484. Caffeine Gets an Update: The Future of Instant Energy Is Here w/ Shawn Wells & Daniel Solomons

Shawn Wells and Daniel Solomons

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Get ready to fill your cups – literally and figuratively – with the knowledge and insight of Shawn Wells and Daniel Solomons, the minds behind UPDATE, an incredible new caffeine alternative which just may have become the official beverage of The Life Stylist podcast.

Daniel Solomons is the CEO and co-founder of Update. After working for over 4 years in finance, Daniel quit his job and bought a one-way flight to New York City – where together with his close friends, set out to create the world's first energy drink without caffeine...that actually works. After three years of trial and error, they created UPDATE – you can think of it like the Tesla of energy drinks. They worked with leading scientists to be the first and only beverage brand to use caffeine's primary metabolite, paraxanthine, instead of caffeine as their source of energy. The result is an energy drink that delivers on the efficacy you expect from caffeine without any side effects.

Shawn Wells is the world’s leading nutritional biochemist and expert on health optimization. He has formulated over 1000 supplements, foods, beverages, and cosmeceuticals, patented 25 novel ingredients, and is known as the Ingredientologist – the scientist of ingredients.Formerly a chief clinical dietitian with over a decade of clinical experience, he's counseled thousands of people on natural health solutions, such as keto, paleo, fasting, and supplements. His expertise can help any health-conscious individual to better manage stress and experience higher performance and more energy by utilizing his practical, holistic solutions.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Get ready to fill your cups – literally and figuratively – with the knowledge and insight of Shawn Wells and Daniel Solomons, the minds behind UPDATE, an incredible new caffeine alternative which just may have become the official beverage of The Life Stylist podcast.

Shawn Wells is known as The World’s Greatest Formulator. He’s a biochemist and dietician who is nearly 1,000 supplements into his career, using something like 25 unique ingredients patented. He’s also a biohacker, himself, and the author of the bestselling book, The Energy Formula. 

Daniel Solomons is a former investment banker from Sydney, Australia. He moved to New York City to launch UPDATE and change the energy drink market forever. They’ve spent the last three years working out how to create the best, healthiest possible, energy solution – an evolution to caffeine.

If you’re feeling energized by the ideas presented in this conversation, shop with 10% off at drinkupdate.com/luke.

00:00:00 — Meeting Our Guests & Mapping the Journey

00:00:00 — Getting the UPDATE: What, Why & How?

  • Chemistry deep dive – what is paraxanthine?
  • Shop: Get 10% off at drinkupdate.com/luke
  • How caffeine metabolizes and why it’s important 
  • Why bigger person ≠ bigger dose
  • Why your sleep is not at risk 
  • Protecting the brain with new neurons 
  • Have both — cleaner energy and better sleep
  • Is adrenal fatigue real? (Yes)
  • Biochemical addiction to stress 

00:00:00 — Stacking Ingredients for the Ultimate Nootropic 

  • Breaking down some of the stacked ingredients in UPDATE
  • Myth busting taurine’s role in our bodies
  • Improving the formula for flavor
  • Luke’s raw liver smoothies 
  • What water is used in UPDATE?
  • Shop: Get 10% off at drinkupdate.com/luke
  • The natural beauty of green tea’s formulation 
  • 5HTP’s role in the recipe – a key to swagger
  • Deploying activated B12 for neurological benefit 
  • DMSO: The Most Suppressed Natural Remedy & Best-Kept Secret in the World? w/ Amandha Vollmer #480
  • What is the future vision for UPDATE?
  • UPDATE as a post-journey recovery stack
  • Luke asks about paraxanthine and microdosing
  • Shawn introduces something new: echo dosing 

[00:00:00] Luke: All right, we got a double header here, two dudes up on the podcast ready to break down some new information. So for those listening and not watching the video, perhaps you could just introduce yourself and get people used to the sound of your voice, starting with you, Shawn Wells. Who are you? What do you do in the world?

[00:00:19] Shawn: I am Shawn Wells. I'm a biochemist and dietician, and I've been formulating for about 25 years. Uh, I'm about 1,000 supplements in my career and about 25 unique ingredients patented, including the one we'll be talking about potentially today, I believe.

[00:00:39] Luke: Oh, we're for sure going to talk about 

[00:00:40] Shawn: The key ingredient in Update. Um, yeah, and I am, uh, a biohacker, uh, been speaking on stage for about 15 years. I have a bestselling book called The Energy Formula, and, um, I also talk a lot on psychedelics mental health, uh, my path that was very close to suicide. So that's something I'm very outspoken about as well.

[00:01:08] Luke: Likewise. Can't wait to talk about all of that. And Daniel.

[00:01:13] Daniel: I'm Daniel Solomons, uh, former investment banker from Sydney, Australia. Resigned from work, hopped on a one-way ticket to New York City and worked it out. A few months later, decided to start a beverage brand with some of my best friends called Update, which is a caffeine-free energy drink. Uh, partnered up with Shawn and his colleagues, and we've spent the last three years working out how to create the best healthiest possible energy solution and evolution to caffeine. So that's what I've been working on. I don't have the pedigree or the biohacking expertise and experiences, both of you. I'm new to podcasting. Um, that's, uh, my little shtick. 

[00:01:54] Luke: Excellent. And I know this isn't your first podcast, but some of my favorite episodes I've recorded over the past few years are people that have never been on a podcast. I've had some pretty famous people on the show, and those are sometimes fun, sometimes not as fun as you think they'll be, but, uh, oftentimes someone who's never been on a podcast that I just find interesting are the best.

I recently recorded one that will have come out I think by the time this one does, uh, with the guy I met through a friend in LA, and his name is Laughing Dragon, and he is, uh, maybe the world's foremost expert on a specific strain of mushroom called the Amanita muscaria. And he goes all over, well, I guess not all over the world, but from the United States all the way through South America and wild forages these mushrooms and makes these, um, microdosing teas, and tinctures, and whatnot, and also uses them for macro dosing, for full journey experiences.

And he never been on a podcast. He lives in a truck, I think, and just cruises around and collects these mushrooms that are legal, by the way, in the United States and sells them. It was one of the most fascinating conversations I've ever had in my life and definitely one of my favorite podcast episodes, just because he's just unique and interesting.

[00:03:14] Daniel: I can just find one another.

[00:03:15] Luke: Uh, through my friend, uh, Dr. John Lieurance.

[00:03:19] Shawn: Mm-hmm.

[00:03:20] Luke: Yeah, who I've done a number of podcasts with and a lot of work with as a, uh, practitioner and whatnot. And so he texted me, you got to talk to this guy. And I was like, I never heard of this guy. What? He was like, just trust me. Trust me. And so I reluctantly got on the phone with the guy, and I was like, oh shit. John was right. This is very interesting.

 So, anywho, I don't care how many damn podcasts you've been on, Daniel. We're going to have a good time today, and I'm excited to, uh, learn about you and your journey. And for those, uh, listening, you'll find the show notes for this one and everything we talk about at lukestorey.com/energy.

And by the way, if you listeners want me to email you all the future audio, video, show notes, links, and transcripts, here's what you do. Go to lukestorey.com/newsletter, and I'll send you all the goods every Tuesday morning. All right. So Shawn Wells, uh, you are known, and I don't know if you came up with this or not. You seem like a humble guy, but people often refer to you as the World's Greatest Formulator. And so you mentioned you were a biochemist. How did you get into playing with molecules that can help people on their health journey?

[00:04:31] Shawn: Just so you know, I did not come up with the name.

[00:04:34] Luke: Okay. That's good.

[00:04:35] Shawn: But I like it. And when I go on podcast, radio shows, TV, stage, people like to promote it because it makes them cooler that they have the world's greatest something. So I was like, ah, I'm going to roll with this. And also there's probably, I don't know, whatever, there's a hundred formulators in the world, maybe a 1,000. So it's an interesting small group, but it really is my dream that I accomplished, and I set out to be, was a formulator and I'm proud of where I'm seen. 

And World's Greatest Formulator doesn't mean that someone else can't be equally awesome. Um, I look at things like we all can have an incredible level of success, and what makes me unique, someone else can have their own uniqueness and their own set of skills that's very different than mine, even in this field.

So I'm very proud of the things I've accomplished. Like I said, working with so many companies in the industry and being in this so long, um, I do a lot of flavor work in science and a lot of work around these psychedelic stacks now. And, um, I have, uh, biochemistry background and nutrition background.

I've worked clinically. I've spoken in countries all around the world. So I think I have a very unique, um, pedigree that I bring to the table. And I've helped build companies in the supplement space and sell them. I've done that with 11 companies. So unique in a lot of these senses, where I can speak on the molecules, where I can go to the boardroom, where I can help sell the company, where I can speak well on stage or different media, educating people. So I think in that sense it's just I have, uh, a broad set of skills that makes me unique.

[00:06:39] Luke: When you're doing this formulating because I forget who-- it might have been Todd and Cole, I think, that shared an ebook or something that you had made, some document around psychedelic recovery stacks and stuff. But they also, I think it was them that mentioned to me, they're like, oh, if you ever want to come out with a supplement or anything, you need to talk to Shawn.

He can get done. And I took mental note of that. I haven't found anything that's not already being done well, something novel like, I don't know, spermidine or urolithin A. There's some things that I think are really cool, but there's already great companies doing them, so I haven't elected to do that.

I don't want to put out the Luke Storey vitamin C. You know what I'm saying? It's like, got to be something cool like what you guys have done with the Update drink that's new and no one else is doing it. Uh, but when it comes to formulating, I imagined you and still do that you have a laboratory where there's flasks, and beakers, and fire, and all of these different, uh, science experiment accoutrement where you're pouring things and things are bubbling and smoking, and then you come up with things. Is that how formulating works, or is it more like equations on paper that someone else goes and actually makes a thing out of?

[00:07:57] Shawn: It's both. It's both. There's definitely a science of-- I have partners that, uh, are experts in intellectual property, in study design, in manufacturing in China. And my partner in China has a team of over 100 scientists. And we work on things like taking something from conceptualization, where it's in my brain to commercialization. And there's a lot of steps in between to where an ingredient could be viable.

Is it soluble? What are the organ epileptics, meaning the taste and smell? What is the cost of the whole thing and stability? Is this something that we can continue to source and there won't be issues long run? Um, can we test it, uh, correctly and find that active, uh, consistently. So there's so many things that go into that equation, but absolutely, I will be mixing things. And stability is actually a big part of it.

Or the organ epileptics, the taste and smell. In terms of when we add other things to it, how does it affect that one ingredient? If I'm coming out with an ingredient like paraxanthine or something that let's say is in pre-workouts, we want to add all the different pre-workout ingredients. We want to test it out in all the different formats. 

We want to understand how it interacts and how it plays. It could be that you add it to this ingredient, and all of a sudden, it tastes terrible, you could be adding it to this pH, and all of a sudden, it starts breaking down. So these are the things like we have to look at. So we work on both sides of the equation, but certainly I'm always looking at studies, pathways, drugs and trying to understand them and understand where I could come in and do something unique, to your point.

I want to do something that hasn't been done. And I've been able to do that about 25 times. And I like the idea of having something that's highly experiential. And that's been where I've been focused lately. And so I've been going after ingredients that are popular ingredients, and how can I do them better and unique? And the prime one is caffeine, which is a $1 trillion market.

[00:10:29] Daniel: Pretty serious.

[00:10:29] Shawn: $1 trillion market. And so how can we do that better? And that's a bold thing. I had TeaCrine and Dynamine, which is theacrine and methylliberine that are popular in the sports nutrition realm. Uh, they taste horrendous, really, really, really bad. And that really limited their use, but very popular. And I myself have always had issues with caffeine metabolism.

So that led me to go down this path of what's the ultimate ingredient? How can I make my personal life better, and how can I improve? Um, even TeaCrine, and Dynamine, and paraxanthine, really, it's the ultimate ingredient. It's super experiential. It's super clean. We'll get into the science of it, but most of the planet is struggling with metabolizing caffeine correctly.

And there's a wide variance in how they experience it, but we talk about it like it's the same ingredient, and it's not, from you to me to Daniel. It's a very different ingredient, caffeine is. And so there's just so much there. And when people use paraxanthine, or in particular, uh, Update, they get a really incredible experience that they never want to go back to caffeine.

That is what we hear consistently. I'm in the market of educating on this ingredient and selling it to some degree. And I never have to worry about really selling hard. Just try it. Just try it. Just try it. Then we'll have our discussion after you try it because I'll get this, but what if it's this? And what if it-- just try it. We'll talk.

[00:12:23] Luke: Yeah. Well, I have a pretty good sniffer for novel, interesting products, and, uh, I've been wanting to interview you for a long time just on your body of knowledge and all the things that we, um, have in common and just shared interests, and things like that. So I'm glad we're finally doing that. But I heard, I think it was both of you on Ben Greenfield's podcast. And Ben is always a good resource for discovering something new. And, um, he probably doesn't have this, but I like breaking a story, I like to be the first one that discovers something really cool, like what you guys have done. So he got to it first technically, but I don't know, just--

[00:13:03] Daniel: You're a quick second.

[00:13:04] Luke: Yeah. 

[00:13:04] Shawn: You are going to do it best.

[00:13:05] Luke: Well, hey, at least different. But yeah, I heard you guys on there, and, uh, I don't know if I hit you guys up. I think I got in touch with you and just bypassed Ben because he's always great about introductions. He's not weird and territorial like some people are in my field, not many, but a few are. They want to covet their relationships. So I reached out to you, I'm like, what's up with this drink? I got to get some. And then I think, yeah, I just ordered some on the website like a civilian, which, frankly, I'm spoiled. I'm not used to just buying something like a normal person because I've been doing this for a while. And dude, uh, I've been fucking hooked.

And to your point of caffeine, it's interesting, because I love coffee, and I would say on a good day, I metabolize it decent. I don't find that it gives me terrible anxiety or anything like that. But, uh, I make sure I eat a little protein first, and I have a way to do it. And it's always butter, MCT, that kind of thing. So it's not just a hard hit black coffee.

But I have noticed, lately, and I haven't said this to my wife two days ago because she didn't drink coffee for a long time, uh, because it gave her anxiety. And then I was like, well if you try coffee that doesn't have mold in it and eat some fat with it, you might like it. And I got her to do it. And now she makes a coffee most mornings. And I told her two days ago, I was like, I think coffee gives me anxiety now. I don't want to drink it. It's really weird. I've been drinking these drinks, uh, literally right when I wake up. I just go to the mini fridge and pound half one of these immediately when I wake up.

Um, so to your point of ruining caffeine, I think that might have actually happened, and I'm going to strategize a clean decaf or something and see how that goes, because I love coffee. And I have noticed, I definitely am a little more on edge. And it's also like if I have no stress going on, then I can drink a huge coffee, and I feel amazing.

But if I'm already under stress and I add caffeine, then I notice it. But anyway, Daniel, so you come from a totally different world, not only at the down under world, but you said you were an investment banker, so you're a business guy, money guy, investment guy. How the hell did you meet Shawn? What got you into the health space?

[00:15:26] Daniel: Yeah, that's a really good question. Um, I moved to New York, and I buy myself a year, and I figure I'm going to work it out. And I have three best friends there who I'm really close to, and we hang out all the time, and we want to work together, but they have companies that they've started. So the easiest way to work together is to start another company because then I can run one and they run the others. And we had this idea that energy is so important. Everyone wants energy. And it's crazy to think that people are still reverting to caffeine.

It feels like such an arcane stimulant, but it's the most readily available one, and so people gravitate to it. And when it comes to caffeine, you have coffee, tea, energy drinks. And energy drinks are fascinating because you have companies like Red Bull and Monster that are some of the biggest companies in the world.

And I would never touch an energy drunk. And I didn't know anyone who drinks that stuff. Um, from my point of view, it was something that was unhealthy. It was a race to how much caffeine and sugar can you fit into a can, and can you make it sickly sweet so it feels like a treat and not a healthy decision? And can you brand the product in a way that feels shameful to hold? It would be really awkward if I'm holding a monster on this show right now.

[00:16:40] Luke: I would judge you.

[00:16:42] Daniel: There you go. Case in point.

[00:16:44] Luke: Well, there's a thing with Monster too, the conspiracy theorist, of which I am a proud member. Uh, I'm a conspiracy analyst actually, to be exact about it. But there's this conspiracy where the Monster logo is like three sixes. I don't know if you've seen that. Yeah. Once you see it, you can't unsee it kind of thing. I'm like, there might be something that.

[00:17:04] Daniel: Now I'm going to have to go have a look.

[00:17:06] Luke: Yeah. But anyway, carry on.

[00:17:07] Daniel: So none of us had drunk energy drinks for a number of these reasons. And we loved the idea of beverages and starting something new. And we thought, what if we can create an energy drink without caffeine? And how we were going to do that? Who knew at the time? But what if we could do that? 

The energy market is massive, and there's bound to be a small group of people that if you give them something that gives you the energy you would want without the side effects and without the effects that come with caffeine that are undesirable, the jitters, or you have to run to the bathroom after, or you can't sleep at night, then we would have a product that people would really want.

And if we could brand it in a way that didn't look shameful, and if we could use natural sweeteners instead of sucralose or sugar like all these other companies, uh, we would have a product that not only people would want, but we would want. And so then to your point earlier about how you formulate a product, my cap went to, okay, I'm going to order all these nootropics on Amazon. 

And so I go through a, uh, I have this matrix on my computer where I had Joe Rogan's nootropic product, and, um, Tim Ferriss has one, and everyone's products. I create a matrix with all these ingredients, which are the most common ingredients. I buy them all, and I think I'm going to just mix it with water. 

So I go and buy all the science gear because I figure if you're going to make an energy drink and, uh, you're buying all these supplements, you have to have the science gear. So I buy these beakers and, um, magnetic mixes. And I have it on my kitchen counter, and I'm doing all this stuff. And of course, I try the first, uh, version, tastes terrible, and nothing works.

There's no experience from it. So I keep playing around and really don't get anywhere. And that's when I go down like a Reddit rabbit hole on nootropics. And I think Ben had actually done a show with you, Shawn, and thank God, someone coined the term the world's greatest formulator, because that's what hit my eyes, and I was saying, if we want to create an energy drink and we can't work it out, we need the World's Greatest Formulator. And that's when I think I emailed Shawn. Didn't actually hear back from you, um, and I ended up sliding into his DMs on Instagram, and someone, whether it was you or someone on your team.

[00:19:23] Luke: Like all great ventures begin.

[00:19:25] Daniel: Exactly. And then I think we spent a number of months working on an energy drink without caffeine. This was even before I knew about paraxanthine. And, uh, Shawn and I built up this really beautiful relationship, um, more of a friendship. And then at some point, he-- we're playing with the formula. One day it works, the next day it doesn't work in terms of you can feel it or can't feel it. 

And, uh, one day he calls me up and he says, hey, I've been working on something for five years, and I'm going to send it to you. I'm not going to tell you what it is. I'm just going to send it. And if you like it, I think it will work really well in Update, and we'll work out how to make the product using it.

And then one day, I get a knock on my door, and it's FedEx with a bag of white capsules. It's not marked, nothing on there. Uh, just these little white, what I think is going to be limitless pills. I'm going to feel like Bradley Cooper. And so I go and take one of these capsules. Um, and for me, it's really funny. Every day, I'm a sucker, and I have a chocolate chip cookie. 

And I'm sitting at my desk, and I have this cookie next to me. I take this capsule, and four hours later, I look up, and the cookie's still there. And I've just crushed work for four hours. And I call Shawn, I'm like, Shawn, what is this? And that's when I start learning about paraxanthine. Um, we decided to incorporate it into our product as our key ingredient. Shawn and his team were still finalizing a lot of the manufacturing and research around it, and so together, we spent the better part of three years working out how to create an energy drink with it. 

[00:21:02] Luke: Three years. 

[00:21:04] Daniel: And that was three years in addition to the five years that they had already been spending.

[00:21:07] Luke: Right. That's the crazy thing. I don't think people, myself included, realize what actually goes into R&D and bringing something to market. I heard the podcast on this, and I just ordered it, and I'm like, oh, cool. Yeah, this came out a month ago. They just figured it out, and canned it, and now it's available. You don't know all of the trials of formulation, and getting the effect, and getting the taste profile right, and all of that stuff. 

[00:21:36] Daniel: And it was the first time anyone had worked with paraxanthine consumer product.

[00:21:42] Luke: Shawn, do you know John Lieurance?

[00:21:43] Shawn: Mm-hmm. Yeah. 

[00:21:46] Luke: It just occurred to me. When I was at his place, uh, a few months ago, he gave me a few little white capsules.

[00:21:53] Shawn: Yeah. 

[00:21:54] Luke: It was?

[00:21:54] Shawn: Yeah. 

[00:21:55] Luke: He is like, oh, it's like caffeine. A metabolite of caffeine, but it's way better. 

[00:22:00] Shawn: Yeah. I need to get back in touch with him.

[00:22:02] Luke: I didn't really give it a fair trial of, like, okay, I'm going to wake up and not take any supplements or drink any coffee and just take this and quantify, uh, the results. But yeah, that's funny. So I had that before I had the drink, uh, unknowingly. Yeah. And so I'm assuming, Daniel, your background understanding, raising capital and how companies get off the ground has been useful in this endeavor.

[00:22:29] Daniel: Um, yeah, it's certain been useful. My partners, Justin Hauser, David and Mikey Hess, um, also with similar backgrounds.

[00:22:36] Shawn: Like Hess Oil and Gas.

[00:22:38] Luke: Oh, okay.

[00:22:40] Shawn: And Mikey knows every celebrity in Hollywood.

[00:22:44] Luke: Helpful on both fronts. 

[00:22:46] Shawn: So these aren't just some guys just so you know.

[00:22:50] Daniel: But look, it was, uh, certainly helpful that we had the knowledge. Um, but the truth is I think we're all naive into what it takes to start a beverage company. And every day is a challenge, and we're learning. And at no part, three years ago, did any of us think it was going to take three years to work out how to get this, uh, complete, um, Shawn, I think, included. 

[00:23:13] Shawn: Mm-hmm. 

[00:23:14] Daniel: And it's been a labor of love. Um, it's certainly challenging. It's certainly a long way to go. It helps to have that experience, but I think you need to be so open-minded to learning how this industry works. Put everything you knew aside. It's very different. ADMARKER

[00:23:36] Luke: I remember when we talked, uh, a few weeks ago, and you were talking about the label or something, and I don't know if it was some of your buyers, or distributors, or something, didn't want you to say caffeine-free because when people go to the beverage fridge and they caffeine-free, they're like, oh, no energy. Skip that one.

[00:23:55] Daniel: Yeah. 

[00:23:55] Luke: So it's all kinds of things involved in just the educational piece, which I guess we'll be doing some of that here today. Um, let's back up a little bit. I want to know a little more about your journey, Shawn. I have some notes on you here that you've struggled with obesity, anorexia, Hashimoto's, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and Epstein-Barr. Any one of those might really take someone out of the game in terms of their ability to function in life. So what's your pain-to-purpose journey that motivates you to keep innovating and putting helpful things out into the world as you do?

[00:24:40] Shawn: I just found out last year when I keynoted at Mindvalley in Estonia and spoke on stage about psychedelics, and my stacks, and my story. And afterwards, two amazing people came up to me. One was a young lady that said she was about to commit suicide, and she was waiting for this talk, and she was now not going to. And I had this moment thanks to my breathwork guru that I work with, also a life coach, in the bathroom, just before I went out on stage. 

I have a hard time going out on stage. And I speak in front of 10,000 people. I do all this stuff, but I remember looking in the mirror, and she wrote down some words for me, and there was one line about if you can make an impact in one person's life today. And when she said that, it cemented everything I'm doing.

The next person came up to me, and they saw like how I was really taken. And I was even crying on stage when I talked about some of my experiences. And he's like, you're an HSP. And I was like, uh, what is that? You're a highly sensitive person. And so I don't know whether you want to call it introverted, on the spectrum, an empath. A lot of those things apply to me. And a lot of those things, I thought most of my life, were weaknesses, um, as I had a difficult childhood. 

And I think I took it harder than everyone else, but it made me who I am in so many ways. I'm very much a feeler, and I ended up having a lot of issues with, um, severe depression and disordered eating, binge eating, uh, then body dysmorphia, then getting bullied for that body. Um, and it just led me down a path of incredible insecurity. 

And then I hated my body so much that I used to think about taking a knife and cutting my fat off my body. And I ended up eventually becoming anorexic, going from about 300 pounds to 150 pounds and, um, eating three, 400 calories a day. And then I got into working out, and then I became orthorexic, doing all the protein, all the things, and supplements. 

And my body took a toll on all that. So, um, I hated my body so much that it was sending up all the red flags. And that started leading me down this path of supplementation, of nutrition, of paleo, keto, fasting, all these things that helped me a lot. But it's really only been since about three and a half years ago, when I started my psychedelic work, that I started healing the inside, spiritually, that I really had huge shifts. 

It helped to change my diet, to get on the supplements, to change how I view, uh, exercise, all these kinds of things. But that was the biggest shift for me. But also learning that I've spent most of my life as an HSP dissociated. It was just in my most recent journey, weeks ago, that I realized that I've spent almost my entire life outside of my body. Because I am someone who feels so much, I didn't want to feel because it was scary. It was painful.

Um, I can be in a group, and I can feel someone 20 feet away having a hard time, angry, sad, whatever, and it becomes a lot for me, and I take that on. So these are all things I'm learning how to navigate, but out of that dissociation, out of that cerebral, out of trying to find ways to heal myself came the science, and the science was fair. And I just became focused on searching for solutions in that scientific realm of logic. 

And it's really more the recent work that's been the spiritual, the woo, that side of things, that's really been a massive shift for me. And then saying, it's okay to be in your body and feel. And I can even tell you on my last journey, I cried through almost the whole thing. I was shaking and crying. There's stuff that was stored in my body that I didn't even know was there.

And there were wounds in the feminine that I did not know were there. You want this mother figure in your life to step in and save you. There's nothing more powerful than mother in terms of that safety, and creative force, and being tied to you as a child. And I didn't even realize that I had all these wounds around the feminine and women. 

And in my journey, my mother, my grandmother, my consciously uncoupled, uh, former wife-- that's a whole other discussion. That was about a year ago. She's still a close friend, business partner of mine, Shelly. And, um, they all came in around me and held me. And then all the women that I've had came into that circle and held me.

[00:31:23] Luke: This is during the journey? 

[00:31:25] Shawn: Yeah. And I felt like I healed so much, and I was able to get back into my body and into that empathic, uh, nurturative state and not just be this brain, this logic-driven brain. Um, it's like a whole new experience now, and it's a beautiful thing to try and marry the two now.

[00:31:52] Luke: So cool. 

[00:31:55] Shawn: I don't even remember what the question was.

[00:31:56] Luke: It doesn't matter. What I think is really cool is that in the past few years, I think largely due to, um, the prevalence of independent media like this and others, YouTube channels, uh, podcasts, social media, etc, it's almost like we don't notice this because it's just become so prevalent. But just hear someone like you talk, a grown ass man, professional, successful guy, to just drop into that level of vulnerability very publicly is such a beautiful thing. 

It's such a positive in the world in which we live now that is so insane in so many ways. There are so many positive things happening. Or a guy like you can share your journey without a sense of, um, shame. Not even being, um, gratuitous or sensational. It's just like, hey, man, here's the facts of my life today and some of the things that I've gone through and I'm going through. 

The fact that you feel safe to do that and that people are, I'm assuming, interested to hear that and are going to relate to that is so healing. Just sitting here as a witness to your experience is healing to me. There's so many touch points to which I relate being a sensitive person. I too had no idea that that's how I was until I started really doing a lot of this deep inner work. And my sensitivities to me were always a deficit because it made me so vulnerable to life.

And it's just like, God, I just feel everything. So I became a drug addict when was a young kid. And it was just the only way to buffer my senses to the reality that I experienced. And, um, come to find out that it can be used as a superpower, because you can have a conversation with a couple guys like you, and I might feel things that someone who's less sensitive doesn't feel, and therefore elicit a conversation that could be helpful to people in a way that might not be if I was just cerebral and didn't have the ability to drop in.

So thank you so much for sharing that, and thank you for having the courage to do the work. Imagine the world we live in, man, if more people had the impetus to really go within and heal emotionally, whether that be with psychedelics or otherwise-- it's like anything I see in the world that's dysfunctional is so clearly a response to unhealed trauma on the geopolitical scale and everything else. It's just that disconnection from the body, the disassociation. It's crazy. So thank you.

[00:34:48] Shawn: Well, thank you for providing that space, and I do feel safe opening up around you, and I do know some of your stories, so I appreciate that too. And just a couple of quick things. You mentioned Todd and Cole before. They are two people that I feel incredibly indebted to. Um, they really helped me down this path. So, uh, I've said, quite frankly, like, I don't think I would be alive without them. So I want to give them a shout-out.

[00:35:22] Luke: Yeah. And they've been on the show, uh, twice, and we'll link to that in the show notes at lukestorey.com/energy. Yeah, we had a conversation with them sitting right there, um, about a year ago. Yeah.

[00:35:34] Shawn: I had my first moment in psychedelics with them, and my realization-- it's so funny. Your truths that come through sound so obvious to other people. Um, I had this truth come through that like, wait, I can just be loved. I can just have love. And up until this point, this was something I thought I had to earn or achieve my way towards. 

I had gaping insecurity that was driving me. I was doing the Gary V hustle and grind. I was worshiping the David Goggins of the world, and it was fucking killing me. And I was in this room of 20 people. I never told them who I was or why I'm important, and up until that point, that would always be the way I'd introduce myself for imposter syndrome, dick measuring purposes, or whatever you want to call it. I wanted to be good enough. I wanted to be seen as good enough.

And so here I am just like a nobody in this room, and I don't know who anyone else really is. And I'm laying there in a cuddle puddle, which was all new to me on the ground. And people are holding space for me, being very sweet to me, hugging me, telling me what a beautiful soul I am. And I was just like, what? They like me? That was just mind breaking, mind blowing, for me, that they actually liked me, and I didn't have to earn it. 

[00:37:21] Luke: Not based on any conditions.

[00:37:24] Shawn: And that shifted. You can tell someone, oh, it's all about love. Love yourself. You can have love. You don't need to go earn it. You'd be like, yeah, this is where I was dissociated, cerebral. Mm-hmm. Makes sense. Yeah. But I had never anchored that in my heart. I'd never believed that in my soul until that moment. And for me, that's what psychedelics can give you, these psychosomatic anchors, meaning brain to body, uh, anchors that can stay with you, and now you associate, uh, that feeling.

So that was so powerful for me going down this path. And it really changed my trajectory completely. So I'm so glad that-- and none of it was wrong before, or I was never broken before. I'm so glad that I did grind, that I did do all these things, that I did become the world's greatest formulator, and all this stuff. And now my mission is to become the world's greatest hugger. That's where I'm at.

I want to bring the two together. Um, I want to do things in a very conscious way. And a way to loop this back in is Daniel's a very conscious person, and empathic, and compassionate person. We had a very deep conversation just before this that was hard and also loving. And that becomes possible when you're in your truth. You can have real conversations.

[00:39:15] Luke: Love it. Well, we're here for it, dude. What about you, Daniel? What's your inner journey been like? Have you had turmoil to work through and ways in which you've had to learn to love yourself, and your life, and things of this nature?

[00:39:30] Daniel: Um, yeah, it's interesting. I think I used to be incredibly, still am, I would say, very shy. Um, I also used to be very closed off. Try to get anything out of me, it's like hitting a stone. Um, and I think over the last few years, I've certainly, um, definitely with help of people like a Shawn and others who were ahead of me in that inner journey and opening up themselves to someone like me, um, has certainly, over the last few years, taught me, um, or made me feel a lot more comfortable about opening up myself, um, and being vulnerable, and realizing there's really things that I used to be shy about or ashamed about, not things, uh, that anyone else would think that's shameful, or I should be shy about. 

So, um, certainly, over the last few years, I've opened up. Um, and I think even with work, um, at times it gets really lonely. We have a really small team. Um, yes, I work with my best friends, but they also run different companies. We're not, every day, in the, uh, war room together. And it's a very interesting feeling when everyone wins together, but then when things are tough, you feel very lonely and isolating sometimes.

And that's something I'm constantly-- and again, I think that's a me problem that I need to work through. It's been really interesting juggling all of that. Um, and even being able to say that two years ago, good luck getting that out of me. Um, so I'm certainly going through it, um, and trying to continually, in small increments, improve. Um, and I certainly am proud of seeing the change over the last few years.

[00:41:42] Luke: Have psychedelics been part of your, um, unfolding, or do you foresee them being part of your experience if not?

[00:41:49] Daniel: Um, so I tried ayahuasca once. Um, I actually didn't have, um, a particularly powerful experience. I don't think. Um, the way I describe it is it felt like the best therapy session I've ever had where you're just going into it for two weeks. You, obviously, eat very cleanly and, uh, behave in a really clean way.

And then we went away and did this for a couple of nights, um, and you felt like such a weight lifted off your shoulders. Um, and to me that felt like just an amazing therapy session, but I can't say it was particularly eye-opening, I guess. Um, that might sound contradictory, but it's something I'd definitely love to explore.

I'm very open-minded like that. I think there's no reason not to try things, provided that they're obviously not going to be terribly harmful to you. There's no reason to try things if there's a chance that they can, um, show you some self-improvement. Um, so it's something I am really interested in doing. I was actually speaking to one of our other science advisors, Dr. Ted Cosse.

[00:43:02] Luke: Oh yeah, yeah, I know ted. Yeah. Great guy. 

[00:43:04] Daniel: He's been part of the Update journey as well.

[00:43:07] Luke: I didn't know that. That's cool.

[00:43:09] Daniel: He's always telling me to come to his place and, uh, to try some of this. So I think, uh, that's something I definitely would like to do.

[00:43:18] Luke: Well, I'll tell you what, you will feel that one. 

[00:43:20] Daniel: Yeah, exactly.

[00:43:23] Luke: You're not going to walk out of there going, I don't know. Did anything happen?

[00:43:26] Shawn: A bro's on the edge. 

[00:43:27] Luke: Yeah, that's, uh, woo. Oh boy. Yeah. That's intense. But it's interesting you mentioned that with ayahuasca because I've participated in, uh, quite a few experiences with that, with various, uh, size groups. And it's always interesting that one or more of the people will have presumably the same amount of raw material of the drink, and nothing perceivably happens in terms of the bells and whistles, the visuals, the entities, the deep realizations, the purging, the crying. 

The first ceremony in which I participated, there was a woman who was probably, at least in her 70s. It was a daughter had brought her mom. And, uh, I mean, she might have been even late 70s. She was an older woman, considerably older than any of the other participants. And, uh, she, according to her daughter, had never drank a beer, never smoked weed, had never been altered in any way. And we sat for four nights, and all four nights, she just fell asleep, and "nothing happened". But I remember walking by her going, how the hell is she asleep? She was just on her mat, just snoring away.

[00:44:46] Daniel: I think that was me the first night.

[00:44:47] Luke: I'm like, what is happening? Yet, according to her, that week was the most profound experience of her life, and she was transformed even though she didn't have a perceivable effect. That particular, um, medicine, ayahuasca, is so interesting in that way, how it seems to intelligently work with different bodies, different spirits, different minds in its own unique way. There's no universal experience. 

And in my experience, every time has been vastly different to, I don't know, 12 or somewhat different evenings in which I participated in that. And part of the game is letting go of the expectation. I remember the last time I went and sat, it was, uh, two nights and then one day, and I was strapped in. I was ready the first time, like, let's do this shit. Give me a cup, big cups. I want to go to the place I did last time.

And it was much more subtle. And like, when's it going to kick in? When's the thing? And it wasn't meant to be that thing. It was another thing, which was almost more challenging for me to be in between, not full send and nothing happening. I couldn't have driven a car safely, but I also was pretty cognizant or more so. 

And of course, by the end of the three days, I had seen the lessons and letting go of expectations and preconceived ideas and trying to control a situation like that and create a frame around it that it should be what I think it should be and all that stuff, just to learn how to surrender, andjust let go, and trust that whatever's happening on that night is exactly what's supposed to happen, even if it didn't fit the model. So I think there's--

[00:46:31] Daniel: I think that's one of the hardest things going into it. Obviously, you do your research, and you watch these YouTube videos, but of course, the only videos that are out there are people that have such heightened experiences, either positive or negative. And so you go into it thinking you're going to have one of these two experiences, and then when you land up in between, you're like, well, what just happened?

[00:46:54] Luke: Yeah. I had two nights, uh, throughout the different experiences I've had where, again, "nothing happened". I'm just laying there, going, oh my God, this sucks. And I'm not sure in the second one, but the first time that that happened, which would've been the third, uh, experience that I had, I just laid there all night and just felt sick and was just going, oh my God, when is this going to end? It was rough. It was rough. 

It was really hard because I just felt sick and nothing was happening. And in that, at some point, I dozed off for a minute and had a daydream feeling, even though it was at night, but just light sleep and just a little short dream. Won't go into the whole story, but it revealed to me, uh, a trauma that I experienced when I was born. 

And it wasn't a hallucination. It wasn't a big, powerful vision. It was just a daydream, just a few random thoughts that created this story. And I texted my mom the next day, and I said, I had this weird dream last night about blah, blah, blah when I was born. And she corroborated the story exactly. 

And I was like, okay, I'm not going to dismiss those nights when nothing is happening anymore because it unlocked a major, major key to my life around existential loneliness, and abandonment, and so many things that have informed my experience. It was a core wound that I had no idea even happened, let alone, um, the impact of it versus some of the more acute, uh, emotional, sexual, physical trauma, and things that I knew were at the root of my trouble.

This was way before that, totally unconscious, and unlocked so much for me. As you were saying, Shawn, the capacity to give and receive love, it was hugely tied to that. So, yeah, you never know what you're going to get. And I always like to give the disclaimer because I talk about plant medicines and psychedelics a lot on the show. And this is a true statement.

I really don't believe it's for everyone. And it's not for everyone all the time. And it's something that can go terribly wrong if not approached with discretion, and discernment, and prudence. And I know this because I use psychedelics a lot when I was an addict, when I was young, and I had some terrifying and horrible experiences from just unconsciously using psychedelics willy-nilly, without any sort of guidance, or facilitation, or intention, or anything.

And it's very emotionally, and mentally, and sometimes physically very dangerous. So when I talk about psychedelics, I'm talking about doing it very intentionally. And when you-

[00:49:36] Shawn: Can do approach.

[00:49:37] Luke: Yeah, exactly. 

[00:49:39] Shawn: I mean, they really have set the bar for safety and understanding in those spaces.

[00:49:45] Luke: I agree. Yeah. They talked a lot about it, uh, on that past episode too. And also it's like the integration piece, what do you do with the insights? I like altered states of consciousness. Straight up. I like to smoke some 5-MeO-DMT and just erase duality and just fold into consciousness. That's a fucking awesome experience. 

But then what happens an hour later, three days later, three years later, 10 years later? What did I gain from that momentary experience or that inside? And how can I actually put it to practical use in my life so that I become a different and better person? It's easy to miss that tip. So what's your-- 

[00:50:29] Shawn: Well, you talked about the dangers of psychedelics, and certainly there are, and I've had a very traumatizing experience one time, um, on psychedelics. And it makes it worse because you're literally cracked open. You can change that code that's in there, this master code, if you will. But you can also set in all new trauma in a really intense way in those moments. That's why I'm not a big fan of things like MDMA and these things, rave situations or situations that are unsafe. Uh, I think that's a really bad idea.

[00:51:09] Luke: Agreed.

[00:51:10] Shawn: Um, safety needs to be paramount when you're using these substances. Um, but you had mentioned before-- what were we talking about? The uh, well, one, actually what came to mind with ayahuasca, I'll remember in a second, is I had an experience on ayahuasca where I had the laser light show, the tron matrix avatar colors. And it's like, did people, a 1,000 years ago see all these crazy colors?

And it was the most beautiful thing. And I was telling myself all night long how strong I am, how beautiful my heart is, how much I love myself again. Next night, I'm like, I'm ready for this. This is so good. Next night, it was miserable. It was churning. I was having dark images, and I sat with these things for a couple hours feeling really uncomfortable. And I had an epiphany about, if you don't like this, you can change the channel. 

And literally, in that moment, I made it a positive image, and the rest of my journey changed. And for me, walking out of that journey, that specific one, I think, was even more powerful than the laser light show of love is like, how many places am I not changing the channel? Am I like letting life happen to me? Am I not speaking my truth? 

And that was actually where I was going with this, is that if you don't integrate, I think there's the danger of you've learned the lessons, you've had the big epiphany, you've had your aha. But if you go back to your regular life and you don't apply these new learnings and change your life, your integrity is weakened.

It's one thing when before you say, well, I wasn't really aware. I was suppressing it. I didn't know. You come out of a journey. You know. You know your truth. And then to just go back to not living it, I think can do more harm. So you need to-- it's one thing to have these-- people think it's these serendipitous epiphanies.

And that is cool. These big moments, especially ayahuasca, it gets built up so much. But what are you doing for the next month, six months, two years from this learning? You could spend a lifetime with what you get out of one journey. So what are you doing with that? How are you applying it so that you are taking at least steps towards whatever your truth looks like?

[00:54:12] Luke: I like that you used the word integrity because I've looked at that word integration. There's so much emphasis on that. And it's like words. They get diminished in value when they're used a lot. And thankfully that's part of the conversation with this type of work, but I was doing a word study on that, and I thought about integration, integrity. Integrity defined loosely as wholeness, completeness. The integrity of an oak tree. It's just there. It's immovable. It is what it is. It knows what it is. It does what it's supposed to do. It's complete. 

And in these experiences, what's happening is the disintegration. You're dismantled and reduced to a puddle of tears, or whatever, in some cases. Or just all these aspects of the psyche are just fragmented in sometimes beautiful ways and sometimes terrifying ways, but you're sort of left at the end still, uh, disintegratedy. You're not whole and complete. And I think that's the part of it that can be really risky, to your point, is not being mindful about putting oneself back together as a new person. 

[00:55:24] Shawn: Mm-hmm. 

[00:55:25] Luke: There's parts that have been discarded. There's memories that have been healed. There's trauma that gets shaken out of the body. All sorts of shit comes up from the subconscious mind and is transmuted into different thought forms, and beliefs, and, um, your level of faith can be shaken and then rebuilt, but you really get just blown apart.

And so if you're just left that without that reintegration of becoming whole again, it can be very dysregulating. And I've noticed this with myself when I've been, um, in the beginning of this work a few years ago, so excited by the progress that I was making that I got a little bit, um, maybe too frequent. I was just like, well, last time, God, I just moved mountains. I'm just making these quantum leaps in my consciousness, and my awareness, and my level of healing. 

So next weekend, oh, there's another one. We should just do it. Yeah. And definitely at some point, consciously, decided to slow my role a bit and to really make sure that there was time in between to put those pieces back together before taking the puzzle out of the box and throwing all the bits everywhere to really put it back together before taking it apart again. So yeah, super important. Um, all right. Let's get into-- and thank you for indulging me on all of that.

[00:56:44] Shawn: Thank you for indulging me.

[00:56:46] Luke: I'm always so curious about people's inner journey because sometimes in the show we talk about the outward manifestation of someone's intentions, and you guys have created this great company, and I love your product, and that's all well and good, but there's a part of me that wants to know like, ah, what's the real driver behind it though?

It's like when you arrive, I think at a certain point of inner prosperity, therein lies opportunities to make contribution above and beyond. Just like, ooh, we discovered something that can make money. Who cares? We all know that money doesn't make you happy. It might make life a little smoother in some ways.

I think really wealthy people would probably argue it could make life much more complicated. I know some really wealthy people, and they're like, trust me, it's not all you think it is. So it's the impetus to do the things we do in the world, I think, are shaped by our degree of self-love. And then there's enough left over where we want to, um, actually spread that around a bit. 

But the geek in me does want to understand this paraxanthine and how caffeine works and stuff. The title of this podcast will probably end up being something about why caffeine sucks. So, like I said, I love coffee, but like now I am seeing the side effects of it. So let's niche down here. Uh, what is paraxanthine?

[00:58:08] Shawn: So it's a metabolite. Endogenous means inside the body. So when you take caffeine exogenously as a supplement, meaning whether it's caffeine and hydrous, the supplement, whether it's caffeine that occurs naturally and in the cola nuts, in, uh, guarana, and coffee, tea, etc, when you consume that caffeine, it becomes three different molecules. It can become paraxanthine, theophylline, and theobromine in the body. And what we've found is, one, caffeine is actually in plants to be a toxin to repel bugs. 

[00:58:55] Luke: Oh, really? Is that why you use tobacco juice as a pesticide or whatever? Now, that's nicotine.

[00:59:00] Shawn: Yeah. Nicotine's very similar, uh, as a stimulant. Uh, yeah. So that's one thing. Two, we've found that caffeine-- there's the CYP1A2 gene. This is the caffeine metabolizer gene. And the difference in the way we metabolize caffeine, as I was alluding to earlier, is massive. One and a half hours to 10 and a half-hour half-life.

This means that there are people that are like, ah, I just had my coffee, and I can go straight to bed. And you're like, who is that? I've always been like, who the hell is that person? And then there's other people-- this 10 and a half hour, half-life means three days later, caffeine's still in your system. And you're still dealing with it. 

And so most certainly, even if you have it 10:00 AM, at lunchtime, it will impair your sleep. And how many of us are slow metabolizers? About 60%. It's a huge number. And even the fast metabolizers will say, I can drink as much as I want, and I basically get no effect. But what we find is that when we skip that step of one, skipping caffeine, which has all these side effects and has the metabolism issues, side effects being like the arrhythmias, and anxiety, and sleep disruption, and brain fog, and all the things that people talk about with caffeine, then if you skip also these other two metabolites, theophylline is a controlled substance, a bronchodilator, a potent drug that, uh, really affects the, um, sympathetic nervous system quite substantially.

And then theobromine, that's the thing in chocolate that can potentially kill cats and dogs. So here's where it gets really fascinating. I knew that there may be a better way and paraxanthine could be a little bit better. But when you clean out all these other things, when you get rid of caffeine, theobromine, theophylline and their metabolites, you get this incredibly clean experience. 

And we're starting to find out maybe the reason is there is, uh, three methyl groups on caffeine. And in this next row, they get de-methylated in the body as metabolites so that the theobromine, theophylline, and paraxanthine have one of the three methyl groups removed. And depending on which one it makes each chemical. With paraxanthine, it's the three methyl group that gets removed.

And we think that that may be toxic in the body, meaning that theophylline, theobromine, caffeine, and some of their metabolites may have this unique toxicity. Is it going to kill you? No. Um, maybe in certain doses it's a hormetic stress. Maybe for fast metabolizers, it's no big deal. And we see this play out in research with athletes where it's very mixed data. And for the last 30 years, we've been trying to figure out, why is it such mixed data?

This study will show they had incredible results. This study shows they had no results. This study shows they had negative results. Now we're starting to figure out by looking at the CYP1A2 gene, the cytochrome P450 pathway, now we can understand, okay, this is why people that are fast metabolizers can have ergogenic, meaning athletic enhancing benefit from caffeine and these other people that are on the other end of the spectrum have negative effect on their brain and athletic performance. So now that we can delineate that, we're starting to understand that a lot better. But in essence, here, the best path forward would just be skipping all that and going straight to paraxanthine.

[01:03:07] Luke: With the gene that regulates how people metabolize caffeine. If someone is a slow metabolizer of caffeine, will that be true of other molecules that they ingest like psychoactive substances and so on?

[01:03:27] Shawn: It's very possible that there's a more holistic, um, impact on this cytochrome P450, so the liver metabolism pathway, that that could happen. You can do genetic testing to find out where you're at, but there's definitely epigenetic expression. I know my body because I've taken100 pills at a time, and all these things, thinking oh, it's supplements. But at the same time, these are all compounds your liver has to deal with.

And I know at certain points in my life, I feel like my epigenetic expression has changed to reduce the impact of these ingredients that I was taking. Because I was taking so many, my liver had to deal with so much, if that makes sense. It was dampening the acute effect of these things. So I've very much changed the way I supplement. I supplement more intuitively. I look at more kind of micro dosing levels or minimum doses versus what's called orthomolecular, where it's ike, let me take 10 grams of whatever it is. And that was the biohacker's way of like, what's the maximum dose? Let me triple that.

[01:04:44] Luke: I'm listening. Pulling my covers here. If you look in my supplement cabinet, uh, yeah, I probably take too much of too many things often, but I asked about the metabolism because I've noticed, uh, over the past few years, um, in the context of working with psychedelics and plant medicines, that, uh, and I forget what my genetic testing says about that particular snip or whatever, but I have noticed a trend wherein I seem to have a really high tolerance for most substances and need a lot to get there.

And in some cases, maybe more so than the other people there. And also, I'm still tripping balls when everyone else is like, cool, let's eat some soup and start to have a sharing circle. I'm over there, my match, just like what? Not sharing anything. I'm still with the spaceship or what-- I am way, way, uh, having a much longer experience than most people. And I've tracked that too to see like, all right, let me just check tonight and see if that happens. It's pretty much a universal experience. I'm going to be going longer than anyone in the room.

[01:05:56] Shawn: I have the same thing.

[01:05:57] Luke: Really?

[01:05:57] Shawn: I have the same thing, and I'm a very slow metabolizer of caffeine. I will also say this. When it comes to psychedelics and certain drugs, though, that it gets bandied about that that someone might say, oh, I'm a-- for those listening or that have never met me, I'm about 6'2, 225. So when I come in, they're like, oh, you're going to need more. You got to take five grams. And this a 100-pound, five-foot female, they're like, oh, you can take two and a half grams. I have found that has nothing to do with anything. Body size has nothing to do with it.

It has to do with where your nervous system is at. When I was first coming into these environments, as we talked about before, I had two modes. I didn't have, um, parasympathetic, which is rest and digest, and sympathetic, which is fight, flight, or freeze. I had sympathetic and hyper sympathetic.

Those were my two modes. I didn't know what it was to relax. That's where, for me, working in psychedelics became so powerful psychosomatically as well that I actually felt myself yawn, stretch, get sleepy. I had spent my whole life drugging myself to sleep. These weren't things I was capable of. So what I've found is that-- imagine if you were drunk or whatever it is, or on some of these substances that make you high, relaxed, whatever it is, and you fall, sorry, somebody else falls in front of you, and hits their head, and there's blood everywhere. 

You're going to, boom, turn it on. You're going to turn off whatever psychedelic mode you were in, and now you're back because of cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, these cocktails coming online. And you're like, I got this. And I'm sure you've experienced this in psychedelics where someone's screaming and it's like you're pulled right out of your journey.

But then I could take you over to the side, do a little breathwork, scratch your back, and all of a sudden, you're seeing visuals again, and you're back. It has everything to do with the nervous system. And people will say, um, they'll get this feeling about, um, it comes in waves. You hear that a lot in the journey. That's your nervous system coming online and then turning off again, coming back online and turning off again. 

So the dose on these things and the way they're experienced, I have found, is highly related to where your nervous system is. So this is where if you do breathwork, or these trauma release exercises, or grounding, or the intention setting, um, doing heart openers like MDA, MDMA, something that maybe even dissociative like ketamine or potentially alcohol, not recommending that, but something like that, where it's like it can get your nervous system to tamper down, then use the psychedelics, uh, the effect can be very different.

And it could be one third of the dose even. It can have a hugely different experience. And so I think a lot of this stuff is true. The way we metabolize a number of these substances too is your body, when it's in this hyper parasympathetic nervous system state, is almost trying to resist everything because you're just not in a state that denotes receiving. Your heart isn't receiving. You're dissociating like I was talking about. I was dissociated. I'm not receiving anything. I'm just trying to block everything. And that comes through metabolically too. Does that make sense? 

[01:10:03] Luke: That's interesting. Yeah, it makes perfect sense. And, um, like I was saying earlier, if I'm not stressed out at all, and I'm chilling, I can drink a shit load of coffee, and I feel great. Sometimes we'll be out in a long drive, which in Texas, everywhere it's a long drive, such a big ass state, and we live in the country. But it might be 4:00 in the afternoon, and I'll get that afternoon slump. Super tired. It happened a couple days ago. I was like, honey, find coffee. I'm fading. And we went and got a shitty Starbucks, which I normally wouldn't drink, but I was desperate for some energy. Drank that. Didn't even feel it.

A huge one. A huge iced coffee of like gnarly, toxic, pesticide, moldy coffee. I'll say it. Starbucks, I ain't afraid. Um, and I then I slept great that night. No problem. But it's like I was totally relaxed, too relaxed. And so it didn't hit me. But if we had been driving around, and I was anxious and sympathetic, it would've probably put me over the edge where I was super bummed out and just not able to chill at all. So it's interesting. 

[01:11:03] Shawn: And that's where, I hear, not only is this experiential and clean, but I'm sure-- I'll let you jump in on this because I hear it a lot, is that when people go back, I get, that was a horrible experience. These are people that have been drinking coffee all their lives, and then they'll tell us like, yeah, I like Update. It's cool. I like pairs. It's cool. It's cool. It's pretty good. 

[01:11:28] Daniel: It's a far more consistent feeling over and over again, the cleaner feeling. Um, and I think I was like, you. I could drink coffee, um, in excess, and I used to have five or six coffees a day. And I love coffee. I love the flavor. I love the taste. It's a ritual for me, and experience. And every morning, I want a hot drink. I don't want to open a cold sparkling, uh, energy drink. And so it's like coffee or tea. And coffee for me happens to cool down faster than a tea. So I opt for the coffee.

Um, but I've now, I would find, I would then go back. At 7:00 AM, I have a coffee. Then I would have another one at 10:00, another one after lunch, another one mid-afternoon. And I would just start to feel worse and worse the more coffee I drunk later in the day. And you come to the afternoon, you need that energy pick me up after lunch, and what are you going to do?

So you get that coffee, and you're running to the bathroom, or you're sitting there through meetings, and you're not feeling good. And that's where I think this, uh, the paraxanthine and the clean-- you feel much cleaner and healthier, and it's a much smoother energy, uh, where you don't get that heavy stomach, and you don't get the jitters. And the best part is you can sleep at night.

[01:12:44] Luke: Yeah, I find that to be really weird with the Update drinks because it definitely, without a doubt, gives me energy and mental clarity. I mean, there's a nootropic effect, and I want to talk about some of the other stack that you guys put in there. But I'll be at my desk. These are pretty big cans, and I'll just sip it as I'm working, and then I'll realize like, oh shit, it's 7:30 or 8:00.

And I'm like, I better stop working so I can calm down. At first, I was like, oh man, I've been drinking this thing. It's 8 o'clock. And then it didn't matter. I still just fall asleep like normal, which would never happen if-- I wouldn't even think of drinking a coffee like at 7:00 or 8:00 at night. No way, ever, would I do that. Um, because I know that I won't sleep. Uh, so that's been really interesting too. 

[01:13:27] Daniel: Yeah. And for people who are much slower metabolizers, like Shawn, etc, there are people, like one of my colleagues, he actually can't even have a tea unless it's decaf. So I've never seen him have a coffee in my life. Um, but he can drink this. He was saying, the first time we gave him an Update, when we're going to hire him, he made sure his family was around, because he's like, if I'm going to drink an energy drink, I'm going to be on the floor in a minute. 

And he drunk, and he is waiting for some really negative reaction, and nothing. And, uh, what we're finding is people like you who wouldn't have a coffee in the afternoon because you think it would disrupt your sleep, you also have people like him who wouldn't have coffee because it would just disrupt their day, um, and make them feel terrible.

And so now he's able to get energy that you get to experience, um, without having that disruption. I think what you alluded to earlier is it doesn't feel overstimulating and it's much more like an Adderall-like type feeling, where you're sipping it, and then you realize, oh, what's the time?

[01:14:31] Luke: How are you feeling, Brandon? This is your first Update. We have a good, um, test subject. 

[01:14:37] Brandon: I don't drink coffee because--

[01:14:43] Luke: Okay. I'm going to relay because you're not on the mic. So he says he doesn't drink coffee because it makes him feel anxious and sick. Okay.

[01:14:49] Brandon: Feeling good. About20 minutes ago, there was like-- I feel like in that dailed in that zone with the conversation. I was like[Inaudible].

[01:15:00] Luke: Okay. Cool. I love that. I like experimenting on people that have never tried something.

[01:15:05] Daniel: You can be our new spokesperson. 

[01:15:07] Luke: Yeah.

[01:15:07] Daniel: You'd be like, let's get that on video.

[01:15:09] Luke: Yeah, I'm always curious. I use my wife as a Guinea pig as much as she's willing to let me do so, and I'm like, do you feel it? Do you feel it? Like said, she really likes it. 

[01:15:21] Shawn: Let me go down this rabbit hole for a second, because anecdotally, the feedback we're getting in paraxanthine dosing is that we're not just seeing better sleep than caffeine. We're seeing better sleep, period. HRV's actually improving with use of paraxanthine.

[01:15:40] Luke: What?

[01:15:41] Daniel: That was something Ben told us about as well from his experience.

[01:15:44] Shawn: So our data, now this is preclinical, which means animal data, but, um, please don't dismiss that because in general, as a scientist, I would say please, world, stop dismissing animal data because it's the only data where you can truly control the environment and the inputs. Um, and it is extremely valuable data. Um, so with this preclinical data and the dosing of paraxanthine, we saw increased BDNF, which is brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is neuroplasticity. That's literally why people take lion mane, or, uh, as part of the [Inaudible] stack or what have you.

Uh, this is keeping your brain young with what's known as fluid intelligence. So it's renewing your neurons, uh, protecting your neurons. So BDNF is a really, uh, powerful protein. It's increasing nitric oxide to the brain, uh, via what's called PDE9 inhibition. It's increasing serotonin and dopamine. So that's where the feel good swagger effect comes. And it's a very different level than what's seen with dosing caffeine. 

And then we also see glutathione and catalyze, which are two extremely important antioxidants and reduced oxidative stress as a result. So what I am seeing, and we also have data that's forthcoming, but we pulled out a small sample so that we could file a patent with e-gaming. Um, and we saw a time effect with paraxanthine. 

So meaning the longer you use it, the better the effect, whereas there's a declination happening with caffeine, meaning more the you use it, the worse it is. And so if you think about how to protect the brain, BDNF is going to protect neurons and help create new neurons. Blood flow, incredibly important for brain health. Nitric oxide. Oxidative stress, or the antithesis of that, is these powerful antioxidants, glutathione catalase.

And then dopamine is highly neurologically protective. And you think about these, uh, neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson's and things like that, that's related to dopamine levels. So all these ways that we're seeing paraxanthine work, there's not only the wakefulness that you can associate with, um, caffeine and some of these other stimulants, um, but you have all these other pathways that are really protecting, healing, enhancing the brain. And with continued use, we're seeing better and better effects. And then we're seeing improved HRV.

[01:18:53] Luke: That's so cool.

[01:18:54] Daniel: In human studies, where, um, we've done the human studies where you see that people doing certain tasks on caffeine or on nothing at all, or paraxanthine, if you're on paraxanthine, you make far less errors and you're far more accurate and far faster. So better performance, a better cognitive, uh, movement than if you're on caffeine or even placebo. And, uh, caffeine was already meant to be that performance enhancer, and now it's evolved into this.

[01:19:20] Luke: That's super cool. Uh, with caffeine, and I don't know if this is true or if it's just a thought meme that's taken hold in our culture, but you hear a lot of, uh, info about adrenal fatigue, that you-- people that drink too much coffee burn out their adrenals and then they become dependent on caffeine because of that. Is there any truth to that, and how does that--

[01:19:43] Shawn: A 100%. 

[01:19:44] Luke: It's a real thing? 

[01:19:45] Shawn: 100%. 

[01:19:46] Luke: I never know if it's just like a trend catches hold and everyone's like, oh, I have adrenal fatigue, now everyone has it, is it realy?

[01:19:53] Shawn: No, it goes back to what I was talking about. I think there's a lot of complexity there of like, there's a lot of people like me that weren't safe in their own bodies. There's a lot of people like me that were grinding 24/7. People like me that were using Lunesta and Ambien to fall asleep, and then during the day taking ephedrine, and caffeine, and all these things to stay awake, and lose weight, and whatever it is. But there's a degree of, I'm not safe in my body, and, uh, I'm not good enough. I need to grind my way to something better. 

And absolutely, that adrenal fatigue is real because it's not just-- it's like you were saying with the coffee. It's exacerbates what's already there. But if I was to take away the coffee, there's still a lot going on in your body that's leading towards this path of adrenal fatigue, where you're living on cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and these kinds of things, these stimulants in your body. That's how you're making it through the day. 

You don't know you don't have that resilience, that balance, that sympathetic, parasympathetic, masculine, feminine, whatever, the balance. Um, you're just all the way out on one edge. And so of course, the body's completely overwhelmed, and there's system failures taking place all over. There's red lights that are flashing, and it's like, systems crashing, system overload. And it's like, yeah, absolutely. But it's so multifaceted at that point there would be so much to look at. And I would go back to like, do you even feel safe?

[01:21:56] Luke: To that point, I suspect that at different times in my life, I've actually been biochemically addicted to stress response.

[01:22:10] Shawn: For sure.

[01:22:11] Luke: To the point where I've created drama, and I probably still do this if I'm honest. I was thinking about this this morning. I was like, I'm so busy, I'm overwhelmed. That's like my mantra. I'm like, oh, too stressed out. I'm too busy. I take on too much. And then I thought, actually this morning I was like, well, Luke, what if you take on too much on purpose? Because your whole life, you've lived on cortisol and adrenaline, and that's your MO. how you're used to operating. And you think there's some truth to that? 

[01:22:39] Daniel: We were talking about that at lunch time.

[01:22:41] Luke: Being addicted to the chemicals of stress?

[01:22:43] Shawn: There's dopamine. And that's actually one of those ones in the mix. And in the right level it can be very good, but it most certainly can be addictive just like the idea of the data with Facebook and all these other, uh, platforms where you seek out likes because of the dopamine response. The dopamine response is a reward response. And so now you're doing things like porn, driving fast, these more reckless, impulsive decisions, um, feed into that, and they wake you up. I feel alive, and then I feel back to being depleted, and dead, and fatigued.

And so the right path would be to do some healing, to do some self care, would be to look into these, uh, problems potentially that we're all the way back to your childhood or prior. Um, but that often isn't happening. We're continuing to push. And so yeah, hence the adrenal fatigue.

[01:23:47] Luke: Well, thanks for breaking that down, and I'm glad to know it's a real thing. And no offense to anyone who's had adrenal fatigue. It's just sometimes these things catch hold in health circles, just different trends in what's wrong with you. Everyone has Epstein-Barr, or this, or that, and it's like, maybe they do, maybe they don't. But, um, adrenal fatigue is one of those ones. I guess I've heard two sides of the argument. There a portion of people that think that it's made up in your head, and then there's a portion of people that say, no, it's a real thing. So it's good to know.

[01:24:18] Shawn: It's like chronic fatigue syndrome where that term or adrenal fatigue is a catchall. But it's not like the clear, um, pathway for what's going on. There's so much that's multifaceted there. Um, the disease pathology isn't that clear. But absolutely, I mean, zoom out, and look at our society and what's going on. 100%.

[01:24:50] Luke: Yeah. What about some of the other, uh, ingredients you guys put in here like N-acetyl L tyrosine? Am I pronouncing that right?

[01:25:00] Daniel: Yeah.

[01:25:00] Luke: Break a couple of these down. We'll just go through them. Because these are things I've seen in other formulations, and supplements, and stuff like that, but I've not seen this particular combination in an energy drink. So what does some of these things do? Just geek out with me here for a minute.

[01:25:17] Shawn: Right. So the acetylated version of some of these amino acids, like you might think like acetylcarnitine, so I could get technical cell. Carnitine is not an amino acid, but essentially it is. Um, and they tend to have a different, uh, bioavailability, especially around what's called the blood-brain barrier.

Um, but tyrosine, bigger picture, backing up, that is, uh, an amino acid, that is a precursor to thyroxine, like thyroid, and more importantly, here, like dopaminergic. So it is going to have a synergistic effect with paraxanthine theme in particular. And we've done work around, um, cholinergics having synergy with paraxanthine and tyrosine having synergy with paraxanthine. So that's why both of those ingredients are present.

[01:26:20] Luke: Okay, cool. And then what about taurine?

[01:26:23] Shawn: Taurine, uh, that's an ingredient that you might see in here a lot in these energy drinks, made famous from Red Bull. And that is a big contribution, I believe, from Red Bull, that it's a really fascinating ingredient. And what seemed to be an innocuous ingredient 10 years ago now has gained a lot of data around it being tonic in its effect.

Tonic means helping you balance almost like adaptogens. So it has an energizing effect, but a very clean, energizing effect. There's also data on it, um, around hydration. And about 75% of us are dehydrated, so that's interesting, uh, data it's been gaining, but it's one of those ingredients that when fully dosed, I believe, is experiential and really rounds out a profile.

[01:27:21] Daniel: Constantly misunderstood. Everyone thinks the energy in Red Bull comes from taurine.

[01:27:28] Luke: Ah, okay. It probably comes with the 800 grams of sugar.

[01:27:32] Daniel: Although, 800 scoops of sugar. 

[01:27:34] Luke: Oh my God, dude. Those things I mean, God bless them, and anyone that enjoys their Red Bull. I haven't had one of those in probably, oh man, 20 years, I think.

[01:27:45] Daniel: I'd say party days.

[01:27:47] Luke: Yeah. 

[01:27:48] Shawn: Red Bull Vodka? 

[01:27:49] Luke: Well, when I had quit drinking alcohol, by the time I drank Red Bull, but I remember specific-- I mean, this is how gnarly it was. I remember the exact night. I think we were in-- I was playing in a band, and we were on tour in the UK, and I think we were in Leeds and playing in some, um, club there and super tired from being on the road, and in our right or, they gave us a bunch of Red Bulls. And I never drank one, and I pounded a Red Bull, and I felt like I was on crystal meth for the rest of the night.

I don't think I ever had one after that, knowingly. I mean, it was a horrible experience because I was sober. I mean, I didn't drink alcohol. I didn't do anything. Maybe drink a little coffee. But yeah, that was the beginning and end of my Red Bull relationship. I felt horrible. Couldn't talk to anyone. I got all withdrawn and introverted, just super methed out. It was horrible. Uh, what about Alpha GPC?

[01:28:43] Shawn: So that's that cholinergic. Um, this is the most bioavailable form. Again, going back to that blood-brain barrier discussion I was having. If you have certain forms of choline, they may just get digested and broken down, and they could contribute to phosphatidyl choline, which gets used in your brain and in your cell walls and things like that.

These phospholipids really important, but what we're finding is that this form in particular, uh, raises, um, acetylcholine the best and also contributes to the phospholipids in your brain the best. So it's powerful what we see with Alpha GPC, we see increases in strength and muscular power. We see improved sleep. We see increased energy focus. 

Um, it's a very powerful and underappreciated nutrient. Definitely part of every-- the basis of every nootropic stack over the last 20 years to go onto Reddit and whatever, it's either going to be one or the other choline, it's going to be CDP, which is also called citicoline, C-I-T-I-T-I or Alpha GPC.

Those two forms are the basis for any nootropic stack. Because the more your brain is ramping up, the more you're running through acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is the focus neurotransmitter. So the more-- like you were talking about the work you were doing, or when you were talking about the cookie and it's sitting on your desk for four hours, and you were saying that you're still working and it's 8 o'clock at night, you're running through a lot of acetylcholine. 

And so whenever you're doing that, the net result the next day could be depletion, like when you do a journey, there's the growth and the expansion, and then comes the contraction. So what we're trying to do is we're giving you the fuel for that expansion so that there is very little contraction.

[01:30:52] Luke: Cool. 

[01:30:53] Daniel: Also, I think what's really important is, um, when we went to construct the formula, it was so critical that every ingredient that was in there was so thoughtfully put in at its proper dose. One of the things that really bothers me is you see all these products out there that are functional products have a lot of these nootropic or adaptogenic ingredients in them. And if you actually see the stacks, it's like a lot of feather dusting, to say, the ingredients in it.

[01:31:24] Luke: That's why I'm always skeptical of nootropics, and multivitamins, and stuff that have like 200 ingredients and then it's one little capsule. I'm like, well, how much of it's actually-- 

[01:31:34] Daniel: It's like a bit of a this, and a bit that. 

[01:31:36] Luke: Yeah. Yeah.

[01:31:37] Daniel: And so that was actually one of the challenges that we have, is how do you put full doses of these ingredients in and have it in such a small format.

[01:31:47] Shawn: I did tell Daniel. I was like, I'm not going to do this unless these things are like fully dosed and at the study doses I mean, this drink, raw materials wise, probably three to five times more expensive than other energy drinks out there.

[01:32:02] Luke: Because you're not just dusting it to grow the ingredient deck.

[01:32:06] Shawn: Mm-hmm.

[01:32:08] Luke: Um, you guys went through, I hear, 87 iterations of this.

[01:32:13] Daniel: We've spent hours at formulators, from carpark formulators to my kitchen counter to larger flavor houses. Um, and we're still constantly improving the formula. We had, even as of last week, new formulas come for the next round. 

[01:32:32] Luke: How difficult was it to make the taste, uh, palatable if you want to put clinical doses of all these different ingredients, which I'm assuming don't taste great on their own?

[01:32:42] Daniel: So this was one of the biggest challenges. That's why you have all these energy drinks out there in such large formats, typically double the size of this, and the majority of the product is water? And the same for them. But by having a much smaller format, the level of water is far less. And so the taste profile, um, it is so challenging, and that's why a lot of these other energy drinks use sugar or sucralose, because they're a [Inaudible]. 

And we didn't want to use sucralose, we didn't want to use chemical sweeteners, we didn't want to use copious amounts of sugar. And so Shawn has been working on these sweet sweeteners, and acids, and flavor systems for so many years, and that's where, um, he was so valuable in working out how to actually, um, I would say microdose those different sweeteners and acids to get it to a point where it tastes really good.

Um, and to your point earlier where you asked him, all the way back at the beginning, is this like playing around with, beakers or is this like an equation, we're sitting there, and it's like increasing something by point something of a percent and noticing the difference in the flavor. Um, and so it's one of those things where it was incredibly hard, and, uh, we're still trying to improve it. 


[01:33:59] Shawn: There's a huge science to flavor. I will tell you. At almost every place I've been, I inservice these guys because I've been through so much, but there is a front, middle, and back on a flavor. And with the way you use your sweeteners, there's things like, uh, erythritol and fructose that are front end sweeteners. And you have things like sucrose, which is sugar, or sucralose, which is Splenda. Um, you have some of these engineered stevias like, um, Reb M. I don't know if anyone listening this knows what I'm talking about, but then-- 

[01:34:36] Luke: No, I see this stuff on ingredient decks.

[01:34:38] Shawn: And then on the back end, you have, uh, monk fruit and stevia in particular like a Reb A. And so if you figure out the right ratio of these things, you can bring out the full bodied flavor front to back. Um, and then also using the right acids. For example, a lime would be using citric, but in the berry, you'd start using malic acid and some of these things. So it's one of the reasons why the flavor might not seem right or connect in your brain, is because they're not using the right acid profile.

So there's a lot of these things we have to use. Maskers and enhancers, and there's a lot of work that's done, especially as Daniel said, to do the small can. And he's like, okay, I want a flavored seltzer, all natural, super low-calorie, in this tiny can with full dose nootropics. I'm like, oh my God.

[01:35:38] Daniel: It's so important to make it not taste like a treat. You don't want it to taste like a Rockstar, or Red Bull, and Monster, where it's like you have it, and then the next day you're feeling unhealthy about that decision. It's got to feel clean, and it's got to feel healthy, and it's got to work, and it's got to taste good.

[01:35:55] Shawn: Not like Bang cotton candy or something. 

[01:35:57] Luke: Yeah. And you have, uh, zero sugar in this, right? 

[01:36:00] Shawn: Yeah.

[01:36:01] Luke: Yeah. Well, uh, I want to give you guys kudos by saying this. I don't care how stuff tastes. I mean, some of the smoothies I make are disgusting. Literally, I don't think anyone on earth would drink them. I'll throw some raw liver in there, whatever. If it's good for me, I can muscle it down. Hold my breath, get it down. So I'm not-- 

[01:36:24] Shawn: It could be a secret ingredient here.

[01:36:25] Daniel: I'm like, I'm just glad we weren't invited for breakfast.

[01:36:28] Luke: Yeah. I'm not looking for flavor. I'm not a foodie. I just want the effects. Um, and it's great for me because no one ever wants any of my smoothies. But I did, as I said, used Alyson as a Guinea pig for this, and I said, hey, I found this new energy drink. It doesn't have caffeine. It has some other thing. And it's amazing. I love it. Really good for focus, and alertness, and all that. 

And so she just started trying them, and I didn't say, Hey, warning, it tastes a little off or anything. Um, I just let her have it. And she loves them. She loves the drink just as a drink, just because it tastes good. So you did something right that's a perfect template of a potential consumer that wouldn't drink anything that tasted shitty just to get the effect like me.

She actually will only drink something if it tastes good. So you guys did it. I got to ask her what-- I think her favorite is Mandarin, the one that I'm having now. I'm always checking with her, but it's fun living with someone who's very different in that way because I can see like, did you feel an effect? How does it taste?

[01:37:26] Daniel: What does she think of the liver smoothies?

[01:37:28] Luke: Uh, she does not participate in my smoothies. No. Nobody, uh, no one that lives here visits ever wants any of my smoothies. I mean, I can make a good tasty one. It just has far fewer hard-hitting ingredients, to be fair. I'll put like a bunch of essential amino acids in there, which my Kion makes a pretty decent tasting amino acid, uh, that I can handle. But I don't really care if it's just the plain one. I just throw it in there. Or I'll put one other thing, tastes really nasty, is, um, Fenavit. Has a really strange flavor that overtakes anything you put it in. Doesn't bother me, but most people would probably find it disgusting. Yeah. 

[01:38:09] Shawn: In particular, this area of nootropics just seems to have the nastiest tasting ingredients. So, um, like I said, this was a very difficult task. And yeah, we've done a great job. I think we'll continue to-- the science keeps evolving on some things that we've been focused on as far as sweeteners in particular, and we're playing with those.

[01:38:33] Luke: What do you guys use now?

[01:38:35] Shawn: It's, uh, stevia, and there is allulose, but um, there's these rebaudioside that we've been really focused on that are present in the Stevia, and we're breaking those apart and really examining those and playing with ratios and--

[01:38:53] Daniel: New ones come out, and they become more commercially available. We're able to keep iterating and, uh, constantly trying to improve it. 

[01:39:00] Luke: And what do you guys do-- normally, if I drink any canned or bottled drink, the first thing I look for is the water. And for some reason, I haven't looked at this. I think I was like, I don't even want to know, because I like it. But, um, what are you doing for the source water? This is always a concern with me when you buy a drink and it just says water. I'm like, what water?

[01:39:20] Daniel: Yeah. So all the manufacturers--

[01:39:22] Luke: Cleveland tap water. Are we talking RO water? And even sometimes when it just says filtered water, I'm like, filtered by Brita, or filtered by RO, or whatever. Uh, what did you guys put into the water cleanliness?

[01:39:36] Daniel: All the manufacturers we work with, um, granted, they sometimes will have different filtration systems, but all have very robust filtration systems for the water.

[01:39:45] Shawn: They use RO.

[01:39:46] Luke: Okay. Cool. Nice. Yeah. 

[01:39:48] Shawn: It's passed through at least three different RO systems in the process, so yeah. 

[01:39:54] Luke: Thank you. Because the one--

[01:39:55] Shawn: But not Analemma, uh, there's no wands yet.

[01:40:00] Daniel: Exactly. We're not restructuring it first.

[01:40:02] Luke: You guys gave me a great idea, though.

[01:40:04] Shawn: We're looking at hydrogen.

[01:40:06] Luke: Yeah. I'm going to actually--

[01:40:09] Shawn: We need the Luke Storey edition that's molecular hydrogen and structured water.

[01:40:15] Luke: Charged with, the Leela Block and all the things.

[01:40:18] Shawn: Yeah, exactly. And has some shaman that prays over it.

[01:40:22] Luke: Yeah. Um, if it's not, um, blessed by a monk, I'm not drinking it. But I want to cover, all jokes aside, a couple of the other ingredients because I'm curious, and I don't know, the shit works. And I think, I haven't told you guys this, but I think I want to make this the official beverage of the Life Stylist Podcast.

[01:40:43] Shawn: Sweet.

[01:40:43] Luke: I don't know what that entails, but I give them to my guests, and everyone loves them, and I think it probably makes for better interviews.

[01:40:51] Daniel: Get a little cooler or something more switched on. 

[01:40:54] Luke: Yeah, totally. And I don't have to tell them anything. I'm like, oh, here's a nice tasty beverage, and they're going to be more cognizant, uh, and fluid in the conversation. But a couple more things I want to find out. The L-theanine. Now this one, I understand it, uh, because, again, it's one of those things that people just repeat. And I don't know if it's true that the reason you drink a green tea that has caffeine, it's less edgy than a coffee because of the L-theanine. I there any truth to that?

[01:41:19] Shawn: 100%. Yeah. That's exactly right. Um, and yeah, what's beautiful about, like as a formulator, I love this with green tea, is that you have caffeine, the central nervous stimulants. You have theanine, which has its tonic, uh, properties, and then you have EGCG, which is a polyphenol and enhances blood flow. And I was like, look at you, nature. You had a little formulation going there.

[01:41:47] Luke: Wow. Right. 

[01:41:48] Shawn: That stuff's super cool to me. I love it. But, uh, there's a lot of data, um, with caffeine and theanine, uh, as you're alluding to, showing that it does really reduce some of those downsides. And so we included a small amount, and it just adds a lot of focus. People tend to associate with, um, being stimulated, but there's an element of focus. If you think about, again, being in that balance, the flow state, the flow is being in between, uh, sympathetic and parasympathetic, where you're stimulated, but you're relaxed.

[01:42:31] Luke: That's the dream, bro. That's what I try to do every morning.

[01:42:34] Shawn: Right. You're getting stimulation from caffeine, but there's an element of like relaxation needed to be focused. Otherwise, you're just stimulated. And that's not necessarily a good thing.

[01:42:51] Luke: And it's not necessarily a good thing for focus. Sometimes I get too ramped up, and then I sit like, I'm working on a book right now. You wrote a book. I mean, it requires a whole different skillset, to put it that way. It's intense. Uh, very difficult. Rewarding but difficult. So I'll be like, ooh, I'm going to write, and I have a bunch of caffeine, a bunch of nootropics, and then I sit there write.

And I'm a nervous wreck, and I can't actually focus because I'm too stimulated when what I was trying to do was get focused so nothing would interrupt me from the writing. It's actually annoying to try to find that balance because if you miss it, it's like, oh, too late. Now I'm too hyped and can't focus. But if I'm lacking energy--

[01:43:30] Daniel: Then you crash.

[01:43:31] Luke: Yeah, exactly. But if I'm too lethargic, and I still have some delta wave flying around, and I'm just not really there, then I'm not, uh, driven to do something creative. So it's not the amplification that helps. It's the drive. Maybe it's the dopamine, where you're like, I want to get something done. Ooh, look, I finished a paragraph. That feels good. Do another one. But when you're too hyped, everything, for me, gets all fragmented, and I become actually less productive. It's Brutal. Yeah. So theanine is the tonic element that's helping to balance that out.

[01:44:04] Shawn: Yeah.

[01:44:04] Luke: Okay, cool. Uh, and then, uh, the last one, and I know this one just because it's commonly, uh, suggested as a recovery tool, especially if you're using something like MDMA or MDA, these hard openers that flood you with serotonin, and that is the, uh, 5-HTP. 

[01:44:22] Shawn: Yeah. So that's a special form of tryptophan. Uh, and tryptophan is in the pathway with serotonin, and melatonin, and a lot of these kinds of, uh, neurotransmitter chemicals, uh, but in particular, the serotonin. So we talked about, uh, that paraxanthine has an effect on serotonin and dopamine, and this is where you get that confidence that we literally have a patent filed on swagger. I kid you not. 

It came up so much when we first started working with this ingredient. We were giving it to athletes, to speakers, and they're just like, I don't know, bro. I'm just like feeling myself. And it's like, we'd like try and drill down into like the word, and we ended up getting a word cloud of all the feedback and swagger came up a ton. It insane. 

[01:45:09] Luke: Put it on the can dude. Gives you that swagger.

[01:45:12] Shawn: Gives you the swagger. 

[01:45:13] Luke: Just don't say no caffeine.

[01:45:15] Shawn: Yeah. Exactly. So there's that one. And then I do want to throw in that there is, um, methylcobalamin. So there is B12. You've heard of B12 obviously for energy, for focus, for all these things. And the typical form of cyanocobalamin, which is, um, a synthetic supplemental form. 

[01:45:37] Daniel: This is, cheaper, right?

[01:45:38] Shawn: Yeah. This is methylcobalamin in methylated form. So these are the coenzymated B vitamins that are in their active state. Um, there's a couple forms of B12 in your body for different purposes that are active. This is the one that's more for that neurological, cerebral, uh, benefit, is the methylcobalamin.

[01:45:59] Luke: Do you think someone's genetic profile is going to influence which form of vitamin B works best for them, or does it have that big of an impact?

[01:46:11] Shawn: Um, no, there's like, um, it's really just this adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin that are the two active forms. They work in different areas in the body. Um, dose could play a role in terms of genetics, um, but certainly, your ability to methylate in general, uh, plays a role in a lot of these things. Methylation is something that is so stupidly simple. If I were to show it to you in chemistry, it's this H, and then removing the H. It's like, that's it. That's the thing. 

This happens a trillion times a day in your body. Like I told you, like caffeine, going to paraxanthine, and theophylline, and theobromine, that's a demethylation. This process of how you metabolize all these things, or the pathways of neurotransmitters or hormones is quite simply, quite often, methylation. And when you have methylation errors or an inability to methylate well, it can wreak havoc on your whole body health. So this is where taking things like betaine, which is also known as TMG, trimethylglycine taking, um, MSM-- 

[01:47:37] Luke: Oh, you take the MSM, huh?

[01:47:38] Shawn: Yeah.

[01:47:39] Luke: I just started taking that again cause I'm doing some body healing work, and it was recommended.

[01:47:44] Shawn: Yeah, the sulfur is helpful to--

[01:47:47] Luke: Right. Have you done with, uh, DMSO? Do you ever work with that?

[01:47:50] Shawn: As a carrier, it's really effective.

[01:47:53] Luke: Okay, so just topically?

[01:47:55] Shawn: Yes, it can really, um, open you up for things to pass through to get to the blood.

[01:48:03] Luke: That's what I've always used it for. Like, you know, if I'm going to put on a magnesium oil or something. I keep DMSO in the sauna, but I interviewed a woman that, it would've already come out by the time this airs, uh, Amanda Volmer. And she's like a DMSO wizard, and she has all these applications, including taking it internally for different things and putting it in your eyes, and your ears, and all kinds of stuff.

Yeah. She has a book called Healing with DMSO. It's fascinating. And I've only used it topically, and she's like, oh, no, it's a whole thing. It's suppressed medicine because it's super inexpensive. It's a byproduct of the paper industry, and so there's no money to be made. You can't patent it. It's cheap. And so it you-- 

[01:48:42] Shawn: I knew nothing about that.

[01:48:43] Luke: Yeah, really interesting. Anyway, side tangent there, but--

[01:48:46] Daniel: It gets used a lot. Like I know about it from, uh, horses in particular. Um, that's how they would get medicine in their systems.

[01:48:56] Luke: Right. 

[01:48:56] Daniel: Because obviously, no one wants to jab like a huge horse that's going to kick him in the face.

[01:49:03] Luke: One thing about the DMSO though, a word to the wise, uh, if you take it internally, it makes you wreak hardcore. Yeah. You smell like a fermented garlic bulb, and the whole room will smell. Uh, I've witnessed this, yes.

[01:49:18] Daniel: Your poor wife.

[01:49:19] Luke: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

[01:49:22] Daniel: She's witnessed this.

[01:49:23] Luke: I've not used it internally yet. She's put up with a lot of shit, not that, but I've been around people that are using it going through a protocol, and I'm like, what is that smell? When they leave, and it's like five hours later, it's still there. I forgot to let people know. I'm going to say it now. If you guys want to get your hands on some Update drink, go to lukestorey.com/update. And if you use the code, LUKE, you'll save 10%. lukestorey.com/update. The code is LUKE. Um, thank you for that.

I want to ask you, Daniel, as someone who has come out of the business world and is getting into the health product space, what's your vision for paraxanthine and Update? Do you see yourself as a market player that is an alternative to the Red Bull, and Monster, and in every 7-Eleven, and every nightclub, and there's cocktails made with Update instead of Red Bulls and things like that? What's your big picture vision?

[01:50:17] Daniel: Yeah, I think, uh, a few things. One, I still love my morning coffee, and I'm not going to try to tell you not to drink coffee. Um, and two, if you want to go party and get fucked up, have a Red Bull go for it. Update's not that drink. Um, Update's there to get you through that afternoon, pick me up instead of having to have a coffee, uh, and then feel terrible afterwards.

And, uh, I think what we want for Update is we want to build a really big generational company where we can ultimately take on the Red Bulls of the world. Um, but we're not going to start in that lane of Update's a party drink. And in an ideal world, Update ultimately expands into other product categories where, over time, we are the go-to brand for paraxanthine products. And, uh, work with Shawn and his team.

Um, they have paraxanthine in the form of their trademark name Infinity. And ultimately, you have, the best possible form of the energy drink, and it's with paraxanthine Infinity, and it's Update, and you have the best possible form of a capsule. And it's again, uh, Infinity with Update.

And so, um, years from now, that would be a really lovely thing to have, but I think it's really important, especially as you're launching the brand initially, um, to have one product and not try to confuse people. Is Update the powdered product, or the capsule product, or is it the energy drink? No, Update the energy drink. It's going to help you stay focused and keep you energized without side effects.

[01:51:49] Shawn: He's being modest. We're actually going after water.

[01:51:52] Luke: Really. Well, you got me. Like I said, first thing I do in the morning is drink one of these. 

[01:51:58] Shawn: so 

[01:51:59] Luke: Do you think I should have some water first? I mean, this is just like--

[01:52:03] Daniel: 97% of this, roughly, is water. 

[01:52:05] Luke: Okay. Sometimes I'm like, I don't know, maybe I should have a glass of water and then have this, but I'm just so groggy when I wake up for whatever reason. This is my boost. And sometimes I think like, I don't know, maybe I should have something else to drink first.

[01:52:20] Shawn: Experiment with that.

[01:52:21] Daniel: Yeah. Let us know. 

[01:52:23] Luke: I mean, I'm always trying to be too perfect. Well, fellas.

[01:52:27] Shawn: Where else is that showing up in your life?

[01:52:29] Luke: Yeah. Right. Totally.

[01:52:30] Shawn: Let me turn facilitator.

[01:52:35] Luke: We've talked a bit about psychedelics and stuff here today, hopefully responsibly. Um, and I know you've put out some great content around ways to fortify your brain and your body if you're doing something that can be, um, somewhat hard on it. Do you think there's a place for Update as my journey companion drink?

[01:52:55] Shawn: Yeah. Yeah. Actually, paraxanthine is part of like my, uh, post journey stack, for sure. 

[01:53:00] Luke: So afterward. Not during or before

[01:53:03] Shawn: Yeah. Maybe when this-- I'll send you my stacks, maybe, so that people can check those out.

[01:53:12] Luke: Okay. That'd be great if we put them in the show notes.

[01:53:15] Shawn: Yeah. We could do that. 

[01:53:17] Luke: Because I think just whatever I got from you a couple years ago, I deduced from that, that minerals are really important, and so I always now make a dose, all kinds of minerals, before, during, after. That's one thing I have definitely found a lot of benefit from.

[01:53:33] Shawn: For sure. Yeah. Let's do that. I'll give you. I have like pre, peri, meaning intra, post journey stacks of supplements, um, and then also microdosing stacks.

[01:53:48] Luke: Oh, cool.

[01:53:49] Shawn: So yeah, I can send those to you. 

[01:53:52] Luke: Thank you. We'll put them in the show notes, again, at lukestorey.com/energy. Do you see any contradiction if I drink, uh, Update with the paraxanthine and stacking it with a psilocybin or LSD microdose? Any interaction there I should be concerned about?

[01:54:12] Daniel: We don't recommend it as a company. Yeah.

[01:54:15] Shawn: Let me put it out there.

[01:54:18] Luke: Hypothetically speaking.

[01:54:20] Shawn: If that were to happen for entertainment purposes, uh, apart from the company-- let me just speak more on my own. I mean, one, I'm always like, what is someone's definition of microdosing? And again, this goes back to where your nervous system is at. Um, so microdose, to me, means in 50 to 125 milligram range. Um, it's below what mini dosing is, and certainly macro dosing. 

I think mini dosing is in that sub gram range. Um, maybe even some would say sub 500 milligrams as I actually have had journey experiences on a gram. But again, my nervous system-- I was in Nosara. I was waking up with the sun, going to bed with the sunset. I hadn't watched TV in months. Hadn't used a light in months. Hadn't listened to music. Anything. I was just chilling. And one, gram, I had, a crazy full-on journey.

[01:55:23] Luke: Psilocybin.

[01:55:25] Shawn: Yeah. Yeah. But going back to that, I do believe that there would be benefits. I mean, because of all the neurological enhancements and upgrades that are happening related to paraxanthine, I believe there would be definitely a synergy there, for sure.

[01:55:44] Luke: Noted.

[01:55:44] Shawn: I mean, a lot of psilocybins benefits are BDNF, again. Um, actually, one of the things-- maybe we could do a whole show on one of the-- I've actually worked on this idea, not only on the supplement stacks, but I've trademarked this idea of echo dosing, where, um, you have your macro dose.

Let's say you do ceremonial cacao with psilocybin, a certain strain, say it's penis envy, and you had, uh, a heart opener of MDA sassafras, and you then proceed to microdose, uh, build that out, that exact strain, that exact ratio. You take that in the weeks to come while working with your facilitator on integration as a group, if you were in as a group. Um, and then you would macro dose supplements like the stacks I'm telling you, in those weeks, after the journey. But then I would microdose that stack during your journey. 

So this is like the echo dosing of telling your body what's to come, what's here, having it have more knowing. And it relates to these psychosomatic anchors where, for example, smell is, um, the olfactory sense is the most intense as far as memory and connecting to the body. So when you're in a journey like sage, Agua de Florida, things like that get used a lot, um, using those post journey can be a powerful anchor back to your journey epiphanies, and states, and openings because it's really important to get back there when doing the work in those following weeks.

Also, your journey playlist is obviously very important. Music is hugely important, but in particular, if there is a song where you had your epiphany-- the whole journey's important, but sometimes there's moments, right? 

[01:58:09] Luke: For sure. You're so right. They're often anchored to a specific song.

[01:58:14] Shawn: Right. So if you were to do this echo dosing protocol and use these scents, meaning S-C-E-N-T-S, these, Agua de Florida, or whatever it was you were using during the journey, and if you're a really good facilitator, if you could hit someone with that while they're like, oh my God, whatever it is, it's like boom. Now I can like bring someone back, right back by doing this echo dosing this, um scent, um, as well as the song. Boom, I can bring you there.

And then if you're involved with the facilitators doing your integration work every week, and this group is maybe getting on a Zoom call every week, now they're all getting in that micro dosing space with you getting back in that energy with you. It's like that can be a very powerful up-level where you can keep the journey going, so to speak.

[01:59:18] Luke: That's so cool. Yeah, I love that. Doing that intentionally. I've had that happen, um, just accidentally. There's one song, this particular mantra that I've listened to a million times, and the first time I sat with, um, 5-MeO-DMT, the facilitator, how they do, uh, if they're tapped in, played this very meaningful mantra right when I was going in and out of the thing.

And whenever I hear that now it's like I get chills. And so I've listened to that during meditation and thing. They're just trying to gain access to that field again, and it really is a powerful carrier. The same thing happens when I smell copal. If there's a lot of copal burned in a room, it takes me back there to the first ayahuasca ceremony, just like, oh, ding, just hits you. But I've not done it that deliberately. I like that concept. That's cool. I'd like to see you develop that into something more concrete. That's very cool.

[02:00:17] Shawn: Yeah.

[02:00:18] Luke: Well, gents, I think we did the damn thing. Thank you so much for taking the time to come hang out with me. You're both fascinating characters and, uh, people with good hearts and good brains putting them to you, so I appreciate you being here. And, uh, thank you for, uh, shipping me a couple cases of this drink because I will very much use them and appreciate them as well, uh, the wife, and even, uh, guest as our brand in here has demonstrated.

Um, where do we want to send people? Any social media accounts, anything like that? I've already mentioned lukestorey.com/update for people that want to try your drink. Is there other educational material, personal accounts you guys want to send anyone to?

[02:00:58] Daniel: Yeah, you can follow us at @drinkupdate across all social channels, and then you can find us, obviously, drinkupdate.com/luke. We're on Amazon, and we're also in a number of retailers across New York City. Um, and we're going to be, I think by the time this launches, probably at Erewhon in mother's market in LA.

[02:01:14] Luke: Nice. Get an Erewhon. You've made it. You've arrived.

[02:01:18] Daniel: That's the start of the high journey.

[02:01:20] Luke: Yeah. People aren't afraid to spend money when they walk in Erewhon. Last time I was in LA staying with my friend Harry and, uh, it was gracious to let me stay there. So I was in Erewhon. I said, hey, do you want anything? He's like, yeah, grab me an ice matcha latte with coconut milk. Done. Go to check out. 18 bucks.

[02:01:38] Daniel: That's insane. And then there's the whole line behind of people wanting the same thing.

[02:01:42] Luke: Yeah. And I was like, I'm in the wrong business. 

[02:01:44] Shawn: They had a keto pudding that I had there that was like 14.50. I was like, damn.

[02:01:48] Luke: Yeah.

[02:01:48] Shawn: So it's literally single-- 

[02:01:51] Luke: Hey, but they are the best. I'm waiting for them to open in Austin. I'm like, hello? Anyone at the C-suite at Erewhon, if you're listening to the podcast, you guys could be charging us 18 bucks for a drink that costs 40 cents right here in Austin.

[02:02:06] Shawn: Take my money. Yeah. I'm @shawnwells on most of the socials, S-H-A-W-N. So anyone wants to follow me, this week in particular, I'm talking about men's mental health. That's what this week is.

[02:02:20] Luke: Awesome. 

[02:02:21] Shawn: But I talk about supplement stacks, and all these kinds of things, and get into psychedlics. And I have a book, and all those kinds of things, but if you go to @shawnwells, you'll find out all about it.

[02:02:34] Luke: Excellent. All right, gents. Until we meet again. Thanks for coming by.

[02:02:37] Shawn: Awesome, brother.

[02:02:38] Daniel: Thanks, Luke.


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