The Kevin Rose Show: Serge Faguet – How to biohack your intelligence  with everything from sex to modafinil to MDMA

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Intro
How did Serge get into biohacking?
  • Everything you do (social relationships, your performance at work) is based on your body and mind – so it makes sense to invest in these
    • If you improve your body and mind, everything else improves
  • If you have higher testosterone levels, you tend to have more of a persuasive and dominant body language
Sleep
  • Serge noticed, the more he sleeps, the less he procrastinates
  • “Sleep is much more important than people think”
    • Sleep is actually a very active state where the brain is working on repairing/recharging various systems in the body
  • Serge tries to sleep 8 hours a day, this means around 9 hours in bed
  • You also have to sleep at the same time every day
    • Sleep has many stages, and each of those stages performs a separate function
    • So, if you shift your sleep, or it, cut by a few hours, you’re missing certain stages of sleep
  • Phases of sleep
    • The circadian rhythm – controlled by melatonin and the sun
    • Adenosine – chemical that accumulates in the brain when you’re awake
    • If the above are synchronized, then you sleep well. If they’re not, and you go to sleep earlier than normal, you’ll miss out on the early parts of sleep (the deep slow wave that repairs the brain).
      • For example, say your circadian rhythm has you going to bed at 10pm, but you go to sleep at 1am (and adenosine is being produced until then), they will be out of sync
  • The Oura Ring – cool device you can use to track sleep, heart rate, and activity
    • When Serge sleeps at the same time, he notices the amount of deep sleep he gets goes up
    • According to the data the Oura Ring has collected, deep sleep is the number one problem that people have
  • Serge wears blue light blocking glasses 4-5 hours before he goes to sleep
  • He stops drinking coffee 9 hours before going to sleep
    • Caffeine has a half life of 5-6 hours – so after 5-6 hours of drinking a cup of coffee, half the caffeine is still in your system
    • Coffee or caffeine metabolism is genetic
    • There is data that suggests people with slow caffeine metabolism (about half the population) shouldn’t drink coffee at all
    • A 23andme DNA test will tell you how you metabolize caffeine
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night, and can’t go back to sleep, try taking a very cold shower
  • Try the ChilliPad – it goes underneath your sheets, and circulates a thin layer of water at your desired temperature
  • Serge has noticed even half a glass of wine disrupts his deep sleep
  • Serge recommends the book Why We Sleep
    • From the book – “Alcohol is the most powerful suppressant of deep and REM sleep
Food and Nutrition
  • Sugar feeds cancer cells
  • Don’t eat processed crap
  • Most days, Serge intermittent fasts, and eats only once a day between 1-2pm
Exercise
  • Serge does lots of hip hinge exercises a few times a week
    • Dead lifts, squats, leg presses
  • The bicep, compared to your glutes and quads, is such a tiny muscle
    • So when you exercise the large muscles of the body (with squats and deadlifts), the number of muscle cells that you activate is far far greater – you get a much stronger metabolic effect compared to doing just upper body exercises like a bicep curl
  • Exercise boosts testosterone – aids in mood, energy levels, sex drive
  • Exercise helps create more muscle cells, improves insulin resistance, and glucose tolerance
  • Kevin and Serge recommend getting an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)
Meditation
  • “If I have a strong emotion, I can sit down and find physical manifestations of that emotion in my body, focus on them, and the emotion goes away”
  • Visualize yourself from the side when meditating – this helps you see yourself with more of an external view, and makes it easier to not identify with your own emotions
MDMA
  • Serge has taken the drug a few times and has noticed the following
    • All your social fears go away
    • You feel very empathetic towards other people
    • “It enables you to drop these artificial walls we all put up”
    • It removes your inner voice – the one that always complains, has fears/anxities
  • The FDA is about to approve use of MDMA for treatment of PTSD
  • The setting is important
    • Serge recommends taking it with a curated group of people, in an intimate setting, not a club environment
    • Don’t treat it as a party drug, but as a self development and self improvement tool
  • Long term benefits
    • The effects you feel while on MDMA can persist for weeks to varying degrees
    • Serge has noticed he has become more persuasive and more vulnerable
    • “When people see that you volunteer the kind of information that others never volunteer, they feel you can be trusted in a very strong way”
    • “The broadcasting of your own internal, true emotional state, people really connect with that”
  • Serge recommends the book Lying by Sam Hariss
  • *Note – Please be careful with this. You never know what you’re getting if you buy MDMA illegally. MDMA is responsible for around 50 deaths per year in the United States.
Magic Mushrooms
  • Serge has not taken them
  • Studies show that psilocybin, the active psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, has profound effects including decreasing end of life anxiety in terminally ill cancer patients
  • Kevin’s experiences with the compound have been positive – particularly the higher doses
    • With the lower doses, you have this feeling of still trying to “hang on to reality.” The higher doses allow you to blast through this.
  • “Every single one of us has one of those stories. You can’t be a human going through life without picking up some damage somewhere.” – Psilocybin helps you to understand and deal with the trauma
    • “It’s not all rainbows and pretty colors, you’re going to some deep places in your soul and letting stuff go” – Kevin
Supplements
  • Serge takes around 10 different prescription drugs
    • Metformin – this lowers your blood glucose, typically given to diabetics
    • Synthetic Thyroid Hormones – improve energy and mood
    • Clomid – boosts testosterone
    • Arimidex – reduces conversion of testosterone to estrogen
    • Modafinil – intelligence enhancer, improves cognition
    • Used to take Adderall, but stopped as it was making him anxious
    • Lexapro – 10mg a day, SSRI antidepressant, Serge has noticed a slight elevation in mood
    • Lithium Carbonate – 100mg per day (for bipolar disorder, people take 1500mg per day)
      • Kevin takes Lithium Orotate (5mg a day)
      • Lithium helps your improve your emotional control and is neuro-protective
      • Kevin also drinks Gerolsteiner water, which has naturally occurring lithium in it
  • Serge also takes around 40 supplements per day
  • Test and figure out your “bugs” – WellnessFx is great for blood tests
    • The earlier you find your bugs, the less they’ll cost you
  • There are risks to taking all the compounds Serge does
    • His objective – “I don’t have an objective to live 10% longer. It’s to become extremely successful for the purpose of building one of the platform companies that’s going to enable the singularity. 50 years from now I want to be merged with artificial intelligence.”
    • He’s optimizing for performance, not longevity
Sex and Relationships
  • We have a built in desire for sex, and when we don’t satisfy it we waste a lot of time and energy  looking for it
  • Because of this, Serge would rather not waste the time searching for a relationship, and prefers to use Russian escort services
    • This way he has more time to study, learn, and work on his company
  • Serge has noticed sex boosts his deep sleep via his Oura ring
  • Sex increases neurogenesis in the brain
Learning
  • Sleep is very connected to retention, before and after learning
  • Serge recommends this online class – Learning How to Learn – the most popular online class in the world
    • You need periods of focus mixed with periods of breaks when you’re not actively focused on remembering things
  • “Put stuff on your home screen on your phone that provokes you to behaviors you’d like to promote”
    • Audible, Podcasts, Kindle App
    • Take off news notifications on your phone
      • We can’t do anything about most of what’s happening. Why are you spending so much time worrying about what’s happening in the world?
      • News is deliberately engineered by the media to make us care about things that actually don’t matter
      • Constantly being exposed to the news makes you more negative/threatened and forces you to think about the world in darker tones
      • “Everything we interact with leaves an imprint on our life”
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