[Transcript] – Biohacking The Brain, Choosing Safe Supplements, Raw Liver, Getting To Sleep Without Medication & More With UFC MMA Fighter Michael Chandler.

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/michael-chandler-podcast/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:00:53] Who is Michael Chandler?

[00:08:17] Exposing kids to cold

[00:16:47] The use of supplements and the world of anti-doping

[00:21:41] The supplements Michael takes

[00:29:12] Stacking supplements

[00:31:04] How does Michael protect his head and the risk of Alzheimer's

[00:40:30] Michael's diet

[00:46:44] Low-card diet and insomnia

[00:59:26] Michael's fight season

[01:02:35] Closing the Podcast

[01:04:10] End of Podcast

[01:04:32] Legal Disclaimer

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

Michael:  For me to make 155, I am eating basically nothing but meat and vegetables for about an eight-week period for me to go from 190 down to 155. So, I get my body down to a very, very low percentage of body fat, and then that last 10 to 12 pounds of just water weight. I'm eating a lot of meat, a lot of beef, a lot of eggs, and then a little bit of vegetables, but not a lot of carbs.

Ben:  Fitness, nutrition, biohacking, longevity, life optimization, spirituality, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the Ben Greenfield Life Show. Are you ready to hack your life? Let's do this.

Alright, folks. Well, I know a lot of you are fans of the UFC and MMA, and my guest today is actually an American professional mixed martial artist. You might be familiar with him. His name is Michael Chandler. He's in the lightweight division or at least competes currently in the lightweight division of the UFC. He's been fighting since 2009. He has a pretty decent record. He was a three-time Bellator lightweight champion. He was winner of the Bellator season four lightweight tournament. As of last time I checked, I don't know, Michael, what are you, number five-ish in the UFC lightweight rankings?

Michael:  Number five.

Ben:  That's not shabby. Yeah, that's better than the majority of the world's population.

Michael:  Not too bad.

Ben:  Yeah. And, what I think is pretty cool about you, man, is I think we connected talking not about fighting but about adoption because you had adopted, I think, a baby boy right about the same time my wife and I were thinking about adopting and you gave me a few tips. I think that's how we connected, isn't it?

Michael:  Yeah, yeah, it is. And today, obviously, that's the journey we've been on for the last couple years, my wife, Brie and I. I think I got very, very, very fortunate. Now, I can't imagine my life not have adopted my two boys, but my wife has had it on her heart since she was 14 years old. So, I lucked into it kind of, wasn't exactly something that I necessarily thought about when I was young. And now, here we are.

Ben:  Yeah. How's it going, by the way, in terms of having a new addition to the family?

Michael:  It's been great. It's funny, actually, this week, boys are 100% healthy, it's pretty awesome. My son, Hap, broke his arm, his left elbow seven days ago. And then, my son Ace had a hernia surgery today. So, they're a little bit banged up, got a couple of guys on on the injured reserve list. But man, life is good. They're healthy as heck. The hernia thing was just a tiny little normal procedure a lot of kids go through. And then, you've probably broken bones and I have broken a lot of bones by the time I was 10 years old. So, it's a rite of passage for a young man to go through that stuff and it's just going to make them tougher in the long run. And, Hap then joined his cast, people are signing it. He's the cool kid at school. He broke an arm. He was the first person to lose his teeth and the first person to break a bone in his class over the last couple of years, so he feels like a stud. So, it's good for the ego.

Ben:  Is he similar to the way that you were growing up? Were you kind of a scrapper and wind up breaking a lot of bones and getting a lot of injuries?

Michael:  Yeah. I mean, not a ton, luckily. I mean, the funny thing is I remember being a kid just fallen out of trees and running into walls, jumping off things, and then I still am kind of like that as a grown man. And then, all of a sudden, you have a kid and then you watch the kid do the same exact thing, which they should because all boys are wild at heart. That's the way that God designed their souls to be just constantly doing crazy things. And, I'm just like, I can find myself being a little bit like, “Hey, don't do that. Hellhole, be careful with that. Be careful with that.” When really when I was his age, I was doing things a lot worse. But, yeah, man, I grew up in the woods in a small town, south of St. Louis, Missouri. So, my boys, obviously growing up in Nashville, a little bit more in the city compared to where I grew up. But yeah, I mean, me and my two brothers were always getting into troubles and injuries and stitches and emergency rooms all throughout our childhood.

Ben:  Yeah, it's crazy. My sons are not really that intense when it comes to like that scrappy, gritty, competitive spirit. They just played a tennis tournament last weekend and it's like, “Dude, you guys need to be aggressive and maybe even like get a little angry once in a while when you hit an unforced error.” And, the odd thing is though, they're tough, they do cold plunges, and hour of breathwork in the sauna, and they swing kettlebells, and they do old-timey strength in the gym, and they'll just hike for miles on end with no food and water, and work hard with the goats and the chickens, and hauling hay and alfalfa bales out here in the hot summer Washington state, but they're not daredevils. I think there's kind of two different ways that boys can be wired up in that sense. In an ideal scenario, you have boys experience hard and difficult scenarios and rites of passages that prepare them for life. But, I think some boys seem to just not be as wired up to be as competitive or aggressive, which is crazy, because Mom and I are hypercompetitive and we just have this hypothesis that, I don't know, maybe it skips a generation.

Michael:  Yeah. No, that's a possibility, too. And obviously, my boys are adopted, but they emulate what they see and they also are a product of their environment too, being wild out there. You put my sons out, taking care of chickens and goats and hay bales and that kind of stuff. Maybe that's not their thing. But, the cool thing is it's these cool life experiences and  they're somewhat out of the box of what the normal childhood is these days where kids are being raised on screens and all that kind of stuff, which obviously we have our screen time, and the kids got to have time off from school and sports and all the organized stuff, of course. But, yeah, man, it's just fun to watch them, it's fun to see them grow. It's cool to see now having two and our son, Ace, is now 18 months old. So, he's coming into his own a little bit more. He's not just a baby, he's kind of a toddler now, and you're starting to notice these little differences in each other and the similarities in the two boys. And, just watching them and learn how to parent them and just asking for wisdom because you just want to be the best parent you possibly can for each individual child in every single season that they go through.

Ben:  I tell my sons the same thing I tell myself, “Use your screens for work and then use real analog flesh and blood experiences for life.” It's like digital media and technology, I think it's a great way to make a living because it allows you to scale and touch a lot more lives and kind of accelerate the process of making widgets, so to speak. But, man, when it comes to dating and social life and gaming and everything else, I'd rather folks be outside and with real humans.

Michael:  Yeah, yeah. So, we try to do a mixture of both realizing that you can't be 100% technology averse because it's part of our future, it's becoming more and more ingrained in our DNA that that's the way business is going to be done, that's the way people are connecting. I mean, look at us connecting from across the country right now and advancing our careers, getting to know each other, connecting. But, there is nothing better than good old fashioned in-person connecting with other human beings, and then also having those experiences where maybe your got to roll up your sleeves a little bit, do a little bit of work, do things that are hard. It's awesome to hear that you got your sons doing cold plunges and workouts and all that different kind of stuff too, man. Ultimately, they see their dad do it and they're going to want to do it and they're going to want to be a part of it. And obviously, you know a lot about that stuff a lot more than I do when it comes to, “Hey, what's safe? At what age can they start doing this? What age can they start doing that? ” So, just trying to be educated, read up, and be surrounded by people who are like, “Ben's doing this with his kids, let's go ahead and do it.”

Ben:  Yeah. Yeah, with the cold thing, there's this older classic book in, I guess, the ancestral health movement by a guy named John Durant. I think it's called “The Paleo Manifesto.” I was thinking maybe The Primal Manifesto, but I think it's “The Paleo Manifesto.” I remember I read that book right when or right before my sons were born. And, there's an entire chapter in it–the whole book's about all these ancestral habits that made people tough and primal, but there's a whole chapter in it on how many of our ancestors had a habit of exposing their children to ice and snow and cold plunges and lakes and rivers and oceans at an early age, tough populations. Not to stereotype too much, I'm not going to apologize for stereotyping, like the Russians and the Native Americans and the Finnish and these folks who tend to be associated with a bit of grit, I suppose, almost all of them expose their kids to cold at an early age. 

So, Jessa and I from nearly day one, we take our kids out in the snow and do snow angels in our underwear and jump in cold pools and do cold water swimming preparation for mini triathlons. I mean, you know Michael that cold is fantastic for adults, but I think it's just as good if not better for kids at an early age.

Michael:  Yeah. So, from reading that book or even doing any kind of other research, literature, or even anecdotal stuff, traditional type of stuff is the time limit temperature, all that kind of stuff, is it consistent with children as it is with adults? Obviously, what is it, three minutes minimum at under 60 degrees for adults normally is kind of the beginning threshold, if you will. And, is it kind of the same thing for children or is it more just, “Hey, just pop in, pop out, at least you did something a little bit hard that day.”

Ben:  Yeah, it's kind of the latter because kids have a lower surface area. They have a higher body mass-to-skin ratio. And so, what that means is they can't dissipate heat as effectively. So, I've been taking my kids in the sauna, my sons into the sauna since they were 4, but I always keep an eye on them. I look for the red face, the accelerated breath, the accelerated heart rate, and then take them out before or right at that stage occurs, which is earlier than what it would occur in me. I could go maybe 45 minutes; whereas, they're kind of toast at about 25. And, very similar with cold, you want to pay attention to their lips, to their shivering. As you've probably heard, a ton of the benefits from cold set in before you even start shivering. 

Shivering is a sign that your metabolism is increasing and you're starting to burn a lot of calories and contract muscles over and over again, that shivering mechanism to generate heat. But, you don't have to get to that stage. And, I think that the amount of sympathetic nervous system activation that occurs when you get to the shiver stage could potentially make a kid kind of not like the cold because they associate it with excess stress. So, boots on the streets with my sons, most of the cold plunges if you want to call them that, we'll go 30 seconds up to about four minutes or so. And, I don't think either of them have done a lot of cold plunging, cold soaking longer than about five minutes.

Michael:  Yeah. Yeah. I mean, for me, obviously, just even getting my son, Hap, who's my oldest, he's almost 7, obviously Ace is way too young to even think about this right now, but even just the thought of, “Hey, I jumped in. Hey, you want you want to jump in?” Even just to kind of see what it feels like because the thing that I love about cold therapy was I really feel like I've turned a corner mentally and spiritually because I was so afraid of the cold. I mean, not afraid of it but I was just a sissy. It was too uncomfortable for me. I didn't like it. I'm naturally kind of a leaner guy most of the time because I'm always training. So, I would get cold in a lot of scenarios, didn't like cold water. It was really hard for me to swim if it wasn't 100 degrees and really, really humid and really, really sunny. You wouldn't catch me jumping in the pool because I jump in the pool, and as soon as I get out, I was freezing and I thought to myself, “Man, if I want to be the best father, husband, fighter, just the best man I possibly can be and I'm afraid of that cold water and there's a lot of people around the world doing it right now, it's time for me to start doing it.” 

And, the thing I love about it is even as I've gotten better at it or accepted the fact that I'm going to do it no matter what, so there's no sense in complaining about it or kind of tiptoeing around it, dance around the bush, I decided to just–the thing I love about it is that it never really gets easier for me for the most part thus far. And, I've been doing it now for a year or so, a year and a half consistently, and I just love that feeling of I don't want to do this but I'm going to do it anyway because Chandlers do hard things. And, if you can instill that in your children, “Hey, this is what we do, Chandlers do hard things, whether it'd be sports, discipline, cult therapy, whatever it may be, Chandlers do hard things. We do hard things.”

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. I think the idea of having certain statements that your family stands for and believes in and identifies with is a really solid idea. I mean, we have the Greenfield family mission statement where we defined all of our values like contentedness or radical honesty or grittiness, for example, and we crafted a mission statement, a family crest, a family constitution, but a lot of it has woven into it those different things that we stand for. So, if my sons, for example, tell a lie or they hold something against someone because they didn't go to that person to talk to them about it, I'll tell them, “Hey, we're Greenfields. That's not what we do. We're Greenfields and that means we're radically transparent. Or, we're Greenfields and we don't drop out of the hike 5 miles in because we don't have food and water, we keep going to the 10-mile mark because we have grit and we've decided to have grit and be content no matter our circumstances. We don't have a frown in our face when the flight gets canceled, we got four hours in the airport, we find fun stuff to do because we figure out how to be happy no matter what.” And, I think having those kind of concepts that you teach your kids that are the things that your family that your last name stands for is super important.

And then, the other thing, by the way, with the cold, I'm the same way, man. I don't like the cold. I don't like to be cold. I don't like to be in the cold, but you're no doubt familiar with breathwork that can get you through it or the idea of having certain visualizations or even Wim Hof breathing you might do before. But, these days, dude, my secret weapon for just being able to withstand the cold whether it's a really cold day outside or a cold plunge or cold soak or a cold water swim is a higher dose niacin or niacinamide, a blood flow precursor like arginine or citrulline, any of those pre-workout blood flow boosters work really well also.

And then, I recently talked to a doctor who knows a lot about the thyroid hormone, and the thyroid hormone obviously helps generate heat and increase metabolism. And, she turned me onto this stuff called T2. It's a different thyroid hormone a lot of people don't use. It's in this supplement I've been messing around with called Thyroid-Fixxr. So now, if I'm going to do a day of hot, cold, or a longer cold session or anything like that, I do T2 and niacin or niacinamide, total game changer because your skin gets all prickly and you get that warm flushing sensation and you just feel super resilient to cold.

Michael:  That's cool. Yeah. And, that has a lot to do with the blood flow essentially. Having better blood flow in a colder temperature is better.

Ben:  Yeah. You figure out something that's going to give you that blood flow flushing effect and then you combine that with something that'll increase the metabolic rate. Before I use the T2, I would use this stuff that I keep in my pepper grinder. Instead of using black pepper, I use this spice called grains of paradise. And, if you look at grains of paradise, it not only increases your metabolic rate but it assists with the conversion of the white adipose tissue in metabolically brown fat. And so, I used to just do a few squeezes of that into my tea or my coffee or my water in the morning if I was going to do cold. And now, I just use this T2 stuff because it's very similar, similar mechanism of action, it's just more powerful.

Michael:  That's awesome. Yeah.

See, all those different things, and man, I think it's so funny too because I've been following you for years and watching all the stuff that you're doing and you've probably thrown out a thousand different ingredients, supplements, therapeutic things, all of these different things that you're eating, drinking, doing. And, one of the biggest problems I have is knowing whether or not things that I can ingest that are copasetic with USADA drug testing, and then now we're switching over to Drug-Free Sport International. So, because we're ending that in January, but USADA was so blanket statement on so many different things and it's almost this analysis paralysis where it's almost like there's so many things out there and people are so worried about tainted supplements. 

I mean, for me, having fighting for 15 years, looking a certain way, being accused of being a guy who has dabbled into all of the different performance-enhancing drugs because of the way that I look because I don't pass the eye test, my biggest fear would be testing positive and then my entire career, my entire legacy was, “Okay, we knew it. The whole time the dude was juicing.” So, it's just a mind game and I just kind of stick with what works for me that I know, “Hey, I've been tested a ton on these supplements, these are NSF certified, Informed Choice, BSCG, whatever the third-party testing is. So, that's been kind of one of the biggest things because ultimately, I want to live to a 100 years old like you. I want to live past that. I want to be thriving in my 70s, 80s, 90s. I want to be that guy. And, obviously with the lifestyle that I live as far as fighting in a cage and taking brain damage and all that kind of stuff, wanting to prolong any kind of negative effects is kind of paramount for me.

Ben:  Yeah. Obviously, you picked an uphill sport battle for the longevity piece. I actually want to ask you what you do about management of head injuries or at least staving off some of the effects of that. But, back to the supplements thing obviously Iron Clad is that NSF-certified for sport that you mentioned, I always recommend athletes choose that like Thorne or not to toot our horn but we produce all the KION stuff in an NSF-certified facility. And, looking for NSF is a good idea, but do you use a directory? Has UFC made available an actual directory of supplements or medications or peptides that are just banned or that they're going to look for on a blood test?

Michael:  The way things are right now, USADA is under WADA, so the World Anti-Doping, and they have their list and they have their list of banned substances. The one decent thing that USADA did was we do have this app on our phone. They know where I'm at right now, they could come drug test me at any given time, 24/7, blood or urine. And then, they also have this resource called Global DRO that you can click on it and I could type in a supplement and I can type in the supplement and it'll say, “Yes, it's prohibited in competition but not out of competition or it's prohibited in both or it's not prohibited in either.” And then, they also have the resource where you can go on and you can kind of see these certain supplements that have been proven to, tested to, and proven to be tainted that obviously you would always stay away from. And, a lot of them are very self-explanatory. You're like, “That's on there,” and some guy who was under the USADA program actually decided to take this supplement that was made in wherever it was made and whatever facility it was made that was containing whatever it was containing, and you're kind of thinking, “Okay. Well, that was kind of silly, dummy.” But, for the most part, yeah, for the most part, that's kind of the main resource that we have.

And then, we do have a direct line to Jeff Novitzky and a lady named Donna who worked for the UFC in conjunction with USADA to be kind of our liaisons of, “Hey, can you take a look at this? Any red flags here? Is this good? Is this a dietary supplement or is this a nutritional supplement or the difference between the two?” So, they have some decent resources, but more than anything, you kind of just are so–I think they've scared all of us so much from taking things that we're so worried about that we just don't take a lot of things at all that we probably could be taking for longevity, that we probably could be taking for brain health, overall performance and not just performance in the cage but performance just in life.

Ben:  Yeah, I'm glad you mentioned Global DRO. That's the resource I've sent people to for a long time just because it's so easy to look up your sport and which supplements or drugs you want to avoid for that sport and which ones are acceptable. So, I'll link to it in the shownotes. By the way, the shownotes for everybody listening are going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Chandler, BenGreenfieldLife.com/C-H-A-N-D-L-E-R if you want to access those. But, yeah, Global DRO, I think it's just globaldro.com if I remember correctly.

But, based on that, what supplements do you take? Do you have go-to supplements that work that you consider to be safe for MMA athletes?

Michael:  Yeah. So, exactly what you said. So, anything that we take needs to be NSF certified, Informed Choice, one of the those third- party testings. And, I know UFC does have a deal in place with Thorne, so they will supply you with Thorne supplements. And, of course, when you go to thorne.com or whatever it is, there are ones that we can't take because they have banned substances in them even if they are NSF certified, they still have banned substances. But, if they put you on a certain regimen and say, “Hey, make sure I got my fish oils or my anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, beta-alanines, or any of those other things,” those are ones that are tested by them, those are ones that are approved by USADA and WADA, and then given to us by the UFC. 

I have a company in town that I work with called OIAM, oiamperformance.com. They've been working with a lot of D1 college athletes and then a lot of professional athletes: NBA, MLB, NFL. And, they come in little packs. So, the hardest part for me was I probably had 20-something pill bottles which that's nothing compared to you. Most of the time, I'm talking to people and they say, “I can't believe you take that many supplements per day.” I'm sure you take probably more than that.

Ben:  Sound like my grandpa.

Michael:  Yeah, exactly. So, speaking to you, it's probably not that many, but just opening up the pills and putting them in the hand or putting it, maybe setting them out for the entire week. So, OIAM has these packs, whether it'd be just your Rise-N-Shine multivitamin, your Anytime anti-inflammatories, the optimal sleeps, maybe adding a little bit more melatonin for some sleeping. And then, the biggest thing for me is just fish oils, turmeric, or curcumin for the anti-inflammatories, and then lean protein and then branched-chain amino acids and essential amino acids.

And then, I've also have a friend of mine who is a part-owner of a company called Elysium. Have you heard of Elysium?

Ben:  Yeah. Elysium, they're the one that's doing nicotinamide riboside and NR?

Michael:  Yeah. So, I forget what the name of that actual one is, but I know I take Basis, Format, Signal, and one other one. So, I take those two capsules of each in the morning. Yeah, there's an NAD one. Oh, Matter. Basis or Matter is the NAD one, and then Signal and Format and whatever the other one I just mentioned was. They're a great company and they're very, very scientifically backed. It's a lot of peer-reviewed Harvard studies, Yale Studies, Columbia studies, a lot of the Ivy League studies that these guys have done mainly because I think one of the founders of it wrestled at Brown University. So, he's kind of plugged in at the Ivy League kind of testing stuff. So, those are my go-tos. And then, obviously, I throw in some Thorne stuff in there with that because the UFC hooks me up with that.

Ben:  Yeah, the Elysium stuff, I think the one I was [00:24:47] _____ with was the Basis, which you mentioned as the NR or the NAD. I forget which, but those other ones like Signal and Format, what are those supposed to be doing?

Michael:  So, those are more brain. I think the Signal one is for the brain. I wish I would have brought them here because I kind of forget exactly what they are in there. The one thing about me, and I actually was talking to my wife about how much people like you or you personally kind of intimidate me where you've been studying this forever and you got it all in your mind and people probably look at me and see the way that I train, they think, “Man, that guy must have a ton of knowledge when it comes to nutrition and fitness and that kind of stuff.” And, I do, I definitely know enough to be dangerous with it, but that's the beauty of having great coaches and great doctors and great trainers around you too where you kind of get the information, then you put it on kind of autopilot, maybe do a little bit of experimenting here and there, see how your body performs or how it recovers or how it how it does on certain supplements that I know are 100% legal and been tested. 

But, for the most part, I pretty much stick with the kind of the same stuff. And then, once I get kind of a good idea and get everything kind of buttoned up and make sure everything is 100% approved and good to take, then I just kind of take it and put it on autopilot.

Ben:  Yeah, that makes sense. And, I just looked up the Elysium stuff. It looks Signal is just kind of an advanced version of the NAD1 and then Matter is more of a B vitamin complex. And, I think Basis is their base NAD supplement. So, yeah, that's solid. I mean, NAD is just clutch for me as a guy who's traveling a lot with inflammation, gets on many nights just due to work and life and family, less sleep than I would like. NAD and creatine, those two for sleep deprivation, they're lifesavers. I mean, I'll even sometimes wear an NAD patch. There's one company called Ion Layer that makes an electrophoresis patch where you can just get a slow bleed into your system during the day. And, I take a lot of NAD. I kind of take a break from it a lot of times on the weekends or I'm less busy, have more time to sleep, et cetera, but most weekdays, I'm often using those patches or the Biostack Labs or Qualia has a new NAD. And, I'll double dose on many mornings not just for the cellular protective effect and the effects on cognitive function in the face of sleep deprivation, but like I mentioned earlier, you get a nice little blood flow flushing type of effect from it too. So, I mean, I think a lot of people are aware now of NAD and its properties, but it's a pretty fantastic supplement.

Michael:  Cool. Yeah. And, I actually wanted to ask you, have you done IV NAD compared to taking the pills?

Ben:  Yeah. It's a mega dose. There's some controversy over whether or not that much is actually necessary or whether that much might even drive an accelerated sympathetic nervous system response with the flushing and the gut upset and the massive dose of NAD potentially causing–basically, the best way to describe it is it overuses some of the methyl groups in your body. So, it could deprive you from a methylation standpoint long term. But, considering the fact that sympathetic nervous system activation in small smart doses is basically a hormetic stressor, the same as a hot sauna session or a cold plunge or a workout and considering the fact that you can take methyl donors when you do an NAD IV like trimethyl glycine or SAM-e or even just liver capsules, those are good methyl donor, you can stave off a lot of the issues with overuse of methyl groups. 

And, I think for people who are struggling with addiction because NAD is good for that, really high amounts of inflammation or just want to kind of go rocket ship to the moon and then sustain that with oral supplementation or patches, I think a series of NAD IVs every once in a while is a good idea. I probably get an NAD IV, I would say at average right now, about once a month for around a thousand milligrams of NAD. And, I actually really do feel like it's a great anti-aging play and also just wonderful for DNA repair, for cellular protection, for the mitochondria. And, I almost always take methyl like SAM-e or trimethyl glycine when I do them.

Michael:  Man. Yeah, there's so much different stacking and why you take certain things with other things in order to increase its effectiveness and all that kind of stuff. Man, it's just really, really cool and it's fun to watch and kind of when I listen to your podcast or I see the videos on social media just trying to take little notes and say, “Okay, let me make sure I look into that.” And then, I start doing my little spider web of, “Okay, can I take this? Am I able to take it? Is it a nutritional supplement or a dietary supplement? Whatever it may be, put it in global drill, try to look at all that stuff, and try to see, “Okay, hey, what can I do here? What can I do here for longevity and quality of life that actually is okay for me to take from an actual athletic standpoint?”

Ben:  It helps me having done a lot of human pharmacology and biochemistry and O-chem at University of Idaho to get the base understanding. But, there's one really smart guy. I don't know if you've heard of him, Chris Masterjohn. He's got a Substack and puts out a lot of really great information about how certain supplements and medications and chemicals interact in the body and kind of what drains what and what mixes with what. So, he's a pretty good resource for a lot of this stuff too as far as wrapping your head around what stacks well and what doesn't. And then, the other one is I think Examine. They do some really good research-based information on supplementation. And then, there's another website called Selfdecode that talks a lot more about how your unique genetics would interplay with certain supplements that you take. And, you can even do a DNA test through them and then get a custom panel where you could look up any supplement or medication or even lifestyle intervention like sauna or cold or something like that and see how it corresponds to your genetics. So, that's a really helpful resource also.

I did want to ask you though because I briefly brought it up, man. The head injury thing, how much does that concern you? Do you do things actively, proactively to protect your head whether it's extra hydration or minerals or ketones or anything like that?

Michael:  I mean, I'm always extremely hydrated mainly because I love to be hydrated, I love water, I love it because I have been deprived of it way too many times in my life when it comes to cutting weight. I actually just did a 24-hour fast just to kind of see how I would do for 24 hours. And, it's funny how because people always say when you're cutting weight, “Man, you must be starving.” I'm like, “Well, I'm not really starving, I'm just thirsty.” I'm just thirsty. I can do without the food, I just can't do without the water. So, hydration for sure. Tons of omega-3s and then turmeric, curcumin, all the anti-inflammatories that I can because obviously with a lot of the research and a lot of the thought leaders including yourself talking about just chronic inflammation of people's body and obviously being very active and working out obviously helps flush out a lot of that in my body compared to the normal sedentary person if you will. 

But, yeah, the omegas, the anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, doing the cold therapy. I do sauna as well. I do have a place here in town that I do hyperbaric every now and then, probably not as much as I should. But, as far as thinking about it and wondering about it or being worried about it, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't something that wouldn't concern me because it's kind of that sleeping demon, if you will. You're not necessarily going to feel it today, it could be something that shows its symptoms and rears its head a decade from now and the damage would already be done. So, knowing that someday there could be something that some certain symptoms or ailments that are going to hopefully not, knock on wood, come my way because of my career, if you will, doing as much as I can right now from sleep, hydration, anti-inflammatories to hopefully stave it off as long as possible.

Ben:  Yeah, that's interesting. If you look at, for example, a lot of the research on Alzheimer's and dementia, I would say Dale Brecka's book, “The End of Alzheimer's” is really good. There's another one, he kind of flies on the radar, his name's Dwayne Goodenowe and he's got another book called “The End of Alzheimer's.” A ton of the strategies those guys use directly correspond to the same type of strategies you would use to protect the brain or heal faster after a concussion or TBI or series of them. I would say a third guy is Dr. Daniel Amen with his SPECT scan, and he's got a lot of just practical lifestyle advice about how many free radicals spill out from mitochondria in a brain that's been saturated with THC or some of the vasoconstrictive effects of excess nicotine and caffeine, two widely used supplements when it comes to blood flow to the brain. 

But, when you look at Dale Bredesen, for example, ketone esters would be one like just using those on a regular basis not just before workout but literally just like, “Oh, I'm going to have a shot of ketones with breakfast, lunch and dinner.” And, after I interviewed the guys from HVMN and learned a ton more about ketone esters, I started just putting a little bit of their–they have a giant bottle called Ketone IQ and I just put a little bit of that in my lunchtime bone broth and my evening sparkling water and my morning smoothie. So, I kind of get a slow bleed of ketones in the system, which is very protective for neural inflammation.

And then, another couple that that pop up repeatedly in dementia and Alzheimer's that you might think are interesting, Michael, one is the intracranial intranasal red light therapy. There's one device called a Vielight. Have you seen this one before, you like put it on with red lights on your head and nasal red light probes in your nostrils?

Michael:  I have not seen that. No, that's cool though.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. There's that and then there's a helmet called the Neuronic. But basically, long story short is red light for the brain, particularly going through the skull or through the nostrils is fantastic for staving off Alzheimer's and dementia and also for restoring blood flow and healing cells after something a like TBI or a concussion. And, a lot of people now are combining it with this other neural protectant. You've probably seen that people accuse biohackers now of having Smurf mouth. But, methylene blue goes directly to the brain when you consume it and then the photons of light are actually able to allow the mitochondria in the brain to generate even more ATP when you have methylene blue on board. So, that combo of methylene blue and red light and honestly also methylene blue and hyperbaric, that's amazing for the brain. I haven't looked recently on Global DRO for methylene blue, but I'm curious has that popped up on your radar at all?

Michael:  No. I mean, I've seen it online and heard a little bit about it, but yeah, I haven't done much research on it, whatsoever. What did you just call it, Smurf mouth? You said blue, so Smurf mouth, what, does it make your lips blue?

Ben:  It kind of turns your mouth blue. My mouth might still be a little bit blue. I've been using it almost every day now because I do a lot more red light and hyperbaric in the winter. I'm indoors more and it helps with mood and seasonal effective disorder and things like that. So, yeah, usually, it's a sublingual troche that you dissolve in your mouth. There are companies like MitoZen and Troscriptions. Those are two companies that make the troche that you can put in your mouth. MitoZen has eye drops like methylene blue eye drops you can put directly into the eyes. There's another company called BioBlue that makes methylene blue mix with a bunch of minerals and then NMN. And, that's a pretty potent formula as well, but any of those options you would take right before or 30 to 60 minutes before you do red light or before you do hyperbaric, and that stack is fantastic for the brain combining methylene blue with red light or with hyperbaric or both.

Michael:  Yeah, because I mean, obviously when it comes to me being engaged in the career that I have, I mean it's not whether or not you're going to be get hit in the head, it's how often, how much, and then what percentage of the couple different degenerative diseases down the line that are prevalent these days, Alzheimer's and dementia and all those different things. What portion of that is the actual damage or what portion of that was because people lived a not-so-healthy lifestyle with a not-so-healthy diet and were sedentary and all of that? And, that's where I'm hoping that my high level of focusing on my health and my high level of being active and the high level of spending 90% of my life in a very, very good diet and anti-inflammatory diet for that sake as well is hopefully going to be my night and shining armor continuing to push me on toward a long and thriving life. 

Because it's one of those things where I also said when I got into the sport or the kind of the first time people started asking me about it or have seen my fights, the fights that I get in which are no easy task, I get into some wars and I have been some wars in the UFC, I had some in Bellator before, it was one of those things where I also thought, “Hey, man, I was called to this sport. I believe I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.” And, it's operating every single day to try to fulfill my potential and deal with any repercussions later on, but definitely pull a Barry Sanders and bounce out before people are ready for me to bounce out too. That's one of those things too, having the freedom and the choice to be able to retire whenever I want to instead of having to continue to fight because I have no other way to make an income.

Ben:  Yeah, preferably when you're near at the top. I remember when I was racing Ironman, there was an athlete from the UK named Chrissie Wellington, and she just came out of nowhere, dominated the entire women's professional field in Ironman for several years, I think three years or so of winning Ironman World Championships in Kona. And then, she just waved and said goodbye and went off to do charity work and just rode her horse off into the sunset. And, I think it pissed off a lot of athletes who were just waiting to take her down once she got old or injured or something like that. So, I think there is something to be said for just saying, “Hey, see you later when you're at the top and leaving a pretty decent legacy behind.”

That's interesting that you said about fish oil too. I briefly mentioned Dwayne Goodenowe. I think I said the wrong title of his book. I think I said it was “The End of Alzheimer's,” that's Dale Bredesen's book. Dwayne's is “Breaking Alzheimer's.” And, he talks about the importance of choline to create all these little molecular compounds in the brain that have been shown to become depleted in someone who's had traumatic brain injury or has been concussed multiple times, or has early onset dementia or Alzheimer's. And choline, I mean, it's so easy. You said fish oil, egg yolks, walnuts, you could even use phosphatidylcholine. You'll find that in a lot of smart drugs and nootropics. And, I think that's also incredibly important as far as the diet goes. 

But, I wanted to ask you if you actually follow a specific diet because there's so many out there and they seem to get trendy in sports, whether it's carnivore, paleo or keto is huge in the endurance world. What about you?

Michael:  Yeah. No, I don't follow any specific diet aside from just eating lean meats and a little bit of vegetables. I don't do a lot of carbs. I know that probably sounds pretty crazy because I am in a very, very aerobic-heavy sport.

Ben:  Anerobic like glycolytic anaerobic sport, yeah.

Michael:  Yeah. But also, yeah, I mean, just having to have long periods of cardio too. So, yeah. I mean, when I'm in training camp, that's the unfortunate part too. For me to make 155, I am eating basically nothing but meat and vegetables for about an eight-week period for me to go from 190 down to 155. So, I get my body down to a very, very low percentage of body fat and then that last 12 to 15 pounds or 10 to 12 pounds is just water weight. But, right now when I'm not in a training camp, I'm trying to just maintain and look like a professional athlete, look healthy, feel healthy, I'm eating a lot of meat, a lot of beef, a lot of eggs, and then a little bit of vegetables, but not a lot of carbs. I don't really do breads. I don't really do pastas. I do a little bit of potato. Any of the carbs I get I'm getting from vegetables or maybe a little bit of sweet potato, purple potato or potatoes, white potatoes as well.

Ben:  Yeah. You're on the Liver King bandwagon at all, you doing any organ meets?

Michael:  So, it's funny when I'm down in Florida, basically I'm down there by myself and my son will come visit every now and then, but my wife will be here in Nashville and she doesn't really come visit much so I'm kind of down there like a Spartan in training camp. So, every now and then when I'm in training camp, I'll go to this cool little shop that has a bunch of organ meats and I'll do a little bit of liver avocado, ground beef, and onions or something, but I don't do a lot of organ meats. How about you? Are you doing organs often?

Ben: Yeah. Well, it's kind of like people say their nature's multivitamin. It sounds kind of gimmicky, but they actually are really high in fat-soluble vitamins, so high you got to be careful with some animals like bear. You can get vitamin A toxicity. Yeah, good clean liver, heart, kidney. I do big orders from US Wellness Meats. You get free shipping, I think, when it's over 75 or $99. So, I just get a ton of that ship to my house. And, I've said this before on the podcast, people probably sick of hearing it, but I soak my liver in kefir for about 24 hours and rinse it and pulverize it in the blender. And, I make these little smoothie bites like little one ounce or so.

Michael:  That's right.

Ben:  Butter cup-sized liver bites and toss them to my smoothie. I just did that this morning. Not every day but usually four or five days of the week, I have–essentially it's a raw liver smoothie with bone broth and whey protein powder and stevia or monk fruit and some other goodies thrown in. It's super nutritious and it's really tasty. And then, maybe once a week, we'll cook up heart or liver or kidney or we have tongue taco Tuesdays. Once you realize there's so much more to meat life than poultry and fish and beef, you can actually get some pretty cool flavors from organ meats.

Michael:  Have you ever done or experimented with the capsules as far as dried ground livers and all those kind of things? Have you ever do those as well?

Ben:  For sure. I travel with those too. And also, if I was going to an NAD IV, that's an option for metal precursors. But, I like them. My wife laughs at me because I chew on them like popcorn. I don't swallow them. I think they taste really like umami, savory delicious. And, they're from a good source. Paul Saladino has Heart and Soil. That's a good one. Liver King, even though he catches some flak, his supplements are actually really good. The Ancestral Supplements ones, they're mostly from grass-fed, grass-finish sources. That's the idea and they're desiccated and powdered and not exposed to a lot of heat. Ancient Nutrition, I think, has them as well. So yeah, there's some good brands out there and it is convenient. If you don't want to mess around with freaking soaking a giant liver in a plastic bag for 24 hours and kefir and then sous viding it all day or something like that. So, yeah, I think they're fantastic.

Michael:  Yeah. I mean, seeing Paul and Liver King and those guys, and I've heard of those two different supplements, but then once again going back to, okay, well, it's not NSF certified, Informed Choice or whatnot, but it doesn't have to be. Even people listening right now, so you could just say, “Okay. Well, everything needs to be NSF certified, but if it's actually liver in a capsule, it's not a supplement, it's actually just food.” So, you're not going to get that FDA certification third-party testing. So essentially, in a perfect world, it is just like eating liver but it's in a capsule so you don't need the NSF certification because it wasn't made in some supplement warehouse somewhere.

Ben:  Yeah. I mean, you'd see it's still going through the encapsulation process and it's still on the machinery. And, if I were an athlete, I would still make sure that they're producing an NSF-certified facility or at least a CGMP-certified facility if you want to be 100% safe because you don't know who else is making supplements if they don't kind of own the whole process soup to nuts as far as the laboratory equipment and the encapsulation technology. So, it pays to do research, even getting a certificate of analysis, checking the facility that it's made in. And, off the top of my head, I actually don't remember if Heart and Soil or Ancestral are NSF-certified, it'd be pretty easy to just google it and find out. But yeah, I'm a fan of them for the convenience's sake, the liver capsules. My sons actually do that almost every morning. They take a beef brain right now for their brains before school. They have about four to six capsules of the beef brain. I think they've got the Ancestral Supplement stuff. So, it's fantastic for kids too as long as you're careful not to load them up with too much too often.

Michael:  Yeah.

Ben:  I was going to ask you with the carbohydrate moderation or actually eating pretty low-carb diet from what it sounds like. How do you handle the sleep because a lot of people they feel they don't get enough carbs to produce the serotonin which then makes the melatonin, and you lay awake at night and you either have to take a boatload of sleep supplements or sleep drugs or just kind of figure out a way to fight insomnia or breathe your way to sleep? But, what do you do?

Michael:  It's a good thought. I think for me, I've always just operated that way. I've been competing in the 150s since I was 16, 17 years old. I wrestled 152, my senior year high school and then wrestled 157 in college for five years. And then, now, I've been fighting for 15 years at 155. So, back then, I was 165 cutting to 152, and then all of a sudden, I'm 170s and cutting to 157, and now I'm 190 cutting to 155. So, as I've gotten bigger, denser, heavier just by age and also packing on muscle and staying strong, I've just had to be more, I guess, drastic with my diet. And, as long as I dial it in for eight weeks straight–and, I got to admit I think the first couple weeks, right now when I go from eating how I'm eating right now, which is not crazy low carb right now, I had Thai food last night. So, I'll do meals here and there where I'm getting some carbs, but when I'm in training camp and I'm really dialed into that eight-week period. 

The first couple weeks is pretty rough because I ramp up my training. I go into a training camp basically shock my body. Now, I'm doing two or three workouts a day plus trying to sleep and I'm on the road and I'm going through all kinds of different transitions. So, for me, it's always just part of the course. I know there's going to be some tough sleep, but I kind of am able to kind of settle in once my body kind of regulates a little bit. I do take melatonin. That helps me sleep.

One of the hard things about, for me, training is I usually train at 10:00 a.m. So, I'm up by about 7:00 and then train at 10:00, and then I'll have a couple hours during the day and I'll usually train at 6:00 or 7:00. So, by the time I get done, get home, eat, it's 9:00, 9:30. And then, I'm expecting my body to downregulate and then fall asleep which doesn't always work. So, there's sometimes where I'm up till midnight tossing and turning or watching TV or doing something like that. So, it's not always the best, but melatonin kind of helps. I probably would love a life where I had a little bit more carbs during my heavy training for sure.

Ben:  Yeah, you'd think you'd be so exhausted with that training that your eyes are just shut down and you go to sleep. But, I remember I made so many mistakes back when I was racing Ironman, but I'd even have some training blocks that were super intense like weeklong training camps where I would literally be taking a Valium to sleep. Of course, the first morning's workout absolutely sucks but it would be the only way I could shut down the body after a day of sugar and caffeine and overtraining. 

If I could go back and do it over again though now, there's so many things that are nonpharmaceutical or especially for the sake of an athlete like you who's being tested non-supplement based that you can do to shut down the brain, and they're all technologies, right? There's one called the Pulsetto. It's a vagal nerve stimulator and it just delivers this mild electrical sensation on either side of your neck close to right underneath your jawbone. And, that one's fantastic for quelling anxious thoughts and for toning the vagus nerve and it increases HRV too. And then, there's the Apollo wearable, the one that you wear on your wrist or your ankle that vibrates and will even start to vibrate again like automatically detect movement when you wake up and start to vibrate again. That's a good one. There's this mat that you can put underneath your pillow. It's called a Hapbee, which produces magnetic stimulation that mimics the effects of melatonin without actually taking melatonin. There's this other company called Vibrant Blue Essential Oils and they make these essential oils. And, I keep them on my bedside and you put them on certain acute pressure points at night like the back of the neck, the top of the head, again back behind the jaw and they're all just essential oils designed to elicit a feeling of relaxation. My wife loves it because it smells really pretty so I smell great at night like a giant field of lavender when I fall asleep.

So, those are pretty cool. And then, one other thing that I kind of just recently added it to my bed and it makes it honestly almost too hard to get out of bed in the morning. I feel like when I wake up, my mattress is sucking me back down into the mattress and all I want to do is lay there and it's this giant grounding under the top sheet, it's a grounding sheet, it's made by Ultimate Longevity, and then the pillowcase is grounded too. Meaning there's cables coming out of the sheet in the pillowcase that plug into the grounding outlet by my bed. And, even though I've used PEMF mats and so-called grounded mattresses and things like that, I just recently added that in a week and a half ago, the full mat and the full pillowcase, and both my wife and I, we know it's because of that. It's the only thing we changed. It's almost too good. We can't get out of bed that easily in the morning.

Michael:  Yeah. I mean, the technology these days and vetted technology from people like yourself who have shown and had anecdotal experiences, obviously, you're a very trusted guy in that space. So, all those things would be good to add. From a bed standpoint, one of my favorite things that I have ever done and I am not endorsed by these guys, I do not get paid by these guys, but the Eight Sleep mattress. Have you ever messed around with any of those cooling mattresses?

Ben:  Yeah. I used to have a Chilipad for a while and now even though I don't–yeah, I don't use it because it's winter, the Chilipad does cold water in the bed but it kept breaking, and the company I think went out of business, went bankrupt. My apologies to whoever's with that company if I'm misquoting, but they started to get really hard to work with from a customer service standpoint. And then, I switched to this thing called the BedJet, which is an air conditioning tube that goes underneath the sheet at the foot of the bed. And, that thing is incredible but I installed it right when summer ended so I haven't really needed it recently. But, that's what I use. 

I don't use the Eight Sleep, man. And, they've reached out before offering to send me one and sponsor the podcast. And, from what I understand, they might have changed this but last time I checked you couldn't disable the Wi-Fi. And, I talked to two different building biologists who tested it and said it had really high EMF during a night of sleep. And, I'm not saying this like rain on your parade or whatever, but I actually don't use it and maybe they changed that. I don't know. Last time I looked into it, it was just too much dirty electricity.

Michael:  Yeah, that makes sense because I know you have to connect to the Wi-Fi, but I think you're just connecting to the Wi-Fi to then get onto the Bluetooth or get onto the network. And, I apologize to anybody who's listening right now, maybe I'm very much misquoting but I know you have to connect to that personal Wi-Fi of that device, then you go back to your regular Wi-Fi and then you're using it via Bluetooth. I could be wrong, but I just really love the chilling aspect of it and then it can warm up when you get closer to waking up so it doesn't keep you in bed. Because for me, if it's really cold when I'm trying to get out of bed, I'm like, “No, I'm just going to stay here because I'm going to stay warm.” But, if it warms you up, then you can just get up and get out.

Ben:   Yeah, yeah. It activates a little bit of the wake drive when you go from warm to cold. And, it's better than an alarm clock. My sons use one of those Sunrise alarm clocks. And, once summer comes back around, I'll test that BedJet out even more, but the BedJet is similar to the Eight Sleep, you can say, “Hey, keep me at 65 degrees until midnight and then decrease to 64 for even a lower core temperature while I'm in my deep sleep phases and then start to increase it to like 70 at 5:30 a.m. or whatever.” So, it'll do something like that also. But, it's interesting, a lot of people I don't think realize that you can use temperature kind of an alarm clock.

Michael:  It all depends too how much you're able to stay in it. And, I have one down in Florida, I have one here in Nashville. So, when you're able to have long stretches where you're there at your house and you're not traveling and staying at hotels and do all that kind of stuff, yeah, it definitely helps get you up around the time that you want to be waking up. The Eight Sleep has a vibration modality too where the bed will actually vibrate and kind of just gently wake you up as well. So, it's pretty cool. These days, from an alarm clock standpoint, I try to just use my watch. So, I sleep in my watch and then it vibrates and kind of just gently chirps and wakes me up because, for me, these days a lot nicer than waking up to a loud alarm. So, I got to look up that Sunrise. You called it Sunrise alarm?

Ben:  Yeah, Sunrise alarm clock or the other one I talked about that Hapbee, you can program it. That's a little wearable. So, it'll vibrate in a focus or energy mode at a certain time in the morning. So, right now, I have that set at 6:00 a.m. even though I'm usually up by 5:00 just in case I accidentally sleep in. Really, that's all I use right now as far as what you might consider being an alarm clock because I'm usually up just so early anyways. If I were use any semblance of an alarm clock, it would be as insurance just so you don't find yourself sleeping in accidentally. 

And then, my sons, yeah, they have an alarm clock and it's set. I think right now it's set for 5:15 and they're 15 years old by the way and I think it's fine for teenage boys to get up kind of early. I think it's fantastic actually to get up and do your chores and read your Bible and pray. And, a lot of people think adolescent boy should sleep a lot, but they go to bed at 9:00, 9:30 max. So, they're up around 5:00, 5:15. And, this Sunrise alarm clock goes off and all it does is create this nice ambient red glow sunrise in a room. And, I guess my equivalent of that, Michael, is when I wake up, I wear blue light-blocking glasses all around the house all the way until I get into my office. And then, for the first 20 minutes of work, which starts at about 6:30, 7:00 a.m. or so, I keep the blue light-blocking glasses on so the screen is red like sunrise. And, I only light my office with red lights like red light panels. So, I kind of get sunrise for the first 20 minutes or so in my office. And, that helps me out a ton with circadian rhythmicity, just avoiding bright blue sunlike lights until your body's had a chance for the first hour, hour and a half or so the day to wake up on its own.

Michael:  That makes sense, yeah. So, your blue light glasses, are they special ones or are they just any of your blue light glasses that you can get these days? Because there's so many companies that offer them now, reading glasses with blue light blockers and all that kind of stuff. Are they different special ones or are they kind of just can anybody get any of those?

Ben:  I use these ones called Ra, Ra like the sun god, R-A, Ra Optics. There's a few good brands out there, but I realized he's probably biased but I talked with the guy at Ra, Matt Maruca, and he showed me some of these charts showing that you can block light without necessarily blocking the melatonin-suppressing effects of blue light, and it's less expensive to get a lens that. But, if you pay for blue light-blocking glasses that have a lens that actually blocks a sufficient amount of blue light, it's worth it. And so, yeah you can't swing a dead cat by the tail without hitting some blue light-blocking company. But, I use Ra because they apparently block the correct amounts of blue light. 

And, there's a few others out there. I think Dave Asprey has a brand or at least he used to. I think it was called True Dark or something like that. That was a decent one. And then, there's one other brand, I don't have it in front of me, but I have it. Dr. Leland Stillman. He's a great doctor, shout out to Leland, really wonderful doctor. And, he's a friend of mine and he sent me some blue light blockers that I think he has on his website and they're a really good brand too. And, I like those because it's a yellow lens but then it's got a snap-on red lens you can put on top of it. So, you want to switch back and forth from day mode to night mode. Yeah, to answer your question, they're not all created equal.

Michael:  Well, that's good. Yeah, that's good info. And, yeah, Dave's are tough because they got to have the yellow lenses. That's all he has. Because I actually have a pair of those, but yeah, the yellow lenses, I think they're called True Darks.

Ben:  Yeah.

Michael:  Or True Light.

Ben:  Yeah, I think it's True Dark.

So, what's it looking like for you as far as your fight season? I think I saw few months ago, there was this big headline that you were going to fight Conor. And, I don't know if that's still happening, but what's your fight season looking like right now?

Michael:  Yeah. So, that fight is still happening, the venue/date is still up in the air. So, Conor and I obviously did The Ultimate Fighter. He has delayed his returning back to coming to the UFC. He did suffer a really bad injury just about a little over two years ago now, snapped his leg in half.

Ben:  I know. I was at that fight. It was nasty.

Michael:  You were at the July fight where he snapped his leg?

Ben:  Yeah.

Michael:  Yeah. No, it was tough. So, that was the thing where I'm not going to come on a guy and say he's a sissy because he's not back yet because what he suffered was a real legit injury. If Conor wasn't so flippant about, “Oh, the UFC is keeping me from my livelihood or I'm ready to come back but they just won't let me come back yet,” it's like, well, you needed to get back in the USADA testing pool. That's the prerequisite to competition. You can't say you want to fight unless you do step one of coming back and entering into the UFC, which is getting the USADA testing pool. He has since done that. He did it in October. So, he's been in the USADA testing pool now for a little over a month. 

So, he's coming back. It looked like we were going to fight in December, a lot of people announced it and said, “Hey, it looks like it's happening,” but that's obviously not happening. And now, people are saying there's a bunch of fake media outlets out there saying, “Oh, it's going to happen in April.” And, it's definitely happening next year. We don't have an exact date yet but they have announced all the way up till March. So, it's definitely not going to be January, not going to be February, not going to be March. So, ideally, hopefully they're going to announce that it's going to be in April at some point, but hopefully, that's when it is. I have not gotten confirmation when it is. 

But the thing I've really been focusing on is it's the biggest fight of my life, the biggest platform you ever could ask for, it's the opponent that I wanted. I got The Ultimate Fighter out of it. And, I've also had the opportunity to have 12 months now of being with my family and focusing on other business ventures outside of just fighting, focusing on standing up companies, becoming owner of numerous companies, helping these guys build our companies, and do what we're doing outside of just making my paycheck and serving my family now and spending time with them and then I'll go into training camp. Hopefully, if we fight sometime early next year by April or so, go back into training camp down in Florida in January, train January, February, March, but I will have already had a full year, year and a half of being at home under the same roof with my family, which has been really nice.

Ben:  Yeah, give you some time to start your own whiskey brand too. 

Michael:  Yeah. Actually, no, tequila. Tequila, Hiatus tequila, we started a tequila company. So, yeah. But, yeah, that would have been a good play, right, whiskey versus whiskey.

Ben:  It's not Mescal by any chance, is it? Like, a smoky tequila.

Michael:  it's not, but we have plans to do a Mescal because I like Mescal. I don't know if you do.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah, I love Mescal. I don't do a lot of hard liquors or hard alcohol, but I do like Mescal.

Well, man, this is super fascinating. We only scratched the surface of a bunch of the stuff you do in the realm of fitness and recovery and biohacking and nutrition, but it's always interesting to get inside glimpse into how guys who are at the top of the game like you train and live and eat. And so, I also really respect the fact that you're a family man and that you're a man of God and you seem like a really solid dude. So, I'm grateful that you're able to come on today and share all this stuff with us.

Michael:  Of course, man. And, I appreciate people like you. I mean, you don't get to where I'm at and have the longevity that I've had without listening to a ton of thought leaders and people who go out who are continuing to just spread their message. You can tell that you have a passion to use your platform to make as many of us as possible live long and happy and thriving lives. So, I appreciate you and your dedication to making people that you know or do not know all the way across all around the world have a thriving life. So, thank you, man.

Ben:   Now, we feel really good about each other. And, we're ready for an amazing Tuesday.

Michael:  Yeah, dude.

Ben:  Well, folks, I'll put the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Chandler, C-H-A-N-D-L-E-R. You can leave your questions, your comments, your feedback over there. Leave the show review if you're so inclined or Michael's going to come to your house and beat you up. And, I hope you have an amazing week. And Michael, thanks so much again.

Michael:  Yes, sir. Man, I appreciate you, Ben.

Ben:  Alright, folks, have an amazing week. I'll talk to you later.

Want free access to comprehensive shownotes, my weekly roundup, cutting-edge research and articles, my top recommendations for everything that you need to hack your life and much more? Visit BenGreenfieldLife.com.

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Michael Chandler is not just a force to be reckoned with in the octagon; he's a living embodiment of peak performance, resilience, and an unyielding pursuit of excellence.

Chandler's venture into the world of mixed martial arts began in 2009, setting the stage for a career that would redefine the standards of the sport.

It wasn't long before his prowess caught the attention of the MMA world, especially during his tenure with Bellator MMA from 2010 to 2020. During this period, he not only claimed the Bellator Lightweight Championship three times but also emerged victorious in the Bellator Season Four Lightweight Tournament, solidifying his status as a dominant force in the lightweight division.

In 2020, Chandler made a pivotal transition to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he continued to showcase his unparalleled skills. As of July 17, 2023, he stands proudly at #5 in the UFC lightweight rankings, a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence. His next fight will be against Conor McGregor, the Two-Division UFC World Champion and Former Cage Warriors Featherweight and Lightweight Champion. Currently, Chandler is also a coach on ESPN's weekly MMA/UFC show, The Ultimate Fighter.

Beyond the realm of professional fighting, Chandler's life is a harmonious blend of family, love, and unshakeable determination. In 2013, he began dating Brie Willett after emailing for almost two years. Subsequently, they got married in 2014. Their family expanded in 2017 with the adoption of their son, Hap, and in April 2022, they welcomed their second adoptive son, Ace, into the world.

In this episode, Chandler and I delve into a myriad of topics, ranging from implementing cold thermogenesis techniques for kids, navigating the intricate labyrinth of supplement regulations confronting UFC warriors, strategically stacking supplements, and fortifying cognitive health against potential injuries and Alzheimer's disease.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Michael Chandler…05:51

  • American professional mixed martial artist
  • 3-time Bellator lightweight champion
  • No. 5 in the UFC lightweight rankings
  • Adopted 2 boys
  • Ben and Michael connected when Ben and Jessa were thinking of adopting
  • Michael’s childhood compared to his sons’ childhoods
  • Ben’s sons and their routine and competitiveness
  • The use of digital media

-Exposing kids to cold…13:15

-The use of supplements and the world of anti-doping…21:45

  • Michael has a fear of supplements because of the anti-doping tests
    • Being accused of dabbling in performance-enhancing drugs because of the way he looks
  • There is a list of banned substances
  • Iron Clad 
  • NSF-certified supplements Ben uses
    • Thorne
    • Kion — supplements are made in NSF-certified facilities
  • WADA
  • Tracking app on the phone, and he can be tested anytime, 24/7
  • Global DRO
    • Type a supplement and find out if they are allowed
  • Has a direct line to Jeff Novitzky and a lady named Donna for questions
    • They work for the UFC in conjunction with USADA

-The supplements Michael takes…26:41

-Stacking supplements…34:09 (29:14)

-How Michael protects his head and combats the risk of Alzheimer’s…34:09 (31:05)

-Michael’s diet…48:03

-Low-carb diet and insomnia…54:17

-Michael’s fight season…1:06:59

  • Upcoming fight with Connor — delayed after Connor suffered a serious leg injury
  • He is coming back next year
  • Michael got 12 months of being with his family
  • Focusing on other business ventures outside of just fighting
  • Hiatus Tequila

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Unlock Longevity: February 24, 2024

Join me in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, February 24, 2024, for the Unlock Longevity event where I'll be presenting on “The 5 Elements in Your Environment That Will Make or Break Your Health.” Check out more by going to bengreenfieldlife.com/unlock-longevity (use code Greenfield10 for $10 off your ticket).

Resources from this episode:

Michael Chandler:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Michael Chandler or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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