Epigenetics Series: How To Sleep For Better Health

Even one night of sleep deprivation can alter your genes. The epigenetic change of poor sleep can result in reduced immunity, poor memory, lowered cognitive processes, enhanced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and even higher risk for cancer and early death.

1 in 3 American adults doesn’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. That means nearly 70 to 80 million Americans are being subjected to reduced health and quality of life simply because they aren’t sleeping enough.

But understanding the epigenetics of sleep could help treat sleep disorders and their associated health risks.

How is sleep related to our genes? How do these epigenetic changes impact our health? And what can we do to reverse these genetic changes, sleep more, and stay healthy?

Epigenetics Recap

Let’s quickly recap the basics of epigenetics so we’re on the same page to discuss sleep genes.

Epigenetics looks at how changes in lifestyle and environmental factors can influence genetic expression.

We can’t change our genes. But certain environmental and lifestyle factors—like sleep— can activate or deactivate the expression of those genes.

DNA methylation is the most important and common epigenetic change. Methylation occurs when proteins attach to the methyl groups on the DNA bases. This attachment either “turns on” or “turns off” the expression of those genes. Think of methylation like a light switch that can flip the genetic expression one way or the other. We’ll also discuss histone acetylation below, which also plays a role in epigenetic expression.

Learn more about epigenetics here: What is Epigenetics and Why Do You Care?

The Importance Of Sleep

Sleep is critical for almost every aspect of our health. From learning and memory building to maintaining a healthy weight to reducing risk for chronic diseases, a number of studies have linked proper sleep to overall health and wellness.

The reverse is true as well. Studies have proven a correlation between lack of sleep and health problems, like metabolic disorders, heart disease, and even early death.

But the reason we need sleep for health isn’t fully understood. It could be because a lack of sleep increases cortisol (“stress hormone”) levels, which is linked to health problems. Or it could be that your cells need sleep to “reset” and regenerate. It could also be that sleep gives our body the necessary energy to use during the day.

Epigenetics is making some headway in understanding why we truly need sleep. Epigenetics suggests that sleep impacts DNA methylation, which can activate or deactivate certain cells in the body.

A lack of sleep may increase DNA methylation, which can suddenly activate the expression of risky genes, like cancer-causing tumor growth genes.

“It is becoming clear that epigenetic factors are highly integrated into networks [of clock genes and circadian gene expression],” wrote Qureshi and Mehler.

Epigenetics Control Sleep Patterns

Recent studies have proven that maternal and paternal imprinted genes control REM sleep.

One study looked at two syndromes, Prader-Willi syndrome and Angelman syndrome.

Prader-Willi syndrome comes from maternal additions (and paternal deletions) on chromosome 15. It results in inactive and sleepy children who tend towards the psychotic spectrum disorder.

Angelman syndrome has paternal additions and maternal deletions on chromosome 15. This syndrome results in hyperactive children who tend towards the autism spectrum.

This says something interesting about the link between genes and these syndromes’ symptoms. The difference comes from an opposite pattern of imprinting, which is the expression of the gene of one parental copy over another (Prader-Willi favors the maternal and Angelman favors the paternal).

When the maternal is stronger with Prader-Willi, children are inactive and sleeping. When the paternal gene is stronger with Angelman, children are hyperactive and sleepless.

The gene is the same, but the expression on wakefulness and sleepiness is different.

This same study also found that these genes can even control dreams. When paternal genes were predominantly expressed, the dreamer showed more aggressive impulses. When maternal genes were expressed, the dreamer showed more pro-social behaviors.

The expressed maternal or paternal gene has a direct correlation to energy levels, sleep capacity, and even dreaming.

This proves, at the very least, that our genetic expression has a direct link to our sleep patterns.

Sleep Patterns Control Epigenetics

But the opposite is true too. Genes control our sleep, but sleep also controls how our genes are expressed.

Research has proven that sleep controls the REM cycle. In fact, nearly 15% of our total genes oscillate along the sleep-wake cycles. This means that the genetic expression is dependent upon sleep patterns. A loss of sleep that disrupts our natural circadian rhythm can actually affect 20% of the genes in our brain.

These genes are called “clock” genes. These clock genes are key components of our circadian clock. How they interact with one another is entirely dependent upon genetic expression. The clock genes control when we are awake and when we are asleep, aka our nocturnal and diurnal cycles.

Yes, whether you are a “night owl” or “morning lark” is actually a factor of your genetic expression!

Some of the core clock genes include BMAL1, CRY 1,2 and PER 1,2. You can learn more about clock genes here.

Sleep and DNA methylation 

One of the most significant studies looked at the DNA methylation after just one night of sleep deprivation. 15 healthy men stayed in the lab for two nights. They slept during one session and were kept awake the entire night for the other.

They found after just one night of sleep deprivation:

  • Complete methylation of CRY1
  • Methylation changes in two regions of PER 2
  • Reduced genetic expression of BMAL1

That means almost all of the clock genes were instantly changed in just one night.  Researchers wrote, “Our current results indicate that changes in our clock genes may be linked to such negative effects caused by sleep loss.”

The study also looked at cortisol and blood glucose levels with sleep loss. They found that one night of sleep deprivation changed the genome of fat and muscle tissue. This demonstrates a direct link to increased risk factors of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers weren’t actually surprised that sleep impacted DNA methylation. They were more surprised how abruptly this change occurred. Cedernaes said, “It was interesting that the methylation of these genes could be altered so quickly, and that it could occur for these metabolically important clock genes.”

But what’s the problem? Why do we care about these clock genes?

These clock genes determine not only our patterns of sleep but also other key impacts of health, including cognitive function, metabolic health, and immunity.

Key Epigenetic Changes Dependent Upon Sleep

  1. Sleep improves immunity

There is a direct link between sleep and the immune system. A loss of sleep reduces the ability of the body to fight infection and diseases.

One study found an increase in DNA methylation in children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Increased methylation occurred primarily on the FOXP3 (Forkhead Box P3) gene. This gene is known for regulating the body’s immune response.

Methylation of this gene increased levels of two key proteins:

  • High sensitivity C reactive protein: linked to cardiovascular disease and inflammation in blood
  • Myeloid-related protein 8/14 complex: has a role in the body’s inflammatory process

Overall, researchers concluded that increased methylation levels increased the systematic inflammatory response. This chronic inflammation reduces the immune system while damaging organs and body functioning over time.

Learn more about the serious adverse health effects of chronic inflammation here.

  1. Sleep enhances memory and cognitive functioning

Memories are stored while we sleep. If we aren’t sleeping, our brain doesn’t have time to “record” these memories.

Like methylation, histone acetylation is another epigenetic mechanism. This occurs when acetyl groups are added to histones (histones help order the structure of DNA). An addition of acetyl relaxes the DNA chromatin structure, which increases the expression of that gene.

While DNA methylation “turns off” or “turns on” a specific gene, histone acetylation enhances the “on” of a gene. If DNA methylation is a light switch, acetylation is the dimmer function.

Studies have proven a link between reverse histone acetylation and brain function. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are especially implicated in learning and memory.

A lack of sleep can actually cause histone acetylation, and thus impact the brain’s ability to form memories and apply new learnings.

One study looked at rats with three days of sleep deprivation. They found that sleep loss decreased histone acetylation levels and increased HDAC2 expression.

They also found a reduction in BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) promoters. These proteins are critical for the creation of neuron synapses and associated memory formation.

The sleep deprivation reduced BDNF expression, which can interfere with the process of building neurons. Without these neurons, the brain starts to slow down, especially with regards to memory formation.

That’s why a night without sleep can make you so foggy and forgetful.

The researchers then administered an HDAC inhibitor to reverse this process, which was able to restorer spatial memory function.

  1. Sleep minimizes cancer risk

Studies have shown a link between a desynchronized circadian clock and tumor development. Not getting enough sleep can alter genes that are linked to immunity and tumor growth. This leaves your body exposed to cancer progression without the immunity to fight it off.

This likely occurs due to the decrease in melatonin with lack of sleep. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness.

One study found that melatonin can actually reverse tumor growth. In reverse, a lack of melatonin enables tumor growth progression. If we don’t sleep enough, our bodies don’t release the necessary melatonin. Moreover, light at night inhibits the release of melatonin. This melatonin deficiency has been linked to global DNA methylation, which impacts genes that regulate the immune system and inflammation.  

In essence, melatonin is necessary to prevent and reduce tumor growth.

  1. Sleep impacts stress (in a cycle)

Sleeping more can actually reduce your stress. Sleep helps lower your cortisol levels and increase your other hormones, like testosterone. A reduction in the stress-hormone cortisol can help your body feel less anxious and stressed.

But the reverse is true too. You need to reduce your stress if you want to get better sleep.

DNA methylation plays an important role in our body’s response to stress. DNA methylation can “turn on” stress genes. Stress causes histone modifications in the hippocampus, which can make the brain too active to get a good night’s sleep.

And many scientists believe that stress causes insomnia.

So DNA methylation might increase stress, which causes insomnia.

Insomnia and disrupted sleep then itself can become a chronic “stressor.” This stressor causes the DNA methylation that then causes insomnia.

It becomes a negative feedback loop of sleeplessness, stress, and unhealthy DNA methylation of genetic expression. This can literally perpetuate and sustain insomnia and associated health concerns indefinitely.

But we can actually break this cycle of epigenetics… by sleeping more.

How To Sleep

Can you “bank” your sleep?

This is always the first question people ask. Is it okay if I don’t sleep during the week and I sleep a lot on the weekend?

Well, no… but maybe.

Scientists are still looking at the impact of sleep accumulation.

However, as we saw with the above study, just one night of sleep deprivation can impact DNA methylation. Chronic sleep loss may have irreversible effects on genetic expression.

But, that doesn’t mean you should start losing sleep over your lost sleep. You want quality sleep every night, but one rough night won’t kill you. It’s generally accepted that it’s better to make up lost time the following day or weekend than to consistently tire yourself out running on no sleep.

So what does a healthy sleep look like?

In all honesty, the jury is still out on the answer to this question. So I’ll give you two key tips to follow that everyone can agree on.

  1. You want to sleep in full REM cycles when possible.

One REM cycle is about 90 minutes long. This means you generally want to wake up in intervals of an hour and a half. For example, you want to set your alarm for 6 hours, 7.5 hours, or 9 hours. Waking up after 8 hours interrupts a REM cycle, which will not only leave you tired and grouchy, but it could also impact DNA methylation and epigenetic expression.

The number of hours you should shoot for each night is still up in the air. I generally recommend 7-9 hours each night depending on your own energy levels. You can sometimes get by with 6 hours depending upon your own body’s needs.

However, with regards to epigenetic expression, the number of hours seems to be less important than when you sleep. You want to follow the natural light-dark cycle of the earth—and of your body. Sleeping during the day may actually impact your chromatin remodeling and cellular metabolism.  

  1. Go to sleep when it’s dark. Wake with the sun.

Learn more about sleep and increasing your energy here.

The Bottom Line

Sleep affects our “clock genes.” These genes are linked to key health factors like the immune system, inflammation regulation, cancer progression, stress, and chronic disease.

Even one night of sleep deprivation can impact the epigenetic profile. Sleep alters the expression of our genes. This means that sleep can literally control our behavioral and physiological functions.

Further understanding of the epigenetics of sleep could help treat sleep-wake disorders as well as reduce risks of neuro-degeneration, metabolic disease, cancer, diseases, and aging.

It’s critical to sleep in appropriate circadian rhythms to improve the immune system, boost cognitive function, reduce cancer risk, and more.

Do you love learning about how you can control your genes and health?

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13 Estrogenic Foods And Products To Avoid For Your Health

Recent research suggests that obesity, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and mood disorders could be linked to estrogen dominance. High levels of estrogen squashes your testosterone, which can lead to poor sexual function, lowered libido, fatigue, loss of muscle mass, brain fog, and other health concerns.

Both men and women need estrogen for growth and development, but too much estrogen can damage the body. More and more studies are coming out that show our foods and environment are filled with synthetic estrogens. These artificial hormones disrupt the natural endocrine production and create an unhealthy balance of high estrogen and low testosterone.

If you want to maintain your health and reduce your risk of hormone-related concerns, you need to watch your estrogen intake in your foods and environment.

What is estrogen?

Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone in both men and women. It’s usually considered a “female” hormone, because it gives females their feminine characteristics, including the regulation of the menstrual cycle. But men also need estrogen for growth and development.

Men need to be highly aware of their estrogen levels. If these levels are even slightly above normal, it can impact testosterone and insulin. Low levels of estrogen can predispose men to osteoporosis, brain changes (like memory loss), and unbalanced hormones. When estrogen levels are off, the other hormones unbalance in tandem, creating a body-wide endocrine disaster. This hormone imbalance can create a number of health concerns, including low testosterone.

What are the health concerns of excess estrogen?

Excess estrogen in men is linked to a number of serious health concerns that can impact short-term and long-term health.

Estrogen dominance is a toxic condition. Estrogen is the hormone that promotes growth and development. Too much estrogen is linked to the growth and spread of cancerous tumors. Researchers have especially studied the connection between excess estrogen and breast cancer in both men and women. Excess estrogen may also increase the risk for testicular and prostatic cancers.

Read: Does My Husband Have Prostate Cancer?

High levels of estrogen are also linked to weight gain. Estrogen likes to “hold on” to fat cells, which can make weight loss a challenge. Excess estrogen also upsets insulin levels. Insulin metabolizes sugar; when insulin is out of whack, it doesn’t fully process these sugars. If insulin can’t remove sugar from the bloodstream, the body starts storing that sugar as fat. This creates weight gain and eventually can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Reducing estrogen levels and increasing testosterone levels can increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass.

Excess estrogen can also cause thyroid concerns and depress the immune system. Other health concerns from this hormone imbalance include:

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Lowered sperm counts
  • Infertility
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Liver fatigue (liver works to reduce estrogen)

How do you know if you have excess estrogen?

In most cases, the symptoms of excess estrogen in men are similar to those of low testosterone (because high estrogen will suppress testosterone levels). These symptoms include:

  • Low libido
  • Thyroid imbalances
  • Digestive issues
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Depression

Where does excess estrogen come from?

It’s surprisingly common for men to have elevated estrogen levels, especially as testosterone declines with age. Combined with a high intake of estrogenic foods and an estrogen-filled environment, there is a perfect storm for high estrogen levels in men.

Xenoestrogens are chemical, synthetic compounds that mimic the structure of estrogen. Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that also show estrogenic properties. In the body, these xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens not only raise estrogen levels but also disrupt the endocrine system overall.

These synesthetic estrogens are popping up more and more in our environment. From the foods we consume to the chemicals in our household products, “estrogen” is everywhere—and it’s seeping into our systems and impacting our health.

Below you’ll find the 10 foods and 13 products to avoid in order to maintain a healthy hormone balance.

  1. Soy

Soy contains isoflavones, which are a type of phytoestrogen (the plant compounds that mimic estrogen). Isoflavones interrupt the endocrine (hormone) system and depress thyroid function. The thyroid helps regulate the metabolism, control hormones, and more; this dysfunction can contribute to metabolic syndrome.

Along with the isoflavones in soy, most soy grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered with heavy herbicides. In fact, more than 94% of soy grown in the U.S. is GMO (genetically modified). Farmers inject hormones into the soy plants in order to artificially engineer their growth and development. The plants hold on to these hormone-xenoestrogens throughout their life cycles. You then directly consume these synthetic hormones when you consume the soy.

Moreover, studies have shown “extreme” levels of glyphospate in U.S. soy. Glyphosate has been proven to increase estrogenic activity. If you are worried about and want to reduce your glysophate intake but aren’t sure how to go about it, there are therapies that offer up a foot detox, it supposedly pulls out all of those nasty toxins in your system bringing them into the water and helping the detoxification of your body making it healthier. Always check with a medical professional first before trying any alternative therapies.

  1. Meat & Dairy

Estrogenic hormones are used in excess on cow farms. The animals are fed synthetic estrogens to grow and stay healthy. This injected estrogen doesn’t disintegrate or go away, so you absorb these hormones when you consume any meat or dairy roducts. In this case, you really are what you eat.

Moreover, a number of farms force-feed their livestock soybeans, so you’re getting the estrogenic properties of the soybeans as well. They also spray the cow feed with pesticides that are considered estrogenic.

A number of farms use zeranol to enhance meat production. Zeranol is banned in the European Union, but it’s still prevalent in the U.S. Little is known about the negative health effects of zeranol, but several studies have shown a link between zeranol and early puberty and breast development in prepubescent boys and girls.

Dairy can be especially high in estrogen. In fact, nearly 80% of our dietary intake of estrogen comes from cow’s milk. Cows produce milk in order to feed to their young when pregnant or nursing, which is also when their estrogen levels are higher. In order to make milk, the cow needs to have high levels of estrogen; like other hormones, that estrogen goes into milk as well.

Injected hormones, pesticide estrogens, and the cow’s estrogen all leads to an excess of estrogen in meat and dairy that can drastically impact hormonal levels.

  1. Wheat

The Scripps Research Institute found that zearalenone colonizes on corn, barley, wheat, and other grains. Zearalenone is a fungus that mimics estrogen in the body. This research found that zearalenone actually reduces the anti-estrogen effects of breast cancer treatment.

In order to get rid of naturally-occurring zearalenone, farmers spray the plants with hormone-filled herbicides. With wheat, you could be consuming either estrogenic zearalenone fungus or estrogenic herbicides. It’s a catch-22 that can drastically impact hormones levels.

Also, certain types of wheat can cause inflammation in the gut. Chronic inflammation is the primary—though silent—cause of a number of diseases, like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, prostate disorders, and more.

  1. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are a “super food” powerhouse filled with high fiber and omega-3s. However, flaxseeds are also high in phytoestrogens, drastically disrupting the endocrine system. 100g of flax has nearly 379,380 micrograms of estrogen. Watermelon, in comparison, has 2.9 micrograms of estrogen.

Flax also contains lignans, which have estrogenic properties. In some people, lingans may inhibit cancer cell growth, while in others it can stimulate cancer cells. It’s recommended to avoid lingans and flaxseeds when already diagnosed with cancer or going through cancer treatment, but research is inconclusive about lingans’ ability to lower cancer risk in a preventative way.

Despite its natural health benefits, flax is becoming more and more genetically modified as it grows in popularity. This genetic modification uses estrogenic hormones, like we discussed soy and dairy products. Thus, you can still eat this super food for all the great fiber and omega-3 fatty acids—but look for organic or pure flaxseeds and flaxseed oil.

  1. Sugar

Sugar causes a spike in insulin. A spike in insulin lowers the level of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG binds to excess estrogen and testosterone to naturally maintain healthy hormone levels.

When SHBG is low, estrogen and testosterone increase because SHBG isn’t there to remove the excess hormones. Thus, when insulin spikes and creates a drop in SHBG, estrogen levels increase in tandem.

Read: 7 Foods Causing Your Erectile Dysfunction

  1. Alcohol

Studies have shown heightened estrogen activity after consumption of beer, wine, and bourbon. Alcohol triggers a release of estrogen while depressing testosterone, which can create a short-term impact on hormones. With heavy drinking, this can create a chronic imbalance of hormones.

The hops in beer contain a phytoestrogen that especially disrupts natural hormones. This is one reason for the beer belly; too much beer is not only high in calories but it’s also high in estrogen, which “holds on” to belly fat. You might want to try the Dherbs detox water recipe to help eliminate any stubborn belly fat.

  1. Processed foods

High fatty and carb foods increase bodily inflammation and raise estrogen levels. Be aware of processed foods like pastries, white bread, pretzels, fried foods, and other heavy carbs. You want to incorporate carbs and fats into a well-balanced diet—but opt for healthy carbs and fats like avocados, olive oil, and vegetables.

Read: Why You Should Never Eat A High-Protein Diet If You Want To Build Muscle

  1. Food additives

A number of food additives and preservatives can also possess estrogenic effects. This includes 4-hexylrescorcinol, which is used to prevent the discoloration of shrimp, and propyl gallate often found in vegetable oil, meat products, chicken soup base, and chewing gum.

  1. Legumes

Legumes are great for health, but they’re also high in estrogenic properties. Chickpeas, red beans, black-eyed peas, green peas, and split peas are all legumes. Black beans have nearly 5,330 micrograms of estrogen per 100g and hummus has 993 micrograms of estrogen per 100g. This won’t drastically impact your health, but be aware of your legume intake when trying to maintain healthy testosterone levels.

  1. Non-organic produce

Most produce is sprayed with pesticides and herbicides that have high levels of estrogenic hormones. Even with a thorough washing, you’re still ingesting a number of these chemicals and synthetic hormones. Try to eat organic produce when possible. Even some “organic” products aren’t 100% hormone-free, so make sure you’re researching your food labels.

Note: Farmed salmon is also high in hormones and antibiotics. Eat wild-caught salmon when possible.

  1. Plastic water bottles

Some plastic water bottles contain BPA (bisphenol A), which is a xenoestrogen. BPA is a synthetic compound that has been studied extensively for its effect on human safety and exposure. You’ll find BPA in plastic water bottles, canned foods and drinks, cash register receipts, and keg liners.

BPA in plastics can leech into the drinking water in the plastic bottle, where it’s then absorbed into your bloodstream. A 2013 study found that BPA disrupts the normal estrogenic receptors, potentially triggering obesity, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and cancer.

Another study found that estrogen activity was three times higher when water was packed in PET plastic bottles compared to glass.

  1. Tap water

You can also find estrogen residue in your tap water supply. Some people blame this residue on people flushing birth control pills down the toilet, but this is only partially true. In most cases, the estrogen found in our tap water is due to a runoff of herbicides and pesticides from farms and agricultural plants. This can end up recirculating in the water supply, causing you to glug down water filled with synthetic estrogen.

Most filters can remove estrogen from your water supply.

  1. Phthalates

Like BPA, phthalates interrupt estrogen receptors, creating an increase in free-floating estrogen. Research has linked phthalates with prostate cancer as well, possibly due to this estrogen dominance.

There are phthalates in synthetic scents (cologne), vinyl, laundry detergents, and plastic cling wrap. When possible, choose natural home products to avoid these estrogen-disrupting chemicals.

How to avoid extra estrogen

What can you do to avoid this intake of environmental and dietary estrogen? How can you keep your estrogen levels as consistent as possible?

  1. Avoid plastic bottles and plastic use. Never heat plastics in the dishwasher or microwave, as this can release the chemicals into the water or food.
  2. Don’t use nonstick cookware, which can have BTA.
  3. Avoid vinyl curtains and flooring.
  4. Choose fresh or frozen foods. Canned foods and drinks can contain BPA in the lining.
  5. Don’t accept receipts or store them in your purse or pockets.
  6. Use coconut, olive, or avocado oil in place of vegetable oil.
  7. Avoid dairy and soy. Instead, drink goat milk or nut milk (almond, cashew).
  8. Choose organic and grass-fed animal products. Choose organic produce when possible. Look at the label to see if it’s hormone-free and pesticide-free.
  9. Drink filtered water.
  10. Exercise often. This helps minimize body fat, which can keep your estrogen levels healthy. This is also important to conquer metabolic syndrome, overcome erectile dysfunction, normalize hormones, and improve overall health.
  11. Eat a lot of greens. Greens help pull out excess estrogen and detox your body. I recommend cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and Brussels sprouts.

(Some people recommend a dandelion and milk thistle detox, but the results can be varied and side effects are strong.)

The Bottom Line

If you want to maintain a healthy hormonal balance with strong testosterone levels, you need to avoid estrogen excess or dominance. But in today’s world, estrogen is everywhere: in our food, in our water, and even in our laundry detergents. The more you subject your body to these synthetic estrogens, the more unbalanced your own hormonal system will get.

Keep your hormones in check by avoiding the above 13 foods and products and consistently, regularly detoxing.

Want more advice on what you should and shouldn’t be eating or using?

Sign up for the Male 90X program. This genetic-based report and private consultation will give you the tools you need to achieve your maximum potential.

What Is Epigenetics And Why Do You Care

Epigenetics is making a splash in science and healthcare as the medical community is deepening understanding of the link between gene expression and lifestyle factors. Epigenetics is the study of those processes or variables that activate or deactivate the expression of certain genes. These genes make up our entire lives—from the way we look to the way we act to the way our bodies respond to disease.

Epigenetics is showing that we can “turn off” and “turn on” our genes through certain lifestyle variables, like diet, environment, exercise, stress, and sleep. If we have control over the activation of our genes, we may also have control over the way our bodies behave and respond to illness.

What are genes?

To understand epigenetics, we first have to understand the basics of genetics. Our “genes,” or DNA, are what make us who we are. Over 3 billion nucleotide bases that appear in a specific and unique sequence make up our DNA. This sequence of genes provides the cells of the body with information. There are four fundamental types of DNA bases, adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T).

DNA directs the activity of the cells (which are the fundamental units of human life). The genes tell the cells how to build proteins and how to interact with one another. From hair and eye color to risk for disease and immune response, our DNA controls what we look, act, sound, and live like.

Every person has a unique DNA sequence. Only half of our genetics pass on to our children, while the other half comes from our spouse. No two people have the same genetic makeup—it’s what makes you unique!

But our DNA is just the sequence and this sequence remains unchanged unless afflicted by a rare (and sometimes damaging) mutation.

Our DNA is the instruction manual, but the cells are the builders and doers.

The body’s cells read this sequence. How the cells read the DNA will determine our genetic expression.

Genetic Expression:

Genotype: the genetic makeup or sequence of your cells

Phenotype: the observable characteristics that stem from the genotype

The genotype is the actual sequence of your DNA. The phenotype is how that genotype is manifested in your body in observable traits, like development, physiology, or behavior.

For example, your genotype would be the sequence of DNA bases that determine your eye color. The phenotype is the observable color, like blue.

Eye color doesn’t usually change, but not all genotypes and phenotypes are as cut and dry as eye color. Most DNA genotypes can be read in multiple ways.

The phenotype is the interpretation of the genotype… and there can be multiple interpretations.

Where do the different interpretations come from?

They stem from those parts of the genes that are “turned on” (active) or “turned off” (inactive).

This is where epigenetics comes into play.

What are epigenetics?

Epigenetics looks at how external and lifestyle factors can active or deactivate certain gene expressions.

For decades, we thought that our genetics were our genetics. They were unchangeable—or at least changeable very, very slowly. We thought that mutations in genes took multiple generations to be expressed, and these mutations were usually by random.

Recent years of research is disproving this. We’re finding now that our genes can be modified in our lifetime and then passed down to our children. This means your gene expression can literally be different as a child versus as an adult.

For example, you may not be at risk for cancer as a child but you’re at risk for cancer when you turn 30 because that cancer gene has suddenly been “turned on” from years of exposure to environmental factors, like smoking and pollution.  

Factors that affect genes

Epigenetics looks at how certain genes can be silenced (dormant) or expressed (active) over time and what factors influence this. Research is proving that what you eat, where you live, when you sleep, how you exercise, and even with whom you interact can all modify your genes.

Genes don’t just create an order in the womb and stay the same forever. The expression of those genes can change over the course of your life based on your lifestyle and other environmental factors.

Epigenetics doesn’t change the genotype or actual sequence of DNA, but it affects how the cells in the gene are read (the phenotype).

If we could understand exactly which factors turn off and turn on certain genes, we could, in essence, eradicate a number of diseases and cancers.

These changes in genetic expression can occur at any point in your life. They can also occur in previous generations and be passed down through decedents. For example, one study proved the influence of environmental factors on developing infants both in the prenatal and early postnatal stages. In one specific example, children born to mothers who suffered the Dutch famine (1944-145) had increased rates of coronary heart disease and obesity compared to those not exposed to the famine.

Living healthier not only impacts you and your genes. It impacts your children and your children’s children as well.

DNA Methylation

The most studied and understood factor of epigenetics is DNA methylation. DNA methylation controls gene expression. Basically, high methylation turns genes into the “off” position.

Methylation refers to the addition of a methyl (CH3) to the DNA strand. This addition, in essence, turns the DNA strand into the “off” position, as if the methyl addition were flipping a switch.

Whether methylation is a default state or a target on certain genes is still being studied.

DNA methylation is important to ensuring that dangerous sequences of DNA are “turned off.” For example, you want an increase in methylation on sequences that control cancerous cells. In most studies, the genomes in cancer cells are hypomethylated (low in methyls).

Certain lifestyle factors will cause DNA methylation of certain types of cells.

What factors affect health?

Diet, lifestyle choices, stress, and behaviors can all impact the expression of your genes. For example, smoking is proven to mutate your cells and impact the DNA expression of those cells. The chemicals found in cigarettes literally morph your cells, activating the “cancer” genes that were otherwise turned off.


Your environment directly impacts your health and wellness.

Air pollution especially has a direct link to epigenetics. Studies show that pollution might alter the methyl tags on DNA, which can increase the risk for neurodegenerative disease. Moreover, air pollution can cause or exacerbate asthma, which can be passed down to children.

This pollution also gets into the bloodstream, leading to chronic inflammation in the body. This inflammation has been associated with heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and other diseases.

But changing your environment can also change your genes. Removing yourself from a harmful or polluted environment is the first step. If you need to stay in that environment, regular detoxes and healthy eating is crucial. Certain supplements can also counteract the effects of the environment. For example, B vitamins may protect against epigenetic changes due to pollution.

The environment and air your cells take in has a direct impact on your health and genetic expression.


What you put into your body also directly feeds into your cells. For example, polyunsaturated fatty acids can promote free radicals and oxidative stress, which can cause your genes to be expressed in a different (mutated) way.

On the other hand, “antioxidants” can help deactivate cancer cell expression. Antioxidants help fight off oxidative damage and free radicals caused by environmental factors like UV ray damage or pollution. Foods like blueberries and kale are known antioxidants.

So, if you undergo some sort of environmental stress, your diet can actually help reverse the damage to your cells.

Some dietary compounds are now accepted to defend against tumors and act as “epigenetic modulators.” These consist of teas, garlic, herbs, grapes, and cruciferous vegetables. For example, one study showed that the diallyl-disulfide in garlic may help minimize colon tumor cells.

Polyphenols are a compound that also impacts an epigenetic expression. Some studies have shown that polyphenols can actually reverse malignant transformation of cancer cells. Soybeans are especially rich in polyphenols that inhibit DNA methylation of cancer cells. In fact, some data suggests that soy consumption is associated with a reduced risk of hormone-related cancers because of the impact of polyphenols on epigenetic expression.

The supplements you add to your diet also have an impact on your cells. Vitamin deficiencies can activate certain cell expressions.

Read: Why You Should Never Eat A High-Protein Diet If You Want To Build Muscle

Keep an eye on the Dr. Gapin blog for more about diet, supplements, and epigenetic expression coming soon!

Drugs & Alcohol

Addiction is hereditary, but how?

There may be a gene for addiction, but the reading or phenotypic expression is what actually manifests in addiction.

This means that addiction can be “turned off” and “turned on.” This is why addicts are often considered addicts “for life”—because it’s in their genes. But it’s also why these “for life” addicts can go 20 years without using.

An addict has the gene for addiction, but certain lifestyle changes can deactivate its manifestation.

Researchers are still studying to see whether genetics creates a predisposing factor to addiction or the expression of the addiction is a response to the use of drugs and alcohols. Ultimately, though, most scientists agree that if you don’t use drugs and alcohol, you are less likely to “turn on” that addiction gene, even if it runs in your family. They also believe that if you are already showing the phenotype (you already have an addiction problem), certain healthy lifestyle changes can deactivate this expression.


Some research suggests that exercise can influence gene expression by manipulating the chromatin structure. Basically, exercise can minimize inflammation in the body by impacting DNA methylation. When exercise minimizes chronic inflammation, it helps “turn off” the bad cells and promote good cells.

Other studies have found a link between exercise and genes through the chemical beta-hydroxybutryate (DBHB). DBHB is a ketone that increases the BDNF gene—which is used for healthy production of protein. DBHB builds up in the brain due to exercise, creating an alternative source of energy and “turning on” strong genes in the sequence. It has also been shown to act as a class I HDAC inhibitor in other parts of the body. Basically, exercise increases DBHB, which helps keep the brain and body healthy.

Need more proof? One study had participants bicycle using only with one leg. That leg was obviously more powerful in the muscles, but the cells’ DNA showed an even more interesting finding. Researchers discovered that the genome of those muscle cells had new methylation patterns compared to the unexercised leg. Gene expression noticeably increased in the muscle-cell genes; this can impact energy metabolism, insulin response, and muscle inflammation.

The link of exercise and epigenetics is still being studied, but more and more research is proving that even light or moderate exercise can improve gene expression.


Your working environment and stress levels can also impact your cells and genetic expression. When we’re stressed, we release hormones called glucocorticoids. These travel throughout the body and impact the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis—which affects the brain, the hormones, and the adrenals. This is what makes you feel physiologically anxious.

Some studies have found that glucocorticoids can actually change DNA expression. Chronic exposure to corticosterone and glucocorticoids actually changes genetic variations, creating a “permanent” state of anxiety or even PTSD.

The reason this happens is interesting—and makes a lot of sense. If you have chronic stress, your body thinks that it’s living in a stressful situation.

Think back to original biological processes. Living in the wild, you’d likely experience chronic stress if you were living in bad weather, in a bear den, or you were low on food. Your body acknowledges that you’re in a stressful situation. So it literally changes its genetic expression so you are more equipped to handle stress. So if you live in a bear cave, you’re likely met with stress on a daily basis. Your body changes so that it becomes more adept at the fight or flight response to meet those daily struggles with the bear.

Now, though, we don’t have this same sort immediate need for fight or flight (on an everyday basis). Thus, it’s not useful or productive for our bodies to genetically express stress.

In fact, this genetic expression of stress can actually “turn off” healthy cells. This leaves room for disease-ridden or cancer-ridden cells to grow, because your body is so focused on the stress response.


Studies have shown that sleep can increase DNA methylation levels. This can increase immunity and reduce risk of cancer. Moreover, sleep is necessary for our cells to have time to rest, relax, and rebuild. You need sleep in order for your RNA process to function; RNA methylation determines the speed of your circadian clock.

Basically, studies are finding that an imbalanced or desynchronized circadian clock leads to cancer progression because of the relationship between sleep and DNA methylation.

We’ll discuss this more in upcoming articles in the Epigenetic Series!

Read: 11 Ways To Increase Your Energy After Age 50


Even how you age can impact your genetic expression. Diseases become more prevalent with age, but why? It’s not because of the number of candles on your birthday cake… it’s because your cells start to change. Some studies are looking at how age can alter DNA methylation and RNA expression. As cells age, the chromatin landscape and DNA accessibility change, which can stop the natural progression of the cell cycle.

But epigenetic mechanisms like changes in lifestyle and environment may actually be able to restore or reverse genetic phenotypes to a more youthful expression.

That’s right—you might be able to reverse the process of aging with epigenetics!

Good news! We will be discussing these environmental factors at length in the Epigenetic Series! Stay tuned with the DRG blog for more info!

The Bottom Line

Epigenetics is showing us that genetic changes happen much faster than we expect. The type of lifestyle and health we choose today doesn’t have some distant, far-off consequences. Our choices impact our near future and the health and wellness of our children.

he way our genes are expressed determines our health and wellness.

Epigenetic factors, like lifestyle habits and environment, influence the way our genetic expression. Certain variables can alter the marks on DNA, determining certain health outcomes.

But if environmental factors can “turn on” the disease and cancer portion of cells… these same factors can “turn off” disease and cancer.

Epigenetics tells us that disease can be reversed with certain lifestyle choices and behaviors.

What if you could make a decision to change one thing about your life and drastically reduce your risk for cancer?

What if you could change one thing and never again worry about the Alzheimer’s or addiction that runs in your family?

In my Epigenetic Series, we will explore the different epigenetic factors that may activate or deactivate cells and certain genetic expressions.

Stay tuned on the DRG blog for more on epigenetic health and wellness! Learn more about how Epigenetics affects YOU with The G1 Performance Health Consult, a genetic-based report and private consultation that will give you the tools you need to achieve your maximum potential. Sign up today! 

Will Lycopene (Tomatoes) Improve My Prostate Health And Fight Prostate Cancer?

Lycopene is one of the most popular supplements for prostate health, but does it actually work?

The answer: maybe. The jury’s still debating about lycopene and prostate health.

What is lycopene and what’s its link to prostate health?

What is lycopene?

Lycopene is a carotenoid. Carotenoids are the pigments found naturally in plants and algae. Different carotenoids provide different organic coloring. Lycopene gives a reddish color to fruit. Plants use the lycopene pigment to gather light for photosynthesis. It also helps protect plant cells from photosensitization.

Lycopene is found in highest concentrations in tomatoes and tomato products, like tomato paste, tomato sauce, and even ketchup. Over 80% of human consumption of lycopene comes from tomato products.

Lycopene is naturally present in human tissues and blood. It is especially concentrated in the prostate, testes, adrenals, and liver.

Lycopene isn’t essential to human health, meaning you can live without it. However, lycopene has shown some significant health benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.

Lycopene is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are protective defenses that help fight “free radicals” and prevent oxidative damage. Antioxidants are known to have cancer-fighting abilities. Because of its antioxidant properties, lycopene may decrease risk of chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

How is lycopene linked to prostate health?

Lycopene has commonly been associated with prostate health. A number of studies have looked into the interaction between lycopene and prostate cells, especially since lycopene is found in such high concentrations in the prostate and testes.

But does lycopene actually prevent and treat prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer prevention

Published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute, researchers compiled and reviewed 57 studies regarding the lycopene-prostate link. Of the 57, 35 studies showed an inverse relationship between lycopene levels and risk of prostate, lung, and stomach cancer.

They concluded that “frequent consumption of tomato products is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.”

So should you start devouring tomatoes to reduce your risk of prostate cancer?

Yes and no. The researchers also concluded that the data is sensitive, as it’s hard to separate lycopene from other factors in tomatoes and dietary regimens.

Additional research has in part backed the claims of that review.

A 2015 study concluded that tomato paste may protect against prostate cancer by regulating the cancer genetic expression through kappaB. Basically, they found that tomatoes were able to reduce cancer-related inflammation.

Another study in 2014 of nearly 50,000 health professionals found that a higher intake of lycopene was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, especially fatal prostate cancer.

The Health Professionals Follow-Up study found a significant cancer risk reduction in tomato sauce, pizza, and strawberries. Strawberries, though, don’t have lycopene (despite their red color). They concluded that consumption of tomato-based foods may reduce risk of prostate cancer, but other factors may be involved as well.

Read Now: Can We Product Prostate Cancer Risk Through Lifestyle Change?

Despite this “proof,” other research has been less reassuring.

A study in Hawaii showed no association between lycopene and prostate cancer.

Another study of 14,000 people found that a higher consumption of tomatoes showed a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer. But they also found a reduction with beans, lentils, and peas, which don’t contain lycopene. The variables seem to create inconclusive data.

Research results are mixed. Likely this has to do with the multiple vitamins found naturally in tomatoes, creating too many variables for true segmentation.

Prostate cancer treatment

Can lycopene actually treat cancer?

Some studies say yes, but it’s definitely not a treatment option just yet.

One study found that a lycopene supplement, Lyc-o-mato (15mg lycopene), showed a PSA level decrease of 18% compared to 14% in the control group. The difference was significant, showing that 15mg of lycopene twice daily could help minimize already present cancer levels.

Another study looked at PSA levels after orchiectomy (removal of one or both testicles). They found that lycopene consumption produced a more consistent and predictable decrease in PSA level by diminishing the primary tumor and secondary tumors. It also provided better relief from bone pain and lower urinary tract symptoms caused by the operation

However, just like with prostate cancer prevention, lycopene is not yet a proven solution. Results are mixed and it may or may not have an impact on prostate health.

Read Now: Does My Husband Have Prostate Cancer?

Where does the link come from?

There are three major theories for the link between lycopene and prostate cancer.

The most accepted theory is the antioxidant effect. Lycopene is a known antioxidant. This means that it can help fight off oxidative damage that cause chronic disease and cancers. Lycopene is found in high concentrations in prostate cells. Thus, due to proximity, it’s likely the fastest-acting antioxidant against prostate cancer.

Lycopene and other carotenoids can also help stop tumor growth by increasing the communication between healthy cells and decreasing the communication between malignant ones. One study speculated that lycopene was able to reduce prostate cancer because of its suspected ability to inhibit the growth of tumor cells.

Lycopene also may impact insulin growth factor. High levels of insulin growth factor are linked to prostate cancer. Lycopene consumption can actually reduce insulin growth factor levels. Thus, there may be a correlation with regards to lycopene’s ability to reduce the cancer-causing impacts of insulin growth factor.

What’s the conclusion on lycopene and prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is highly prevalent among men, especially men over the age of 50. Due to its prevalence, experts are constantly looking for new ways to prevent and treat prostate cancer. While lycopene may hold some promise, it’s not a solution just yet.

It may not be a proven treatment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consume lycopene. Some studies suggest it does help, and it has very few toxicities or side effects.

Lycopene supplementation may help your prostate, so it’s worth the consumption.

Plus, lycopene may have other health benefits as well. It may be able to:

It may even keep you looking young by maintaining the skin cell’s integrity against everyday pollutants and toxins. Tomatoes = the fountain of youth?

How should you consume lycopene?

You can get the majority of your necessary lycopene and its prostate-healthy benefits from your diet. Most Americans get 80% of their lycopene from tomatoes and tomato products, like tomato paste and tomato sauce.

This is the one and only time I’ll tell you to eat pizza. Yes, once in a while, a sauce-heavy pizza won’t hurt! We can call pizza night “prostate health night” instead.

Cooking or heating tomatoes helps release the lycopene. Fresh, uncooked tomatoes have about 30-70mg per kg, while tomato paste and cooked tomatoes have about 300mg/kg. So make a homemade tomato sauce to put over your quinoa for a super-charged, lycopene-filled milled.

Pro-Tip: Eat healthy fats with your tomatoes. Fat may help the body better absorb lycopene and other carotenoids. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed. I love a Mediterranean salad with salmon, olive oil, and slightly cooked tomatoes.

Lycopene is also found in watermelon, pink guava, papaya, red cabbage, asparagus, grapefruit, mango, and carrots. Time to start chomping down on some red foods!  

P.S. Be sure to buy organic tomatoes and tomato sauces to avoid toxins from pesticides and herbicides. Avoiding genetically modified foods or packaged foods is important to maintaining a healthy prostate and overall body.

Read Now: Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer Thru Diet?


You can also supplement with lycopene if you feel you don’t get enough in your fruits. Most supplements are between 6mg-15mg, taken twice daily.

Lyc-o-mato is the most common lycopene supplement, coming in a 15mg capsule. One study even found that Lyc-o-mato supplements twice daily decreased the growth rate of prostate cancer.

However, I don’t usually recommend a lycopene supplement. A healthy diet should satisfy your lycopene needs.

If you want to add cancer-fighting supplements to your lineup, check out these 7 supplements every man should take for optimal health.

The Bottom Line

Lycopene may or may not prevent and treat prostate cancer… but eating lycopene-rich foods doesn’t hurt!

So put tomatoes on your sandwich today. Your prostate might just thank you.

Do you want to reduce your risk of prostate cancer?

Lycopene can help… but there are other proven ways to reduce your risk and get you on the road to health!

Click below to get the Male 90X program and make the choice to reduce your prostate cancer risk on top of achieving your maximum potential!

5 Healthy, Productive Habits You Can Start This Week

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

You’ve heard it before. “Get more sleep. Stop stressing. Eat healthy foods.”

We all know the ways to live a healthy life…

But how many of us actually follow these health rules?

Did you know that 97% of Americans live an unhealthy lifestyle in some way?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m in that 97% sometimes. I’ve found myself skipping a workout here and there or delving into one too many bites of a chocolate cake. That’s part of life.

But I used to be heavily situated in an unhealthy lifestyle, like so many Americans today.

At one point I was 25 pounds overweight and my cholesterol was 245. I was constantly fatigued, irritable, sluggish, and unhappy, which made me feel fat, idle, and old. My doctor reviewed my life expectancy charts, and I instantly came face to face with my own mortality.

I left my doctor’s office ready for a drastic change.

But being ready for a change and making a change are two different things.

We all know what we should do to be healthier.

Today, it’s time to turn those “shoulds” into “musts.”

I’m sick of reading about “the 10 things you need to do to be healthier.” It’s time to provide actionable steps and habits towards achieving a higher level of health.

I am going to give you specific, small habits to implement this week that will make you feel better and perform at the top of your game. They’re easy to do but have big impacts!

Why do you need healthy habits?

You need your health in order to be productive in any area of your life. If you want to be a good husband, boyfriend, father, uncle, or friend, you need to be healthy. If you want to be successful at work, you need to have your health. When you’re not feeling well, you can’t function at your best for your family and your career.

If you don’t have your health, you can’t have anything else.

When you feel healthy, productivity and happiness fall into place.

It’s time to prioritize your health if you want other parts of your life to be fruitful as well.

So how do we get healthy?


Habits are regular, consistent practices that become a part of our identity and routine.

There are good habits… and then there are bad habits.

Brushing your teeth before bed is a good habit instilled in many of us from a young age. Putting on your seat belt when you get in the car is an automatic practice you don’t even think about anymore.

A bad habit is eating a bowl of ice cream every night before bed. But it’s become a habit, so it’s hard to give up even if we acknowledge that it’s bad for us.

If you want to be a high performer in life, you need to fill your days with productive and healthy habits. These are consistent actions that make you better and stronger.

How do you implement healthy habits?

There’s a saying that it takes 3 weeks to make a habit and 3 days to break it. In fact, it’s usually more like 2 months (66 days) for an action to become a habitual behavior.

If two months seems like a long time, you’re in the wrong mindset.

Two months is a very short period of time when you’re building a habit for life.

Living a healthy life takes dedication.

But that’s why I’m here to give you specific steps that can help you stay disciplined and strong starting right now.

By the way, I’ve found that after two weeks, it’s a lot easier to keep up with a behavior. You’ve proven you can do it for two weeks, and you’ve felt the benefits of your health in that time period. If you can stay strong for two weeks, you’re more likely to keep up these positive behaviors until it’s ingrained as a habit.

So let’s get into the 5 healthy habits to make you happier, fitter, and more productive.

  1. Take a warm then cold shower.

Showering early in the morning is a great way to wake up and start your day on a clean, fresh foot. A morning rinse can help you shake off the sleepies by invigorating the senses and clearing your mind.

A morning shower cuts a small chunk out of your day dedicated solely to mindfulness. You can think about your to-do list, which gets you in a productive state of mind for the rest of the day. You can think about all the people and things you’re grateful for, which has been shown to increase happiness levels. Or you can even think about what it would be like to be a rock star—which makes you feel like a rock star the rest of the day.

Use your morning shower to meditate and regroup before you start your day. You’re alone with your thoughts in the shower, so use this time to for some positive, productive thinking.

Plus, shaving is healthier in the morning. You have more blood platelets or “cloggers” in the morning, so you’re less likely to bleed or scab if you accidentally nick yourself. But you’re less likely to nick yourself because you’re more alert in the morning.

There have been studies that show showering at night is also important, which I’ll discuss more in #3. Nevertheless, a morning shower is one of the best ways to regroup, meditate, and prepare for an energetic day.

Should your shower be hot or cold?


Warm water works like heat therapy to relax muscles and ease tension. Warmth can help your body and mind de-stress, which can lower your high morning cortisol levels.

One study found that warmth encourages the brain to release oxytocin, which is the hormone that improves happiness and fights against stress and anxiety. Warm water can also help treat headaches, relieve coughs and cold, minimize pain, and reduce high blood pressure.

Warm water also helps you get a deeper clean. It opens your pores, which helps your soap penetrate further into your skin. You’ll get a deeper clean, getting rid of toxins and gunk that can seep into your body.

Plus, you want to shave with warm water. The warmth helps open pores and soften hairs for a comfortable, close shave.

Note that hot water may feel good, but it’s highly drying. A hot shower can actually dehydrate you, which can lower energy levels and cause brain fog throughout the day.

After taking a warm shower, end with a cold rinse, around 68 degrees, for 2-5 minutes. The change in temperature will instantly increase your mental alertness and awaken your cells.

You’ve likely heard of athletes like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James taking ice baths for muscle recovery and inflammation reduction post-workout or post-game. A number of people swear by the benefits of cold water.

Moreover, cold hydrotherapy has proven health benefits that you can’t ignore.

Benefits of cold hydrotherapy:

Some experts even suggest that cold water can help fight against cancer. The temperature shock kills off “weak” cells, like cancer or infection.

Struggling to turn the knob to blue? I get it. I love my hot showers. But think of all the health benefits. Two minutes of cold equals 24 hours of health.

And consider this. Wim Hof “The Iceman” swam under ice for 120 meters with one breath and climbed all of the highest mountains in only shorts. You’d be shocked what the human body can handle.

The greater you “stress” your body, the stronger it becomes.

Learn more about the immense benefits of warm and cold hydrotherapy here.

Wake up every morning with a warm then cold shower to start your day with a refreshed mind and energetic body.

  1. Drink half your body weight (in ounces) of water.

75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Our bodies need water to function properly. About 60% of the male human body is made of water. Without this water, cells, organs, and tissues dry out and stop operating.

You need water for digestion, joint health, waste systems, cell survival, body temperature regulation, shock absorption, hormone production, and brain health. Without water, your body can’t survive.

Chronic dehydration puts your body into “survival mode.” You don’t have the water you need to survive, so your body starts to shut down to conserve this water. This leads to low energy, low function, and low productivity.

Not drinking enough water is killing your performance.

Daily dehydration leads to:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Joint pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Lowered immune system

You also need water for daily detoxification. We’re bombarded with pollutants and toxins every day. When we are dehydrated, our body retains water. This bloating “holds on” to old water and toxins.

When you drink more water, though, your body will flush out the pollutants that this old water is holding. When you urinate, you get rid of waste that is making your body sluggish and unhealthy.

You should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces. If you weigh160 pounds, you need at least 80 ounces of water daily to stay hydrated.

Hydration tips:

  • Carry a reusable, refillable water bottle. This reduces plastic waste and cuts costs.
  • Drink a glass of water every hour on the hour.
  • Infuse your water with fruit for a delicious, healthy drink.
  • Drink one glass of water before eating. Most people confuse thirst with hunger and overeat in response—when really they’re just thirsty!
  • Eat hydrating foods like watermelon, strawberries, lettuce, and zucchini.

I also recommend drinking alkaline water whenever possible. Alkaline water is less acidic than tap water, which can help regulate your body’s pH and neutralize the acids in your body. A healthy body pH is critical to immune health.

Drinking enough water is the easiest way to improve your body’s performance, increase your energy, and enhance mental alertness.

  1. Create a bedtime routine.

1 in 3 Americans doesn’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked to increased risk of obesity, heart disease, blood pressure, stroke, anxiety, depression, diabetes, and more.

Lack of sleep is also linked to weight gain. When you don’t sleep enough, your body looks to food to gain its energy. You’ll find you have a greater appetite—and a desire for sugar—because your body is craving energy. Often, this leads to chronic overeating, which causes significant weight gain.

Plus, you need sleep in order to regulate cortisol. High levels of cortisol cause weight gain, anxiety, stress, and lowered testosterone. High levels of cortisol can also interrupt your sleep patterns, creating a negative cycle of sleep deprivation.

To break this cycle, you need healthy sleeping habits. The easiest way to get better quality sleep is with a bedtime routine. When you start your routine, it signals your brain and body that you’re getting ready to sleep.

Everyone’s bedtime routine looks a little different. You need to find what works for you. Spend the next two months experimenting what will help you wind down. Here are some sample activities for a healthy bedtime routine.

Tips for a better bedtime routine

  • Have a healthy snack two hours before bed. This makes sure you’re not hungry, which can prevent you from falling asleep.
  • Turn off your phone or switch it to “night mode.” The blue screen has been shown to interrupt sleep, and the EMF radiation from the phone can potentially cause other health problems. You can find ways to check for other EMF sources Here. (Read more how Blue Light Affects your Eyes https://anrri.com/blogs/education/blue-light-affects)
  • Take a warm shower. This will remove pollutants you’ve accumulated on skin and hair throughout the day, so you go to bed clean and detoxed. It’s also a great time to wind down from the day and let go of daily stressors. (You can shower both in the morning and night, but be sure to moisturize your body in the evening to avoid skin dehydration.)
  • Do a mindfulness or gratefulness meditation. Gratitude is directly linked to inner happiness.
  • Have sex. Orgasm releases the hormone prolactin, which suppresses dopamine levels. Dopamine keeps your body and brain awake—without it, you fall asleep. Moreover, sex releases oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone; oxytocin releases stress and anxiety, which can help your body fall into a restful sleep. You could even consider incoperating something like penis rings for men for extra pleasure, for a better nights sleep!

Check out these 9 exercises to have better sex.

Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day. This will start to discipline your circadian rhythms. If you go to bed every night at 11pm for two months straight, your body will start to naturally get sleepy at 11pm.

This is true for the weekends as well. Sleeping in over the weekend interrupts your sleep cycle and makes you less productive and energetic. That’s why you can’t wake up on Monday mornings!

Find a nightly routine that works for you to start naturally signaling your body when it’s time to get ready for bed.

  1. Wake up at least two hours before work.

Just like you should go to bed at the same time every night, you should also wake up at the same time every morning.

And the time you wake up should be early.

Studies show that the early bird really does get the worm. Some of the world’s top CEOs wake up before the sun rises.

Waking up early sets a positive, productive tone for the rest of the day. Not only does it give you more time to check things off on your to-do list, it also discourages procrastination. You’re making the active decision to get up and get moving, which tells your brain it’s time to be energetic. When you hit the snooze button, you’re instantly putting your head in procrastination mood.

Plus, you have extra hours to focus on your health. You have extra hours of movement and calorie burning. This helps improve your anti-stagnant energy throughout the day.

I recommend waking up at least two hours before you have to leave for work. This gives you a good chunk of time to be productive and improve your health.

But if you’re like me, you set your alarm for 5:00am, and the morning comes around and you don’t even hear the alarm! How can you force yourself to wake up early?

Tips for waking up early

  • Sleep with the blinds open. This will help you wake up with natural light, which has been shown to increase alertness and energy. This can also help reduce vitamin D deficiency. If you don’t get a lot of natural light, consider a dawn simulator alarm clock.
  • Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room, so you have to put your feet on the ground to turn it off. Once you’re up and moving, you’re less likely to hop back in bed.
  • Make your bed. This will instantly make you feel more productive, and it discourages you from crawling back under the covers.
  • Write a to-do list. Knowing exactly what you need to get done first thing in the morning is a great way to frame your mindset for productivity.
  • Turn off the “snooze capacity.” The law of inertia says a body in motion will stay in motion, and a body at rest will stay at rest. A body that snoozes will snooze indefinitely.
  • Do something fun in the morning. Do you like painting? Take fifteen minutes to paint. Are you a huge fan of kale smoothies? Wake up and make a kale smoothie. Having something to look forward to will help you pop out of bed.

Waking up early pushes you on the path of productivity and encourages daily movement.

  1. Write down every sugary food or drink you consume.

This is my favorite habit because it feeds on guilt.

A lot of experts recommend writing down all of the food you eat to monitor of the fuel you’re putting in your body. While this is a good tracking system, especially for weight loss, I find it a bit cumbersome and challenging. Instead, I only write down those items that aren’t healthy.

Make the commitment that every time you consume something with sugar, you write it down in your “sugar book.” This will help keep you honest and see just how much sugar you’re consuming.

How many times have you grabbed a cookie out of the pantry on your way to work? Those calories don’t count because you ate it on the way out of the house, right?

Forcing yourself to write down every “cheat” like this can help you spot exactly where you’re wasting your calories. It’s okay to have treats here and there, but your sugar book helps you see just how often you’re treating yourself.

Recommended Reading: Transform Your Body In 24 Hours With Intermittent Fasting

The Bottom Line

Healthy habits make healthy people. You are a summation of your actions. So make those actions productive.

Implement these 5 habits for the next two months and you’re guaranteed to see a change in your wellness, productivity, and happiness.

Do you like these actionable steps towards health?

Imagine revamping your life like this in just one month!

Ready to take the next steps?

Schedule a Call


In Male 2.0™, Dr. Tracy Gapin has turned everything we once thought we knew about men’s health and performance upside down. The old model of how to be “a man” is broken. A man who works himself to death.  Unfortunately, a man who tries to NOT get sick but isn’t really healthy either.  And a man who takes a pill for every ill but is never really cured. That was Male 1.0. Now, imagine being THE MAN ─ owning your performance in the bedroom, the weight room, and the boardroom. Living a fully optimized life. Becoming limitless. This is Male 2.0!

Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS  is a board-certified Urologist,  world renowned Men’s Health & Performance Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance. www.GapinInstitute.com

Want more tips to optimize your health?  Listen to the latest podcasts. Click HERE

Erectile Dysfunction and Early Death – What’s The Link?

ED typically stands for erectile dysfunction…

But it could also mean “early death.”

There is a proven and serious link between these two variations of ED—erectile dysfunction and early death.

In fact, erectile dysfunction may be one of the first and most prominent indicators of increased risk for early death. A study at the University of Mississippi—which researched 1,790 men over the course of seven years—found that risk of death was 70% higher in men with erectile dysfunction than without.

Moreover, they found that ED wasn’t just a predictor of increased risk of death in later years with older men. Erectile dysfunction in young men also shows this same increased death rate. And with nearly 25% of men under age 40 suffering from ED, these associated risks of early death at a young age are alarming.

But how could this be? Isn’t erectile dysfunction just a “down there” problem? What does your penis have to do with your lifespan?


The Cause of ED

Let’s first start this discussion by talking about the causes of erectile dysfunction.

ED is the inability to get or maintain an erection.

In order for you to get an erection, your penis has to fill up with blood. When your body starts to feel sexy, it releases hormones like testosterone and nitric oxide (NO). These signal your body and penis that it’s time to start preparing for sex. Nitric oxide relaxes the penile muscles and opens up the blood vessels. This loosens the blood vessels so they can push blood to the penis in order to get an erection.

This means that you need both a healthy hormonal system, neurological system, and vascular or blood system working in tandem to get an erection. (Did you know that much was going on in your body when you’re trying to get it on?)

If one of these systems isn’t functioning properly, you can’t get an erection. For example, if you have unbalanced hormones, your body may be overloaded with cortisol and can’t produce the necessary NO to get an erection. Or if you have anxiety, your brain may not have the capacity to send necessary signals to your endocrine system. Even a porn addiction can cause erectile dysfunction.

ED has a variety of causes, but the primary reason for erectile dysfunction is vascular dysfunction.

“Vascular” refers to your blood vessels. A vascular dysfunction can come from constricted blood vessels, injury to the blood vessels, or plaque buildup in the vessels.

Basically, you need clean and clear blood vessels to push blood flow to the penis in order to get an erection.

If you don’t have clear blood vessels, erectile dysfunction ensues.

Plaque Buildup

“Plaque” is the gunk that clogs the arteries or blood vessels. This is what we refer to as the “hardening” of the arteries, medically referred to as “atherosclerosis.” Basically, cholesterol starts to cling on to the sides of your blood vessels. This clogs up your arteries so blood flow is restricted.

Think of it like a hairball in your shower (I know, it’s your partner’s fault). The hairball latches on to the side of the pipe. A small clump of hair still lets water flow down. But as the hairball grows, it starts letting less and less water flow. Water begins to backup into your shower or bath because the water can’t flow as easily with the growing hairball stuck in the way.

Plaque buildup creates this same sort of narrowing of the blood vessels. It begins to clog up the vascular system so blood can’t flow as easily.

Your body needs blood in order to function properly. Without adequate blood flow, your body can shut down within minutes.

In the brain, clogged arteries cause memory loss, dementia, and stroke.

In the heart, clogged arteries cause angina (chest pain), heart attacks, heart disease, and cardiovascular conditions.

This obstruction of blood flow is what causes heart disease, heart attack, and other fatal diseases.

Erectile Dysfunction and Plaque Buildup

Plaque buildup happens everywhere throughout the body, not just your heart. It’s not restricted to the heart, as we often belief. The heart is often place we care most about, because clogged heart arteries lead to heart disease and heart attacks.

But, in reality, all the blood vessels in your body start to develop the same buildup of cholesterol at the same time.

This means that the vessels in your penis are narrowing at the same rate as the vessels in your heart.

But the vessels in your penis are smaller than those in other places in your body. In fact, the penile arteries are about half the size of coronary ones. This means they can close up twice as fast.

Think of it this way. Is it easier to clog a small sink drain or a large shower drain? What if you used the same sized hairball in both? A large hairball will clog up a narrower sink drain faster than a thicker shower drain.

Plaque buildup first shows sign in the narrower penile blood vessels than the thicker arteries in other parts of the body.

If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, it could be because your penis isn’t getting adequate blood flow and there’s likely some sort of vascular clog in the way—like plaque and cholesterol buildup.

If there’s buildup in your penile arteries, there’s buildup in all the arteries in your body, which means that the arteries in your heart are also hardening and clogging.

Erectile dysfunction is the first warning sign of plaque buildup and hardening arteries.

In fact, these two are so linked that ED is often called “penile angina.”

Thus, erectile dysfunction is the first symptom and sign of heart disease, heart attack, dementia, and stroke.

ED = Warning Sign


Let’s reiterate.

Heart disease is the result of plaque buildup in the arteries near the heart.

Stroke is the result of plaque buildup in the arteries in the brain.

Erectile dysfunction is often the result of plaque buildup in the arteries in the penis.

Plaque buildup throughout the body happens all at the same time.

So if you’re showing signs of plaque buildup in one area (like the penis), it means your entire body’s blood vessels have that same buildup.

So erectile dysfunction does not cause heart disease or stroke.

But it may be your first clue that something serious is going on in your body.

So stop ignoring your erectile dysfunction!

In fact, one study found that nearly 70% of patients rushed to the ER for chest pain—whether angina or heart attack—had erectile dysfunction symptoms leading up to hospitalization.

You read that right.

7 in 10 men with heart concerns first showed erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is your body’s red flag.

Another study found that doctors can predict the hardening of the coronary arteries and related cardiac stress with an accuracy of 80% after measuring blood flow in the penis.

Yup, doctors use a PCDU (penile color Doppler ultrasound) to measure the blood in a flaccid penis, and they can tell how severe your heart disease is with 80% accuracy.

So why aren’t more men getting their penile blood vessels checked out?

Because they don’t know that erectile dysfunction is the first sign of serious diseases.

They don’t know that ED is linked to overall mortality and cardiovascular mortality rates.

They don’t know that having erectile dysfunction makes you 70% more likely to die an early death.

But now you know.

So what can you do about it?

Reducing Your ED2 Risk

  1. Don’t just think about your penis.

When most men get erectile dysfunction, they think first and foremost about the consequences in the bedroom.

Of course you want to solve your ED so you can have a healthy sex life again.

But, as we’ve come to find, ED is more than just a “down there” problem. ED can be a symptom of a serious underlying disease.

That’s why taking pills like Viagra can be so dangerous. You’re masking the symptoms and pretending everything is okay, rather than seeing ED as the serious symptom it is.

So focus on addressing the root cause of your erectile dysfunction: the blood vessels.

If you can clear out your blood vessels, you’ll likely stop having erectile dysfunction and you’ll have a healthier heart and brain.

The Rancho Bernardo Study found that risk factors for heart disease are also the risk factors for erectile dysfunction. Improving these risk factors in mid-life can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction.

So focusing on heart health will ensure erectile health and vice versa.

Keep in mind that not all men will suffer erectile dysfunction due to a vascular dysfunction like plaque buildup. ED can also be a hormonal or psychological concern.

Nevertheless, ED doesn’t happen “just because.” It often signals some other underlying concern, like diabetes or chronic stress.

Both diabetes and chronic stress can increase your risk of early death. (Chronic stress has even been shown to cause atherosclerosis.)

See how ED can be your best friend in alerting you to other problems in your body?

Talk to a doctor to discover the cause of your ED—and how to attack the problem at its core.

  1. Reduce your body’s inflammation.

Atherosclerosis is a systemic inflammatory condition. This means that those with chronic inflammation are at a greater risk of plaque buildup.

Chronic inflammation may be linked to almost all deadly diseases, including cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. It’s also been linked to—you guessed it— erectile dysfunction.

Click here to learn more about this silent killer and how to overcome chronic inflammation fast.

  1. Eat a Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet has been shown to have positive results on both your heart and penis. This diet cleans out your arteries, reducing gunk from clogging up your vessels. 

The Mediterranean diet consists of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, and legumes. Olive oil especially has been linked to a decrease in cardiovascular disease and early mortality rates. This article by EatingWell makes the Mediterranean diet easy to understand. 


Want to get exact recipes and foods you should be eating for heart and sexual health? 

The Mediterranean diet also improves metabolic syndrome, endothelial function, and inflammatory markers. Metabolic syndrome increases your risk of early death due to its conditions of pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Learn more about overcoming metabolic syndrome for optimal health here.

Moreover, you should avoid any inflammatory or vessel-clogging foods. This includes packaged and processed foods, animal meats (in high quantities), soy, flaxseed, dairy, fried foods, salt, and alcohol. Learn more about the 7 foods causing your erectile dysfunction and clogging your arteries.

You should also focus on keeping your vitamin D levels high. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to erectile dysfunction and other health concerns, including cancer, diabetes, bone loss, and heart disease.

Also check out: 13 Natural Vasodilators To Treat Your ED

  1. Workout.

When you get the blood pumping with physical activity, you’re forcing blood to flow through the veins. This can actually help unclog your veins and get rid of plaque buildup.

Cardio gets the blood moving and the heart pumping, which helps clear out any gunk and keep your vessels clear.

Let’s go back to that shower clog. You may pour a heavy-duty clog solution like Plumr or Power Plumber down the drain (rather than snaking the drain, which we all hate to do). These solutions work in a similar way as a surge of blood from working out. It helps push out the clogs because the pressure is so powerful.

Working out is one of the healthiest ways to keep your blood free of serious buildup.

Check out these 9 exercises to beat ED and keep your heart healthy.

  1. Stop thinking you’re immune.

If you’re under 40 and you have erectile dysfunction, you’re at the same risks of early death as men over 40.

You’re also not alone. Nearly 25% of men under 40 suffer from erectile dysfunction at some point.

If you have erectile dysfunction under 40, you should be even more aware of your vascular and heart health. It’s critical that you talk to your doctor about lifestyle and eating habits to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and risk factors.

No matter who you are or what age you are, if you have erectile dysfunction, it’s time to visit the doc.

Erectile dysfunction is not something to be ashamed of.

Think of ED as your body’s way of saying, “Hey, guy! Wake up!”

I know you want to have vibrant, passionate sex once again.

I know you want to have a healthy heart, brain, and blood flow.

And I know you want to live a long and energetic life.

So stop waiting to take your health into your hands.

Why You Should Never Eat A High-Protein Diet If You Want To Build Muscle

Protein gives you (muscle) gains… right?


The myth has finally been debunked. Loading up on protein does not make you gain more muscle.

In fact, too much protein can actually hurt your muscle-building efforts! You’ll be better off if you Buy sarms and other supplements which provide targeted assistance to the areas of your body that need it.

If you’re serious about gaining muscle, keep reading to learn about the relationship between protein, testosterone, and muscle gain.

It’s not what you expect!

Testosterone Boosts Muscle Gain

Muscle Growth

Let’s start by understanding how we build muscle. Although the process is complex, in essence, you build muscles when the muscle “tears.”

When you lift weights, you actually damage the muscle fibers. After you’ve finished lifting weights, the muscle starts to rebuild itself to fix the damage caused during the lifting session. Your body uses protein synthesis to rebuild the muscles; the muscles start to heal with protein chains. With repetitive damage (like consistent workouts), the muscle continues to grow with additional protein synthesis.

That’s right—muscles grow after you lift while you’re resting.

Hormones play an important role in this, especially testosterone which contributes to muscle growth. Your hormones regulate the cell activity that tells your muscles to start repairing.


Testosterone is the “male” sex hormone that, during puberty, gives a man his deep voice, hair growth, and adult-sized penis. It’s also the hormone that increases libido (sex drive) for both men and women.

It plays a crucial role in keeping bones solid and healthy. Men naturally have greater muscle mass than women because of their testosterone levels. (Women with high muscle mass may have higher testosterone levels as well.)

Testosterone is necessary for muscle mass growth.

Studies have proven that testosterone helps increase muscle mass by encouraging the body’s natural synthesis of muscle protein. The muscle-building process uses the T hormone to function.

This T hormone actually boosts protein synthesis and activates the satellite cells that tell your body to start “building” muscle. It also helps stimulate the growth hormone—which is the hormone that activates tissue growth.

Moreover, testosterone can help increase the efficacy of workouts, especially resistance exercise (weight lifting). This means that high levels of testosterone can make your workouts more effective because T improves the “repair” process.

Overall, research has shown that strength training with high levels of testosterone results in a greater increase in muscle size than strength training alone.

Testosterone is a critical contributor to gaining and retaining muscle mass.

Low Testosterone

Low T levels can cause the opposite effect because low testosterone can lead to lowered libido, weight gain, brittle bones, and a loss of muscle mass.

Although testosterone declines naturally with age, low testosterone levels are never normal. There is often some underlying factor that contributes to low testosterone. In many cases, testosterone is caused by a hormonal imbalance in the body as a result of diet and lifestyle.

Learn more about low testosterone and the natural ways to increase T levels here.

If you have low testosterone levels, you’re likely finding it hard to increase your muscle mass. No matter how much you workout, you don’t have the T hormone needed to signal your muscles to start repairing.

Protein Reduces Testosterone

So we know that testosterone enhances muscle…

Now, how are protein and testosterone related?


“Protein” is a macromolecule that the body uses to function properly. It’s naturally found in animal products, nuts, legumes, beans, and some dairy. Often, when we think of a high-protein diet, we think of eggs, nuts, and lots of meat like chicken and beef.

Protein is actually composed of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle mass. You may have noticed that when talking about muscle gains, I said “muscle protein synthesis.” This is because are muscles are made up of proteins—or amino acid chains—in our body.

But the protein that makes up our muscles is different than the protein that we consume.

Edible protein, like meats and protein powder, are actually hard for our stomachs to break down into nutrients. That’s why you may get a bloated stomach or gas rumblings after a meaty meal; your body is attempting to break down that protein.

In fact, if you have too much protein, your body actually goes into overdrive to try to digest that protein. Your overworked body actually releases cortisol in response to this “stressful” state of digestion.


Cortisol is the “stress hormone” that the body releases when we’re feeling anxious or stressed. This can be a conscious stressor, like a hard project at work, or an unconscious one, like your body trying to fight off a disease (or break down protein).

Cortisol can have a lot of negative effects on our bodies in the long-term. But the most relevant effect here is that cortisol inhibits the production of testosterone.

Research shows that when the body is in a “stressed” state with high levels of cortisol, the sex hormones shut down. Basically, your body is too busy thinking about survival to think about sex (even though testosterone provides a lot more than just sexual benefits).

One study found that not only does cortisol reduce total testosterone… it especially reduces testosterone during exercise recovery especially. If you have high levels of cortisol while working out, your testosterone levels will be low. If your testosterone levels are low during and after your workout, you won’t be able to build new muscle.

Basically, your workout would end up with no new gains.


Along with cortisol, excessive protein also raises the level of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG is the protein in the blood that binds with over 60% of your body’s free-floating testosterone, rendering that testosterone unusable.

The more SHBG you have, the lower your testosterone levels.

If protein increases SHBG, it increases the protein that “steals” free-floating testosterone.

With cortisol and SHBG, protein creates a hormonal double whammy against testosterone levels in the body.

The Relationship of Protein and Muscle Gain

If a = b and b = c, then a = c.

If you need testosterone to gain muscle…

But excessive protein lowers testosterone levels…

Then excessive protein inhibits muscle gain.

I know what you’re thinking.

“But muscle is made from protein. So if I eat protein, I’ll have more muscle.”

However, the protein in your muscles is slightly different than the protein you digest. Yes, you need the amino acids in edible protein in order for your body to make its own protein.

However, the amount of protein you consume does not correlate with the amount of muscle you gain or have.

In fact, once you hit a threshold of protein amino acids and nutrients, your body doesn’t want any more.

Overeating protein will not help muscle gain or improve your overall health. This is true of food-based protein as well as protein powder.

How Much Protein You Need

This means you still need protein—but in moderate amounts.

Protein is one of the three key macronutrients that the body needs to function. However, you should balance this out with the other two macronutrients—carbs and fats.

Having a high-protein diet will not give you bigger muscles. Having a balanced diet of proteins, carbs, and fats will help you gain muscle fast.

So how much protein should you be consuming?

A study at Kent State University looked at protein oxidation, which is the process of synthesizing protein and building muscle. They found an unhealthy increase in oxidation in participants who ate more than 0.8g per pound of body mass daily. Higher levels of oxidation actually have a negative effect on muscle synthesis. Basically, your body tries to synthesize too much protein—that it stops making muscle altogether.

These researchers concluded that the optimal protein intake daily is 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight.

When to Consume Protein

There’s also an optimal time to consume protein if you want to focus on your muscle growth. Studies show that you should consume protein right after a workout, not before it.

If you consume protein before a workout, it will spike your cortisol levels. This spike in cortisol decreases testosterone and growth hormone, which will result in a less effective workout and recovery. Protein also raises insulin levels, which further lowers T count.

Carbs For Muscle Growth

So you’re getting the optimal 0.8g/lb of protein.

What can you eat to actually boost your muscle mass if it’s not protein?


Building muscle takes high levels of energy. Energy comes from calories. Calories are most concentrated in healthy carbohydrates.

This is why you’ll hear of professional athletes or marathon runners “carb loading” the night before a big event or race. Carbohydrates provide energy needed to perform in a peak state.

Carbohydrates are also necessary after exercise. Physical exertion depletes muscle glycogen, which is an important part of the recovery and rebuilding process. The fastest and strongest way to boost muscle glycogen after a hard workout is through high-caloric carbohydrates.

Interestingly, studies have shown that a combination of both protein and carbohydrates is the most efficient at restoring muscle glycogen storage for the fastest recovery process.

Not all carbs are created equal, but each can have an impact on your gains. There are three types of carbohydrates: starch, sugar, and fiber.

Starchy carbs are most beneficial for building muscle. These include:

  • Potatoes
  • Yams (sweet potatoes)
  • Steel cut oats
  • Rice
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Whole wheat grains

Still, sugar and fiber carbohydrates are important too. Sugars give you energy. You need this energy to have a strong workout and push yourself to the maximum. However, you want to focus on natural sugars, like the fructose and sucrose found in fruits and vegetables. This will give your body the energy it needs without unhealthy spikes in blood sugar.

Fiber is also useful for an overall healthy body. It is what helps you go to the bathroom, which is important for maintaining a healthy gut and detoxed system. Fiber can actually normalize hormones by helping to stabilize blood sugar, reduce cortisol levels, and get rid of excess estrogen (the “female” sex hormone). Fiber can help rebalance your hormones to a more natural, testosterone-happy state. And we know testosterone is critical to muscle growth!

Basically, if you want to build muscle, you need to have a healthy and balanced diet. This generally means a diet that is:

  • 50% carbohydrates (starch, sugar, fiber)
  • 20% protein (animal products, powders)
  • 30% good fats (eggs, avocados, olive oil)

The Bottom Line

Let’s sum it all up.

  • Testosterone is needed for healthy muscle growth.
  • High-protein diets reduce free-floating testosterone levels.
  • Thus, protein, in excessive amounts, can inhibit muscle growth.
  • Consumption of 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight (or 1.8g per kilogram) is optimal for post-workout recovery.
  • A combination of protein and healthy carbohydrates is necessary for muscle reparation and growth.

You need a balanced diet of carbs, proteins, and fats to balance your hormones, gain muscle, and have healthy overall wellness.

Not sure what a balanced diet looks like?

Not sure what you should be eating to gain muscle and reinvigorate your body?

Check out The G1 Performance Health program!
With this genetic-based report and private consultation, I’ll give you practical tools and recipes to balance your diet and make healthy lifestyle choices.

In just one month, you’ll start feeling and looking better than you have in YEARS!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up right now to start boosting your muscle mass, sexual vigor, and ultimate health!

11 Ways To Conquer Performance Anxiety TODAY

Performance anxiety is one of the biggest opponents against a healthy and happy sex life. It can become a physical and emotional obstacle that can drastically impact your quality of life—both inside and outside the bedroom.

What is performance anxiety and how can you overcome it to achieve an exciting sex life once again?

What is performance anxiety?

Performance anxiety is literally anxiety about being able to perform sexually.

It can manifest in a number of ways:

  • Premature ejaculation (PE): ejaculating before or immediately after penetration
  • Delayed ejaculation (DE): a prolonged period and/or overstimulation is necessary in order to ejaculate
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED): inability to get or maintain an erection long enough for intercourse
  • Psychological stress in and out of the bathroom
  • Low libido or lack of interest in sex
  • Obsessive negative thoughts

Performance Anxiety | Gapin Institute
Even cheating on a partner or having multiple partners can be a sign of performance anxiety. In some cases, men may seek sexual satisfaction elsewhere if they find they are having performance anxiety with their partner. This is generally the cause of some sort of previous negative sexual experience with that particular partner, often exacerbated by a lack of communication.

Note: Experiencing one of the above instances once or twice doesn’t necessarily mean you have performance anxiety. However, as we’ll discuss below, even one instance of the above can actually make you talk yourself into having performance anxiety in the long-term!  

What happens to your body with performance anxiety?

Performance anxiety isn’t all in your head—although it usually stems from the head. Anxiety is not only an emotional or psychological problem but also a physical concern with serious associated health implications. Anxiety is part of the body’s natural fight or flight response. It’s actually a warning sign meant to help protect us from danger.

Performance anxiety can actually make you feel like you’re in a hostile situation when you’re about to sex. That’s not very sexy.

When you feel anxious or stressed, your body releases cortisol. Cortisol, the “stress hormone,” actually stops the production of testosterone. You need a high level of testosterone in order to feel sexy. Testosterone is the libido-boosting hormone in both men and women. Lowered testosterone can cause a decreased sex drive, depressed mood, weight gain, and erectile dysfunction—all of which worsen or cause performance anxiety.

Learn more about how to naturally raise your testosterone levels and reduce cortisol levels.

Moreover, anxiety can actually cause your blood pressure to rise. This can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular concerns, which inhibit blood flow throughout the body. This means that blood can’t flow to the penis for an erection. In fact, anxiety is often a major contributor and cause of erectile dysfunction because the penis literally isn’t getting the blood it needs to get hard.

These physical manifestations of stress can worsen your ability to perform sexually, causing a negative feedback cycle of performance anxiety.

Where does performance anxiety come from?

Sexual Performance Anxiety | Gapin Institute
Performance anxiety often starts small and grows. It’s generally psychological, where you start to overthink your sexual experiences.

Did I last long enough?

Did I make my partner happy?

What did my partner think about that one thing that I did?

Was I good?

The more you ask yourself these questions, the more anxiety you’ll get. These constant thoughts can affect your ability to have enjoyable sex in the future. You’re too busy thinking about what could go wrong or your partner’s “judgment” than focusing on the fun and pleasure of the moment.

But these thoughts are coming from somewhere… so what can spur these anxieties?

Society’s views of sex

Consider the term “performance anxiety.” Even the wording of that is stressful!

Socially, we’ve started to think of sex as a “performance.” This puts a lot of pressure on the act. It reminds us of public speaking or playing in the Super Bowl; we feel like we’re expected to have grand performances in the bedroom.

Moreover, masculinity standards can put a lot of pressure on sex. When boys start entering “adulthood,” they’re quickly taught that having sex makes them cool. We continue to watch movies and TV where the “cool” guys get the girls and have amazing sex. This starts to condition the brain that sex equates to masculinity.

As a society, we’ve transformed sex from something intimate and pleasurable to something competitive and goal-oriented. Thus, if something “goes wrong,” we can start to feel emasculated or anxious about ourselves.


Porn adds another layer to this idea of “performance.” Pornstars are literally putting on a sexual performance. Everything has to look perfect in porn. That can make us normal folks—without special lighting and editing equipment—feel a little anxious.

Watching a lot of porn can actually even cause erectile dysfunction due to insufficient real-life sexual arousal, issues of low self-esteem and confidence, and less visual and auditory stimulation. Learn more about porn-induced erectile dysfunction here.

Past negative experience

Negative Experience Performance Anxiety
Like any sort of “trauma,” our minds can build negative associations. If something happened in a previous sexual experience, you might consciously or subconsciously take this event with you into your other experiences.

For example, you had one instance of premature ejaculation with your partner for some reason. Or you had a week where you couldn’t seem to get an erection. You might be embarrassed by your “inability to perform.” You can then start convincing yourself that you have a “problem” and that you’ll never be able to please your partner again.

This is especially exacerbated if a negative experience happens and the partners don’t communicate about it. This can cause men to start overthinking the experience, often undermining their own masculinity and confidence in tandem.

Confidence or self-esteem issues

Specific sexual instances can cause men to lose confidence in the bedroom. Other confidence or self-esteem issues can make a man feel anxious to get naked or please his partner. For example, a man may have body issues because he’s slightly overweight or he’s insecure because he has a large mole near his penis.

Again, these confidence concerns often stem from a lack of communication with the partner. More often than not, these are perceived self-esteem issues not based in reality.

Medical concerns

While performance anxiety is often psychological, these psych concerns can stem from physical problems as well. There are some unrelated medical problems that inhibit your ability to have sex. For example, a man may have diabetes, which shows a secondary symptom of erectile dysfunction.

When a man has these physical concerns, he might start thinking something is “wrong” with him—rather than thinking of his ED as a medical concern. This can then lead to negative self-talk and confidence concerns, ultimately lending itself to performance anxiety.

Desire to please

Sometimes performance anxiety can come from a positive place but have a negative impact. You might worry about pleasing your partner so much that it actually becomes debilitating. You start overthinking about how to “perform” in a way that will excite them, and you end up not having any fun or pleasure yourself. If you don’t feel that excitement yourself, your brain won’t signal your body to physically prepare to have sex. If you aren’t feeling sexy, your body won’t be able to have sex.

Negative feedback loop

All of these physical and psychological concerns can mix to create a negative feedback loop, potentially causing a man to spiral down into severe performance anxiety.

The cycle looks something like this:

  1. Something happens that causes you to feel you didn’t perform “at your peak” during a sexual experience.
  2. You start thinking about that sexual experience and wondering what happened.
  3. This overthinking begins to cause you to wonder if you have some sort of “problem.” This can make you feel emasculated and unconfident.
  4. Thinking about this “problem” causes the problem to manifest itself. You can literally talk yourself into not being able to perform.
  5. This causes further problematic sexual encounters.
  6. This causes even more anxiety, which can push your body into a physically unhealthy state of high stress, low testosterone, and high blood pressure.
  7. In turn, these concerns create a physical performance issue.
  8. So you can’t perform again because of a physical problem.
  9. And then the negative self-talk starts again.

It causes a vicious cycle of psychological and physical concerns.

This cycle can be hard to break when you’re in it.

But you can break it…

And you can start breaking it right now!


How do you overcome performance anxiety?

Stop thinking of sex as goal-oriented

Sex performance anxiety
Sex is not about putting on a performance. Sex is not even about having an orgasm. It’s about pleasure and intimacy. It’s about connecting with your partner in an intimate—and very enjoyable—way.

Try having sex without worrying about an orgasm. Tell your partner that you want to focus solely on foreplay. This can relieve some of the pressure and give you time to better explore one another. This can help overcome some mental hurdles moving forward.

Stop judging yourself.

Masculinity does not mean you are perfect at sex. Sex is an important part of life—but it’s not an important part of your identity.

If something happens, don’t start telling yourself you have a “problem.” Realize the event for what it is. Maybe you’d had too much to drink. Perhaps you were stressed from work. Maybe you have an underlying medical concern to chat with your doctor about. Stop overthinking or misplacing meaning to a sexual event.

Remind yourself how awesome you are.

Stay positive performance anxiety
There is power in positive thinking. Stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself you’re amazing in bed. Tell yourself that you’re a sex god. Whatever phrases work to get you excited, happy, and goofy. Just like you can talk yourself into having performance anxiety, you can talk yourself into having sexy confidence!

Moreover, think of all the sensual moments in your life. These moments can be during sexual or romantic. They should remind you of your sexual prowess and the amazing feelings you had during those exciting moments. This reminder can instantly renew your sexuality and help remind you of your abilities.

Eliminate external stressors.

Performance anxiety can stem from other anxieties and stresses as well. If you’re feeling stressed, your cortisol levels will rise, which increases blood pressure and inhibits testosterone production. You may not even feel stressed, but it could manifest itself in the bedroom and impact your sexual health.

Consider what stresses you have in your life. Find ways to manage the anxiety and environment around you. Take proactive steps to reduce stressful triggers around you.

Take time to relax.

relax performance anxiety | Gapin Institute
Sometimes you can’t avoid stress. But you can mitigate or reduce it. Take time to calm your overall body, and your sexual health will calm in tandem. Try yoga and meditation. Try mindfulness techniques. Do breathing exercises, which help regulate heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and decrease muscle tension—which all put your body in a better state for sex.

Working out is a great way to relax and release nervous energy. It also increases your testosterone levels and lowers your cortisol, which can help overcome erectile dysfunction. Exercise can also make you happier and healthier overall, so you’re less likely to fall into stressful situations like sex-related anxiety.

Check out: 9 Exercises To Beat ED And Have Better Sex

Communicate with your partner.

Communication is key to overcoming performance anxiety. No matter the cause of your anxiety, talking about it with your partner can release some of the tension. Often, your partner can help reduce some of your concerns by telling you how they view the situation. Honesty allows you to work together to manage and overcome the situation.

Plus, opening the lines of communication can allow you to try new things with your partner. For example, you might want to tell your partner that you’re feeling anxious about performing, so you want to try having sex without orgasm. There will be no expectations for you to finish because you talked about it ahead of time.

Get a little kinky.

Get Kinky, Performance Anxiety | Gapin Institute
Now that you’ve opened the lines of communication, try new things. If you don’t have erectile dysfunction and can still ejaculate in other situations, it likely means you’re in some sort of anxiety-ridden “rut” with your partner. Share your fantasies or try out new moves.

Breaking a routine with new experiences can help overcome anxiety. You’re not “repeating patterns” so there is less pressure.

And remember- if you tried something new and it didn’t work, that’s okay! At least you tried it. You’ll have less stress moving forward with other experiences.

I recommend trying tantric sex. Tantric sex focuses on breathing and mindfulness rather than on the actual physical act of sex. In fact, it’s not uncommon for men and women to orgasm without penetration! This is a great way to get intimate with your partner without worrying about the “performance” aspect.

P.S. Practice makes perfect. The more you have sex, the more confident you’ll be in your abilities.

Avoid drugs and alcohol.

Drugs and alcohol can actually worsen anxiety and lower sexual desire and arousal. Moreover, drugs and alcohol actually unbalance your hormones, which can lower libido and make it harder to obtain an erection.

Reduce your porn watching.

Porn sets unrealistic expectations about sex, which can lead to severe anxiety and performance concerns. It can even cause erectile dysfunction in high doses.

Remember: Porn is edited. You can’t compare yourself to the special effects used in porn filmmaking.

Seek professional help.

Talking to a sex therapist is a discreet and effective way to help you understand where your performance anxiety stems from. They will look at your relationship and sexual history to get at the root of your sexual stressors.

It is not embarrassing to seek professional help. You deserve to have an exciting and vivacious sex life, and a professional will help get you to that point.

You can find quality sex therapists through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.

Change your lifestyle.

Performance anxiety and general anxiety often stems from lifestyle. Diet, exercise, supplements, and health choices all impact your stress levels inside and outside the bedroom.

If you want to overcome anxiety, you need to change your lifestyle.

You can kiss performance anxiety goodbye…

And say hello to the best sex of your life!

7 Supplements Every Man Should Take For Optimal Health

Supplements have gained popularity in recent years. People have started adding lineups of vitamins to their daily routine as a way to become the best versions of themselves. And popularity is right (this time); Supplements are the best way to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs in addition to your diet and lifestyle.

But you don’t want to ingest every supplement that comes your way. Taking too many supplements can actually hurt your body.

Taking the right supplements—and the right amount of supplements—is what will ensure that your body functions in a natural, healthy way. That’s why I’ve come up with a comprehensive (but concise) list of the 7 supplements you should take to optimize every area of your health.

Why Take Supplements? 

Supplements can help:

  • Support the immune system
  • Boost energy
  • Maintain a healthy sex life
  • Protect from disease
  • Promote a healthy heart and brain
  • Stimulate organ function
  • Fight health concerns
  • Improve overall well-being

Think of supplements like your daily preventative (natural) medications.

Supplements are especially important as you age because your body stops absorbing nutrients like it used to. Adding supplements to your day can help encourage your body to start functioning at peak capacity again.

So what supplements do you need to take to promote your health, wellness, and vitality?  

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics are the “good bacteria” in your gut. Your intestines are naturally filled with both good and bad bacteria. But when bad bacteria take over, disease follows suit. Poor diet, stress, pollution, toxins, and antibiotics can all reduce good bacteria, allowing the bad to run rampant.

Probiotics introduce more good bacteria into your gut to ensure a healthy balance.

What does this good bacteria do?

Probiotics help your body digest food and reduce intestinal issues, but they’re more than just stomach vitamins. A healthy gut is the key to a healthy immune system overall. In fact, research has proven that having a high ratio of good gut bacteria can actually improve your health, prevent common diseases, and strengthen your immune system.

Some proven benefits of probiotics include:

There’s also a strong connection between the brain and gut, which is often referred to as the brain-gut axis. Basically, your brain affects your intestines and vice versa.

Think about when you get butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous—like when public speaking or going on a first date. Your brain is signaling your digestive tract, which then manifests this discomfort as an upset stomach. The same works in reverse as well since a bad gut can actually impact your head health, often leading to headaches, fatigue, inability to reason, and mood disturbances.

Learn more about probiotics with my article: 10 Reasons Men Over 40 Should Take Probiotics.

You can get probiotics from fermented foods like yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchee. But you might get tired of sauerkraut every day, so I usually recommend a probiotic supplement. Find a probiotic pill that offers somewhere between 10 and 30 billion live bacteria. The most common types of probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria—so search for these in the health food supplement aisle.

Dosage: Daily supplement with 10-30 billion “live” bacteria.

  1. Holy Basil

Holy basil, aka tulsi, has been used for thousands of years in Indian medicine due to its ability to soothe the mind, body, and spirit. It contains high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and iron, which all contribute to key aspects of health and wellness.

Holy basil leaves are adaptogens, meaning that they’re recognized anti-stress agents. Holy basil reduces cortisol level, improves testosterone levels, and balances out hormone levels. Balanced hormones are crucial to overall health and wellbeing.

Read: 5 Simple Ways To Normalize Your Hormones This Week

Holy basil can also have positive impacts on serious health concerns. Some studies suggest that holy basil can assist treatment for mild to moderate non-insulin dependent diabetes. Furthermore, because of its strong antioxidant power, it may help prevent chemical-induced lung, liver, oral, and skin cancers. Studies have even found that holy basil may alter healthy gene expressions, induce cancer cell death, and stop cell growth!

Moreover, holy basil is antibacterial, which means it helps to fight off infections both internally and externally. Holy basil’s antimicrobial properties make it a natural treatment for acne. Other studies have shown these properties make it a viable treatment for bronchitis and respiratory disorders as well. Holy basil also has slightly sedative properties, which helps naturally remedy headaches and head tension.

Dosage: Daily 600 to 1800mg.

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in bone, immune, muscle, cardiovascular, respiratory, and brain health.

A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to inability to fight infection, fatigue and malaise, depression, diabetes, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction. Unfortunately, a majority of Americans have a deficiency in vitamin D. Nearly three-quarters of all U.S. teens and adults are deficient in this crucial “sunshine vitamin.”

So you need to supplement vitamin D to start seeing its effects.

Vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant. That means it can help:

Vitamin D isn’t like other vitamins that you can get easily through your food. The highest absorption of vitamin D is actually through sunlight. Your body turns sunlight into vitamin D that it can use for healthy energy function. If you’re not getting enough sunlight or you don’t want to risk burns and skin cancer (good call!), then daily vitamin D supplements are the way to go.

Dosage: Daily 2,000 to 4,000 IUs vitamin D3

  1. Vitamin C

This super antioxidant is used to create healthy connective tissue in the body. Vitamin C is a key component in collagen formation, which keeps your skin, tendons, and blood vessels young and vital. That’s right, vitamin C can also help prevent damage to the blood vessels—which can also help prevent erectile dysfunction!

Vitamin C is most commonly known for its immune-boosting benefits. This is especially true for those who have a weakened immune system due to stress or poor diet. Boosting your vitamin C intake is a great way to build your body’s natural defense against colds, flus, and other diseases.

You can find vitamin C in a lot of delicious food sources, like guava, red and green peppers, kiwi, oranges, strawberries, papaya, kale, broccoli, pineapple, grapefruit, brussels sprouts, and mangos. But if you’re not getting your full servings of fruit and vegetables daily, vitamin C supplementation is a must.  

Taking a daily vitamin C supplement will improve your immunity and help your body naturally detox. If you feel like you’re about to get hit with a cold or flu, start taking 1,000 to 2,000 mg of vitamin C to zap the bacteria fast.

Dosage: Daily 500 to 1,000mg

  1. CoQ10

CoQ10 is crucial for transforming food into energy, and it provides key energy to nearly every cell in the body. Thus, energy-dependent tissues like the heart and brain have especially high requirements for coenzyme Q10. A deficiency, then, could be detrimental to the longevity of your life.

CoQ10 is proven to help improve heart function—and even help the heart heal after valve surgeries. It can also reduce the frequency of migraines and improve Parkinson’s symptoms. Plus, CoQ10 has been linked to an increase in male fertility!

Overall, a high level of CoQ10 has been shown to help slow the progression of aging signs in the body.

Your body naturally produces coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), but this production tends to decline with age. Some fish, meats, and grains have CoQ10, but not enough to help your body produce more. A small supplement can have tremendous effects.

Dosage: Daily 30-90mg

  1. Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA have proven results for overall health and wellbeing. Some studies have “disproven” the benefits of fish oil, while others have concluded that fish oil is the ultimate in health. The results are still a bit up in the air.  

However, I believe in the power of fish oil (as much as I believe in the Mediterranean diet). If you want to be healthy, you need the benefits that come from clarifying and detoxifying fish.  

Fish oil has been shown to:  

Some research even suggests that fish oil can help prevent certain types of cancer.  

Fish oil can also promote metabolic function. This means it can help your metabolism break down food and turn it into energy. This is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and balancing hormones. In fact, fish oil has been shown to decrease body mass index and improve cardiovascular function along with aerobic exercise. Reduced weight leads to a reduced risk of disease.  

Learn more about metabolic syndrome and the role of metabolism in your health here.  

You can get omega-3s from cold-water fatty fish, like salmon and mackerel. However, this is often not enough to get the full benefits your body craves. Taking a daily fish oil supplement can get your body looking and feeling amazing again!  

Dosage: Daily 2-3g of combined EPA and DHA

  1. Multivitamin

You should also be taking a multivitamin daily. The right multivitamin can fill in any nutrient gaps to ensure your body has all the goodness it needs to function properly. 

Your multivitamin should include any and all of the above supplements—as well as other nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, magnesium, and potassium. Beyond that, your multivitamin should include a blend of amino acids, which are essential to daily functioning. I recommend looking for amino acids glutamine and BCAAs, which help build muscle and improve testosterone levels.

What should you look for in your multivitamin?

You want only vitamins—no extra “stuff.” I look for products that contain no soy, dairy, gluten, sugar, sodium, or artificial additives. Any inactive ingredients can have side effects that can actually hurt your body, rather than help it.

Some of my favorite men’s multivitamins include:

  1. Nature Made Multi For Him

This has vitamins E, C, A, and D along with selenium and manganese. This vitamin even gives you over 100% of vitamins C, D, and E—which can help cut down on the number of pills you’ll have to take per day to stay healthy.  

  1. GNC Mega Men Sport

This supplement has high levels of vitamin A, vitamin D, thiamin, zinc, and a branched chain amino acid blend. When taken with the other six supplements on this list, your body will feel more active and alive than ever. Plus, it helps raise your iron levels—which is necessary for energy and blood health.

  1. Centrum Silver Men 50+

This is a great formula for anyone, whether or not you’re over 50. It has vitamins D, B12, A, and E along with manganese and lycopene. It promotes heart, health, eye, and muscle health—in just one pill!

I’m not endorsing these vitamins above. I just find they cover a lot of ground. Talk to a doctor (psst… I’m a doctor you can talk to) to come up with the perfect multivitamin blend for you!

The Bottom Line

Eating a balanced, healthy diet of protein, vegetables, fats, fruits, and carbs helps your body get the nutrients it needs to thrive. However, augmenting with additional supplements will ensure that your body always has the appropriate amount of energy and nutrients to work with optimal function.

But how do you know which supplements are right for you?

You’ve read through this article because you want to feel the best you possibly can, right?

In fact, I bet you want to feel the best you’ve felt in years… or maybe EVER.

You want to have a healthy lifestyle—without giving up the things you love.

Thankfully, you can.

And you will…


It’s time to get empowered to take control of your health. Unlock the code to peak performance with the Male Method™ to regain your energy, focus and confidence to feel like a man again. 

We take a whole-body, epigenetic approach to health, focusing on all inputs and how they affect the human system. With the Male 2.0 Method, we utilize science-based precision medicine, personalizing your health based on your unique genetic blueprint. No more guessing!

We utilize cutting-edge age management protocols to reverse the aging process and expand longevity. And we track and leverage your biometric data using state-of-the-art wearable technology to truly optimize your health.

Ready to take the next steps?

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In Male 2.0™, Dr. Tracy Gapin has turned everything we once thought we knew about men’s health and performance upside down. The old model of how to be “a man” is broken. A man who works himself to death.  Unfortunately, a man who tries to NOT get sick but isn’t really healthy either.  And a man who takes a pill for every ill but is never really cured. That was Male 1.0. Now, imagine being THE MAN ─ owning your performance in the bedroom, the weight room, and the boardroom. Living a fully optimized life. Becoming limitless. This is Male 2.0!

Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS  is a board-certified Urologist,  world renowned Men’s Health & Performance Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance. www.GapinInstitute.com

Want more tips to optimize your health?  Listen to the latest podcasts. Click HERE

Disclaimer: Always consult a doctor before starting a supplemental regimen. Some supplements can interact with diet or medications (especially blood thinners), so you should first ensure that your combination of meds would not put you at risk.

Does My Husband Have Prostate Cancer?

1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in his lifetime. As a concerned partner, you worry that your husband or companion could be that one. Maybe your partner doesn’t go to the doctor enough or maybe he has a mindset of invincibility. Maybe you’ve noticed a shift in his health and behavior.

You ask him to go to the doctor, but in true husband fashion, he won’t go.

So what should you be on the lookout for to know if your husband is at risk of prostate cancer? What do you need to know about prostate cancer to be alert for your partner’s health?

What Is Prostate Cancer?

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in the man’s pelvis. It sits between the penis and bladder, wrapped around the urethra (the urine tube). There’s one main purpose of the prostate: to make thick white fluid that mixes with sperm to create semen. The fluid is important so that the sperm can “swim” and ultimately impregnate a partner.

Prostate cancer happens when the cells in the prostate grow at an uncontrollable rate. When localized, it usually only affects the prostate and the bladder. In fact, prostate cancer wouldn’t even be that dangerous—if it stayed in the prostate. Some men have prostate cancer and never know because it remains localized to the prostate.

But for other men, prostate cancer can quickly and aggressively spread to other parts of the body. When this spreading happens, it can impact glands, organs, the bones, and the blood.

Thankfully, you can take simple steps to detect prostate cancer before it spreads.

What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer?

As a concerned partner, you’re likely trying to look for signs or symptoms that your husband is developing prostate cancer. I hate to say it, but most men with prostate cancer have no symptoms. Most of the time, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at him or talking to him.

Moreover, the typical symptoms of prostate cancer tend to be “personal.” The symptoms usually appear when the tumor has grown so big that it causes blockage in the bladder. So usually most of his symptoms will appear when he’s in the bathroom—and you’re often not there with him.

These symptoms include:

  • Difficulty stopping or starting urine stream
  • Pain while urinating
  • Increase in urination frequency
  • Diminished urinary stream
  • Sensation of incomplete emptying
  • Blood in urine
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in semen

The most common symptom is waking up often in the middle of the night to urinate. A man (and his partner) will often reflect back and realize that he was going more often more in the middle of the night than he had in the past. If he’s constantly waking you up all night taking trips to the bathroom, send him to the doc—for both of your health!

These symptoms may not be a sign of prostate cancer, though. Often these are also related to BPH, which is prostate enlargement. BPH is less serious than prostate cancer—although a doctor can help your husband treat this naturally as well. Thus, if you know your husband is suffering from bathroom problems, it’s time for him to visit a doctor.

If the prostate cancer has spread, there may be other types of symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • Fatigue
  • Bone pain
  • Malaise (general feeling of illness)
  • Weight loss
  • Deep pain or stiffness in hips, lower back, pelvis
  • Easy fracture of bones
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of legs (tumor obstructing lymph tissue)

If symptoms of prostate cancer are inconsistent and often absent, how can you better understand if your husband is at risk for prostate cancer?

What Are The Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer?

  1. Age

The most common risk factor for prostate cancer is age. Most men who develop prostate cancer are over age 50—and more often, age 65. About 6 of 10 prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in men over age 65, with the average age around 66. In fact, the number of men over 65 affected by prostate cancer is on the rise.

  1. Family History

A man is at higher risk for prostate cancer if other men in his family have had the disease. Men with one affected relative are twice as likely to develop the disease; men with two or more affected relatives are 4x as likely to be diagnosed. The risk increases with the number of relatives affected. Moreover, the younger the family member is when diagnosed, the higher the risk his male relatives will develop prostate cancer as well. If your husband has had a brother, uncle, or father with a history of prostate cancer, he should be screened early and often.

Some researchers suggest there is also a higher risk of prostate cancer if there is a family history of other cancers as well. If your partner has a number of relatives with cancer, it could indicate a genetic mutation somewhere in the family line. Genetic mutations are a key cause of different types of cancer in the body.

Individual genetic factors may also play a role. If there is a known mutation in his genes, he should be more aware of his risk for cancer and other diseases.

  1. Race

African-American men have 60% higher incidence of prostate cancer than Caucasians. They also have a prostate cancer mortality rate that is two to three times higher than the average. The reason for this difference isn’t fully understood yet, but the proof is there. African-American men should be screened twice as often to ensure they do not develop an aggressive form of the cancer.

Asian and Hispanic men are the least likely to develop prostate cancer, likely due to their nationality (see below). Note: this doesn’t mean they’re immune from the disease!

  1. Nationality

Prostate cancer is more common in North America, Europe (northwestern especially), the Caribbean, and Australia. It’s less prevalent in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. Researchers believe this has to do with diet and lifestyle; the “Western diet” tends to be a higher risk factor for prostate cancer, as discussed further below.

  1. Sedentary Lifestyle

If your husband tends to sit a lot with low activity, he’s at a higher risk for prostate cancer. A review of studies found a significant decrease in the risk and incident of prostate cancer in active men. This is likely because physical exercise balances hormone levels, prevents obesity, enhances immune function, and reduces oxidative stress—all of which are cancer-fighting benefits.

  1. Diet

Diets high in red meats, dairy, and fatty foods with a low intake of fruits and vegetables are linked to an increase in prostate cancer incidence and mortality. Some studies suggest that a lack of veggies in the diet can actually cause a more aggressive form of prostate cancer as well.

  1. Calcium

Although not completely proven, some researchers suggest that a high calcium intake could be a risk factor for prostate cancer. Dairy is a primary source in Western diets, while the Asian diet has no dairy—and Asians are at the lowest risk for prostate cancer.

Just some “food” for thought…

  1. Obesity

Moreover, being overweight or obese has significant effects on prostate cancer. Although studies haven’t proven that obesity causes prostate cancer, “what is clear is that obese men are at significantly greater risk for dying of prostate cancer.” Obese men have a higher prostate cancer mortality rate than healthy and fit men.

Thus, a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet can further contribute to aggressive prostate cancer. Click here to learn about the link between obesity and metabolic syndrome—which can also cause a number of diseases.

It’s important to note that some research has shown that PSA test results in obese men can appear low… even if they have prostate cancer. Often this can lead to a delay in diagnosis and treatment, in which time the cancer can spread and worsen. If your husband is overweight, it’s time to sign him up for my 4-week Transformation Vitality Course to bring back his health and reduce his risk of prostate cancer.

  1. Beer

Research in Australia found that two pints of beer daily increased a man’s risk for prostate cancer by nearly 23%. They also found that the risk of mortality increased with even low alcohol consumption levels. We need more studies to prove this, but the findings were nevertheless significant.

This is likely because beer is highly estrogenic, which can unbalance hormone levels. Moreover, alcohol can damage the cells in the body, creating a toxic overload when consumed in excess.

  1. Smoking

Although smoking isn’t linked to prostate cancer (yet), studies show that smoking is associated with more aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Plus, the chemicals in cigarettes are highly toxic and can damage your cells—which can ultimately cause a variety of cancers and diseases.

  1. Height

There may be some link between taller height and prostate cancer incidence. But just because your husband is tall doesn’t mean he has prostate cancer.

  1. Agent Orange

Agent Orange was an herbicide sprayed during the Vietnam War. Research is inconclusive about whether Agent Orange is fully cancer-causing, but ultimately studies have found that AO exposure is linked to more aggressive prostate cancer.

Okay. So you think your husband may be at risk because he’s overweight and his brother and dad both had prostate cancer.

What’s next?

What can you do as his partner?

How Can You Talk To Your Partner About Prostate Cancer Risk?

There’s really only one thing you can do: equip your husband with the knowledge you now know about risk factors. Hopefully, this can help convince him to see the doctor.

You can start by telling him some of these prostate cancer statistics:

That’s the scare tactic.

But what if now he’s too scared to go to the doctor and “face the facts.” It’s not uncommon for men to avoid going to the doctor if they think something is wrong, because they don’t want to deal with the negative consequences of it.

Your husband doesn’t want to hear he has cancer.

So you could also try the encouraging tactic:

  • Between 2007 and 2013, the average survival rate of prostate cancer was 98.6%.
  • Even though there’s a 12.9% probability of developing prostate cancer, there’s only a 2.5% chance of dying from it.

Maybe he’s more willing to go now. He won’t die! But he’s still a little fearful of the tests. (“You know I don’t like needles, honey!”)

The preliminary tests for prostate cancer are easy peasy.

First, the doctor will start with a digital rectal exam. Yes, the doc will put a lubricated finger in your husband’s rectum to feel for the prostate. Your husband may not love the idea of this, but it lasts only a few seconds and it’s a great indicator of any lumps or hard areas in the prostate.

The doctor may also run a PSA (prostate specific antigen blood) test. This measures the blood level of the protein produced by the prostate gland. If elevated, it can indicate prostate cancer. However, some people with prostate cancer come back with low PSA levels in some cases.

It’s important to track PSA over time. Consistent tests can track how fast the level is increasing or changing. The change in PSA is often more important than the number.

Yearly visits are crucial to keep an eye on these changing PSA levels. Doctors recommend testing once or twice per year after age 50. If your husband hasn’t been tested, now’s the time to get him to the doctor.

If the doctor suspects prostate cancer based on the rectal exam and PSA test, he’ll take a biopsy. This is a sample of prostate tissue to see what the prostate cancer cells look like.

How Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer?

You can prevent prostate cancer before it strikes. Check out some of my other resources about prostate cancer prevention to learn more:

Can We Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk Through Lifestyle Change?

Prostate Healthy Foods For Men: Add These 3 To Your Diet

Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer Through Diet?

The Bottom Line

You’re a caring partner, concerned for the wellbeing of your loved one. But it’s important that you not stress yourself out worrying. Most men don’t die from the disease, and the survival rate is one of the highest of all cancers.

But it’s important to catch prostate cancer early before it spreads or becomes more aggressive. That’s why it’s crucial that you and your partner know the risk factors of prostate cancer and the cadence at which you should be visiting the doctor.

Want to help your husband regain his health (without harassing him too much)?

Sign him up for our Male 90X program!

This is a genetic-based report and consultation that will give him the tips, tricks, and resources to lower his risk for prostate cancer and minimize any other sexual health concerns. He’ll also learn how to make a few lifestyle changes that will drastically impact his entire wellbeing.

Reduce the risk, make the change and get Male 90X now!