Biohackers’ Weight Loss and Exercise Supplements

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Biohackers’ Weight Loss and Exercise Supplements

Article at a Glance:

  • A healthy weight and (BMI) is crucial for a long, disease-free life. However, about 30% of the world’s population is overweight. If you’re struggling with weight loss and exercise, the good news is there are science-backed supplements that can help you lose the pounds.
  • Popular supplements used by biohackers with the keto diet include MCT Oil and Exogenous Ketones. Biohackers who swear by their benefits are Tim Ferriss, Dave Asprey, and Dr. Rhonda Patrick.
  • Exercise supplements used by biohackers include BCAA(branched-chain amino acids) and Glutamine. Top biohackers who recommend them are Ray Kurzweil, Tim Ferriss, and Dr. Peter Attia.

Excess weight is a growing problem all over the world, with 30% of the global population found to be overweight.[1] So if you’e looking to get back in shape, you’re not alone.  

Apart from looking great, research actually shows a healthy weight helps increase your longevity. Proper body weight and body mas index(BMI)is important for living longer with studies that show a healthy BMI is a predictor of a longer, disease-free life.

According to the American Heart Association, a BMI of 18.5-25 kg/m² is considered normal, while a BMI of 25-29.9 kg/m² is considered overweight.[4]

To maintain a healthy weight, many biohackers follow the keto diet, as well as do fasting. Top biohackers like Tim Ferriss, Ben Greenfield, and Dr. Peter Attia stay active and watch their diet to keep in shape. And since nobody reaches the ideal weight overnight, biohackers take supplements to help achieve their goals.

Are you ready to biohack your weight loss and exercise just like the pros? Here’s a list of science-backed supplements that biohackers take for optimum results. Read on to learn more!

2 Supplements Popular with the Keto Diet

1. MCT Oil  (Moderately Suggested)

3/5 on the Certainty Scale

Biohackers’ Weight Loss and Exercise Supplements - MCT Oil

MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides) helps manage weight by going directly to the liver to facilitate thermogenesis, a process that boosts metabolism and burns fat.[5] MCTs can be converted by the body into ketones, keeping you in fat-burning mode.[6] Moreover, medium-chain fats derived from coconut oil get digested easily, and are lower in calories than other fats. 

However, some studies suggest it may not be good for the heart.[7][8] Moreover, your body can adapt to taking MCT oil, which may lead to temporary weight loss results.[9] Other negative effects also include possible fat accumulation in your liver. For these reasons, we gave MCT oil a 3 out of 5 on our Certainty Scale.

Respected biohackers take or recommend MCT oil, including Tim Ferris[10], Dave Asprey[11](his version is called XCT oil), Dr. Peter Attia[12], and Dr. Dominic D’Agostino[13]. Here are more evidence-based benefits of MCT oil:

  • May help burn calories
  • Supports growth of good bacteria and gut lining
  • Helps raise HDL“good cholesterol” for heart health
  • Can be used as an immediate source of energy, brain fuel
  • May help manage high blood sugar levels

MCT Oil Dosage: According to Healthline, as long as you take not more than 1–2 tablespoons/day of MCT oil, and use it to replace, not add, to your fat intake, you won’t experience any negative side effects.[20]

2. Exogenous Ketones (Moderately Suggested)

3/5 on the Certainty Scale

Biohackers’ Weight Loss and Exercise Supplements - Exogenous Ketones
Ketone Ester from hvmn.com

Exogenous ketones help keep you in ketosis—a process that makes your body burn stored fat for energy. It lowers hunger hormones, acting as an appetite suppressant[21], and helps lower blood sugar levels.[22] There are 2 types of exogenous ketones: ketones salts and esters(BHB). Of the two, ketone esters(BHB) are the purest form. Ketone salts in powder form are not widely recommended due to high amounts of sodium and minerals[23], which may cause high blood pressure.[24

To maintain ketosis, Healthline states you’ll need to take doses every to two to three hours.[25] Ketone esters(BHB)may get costly the longer you take them. For instance, one HVMN bottle of ketone ester is priced around $33, a 3-packs is about $100.[26] Due to these factors, we gave exogenous ketones 3 out of 5 on our Certainty Scale.

Still, notable biohackers believe in the benefits of exogenous ketones, including Tim Ferriss[27], Dr. Peter Attia[28], Dr. Dominic D’Agostino[13], and Dr. Rhonda Patrick[29]. Here are more health benefits of taking this supplement: 

  • Helps lower blood sugar levels
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves brain function for mental clarity
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • Can improve energy levels and exercise recovery
  • May help fight certain cancers

Dosage for Exogenous Ketones: Manufacturers generally recommend taking up to three servings a day.[36] One bottle of HVMN ketone ester contains 25 g. There is no recommended dose or dosage frequency for exogenous ketones, but people take them before and after meals or exercise.

2 Supplements Popular for Exercise Enhancement

3/5 on the Certainty Scale

Biohackers’ Weight Loss and Exercise Supplements - BCAA

BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) is a popular exercise supplement among athletes that help increase muscle growth[39] and reduce muscle soreness for recovery[40]. Available in powder form, it’s also used to prevent muscle wasting in patients, especially in the elderly with cancer.[41

However, biohacker Ben Greenfield says BCAA may deplete B vitamins[42], reduce serotonin levels[43], and cause insulin resistance[44], when taken in high doses. Due to these studies, we gave BCAA 3 out of 5 on our Certainty Scale.

Other well-known biohackers still take or suggest BCAA, including Time Ferriss[45], Dr. Peter Attia[46], and Dr. Dominic D’Agostino[29]. Here are more health benefits you may get from BCAA:

  • Helps reduce exercise fatigue
  • Helps improve mental focus during exercise
  • Inhibits muscle protein breakdown
  • Nutritional supplement for liver cancer patients

BCAA Dosage: According to Muscle and Strength, BCAA intake depends on your weight.[51] For150 lbs. or less, take 3 g, and for 151 lbs. or more, take 5 g. It’s taken before, during, and after training. 

2. Glutamine (Moderately Suggested)

3/5 on the Certainty Scale

Biohackers’ Weight Loss and Exercise Supplements - Glutamine

Glutamine is used as a popular supplement that aids recovery after strenuous exercise. It’s also an amino acid that’s naturally found in our body. Glutamine levels actually decrease when you’re under physical or emotional stress.[52] To measure your glutamine levels, you can order a glutamine serum test. Cortisol, or stress hormones, drain glutamine reserves that aid in muscle recovery and fighting infections. 

However, there are some conflicting studies on glutamine that say long-term intake may lead to increased serum ammonia[52], which causes mental confusion and tiredness.[53] Research also suggests people with kidney and liver problems should avoid glutamine, as the supplement might further aggravate their condition.[54] Due to these reasons, we gave glutamine 3 out of 5 on our Certainty Scale.

Still, popular biohackers like Tim Ferris[45], Dr. Peter Attia[46], and Ray Kurzweil[55] take it as supplement. Here are other benefits you can get from taking glutamine:

  • Decreases muscle soreness
  • Improves exercise recovery
  • Helps reduce exercise fatigue
  • Supports brain health
  • Supports immune function
  • Helps reduce risk of infection
  • Used as a supplement for Leaky Gut Syndrome

Glutamine Dosage: Most studies on glutamine dosage range from 5 grams up to 45 g/day for 6 weeks.[62] It comes in powder or capsule form. According to Integrative Therapeutics, the ‘observed safety limit’ for glutamine has been set at 14 g/day.

 

*Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature, and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

References

[1] http://time.com/4813075/obesity-overweight-weight-loss/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4032609/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5418561/
[4] https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/losing-weight/bmi-in-adults
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874191/
[6] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-benefits
[7] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nbu.12188
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26946252
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18326600
[10] https://www.businessinsider.com/tim-ferriss-morning-routine-2017-1#he-drinks-some-strong-tea-3
[11] https://blog.bulletproof.com/what-is-mct-oil-vs-coconut-oil/
[12] http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/what-i-actually-eat/attachment/microsoft-powerpoint-supplement-list-pptx
[13] https://brainflow.co/index.php/2018/09/12/dom-dagostino-supplements-brands-products-he-takes-daily/
[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12975635
[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7072620
[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4882694/
[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26545671
[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27080715
[19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1568535
[20] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-benefits
[21] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29105987
[22] https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/JP275709
[23] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27475046
[24] https://www.verywellhealth.com/salt-and-high-blood-pressure-2223421
[25] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/exogenous-ketones#side-effects
[26] https://www.amazon.com/HVMN-Ketone-Pocket-Sized-Sugar-Free-Performance/dp/B07CTP3XST?th=1
[27] https://www.businessinsider.com/tim-ferriss-ketosis-fasting-regimen-2017-12
[28] https://peterattiamd.com/experience-exogenous-ketones-2
[29] https://peterattiamd.com/rhondapatrick/
[30] https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/JP275709
[31] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25686106
[32] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3219306/
[33] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5670148/
[34] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5309297/
[35]https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dominic_DAgostino/publication/273960994_PoffAP_Ketone_Supplementation_therapy_for_cancer_IJC2014/links/5511702c0cf29a3bb71dd78c.pdf
[36] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/exogenous-ketones#benefits
[37] https://www.businessinsider.com/we-tried-hvmn-ketone-ester-2017-11
[38] https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/11/keto-in-a-bottle/545129/
[39] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28638350
[40] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22569039
[41] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC226739
[42]http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/1394/The_Pros_Cons_of_BCAA_Supplements.aspx
[43] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23904096
[44] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29281182
[45] https://www.facebook.com/TimFerriss/videos/the-4-supplements-i-take-to-speed-recovery-after-brutal-workouts/10153375212272241/
[46] https://youtu.be/UZqH7303Su8
[47] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9124069
[48] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22050133
[49] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2174312
[50] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16707194
[51] https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/bcaas
[52] https://www.integrativepro.com/Resources/Integrative-Blog/2016/Glutamine-Function-Dosing
[53] https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=167&ContentID=ammonia
[54] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320850.php
[55] https://transcend.me/blogs/supplementation/what-supplements-does-ray-kurzweil-take-and-why
[56] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25811544
[57] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18059593
[58] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22018046
[59] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10582122
[60] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19382426
[61] https://scdlifestyle.com/2015/09/l-glutamine-7-dos-and-donts/

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