Deeply Understanding The Chemical Side Of Our Brains W/ Roy Krebs

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In this episode with Roy Krebs, we go deep into the chemical side of our brains, and we discover which supplements can improve our mental performance.
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“In every problem, there is an opportunity.”
— Roy Krebs

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today we are joined by Roy Krebs. Roy is the co-founder and CEO of NaturalStacks, an Open Source supplement company that helps consumers improve mood, memory, and focus through targeted brain health products. Together with his team at NaturalStacks, Roy is on a mission to build a billion better brains – you can, therefore, imagine that he and I completely mind-melded.

In this conversation, I wanted to discuss and suck out some of the knowledge that Roy and his team have developed doing so much research around brain performance, which as you all know is something I am deeply passionate about. I wanted to learn about the ways that the brain works that I don't know about, like emotions, moods, and chemical balances, and I wanted to learn more about how we can influence those and optimize the performance of our brains on a chemical level.

I've spent so much time talking about the technique and the habit level, things like sleep and nutrition, but I wanted to discover how we can actually use supplementation and compounds to improve the performance of our brain and improve our mood, our attitude, and our outlook.

I have to say that I actually learned a ton in this episode, which is not an easy thing to happen when it comes to teaching me new things about how the brain works. I really enjoyed the episode, and I know you will too – enjoy!

-Jonathan Levi

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This episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. Click here to save 15% on their amazing mushrooms coffees today, for all orders placed on their website!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Who is Roy Krebs, what does he do, and how did he get here? [3:20]
  • What are the different compounds that exist that can improve our brain's performance? [8:20]
  • The power of the four neurotransmitters [13:00]
  • Going deeper into compounds and how they affect our brain and body [17:10]
  • How to know what the right substances for you are [22:35]
  • How is Roy Krebs designing his own supplementation? [26:20]
  • Talking about how some of NaturalStacks compounds have come to exist [30:40]
  • What does Roy have to say about magnesium? [37:20]
  • Talking with Roy about sleep [42:10]
  • Where can you learn more about Roy Krebs? [45:30]
  • Roy Krebs' final takeaway message [47:15]

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Roy Krebs:

“The brain is a really complex organ.”
“There is not just one supplement or one drug that is going to take care of everything.”
“You can improve your situation by improving your mindset and your mood.”
“Memories are created when you are experiencing novelty.”


Introduction: Welcome to the award-winning SuperHuman Academy Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to give you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.

Jonathan Levi: We're reading Superfriends and welcome. Welcome. Welcome to this week's episode, which has been lovingly crafted.

Thanks to a review from Platon 29 from USA, who says very informative and inspiring four stars, but we'll take it very cool. And professional podcast informative, inspiring, and fun. I love that the host has the guts to be real and vulnerable himself makes it easier for his guests to do so, too, which makes the conversations better and more profound.

Keep it up. Well, first off, thank you very much for the review plot in 29. I don't know what that means, but I appreciate their review, nonetheless. And for those of you who have not yet left a review on iTunes or wherever. Podcasts are downloaded. Please take a moment to do so.

On to today's episode yesterday, we are joined by Roy Krebs. He is the co-founder and CEO of NaturalStacks, which is an Open Source supplement company that helps consumers improve mood, memory, and focus through targeted brain health products together with his team at NaturalStacks, he's on a mission to build a billion better brains. So you can imagine that completely mind-melded in this conversation I wanted to discuss and, and kind of suck out some of the knowledge that Roy and his team have developed doing so much research around brain performance, which as you all know is something that I am deeply, deeply passionate about. I wanted to learn. The ways that the brain works, that I don't know about emotions, moods, chemical balances.

And I wanted to learn more about how we can influence those and optimize the performance of our brains. On a chemical level, I spend so much time talking about the technical level and the habit level and the sleep and the nutrition, but how can we actually use supplementation and compounds to improve the performance of our brain?

Improve our mood, improve our attitude, improve our outlook. I have to say, I actually learned a ton in this episode, which is, it's not easy to teach me about how to hack the brain, but I learned so much from Roy. I really enjoyed the episode and I know you will too. So please enjoy this episode with my super friend, Roy Krebs.

Mr. Roy Krebs. Welcome to the show, my friend, how are you doing?

Roy Krebs: Thanks, Jon, I'm parked, man. Happy to be here. Thanks for that.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, I'm really stoked to have you here as well because you and I share a topic that we're both quite passionate about, which is the performance of the brain specifically, how do we hack it?

How do we optimize it? How do we improve it? I'm a big fan of all things, nootropic, uh, you know, and I have a long history with performance-enhancing and improving substances. So I'm really stoked to talk with you about it and, and learn a lot about your extreme.

Roy Krebs: Yeah. Awesome. Thank you. And I saw your TedTalk.

So it sounds like you've, uh, whether you liked it or not, we're using some, some nootropics, synthetic and critics for awhile, but it sounds like you may have found some alternative choices.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, absolutely. So Roy, for our audience who hasn't had a chance to stock you before this episode, like I have told us a little bit about your superhuman origin story.

How did you become passionate in this topic? I mean, where'd you come from and why is this?

Roy Krebs: Sure. So, so I'm the CEO and co-founder of NaturalStacks. We create brain health supplements, and it is kind of a roundabout story of how I got there. I grew up in small-town, California in Monterey, California. My parents are still there and my parents were kind of hippies.

You know, I may do my own thing. Um, they would, I understand now is that they trusted me and they gave me a lot of freedom and I respected that and I never really got in trouble. You know, I, I wanted to be a good kid because my parents were giving me so much trust. Um, And looking back on that, it's pretty powerful, but yeah, my father was an entrepreneur and he was an architect.

So he worked from home and he kind of made his own hours. And I always looked up to that, the freedom that my father had, my mom was always hustling different jobs. We didn't have much money, uh, but, but I knew I had to work hard and kind of make something of myself, um, to be able to have my freedom and.

Do you have anything worthwhile? Um, so I was always an athlete. I played football in high school. I ended up playing football in college. I was a captain of my team, um, and just was like so fine-tuned with my body performance. Um, and I was also a martial artist. Uh, I have like built into different martial arts.

Um, and I was training a little bit at the same time I was doing football. Uh, And just, just an athlete. And I was stoked in my body, my recovery time, my performance was all there. Um, and I never realized that you could take a supplement or take a truck or take something for your brain. Right. Um, you know, I was so focused on my muscles and my recovery time and, uh, how much I could lift that, you know, I never thought about what's going on in my brain.

And it all kind of clicked several years after college, I got into the real estate industry and I kinda thought that was my path. This is how I was going to be an entrepreneur. I had some family, friends that were in the real estate business. I got my real estate license while I was in college. I was super motivated.

So right when I came out of college, I jumped in, uh, my timing was bad. So I graduated college in 2007. The market crashed hard in 2008 and nine might. My boss was struggling. I was literally getting paid a base commission at 1500 bucks and the rest was commissioned so that I had to drum up on my own. 

And you know, I was hustling and I got some deals done, but just not enough to survive and I couldn't, you know, make rent. Um, so I started working in a hotel early mornings before work, and then after work, I was working in a restaurant. Um, I was helping out a sushi chef, and I, I kind of roundabout whaling how to make sushi, which was kind of cool, but it was because I was desperate and I, and I was just working all day just to make it.

Um, and I noticed that my brain, I was procrastinating a little bit and I had a little bit of brain fog. And at the same time, my grandfather had just got diagnosed with Alzheimer's and dementia. And there was the first kind of major health problem in my family. And my parents were super healthy and my grandparents were super healthy.

And my grandfather, his name was Roy as well. Um, you know, we knew he was a little bit loopy, but this was like serious. Um, his degradation just over a year to just happen so fast. Um, so it was pretty scary. And then, you know, me being a football player, having my own brain fog and feeling of procrastination, I got freaking scared.

Um, you know, and I. I really just got so passionate and dug in deep into the research of brain supplements. What can I take to improve my brain now and get some real results, but also what's going to be good for the long-term mixture that I have, um, you know, there's cognition for the next 100 years? Um, so yeah, that's kind of how the whole journey began.

I started looking at the brain. Um, supplement market and wasn't happy with really what I saw and developed or found these formulas that we've, we've championed it, natural stacks, and it's, it's been a kind of a long roundabout road, but yeah, that's, that's how it all came to be.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. I love that because I also have this roundabout way of figuring out.

And for me, my path into it was I, you know, I can't pay attention in school and I ended up getting medicated heavily for the vast majority of my life, uh, up until this point. Um, But, but then you discover that this there's this whole world out there and just like you can hock your body. But also that what's interesting to me is like every kingdom, right?

There's like plants that can improve your brain there's plants that can make you hallucinate. And then there's mushrooms that can improve your brain or make you hallucinate or help you sleep. And it's like, it's amazing to me that our brain is so responsive to all these different compounds. I would love if you kind of laid out the landscape a little bit from your perspective because you've done.

You're probably one of the only people who's done more research than me on this. And you know, what are the different compounds out there that people are using? What's good about them. What's bad about them. I mean, everyone has seen someone take Adderall. There's so much more out there for people to discover when it comes to optimizing their brain performance.

Roy Krebs: Yeah. And I think it's first important to understand that the brain is just a really complex organ and there's not just one supplement or one drug that's going to take care of everything. Right. Um, and that that's, I kind of get frustrated when I look at the supplement industry and you see these, these genuine nootropic formulas that have 15 different ingredients and this formula is good for mood, energy, sleep memory.

And it's just, uh, it doesn't work like that, you know? And, um, I've tried all the supplements as well and, it doesn't work like that. Uh, so, so there's several different approaches. Uh, And I guess I'll start with the most basic is supporting amino acids, which are the building blocks to certain neurotransmitters.

So you have four main neurotransmitters in the brain, and these are responsible for different areas of cognition or different feelings that you have. Um, empathy, focus, mood, memory, the ability to concentrate differently. These all rely on levels of different neurotransmitters. So you can help boost the production of certain neurotransmitters by providing.

Uh, think of it as the food that those neurotransmitters like to beat. Yeah. So you can get specific amino acid building blocks and vitamin and mineral co-factors. This is what your brain uses to convert an amino acid into a neurotransmitter. You can support it that way, and that's a really gentle way to do it.

Another way is an Ester res inhibitor. So, um, specifically herbs. So if you think of the amino acid building blocks, you're kind of filling up a bathtub, say, say with water, the other, the esterase inhibitors you're plugging the gaps. So these neurotransmitters there's, they're meant to be on a certain level.

There's a balance. If you become too high, your brain tries to kind of balance everything out into an equal. And so there's these enzymes that naturally break down neurotransmitters. And so another way to improve a certain neurotransmitter activity is to stop the degradation right. 

Jonathan Levi: To stop it from leaking out of that bathtub or the re-uptake right.

Roy Krebs: You're right. The re-uptake. Just, to make sure that you actually keep that elevated amount for a longer period of time so that you could feel that benefit. And so those ingredients will be like a Hooper scene, a coleen stories inhibitor. Um, rosemary is a gabbit stories inhibitor. So Gabby Esther raises the enzyme that breaks down Gabba the neuro-transmitter.

So if we can inhibit that enzyme. And make sure you have more Gabba in your brain for a longer period of time. And you could do both, right. You can give your brain, the building blocks, the nutrients that it wants to make that neurotransmitter, and you can add ingredients to help slow the degradation. But my, what I found and what I think is most powerful is focusing just on these individual neurotransmitters and not trying to activate dopamine and serotonin and acetylcholine.

Jonathan Levi: Right. Right now, give me a little bit of a landscape of like, because I know creativity chemically in the brain is a very different thing than focus. For example, although they overlap. Right. And it's like, you're kind of working these different chemicals in different, um, mixtures to get different emotions, different psychological states, mental states.

Um, I mean, let's start with GABA. Like what would happen if I had more Gabby in my brain, why would I want?

Roy Krebs: Yes, a gab is going to help you calm down. It's going to help you relax, slow your racing thoughts. So if you become low in GABA, if you become deficient in that neuro-transmitter, then you can become overstimulated, anxious, nervous, having trouble falling asleep.

If you're laying in bed with a million things on your mind and you're low in Gabba. Yeah. If you, if you're normal levels in GABAA, you're going to be able to relax and fall asleep. Your brain wants to do that. And so Gavin naturally is kind of more produced in the evening times. Um, but it's different for different people.

And what I think is super interesting and taking this way back to, to just fundamental, um, the brain health and, and neuroscience is that these four neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and GABA are responsible for who you are. They're responsible for your personality. Right. And everyone has a different personality and it's defined by these little chemicals in your brain.

And, and I know that sounds like really basic, but. Everyone naturally is dominant in a neurotransmitter. And that just means that the brain metabolizes that neurotransmitter better than others, and maybe it has trouble metabolizing. Other neurotransmitters, maybe if you had to add, you had trouble metabolizing dopamine, and maybe you're much better at metabolizing serotonin, or as people call it.

Right. But everyone has that dominance and that. Who they are. And of course, this changes day by day, almost hour by hour, based on what you're eating and how you're exercising and your environment, the people you're around. But. If you think of that every day happens a certain way and that compounds into, you know, your life and who you are once.

So if you think of someone you're like, oh, that person's always outgoing, that's a bubbly person. Um, maybe they're probably dominant in a subtle calling, or if you look at this person and they're, they're really empathetic, they really understand everyone. You know, they're a helpful person. Maybe they're a dominant GABA person.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. And, you know, what's so cool about what you're saying, as you're speaking, I'm thinking two different things. One, you know, it's these, it's the mixture of these four, cause there's only these four that makes every mood and every situation from having, an Iowa's trip to the best writing you've ever done.

It's just a unique combination of these four. And the recently I've been reading a lot about human evolution and I realized like that's not uncommon in nature because. It's the same for building blocks that make DNA, that separates you from a piece of lettuce. So it's amazing, like these combinations that you can get four things strung together in different states.

And then the other thing that I'm thinking, that's so fascinating for what else are there four of the like signs like your fire sign or your water? And I'm just thinking, you know, I've, I've had a number of people on the show who talk about Chinese medicine, Eastern medicine. They're like, oh, you're a classic fireside.

And I would bet I don't know enough about this, but I would bet you, if you did the tests on people that, that Chinese medicine sign would correspond exactly to this, it's just neuroscience. Proving what Eastern medicine has known for years. And I am a classic Firesign and I do have that classic, no matter what situation I'm always going to be more energetic, more silly, more, GABA is not my dominant, you know. 

Roy Krebs: So that's really COVID. Absolutely. And there are more than four neurotransmitters, but these are the four main neurotransmitters that really define what's going on in your brain. Right. Um, and yeah, when I was researching, this was several years ago, I was, I was just putting together a PowerPoint presentation for a training that I was doing, and I got kind of deep.

I went down the rabbit hole, but I was looking at personality tests and I started with just the Meyers. And then, um, I'd have to look it up. It's been a few years, but I went to like four or five of the most well-respected personality tests and they're all broken out into quarters. Yep. There's 4, 4, 4 main quadrants.

And I just quickly linked which neurotransmitter goes to each quadrant for these like four or five different personality tests. And it was just so spot on. It's really interesting. 

Jonathan Levi: Wow. You're right. Disc NBTI. Yep. Uh, Colby StrengthsFinder. They're all quadrant. Yep. It's not wild nature. You know everything is either rule of threes or base 10, but somehow in this and in DNA, it's for wild.

Wow. So tell me a bit more about compounds. Um, you know, you have caffeine, you have other xanthan class chemicals you have, uh, Omega's, which are really valid. Uh, I separately want to ask you about magnesium because we could do a whole podcast just on magnesium. Um, you mentioned Huperzine a, there are all of your, uh, I always forget the name of this class of chemicals, but, um, russet, Tams. Yeah. Like sorted out.

Roy Krebs: Sure. So nootropics, those are all nootropics. And some people think nootropic has a negative connotation or something. It's kind of a shady word, but it's not, it simply means not just means cognitive enhancing substance, right. Some way. And so the very basic generalization is you have natural nootropics and synthetic nootropics, right?

So an Adderall or a Rasta tan, which is, uh, a Russian-developed drug. Uh, these are synthetics. These are made in a. And they're a little more powerful rather than going the natural metabolism of say dope mean it's importing that natural metabolism. You're just like skipping a few steps and you're saying, boom, you know, this is turned on.

You're going to have massive amounts of dopamine for this amount of time. And it's a little more. So caffeine is the most common or commonly used in Tropic. Um, and that acts mostly on dopamine, but it does have an energizing effect as well. Um, and we have the amino acids like we've already talked to talk about the esterase inhibitors, which would be like a Hooper pristine a, um, then you have, uh, vasodilators and that will be like a VIN post-it team or a Gingko Biloba.

Those are blood Vacillator. So those are helping get blood flow into you. Yeah. Um, the Rast Tams are really interesting. They focus more on short-term memory. And, and I think there's another way to think about it is, is inside of the brain cell and outside of the brain cell interest cellular versus intercellular.

Yeah. So you kind of want to improve both intercellular is where your neuro-transmitters hang out. They hang out in between your brain cells and you want to elevate. Certain levels of neurotransmitters to specifically at certain times of the day or certain situations to optimize what you're doing, but then you really want to optimize your actual brain cell and what's going on inside of the brain cell.

So that would be mitochondrial health. That would be things like a lion's mane to promote nerve growth factor things like bio PQQ to maintain that receptor health. So, so there's, there's lots of ways to go down. You, there's also a nutrient that you can use, to help improve long-term potentiation and actual memory creation.

Really? Um, yes, we have a product never heard of this, and this happens inside of the brain cell. So inter intracellular, um, is where cyclic amp, which then leads to K R E B crab, which is similar to my last name, which then leads to. So long-term potentiation. And so you can take nutrients. To improve the amount of cyclic amp, the messenger systems inside of your neurons, which then leads to a cascade, which goes to better learning and memory through long-term potentiation.

So that happens inside of the brain cell. And you can, you can support that at the same time as you're supporting certain neurotransmitters that happen outside of the brain cell, which then there's a synapse in those neurotransmitters go into the brain cell. Um, so. You kind of have to think of it in a biological neurotransmitter way to understand how all these nutrients work and how they might fit together.

Jonathan Levi: That's wild. It's amazing to me that you've learned so much about this. I didn't, when I was reviewing you, I didn't catch a degree in neuroscience. So it's quite impressive that you've, that you've picked up.

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All right. Back to the show. How do people know what the right substances for them, with all these different things? I mean, I don't know how to check if my mitochondria need help or maybe I just need more GABA or so what's a framework for people to safely experiment maybe and find the right thing for.

Roy Krebs: Yeah, that's a great question. It's a question I get all the time. And right now at our company, we have 10 different brain supplements. And so they're all doing very different things, but someone's like, you know, which ones for me, or why should I take this one over the other one? And it all comes down to just being more introspective and understanding yourself and what you need. And so it starts off and people are like, oh my brain's just not working with.

Jonathan Levi: And so, you know, it'd be a little more specific here?

Roy Krebs: Yeah. Because there's there's first, I think it helps to understand the neurotransmitters. So dopamine is responsible for mental drive and motivation. So if you're procrastinating, you have low energy, low motivation.

If you have the inability to experience pleasure. So just kind of being Dole you're low in dopamine. Got it. Um, and rather than just saying, Hey. I'm feeling shitty or I'm in a bad mood. It's like define that a little more. So, um, dopamine is also responsible for a mood state. Um, but so serotonin and serotonin sprinted the most popular one, I guess.

So, so serotonin is responsible for that. That happened feeling, you know, um, smiling and being in a positive mindset. If you're low in serotonin, you're going to be a little bit depressive, um, low self-esteem, some negative. And then acetylcholine is responsible for focus and the ability to concentrate and mental processing speed.

Like how fast is your brain working? So if you feel just mentally slow, some brain fog or tip of the tongue syndrome is when I say what's that one word you're thinking of? Um, everyone's experienced that. And if you're experiencing that, you're potentially low inositol Coleen that's short-term memory.

Uh, so, so rather than just saying. You know, I'm having an off day. Is that because you're procrastinating? Is that because you have brain fog? Is that because your brain is just slow? Is it because you have short-term memory, you can't remember where your keys are. Um, or is that because you're just thinking negatively and you can't get a positive mindset wrapped around you.

And then the fourth neurotransmitter is Gabby. So if you're overwhelmed, overstimulated, you're just feeling kind of anxious and nervous. And that's the appeal of dating you. You can't, you can't focus because you're nervous. You're anxious about something then that's because your GABA is low at that time.

So I think it's, it's most important to, to be as introspective and pop as possible and not just here in a good or bad way. But to find them, you know, think about it a little further. How actually are you feeling? How are you interacting with others? How you interact with your work and then the better you can define that the better you can help yourself.

Jonathan Levi: I really liked that. And I almost feel like we, we just built because we have courses for different situations, you know, you're, you're in this financial situation you need Brandon's course on, on career hacking. Uh, if you're in this other situation, maybe you need a learning course. So we built, I feel like we should experience share on this.

I would happy to connect you with my guys. They built a whole quiz on our website where it's like when you enroll in our website, it's like, what's going on right now in your life. It asks them like five questions. It's like, Don't get distracted by any other course. Just take this one course. I feel like you can do that for years.

Your products. The question I have is, um, you, you mentioned earlier on, you mentioned kind of like, you may be Gabba dominant, uh, and that's kind of your thing, but then you also mentioned like if you're in a shitty mood kind of short term, um, how do you use your own products? Like, do you find that you're always using the one that is for the chemical.

You're always kind of deficient in or do you mix it up? Is that an introspective process that you're doing? Is that happening every single day or every 12 hours? You're like, oh, I'm feeling a little bit jittery. You know, how, how frequently do you take the ones that are not your natural kind of chronotype?

Roy Krebs: That's a great question. Thank you. So I, it's kind of a mix of both. And so I, I have found over time that I am serotonin dominant and I am slightly deficient in. Okay. And that's, I think my dopamine deficiency got worse in that time. I was describing when I was procrastinating a lot and I just wasn't getting my work done very efficiently.

I was working a ton. I was getting, I was doing a lot of stuff, but I just wasn't having much stuff done. Um, and so that's, that's related to. So the one, um, there is a quiz you can take online. It's called the braver man assessment, braver and assessment. Dr. Eric Braverman, this came out maybe 10 years ago.

It's qualitative. So it's not, you know, it's not science per se, but it's more psychology. And there is, it's like 200 questions, but it goes, it's like true or false. It goes pretty quickly. Um, not the end of it. It just, it tells you which neurotransmitter you're dominant in which what you're deficient in and that test result can change them day by day.

For sure. Um, there's also a urine test. You can do that, which tests the metabolites of certain neurotransmitters. So that tells you how well, um, you're creating your transmit. But I still think the most powerful thing is just being introspective and saying, how am I feeling right now and getting that as deep as you can go.

So for me, we have a product called dopamine brain food, and I take that every morning and if I miss it, I know it. Um, I, I, I tend to start to procrastinate a little bit. And so I really need to support that, that dopamine. Uh, metabolism in my brain. And so that's one that I go to every day. Then the other ones I use on a regular basis and on a regular basis, I mean, two or three days a week.

And so this morning I took our acetylcholine brain food. Cause I was, I knew I was doing this. And I wanted to support my short-term memory member, verbal fluency. And that helps acetylcholine is really important in that. So this morning I took my dopamine grain-free and I took my acetylcholine brain food because I knew I was doing this activity.

So I support the neuro-transmitters not only based on how I feel but what I'm about to be doing. And you can improve your situation. By improving your mindset and your mood. So, and this, this is very relatable to work. If you're, if you're doing research in your reading and writing, you know, maybe you want more creativity.

Whereas if you're just doing a busy foot, you know, feeling numbers, maybe you want more of that focus. But also if you're, if you're trying to meditate, you know, you can support that with, with Gabba. If you're going on a walk in the world, Uh, you can support that with serotonin. Uh, so you really want to optimize to the activity.

So it's both, you want to really be introspective and yes, this happens multiple times per day, every few hours. I try, I try to look at myself and say, um, what, what did I just do? The last two hours was I productive? And what's up, what's on my to-do list. How can I help myself get there? Or what's holding me back from getting.

And so that happens every few hours, but then also I look at my calendar and I say, oh, you know, tomorrow at 3:00 PM, I need to be sharp and I'm doing this specific activity. So how can I optimize that?

Jonathan Levi: It's similar to how I have started treating my exercise and diet, like, uh, you know, I really need to. Uh, be eating a lot of fat because I'm going to be recording podcasts for six hours. I want to be satiated all day. I want to get into ketosis and that's become automatic for me. I just think in that way, um, you know, we're going to have a really intense workout tomorrow morning. I need some form of carbohydrate. Um, one question I want to ask your CILTEP product, which I've tried and I love.

It doesn't have any of the usual candidates that you would see in a normal nootropic that anyone else is selling. And yet it works very well. Tell me about that. Like, I don't even know what Coleus Forskohlii is, uh, if the formula.

Roy Krebs: Yeah. And that that's one that I mentioned earlier on in the show that really helps with long-term potentiation and improving memory creation.

And so that, that's an interesting formula we launched with that product. I didn't formulate it. I found it a guy named Avalara Lindsey is a Silicon Valley programmer. He is, is literally one of the smartest people. I know he wants to live forever and this is legitimate. Um, and you know, one of the theories that is floating around is that one way you can achieve that transhumanism is, is offloading your brain and your cognitive cognition, your consciousness onto it.

Right. And so his goal Avalard Lindsey is to get his own brain as smart as possible, uh, memorize and learn as much as he can and improve all of this neurotransmitter health and improve his brain to the point where he's confident that when he offloads it to it, to a computer, he's going to be happy with that brain that he has for the next, you know, hundreds of thousands of years.

So, so this guy, I'm just giving you a little background because that's his mindset. Um, he was trying to develop a natural supplement to improve learning and memory. Wow. And he, he was reading some papers on a drug called. This was in development 10 decades ago or so, and it was getting a lot of press, they were just doing studies on mice, but they were having.

Huge initial success in this was going to be an Alzheimer's dementia drug. And Forbes actually wrote an article and they called it the Viagra for the brain. Wow. Uh, yeah, it's, they're turning on these, these mice brain and these mice were, were completing the mazes super quickly, but they, they had this horrible side effect.

They had this violent vomiting, uh, and, and that they couldn't solve for it in the drug. Never made it past. Um, but Avalara Lindsey was looking at these results, and, um, the pathway in the brain is called PDE four inhibition. And they've been trying to develop a PDE four inhibitor drug for years, but they never got past it's.

It's historically hard for a human or a rat body, to absorb these PDE four inhibitors. You just literally have to vomit. Well, and so, uh, he started looking at what are some natural ingredients that maybe can do the same effect. So PDE four inhibitors breakdown, cyclic amp, CMP CMP are the messenger systems inside of your neurons.

They, they bind onto the neuro-transmitters when there's a synapse. And so they are responsible for the fluid thought and for the transmission of. Of your neurotransmitters in your brain. If you think of it that way, like fuel kind of figuring your transmitters, this happens inside the brain cell. And so coleus, Forskohlii one of the main ingredients is very well known to increase cyclic amp and your.

But it's not, it's not very powerful. It's not that strong. And then he combined that with artichoke extract, artichoke extract contains a compound called Ludy Olin, which is a natural PDE four inhibitor. So again, the PDE four inhibitor slows the breakdown of cyclic amp and you take an audit to an extract on its own.

You're not going to feel that. But extract actually has a lot of positive benefits in your gut. It's good for digestion. It's good for bile production. No one has a negative gut or a throw-up disease problem with artistic extracts. So the synergy of art, should extract and coleus for schooling.

Maintain an elevated amount of cyclic amp in your brain for a longer period of time. That's, that's how that formula works. Just those two ingredients. The formula has five ingredients has a couple of amino acids just to try to ward off some afternoons. But that's it just those two ingredients we'll make it work.

We actually Avalara Lindsey, um, and national stacks. We, we have a patent on it. Um, it was so unique and, you know, it's very hard to get a patent on a natural formula because everything's already been done before. Uh, and this, this was so unique and it's so powerful and you've taken it before the most people feel results within about 30 minutes on the first dose, but the way it works is so different.

You get this feeling of engaging. And that's, that's the best word I found to describe it as you're just more engaged and that allows you to limit distraction and that causes some mental fascination, almost a novelty effect is what I say. So, um, cool. Novelty, not I'll just go in one minute about this. If you think about novelty, memories are created when you're experiencing knowledge.

It's really easy to create memories when you're experiencing novelty. So if you went on a vacation as a child, you went to a beach, you've never seen sand that soft. You never smelled the flowers like that. You never tasted the coconut. All these are new senses and when you're experiencing novelty, your brain is turned on and it's so easy to create new memories.

And that's why you have a vivid memory. Of these vacations, you went on 10 years ago or vivid memories of like a car crash or like a surprise birthday party or these novel experiences. That's what CILTEP does, is it, it clicks on this feeling of novelty, which gives you mental fascination wants you to do.

And it makes you very engaged. And so, yeah, that's, that's this super interesting product. It's probably the most interesting one we have, but what's cool about it is that's all happening inside of the brain cell so that we can alter neurotransmitter levels and that's a completely different message. So it's not, it's not different, it's not like stepping on the toes of each other.

We're not doing everything with one formula. This formula increases cyclic amp, which increases long-term potentiation, which helps with engagement, focus, and memory. But then on top of that, you can improve these different neurotransmitter levels.

Jonathan Levi: That's why to me now, talk to me about magnesium. I know you guys are passionate about magnesium.

Uh, what's the deal, right? Because of people. Most people don't realize they're magnesium deficient, and yet most people are magnesium deficient. Um, and if they are aware, they're like, oh, you need magnesium because it's good for digestion and muscle recovery, but it's actually used for 1200 processes in the body.

I don't actually know anything about what magnesium does in the brain. So tell me more about it?

Roy Krebs: So magnesium, like you said, everyone's deficient. I think one study found that more than 50% of adults, and then more than 70 or 80% of elderly adults, this is in America are deficient in magnesium and a couple of reasons.

But one is that people get magnesium in your diet from green leafy vegetables. People don't eat very many of those. And, uh, even if you do our soil is pretty far depleted of the natural minerals, right? And also orally your body's just not good at absorbing minerals. Um, transdermal is the best way to get minerals into your system.

So, so an Epsom salt bath, or a magnesium lotion, it's really the most effective way to get magnesium into your body quickly, your, your insides, your, your stomach, and your intestines. Are really poor at absorbing minerals, all kinds of minerals, interesting sync as well, but your body's really good at absorbing amino acids.

So if you're taking a magnesium supplement, it has to be Cholate or some people call it key laded and all that means it's bound to an amino acid. So they combined the magnesium molecule to an amino acid so that your body absorbs it really easily because your body's good at observing. And you know, that.

Got it. And so that's, that's the biggest thing to look for. If you're going to take a magnesium supplement isn't it has to be related to actually getting benefits because magnesium oxide is the most common magnesium supplement. That's non-correlated, most people will get some loose stools or some gastro discomfort because your body just can't absorb it.

Right. Uh, the next grade up will be magnesium citrate, which is still pretty, pretty low quality. It's like 30% of. It's magnesium, it's bound to citric acid. So it's a little bit rough on your gut. Um, but it works decently, but then you get into these really high-quality forms of magnesium, like magnesium glycinate, my knees in toward it.

And that's magnesium. That's bound to glycine and magnesium. That's bound to taurine. When these amino acids also have their own functional benefits. So combined, they become really powerful and you're getting closer to like 80, 85% absorption rates at the bank. Um, but yeah, magnesium people don't realize how important it is.

And I think most people are running around efficient and in the short-term will lead to some fatigue, um, muscle cramping, muscle soreness, um, maybe a little lightheadedness, um, mood issues. So serotonin metabolism is, its requirements, needs magazines. Um, so mood issues, trouble sleeping. Those were kind of be the first trigger signs, but then over time, and this is a massive problem, at least in the United States is heart disease.

Really? Your heart requires magnesium just to beat. It needs that mineral to be able to beat and over, you know, 20, 30, 40, 50 years of being deficient in magnesium, it turns into heart disease. In the brain it's required for that, that snaps to happen. So you, so it increases synaptic connectivity and allows those neurotransmitters to bind to the neurons more efficiently.

So that's how it works in the brain. Um, I take my museum every day. I take it at night. It's relaxing. So it's not going to like knock you out like a sleep supplement, but it is a little bit relaxing. So I think it's more conducive to take it at night. And I think of it as like restoring and energizing my brain at night.

So I can wake up with a refreshing brain that's ready to go. Right?

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, I do the same thing. I take it at night and, uh,, it definitely does help me relax and wind down. Um, really, really fascinating as well that so many people could be taking a mag supplement and just getting no benefits.

Roy Krebs: Yeah, it's really tough for a consumer there's.

If you go to a health food store, you'll see a hundred different magnesium and they're ranging from $5 to $50. Right. And unfortunately, you're going to have to go with one of the more expensive versions, something that's fully chill, late to get the full benefits. And here's a little trick for your listeners is look for something that ends in A T E.

Yep. Yeah. And that will mean it Munis related to an amino acid. And that will mean you can actually obtain.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant, brilliant. Now I know we're coming up on time here. I do want to talk to you about sleep because I know, you know, you guys sell a lot of products for, forgetting the brain more focused and more attentive, but also you and I share this fascination with sleep and how to sleep better, sleep healthier, and sleep faster. Tell me a bit.

Roy Krebs: Yeah. And I'm sure you've, you've tried all the hacks yourself, but really it starts to super basic and I'm sure you're aware, but make sure your environment's good, you know, no junk light and no junk sound coming into your sleep room. So blackout the curtains. If you live in a city or something, and there's honking dogs barking, get a noise machine, you know, uh, get some earplugs really just, you kind of had just had to fix your, your environment.

And so that's light and sound. You got to get rid of, you got to get them out and some healthy air too. I noticed some people just like they box themselves up into civil sleep room and they're not getting, they're just like, re-circulating the seen air. You can have some airflow. Um, people don't talk about that, but then it's, it's getting your mind.

Right. And, and yeah, there's, you know, stop looking at TV screens and phone screens, a couple of hours before sleep, or at least get the filters on your screens. Um, you know, dim the lights, you know, very basic things, but then how do you get your mind ready to fall asleep? And I think it, it is a pretty common problem that people.

They want to sleep. They go into their bed, but they're just rolling around and they're so focused on wanting to sleep and they become anxious about that. And oh, and then they start worrying about what they have to do six hours in the morning and then the sleep just doesn't happen. So, so yeah, it's GABA is that neurotransmitter that you really want to support in that evening time, but there's, you want to just turn off that reptilian brain and be able to, to actually.

Calm down and actually slow down all your thoughts. So you get to the point, you're not thinking about anything and that's the goal. And that's the kind of the goal with meditation too. Right? You just, try to filter out all of your thoughts so that then you can become truly calm. What I found that really helps this box breathing.

Um, okay. So, so breathing in, so you imagine a box has 14. And give a, give a second count each side. I usually start with four seconds and I usually try to increase that to like six or maybe even more seconds, but it's breathing in for four seconds for long seconds. Hold that breath for four seconds.

Breathe out for four seconds. And then the hard part is not to breathe in. For four seconds. And then do you do that for like 10, 20 times and then increase it's like five or six seconds and you get to the point where all you're thinking about is the slow intent for. And they call it. And if you're just only focused on that bread, all of a sudden your other thoughts kind of disappear and you just, because you're really slowing down your heart rate as well, you get to the point where you can just fall asleep and I've done this multiple times.

I kind of have trouble falling asleep and I'll just do this for literally like one or two minutes and I'm asleep.

Jonathan Levi: Uh, that's it right there. Yeah. Very cool. Well, I know we've, we've pretty much come up on time here. I know we could talk for hours and hours and hours. I do want to give you an opportunity.

Where can people reach out, learn more about you? We'll put all the links in the podcast episode, but for people driving in their car right now, we're where should we send folks?

Roy Krebs: Sure. Well, if you want to just talk to me, I love talking with people and just any questions you have about your own brain or how I might be able to help

That's my email. And I try to answer emails, you know, within 24 hours. Uh, so please contact me, um, our website, And then we also have an offer of people wanting to try these neurotransmitter brain food products for themselves. Try We have a special offer right now.

Jonathan Levi: Um, yeah, so you can try

Roy Krebs: You can try all four of these neurotransmitter support products for half off. Um, so if someone was just trying to get into brain hacking or understanding their own granular, how can we improve these new, different neurotransmitters? It's a great place to start, but I also recommend people take this quiz online, the braver man assessment.

And if you really want to dig deep, you should read his book. Dr. Eric Braverman wrote the Edge Effect. That's what it's called. There's also the mute, the mood cure is a good book that kind of falls on the same thing of relating neuro-transmitters to how you're feeling at any given time. Um, but yeah, powerful stuff.

It's fun stuff. Any questions, please do reach out to me at NaturalStacks.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. I'm literally filling out the order form right now to order some of this stuff, uh, to get to my hotel. Next time I'm going to be in the US so thank you for that offer. And I can tell folks it's a super generous offer as well, which is why I'm taking advantage of it.

Um, one last question that I have for you right before we let you go. If people take away one big message from this episode and carry it with them for the rest of their lives, what would you hope for that one to be?

Roy Krebs: One message. Something that always stuck with me is in every problem is an opportunity.

And, you know, I think that's been floated around for a while, but it's, it really is true. If you have a roadblock. Fix it, uh, you know, if something's not wrong act, you know, and, and change your setting, change your mindset. Um, but it's, once you start attacking a certain problem, all of a sudden an opportunity arises.

And it's, I don't know if it's magic, um, but it just kind of happens that, that, uh, you're working on something and you'll see that, wow, maybe this is what I should have been working on, or maybe this problem brought light to something else. So, yeah, if there's something in your life that you're not happy with or, you know, and that could be your mood, your mindset, your motivation, your sleep fix it.

Don't let it linger on just attack. And then you'll notice that some opportunity will arise. That will be happy with.

Jonathan Levi: I feel the exact same way, uh, and you know, movement in any direction creates movement in every direction. So I appreciate you sharing that tip and, uh, I'm going to let you go so you can go ship my order though.

I'm sure someone else ships the orders, but, um, really appreciate you coming on the show today. I learned a lot, which is not an easy feat after 250 episodes. A lot of which I like to talk about the brain and memory. So, uh, cheers and thanks very much for coming on. 

Roy Krebs: Thank you.

Closing: Thanks for tuning into the award-winning SuperHuman Academy Podcast. For more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit while you're at it please take a moment to share this episode with a friend and leave us a review on iTunes. We'll see you next week.



  1. Luiz
    at — Reply

    Thanks, I learned a lot of interesting things in past episodes.

  2. Shivaditya Purohit
    at — Reply

    loved th heart and the depth of the conversation. The way that Dr. Metivier shared from his enormous experience and insights was just amazing. Thank you Jonathan for doing this podcast!! 🙂

  3. Rob
    at — Reply

    Great interview with Dr. Greg Wells! He mentioned a doctor from Colorado around the 42:30 point of the podcast, discussing turmeric and black pepper. I couldn’t make out the doctor’s name. Can you provide me with his full name and maybe his website or contact info. Interested in his products.



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