490. Ketones Without Keto: Curbing Cravings + Easy Energy, Focus & Fasting w/ Michael Brandt

Michael Brandt

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.

Discover the potent power of ketones – humanity's ancient fuel – in the context of today's health and nutrition. We discuss metabolism, cognitive benefits, and nutritional insights with HVMN CEO and Co-Founder, Michael Brandt.

Everything Michael Brandt does is fast and intense. Aside from being the CEO and co-founder of Health Via Modern Nutrition, he cruises through marathons at a cool 6-minute mile pace. With the launch of Ketone-IQ, Michael and his team created an entirely new category of ketone shots, which have taken over elite sports and high-end workplaces. Michael has quickly scaled the business, including a $6MM contract with the US Department of Defense. As CEO, Michael is focused on cultivating a world-class team and increasing education and access to metabolic health and performance.

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.

Michael Brandt, the co-founder and CEO of HVMN, isn't just a leading figure in the world of nutrition and health, he's also an accomplished triathlete, marathoner, a Stanford alumnus with a BS in Computer Science & Design, a former Product Manager at Google, and an Adjunct Professor at the Academy of Art in SF.

Michael’s work is a beacon for all seeking to navigate the intricacies of modern nutrition while drawing insights from ancestral wisdom. Today, we dive deep into the realm of ketones – nature’s primal fuel, nutrition, and the ever-intricate mind-body connection. 

Our conversation sheds light on the metabolic wonders of ketones and their role in brain energy and keto diets, venturing into the fascinating dynamics of water, caffeine, and ketones. In the latter half, we probe the synergy between ketones, cognitive prowess, and flow state before unpacking the impressive nutritional principles backing Ketone-IQ – you can get 30% off your first subscription order at hvmn.com/luke.

Whether you’re a keto veteran or just dipping your toes into this world, there's a treasure trove of knowledge awaiting you. And as a bonus, hear firsthand about Michael Brandt’s captivating stint on ABC's Shark Tank. You won’t want to miss this enlightening journey into the nexus of nutrition, cognition, and human potential.

00:00:09 — Introduction to HVMN (Health via Modern Nutrition)

00:37:30 — Exploring the Metabolic Impact of Ketones

  • Metabolism transforms consumed nutrients into cellular energy currency
  • Appetite control with certain foods + ketones
  • Aligning more with our ancestral tendency to store energy
  • Ketone-IQ provides energy without spiking insulin
  • Get 30% off your first subscription order at hvmn.com/luke
  • Jumpstarting your metabolism with a walk
  • Understanding one’s energy levels and decision making capacity
  • Synergistic effects of ketones with psychoactive substances
  • Aubrey Marcus, Holistic Health Guru

01:14:30 — Ketones, Cognitive Function & Flow State

02:00:19 — Shark Tank & Diving into Michael Brandt’s Inspiration

[00:00:00] Luke: I'm so pumped to, uh, talk to you about all things ketones and ketosis. Strangely enough, uh, this is a topic that I've never covered in seven years. I've seen the waves of the whole keto craze come in. And I don't know if it's gone out. It's probably coming in more and more, and I just haven't found, I don't know, the impetus and interest in it because the keto diet is not something that I've ever really been able to wrangle. And there has been much confusion on my end around taking ketones.

[00:00:37] Um, but I feel like it's something that a lot of people are obviously interested in now, and I would be remiss to not explore it. So I'm super excited to talk to you, Michael. And I would say the main reason we're having this conversation is because I'm freaking obsessed with this Ketone-IQ product, and for those listening, I don't want to be a product shill guy. It's not my objective here, but when I find something super cool, I just selfishly want to talk to the people behind it and learn more about it. 

[00:01:08] Um, we didn't open the cabinets in my kitchen, but there are, I could safely say, hundreds of different supplements in there. And there's probably 10 that get used on a daily basis, and you guys made the cut, which says a lot. I mean, it's to the point where I feel nervous if I run out of it. That's how much it's impacted me. So I'm really excited to chat with you today.

[00:01:35] Michael: Well, glad it's doing good things for you, Luke, and really glad to be here to have a great conversation today. It's going to be a fun one.

[00:01:42] Luke: Yeah, me too, man. Me too. So many questions I have. I guess I'd like to start out just you, um, you're a co-founder of HVMN?

[00:01:52] Michael: That's right.

[00:01:52] Luke: What does that HVMN stand for?

[00:01:54] Michael: It stands for Health Via Modern Nutrition. When we first started the company, we were exploring what could be a breakout concept in modern nutrition. And then when the keto diet and intermittent fasting were taking off, we actually created one of the largest intermittent fasting groups online.

[00:02:13] A lot of people, including ourselves, were jumping through all these hoops to get their ketones up. And it hit us in the face. Hit me in the face to say, hey, if we're doing all these things to get our ketone levels up-- I did a seven-day long fast and was measuring my ketone levels along the way and feeling really good. And the light bulb went off to say, hey, if we're doing all these things to get our ketones up, why can't you go to the store and just buy a shot of ketones? 

[00:02:40] Luke: I share those sentiments.

[00:02:42] Michael: Yeah. It's, uh, not easy necessarily to get into ketosis. Although through a natural lower sugar diet with movement, you are going in and out of ketosis on a regular basis. But the point being that that feels really nice. A lot of people are going after that state, and how can we make it easier for people to get into that state and fuel with ketones on a more regular basis? So I started the company with my co-founder to look at interesting ideas in human performance and nutrition.

[00:03:14] And then we created the world's first ketone drink. We've got a big contract with the Department of Defense, Special Operations Command. They were really interested in exogenous ketones for physically cognitively demanding missions. And then through our work there, we continued iterating on the supply chain formula, and we were able to get something that was viable for the broad consumer market from a taste palatability point of view, and we launched that to the consumer world about a year and a half ago.

[00:03:46] Luke: Amazing. I find that some of the coolest things that come out are just because a founder wants something that doesn't exist.

[00:03:53] Michael: Yeah.

[00:03:55] Luke: And I had the experience. Over the past few years, I've toyed with ketosis, and we'll define what all of this means momentarily, but, uh, I'd get the ketone monitors, and try to cut my carbs, and just eat fat and protein, whatever, and, I mean, honestly, I found it nearly impossible to get my levels up to a substantial, uh, ketone level. I'm like, there's carbs in everything. Would be at the end of the day, I'm like, yeah, I bet it's going to be really high.

[00:04:30] And I would check, and I wouldn't be in ketosis. And I'm like, what did I eat? And I'm like, oh, I had cheese. I don't even know what it was. Everything has some carbs in it, and to try to get under that threshold of whatever it is, 20 grams, I don't even know. You can school us on that, but I just gave up. 

[00:04:47] I feel really good the fewer carbs I eat, but it's just so impractical even for someone like me that I don't eat a lot of grains and things like that, but it's just like, oh my god, this is exhausting. So I just gave up. So had you not done it, I might have done it because I love the feeling. When Bulletproof Coffee first came out, I would have one of those in the morning with the C8 MCT and some butter, and I would find I wasn't hungry for hours and hours. 

[00:05:19] And it was just like my productivity, and mental clarity, and energy were really high.It wasn't the distraction of having to constantly be eating to maintain my energy was really interesting. And that's what led me into the idea of being in ketosis, but, oh my God, it's super freaking hard. Uh, so many people listening will know what ketones are, what a keto diet is because they probably go to Whole Foods and see there's a whole section of keto this and keto that. But for those that are unaware, maybe just give us the, um, helicopter view of all of this.

[00:05:53] Michael: Yeah. And let me start by saying that I'm not a keto dieter. I eat carbs. I'm a marathon runner, so running a lot. Around 80 miles a week. I'm actually building--

[00:06:04] Luke: Oh my God, dude.

[00:06:06] Michael: Building towards, uh, you got the Chicago marathon coming up.

[00:06:08] Luke: Really?

[00:06:09] Michael: Competitive. I'm not going to the Olympics or anything, but I run six-minute miles for the marathon. Pretty serious amateur marathoner, and I have carbohydrates. I have a lot of ketones, protein. I'm very dialed in across my whole nutrition. But I say this all to say that I'm not a keto diet purist. And a lot of people in our community, a lot of people who have Ketone-IQ are not keto dieters. We have some for sure, and it does help complement a keto diet. It's completely keto diet compliant. It's just a ketone.

[00:06:40] But what's cool about it is that it's a really good source of energy that you can stack on top of pretty much any diet. And let's define some of the terms, just to answer your question there. Keto diet, short for ketogenic diet, meaning that whenever your blood sugar is low, your body, and especially your brain, need an alternative fuel. Your brain can use sugar, blood glucose, or it can use ketones. 

[00:07:10] And so when your blood sugar is low, your brain needs something to fuel itself with, and that's where we turn fat into ketones. Fat itself can't cross the blood brain barrier, so that's not an option. So whenever your blood sugar is low, you need to turn fat into ketones, and those ketones provide your brain with energy.

[00:07:27] That's why humans have the ability to make and use ketones for 300,000 years. So in that sense, ketones are the oldest form of fuel. Humans are really good at making and using ketones. We have a really large brain for our body mass. We have the largest, most complex brain of any organism on the planet, and that's largely due to our ability to make and use ketones because we don't always have carbohydrate availability, especially in an ancestral context. 

[00:07:54] So ketogenic diet is an extreme form of that where you just never eat significant carbohydrates, so you're always producing ketones. You're always in a carbohydrate depleted state, and you're always producing ketones. There's other ways to do that, for instance, if you eat a little bit of carbs and then you go exercise and burn off the blood sugar. 

[00:08:14] And a lot of times people can measure this with a continuous glucose monitor. If you eat carbs and then you exercise a lot, well, then your net carbs in your system is going to be low because you ate some, and then you burned a bunch, and then you'll be making ketones. So if I come back from a run, and I measure my ketone level, even if I had an apple, something with carbohydrates before the run, by the end of the run, my body will have started ramping up its ketone production. 

[00:08:38] Fasting, similar story there, where in that case, you're not eating anything, your blood sugar is going to go low, and then your body will start making ketones to support your body and, especially, your brain's energy demands. So keto diet, exercise, fasting, these are all ways to get your blood sugar low and then induce your body to make ketones. 

[00:09:01] Where I stand on it is I think the keto diet has its place for-- some people are really drawn to it. It just feels really great. They do not have a hard time with it. They just feel really good. It works for some people for really aggressive weight loss. You got to get beach body ready in eight weeks. It does work for a lot of people for aggressive weight loss. For medical reasons, as an adjunct for cancer treatment or different psychiatric disorders.

[00:09:27] Chris Palmer talks a lot about-- he's a Harvard M.D psychiatrist. He talks a lot about how getting people off of sugar can help regulate brain energy and help people with mental symptoms that they're having. So there's specific ways where it's a fantastically effective diet. For a lot of people, what I like to say is you want to be spending time in and out of ketosis.

[00:09:49] So you don't want to be on a standard American diet where you're having three meals a day plus snacks of processed carbohydrates, starting your day off with Frosted Flakes, having Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a Coca Cola for like-- if you're constantly like overloaded on sugar, that's not great either.

[00:10:04] But there's a lot of shades in between where you can have some carbohydrates. You can have more complex carbohydrates that are slower to spike your blood sugar. And then as you're living an active life, you're burning down a carb amount that you didn't even have that much carbs of to begin with, and then your body's making some ketones. But then you go out for dinner, and you have pizza with your friends, and you're living life, and you're having some carbs.

[00:10:30] So this idea of having it in balance and going in and out of ketosis matches to the ancestral context of how humans were. Ancestral humans didn't have-- there's no peanut butter cups on the savannah, but there was some stuff. There was grapes, and berries, and grains, and there was carbohydrate containing foods in it, sometimes, in some seasons, in some areas, but it wasn't the modern context of so much carbohydrate, so I like to think about it in terms of going in and out of ketosis and just from a diet perspective.

[00:11:04] And then what we made with Ketone-IQ is just a pure ketone shot. So when you drink Ketone-IQ shot, it's 10 grams of a ketone diol, and then that immediately raise your blood ketone levels, and you have this really metabolically efficient-- there's no sugar in it. So it doesn't spike your blood sugar. It doesn't spike your insulin. Metabolically healthy. It's a fuel source that you can use as part of this overall picture of a metabolically healthy lifestyle. 

[00:11:31] Luke: Well, I'm so glad you guys did that because it's making my life a lot easier than trying to be keto. And thinking about the ancestral approach, for many years now, of course many people are familiar with the paleo diet, and carnivore diet, and all these different diets, I'm just not a fan of diets, I think. I'm not on one. I've never really been on one for any particular, uh, or extended period of time.

[00:11:57] But thinking about the way hunter-gatherer people that came before us would have eaten, um, it seems pretty obvious, as you said, that depending on what was available in the environment, um, geographically and also seasonally, that sometimes people would have been eating a lot of animal protein and fat, and then that would become unavailable, and then they're foraging for berries, and honey, and things like that.

[00:12:23] And you can see this, um, my favorite current show is Alone, which I didn't know there were all these past seasons because I don't watch a lot of TV, and somehow, I found it. Maybe last year, I watched one season. I thought that was it. I found another one recently, and I was like, oh, it's over. And then a friend of mine was like, dude, you know there's nine seasons. So I paid for Hulu, and now, literally, every night, I'm watching like two or three episodes just because I like to feel inadequate. You know what I mean?

[00:12:51] I mean, I'm like, oh my God, I'm so weak and domesticated. It's inspiring from that point of view, but to the point of this, you can see. I mean, you have a person who's alone, so their experience is going to be different than a tribe of people where there's more allocation of, um, effort in terms of procuring calories. 

[00:13:12] But you can see, man, if you're out in nature, and we're pre-agriculture, really what people are looking for is the fat and protein. And then they just eat plants and berries because they can't get the fat and protein. And this is a pretty consistent trend. So that tells me, okay, left to our own devices in a survival, undomesticated, un-industrialized scenario, the body seems to want to go for the slow burning fuel of fat AKA ketones more so than the quick burning fuel of glucose from carbohydrates.

[00:13:55] Michael: It's much more energy dense, and it's also much more satiating per calorie. If you sit down, and heart's content, you eat hard-boiled eggs, you can eat 10? There's a limit where you're just going to feel completely stuffed. When it comes to a bag of candy or something really heavy in sugar, especially refined sugar that hits your system right away, there's almost limitless how much you can eat of that.

[00:14:26] And it's true. It's objectively quantifiable. There's a lot of studies on this of different foods and the satiety index of different foods. So something like steak is going to be very satisfying just per gram, per calorie that you eat. And you can measure. You can subjectively ask people like, how full do you feel or not? And you can also objectively measure hunger hormones. 

[00:14:49] So one thing that we've seen with ketones is that when people have ketones, so if you have the same amount of calories of ketones versus sugar, then objectively, your ghrelin, which is one of your hunger hormones, uh, it is significantly lower when you have ketones versus the isocaloric, same amount of sugar.

[00:15:08] So it refutes or at least puts a wrench in the idea of the calories in, calories out model. Fundamentally, it's right where you have calories coming in your system, and then there's calories that you expel through the energy that you spend in the world. But with the big asterisk next to it, that not all calories in are the same. So 2,000 calories of blueberries when you're trying to survive, first of all, it's going to take you a lot of effort to go and find all those blueberries, um, if you're alone in, uh, they're in Alaska?

[00:15:42] Luke: All over the place. The one I'm watching now, they're in Mongolia, because I went back to the beginning. First couple were Vancouver Island. There are these beautiful but horrendous places to survive.

[00:15:54] Michael: Yeah. 

[00:15:54] Luke: They never put them in Bali or something. It's always these gnarly environments with seemingly very little food and rugged terrain, and they seem to always film them going into fall when winter is encroaching. Uh, yeah.

[00:16:09] Michael: Why do you think that show is so popular right now?

[00:16:12] Luke: I mean, I like it because it's a beautiful demonstration of the human spirit and the human will. I mean, the fortitude and perseverance of the people that make it into the two, three months zone, it's unfathomable that these people can hang. That's my perspective. Secondarily, it's also educational in the sense of just watching people build things. I'm not very handy. I'm not a very, um, I don't work well with my hands, especially on tedious projects. And just seeing people weave baskets for six days to make their fish trap, I'm just like, oh, my God.

[00:16:58] So I like it, just seeing the human ingenuity, I think, and the perseverance, and just seeing people not only overcome the physical challenges of the extreme weather and the inevitable starvation, but also, it's like, um, the mental game of seeing which contestants can maintain a positive, optimistic outlook and which can't.

[00:17:28] Because you have some people that come in, and they're highly skilled, they make a kickass shelter, they're catching fish, they're killing it, but then the alone time, the introspection, having to face oneself without the distractions of modern life and the comforts of your family, and all of that, to see people fall apart mentally is really interesting to me. And to see the ones that usually come close to winning or win has something to do with their skill set and their resourcefulness, but it seems to me it has most to do with how they self-regulate.

[00:18:05] Michael: And there's something universal inside of that for everyone, whether you're an entrepreneur, or starting a family, or whatever you're doing that feels really tough. There's something analogous to draw.

[00:18:16] Luke: 100%. And I think that's the thing. It's a magnification and dramatization of the human experience that we all share. Everything is sped up and amplified. You're running a company. I'm running a company. Brandon's running a company. I'm throwing you in every show now, Brandon, by the way.

[00:18:35] Everyone is facing their own challenges, and it's not the challenge itself. It's our response to it and the attitude we maintain around it. And for many years, I've really been diligent about monitoring my perspective on the world at large and my own personal insular relationship with myself and with my day-to-day life. 

[00:19:04] So I learned a lot from that show about that, but also, like I said, it makes me realize how fragile I am, which is somewhat inspiring in that, man, I should really spend more time outdoors. And I need to take a wilderness training course, and maybe one of these days, I'll actually do that. And I'll say this, and then we'll move on, but my dad's a forever mountain man in Colorado, really rugged guy.

[00:19:31] And, uh, we don't really talk TV, but since I got all into the show, I asked him if he watches, and he's like, oh, are you kidding me? Of course, I've watched every season. I said, how would you do on that show? And he's like, well, when I was in my 30s and 40s, I would have been a contender. But he said, the thing that is missing that people might not realize is that all of that is infinitely harder without a firearm.

[00:19:56] If those people had a gun, the show would last three years instead of 90 days or whatever. He's like, that's really the thing that makes it. Anyone that has primitive skills can go out there, and do the shelter, and stay warm, and build fires, and all that. But he said without a gun, that's the defining factor. So I thought that was interesting.

[00:20:16] Michael: Interesting.

[00:20:17] Luke: Yeah. But anyway, back to the point at hand. Um, so what's the difference then between exogenous ketones and endogenous? If our body has the ability to make these from food, why would we ever consider just taking them in an isolated one?

[00:20:35] Michael: Yeah. First of all, just on the terms, an easy way to remember it is exoskeleton. Spiderman has an exoskeleton. When your skeleton's outside of your body, it's an exoskeleton. So exo is outside of. That the root word is outside of your body. Endo is inside your body. So humans have an endoskeleton. Spiders have a exoskeleton. Exogenous ketones, ketones from outside your body. Endogenous ketones, from inside your body. 

[00:21:05] So if you have Bulletproof Coffee, Dave Asprey's, a mutual friend of ours, and created this concept of Bulletproof Coffee where you take the most ketogenic types of fats and you put them in your coffee. So medium chain triglycerides, MCTs, they're a form of fat that is a really effective precursor to ketones. 

[00:21:26] Because of the simplicity of its composition, it easily turns into ketones in your system. And then you have ketones to fuel your brain and body. What we've done is skipped a step. So you just have a pure ketone. You're getting energy, but without this conversion process. And there is a drop off. 

[00:21:47] So as nice as MCT is, only a fraction of it turns into ketones. So everything that we're eating, all of our calories are fundamentally coming from outside of our body. So whether you eat MCT, or an avocado, or you're turning body fat, endogenously, whatever you're turning into a ketone, it's something that originally came from outside of your body. The calories came from outside of your body. 

[00:22:11] And then they're in this intermediary form that you're then turning into a ketone. And all that we've done is skip a step so it's more bioavailable. So that if you want to feel a pick me up right now, instead of eating an avocado and waiting for it to turn into ketones, you can just have ketones available right now in your system with a shot of Ketone-IQ. And it's not this either or thing. I love avocados. I'm not trying to declare war on avocados or Bulletproof Coffee. It's a compliment to these other foods in a more quick, bioavailable sense.

[00:22:45] Luke: Well, in preparation for our conversation today, uh, I had one bottle of the Ketone-IQ in the morning, which I do every morning. And maybe sometimes if I have an interview, I'll wait, and I'll drink it right before the interview because I find, and we can get into this later, but the cognitive effects of it are bananas.

[00:23:04] The way my brain fires on ketones, it's amazing. But today, I had one right when I woke up, and then my wife made me a fatty coffee, and then right before you guys got here, I had another one of these because I'm just like, I want to see what happens when you do the caffeine, and the ketones, and some fats.

[00:23:23] And man, I feel super energized. But what's interesting about it is that even though I had a coffee, so I'm a little amped up from that, but if I do the ketones without coffee, it's a weird energy because it's not stimulating. You know what I'm saying? I do all kinds of nootropics, Nootopia, and all these great things.

[00:23:47] And if I get the mix right, I'll feel calm and focused, but if I push it a little too far, then, yeah, I have physical and mental energy, and mental clarity. My cognition is great, but I'll have a little shakiness and anxiety because I'm too overstimulated. There's cortisol, adrenaline happening. So how do ketones give you that physical energy for working out, a long drive?

[00:24:12] I love these things on flights and long drives, by the way. It's my freaking secret weapon. It's the best ever. They give you this energy and mental clarity, but it's zero stimulation. I've never done it, but I think you could just drink one literally right before you get in bed, and you're going to sleep the same if not better.

[00:24:31] Michael: Yeah. We've done all of these types of studies too. So the reason it's not stimulating you, it's pretty different from something like caffeine that's a really specific hormone blocker. So caffeine, it disrupts your adenosine, which is your sleep hormone. Soit blocks your adenosine receptors, so you're not feeling tired anymore. And so caffeine is this very targeted drug that targets this one really specific receptor.

[00:24:58] Ketones are a adaptive fuel that you can use all over your body. Think about water or protein, where if you're low energy at 10:00 AM, and you're thirsty, if you go drink some water, you'll feel a lot better. If it's 10:00 PM, and you're really thirsty, you might have a hard time falling asleep. If you drink a little bit of water, you'll have a much easier time going to sleep.

[00:25:23] How is this magical liquid helping me be more energetic at 10:00 AM and go to sleep at 10:00PM? Well, it's because water is the most adaptive, primitive compound that we have. So whatever our body needs, wherever we're at in our circadian rhythm, we're using water to do what our body needs to do. Ketones, similarly, they're very high up in the pyramid.

[00:25:46] Again, they're not something that we invented. What we've invented is the best ketone delivery mechanism, but ketones are something our body makes and uses all the time. And it's this adaptive fuel that can help us to be really active. It can also help us to rest and recover. And whatever modality that your body is in at the given time, you're using energy for that, and ketones can help provide that.

[00:26:08] So it's not pushing you, forcing you into a hyperactive modality, a fight or flight response where too much caffeine gets you overactive. Ketones aren't pushing you towards a overactive mode. They're empowering you to do whatever mode that you're in. So if you have caffeine, ketones can stack really well with caffeine. Same way as Bulletproof Coffee. It's like when you have caffeine, you have an increase in brain activity, increase in brain energy demand, and ketones can fuel that.

[00:26:39] But if you don't have caffeine, ketones are still a fuel in your system that is helping you to do whatever it is that you're trying to do. So you can do breathwork, or you can meditate, or you can relax, or it's really popular with athletes to have right before bedtime. So we've done studies on this. We've seen studies on this with, um, pro cyclists having ketones all throughout the day, including right before bedtime and having significantly faster recovery over a multi week study when they're having ketones before bedtime.

[00:27:10] Luke: Oh, that's interesting. What I'm going to do tonight or very soon, is drink a bottle of Ketone-IQ right before I go to sleep and see what it does to my sleep score. Be curious to see if it affects the RAM, or deep, or anything.

[00:27:23] Michael: Yeah. 

[00:27:24] Luke: Yeah. Because that's the thing that's weird about it to me, is just that if you have so much energy and mental clarity, but you feel relaxed, and that's always, um, the elusive Holy Grail in things that assist with performance, whether it's physical or mental performances, is oftentimes they come with a downside.

[00:27:46] You get the boost, but then you're too amped, even using NAD, or something like that, even, um, I mean, less so than caffeine, but still, it's like I put on these ion layer NAD patches, or my friend, uh, John over at MitoZen has NAD suppositories. They give you a lot of energy, but you're pretty hyped. It's a different thing. So I was just curious about that. 

[00:28:13] You talked about how our body will start to burn fat and how ketones, unlike fat in its bulk form, can cross the blood-brain barrier. Is there any relationship between our ability to burn ketones for fuel and the fact that, uh, human infants have so much more fat than other primates? Little baby chimpanzees are skinny. They're not little chubbies like babies are. Or do you think human babies are born with more fat and hold fat for the first couple years so they have fuel for their bigger brain? Is there any relationship there?

[00:28:55] Michael: Yeah. That's a really interesting point that you touched upon because, yeah, humans are the only of the primates that have baby fat. Chimps and other primates don't have baby fat. Humans have the largest brain, and it's all connected because in order to fuel the brain energy demands that we have as infants, we turn that baby fat into ketones to fuel our growing brains because you can't always count on carbohydrate availability.

[00:29:22] If you're on the savannah and a child is growing up from ages 0, 1, 2, 3, as that brain is rapidly developing, you can almost certainly count on there being periods of low carbohydrate availability. And meanwhile, our brains are massive, and especially as infants, they're growing extremely rapidly, the massive brain energy demand, and so the ability for us to store fat and then turn that into ketones is a key part of how humans have been able to develop this superior brain. It's really fascinating.

[00:29:59] Luke: Is there any risk in, uh, a baby or a kid drinking Ketone-IQ?

[00:30:10] Michael: I have a little daughter. I've given her a little bit here and there. Um, we generally keep it towards adults or at least people over 12 just to say it's generally an adult food. Baby food has its own set of parameters and restrictions. Um, personally, I'm comfortable with it, but as far as what we say on the label or what people really should do is like, generally, think of it more like coffee or something where you wouldn't necessarily feed that to, um, a little kid. Um, again, I don't personally have an issue with it.

[00:30:47] I think ketones are a fundamental form of fuel. People don't think twice about having 10 grams of sugar. A Coca Cola has 37 grams of sugar, and people feed that to kids all the time. I'm not saying that's right, but I'm saying that I think as we fast forward, ketones are going to be a very normal, regular thing that people of all ages have all the time. And it's just a very normal form of fuel, a superior form of fuel that's going to be part of all sorts of foods and drinks, and it's a big chunk of global caloric intake, only ketones. 

[00:31:24] Luke: Have you guys looked into the safety profile for pregnant women considering that that's such a metabolically taxing event for them?

[00:31:33] Michael: It's super interesting. I know that, naturally, a lot of pregnant women have elevated ketones just through the natural process of what is going on. Um, we haven't explicitly test Ketone-IQ with pregnant women, um, so I don't have anything to share there, but yeah, it is interesting that a lot of times whether someone's doing a ketogenic diet or not, just the raw energy demands, uh, when your body has this energy demand, you're just pulling fuel from anywhere you can get it, and it's hard to-- if you ever met a pregnant person, it's hard to get enough fuel. It's hard to eat enough. It's hard to like get enough, and so, naturally, just burning through a lot of their glucose and then turning a lot of fat into ketones, and so we'll have higher ketone levels just on a natural basis.

[00:32:21] Luke: And in terms of the exogenous ketones available, what's the difference between ketone esters and ketone salts?

[00:32:30] Michael: Yeah, so there's a few different categories, and what we have is the state of the art, which is called a ketone diol. So, uh, ketone salt is a ketone bounded to a salt molecule. So you'll see these a lot of places. They're very cheap. Uh, for better or for worse. They're widely available in a powder form. They're very affordable to make. Um, it's relatively low ketone load, and every ketone molecule is bounded to a salt molecule.

[00:32:58] So you can't get your ketones that high because if you want five grams of ketones, you got to have five grams of salt. So five grams of ketones is not a lot of ketones, but five grams of salt is a lot. You're going to have a upset stomach. Um, it's going to be hard to actually get your ketones up to an interesting or effective dose using a ketone salt for-- what we have is called a ketone diol.

[00:33:24] So that is a form of ketones that directly, on first pass metabolism, in your liver turns into blood BHB. It's actually cool because it's regulated by your liver. So as your body has increased energy demands, you'll release more ketones into your system. Um, there's something called a ketone acid. That's actually the form that's directly in your body. 

[00:33:46] So ketone diol turns into ketone acid, also known as BHB. So when you measure your blood ketones, you're measuring your blood beta hydroxybutyric acid levels. So it's a ketone acid. You can eat that straight. You can eat straight ketone acid. It's very rough on your system. It's very acidic. Um, and it's just a direct mainline of ketones. 

[00:34:10] So that's why we like the diol, which turns into ketones and has a-- you get the same area under the curve, same total amount of ketones. Ten grams of ketone dial turns into 10 grams ketone acid over a nice curve, where you get to a level that is enjoyable, but you're not having a large acid load. You're not overly spiking your ketone levels.

[00:34:34] A few different companies have tried, including us, on our V1, we actually made an ester that-- all an ester is is it's just gluing two molecules together, so we made an ester that was like half diol, half acid, and it was basically 50-50. And we thought that was cool because it was like, okay, you get the benefit of the acid, which is really quick, and you get the benefit of the diol, which is more slowly regulated. 

[00:34:57] And then as you're seeing it in the field, working with special operators, elite athletes, just everyday normal people, um, it had a few different challenges. And we saw, hey, actually, the pure diol is more interesting and effective. And then for our V2, we made the first ever pure ketone diol, and that's been working really well.

[00:35:20] Luke: So it gets processed by your liver rather than your digestive system?

[00:35:26] Michael: Yeah. It goes through your digestive system, and then to your liver where it then turns in first pass metabolism. 

[00:35:33] Luke: So it's not metabolized like a carb, or protein, or something that you would eat as food.

[00:35:40] Michael: Once it's in your blood, metabolism is still taking place. The carbohydrates that you eat will turn into blood glucose, and so ketone diol will turn into blood ketones. And so when you're doing a pushup or just sitting there thinking, a neuron in your brain needs energy somehow. And the energy currency inside your cell is ATP.

[00:36:05] So metabolism is turning these larger building blocks into usable energy. So turning a glucose or a fatty acid, turning fat itself in, not in your brain but in other muscles, um, or a ketone. There's others as well. You can use lactic acid as another metabolite. You're turning all of these into ATP, which is the fundamental energy currency inside of your cells.

[00:36:32] Your GI system is taking really complex things, macronutrients, which contain calories, and micronutrients, everything else, all your vitamins and minerals, you're turning all of that into smaller parts that are then flowing through your blood. And then within your blood, then at the cellular level, your cells are turning it into even smaller more fundamental parts.

[00:36:57] Luke: Got it. Okay. And what's up with the appetite suppression? Um, I'm not a big daytime eater anyway, but yeah, I fast here and there, probably not very scientifically, but if I'm not hungry, I won't eat basically. So if I have some fats in the morning, I'll definitely not be hungry until 6, 7, 8 o'clock. I rarely eat during the day. 

[00:37:25] If I drink Ketone-IQ, I feel like I could actually just wake up and not eat the entire day. It's just usually my wife would be like, you should probably eat dinner before it gets too late. And I'd be grudgingly going, oh, okay, and then I'll eat. You don't market the Ketone-IQ as the miracle weight loss thing, but am I the only one that will drink one of these and just care zero about eating for many hours, or is that a common occurrence?

[00:37:56] Michael: It's common. A lot of people feel appetite control effects on it. And it gets back to what we were saying earlier about why if you're on Vancouver Island trying to survive, fat would be more satiating. There's certain foods that you can eat that are more satiating per calorie than other foods, and ketones are way, way up there in terms of how they suppress ghrelin, hunger hormone. 

[00:38:23] Basically, what it does is it makes your body feel like you're fasting, but that within that fast, that you've ramped up your own ketone production, so you're good .Because if you think about it, from evolutionary perspective, if you're fasting, you want to still maintain alertness. You want to be able to go hunt and get more food, or fasting, or starving.

[00:38:45] You'd want to be able to be have the wherewithal to go hunt and get something to eat, and ketones basically get your body to emulate that state of that readiness that you would have if you were fasting or starving. So you're not obsessed about food. What's interesting, that's the more normal state of how humans should be. The weird thing is exogenous sugar. 

[00:39:11] When you're having 50 grams of sugar all at once in a liquid drink, then your body's like, wow, that was awesome. Your blood sugar goes up, your blood insulin goes up, and then you start maybe using some of that sugar, but you still have the high insulin that's sending a signal to your body like, hey, let me get more of that. Because in an evolutionary ancestral context, if you found some sugar, if you found honey, your body's just like, hey, eat that.

[00:39:38] If you're surviving on Vancouver Island and you see a big pot of honey, go eat as much of that as possible. You're wired to get addicted to that because it's so rare. And it's like, okay, stock that up, turn that into body fat so you have that around for the next six months to draw upon. And so what's more normal is to be in that lean state where you're in and out of starvation. 

[00:40:04] What's weird but has been installed in our modern society, but it's atypical from an ancestral perspective is the constant availability of really refined carbohydrates that are highly addicting where you eat it, and then you're hungry, and then you eat it, and you're hungry, and you're on this rapid wheel. 

[00:40:21] So what Ketone-IQ helps you do is snap into this other modality where you're not constantly chasing the sugar high and chasing this insulin high, which you can also get through other dietary modalities, where generally, when people cut back on sugar, they find that they're less hungry all of the time for all the reasons I just mentioned.

[00:40:41] People feel less hungry. They're less on that hamster wheel of sugar addiction, and Ketone-IQ is just a way to jumpstart into that, or to help you to prime the pump there, or help you if you just want to feel that way for a few hours. It helps a lot of people get into that mode and out of the sugar-chasing mode.

[00:41:06] Luke: If you drink 10 grams of ketones, how long do your ketone levels in your blood stay elevated?

[00:41:15] Michael: It depends how active you're going to be. So four to six hours. And then if you're running really hard, it might be one hour. It depends on your activity levels. Generally, if you're just living normal life, it's going to be four to six hours. If you're on a hardcore bike ride, you probably are going to want to re-up more often.

[00:41:36] Luke: So that explains why if I'm not terribly active, I mean, I usually work out a little bit, a few mornings a week, but I'm not doing a long marathon, or a bike ride, or anything by any stretch, but that would explain why I'm not hungry for so many hours because I still have ketones in my blood, and therefore energy is being made.

[00:41:56] Michael: Yeah. 

[00:41:56] Luke: That's interesting. Huh. So cool. I feel like it's such a good hack. I can't directly attribute it to me using the ketones daily, but I recently shed quite a few pounds, and it's not inconceivable that that has something to do with the fact that I'm eating even less. I think why I ballooned up a little bit is just at night I tend to crave sugar, and I don't have a lot of mental resistance to that craving, which is still the same, by the way. 

[00:42:30] Last night, ate dinner, and then I was like, where are the cookies at? They were gluten-free at least, but still had some sugar. But that has got to have something to do with it. Are you finding that people who are using it more intentionally have an easier time with weight loss?

[00:42:45] Michael: Yeah. A lot of people have an easier time sticking to the lower sugar diets in general. It's not this weight loss magic pill because ketone actually has calories in it. When you drink it, you're adding calories into your system. The difference is that if it's helping to adhere to a overall lifestyle where you're having less sugar, then you're going to lose weight. 

[00:43:12] And if it's making you feel less hungry in general, then you're going to lose weight. Very careful to say there's no, take this pill and it will burn your fat. Maybe that's like, I don't know, speed or something. Something that's-- 

[00:43:27] Luke: That will do it. And then you really won't eat.

[00:43:29] Michael: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:43:30] Luke: You also take apart a lot of radios and never put them back together.

[00:43:34] Michael: Yeah. So yeah, just to contextualize it that way. 

[00:43:38] Luke: Only the tweakers listening will understand that comment. 

[00:43:41] Michael: Yeah. 

[00:43:41] Luke: Hopefully ex-tweakers. Um, in terms of eating glucose and insulin resistance and, uh, for different times I've worn a blood glucose monitor, and I'm shocked to see how much mine spikes, but it seems to come down relatively fast, say, I eat half a pint of ice cream or something. Is there any positive impact on insulin resistance or just how you respond to glucose if you have a bunch of ketones in your blood?

[00:44:09] Michael: Yeah, so in general, ketones are not mediated by insulin at all. So if you drink Ketone-IQ, you're not going to spike your insulin whatsoever. You don't need insulin to metabolize it, so you're not spiking your insulin at all. The issue with insulin resistance is that when you're having sugar on a frequent basis, that every time your blood sugar is high, your body will secrete insulin in order to address that blood sugar. 

[00:44:36] And over time, you develop insulin resistance. And that leads to all sorts of diseases. It directly leads to type 2 diabetes. It also seems to impair a lot of other essential functions. So it seems like it's a predicator of cardiovascular disease. There's a growing school of thought that Alzheimer's and other forms of cognitive decline are caused by insulin resistance in the brain.

[00:44:57] So the idea of having fuels available that don't promote insulin resistance is really interesting. So like the ability to feel energized throughout the day without throwing caffeine at it, or throwing sugar at it, something that can give you a meaningful energy boost without spiking your insulin is novel and really interesting. Um, so it works really well in that sense, is that having it instead of a super sugary drink or instead of a lot of caffeine that might disrupt your sleep. Uh, and so if you're going to have like a bunch of doughnuts and then have Ketone-IQ to undo those doughnuts-- 

[00:45:38] Luke: That's where I was going.

[00:45:39] Michael: I would say that's tough. What's going to happen is you're going to have just a lot of energy in two different energy systems. That's actually how our pro athletes do it. When I'm getting ready to run a marathon, I will have carbs, and I will have ketones because they go through these different pathways.

[00:45:55] Our pro Ironman athletes, the Tour de France just wrapped up. A ton of Tour de France riders use ketones. So they will all dual fuel. They'll load up both. That's a different use case maybe from a normal person where I would say is you want to try to live your life more in the fat ketone system because it's going to be more satiating, it's going to be less insulin spiking, and it's not going to promote that insulin resistance that it's just something that we all want avoid.

[00:46:22] Um, but yeah, if you have both at once, you're be super powered up. You're going to be full battery. You're going to be like Prius. It has fully charged battery, and full gas tank, which again, awesome if you're going to go do an Ironman, but if you're just trying to optimize for normal activity levels in life, it's like, try to just not be so dependent on the sugar gas tank and use more of your like fat ketone battery energy system in general. A cookie here and there, whatever. We all got to live life. It's all good.

[00:46:53] Luke: What I was hoping for was that if I drank the ketones, it would give me blood sugar spike immunity, or if I drink one of these, then I can go crush some ice cream without the deleterious effects of that instant and high level of glucose.

[00:47:11] Michael: The best thing there is going to be going for a walk, I would say. Yeah.

[00:47:16] Luke: Right. I've heard that. That post eating anything, that it's a good idea to walk afterward. Do you know anything about that? To me, that's counterintuitive because of the whole rest and digest concept. I always feel like if I eat, I should just go lay on my ass, and chill, and let my body focus its energy on digesting. But in terms of, uh, blood sugar regulation, I've heard some people recommend going for a walk after you eat anything, especially if you eat a high carb or high sugar meal.

[00:47:44] Michael: Yeah. That you want to get a jumpstart on metabolizing the sugar that you just ate because what you don't want it like lingering elevated blood sugar. If you're going to eat sugar, that's part of living life. There's tasty treats out there. You've got to live life, but then you don't want to be sitting around. You don't want to breast and digest basically. You don't want to just sit and process it. You want to get started on utilizing it. 

[00:48:14] Uh, another way to attack the same thing is, okay, if we like carbs, if someone has a hankering for carbs, that's great. That's fine. Especially if you're an active person. That's just the way some people's systems work, but you can think about having lower glycemic index carbs. So you can have, for instance, uh, oatmeal, especially steel cut oatmeal is a very fibrous form of carbohydrates where you're going to satiate your carb craving, but it's going to be a lot slower spike.

[00:48:45] So again, what you want to avoid is a steep spike, and then prolonged elevated blood glucose. So anything that you can do, spike, and then go for a walk, or have a gentler rise to the carbohydrates that you're consuming. Starches, starchy foods, potatoes, fruits in general have a lot of fiber in them. All that stuff's going to be way better than a bag of candy that's designed to be like hyper refined, just straight main line of sugar into your system. 

[00:49:18] So at least, not all sugar is even the same. And I don't think it's fair to vilify carbs either all the way, entirely as a category. A lot of people perform a lot better with carbohydrates that they're athletic, or you just feel better. I don't know. So it could be really difficult for a lot of people to cut out carbs.

[00:49:37] I hope I'm not speaking from a point where that is the goal even. It's not a ketocentric universe. Some people's bodies perform better when they have carbs sometimes. I don't think a ketogenic diet is the optimal diet for your average person for a prolonged period of time. It spikes your stress hormones.

[00:50:01] A lot of people get off the keto diet because their cortisol spiked too much, and they were having trouble sleeping, or they're not, uh, responding well to the diet. So I'm not an anti-carb person by any means. It's more like having it in context around activity or having lower glycemic index carbs, um, staying away from the super refined stuff, and then just having options throughout the day of non-sugary ways to get your energy levels up as well.

[00:50:31] Luke: Yeah, I like that approach. When I have tried to, um, eat a keto diet, and like I said, I was largely unsuccessful, but when I gave it some effort, I found that it was really, um, bad for sleep. It was just too much cortisol, whatever it was, um, keto flu. I don't know. I remember checking my sleep scores and just be like, I think I need to eat a carbs at night, which is probably one of the reasons why many of us, unfortunately, myself included, really crave carbs or sugar at night. It helps me wind down in a weird way and get tired.

[00:51:10] Michael: What I would, again, say for that type of person, accept it as a natural part. You don't want to be at war with yourself all the time. And it's about, can you have maybe a better form of carbohydrates?

[00:51:24] Luke: Something better than ice cream.

[00:51:26] Michael: Yeah, yeah. And again, I have ice cream. I'm not just trying to portray myself as some monk, but if you find yourself habitually you can't go to sleep unless you have ice cream every night, it's like, well, try stocking up on your favorite fruit instead? I don't know. Pineapple, it's freaking delicious. Try having that in your fridge instead, and chow down on that. 

[00:51:48] Scratch your itch for something sweet with that, uh, because it has carbs. You're going to respond to it the same way. You're going to get some spike in blood glucose, which is probably what's going to make you feel good, but it's a lot more fibrous, a lot more natural, and not to mention it has all these different micronutrients inside of it that a cookie from Costco may not have.

[00:52:13] Luke: Yeah. And then what about fasting? Um, so you said that, uh, these ketones are calories, essentially. So if somebody was doing a hardcore, say, water fast, or a dry fast, or something, then drinking the ketones would technically be breaking the fast? And where's the line between a hardcore fast like those versus what you mentioned earlier, more of an intermittent fast? I guess what's the threshold of breaking a fast when you're using ketones? Because, like I said, subjectively, I feel like I'm fasted for a number of hours when I drink the ketones, but I guess I've had some calories, so I'm technically not.

[00:52:57] Michael: Yeah. I consider Ketone-IQ fasting compliant in the sense that it has no sugar, and it's not spiking your insulin whatsoever. And to the extent it has calories in it, it's a very low amount of calories. So people will a lot of times use it to extend their overnight fast. You wake up in the morning, you've been sleeping for however long, for eight hours, you already have this jumpstart on an eight-hour fast, and people have Ketone-IQ and extend that overnight fast by another three, four hours and have their first substantive meal at lunchtime.

[00:53:35] And that can be a great way to do it, a great way to just have a reduced eating window, a great way to stay focused in the morning hours because a lot of times when you start eating and then start digesting, it takes a lot of energy to do, and it can be very distracting. A lot of people like just to feel very clear as a bell for the first several hours of the day and get a lot done.

[00:53:57] I don't know. There's different levels, I guess, to hardcore-ness of fasting. It depends on your goals. If you want to go completely acaloric, then don't have anything. Some people say, don't even have coffee, or tea, or anything besides water. It depends how hardcore you want to be. What I'd say, what you definitely don't want to do is if you're fasting, have something with sugar in it because the whole point of the fast is to regulate your blood sugar level, your blood glucose level. 

[00:54:31] So if you're going to go have anything, um, have something that's not blood sugar spiking. Um, and so it's all about pragmatics. If you're able to extend your fast by having, uh, the 70 calories inside of Ketone-IQ, and again, you're still controlling your blood glucose, all those great benefits of fasting, you're still compliant with all of those, um, if it works for someone, then great. We see it working for a lot of people. 

[00:55:03] Luke: I like your moderate approach to these things. You're not a black and white thinker, which is good. I get feedback sometimes from people that listen to the show, and it's like I might, I don't know-- talking about EMF. You can block EMF, or you can harmonize EMF, and people get really hung up on an either or thing. 

[00:55:23] It's all great. I mean, not everything's great, but if something works, it works, and it doesn't have to be an either or thing. And I think that's true of something like the type of diet that you follow and how keto you are, or if you're into fasting, how you do it. There's not a right or wrong way. It's more about what works for you depending on your lifestyle, and personality, and what your goals are. I don't think hardcore fasting is something I would be motivated to do unless maybe I was chronically or terminally ill, and I was going for a really targeted specific goal. But I also, um, like the convenience, I think, of just not having to think about chasing food all day long.

[00:56:04] Michael: That's a huge one for a lot of people. 

[00:56:06] Luke: It's such an energy and time drain. When I first got on the Bulletproof Coffee many years ago, I was like, this is incredible. I owned a company. We had a few employees, and every day, 11:00 or 12:00, everyone's like, where are we going to get lunch? When's lunch? Who delivers it? It's this two hours of everyone putting their orders in and then waiting. Oh, they forgot my salad.

[00:56:27] I'm just like, oh my God. I started seeing how much energy people spend thinking about procuring the food, eating the food, disposing of the wrappers, doing the dishes. I'm just like, it is such a pain in the ass, and I never realized it. And also I just don't care that much about food. I don't know why I am that way. 

[00:56:45] But just the energy saved in having to think about what you're going to eat, taking the time to eat. That's more my approach and appeal to fasting, is just the convenience of it. And all of that energy that was spent combing over menus, oh, they're closed on Tuesdays. We got to find a new-- all of that, I'm just like, skip.

[00:57:05] Drink some ketones, have some fats in the morning with my coffee, or tea, or whatever, and I'm done. I can use that energy to do anything recreationally, professionally. It's just a huge amount of mental energy and decision fatigue has been skipped from just not dealing with it at all. Just not eating. It's huge.

[00:57:25] Michael: It's a really poignant point that you make as far as this weight loss is only one reason why you might want to eat less or reduce the amount of hours in the day that you're eating. I'm a proponent of, don't necessarily try to eat less, but just reduce your eating window. If you can have flow state where you're just mentally dialed in through your whole day and then get in the calories nutrition that you need within a limited window, that's how I like to live my life.

[00:57:58] I think that that constant, what are we going to eat, the rush to lunch, if everyone's like-- there's nothing more annoying than going at 12 noon to go eat lunch at the same time as everyone else. I love eating lunch at 3:00 PM when no one else is eating. That's my big meal of the day. I beat the lunch crowd, beat the dinner crowd, and cool. It took no time. One thing you see a lot in entrepreneurs and a lot of this like highly successful people, they literally just don't want to spend time on superfluous stuff. They don't want to spend time picking out a new outfit. They're wearing very similar or sparse set of clothes.

[00:58:39] Luke: Steve Jobs’ approach, right?

[00:58:41] Michael: Yeah, Steve Jobs’ approach to the wardrobe, um, or with food, it's like, yeah, I just don't want to be constantly thinking about food and what the next meal is. I'm not trying to lose weight. I'm not trying to bulk up. I don't have an issue with the amount of food. Just like, can I have it take up less of my day? Can I like simplify that problem in my life? 

[00:59:03] And look, if there's something special going on, if there's a dinner, or you're cooking a nice meal or something? Then by all means, enjoy it. But I would say, the way I live my life is, generally, Monday through Friday, as I'm working really hard, I don't want to be putting my creativity into who's open for lunch.

[00:59:24] Luke: That's a good way to put it. Your creativity. I think that's what I mean by the decision fatigue. It's just having to generate and use the energy to make a decision about when, and where, and what going to eat. It's just exhausting. And then also it's like, when you do, my wife cooks me dinner every night, it's amazing. 

[00:59:43] Um, we had some friends over, and we experimented with getting a private chef come over and just deal with all that. It was amazing. The food was delicious. We didn't do any dishes. You're being waited on. It was beautiful. Food was great. There are moments when I really enjoy food, especially if someone else is making it because I hate cooking and doing dishes more than your average person.

[01:00:08] So I feel like saving all of that energy helps me to appreciate the special meals. Even if it's not an extravagant meal, like having a chef or something, which was a first and maybe only time I ever do that because it was exceedingly expensive, but it's like, I want to make my meals count and actually be present for them and not have it feel like it's some task that I just have to do so I can have the energy to keep going.

[01:00:32] I want to go, okay, I'm sitting here. I'm going to put work and my phone aside, use my presence with the people with whom I'm eating and make it an enjoyable experience rather than just another thing I have to check off the list.

[01:00:47] Michael: Yeah, I think people vastly overestimate how many decisions that they can make in a day. You actually can't make very many, especially high quality ones with deep thought. There’s maybe 10 good decisions you can make in a day, truly good ones. Maybe. It depends how good or how big these decisions are. Maybe it's one decision a month. I don't know.

[01:01:11] Um, but let's call it 10. It's like you can only seriously think about maybe one thing an hour, seriously, throughout the day. And if one of those is what you're wearing, and the other is which route I'm going to take to work today, and the other is where are we going for lunch today, you've just nailed three of your10 slots

[01:01:33] Luke: You used up your quota. Yeah. That's funny you say that because I do notice that, um, toward the end of a workday, maybe I get a more meaningful email that requires some decision making. And that's one way I gauge when I'm done, if I look at that email, and I'm just overwhelmed by it.

[01:01:51] Michael: Then the next morning, you jump in and do it in 15 minutes.

[01:01:54] Luke: 100%.

[01:01:54] Michael: It's like, oh, okay.

[01:01:55] Luke: Yeah, 100%. That's how I can tell, like, nah, I think you're toast, Luke. If this is this hard-- I'm creating a new website right now, so there's all kinds of decisions, and I got to make loom videos and take notes. It's very detail-oriented, and it's important to me. And yeah, first thing in the morning, boom, boom, boom. Could bang it out. Toward the end of the day, I've made so many micro decisions that I don't think straight. 

[01:02:19] I could do task work or something, but if it comes to a creative project or something that I have to decide on, especially one upon which other people are dependent, I know not to make those decisions because then the next day something will get fired back and like, well, that's what you said you wanted. And I'm like, ah, I should have waited until I had the right amount of cognitive power to make that decision, even if it was a small one so it doesn't come back with something I don't want.

[01:02:46] Michael: It's super self-aware just to know what your energy level is at and that, hey, literally the same boulder in front of me, I will be able to climb much easier tomorrow. It seems hard, but that's just my mind playing tricks. It's hard because I've already made my 10 decisions of the day and have the self awareness to back up. I think a younger version of me would have just plowed through it, just like, okay, maybe it'll take two hours, or maybe it'll be a less good decision. I think a younger version of me would just like, ah, more hours. Whatever.

[01:03:20] I'm an entrepreneur. I worked 14 hours on this. Work until my fingers bleed. And now I'm more like, the same thing would take me 15 minutes tomorrow, and it would have a better quality outcome. I'm going to put this down and then switch. I like what you're saying. There are certain modes of tasks that are maybe less cognitive demanding. I don't know. You can drop something off at the UPS store. You can do something that's more, uh, linear, not requiring a full--

[01:03:54] Luke: Paying a bill, going through your junk mail, that stuff. Yeah, I try to bucket those menial tasks into when I'm really low on energy and very little that's required of me.

[01:04:06] Michael: Yeah.

[01:04:07] Luke: Um, going back to the fasting, and I'll preface this by saying, I understand you're a professional, and you represent a company, so forgive me for going too far off script. But back to the fasting, uh, one of the other hacks that I've adopted with Ketone-IQ, and this is something I do relatively infrequently every few months or so, but it's typical that when one is venturing into a psychedelic space, plant medicine ceremony, and so on, that associated with the preparation for that will be a fast, a dieta in the classical sense, or even if you're working with someone who's more a modernist in their approach to psychedelics, fasting is, I would say, I don't know if it's ever not been recommended or required, going in.

[01:04:55] You get your protocol. Here's how you're going to prep for these days prior to, or that day, and fasting's always part of it. And there's a huge cognitive tax with lighting your brain up with those type of substances. And, um, so therefore there's often a deficit afterward of just you're smoked the next day, or even during. It just requires a lot of energy to go there. I don't know what's happening in your brain. You're in high gamma or whatever, but it definitely takes mental energy, your brain's burning energy when you're doing that work.

[01:05:28] And so I, uh, maybe, I don't know, a year ago, a few months ago, I started experimenting and drinking Ketone-IQ actually before, during, and after ceremonies, and found I hit this amazing secret weapon to feeling really good and having a lot of energy, and my recovery was dramatically sped up.

[01:05:54] Uh, again, a little off label, and I know you probably can't make recommendations, but this is truly my own subjective experience. Um, I mean, I don't think I would ever go into something like that and not drink ketones at this point. It's like taking minerals and electrolytes, which is something I always do as well. So I'm not eating any food, but man, I am so much more resilient.

[01:06:19] Michael: What I will say is that anytime you have anything psychoactive, you're increasing brain activity, which is going to increase brain energy demand, and where is that energy coming from? A lot of the reason that you have the dieta, the fasting period before, uh, plant medicine journey is to get your body into that fat ketone mode because you have tons of fat in your body. Even as a lean individual, you have a lot more fat, a 100 times more fat stored than you could ever possibly have stored as carbohydrates, sugar, in your body that's a very short-term energy system versus fast long-term.

[01:06:59] So the idea of the dieta is, get your body into the fat and ketone mode of energy so that you have that available throughout the whole journey. And then ketones themselves, they feel really nice in the brain. Whether you're fasting or whether you're having exogenous ketone, there's something about the way that they excite the brain but don't overexcite it that feels really nice. And so a lot of people, well, you're not the first one who's--

[01:07:28] Luke: I didn't invent this?

[01:07:29] Michael: Yeah. I've talked to a few other people. Other folks in this way, Aubrey Marcus, big in the psychedelics community. A number of folks are big fans of stacking Ketone-IQ with psychoactives because of that effect. There's a synergistic effect where you're increasing brain activity, and you're increasing brain energy demand. Where does that energy come from? It's great if it comes from ketones, and it doesn't interrupt what you're trying to do from that fasting perspective, getting your energy into that fat and ketone mode.

[01:08:02] It's completely complimentary to that. Well, what you don't want to do is have a KitKat bar in the middle of your fast because that snaps you out, spiking your blood glucose, spiking your insulin. You want to stay in that fat and ketone mode. And if you have Ketone-IQ while you're inside of that mode, it's complimentary. You're not going to snap yourself out of that mode. You're just going to have like more of the fuel system that you want to be using anyway when you're in that context.

[01:08:27] Luke: That's cool. Well, I'm disappointed that I didn't invent those.

[01:08:30] Michael: I think it's cool that you came to it though. That's very cool that you came to it on your own. 

[01:08:34] Luke: Yeah. I mean, I'm just an experimental guy. I just try different things. And usually, in a situation like that, I wouldn't probably mention it to anyone because I like to follow the directions of facilitators and things like that, but sometimes I do sneak a couple things in to see how it goes. But another thing too, and it's dependent on what substance one is working with, but say something like ayahuasca, um, you don't want to have a full stomach because you're more likely to purge, and you want that medicine to hit your system in a receptive way where you're not full of a bunch of food.

[01:09:10] Basically, you just want your GI tract empty because it's going to be an easier time for all of that. So I think that's probably where I came into it. It was just like, well, I don't want to be hungry, and I want the fast to be easy. So the appetite suppression factor is just much smoother. And just going in and having an empty stomach and avoiding any nausea or anything like that.

[01:09:32] But then I started to notice, um, I don't know, maybe even, it's hard to say, but more resilience, but also almost amplifying the experience to some degree. Maybe that's just because the energy that the brain requires in a peak state like that is there, and so the brain's like, okay, you want to hit the gas pedal? We've got the gas. Right?

[01:09:55] Michael: Right. It's there for you.

[01:09:56] Luke: Yeah, so it's a pretty cool hack. I'm always looking for ways. Not just with an experience like that, but anything you do that has benefits but also potentially a downside. I mean, fitness is like that. It has benefits, but you work out really hard, you're going to be smoked. So how do you get the benefits of a hard workout without being smoked and be able to have the second half of your day be productive and not have to go take a nap or something. So it's just another one of those little hacks, and if there are any facilitators, shamans, listening, you might consider trying it out and adding it to the recommendation. It really makes things a lot easier on participants, uh, at least for me. 

[01:10:37] So that's good to know. I'm glad that, uh, there's another application there. What about for things like Alzheimer's, TBIs, brain issues? You mentioned that earlier as that, um, insulin resistance being a problem with type 2 diabetes and other issues like that. What if someone has compromised cognition?

[01:11:02] Michael: Yeah, this is a super interesting area for ketones. Ketones in the brain, where a lot of cognitive disorders have to do with your brain's inability to do glucose metabolism. And ketones go through a separate pathway. Again, they're not mediated by insulin, and they're able to provide energy to your neurons through this alternative method. 

[01:11:26] And so there's a lot of different ways that your brain can have hypometabolism of glucose, basically, reduction of brain energy. So that can happen if you have a concussion or TBI. There's damage done at the moment of impact, and then there's continued swelling after that for days, which can cause further damage to your brain. And the ability for ketones to do two things. 

[01:11:52] One is provide energy via that different pathway. Um, and the second is that ketones also seem to have a signaling effect where they reduce inflammation. So if you've had a concussion, then the ability for ketones to provide energy through another pathway and then also reduce inflammation are two different, uh, benefits that you could get from a ketones in that context.

[01:12:18] So it's an area that we're doing a lot of work in, so there's been a lot of work around ketogenic diet. There's been a lot of work in animal models. We're doing work with folks who have chronic TBI, so we're working with a few different hospitals. We're working with the Naval Health Research Center on that participant group. A lot of folks in the armed forces, due to explosions or jumping out of airplanes, that population group tends to index higher in concussions, TBIs, than the normal average person. And seeing how ketones can rescue brain energy in that state.

[01:12:51] Concussion is a TBI. You also have Alzheimer's. That's a big area. Affects millions of Americans, millions of people all over the world. And the leading school of thought on that is that it's caused by insulin resistance in the brain, meaning that you can't do glucose metabolism anymore. So there's a big study actually done, uh, by a Canadian scientist named Stephen Cunnane, where they did a keto diet and had people having MCT oil, which we talked about earlier. It's a form of fat that can turn into ketones.

[01:13:23] And they showed they were actually able to slow, and in some cases, reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's when people were on that diet again because they had to have ketones flowing to their brain, and they're able to rescue brain energy, and able to improve neuron health, and able to, um, you should get a positive flywheel going because when your neurons are damaged, they create more waste buildup, which further damages them. 

[01:13:50] So it's this negative vicious cycle where it's like watering your lawn. If you can get it back going again, then it will clean up, and then your neurons will be able to do better metabolism than going forward. So it all stems back to the fact that the human brain fundamentally likes ketones a lot. It's a fundamental part of what makes humans humans, is ability to make and use ketones. We have large energy demand in our brains. Ketones are this magic molecule that help our brains. And so when we're in these states of cognitive damage or decline, ketones can provide, potentially, a solution to save brain energy.

[01:14:34] Luke: Wow. Super cool. Yeah. I get a lot of questions about TBIs. It's crazy how many people get them. I mean, I've probably had them and not known it based on how my brain used to be super slow. And I always just say, do a bunch of hyperbaric chamber, uh, sessions. That's the only thing that I know for sure will be helpful for that. 

[01:14:58] Michael: You go full body? 

[01:14:59] Luke: Yeah. I had one for a few years, and I definitely had some cognitive issues. I don't know if it was because of the TBI, but yeah, the hyperbaric chamber helped me a lot.

[01:15:08] Michael: A lot of people know this, but just to remind of the first application of the ketogenic diet was a 100 years ago, in the early 1900s, there was these doctors that had this idea around epilepsy that when you have epilepsy, that that had to do with a disruption in brain energy metabolism, and that the patient's brains were not properly doing glucose metabolism. And they switched patients onto a ketogenic diet and saw that symptoms of epileptic seizures reduced significantly. In many cases, just went away completely. So that was a 100 years ago. That was before anyone thought about making an exogenous ketone or any--

[01:15:46] Luke: So what they did is put people on an all fat diet? 

[01:15:49] Michael: Yeah. So that's still an option, so there's groups like the Charlie Foundation. There's a metabolic health summit that gets together every year. There's a lot that's still a major way to address that, and actually, a lot of people think that that's still the way that is better than any medicine, or at the very least, the medicine should be an adjunct to dietary interventions. So there's definitely a connection between metabolic health and brain health.

[01:16:17] And actually, a great person, I think I mentioned earlier this guy. Dr. Chris Palmer at Harvard, he wrote this book called Brain Energy where he connects the two in a really eloquent way to say that basically all mental cognitive disorders are really metabolic disorders of the brain. And he's done a lot of work on nutritional interventions.

[01:16:38] He's not saying that's like the panacea, but he's saying that, um, it's something that ought to be investigated before, or maybe at least alongside pharmaceutical interventions, other interventions. Like, how can we take a metabolic approach to brain health before throwing hardcore pharmaceuticals at it?

[01:16:55] Luke: Wow. I love any researcher, scientist, doctor that has that perspective. I want to let you guys listening know we've talked about a lot today. You can find the show notes at lukestorey.com/ketones. And additionally, if you guys want to check out some Ketone-IQ, you can go to hvmn.com/luke, and you're going to get 30% off your first subscription. And I'll link that in the show description and also in the show notes at lukestorey.com/ketones. So that's hvmn.com/luke. [01:17:32] How do ketones help with flow state? I think if I could nail down my experience, that's what it is.

[01:17:41] Michael: Yeah. You felt some good flow state moments with Ketone-IQ?

[01:17:44] Luke: Yeah, I mean, even today in this conversation. Sometimes I'm a little squirrely during podcast recordings, and today, I don't know, I feel in the flow. I don't know how long we've been talking, but that tells me that there's some flow state going on. When I lose track of time, and I'm just having fun, and I feel alert, and relaxed at the same time, that's how I would quantify flow state.

[01:18:08] Michael: Yeah. A lot of people describe it as like runner's high in a bottle, which is its own form of flow state. Uh, basically, what's going on is that your brain is getting energy that it needs, but it's not going past that band of being overactivated, which sugar, caffeine, the standard energy sources that are ubiquitous in our diets, those tend to help up to a point, and then past that point, they make us over activated.

[01:18:38] So flow state is this very special band. There's an upper limit to how activated you want to be, where flow state is you're sitting between you're not tired and distracted, but you're not hyper, and ADD, and jumping all around. You're the right level of active. That's a fundamentally hard problem to solve with the human brain, is being active, but not too active.

[01:19:10] And there seems to be something about ketones that helps people get to that stage, but without making you overactive the way that sugar-- because sugar makes you really active, and then you crash. Sugar takes you above the band and then below the band quickly. Caffeine, it makes people really jittery. Your hands are sweaty, hard time tracing your thoughts, um, and then eventually, you crash out of it. 

[01:19:35] So what you want to do in general, and I'm just trying to plug ketones, is find things that work for you that help you stay within that band, whether that's certain times of the day. When do you feel like you're in that band? Certain things that you eat. Is there certain types of exercise? Is there a sequencing of exercising and then work, or working first thing in the day for a few hours and then exercising, getting back to work. Being very mindful of that band and not going too high above it, not going too far below.

[01:20:04] Maybe for some people, when the sun is top in the sky, and it's noon, you might feel very energetic. That might be the wrong time, regardless of caffeine, or sugar, ketones, or anything. You might just be too in an animal level, too activated and excited to be sitting at your computer when your body knows it's sunshine time, it's time to go do stuff.

[01:20:28] Luke: That's interesting that you mentioned that because I find that when solar noon-ish is happening, that I always want to go outside, and sit in the sun, and then take an ice bath. 

[01:20:41] Michael: Do it.

[01:20:42] Luke: Yeah, it's funny. I never put it together that there was any reason. I just feel like I can't sit at my desk right now. I have to get outside. And I take my little noon break, and most people would eat lunch. I don't eat lunch. I just eat photons. 

[01:20:57] Michael: Yeah.

[01:20:58] Luke: Yeah, that's interesting. 

[01:20:59] Michael: And so it's sequencing your day around that. And I think it's one of the blessings that we have. A lot of people migrate to remote work or work from home, where you're really able to set your own schedule. And it's awesome because you can go eat photons for lunch, where you don't have the social pressure of like, okay, we must be in at 9:00. We must pretend to stare at our computers and work for eight hours with a two-hour lunch break, and then go home. We don't have to do that ruse anymore for a lot of people.

[01:21:26] And even I think in a lot of workplaces, just more flexibility, just get your stuff done. And if you're not in that workplace, work hard to get yourself into a profession, or workplace, or career track where you do have at least that degree of autonomy, and you are looked at more for your career output versus the hours that you're doing performative staring at your computer screen.

[01:21:50] Because yeah, we've hit on a couple different ways. There's special bands in the day where you can just get so phenomenally much done, and there's other times in the day where your energy levels are low, or your energy levels are too high, and you're going to be out of band to be able to effectively work. So instead of trying to force yourself to do it, I also think this is along the lines of like people overestimate maybe how many decisions they can make in the day.

[01:22:14] I think people also overestimate the number of truly productive hours. I think if you have three truly productive hours in the day, you're doing great. If you actually sat down and for three hours were doing awesome work, you would get a lot done. I think that's more than most people. I think we go into our lives, into our days thinking, oh, it was an eight-hour work day, then I think that eight hours is spent performative, and that there's not even very much of that at all that is spent in deep work. 

[01:22:48] So I think we, in a way, overestimate, but then we're so stressed by the performance of pretending to work for eight hours, and that's what it takes up all of our energy that most people I think get zero minutes of deep work done.

[01:23:02] Luke: 100%. Yeah. I mean, that's one of the things about working for yourself, is undoing the programming that if you didn't put in eight hours, that you didn't get anything valuable done. Because we're indoctrinated into that when we get into the workforce. And it's taken some time for me to undo that and actually track what happens in my most productive three hours.

[01:23:31] It's probably more meaningful than if I was under the gun of a supervisor that was wanting to make sure that I stayed busy-looking for eight hours. I would actually get less done. But it's like you have to be, I think, gentle with yourself as a self-employed person or an entrepreneur to really track not how long you work but what did you actually get done and how meaningful were those tasks?

[01:23:56] Michael: Yeah.

[01:23:56] Luke: Yeah. It's a good point. 

[01:23:57] Michael: And then you start paying a lot of attention to what energy band are you inside of? How do I catch the most of that as possible. What overexcites me? Do I feel really excited after I eat? Do I feel really tired after exercise? What is the right rhythm to my day to where-- what lands me in that productive band? 

[01:24:18] Um, I think everyone has their own. I think every successful person I've met has some rhythm to their day. I don't do meetings afternoon, or I do all my meetings in the morning I have this time. I think that's the art of living. And I don't think anyone can really do it for you. I think we can collect notes from how other people do it and draw inspiration. And I would say that the meta lesson on it is, design your own day. Hopefully, as you get more and more success in life, you have more and more power to design your own day, and then you'll get more and more successful, and it's this positive feedback.

[01:24:53] Luke: 100%. It's funny. Over the years that I've been doing this podcast, my, uh, start time for recordings has gotten later and later because I think just a couple months ago, we had them at 12:00, and then people started showing up to record, and I was like, oh my God, it's so early. I can't do a recording right now. I think, now, 1:00 is the earliest, but then I can't do them after 4:00 because I'll be dopey. My sweet spot is 1:00 to 4:00. 

[01:25:22] Michael: It's like on a tennis racket. It's like you just nail the sweet spot every time you're good. For people listening out there, it's like if you actually hit something for three hours, every single day, if you make a podcast of this caliber every single day, you're going to crush. If you actually hit that solid chunk of productive work in your day, where you're in flow, and you're taking big ideas and making them reality, and everything's logical, and you're inspiring the team around you-- everyone knows what that good work state feels like. 

[01:26:02] If you can actually get there reliably for several hours every single day, I think you're doing awesome, and you're better than 99% of people. This guy who won the Fields Medal, which is like the Nobel Prize in math, he wrote one page a day. And then beyond that, he just went for walks.

[01:26:21] Luke: Wow. My kind of guy. I love that. Well, it's important too to celebrate one's uniqueness and not compare yourself to other people. I know you know Ben Greenfield, and I hear Ben say, oh, I get up at 4:00 in the morning, do my hour workout, and then I'm at my desk at 5:00, and I'm like, oh God, I suck. I'm not at my desk till 11:00. It's just like, no. But then, he, I'm sure has his flow state sweet spot of whatever his hours are.

[01:26:52] They just might happen to be a few hours earlier in the day, and maybe at 3 o'clock, when I'm in my total peak productivity, he's taking a nap or something. I think that's celebrating our uniqueness and getting that self-understanding and self-knowledge goes a long way toward our productivity, and creativity, and avoiding the trap of comparing ourselves to other people, because everyone has a different output level and an output window. 

[01:27:18] Michael: Yeah. Yeah. And which I think Ben does. When I stay with him in Spokane, you're right. At 5:00 AM, he's there, he's butt naked. He's got the infrared lights, he's doing work, sending email.

[01:27:30] Luke: I don't get it. 

[01:27:30] Michael: He's reading three different science studies. He's the real deal. And then also, he relaxes. When his kids have free time, they're out practicing archery in the backyard. So he has his own ups and downs throughout the day, and for him, it works just go full power animal first thing in the morning, and then ride the wave of the day in a different way. Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, former CEO, he talked about the importance of putzing around in the morning, and he didn't do anything important until I think 10:00. And he just, yeah, it's just important me to--

[01:28:05] Luke: That's whats up.

[01:28:06] Michael: Yeah. I think he said putter around. And this is late in his career, when Amazon was a real, whatever, a 100-billion-dollar company, and there's important people who need to talk to him and get stuff done. And he's like, I'm puttering. 

[01:28:21] Luke: I'm so happy to hear because I judge myself sometimes because I start my day so late, and I'm just like, am I getting anything done? I am, but it's just later than your average person. And it's funny. My wife is a morning person. She wakes up, wide awake, ready to rock and roll, do whatever work, tasks, anything she's doing. And then later in the afternoon, if I have to talk to her about something that requires some degree of cognition, she's like, talk to me about it tomorrow. 

[01:28:53] Michael: Yeah. 

[01:28:54] Luke: Let alone late at night. Nothing's happening. It's just time to relax. It's interesting how nature designed us so differently. Uh, in terms of the flow state thing, since we're on that, are you aware of any studies that anyone's done around what's happening to our brain waves on high ketones? Um, because what you're describing, and I love the way you framed it in that bandwidth of stimulants take us too high, and then we come down below the sweet spot. It seems to me, uh, high alpha waves would be where that sweet spot is. Is there any relevance to that that you're aware of? 

[01:29:33] Michael: That's a really interesting hypothesis. It's not something we've looked at directly. We've seen, hormonally, that there's an increase in, uh, parasympathetic activity, that parasympathetic tone increases, and that, um, reduction in stress hormones takes place. I'd be very curious to see how that maps to actual brain waves because--

[01:29:56] Luke: Next time I do a round of neurofeedback, I'm going to try it. Actually, I have this thing called the Mendi. Have you heard of the Mendi? 

[01:30:03] Michael: No.

[01:30:03] Luke: It's over in that drawer over there, so my lazy ass will get up and show you. Uh, it's at-home neurofeedback, and essentially, it forces oxygenated blood into that part of your brain, so it's really good for all day, later on, focus, and creativity, and easing anxiety, and stuff. It's super cool. 

[01:30:29] Michael: How does it work? What is the-- 

[01:30:31] Luke: Well, there's a phone app. Inneurofeedback, you'd have QEEG. This works with an infrared sensor on your forehead. And so it's sensing blood flow and probably temperature. But you're looking at an app on your phone, and then there's a little graph. You're watching a little ball go up or go down, and it's going up as you're getting more blood flow to that part of your brain. 

[01:30:53] And so there's, uh, sound prompts that are rewards when your brain's doing what you want it to do. It's rad. It's only $300. I mean, neurofeedback is super expensive. Um, so this is, I think, a really effective and affordable way to do it. But I have not tested my scores with the Ketone-IQ. That would be really interesting.

[01:31:15] Michael: Let me know what you find out.

[01:31:15] Luke: Yeah. Because I test nootropics and microdosing. I do all kinds of weird shit, and then I get on that thing, and I see what my brain's doing. So yeah, I'd be curious to see how that works.

[01:31:25] Michael: We've seen an increase in HRV, which, again, is a signal of--

[01:31:28] Luke: Oh, really?

[01:31:28] Michael: Of parasympathetic activity. So yeah, we've seen hormonal basis. We've seen HRV basis. I'm very curious. I'm going to take a look--

[01:31:36] Luke: The brainwave, right? 

[01:31:37] Michael: At that. Yeah, the brainwave. That could be very interesting. 

[01:31:39] Luke: A good area of research. Yeah. I'm going to test the HRV. Like I said, I've never had one-- maybe I just assumed it would give me too much energy and interrupt my sleep, but I'm going to try Ketone-IQ a few nights, right before I get in bed and see if it has an effect on my HRV on the Oura ring.

[01:31:57] That'd be cool. Mine's pretty steady, but then there'll be random nights where my HRV totally sucks, and I can't track what it is, so if I could reliably get that recovery in, that would be really interesting. Yeah. I love just geeking out this stuff. I appreciate that you're willing to go there and cover every possible nuance of it.

[01:32:17] Michael: I love it.

[01:32:18] Luke: Um, so back in the day, um, when I first-- this was maybe five years ago or something, I started taking, I forget, it was a powdered ketone thing, and it was super crazy expensive. It was prohibitive, at least at that time, to do every day, so it was on a special occasion type thing. You guys seem to have cracked the code on making ketones super affordable. Are you more affordable than other versions of it out there, and how the hell did you do that?

[01:32:49] Michael: Yeah, we figured out the best way to deliver ketones in terms of grams of ketones per dollar. We make it through a fermentation process. And that took non-trivial know how to figure out how to do that. In the early days, in our V1, it was not made that way, and it's really cool. So first of all, this ketone diol that we have, it occurs in nature. You can find it inside of avocados, bell peppers. It's out there in the world. Extraction would be really expensive, uh, just finding the trace amount of ketone diol inside of an avocado, and then what do you do with the rest?

[01:33:26] Luke: Avocados are hella expensive too.

[01:33:29] Michael: Yeah.

[01:33:30] Luke: And not very environmentally friendly either. I think a lot of environmentalists, plant-based people don't realize avocado trees use a lot of water. I saw this documentary about, um, you know how you have like the drug cartels in Mexico? There's avocado cartels. It's a whole thing. Anyway, I digress. 

[01:33:50] Michael: I believe it. Because you got to--

[01:33:52] Luke: And in that, they were, and I forget the name of it, forgive me, those listening, because it will not be in the show notes because I forget the name. But yeah, there was all of the really bad news about the environmental impact of growing that particular fruit, much like nuts. People think they drink almond milk to save the world. Almond trees use a shit ton of water as evidenced in the droughts in Central California.

[01:34:13] Michael: Yeah, yeah. It's gallons per--

[01:34:15] Luke: Yeah, it's wild. So that was a covert way to shout out regenerative agriculture. Animal agriculture. 

[01:34:24] Michael: So yeah, it's all to the point where the way that we make Ketone-IQ is a fermentation process where we take specialized bacteria-- it's actually very similar to how you would make a kombucha, or wine, or any other fermentation process. It's usually a very specialized bacteria that when you feed it, uh, you can feed it plant material, and then it produces the ketone diol, and then you filter out everything that you don't need. So we do it completely cradle to grave sustainable. So it's super neat.

[01:34:58] Luke: Are there, um, I always want to-- I have had the opportunity to go to a couple of factories. I went to the, um, a colloidal silver factory, Silver Biotics out in Salt Lake City. And I don't know if everyone's like this, but I'm a guy I want to know how everything works. So they gave me a tour of the factory. There's these massive stainless steel vats and all these tubes feeding the water in and out, and melting the silver. It was so fascinating. So where is your stuff made? Is it in multiple places, in laboratories? Are there big old crazy vats fermenting all this stuff?

[01:35:33] Michael: Yeah. When we got started, it was very lab bench based, very manual process. It was super expensive, and crazy tasting too, because even the tiniest impurity can make something taste crazy. If people are familiar with spirits, vodkas, that kind of stuff, 0.001%, that can completely change the flavor profile of something. 

[01:35:57] So early days, it was very manual, very expensive, uh, very challenging flavor profile. And now, the state of the art of this biofermentation process has gotten to a point where we're able to do it at scale. So there's giant vats. There's, uh, multiple facilities that do it, and we're able to make, at a large scale, uh, really refined, pure, low end-- 

[01:36:27] Luke: And is that scalability how you've managed to get it so affordable? Because one of these little bottles is what, like four or five bucks or something.

[01:36:33] Michael: Yeah, yeah. It's $4.95 at, uh, Sprouts. We're nationwide in Sprouts. We're in Equinox. We're always opening more doors. On our website, it's cheaper because if you buy a larger amount, we have some--

[01:36:47] Luke: And you have the larger bottles too, right? With a little shot glass that you use. I've had a few of those too.

[01:36:53] Michael: Yeah, yeah. You can buy the, uh, multi serve. It's more concentrated and lower cost, and that's, uh, yeah, it's a big part of how we were able to bring down the cost. And in theory, we can keep bring it down more just because the component pieces are cheap, where it's plant material, and in principle, it can be very low cost. 

[01:37:18] We're still early days of it where there's a lot of upfront expense into making machinery and getting it all off the ground that we're still on an entrepreneurial level, figuring out. But in theory, uh, it's how computers have gotten so much cheaper over-- 20, 40 years ago, a gigabyte was a truck, and it costs--

[01:37:44] Luke: Dude, that's so true.

[01:37:46] Michael: Now, it's like a gigabyte. I don't know. You have a terabyte inside of your phone.

[01:37:48] Luke: That's so true. Whenever I have to order new backup hard drives, I'm always like, ah, I should wait. I don't want to spend the money. And then it'll be every couple of years I need to re-up my storage. And I'm like, this thing's $60 now, 10 terabytes, or whatever. I'm like, what? Is this a bunk brand or something? Oh, no, they just went down. I remember-- you know what I'm saying? When you had to buy, it would be one terabyte. I don't know. It was $300, or whatever it was. And now it's just like you can just order my Amazon all day long. They're most disposable.

[01:38:18] Michael: It's interesting how that works on like, uh, economics perspective because usually, the rule of supply and demand is that when you have high demand, the price of things goes up. If everyone demands avocados, the price of avocados will go up. But in this case, with a lot of technologies, when the demand goes up, then it's motivating for more suppliers to innovate more quickly against that demand. 

[01:38:42] So actually, if the price goes down, it breaks the fundamental supply and demand law. I don't know if that's obvious to people or not. The supply and demand law that you learn in economics 101, it's true about normal commodities, but in technology, when there's higher demand, you'll actually motivate more parties to make more innovations that will ultimately drive down the cost.

[01:39:06] Luke: Yeah. 100%. It's funny, I was talking to, uh, the guys from Mendi about that the other day, and when they developed their technology, I mean, they could have had 10x margins and charged way more for it, but they approached it with accessibility and just fairness in mind. So they sell the thing for 300 bucks. They could have sold it for 1,200 or whatever, easily, and people would have bought it because it works, and there's so much data behind it. 

[01:39:37] But their idea was, um, the CEO, Moha, is really a great guy, and he's like, I actually want to find a way to just make it free, which I guess covered by insurance would be the way to make free, to get it medically approved or whatever process has to go through. But I think a lot of founders are starting to think more from that perspective of scalability.

[01:39:58] It's like, say in the case of ketones, there's a relatively small portion of the population that even knows that it's a thing. You're in Sprouts, but imagine you're in every single gas station, every single grocery store, and it just becomes ubiquitous to the point where, duh, everyone takes a shot of ketones every morning. It's just what you do, like everyone drinks water.

[01:40:19] It seems to make sense that the inverse supply and demand thing that you described would become more prevalent, and that's one thing that I'm really hopeful about because I don't like that a lot of the supplements and biohacking tech is so exclusive. So many people listen to a show like this and are like, I want to try that, but the thing's $3,000, or $15,000.

[01:40:43] Or functional medicine doctors used to be way more expensive. Now there's all this telemedicine where you can do it on Zoom. And you can get your labs for 300 instead of trying to put them on your insurance and getting billed a $1,000. I think in certain ways, in terms of the health industry, that this is becoming more of a trend. The accessibility and affordability, and that makes me really happy. 

[01:41:05] Michael: I mean, I feel that. I don't super care about getting rich. To me, I want to make ketones for everyone, to get it out there. It's a nutritional primitive that everyone can have. It gets pretty lofty, but it's like taking humanity to the next level. What can we feel with that's better than what we're feeling with right now? I think that would just be cool. 

[01:41:27] Luke: 100%

[01:41:29] Michael: Of course, yeah, people, whoever does that will make money along the way. But it's like, if I didn't do that, someone else would. To me, it's an inevitability. It's like, if, I don't know, Steve Jobs didn't do Apple with computers still have happened, yeah, still. Probably. There was still enough of a groundswell around that. I see there's enough of a groundswell around wellness and objectivity around it. 

[01:41:53] And that ketones in particular is fundamental that we've always used and that now that there's efficient ways to make a pure version of it that's bioavailable, that's totally going to happen. It's just fun to usher that into the world in a universal sense. I feel like it is participating in the human dance of bringing this to life. That's what motivates me more than, I don't know. There's easier ways to get rich. I got a lot of friends from Stanford who have finance jobs, this, this, that, whatever. There's a lot of ways to get rich in the world.

[01:42:32] Luke: Yeah, well, the thing is, though, too, is I like money because it provides a certain degree of flexibility and freedom in your life. There's a trip I want to go on right now, and, um, we just didn't have the money. And I'm like, that's annoying to me. It's not even extravagant. I just want to go up to Idaho and Montana and hang out, and prospect around, and just get to know that land a bit more. 

[01:42:58] And I was just like, ah, maybe next summer. Also to escape the heat here. I don't know, wealth, to me, is not that appealing in terms of just hoarding material things. It's more about the freedom to have experiences. But I find that the less I focus on making money to make money and focus on just putting out good energy and goodwill out into the world, that the money just follows. It's a weird paradox I've learned just as an entrepreneur and a self-employed person for long. 

[01:43:33] Michael: It's so interesting. What do you call that? The thing that you want to reach out and grab, you can't, but if you do these other things that-- it reminds me of dating. So when I was single, it's like if you come on too heavy and trying to get with this girl, it never works But if you just go out to have fun with the boys and have a good time, magic happens. 

[01:43:55] If you're just a good person who's fun loving and warm, then you attract everything that you wanted to you. But you can't go out and grab the fish. You can't go out and grab money. The thing that you want is like-- but yet you can have an abundance of it if you do the other work around it. You can't stare directly at the sun. You can have sunshine, but don't stare directly at it.

[01:44:19] Luke: I like that. That's a good way to put it. Yeah. There must be something in just the law of reciprocity, and the laws of goodwill of just-- everyone, I think most people, maybe not, um, a monk who's renounced his material life or something, but your average person obviously finds life to be more comfortable when you have money.

[01:44:42] But it's so true that sometimes it's elusive when that's our primary motivator, and I think that-- I don't think. I've observed it in my life that many people who have been primarily motivated by wealth at the exclusion of service just for the sake of service achieve those goals and find an emptiness and a lack, despite the fact that they're abundant in resources.

[01:45:09] It's like your heart and your spirit is now left empty. And many people hit a real wall with that later in life because they get all the things. They're like, okay, cool. I got it now. And then, womp, womp. It didn't do what you thought it was going to do. It's interesting. It's also very soul sucking, in my experience, to do something solely for money.

[01:45:32] I had an opportunity recently with a business that I had for many years, and, uh, sat on that business for a couple of years, and just recently exited, and it was sitting there, and I knew that I could have fired it up and made tons of money with relatively little work. I literally couldn't do it. Like, come on, Luke, just relaunch the website. Get it up and going. You'll make money. You can pay off your bills, and this, and that. And I'm just like, I just could not be motivated to send one email to even start the fire. There was no spark.

[01:46:06] And it was a really great lesson in what we're covering now, which is totally off topic, but interesting maybe for entrepreneurs and people listening. It was a really great lesson in identifying my values, what's really important to me. Because I think money is fairly important to me, but here I was with this opportunity to make a bunch of money doing something that, really, I don't care about and I'm not motivated to do. You could put a gun to my head. I wouldn't have done it.

[01:46:32] I don't care how much money I would have made. So it's like to the point of like, well, what am I going to do? Well, just keep doing the thing that I love to do, just talking to people like you and sharing information that's been transformative for me. And I find cool stuff, tell people about it, and then all of a sudden, there's food in the fridge, and maybe someday, I'll be able to afford my trip to Idaho. But things do tend to happen, I think-- if you're doing the thing for which you have true passion and a little bit of talent, you're golden.

[01:47:06] Uh, last thing I want to ask you about is, um, the flavor profile. I know you've probably been through many iterations of this fermentation, uh, process. Now, I happen to be someone that can eat or drink just about anything if I know that I'm going to get the benefit that I'm looking for. So I drink Ketone-IQ, whatever. It's pretty hard to get down, even for me, but I don't care at all because of the benefits which we've discussed today. Um, do you find that the flavor is a barrier to entry for anyone?

[01:47:38] My technique, by the way, is I have a chaser nearby of something tasty, and I just shoot down the shot, and then I drink something else, and I don't really notice it. But I noticed it this morning because I was like, I'm going to try two today and see what happens. So I drink one and didn't have anything to drink, and I was like, oh shit, there's no way I could get my wife to drink one of these, for example. I don't think, because she's more sensitive to flavor. Could you take this and mix it with another tasty drink that would mask it and then just sip it throughout the day, or what are some hacks around the flavor, or is it not a problem for most people? 

[01:48:16] Michael: Yeah, it's a 100% something that comes up. And we always say it tastes like rocket fuel because it works like rocket fuel.

[01:48:22] Luke: Well, well done. Good marketing there. 

[01:48:24] Michael: And yeah, it's got a taste to it. And I would say it's not unlike the first time you tried kombucha or a lot of spirits out there, have really aggressive taste, and a lot of people get used to it over time. Uh, as far as what you can do to make it nicer, put it in the fridge. A lot of things, like Coca Cola--

[01:48:43] Luke: I keep mine in the fridge. 

[01:48:44] Michael: Yeah, so putting it in the fridge. Coca Cola, every beverage pretty much tastes better refrigerated. So even though it doesn't need to be in the fridge, it's shelf-stable, it's going to be a better experience to have it refrigerated, like you're doing already. Um, you can also mix it with things. So I like to mix it with, um, a few different things. So I like to mix it with an electrolyte, whatever your favorite electrolyte flavor is, and water, and then fresh, squeezed lemon. I feel like adds a really nice touch to it. So I actually have that in my water bottle. Every morning, I'll take two shots of Ketone-IQ,

[01:49:18] Luke: you double up first thing in the morning.

[01:49:20] Michael: Double up. Yeah, put in a stick pack of electrolyte powder, and I'll squeeze a fresh lemon in there, put a bunch of ice in there, and I just have that throughout the day. It's awesome. It just feels really good.

[01:49:32] Luke: That's a good idea. 

[01:49:33] It tastes really good. I just chase it with stuff, but I haven't experimented with mixing it. I don't know why that just occurred to me.

[01:49:41] Michael: It's nice. Another thing people can do is mix it with-- there's all these alternative sodas, like Olipop, Poppi, differently lower sugar. If you pick one-- every time I mentioned one, like, people come after me because of one ingredient. So diet coke. Uh, everyone has a problem with everything, but it makes it fine. Your low soda of choice. 

[01:50:01] Luke: Bro, try having a podcast. Oh my God. I'll find some great drink, and someone will, it has natural flavors. I'm like, dude. You can't win them all. You know what I'm saying? For me, it's always the cost to benefit ratio. Some things are perfect. Ghee, a perfect food. Provided there's nothing weird in it. So nature does make things, but in terms of humans making things, sometimes there's citric acid or, I don't know, flavorings, and things like that.

[01:50:32] And I would prefer everything is just 100% organic off the earth, but there are times when they're not. But yeah, that's a funny thing when people get real. I'm super finicky, but I mean, some people that listen to the show are hardcore finicky. Have you tried-- I got to turn you on to some-- I'll give you guys one for the road. I think I have a couple cool ones. Have you tried this drink, Update?

[01:50:54] Michael: No.

[01:50:55] Luke: Oh, bro. All right. You know how we were talking about, um, this is probably a great stack for the flavor because I usually use the Update drink as a chaser for the Ketone-IQ. I bet I could freaking mix them. Let's try it. Now, Update isn't like the tastiest drink in the world, but it is so freaking awesome. They discovered, uh, this molecule called paraxanthine, and it's one of the three metabolites in caffeine that gives you energy, and mental clarity, and all the great things we love about caffeine, but it excludes the two constituents of caffeine that make it suck.

[01:51:35] The theobromine, and whatever the third one is. So this Update drink has a number of other, taurine, and amino acids, and things like that that you'd find like in a energy drink, like a Red Bull drink, but good versions of it, uh, B vitamins and whatnot. But the paraxanthine is the greatest thing ever because it's like you had a cup of coffee without any of the potential downsides of the coffee.

[01:52:01] I'm a massive fan. I'm a freaking obsessed with it. So there's your hot tip for the day. This guy, uh, Shawn Wells, um, is the formulator behind it, and I had them on the show recently, and I don't get that excited. I mean, it's a drink. How excited are you going to get? But this shit has changed my life. It's amazing. So I'm going to try mixing yours in there. Because it's fizzy and naturally sweet and stuff, that might be a good combo.

[01:52:28] Michael: Yeah.

[01:52:29] Luke: Well, hot damn, dude, I think, uh, oh, no, I want to ask you one more thing. Uh, doing my research, I learned this about you. You went on Shark Tank and didn't get the thing? What happened with that? I've never seen the episode, but we found it online. I was curious what that was like to go on and pitch your idea and have them be like, meh, we're passing.

[01:52:49] Michael: This is a million years ago. This is great. Zero regrets. If anyone gets a chance to go on Shark Tank, a 100% do it. Um, and this is from someone--

[01:53:00] Luke: you the presenter?

[01:53:00] Michael: Yeah. My co-founder and I went on and--

[01:53:04] Luke: Look who's laughing now.

[01:53:05] Michael: No, for real. I mean, it's all good.

[01:53:07] Luke: They missed the opportunity. 

[01:53:09] Michael: They missed opportunity. We fundraised it at a significantly higher valuation from legit investors since then. It's all good. It's awesome because, uh, well, first of all, if you go on, you might get it and do a deal. That's great. And then even if you don't, it's just a phenomenal experience. It's a prime time ad for your product and for you as a entrepreneur, personal brand. You just get it out there. 

[01:53:35] If you don't get a deal but you show up well, with good composure, people still like you. People aren't going to be like, oh, Mark Cuban didn't- like. I don't like you. A lot of times, people watching the show, they don't like the sharks. They think the sharks are too mean on the entrepreneurs. They'll take the entrepreneur side.

[01:53:51] So it's not a, oh, did you win or lose Shark Tank? The way that you win it is just go on, and be dope, and say your thing. And if you get a deal, cool. A lot of the deals that get done "live on air" actually never consummate. Only half of them come true actually because, I don't know, people are throwing around, hey, I'll give you 800k for 5% of your company I've never even looked at the books or anything about it. 

[01:54:17] And they do a little bit of diligence after the cameras are rolling, and it's like, hmm, I don't know. So a lot of deals don't even actually go through. Um, it's an awesome show. The sharks are awesome. It was a super professional experience. They shot it for a while, and they edited it down really tight. Um, I would do it again. Yeah, it's a fun show.

[01:54:40] Luke: Yeah. I haven't watched it in a long time, but I would say when I was, many years ago, watching it, somewhat regularly, I always sided with the entrepreneurs because I felt bad for them. Just like, oh my God. The courage it takes to come at that room and just the way it's positioned is like, oh, you're not shit. We've made all this money, and all these different ventures, and things like that. I mean, it's a tough audience, to sit there in front of them. Just like, man, God bless you.

[01:55:07] And every once in a while, as a viewer, I'd be like, okay, your idea really does suck. But most of the time, even if it's like a so-so idea, you're really rooting for the entrepreneur. It's like, man, that takes so much courage. I mean, just to start a company, whether or not it goes anywhere or not is exceedingly difficult. 

[01:55:26] Michael: I like that it's a popular show. I think it says something good about--

[01:55:29] Luke: So it's still out and everything? It's still going? I'm totally clueless.

[01:55:32] Michael: Yeah. Yeah. There's still release an episode. They only rotate the judges.

[01:55:36] Luke: I should probably watch it more so I can learn about business because I know very little about it. People talk about raising this and that, and I'm like, I don't even know what you're talking about. So I can probably learn a lot.

[01:55:47] Michael: Yeah. Yeah. It's like edutainment. How do you think about how much would you dilute your ownership in your company?

[01:55:55] Luke: All this stuff, yes. Yeah.

[01:55:56] Michael: Yeah. And it's not super advanced. It's cool that it's accessible to any American or person in the world in general. To me, it's an embodiment of the American spirit in a lot of ways, where it's like, yeah, you can start a company. You can go pitch it. You can go-- the ecosystem is alive and well. It's a whole ecosystem, where I don't think everyone has to go and take investment, but I think knowing that that can be an option, that like, hey, yes, you can work hard on something, and somewhere between when you started it and when it's reached its final form, you can sell a piece of it to an outsider to capitalize your business. 

[01:56:33] So you have more working capital to keep building towards it so that what would have taken you 20 years, maybe only takes you 10 years. That's a cool mechanism that we have available to us in our legal system, in our society. And it's cool that it's been made for prime time TV, like fun. To me, that's more fun than, I don't know, nine out of 10 reality TV shows. I'm not going to name names. It's like whatever random dating show. Sure. Okay, cool. I hope they bang, or not, I don't care, whatever. To me, Shark Tank, it's at least reaching towards something more aspirational.

[01:57:14] Luke: Yeah. There's drama in that it's suspenseful, and you're rooting for someone and not the other one, and stuff, but it's also educational. Yeah.

[01:57:23] Michael: Check it out. I think. You'd love it.

[01:57:25] Luke: Dude, I didn't even know. Yeah. I got to look at your episode. That would be so funny to look back and have them be like, eh, and see that you guys persevered, and kept going, and are doing great.

[01:57:35] Michael: Yeah. It was like a different prior brand and all that. So it was not Ketone-IQ even then. So it was prior--

[01:57:42] Luke: What was the product that you guys were pitching? 

[01:57:44] Michael: Yeah, so we had a nootropics company, and specifically, had a product, it was called Go Cubes, and it was chewable coffee. And you people really liked it. What happened was, it did really well. Um, it was a chewable coffee cube. It had half a cup of coffee. It was gummy. Um, it came in a four pack. We got pretty good distribution on it. And then as I was taking off, I was doing, I don't know, multimillion dollars a year business.

[01:58:13] That was when my co-founder and I saw this opportunity around ketones, making a pure ketone. It was one of the hardest decisions I've made as an entrepreneur because we had this business that was doing pretty good, and we had to let it go in order to go for something that felt really, really freaking good.

[01:58:31] And arguably, I don't know, you can always-- in hindsight, it's 2020, could we have sold it, or could we have kept them both in parallel, or could one co-founder have done one and the other done another? We just decided like, okay, like this is cool, but at the end of the day, it's like, we probably make money here. It's similar to your story. We can make money here, but it's not going to feel as inspiring. 

[01:58:54] It wasn't so bad, like put a gun to my head. I actually like that product, but it felt like, okay, this is going to be a fun way to make money, but not going to change the world because caffeinated gummy cubes, that's cool. That has gotten us to this platform where we're now able to credibly do something even bigger. We're able to bring a new nutritional primitive out into the world and get a big contract with Navy Seals and Green Berets, like DoD special operator.

[01:59:25] That just seemed like, thank you Go Cubes for getting us to this spot. It's all under the same corporate entity, so the sharks really should have invested because it's all under this thesis of doing cool stuff in Human Health Via Modern Nutrition, um, but, I don't know, to the extent that that's a helpful story to people out there. Sometimes you got to let go of the booster rocket that got you to a certain level, and just say thank you to it, and do the next thing. 

[01:59:55] Luke: Very cool. Thanks for sharing that. I got to go find that episode now. Yeah. I mean, if you guys were doing what you do now with the ketones and they passed, I would be like, you guys, they blew it because it's, like I said, I really envision a world where everyone's just on ketones all the time. Why would you not?

[02:00:17] Michael: I think it will be everywhere the way that electrolytes, or collagen, or CBD, all these other nutritional primitives are everywhere.

[02:00:27] Luke: Yeah, love it man. Well, thank you so much for joining me. I'm going to remind people to go to hvmn.com/luke. Get 30% off your first subscription. And again, all the show notes will be at lukestorey.com/ketones. And before we go, I got one question for you. Drumroll, please. Who have been three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life and your work that you'd like to share with us?

[02:00:54] Michael: All right. Well, growing up in Chicago in the '90s, Michael Jordan, absolutely. Just the ethos that he carries. And growing up in those informative years, we like one stuff all the time. Um, I think he was a special guy, is a special guy. And, um, it's had a certain level of confidence, and charm, and pugnaciousness, and fearlessness that I feel like it was baked into myself and a lot of my friends growing up. It's just a reference point of that's what it means to care deeply, and win, and be passionate about what you do. 

[02:01:37] Um, Michael Jordan. Steve Jobs, I've read just everything about him, and I like don't care if that's a more cliche answer where a lot of people-- I think sometimes things are cliches like for reason, where, uh, Steve was a singular mind, visionary guy. The way that he thought about things, the way that he drew analogies and understood the technology he was working with, but also understood how to translate that into a actual user experience. 

[02:02:10] He was a technologist, but also a humanist. He always came back to the customer, and what was the user experience. And he had all these famous instances of flipping out because the buttons were wrong, or this was wrong. But it was always in defense of the customer. We're like, that's going to make life 5% more difficult for millions and millions and millions and millions of people. So we're removing that button. 

[02:02:36] That button is going to cost a trillion hours of headache around the world. We cannot have that button. The way that he was just dogging his pursuit of this goal, making great technology, great user experience, um, I think super dynamic individual. Um, third is, I really love, if people have read Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. It's the Nike story. I actually just made this movie, which is not as good as the book. 

[02:03:07] Um, Shoe Dog is great. His story at Nike where he made running a thing. Jogging wasn't really a sport in America. He had this vision for, if you have feet, you're a runner. If you have a body, you're an athlete. And breathed a ton of light into this sense of American athleticism and built this great business around it. And Nike's just this canonical reference point for a great brand, inspiring brand.

[02:03:38] For a lot of people, it was the first content marketing. The poster that you put up in your wall had the Nike swoosh in it that they somehow created something that, even though it's a corporation, for a lot of people, it feels like it means something bigger, that Nike swoosh is very powerful. I can't think a better, uh, constructed symbol in the modern world that inspires so many people. So Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Phil Knight. 

[02:04:08] Luke: Well, to your, um, reference of those being cliche, in 500 or so episodes, no one's named any of those three.

[02:04:17] Michael: Wow.

[02:04:19] Luke: Yeah. I love asking that question because it's always a surprise. For many people, it's like, oh, my wife, or my dad, or Jesus, or Buddha. And then sometimes, it's public figures, entrepreneurs, athletes. Yeah, it's always interesting to me. 

[02:04:32] Michael: Maybe I should just drop the cliche because maybe it's just cliche in my own head because I think about it.

[02:04:36] Luke: I think it might be. I mean, 500 people, a consensus left that out. I've never been into sports, uh, at all, and know very little about it, but I did enjoy the recent film about the Air Jordans. I forget what it was called.

[02:04:53] Michael: It's called Air. 

[02:04:54] Luke: Yeah, called Air. It was cool. Yeah. I don't know how much of it is accurate, but I really loved, um, how Michael and his mom went to bat against this big company and got what they wanted. It was pretty cool. And then set the precedent for those endorsement products, and royalties, and all that. I didn't know anything about any of that. And I was like, oh shit, that wasn't always a thing. And then they made it a thing, which is cool. 

[02:05:21] Michael: Yeah. It was really interesting because prior to that, Converse was the big shoe company, but they didn't do cool stuff. Converse just signed Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. They all had them wearing the Converse, whatever. And then Michael Jordan was like, no, we're going to make the Air Jordans and name it after me, which is one of those things where now a lot of people do that. Kim Kardashian has her own makeup line, and it was cool.

[02:05:41] At that time, it was so revolutionary to say, no, I'm not just going to pump your bags. I'll work with you, but you got to make-- my name goes on the shoe. And I think that was a breakthrough moment. I think it's good. Yeah, it's inspiration. Everything's negotiable. If you're really good, if people really want to work with you for some reason, um, everything's negotiable. Like in that movie, not to give too much away, but they were like, oh, this has never been done before, and Michael Jordan's mom was like, I don't care.

[02:06:10] Luke: That's so good. Yeah, that's so good. I loved it. It's just a great American story. Very inspiring. Well, man, thank you so much for making the time. I feel like we did the deepest dive possible. And also, thanks for just coming up with something innovative, and cool, and accessible to people that actually moves the needle.

[02:06:34] It's a lot of stuff out there. When you go to any health food store, it's just like everything makes a lot of claims, and some of it's helpful, some of it less so, and some of the things that are really helpful are really super expensive, so I like what you guys are doing, and, uh, I appreciate you taking the time to join me.

[02:06:52] Michael: Thank you so much for having me, and thanks for diving into the world of ketones with me. I really appreciate it. 

[02:06:56] Luke: Yeah, brother.


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