Ayurveda, Nootropics, Bioharmony, & Key Ancestral Health Principles

  |   EP129   |   50 mins.

Nick Urban

On this episode of Mind Body Peak Performance, our host, Nick Urban is a guest on Regan Archibald’s podcast called Unreasonable Health.

Together, they discuss the power of ancestral health practices, sun exposure, temperature conditioning, qualitative and quantitative self-experimentation, nootropics, peptides, the dangers of over-reliance on medical studies, and a whole lot more.

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Top Things You’ll Learn From Nick Urban

  • Optimal living experiments, practices, and routines
    • Conducting lifestyle audits multiple times a year to understand factors influencing health and performance.
    • Continuous glucose monitors can highlight the true effects of seemingly benign foods and habits
  • Ancestral habits
    • Sun Gazing can be a relaxing and spiritual practice when done safely and effectively
    • Dr. Jack Cruz teaches a sun-first approach to health
    • Morning sunlight, an ancient Ayurvedic recommendation, does much more than increase vitamin D levels
    • Melanin-rich foods and peptides like Melanotan help protect the skin from UV damage
    • Lightweight long-sleeve shirts offer better sun protection than sunscreen
    • Indoor workers have higher melanoma rates compared to outdoor workers
    • Saunas and ice baths improve recovery, longevity, and extreme temperature tolerance
    • Transitioning to barefoot shoes increases proprioception and reduces the risk of overuse injuries
    • Powerful oral health practices include tongue scraping and oil pulling (and are great alternatives to mouthwash)
  • Peptides, nootropics, and supplements
    • Peptides like BPC-157, Melanotan, GHK-Cu, LL-37, TA-1, MOTS-c are very powerful
    • Why adaptogens are some of the best substances to use
    • Nootropics like racetams, adaptogens, and certain peptides make a huge difference
    • When using nootropics, improving recovery is vital to avoid burnout
  • Understanding biases and mainstream health recommendations
    • Major biases pervade research studies, medicine, and treatment options
  • Meta-learning, deepening knowledge, and Bioharmonizing
    • Using meta-learning and viewing things through multiple different lenses helps you make better, smarter, and safer decisions
    • Teaching is the best way to learn
    • Track the way you feel and use tools like the Oura ring to build self-awareness and improve decision-making
    • Self-experimentation and keeping a log of daily activities, habits, and feelings help you find your optimal lifestyle tweaks
    • Potential limitations and challenges of wearables like the Oura ring for tracking sleep and recovery
    • Why bioharmonizing beats biohacking

Resources Mentioned

  • Gear: Oura Ring Self-Tracker
  • Article: The Best CGMs for Health Optimizers
  • Article: Best Therapeutic Peptides Vendors
  • Articles: Best Nootropic Brain Supplement Vendors

Episode Transcript

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Nick Urban [00:00:06]:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to MINDBODY Peak Performance podcast with your host, Nick Urban. Actually, on this episode, the roles were reversed, and I was a guest podcast on the Unreasonable Health podcast with a previous guest, Reagan Kelly, and he interviewed me. So this time, I was in the hot seat, and we discussed a lot of different varied topics, such as some of the ancient medical systems, why I chose to research traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, the lessons that I gleaned from them, then on the ergogenic slash performance front, how to stay up to date and even ahead of the curve, how to properly evaluate the potential upsides of doing certain advanced biohacks versus properly weighing the potential downsides and how to look at these emerging therapeutics from both the modern science, Western medicine lens and then also through the viewpoint of some of the time tested traditional medicines. For whatever reason, when he asked me about nootropics, I didn’t have much to say even though I use them most days pod, and have tried hundreds of different compounds and was previously a brain coach at helping people customize their own nootropic formulas. I left that question blank, and I thought I’d add a little color to that in this episode intro. I’ve used just about every single ingredient under the sun, at least the ones that appear to be somewhat safe. My go to’s are definitely the adaptogens, first and foremost. Those seem to yield the best effects for me and the fewest side effects, and I love that they modulate from bodily systems back into balance.

Nick Urban [00:01:54]:

I also will turn to some of the Racetams, and I also really like some of the other herbal extracts. And my approach to nootropics is personalized to what works best for me, but then also the kind of day I have ahead of me. So for example, if I’m gonna be doing some creative work, I’ll use something like a racetam, say, anoracetam, pot with a source of brain fuel, aka a cholinergic. So maybe some Uridine with the inorazetam, pot, or maybe I’ll use NUPEPT and I’ll use some alpha GPC. But I like to build small little stacks and then support them with the precursors pod to get the best effects without wearing out any of the pathways in the brain. I have lots of articles on nootropics, my favorite stacks. I’m currently writing 1 ranking everything I’ve taken so you can see what’s worked best for me, but nootropics are very Bioindividual. What works great for me might not work for you.

Nick Urban [00:02:53]:

So it’s a game of exploration or using a service that knows how to customize them based on your neurochemistry. So if you wanna dig more into that, I will put a link in the show notes and the description below this video where you can check out the articles I’ve written on nootropics. I’ve done a couple different podcasts in them as well. I will put links to those in the description as well. Other than that, sit back, relax, and enjoy my conversation with Reagan Archibald on the Unreasonable Health podcast.

Regan Archibald [00:03:26]:

Hey, everybody. It’s Reagan Archibald here at Unreasonable Health. And today, I’ve got a really exciting guest on, Nick Urban. Many of you, yeah, we’ve shared the podcast episode that he and I did together where he interviewed me, and, we had So much fun. I said, Nick, will you please come and introduce yourself to our amazing people over here at East West? And Nick was so gracious to, pod. Accept the invitation. And, Nick is somebody who, he’s got if you go to nickurban.me, you’ll be able to find out all about him. But He is a a significant, individual in the world of biohacking.

Regan Archibald [00:04:04]:

Not only is he taking ancient practices Paw your performance, your mental health, everything when it comes to your own personal growth plan. Nick is your go to. And so, he is Paw prominent, in the field of biohacking. He also has, like you know, he’s he’s really testing the boundaries when it comes to, you know, some of the emerging technology. Pod. I’m excited for our conversation today, Nick, and welcome to Unreasonable Health.

Nick Urban [00:04:39]:

Thanks, Reagan, and that was a podcast. Very warm welcome. I appreciate you. I had a great time chatting last time as well. One small correction I will make is that instead of biohacking, I am a proponent of what I call bioharmonizing, and it’s very similar biohacking. But instead of looking for the quick fixes, the shortcuts, They usually work over a short time horizon. Bioharmony takes the opposite approach, and it works with the body PAU, amplify the signals and make long term effective changes.

Regan Archibald [00:05:13]:

I love that. Well and and, I think, Bioharmonization, is so much better because, the world in the world of quick fixes, why not get your biology harmonized? I mean, that’s that is it. So, yeah, so one of the things that I pod really appreciate about you is you’re someone who’s always learning and, you’re someone who is is young, but you’re wise beyond your years. But what are some of the best books that you’ve read that have allowed you to, you know, create this term bioharmony?

Nick Urban [00:05:49]:

Mhmm. That’s a great question, and I do a lot of reading. It’s partially what I attribute my success to, my limited success so far, but pod. I like to look at information that will expose me to different perspectives. And so early on, I found Tim Ferriss and his concepts of meta learning or, like, how do you improve the one skill that will translate to all other skills? And you can get really good at the process Paws of Learning. Then you can pick up information, whether it’s for your relationships, it’s for your career, it’s for your sports, whatever it is. If you get really good at learning, you can become better at any of these other fields. So I started diving deep into that and learning techniques to improve memory, to learn faster, and Using that, then I looked for, health wise, some of the older systems.

Nick Urban [00:06:39]:

Because, like, our current approach, the Western paradigm, It is limited, and it there’s a lot of contradictory information. It seems like 1 week, coffee is a super drink. The next, It’s a villain. Cholesterol, same thing. Alzheimer’s and dementia, also the same thing where it seems like we understand exactly what causes it, and then New research comes out and shows that it’s limited in our understanding. So I like to look at Things like the what I call not what I call the Hermetic principles, which go a level deeper and try and figure out and, like, tease out the core patterns of Life. And so, like, the, like, rhythms, that’s 1. There’s a bunch of different principles like that that Explains so much of what we experience in our daily life.

Regan Archibald [00:07:29]:

So, yeah. And for those of you who are not familiar with, hormetic, what that term means, how would you define, like, hormetic activities or hormesis?

Nick Urban [00:07:40]:

So those are 2 separate things. Hormetic is one thing, and these are Hermetic principles. And the Hermetic principles were coined by I think it was Hermes, Hermes Trismegistus. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay.

Regan Archibald [00:07:53]:

Nice to meet you. Okay.

Nick Urban [00:07:54]:

There’s there’s a book called the Kybalion, which details the, like, 7, I believe, laws that is, of the Hermetic principles. And then hormesis is a different concept entirely, and that’s, like, to summarize, just, like, the concept of The right amount of something will trigger a biological response that’s beneficial. And if you go much beyond that, the dose determines the poison, basically. So something that’s good in a small dose will be detrimental in a high dose.

Regan Archibald [00:08:23]:

Yeah. That’s okay. Excuse me. I’m I’m glad I clarified that. So pod. And and, you you’ve had your own, I mean, part of why you got into this this whole world is you had your own health podcast. I mean, almost insulin dependent. Maybe you could talk to us about, you know, kinda your own health journey and how you pot really became such a ferocious learner, and now it’s somebody who really wants to transform the health of as many people as possible.

Nick Urban [00:08:51]:

Yeah. So it started for me back in high school. I was an athlete playing 3 sports in high school, and I thought I was the pinnacle of health. I was very strong, and I looked good. But then the issue became, I went to my doctor, and he checked out my fasting insulin, and Glucose. And, it was very high. I was bordering prediabetic, and they said that if I maintain that for much longer, I would need insulin. And to me, it made no sense.

Nick Urban [00:09:19]:

I had, like, the the USDA food pyramid on my wall, falling it to a tee, and that was not pot turning me into the picture of health, at least, internally. And then the more I dug into the research and try to Decode what all this was. I discovered that the symptoms I assumed that everyone experienced, such as gas, bloating, Feeling super lethargic after meals, like a huge crash where I just wanted to curl up for the rest of the day. Those weren’t normal. And After I tried different things, I began fasting occasionally. I cleaned up what I was consuming. I realized that I had not pot allergies but intolerances to dairy. And I have at the time, I was drinking couple gallons of pot.

Nick Urban [00:10:05]:

Milk per week and eating a bunch of yogurt and had, like, a very high dairy consumption. So I started trying to eliminate certain foods, and I noticed that those made improvements. I felt better. And then I also came across the world of dietary supplements, And those were more on the ergogenic side for performance, and I started using those after heavy research and pot saw a pretty profound improvement to my sports game. And from there, I saw the same improvements in the classroom, which pod which is surprising. I started taking creatine monohydrate, for example, and not only was I able to, like, lift more and recover faster from that, But then I realized my memory was a little bit better. It wasn’t outstandingly better, but it made a small little difference. And I realized that if you do the right pot things for your biology.

Nick Urban [00:10:57]:

They can transform not only your physical performance, but your mental performance, your health, and Pod, your long term vitality.

Regan Archibald [00:11:06]:

And did you start, I mean, did you share this with some of your pod. Your teammates, like your rugby teammates, and, like, how quick did you start, I mean, because when I got into nutrition, I was about 16, And I gave my whole basketball team 8 grams of vitamin c. I’m like, we’re gonna crush it. I read this article on it, and and it’s really good for endurance, but pod. I gave us all loose stools, and so it was kind of my 1st failed attempt to, help someone in their health journey. But how soon did you start doing stuff like that?

Nick Urban [00:11:37]:

Yeah. I began sharing with my teammates about the same age in high school also. And then Yeah. In college, it really started taking off. People were turning to me all the time, like, asking me to design custom supplement stacks for them, help them with nootropics. A lot of people around me were using study drugs. And pod. From, like, some of the neuroscience classes I was taking, I quickly realized that I didn’t wanna take those, and I wanted to find other things that could give me a little leg up pod and help me.

Nick Urban [00:12:03]:

And I found some of those things. I used them. People were wondering what they were. I would explain how it worked to them and, of course, Give them all the proper disclaimers that it’s for research only and to do your own research. But, yes, that Sharing what I was learning has always been a big part of my process because it’s one thing to read a book and to really understand pot think you understand, and it’s another to be able to read a book, digest the information, assimilate the information, and be able to actually apply that when it comes to when when it counts.

Regan Archibald [00:12:38]:

Yeah. Yeah. I I know, early on, Podcast. You know, Jim Kwik, he’s the the the memory guy. Just awesome. I took one of his courses and he’s like, the Pod. Fastest way to learn something is to go teach it. And, and so I love that.

Regan Archibald [00:12:54]:

I’ve always applied that. And and I think that’s where, you know, when you’re naturally enthusiastic Paw. About something you just you wanna share it. Even if you’re maybe, you know, you’re you know, our intentions were great, I’m sure there are some of the stacks that you recommended that probably didn’t pod may not have been as effective as they could would be now. Right?

Nick Urban [00:13:12]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And on the topic of learning also, Pod. That reminds me of Richard Feynman, who is a, I think, Nobel Prize winning physicist. Yeah. Maybe not Nobel Prize, but

Regan Archibald [00:13:22]:

He is a noble. Yes.

Nick Urban [00:13:24]:

Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And he was very pod adamant about teaching as a form of learning, and there was a lot of a lot of others like him. If you study the polymaths, you figure out what they have in common, Then you can work on developing those skills.

Regan Archibald [00:13:38]:

Yeah. I think that’s great. And I also like the definition that, You know, learning is a change of behavior. And if you if you haven’t changed your behavior, you haven’t really learned something. Because a lot of people read a lot of books, and they the books are in the mind, but they’re not embodied, and they haven’t made big changes. So what would you say the biggest thing that you’ve changed, for the good pot has been in the last 10 years.

Nick Urban [00:14:07]:

I for me, the biggest thing would be to pod not just blindly accept information because it comes from an authority, whether it’s a podcast, an interview, it’s a Pod Book. It’s a course to actually, like, take that and look to both sides, what the one proponent is saying, what the pot opposition to saying and then, like, letting myself sit with both of those and just feel both sides, try to steel man both sides, and pot really make sure that I’m not just I’m having, like, a more broad perspective, and I’m understanding the whole thing before I just take a pa a stance, and then also want to take that stance to realize it’s where I currently stand. But at any point, that could shift if a bunch of new Evidence comes out. I’m not gonna pigeonhole myself into dogma.

Regan Archibald [00:14:57]:

Yeah. I think that’s great because, You know, you you always have to look at both sides. If you know, there’s there’s this thing in medicine called the anchoring bias. And are you familiar with that where, you know, our first and our first diagnosis, you know, if I’m like if I read labs and I’m like, pod. This person has thyroid issues or whatever, and I’ve I’ve had to learn to just like, okay. Put that on the side and maybe that is and then have some debate about why it may not be. And, that’s a that’s a, yeah, that’s a good principle you’ve learned in the last 10 years. So so if somebody’s looking at and and one of the reasons I wanted to bring you on is because pod.

Regan Archibald [00:15:34]:

I wanted to help, our audience, like, really learn how to assess information. I think you’ve done a great job at that. Yeah. Bringing in, a lot of the science, but also not being closed off to, you know, more of the ancient traditions, you know, whether that’s Shamanic medicine, Ayurvedic medicine. But, what are some things some pieces of advice you could give people who are, You know, maybe just entering into the world of, you know, you know, transforming their health or the world of, pod you know, peptides or nootropics, but what what are some some things that some advice you would give them in in their learning and research Process. Mhmm.

Nick Urban [00:16:17]:

Yeah. For learning and research, it’s, again, to find sources that can pod. Help you break down what it is. Because if you go straight to PubMed and you look at a study, even if you know what all the words mean, it can be a lot more complicated than that, Pod. And there’s a lot of biases. As you mentioned, the anchoring bias, that doesn’t just apply to medicine. That applies across the board. I first learned about that when I was working at a startup, and it was a sales tech startup.

Nick Urban [00:16:44]:

And the Pod. Salespeople would always try and anchor their prospects to get the best possible price for the software. And so, like, being aware of the different pod. Cognitive biases that might be influencing your thinking and influencing whatever it is that you’re studying. That’s a big one that I always pod. I’m wary of whenever I’m reading something because there’s even some research that the the study lead, whoever is actually conducting research, If they hold very strong beliefs that something will or will not work, that alone influences the outcome of the study.

Regan Archibald [00:17:18]:

Yeah. Well, it goes back to, like, the Heisenberg principle. Right? Is it a particle or or is it a wave? And it’s like, well, it depends on the observers. Yeah. And and the biases are are I mean, that it’s funny you talk about them, but, you know, pod. You and I are biased towards the same kind of thing. We think, you know, there’s certain, like, techniques and tools, and there’s new medicine that are that seem to be better than other stuff. But I guess, what can people do when it comes to, you know, I have a lot of our clients who are like, You know, you know, my brother is a doctor.

Regan Archibald [00:17:57]:

He thinks what what you guys do is just like it’s so far out there. And or they may even say that themselves. You’re like, well, before I do anything on my own, I really wanna, you know, pod. Talked to my doctor about this, but what what, would you talk to them? You know, what what kind of advice would you share with them to help, You know, think of the bias that their doctor may have versus, you know, their brother or what they wanna do with their own personal journey.

Nick Urban [00:18:23]:

One of the first things I think that is helpful for a lot of people to do is to really get in touch with what their bio their body is telling them, pod. The biofeedback of their body. Like, you eat something, notice the cause and effect, say, 60 minutes later, 90 minutes later. And if you have a huge energy crash, for example, That can be a sign that it wasn’t compatible with your body or you ate too much, sometimes too little. And you can get a lot of information about, like, how something lands pot On you and in you. So that’s one that like, it’s a practice, like, becoming more in touch with the the cues your body gives you. That’s a big one for me. And then also to run some, like, small but safe self experiments, so you get the hang of being your own Advocate, your own primary care physician, because everyone has their biases.

Nick Urban [00:19:12]:

Your doctor will have their biases. I’ll have my biases. You have your biases. And They all have their value, but, like, ultimately, what matters is the effect on you. So if you’re able to run some self experiments and notice Paw working, what isn’t working. You can also listen to your doctor, and you can do your own research and do some combing through the literature. Pod. You can ask around people in your network who have experienced this kind of stuff, and they can direct you to resources Paw while you’re still being aware that there’s gonna be biases in everything you read.

Regan Archibald [00:19:49]:

Yeah. Gotta love it. Yeah. These little hidden hidden things. But, and you’ve done a lot of things. One of my my teachers, my Japanese teacher, she used to say, pod. Your body is your laboratory. And and so I think from an early, stage in my career, you know, this is 25 years ago, I really learned, like, if if I got sick or if I had pain, it was like, this is awesome.

Regan Archibald [00:20:12]:

Now I can figure out how to fix myself. And, Yeah. I had Hashimoto’s, and that was what led me into more natural medicine and was misdiagnosed. And, you know, and nobody, was gluten free 25 Podcast. Years ago, and when I got off gluten, I felt so much better and, you know, and dairy similar to to your experience. But, but, what are some of the experiments that podcast. You’ve done with your body that have worked really well. Because I know you’ve done fasting.

Regan Archibald [00:20:38]:

You’ve done, you know, the carnivore diet. You know, you’re big into Wim Hof, but, you know, what what’s What’s some of the things that have stuck?

Nick Urban [00:20:46]:

Man, well, for me, what one habit that I really like is to make a log of what it is that I’m doing pod. And, like, how I’m feeling every day and just keep track of these things because I I found that if I put attention on it and then make it a recurring practice, Then I’m able to control it and influence a lot more than I could if I just go through my day, and then all of a sudden, I Realize at the end that I was unhappy the whole time or I had these issues. And, also, this let lets me go back and discover patterns. I can say if I go to bed at, Pod, say, 11:30 PM, then I the next day, I’m sad more often, or I don’t perform quite as well in the gym, or My resting heart rate is higher, and so my recovery isn’t as good. There’s a lot of different ways you can triangulate this data and correlate the data to figure out little lifestyle tweaks pot to make. And I’ve been using I wear an Oura ring. It’s a wearable that tracks your sleep and recovery. I like it more for the recovery data than the sleep.

Nick Urban [00:21:44]:

Pod. And that one was big, especially in the beginning, because it helped me, like, tease out all these factors that were influencing my biological state. Pod. And now I don’t use it so much for tracking sleep and recovery and checking it first thing in the morning, But I wear it anyway to passively collect data, and then also, I will use it as a second voice. So if I’m Wondering if I should push this last set when I’m working out, or I should ease off a little bit. I’ll check internally to see how I pod feel. If I feel worn down, then I won’t. And if I’m feeling worn down, then I’ll also check the ring to see what the ring says.

Nick Urban [00:22:23]:

But I also don’t just blindly trust it to make pot to base my decisions off of because I’ve seen more times than I can count that the Oura Ring or any of the other wearables I’ve used will be inaccurate, so I can’t base my decisions off of that data.

Regan Archibald [00:22:38]:

Isn’t it frustrating? I I, you know, I I would just podcast over my Oura Ring, and I’d have a big mountain bike plan with all these these dudes. And I’m like, no. My HRV is so low today. I can’t do it. It just was ridiculous. But then I’d go do the the ride, and I’d crush it. And it was like yeah. So, you know, pod.

Regan Archibald [00:22:59]:

Someday, we’ll have, like, really perfect metrics. We’ll have little nanobots in our bodies, and those nanobots will you know, we’ll have the smart toilets, and we’ll know all the data, and then, but the real key will be sorting through the data, which I think will take, no matter how much AI we have, I think, Biology is is, you know, Occam’s razor. Are you familiar with that?

Nick Urban [00:23:22]:


Regan Archibald [00:23:22]:

It’s like, you know, biology is just, like, pod. Infinitely more complex than what we make it once you, open up all the variables, but, we’re we’re trying. That’s that’s why we do experiments. But Yeah. So one of yours is, you know, use your Oura ring. You make sure that you’re not pushing yourself beyond where you wanna be, or where you you know, as far as the gym goes, because, You know, hey. Tomorrow, I wanna be able to show up and do the leg day or whatever. What are some other things that have stuck with you, some of these habits?

Nick Urban [00:23:52]:

I like to do lifestyle audits every a couple times a year. And for the last most recent one I did, I got a continuous glucose monitor, and I’ve done this a handful of times. I put it in my arm and it stays there for, I think it’s 2 weeks. And every 15 minutes, it gives me a reading of my glucose pod and my blood sugar. And the first thing that I noticed was that it was really high. And I’m like, this doesn’t make any sense. I’m eating clean. Why would my blood sugar be high? And I quickly discovered something that we’ve all heard and that it took me some personal experience to actually believe, and that is that stress pot can profoundly influence blood sugar.

Nick Urban [00:24:31]:

And so after I did that, I realized, okay. It’s I should add some more parasympathetic activities into my routine, some breathing routines, getting outside more and taking breaks. And pot. Pretty quickly within, I think, it was a day or so, I saw the levels come down and normalize. And it was a good reminder to me that A lot of things that you take for granted you don’t think apply to you probably still apply to you.

Regan Archibald [00:24:58]:

Isn’t that crazy? Yeah. That’s, I get on these streaks where, you know, whether I’m planning on, you know, like, a a new event, and so I’m putting my my podcast. Together, you know, preparing for, like, one of our master classes, and I don’t follow my own advice on, like, the 3, 2, 1, like, pa Stop stop eating 3 hours before bed. I’m pretty darn good at that. Stop drinking water 2 hours before. That’s easy, but it’s the it’s the focus work and, like, the, You know, the blue lights, the hour before bed is my hardest. And, yeah, just last night, I was like, okay. You know, I I had this big research idea, and I’m like, don’t do it tonight.

Regan Archibald [00:25:38]:

Do it in the morning. And I slept so good last night because I just followed my own advice, and it’s It’s Yeah. Funny how hard it is. Yeah. Tell me about sungazing. You you do, some sungazing most mornings.

Nick Urban [00:25:52]:

Yeah. So that’s an Ayurvedic practice. And the way they recommend it is you only sun gaze when the UV index is 0, pot, meaning there’s no UV, so you don’t damage your eyes. And the way I do it is I go out, and if I can see the sunrise or sunset, That’s ideal. But for the 1st, like, 15 minutes of the day, I will go out, I’ll ground myself, I’ll stand on some some grass or bare earth if I can find it, or even better, pot a body of water. I’ll swim in that. And I will look over to the light. And the way they recommend doing it is to pot gradually build up, and you start off at 0 seconds, then you go to 15 seconds of looking at the sun.

Nick Urban [00:26:35]:

And when the UV index is 0 for so for the first 15 minutes a day, last 15 minutes a day. It’s key to make sure that UV index is 0. If it hurts at all, you don’t do it. And then you just look at the sun for 15 seconds pod. 1st day, 30 seconds, 2nd day, and you gradually build on in 15 second increments. And I I started doing this when I was living in New York City, and I found that that was, like, one of the fastest ways I could shift in a parasympathetic. And I felt my whole body relax, And it puts you in, like, a a trance like state. It’s hard to really hard to describe, but it it’s like a practice that pod.

Nick Urban [00:27:11]:

I look forward to because it was, like, so different than anything else I did. And in theory, it’s supposed to help your vision. It’s a spiritual practice. So I don’t always have access to the sunrise or sunset now, but it’s a treat when I have that ability. And now I’m up to, like, pot 5 minutes or so. Ish. And so I will I’ll I’ll do that. And I’m, again, very cautious to make sure I don’t actually blind myself or hurt my eyes in any way.

Nick Urban [00:27:39]:


Regan Archibald [00:27:40]:

Wow. 5 minutes. I heard of this really fascinating interview by, pod. Doctor Jack, Krako. I can’t remember his last name exactly. Cruz? Cruz. Yes. Former, yeah, brain surgeon.

Regan Archibald [00:27:56]:

And, yeah, he was talking about some of those same principles and the mitochondria and how, you know, the the sun is just such a podcast. A powerful thing. And, he talked about, like, the tropic of cancer, like the areas where the sun is, you know, pretty ideal. And it’s funny because I heard that interview, and it was, on a Rick Rubin’s podcast, Tetragramma. Have you have you heard that that episode? Uh-uh. You would love it, Nick. You gotta check it out. But, yeah.

Regan Archibald [00:28:27]:

So we went down to Cabo San Lucas.

Nick Urban [00:28:30]:

Oh, yeah.

Regan Archibald [00:28:30]:

And then we went north of there, which we’re right by the tropic of cancer in Pascadero. Pascadero. And, it it was actually super energizing. I was like, is this just placebo because I heard him talk about it, or do I really feel energized here? But I think I really felt, just this nice, like like, peaceful energy that that came from the sun in that area. It was it was Phenomenal.

Nick Urban [00:28:57]:

Yeah. It’s very hard to describe. And one thing that’s important is to not wear glasses or contacts or anything, which changes the angle of the refraction of the I think it’s refraction pot of the light. And it’s interesting now that doctor Andrew Huberman and others are talking about that, just how important morning sunlight is, pot. And they harp on it over and over again. It’s, like, one of his top things that he recommends to everyone. Yet if we trace that back, it’s like an old practice, an Ayurvedic practice of, like, 5,000 or more years.

Regan Archibald [00:29:25]:

Yeah. Well and, Andrew Huberman is on the podcast with Rick Rubin and and Jack Cruise. And so, it’s it’s really fascinating, but, but check it out. So the other thing that you you you do is, The Wim Hof method. And so, it’s been hot in Austin. You’ve had you’re telling me before I started 45 days podcast of, weather above a100. And, there’s a little bit of there’s quite a bit of humidity in Austin too. So, So are you jumping in ice baths over the last 45 days, or what what what have you done to tolerate that?

Nick Urban [00:30:03]:

Yeah. So, actually, I do something that seem strange, and I also use the sauna. I use the sauna year round, but even in the summer. And I find that when I use the sauna and I go in in 190 degrees Fahrenheit for, like, 18 minutes. Then when I come out, I have better tolerance to the 105 degrees outside, Pod. And I also like to combine that with an ice bath. And I’ll do that for between 3 8 minutes depending on how I’m feeling and if I worked out before. I work out before.

Nick Urban [00:30:33]:

I’ll do it a little shorter, but it’s great for recovery. It’s also a natural nootropic, and it just makes me feel good and better tolerate the heat. So those are some of my things that I like to do in the summer, especially. I’ll do in the winter also, but I change the timing and the duration of each.

Regan Archibald [00:30:51]:

And that’s fascinating because I found that by doing, cold plunges and ice baths pot And even cold showers in the winter here in Utah. You know, I started doing that, like, maybe 8 to 10 years ago. It was a 4 Hour Body. Went over Tim Ferris’ Pod 4 Hour Body Can. I think that was actually 2010, so it was, like, 13 years ago. And, I just found that the winters were much more tolerable. It’s it’s funny when you when you just ramp it up. You’re like, oh, you think it’s hot outside? Well, jump into the sauna.

Regan Archibald [00:31:21]:

It’s 90 degrees hotter.

Nick Urban [00:31:23]:

Yeah. Yeah. Pod. And then also, like, I like to couch this in some of the ancestral wisdom. And my background, I don’t have formal training in it, but podcast. From my own studies is more in Ayurveda, and, like, my constitutional type, they call pitta, which is like the fiery, hot, like, that kind of, like, pot intense personality. And so I will also consume, like, more cooling foods. I’ll spend more time pot.

Nick Urban [00:31:50]:

Doing, like, cooling breath work as opposed to the stuff that would invigorate me more because, like, one way of Viewing health is just a pursuit of balance. And if I’m already naturally hot and I’m in a 105 degrees, It only makes things worse. And so then for me, adding in the cooling stuff makes me feel a lot better in the summertime.

Regan Archibald [00:32:13]:

Yeah. I like that. And, anything that you, are doing right now, like, as far as your Nootropic stacks? Like, what does, Dan, the life of Nick Urban look like?

Nick Urban [00:32:25]:

Oh, man. I’m constantly playing around with different nootropic stacks, and I try to combine Multiple ingredients together so that they have a synergy, and they tend to work more effectively with fewer side effects when I combine them. But I have, like, a whole cabinet full of probably pot. A 100, 200 powders and pills and potions and everything that I I like to mix together in different proportions. I would say most consistently, I use pot. A bunch of different adaptogenic herbs. I’m sure you’re familiar with a lot of them because of your background. But for me, I find that the adaptogens are Noticeable enough that I continue to take them, and also they don’t seem to have the side effects that some of the more potent nootropics that are now becoming popular have.

Regan Archibald [00:33:13]:

And, if you look at some of the most dangerous nootropics, what would you say people should probably steer clear from from the research you’ve done?

Nick Urban [00:33:23]:

Well, there’s a lot that show potential, especially in, like, the pot nootropic peptides that I like, and there’s also very little human data, especially in human pot in healthy humans. So one that I have and I haven’t played around as much, but I’m interested in playing around with is called Diahexa. I’m sure you’ve heard of that. And Oh,

Regan Archibald [00:33:44]:

yeah. Yeah. I love Dioxa. Yeah.

Nick Urban [00:33:46]:

It seems like it has a lot of promise. I haven’t played around as much because I haven’t seen all that much research, and I also want to make sure I’m doing it right, the right dosage, the right time. Because with some of these things, if you’re gonna overclock your brain, you’re gonna make it work podcasting. You also wanna be pushing yourself. You don’t wanna just be doing your normal routine and Living in the complete comfort, you wanna give yourself something to, like, strive towards that’s out of the ordinary. And then with a lot of these also, the I hear very few people talking about the importance of recovery because you can think of it like a seesaw. If you’re increasing your performance way up here, Your recovery needs to go up also or you’re gonna crash and burn at some point down the line?

Regan Archibald [00:34:32]:

Yeah. And I think that’s a that’s a really good point because, Nootropics, I find that if I use them, but I don’t, like, really push myself in an exercise, like, whether I go pod For a run or ride my mountain bike or push it really hard in the gym, I don’t really get the same benefits. And DIAHEXA DIAHEXA is interesting because, Originally, it was, you know, as a pharmaceutical company funded it for, its properties with angiotensin. So it was initially planned pod being used for a hypertensive medication. And they realized, it didn’t really work for that, but people seem to really like the cognitive benefits. And they they also, found that, in some of their Parkinson’s patients who run the the the trials, they actually had really favorable outcomes podcast. And so, yeah, Dihexa, it’s oral or you can apply it right to your carotid artery, and, it’s a it’s a great peptide. We have a lot of our clients who really, pod Love it.

Regan Archibald [00:35:33]:

But, with a lot of these nootropics, dihexa, especially, you wanna get it from a compounding pharmacy where, Yeah. You’re getting rid of any kind of contaminants because not all nootropics are created equal, and especially when you go into, like, the, pod The Racetam family or, you know, NUPAP. Get it you know, we just get it from, you know, great compounding pharmacies sources that might not have screened out all the heavy metals because a lot of the raw materials, pod. Yeah. Aren’t always safe for human consumption.

Nick Urban [00:36:09]:

Yeah. Especially when they’re when they’re coming from certain countries. And Even if they have the certificate of analysis showing that it’s clean, I sometimes still wonder about the authenticity and validity of those if they’re even real.

Regan Archibald [00:36:23]:

Pod. Yeah. Yep. I’m I’m with you. That’s where we have, cool pharmacists who can, check things for So, so so some of your, you know, kind of your biosynergy, the bioharmony, you know, you, you you’re not a fan of genetically modified food. Why is that?

Nick Urban [00:36:46]:

Because when I was doing the research into this, I was looking at, like, the potential downstream consequences, and it seems like there can be pot increased free radical production as a result of consuming it. And, also, there’s I think it’s called horizontal gene transfer pot of when you consume certain things that the bacteria in the in your gut can transport transfer that material into you. Pot. And that was one of the concerns with glyphosate, like, a huge pesticide, herbicide, active ingredient that is now under, like, pot $1,000,000,000 lawsuits because they said it was safer than water. That was their, like, marketing slogan. And then it turns out to human cells, it is, but pod. We have, like, 3 genomes that run the human body, the human genome, the mitochondrial genome, and Biome Genome. Yep.

Nick Urban [00:37:38]:

And if it’s not safe to the microbiome genome, it’s not gonna be safe to you in the long run.

Regan Archibald [00:37:44]:

Yes. And and glyphosate, we I’ve I’ve spoken a lot about, glyphosate and pot And, the damage they can do, but, but yeah. So genetically modified food, pretty much anything in a package. There’s a reason why there’s, like, pot. The non GMO like, this is a non GMO food. It’s actually really important. Shoes. Like, you, tell me what kind of shoes pot you typically wear.

Nick Urban [00:38:12]:

Do you wear shoes? So I do wear shoes usually. Sometimes I don’t, but around Austin, I pot. For the most part, when I’m down near Cabo, I will walk around without shoes a lot of times. But when I’m here, I will wear Earth Runner sandals that are grounding sandals, or I’ll wear barefoot slash minimalist sandals or shoes. And those have a, what’s it called, pot. Zero drop arch, and it more closely mimics the way humans used to walk before shoes because when you’re Compressing your feet into a narrow toe box, it doesn’t just change the shape of your foot, but it changes your proprioception where you’re, like, Paw contact with the ground. And it seems like it’s a small thing, but your feet have tons of nerve fibers in them. And when you do that, you throw off pot your gate considerably.

Nick Urban [00:39:04]:

And when you have, like, the super boosted shoes that’s on the opposite side, you’re more likely to injure yourself because Your body loses that ability to discern the right amount of force to apply to the ground. And when you Take that off when you have barefoot shoes, which are not technically barefoot, but they have, like, very small couple millimeters of padding between you and the ground. Then it takes some time to transition into that. But once you do, you walk around. I used to have shin splints. I used to get Osgood Slaughter, A bunch of different, like, overuse injuries. And since I transitioned, I don’t know, 7 years ago, I haven’t had those flare up at all.

Regan Archibald [00:39:43]:

Pod. Yeah. Well done. Have you read the book Born to Run?

Nick Urban [00:39:47]:

I read part of it.

Regan Archibald [00:39:49]:

It’s it’s an interesting I found it it was,

Nick Urban [00:39:52]:

Pod. Yeah.

Regan Archibald [00:39:53]:

I read that, like, 18 years ago, whatever, when it came out. And it it was like I started using those Vibram, like, basically barefoot running, And it made a huge difference, and I got into chi running, and that helped a ton. So, I I love that. I think it’s really important. You’re not a you’re not a a fan of mouthwash. You’re just, like, walking around a bad breath? Or

Nick Urban [00:40:17]:

So, actually, going back pa to the some of the other ancestral health practices. Yep. Ayurveda, I’m speaking mostly about that. They have certain things you do that pot are good for your oral health that are not mouthwash. One of them is tongue scraping, and you carry a lot of pathogenic bacteria and odor causing pod. On your tongue, and you take a little tool. It’s either usually either a copper or stainless steel, and you scrape your tongue with that in the mornings and in the evenings, ideally. And And when you do that, like, that’s it was first studied in modern times for its ability to help with halitosis, I think it’s called, which is bad breath.

Nick Urban [00:40:55]:

And it it’s also used for a bunch of other things. And one of the interesting things that often flies under the radar is that when you scrape your tongue, your Taste receptors have a have better contact with the food. And in theory, you get full faster from your food because you can taste it more accurately, and that sends better signals to your brain, to your gut, all over. Oh, absolutely. That’s one of them. And then other things I do, I oil pull. So I have some coconut oil or sesame seed oil, and I will add Couple drops of essential oils to that, and then I’ll squish that around I’ll squish that around my mouth for about 10 minutes in the mornings, and that pot freshens the breath up nicely without mouthwash. And the reason I don’t like mouthwash is that pot.

Nick Urban [00:41:43]:

A lot of our health begins in the mouth. I’m not the one to come up with that saying. That’s pretty common in the functional circles. And When we’re taking that mouthwash, we’re killing both, like, the commensal bacteria, the good bacteria that are there to protect us, and we’re not Leveling the playing field because the pathogenic bacteria have a better ability to survive and thrive despite that. And so we’re causing pot unknown amounts of harm by using that instead of some other alternatives.

Regan Archibald [00:42:17]:

Yeah. Couldn’t agree more. And the the oil pulling is really nice. So you probably put, like, some peppermint oils, spearmint oil, I’d imagine. If If you wanna really ramp it up, you can put some oregano. We have this, doctor La Ronce, and our good friends, and he has this, This Boca Zen. So have you tried the Boca Zen?

Nick Urban [00:42:38]:

Yeah. I’m looking around. I have I have a bunch of his products. I’ve interviewed him, and his products are powerful.

Regan Archibald [00:42:44]:

Yeah. His his book is in it. It’s, it’s carries a punch, but it’s it’s some great stuff. But, but I think it’s great because, you know, You’re gonna get a lot more, you know, if if you just think of your mouth, similar to the way you think about your gut, like, you’re not just gonna be swallowing antibiotics all the time. And, you know, that’s essentially what mouthwash is is doing. So, so the other thing, yeah, I I wanted to touch on is, Paw sunscreen. What are your thoughts on sunscreen?

Nick Urban [00:43:17]:

My thoughts. That’s a a hot topic these days. I personally don’t use much sunscreen. I try to get most of my sun exposure in in the early morning pot and in the evening when the UV index is low, so it’s less necessary then. I also like to pot increase my, as I call it, internal sunscreen. So I’ll eat foods that are rich in melanin, such as mushrooms. I’ll eat foods that are high in pot the antioxidant called astaxanthin, so, like, salmon and shrimp and that type those types of food. And those help bolster the body’s, like, natural defenses against UV radiation.

Nick Urban [00:43:54]:

And then I’ll also use peptides like One’s called Melanotan, and that will help, like, increase the melanin in my skin so that I don’t burn as easy. And there’s a couple books that are Fascinating about melanin. I haven’t dug into them, but I’ve came across some of the research in a book I was reading about how melanin is, like, very closely correlated with consciousness. And there’s a bunch of books on it. I haven’t actually dug into any of them, but it’s a interesting theory. And the I think Sageries is One of the author’s names, he was talking about how melanin was one of the core drivers that let human humans become the dominant creatures that we’ve become.

Regan Archibald [00:44:35]:

Wow. I gotta look into that. That sounds fascinating because I love Melanatone. I’ve used it for years because not Pod. Fan of sunscreen. And if you look at just the the incidences of skin cancer since we started applying sunscreen, It’s just like through the roof, and so it’s like maybe we should look at, something else. So, Yeah. I think I think that’s That’s great.

Regan Archibald [00:44:58]:

And and for those of you who, you know, you many of you have heard me talk about melanotan, plenty on this, but you can also add some GHK copper. And that’s another way of protecting the skin, because I’m outside all the time. And, you know, usually, like you, try to get out pa first thing in the morning, but, on some of the mountain bike journeys or hikes, you know, 4 or 5 hours, and it’s, Pod. Yeah. 1 in the afternoon by the time you’re done. So so but, it’s a great way of of circumventing the the damage from the sun is using some of these peptides. And speaking of peptides, what are your favorite peptides, or what are you pot. Which ones are you most interested in right now?

Nick Urban [00:45:42]:

Before we go to that, to add on to what you were just saying, I’ve seen some research that the incidence of melanoma is Pos higher in indoor workers than those who work outdoors full time. So that goes to show that it’s not as pod. Clear cut as we were thinking. And when I do use sunscreen, like, my hierarchy is, like, first to bolster my internal defenses and then to put on, like, layers so I can, which is pa always the most comfortable, but, like, a very lightweight, long sleeve shirt will do wonders to protect the skin than, pot like I say say a sunscreen would. And then if I do use sunscreen, I’ll try and use a mineral based, like, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. I don’t love those. But if I’m gonna be out in the sun for a long time and I haven’t built my so called solar callus yet, those can help.

Regan Archibald [00:46:29]:

Pod. I love that. And I’m not surprised that, you know, indoor workers having, greater levels of melanoma pod. Then, people working outside. The sun’s actually really good for us, and so I think it’s easy to forget. And I love I love the sun gazing you talked about. I think it’s, Really powerful because so one of the things that we encourage our clients to do is every morning as the sun’s coming up, get out in the sun, pod Go for a walk, exercise outside, get your shirt off, you know, really activate your mitochondria, then it resets the melopsin receptors in your brain so that You’re getting better melatonin production in the evening, and so it just it’s a way of resetting your circadian rhythms that are phenomenal.

Nick Urban [00:47:16]:

Yeah. And it also inoculates you against some late night blue light exposure, which we don’t want because it interferes with melatonin production. So if you get your early morning light, then you are a little more immune to that late night light exposure.

Regan Archibald [00:47:30]:

Yeah. Love it. And did you have any peptides you wanted to

Nick Urban [00:47:35]:

Oh, yes. So the peptides I like. I like BPC. I don’t use it all that often, but I have a form of oral VPC around here somewhere, and that’s using VPC arginate, I think the form is. And, I think arginate form has, like, 90% bioavailability compared to the other form, the typical form, which is, like, only 10%. So

Regan Archibald [00:47:57]:

The Acetate. Yeah.

Nick Urban [00:47:59]:

Yeah. Yeah. Acetate. Exactly. So I will use that more often so I can travel with it pot more easily. I use, melanotan. I have some g h k GHKCU, the copper peptide, that I haven’t dug into. Pod.

Nick Urban [00:48:13]:

I if I’m coming down with something, I’ll use LL 37 and thymosin alpha one.

Regan Archibald [00:48:19]:


Nick Urban [00:48:20]:

Yeah. I don’t use those all that often, but if I need to, I used I did a protocol of MOTS c for mitochondria and energy pod about 2 months ago, and I noticed a pretty profound uptick in my energy with that. And I found it also paired nicely with pa certain nootropics. And I think we talked about this on my podcast, but with cordyceps, it was a good stack.

Regan Archibald [00:48:45]:

Yeah. Love it. Yeah. Those are great. So, Nick, this has just been, really informative. I appreciate all the work that you’re doing. Pod. How can people connect with you, and what’s the best way for them to continue seeing what you’re doing?

Nick Urban [00:49:02]:

Pod. So they can well, first of all, thanks for hosting me. This has been a blast, and I’m looking forward to doing follow-up conversations with you. And if they wanna pod my work, they wanna connect with me directly, they can go to my website, nickurban.me, and there, you’ll find the articles that I’m writing, The podcast I’m recording, the YouTube videos, it’ll all be right there, and I also respond to all of the comments I get directly. They’re all from me. I don’t have my helpers writing comments or responses, so it might take a little while, but I will personally read and get back to everyone who reaches out.

Regan Archibald [00:49:38]:

I love that. So, check out nickurban.me. And, Nick, you’ve got a a such an amazing, way about pod. You and and a uniqueness that it is, really, refreshing, and I really appreciate, the work you’re doing. Now thanks again for being on the show.

Nick Urban [00:49:58]:

I hope that this has been helpful for you. If you enjoyed it, subscribe pot And hit the thumbs up. I love knowing who’s in the 1% committed to reaching their full potential. Comment 1% below so that I know who you are. Pod For all the resources and links, meet me on my website at mindbodypeak.com. I appreciate you and look forward to connecting

Connect with Nick Urban

This Podcast Is Brought to You By

Nick Urban is a Biohacker, Data Scientist, Athlete, Founder of Outliyr, and the Host of the Mind Body Peak Performance Podcast. He is a Certified CHEK Practitioner, a Personal Trainer, and a Performance Health Coach. Nick is driven by curiosity which has led him to study ancient medical systems (Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hermetic Principles, German New Medicine, etc), and modern science.

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Music by Luke Hall

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