January 16, 2021
[00:01:13] Podcast Sponsors
[00:03:49] Guest Introduction
[00:07:27] Interest in Biohacking, Plant Medicine, And Nootropics
[00:13:48] A Day in the Life for Lucas
[00:21:30] A New Peptide that Lucas Sees as Up and Coming
[00:23:29] The Seaweed Compound Lucas Eats at Night
[00:26:16] Whether or Not Lucas Drinks Coffee or Consumes Caffeine
[00:27:41] Podcast Sponsors
[00:30:04] How Caffeine Interacts with The Cannabinoid System
[00:35:12] A Compound That Mimics High-Dose Thiamine
[00:39:21] What Lucas Views as The “Next Resveratrol”
[00:43:37] Tips on Enhancing Dopamine Release
[00:47:30] Advanced Nootropics for Functioning While Sleep-Deprived
[00:50:24] “Dealbreakers” When It Comes to Nootropics Lucas Might Experiment With
[00:52:46] Advanced Nootropics Lucas More People Should Know About
[00:57:36] An overview of and How to Access Lucas' Advanced Nootropics Masterclass
[01:00:23] The Nootropic Stack Lucas Took Prior to His Interview with Ben
[01:02:10] Closing the Podcast
[01:02:30] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Lucas: I haven't used high dose of phenibut, but it literally induces a state of phenibut withdrawal.
Ben: Which would feel like what? One of the first things that happens when I'm having a phone call with somebody is usually, there's like 10 things automatically that just get crossed off the list because you're saying that when you took this other compound, it simulated the opposite effect?
Ben: Why does that make it a good thing? Of course, the number one question here before we dig into drugs for the brain is–
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Hey, you're going to dig today's show. It's with this crazy biohacker dude who's a wealth of knowledge, and we get into these nootropics you've probably never heard of, and a whole lot more. I think you're going to want to get out your notepad for this one, or maybe just don't listen to it at four times speed because we get into the weeds, baby, in a good way.
Speaking of nootropics, this podcast is brought to you by what I consider to be one of the best ways to not only do things like allow you to work out in a fasted state and maintain muscle, sleep better, allow for a really good nourishing amount of bioavailable amino acids for your gut, for your muscles, and beyond, but also as a precursor to the formation of neurotransmitters, something that we talk about quite a bit in this show. I think that using what I'm talking about, which are essential amino acids, as a way to upgrade just about any nootropic that you take is amazing. I use these things honestly if I'm using hefty number of nootropics, but I also use them for things like plant medicine journeys because you turn over neurotransmitters so quickly during things like that. So, plant medicine, psychedelics, nootropics, fasted workouts, better sleep, better gut, you name it. It's like the Swiss Army knife of nutritional supplements. It's called Kion Aminos. These aren't branched-chain amino acids. These are very precise ratio of essential amino acids. You get a discount if you go to getkion.com/bengreenfield. That's a 10% discount, getK-I-O-N.com/bengreenfield.
Now, another thing that goes quite well with nootropics and with upgrading your brain, so to speak, is infrared light therapy. Infrared light therapy can activate the mitochondria throughout your body, including activating the mitochondria in your neural tissue. Meaning, if you shine these laser lights, so to speak, on your head, you actually feel like it's a cup of coffee for your brain. But these Joovv devices made by the company Joovv, that's J-O-O-V-V, they have full-body unit. So, it's not just your head that's getting light therapy to your entire body. They just redesigned all their devices. So, they're sleeker, they're 25% lighter, they have all the same power that they had before as you can stand as much as three times further away from them and still get the recommended dosages. And they've got these cool new features like Recovery Plus mode, which utilizes this pulsing technology to give yourselves an extra boost with near-infrared light. They have ambient mode for calming low-intensity light at night. They just cracked the code on all things light over at Joovv. And they're going to give you an exclusive discount on your first order if you go to joovv.com/ben, J-O-O-V-V.com/ben, joovv.com/ben. Check it out.
Alright, let's go talk to my secret, top-secret guest. Here we go.
Alright, folks. Well, it is pretty rare that I scroll through feeds on Instagram. I don't scroll through feeds on social media barely ever at all. And I think one that I was bored, and it was like a picture of an almond, or an avocado, or something like that came across my feed and–I forget what it said, but it was something along the lines of–I think it was honestly some kind of fruit or something that could enhance the effects of psychedelics. I don't recall what it was, but I clicked on it and I got sucked down the rabbit hole, which reminded me why I rarely spend time on social media scrolling through feeds.
But this account was actually pretty cool. It's called Ergogenic Health. And it intrigued me with some pretty interesting posts, not only that fruit psychedelicky thing, but this simple trick to lower your cortisol by over 21%. It's basically like this free activity you can do. How the way you could brush your teeth might actually reduce your intelligence. This special form of vitamin B1 called thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide that I've actually–somebody just texted me today. Actually, a very well-known celebrity texted me today to ask me if I'd ever heard about high-dose TTFD. I'm like, “Well, it just so happens I'm interviewing a guy tonight about this.” And it's something for exercise, performance, and motivation, and mood, and energy.
There was another post about how capsaicin from peppers could lead to anxiety in some people, one about this little known so-called younger sister of curcumin. And so, I decided I wanted to hunt down the guy who was the proprietor of this channel. And it turns out he lives in Australia. I forget where. I'll let him tell you. He has his own podcast called Boost Your Biology, which has a whole bunch more nerdy deep dives in the biohacking. He's pretty intriguing and well-informed. He even sent me a link to this master class on nootropics that he made, which are basically like natural versions of smart drugs. I took the whole class and I learned a ton, which just because I've always got my head down in a book because I'm a nerd, it's pretty rare that I'd take a class and learn a bunch and I did.
And so, I thought I got to get this cat on the show. So, his name is Lucas. And embarrassingly, Lucas, I don't even know how to pronounce your last name, but I'm going to throw it out there. Is it Aoun?
Lucas: It's Aoun, yeah.
Ben: Well, it's A-U–how do you spell it, A-U-O-N?
Lucas: Yeah, A-O-U-N.
Ben: A-O-U-N, okay. Lucas Aoun. So, everything Lucas and I talk about you can get at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lucas. He spells his name with a “C,” L-U-C-A-S, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lucas. And I mean, there's like so many things we could talk about. Lucas even sent me–I think it must have been 10 to 12 research studies that were super compelling of late, and I was just like, “Oh, a kid in a candy store. Where do we even dive in?” But I guess we should probably fill people in on your back story. And I should also comment before that, this is actually weird for me because since you're over in Australia, we're recording this podcast at night. It's really rare that I ever recorded podcasts at night. So, I'm like in my office with my red light, my blue light blocking glasses. So, I feel very biohacky right now, if that's a word.
Lucas: Awesome, man. Yeah. Well, honestly, I just want to say a massive thanks because I've looked up to you for quite some time and I've always wanted to pioneer my own educational platform to educate people on biohacking and some of my experiments. So, yeah, man, I'm just stoked to be here.
Ben: Oh, sweet. I'm stoked to have you. I mean, after going through your stuff, I really appreciate how thorough you are and I'm listening to some of your podcast episodes. You interview some great folks. But I guess I'd love to learn more about your background. Are you one of those people who was like a computer programmer in your mom's basement and just wound up on some Reddit forum? Are you a doctor? Where do you come from exactly?
Lucas: I guess my journey really started out playing professional soccer. I was always just interested in optimizing performance. I was very focused on various supplements, various strategies, and things that I could tap into to basically just give me that edge. My dad's a pharmacist as well, so I worked there from an early age and–
Ben: That helps.
Lucas: I went into a lot there. And then, I just fell into the rabbit hole of research and then got involved in a nootropic startup, and then just, yeah, fell in love with the fact that you can take control of your performance, and that whole process I just fell in love with. And then, I felt like it's time to showcase my knowledge and express what I've found over the years because there was a lot of stuff that I've found that was so underground, so many things that I found that would hardly discuss, and that's really what I try to do is put forward information that's like ultra-underground.
Ben: Yeah. I notice that. I notice that, actually. And it's really interesting how I find that a lot of folks, they either come from kind of like a wounded healer background, or else a sports performance background. And I'm curious for you playing soccer, were there certain–because it seems like a lot of what you talk about are like these little known supplements or nootropics, for example. Was there something that you discovered in your sports performance days that really sucks you down the rabbit hole, or was it an illness? Or, what do you think was the initiator?
Lucas: It probably stems back to experimenting with theanine before one of my games, L-theanine. And I just remembered feeling like everything was so much more effortless, and I also felt like my decision making and my ability to just read the play was a lot better. And then, I was like, “That was like my introductory nootropic.” And then, just ever since then, I've probably expose myself to over, I don't know, 250 different compounds over the past, maybe like seven, eight years. So, I've got a whole repertoire. I know what compounds do to me, but also–I mean, I have a strategy in a system where once I research something, I always have to experiment with it and see how it matches up with the research, and then suggest things to my friends and my other biohacker friends. And then, yeah, that's sort of just how it just catapulted into where I am.
Ben: How do you keep track? Have you got like 150 different supplements or nootropics, for example, that you're experimenting with? How are you keeping track of everything?
Lucas: Pretty old school, to be honest. I'm relying on My Notes app on my iPhone, but it's really good because I have key terms that I set up, so I can quickly search back. I can quickly find how I responded by quickly just searching and then finding that keyword. But I'm always sort of critiquing my performance. It feels like I'm always auditing myself, like I'm always just checking in how's my performance in the gym, how am I sleeping, how's my appetite, other things like that. So, I've always just–yeah. I guess like the whole tracking process is a huge component to it because I see a lot of people that enter into–they double with nootropics, but they have no idea where their baseline is at, and they have no idea on like–they fall into the trap of just experimenting with too many things at once, and then not being sure like what's doing what sort of thing.
Ben: Right. Exactly. If that's the least problematic of the issues that arise when you're trying too many things, it's huge problem. Even in functional medicine, people just taking their giant plastic bag full of supplements and medications, and often, too many cooks in the kitchen, too many podcasts, too many books, nobody knowing what the other person has prescribed or recommended. I see that all the time. And one of the first things that happens when I'm having a phone call with somebody is usually, there's like 10 things automatically that just get crossed off the list because, whatever, eight of them have vitamin D or they're creating some type of a serotonin, or dopamine desensitization, or imbalance based on eight different nootropics at all crossover.
So, yeah. It's a huge problem and keeping track of it is difficult. I mean, for me, I simplify it. I pretty much go with HRV, sleep, and just qualitative energy levels and performance. That's about all I can juggle really for my own quantification. But that's interesting that L-theanine is what kind of got you interested in all this in the first place. A, because a lot of people, they're unaware of its benefits. I mean, just something as simple as, say–I think you talked about this in your nootropics class, like taking 100 milligrams of L-theanine if you took too much of a stimulant like caffeine, or to take the edge off of stimulants, or to manage anxiety and stress. But I mean, it shifts you in an alpha brain wave zone, it can manage depression to a certain extent. I mean, it's a pretty interesting molecule in and of itself. I think there's probably a little bit of an upgrade on it. My friend Shawn Wells, we've had in the podcast before, he has like a version of that. I think he calls it a theacrine. I believe it's a combination of like theanine and creatine, or something like that, but I think that's an even arguably a better molecule than L-theanine. But L-theanine in and of itself is dirt cheap and amazing combination, especially with any type of nootropic.
Lucas: Yeah. It's funny you mentioned the theacrine because when I was working for that nootropics startup, I was the very first Aussie or Australian to use theacrine in a nootropic formula. And yeah. Obviously, in the early days when it hit the market and was talking about that it lacks the tolerance that caffeine develops and there's no sensitization, no change in blood pressure, I was like, “Yeah. This is going to be a badass compound.”
Ben: Yeah. It's cool stuff, if anybody wants to mess around with it. I'll try and throw links to everything we talk about at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lucas.
But anyway, so what I'm curious about before we jump into some of these really interesting studies that you sent over to me and dive down some of those rabbit holes even though this next question itself may actually wind up going down some of those holes anyways, I'm curious if you could walk me through a typical day in your life, because you study so much, you have so many little compounds that you try. I'm sure, like me, it varies considerably from week to week, but walk me through your routine. And I may rudely interrupt as you go to clarify some stuff, but I'm very curious.
Lucas: Well, I guess like as soon as I wake up, I really focus on getting that morning sunlight exposure. And if I'm lucky enough, to do a little bit of sun gazing, if I can catch the sun over there, some of the buildings here. About six months ago at the start of lockdown, I got myself a walking treadmill desk inspired by you.
Lucas: Honestly, the second thing that I get on is I'll do like 10,000 steps before eating at 6 kilometers an hour, walking–
Ben: Before eating?
Lucas: Yeah. It's a lot of steps, it is, but I feel like you'll figure out why because my latest meal, like my last meal is very late in the day. So, I can push that breakfast back 'til like 11:00 a.m., 12:00, because I'm on my focus and my attention and energy in the morning when I'm just doing those steps. I can easily plow through a good three, four hours of work. And that ranges right now. Like right now, I'm recording videos, I'm doing lots of content creation, building out different blogs and things like that. So, yeah. Right now, majority of my time is actually spent on PubMed and just curating a lot of really powerful posts and really underground things to sort of just–I want to get the word out there. I want to show people like what I'm made of. One thing that really drives me is the feedback that I get. I get messages all the time, like how beneficial my content is and how much they've learned. And that just propels me. Yeah, it just gives me that sense of value and just really have a passion for it.
Ben: Yeah. One quick question, by the way. When you wake up and do sun gazing, is that kind of right when the sun is starting to come up? Are you just staring into it? How exactly are you doing that?
Lucas: It's usually really, really brief, like one to two seconds. I don't do it any longer because I know about the dangers and stuff. But what I do notice on the days that I do it, and although there's no scientific research to back this, I do notice huge appetite suppression on the days that I do it. I'm not sure why I have theories. And also, better sleep that night as well because obviously, it's going to help with that melatonin secretion later in the day.
Ben: Well, I have seen some studies that show that red light can downregulate ghrelin to a certain extent, which theoretically could reduce your appetite, or at least suppress the appetite. And I'm usually not up early enough in the morning to look at the sunrise. And honestly, I live so deep out in the forest that the trees blocked the sun most of the time in the mornings anyways. But I actually do put on–when I first get up, I put on red, blue light blocking glasses. So, if I am switching on any light, you look at a phone or a computer monitor, it looks like sunrise. And then, I just use the big red light panels in my office to kind of sort of trick my body into that sunrise mode. And I find that I don't get hungry until, kind of like you, until about 11:00 or 12:00 or so. However, I almost force-feed myself a smoothie around like 10:00 or so when I start work just because I've found my ability to be able to throw down in my afternoon workout because I still like to swing the kettlebells in the afternoon. And if I eat a solid meal like around 10:00, then I can really crush it. And I feel like if I wait a really long time to eat, I just don't have as good of a workout the next day. That's just my subjective assessment of my own performance. But yeah, the red light is interesting as an appetite suppressant.
Lucas: And part of that protocol with the 10,000 steps also, the first meal that I introduced, which is like 11:00 or 12:00 is very high protein, obviously, meat dominant, very, very local, zero carbs. But this makes sense because what I do is I do my heavy weight lifting at the later part of the day, like 5:00, 6:00 p.m. And that's when I start to refeed on all the carbs. And just recently in the last few months, sticking to that sort of protocol in terms of body composition and fat loss and muscle gain, like it's been incredible. So, I really think that I'm onto a winning protocol. That just works well for my circumstances.
Ben: Yeah. There's some circadian rhythm scientists who will turn over in their grail. They're not dead yet, so they can't turn over in the grail. But guys like Jason Fung or Satchin Panda, who will say that that type of evening carbohydrate consumption is just effing up the circadian rhythm. But I mean, I track my sleep cycles, I track my sleep latency, my deep sleep, everything, and there's something about that evening carb refeed, specifically for athletes or people. And I assume when you get to the afternoon part of your routine, you'll explain, if you're doing anything beyond those 10,000 steps. But I find for anybody who's working out or who is an athlete that evening carb refeed, especially if carbs are mitigated the rest of the day and a slightly later mealtime, it just works magic. I think it's just one of those deals where a lot of these scientists, they're not out crushing it in terms of like running up mountains, or doing Spartan races, or lifting heavy kettlebells, or anything like that. And they don't understand that a lot of times, you just feel better and you sleep better with that evening carb feed.
Lucas: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, part of that protocol was if I do decide to finish off my very last meal as a really high carbohydrate meal, like maybe oats or with blueberries or something, I'll always throw in like a GTA, some sort of GTA in there, like bitter melon, or been playing around with metformin a little bit, and dihydroberberine, which I'd love to talk about.
Ben: Yeah. Let's talk about that. By the way, what Lucas is referring to, for those of you listening in, GDA is a glucose disposal agent. It's one of those things that can either increase your insulin sensitivity or increase the activity of some of the GLUT transporters that are going to cause glucose to be more readily taken up into liver, or into muscle as liver or muscle glycogen respectively. And in full disclosure, I market one product called Kion Lean that my company makes that uses bitter melon for that. A lot of people use berberine. The cheap trick is like Ceylon cinnamon or apple cider vinegar. But what is it that you like to use, Lucas?
Lucas: I tend to rotate. So, right now, I'm using bitter melon. I've got some dihydroberberine on standby, which is a novel, unique form of berberine.
Ben: What's different about dihydroberberine?
Lucas: Basically, the bar availability is a lot better than regular berberine, which means you can drop the dosage significantly, and then avoid a lot of the GI upset that you get from regular berberine because I see a lot of people use like between 500 to 2,000 milligrams of berberine daily as a GTA. But then they're not realizing that from a TCM, like traditional Chinese medicine perspective, berberine is considered a very potent like antimicrobial. It's not indicated for long-term usage in that manner because it's going to wipe out some of the beneficial bacteria.
Ben: Yeah. It's got a little bit of an antibacterial effect, yup.
Lucas: And then, I've got some other unique compounds coming in fairly soon. I know one of them you recently spoke about. Technically, not a GTA, but 5-amino-1MQ.
Ben: Have I recently spoken about that? I don't remember that.
Lucas: I think you mentioned it on like a blog with Ryan Smith from Tailor Made Compounding.
Ben: 5-amino-1GQ, was that a peptide?
Lucas: It's a small molecule. It's not a peptide, but I think it's going to be–yeah. Ryan said it's going to be up and coming, so I'm looking forward to it.
Ben: Explain that one to people.
Lucas: Basically, what that does is it ramps up intracellular NAD levels. And the good part about it is that it's orally bioavailable. So, you don't have to inject or anything like that. The preliminary studies were really promising, obviously in rats only, but it causes significant reduction in body fat. It increases lipolysis, inhibits lipogenesis, improves mitochondrial function. The unique feature about it was the fact that it can increase satellites. So, production in muscle tissue. And Ryan actually claims that his vertical jump increased something like 7 inches in like 2 weeks.
Ben: Holy cow. Wow.
Ben: Geez. And that's a peptide that you don't to inject, it's an orally bioavailable peptide like BPC-157?
Lucas: Yeah. I think it's going to be an up and coming, like keep your eyes out for that one.
Ben: Interesting, interesting. I actually have not tried–I remember now that Ryan was talking about it. I think he even offered to send me some, but I get to a point where I'm like, “Yeah. It might be really good for me, but I need another thing to inject or another pill to pop like nailing a hole in the head. And so, sometimes I pass some of that stuff up. And then, I have a conversation with a guy like you and I'm like, “Yeah. Now, I'm going to even try it.” Yeah, it's interesting. So, 5-amino-1MQ. I'll link to that one in the shownotes and I'll hunt it down.
Now, we were talking about dinner and how you take like a glucose disposal agent. And then, you'll have dinner, and dinner will include a lot of carbohydrates. And then, I'm also curious about your sleep protocol, if you do anything special for enhancing sleep.
Lucas: There is one really unique seaweed that I really want to discuss, and that's something called Ecklonia cava.
Ben: I've heard of that.
Lucas: Yeah. It's like a brown alga that the Japanese spent like $30 million researching. It's a very potent antioxidant, like it's a very, very potent antioxidant. But what's unique about the Ecklonia cava is that it increases GABA activity, but it does it in a very sustainable way. Actually, it's a positive allosteric modulator of the GABAA receptor, which means it just opens up the GABA receptor for your endogenous GABA to bind to it. So, it's non-habit forming, again, very sustainable. Also mimics some of the effects of L-theanine because it also increases alpha waves in the brain. A lot of people that love theanine, the aspect that they love about is most likely the fact that it's increasing alpha waves and mimicking meditation.
Ben: That's interesting. The only seaweed I guess, or sea moss, I suppose you would say, that I've used is Irish. And I've just used that as like a smoothie, as a thickener. It's kind of like the–what's it called? The shirataki noodle, I believe it's called, which was like the Japanese yam that's very high in soluble fiber, and kind of gooey, and nourishing to the stomach, and a good prebiotic fiber. But I've never actually messed around with Ecklonia. Are you taking in capsule form, or actually cooking with it, or putting it in smoothies like in the actual moss form?
Lucas: If I could sustainably buy some as in–and it's pretty hard to source in Australia. Would use it in soups because they use it in soups, but I'm just using capsule form at the moment. So, it's got a very long half-life as well. Also, there's no research, but I'm convinced that somehow it's having an effect on growth hormone.
Ben: That's Ecklonia cava is the name of that one?
Ben: And you're taking that before bed, that seaweed?
Lucas: About one hour before bed because a lot of the phlorotannins found in the seaweed are fat-soluble. So, if I had food like two hours before, that should be sufficient.
Ben: Interesting. Okay, interesting. Well, that's a full day. That's already some things that I think my audience may not be familiar with. And obviously, when I was introducing or alluded to the fact that I took these nootropics course that you sent over to me, and I actually have a lot of kind of like more–well, some brain stuff and some anti-aging stuff I want to run by you.
But of course the number one question here before we dig into drugs for the brain is, are you a coffee drinker, or do you consume caffeine from any other sources?
Lucas: I only use caffeine when I don't need it, if that makes sense.
Lucas: I know it sounds bizarre, but if I use caffeine when my baseline energy is good enough to have it without suffering from some sort of withdrawal.
Lucas: If I do have it, it might be like before, like a massive 5K run time trial or when I need a huge boost. But honestly, I tend to stay away from it because I just feel like it always borrows from the future, like I always face the consequences the next day. That's probably due to my supremely low cortisol.
Ben: Meaning, naturally have low levels of cortisol and you feel like caffeine amp setup on naturally?
Lucas: Yeah. I mean, I did the DUTCH test and my metabolized cortisol was like off the charts low.
Ben: Which would indicate the metabolized cortisol is low, your [00:27:18] _____ production is low. It's not that your metabolized cortisol is high and your low cortisol is because you're turning over the cortisol so quickly, you actually legitimately are not producing much cortisol in terms of HPA axis activity.
Ben: Chill guy.
Lucas: Well, everyone else looking at me from the outside would think that I'm just absolute hassler and doesn't stop working. So, must be the high dopamine compensating.
Ben: Hey, I want to interrupt today's show. Since we're talking about nootropics, might as well talk about one of my favorites, nicotine. It helps improve human performance, coordination, memory, reaction time, awareness. It's not bad for you if you're not sucking it down through a cigarette. And frankly, it is one of my go-tos in the nootropic department. The thing is that a lot of sources of nicotine are just laced with all sorts of crap, not this stuff. It's super clean. They make gums, they make lozenges. The company is called Lucy, L-U-C-Y, Lucy. You get a controlled release dose of 4 milligrams of pure nicotine in any of their gums or any of their lozenges. They taste amazing. They've got wintergreen, cinnamon, and pomegranate flavor. And then, their lozenge, which also happens to be FDA approved, has this nice icy cherry flavor to it for people who don't want to chew gum. It does have nicotine in it. It contains nicotine derived from tobacco, and nicotine isn't addictive chemical, but it's worth it. It's so good. So, nicotine gum from Lucy, and nicotine lozenges from Lucy. You get a 20% discount. You go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lucy. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lucy, and use code BEN20 for 20% off of anything. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lucy. Use code BEN20, 20% off of anything.
And then, finally, this podcast is also brought to you by Organifi, but not just any old Organifi. You've heard me talk about their greens, you've heard me talk about their red, but have you heard about their gold chocolate? Oh my goodness, if you like these golden milk lattes that you get from the coffee shop and you want to upgrade it and give it this dense cacao flavor, this is superfood hot chocolate on steroids. They took hot chocolate, natural stuff, not a bunch of sugars. They blended herbs, medicinal mushrooms, and healing ingredients into it, and it's wonderful at night. I like to blend it with some coconut milk at night. It's got lemon balm, coconut, cinnamon, black pepper, acacia fiber, Turkey tail mushroom, reishi mushroom, ginger, and turmeric, all in one mighty scoop with this delicious, rich, chocolatey flavor. Wonderful for your immune system, and also amazing for your taste buds. It's so good and I will never go back to that crappy little hot chocolate you get from the grocery store. It tastes like water compared to this stuff. It's so good, and it's guilt-free, and it's good for you. Twenty percent off. You go to organifi.com/ben. That's Organifi with an “I” dot com/ben. That'll get you 20% off of anything from the good, good folks at Organifi.
One interesting study that you sent over to me that you said that you would come across was that caffeine somehow interacts with the cannabinoid system. Do you recall that one?
Lucas: Yeah, yeah. That was interesting.
Ben: What's going on there?
Lucas: This is what's interesting with these studies. So, there's a big difference between chronic caffeine consumption versus acute. And this study basically looked at the effects of chronic caffeine consumption on the brain's responsiveness to cannabinoid agonists. So, for example, that can be THC, CBD, CBG. And what they found was that chronic caffeine exposure increased the sensitivity of these cannabinoid receptors. And what they concluded was that it may have a synergistic or like a synergistic effect on stress, having an anti-stress effect, which I found it's interesting to see like how caffeine can mold the brain and change one's responsiveness to various substances.
Ben: Yeah. That is interesting. And it's interesting also because one of the edibles that I use, like if I'm going to take like a THC, CBD edible, it's made by a Washington State company called Moxey's Mints, and it actually is a blend of like a one-to-one ratio of THC to CBD. But then, there are a few different choice herbs in there. I think there's some ginseng, some ginkgo biloba, some things that have caffeine-like molecules in them. And the effect that I get from that is actually a lot different than I get from just taking, say, cannabis, or CBD, or THC in the absence of the caffeine-like compounds. That's interesting. That's probably upregulating sensitivity on some of the cannabinoid receptors.
Lucas: Yeah. Did you ever play around with CBG by any chance?
Ben: Yeah. I like CBG, but honestly, of all the different cannabinoids that I think are readily available out there–because the main reason I would use something like CBD would be for sleep. And CBG is really good for inflammation, particularly for people who have like inflammatory bowel disease or stomach upset. It's amazing for things like inflammation and pain. But for sleep, CBN is really good for sleep. It's very similar like Valium or diazepam without the nasty side effects and the impact on sleep architecture. It's more expensive, but anywhere from 10 to 40 milligrams of CBN is absolutely stellar for sleep.
Lucas: Wow. I'm going to have to get out another rabbit hole there.
Ben: Yeah. What would you use CBG for?
Lucas: When I first stumbled upon CBG was when I found a study that could antagonize–I was looking for compounds I could antagonize the 5-HT1A. Well, studied serotonin receptor that modulates the effects of SSRIs and influences oxytocin release, cortisol, prolactin. And so, what I was trying to do is actually trying to mimic the effects of another drug known as Cyproheptadine, which is the very first generation like antihistamine. And what that does, and I also mentioned that in my nootropics masterclasses, it does cause this incredible, like rebound effect where you're literally burying yourself down, like you're pushing yourself down for three to four days to then have a phenomenal snapback rebound effect to feel way above baseline for the next week. It's a weird concept to think that you would deliberately sabotage your performance to feel good four days later.
Ben: That's interesting. See, I feel like you might be able to stimulate the 5-HT1A receptor and get that similar feel-good effect using what would be known in psychedelics as the afterglow effect. Like a lot of people, if they microdose with a lysergamide like LSD, they'll feel great, even if they're not taking it for like the next three or four days. And that one interacts with that 5-HT1A receptor. So, I'd question whether or not you had to experience the down in order to experience the up, potentially, if you happen to be able to get your hands on something like LSD, obviously.
Lucas: Legalities, yeah.
Lucas: Yeah. But CBG, also, one of the funny, fascinating studies was its effects on appetite. And what they did was literally, they pre-satiated these rats, like they actually made them full. Then they gave them CBG and it's completely blocked their feeling of fullness. They weren't getting full. So, one thing I notice from CBG, and this was good in a period of trying to put on muscle and weight, was its appetite-stimulating effects. It was phenomenal. I would eat my meal, and then 20 minutes later, I'm like, “I'm not full.”
Ben: Interesting. I wonder how responsible that cannabinoid is for the munchies effects of someone using an edible or something like that, how much of it is due to that versus due to THC. That's really interesting. So, I guess you really need to have your glucose disposal agent on hand for using that stuff.
Ben: Now, I had mentioned a really interesting–I think it was a vitamin B1 derivative, thiamine, particularly. And thiamine is a B1, it's kind of a yawner. A lot of people just assume, hey, it's good for nerves, good for general energy and metabolism. But not only did you send me over some information on this form of thiamine called TTFD, tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide, which is from what I understand, thiamine is blended with some forms of magnesium, et cetera. But then, like I mentioned, literally a few hours ago, without knowing I was interviewing you, one of my friends sent me a link to a fascinating article on a multitude of beneficial effects from the use of high dose thiamine, and they actually recommended that exact form of thiamine that you had mentioned. So, can you fill people in on this TTFD, how it's any different than thiamine, and what it would do for someone if they were to use it?
Lucas: Yeah. So, definitely an up and coming compound. So, TTFD, it's a synthetic counterpart of allithiamine, which is that's naturally occurring in garlic. Basically, what they wanted to do is establish how this compound would compare to regular fireman in terms of its bioavailability and its tissue distribution. So, what they found was that this particular form had a very good effect at penetrating the blood-brain barrier. What was most interesting was one of the studies where they found it activating the dopamine D1 receptor without the typical side effects of amphetamines, which obviously picked interest of a lot of psychonauts and things like that. And a lot of the early adopters, those that tried TTFD, noticed a significant increase in mental clarity, and alertness, and focus, the typical nootropic-esque like properties. I mean, I personally played around with very, very high dose regular thiamine, like thiamine HCL.
Ben: Which is water-soluble.
Lucas: Yeah. And there's been some crazy studies in Parkinson's patients where they administered IV thiamine HCL at doses of like 1,500 milligrams, and it's significantly improving like Parkinson's symptoms, things like that. So, of course, I want to grab some thiamine from dad's pharmacy and played around with various dosages between 100 milligrams or 500 milligrams. And within a few days, there was an immediate uptick in mental clarity, and memory, and carb tolerance as well. Like, if I had my CGM, my glucose monitoring device, pretty sure I would have experienced a few hypo episodes because it's so potent.
Ben: Yeah. That's interesting. I know it acts to a certain extent on I think the Krebs cycle pathway with inhibiting a couple of metabolites that feed into that. One of the–I think it's called KGDH, is one of the enzymes that it inhibits, which would be one of the ways that reduce neurotoxicity, but it may also, in a way, kind of like restore normal energy metabolism is it's acting on that enzyme pathway. I've never personally experimented with it, but I literally–like a couple hours ago, I bought some of the TTFD just to mess around with it. Do you remember what kind of dosages you were taking with that form that crosses the blood-brain barrier? Did you try that form?
Lucas: Because of the whole virus, I'm still waiting for my bottle. And they were out of stock for a long time as well.
Ben: Stupid [00:39:04] _____. Alright. Well, you got to be careful, by the way. Don't badmouth the virus or this will get pulled off [00:39:11] _____. Yeah. You got to be careful. You got to show some respect, man. Well, that's interesting, that thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide, TTFD, that one I find intriguing.
Now, there was another one that you mentioned because a lot of people, particularly David Sinclair, most notably, talk about resveratrol as a sirtuin activator and how well it pairs with something like NAD to help to repair DNA. Or in his case, NR would be what he would recommend. But you had one post on your site or on your Instagram channel that talks about what you consider to be the next resveratrol. What were you referring to?
Lucas: Yeah. Now, this one I'm referring to is amentoflavone. To put into context and to help your listeners understand like what it is.
Ben: Did you say amentoflavone?
Lucas: Yeah, amentoflavone. So, for those who are familiar with chamomile tea, the predominant flavonoid found in chamomile tea is apigenin. And that's also found in celery. Now, amentoflavone is literally just two apigenin molecules bound together, and it's naturally occurring in ginkgo biloba, St. John's wort, and a bunch of other really well-known herbs. But I did some research, and this has been around for quite some time. And if you look up some of the studies on amentoflavone, you'll see how broad and pleiotropic some of the effects of. In terms of crossing, again, it crosses the blood-brain barrier. It inhibits an opioid receptor that is critical to like motivation. It's a kappa-opioid antagonist. And that whole kappa-opioid network is very intrinsically linked with addiction, motivation, the rewarding effects of various substances, and things like that. And so, anything that can antagonize these kappa-opioid receptors will theoretically just improve mood, yeah, cognition, things like that.
Ben: That's interesting because I use chamomile. Dr. Mercola, who I interviewed some time back, and I actually wound up talking about this in my book. There are a few things that can enhance autophagy during a night of sleep, chamomile amongst them. And so, I have like this chamomile powder mixed with a few other things in my pantry that Ill often drink at night along with a little bit of triphala often, which is like an Indian Ayurvedic bitter that just helps with post-meal digestion and gives you a nice fluffy bowel movement the next day. But chamomile is one of them. And so, I suppose I'm getting already some of the autophagy effects of this amentoflavone, but it sounds like because amentoflavone is very similar to that compound we get from chamomile, but kind of bonded to its mirror equivalent that it would have an even stronger effect.
Lucas: Yeah. And I think the other really impressive component of amentoflavone, this goes back to the typical, the bodybuilding forums, like the underground bodybuilding forums. Amentoflavone is able to increase calcium release from the muscle cells 30 times stronger than caffeine. So, part of the performance-enhancing effects of caffeine, we know there's so many effects in the brain, things like that, but actually, caffeine improves that calcium release from muscle cells that, therefore, helps with muscle contraction and force capacity and things like that. Amentoflavone has been shown to increase that calcium release by like 30 times more than caffeine. So, that translates to better contractile capacity, better strength, better pumps in the gym.
Ben: Also, higher post-workout muscle soreness since calcium release is responsible for part of that. So, be careful what you wish for, right?
Ben: Interesting. So, amentoflavone, that's very cool. So, we have a lot of these autophagy inducing agents like rapamycin or another up and comer spermidine, or calorie restriction, or I suppose resveratrol falls into that category, and this is what you're calling the next resveratrol. So, that's interesting. I'll have to look into that one. Maybe upgrade my chamomile to something even better.
Now, speaking about feeling good, dopamine is something that can be activated, for example, I believe by that thiamine derivative that we talked about. But you also send me over a couple of studies about dopamine agonists, in addition to that. And I'm curious, in terms of just feeling good generally as far as a nootropic effect, what you like when it comes to enhancing dopamine release.
Lucas: Well, for those listening in, the whole dopaminergic network is obviously very complicated. What you'll see from Big Pharma like these dopamine agonist drugs like cabergoline and things that lower prolactin, they bind to the dopamine receptor. The unfortunate reality is that those compounds again are not really sustainable because they're going to lead to that dopamine receptor downregulation because you're constantly stimulating it and agonizing it, and then you're left with limited or decreased dopamine receptors. So, compounds that can replenish, and restore, and revitalize the dopamine receptors such as–I mentioned 9-MBC. Did you see that one?
Ben: Yeah. I think you mentioned 9-MBC to me. I may have even texted you about it because I was considering it as a nootropic. I think I wound up ordering from the link that you sent me, but I didn't get it yet. But explain to people what a 9-MBC would do.
Lucas: Yeah. So, 9-MBC, I've put it in quotation marks as what I think is like the ayahuasca inspired nootropic because if we look at the actual chemical structure of 9-MBC, it stands for 9-methyl-beta-carboline. Now, the beta-carbolines, it's a whole family of alkaloids. So, in ayahuasca, like the caapi vine, there's a range of harmines, harmalines, harmala alkaloids, things like that. And non-MBC shares a very similar structure to these harmeline alkaloids. And all of the other beta-carbolines actually neurotoxic, but this one here appears to have like neuroprotective effects, and they actually began studying it in the context of again Parkinson's to help with dopaminergic cell loss and cell revitalization. And the effects were quite astonishing, like again, in rat studies.
Ben: That's really interesting. So, it's inhibiting MAO to a certain extent, which is actually what something like ayahuasca would do due to some of the harmalines in ayahuasca. But the problem with ayahuasca is, at the same time, increasing DMT so you get kind of like a psychedelic effect. I have smokable ayahuasca, like I'll occasionally smoke an ayahuasca. I have an ayahuasca tincture as well, and I don't really like it that much because even though you feel good, you also just can't function as well with something like that. So, this appears to be something that might be able to inhibit MAO, have a similar really good, feel good dopaminergic effect, but being non-psychoactive.
Ben: That's interesting.
Lucas: Like the initial experiment as things like that. Most of the guys that have deployed 9-MBC or have experimented with it are those that have–they've been on like Ritalin, or Adderall, or other powerful depleting substances, and they're looking for a way to recover and restore those pathways. And I think 9-MBC may have potential to help with some of those symptoms.
Ben: Cool. Yeah. That one was a little bit harder for me to hunt down. I think I actually–I recall I think I had to actually use Bitcoin to buy it, I think. But anyways, it's not here yet, but I'm looking forward to trying it for sure.
Now, in terms of the type of nootropics that one might use, because you talk about a lot of them in your masterclass, but what about for sleep deprivation? Like, a lot of people will turn to a synthetic like modafinil, for example, which I've done a podcast on. And the main complaint in that podcast was modafinil's effect on sleep architecture from a deleterious standpoint. But have you found anything for getting through a day in a sleep-deprived state, or something that would simulate what modafinil does in a way?
Lucas: I mean, I haven't had the chance to get my hands on one of these compounds. Irdabisant, it's like a very underground molecule that's going to increase histamine like modafinil. And that one there, it does increase wakefulness, alertness, vigilance, and things like that.
Ben: What do you call it?
Lucas: It's called irdabisant. I did a video on my YouTube channel. So, I-R-D-A-B-S-A-N-T. It's like [00:48:28] _____. That's a ridiculous name. But that one there is a–again, I was looking for ways to replicate or mimic the effects of modafinil without needing modafinil. And I was looking into its pharmacokinetics, and actions, and things like, and I notice that it's a very potent histamine activator, like it improves histamine release. And a lot of your listeners probably aren't familiar that histamine is the predominant neurotransmitter that determines arousal and wakefulness. It's really powerful in that regard. So, anything that can support histamine release may, in fact, help with arousal, and attention, and things like that.
Ben: Right. I suppose people who do have histamine intolerances, which I know you're familiar with, we want to be careful in that respect, just due to the potential for some pretty serious gut issues, and skin breakouts, and things of that nature. That might not be the supplement for you, but it's very interesting. Can you spell it one more time? I want to make sure I get this right for the shownotes.
Ben: A-N-T. Okay. Cool. I'll hunt down some information on. I would like to read up on some studies, too, just to try to wrap my own head around mechanism of action since I don't have a pharmaceutical daddy to call up like you do. I'm just kidding. Okay. So, actually, I am curious though about something just regarding testing in general. Obviously, we've talked about a lot of stuff so far. I'm curious if you ever look at something and just say, “Nope, not for me,” or you personally look at mechanism of action. The way that I'd vet something like a wearable a lot of times is if it's got built-in Wi-Fi that's going to run all the time, or a Bluetooth signal, it can't be disabled, or doesn't have airplane mode, usually it's just a no for me, unless it's something that's only used for very short period of time. And then, if it's a no, then I'll research it, try it, et cetera.
When you're looking at stuff like a nootropic or a smart drug, are there any just like “hell nos” for you as far as something you just don't go near in terms of mechanism of action or anything like that?
Lucas: This one is going to–I know a lot of guys are going to relate to this, but the big, big no, no for me is if a compound is powerfully a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, like a DHT blocker.
Ben: You mean like an aromatase inhibitor?
Lucas: No, it isn't like the 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, like finasteride and things that help hair loss and stuff. If any nootropic or whatever is powerful enough to inhibit that enzyme, I'll run well away from it because I just know the consequences of inhibiting DHT in the brain. Like, I know the fact that it influences allopregnanolone and how that can lead to just dysfunctional mood states. I've met too many guys who've been affected by DHT blockers. I just know that there's a lot of risks associated with it.
Ben: Yeah. That's what I warn a lot of guys about who are going bald and want to keep their hair on. There are some things you can do, like dermarolling, and like a GHK copper peptide, and some other tricks. But ultimately, if you turn to a drug like that or you say, “Well, I want to figure out a way to suppress DHT,” I mean, it's such a potent sex hormone and it's highly anabolic. It's one of those deals where there actually is something to the stereotype of like the big, strong, macho, bald dude like The Rock, just because DHT can be such a powerful activator of androgen receptors, and taking something that suppresses it is going to have side effects and may just turn you into Rapunzel, I suppose.
Lucas: Yeah, yeah. I mean, that's definitely something I keep an eye out for because there is a couple of mushroom extracts, which I am a fan of, but I know that there are guys that are sensitive to, for example, reishi mushroom, although it is amazing Shen tonic, amazing for like sleep and calming the spirit, things like that. Unfortunately, there are just a lot of guys that are sensitive to that, like that herb's, that mushroom's ability to inhibit DHT. And then, they run into like low testosterone, typical symptoms like low drive, loss of morning wood, things like that.
Ben: Interesting. Okay. So, that'd be another one to avoid. Now, in terms of like any fringe nootropics that we haven't talked about, particularly in kind of the brain category, because that's what I was really intrigued about when I took your masterclass, are there any other nootropics you haven't had a chance to talk about that you're a fan of right now or that you think more people should know about?
Lucas: There is one, and the name–excuse the name because it's–I mean, it's called homotaurine.
Lucas: Yes. That one there is again a really versatile nootropic because it's what's known as a GABAB antagonist. For those who've experimented with nootropics will know about the famous nootropic phenibut?
Lucas: They'll know that phenibut is incredible for like deep sleep, and anxiety, and social lubrication, things like that. But the caveat with phenibut is that it can lead to that GABAB receptor downregulation. So, again, we're facing consequences, we'd be running into like rebound withdrawal, and suffering from excess anxiety upon withdrawal, and things like that. So, what's unique about homotaurine is that it may, in fact, help with upregulating that GABAB receptor over time because it's an antagonist. So, when I first trialed the homotaurine, it gave me like–although I've never used, I haven't used high dose of phenibut, but it literally induces a state of phenibut withdrawal.
Ben: Which would feel like what?
Lucas: I got nausea, I got just a little bit more paranoid, and just not feeling right, a bit off.
Ben: Okay. So, phenibut being an anxiolytic, used to treat anxiety, and insomnia, and other things like that, and it kind of chills you out. You're saying that when you took this other compound, this homotaurine, it simulated the opposite effect?
Lucas: Exactly. Yup.
Ben: And why does that make it a good thing?
Lucas: Because it will help to restore their sensitivity, like it will help over time with continuous antagonism. We're going to eventually upregulate that GABAB receptor. And what I didn't finish off is that once I push through that crappy period, like the 45 hours, then the following day at around like noon or something, I can't remember exactly when it was, like I did get a rebound, a really, really nice rebound effect where I felt great, I have felt so bliss, like literally what it would be like to have phenibut.
Ben: Yeah. I hadn't heard of that. I mean, obviously, I've heard of taurine before, but never homotaurine. Huh, that's super interesting. I'll have to check that one out.
And then, there was one other one, I think you mentioned it in your nootropics class. It was like 7P? Something like that, Compound 7P. Does that sound familiar?
Ben: I'm looking at it. Like, I have my pen out and I've got horrible handwriting, but I'm looking at what I was writing down during this class. I think it's Compound 7P.
Lucas: Yeah, yeah, that's correct. Yeah. Now, this one, again, this is hardly spoken about. Consider this like one of the most underground compounds because there's only like one vendor for it. This was interesting. It's like a very neuroregenerative compound because it helps to improve neurite outgrowth in various parts of the brain that are responsible for memory retention, executive functioning. And I think the most promising aspect of it was its ability to regenerate the optic nerve, like for optic nerve.
Ben: Oh, no kidding.
Lucas: So, yeah, pretty versatile. I haven't personally tried it, but it's you want to keep a lookout for.
Ben: Okay. Cool. So, Compound 7P. I haven't seen it available over here at all. By the way, which city are you in in Australia, where you live?
Lucas: I'm in Melbourne.
Ben: Okay. Gotcha. I would imagine that some of what we can get here is going to be different than we can get there. What are the hardest things to get over there that you feel like we've just got immediate access to over here?
Lucas: Probably some of the SARMs, and yeah, physical performance enhancers, things like that.
Ben: Yeah. I don't mess around those selective androgen receptor modulators anymore. I experimented with it for a little bit, but I think peptides are–they're safer, they're more effective, they're more selective. And so, yeah, if I'm going to use something, let's say for like muscle gain or fat loss, then use a peptide like tesamorelin, or ipamorelin and CGC, or something like that that I think works a lot more naturally than the SARMs personally. So, tell me about the–because I know people probably wanted also about this masterclass, this nootropics masterclass. It's like you with a whiteboard. You're going through all these different molecules, but it's super interesting the type of deep dives you take. Can you give people kind of like the overview of what that class is?
Lucas: Yeah. So, I really just built this class to showcase all of my research, all of my experience over the past, say, eight years, really just to give people the tools that they need to then go out and start experimenting and understand like how these compounds are working, what they're doing in the brain. I want to give people the tools to then just do it themselves, like this is the research, this is how you can harness the power of these compounds, and now go for it sort of thing. So, I do cover various compounds to help with the dopamine system, the serotonin system. I talk about anxiety-reducing stacks. I talk about specific compounds and stacks to help with procrastination.
And really, that whole class is, it's basically cosmetic neurology, which is a pretty fancy new term. but cosmetic neurology is really just harnessing the power of research, and then taking control of your neurochemistry to suit your needs for whatever the situation. if it's public speaking event, or if it's for studying, or if it's for sports performance, that is where i think there's a huge untapped area of the whole cosmetic neurology side of things.
Ben: Right. That would just be kind of like the–I guess like the classic person who doesn't use a lot of naturals would be like the guy who takes a diazepam when he gets ready to fly an international flight and lands, and take some modafinil, and he's practicing cosmetic neurology, which I suppose–so someone who's putting theanine in their coffee, or anything like that, correct?
Lucas: Yeah. It's the same principle, really.
Ben: Yeah. Stacking. Interesting. Very cool. Well, the class was great and I'll recommend it. And I've got a 10% discount, and I'll put that in the shownotes, and you guys can just go check out the class if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lucas. That's where I'll have a link to his masterclass in the resources section there. And I'll also get a hold of a code for you to give you a discount on the class. And then, the other thing is Lucas' Instagram channel, which I'm apparently now following, is actually really good, as is his YouTube channel. And so, that's another one to check out. And Lucas, let's see, what time is it there?
Lucas: It's 10 past 2:00 in the afternoon.
Okay, 10 past 2:00 in the afternoon. Alright, last question, I promise. When you're getting ready to do podcasts like this, knowing as much as you do about nootropics, and smart drugs, and things like that, was there anything particular, any particular pill you popped before you hopped on this show?
Lucas: Okay. So, I stick to what I know works for me. So, that for me was a concoction of 3,000 milligrams of taurine, I had one capsule of Cynara scolymus, which is artichoke extract, I had 50 milligrams of thiamine HCL, and then also a low hyperforin St. John's wort as well, which is activating and good for just general arousal and stuff.
Ben: Yeah. So, taurine, artichoke, thiamine, St. John's wort stack. That's one that I doubt anyone who's been on this podcast before has used prior to recording, but I'll add that one to the bucket list of compounds that I now have to try after this conversation with you, which has been fascinating, by the way. I'm super stoked we're able to connect and I'm happy that we're what's happening now, so to speak. So, it's always fun to find other people to bounce stuff off of. And you're doing a good job with what you're doing, man. So, keep it up.
Lucas: Awesome. Yeah. No, it's been a privilege, man. Yeah. I'm looking forward to, yeah, bouncing more ideas and who knows where the future holds in terms of pioneering this whole biohacker space in Australia because really, there isn't–I mean, I don't think there's anyone really pushing this content in Australia. So, yeah. I'm really, really proud to be doing something that I love.
Ben: That's awesome. You can be the trailblazer over there. I guess I'll make you like the Dave Asprey of Australia or something like that. So, there you have it. Alright. Well, folks, I'm Ben Greenfield, and Lucas Aoun is at Ergogenic Health. Look him up. The shownotes are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/lucas. Thanks for listening in and have an amazing week.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
Even though it's pretty rare I scroll through many feeds on Instagram or elsewhere (for reasons I describe in my work-life balance podcast here) I recently began following an interesting Instagram account. Titled “Ergogenic Health,” it intrigued me with some very interesting content I hadn't seen before, including:
- A commonly known special fruit that enhances the effects of psychedelics…
- A simple free activity you can do anytime to lower cortisol by over 21%…
- How the way you brush your teeth may actually reduce intelligence…
- A very unique form of vitamin B1 called thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide (TTFD) that increases exercise performance, motivation, mood, and overall energy…
- How capsicum from peppers may lead to anxiety in some people…
- The little known “younger sister” of curcumin…
- And much more!
So recently, I was able to connect with the guy who runs that Instagram channel, along with a host of other intriguing, well-informed, and outside-the-box websites, along with a podcast. His name is Lucas Aoun, and he graciously agreed to take a nerdy deep dive into advanced nootropics and smart drugs, biohacking, and much more with me on this podcast episode. I even had a chance to take his Cosmetic Neurology (use code BENG10 to save 10%) nootropics masterclass and it was quite excellent, containing info I hadn't seen before anywhere else.
Lucas is a biohacker, nootropics expert, host of Boost Your Biology, and founder of Ergogenic Health, and author of the recent guest article on my site “Boost Your Brain Power With These 4 Underground, Highly Effective Nootropic Compounds Most People Don't Know About.” Ergogenic Health researches and curates the best health products from around the globe. They integrate modern scientific evidence, anecdotal/personal reports, and traditional wisdom to create a lifestyle platform of supreme products, education, and consulting to promote biohacking for those who wish to explore their version of optimal performance.
During this discussion, you'll discover:
-How Lucas became interested in biohacking, plant medicine, and nootropics…7:35
- Cosmetic Neurology (use code BENG10 to save 10%) nootropics masterclass by Lucas
- Began with playing soccer professionally
- Father was a pharmacist, so he helped out with his practice
- Realized much of what he was learning was not widely discussed “above ground”
- Experimented with L-Theanine before a game and was impressed with the results
-How Lucas keeps track of all the supplements and compounds he may be experimenting with at any given time…
- Notes app on iPhone with keywords he's created for reference
- Constantly “auditing” himself
- Many people who experiment with nootropics don't know their own body and its tolerances or how they may affect their body
- The Nitty-Gritty Underground World of Supplement Ingredients, Sports Nutrition Frankenfuels, Illegally Laced Compounds & More, With Shawn Wells
- Lucas was the first Australian person to experiment with Theacrine
-A day in the life for Lucas…13:50
- Sunlight exposure and sun gazing (1~2 seconds) first thing in the morning
- Walking treadmill desk (10,000 steps before eating)
- Experiences appetite suppression on the days he engages in sunbathing/sun gazing
- First meal is high protein (around 11 am)
- Heavy weightlifting the latter part of the day
- High carb intake toward the end of the day
- Glucose disposal agent (GDA)
- Bitter melon after the evening meal
- Dihydroberberine (bioavailability is higher than normal berberine)
- Kion Lean
- Ceylon cinnamon
- Apple cider vinegar
-A new peptide that Lucas sees as up and coming…21:30
- Article: Are Peptides Legal? What The FDA’s New Bulk Drug Substance Crackdown Means For Peptides (Plus 9 Promising Little-Known Peptides To Watch Out For In The Future).
- Ramps up intracellular NAD levels
- Orally bioavailable
- Increases satellite cell production in muscle tissue
-The seaweed compound Lucas eats at night…23:30
- Ecklonia Cava (taken one hour before bed)
- Increases GABA activity in a very sustainable way
- Mimics L-Theanine as it produces alpha waves in the brain
- Irish sea moss Ben mentions
-Whether or not Lucas drinks coffee or consumes caffeine…26:15
- “I use it only when I don't need it”
- Running on borrowed time: It amps up cortisol levels unnaturally and you pay for it the next day
-How caffeine interacts with the cannabinoid system…30:05
- Difference between chronic and acute caffeine consumption
- Chronic caffeine exposure increased sensitivity of cannabinoid receptors
- Synergistic effect on stress
- Mr. Moxy's Mints
- CBN is the best for sleep
- CBG effects on appetite
-A compound that mimics high-dose thiamine…35:15
- Thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide (TTFD)
- Synthetic counterpart of Allithiamine
- Positive effect on penetrating the blood-brain barrier
- Increase in mental clarity among users
-What Lucas views as the “next resveratrol”…39:30
- Two apigenin molecules bound together (St. John's Wort, Ginkgo Biloba, and others)
- Increases calcium release from muscle 30x faster than caffeine
-Tips on enhancing dopamine release…43:40
- Dopamine agonist drugs bind to dopamine receptors – not sustainable
- 9-MBC “ayahuasca-inspired nootropic”
- Showed neuroprotective effects
-Advanced nootropics for functioning while sleep-deprived…47:30
- Irdabisants – mimics the effects of modafinil
- CEP 26401 (Irdabisant) – The Next Modafinil? (New Nootropic/Eugeroic)
-“Dealbreakers” when it comes to nootropics Lucas might experiment with…50:25
- 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor
- Consequences of inhibiting DHT in the brain
-Advanced nootropics Lucas believes more people should know about…53:00
- GABA-B antagonist
- Phenibut is great for social anxiety but can lead to GABA-B downregulation
- May help with upregulating GABA-B receptor over time
- Compound 7-P
- Neurogenerative compound
- Regenerate optic nerves
-An overview of and how to access Lucas' advanced nootropics masterclass…55:40
- Cosmetic neurology to improve cognitive performance
- Cosmetic Neurology (use code BENG10 to save 10%) nootropics masterclass by Lucas
-The nootropic stack Lucas took prior to his interview with Ben…1:00:25
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
– Lucas Aoun:
- Ergogenic Health
- Cosmetic Neurology (use code BENG10 to save 10%)
- Boost Your Biology podcast
- @ergogenic_health Instagram
- Boost Your Biology Youtube
– Podcasts and articles:
- Boost Your Brain Power With These 4 Underground, Highly Effective Nootropic Compounds Most People Don't Know About.
- The Nitty-Gritty Underground World of Supplement Ingredients, Sports Nutrition Frankenfuels, Illegally Laced Compounds & More, With Shawn Wells
- Are Peptides Legal? What The FDA’s New Bulk Drug Substance Crackdown Means For Peptides (Plus 9 Promising Little-Known Peptides To Watch Out For In The Future).
– Gear and supplements:
- Treadmill Desk
- Glucose Disposal Agent
- Bitter Melon
- Kion Lean
- Ceylon cinnamon
- Apple cider vinegar
- Ecklonia Cava
- Irish Sea Moss
- Mr. Moxy's Mints
- Thiamine TetrahydroFurfuryl Disulfide
- St. John's Wort
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Compound 7-P
- Artichoke Extract
- Thiamine HCL
– Other resources, studies, and articles:
- Notes App
- Vitamin B1 Derivative Activates Dopamine Neurons, Without The Typical Side Effects Of Amphetamines In Rats.
- Caffeine drinking potentiates cannabinoid transmission in the striatum: interaction with stress effects.
- Decreased Serotonin In Healthy Adults After Consumption of Wholegrain Rye.
- Peptide derived from Spinach, has anxiolytic effect via activating sigma1 and dopamine D1 receptors.
- Omega-3 decreases D1 and D2 receptors expression in the prefrontal cortex and prevents amphetamine-induced conditioned place preference in rats.
- Dihydrotestosterone in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – The missing link?
- Ginseng and Bacopa Benchmarked Against Modafinil.
- Cordycepin Increases Nonrapid Eye Movement Sleep via Adenosine Receptors.
- I just discovered a NATURAL Dopamine (D2) Agonist + DRI LAURELIA NOVAE-ZELANDIE EXTRACT (-PUKATEA-).
- Laughter Lowered the Increase in Postprandial Blood Glucose.
- This is the next Resveratrol in my opinion.
- Homotaurine can be used to UN-DO the damaging effects of Phenibut.
- Alcohol After Glow Mimicking Compound.
–Kion Aminos: Building blocks for muscle recovery, reduced cravings, better cognition, immunity, and more. BGF listeners save 10% off your first order at Kion with code BEN10.
–Joovv: After using the Joovv for close to 2 years, it's the only light therapy device I'd ever recommend. Give it a try: you won't be disappointed. For a limited time, Joovv wants to hook you up with an exclusive discount on your first order. Just apply code BEN to your qualifying order.
–Lucy Nicotine Gum: If you are looking for a cleaner and tastier alternative to other nicotine products, then this product is for you. The gum comes in three flavors – Wintergreen, Cinnamon, and Pomegranate – and the lozenges in cherry ice. To save 20% on any order, just use discount code BEN 20.
–Organifi Gold Chocolate: This superfood hot chocolate is loaded with herbs, medicinal mushrooms & healing ingredients to help the body fight disease during sleep. Receive a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code BENG20.