.

You need to spend a month-to-month membership to make use of your website, and its simplified application variation can be obtained for Android users just. Pleased Neuron does, but provide a trial offer such as the approach to help you see if you.


Claiming to have the earth’s biggest collection of mind teasers, Braingle’s free site provides a lot more than 15,000 puzzles, games, and other mind teasers and an online community of enthusiasts. You may also make your very own puzzles to offer your head a super exercise. Braingle features a variety that is wide, including optical illusions, codes and ciphers, and trivia quizzes


Queendom has a considerable number of character tests and studies. It possesses a significant number of “brain tools” including logic, spoken, spatial, and mathematics puzzles; trivia quizzes; and aptitude tests to help you work out and test your mind thoroughly.

If you wish to save yourself outcomes and ratings, you will need a free account. Some recent tests might be written just snapshot outcomes for free and charge a cost for complete reports.

Brain Age Concentration Training

Brain Age Concentration Training is just a mind training and physical fitness psychological for the Nintendo 3DS system. It offers lots that are huge to hone your concentration, memory, calculation, and other mental abilities.

It’s enjoyable, portable, and challenging. Brain Age commonly readily available for the Ninte.

Thriving in Ice — The Extreme Success Story of Wim Hof

Wim Hof is known as “The Iceman” for good reason. He has a peculiar ability to withstand freezing temperatures for long periods of time — whether submerged in freezing water, covered in ice cubes, while running marathons, or while climbing mountains. What’s perhaps most impressive, is he broke his first record at 40.

Already know about this specimen of a human? If so, feel free to skip to the bottom of the article to check out “The Wim Hof Method” — the breathing technique he attributes to his unhuman endurance.


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As mentioned, Wim set his first world record at 40 years old. It happened in 2000, for the fastest swim under ice (that’s right, underneath a frozen section of water). This incredibly dangerous stunt took place at a lake in Finland.

In 2007, Wim ran the fastest half-marathon. Even while barefoot on ice and snow, Wim took only 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 34 seconds. He’s also set the world record for the longest time completely covered in ice, a total of 16 times — the longest and most recent being 1 hour and 53 minutes, back in 2013.

Wim may sound like he’s gone mad, but there’s a method to his madness. He attributes his superhuman tolerance to freezing temperatures to a combination of cold therapy, breathing, and meditation.

Work with Athletes

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Wim has begun working with former UFC heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, who’s also a K1 and MMA legend. The Iceman helps Alistair improve his breathing techniques and implements some of his methodologies into the fighter’s workout routine.

After a long streak of losses, Alistair regained success with a brutal knockout of his first opponent since adopting Wim’s alternative training techniques.

Less Stress, Improved Athleticism, Faster Recovery, Better Sleep, More Creativity, Heightened Focus — How?

As you can see, the benefits are astounding. Now let’s get into the methods to Wim’s madness, the techniques he employs to become superhuman.

Cold Therapy

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To start out easy and dip your toe into cold therapy, start with cold showers.

  • Step into a normal shower. When you’re ready, switch the temperature to the coldest setting. Then just stand there for at least ten seconds, with your head directly underneath the shower.
  • Switch the temperature back to normal.
  • Repeat Step #1.
  • As you get more comfortable, increase the time you spend under the cold water, for up to 90 seconds. Some people go for as long as five-to-ten minutes.

Studies show that switching between hot and cold temperatures reduces inflammation in the body and can reduce fatigue.

As you progress in your ability to tolerate cold, you’ll be able to start submerging yourself into ice baths.


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This is the practice of mindfulness.

  • Begin by selecting a serene or atmospheric soundtrack on your phone. Alternatively, enjoy complete silence somewhere peaceful.
  • Now, close your eyes. Allow yourself to clear your mind of all thoughts. If a thought comes, simply observe it, without judgment, and then let it go.
  • Breathe. As you inhale, focus on your being. As you exhale, release any thoughts you may have in your mind.
  • Practice meditating for 10-20 minutes a day.

Research shows that meditating is an effective way to reduce stress and improve overall mental health.

Breathing Exercises — “The Wim Hof Method”

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This technique helps Wim deal with cold temperatures for extended periods of time.

  • Controlled hyperventilation. Take a deep breath in. Fill your lungs with air fully. Then gently exhale. Don’t force your breath out all the way. Repeat this 30 times in succession. Wim cautions that you may get a tingly sensation or feel some light-headedness from this exercise.
  • Exhalation. Now, take another deep breath in, but this time exhale forcefully to empty your lungs of air fully. Now hold that deep exhalation for as long as possible.
  • Breath retention. When you can’t hold the exhalation any longer, take another deep breath in and hold for 15-20 seconds. You may get another bout of light-headedness.

Get Your Hof On

Now don’t go out and swim under a frozen lake. Unless you’re highly trained and under tight supervision, don’t even consider it.

But what you can do, though, is use Wim Hof’s techniques to bring a new spark to your day, or before difficult mental tasks or workouts. Cold showers are a great way to snap you into action in the morning, and meditation is the perfect way to unwind in the evening.

I can personally vouch for The Wim Hof Method. It can sharpen your mind and give you a mental boost all throughout your day, whenever you need it.

5 Easy Ways to Achieve a Calorie Deficit Diet Without Working Out

I call these my Five Awesome Rules for Fat Loss Life.

They have been my guiding anchor for the entirety of my career.

And they haven’t ever let me down yet.

When it comes to the Calorie Deficit Diet there is one guiding principle that you must acknowledge before we go any further.

“A Calorie Deficit is simple, but its not easy”.

I have written on the topic of what a Calorie Deficit is many times before.

And you are welcome to read it…once you have finished with this story first.

I am sure I will write about a Calorie Deficit at least once a month for the rest of my life because it is that complex.

Now I need to cue some irony because I am going to try and make the Calorie Deficit as simple, as accessible, and as easy for you to follow as I possibly can.

But please remember this. When you get to the end of the article, you will be pumped, inspired, and excited to get started.

But this is still difficult to adhere to consistently and patiently to allow yourself the real-time that fat loss needs.

This is an amazing starting point, and this should be your constant solid foundation, your comfort blanket for Fat Loss results.

If you want the video version of this article you can grab that right here:

So let’s get started.

These are in no particular order of importance. They all require as much time and attention as the next one, and if you favor one over the other then you are very much cheating yourself out of success.

Awesome Rule For Fat Loss Life #1

You need to be in a Caloric Deficit.

Every rule hereafter will help you be in a Calorie Deficit.

But you cannot lose bodyweight, burn body fat, and try to change that scale number if you are not being adherent to a Calorie Deficit.

So how do you know if you are indeed in said deficit?

The crucial understanding for this is the principle of Energy Balance.

This dictates the following:

  • Energy In = Energy Out = Calorie Maintence
  • Energy In < Energy Out = Weight Loss
  • Energy In > Energy Out = Weight Gain

Therefore by understanding this you can manipulate your Caloric Intake to make sure that you keep your calories where you want to achieve your goals.

Personally, I suggest tracking your calories each day using an App like MyFitness Pal.

However there a few considerations you need to have when using MyFitnessPal.

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  1. The Caloric Goal it will set you is too aggressive for long term sustainable weight loss. So please ignore it. Instead, use the following formula:

Goal Body Weight in LBS x 12 = Caloric Deficit

2. Calories are the most important for your goals.

3. Secondly its Protein, however Protein doesn’t have to be your biggest Macro Nutrient. Yes, Protein is important, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the biggest part of your diet. Then your Carbohydrates and your Fats. These are all just targets. Not pass/fail markers. If you don’t manage to hit your targets, don’t worry as long as your Calories are still in the right place.

4. Ignore Calories Burned from exercise. MYFP will take into account the calories you are expending from exercise, and then it will encourage you to add that against your calorie targets. Please do not do this. The whole point of your movement is to help you get into a Caloric Deficit, if you eat it all back…then what are you gaining if you are after Fat Loss? Added to that MYFP pulls in that Data from your smartwatch and these have been proven time and time again not be very accurate at calculating calories burned from aerobic exercise.

5. Remember you will never get it right. It is quite literally your best guess. All the time. Breaking down your homemade meals is a pain and it can become time-consuming and frustrating. Bear in mind you are using it as best guess, that its never going to be perfect will help take the pressure off you.

6. You only have to do it for a month — six weeks. This isn’t, and nor should it be a life long sentence for you to track your calories. All you need is to get yourself more calorie educated in two departments: Portion Control and Calories in your favorite foods. Once you have spent time educating yourself on these things then you will have a much better idea of where your calories are at each day.

7. It will take time out of your day. But don’t forget the big picture. 10 minutes a day for 6 weeks is little time invested compared to years of half arsing it and struggling along because you haven’t taken a moment to get educated and understand the process enough.

Awesome Rule For Fat Loss Life #2

3 Liters of Water A Day

Water has zero calories in it. As does Diet Soda.

The reason I am saying to you to drink more water is not because of the nonexistent calories in there.

It’s because Water will help you with a number of “negatives” that you might get when you start a Calorie Deficit.

Being in a Calorie can and will cause hunger as well as ever so slightly lowered energy levels.
Being hydrated will without a doubt help you curb your hunger, which in turn helps you stay adherent to a Calorie Deficit.

But it will also give you energy. The difference between you being hydrated and not being hydrated will become clear…when you become hydrated. A lot of people think that 3 liters is too much water, and can find it hard, to begin with. I understand that, so build-up to it. Take it steady, and add 500ml of water each day as you build slowly until you hit your 3 liters.

I had a client once who told me she would drown if she drank 3 liters of water a day. She also told me that she would get water intoxication.

I bargained with her. It will feel like a huge change and a large amount of liquid. But you will always look for reasons to not do something. You will always fight drastic measures to a degree. And you are right to do so. But in my 5 years of working with people…I have never had anyone say to me that this is a negative aspect of their work.

I told my client to give it a go, build slowly, and see what happens. She went on to lose 10kgs working with me, and she drank her water.

It’s not a magic number. Everybody is different, and every body is different. But it’s a good baseline. It’s a number that is high enough to make you increase where you are currently at, its a good amount so you can get the benefits from it, and is achievable.

Here are some tips to help you get that water intake up:

  • Start early. Wake up and get 500ml into your system from the off.
  • Get a water bottle you enjoy drinking from and is at least 750ml big.
  • Build slowly.
  • Drink clear water on top of other liquids throughout the day. Don’t include Coffee, Tea, Juice as part of your 3L.

And here is the best bit.

You will be drinking more. Which means you will be going to the loo more.

When this happens and interrupts work etc…

Just remember Elmo.

Awesome Rule For Fat Loss Life #3

Protein and Veggies at every meal

In truth, I don’t care what you eat if you are working on a Calorie Deficit, as long as you are sticking to your numbers.

But…and this is a big wallopping Kim Kardashian “but”.

What you eat will make your life on a Calorie Deficit either a lot easier…or a hell of a lot harder.
There’s a fantastically huge amount of people out there who will set your deficit too low, tell you to eat Mars Bars and Donuts, and still lose weight.

Sell you the perfect dream.

You will lose weight, and they will get some great Work In Process Pictures from you. But they quite simply are not caring for your needs, and if you are willing to submit yourself to such torture, then you aren’t caring for your needs either.

This is why I don’t ever dictate to clients what foods they should be eating…but ask them to stick to some guidelines. And one of these guidelines is the following: Protein and Veggies at every meal.
Build your plate wisely.

I want you to feel the best you can whilst trying to lose weight, both mentally and physically.
This means eating protein because protein is satiating, it will help you preserve muscle and is always a good thing to eat.

There are many theories out there on “how much” protein you need. With this, like everything, do your best.

Whether its 1g per lb of bodyweight. Or 2g per lg of bodyweight.

Don’t lose sleep over it. Just remember, a lot like getting in 3L of water a day, we need you to aim for something more than you are currently doing, and whatever you achieve will be great. The percentage of Protein in your Diet will very rarely be higher than your Carbohydrate intake — that’s ok.

Then let’s add Vegetables. A good solid source of Carbohydrates, they are extremely nutrient-dense and don’t carry with them lots of calories.

From there…I always say that Carbs can come long for the ride. You can sprinkle in some rice, bulgur wheat, couscous, pasta, bread, or whatever. Sprinkle it in once you have your plate built with Protein and Veggies first. This way you will really give yourself a big tick in terms of portion control.

Awesome Rule For Fat Loss Life #4

10,000 steps a day.

Good old FitBit. Good old activity trackers. Good old 10k steps a day.

I’m sure you are starting to see a theme here.

10k steps a day is not a magic number. If all you do right now is 1k steps a day…then getting you to 10x that is wholly unrealistic.

But the benefits of increasing that are still huge.

The technical reason this is in there is known as your NEAT; your Non-Exercise Thermogenesis. This basically means all movement you do which isn’t prescribed training. Which isn’t lifting weights.

This is the part of your Metabolism that you have the most control over…and is part of your Metabolism that many people don’t pay enough attention to.

For more information on your Metabolism and whether or not it is “broken”. Then read this article of mine that has helped 100s of people understand what to do in order to keep their metabolism burning body fat.

I want you to move more. I want you to allow movement to become part of your life. Whether that means doing the gardening, climbing the stairs at work or parking further away at the Grocery Store…if you do all of them then you are well on your way to increasing your NEAT.
Don’t feel defeated if you don’t hit the magic 10k.

As long as you are increasing and building this up from the moment you started your Calorie Deficit from where it was before…you are winning.

Awesome Rule For Fat Loss Life #5

7–8 Hours Sleep A Night

Sleep. The final frontier.

If you fail to make Sleep something you are willing to focus on when trying to lose weight, then you are basically doing the following to your success.

I fully appreciate and understand that sleep is harder to come by for some people due to little children and young families.

And I empathize. I really do.

But if you want to make Fat Loss as easy as possible then you need to understand that making sleep a priority is really really important.

Without the re-charge. Without the deep NREM sleep that you can achieve you aren’t going to wake up with enough energy for the next day.

And that energy isn’t just to workout.

It comes down to your willpower.

A tired person is a hungry person.

A tired person is a caffeine reliant person.

A tired person is a more stressed person.

A tired person is a person who’s calories will increase.

That’s the be-all and end-all.

If you are tired. Your calories will increase.

So how do we manage your tiredness? Like most things, prevention is better than reaction, and improving your Sleep Hygiene will be a huge win in your column.

I am going to write a list of optimal behaviors for your sleep. You don’t have to follow them all…but again, that’s up to you. If you do follow them all you will be in a much more advantageous position than if not. But I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m here to empower you to make the best choices for yourself.

  • Electronics off at least 60mins before bedtime.
  • Dim the lights of an evening
  • No caffeine after midday.
  • Meditate Daily
  • Listen to a Sleep Story
  • Try to get to sleep before midnight
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Exercise during the day
  • Get the sun on the skin

To be able to sleep you need to inspire your body to send Melatonin through your body. This comes from the Pineal Gland and is sent through the bloodstream. Melatonin is released when the body realizes it is indeed bedtime, and there are many cues that can occur for that. Having a pattern of behavior really helps your body sense the signals to release Melatonin into your system.

This is why bedtime habits are really important, and in your day defining the difference between Night and Day really helps.

If you start implementing some better habits around your bedtime then you will start to sleep like a baby.


This is it. Five ways to make your Calorie Deficit Diet easy without working out.

And, just because you can lose weight without working out doesn’t mean you should.

The benefits of looking after yourself physically in this manner are far too plentiful for it to be ignored.

If you want the best results possible, then combine this list of Rules with a very well thought out Strength Programme.

Stick to what I have outlined in this article and you will do really well.

But remember these five rules aren’t really rules.

They’re more like guidelines…

How and Why to Supplement With Magnesium for Health, Fitness, and Performance

Magnesium: The 12th element on the periodic table, the 8th most abundant element in the universe (and 7th most abundant on earth), and a miracle health supplement. I freaking love magnesium.

Why? Well, because for one thing, supplemental magnesium was the first supplement that actually helped me with the rough symptoms of HPA-axis dysregulation.

We’ll get into my story in detail later, but just know that magnesium turned down severe anxiety from a 10 to a 4 — and finally freed me from panic attacks that had forced me to stop working and were bordering on keeping me stuck at home.

The second reason I love magnesium is that it’s one of the easiest things I can recommend for people, no matter what health or performance goal they’re pursuing.

Magnesium works so well because of how important it is for bodily functions, as well as because so many people are deficient in this mineral. Despite being the 7th most abundant element on earth, modern farming practices, as well as other factors, have rendered most people low in this mineral.

Increasing magnesium intake can resolve fitness problems (such as cramping and injury likelihood), prevent or heal heart palpitations and even some arrhythmia, and sooth or erase mood problems ranging from depression and anxiety, and may be a crucial factor in psychosis.
Considering that magnesium has been confirmed to be involved in 300+ enzymatic processes in our biology, and is estimated to be involved in closer to 1000, it’s no wonder that remedying a deficiency could have such a wide breadth of results.

You don’t have to experience panic attacks to get benefits from magnesium.

Common Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Deficiency in this mineral can manifest in a wide variety of symptoms. Here are a few you might experience that could signal that you are low in magnesium:

Now, magnesium isn’t a cure for everyone. There are other factors involved other than magnesium deficiency, especially for difficult problems health problems. However, I’ve personally learned not to underestimate the power of this mineral.

Depending on your level of deficiency, the benefits of magnesium can be massive, and even if you don’t notice any of the symptoms I mentioned, you could still notice an improvement from supplementing.

To highlight the power of magnesium, I’m going to give you the first ever walkthrough of my story with chronic disease and how magnesium played an essential role in healing.

Then we’ll move into a section on understanding the role of magnesium in our modern world, cover how to test for magnesium deficiency, and then discover the best form of supplemental magnesium for your purposes.

So, to start things off, a little about your author.

My Story With Magnesium

In 2017, I suffered a massive panic attack, which I thought was either me losing my mind or my heart stopping (and at the time I actually hoped it was the latter, because it felt like the easier option to deal with).

This happened by a result of factors that had been compounding for close to half a year, so we’ll start there.

I’ve been passionate about health and fitness since I was 13 when I started P90X and mixed martial arts. Many years later, in 2016, I decided to become a professional athlete and I started training to compete in the Crossfit games for the title of Fittest on Earth.

Without access to world-class coaches, extensive blood work, and nutritionists, I dove into textbooks on Olympic weightlifting, and podcasts on nutrition. I began biohacking, and I learned a ton about living one’s best life.

However, I wasn’t training for health, but for performance. I hadn’t yet learned about adrenal-fatigue and chronic disease, which often occur following prolonged periods of massive stress to the body or mind.

Common among athletes who train hard and don’t recover, people will often “crash.” Though there is a multitude of names for these conditions, what’s happening basically is that the body and nervous system are shutting down to stop you from working yourself to death.

In my case, after 6 months of training for 4 to 6 hours a day in what is arguably the most physically taxing exercise that exists (Crossfit style HIIT and Olympic weightlifting), I crashed — hard.

I never received a formal diagnosis, mainly due to the crazy expenses of going to a clinician just to have them tell me my blood work was normal and I’m probably just anxious, but I knew I was sick.

I’ve always been a very laid-back person. If living in the woods for 30 days at age 16 or climbing a 300-foot cliff multi-pitch on my first outdoor climbing trip didn’t make me anxious, I knew I wasn’t “just anxious.”

The point is, my body and mind were rebelling against me for pushing them too hard. I was anxious daily; I had panic attacks randomly and often felt like I was losing touch with reality. Then, I began experiencing hot flashes, heart palpitations, tinnitus, and other physical symptoms.

Throughout this time, I began reading countless articles online on sites such as selhacked.com, bengreenfieldfitness.com, and other places to discover anything that could help me start healing
I kept seeing magnesium on these lists, and it was always described as an essential mineral that can help with, well, darn near anything.

Dr. Norman Shealy has said that “every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency,” and that “magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.”

Still, though I believed the mineral was probably essential for long-term healing, I had doubts it would be powerful enough to aid with my immediate problems.

But after having a panic attack in the parking lot of a gas station not a mile from my house, and having to drive home without even going in to buy something, I knew I had to try something.

I ordered a bottle of topical magnesium lotion, and as soon as it touched my skin, I relaxed.

I still wasn’t fully healed, or anywhere near how I felt before I became sick, but a mere lotion dropped my anxiety from a splintering 10 to a manageable 4, and I didn’t suffer a panic attack again for months. I may not have been dying, but I sure as heck felt like it, and this mineral brought me back to a functional baseline on several occasions.

Look, magnesium isn’t always a cure-all, but it is one of the most reliable, affordable, and effective methods you can try for darn near any health or fitness purpose.

The reason for this is because — as we mentioned in the intro — magnesium is one of the most important minerals for our biology that exists. It is important for almost every bodily function, from a well-working brain to a strong heart.

I’d also like to emphasize that you don’t need to have some kind of crazy disease to benefit from magnesium, and that’s actually not the purpose of this guide (I don’t give medical advice).

I’m far more concerned with boosting your performance. Just think: you may be doing just fine in life, but a simple mineral could boost your performance from an 8 to a 9, reduce your risk of heart attack, improve your exercise recovery, and stabilize your mood.

I don’t know what word you would use to describe such a thing, but I lean towards “miraculous.”

Understanding the Causes of Low Magnesium

So, as I’ve mentioned, the big reason why magnesium is so beneficial for so many people is because most people have low magnesium. At a glance, this is actually surprising, as magnesium is one of the most common minerals on the planets and is a key component in plant life.

Why is this? Well, for one thing, our bodies don’t “hold on” to magnesium. The mineral is typically so available in our diets that our biology has adapted to “release” magnesium very easily to avoid ever having too much magnesium.

This actually makes magnesium one of the safest supplements that exists, since your body simply expels any excess. Our bodies don’t store magnesium like they do calcium, which is “hoarded” due to the lower prevalence in the environment.

And calcium actually brings us to the first major component in magnesium deficiency.

Reason 1: Over-consumption of calcium

For the past 20 years or more, calcium has been promoted as an essential mineral. You know the drill, drink your calcium-enriched milk and get stronger bones.

However, this promotion of calcium overlooked something major: calcium and magnesium act cooperatively to provide benefits throughout the body, and if you don’t have enough magnesium, calcium actually becomes a bad thing. You’re supposed to have a ratio of about 2:1 or 1:1 calcium to magnesium in the body.

We’ve essentially flipped the board, and are consuming a steady supply of calcium which gets stored and our ratios of calcium to magnesium get more and more unbalanced.

If this weren’t enough, we no longer have that steady supply of magnesium for our diets.

Reason 2: Low magnesium in our diet

Vegetables and plants in our diet are typically a major source of magnesium. To shed some light on why, check this out: plant chlorophyll is actually identical to the hemoglobin that makes up our blood, except for one atom: chlorophyll has magnesium (instead of iron).

Unfortunately, modern farming practices have rendered much of the soil used to grow food low in magnesium.

Members of developed countries often have sub-par magnesium levels while those in undeveloped countries have fine levels, and this implies that the refining of food in modern society is a key aspect of the problem. For a great journal article on the subject, check out Magnesium deficiency in plants: An urgent problem.

Furthermore, the animals we eat are also consuming low magnesium plants, so even animal products contain less magnesium than in the past. Even if you eat organic, unless you know the exact farming practices of the farm providing your food, there’s really no way to know if your food has enough magnesium or not.

Reason 3: Ineffective testing for magnesium in modern medicine

The standard test for magnesium is a serum blood test. However, it is so rare for serum magnesium tests to show deficiency that many physicians don’t even do the test, and mistakenly believe that magnesium deficiency is extremely rare.

Here’s the problem: magnesium is so absolutely essential for so many bodily functions — and especially heart function — that your body will pull magnesium from the rest of your body to maintain stable serum blood levels.

If you ever actually show low magnesium on a serum blood test, you are probably experiencing such severe deficiency that your body can’t even stabilize your blood magnesium by pulling from other tissues such as skeletal tissue or organs. If this ever occurs, you are likely in serious trouble.

My point is this: the medical industry typically overlooks one of the most important markers for health because they use an ineffective test. Thankfully, reliable tests for magnesium do exist and can be very affordable.

How to Test for Magnesium Deficiency (If You Want To)

OK, because magnesium deficiency is so common, and magnesium is so safe to use as a supplement, you can start supplementing it without testing if you want to.

However, some people are magnesium wasters, and even with intense supplementation, they will remain deficient. Testing is one of the only ways to discover how your magnesium levels are reacting to supplementation. With that in mind, the first thing we’ll learn is how to test for magnesium properly.

To test for magnesium, instead of the standard serum test, we’ll use the Magnesium RBC Test. This blood test involves actually looking inside our red blood cells and analyzing how much magnesium is present there.

Unlike serum magnesium, which simply measures how much free magnesium is floating in our blood, the magnesium RBC test is more accurate by actually looking inside our cells. “Normal” lab ranges for a magnesium RBC test are considered to be between 4.2 and 6.8mg/dL.

However, Dr. Carolyn Dean, Author of The Magnesium Miracle and an expert I trust on the subject, recommends that you aim to be between 6.0 and 6.5mg/dL.

Her logic is that the values set by most labs are based on national averages, but when 80% or more of the population consumes less than the recommended daily values of magnesium (According to World Health Organization statistics), then “average” is probably too low. For this reason, she has her clients aim for the top of the range.

I want to add another note here: if you get your RBC test and you are in the low end of the normal range, but still display symptoms of magnesium deficiency, then you may still be deficient. People have different needs, and many people benefit massively from raising their RBC magnesium levels to the higher ends of the range — even if their starting point was within the confines of what is considered “normal.”

The most affordable way to get a magnesium RBC test is to have your doctor order it for you under your insurance. Some doctors dislike having their patients bring up special testing, and may think you don’t need to be worried about it. However, many are also willing to listen, and more and more practitioners are learning about the importance of proper magnesium testing.

Fortunately, even if your doctor isn’t interested, you can simply bypass them (and look for a better doctor in the meantime) and get the test directly.

In the U.S., you can go to sites like requestatest.com and order a magnesium RBC test for about $60. Then you simply take the forms they send you to a local lab, and they’ll draw your blood and send you the results just like if your doctor ordered it.

I recommend getting a magnesium RBC test within the first 3 months of supplementing magnesium, and immediately if you either:

  • Stop noticing benefits from magnesium, or
  • Notice negative side effects.

The reason I recommend testing is because it greatly speeds up the process of discovering your optimal dose. If you want to get more advanced, the best method is to do a magnesium RBC test before starting supplements.

When you get the results, start supplementing, and then after a period of two weeks or a month of supplementing, test again.

Then, you can increase or decrease your magnesium supplementation based on whether your magnesium levels have reached adequate levels.

For example, if you start at a 3, and you want to get to 6.5mg/dL, a good supplement protocol would show an increase in your RBC magnesium test on the second test.

If your second test shows an increase to a 4 or a 5mg/dL, then you could simply stick with your protocol, knowing you will likely reach optimal levels at a steady pace. If on the other hand, you’re already at a 6mg/dL, you can either maintain your protocol or lower your magnesium supplementation a bit.

If you only raise your levels to a 3.4mg/dL, not at all, or your levels decline despite supplementation, then increase your supplementation or consider trying a different form of magnesium (we’ll get into the best types of magnesium in the next section).

Personally, I started supplementing magnesium long before I ever did an RBC test, mainly out of desperation to calm my health issues. After a few months of supplementing magnesium, my health issues started to resurface.

I couldn’t tell if my returning health problems were due to having too much magnesium, or if I was still not getting enough — so to be safe, I stopped taking magnesium.

However, when I got my RBC blood test a few months later, I found that I was still low! I switched to a more bioavailable magnesium supplement at this point and again saw a massive improvement.

You don’t need to test your magnesium, but it massively aids in getting the most out of the supplement. Typically I try to find ways to help people use supplements without doing medical testing, as medical testing is usually really expensive. Most people aren’t in a position to drop $500 just to find out if they should try a nutritional supplement.

However, $60 is a different story. You can get $60 together by forgoing a few coffee shop visits or putting a few TV subscriptions on hold. It’s really quite convenient.

Magnesium Supplements

Not all magnesium is created equal, and different forms of supplemental magnesium work better for different purposes. We cannot consume pure magnesium — otherwise, you’d be able to get what you need by licking rocks.

Instead, the magnesium we get in our diets or in supplements is always bound to another material, allowing it to be absorbed. The material that magnesium is bound to determines how it will affect us and how efficiently it will be absorbed.

For example, one of the most common forms of supplemental magnesium is magnesium oxide, which you’ll find in many multivitamins or blends like Airborn. Unfortunately, less than 4% of magnesium oxide is bioavailable, so it’s really a bit of a waste of money.

Following are the forms of magnesium I’ve used as well as their benefits and shortcomings. To make things easy, we’ll start with those I like best, and then cover other popular forms just so you can educate yourself.

Magnesium glycinate

Glycine is an amino acid that soothes the brain, and magnesium glycinate is a supplemental form that delivers magnesium to you by binding it to a glycine molecule.

Furthermore, magnesium glycinate is one of the smallest molecular forms of magnesium and is understandably well tolerated and well absorbed.

Magnesium glycinate is one of the most commonly used forms by licensed health professionals, and I heard about it for the first time when working with a functional medicine practitioner. Because it is so bio-available, mag glycinate is one of the two forms of magnesium I specifically recommend using.

Due to the presence of glycine, magnesium glycinate is particularly adept at soothing mood problems such as anxiety, aiding in sleep, and addressing panic. If you are interested in using magnesium in order to calm down and address mental function, I’d recommend using magnesium glycinate.

Most people should supplement with 600mg to 1000mg of magnesium a day. I usually take half at the beginning of the day, and a half at the end right before bed.

Most magnesium supplements are known for having a laxative effect. This is uncommon with magnesium glycinate, which is good. However, if you experience any laxative effect with it, just lower your dose until you no longer experience.

This laxative effect occurs because your body can’t use all the magnesium you’ve supplemented, so it expels the rest.

This is why I don’t recommend magnesium citrate, which is one of the most popular forms on the market. Despite its popularity, it almost always causes a laxative effect for people, and you want to avoid losing minerals as a result.

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Magnesium malate

Another supplement that delivers magnesium by binding it to an amino acid, magnesium malate is also one of the most bioavailable forms.

Bound to malic acid, this form of magnesium is also effective for calming but is more oriented towards physical relaxation. Malic acid is effective at detoxification, particularly in addressing heavy metals, and promotes ATP production, which is the foundational process by which our body uses and creates energy.

Basically, magnesium malate is a powerful choice if you are an athlete or you are trying to increase energy.

Dosing should be the same as with magnesium glycinate, except that I typically use magnesium malate after workouts and then supplemented throughout the day, and in the morning.

The energy boost of malic acid may prevent sleep if taken at night, but personally, I don’t notice any negative effects.

I have shifted from using primarily magnesium glycinate, which was more relevant for my health issues in the past, to using primarily magnesium malate since I’ve returned to using the gym and am looking for energy for writing and focus.

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Magnesium citrate (not recommended)

Magnesium citrate is a form of magnesium I actually do not recommend.

Mag citrate is the most popular form of “health” magnesium, meaning that it actually works for restoring your magnesium levels (unlike the also common magnesium oxide.) This was the first kind of oral magnesium I started using after my experience with topical magnesium lotion.

However, magnesium citrate also is by far the most laxative oral magnesium I’ve ever tried, and I almost always experienced loose stool when using this magnesium.

You might be thinking, “Well, what’s the big deal? It’s super affordable, and so what if your bathroom breaks are a little watery?”

Unfortunately, the reason you experience loose stool is that your body is expelling the magnesium it can’t use, which means that you are not getting full advantage of your supplement. Furthermore, you are also likely losing other minerals when this occurs, as the loose stool is a result of your kidneys flushing water to expel excess magnesium, and this will also expel other electrolytes.

For these reasons, I prefer for people to use malate or glycinate, which are almost always completely absorbed and don’t trigger a laxative effect in people.

I took magnesium citrate in amounts of about 1000mg per day, broken up throughout the day for about 4 months before my health issues started to re-appear. Yet when I got a magnesium RBC test, my levels were still low.

I suspect that this was due to the fact I was losing minerals due to the laxative effect of magnesium citrate.

Feel free to grab some if you’d like to try it. Some people find that magnesium citrate works just fine for them, but in the interest of avoiding both mineral loss and disaster pants, I’d still go with magnesium malate or magnesium glycinate if I were you.

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Topical magnesium, as magnesium chloride or magnesium sulfate

Magnesium chloride and magnesium sulfate are forms of magnesium salts and are not typically taken orally.

These magnesiums are instead supplemented in the form of baths (Epsom salts are actually not salts but magnesium sulfate flakes) or as oils or lotions to be applied directly to the skin.

There is a field of thought that believes topical magnesium is particularly good for addressing muscle soreness and relaxation, and I know a guy who was able to immediately stop a severe abdominal cramp by applying magnesium oil directly to the area of the cramp.

Research is still sparse, but magnesium chloride lotion is the product that first lowered my anxiety and stopped my panic attacks. Some people think it might not be well absorbed, but due to my personal experience, I think that it’s actually very effective.

These days I find it far easier to just take an oral supplement, and I like the added mental benefits of magnesium glycinate and malate. However, I’ll still take the occasional magnesium bath using magnesium chloride or sulfate bath flakes.

I’d recommend using this form of magnesium to create relaxing baths before bed, and to relieve muscle soreness or aches.

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Additional Supplements Worth Investigating

The two following forms of magnesium are ones I have not used, but have some cool benefits and could be great tools for specific purposes.

Magnesium taurate

In particular, I’m very excited about magnesium taurate. Magnesium taurate is bound to the amino acid taurine, which is phenomenal for heart function, electrolyte balance, detox, and calmness.

In fact, taurine is a staple supplement of mine, and combined with L-arginine helped me immediately quell heart palpitations and greatly reduce fatigue when I first began taking it.

Furthermore, magnesium taurate is often used as a meditation aid. This compound induces feelings of deep calm and can be used to reach deep states of meditation.

As someone who has done meditation for years, I am very excited to try magnesium taurate for this purpose.

In the past, I used saunas and nootropics to reach deep meditation states, where I often had the experience of powerful visualizations of alignment with the universe, deep love and compassion for humanity. I developed an awesome visualization where I saw myself as a super saiyan, which is a god-like being from the anime Dragon Ball Z.

Meditation is an awesome tool, and I use it daily, but I am rarely able to manifest such powerful experiences anymore as I have avoided saunas since my first panic attack (which started in a sauna session after weight-lifting).

I will be writing an article on meditation in the future, and using magnesium taurate will be part of my research for that article.

Many people get a laxative effect from magnesium taurate when they try to use it to address magnesium deficiency, so I still suggest sticking with malate and glycinate for those purposes, but you can use magnesium taurate to augment meditation, before doing presentations or speeches, or in other scenarios where you’d like to calm down.

I’d also suggest magnesium taurate in particular for heart-related healing, such as addressing palpitations or arrhythmias or to promote heart health longevity. Of course, work with a doctor if any of these conditions are dangerous and/or you are on medication.

  • After comparing many brands, Heart Calm appears to be the best bet for magnesium taurate.

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Magnesium L-Threonate

If you have any interest in nootropics, then magnesium threonate could be of great interest to you.

Use of this form of magnesium is relatively new, but is special in that it crosses the blood-brain barrier and feeds magnesium directly to the brain. Research is still somewhat sparse, but many people enjoy magnesium threonate for use as a “brain vitamin” or “nootropic.”

I don’t use threonate personally, but it has been an ingredient in powerful nootropic blends I’ve used in the past (specifically the Qualia product by Neurohacker Collective.)

Due to the fact that these were blends that included many powerful agents for mental function, I cannot say how much influence magnesium threonate had, but the best I have ever been able to perform was while using these blends.

Unfortunately, when I began having health issues I became very sensitive to caffeine and substances that stimulate mental acuity, so I have not been able to deeply explore this realm since I started writing.

However, like magnesium taurate, I’d feel remiss not to mention magnesium threonate here.

  • After comparing brands and reading reviews, Doublewood Supplements appears to be the best bet for magnesium l-threonate.

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In conclusion, magnesium is one of the most important minerals for biological function that exists.
Confirmed to be involved in 300+ enzymatic processes in the body, and estimated to be involved with close to 1000, magnesium is crucial for bone density, muscle function, recovery, mental acuity, heart function, and much much more.

However, due to the influences of living in modern society, such as the processing that occurs in modern farming, over-consumption of calcium, and ineffective testing for magnesium in standard medicine, many people are deficient in this mineral.

Magnesium was an indispensable tool in my journey with chronic disease, but it is also incredibly powerful for improving your life in a multitude of ways, and I still use it religiously for performance and to protect my health.

To reiterate, I recommend using magnesium glycinate or magnesium malate, as they are the most bioavailable forms I know of that do not trigger a laxative effect.

As always, I wish all of you the best of luck on your personal health and fitness journeys, and I humbly thank you for taking the time to read this article.