Mitochondria 101: The Key to Longevity
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
We all remember the mitochondria as the “powerhouse of the cell” from biology class. While most of us haven’t thought about these organelles since high school, the incredible power of the mitochondria has recently been gaining more and more attention. Today we’re going to take a refresher course in mitochondria, and learn how the mitochondria just might be the key to longevity.
What Are The Mitochondria?
Mitochondria are small organelles floating in our cells that produce about 90% of the chemical energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), that cells need to survive. Depending on how much energy a cell needs, some cells have thousands of mitochondria while others have none. These tiny organelles turn the electrons in the food we eat into energy our cells can use to power our bodies. Mitochondria are so important that they even have their own DNA, known as mitochondrial DNA (“mtDNA”).
Apoptosis: Cellular Suicide
In addition to creating energy, mitochondria produce other chemicals your body uses for various tasks, like breaking down waste, recycling waste products, and something called “apoptosis.” Apoptosis is programmed cell death and is crucial for a healthy body. When your body senses viruses and gene mutations, it may trigger apoptosis to prevent these from spreading. Cancer and tumors grow when left unchecked; apoptosis is needed to reign them in.
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Take Care of your Mitochondria
Healthy functioning mitochondria are essential for many of our life-sustaining metabolic processes. As essential to life as mitochondria are, they are also delicate and quite susceptible to damage. Mitochondrial dysfunction is currently characterized by a variety of metabolic illnesses.
The following conditions are associated with changes in the structure of mitochondrial DNA or are symptoms of mitochondrial damage or malfunctioning include
- Multiple Sclerosis: A neuroimmune disease, multiple sclerosis patients generally have impaired ATP synthesis, which is evidence of malfunctioning mitochondria. Most MS patients also have chronic oxidative stress.
- Autism, Asperger syndrome, ADHD
- Fatigue: One of the most common symptoms of weak mitochondria is chronic fatigue.
- Motor skill problems, including trouble walking, talking or swallowing; loss of motor control; balance and coordination issues.
- Digestive issues: vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, acid reflux.
- Muscle aches, pains, weakness
- Heart, liver, kidney disease or dysfunction.
- Neurological problems,
- Age-related hearing loss
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome
- Cytochrome c oxidase deficiency
- Neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis pigmentosa: muscle weakness, vision loss
- Stalled growth and development
- Respiratory problems
- Hormonal imbalance
Supporting Your Mitochondria Naturally
>>Healthy Lifestyle Habits: Avoid blue light at night, get full-spectrum sunlight, make conscious choices regarding the products you buy, get enough sleep.
Additionally, it’s important to be conscious of carcinogenic EMFs and minimize your exposure to these man-made electromagnetic frequencies. Healthy mitochondria can protect you from suffering too much damage from acute exposure, but constant bombardment from EMFs including cell phones, computers, Wi-Fi routers, microwaves, etc. will wear down your mitochondria. You can read more about protecting yourself from EMF radiation here.
>>Healthy Nutrition: Eating organic, whole foods is important for everyone. For an extramitochondrial boost, consider supplementation. I recommend Mito Synergy for a packed-punch of antioxidants and mitochondrial supporting nutrients.
Mito Synergy contains:
- Vitamin B: B vitamins are integral to mitochondrial energy production and proper mitochondrial function. A deficiency in any of the B vitamins disrupts normal energy production, leading to an accumulation of toxic byproducts and increasing oxidative stress.
- Creatine: Creatine is a substance similar to amino acids that you find in muscle cells. It can help increase muscle mass, strength, exercise performance, and protect against neurological diseases.
- L-Carnitine: Carnitine is an amino acid produced by the body, and is also found in red meat! It is involved in transporting compounds and also stimulates glutathione production—the master antioxidant.
- CoQ10: In order for our bodies to make use of the food we eat, our mitochondria has to turn food and oxygen into usable energy in the form of ATP. This conversion process requires the presence of CoQ10. Read more about CoQ10 here.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): ALA has actually been labeled a “mitochondrial nutrient” by researchers due to its ability to improve the structure and function of mitochondria. ALA has also been studied for its ability to increase antioxidant levels, restore vital enzyme activity, prevent oxidative damage, and protect against cognitive decline.
- Curcumin: Curcumin is anti-inflammatory: it works on a control switch called NF-κB. Genes generally aren’t turned completely on or off, it’s more like adjusting the volume on your stereo. Curcumin helps downregulate or turn down the volume on NF-κB, which results in less inflammatory markers and less inflammatory stress. Curcumin also upregulates glutathione, known as the master antioxidant that also protects mitochondria, by up to 600%!
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The top 5 supplements to enhance your work out – Podcast #83
Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk about workout supplements including workout timing then they really dig into what they themselves use specifically pre and post workout. Find out more about these supplements that you can use to improve your workouts. Basically you have to remember to get diet and sleep dialed in before adding in any workout supplements.
Discover the different types of protein powders, collagen, and creatine that can be used for energy performance. Learn about the various adaptogens you can also use before, during, and after your workouts as well as what they can do for your body. Get to know more about branched chain amino acids and mitochondrial support or Kreb cycle nutrients when you listen to this podcast.
In this episode, topics include:
2:06 Supplements to improve workouts
3:20 Protein powders, collagen and creatine
12:07 Branched chain amino acids
15:05 What to do for people with adrenal issues
17:31 Why do you exercise?
20:10 Mitochondrial support/Kreb cycle nutrients
Evan Brand: Dr. J, hello, welcome!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Evan, it’s great to be here. How’s your day going?
Evan Brand: Hey, it’s great man! It’s Friday. I think our house is gonna blow down. We’re having extreme winds due to the temperature warning but besides that everything’s peachy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. I’m in an exceptionally good mood this Friday. It’s middle of February and it’s gorgeous here in Austin, Texas.
Evan Brand: Good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How is it with you over in Louisville?
Evan Brand: We’re in the mid-60s which is seasonably–unseasonably warm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is.
Evan Brand: And I’m not complaining, blue skies, so I’m in an equally good mood, too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.
Evan Brand: Hey, so yesterday I had a guy that commented on my YouTube channel and he said, “Hey, I’m really lovin’ the podcast with you and Dr. Justin. Can you guys do a show on workout supplements?” And this something I don’t think we’ve covered. Maybe I’ve kind of alluded to it before, but I figured this is a perfect time and opportunity for us to really geek out and talk about how the things that we talk about all the time, how those can be specifically used for workouts. And so for me, I, you know, I guess a backstory before I got into the kind of space where I’m at now. I was the guy taking the pre-workouts that had the amino acids in it. That was great. The intro workout BCAAs and things like that, but that also had caffeine added to it. It has sucralose. It had artificial colors. Just the generic body building stuff that was like 2009 era when body building was really cool and bodybuilding.com supplements were what everybody was taking.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: I’m sure you remember those days and–and then that died out and now companies are trying to promote more like Paleo-inspired workout supplements which I’m down with as long as it’s not bunk. So now I’ve transitioned into a different supplement protocol and I don’t really–I don’t really take them that much for workouts but we can at least talk about them. So what about you? I mean, what’s your history in terms of your fitness? Did you use to talk that type of silly stuff and then you transitioned into not silly stuff, or tell me about it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so when it comes to supplements pre or post workout I was a personal trainer for many years. So I’ve used some of these things on, you know, with my training clients back in the day before I was a doctor and then today I’m kind of more on the functional medicine side but a lot of these things we use in functional medicine practice, but I still use them myself personally with my patients to help improve workouts. So there’s a lot of different things from protein powders that can be helpful, which is low hanging fruit like diet and good multivitamins and fish oils to anti-inflammatory herbs for workouts that are more inflammatory based where you had, you know, that really extra sore muscle tissue after the workout, to creatine and branch chain amino acids to different things afterwards to help you recover. So there’s a lot of cool things that we can do. We just wanna make sure we have the foundation right and that is sleep and diet first because if we don’t do that, we’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic if you will.
Evan Brand: Totally, yeah, so as always, we’ve probably talked about this before. But if you’re listening to this, we’re assuming that you already have the sleep dialed in, you already have the nutrition dialed in, now you’re ready to spend the extra money on some of the supplements to supplement the great things that you have in place. So you mentioned the protein. That was also something that I also switched around to. I was doing just the Optimum Nutrition garbage whey protein quality I’m sure back in the day, now using just a different blend. Sometimes collagen protein, sometimes colla-gelatin protein, sometimes grass-fed whey, sometimes I’m actually just getting into the beef. I know you love the beef protein.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like beef, too, yeah.
Evan Brand: So I’m gonna just kind of switch over and–and integrate that as well, and then what else am I doing lately? I’ve-I’ve done creatine and I–I just, I know you get the water whey, I know, I mean, I know you get the–the increased strength and things why you’re on it, but as soon as I come off of creatine, I feel so depleted so it almost makes me not want to go back on it ever again. What about you?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so off the bat, a real simple thing is once the diet’s there and a good multi and a good fish oil is there as kind of foundation, good protein powder can be helpful, especially if you’re doing a morning workout. So a lot of people will go and they’ll work out on an empty stomach, where if you’re doing maybe a–a 10, 15, maybe a 20-minute workout in the morning, a quick a circuit or Tabata or interval kind of hit type of training, that may be okay. That may be fine as long as you come back and have a good shake or eat your breakfast, that may be fine. Again, in the morning time when you wake up, our cortisol rhythm is at its peak, so cortisol’s the highest and if we’re doing a workout and our body’s reaching for amino acids and nothing’s in the bloodstream outside of access to our muscle tissue, guess what’s gonna be used up?
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s your muscle tissue. I’m a–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Muscle.
Evan Brand: It happened to me. I shrunk. I mean, I’m pretty strong and I’ve got a good shape to me now but I mean, I lost 20-25 lbs over a year just a cortisol bomb from excess stress, man. It wasn’t worth it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know, well, you’re–you’re jacked up again, so that’s good.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m really happy to see that and I got your on Skype video today so–
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I can actually be a testimonial to that.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so–so you didn’t answer the question yet. Did you–did you have experience with creatine? Do you use it? Did you use it previously?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So regarding with creatine, creatine I have used it. There’s a couple of different types of creatine. There’s phosphocreatine and this Kre-Alkalyn creatine. Again creatine works by giving your muscle that extra few seconds of instantaneous fuel which is great for like powerlifting or having a really powerful movement pattern for those first 3 to 10 seconds. And I do have experience with it and I do find it to be very helpful. There’s some research showing that it can increase growth hormone as well. It just depends on what your goal is. If you’re trying to get into the gym and maximize your lifts and continue to increase in weight, will it provide a little benefit, a little growth hormone boost? Yes. Do I use it every day? No. My staples are gonna be–I’ll just start off from one, would be protein powder. I like that in the morning because I can just mix it with water and/or collagen, whether it’s whey protein, grass-fed whey, whether it’s branched chain aminos with it, whether it’s collagen or beef or pea, I’ll typically choose one or two. I’ll mix collagen in it and I’ll do that first thing in the morning, which is water, so then I have amino acids flowing in my bloodstream, so when I work out my body can access that and it will grab that over the muscle because it’s–it’s already there. It’s–it’s low hanging fruit if you will.
Evan Brand: Yeah, totally. Yeah, I’ve actually–I’ve, I’ve ran across a study the other day that was talking about Kre-Alkalyn and how it’s no superior benefit over the regular creatine. So I use, I think it’s the German one, the Creapure–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: The type of monohydrate, I just–I get so damn thirsty while I’m on creatine that it’s just–it’s exhausting. I mean, you’re drinking so much more water for me at least to stay hydrated. Even I throw in more electrolytes and everything, it’s just I’m chasing the dragon and that’s why I’ve kind of not taken it very often anymore.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I think everyone here should kind of look and see where they’re at, assess what they’re goals are. If your goal–again, most people frankly their goal regarding health and exercise is just to look good naked.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And that’s–but pretty much it. We wanna go a little bit deeper and be healthy and have energy, but that’s it. Now outside of that, if you’re trying to perform better, whether it’s in your CrossFit, at an exercise or sport, these extra performance things may be worth it for you. So we’re gonna go through a couple of things here. Try them, see how it looks and feels, see if you get an extra benefit and then if you do, then you just gotta weigh it out, is it worth it for you? So we got the superficial side, looking good, and then we have the energy performance side and just trying to kick more butt. If you’re one of these people that it makes your month by having a PR and a certain lift, these supplements may help get you there outside of all the foundational stuff we already mentioned.
Evan Brand: Totally, so I would–I would say I guess we’ll talk level 2, for me, which I guarantee this is where you would eventually go to is–is to the adaptogens. So rhodiola is really awesome for endurance. So I talked about it before when I used to work at the park and I was hiking miles and miles per day, and I was exhausted at the end of the day. As soon as I started adding in about a 500mg of rhodiola per day, my exhaustion was gone. My mood was better. I felt so damn good by the end of the work day, I was like, “Wow, I can hike another 8 hours.” And it’s really a staple supplement for me in terms of performance, and then mushrooms are something that I’ll get to, but I wanted to see if there’s any herbs that you wanted to add to–to the picture here.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup, I’m a big fan of adaptogens just to help buffer cortisol, to help with mood, also some adaptogenic herbs like eleuthero have been used for many, many decades. There’s a protocol called the Russian Protocol where eleuthero has been used to improve sex hormones like DHEA and testosterone which can be helpful for workout recovery. So that’s a really great adaptogen for overall performance enhancement in the gym. Also Tribulus is one that improves LH which women can help with–or FSH in women, which could help with estrogen balance and in men, it’s LH, which helps with testosterone. So it can be very good to give yourself that anabolic boost in your workouts.
Evan Brand: Yes, some people, I don’t know why some companies, they’ll–if people are looking and you don’t see eleuthero, sometimes you’ll see it called Siberian ginseng. I don’t know why they call it that and not eleuthero but in case you’re looking on a label, that’s–that’s what you’re looking for, it’s the Siberian. I know the Panax ginseng. They have the American ginseng out there, too, but specifically for performance, to me I felt best on the Siberian, the eleuthero, and then combine that cordyceps which is my favorite performance-enhancing mushroom.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: I think you and I have talked about that before for other uses.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And cordyceps is great for modulating the immune system, but it also improves DHEA, so I think it’s having that DHEA benefit and regarding ginsengs, a lot of these adaptogenic herbs are in the family known as ginseng. So you have like maca is Peruvian ginseng, ashwagandha is Indian ginseng, red root or I think–I think it’s–let me see here, the Panax angustifolia, that’s I think American ginseng. And there’s a couple other; Siberian ginseng’s eleuthero, and there’s a handful of others going around there. But they add ginseng to it, so they may get confused with the same names, people think they’re the same herbs, so just kind of keep that mind.
Evan Brand: Yeah, there’s like a Korean ginseng I know. The–the reason that–that I like eleuthero is because most of the time when I read research on it, they consider it the least stimulating of ginsengs where you’re not pushing people into like anxiety, but we’re still kinda giving a good adaptogenic effect behind the scenes, and so combining the Siberian ginseng with the cordyceps, with the rhodiola, I mean, that’s an incredible stack just for daily life, but if you are trying to stay up on your game, because here’s the thing, I–I worry about maybe we could digress from the supplements a little bit, is that I worry that a lot of people–well, it’s not that I worry, I see it–a lot of people they don’t have a protocol in place and so they keep working out harder and harder, and they like they keep wanting to get gains, but then they hit this plateau or they push themselves into adrenal issues. I know you and I have spoken about CrossFit a dozen times, and it’s like you don’t have to–you don’t have to beat yourself down like that because then you’ll run into a bunch of other problems and then you’re taking other supplements to try to rebound your health that you screwed up in the first place from a workout that was too frequent, you didn’t have enough rest time in between, didn’t have these amino acids you’ve talked about, didn’t have, you know, too intense or too long in duration, things like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I agree. So if we summarize, protein powder’s great, pre-workout just to get in your system. It’s also great post-workout. Now again people are thinking, “Well, why don’t we just eat protein?” Well, it just takes a few hours to get into that amino acid form, right? An hour to pass the stomach, another hour to to the small intestine, getting into the bloodstream. It may take a couple of hours, so the protein powder gets in your system, in your body in 20 minutes. So that’s why we like that.
Evan Brand: And I know you’ve talked about using freeform amino acid, so when you’re working out, like currently with your plan, are you doing BCAAs in like a powder or are you doing capsules? What’s your kind of preferred method and–and are you taking BCAAs?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so BCAAs are great. These are branched chain amino acid– leucine, valine and isoleucine–no, I think it’s–
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is that correct?
Evan Brand: That’s it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, those are the major ones. Now the benefit of those branched chain aminos is our muscles can take those amino acids up for fuel right away. Typically when our body uses amino acids for fuel, it has to go through a process known as gluconeogenesis. I know if Jimmy Moore, he’d love that. That’s my impression of him. So gluco- means glucose, neo means new, genesis means forming. So it’s the formation of new glucose through protein and it’s a cortisol-dependent step, that’s why, you know, sometimes going too low carb can be stressful on your adrenals, but your body takes that glucose or takes that protein, brings it into glucose, and then uses the glucose for fuel. So it’s a very roundabout way of generating energy. The branched chain aminos are great because it’s just, Boom! It’s right there. We’re just using those aminos for fuel right away. It’s just more direct. So it’s great if you’re doing more intense workouts that could be catabolic and breaking down tissue because you can put that in, you can sip 20 grams of it, according to Charles Poliquin, it’s a pretty good place to be at. During the workout you can do it 10 pre, 10 post. I’ll just have a little cup with me and just sip it during. There’s one that I–I created BCAA synergy on my site that is branched chain amino acids sweetened with Stevia. The majority is sweetened with aspartame and sucralose or Splenda which are bad. So I have that one that I’ve formulated and I use that. It works great. And I like that during the workout. So my favorite off the bat supports are gonna be protein powder, adaptogens like your mentioned–cordyceps, medicinal mushrooms which I consider an adaptogen–and some of the BCAAs as well. Any thoughts?
Evan Brand: Yeah. No, that’s–that’s a pretty good summary and a lot of people they’ll go towards the caffeine, they’ll go towards the stimulants. You really don’t need that. It’s you don’t have to be so jacked up during your workouts. Your goal is to break down the muscle tissue by using more reps and more weight than you did last time and that’s the goal. It’s to break down the muscle tissue, have these little micro tears in there so that you can rebuild it. The goal is not to destroy yourself and if you’re feeling just awful after your workout and even an hour or 2 hours after you just feel dead, you’re pushing it too hard. It doesn’t have to be that hard. A lot of the stuff that I do and I maintain a 6-pack year-round, and I maintain a–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: (whistles)
Evan Brand: Which, you know, I–I’m–I’m an ectomorph. I’m naturally skinnier anyway.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.
Evan Brand: So–so I’m able to. People are, “Oh, that doesn’t count. You’re just skinnier.” But it’s strength, too, from the core and I don’t ever really put myself into an extreme state where I’m on the ground exhausted. I’m covered in sweat. I see people all the time. They take pictures of themselves on social media like, “Oh, I’m so dead from my workout.” It’s like, I don’t ever want to feel like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: That’s garbage.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then the 3 rules I give all my patients with adrenal issues or adrenal dysfunction, adrenal fatigue is number one, make sure your workout’s energizing. Number two, make sure you can emotionally repeat the workout. Like in your head, you’re like, “Alright 10 minutes, can I do it again?” If you’re like, “Whoa, no way!” Then you’re probably doing too much. You wanna feel like you can kinda get your arms around like, “Yeah, I can do that again. That’s no problem.” And then number three, how do you feel later on that day if it’s a morning workout or that next morning if it’s an afternoon or nighttime workout? Do you feel hit by a bus? You know, factoring in you slept good and you ate good. Or do you feel pretty good the next day? So if you answer positively to those questions then you’re okay. If you answer negatively where it’s fatigue, yeah, you emotionally can’t do it or hit by a bus the next morning, you probably wanna curtail your exercise, either do shorter workouts and/or more rest time in between, or decrease the intensity a bit, too, if that’s needed.
Evan Brand: Totally, yeah. I would say most people are on one end of the spectrum. One spectrum being they’re not getting exercise at all and they need more and then the other spectrum for some reason, I–I don’t know about you but I don’t have many clients that are in that middle ground. It’s either they aren’t doing anything and they wanna start or they’re training for a triathlon or some goofy mudrunner event, some 48-hour endurance event. I told you about last week with one guy and it’s like we just have to just find a happy medium. You don’t have to be so crazy. Exercise is something that was built into our ancestors’ lifestyle. This is just something we did. If we had our hunter-gatherer ancestors around to watch us and our CrossFit box doing X amount of intensity stuff, they would literally laugh at us because the goal back then was to only use and expend what energy was necessary. And even Dave Asprey talks about this. His main goal is to do the–the least amount possible and still maintain, you know, healthy muscle mass. And I have a similar goal. I could say maybe I’m a little bit step above that, but I wanna do pretty much what I have to do to maintain muscle and feel good and feel strong. I’d be able to sprint as fast as I need to and beyond that, I don’t really care. I don’t really care about numbers. I don’t really care about personal records and it’s not to say that I’m tooting my horn, but this is something, a more realistic approach to people I think than always carrying around like the little journal with the pen and like, “Oh, I went down 5 lbs–”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: “In my bench this week.”
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: It’s like, who cares, man?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, right, I agree. You know, why do you exercise? And I typically exercise to put force and demand on my muscle and bone structure so it grows and stays strong, and then number two, to alter my hormones in a way that keeps me healthy and youthful, right? We know part of the stimulation to the brain comes through movement, so I’m also working out for my brain. I think if that’s hard to get people’s head to wrap around that, pun intended, because exercise has a lot to do with your brain. You’re stimulating the–the motor cortex, the sensory cortex in the brain, which keeps it stimulated, which keeps it growing, because if you don’t use it, you lose it. And that plasticity that the brain typically creating more neural connection is gonna be based on stimulation. So keep the brain moving and Socrates even knew this, too. The–the famous philosopher, he had a lot of his scholars and students in the philosophy schools training with the Olympic athletes of that day because he knew thinking, real thinking, was dependent upon movement and he had them training with the top athletes of that–of that era.
Evan Brand: That’s so cool. Yeah. I–I know for a fact, you know, anecdotally and just when I go out, and I go for a hike or I’m actually in the gym, I just–when I’m done, I’m just like, “Oh, my mental clarity is enhanced so much,” and I mean, it’s such a great feeling. Maybe we can say that’s due to a little spike in cortisol that we’re causing from the exercise. It’s hard to say, but I know the BDNF that we could geek out on, that goes up, too. So it’s–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: Hard to say, but it’s–it’s a real tangible feeling and people out there listening that you may be struggling with motivation and you’re like, “Oh, I just–I need to get motivated to work out.” You know, look at the lifestyle and we talked about the foundations, like sometimes if you need the motivation, the best way is just to do it. You might not, if like if you wait around for inspiration or you wait around to feel motivated to go to the gym, you may never do it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, right.
Evan Brand: Sometimes you just have to act and then maybe that will start the–the snowball.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 80% of life is just showing up. It’s very rare to show up to the gym and not work out. So if you can just like say, “You know what, I’m feeling like crap today, I’m just gonna show up and then if I leave in 2 minutes or 5 minutes, fine. If I just do a 4-minute Tabata and I’m out, fine.” If you can kind of just get your, you know, have that conversation with yourself to get yourself cajoled to the gym and just do even 4 minutes’ worth or just do a set of biceps or set of squats and leave, fine. But a lot of times momentum starts to grow and you start having a better workout.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I guess maybe we should–I think we have covered everything, but I would say we should talk about what we haven’t recommended for supplementation?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Actually there’s one more thing I wanna touch upon that–that I would like.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So there’s a mitochondrial support product, MitoSynergy that I’ve formulated but I’m gonna just breakdown some of the nutrients in it that I like. So in this product we have the L-carnitine which I like because L-carnitine’s important with bringing fat into the mitochondria. That can be very helpful especially people that have protein issues, you need methionine and lysine to make carnitine in your body. So if you have protein issues, carnitine can be super helpful. Also curcumin, it’s an anti-inflammatory herb. Again some of the inflammation after the workout can be, you know, you can help reduce some of that which is great, so less soreness. So I like curcumin as well. Also ribose. Ribose is an awesome nutrient that’s great for the Kreb cycle and for generating ATP, that’s great as well. And then B vitamins. It’s an amazing what simple activated, methylated B vitamins can do for energy. So I put these all in one bottle but you–anyone listening can look for those things individually and think about it and try to make sure you have those in your workout. We’ll put some links in the show notes as well, but those are some great things. And even Kreb cycle nutrients such as malic acid and succinic acid and fumaric acid. These are Kreb cycle nutrients that our Kreb cycle which generates ATP which is like the currency of energy in our cells, those are some Kreb cycles nutrients that can be used to generate more ATP as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I forgot about taurine. Taurine’s another good one that I’ve used isolated and had–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: Great results with it–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so just–
Evan Brand: For the heart.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, just to summarize that MitoSynergy product, those key ingredients you wanna look for is the ribose, the carnitine, and then on that vein, CoQ10 also fits there well–it fits there as well–the B vitamins and the curcumin or the anti-inflammatory turmeric to help buffer inflammation post-workout.
Evan Brand: Nice.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I like those. Anything you wanna add about that?
Evan Brand: No, I think that’s good. I mean, the mitochondrial support is good, too, so the–the PQQ is helpful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.
Evan Brand: I haven’t used it specifically for workouts, but that’s another one and just combi–I mean, there is–there is a synergy without a doubt with all these ingredients together. So kind of mixing and blending, and just kind of taking your time with everything. You know, just do your research and be smart about it, but generally adding things together really amplifies the effect.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’m at a place where I’m just trying to formulate things for me that I’m using myself. I know you’re doing the same thing with some of the adaptogens that you’re creating and some of the things that I’m doing. So we’re just like at the place in our health careers where we’re like, “Alright, let’s just start creating–creating what we want for ourselves and then we can just share it with people and if they’re interested, that’s great.” But we can at least break down what about the constituents are so good so that people can apply this information to other things that are out there. So so far I think we have our good, clean protein powders and collagens. We have adaptogenic herbs and medicinal mushrooms. We have branched chain amino acids. We have creatine. We have Kreb cycle nutrients and B vitamins, CoQ10, and ribose and anti-inflammatory curcumin.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything you wanna add to that?
Evan Brand: Yes, I do. One last thing, something that’s been really helpful for some–a few of my older female clients that are avid bike riders and they’re avid powerlifters and things like that, they’re kinda go-getters, we’ve used the ArthoSoothe gel from Designs.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, yes. Yes.
Evan Brand: Because it has the menthol in there. It’s–I believe it’s got maybe peppermint or eucalyptus oil in there as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s got some enzymes, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah and I–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Boswellia, too.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I think boswellia. Aloe maybe even?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.
Evan Brand: I can’t remember. But I’ve used that with great success and they kind of rub it on their joints, their elbows, their knees, whatever–from a topical perspective, too. And I would–I would consider that a good like post-workout thing, I mean, internally is huge getting the nutrients in. But externally we can do some stuff, too, and that’s definitely superior than some of the creams and stuff you’ll at a generic Walgreen’s or something that are gonna be loaded with methylparabens and all these other preservatives and stuff that you really don’t want in your body or on your skin.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great and also one last little thing that can be a gem because a lot of this is post-workout timing, but getting a little bit of extra carbohydrate, maybe 30 or 40 grams, 20 to 40 grams depending on how healthy you are post-workout can make a big difference in increasing insulin and people may think, “Well, insulin’s bad.” But insulin’s also a growth hormone so to speak. It helps bring things into cells. Now most people are having too much insulin. They’re bringing carbohydrate into their cells and converting it to fat, but we can use insulin and spike it by having a little bit of carbs and then putting a whole bunch of protein along with it and that will bring those amino acids into the cells, i.e., our muscles to help our muscles grow but that insulin bump can also help blunt the effects of cortisol post-workout. So higher insulin can actually drop cortisol and again a lot of body builders at a higher level use insulin from an injection standpoint which I would not recommend because you could go hypoglycemic, you can go into a coma or–or shock. So you don’t wanna do that supplementally, but you can use diet to artificially boost up insulin, blunt cortisol, and shuttle more nutrients and amino acids into the muscle for repair.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so not chocolate milk, but maybe a sweet potato with some butter and cinnamon instead.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Dude, that is my workout–that is my post-carb meal right there, or a little bit of plantains, too. Those are good or some of the yuca rolls. Those can be amazing.
Evan Brand: I’ve never had that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, they got that in Whole Foods now. If you go to like a Estancia, it’s in Austin, or if you go to like a–a big chain is Fogo de Chao.
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: They have some of these yuca rolls which can be really nice or yuca fries can be great.
Evan Brand: Yummy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like those. Are there any other closing thoughts here, Evan?
Evan Brand: That’s it. I think we wrapped it up and you know, the one thing I kind of hit on early that I didn’t complete the sentence of is just watch out for the garbage pre-workout stuff. There’s lot of these like–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: Fat burners and thermogenics and all of these stiumulants and too much Guarana and–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: 3–400mg of caffeine. You’ve got artificial blue colors. You’ve got–oh, God, there’s so much garbage workout supplements out there. Be smart, I mean, support the body system. You don’t have to have this like super trendy sounding workout, pre-workout thing to get you going. Support the body. Use the mushrooms, use the herbs, use the vitamins, use the proteins, use the real food, use the sleep, the stress reduction, etc. and you’re not gonna need any of that garbage and you’re gonna save your money and your health.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I find sometimes it’s good having a little bit of supplement that can give you that little bit of boost or energy because sometimes for me it’s like I just need that little bit of energy kick to get me motivated, so using some, whether it’s the herbs that are adaptogenic or using some of the Kreb cycle nutrients like the B vitamins or the L-carnitine or ribose, for me it can give me that just a little bit of energy kick which allows me to feel more motivated to get up and go to the gym.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I–I’ll do matcha occasionally as well–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Matcha.
Evan Brand: Just kinda pre-workout, yeah, we’re all get–you know, 40, maybe 50mg of caffeine with a little bit of theanine in there, some kinda calm and clear and–and that’s my pre-workout caffeine boost if any.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great, and then what about workout timing? Do you like to do it before 6 or 7pm at night? These are a time threshold for you?
Evan Brand: Oh yeah, yeah, totally. I–and I–I’m sure you would say the same to your patients is I don’t recommend the super late workouts because then people can’t sleep good because you’re bumping that cortisol up too much and pumping out adrenalin and stuff like that, so I try to get a midday workout in and I know maybe everybody doesn’t have the luxury, but I feel best in-between my 10am and 1pm if I can get a workout in between, you know, after breakfast but before lunch, I feel the best. And then lunch is just so delicious, like I worked out legs real hard the other day–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: And I came home and I made some elk burgers and I had tons of butter with some purple potatoes and some pink salt–
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Purple, huh?
Evan Brand: Oh, I felt so good. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s amazing. Yeah, I think at least a 3-hour buffer before bed. Anyone that has HPA axis dysfunction–hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal issues, adrenal fatigue is the slang–you oughta be careful because it’s easy to get those sympathetics, the sympathetic nervous system, that fight or flight nervous system ramped up and then once it’s on, it’s hard to–to turn off and that can really disrupt your sleep if you work out too late.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and–and what would you say? I’d say 99 out of 100 people listening have some level of HPA dysfunction, so pretty much everybody. Don’t work out late at night.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and if you do, well, hit up some of the adaptogens, hit up some magnesium powder, maybe some Phenibut after your workout. Do some things to help calm you down and bring you down. That could be a good strategy if you do.
Evan Brand: Right.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool, Evan. Anything else?
Evan Brand: No, that’s it, man. That was fun.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anyone listening here that enjoys the podcast, give us a review over on iTunes, click below, so it gets more information and to help kind of keep sharing the word and feel free and write to us because we’ve been doing podcast on viewer’s topics the last few weeks. So we wanna provide everyone listening more great info, so feel free and reach out the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, the YouTube channel’s a good place, too. You could check the videos out there that we have and then there’s–the comments are there for a reason. So it’s not that we don’t have stuff that we wanna talk about, but we obviously want to prioritize which you are interested in.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s it. Awesome, Evan. You have a great Friday!
Evan Brand: Take care.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.
Evan Brand: Bye.