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Hey, guys. Welcome back to the ultimate human podcast where we go down the road of everything anti-aging, longevity, biohacking, and everything in between. On Thursdays, we do a podcast short, and we take all of the questions from our audience and our listeners, and we distill them down to the most commonly asked questions, the information that people want to hear about most. And we take a deep dive into that topic and we try to give you practical things that you can do and put to work in your life to change the entire trajectory of your life. I've been all over social media and I've been absolutely delused with questions lately about water fasting and specifically about three-day water fasting. So what I did was I wrote the ultimate human guide to three-day water fasting. It's entirely free. You can get it at the ultimatehuman. Com. You can just go to the ultimatehuman. Com and download it. You can prepare your sofa a water fast. I have everything that you need to do to prepare, and you can go through this exercise on your own, or you can even join my community, and I'll walk you through it and stay with you every step of the way.


So I took a deep dive into the fascinating world of water fasting. It's interesting. In ancient time, fasting was practiced by nearly every civilization on the planet, including the Romans, the Greeks, the Egyptians. It was used as a way to cleanse the body, to improve mental clarity, and even enhance a number of spiritual and religious experiences. Nearly every religion on the surface of the Earth has fasting as some component of their religious practice. People fast for religious reasons and for health reasons. But whether they're fasting for their religion or for their health, they are getting massive benefits from caloric restriction and having the body become more efficient and how it uses fuel. Fasting is an ability that's shared by virtually all animals. The animal kingdom is full of prolific fasters, including reptiles, penguins, bears, and even seals, who, by the way, can abstain from food for months at a time. Bears, for example, perform remarkable feeds during hibernation. They can actually achieve a heart rate reduction of around 80 %, and a metabolic rate reduction of 67 % from their fed state. But in modern day, fasting and time-restricted feeding have been shown to improve lifespan and metabolic health markers.


So we're going to take a quick dive into some of the science behind fasting, and then we're going to talk about what the best way is to do a three-day water fast so you can safely garner all of the benefits from caloric restriction and three-day water fasting. Fasting physiology is built into the survival of our species. Prior to the agricultural revolution around 10,000 BC, food was not readily available, and it was even dangerous to procure in some cases. So humans easily adapted to long stretches of time without eating. It was an involuntary but essential form of fasting. If we fast forward to modern day and we go back to 2016, when the Journal of Behavioral Sciences published a huge study on the potential benefits of intermittent energy restriction and fasting, specifically amongst obese, overweight, and normal weight subjects. They did a narrative review of both the human and animal evidence. And this review found that years of animal studies showed a link between the restriction of calories, and fewer diseases, and longer lifespans. Not just lifespan, but also healthspans. By 2017 in October, the current diabetes report did another study they published on the health benefits of fasting and caloric restriction.


And this study summarized caloric restriction triggers as a really complex series of intricate events that include the activation of a cellular stress response called autophagy. And this is fascinating because autophagy is where the body turns on itself and it starts to use its most efficient resources first. It literally eats the cellular components that are waste components, and it turns those into energy and it turns them into amino acids and other proteins, and it actually derives energy by beginning to consume itself. Well, this process of autophagy, I liken it to taking out the trash. If you keep throwing trash out into the street and it's not being picked up fast enough, waste accumulates. Well, this process of autophagy that all human beings go through on a daily basis can be enhanced through the process of caloric restriction and fasting. When this process is enhanced, we actually take more waste out than we would normally take in that 24-hour period of time. We can actually improve our hormonal state. We can improve our mental clarity. We can improve our weight loss. We can tap into fat reserves. We can actually reach a state of optimization like we never thought possible.


So in 2018, the Journal of Aging published a fascinating article on the effect of fasting or caloric restriction on this specific process of autophagy, which improved the waste elimination, repair, detoxification, and regeneration of cells in human beings at quite an alarming rate. It concluded that both fasting and caloric restriction have a role in the upregulation of this process. And the evidence overwhelmingly suggested that autophagy included a wide variety of tissues and organs in response to food deprivation. So we're going to learn to tap into that by participating in a three-day water fast. In August 2023, the Journal of Clinical Nutrition did an editorial and looked at intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating and health and physical performance and the actual prevention of disease. A particular interest in this article is the influence that fasting had on age-related pathologies. And both in terms of extending longevity, meaning your lifespan, and promoting a higher quality of life during that longer lifespan, which we refer to as the health span.


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So let's break down what happens in the human body when you engage in a short term fasted period. So a lot of people are familiar with intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating where you actually restrict the eating window. But what happens if you take that eating window entirely away? I did a guide to three day water fasting at theultimatehuman. Com, where I go deeper into this subject. But on this podcast short, I want to make sure that you understand what happens every few hours as your body goes through a three-day water fast. So from hours zero to 12 after having your last meal, you're still digesting some of the food, and during this period, your insulin is still a little high. Remember, the higher the insulin is, the more resistant you are to insulin. For longevity purposes, we want to be sensitive to insulin. The less insulin it takes to regulate our blood sugar, the longer our lifespan. So in hours 12 to 18, this is when the fat burning begins. Insulin starts to fall and the body is beginning to enter a state of ketosis, where it's shifting energy states. It's shifting from burning sugars to beginning to burn fats.


Between hours 18 and 24, ketosis is well underway, and a hormone called glucagon is rising. And why would glucagon rise? Because as this hormone rises, it's a glucoregulatory peptide hormone, and it counteracts the action of insulin by stimulating the liver to turn stored glucose into sugars. This is called gluconeogenesis. Remember, we actually take sugar and we store it in our muscles in the form of glycogen, we store it in the liver in the form of glycogen, and we can tap into this reserve energy when our muscles need energy or when we need to put sugar back into the bloodstream. And this happens when we get into a fasted state. Now, between 24 and 48 hours, this is when the real magic begins. This process of autophagy, the body turning on itself to become more efficient at waste elimination, repair, detoxification, and cellular division. You're literally cleaning your body out at a cellular level. So autophagy begins during this stage, 24-48 hours, and it's often referred to as the brain cleansing part of a fast. People report incredible increases in mental clarity, energy, alertness. I mean, a lot of people even feel the urge to exercise or even feel very clear and cognizant.


And autophagy is this process that keeps our cells in proper balance. And it takes older damaged components in the cell and it recycles them. And then these recycled parts are turned into amino acids that are used for fuel to get us through this fasted period. Now, between hours 48 and 54, more magic begins to happen in the human body. Human growth hormone surges at this point. Remember, our pituitary gland, right here in the center of our brain, secretes HCH or human growth hormone. And it does this to help us repair tissues, not just muscle, but all kinds of tissues in the body have receptors for growth hormone. This actually helps with the repair process, and it helps us better sustain prolonged periods of caloric restriction. So we can actually tap into our HCH reserve, and we can surge this hormone naturally by waiting till hours 48 to 54 for the body to begin to take major steps to save your life. This is also when inflammation is really beginning to tank. So inflammation is being reduced during the same period of time. Now, hours 54-72 is where insulin is increasing its sensitivity. Remember, we want to be sensitive to insulin, not resistant to insulin.


So between hours 54 and 72, insulin is becoming more sensitive, and autophagy, this process of cellular turnover and regeneration, piques. After 72 hours on a water fast, there's evidence that your own stem cells are starting to increase in number in blood circulation. Remember, your stem cells, which are the same age as the host, so they're as old as you are, they're held inside of your bone marrow. They're held inside of a lot of our long bones and our hips. They're held in our femur, and they're released into the bloodstream. And when they enter the bloodstream, they hunt around for tissues that are damaged or inflamed. So after 72 hours, the evidence is conclusive that your stem cell levels begin to rise and circulate in your bloodstream and your immune cells are becoming refreshed. There's an entire myriad of benefits to intermittent fasting and water fasting. Remember, this isn't for everybody. You should check with your doctor before you do a water fast or before you do any caloric restriction. So if you're ready to get going on your first three-day water fast, I wrote the ultimate guide to water fasting. It's available entirely for free at theultimatehuman.


Com. You can download it and do the three-day water fasting on your own any time that you'd like, or you can join me in a three day water fast. I have one coming up on December 19th, 20th, and 21st. It's entirely free. I'm going to stay with you every step of the way. We're going to harness all of the benefits from a three day water fast. I hope you're ready to join me for that. Go to theultimatehuman. Com, download the free water fasting guide, join me for the challenge. And as always, that's just science. If you haven't had a chance to connect with me on theultimatehuman. Com, head over there now and sign up for my free newsletter and all of the exclusive content.