[Transcript] – The Latest News About the Feel Free Energy Drink, The Problem With Overdosing, How To Use Feel Free Properly & A Brand New Feel Free Capsule That Solves Any Problems You May Have Had With Feel Free.

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/jw-ross-new-feel-free/ 

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:00:54] Podcast Sponsors

[00:05:53] Previous Podcasts on Feel Free

[00:09:52] Guest Intro

[00:15:02] How JW transitioned from being alcoholic to formulating Feel Free

[00:23:09] Dealing with customer feedback who have potentially overdosed

[00:35:09] Podcast Sponsors

[00:39:53] Tell me about why you decided to encapsulate the formula

[00:43:31] Are you still gonna keep the liquid

[00:46:29] Sourcing of kratom

[00:50:01] Certificate of analysis for the products  

[00:50:57] Plan on launching additional products, additional formulas?  

[00:52:46] Additional information on Feel Free

[00:56:09] Additional Thoughts

[00:58:57] Closing the Podcast

[01:00:17] End of Podcast

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

JW:  Kava makes you more social, but it does it by quietening you down. And then, you're focused on everyone around you and you're more open to listening to them and having a more meaningful conversation, relationship with them. Kratom, it's primary used for thousands of years, was for workers in the field for endurance. When you mix the two of them together, you get the best of both worlds.

Ben:  Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more, Welcome to the show.

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Alright, folks, unless you've been, I guess, hiding under a rock in the health and nutrition and supplement industry, you've probably heard about this stuff a lot of people have been talking about called Feel Free. It seems like it's everywhere these days. I did a big podcast about it, gosh, probably seven or eight months ago. That podcast was called “The New Drinkable Euphoria Compound That Will Completely Transform The Energy Drink Industry,” which it kind of did. I'll link to that podcast if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/NewFeelFree because this is a newer podcast on Feel Free, BenGreenfieldLife.com/NewFeelFree. 

And, I had recorded that episode after I'd experienced a few days or actually weeks in this case of euphoria and really clean energy that I was getting from this little blue bottle that I was drinking each day after a friend introduced me to it in Austin, Texas. And, it was just, boom, right away clean energy like the social lubricating effect of alcohol without feeling like I was drunk, better sex, better mood, better workouts. It was a cure-all for energy and basically a blend of kava and kratom, along with a little bit of a pineapple extract and coconut, and some stevia. So, pretty low calorie too. Not one of those things that breaks a fast for a morning workout or something like that. So, you drink it and you feel as the label kind of says “free.” You crave stuff less and you could use it as a replacement for alcohol or energy drinks or nicotine and people seem to get pretty euphoric off the stuff. And so, it was and is pretty popular.

I also did a follow-up episode because even though I'd been recommending it, and I haven't got to a point where I was drinking several bottles a day and felt great, there were some folks coming back and reporting things like upset stomach or feeling they were drunk or dizzy when they go to the gym with this stuff in their system. Some people were saying they felt addicted to it or would have withdrawal symptoms when they'd stop using it. And so, there were some other problematic issues that people were reporting. 

So, I followed this for a while, I dug into the science and the safety profile and did a follow-up podcast where I really discussed the problem with everything from the fact that it's one bottle and the actual serving size is supposed to be half the bottle, which can be difficult to eyeball or titrate. But, I think a lot of people were taking way too much of the stuff. Some people didn't realize that there is a lot of diminishing returns and there were folks complaining and I'd be like, “Well, what's your volume?” And, they'd be like, “I'm drinking two, three, sometimes four or five bottles a day.” I'm like, “Hey, look, coffee is great but if you drink six a day, it's not that great.” Wine, I think, is wonderful, I have a glass of wine, every evening, but a whole bottle probably isn't the way to go.

And so, that was an issue. People were overdosing. They weren't titrating it properly. Sometimes they were drinking on an empty stomach and experiencing a little bit of stomach upset. That kratom can give some people if they have it on an empty stomach. And then, a lot of people as I reported in that follow-up podcast called, “Is Feel Free energy drink bad for you?“, which are also linked to in the shownotes. A lot of people, from a genetic standpoint, just metabolize kratom poorly. And so, that was another issue that people were running into.

And then, finally, as with many of these compounds that do have to get processed by the gut, if you have a compromised gut or a compromised gallbladder or compromised liver, you got to take care of your system internally before you start to throw back what I would argue a pretty powerful almost like medicinal type of compounds like this. So, there's a lot of subtle nuances.

And, you may be wondering after all that why I would be talking about this, why I would be doing another podcast about this. Well, the guy who I interviewed who invented this stuff and used it to basically get himself off of pretty problematic alcohol scenario contacted me a few weeks ago and he sent me this bottle. I've got it right here. And, it's shaking, can hear this? It's capsules. And, this is an encapsulated version of Feel Free. And, it's kind of interesting because as you know, like I mentioned, one of the issues with Feel Free was I think people were taking too much. Well, one of these capsules is 1/6 of a serving of the bottle. Three capsules is half a bottle. Six capsules would be a full bottle. And so, you can titrate the dosage. And, I thought that was interesting. 

So, I started to give it to some friends and use it myself who at all had Feel Free and everybody came back and they're like, “Dude, my stomach is totally solid on this. No issues at all.” The other issue that a lot of people had was they didn't like that mouth-numbing effect. Well, since you're swallowing the capsules, you don't get the mouth-numbing effect. The capsules travel the liquid glass bottles. Well, let's face it, they don't travel that well. They're fragile and you don't have to shake the capsules to get every last bit of goodness out of the bottle because they're basically just capsules.

So, there's a lot of interest that I had in these capsules when my guests on today's show JW sent them over to me. So, I told him, “Look, we should get on a podcast and actually talk a little bit about this, cover some of the things that people have been concerned about with Feel Free, answer some more questions.” And then, Dude, I want to be able to tell people about these capsules because even though this bottle I'm holding says R&D batch, which stands for research and development batch, not for sale, I think they are going to hit the streets pretty soon. So, I want to let you guys know about them and talk a little bit more about kava, kratom and the whole interplay behind all this stuff.

So, my guest on today's show is, like I said, the inventor of Feel Free. His name is JW Ross. He's an innovator. He's an investor. He was in the financial world for a while. And now, he is the mastermind behind this Feel Free stuff. So, we're going to have a little chat about all of this. And, if you like what you're here, if you want to follow the links, if you want to learn more about this or listen to the previous podcast that I did on Feel Free, you can go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/NewFeelFree. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/NewFeelFree.

So, JW, welcome back to the show, my friend.

JW:  Thanks for having me on again, Ben.

Ben:  Yeah. And, I know you were talking before we got going. Actually, I think you texted me a photo this morning you broke your foot. You're laid up at home.

JW:  Yeah. Thursday night, we have construction going on in front of the house and I was going down to lock the front gate, didn't realize that they had removed step and basically rolled off of it and broke my foot.

Ben:  Geez. How long ago was that?

JW:  That was Thursday evening.

Ben:  Wow. Are you totally laid up or what's going on?

JW:  No. Actually, I made it to the gym this morning up in Adam again.

Ben:  You made it to the gym with a broken foot?

JW:  Yup.

Ben:  I'm sure the next thing you're going to tell me, you had four bottles of Feel Free to get you through that or something.

JW:  Well, the Feel Free definitely helps, especially at my age at 60.

Ben:  Well, what do you do at the gym with a broken foot? What is your exercise routine look like when you're busted up like that?

JW:  I'm in a walking cast, so today it was just pretty much all upper body, different machines, and dumbbells, and what have you.

Ben:  I'm sure you'll get healed up okay and you can always ping me later about some tricks for healing up a bone faster. Actually, I'll tell you right now. A pulse electromagnetic field therapy, PEMF, that stuff's amazing for bone injuries if you're able to get your hands on one of those units. I'm a big fan of like supports like. And so, anything that's like eggshell like ground up eggshell in smoothies, bone meal or bone meal extract, bone marrow, anything for blood flow. There's even infrared light seems to have a little bit of an ability to be able to speed up healing. Magnesium, calcium, a lot of the usual minerals. So, those are a few things. I've got a podcast out there, I should shoot it over to you on how to get broken bones to feel faster.

JW:  I'm all for doing everything I can to get this thing because it's just annoying.

Ben:  Yeah.

JW:  I want to get back to my normal routine.

Ben:  Yeah, I hear you, I hear you. It's frustrating when you have a major joint like that's beat up.

I want to get back into the Feel Free. And obviously, as I mentioned in the introduction, you have this new capsule stuff that is, by the way, amazing. Congratulations on launching it because I think it's going to solve a lot of problems that people have had with Feel Free. And, I'm always cognizant and slightly self-aware, I suppose when I'm talking to the inventor of a product and bringing up problems that people have reported with the product. But, I think we can all be radically transparent here because I'm sure you've heard some of the issues people complain about as well. So, we can talk about the capsules and some of the issues later on. But, just in case for people who haven't heard about Feel Free or haven't heard your story, just a very quick overview, weren't you addicted to alcohol or pretty problematically attached to alcohol before you actually wound up trying to research plant medicines that could get you off of it?

JW:  Yeah. I was self-medicating for a long time. I started from the time I was. I think I've had my first drink when I was 15, 16 years old, and I did it because I always felt socially awkward. I didn't really feel comfortable and unscanned and feel comfortable communicating, especially with larger groups of people. And, the first time that someone handed me a glass of alcohol to drink, it was love at first sight because I went from what I just described to feeling I was alive at the party.

Ben:  Right.

JW:  That was, like I said, 15, 16 years old. Between there and when I was in my early 40s, I was very driven and very successful financially, but my alcohol consumption went along on the same curve with that. And, at some point, became even above that trajectory. It started really causing serious problems in my life. And, having been successful in every other aspect of my life and being able to, what I thought, control things, I just kept trying to figure out different ways to control alcohol. I finally gave into the fact that I couldn't control it, I couldn't control my consumption. And, the consequences, by that point, were large enough that any rational person would have stopped or cut back and I couldn't do it.

Ben:  Yeah. And so, at that point, you've got into researching the kava and the kratom and some of these South Pacific Islands where they were using this type of stuff and wound up cooking up the batch of Feel Free in your kitchen and going from there.

JW:  Yeah. The climax was when I got wife or friends and family intervention and went off to a 90-day inpatient treatment, which is the first time since I was extremely young that I'd ever not worked and really just focused on myself. What I realized was that I was listening to this voice in my head that said I could control it and I couldn't and that I need to stop doing that. 

So, I came out of treatment, I've not had a drink since then. That's 12 years ago. But, I had a better life, but I sure didn't feel right. I guess they call it dry drunk or I couldn't function the way I wanted to socially, basically isolating myself. And, I realized that if I didn't come up with a solution that I was going to go back to what I was doing before. So, I'm a research fanatic. I've always been even though the alcohol was in play the rest of my life was pretty healthy, which is a paradox. But, I didn't connect the fact that alcohol was actually a junk food. I decided to try to go into the market and try to find something else that would give me the feel of alcohol.

Ben:  And, to clarify, by the way, alcohol can be a junk food. But, like I mentioned, I actually think that microdosing with small amounts of alcohol kind of like I do like a little bit of organic biodynamic wine at the end of the day. I mean, heck, there's a company, they sponsor my podcast Dry Farm Wines, and I can easily have a glass of that a day and feel fine and even have seen a lot of data on some of these centenarian blue zones that tend to do something very much like that, although it leaves out the fact that in many cases people who are drinking wine, they have less stress, they're with friends. There's a lot of confounding variables. Nonetheless, yeah, the dose is the poison, and the delivery method too.

JW:  Right, right. Like most things, I'd probably use the wrong word, it's a processed food. It's what I should have said. 

Ben:  No, I get what you're saying. I think people get it.

So basically, you were on alcohol, it was pretty rough, you finally got off of it. And, once you came through the detox, you felt a little blah, a little dead.

JW:  Yeah. I didn't feel comfortable again in my own skin just like I did when I started. And then, I said, “Well, I've got to find something else or I'm going to go back to alcohol because I can't live this.” And, I started trying everything that was in the market legal. And, none of that seemed to really do much for me. And, I tried pretty much everything it was illegal. And, almost all of that did too much for me.

Ben:  You mean like LSD, psilocybin, those type of things?

JW:  Yes. Yeah, pretty much everything I could get my hands on. And, I was looking for something that I could go work out. I could go to work. I wouldn't worry about driving a car. And, even hopefully, the holy grail, it would enhance that while feeling good, not inebriated. And, I couldn't find it. 

So, I started researching and I looked around the world what people have been using for social lubricants in different civilizations over the last several thousand years. And, I started traveling around and gathering up these different plants and actually spent time in different places like Southeast Asia watching how they were using them. Any of those didn't give me the feeling by themselves of what I was looking for that alcohol gave me. So, I got the crazy idea to start trying to mix them together. And, I set up a informal lab in my house. I spent two years trying all different accommodations, different percentages, using myself as a guinea pig. My wife had thought I'd gone off the deep end. And, I finally found the right two plants, the right percentages, the right strains to give me that feeling I had when I first had alcohol.

Ben:  That's basically, in a nutshell, the story that you and I unpack and in pretty significant detail in the last episode that we did. And, I don't necessarily want to rehash the stuff that people could go and download and listen to. And again, if you guys want the full story and then a lot of the nitty-gritty details of what JW just went over, you go over there and check and listen to that episode. And, you can correct me if I'm wrong on any of this stuff, JW, but we talked about how you found this 10 to 1 ratio of kava to kratom, sourced it. I think the kratom. Kava was from Vanuatu and then you got the Kratom from the South Pacific like Indonesia, right?

JW:  From Indonesia, yes.

Ben:  Yeah. And then, added the pineapple juice for the vitamin C and the coconut cream for better delivery of the fat-soluble compounds across the blood-brain barrier, and then a really unique form of stevia that lends a nice flavor bottled it up. And, at that point, you had the stuff that we did a pretty big podcast about last time that the people have really found a lot of success drinking and adding to the protocol. And so, that's everything in a nutshell that you and I got to in the last podcast that we did. And again, if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/NewFeelFree, you can listen into that episode.

And, I've gotten a lot of folks writing in and commenting since then that they've found success stacking it sometimes with caffeine. Other people have stacked it with speaking of psilocybin-like microdoses of some different plant medicine type of compounds. Others have used it for, again, an alternative to alcohol in the evenings, a little bit of sparkling water and use it as a mixer for a cocktail. Part of it's all roses and puppies and kittens as they say or at least as I say, then part of it is a lot of people were having issues like withdrawal symptoms or feel like they were addicted to it. 

And again, I at first was a head-scratcher for me because I never really experienced any of that stuff although I did have some gut discomfort as I do with a lot of things. I started testing it pretty heavily and I got up to five to six bottles a day at one point just to see how it did with my liver enzyme markers and everything else. And, yeah, at that point, my gut seemed to not like it very much. And, other people have written to me, probably written you as well I would imagine, and reported issues. And, that's why I did that last podcast. Did you get a chance to listen to that last podcast I did kind of covering —

JW:  I did, yes. Yeah, you did a great job with that.

Ben:  Yeah. Some of the mistakes that people were making with it. For example, what do you think when it comes to that concept of overdosing, like people drinking too much? And, I realize for you as a business owner, it's probably a difficult question. It was like, “Yeah, people are using too much of something that I own and sell.” But, do you agree like some people are just taking way too much of this stuff?

JW:  Anything that makes you feel good can be habit-forming. In fact, anything that makes you feel good is habit forming because it makes you feel good. And, that can be sex, that can be alcohol, that can be caffeine, that can be pizza. To me, that's not the question because it's a given. Question is, if I do this on a regular basis, is it going to hurt me physically or socially? That's what we should be concerned with. And, what I can tell you is that when done as we prescribe, we've not had a single person, and we're selling now over a million servings a month, report any issues; no elevated blood liver enzymes, blood sugars, anything like that, any kind of social issues. There are people out there that are using too much of it, just like there are people out there taking too much caffeine, too much alcohol, or whatever else. But, from a personal standpoint, I've been consuming it on a regular basis for almost four years now.

Ben:  You mean, you've been using it basically every day?

JW:  Correct. And, what I found is that unlike alcohol, I've reached a level where I found the sweet spot and I can control that. I don't crave it so bad that I have to have more. And, I found that that's the right amount. Fortunately, like I explained on the prior podcast, very early on, I was concerned that people would abuse it. So, I did abusive levels of it for about three and a half, four months. When I say abusive levels, six bottles a day.

Ben:  Yeah, which is a lot. That's technically back to what you were mentioning about the recommended usage that you have on your website and on the bottle. That's technically 12 servings a day because one bottle is supposed to be two servings. I think a lot of people didn't realize that.

JW:  Yeah. And, what I found was that I still didn't have elevated liver enzymes or any negative change in blood chemistry but I felt toxic.

Ben:  Yeah.

JW:  I didn't get the feeling that I get at a more moderate dose. What I wanted to see was that because I knew that some people would have used it because it makes you feel good, I wanted to make sure it wasn't even at those levels, it wasn't going to cause any serious physical harm. And, I know of some other people that reported the same thing and they don't feel good doing that level of it but it's not like it's hurting them physically.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. And, I mean, really, it's not as though you can't go to PubMed. And, by the way, I'm talking specifically about kratom. I think kava, I have taken massive amounts of kava before and drinking bowls and bowls of the stuff in Hawaii. And, actually did recently a podcast with a guy who has a kava company and he just gave me these super, super high-end extracts from Vanuatu, the same place you get your kava, that island. And, I mean, it's very difficult to OD on kava. I think the issue that a lot of people have, and this is why I talked about the other episode, is a lot of the alkaloids in kratom causing everything from constipation, the stomach upset, some people get even hemorrhoids from using too much of it because of the straining. And, that's the issue where, yeah, you got to be careful with the dosage and you have to titrate accordingly and I think that people were just using too much. 

And then, I also, like I talked about in that podcast about whether or not Feel Free could be bad for you, and again, I know this is tough for you as a business owner, but I have a coffee company and some people are very slow caffeine metabolizers and can barely drink any of the coffee that I sell from my coffee company without feeling crappy. And, my response to them is “Don't drink very much of my coffee.” That's like what you do. I mean, same thing with kratom, I don't know if you'd agree with me. 

But, if people go listen to that podcast and it turns out that genetically they're a poor metabolizer of kratom, well, either A, just don't use this stuff, it's not for you, sorry, go back and pick your parents because it turns out your body can't metabolize kratom very well, or B, and we'll talk about this a little bit later, figure out a way to microdose and titrate the dosage via a delivery mechanism that's far easier to titrate the dosage with because I'm sure you probably do agree with me, it's hard to titrate the actual dosage in the bottle. Not only do you not know if some of the kratom settled at the bottom, you kind of like eyeballing through the blue glass, it's a little bit hard to see through. Did I drink half a bottle? Did I drink three-quarters of a bottle? And, for people who do fine with this stuff, you can just slam it, like you and me it's a non-issue. For other people, I think it was becoming an issue. What do you think?

JW:  Yeah. No, I agree with that. I mean, I also [00:29:41] _____ thinking while you're talking. Before this, I was considering massive, massive quantities of caffeine. I think the reason I was doing that is because it just took a lot more for me. And, I was consuming caffeine up until the point I went to bed and I go right to bed. When I came off of that, the withdrawals are pretty serious. I mean, when I say serious, incredible headaches.

Ben:  You mean from caffeine?

JW:  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.

JW:  Fogginess. But, I was doing way, way too much of it. And, it become pretty much ineffective.

Ben:  Well, that's the thing with caffeine is it was banned by WADA for a while as an illegal performance-enhancing aid because of its effects on amplifying exercise performance and reducing rating of perceived exertion and decreasing or I'm sorry, increasing time to exhaustion. But, a lot of people, they're like, “What are you talking about I have six cups of coffee a day and I don't experience that?” Well, so much of the population is so accustomed to caffeine that if anybody were to actually wash out the adenosine receptors by quitting caffeine for about 14 days or so, sometimes less than that, and some people just few as seven days by switching a decaf drinking decaffeinated tea, et cetera, and then you come back to caffeine, not only do you feel as though somebody's shot you in the arm with intramuscular adrenaline and epinephrine, but you also can nearly have this psychotropic entheogenic effect from this drug that you even realized was so powerful that you've been consuming in such high dosages that you've almost grown unaccustomed to the effects. 

So yeah, I mean, it's very, very interesting when you look at a lot of these drugs that folks use on a regular basis. Like on drugs, you can call them compounds, plants, whatever. You have to be aware that the body is not just this wall that you throw stuff at all day long and just hope stuff sticks to it. And, if it doesn't, you're going to be fine. You have to understand the dosage titration. So, I think that's incredibly important.

JW:  The proof of that personally is I do one cup of tea a day now. And, I get more out of that than when I was consuming 15 cups throughout the day before.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah, exactly. In my opinion, it's the same thing with something like Feel Free. I always check myself. There was a while where what I would do is after I did an experiment like you did with drinking a whole bunch, I cut myself down and this is my protocol now to one bottle a day. And then, the other thing that I've been doing is when I travel, I just leave it at home. And so, when I travel, I don't drink any. And, sometimes I'm traveling for 10, 14 days out of the month just because I know if I've not got it around, I won't drink it, I won't become dependent on something. I do that with NAD. I do that with coffee. I do that with this stuff. I do that with any microdoses. I do that with nootropics. You have to make sure that you're constantly checking yourself and making sure that you're not attached to anything. 

I suppose the only caveat to that would be that some people, let's say men who use testosterone, they're like, “Well, I'm not going to stop taking testosterone one month and start taking another month because every guy who's used testosterone knows that you feel old or crappy when you stop using it.” But, in people like that, I say, well, admit that you've got a dependency, admit that you're attached to something. But then, weigh the advantages and the pros in terms of how that makes your life, your recovery, your muscle gain, your fat loss, your libido, et cetera, better. And, if you're willing to at least say, “Okay, I'm addicted to it, but it makes life so much better with very, very few side effects that I'm willing to continue to take it on a daily basis, I claim dependency on this, and I'm just going to roll with it.” 

And, I think that was something like say testosterone or something like a daily exercise session or a morning sauna practice or something like that, it's fine. For something that has some type of biochemical side effect or significant impact when you're dependent upon using it on a regular basis, then yeah, just stop using it every once in a while to check yourself and make sure that you're not addicted to it. And again, I know it's tough for you to be on a podcast about your product and have the guy interviewing tell people to just not take it at certain points to make sure that you're not addicted to it, but I think it's a good idea.

JW:  It truly for me. I mean, we're selling plenty of it. It's not about selling more of it, it's about people getting some benefit out of it. And, I get the rewarding part of what I'm doing is I get hundreds of calls, emails, communications from people on a weekly basis talking about different ways that it's improved their life. And, that to me is what's important and it's important to educate the public to make them aware that just like anything else that makes you feel good, you need to be careful with this. If one bottle a week works for you, that's fantastic. I'm not trying to sell you more, I'm trying to educate you to find out what works for you and do that.

One of my favorite nut carbohydrate, nut fat, nut protein, little-known secret macronutrients, is now back in stock. It's called ketones. The ones I use are made by HVMN. They're called Ketone IQ. They're perfect for staving your appetite for hours on end, running from meeting to meeting when you can't get food, any type of endurance activity because ketones are a great fuel for the heart, for the liver, for the diaphragm. Anytime you want a great amount of portability, convenience on an airplane, it's amazing because you're not even tempted at all by any food the whole time you're sitting on the airplane. 

Ketones are 28% more efficient at generating energy than sugar alone. That means you can do a lot more with a lot less, especially when your body gets pushed to the limits because ketones helps you convert stored fat into energy. And then, with Ketone IQ, you can actually get that without having to fast and excessively restrict carbohydrates.

They created this stuff through a $6 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense, deep partnerships with some of the top researchers in ketone science. It's a truly cutting-edge drink. It avoids the insulin spikes, the caffeine jitters, the mid-afternoon energy crashes. Super simple. You just throw this stuff back. I'll toss back a shot straight out of the bottle. Some people like to mix it with a little water stevia, stuff like that, but either way HVMN stands by their products 100%. If you're not satisfied, your order is free. That's how much they believe and I believe in the power of ketones. Been using them for years and years.

Here's how to get 20% off of any purchase of Ketone IQ. You go to HVMN.me/BenG, HVMN.me/BenG. Use code BENG, that gets you 20% off of any purchase of Ketone IQ. You can also find them at any California Earthbar locations which are usually within an Equinox. So, check them out, HVMN.me/BenG.

I'm pretty stoked because this is now something I can do when I'm on the go and it's based on this idea that the human body being mostly water. But, what you probably don't know is everything else in your body is 50% amino acids. That means basically water and amino acids are two of the most important things that you can have in your body. And, some amino acids are essential. You have to get them from food, from breaking down steak and chicken and eggs and everything else. But, this stuff called Kion Aminos is a plant-based full essential amino acids profile backed by over 20 years of clinical research with the highest quality ingredients; no fillers, no junk, rigorous quality testing, taste amazing with all-natural flavors. I got on the amino acids bandwagon way back when I was racing Ironman triathlon. Started with branch chain amino acids, realized those were wasted time, switched over to essential amino acids and it has been a game changer ever since.

Now, what did I mean when I said travel? Well, these Kion Aminos, which are the essential amino acids that I take, they have for the watermelon flavor, the lemon-lime flavor, the berry flavor, and the mango flavor, they got stick packs now, so you can take them on the go. I honestly have a couple packs in my fanny pack now. I can dump them in water when I'm at a restaurant, have that instead of a bread basket that comes out or a cocktail. They satiate the appetite. They accelerate recovery. They're amazing pre-workout or during a workout. The list goes on and on. Fact is if you haven't tried essential amino acid, you're a miss now.

And, you can save 20% now on any monthly deliveries and 10% on any one-time purchases if you go to getKION.com/Ben. That's getK-I-O-N.com/Ben to get my fundamental supplement for fitness. Kion Aminos, getK-I-O-N.com/Ben.

I've worked to achieve many things in life, but my greatest yet most humbling work, I think, has been with my role as a father. Parenting is blissful. It's brutal. It's far beyond anything I ever could have anticipated. My sons are now teenagers. And, the people around us who engage with them often ask if I could write a book on raising children in education and legacy and discipline and all this stuff that goes into raising a good child, a good human. 

Now, I didn't feel that qualified to write a parenting guide, so I gathered a team of parenting superstars, dozens of my friends; entrepreneurs, authors, neurologists, psychologists, family coaches, a whole lot more. I got all their best tools, techniques, perspectives, habits on again, everything from education, to discipline, to travel, to rites of passage and beyond, and I put it all in one massive book that's like the guide to parenting. So, it's now available. It's a BoundlessParentingBook.com, and that's where you can pre-order your copy today. So, BoundlessParentingBook.com. It has been an absolute adventure putting this thing together. I think you're going to love it.

Let's talk about this new stuff, these capsules right here that I'm holding in my hand that you sent to me. Tell me about why you decided to encapsulate the formula?

JW:  So, we've been in the market now for a little over two years. And, as I said, it's been incredibly successful. But, I've been watching and taking feedback from tens of thousands of people on their experience with this. And, the cons have been what you brought up earlier about it's hard to keep your dosage, titrate dosage. It doesn't taste good. I don't the numbing effect.

Ben:  Which by the way, I actually personally like the numbing effect. Same thing with kava.

JW:  Yeah. Or, I get nausea. So, I started working on about a year ago, started working on trying to solve these issues. And, what I came up with or what are our Research and Development team came up with was putting it in a capsule form, a vegan capsule. And, it solved all of that. We have people that couldn't even consume the tonic because of the taste and then the subsequent nausea feeling that now can take it and have no issues even on an empty stomach. And, as far as the dosage, as you pointed out earlier, it's very easy now to know exactly what doses you're getting because six of those capsule equal one bottle, which is two servings.

Ben:  I actually have a lot of questions about the encapsulated formula. So, first of all, just to clarify, if I take one of these capsules, I'm getting 1/3 of a dosage of Feel Free, right?

JW:  That's correct.

Ben:  Okay, got you. And, what I actually did was I started taking them when I would travel to basically eliminate the need to take glass bottles with me. But, before I started doing that, I started to experiment with the stuff that you sent me. And, like I mentioned, I gave it to some friends also who had used the bottled stuff and it even had some of the issues that others have reported on with the bottled stuff like difficulty titrating, taking too much, the impact on the gut, et cetera. And, they all absolutely love the stuff, particularly because you can titrate the dosage. And, I mean, people who want the effects of kava and kratom without taking the massive amount that you might get from drinking a whole bottle of Feel Free, you just take one capsule, maybe two, and you're not even up to a full dosage and you feel pretty good. First question that I have is obviously you don't have the coconut cream and the stevia and the pineapple in there. Do you think that affects the uptake or the absorbability? Or, did you just decide to leave them out because it didn't matter?

JW:  It's interesting. And, I guess it's because it's a different experience going through your digestive system. But, it doesn't seem to change the experience that you have. I mean, the only thing that you don't have is you don't have the mouth numb. It takes 30 minutes for the capsule to burst in your stomach versus if you take it through the tonic, it hits in about 15 minutes. But, as far as what I call the curve, the way it feels, it's exactly the same. In hindsight, now I'm thinking that with enhancement of bioavailability from the other things we're putting in there may not be that meaningful.

Ben:  I'm not really sure. I mean, it seems as though based on what I understand as far as the absorption and the transport across the blood-brain barrier, there may be and there should be a little bit of a different effect. I can't really tell for sure if there's a difference, for example, in the mental acuity with the capsules versus the liquid. I guess the best way I can describe it is if I take a half bottle of the liquid or I take three of the capsules, because my favorite way to use it is pre-workout, I feel that same pre-workout pick me up. There's something about the liquid where I feel maybe there's a little bit more of something going on with the brain. I'm guessing that might be because the absence of the lipids in the capsule, but nonetheless if you've got say travel or you want to titrate the dosage, these capsules are pretty handy way to go. Are you still going to keep the liquid or are you just going to go just sell pure capsules?

JW:  I think what you just described, that difference is actually happening orally. A big part of the kava is that novocaine numbing effect. And, I think somehow that translates to the brain, and the brain, it sets the stage and is part of the experience that you have.

Ben:  Yeah. You mean almost like, yeah, yeah, it wouldn't be called a haptic effect, but I guess almost a psychosomatic response to the numbing effect as though your body knows that there's something going on.

JW:  Exactly, exactly. I can't prove that, but I think that's what's going on.

Ben:  Okay, got it. Now, in terms of the capsules, are they just going to be this bottle or do you have other mechanisms, which you're selling it?

JW:  So, the capsules will come in a bottle that contains non-encapsule. So, that's 30 servings. Also, they come in at a little pouch that has six capsules in it. So, it's a bottle of tonic. So, they're in two different forms. As you said, the big thing about it is not traveling a lot with Feel Free is the tonic can be a pain to travel with. And, these capsules are, I just got back from an extended trip to Vanuatu filming a documentary for public television on kava, and I took a supply to supply everybody in the film crew and everything, very easily to pack and travel with.

Ben:  Okay, got it. The capsules are also in some kind of, I think you were telling me it was a sachet you can get as well, it was a bottle.

JW:  Yeah, it's a little pouch. It's resealable. It holds six capsules. About the same size as opposed to it.

Ben:  Same size as opposed that you mean the sachet, the same size as opposed it?

JW:  Yeah.

Ben:  Okay, okay. Now, another question that I have, and this is not related to the to the capsule specifically, but I guess related to both the capsules and liquid. If somebody was asking me about your guys' sourcing, and this is a big issue because kratom like a lot of things, a lot of Chinese adaptogenic herbs, a lot of ayurvedic herbs is known for rampant differences or significant differences in the quality between the strains. And, someone had asked me if I knew what you guys were using as far as a source or if they could get a laboratory certificate analysis to see if you're using a clean source or something like that. Can you tell me about the sourcing on the kratom, particularly?

JW:  Yeah. Both the kratom and the kava, we do extensive lab testing on. The stuff comes when you purchase it. It comes with certificates of analysis, but we do our own third-party testing with a national recognized lab here. And, we check everything; pesticides, heavy metals. We check alkaloid ratios because it's very similar to cannabis. Different strains of kratom will do completely different things. So, we have a profile about eight of the alkaloids that we make sure that we stay in that band ratio percentage-wise because once you start getting out of that band, it's a different experience. 

And, in the kava that was the other reason why I was in Vanuatu is it's in my experience, the kava from Vanuatu is way better than the kava from anywhere else that I found. It's something about the strains that are there. And, we're actually doing the DNA profiling of the kava right now, which I didn't realize the DNA of plants is much more complex than humans. It's a very involved process. There's something about two or three certain strains from Vanuatu that it's just really a wonderful plant. I experienced that 30 years ago for the first time just in a one-time experience. But, being there recently and having a group of people that had never tried it before and having them try green kava ceremony and watching how they interact and watching the evening and the dinner and all that, it was even more enlightening than what I already knew as far as you said earlier, what a wonderful social lubricant that kava is.

Even beyond that, the island where we're staying on, there was some businessmen that had been in the area for quite some time and they had interest throughout the Pacific Islands and we were discussing it. And, they said, they even noticed a significant difference in violence and crime rates in the islands that are primary alcohol versus the islands that are primarily kava. The kava islands, you leave your doors open, there's not really any crime. The alcohol islands are just the opposite. And, you're never going to wake up the next morning and have a hangover or anything else. I mean, it's just a very, very wonderful social lubricant.

Ben:  Yeah, kava seems pretty safe even at high dosages at least from the good strains that I've had.

And so, regarding what you were saying about the purity of the kratom or the sourcing of the kratom, if somebody were to reach out to you, like if somebody listening would reach out to you, are you able to supply the certificate of analysis or anything like that?

JW:  Yeah. We do it all the time.

Ben:  Okay.

JW:  Anytime somebody wants any of that information, we're open to share it with.

Ben:  Okay. Alright, cool. And, they could just probably open up a support ticket on your website and ask for something like that?

JW:  Yeah. Just go to a [email protected].

Ben:  [email protected] like HI?

JW:  HI, yes.

Ben:  Alright, cool. That's helpful. That actually I think will be super helpful for a lot of people who might be concerned about this.

JW:  Or, any other things you want to ask or experiences that you've had. The more feedback we get, the better that we can continue to improve.

Ben:  Got it, cool. Regarding the capsules and the liquid, these are obviously your main two formulas. But, do you guys plan on doing anything else as far as additional products, additional formulas, anything like that?

JW:  We're probably going to be launching the next version. And, I'm going to say probably February or March of next year. It's a non-kratom version Feel Free. It's getting very, very close to the same experience that you feel with Feel Free.

Ben:  So, is that just pure kava?

JW:  It's kava and actually three other ingredients. At this time, I don't want to disclose. It's three ingredients that are fairly mainstream. It's something, again, about it took a long time of different strains, different percentages. And, in the process that we put them together to come up with this, but it's a very wonderful experience.

Ben:  Yeah, cool. And, the current ratio, again, and just make sure I'm correct, I hear with the kratom on the current batch is 10 to 1 kava to kratom, right.

JW:  That is correct, yes.

Ben:  Okay, cool, because I'm reading the label right here. It basically says kava root extract on the capsule, three capsules, 250 milligrams of kavalactones. And then, for the 7 hydroxymitragynine of the alkaloids in kratom says 25. So, yeah 10 to 1, 250 mg of the kava and 25 mg of the kratom.

JW:  Yeah. For those that are familiar with kratom, 25 milligrams of alkaloids is a very low serving.

Ben:  Yeah, interesting. I've been getting a lot of benefit out of both. I'm hoping that this has really filled people in on some of the concerns and also some of the best practices regarding Feel Free. And then, I also wanted to ask you. Is there anything, at this point, that just based on the feedback you've gotten from users or experimentation yourself that you've found combines really well with Feel Free like any other compounds or foods or anything like that?

JW:  MCT oil. Quite a few people that are using that. And, as you mentioned before, different forms of caffeine. Just on a very high level, the kava is very, very relaxing. To me, alcohol, the reason it's a social lubricant is it enhances you, it makes you more aggressive, more open. That's why they call it liquid courage. Kava makes you more social but it does it by quieting you down and then you're focused on everyone around you and you're more open to listening to them and having a more meaningful conversation relationship with them. It's a different way of getting there. 

Kratom, it's primary use for thousands of years, was for workers in the field for endurance. Feel good but also endurance. So, when you mix the two of them together, you get the best of both worlds. You get this really relaxed calm social feeling, but at the same time, you get the endurance part of kratom. Synergistically, there's something happening with these certain strains that you're getting this incredible focusing ability too. Most people report that it allows you then to pressure workout or pressure work assignment or whatever, what it is that you're doing. I think the caffeine that people are adding is for people, you spoke about it earlier, that need a little bit more of the boost to offset the relaxing feeling of the kava. They're getting the ratio they need by enhancing it with caffeine or some other substance.

Ben:  Okay. Alright, got it. Interesting. So, the liquid you gave my audience a 40% discount on. I think it's BenGreenfieldLife.com/FeelFree. I think that gives you an automatic discount code or you could use the discount code BEN40 if you're just on the website. I know you're going to do something similar for these capsules. I believe it's just BEN is a discount code for the capsules instead of BEN40 for the liquid and that gets you a bottle of 90 capsules or a sachets of the six capsules. I'll put all that information if you go to the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/NewFeelFree or if you just wind up on the website you can use code BEN for the capsules for 40% for subscription or purchase or BEN40 on the drink for subscription or purpose. So, JW's been pretty generous with the amount that he's knocking off of the cost of this stuff because I know it's not inexpensive, but I hope that helps out a lot of people who want to try this stuff out.

JW:  Anytime that someone said I don't like it for whatever reason, we've refunded money. So, if it doesn't work for you, shoot us an email, we'll refund your money.

Ben:  Yeah, cool. Those are all the questions that I had about this new formula. Anything else that you wanted to share with people before I let you go JW?

JW:  Again, I think kratom is very controversial plant. It's very important that we're really supporting the American Kratom Association because the American Kratom Association is working to get kratom regulation passed on a state basis and now on a federal level. And, that regulation makes sure that everybody's testing for contaminants, but more importantly, it is outlawing the extracts and the synthetics. 

And, just like with cocoa leaves and turning it into cocaine, unfortunately, what's happening here in the U.S. is that kratom is being through the same process. They're removing 2 alkaloids out of 50 using either solvents or CO2, they're creating these high-concentration extracts. And, those become a much different deal. Those were really just about getting high. And, that I'm aware of the only shot on the market that's not a high-concentration extract, it's just full ground leaf. And, that's the way it's been used for thousands of years without issues. So, it's important that people understand that you can't just say kratom and think you're covering everything that there's two totally different ways the kratom can be served. And, that unfortunately right now, the majority of the market is the extract. 

But, the good news is is that now we've got passed in six states kratom regulations, 17 more in the process of passing it. And, the federal bill is being introduced later this month or next month. I think we have the support to get that passed, which will alter that and hopefully allow people to have a better experience.

Ben:  What's the federal bill about?

JW:  The federal bill is going to be exactly the same thing as the state bills are. And, that's two things. One is it sets contaminant levels, heavy metals, and what have you within normal standards. And then, also it outlaws high-concentration extracts and synthetics.

Ben:  Okay, got you. And, Feel Free wouldn't be considered a high-concentration extract or synthetic, right?

JW:  No, it's not. We use just pure ground leaf.

Ben:  Okay. Alright, got you.

JW:  That's why the dosage is so small and that the serving is because you can't get that much in there without using an extract.

Ben:  Okay. Alright, gotcha. Interesting.

Well, this is really helpful. And, I hope that this has answered a lot of questions for people. But again, if not, you can always contact JW and you could even leave a comment or question or feedback at BenGreenfieldLife.com/NewFeelFree. It's BenGreenfieldLife.com/NewFeelFree. 

In the meantime, you can also use that code BEN for 40% off of the capsules, which I highly recommend you try if the liquid's not working out for you and you want to titrate the dosage. I think it's highly advisable to start very, very small and then work your way up from there if this stuff is giving you issues in the past. And then, code BEN40 still works for 40% off of the drink. And, I'm looking forward to trying that new kava only one that you're making too, JW. So, you've got a lot of interesting stuff that you're putting out there in the Batman labs of Feel Free. And, this new one I think is going to solve a lot of issues for a lot of people, which is why I want to do a podcast about it. 

So, thanks for this, JW. I appreciate it and I'm hoping that you get that broken foot healed up soon.

JW:  Alright. Thanks, man. Thanks for having me on.

Ben:  Alright, folks. I'm Ben Greenfield along with JW Ross from Botanictonics Feel Free signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com. Again, shownotes are at BenGreenfieldLife.com/NewFeelFree. Have an amazing week.

More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.




Let's face it: this latest “Feel Free” craze fueled by a company called “Botanic Tonics” that seems to have been taking over the health world of late seems just a bit controversial.

In the podcast “The New Drinkable Euphoria Compound That Will Completely Transform The Energy Drink Industry“, I described why, if you've been paying attention to my social feed recently, you've no doubt seen me throwing back—nearly every day—a small blue bottle of absolutely euphoric, energizing goodness that is one of my favorite new discoveries of late for energy, workouts, sex, a better mood, and much, much more.

Inside the bottle is a tonic of plants from the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, a unique and potent blend of the earthy and spicy tones of the ancient tropical plants kava and kratom, along with refreshing pineapple juice, coconut, and premium sweet stevia leaves.

You drink it, you feel free. You crave stuff less. You can use it as a replacement for alcohol. Or energy drinks. Or nicotine. People get euphoric off the stuff.

So what's to worry about, right?

Problem is, since releasing that episode and also ranking Feel Free amongst my “Five Healthy Energy Shot” recommendations, I've gotten a lot of flack because some folks have reported upset stomach, a feeling of drunkenness or dizziness, addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and other problematic issues with Feel Free.

So in a recent podcast “Is Feel Free Energy Drink Bad For You?”, I dove into the safety profile of the stuff, why some people genetically can't handle the kratom component that well, why most people are probably overdosing on the stuff, and a host of other issues related to the actual safety and proper use of Feel Free. Since that episode, I've learned something new about Feel Free…

…namely, that many of the problematic issues have been solved by making a capsule version of Feel Free that has the exact 10 kava to 1 kratom ratio in the original product. Three capsules are equal to one serving of the tonic, which is 1/2 bottle. Many people who can't handle the whole bottle feel great with just one to three capsules, so now the dose of Feel Free can be titrated quite well.

The capsules don't have the mouth-numbing effect that the tonic does, and upon swallowing, they take about 30 minutes to elicit the desired effects (vs. the tonic, which hits in 10-15 min and numbs the mouth). I've given the new capsule formulation to several friends who “can't handle” the drink version of Feel Free and they absolutely love it, plus you can now travel with it without having to worry about liquid in bottles, glass fragility of the bottles, etc., or about having to shake the bottle (let's face it: this stuff isn't cheap) to get every last bit of goodness out of the Feel Free bottle.

My guest on today's show is the inventor of Feel Free. His name is JW Ross, and he's a lifelong innovator and investor in the international business and financial world. Married for over 20 years, JW has two grown children who are also active in business and finance. JW currently lives and works in Santa Monica, California where he is an avid yoga practitioner.

Use code BEN for the capsules by clicking here. That gives you an automatic 40% discount on any purchase or any subscription of a bottle of 90 capsules or sachet servings of 6 capsules. Use code BEN40 for 40% off the drink or use this link to get the drink (discount automatically applied at checkout).

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-What is Feel Free?…05:53

-Inventor of Feel Free: JW Ross…09:52

-How JW transitioned from being alcoholic to formulating Feel Free…15:02

  • JW Ross was addicted to alcohol before he started studying plant medicines
  • Self-medicating for a long time
  • Became very successful into his 40s but alcohol consumption was causing serious problems in his life
  • Intervention by family and friends
  • Dry drunk – couldn't function socially, basically isolating myself
  • Alcohol is junk food
  • Microdosing is okay, like organic wines
  • Dry Farm Wines
  • Had to look for something else or going to go back to taking alcohol again
  • Tried everything legal that was in the market but none of that worked
  • Traveled around Southeast Asia to find different plant medicines and learn how they were being used, tried mixing informally looking to get same feeling from alcohol
  • Finally found the right two plants, the right ratio – 10:1 of kava to kratom
  • The kava is from Vanuatu and the kratom is from Indonesia
  • Other ingredients:
    • Pineapple juice for the vitamin C
    • Coconut cream for better delivery of the fat-soluble compounds across the blood-brain barrier
    • Stevia lends a nice flavor
  • Previous podcast with JW Ross

-Dealing with customer feedback…23:09

  • Anything that makes you feel good can be habit-forming
  • JW consumed abusive levels for three months; no reported issues, no elevated blood, liver enzymes, blood sugars
  • Found out that the effects were not desirable at those levels; toxic even, sweet spot was when he consumed moderate doses
  • JW has been consuming it on a regular basis for almost four years now
  • Podcast with Cameron George:
  • Ben's feedback on taking a lot of kava in Hawaii
  • The alkaloids in kratom may be causing everything from constipation to stomach upset
  • Kion Coffee
  • Taking nootropics is the same
  • Important to educate the public and make them aware that you need to be careful with anything that makes you feel good
  • It's not about selling more, it's about trying to educate you to find out what works for you

-Why encapsulate the formula?…39:53

  • Incredibly successful for more than two years in the market
  • Some feedback:
    • Difficult to control dosage
    • Does not taste good
    • Numbing effect on the mouth
    • Some people experience nausea
  • The capsule form eliminated all the undesirable effects
  • One capsule is 1/6 of a serving of 1 bottle or 1/3 of a dosage (recommended dosage is 1/2 bottle)
  • Taking one capsule, or maybe two, is not even up to a full dosage but you already feel pretty good
  • Capsules don't have the other ingredients like coconut cream, stevia, and pineapple
  • Benefits of the capsule:
    • No numbing effect
    • You get the Feel Free feeling 30 minutes after it bursts in your stomach (versus about 15 minutes with the tonic)
  • Capsules will come in a bottle that contains 90 capsules, or 30 servings
  • Packaged in a resealable pouch with 6 capsules in it; equal to a bottle of tonic
  • Feel Free capsules (code BEN applies 40% off the bottles with 90 capsules and 12-packs)

-Sourcing of the ingredients in Feel Free…46:29

  • Kratom and kava undergo extensive lab testing
    • It comes with certificates of analysis when purchased
    • There is also third-party testing with a nationally recognized lab
  • Check for everything
    • Pesticides
    • Heavy metals
    • Alkaloid ratios
  • Similar to cannabis, different strains of kratom have different effects, Feel Free checks alkaloid ratios because it's very similar to cannabis
  • There is a profile of about eight of the alkaloids and they make sure to stay in that band ratio percentage-wise because once you start getting out of that band, it's a different experience
  • Quality of kava from Vanuatu is way better than the kava from anywhere else
  • DNA profiling of the kava (DNA of plants is much more complex than that of humans)

-Certificate of analysis for the products…50:57

  • For additional information, like a Certificate of Analysis of the ingredients:

-Plans as far as launching additional products, additional formulas?…50:57

  • Launching in February or March next year is a non-kratom version of Feel Free
    • Just kava and 3 other fairly mainstream ingredients
  • Kava to kratom ratio in the capsule is 10:1
    • 250 mg of kava and 25 mg of the kratom

-Other products that combine well with Feel Free…52:46

-Additional information on Feel Free…56:09

  • American Kratom Association
  • A federal bill (the same as state bills) is being introduced later this month or next month
    • It sets contaminant levels, heavy metals, etc., within normal standards
    • Also will outlaw high-concentration extracts and synthetics

-And much more…

  • For the tonic:
    • Feel Free (BEN40 for 40% discount automatically applied at checkout)
  • For the capsule:
    • Feel Free capsules (code BEN applies 40% off the bottles with 90 capsules and 12-packs)

Upcoming Events:

  • Six Senses Retreat: February 27, 2023 – March 3, 2023

Join me for my “Boundless Retreat” at Six Senses from February 27th, 2023 to March 3rd, 2023, two improve your functional fitness, nutrition, longevity, and the delicate balance between productivity and wellness. Complete with a healthy farmhouse breakfast, yoga spa sessions, and sound healing, you will learn how to live a boundless life just like me, and I'd love to see you there. Learn more here.

Resources from this episode:

– JW Ross:

  • For the tonic:
    • Feel Free (BEN40 for 40% discount automatically applied at checkout)
  • For the capsule:
    • Feel Free capsules (code BEN applies 40% off the bottles with 90 capsules and 12-pks)

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Other Resources:

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