Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Category: Supplements

Dear Mark: Women and Violence, Reducing Extra Wine, High Intensity Interval Resting, Phosphatidylserine and Mental Stress, Rethinking Stress

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering five questions from readers. First up, do my recommendations regarding violence and martial arts in last week’s “wildness post” also apply to women? Second, what else can you do with leftover wine? Next, how do I approach my rest and work cycles? Fourth, is phosphatidylserine good for mental stress or just physical stress? And last, does changing how we interpret or react to stress change its effects?

Let’s go:

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The Role of Supplementation in Keto: What’s Uniquely Useful

Yesterday, I explained my rationale for supplementation in a Primal lifestyle. Today, I’m going to get a bit more specific and discuss the role of supplementation on a keto diet. As a diet founded upon the restriction of an entire class of macronutrients, keto seems like the perfect candidate for stringent supplement requirements. And if you go around the web asking other people, you’ll find plenty of opinions, lists, and recommendations for this or that supplement that you absolutely must take or face certain death and disfigurement.

I disagree.

Done well, keto needs no overt supplementation. That said, some supplements can be useful.

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Grok Didn’t Take Supplements, So Why Should I? (and a Giveaway)

The main objective of following the Primal Blueprint is to extract the healthiest, happiest, longest and most productive life possible from our bodies – and to look and feel good in the process.

Our 10,000-year-old Primal genes expect us to emulate the way our ancestors ate and moved; and the Primal Blueprint says we should do exactly as they expect. While there are many things we can do (or eat) today that very closely approximate what Grok did to trigger positive gene expression, there are also a number of obstacles that can thwart our attempts to be as Primal as possible. Artificial light prompts us to stay up too late and sleep too little. Electronic entertainment competes for our time when we should be out walking and basking in sunlight. We don’t always have access to ideal foods. We shower too much in water that’s too hot. We use medicines to mask our symptoms instead of allowing our bodies to deal directly with the problem. You get my point. You can’t go back to the paleolithic.

One of my tasks is to find the shortcuts—the easy ways to get the same genetic expression benefits Grok got—but by using 21st century technology or just plain old common sense. Working out in Vibram Fivefingers to simulate going barefoot is an example. Or learning how to spend time in the sun without sunscreen AND without burning. Getting more from a 20-minute full-body exercise routine than from a 3-hour cardio workout is yet another example. And given the lack of certain critical nutrients in even the healthiest diets, finding the best supplements is another.

Here are a few of the best categories of supplements I can recommend to just about everyone:

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The Anti-Stress Tool I’ve Used For 20 Years (and a Giveaway)

I haven’t talked much about stress this month, and I don’t want to give it short shrift. Yes, there’s a lot to take apart with food and exercise, both of which can feel more “actionable” at times. But stress can be a major roadblock to success. How we deal with emotional and physical stress will invariably impact our health, well-being and performance. Until we dial it in, we’ll compromise the results of all our other Primal efforts.

I’ve said in the past that stress has been one of the hardest aspects I’ve struggled with—and continue to now and then. Living Primally means I’m running on full rather than empty to be sure, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world always conforms to logic or sanity, let alone my preferences. And emotional tension aside, I like to push myself periodically in the gym or on an outdoor adventure, which means I’m dealing with physical stressors, too.

Here’s one thing I’ve done for twenty years to counter both emotional and physical stress.

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Dear Mark: Desert Island Cookware, Supplement Sources, Bulk Frying Oil, B12 on Keto Vegetarian, and Streamlining the Day

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering 5 questions from readers. First, I give my desert island cookware material—the type of pan I’d choose if I could only have one. Next, I explain whether carnosine, creatine, and taurine supplements are suitable for vegetarians. After that, I give a good option for bulk frying oil that’s safe and won’t break the bank. Fourth, I explain how you can get enough B12 on a keto vegetarian diet (and it’s not that difficult at all). And finally, I explain how a small change can have huge effects on the quality of one’s life.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: BCAAs, and That Weightlifting Article with All the Exclamation Points

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a pair of questions. First, a new study comes out and claims that branched chain amino acids increase the risk of insulin resistance and, eventually, diabetes. The study is legit, but the test subjects were mice. Is the research relevant to humans? Then I explain just why the interesting weightlifting article with all the exclamation points from last week’s Weekend Link Love got me thinking.

Let’s go:

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