Episode Highlights

00:01:42 How Athletic Greens exists and why
00:03:54 How the body absorbs  nutrients
00:05:47 Why do we need Athletic Greens
00:13:29 Do we need a food supplement?
00:15:42 Key ingredients in the athletics green product
00:21:36 Things that affects testosterone levels
00:25:19 Athletic Greens probiotic and prebiotic different from other products
00:29:53 Importance of having a balanced blood sugar
00:35:32 5 Key Takeaways


Fitness Guide





Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym here is your host Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for dads in their 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode 84. And on today’s episode, we’re going to be talking to Christian Baker from Athletic Greens. Athletic Greens was created by its founder, Chris, after years of gut health issues that left him facing a health crisis with no solutions in sight. Despite his best efforts to maintain a balanced, nourishing diet, Chris’ body struggled to absorb and synthesize nutrients. Chris developed athletic grains with a mission of creating the highest efficacy, bioavailable and nutritionally complete supplement to help your body function as it’s supposed to, no matter your age or activity level.

Hi, Christian, thanks very much for joining me on the podcast today. How are you?

Christian: Hey, Darren. Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Darren: Yeah. Thanks very much for joining us. And as we discussed before, before we started recording, you are in Helsinki, which is one of the very few places, fortunately, that isn’t under lockdown. So you are able to move around freely and stuff. So how’s life there?

Christian: I’m very lucky. You know, I went to my favorite cafe this morning and sat down in the cafe, taking my time drinking coffee. I got to go to the gym after this whole gym is still wide open. I mean, it’s these little things that are easy to take for granted when they get taken away from us earlier in the year. I mean, you really appreciate them when they come back and hopefully everyone gets them back.

Darren: So they’re 100 percent, 100 percent. We are in very strange times and I think I didn’t believe that we would be locked down again in the UK. But here we are in lock down 2.0 that everybody is kind of calling it, but not to dwell on that fact. We know where we are with all of that. So for people that haven’t heard about you and Athletic Greens, can you give us kind of some background story on how Athletic Greens exists and why?

Christian: So just to clear things up, my name is Christian and our founder is called Chris or Christopher, and we’re definitely not the same person. So, you know anything I say? Of course, I’m representing the company today, but don’t hold it against us if I say something. That’s my personal opinion on it as well. But so we’ve actually been around since 2009, which is for this kind of product. That’s a very long time when there wasn’t really much anything else like it back then. And it wasn’t just made out of some cool desire to make a sexy product to sell. And it was made because I found out a lot of health problems are very healthy and fit guys. But ever since he was a kid, he was traveling around the world a lot because his dad worked for some international companies. He got some different things, stomach bugs and all that. And later it came back to bite him when he was a semi professional rugby player. And he was eating well and training a lot. And he wasn’t absorbing anything and he became increasingly sick. 

He had to go to some extreme lengths to try to solve what was going on. And long story short, he ended up going to this clinic in Arizona, in the US that was like using blood tests and all these things to get him exactly what he needed. He was paying like one hundred dollars a day. And I think it was 30 pills to get the exact thing for him. And it got him on the right track. But he was like, alright, what’s something less extreme than can help people, you know, normally get the right kind of nutrients but absorb them as well? Because absorption is a big thing. And I think most people kind of overlook that. And you don’t just absorb things from your food by default.

Darren: Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting point, actually, and it kind of made me think about that when you mentioned it, about absorption, because I’ve only recently come across this not it’s not a concept, but but basically how it was, because I think a lot of people, when they take vitamins, when they take supplements and everything else, assume that whatever volume or supplement they take, for example, if it’s protein and they take 30 grams of protein that the body actually uses and it doesn’t absorb everything that we give it. And that I don’t fully understand why that is. But maybe you could kind of shed some light on that.

Christian: Yeah. I mean, you know, bodies are complicated machines, as we know. And I think anyone who claims to understand it, you know super well, no matter what field they’re in, I think is deluding themselves because new things come out every day. Yeah, but yeah, whether it’s macronutrients like protein, carbs and fat or micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, it’s not guaranteed that you’re going to absorb everything that’s on the label. You’ve got a very long and complicated journey through the digestive system. You’ve got so many factors on your ability to break down and absorb things, whether that’s digestive enzymes, how potent your stomach acid is, everything working well down there, how your gut health is. So once things get through to the further reaches of your gut into your intestines, is everything working well and you can absorb everything or the bit of blockages here? There is some inflammation or something that’s going to interrupt the normal process. And I think these are important factors and they’re becoming more and more spoken about, which is great. But yeah, it’s definitely you can’t just take for granted that, like you said, a 30 gram scoop of protein is going to give you 30 grams straight to the muscles. It’s probably not going to happen.

Darren: Yeah, exactly. And I have read some reports that have said that it’s really only about 30 percent of whatever nutrients we give our bodies in it from a supplement form that actually gets taken in and used by the body. But I guess everybody is different. So that’s going to vary depending on who you are, know your gut health and general health and stuff like that. So. That’s that’s all well and good, but in terms of Athletic Greens, if you’ve explained why the founder, Chris created it because of his own health issues, but for many of us kind of listening to this, you know, the kind of broad assumption is that we should be able to get over the macro micronutrients that the body needs from food. And so, therefore, you know, kind of why do we know if we don’t have the health conditions that you found? Chris has, why do we even need the product in the first place?

Christian: It’s a good question. And I think to be fair, if everyone ate like a perfectly tuned High-Performance Monk, they could now be nutritional requirements every day for food on the ward. But unfortunately, not everyone does it consistently every day. And most people, even when they aren’t really healthy, we all tend to stick to our favorites. So I eat a lot of carrots. So my intake of beta carotene, the precursor to vitamin A through the roof, my vitamin C is super high as well. But these things I forget to eat sometimes. I mean, sometimes I want to add mushrooms for several weeks. Who eats C vegetables very often. Like there’s always different things which provide the food. So new ones that are not easy to find. You’re probably going to fall behind in a few things. And then on top of that, modern agriculture is pretty hard core. But what kind of soil? Really hard to produce a lot of fruits and veggies and everything else. And naturally, when you keep working the soil over and over again without giving us some time to regenerate, some things aren’t as abundant in the soil as they used to be. And a big part of that is trace minerals. So zinc, magnesium, chromium, very specific ones like that. Selenium is a super important one and a lot of men are short in selenium. OK, so I definitely recommend all of you for your program to think about eating some Brazil nuts to get some selenium back in their routine.

And of course, we have some selenium energy. So, yeah. And and then on top of that, the RDA, which is the US government recommendations for how much of a certain nutrient you should eat each day. And so, I don’t know, the UK one off by heart, but it’s a similar model all around the world. Yeah. Those guidelines of how much vitamins you need. So for example, a certain amount of vitamin C, a certain amount of zinc, for example, they’re based on not becoming deficient. So if you fall below those numbers, you’re at risk of becoming deficient in that nutrient, which can lead to becoming sick and so on. They’re not formulated for optimal living. What’s going to give me good brain power, a good immune system, feeling great? Imagine sleeping well, all that stuff. So it’s. Yeah, good luck hitting all those numbers and good luck. Good luck exceeding them on a regular basis without a little bit of help on top of that. So I mean, we don’t aim to replace what you do. You’d be very lazy if you just tried to have a scoop of this. Good luck to you. But yeah, we’re there to help fill in the gaps and then optimize the routine rather than replace it.

Darren: Yeah, and I think that’s quite key, isn’t it? Because, you know, I was talking to Professor Tim Specter in the UK a few weeks ago and he kind of prompted me to say that he was mentioning food labeling. And I think even if we were to pay attention to all the food labels that we had on our food to determine whether or not we get in all of those macro micronutrients and everything else, we still wouldn’t be able to get the right doses. And I think for me, that’s where, you know, if we remove from the fact that you might be do a lot of sport or you do a lot of fitness and stuff just at a fundamental level, you won’t be able to get the right proportions of all of that in your diet, even if you were to kind of, you know, look at the food labels. And even if you did, you’d have to weigh it out, cut it up and get the right proportion. We just you’d probably end up preparing your dinner for four or five hours. So I think we’re Athletic Greens coming in and the Greens product is that in a very kind of lazy way almost. You can have a scoop of that and you can be fairly confident that, you know, you’re getting a good dose of what the body needs.

Christian: Yeah, I mean, it’s quite broad and and the name is deceptive, it’s athletic greens, but it’s not only for the people and it’s not only Greens, I mean Greens portion of it. Yes, we cross … All the good stuff, but it’s also a full multivitamin, multi mineral free and probiotics. The gut health bloodsoaked support, labor support is basically your whole supplement routine. And one scoop you bought from Omega3 and vitamin D, which are a bit more of a personal requirement. So we left them out. So yeah. But again, I just want to emphasize, we’re not claiming we replace your routine or whatever. We’re there to optimize what you do. So certainly it’s very convenient and can help a lot, but it’s still going to do the hard yards. You still get to eat healthy. Otherwise, what’s the point, you know?

Darren: Yeah, definitely. And I think the other thing as well is around. You know, there’s obviously these and I guess it’s just society really. We shift between various different eating protocols. You know, what I mean by that is like keto, paleo, whatever is popular this week. But for me, you have to take it back to a high level. You have to take it back to what I would say, a fundamental level, and that is the source of where food comes from. Now, I’m not going to go down the whole Carnival vs. vegan kind of diet argument, and we get too many complaints if we do that. Yeah, exactly. And, you know, and I respect anybody’s environmental standpoint as to why they do certain things. But I think, you know, over the years, I think particularly in the Western world, because of our demands on the kind of food system, if you like, know, modern farming methods have evolved such that, like you said, you know, the turnover of soil and the amount of over farming that’s done on the land which produces the food has meant that a food is now become nutrient well, the nutrients are becoming less in food. And I read somewhere recently that I don’t know why they picked on a peach, but a peach. Now, if you write to a peach, they verses like fifty two years ago, it’s got like 50 percent less amount of nutrients they had 52 years ago, which basically means that, you know, the way that is being produced now is such that the nutrients are not in nature for us to consume. So, you know, I think having products like this really just go to and like you said, Christian, it is to bolster what we’re already doing from a nutritional standpoint.

Christian: Yeah, that’s crazy about the thing, but, yeah, sad, but I guess not too surprising.

Darren: So okay, so we talked about what is happening with our food and why perhaps we need to supplement. So, you know what in what scenario would you say you would recommend for people to have a more sedentary lifestyle versus a very active lifestyle? And when do you think that is most optimal to kind of consume the athletic greens product?

Christian: So I’ll start with the sedentary versus active part. So sedentary people absolutely can take this as well. And what we found I mean, again, this is we’re not medical experts, but just referring to some of the reviews and the feedback we’ve got of people who are sedentary started taking it and they notice they have more energy and they have less cravings. That could be from patching up some potential deficiencies. So those kinds of things tend to make you feel better and then you’re more likely to get out and be active. And that could be one of the keys in helping a sedentary person getting more active. Because you know what it’s like if you have a day of crappy eating, you don’t really feel like going to the gym. But if you go to the gym, you’re like, wait, I want to eat really well because I just went to the gym. I kind of feel good. So we do find some people who started sedentary, who would start taking it, added to their routine, then became more active just because they felt better, which is really cool. And then active people, you’re going to go through more nutrients than the average person. Contracting your muscles requires a lot of calcium. Using up energy and converting your food into energy uses a lot of B vitamins. You recover using zinc because you need to repair your muscle fibers and form your collagen and repair all the things you’ve damaged in the gym. So this is where something like this can help you feel those gaps and you’ve got more requirements than the average person. So even if your diet is very dialed in, you still might need a bit more on top because you’re using so much because you’re an active person, which is awesome. But you’ve got to recognize that your own requirements go up when you’re when you’re getting out there and exercising because exercise is a destructive thing. You know, you’re breaking stuff. Your body’s going to repair it. So that’s where this can come in.

Darren: Yeah. Now that that all makes perfect, logical sense and particularly, you know, around sedentary people and energy. And I think that’s really important to recognize. A lot of supplementation doesn’t require you to to kind of go knock yourself out in the gym. It’s more for my health and wellness perspective, which as a result of actually replacing your deficiencies, may mean that, you know, everyone talks about motivation and rest of it, naturally, that might get replaced because you’re replacing the deficiencies and therefore you’ll be more inclined to be more active. So I think that that’s really important. But in terms of the ingredients, I know there’s a huge amount of ingredients in the product. Know what are the key ingredients in the athletic greens product?

Christian: So, I mean, there’s a lot, as you mentioned, so key ingredients, I mean, a big one for most people is B vitamins. Yeah, because I mean, we get a lot from different foods and things, but there’s quite a lot of them and it’s not easy to get them all. And then we burn through a lot of B vitamins, whether that’s from exercising or caffeine and alcohol can actually drain some of your vitamins because they require B vitamins to be properly processed so they don’t destroy them, but they kind of use them. So you get to replace them and then forms are a very important thing to remember. So we don’t have one. So, for example, we have a vitamin B 12 and the form that we use is something called methylcobalamin. It’s the form which is very, very easy for the body to absorb most vitamin B 12 supplements, if you look on the shelf, have something called cyanocobalamin. Sounds like a weird fancy word, but that just means it’s a synthetic version. It’s harder for your body to absorb. Yeah, we have folate and most folate supplements are in the form of folic acid. Unfortunately, a big part of the population has a mutation which doesn’t allow them to probably turn folic acid into folate. So we use something called five mgmt methylated Folate, again, is something which helps these people and everyone in general have a better chance of turning that into folate.

So we give you a broad variety of things that we give them in very good quality forms to give you the best chance of turning that into the vitamins you need. So we have the full multivitamin, including the B vitamins. We have a full multi mineral and minerals are often lacking in most people’s diets and even in multivitamins that kind of often an afterthought. So things like magnesium, they’ll be relaxed. So nervous at night. Zinc is so important for men, especially men above the age of 30, 40 and beyond, which is dad’s most. It’s going to be relevant to your audience. Zinc is needed more by men than by women because it’s used in a lot of jobs, not just repairing muscles, like we mentioned before, but it does have a role to play in regulating hormones as well. So guys who are super low and zinc sometimes may end up being lower. And testosterone and testosterone is not just important to make you big and muscly, but as a guy, if your testosterone gets too low, you’re more likely to end up feeling depressed and feeling like crap. So if your levels are healthy, you tend to be more vibrant. So we got the vitamins, we’ve got the minerals, digestive enzymes.

So you can actually help take over these things, plus digest your foods better pre and probiotics for your gut health. So probiotics most people are familiar with you can find them in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. We have two of the most studied and safest strains that there are, and then we give you a prebiotic fiber. So all it is a special kind of fiber that your body can’t really digest. So it passes through and its whole form and these good bacteria jump on there and they feed on it and they multiply. So I’m not just giving you a bunch of good bacteria hoping that they’re going to help you. We’re giving them a chance to multiply it and take a foothold in your gut and be the dominant type of bacteria in there. Rather than letting the bad guys come up, we give you the ingredients for liver support. So things like milk, thistle, herb and dandelion, we have blood sugar supports of chromium. It’s a very important mineral that helps with blood sugar. It’s often deficient in diets. I mean, it goes on and on. I mean, the test in animals is so much, but it’s like we said, it’s the only one. It’s much, much more than just the greens.

Darren: Yeah. And I think, you know, from a complete wellness perspective, which is where I like to approach all of this from, it’s really, really important because I think there will be people listening to this that maybe are listening because they want to get back into fitness or they have a specific goal, whether that’s fat loss, belly loss or whatever. And but in my view, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, Christian, you have to look at the holistic approach. And what I mean by that is that sleep so we know the magnesium is important for sleep and then stress as well. So vitamin B 12, your vitamin B’s are very important to you. And I think, you know, the other thing as well is particularly men over 40, like the whole testosterone thing. There’s so much there’s so many challenges now we have around mental health, people feeling depressed and things like that. And I don’t want to downplay it. I don’t want to simplify it. But I think if people just took the time to look at perhaps where nutrition was coming in to these effects, these negative effects that they’re having, that I would argue that a lot of in these situations that people are facing can be quite easily not solved, but kind of the effects reduce or mitigated against by having, you know, making sure you’ve got the nutrients in your daily diet.

Christian: Yeah, absolutely, and I actually heard something recently, I think testosterone levels across the population of men, the lowest in history in the Western world, and that can mean a crappy diet stress, not enough exposure to sunlight because so many of us work indoors, environmental pollutants. So more plastic exposure, diesel fumes, random things like that apparently contribute. So I think it’s more important than ever to be aware of those things. And like you said, topping up some of your minerals, you know, just tweaking your routine just a little bit. It’s not going to magically fix you overnight, but it can help get you back on track. And yeah, yeah. If someone who’s had low testosterone levels and then you pump them back up again to the healthy range, the feeling is dramatically different. I mean, it really is an important thing. As a guy, I recommend everyone out there get their testosterone levels checked at least once every year with blood tests, even if they’re only 30 and above, but definitely 50 and above, because it’s super important.

Darren: Yeah, and I think we are living in a time now where the access to these types of tests and I’ll caveat that with make sure that you have a medical professional interpret it, that it’s it’s you know, it is no longer a need for us to go to local GP or anything like more particularly in the UK. There’s a lot of online places now that will send you cases and you can do the blood tests. I just recently had mine done and it’s so, so insightful for the simple reason that it is like, you know, I use the analogy of maintaining a car. It’s like you’re getting the diagnostics done on your body and on your systems to understand what might be going on, even if you’re not sick. Right. So you could actually improve the state that you already have. You might be thinking, well, I’m fine, I’ll feel fine, but why not find out exactly what’s happening? And then you can use products like athletic greens to kind of optimize and enhance your health. And I truly believe this is the way that we need to be looking at health as a nation, as a society, and that is actually maintenance rather than prevention and cure.

Christian: Yeah, no spot on, I think it’s so accessible these days. I mean, I’m from Australia, so back there, the medical system’s amazing. I mean, I can go to my GP and be like, hey, you know, I’d like to get general blood tests for a health checkup. But while you’re at it, can I please get vitamin D checked? Zinc, testosterone, all the stuff that I get. Tick, tick, tick. No worries. And the government pays for it. And it’s great because, I mean, it sounds like I feel kind of guilty because I’m like I paid for it. But they’re incentivized to do that because, I mean, I am being proactive and monitoring my own health, which ideally could help prevent problems in the future or at least detecting them early. So in the long run, in a roundabout way, perhaps I could save the money. So paying for a blood test isn’t a big thing. So I think your car analogy is perfect. I mean, would you just drive your car for years without ever getting a service in one day it’s going to fall apart and you’d be like, oh, how did that happen? So I think getting blood tests, you know, the basic stuff, cholesterol, blood sugar. And then while you’re at it, if you can get some more spicy ones like testosterone and vitamin D, I mean, even just once a year, you know, you can just see things happening before they happen. And you might be surprised because you might think you’re on top of something and then you’re not. Yeah, well, you might be happily surprised that you’re better at something than you thought, but you don’t know if you don’t know. So, yeah. 

Darren: Yeah, definitely. I definitely agree. So you mentioned earlier about probiotics and prebiotics. Now, obviously, there’s so much stuff coming out now about gut health, our gut microbiome and everything else. And obviously with all of this stuff that is very, very different and probiotics and prebiotics, you can see within the athletic green product, you have that in there. So coming back to the point you made, first of all around and availability of bioavailability, what kind of makes the athletic screens, probiotics and prebiotics different from some of the other stuff out there in the market? And what I mean by that question specifically is you see all these silly little pasteurized yogurts that are on the market, whether they got health. And you just know, because the process they’ve been for, you can’t have any real positive effect. So how is your stuff different?

Christian: Yeah, yeah. Like you said, pasteurized to kill the bacteria that they sprinkle some new ones on top, hoping it’s going to do something. So, yeah, if you’re lucky, you can get some pots of yogurt, which is allowed to ferment on its own. But that’s another story. So again, we’ve designed the product to be safe to be taking all year round. So if you look at the doses, we don’t give you crazy mega doses of stuff because we’re not trying to fit you in a month. We’re trying to give you something you can safely take for a long time. So the two strains of probiotics, we use Lactobacillus acidophilus, which will sound familiar to a lot of people. That’s the one you typically find in yogurt and things like that. If it’s done properly, usually from fermented dairy. One’s dairy free, though, just for anyone out there who’s sensitive to dairy products, dairy free, and then before the bacterium, before them again, it’s another friend. They’re often found together and it’s two of the most studied and safest strains out there. And they’re in doses which are modest. So they’re not going to throw out the gut health and try to start a party. And then when you take your first scoop, they’re good enough to gradually give you that improved gut health over time, because unfortunately, some people get enthusiastic and take a huge dose of a probiotic after never taking one in their life.

And then they get all sorts of upset issues. So it’s better to kind of stagy weigh in. And then one of our biggest points of difference is that we had a good quality prebiotic fiber. So it’s insulin fiber not to be confused with insulin. So insulin fiber comes from Jerusalem artichoke, which is a type of artichoke, which is really fibrous. You wouldn’t really eat it. And that’s the special kind of fiber which allows your good guys the good bacteria to jump on there and multiply. And prebiotic fiber is not some crazy, exotic thing. You find it in your diet, for example, there’s great sources of prebiotic fiber and a lot of fruits, veggies, sweet potato and bananas, especially if they’re more on the greenside, contain something called resistant starch. And that’s a fantastic prebiotic fiber. There’s certain types of fiber in apples and carrots and things like that, which are not easy to find elsewhere. So prebiotics, being conscious of that from your food as well as your supplements is very important because you’re giving the good guys and just in your guts the fuel that they want and they need to multiply. So when you have lots and lots of the good guys in your guts versus the bad guys, which I mentioned before, the bad guys will thrive on things like sugar and alcohol and things like that. The good guys tend to thrive on.

Darren: Yeah, yeah, and it’s really, really important as a great explanation as well, and then you mentioned the final one, which is which is really a big one for me, and something which I’m really passionate about, and that is blood sugar. And the reason I’m passionate about that is because we have a horrendous problem globally, not just in the UK. Some statistics we spend, the NHS spends 16 billion pounds a year tackling Type two diabetes, which is a diet related illness. You know, globally, 400 million people have type two diabetes, but this is the worst statistic. Three hundred and fifty million have what’s called the precursor to type two. So they kind of don’t really know they got it, but they’re on the borderline to it.

Christian: In the pre diabetic stage it is in the borderline. They’re about to go over the cliff.

Darren: Yeah, exactly. And, you know, and that has basically come in because I believe how the Western diet is involved. You know, in the UK alone, 50 percent of our food is highly processed, not just processed, highly processed in the US is a higher number than that. So, you know, we’re on a one way ticket to type two diabetes globally if we don’t do something about it. But obviously, you’ve got something in your product which kind of balances blood sugar. And having a balanced blood sugar is so, so key for many, many different reasons, health and longevity and insulin resistance. So can you give us a little bit more insight into that?

Christian: Yeah. So I think I read recently that the UK has the not so honorable title of being number one for obesity in Europe and Germany is not far behind. And then our friends in Italy and France are the lowest because they’re quite so traditional with the food supplies. You know, you have to go to Giuseppe down the street to get your fish. Then you have to go to your friend up the road to get the veggies. It’s not all in one big book supermarket, which is fantastic. Yeah, but I mean, the US is the absolute pinnacle of craziness. I mean, they have so many they have such extremes and are fantastically healthy people here. Mean so many obese and diabetics. And there’s nothing in the middle. But yeah. Blood sugar. I mean it’s so important. And eating refined foods like you were saying, you got no fiber in that you’ve got super, super quick carbohydrate sources that your body can just soak up like sugar and your blood sugar goes up and then it goes down and just the extremes happen. And your body is like, what the hell is going on? And it has no choice with such a big up and down ride. I mean, you pretty much have no choice except to store. Most of that is fat because of just the sheer overreaction that happens when you eat stuff like that and you do it again and you do it again and eventually your body becomes again. I’m not a medical professional. Neither is the company. So just this is my understanding. You just keep doing that, you become less sensitive to insulin, so your body has to release more and release more, and then it’s just a downward spiral until eventually your pancreas is screwed and you have to go get assistance.

And that involves taking insulin and constantly measuring your blood sugar levels, all that stuff that is completely preventable, like you said, in like ninety nine percent of cases, because it’s not something genetic, it’s just dietary. So it’s insane. And then, yeah, I think we have things in there to help with blood sugar support chromium, the mineral chromium being a key one. And what’s interesting and more of a roundabout way is that a lot of people who are constantly getting cravings for crappy foods oftentimes are low in minerals. And when you type some of these back up, sometimes you find not only is your blood sugar level a bit more stable, but you have less cravings for crazy stuff. And then that puts you in a positive spiral because you will eat better. Your train and training, especially weight training and high intensity training, can increase your sensitivity to insulin. And then maybe you’ll eat a better food choice anyway, which requires less of a blood sugar response. And it’s is great compounding effect of getting better versus that terrible one of getting worse with eating your food. So yeah, it’s such a scary statistic. I mean, what you said, that’s absolutely insane. This preventable, self induced self-destructive thing is, I mean, just compounding like crazy. So, yeah, that really worries me. And I think more people should be talking about it. I’m glad you brought it up.

Darren: Yeah, I completely agree and I genuinely feel really passionate about it because we have been mis sold by the big food industries. You know, they’ve got off down the rabbit hole of low fat and all these kinds of processed food. And actually, you know, I’m not going to get on my side box, but I’m going to say this. You know, the majority of the research that is done in the food industry is funded by big food, kind of like pharmaceuticals, right? Big Pharma funds. Most of the medical research, therefore, is weighted in their favor. But anyway, yeah, it is harrowing and we have to change it. There’s no two ways about it. And I think continuous glucose monitoring, I think that, you know, there’s lots of products on the market now and there’ll be more and more coming out that has to be placed in the Western world now because we have to find out what’s going on. It kind of comes back to the blood test early. Now, we are in a time, I believe, with technology that is all accessible to us. And so, you know, within the next 20 to 25 years, illness is going to become optional. And that sounds like a real kind of outlandish claim. But I believe that that will be the case because of modern technology and because of the research and understanding that’s going on with, you know, with the diet and the body and stuff like that. So, yeah, I generally feel hugely passionate about it. And, you know, I do want to do something about it, but I don’t know what that is quite yet. But coming back to athletic greens and so what five key things would you say that people could take away from the podcast today around, you know, nutrients, micronutrients, your product that they could take today?

Christian: So. Well, I just want to say, I mean, I love the bold statement about illness being optional. And clearly, you are doing a big thing towards that with the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. So hats off to you for that. And I think that highlights exactly your point in that you can’t just blindly trust government food recommendations. Look around you, look to your friends who have gone in better shape and they’re in good, good health. People who walk their own talk like yourself. Yeah. And I mean, that’s where you go to hang out if you want to, you know, get on top of it. And yeah, the democratization of self testing and self measuring, whether it’s tracking things on your phone, the tiny little pin prick for blood tests that you get from the pharmacy stuff is always the fact that you can, it’s so accessible. It’s just brilliant. I mean, using technology for good use rather than, you know, for addiction. And so some of the five key takeaways, that’s that’s a good one. I mean.

One, try to get your head around certain vitamins and minerals you need and just start to think are the foods I’m currently eating giving me that stuff? Yeah. And give me enough of it and give me a variety of it. And I think being familiar with said, you know, what is vitamin C? Where does it come from? How much do I need? Being aware of that is cool. So they’re not just abstract terms. You get people throwing around and that only belongs in supplements. I think we’ve touched on it many times. I’ll touch on it again. Gut health, for sure gut health is so important and it’s not just important for digestion. Is elimination going to the bathroom? It’s been proposed that it’s heavily linked to your mental health. Yeah, people with gut issues are more likely to get anxious and things because it’s a disturbance which is felt elsewhere in the body, massively linked to the immune system. And some of your immune cells are made in the gut. So I’m in gut health super important, so eating stuff which has useful fiber. So fruits and veggies, if you’re OK with eating grains, because, I mean, there’s going to be people in your routine who are anti grain things like oats, for example, have brilliant fiber sources, including something called beta glucan. Mushrooms have amazing types of fiber called polysaccharides with all these crazy cool types of fiber. Fibers, not some boring thing going on. The old people take the form of Metamucil or bran cereal. Fiber is this awesome world of useful substances which your guts can do great things with.

So get your head around different fiber types and don’t feel bad if you’re not eating five balls apart today, you can get plenty of fiber from, again, fruits, veggies and all sorts of cool things. Yeah. So that’d be point number two. Point number three, I mean again what you said blood sugar is so important like what are you eating, what’s in that meal. Could you add something to the meal to slow down the blood sugar response. Yeah. 

Pump up the fat content a little bit, bump up the protein content, make sure there’s some fiber in that. Make that meal go through you a little bit slower. You know, that can really save you. Got this. The three three out of five, I think. Energy levels, so like monitoring your energy levels, it’s kind of an abstract thing, it’s not easy to do. It’s more of a perception thing. But yeah, think about things like B vitamins, think about foods that make you feel good and feel energized. Like, for example, you eat a carrot, you kind of feel like you’ve eaten something that’s alive. So you kind of feel a bit more pepped up. You eat a heavily processed thing like a cookie or something. It’ll pump you up for a little bit because of the sugar, but you tend to get dumped afterwards. So eating real living things to give you that energy and eating things that you’re not allergic to because sometimes people have allergies. And I realize that it makes them feel tired. So that’s a big one. So getting your head around your energy routine and yeah, caffeine is great, but overdoing caffeine can leave you down as well.

So think about different caffeine sources. If you only drink coffee, why not swap one of those afternoon ones for a green tea instead? Yeah. So look, to get different caffeine sources, it sounds a bit obvious and a bit boring, but it’s really interesting. So your energy, all the different things could be affecting your energy. Sleep, I would like to make this be point number five. Yeah, because it’s the most important point. I think if you sleep so out of whack, good luck with anything else. And energy, the immune system, repairing brain power, I mean everything. So if you’re someone watching or listening to this and you feel overwhelmed, like where do I even start? Get out of your sleep, you can get eight hours or close to it and it’s good quality sleep. You’re not eating food or drinking booze within ideally three or four hours of going to bed. You’re adequately hydrated. Your room is super dark. There’s no lights, no little everyday from the TV, your phone isn’t on. Or if it’s in your room, it’s on airplane mode. All those little tricks you hear I’m talking about. Use them all, make your sleeping routine sacred, you know, sleep in a cave, make it it’s black and go. That makes everything else easier. If you wake up from a good sleep, it’s so much easier to resist cravings to go to the gym. Yeah. Awesome. So yeah. Can’t stress sleep enough.

Darren: Yeah that’s awesome. And there’s five really great points as well. And the other thing is we love as humans to look for the complicated solution. Right. And I said this in an interview last week. You know, a lot of people listen to this and I don’t really want to sound negative, but we’ll dismiss the information you’ve just given because it’s too simple. For example, it’s sleep on. I sleep. You know, you don’t you don’t know unless you’re monitoring it. And like you said, this, the negative effects from sleep deprivation. But the quality of sleep is profound because what will happen is you might be on a healthy eating regime or whatever it is you want to call it, but if you are deprived in sleep, your body unconsciously will naturally gravitate towards anything that is going to give you an energy boost, whether that’s caffeine, whether that sugar that’s fast releasing carbohydrates. And so, like you said, Christian, you would just be on a downward spiral. So, yeah, if you can’t take anything else away from today, get your sleep, dive in and take some grains as well.

Christian: And add that in there. But if you one one more little point of sleep, because we mentioned it so much, I think I just keep saying more and more and more that it’s heavily linked to blood sugar regulation. Right. So crappy sleep, crappy diet. That’s a fast track to getting yourself towards type two diabetes. So it’s a big fix when it comes to stabilizing blood sugar.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Especially for men, middle aged men. You’ve got to start looking at that. I can’t be any clearer than that. You have to look at blood sugar because you are on a one way ticket to type two diabetes, whether you are fat, thin, you know, whatever you think you are going to do. Check your blood sugar.

Christian: Yeah, that’s the thing. You don’t have to be heavily overweight to get it as well. That’s the crazy thing.

Darren: Yeah, exactly. So that’s amazing. Christine, I really appreciate your time today. But before I let you go, is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you feel that I should have asked you which would benefit the listeners?

Christian: No, I think we’ve covered quite a lot of ground and I mean, you’ve been very generous with the time. I’d actually like to ask you something a little bit more reading through your materials. I know that you know as well as an impressive amount of weight loss with yourself when you found that you were reducing your inflammation and losing weight and feeling healthier, that asthma symptoms were going away as well. And I think that’s important to touch on because a lot of people have inflammatory related diseases. I had Superbad asthma as a kid, OK? And I’ve still got a little bit now as an adult, it’s quite under control because I exercise a lot. I eat quite healthy, but it can flare up. If I eat crappy foods for a few days, I go potty or I get enough sleep, things like that. So could you expand a little bit on your experience with that, but also just the importance of, you know, reducing inflammation through better dieting and weight loss and what it can do for you?

Darren: Yeah, I mean, for me, I didn’t actually it was only probably last year that I recognized that it had subsided quite substantially. And for me, just by the very nature of what I’m doing from an exercise perspective. But getting diet dialed in, it has naturally subsided. And I think it’s an important point that you made there about if you go out partying and stuff like that, you can feel it, because I can definitely feel that. We rarely drink at all anymore, and that’s just the choice that I’ve made. But if I do drink, I can definitely feel it the next day. So, for example, if I then jump in the pool the following day after having an alcoholic drink, my breathing is way more restricted than I am normally now. You know, generally I can now go and do an endurance event and I won’t even have any kind of medication in my inhaler or anything like that. But it’s interesting how if I go on a crappy diet and, you know, I’ll be honest, sometimes I do. Sometimes I’ll have crap food. I can definitely feel it from an asthma perspective. And the other thing I don’t know if you had this question, but I had asthma and eczema. So the two apparently linked to their inflammation. 

Christian: Superbad about me as a kid, bleeding, bleeding knees and elbows, all that stuff.

Darren: I said, yeah, in there kind of, you know, creases of your arms and everything that’s gone, completely gone. And most people think that it has to be something else that’s done it, but it’s not. It generally truly diets without any shadow of a doubt. And coming back to basics, really, I want the food, the ate is is all in its raw form. I won’t touch anything that’s going for a food process. And that’s all. That’s the only fundamental that I follow. You know, I’d really love to be able to be in the position where I’m getting organic fish and I know exactly where it’s sourced from. I pay particular attention to meat where that comes from. And by understanding that and putting that in, you know, that I believe has had the dramatic impact on my asthma. And, yeah, I’m glad you brought that up, actually, because it is an important point. I and I, I’ve only recently started to talk about it because I didn’t want to use that as a kind of a as a look at me, you know, cured my asthma. That’s not what it’s about. So I’m but I’ve recently started to talk about it because, you know, I feel that it would benefit others. And like we said earlier, you know, people listening to this might think that there’s some kind of miracle cure. The miracle cure is already available to us in diet nutrition. So, yeah, now, that’s a great question. And you are the first person that’s ever turned it back around on me on a podcast. 

Christian: And it was awesome. I mean, I love it.

Darren: Yeah, thanks. So we obviously have a link for the Athletic Greens. So people listening to this can get a discount. And I believe, Christian, you said at the moment as well, if they order the Athletic Greens product, they get something else.

Christian: Yeah. So they order it for your link. And then, I mean, most of your customers are going to be in the UK. So send an email to [email protected] when you order and mention that you heard on this podcast so you can get a free vitamin D with your first order, and Vitamin D is very useful, especially now heading into the darker months. And yeah, if you have any issues, make sure we’re right to support email in the show notes. But yeah, we’d love to give you a vitamin D and help you through those darker months.

Darren: Yeah, yeah, very. That’s a whole big topic. We could discuss vitamin D. Yeah, absolutely. So that’s been awesome. Christian, thanks very much for joining me on the podcast today and look forward to speaking to you again in the future.

Christian: Ok, thanks for having me.

Darren: Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please hit subscribe and I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes. All the things mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes and a full transcription is over at fitterhealthierdad.com