Dan Garner Landscape

In today’s show, I am joined by nutrition specialist and black belt Dan Garner. Dan Garner is a strength and nutrition coach for athletes in 13 different sports, including Superbowl champs, Olympic medalists, PGA stars, hall-of-famers, and Hollywood celebs.

Do you want to learn what blood panels to ask for from your doctor? What supplements should we be taking? Dan Garner’s deep understanding of nutrition and his expertise in the subject is truly impressive. He wants us all not just to be healthy but optimal. We live by standards that don’t support REAL health, and Dan is a powerful voice supporting the important questions we should be asking and strategies to put in place. His passion for helping people and for solving problems is relentless.

Key Takeaways:

– Achieving Your Personal Goals while Raising Kids

– Preparing Meals for a Productive Week

– Starting Blood Tests: What to Know and What to Look For

– The Science of Fatigue and How to Overcome it

– A Simple Guide to The Important Vitamins and Minerals

– The Critical Role of Magnesium

Listen to the episode here:

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Key Topics:

Behind the Scenes with a Champion Coach: Dan Garner Shares the Science of Strength and Nutrition

“You can have the most sophisticated and scientific program in the world but if you don’t follow it, it means nothing more than a piece of paper that’s used with a magnet on your fridge that you don’t look at because you don’t follow anymore. Science doesn’t always equal results, sometimes science equals science. Science is a tool that we have to adapt into our actual art of living and that’s how you coach somebody.”

“I’ve got a basic scale that I’ve used a lot and I talked about it at XPT, it’s a three-point scale of health, and it’s simple, on the left, we have death, in the middle, we have fake health, and on the right, we have real health. Death means you’re deceased, you’re gone. Fake health is where 99% of the population lives because they believe that health is merely the absence of disease, I don’t believe that.

Real health belongs over here, it’s much more than the absence of disease because someone with real health has the energy to knock out their goals. They have the ability to build muscle or get leaner, they have a libido, they do sleep well, and they have mental clarity. Their ability to translate their thoughts into words and organize them and express them happens at the rate they want it to happen. Whereas someone in the fake health world, there are a lot of people with very low libidos and a ton of fatigue. They wake up a ton of times throughout the night. It takes them five days to recover from a difficult training session.

There’s nothing wrong with being in that state if someone is currently in that state, the only thing wrong is accepting and remaining within that state because you have so much more to offer to the world. When someone is telling you, “Nothing’s wrong, you’re good to go,” you maintain the current habits and behaviors that are leading you down a path of not being the best version of yourself.”

My guest is Nutrition Specialist, Dan Garner. Dan Garner is one of the black belts of nutrition. We were fortunate to have him at an XPT event and one of the things he said that stuck with me is, “If anyone talks to you about anything, whether it’s movement, relationships, or nutrition, in absolutes, run.” I thought to myself, “This is somebody I want to learn from. I do want to learn from somebody that is this knowledgeable and open-minded.”

Dan has an interesting pursuit because, yes, he has partnered up with himself and also he works with Dr. Andy Galpin, who is a genius in his own right. Together, they train quite a few professional athletes across fourteen sports. These are people who are making incremental improvements. Tiny little improvements make the difference. The amount of knowledge that they’re taking in, Dan looks at over 500 markers on the blood panels, is pretty astounding, and knowing also the relationships. If one thing over here is low, we know something over there is happening.

Not all of us have access to something this complex. What Dan is also good at doing is breaking it down and going, “When you do go to your doctor, ask for these two specific blood panels. These supplements are great. This is what they’re great for. This one is for inflammation, this one is for covering the gaps, this one is for brain health,” and things like that. His ability to go as deep as you want because this is his mission. His mission is, yes, to get his athletes optimal but to help all of us be optimal.

He believes that when we go to the doctor and we look at our levels, a lot of the levels that we’re using, are like fake health, and it’s not about optimal health. I, as always, learned so much from talking to Dan. His knowledge feels endless and his passion is relentless. He wants all of us to feel great, sleep great, eat well, and be our very best. Enjoy.

How’s the family?

Family is great. Having the new little one is the best gift I could ever have. I love it.

How is everyone adjusting?

We’re adjusting the way parents adjust, meaning you make everything up on the fly and you develop new routines and habits about your health that you never even thought about previous to parenthood. It helps you understand coaching other parents on a different level.

Dan Garner, let’s start there. You have a new baby and you’re a high-performing beast but yet, even you discuss adjusting on the fly. You don’t feel this way about health on the baseline level. Maybe in performance health, that might take a little bit more of your attention. Overall, what you have understood pretty easily because this is your occupation, a lot of people feel like they’re on the fly.

You said that this is, in a way, how you coach people. What does that look like for you, Dan Garner, the person who is informed about, for example, having a new child, and probably not getting enough sleep? You walk the dog at like 4:00 in the morning or something already. What’s the dog’s name? Lucy?

Yes, that’s right.

What does that mean, on the fly, to you?

On the fly means you have to put up bumpers in your life in order to avoid the inevitable mistakes that you’re going to run into during a lack of sleep and during massive distraction. When you have the baby, it’s like, “Previously I wanted to be the best nutrition coach in the world and I’m still going to do that but now I also need to be the best dad in the world.” Your entire perspective completely changes to where that’s the ultimate priority but you also have to put yourself first to be the priority or else you’re not going to be your best self in any of those situations that you want to be your best self in.

In my situation, as I do, I went full crazy during the entire process. We had Hallie on October 10th, 2021. I had never run a marathon in my life and I had never bench-pressed 405 pounds in my life. I said, “I’m not going to avoid the dad bod here. I’m going to do both of those things this year.” Six months after I had Hallie, I ran the full marathon and 90 days after that, I benched the 405.

I needed to demonstrate to myself but also to people who work with me that things are possible in that timeframe where it is a little bit more agreeable to everyone around you to fall into a complacent pattern of expectation that you’re going to be a lesser version of yourself. That doesn’t have to be the case. You have to put up what I keep calling bumpers. When I say bumpers, I think about a bowling alley. If I’m terrible at bowling, which means that I have never taken care of my health in the presence of a newborn, then who knows where my ball is going to go?

[bctt tweet=”I’ve always thought that it’s not selfish to put yourself first, it’s only selfish when you expect other people to put you first.”]

I need bumpers to save me from falling in the gutter so that I can at least knock down 1 or 2 pins at a time. Maybe I can get a strike here and there. That means closer attention to detail on some of the big things that pop up when you are trying to manage someone else’s life while managing your own. One of the biggest things for me, it sounds so simple but it was undeniably not letting meal prep go.

If I have lunches already made and I have dinners already made, that by itself is going to regulate my weight in an enormous way. If I leave it up to my willpower and the way I think after I’ve slept for three hours and after three hours of sleep, even if that was a shallow sleep with the baby and all kinds of chaos, I’m not going to pick the right things, and I’m not going to do anything right with nutrition. Sleep is like something that will fall off. Nutrition doesn’t have to fall off. You, more or less, let that go rather than it forcing you to fall off the map.

Sleep is different and in that situation, I did utilize an herb called Rhodiola Rosea that’s been demonstrated in the research to increase your resilience to stress and improve mental and physical performance even in shift workers. Having a newborn is probably a lot like a brutal shift work schedule on and off but I need to keep up my physical and mental performance throughout this process. I need to increase my resilience to stress.

Rhodiola has some excellent data on all of that. I then have my meal prep ready for me so at least I don’t get the dad bod. I can enjoy being a dad and commit to those long-term memories of being with Hallie for the rest of my life in a happier and healthier way without letting my own happiness or health fall off along the way.

I’m going to add to that and say that there’s something interesting about when, in a way, you still feel like yourself in these transitions of becoming partners, dads, moms, and such. If you still recognize the person in the mirror on some level and they still seem to be moving or existing in the direction that you desire for yourself, it also helps minimize stress. Half the stress is you feel like you’re slipping out of control.

What you’re saying about this dad bod, even though someone might be like, “What’s the difference if you’re 35 or 40 and you start adding kids to your life? That’s expected.” Yes, but what people don’t realize also is that it does add stress to us when we’re not moving in these directions whether it’s professionally, romantically, or physically. This is one way that we can feel calmer.

That calmness, in a big way, comes from self-confidence. You have to keep your confidence up in order to remain calm. Through that process, I came up with something that I still hold true to this day, and I call it extreme balance. A lot of the time, when people talk about having a balanced lifestyle, they’re talking about not going hard at anything. It’s like, “You got to have more balance in your life, you should take it easy, and you should relax. You should do this and you should do that.”

I’m like, “Can’t we have balance at a higher level though?” Instead of balance representing taking it easy, can I figure out, “What does my schedule have to look like to be the best dad? What does my schedule have to look like in order to be the best husband? What does my schedule have to look like in order to still achieve my health and fitness goals?” Have I ever even given myself the opportunity to have that thought process? How do I prioritize and execute my daily tasks for maximum efficiency in the areas that I’m weakest in so that I can have extreme balance? I don’t have to let things drop.

I at least need to give myself the opportunity to look at my own schedule and look at my current circumstances and figure out how to make all of this stuff work at an extreme level. You can do it all if you allow yourself to. There’s a strange calmness that does come with that. The seed of calmness is confidence because you know that you are using this life that you got and you’re doing what you need to do in order to be your best self. If you have a new kid, isn’t that the best thing that you can possibly do? The best example you could ever possibly set is to be your best self and do the thing.

That’s important, what you’re saying. Males arrive at this easier than females. For men, I’m not going to put a negative word to it, they naturally understand to also take care of their priorities quicker. For women, it’s a little harder. I have said for many years that being positively selfish is important. Also, I’m going to teach, in my case, my daughters that this is a priority.

I’m not going to be a victim to like, “I used to train before you were born and then you guys came around and I don’t have time.” I’m not a victim of my own story, “I have fifteen minutes to myself, I’m going to train, and don’t anyone bother me,” whatever that is. That’s important, what you’re saying. I’m curious about the meal prep. How many days out? I have to know.

I do three. I meal prep Sundays and Wednesdays. You get three days’ worth. It’s not exciting. I’ll have carbs, meat, and vegetables. I’ll cook three days’ worth. I’m a big believer in not wasting stuff. When that’s cooked, I am going to have it. Because I had it, I’m satiated, and I’m not going to reach for anything else that might otherwise take me away from the balance that we’re after.

That selfishness that you’re talking about, I love that. I’ve always thought that it’s not selfish to put yourself first, it’s only selfish when you expect other people to put you first. When it does become selfish is when you’re expecting everyone else to put you first but it is not selfish to put yourself first, you have to. The way in which you help other people is by putting yourself first because now you have the energy, confidence, clarity, and wherewithal to be able to go help everybody around you way better because you’ve helped yourself first.

I appreciate that. I know we’re going to dive deep into nutrition but I always am curious how the people who are armed with the most knowledge are having that show up in that practice in their real lives. I’m curious about meal prepping. In our house, family dinner is an incredibly important event. Laird eats a lot of food and it’s all this hubbub.

For you and your wife, is it like, “This is what we’re doing now.” The goal of not mindlessly eating and trying to get those right nutrients in is more important right now than like, “We’re sitting down and having something new.” It’s like, “We’re going to eat the same meal for a couple of days in a row.” How does that work between the two of you?

We’re going to eat the same type of food a few days in a row. That’s how a lot of this stuff works. If there is not a certain amount of food left, she’ll meal prep if she sees it first. If there is not a lot of food left, then I’ll meal prep if I see it first. That’s important even in those initial stages because a lot of the nutrients from breast milk come from our diet. That was something I was always keenly aware of, her as well, and not just me, I want the healthiest breast milk so that we can have a healthy baby.

In order to keep that up, I do like to have highly nutritious foods around the house and to try and keep that rhythm and rhyme going. We will commit to having a certain amount of food for these days. If we have time to make dinner, which is at 5:30, we do the family dinner thing too, it’s 5:30 at the dinner table with no phones, and that’s how we execute that, and it’s one of my favorite times of the day.

I’m getting in the weeds a little bit but do you spice it up with like, “I’m putting mustard on tonight.” Do you change it like a little top a knot? Do you do any of that? You have to realize that this is the norm for you and for a lot of people, this sounds extreme. It’s supportive especially if they have crazy and busy schedules whether it’s work, they have new kids, or whatever it is. They are trying to put those bumpers on because left up to their own devices based on their habits and where they’re coming from, they need this to get going. Do you have any secrets about making it different from one night to the next?

Dan Garner Caption 1

Dan Garner – Fatigue is another one where the root cause of fatigue probably wasn’t your lack of adding an extra shot of espresso to your Starbucks coffee, that’s probably not the root cause, that’ll help temporarily.

Not so much. I’m a real meathead that way. The secret is that there is no secret. If you can increase your protein intake, that’s one of the biggest. I hate the word hack because I don’t think you can ever outsmart biology but if there is a hack, meal prep is one of them. During times of low willpower or predictable low willpower, you can increase protein intake higher than you would because it is the most satiating nutrient in nutrition.

When you have a greater amount of protein, satiation merely means feelings of fullness. You’re going to feel fuller longer from 100 calories of protein compared to 100 calories of carbs. If we agree to have this X amount of protein in our diet or this X amount of increase, then you can mess with spices, and you can mess with sauces. You can do things in order to increase the palatability of everything that you’re doing if you’re not as much of a meathead as me.

One thing that I do like is Korma, that’s an Indian sauce that you can use. Korma uses turmeric, garlic, and ginger, that’s what it’s made of, three extremely anti-inflammatory things that are good for digestion and good for immunity. As far as inflammation regulation and improving immunity, at any time, that’s beneficial let alone during a time of low sleep, which would increase inflammation and reduce immunity.

Korma sauce could be something that would help increase a lot of flavor to what you’re doing. Indian food, as everyone knows, has a whole lot of flavor, and it packs a punch every time you have it. That’s one of the healthiest sauces in the entire nutrition world. Long way of saying, when you have a lot of protein, you can add what you want to it because calories tend to regulate themself due to your own natural satiety from eating that much protein.

I want to get into how you are here now but I have to ask you an incredibly basic question. For a few years now, people are talking about seed oils. Cate Shanahan talks about The Hateful Eight. If you go to Huberman, Huberman is like, “The research is thin. We don’t know.” I have a tendency to eat avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil because this is what has shown up that seems the healthiest, and ghee. If I can get hands, we have raw butter here and such. From your perspective, how do you feel about this?

I do think seed oils pose more problems compared to other seed oils but I don’t think that they pose a lot of problems in isolation compared to the diet as a whole. My philosophy when it comes to eating is that there’s no such thing as bad food, there’s only such thing as a bad diet. That’s an important concept to understand because a lot of people can demonize and it creates, in some cases, an unhealthy relationship with food. If you create a bad list and a good list and things are bad, it can lead to guilt, shame, fear, and anxiety.

Nutrition is never something that should take away from your life, it is only something that should add to your life. Nutrition is a tool and you’re going to use it to increase your energy, your libido, your body composition management, and your energy throughout the day to be more productive. You can use it to improve your sleep. There are so many tools that nutrition can be utilized.

To create any type of fear surrounding something is a vehicle of marketing rather than a vehicle of science. with that said, if you compare oil to oil, that seed oil will cause more problems than the list that you presented. You presented a fantastic list by the way, the only thing I would add is macadamia nut oil, that’s fantastically healthy.

You’re fancy.

It’s got a better composition than olive oil but it doesn’t degrade either. Its shelf life is much more stable than olive oil because olive oil can be a little bit sketchy in that sense but it has an excellent fatty acid profile to it. Seed oils, if it enhances someone’s adherence to the diet, I wouldn’t mind them being in there. The research has demonstrated many times over that consistency beats intensity. The longer you remain consistent on a good diet as a whole, even if that includes one suboptimal thing, biology adapts to averages over time.

If your batting average is good, what’s going to change the needle of health is biology adapting to averages over time. It’s my preference that we don’t use seed oil but if it helps you be more adherent, my understanding is that if 95% is good and 5% is bad, we still got a great batting average and your lab markers will move in the direction that we want them to move.

I appreciate that because it’s a realistic approach. This is somebody who has worked with a lot of different types of people. The absolutes in anything in life get us into trouble and maybe also it seems like some of those other oils are showing up in foods that have many other things that are also not good for us.

If those oils are cheaper and they’re in all the processed foods, obviously it makes sense how we consume them. They’re disruptive. I do appreciate that. I hear you talk about coaching and educating and you wear both hats. I understand educators are going to firehose you with a bunch of information. From your point of view, as somebody who’s able to shift gears and do both, what are the nuances that make those two roles different?

They are very different and it is good to wear both hats. I’ll never leave the coaching world. I’ve been asked many times to do seminar tours or more courses on labs and stuff like that. It’s important for me to keep my boots on the ground with what’s working in the real world. Coaches are ahead of the science almost every single time. Science is what catches up and solidifies what coaches already knew and that happens a lot.

The difference between a coach and an educator or a coach and a scientist is a lot like isolation versus holism. You can demonstrate anything in an isolated environment in a lab. If you are creating a controlled situation with controlled nutrients and a controlled environment, you can demonstrate many different things in isolation. Where that begins to fall is when you take that in the real world and consider holism.

What is the relationship they have with their friends and family around them? Who’s at the gym? What program are they currently on? What is their batting average on their diet over time? How did they sleep? How are they managing stress? What is their stress like at their job? What is the relationship like with their employers or with their employees? There are so many factors that isolation doesn’t account for in holism. You need both if you want to be the best version of yourself because isolation is what moves holism forward.

When we learn more about specific hormones, muscle fibers, vitamins, and minerals, isolation allows holism to move forward but holism is what keeps isolation relevant in the real world. In order to have the best possible approach to helping everybody that’s coming your way, you need to be familiar with isolation so that you’re familiar with the holism that you’re applying it to.

In a big way, to me, that’s the difference between a coach and an educator or a coach and a scientist, one is getting it done and the other is learning about how it can be done. Doing and executing are so much different than knowing and reading and you have to do both in order to have an appreciation for the science and art of coaching.

I’m always curious about how you get to break through. You work with a lot. You and Andy Galpin are working with athletes from 14 or 16 professional sports. You’re dealing with very high-level athletes that also have a real incentive to get it right, incentive financially and with their other resources like time and being ahead and putting up these bumpers, which does take some planning. I’m curious and it’s not somebody who’s not motivated.

[bctt tweet=”My philosophy when it comes to eating is that there’s no such thing as bad food, there’s only such thing as a bad diet.”]

Let’s say somebody is reading this and they think, “I can do better.” We all know that we slide into these gears and rhythms that it can be hard to step up. It’s even when we know, it’s like, “No, this is the gear I’m running at.” It’s our set weight or our set tone, it’s just the way we do it. When you have someone who comes to you that is looking for these changes, let’s say it’s probably going to start with blood work, and we’re going to get to that.

Let’s say you look under the hood and you give them all these suggestions, what do you do as a coach? I feel like you must see this a lot and maybe with even some of the professional athletes where they are not getting it and they can’t get out of their own way. What are some of the techniques you help people other than firing them to help them get out of their own way? I feel like that shows up maybe the most for people, they can’t get out of their own way coupled with they may not be in an environment that’s supportive for the leveling up.

I have two primary answers that come to mind here, the first more being coaching and the second more being a little bit about science. In the coaching world, you’ll get more out of those people by taking away rather than adding on. That’s a skill that I’ve been developing over the past decade or so working with people who come to me because they know that I’m aware of the nitty-gritty biochemical details. They’ve got this crazy PDF of all of these observations they’ve made about their physiology and their symptoms and these data points.

In many cases, I appreciate and love the motivation and effort but they don’t understand that they are the ones getting in their own way because you don’t have to do everything. In an enormous true way, less is more. I’ve come to this conclusion where I’m operating on the theory of constraints. You will only ever perform to the degree that you are constraint. Your analysis process in identifying that constraint is what’s going to determine your quality as a coach.

If somebody has plateaued in their performance, they will add things that are otherwise good. They will add meditation, they may add some breathing, they may add a sleep quality thing, and they may add a mobility routine. They may add a lot of excellent things but if they weren’t the constraint, you are going to perform to the degree that you are constrained. Your analysis process needs to identify that constraint so that they can remove the constraint and begin to perform at the next level.

The hardest worker in the room is not always the one that’s going to get the best result. It’s only the hardest worker who is able to allocate that effort to the constraint that is going to get the best result. That person, they don’t have a shotgun approach to health and fitness to where they shoot the shotgun and then it sprays and then they’re hoping that they hit the constraint because they’re 24 hours a day doing all this chaos.

A real coach has an analysis process like a sniper rifle and he is able to dial in that crosshair on the constraint and pull the trigger. I truly realize that less is more because I am doing 1 thing rather than 50 to get you past your plateau into the next level of performance. When you’re stuck in your own way, you have to understand that it’s probably only one thing you need and that you need to relax and undergo a process that is going to allow you to identify that real constraint.

This leads me to the segue of the science-based answer to that question, which is a type of lab report or lab analysis and having real interpretation done on that lab. If somebody is in their own way, lots of times, that is due to an enormous amount of self-confidence. Whether that’s positively working for them in some aspects of their life and negatively working for them in other aspects, it might be negligible but they’ve got a staggering amount of self-confidence.

If I tell them to do the thing, they may not do it due to their own self-confidence and self-perceived education of their own body. However, if I show them lab results, they’re undeniable, you can’t deny lab work. It’s such a beautiful facilitation of change when somebody looks at a number and that number doesn’t care about your morals, it doesn’t care about your philosophies, and it doesn’t care about anything of your emotions. The number is the number.

Through the facilitation of change, I’m going to use the theory of constraints to have a sniper rifle approach with that athlete that’s getting in their own way. The way in which I’m able to dial in and hone in on those crosshairs is through the labs. The labs are going to tell me what I need to focus on and they’re going to tell the athlete what they need to focus on because it’s not me delivering the message anymore, it’s their own physiology delivering the message.

First of all, I’m curious. You have a stressed-out, high-performing, smart, and dialed-in CEO, what does a scenario of eliminating something look like that you’ve experienced so people get a sense of what that is?

I’ll undergo a blood, urine, saliva, and stool analysis with people. There’s nothing I don’t know about your physiology when you’re through the process. It’s a truly no-stones unturned approach where you are going to know your vitamin and mineral analysis, your electrolytes, your hormones, your brain chemistry, your gut microbiome, your immune system, and your neuro transmit. There are over 500 data points collected when I’m done with my lab analysis process to where you’ve got your full molecular portrait in front of us.

Utilizing that theory of constraint like a CEO would look down on a business, the theory works everywhere, a business will only scale to the degree that it is constrained. If he’s looking down at his business, if there is a bottleneck in sales, marketing, or in company culture, a great CEO is going to look down, identify the bottleneck, and remove the bottleneck so the business can scale to the next level. I’d do that with labs.

It’s common where, for example, somebody could have a low amount of vitamin B6. I see that frequently to provide a tangible example for people. B6 can be a game-changer in a lot of different ways but two that are easy to explain. There’s a neurotransmitter known as dopamine and dopamine is this neurotransmitter driving motivation, focus, and drive, it is a big part of the reward cascade. Dopamine has many important roles in the body.

Nothing’s free in physiology, we always have to make something from something else. There’s nothing ever happens for free. It costs some degree of macro and micronutrients to do anything. When we’re making dopamine, we first have to have this thing called L-tyrosine and there’s a lot of it in steak or eggs. We can have L-tyrosine. Tyrosine is then broken down into this thing called L-DOPA but L-DOPA needs vitamin B6 before it can become dopamine. If you lack B6, you are going to lack dopamine because that is a rate-limiting process.

You could have this inspiration towards achieving a lot of the things that you want to achieve but you don’t have the chemical foundation in order to go do it. That’s a chemistry thing and it has nothing to do with your mental wants, needs, goals, or your aspirations of your vision. You don’t have the chemistry to support what you want to do. Even in that same chain, after we have dopamine here, we require vitamin C and copper in order to make epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are adrenaline and noradrenaline, which you’re going to use in your training.

Between the dopamine, keeping your mindset on point, and between the epinephrine and norepinephrine allowing you to go in the gym and fricking dominate, these are chemistry things. That’s a biochemical pathway that is limited to the amount of micronutrients you have available to you to create those pathways and keep them rocking and rolling.

Dan Garner Caption 2

Dan Garner – You’re going to think that carbs bog you down. You’re not bogged down by carbs, you’re bogged down by your inefficient energy production pathway due to your lack of magnesium.

If I go in there and we have a lower amount of B6, which I’m telling you it’s way more common than people think, then we are going to have a limited ability to drive those pathways. I look like some genius because somebody feels good in the first week when I gave them more B6 and then they’re feeling great and we’re good to go.

With the Bs, is it still best to take those? Getting a shot is probably the ultimate but is it still best to take them sublingually? I’ve heard that in the Bs, it’s better to absorb through the mouth. Is that consistent with your feelings?

Here’s the deal. In digestive biochemistry, there’s this thing called intrinsic factor. It sounds fancy but it’s not. Intrinsic factor is secreted in the stomach from these things called chief cells. Steak is rich in B12 so if you eat a steak, chief cells are going to secrete intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor, its job is to find that B12 and then it grabs onto the B12 and then it holds onto the B12.

This vitamin takes a long time to absorb so it holds onto the B12 through the stomach, through the duodenum and jejunum until finally in the third section of the small intestine, in the ileum. It then binds to intrinsic factor receptors and gets that B12 into the circulatory system. Here’s the thing, if we have low stomach acid, which is common, there’s something known as hypochlorhydria that can be induced even by stress, it’s well demonstrated, stress alone can lower stomach acid. Lower stomach acid lowers intrinsic factor secretion.

Stress by itself can lower the acid, which lowers intrinsic factor secretion, which means we have nothing to grab onto that B12 and hold on all the way to the ileum and put it where it belongs. When someone is in a state of hypochlorhydria, yes, we can go sublingually because then you’re going to absorb through the vessels in your mouth or we can give you an injection and then it’s impossible for you to miss it.

However, if somebody was low with B12, I wouldn’t say, “We should do sublingual or injection.” I would say, “Why are we low B12 to begin in the first place? That’s dysfunctional.” Instead of, “How do I overcome this low B12, I should consider why it exists in the first place?” My mind is going to take me through intrinsic factors pathways and I’ve got my first detective clue to identify the constraint that’s going to allow you to have more B12 in your life.

You mean you want to get to the root cause and you don’t want to put a bandaid on it.

I feel that way with everything. There’s always a reason for something. The answer to the reason is rarely, “Let’s just smash it in you and then we’ll overcome that.” That’s good temporarily while you figure out the reason why it happened. We’ll give you a B12 shot once a week while we work on your gut but then once your gut is ready to rock and roll, you’ll be able to uptake your B12 just fine.

You talk a lot about healthy physiology. I want to take a second. You do things alone but you also work with Dr. Andy Galpin. You guys have some amazing programs that you have put together. I’m fascinated by the journey of why you’re doing what you’re doing and then how you and Andy have gotten together and what your hope is in the work that you’re doing now with him.

This process is unbelievably fascinating. In terms of the why behind it, I have a genuine conviction that I’m on the planet to make the health industry a better place. I know that sounds corny but I mean that. I’m here to do something, I know it. I want to make people truly healthy and the only way to do that is to figure out the root cause. The only way to learn about that is to do enough data collection in order to find out the root cause so I can start helping more and more people and make it a bigger and more mass type of thing.

Andy is a brilliant dude and he and I have complimentary. we’ve known each other and respected each other’s work for several years. It was only maybe over two years ago, we called each other and we were like, “Why aren’t we working together?” Neither of us had a good answer so we started working together because we had complementary skillsets. The journey that a client is going to undergo with us, they are going to undergo anything and everything from the inside out and the outside in.

I’m a real specialist when it comes to the inside-out lab interpretation and the assessment of functional organ systems whereas he is an absolute master in things from the outside in. What you’re doing in the outside world that we can see and manage compared to the inside world, which we’re only going to see with the labs. That formation, inside out and outside in, has made our program bulletproof over time. It began with blood work analysis and it began to build with blood and urine, blood, urine, saliva, blood, urine, saliva, and stool.

Now it’s at a point where I’m creating my own algorithm and software so that people can see labs the way I do. That’s a huge vision that I have to where I’ve led my whole career up until this point and learned what I’ve learned so that I can put it in the hands of others. You utilize this software and it will undergo the algorithm that allows you to see labs the way I see them and create the protocols the way I create them.

That’s brand new and I’ve never announced that. That’s a Gabby Reece show exclusive. That’ll be something that I’m hoping to do in the near future and it’s already underway. The people we’re working with right now, we’ve learned much from. Our assessment of the research has been extreme to the point where a lot of confidence has been created throughout this process and we’re ready to rock and roll.

I appreciate that. One of the things is that with good health, and you know this because we’ve worked together and spent time together in somewhat working environments and you’ve been kind enough to come to events with Laird and me, you don’t want it to be an exclusive proposition for people. Most people can’t afford to have access to someone like you or Galpin. It’s funny because it’s usually the people who are working the hardest, they have the least amount of time to look up, and then also trying to figure out, “What should I eat?” All these types of things. I appreciate that.

If someone was reading this and they go, “I believe.” For me, hearing you talk from the first time I heard you lecture, it’s like, “I would want Dan to tell me what to do.” It’s your competency. Also, I will remind you of something that you said that I appreciate, which is you said, “If anyone comes at you with absolutes, be careful.” I appreciated that because you do have an open mind and you keep learning and you are open to other people’s work.

If somebody was reading this, let’s say it’s an average person, they’re going to the gym and they’re trying not to eat tons of processed foods, and they’re doing the right things. You suggest to people, because it is moving and changing, to get their blood work done almost every four months or once every four months. Is that right?

Yes. Four months is frequent. If someone is just getting into the gym and they’re new, once a year is even a good goal for them because a lot of people don’t even do that. It is true and you’re bang on because red blood cells have a turnover rate of 120 days. You can imagine 120 days from now, you’re going to have new red blood, which means every four months, your lab work is relevant and new to us.

If you truly want to stay on top of it and be on top of the ball for all of the current health things you’re working on whether actively or preventatively but also to stay on top of if your protocol is even working, that’s something relevant as well. You’re checking in to make sure that the markers are moving in the direction that you want them to move in.

[bctt tweet=”The secret is that there is no secret. If you can increase your protein intake, that’s one of the biggest.”]

It makes me think that if someone thought, “I’m going to get on this.” Even if for two years they did it more frequently, that would buy them some time to at least see how things are working and then maybe make the gaps a little bit bigger. Having said that, people will go and they can go to their doctor and say, “I want to get my blood work done,” but they don’t even know what to ask them to look at. A lot of times, what a doctor’s reading is, “You’re fine because you’re in the “normal” range.” Normal does not mean healthy physiology or optimal. Normal is like, “You’re not in the sick or the red yet.” How does somebody navigate that?

It’s an excellent question and point to make and it’s why I believe I’m on this planet because that navigation process should not be hard to figure out how to improve your health. If from an objective way in which you can look at your blood, you should be able to act preventatively towards things and not reactively towards things.

You’re mentioning the reference ranges. Something I like to say to my athletes is that if you want to be as healthy as the average person, use their reference ranges. They’re like, “Nevermind.” The average person is far from healthy. They’re not living the life that they were designed to live. I’ve got a basic scale that I’ve used a lot and I talked about it at XPT, it’s a three-point scale of health, and it’s simple, on the left, we have death, in the middle, we have fake health, and on the right, we have real health.

Death means you’re deceased, you’re gone. Fake health is where 99% of the population lives because they believe that health is merely the absence of disease, I don’t believe that. Real health belongs over here, it’s much more than the absence of disease because someone with real health has the energy to knock out their goals. They have the ability to build muscle or get leaner, they have a libido, they do sleep well, and they have mental clarity. Their ability to translate their thoughts into words and organize them and express them happens at the rate they want it to happen.

Whereas someone in the fake health world, there are a lot of people with very low libidos and a ton of fatigue. They wake up a ton of times throughout the night. It takes them five days to recover from a difficult training session. There’s nothing wrong with being in that state if someone is currently in that state, the only thing wrong is accepting and remaining within that state. You have so much more to offer to the world and when someone is telling you, “Nothing’s wrong, you’re good to go,” you maintain the current habits and behaviors that are leading you down a path of not being the best version of yourself.

People need a different option because the reference ranges are bad. For example, C-Peptide. The reference range for C-Peptide is 1.1 to 4.4. For the readers who might not be familiar, C-Peptide is a blood sugar marker because it’s co-secreted with insulin. In many ways, it’s a better marker for insulin than insulin itself. Insulin is brought up to bring carbohydrates down, it’s important for regulating blood glucose. The problem is insulin’s half-life is quick so it’s in and out of the body fast.

By the time you have fasted and you’ve got your blood work done without 12 or 14 hours of not eating, a lot of insulin is already way gone at that point. C-Peptide is co-secreted with insulin. If you secrete one unit of insulin, you will also secrete one unit of C-Peptide but C-Peptide has a much longer half-life. It gives us a way cleaner representation of what was happening with insulin previously than insulin itself due to insulin’s fast metabolization in the body.

With that foundation set for this point to make sense, the C-Peptides reference range is usually 1.1 to 4.4 but in the literature, you’ll see many times that even Type II diabetics can have a C-Peptide between 2.5 and 3. That means I can have a blood sugar marker comparable to a Type II diabetic and I’m about halfway through the reference range, that’s absolute chaos to me. It doesn’t make sense. Albumin, regularly on lab reference ranges, goes down to 3.5 but we know from the Journal of Insurance Medicine that your mortality risk goes up 187% if you get below 4.

We know rates of depression and even severe depression go up quickly and steeply if you have a thyroid-stimulating hormone, a TSH marker, if it begins to get past 2.5. Unsurprisingly, we also see thyroid antibodies and autoimmune activity beginning to increase after 2.5, yet the reference range goes up to 4.5. That’s what I mean when I’m talking about things where we should be able to look at this canary in the coal mine and act preventatively rather than reactively toward these things.

To tie back even to your previous point of B12, I know you have a low B12 if your MCV is at 95 yet MCV goes up to 100 on the reference range. You have low B12 and you have no idea about it because it wasn’t pathological. Because something isn’t pathological, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy, it means that it’s not pathological. That’s fake health. That’s where those people belong. What people should order is a CBC and a CMP or a Complete Blood Count or Comprehensive Metabolic Panel. Order both of those.

If you ask your doctor for a CBC and CMP, don’t worry about feeling dumb because he will know what you mean and you’ll be able to get a CBC and CMP. Those two blood tests are basic blood markers, which is why with this blood test, you need to take it to someone skilled in interpretation. It’s not the test that provides the value, it’s the interpretation that provides the value. That’s where you’re going to get the real results from it because the normal reference ranges won’t tell you much. As far as action steps go get that blood work and then take it to someone skilled in interpretation and who truly cares about your preventative health and not just your reactive health.

That’s an incredible suggestion. One thing great about technology is now with all this telemedicine, people do have access to high-level or at least progressive doctors who have been a little bit more educated on nutrition and supplementation than prior to that. Maybe we can go through certain areas and you can give me some of your thoughts. People will always talk about how they’re tired and fatigued for a number of reasons, it goes on and on, and you say, “There are a lot of reasons.”

There are a few different reasons someone can be tired other than they’re not sleeping. Maybe we can run through that. For example, you talk about iron and some other things but then there could be multiple reasons why you’re low on iron. If someone comes to you and says, “I’m always tired,” what are you going to start looking at for them?

Fatigue is another one where the root cause of fatigue probably wasn’t your lack of adding an extra shot of espresso to your Starbucks coffee, that’s probably not the root cause, that’ll help temporarily. Laird’s espresso and shots, I’m familiar with his routine, he’s an animal. Besides that, fatigue is one of the most common ones. It’s important, to recognize what that root cause is. Energy is the seed of life in a lot of ways. If I want to have extreme balance, if I want that in my life, I’m going to need the energy to execute my workouts.

Even to be the best partner I can be, I need energy to communicate with my partner and it takes a lot of energy to truly listen to your partner. Also, if you want to be a good parent, it takes energy to be patient, and it takes energy to keep looking at them, watching them, and playing with them instead of just pulling out your phone. The seed of all that is energy. You have the energy to be patient and you have the energy to communicate, listen, talk, work out, go to work, be productive, be enthusiastic, get a raise, and level up. All of that stuff only comes from energy. You have to have the energy to do all that stuff.

Energy is a chemical thing. When you feel great, you’re able to go and execute the thing. A lot of time, it is chemistry holding you back. What kind of chemistry? A hormone imbalance can certainly cause fatigue. Lack of sleep length or sleep quality can cause fatigue. We know fungal overgrowth and bacterial infections and viral infections can cause fatigue. We know a lack of iron can cause fatigue. We know a lack of B12 is a quick way to create fatigue. Where is your particular fatigue situation coming from? You could have any combination of the above.

It’s common where someone will have a gut issue and low testosterone or a gut issue and poor sleep. The moment you find those out, it’s the moment you see your whole life starting to come together. A lot of times, that’s why people get into the health industry. They went through their own health transformation process and they know how good it feels, and all they want to do is for everyone else to feel that too.

Dan Garner Caption 3

Dan Garner – That calmness, in a big way, comes from self-confidence. You have to keep your confidence up in order to remain calm.

I first got into the industry as a personal trainer. You don’t get into the industry as a personal trainer for the money. You are broke for a long time before you start building momentum and reputation. You get into it because you want to be at the gym, you want to talk to people about health, and that’s all you want to do. The identification of fatigue is important and it’s what allows you to push to the next level.

If we can use iron as an example, iron is a good one. Iron is in every single red blood cell and it’s responsible for transporting and delivering oxygen around the body. That’s key. If we have low iron, then we can’t deliver and transport oxygen. If we can’t deliver and transport oxygen, our mitochondria use oxygen to create ATP. We call it fat burning but the chemical process is known as beta-oxidation, key emphasis on oxi. Beta-oxidation requires oxygen to be at the site in order to convert that fat into usable ATP.

If I can bring up your iron, not only am I going to increase your energy so you can go execute extreme balance but in the process of that, I’ve brought up your iron so that you can get leaner and start burning more body fat. Despite your best efforts of wanting to be leaner, you’re only going to be as lean to the degree of your beta-oxidation. We’ve identified that constraint, we’ve removed it, we’ve allowed more oxygen to transfer to your cells, and now you are able to execute the thing you want to execute.

Now your XPT breathing routines are working way better because that oxygen deliverability and the carbon dioxide, that entire sequence is happening on a chemical level much more efficiently than it otherwise would have. You might not get into breathing or think it’s hard or whatever it is but your chemistry can hold you back from excelling in that awesome area of health that you should have. Iron is massive and it’s something that is common.

If your MCV is above 95 and I know you have a low B12, that’s B12 anemia, that’s a state of anemia. Even in that state, your red blood cells will not be as healthy and you will not transfer oxygen to the same degree either. There is B12 anemia and iron anemia. In both of those situations, you’re going to completely transform your life. It sounds complicated and scientific. Beneath the iceberg, it’s complicated and scientific. Your application was like the B6 thing, you get more of this thing and now you are going to be a way better version of yourself because you had this sniper rifle towards your constraint and not the shotgun.

I can speak to it personally. I try to be pretty healthy as far as my lifestyle and my practices but I have always been what’s called iron deficient. Years ago, I got my blood work done. I was with Dr. Major and he goes, “Are you tired? Do you feel like you muscle things?” I was like, “Isn’t that how life works? Don’t you just muscle everything?” He’s like, “You’re almost anemic.” It was interesting. 

I had to do the IVs and a whole bunch of other stuff to see if I could get some of that up. They also think that it’s partially genetic, I’ve adapted it somehow. My father is from the West Indies. There was a bunch of it but it was interesting because I thought, “Imagine how good I could have been in my life if I had more energy.” To be honest too, Dan, there’s something to all of this. As much as we want to know, even if we are healthy, sometimes you don’t want to know. It’s either you’re scared.

Personally, I’m never scared of having to make changes, that doesn’t bother me. Whatever that is, I have the discipline to do it. It’s something else, it’s a weird thing, and I’m not sure why necessarily. Sometimes you’re like, “I got to dig in there and I want to get in there.” I’m out here promoting for everyone else to do it but secretly, sometimes you’re like, “Here we go.” It feels daunting. Maybe it’s different when you think it’s that fake healthy or you’re healthy and then someone like you comes along and goes, “We got to talk about it.” It is an interesting thing.

I want to remind people that it’s important. It’s like filling in a small pothole versus trying to figure out how to deal with the crater because you kept going and kept going. That’s important. You talk about how the glycemic index is not a great calculation. With diabetes and all of these things, glucose, insulin sensitivity, and all these things are important. Maybe you could talk about why you think it is not a great calculation.

It neatly goes in line with there is no such thing as bad food, there’s only such thing as a bad diet. If you are gauging something on its glycemic index score, then you’re not looking at the diet as a whole, which means you’re missing the point as a whole as well. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly one’s blood sugar rises in the bloodstream. There’s something else called a glycemic load, which has a lot more representation because that’s the total glycemic load rather than the rate at which something got there.

There’s also something else known as the insulin index, which measures the degree of insulin response in response to a specific food. The glycemic index was the first one and that’s why it’s popular. It became very popularized because a lot of people have blood sugar issues. If you have this measure of carb control and then you’re ignoring the insulin index and you’re ignoring glycemic load and then you’re also ignoring a bunch of accurate lab markers, you have a shortsighted approach.

The glycemic index was originally measured using anywhere from 50 to 100 grams of a single source of carbohydrates after fasting. You would have 50 grams of white rice and that was your meal. Talk about a plain meathead Dan Garner meal. You would have 50 grams of a single source of carbs, rice cakes, and 50 grams of honey. It was misrepresentative of holism and it was the perfect representation of why you can’t just stay in isolation to tie into a lot of what we’re discussing here. It presented itself in non-realistic real-life scenarios.

Digestion happens over the course of, depending on what you’re eating, anywhere from 4 to 18 hours. That glycemic index for the next meal changes depending on what you had in this meal and then your glycemic index changes again depending on what you had on both these meals. It also will change in response to your own personal ability to utilize blood sugar from exercise, stress, and all of these different things that you’re currently doing.

Based on meal frequency, based on lifestyle, based on it not working into the holism of what we’re doing, we’re not eating single-source carbs in a fasted state, ignoring the insulin index, ignoring the glycemic load, it is wildly understaffed in terms of its ability to create a real change in your life compared to other ways in which it would open your eyes to looking at the diet as a whole and having a more complete approach to what you’re doing.

That’s why I wanted you to bring that up because sometimes we’re armed with enough information to think that we are navigating something correctly but it’s a disservice to us because we aren’t talking about the whole. We’re not talking about fiber and how much fiber that day and whatever. You’re a big proponent of getting up in the morning and eating some protein. Kick off your day to launch yourself in the right direction. I will do fats in the morning and it seems to control me a little bit as far as I don’t do mindless eating, it takes me through to the afternoon. I would love for you to go over, for most people, what looks good to you first thing in the morning.

For myself or my clients?

More for your clients. I’d love to know what you do. Let’s talk about both.

For my clients, I want you to do what’s going to allow you to remain consistent so we can win the batting average over time. If Gabby wants fats in the morning, Gabby is going to get fats in the morning. That’s the way in which we’re going to approach it. I might tweak some things later on in the day, add some supplements here, and add some stuff there.

There will be tweaks that will be made in order to remove constraints but you and I both lose if you can’t remain adherent to the program. You can have the most sophisticated and scientific program in the world but if you don’t follow it, it means nothing more than a piece of paper that’s used with a magnet on your fridge that you don’t look at because you don’t follow it anymore.

[bctt tweet=”Nutrition is never something that should take away from your life, it is only something that should add to your life.”]

Science doesn’t always equal results, sometimes science just equals science. Science is a tool that we have to adapt into our actual art of living and that’s how you coach somebody. In terms of what I’m going to do for my clients, I’ll have recommendations. If my recommendations go against consistency, I’m a bad coach. I will lose that battle every time. That’s what I’ll do for my clients.

In terms of myself, I do have quite an appetite in the morning. One of my goals is to be a jacked meathead. I do like to have some protein upon waking because as the literature continues to come out, frequent feedings of protein are slightly superior in the long run compared to fasting if your goal is hypertrophy so not if your goal is health or not if your goal is fat loss, none of that stuff.

I’m creating a  unique context that if your goal is muscle size, approximately 4 to 6 meals per day of adequate protein is going to be superior because it allows you to win this battle of what’s known as fractional breakdown rates and fractional synthetic rates. Those are fancy ways of saying muscle breakdown versus muscle buildup.

Let’s say Gabby does 10 sets of 10 barbell squats, she annihilates her legs, and then she is going to have soreness and recovery. Likely, the soreness will exceed for quite some time but the actual muscular repair process will largely have wrapped itself up around 72 hours or so, depending upon the volume and intensity of the workout. It’ll take a few days. What that workout did was create a stimulus for this fractional synthetic rate, which is the rate at which you are going to repair and build muscle.

An important point, I said that’s going to happen for 72 hours, which means it’s working 24 hours a day. The only place that our body can draw amino acids from unless it’s coming from the diet is from our own muscle tissue. My job, if you smash your legs and you’ve got three days to go, I want to have readily available amino acids in your blood for that entire 72-hour period. Those amino acids are free-flowing in the bloodstream and can be utilized to repair and build your legs.

What happens if we don’t do that is we can undergo something known as protein redistribution to where your body will say, “Gabby, you haven’t used your rear adults in quite a while here so I’m going to grab this protein and redistribute it into your legs because that is where the current stress and demand is right now.” If you look at a scan, you didn’t lose, you just repositioned it from one area to another but that also means you didn’t gain muscle either.

My job is for the fractional synthetic rate to outweigh the fractional breakdown rate 24 hours a day, which means I want amino acids in your system 24 hours a day so that you are never redistributing anything and you’re always winning the war of synthesis versus breakdown in your legs of which the repair process is a 24 hour a day job. I want to win that every single time.

It’s not something where you’ll see a result in ten weeks because the process of building muscle is a career. If you had two biological twins, one who is adhering to that rule, at the end of a year, is going to have superior results than the one who didn’t. It’s solely within the context of hypertrophy and winning the war of being a meathead.

That philosophy, if someone’s trying to get lean muscle mass and all this, different versions of that work across the board for everyone. Also, if you’re eating high protein, you’re probably not overeating or doing weird other things, you’re satisfied. As a principal, in general, that is helpful. Because we’re in that zone, can you tell me your preference or why you prefer EAAs over BCAAs? Supplementation, and I want to move into that, is a little bit confusing. Since we’re right here, maybe you could share with me why that is.

A lot of the momentum for branch chain amino acids came because it was identified, in a clear way that stands to this day, that it stimulates muscle protein synthesis. It does stimulate the pro body’s process in order to formulate muscle tissue. The problem with BCAs is they do not contain all of the amino acids that muscle tissue contains. Muscle tissue contains twenty amino acids. You’re going to have twenty amino acids in muscle tissue and you are only going to be having three amino acids if you have BCAAs.

What happens with BCAA is you can stimulate muscle tissue growth and/or repair but not provide the raw materials to get the job done. You can think about it like construction workers showing up to a site to build something and spending the money but then not having raw materials in order to get the job done. I prefer EAAs or even more so, I prefer whole proteins of whey protein either during or after exercise or throughout the day.

In that process, you still get the branch chain amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They’re in EAAs and they’re also in whole protein. You still get the stimulus process that takes place but then you also get the raw materials. The construction workers show up to do the job but then they have all the raw materials to repair and build muscle tissue. That is, in isolation already, a way better reason to utilize EAAs and whole proteins in comparison to BCAAs.

Also, there are other reasons as well. For example, thyroxine. Thyroxine, as we discussed, is a precursor to epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. That’s not found in BCAAs, they removed it even though there’s a performance effect there. How about glutamine? Glutamine is beneficial to immune function in many ways and it is also beneficial to gut health in many ways. Staying in the lens of exercise because it’s how the question was presented, glutamine helps you transport and absorb electrolytes faster than they would’ve otherwise been. When you add glutamine to an electrolyte solution, you will absorb and uptake electrolytes at a faster rate than you would electrolytes alone.

Glutamine is not in BCAAs. We’re missing a neurotransmitter opportunity with tyrosine. We’re missing an electrolyte opportunity with glutamine. A lot of these amino acids have their own unique roles that are unique to them. Seeing amino acids as a vehicle to stimulate muscle protein synthesis is looking at something in isolation rather than in holism to where if you brought everybody to the party, we’re going to have a way more efficient.

Supplements, in general, until you look at someone’s blood work, that’s such a specific and personal thing. Are there things like fish oil, zinc, or magnesium that you feel are important or positive support for people’s overall health regardless usually of their profiles?

For sure. Supplementation can be an individualistic thing. The more I do labs, the more I have learned that. If somebody does give you a list of 25 supplements to take and they haven’t looked at your blood work, it’s pretty reckless. You don’t know what feedback loops you’re currently adding nutrients into the body with. Sometimes things don’t always go your way and you should have a sniper rifle approach rather than a shotgun.

With that said, I do find it advisable to have a multivitamin, magnesium, and fish oil year around. Those are safe for long-term use and they provide a lot of different and unique benefits. Many people’s diets are low in micronutrients so a well-designed multivitamin and a bioavailable multivitamin will give you the things that you need in order to get the job done.

B6 will be in there to get us that dopamine. B6 also converts tryptophan into serotonin, which is the anti-anxiety positivity neurotransmitter. We’re adding more assurance that those pathways aren’t going to be limited in our day-to-day activity. Zinc is going to be in that multivitamin to support wound healing, to support glucose control, and to support immune system function.

Vitamin C is going to be in there for collagen synthesis so that we can have more integrity with our joint tissue as we age and as we train hard and among many other things. I could go through each vitamin and mineral and list many functions. To have those in a convenient and absorbable pill is advantageous, especially based on the long-term safety data behind multivitamins.

Dan Garner Caption 4

Dan Garner – Science doesn’t always equal results, sometimes science just equals science. Science is a tool that we have to adapt into our actual art of living and that’s how you coach somebody.

Omega-3s, on the other hand, is something that is wildly low on a lot of people’s diets. There are not enough people having algae and salmon. There’s not a lot of that going on. If you can have it in an easier-to-consume vehicle, it’s going to involve a lot of different benefits, some of which people are unfamiliar with. A lot of people know Omega-3 is quite beneficial for blood sugar management and inflammation management. It’s a key player in both of those.

People forget too that our brain is 60% fat but 50% of that 60% is directly Omega-3. In the same way that we’re like, “I trained my biceps today. My biceps are made of protein so let me consume protein in order to repair and recover that bicep because that’s what the tissue is made of.” What raw materials do you think you should be sending up here? Probably what it’s made of, which is healthy fats and a lot of it is Omega-3.

It’s unsurprising when you look at the literature on Omega-3 and see its beneficial effects on anxiety, see its beneficial effects even on depression, or see its beneficial effects on so many states of well-being and quality of life scores. Omega-3 is excellent in those ways because it works on the thing that’s in between your ears. You’re giving it the raw material it needs in order to properly function. Omega-3 is also been demonstrated in multiple studies to lower something known as lipopolysaccharides, which are inflammatory gut bacteria.

A lot of people who think of Omega-3 as a vehicle for inflammation management and blood sugar control don’t know a big piece of that inflammation management is coming from the fact that it’s a great gut health supplement. It’s underrated and undiscussed. Through the neutralization of inflammatory gut bacteria, Omega-3 is a fantastic option for the gut and brain axis, both of them. That’s a great vehicle that people can have year-round, especially due to the lack in their diet.

Lastly would be magnesium. Magnesium has over 600 functions in the body. People used to say over 300 as their catch thing. In the most recent literature, it is over 600 functions. It’s important for a lot of things. It helps improve sleep quality. Magnesium is a big part of bone health as we age and as we train hard. Magnesium is also very important for pushing the pathways of energy production.

If we eat a sweet potato and we have glucose, we need to convert that into pyruvate and then it gets converted into this thing called Acetyl-CoA before it enters this thing we all learned about in high school called the Krebs cycle. The Krebs cycle is what finally spits out some ATP so we can go train. Taking a carb and converting it into pyruvate requires magnesium and then converting pyruvate into Acetyl-CoA requires magnesium again.

Magnesium already hit twice before you even enter the Kreb cycle and then magnesium has hit seven more times before you generate ATP. Magnesium is used in nine different metabolic steps before you can convert carbohydrates into a fuel source. If you’re carb-loading for an event or you’re eating carbs to fuel up but you don’t have magnesium, you’re going to have this warehouse of carbs that you’re going to use inefficiently and it’s probably going to make you feel like crap.

You’re going to think that carbs bog you down. You’re not bogged down by carbs, you’re bogged down by your inefficient energy production pathway due to your lack of magnesium. For those reasons and many others, I do think that multivitamins, fish oils, and magnesium are awesome for people to have year-round. Adding things on top of that requires a little bit more intervention.

I would agree with that. Getting things from your real food, always trying to keep hitting those marks, paying attention to that diversity, and all of that. Not saying you can’t have the same meal three times but I’m sure you have a lot of different types of vegetables, herbs, and spices in there. The other thing I appreciate is you talk about anxiety where you’re like, “Some of this is your chemistry.” Yes, some people are having situational or external real anxiety.

I appreciate that because I do think when people experience that, they feel overwhelmed and they don’t realize that maybe they’re closer to being in homeostasis or closer to these feelings that we all want to try to operate from closer than they realize. Maybe there’s a lot you can do before going, “I’m going to go to the doctor and accept being put on some medication.” There are things you can do. Do you have any suggestions as the coach for building habits? One would think that people know how to build a habit but I don’t think they do.

Building habits is a big one because a lot of people have an enormous amount of trouble building habits. I’ve always been a guy where nothing matters more than getting results. When you get results and you see the fruits of your labor, the habits almost form themselves because you want to keep doing the thing that’s allowing you to get results and become the person you want to be. It’s difficult to stick out a training program or a diet that you know internally is not right for you.

Intuition is a thing. When someone is giving me feedback, like, “This isn’t right. My workouts aren’t fun.” That means something. The subjective needs to be interpreted as important as the objective. You can’t just only use a numbers-based approach when you’re dealing with a holism person in front of you. That adjustment, whatever that feedback that you’re getting, needs to be done on the coach’s part. If they didn’t get results, that’s your fault, and that’s not their fault. In very rare cases it’s their fault but I would in those rare cases, you should have adjusted the program that much easier to give them the consistency that would’ve allowed them to build the habit in the first place.

My vehicle for habit building is different than others because it’s been my experience that results are what keep you consistent and consistency over time leads to habits on autopilot. The way in which I get results fast is by looking at your blood work. I know what constraint you need to work on and when we remove that constraint, you feel great. It’s easy to keep going on something you feel great doing.

That’s an important point. I could talk to you all day and I won’t because you’re already probably late for dinner. I want to wrap this up. we don’t have to go deep but I would be remiss if I don’t mention it because I know it’s also important to you. We’ve heard for several years the importance of gut health. The gut sometimes is one of those constraints for a lot of people but it’s also a confusing and complex area. I even appreciated you talking about how much the bacteria in there can weigh. People are not realizing it’s a real thing. If you were going to direct someone to navigate looking under the hood for their microbiome and their overall gut function, what is a reasonable starting point?

A reasonable starting point, in a lot of ways, would be a low FODMAP diet. There’s something known as FODMAP out there that is wildly known to create bloating in an extremely evidence-based way. You’ll come across a lot of diets that aren’t necessarily supported by the literature, FODMAP is not one of those diets. It is supported by the literature. You will reduce your bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort. That’s a tool I’ve used a bunch.

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A low FODMAP diet is quite easy to follow. It’s not like an elimination diet if the readers are familiar with that where it’s difficult. Those diets are probably more used in autoimmune situations like if I’m working with someone with psoriasis or something like that where immunity is wildly important to keep an eye on. In terms of gastrointestinal health and gastrointestinal comfort, a low FODMAP diet is an amazing tool that you can use in order to feel great this week. On top of that, 10 to 20 grams of glutamine.

I did a real research compilation of the past 25 years of research on glutamine. Glutamine helps repair intestinal cells, improve immunity, and improve symptoms of IVs, it gives the intestinal cells their preferred fuel source among many other things. A real kickstart actionable way so that I’m not just providing information but also action steps is kick-off that thing with a low FODMAP diet, kick it off with some glutamine. You’ve got two evidence-based heavyweights behind you to help improve your gut healthj.

Bone broth is another underrated one. You won’t find as much evidence on that. This is where I’ll tell you when something is my opinion. I’m not necessarily speaking from the literature. Bone broth is also a juggernaut in helping people’s gut and connective tissue function a lot healthier. Low FODMAP, 1 to 2 cups of bone broth per day, and 10 to 20 grams of glutamine, you’re going to be off to an amazing start. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better doing that.

If you don’t, you probably have something else going on because although those are wildly beneficial on the surface, they are not antimicrobials that get rid of a specific bacteria. That isn’t an anti-parasitic protocol that gets rid of a parasite. If these extremely well-demonstrated things don’t help you in your pursuit of gut health, you might want to do a stool analysis. The stool analysis that I run with my top athletes is the Genova Diagnostics GI Effects test. You can do one sample.

It’s weird putting your stool in the mail but trust me, it’s the right fit. I’ve made a joke to my clients before, I’m like, “How do you tell your neighbors about this? Do you say like, ‘I put my stool in the mail and then this bald guy from Canada made a video about it. You should try this.’” We have neighbors who are like, “Are you insane? What are you talking about?”

You want to make sure that the lid is on tight. It gives you feedback specific to that. I love that. I love doing it with Laird because he has no problem, he’s like, “Yeah.” I’m always like, “It’s in the container but can we put it in nineteen other things before we send it?” In closing, because you’re a resource, the more I hear about performance females, unless it’s to do weight management, pull back the reins, or put up the bumpers for discipline, what we’re seeing is, in women, maybe fasting is not quite as great or beneficial as it is for men. Also, seeing women in a fed state, especially performance women, is better. Is that consistent with what you have experienced?

I do. That is consistent with what I’ve experienced in terms of cravings especially as well as hormone status. Hormone status changes when females fast and their cravings change way more than men. It’s been hypothesized in the research from hunter-gatherer situations where gatherers had frequent feedings. They were able to consume around the safety area where men might go on hunts and be unsuccessful for a long time and then come back and then feast.

From an evolutionary biological perspective, that theory like things always, of course, we’ll never know for sure. Things get elucidated over time. I’ve done over 1,000 blood tests in my career. I’ve done over 1,000 and that’s something I’ve seen consistently. Females don’t do as well on fasting as males do, they just tend to do better hormonally and cravings-based with frequent feedings. When your hormones and cravings are balanced, it’s a lot easier to stay consistent to build the habits and get the results to change your life.

Before we knew this, I first learned it from Dr. Stacy Sims. Dr. Gabrielle Lyon also confirmed that they’re looking at women consuming protein consumption. I was like, “For five years, I’ve been trying to fast and keep with the guy in my house and I’m dying and I want to kill somebody.” He’s like, “I’m getting more energy. I feel amazing.” I’m like, “Get away from me.” That was always interesting. Dan, please direct people where they can find you. Also, if somebody would like to follow your program and get involved with you and work with you or work with you and Andy, maybe you could remind us of all the places people can find you.

First of all, thank you so much for having me, I am going to sneak that in before we go here. This is awesome. I love hanging out with you. I love hanging out with you at the XPT events. Thank you so much for having me on. This was a blast. The best place to find me is Instagram, that’s where I’m most frequent, @DanGarnerNutrition. If you want to work with me and the team, the program is the RAPID Health Optimization Program. That’s that no-stones-unturned approach to everything that I’m discussing here and more and you can find that at RapidHealthReport.com.

I’m glad that you have this calling and I value your work and you. I know you as a person and when we talk about wellness and health, you’re living that in all dimensions of your life and I admire it. I am sorry we didn’t get to do this in person but the next time.

We will. Thank you so much.

Thanks, Dan.

Thank you so much for reading this episode. If you have any questions for my guest or even myself, please send them to @GabbyReece on Instagram. If you feel inspired, please hit the follow button and leave a rating and a comment. It not only helps me, it helps the show grow and reach new readers.

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About Dan Garner

Dan Garner HS

Dan Garner is the founder of Team Garner, Inc. which offers high-level personalized online training and nutritional coaching for world-class results.

His coaching resume is second to none having worked with dozens of professional athletes in 13 different sports. Within his clientele he has worked with three Superbowl champions, two UFC title winners, one NBA championship winner, an Olympic gold medalist, two Olympic bronze medalists, two WWE champions, PGA tournament winners, IFBB bodybuilders, multiple Player Of The Year athletes, two MLB MVP winners, three hall-of-fame inductees, and three all-time world record breakers.

Additionally, Coach Garner has created the very popular Ultimate Nutrition Mentorship, Ultimate Training Mentorship, and Cutting Edge Strategies for Physique Transformation certificate programs where personal trainers and fitness professionals undergo an online education process to turn their passion for this industry into a successful and thriving career.