January 10, 2023
For some reason, I suspect because we human beings are programmed to thrive on ritual and predictability, a few of my most popular podcasts and articles involve me discussing my daily “routines”, such as:
- My morning and evening meditation practice.
- My fooling around with Tibetan longevity exercises.
- My daily nutrition supplementation protocol.
Look, I get it. It's nice to not have to reinvent the wheel and to instead be able to borrow from the routine-ish things guys (biohackers?) like I do, especially since part of my freakin' job is guinea pigging and testing out a bunch of new stuff to see what works and what doesn't and what sticks and what doesn't.
“…as secretary of state and president, John Quincy Adams skinny dipped in the Potomac River in the morning, always trying to see how long he could swim without touching the bottom (he got up to 80 minutes before his wife told him to stop). After putting his kids to bed, President Obama goes over briefing papers and does paperwork, and then reads a book for pleasure for a half hour before turning in…”
As a matter of fact, I don't know any successful people who do not have some kind of a relatively structured and occasionally elaborate daily routine. So recently, I posted a three-part AMA (Ask Me Anything) to Twitter (here, here, and here) with a short but sweet run-down of my current routines, in chronological order. Now without further ado, for your entertainment and education, here are my current morning, afternoon, and evening routines, in brief (with a few juicy questions from the Twitter-sphere after each).
Morning Routine (click here for original Twitter thread)
My current morning routine:
-Wake up 5a-ish
-Giant glass of water
-Grab coffee or tea & work 1 hr
-7:30a-ish family meditation
AMA about it below. Go!
— Ben Greenfield (@bengreenfield) September 12, 2022
Here's my current morning routine with a bit more embellishment below, now that I'm not limited to Twitter character counts:
-I wake up around 4:30-5am-ish with no alarm. Just a natural awakening with no blaring sounds or bright lights, thank you.
-Wash face, tongue scraping, coconut oil pulling, gargling.
-Giant glass of water with Hydrogen H2 tabs, Quinton minerals, Jigsaw Adrenal Cocktail.
-Prep coffee or tea, usually Kion coffee, MiCacao tea, or Four Sigmatic Mushrooms.
-5:30am-ish: Stretch and foam roll, a little breathwork, a little trampoline-ing or bouncing. Usually in front of Biocharger or in sunlight.
-5:45am-ish: Pray, read Bible, read devotional (currently John Eldredge's Restoration Year).
-6am-ish: Grab coffee or tea and work for 60-90 minutes on writing/research projects.
-7:30am: Family meditation with Spiritual Disciplines Journal.
-8:15am-ish: Work out or sauna for 30-45 min with cold plunge or cold shower after.
-9:15am-ish: Breakfast (usually smoothie with ice, frozen blueberries, raw liver, bone broth, Kion Colostrum, Kion Creatine, Kion whey protein powder, Omica Organics Stevia, Colima salt, Ceylon cinnamon).
-9:45am-ish: Ben Greenfield Life team huddle and start work.
Questions & Answers:
- Shouldn’t you wait to eat breakfast? The body is inflamed from the workout, eating right away should be adding stress to stress.
That would only be true if you were eating inflammatory foods. I have a smoothie post-workout, which is quite easy/low-stress to digest. Also, listen to podcast Q&A 451 in which I describe how anti-oxidants post-workout actually *won't* blunt workout results.
- What’s for breakfast and when do you eat next?
Smoothie most mornings. Lunch is usually 2pm.
- Podcasts and articles with smoothie recipes:
- The Smoothie Super-Special: How To Make The Ultimate Fitness Drink That Doesn’t Taste Like The Foul Dung Of Godzilla.
- My Exact Morning Routine Unveiled Step-By-Step (feel free to copy, modify or comment)
- Biohacked Superfood Smoothies, Healing Wounds Faster, Advanced Hypoxic Training Tactics, Hormesis & More With Kyle Kingsbury.
- The Nitty-Gritty Details Of Ben Greenfield’s Daily Routine, How To Optimize Your Workspace, The Latest Biohacking Secrets, Superfood Smoothies & Much More: Part 1 of Ben’s Talk at the Health Optimisation Summit.
- The Ultimate Guide to Protein & Protein Powders, The Truth About Whey Protein Isolate, Protein Dosing/Timing Guide (& My Brand New Rich, Creamy, Delicious Clean Protein Smoothie Recipe).
- Smoothie videos:
- Podcasts and articles with smoothie recipes:
- What does the face/skin/teeth/hair routine look like?
Coconut oil pulling, tongue scraping, wash face, shave if necessary, toner, lotion. Weekly clay mask (good stuff from Alitura, use code BG20 to save 20%).
- Is there any hard evidence that oil pulling works? I tried it for a while but couldn't tell.
Yes, go listen to my podcast on Ayurvedic routines here.
- No morning sun viewing?
100 jumping jacks while I watch the sunrise most mornings and then extensive JOOVV red light therapy in my office and also typically sun during my workout or infrared light in sauna. Biocharger use also most mornings, and experimenting with a new red light wrap-around device by Kineon.
- Would you recommend using red light therapy and grounding to help start the day?
Yes, I typically am working out outside barefoot so not getting so much grounding until my workout but I use red light during that hour in my office and then do 100 jumping jacks as I watch the sunrise. I also have grounding mats on the floor of my office.
- When do you use your red light therapy device?
During the first 20 minutes of my morning office hour.
- What time do you go to bed? 9:45pm-ish
- When's your last meal of the day? Are you still keeping about a 16-hour fasting window?
I usually finish eating at 8 pm-ish. So, it's about a 13-14 hour daily fast from dinner to brekky.
- In Boundless, you mentioned that you started and ended your days with cold showers. Is that something you no longer do?
I do a cold plunge or cold shower after my morning workout for 2-3 minutes. Then I'll typically do another one before dinner, in the early evening, since I'm often out on walks, playing pickleball or tennis, etc. prior to dinner so it's nice to freshen up and revisit the cold.
- In the past, you’d save your strength workout for the afternoon, and your morning workout was light cardio. Is that still pretty consistent?
This fluctuates now based on the day's needs. Now that I've devoted much of the later day to family time, I have found it necessary to do my hard workouts in the morning more often. Sometimes the “ideal” workout timing for the body isn't the “ideal” workout timing for life.
- Can I put my 3-foot-high Joovv inside my Saunaspace Luminati sauna? Would this be effective and practical?
To be sure of my answer on this one, I reached out to the folks at JOOVV for additional clarification, and they said: For electrical safety reasons, none of the JOOVV devices should be used in a sauna. JOOVV devices should not operate in or be stored in temperatures that exceed 104°F. This includes saunas. Also, due to the mechanism of action being very different we recommend not mixing the two therapies as there is no clinical data to support multi-use at this time.
Afternoon Routine (click here for original Twitter thread)
-Break for lunch 2pm-ish
-Post-lunch 20-45 minute “biohacked nap” (https://t.co/0zUg40E4In)
-3pm-ish: Cold plunge or other energy routine to launch back into day
-3pm-ish to 5:30pm-ish: Phone calls, e-mails, “reactive” vs. “productive” work
— Ben Greenfield (@bengreenfield) October 13, 2022
Here's my current afternoon routine with a bit more embellishment below:
-Break for lunch 2pm-ish, typically low calorie/nutrient dense mash-up of Cowan's vegetable powders, Akasha sea moss gel, pumpkin puree, chia seed slurry, homemade yogurt, a few mixed greens, and leftover fish or meat from night before, often wrapped in nori seaweed or Siete wrap burrito style. Bone broth or other “superfood-esque” drink such as greens on the side.
-Post-lunch 20-45 minute “biohacked nap.” Full siesta details here.
-3pm-ish: Cold plunge or other energy routine such as Tibetan longevity exercises or a Biocharger session to launch back into day
-3pm-ish to 5:30pm-ish: Phone calls, e-mails, “reactive” vs. “productive” work.
-5:30pm: Activity such as tennis, pickleball, a walk, a hike, etc. Sometimes with family, or if necessary to do work/calls during, on my own.
Questions & Answers:
- Do you recommend any supplement stacks to gain a competitive edge in pickleball? Sanctioned and non-sanctioned. I suspect foul play in my league.
Listen to my recent podcast with Tyson McGuffin. The top would be nootropics like Qualia Mind, Alpha Brain, Nootopia products, etc.; caffeine with theanine; nicotine; essential amino acids.
- Off-topic, but are you taking NMN?
I prefer NR – NR and NMN are precursors to NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). This means both NR and NMN are converted into NAD+. Compared to NR, NMN is already one step further down the pathway to produce NAD+. The molecular structures of NMN and NR are roughly the same, except NMN has an added phosphate group. This added phosphate group makes NMN a larger molecule than NR. Some scientists believe NMN is too large to cross cellular membranes and must convert to NR before entering cells, where NAD+ biosynthesis occurs. So I go with NR. Thorne has a good brand. I've also been experimenting lately with NAD patches or the Mitozen NAD suppositories.
- Can you define “work sprint”?
A work sprint is 1.5 hours (see my post, Dull Boy, where I describe Dr. Andrew Huberman’s research on this idea of 90-minute work cycles).
- I’m interested in more about the “reactive vs. proactive.” I’ve recently also heard “morning hunt, afternoon gather.”
Yep, proactive is “maker/creator” mode, whereas reactive is “manager/consumer” mode. I do more of my proactive work in the mornings and reactive work in the afternoons/evenings.
Evening Routine (click here for original Twitter thread)
-7p: Family gathers for book review, dinner prep, song & prayer
-7-8:15p: Dinner games & laughter
-8:15-8:45p: Kitchen cleanup & more music
-8:45-9p: Meditation, bedtime story & prayer
-9p: Evening casual reading, couples time
-9:30-10p-ish: Final prayer with wife & lights out!
— Ben Greenfield (@bengreenfield) November 19, 2022
Here's my current evening routine with a bit more embellishment below:
-7pm: Family gathers for book review (I take my sons through a new chapter of a book each day, currently the book is Discipline Is Destiny by Ryan Holiday), dinner preparation together, pre-dinner song, and family prayer
-7pm-8:15pm: Dinner games, conversation, fun, and laughter. Dinner is usually a good vegetable or salad, meat and a starch such as sweet potatoes, roasted carrots, beets, etc. Very similar to most of the meals in my Boundless Cookbook. Dessert is usually some kind of healthy ice cream, or some dark chocolate in homemade yogurt, or a handful of frozen blueberries and dark chocolate, etc.
-8:15pm-8:45pm: Family kitchen cleanup and some kind of guitar practice, occasional post-dinner yard games such as cornhole and bocce ball with family.
-8:45pm-9pm: Evening Spiritual Disciplines Journal meditation, bedtime story and prayer.
-9pm: Evening casual reading (currently The Creative Act by Rick Rubin and Goliath The Giant of Gath by Alexandar Royson, along with snuggling time with my wife Jessa.
-9:30-10pm-ish: Final evening prayer with Jessa and lights out!
Questions & Answers:
- What about the lights? Do you dim them?
I use halogen and incandescent bulbs only. No dimmers. Dimmers are high EMF.
- What resources did you use to learn guitar at a skill level enough to be able to play and sing evening devotionals?
@GuitarTricks and guitar tabs app!
So that's it!
The routine varies from day to day just slightly, but what I've described above are the major features that tend to appear in nearly each of my days at home.
Obviously, plenty more questions could have come in on Twitter, but now I'm opening up the comments section below for you to ask away with your own questions! Feel free to share your own daily routine, or to ask your questions about mine, and also feel free to share this post with anyone who you think may benefit.