It was such a pleasure interviewing Ben Greenfield at the BioHack Summit in London, with Vy from High Achiever Diets.
Here is a summary of our interview with Ben Greenfield, who is amongst the top 100 most influential individual in the fitness industry and a New York Times best seller author. Check out his amazing book, beyond training!
What would you say is one key Bio-Hack any athlete could do to increase performance?
Get extremely resilient to cold temperatures because it shocked me at world champions to see how many people dropped off, had to stop, didn’t finish or got severely slowed down from a simple cold water plunge at the top of the mountain there, that frankly was not that big of a deal. The human nervous system should handle swimming through a cold pool at top of the mountain and getting off and running. It’s not that hard, it’s just that we are broken and nervous system are broken too. And if you expose yourself to cold every day for 5 or 10 minutes that’s all it takes.
How do you get used to or get comfortable in the cold?
Here is where we take a deeper diver. If you are just using cold to calm your nervous system that’s not enough. There are literally dozens of way that you can increase vagal nerve tone. Meditation prayer, breath work, gargling, music, UV light, UV sauna, phosphatidylserine intake, ketosis, you have to pull out a lot of stops, to be comfortable in the cold, you need to go beyond than just getting cold , you should take care of your nervous system as the whole and not just chose one thing. It comes down to living a fully optimised life if you want to be super comfortable and completely bulletproof to that sort of thing.
How do you maintain your diet while travelling?
Why are you not bringing your own food? It’s not that hard to take your own food. A pack of macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, usually some sort of rice protein powder that I can mix with coconut milk from Starbucks, typically some dark chocolate stevia, probiotics are some kind of things that I travel with, because I don’t have access to fermented food. But it’s not hard. Comes down to being prepared and organised. To be frank, comes down to not being lazy. Plan and prepare, just the same as you would as you were going hunting
What’s in your bag when you travel?
- Small PMF device.
- Intranasal light therapy
- Bluetooth enabled heart rate monitor.
- Clothing for couple of days
- Compression gear
- Essential oils
- Supplements, which I usually place in my Ukulele case and carry around.
- Things I know I won’t get during travel like. Probiotics, digestive enzymes, Multivitamin , some kind of smart drug like Piracetam or lion’s mane.
- Sleep mask
- Headphones, regular iPhone headphones for listening to stuff, tube headphones for making phone calls, like an air tune headset.
- Little MP3 player
These are some of the main things but depends on where I’m going.
What’s the next big thing in the BioHack industry?
More efficient self-quantification via Lab-on-a-chip technology. The ability to test most of your parameters without having to go to a lab and fill up dozens of test tubes full of blood.
One test any athlete, including Crossfit, Spartan, Ironman, OCR athlete should take?
Heart rate variability every day and keep track of it. Will help you keep a real track on your recovery.
Five top books you would recommend?
- Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan
- Perfect health diet by Paul Jaminet & ShouChing Jaminet
- Seeking wisdom by Charlie Munger
- Poor Charlie’s Almanack
- The holly bible
What tools do you use?
iPod Shuffle and Evernote J
Zoolander, the original.
Any message for the audience?
Go seize life by the horns, hop on and enjoy the ride. And have fun, with a daring bold courageous life.
Follow him on Twitter: @bengreenfield