The Eternal Dive

Continuing from my last post – even with years of intermittent fasting and exercising, I was noticing the initial signs of ageing like greying hair, tiredness and lack of energy, the missing sprint fullness of youth. I realized the need learn the fundamentals of biological ageing and research on cutting edge age reversal processes that have had some credible experimental success in early trials. I wanted to know how to hack my body at the cellular level and reverse the effects of ageing.

I researched on-line, read books, listened to podcasts and consumed as much information as I could get my hands on. I learned about epigenetics – processes in which genes are turned off or on by external factors like diet, lifestyle and environment. For example, during starvation, our bodies turn off genes that help us digest food or fat storage so we can survive longer without food!

I also learned about telomeres – protective caps at the ends of DNA strands that protect our chromosomes from damage due to stressors like oxidation. The longer your telomeres are, the healthier you are presumed to be! Studies show that people who live long lives have longer telomeres than people who don’t live long lives!

I learned that many diseases such as cancer and heart disease can be caused by gene mutations brought about by stressors like free radicals (oxidation) from environmental toxins like smoking and pollution. Free radicals cause damage in our cells by stealing electrons from other molecules in our bodies due to their unstable nature causing them to react with anything they come into contact with like oxygen or water molecules.

There is a lot of conflicting information out there when it comes to bio hacking supplements.

The Internet has a plethora of generic boilerplate articles on this topic. Effectively utilizing Google search is an art. If you Google with simple keywords like “is supplement X good for me” or “benefits of this supplement”, most of the top content is junk. There are blog posts full of basic age-old advice like eating green veggies, exercising, and living a stress-free life. And then, every once in a while, these random research articles pop up that talk about how one particular habit has been proven to be beneficial, only to be negated in another link-bait article that proves the opposite. I realized that the research articles and data available are not fit for public consumption. For every research paper that advocates a particular diet or lifestyle choice for good health, there’s one that supports the exact opposite results.

If you go to a doctor, they will talk about the same standard things like eating green vegetables, keeping a balanced diet, exercise blah blah. So I don’t blame the doctors. They have limited time and resources to spend on each patient and they have to treat everyone as best as they can with what they know so far.

I decided it was time to take a deeper dive. And it will be an ongoing eternal dive into the deep sea of knowledge. So I started searching for a professional course on microbiology to learn the fundamentals of cellular machinery and how it affects our ageing.  There are many things you can do to slow down ageing, including taking supplements, eating healthy and exercising regularly. These are called ‘lifestyle changes’ because they don’t require any special intervention or equipment. I also started learning about bio-hacking by starting with these two books first:

1. Lifespan by Dr David Sinclair
2. Super Human by Dave Asprey

Bio-hacking is an art even though the foundation pillars are piled deep inside the rock-bed of science. My experiments with bio-hacking started once I finished my microbiology course and the two books above, and became confident & bold enough to try some of the low hanging fruits – basic steps that help to slow down ageing. I realised that aging is actually a disease and needs to be tackled appropriately.

I modified my schedule and supplements and followed these basic steps:

  1. Diet: Intermittent Fasting coupled with Calorie Restriction – Dinner by 8PM, then breakfast at around 11 AM. Lunch mostly skipped or very light, protein shake after workout, and then dinner between 7-8 PM. I would recommend to start calorie restriction by your early thirties. Try to eat around 1600 calories/day (men) & 1400 calories/day (women). After 37-38, try to limit your calorie intake to 1400 calories a day (men), and 1300 (women). I hovered around 1200 calories a day.
  2. Supplements:
    (a) NMN/NR: Around 600mg per day empty stomach.
    (b) Vitamin D: 4000 IU. I take the daily dose lest I forget the weekly ones early morning with NMN.
    (c) Resveratrol: 600 mg – I take this along with breakfast every morning.
    (d) Protein shake: 25gms of lean whey protein isolate post-workout.
    (e) Athletic Greens: 1 scoop a day early morning (along with NMN)
    (f) Collagen: Grass-fed bovine collagen around 10-20gms/day before sleeping.
    (g) Omega-3 capsules: At night before sleeping.
  3. Sleep: I started tracking my sleep (Oura ring and now Apple Watch), and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every day.
  4. Exercise: Daily 30 min of exercise that included 100 pushups, 60 setups, little bit og Yoga. I try to play tennis or badminton at least 3 times a week.

I am not going to lie; it took me a couple of weeks to adapt to this new regime. But once I did, my life changed for good! I noticed the effects after a few months – my body felt stronger, more energetic and healthy than ever before. Infact, I am feeling way healthier than my late twenties.

I’ve been following this regime for almost 3 years now and it has really helped me stay healthy, energetic and motivated. I will continue this regime and keep tracking the latest research as it comes out so that I can modify my schedule accordingly. But I am sure with the latest advancement in molecular biology, we will see extended lifespans within our generation. Till then, we have to stay healthy and positive and keep taking care of our bodies.