Coffee Substitutes for Energy, Focus and Healing Adrenal Fatigue (My Mostly Failed Journey Off Of Coffee)

Coffee Substitutes for Energy, Focus and Healing Adrenal Fatigue (My Mostly Failed Journey Off Of Coffee)

The first question to ask is why would you want to get off of coffee to begin with? Outside of the nirvana and brag-worthy state of not being addicted to anything, the real reason I started looking for alternatives was to fix my adrenal fatigue and inflammation, which you can see my lab results from the Human Garage here. Caffeine, especially from coffee as opposed to green tea, is counterproductive for your tired adrenals. Whether or not you know that to be your situation, I still recommend going a month every so often free of coffee (or at least swap for decaf coffee) for related reasons. It wasn’t easy giving up my Bulletproof coffee every morning, so I had to find something to tide me over. I mostly failed in that endeavor but figured I’d share my findings anyway.

Option 1: Mocha Maca Powder

One of the recommended alternatives I picked up from the Human Garage was glorified maca powder so I started there. It looks like coffee when you blend it with hot water, but that’s about as far as the resemblance goes unfortunately. It was a bit more palatable adding the standard Bulletproof/fatty coffee ingredients (grass-fed butter, coconut oil, cocoa, collagen, etc.) but still nothing to write home about. I’ll do this a couple times a week, but it’s not a daily go-to after sufficient experimentation.

Option 2: Kombucha

Kombucha is the best tasting of all three options, but the drawback is due to the small sugar content I wouldn’t consider it to be the best option while trying to reap the benefits of intermittent fasting. If you just want something to sip on in the morning, and the mocha maca powder doesn’t float your boat, give the kombucha a try. I teach you how to ferment your own kombucha here. Heal your gut with the probiotics, and heal your adrenals with the reduced caffeine and coffee intake.

Option 3: Matcha Green Tea

I really, really wanted to like matcha green tea. It is literally the “10x” of green teas containing ten times the amount of antioxidants in regular green tea, or something to that effect. It’s a research-backed, generation-over-generation-proven superfood. I first tried steeping it in hot water and drinking it as a standalone hot tea, but it literally tastes like moss. What does moss taste like you might ask, and that answer is I don’t know but I do know matcha tastes terribly (unless it’s served as a frozen yogurt or ice cream that one would find at Kippy’s or Pressed Juicery, but then again sugar with anything is the ultimate antidote).

Next I tried drinking it cold, which took it from an F-flavor to a D-minus. Lastly I tried simply adding it in with the rest of my first-thing-in-the-morning water morning routine (with lemon juice, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and Athletic Greens). This is where I’ve landed, but with the added matcha powder in it, I down it as fast as possible with all the other aforementioned ingredients to mask the matcha taste. One unexpected benefit of the matcha powder is that it tangibly reduced my appetite, rendering it the strongest solution I’ve found to endure a 16-hour fast without food cravings. Beyond that, my goal in life is to see how much money I can waste in one cup of water by adding all those added ingredients each morning.

If you have any other non-obvious healthful alternatives to coffee, feel free to comment below. I’ve tried yerba mate as well, but the cold hard fact is nothing compares to a good Bulletproof/fatty coffee (which is why I still drink it once a week for the performance-enhancing effects of caffeine for a personal record-shattering workout day).

P.S. Decaf coffee often has its own issues, so I’m not considering that right now, but it does seem to be the logical alternative.

 

How I Compared to Health Guru Ben Greenfield (And Why Everyone Needs to Visit the Human Garage)

How I Compared to Health Guru Ben Greenfield (And Why Everyone Needs to Visit the Human Garage)

I saw that Ben Greenfield (prominent health and fitness influencer and self-proclaimed biohacker) recently chanced upon a place I have been holding in my back pocket for several months, waiting for an opportune time to give it my full endorsement. The Human Garage, in beautiful Venice, California is the place of which I speak. Simply put, it’s the most holistic and bleeding-edge health center to improve your body alignment, biochemical wellbeing, energy, and mind. They have several modalities to accomplish this, along with the absolute best supplements one may find on earth. Basically, their standard for anything they do or sell to improve your health is an 11 out of 10.

I’ve gone through their full protocol of multiple sessions, along with a subclinical wellness test to better tailor their recommendations for me. My results are below, along with Ben Greenfield’s. The provider they use for the wellness analysis, QurEcology, is apparently one of the best, with extremely unforgiving and stringent gradings for the most relevant biomarkers ranging from digestion to inflammation to toxicity. If you’ve ever wondered if you have “adrenal fatigue,” this would be the best indication. Sure, you can just go off of how you feel, but why not get reliable data on your health. In God we trust, all else bring data.

Now, health is not a competition and this post title is admittedly a bit clickbaity, but I have very real lessons learned through comparing my results to someone like Ben Greenfield, such as:

  • Get tested. Get the data. Don’t assume anything.
  • Never give someone too much credit or worse, not give yourself enough credit.
  • Lifestyle takes its toll. Ben travels all over the world and has a packed schedule giving talks, training for long-distance endurance competitions, etc. That undoubtedly impacted his results.
  • Simple is better than complex. Ben has tried every biohacking tool under the sun, but that is majoring in minors. The majors being the basics of health (meditation, breathing, gratitude, love, nature, non-excessive exercise, and the rest of the stuff I beat you over the head with in this blog). I get caught up in the latest and greatest as is human nature to seek novelty, but discipline myself to execute on the 80/20 of health (and per below that has evidently paid off). Anything I do past that is whimsical and hopeful experimentation derived from my obsession with health.

If you have lingering back pain or neck pain, want to realign yourself to undo years of sitting and the 21st century sedentary lifestyle, or simply want to upgrade your mind and body through the most exquisite experience, I highly recommend you make the trip to Venice and visit Human Garage. They have a waiting list and all that jazz, so check in with them first.

Brian’s biochemical lab results from the Human Garage (QurEcology Biochemical Wellness Analysis)

  • Green/good count: 8
  • Yellow/mediocre count: 6
  • Red/poor count: 0

Ben Greenfield’s biochemical lab results from the Human Garage

  • Green/good count: 1
  • Yellow/mediocre count: 7
  • Red/poor count: 6

If you’re reading this Ben, know that I would jump at the chance to learn from you, as I have done so in the past, along with your friend, old roommate and vacuum-vixen Brett.

3 Biohacks To Physically Exercise Your Way Into Mental Brilliance

3 Biohacks To Physically Exercise Your Way Into Mental Brilliance

I love double-dipping and stacking health benefits; anything that smells of efficiency thoroughly excites me. Examples include getting vitamin D while forest bathing or walking in nature, or perhaps you fancy a meditative trance while walking. We live in an age where brains are valued over brawn, so anything that enhances mental clarity and cognitive performance is worth its weight in gold. Instead of cheesy tricks to remember people’s names (which I also need) let’s review some exercises you can do to literally change your brain. Each of these biohacks is beneficial as a standalone fitness exercise, so use the knowledge of their brain boosting benefits as further motivation (or vice versa, depending on your values, either way you get both).

Biohack #1: Handstands

Free, fun, no equipment required, with infinite progressions, handstands are a dream come true. They offer a full swath of fitness-related benefits, but inverting your body rushes blood into your brain, building new capillaries, making it easier to get blood to your brain, which increases oxygen uptake and mental performance. Handstands also stimulate the pituitary and pineal glands, vital for hormone and body balance. Inversion tables will have the same brain blood flow benefits, but they are the clunky, expensive, lazy way to accomplish what a handstand can do (parallel to the free weight versus machine argument in the gym).

handstands, yoga

Biohack #2: Juggling

Juggling won’t tax your nervous system and fatigue you the way other exercises will, yet they offer a potent brain upgrade. Juggling enhances connections in the brain by changing the white matter (provides the electrical circuitry to connect disparate parts of the brain, sharpening concentration and enabling one of the greatest manifestations of intelligence: connecting disparate phenomena). Learning any new skill can trigger these changes, but juggling is the most universally studied and accessible to anyone. Reason #99 to never stop learning.

Biohack #3: Aerobic Exercise

This one was actually a bit disheartening to learn since I don’t sit comfortably knowing there’s an exceptionally compelling reason why I should be running more. Ignorance is bliss; I was happy just doing my high-intensity workouts, but the goal of life is to continually expand your Bounded Rationality. Sustained (20 minutes or more) aerobic exercise has been shown to stimulate neurogenesis in the hippocampus (improves learning ability). You can literally jog yourself into growing new brain cells. If that isn’t better living through science, I don’t know what is.

jogging, running, aerobic exercise

You now have the brain boost trifecta: increasing blood flow from handstands, increase white matter and effectively brain power from juggling, and increasing total neurons from aerobic exercise. You’re getting more gas pumped into the engine, a more efficient engine, and a bigger engine. I don’t give a @#$% about cars but (wo)man am I excited, and that’s what this article is all about!