#1842 – Andrew Huberman | Joe Rogan Experience  

Check out the Joe Rogan Experience episode page

Key Takeaways

  • Pharmaceutical companies want to find new clinical uses for drugs already FDA-approved to renew the patent and keep them off the generic market and profit 
  • Ketamine allows the user to dissociate and almost watch themselves as a third party observer without being burdened by the feelings (usually for depression)
  • Uncomfortable fact: the same region of the brain is responsible for aggressive and mating behaviors
  • Supplement contamination: be choosy with supplement brands – in less reputable companies, the vats are not cleaned between supplements so the desired supplement could be tainted with trace amounts of something else
  • To avoid the afternoon caffeine crash, delay morning caffeine consumption 1-1.5 hours after waking to allow hormones to regulate prior to intake
  • For the best outcomes, keep using your body! It’s more than a vanity pursuit – strength train, hit cardio, view light every morning, try to get sauna & cold exposure
  • Once we follow a dogmatic approach about anything, we falsely think we have all the answers – embrace the nuance, listen, and you’ll probably live better
  • The magic is in legitimate curiosity and “being interested in something without being attached to the outcome” – Andrew Huberman


Dr. Andrew Huberman, Ph.D. (@hubermanlab) is a Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine. His lab focuses on neural regeneration, neuroplasticity, and brain states such as stress, focus, fear, and optimal performance. Andrew Huberman is also the host of the wildly popular Huberman Lab podcast with new episodes released every Monday.

Joe Rogan and Andrew Huberman cover a lot of ground in a wide-ranging discussion about everything from hormones, cold, sauna, aggression, mating, and much more!

Host: Joe Rogan (@joerogan)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • An estimated 1 in 10 children has ADHD – half will resolve with proper treatment, and the other half will not
  • Most people with ADHD can have high levels of focus on things they enjoy 
  • People with ADHD have the capacity to focus but can’t engage attention on things they don’t really want to do
  • There’s recreational use of prescription drugs for ADHD among college students and professionals alike
  • From a neurobiological perspective, dopamine underlies enjoyment and curiosity which creates a hyper-focus and state of motivation
  • Dopamine release turns on areas that narrow visual and auditory focus
  • Dopamine in the context of focus tends to enhance two neural circuits: (1) default mode network (brain areas active when we’re idle); (2) task networks (networks of the brain that make you goal-oriented)

Aggression, Mating & The Brain

  • The same region of the brain is responsible for aggression and mating behaviors
    • If certain neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus are stimulated humans & animals alike go into a rage
    • With slightly different stimulation of the ventromedial hypothalamus, animals seek out mating behavior
  • Testosterone and estrogen control gene expression – depending on which is stimulated, the outcome will be different  
  • There’s a continuum between aggressive and mating behaviors
  • True fetishes are a confusion of circuitry where people confuse or learn arousal for something that’s usually dangerous or damaging
  • From a physiological perspective, we all have the wiring for a wide range of behaviors (love, rage, anger, etc.) – it really just depends on which lever is pulled chemically and environmentally
  • The body secretes higher levels of tachykinin when we are not socially connected enough
  • Tachykinin symptoms: increased irritability, paranoia, fear, loneliness

Leveraging Phases Of The Day For Productivity

  • To build new habits & behaviors, leverage your body’s natural brain and body rhythms
  • Phases of the day will invoke a shift in mood and mindset that are more conducive to building and keeping habits
  • Phase 1: 0-8 hours after waking up
    • This phase comes with a more alert state which can be heightened by sunlight viewing, caffeine delaying, fasting, etc.
    • Norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine are elevated during this phase
    • Healthy cortisol is also elevated in the brain and bloodstream
    • This is when you want to take on new habits and behaviors that are challenging for you – you are naturally more readily able to engage in activities with a high degree of limbic friction
  • Phase 2: 9-15 hours after waking up
    • Levels of dopamine, epinephrine, and cortisol start to come down
    • Serotonin starts to rise and lends itself to a relaxed state of being – can be enhanced with a warm bath, yoga nidra, ashwagandha
    • Taper the amount of bright light (unless it’s sunlight) & start dimming house lights a bit
    • This is when you want to taper stress level and take on habits and things you are already doing that don’t require a lot of override of limbic friction – e.g., journaling, music
  • Phase 3: 16-24 hours after waking up
    • Keep the environment very dark or dim & room temperature low
    • The body needs to drop in temperature to fall asleep & stay asleep
    • If you wake up in the middle of the night, use as little light as possible
    • Deep sleep is critical to wiring neural circuits required for building habits

Ketamine & Psilocybin Therapies

  • Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic
  • Ketamine and PCP act as antagonists, blocking NMDA receptor 
  • Dissociation induced by PCP and ketamine may lead to shifts in circuity and plasticity so depression doesn’t feel as heavy
  • Ketamine changes the spines of neurons in the prefrontal cortex
  • People who are depressed and take ketamine experience separateness from grief and emotions
  • Take ketamine with psychiatrist’s guiding experience
  • Ketamine may be increasing neuroplasticity through dissociative states
  • Psilocybin induces an almost opposite effect to ketamine and looks structurally like serotonin
  • The brain states of psychedelic use are very atypical and not seen in other natural settings
  • The data of psychedelic use is overwhelmingly more positive than negative – but we don’t really know the mechanism behind how and why it works
  • Theory: it’s possible the magic is in allowing the person to lean into an experience without an “off switch”
  • Huberman described himself as only able to feel “from the neck up and waste down” until he participated in an MDMA study which allowed him to lean into feelings and experience emotion

Cannabis & Alcohol

  • Let’s be real – there is no therapeutic use for alcohol
  • Cannabis narrows our attentional perspective and has been helpful for some levels of distress but there is a risk it can make you focus on the traumatic event
  • Cannabis is safer than alcohol but not uniformly safe
  • Marijuana is very popular in the jiu-jitsu world – in some, it stimulates laser focus on training at the moment

Muscle Contraction

  • You will get greater benefits if you can contract the muscle group you’re working
  • Mind-muscle connection: certain muscles will grow bigger and get stronger depending on your ability to contract that muscle in the absence of load
  • If you know the bicep is supposed to be doing the work on a curl, the bicep needs to do the work – squeeze it
  • The level of resting tone (AKA muscularity) in the muscle will improve if you can learn to engage the muscle and connect neurologically
  • When working towards hypertrophy or muscle growth, you need to seek ways to make it uncomfortable
  • Some places are easier to forcefully contract through range than others – for example, most of us can contract our bicep, but few can contract their calf

Supplements, Steroids, Hormones, & Sports

  • Be careful where you source your supplements – cheaper companies tend to have cross-contamination with whatever was previously in the vat
  • For most sports, steroid testing is really an IQ test – knowing how and when to cycle, but the reality is it plays a role in some capacity for athletes  
  • General testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) doses: 100-120mg/week divided over 2-3x per week – but there is a law of diminishing returns here, TRT has its trade-offs so you have to find the right level for you
  • Sufficient testosterone levels do enhance the ability to sustain effort and recover
  • NBA & testosterone therapy: if you get injured, you can take up to 200 mg per week – which is essentially a TRT dose
  • Natural source of testosterone supplementation: Tongkat Ali (from Indonesia) – regimen 11 months on, 1 month off because it does affect aromatase and is an estrogen receptor modifier
  • Evening primrose oil found in many women’s skincare products is high in estrogen and estrogen-like properties to the extent that women using the product can cause negative effects on baby boys

Light Viewing & Effect On The Body

  • Sunlight and day length can impact the melatonin pathway and directly trigger hormone pathways (testosterone and estrogen), desire to mate, and mating behavior
  • Using light to optimize testosterone and estrogen: get about 20 minutes of light exposure to as much skin as possible, 2-3 times per week minimum
  • Melatonin inhibits testosterone and estrogen output from the testes and ovaries which is critical to the desire to mate
  • Skin is a hormone-producing and hormone-influencing organ: skin exposure to shortwave light (e.g., blue, UV) can trigger increases in testosterone and estrogen and the desire to mate
  • People from places with lower light throughout the year or lighter skin experience more significant increases in testosterone with light exposure
  • Seasonal effects of testosterone: testosterone levels appear lowest in the winter months and highest in June, July, August, and September
  • Sunlight helps wound healing

Produce Contamination, Health Impact & Nutrition

  • Sperm and testosterone counts are lower in rural areas because of pesticides like phthalates
  • Glyphosate, widely used in the U.S. are banned in 32 countries because of its damaging effects on health
  • Some new theories are linking gluten intolerance to glyphosate used in the wheat
  • “If you can’t trust the food you eat, what can you trust?” – Dr. Andrew Huberman
  • Be vigilant about what you put in your body
  • It’s not true that food is directed to certain parts of the body – for example, eating liver enhances the health of your liver or eating testicles is good for sperm health, etc.
  • Plant defense chemicals: chemicals released by plants in defense when they’re being picked for eating
  • Paradox of plant chemicals – there may be a hormetic effect in certain doses which may enhance the function of the body
  • General rule of thumb for plant toxicity: the further out you go from the bark, the less toxic
  • Non-protein amino acids: some plants have seeds that can’t be incorporated into proteins and may have toxicity in the brain and body

Heat & Cold Exposure

  • As a rule of thumb, the environment should be uncomfortable but such that you can stay in safely
  • Joe’s routine: sauna everyday + cold plunge 3-4 days per week
  • To get the benefits of hypertrophy after strength training, delay cold exposure 2 hours post-exercise
  • Defining sauna use: temperature between 80C-100C or 176F-212F (depending on how hot it feels to you), 5-20 minutes per session, 2-7 times per week; 57 minutes per week has been shown to stimulate heat shock protein
  • Wet sauna and dry sauna are both acceptable; most infrared saunas don’t get hot enough
  • Proper application of local heat may actually change the identity of fat cells at that location and encourage the conversion of white fat to beige fat
  • Cold can be used to cause increases in catecholamines (including dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline) in ways that can improve your levels of attention and your mood
  • Deliberate cold exposure also improves mental performance (resilience, grittiness, the ability to move through challenges)
  • Cold exposure (11 minutes per week, up to the neck) for fat: has been shown to increase brown fat which increases metabolism and the ability to feel comfortable in cold temperatures
  • For maximum metabolic effect when using temperature for therapeutic effects, end with cold

Sunscreen & EMFs

  • There are compounds (such as triclosan) in sunscreen (and other commercial products) that cross the blood-brain barrier and are bad for you
  • Of course, there are many benefits to sunscreen but be choosy in your brand – we don’t know the long-term effects of triclosan and other small chemicals that cross the blood-brain barrier
  • In animal studies, exposure to EMFs has yielded mixed results – decreasing testosterone in some while increasing it in others
  • EMF tips: maybe switch to wired headphones instead of Bluetooth
  • Getting EMFs in close proximity all the time like we do today may have damaging health effects, but more research needs to be done  

Embracing Nuance

  • “You’re almost arguing for your very existence being valid and it’s very strange. People attach themselves to ideas and when their ideas get challenged, they get emotional, excited, angry, aggressive – and it’s so sad to watch.” – Joe Rogan
  • Once we follow a dogmatic approach to anything, we falsely think we have all the answers – embrace the nuance, listen, and you’ll probably live better
  • The magic is “being interested in something without being attached to the outcome” with legitimate curiosity (Andrew Huberman)
  • The comment section is a terrible way to engage people – you say things you’d never say, conversations take place over hours, and the reality is the topic usually has almost nothing to do with you directly
  • To obtain a Ph.D. and pass your thesis defense, you have to pass a committee whose job is to get you to admit your study is good but there are holes and more to learn
  • Don’t give your time to the comment section of social media – use the time to educate yourself and understand the topic

Huberman’s Health & Fitness Routine

  • Exercise: lift every other day, run on the days between
  • Recovery: cold (11 minutes per week, broken up into 3-4 minute sessions) + sauna (one hour total per week)
  • Eat window: 11am-8pm
  • Red light therapy early in the day a few days per week
  • Non-sleep deep rest protocol: listen to yoga nidra or hypnosis script a few times per week
  • Avoid toxic people and unhealthy interactions
  • Vices: adrenaline
Joe Rogan Experience : , , , ,
Notes By Maryann

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 35,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks