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Casey Thomas Gamer Diet Nutrition Nootropics and Fueling the Brain

 

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Lance Wantenaar: [00:00:00] Good evening everyone. I’ve got another fantastic interview to today and I’ve got Casey Thomas with me. Casey is involved in a bit of a unique area, which is e-sport nutrition. Now, before we start getting into the nitty-gritty of the e-sport nutrition, the reason why I decided. Casey on is because there’s a very big overlap with the nutrition side when it comes to cognitive health and also cognitive functioning, but just overall health.

[00:00:49] And we can dive into some of the topics about nootropics and various other bits and pieces. So what I’ll do is I’ll get Casey to give a bit of background about himself, but of introduction. And then we’re going to dive into some of the nutritional side of things. So, Casey, can you tell people a bit about yourself, give some background.

[00:01:08] Casey Thomas: [00:01:08] Absolutely. Yeah. I guess first and foremost, I consider myself a nutrition, Guinea pig. That’s something that’s always fascinated me about nutrition is it has a very low barrier to entry. I was reading other scientific research articles. You know, if you’re like a chemist, you need like a full lab. If you’re a biologist, you need fancy microscope.

[00:01:25] You know, I don’t need a particle accelerator or anything like that. I could read a piece of literature, go down to the grocery store, spend two bucks and go try out whatever it was. And nutrition was just always fascinated me. So my doctors hate me. Any diet, any supplement you can think of? I have tried it, even if I know it’s gonna be terrible for me.

[00:01:40] I do a 30 day trial. I have notebooks. I keep notes on my workouts, my sleep, I get blood work before and after I like really test it out to see what it actually does. This interest of mine. I initially wanted to be a doctor, but when I started shadowing doctors, I realized. That wasn’t for me, but I didn’t like it.

[00:01:59] And so from there I went and worked in clinical research, specifically looking at different supplements and pharmaceutical compounds and their impact on brain and brain health and brain performance. And from there I had been just a nutritionist and that’s not the credential term over here. I was starting to draw into my private practice, which was just a hobby at that.

[00:02:21] Very high level athletes, athletes. You’ll you’ll notice as far as the regulations go, the obvious stuff is banned. Like testosterone has banned because that obviously makes you stronger, faster, and all that kind of stuff. And that is unfair sports, but what’s not really well-regulated as stuff to enhance the brain and so this was kind of my wheelhouse and I’ve had great success working with professional athletes and collegiate athletes will be level athletes across the board by improving the brain to improve their physical performance. What you see is that the brain regulates everything and at the elite level, the difference between first and second is usually determined by some kind of neurological difference.

[00:03:00] Hand-eye coordination, reaction, speed, those kinds of things. And there are some sports that are almost predominantly in the neurological realm. Like if you think of baseball, you don’t have to be very physically fit to play baseball at all. Just have to be able to have really good eyes got involved with this.

[00:03:13] I became a performance dietician for UCLA athletics. I got to work in oversee a bunch of teams there. And then now I spend most of my time in the private practice. Where I work still with a lot of professional traditional athletes. But as you can tell, as you mentioned that the e-sports arena is something that’s always intrigued me and it lies almost entirely in the cognitive realm and it seemed a natural transition.

[00:03:36] And some of them reach out to me because they saw what I was doing for mental performance. And so bringing over some of them. Success that I’ve had with regular traditional athletes and putting it in the e-sports world, which I’ve noticed has had a big uptake over, over COVID. And just in general, over the last five, 10 years, you see more people tuning into the e-sports world championships than you do for like the same, like Stanley cup, super bowl, all that stuff thrown together.

[00:04:00] So it’s becoming increasingly popular for sure. 

[00:04:03]Lance Wantenaar: [00:04:03] I’ve mentioned on previous podcasts, but just to give people a bit of context, I’ve had previous health issues with eczema, and the only way I could actually resolve this was through nutrition to me.

[00:04:13] I was able to resolve it by cutting out wheat that cut out dairy for an extended period of time. But I still have, because I cheese on the odd occasion , or a bit of milk bit of butter, whatever you, but for a big period of time, I’ll cut those out quite dramatically, quite excessively. that made a big difference to me because it was able to get my skin to heal itself.

[00:04:37] And that made a big difference to me. And that’s when I started becoming really. Involved in nutrition as always doing more and more training. As we’ve discussed, I did a lot of obstacles, course racing, a lot of endurance event. And obviously when you’re training for something like that, you need to have your nutrition quite dialed in and you need to pay attention to being very careful what you eat and how you feel.

[00:05:00] Now I’ve tested quite a wide range of supplements, you know, green tea mixes. If I did do any kind of powder supplements or. protein supplements I would go with unflavored cause I didn’t like the Stevia tastes or the flavorings that they had in. And if I added things in, I would add either herbs like Sri Lankan cinnamon because there’s not as bitter as a normal cinnamon because it doesn’t have cassia in it.

[00:05:23] And I would add cocoa raw cocoa in because of the nutritional value that you can get out of raw cocoa and then I’ll play around with those combinations. And obviously I’m a big fan of really good coffee. Cause there’s a lot of benefits from it. really good coffee. There’s tons of research that backs up.

[00:05:40] The only thing that I’ve not been able to successfully take without causing me a lot of upset has been creatine. I’ve not been able to get anything that really settles with me. And so that’s the only thing that I’ve stayed away. You make a statement on your website, which I find very interesting is that you don’t need supplements, but you also talk about taking supplements and nutrition.

[00:06:01] So why do you make that as a statement that you don’t need supplement? 

[00:06:05] Casey Thomas: [00:06:05] Sure. So for most people on the planet, you’re going to be a hundred percent. Okay. If you never take a supplement for the rest of your life, you’ll live a long, healthy, happy life, you know, depending on all the other factors. And on the flip side, if you have the worst diet in the world, the worst exercise patterns in the world, the worst sleep in the world.

[00:06:28] And I put you on the absolute best supplements that exist on the market today. I can’t overcome all of the detriments caused by the other things that you have messed up. So it’s impossible to out supplement a bad lifestyle factor first off. And if you never take a supplement, you’re going to be just fine. So we have two reasons which, which point to us that supplements are essentially for normal human life.

[00:06:54] They’re technically unnecessary, they’re convenient. They can help and they can, can help under certain circumstances. But as far as most people’s time and effort. It is far, far, far more important to check all of these prerequisite box boxes. First supplements are only something that we talk about. After your basics are taken care of, like, are you eating whole of foods?

[00:07:17] Have you seen a piece of broccoli in the last year? Are you drinking enough fluids? Are you sleeping enough? Are you regularly exercising? Are you at a healthy body weight? Like all these things are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck and you have to focus on these fundamentals first. And so.

[00:07:33] Only after you have checked all of those boxes, then you can start looking at more fancy, nutrition, strategies, you know, different timings and, mixes of, you know, you can cycle nutrients and you can periodize things and, after you played around with some strategies, some higher level strategies, then maybe you can also start trying to look to experiment with supplements.

[00:07:55] Supplements can give you that last little edge, but. Like I said they can’t, they can’t overcome a detriment in a fundamental area. So the reason why I talk about it so much on my website is because that’s what everybody asks me about. Everybody asks me about supplements and it’s like the biggest hot topic, but you do not need them.

[00:08:13] And in fact, if it were up to me, like you would just focus solely on the nutrition stuff. And after you’ve got all that taken care of, and then come back to me and then we can talk about supplements because really it’s, it’s my belief food first. And then supplements later if you need it. Now there are certain clinical conditions where supplementation might be indicated that’s not a normal, healthy individual.

[00:08:35] That is someone with a specific clinical condition. You can also accelerate recovery with certain supplementation protocols. So classic example, you’re anemic, you’re iron deficient. Okay, well, let’s supplement with iron. Let’s replenish that as quickly as possible. And then, you know, that’s going to help you recover quicker.

[00:08:50] So things like that can certainly help in these more clinical conditions. But if you have a normal, healthy individual Then a supplement is only going to give you like a smidge of an improvement. And only at the really high level, do people care about smidges? And this has made me contrary to a lot of supplement claims, which claim that they can, you know, turn you into like an Adonis overnight kind of thing.

[00:09:12] So that’s, that’s kinda my, my stance on supplements. 

[00:09:16] Lance Wantenaar: [00:09:16] To be honest, I can’t agree with you more at all of the experimentation I’ve done now are all of the years and I’ve switched from. A range of different supplements. I’ve tried whey protein. I’ve tried plant protein as various mixes that I’ve tried over the years to see which one works for you, which one did which one?

[00:09:33] Doesn’t. So the big thing that I’ve found is one, keep it as simple as possible and keep it as natural as possible. And if you are going to supplement, look for something that gives you the best quality as possible. If you can’t afford really good quality supplement. Focused on improving the quality of your diet and the quality of the ingredients that you eat on a day-to-day basis.

[00:09:59] Because what a lot of people don’t realize is that the vegetables, the food, eggs, eggs, or really good brain food, because just so the amino acid breakdown it’s I think bang for its buck is probably the most nutritious food source that you can get and easiest to consume. Without impacting you in any other way, shape or form.

[00:10:22] There’s a fantastic food source. It’s got so much nutrition in it. I used to do that with a protein shake in the morning after training. an egg in that from protein powder and my favourite was just raw cocoa, just because of the amount of, you’d say polyphenols and all the other nutritional elements and breakdowns on the flavonoids that I in, in raw cocoa.

[00:10:43] And that just meant that I was getting really good protein, really good nutrition and all of the other, you could say beneficial elements all wrapped up in one, but it doesn’t mean that I was ignoring the rest of my nutrition, the rest of my nutrition. Obviously I had quite a wide variety with a good mix of proteins in, but obviously the quality of the food determined how well I was able to recover.

[00:11:03] The other thing is that your variety is really important. I think. The big challenges that people get. So dialed in with a specific diet and they think, oh, if I just eat chicken and fish and chicken and rice, you know, that’s everything. No, it’s not because what you can do is you basically depleting. You could say nutrition elements out of the rest of your body and the rest of your requirements, because you’re not paying attention to getting some of the benefits from some of the vegetables and herbs and spices, herbs, and spices.

[00:11:34] We’ve got a phenomenal amount of, you could say trace elements and other things that the body needs and can be used. And which is why. Things like ginger and garlic and all these herbs and spices are so good is because they’ve got health benefits to them. So, yeah, I fully agree with, what you said of, that.

[00:11:50] And that actually is quite simple things that everybody can do on a day-to-day basis. 

[00:11:54] Casey Thomas: [00:11:54] Absolutely. Yeah. There was, a couple of things in there that, you said that I just want to briefly comment on, you mentioned about supplement quality right. Very important. If you do a look, let’s say today, you know, we talked about, a supplement in our conversation and one of the listeners in good faith says, oh, I’m just going to go down to the store and I’m going to go buy the on of these supplements research shows, you know, when they do a random sampling of supplements on the shelves, as much as 80% of them, what’s in the bag, doesn’t match the label exact.

[00:12:21] So right there, that’s a problem, but more concerning is as much as 10 to 15% of those supplements are contaminated with some kind of adulterant. So whether that’s like a toxic metal or some kind of hormone, or maybe it’s an intentional adulterants and you see this in a lot of like libido products, for example, pre-workouts where they will intentionally spike.

[00:12:41] The product with a little kick of something that shouldn’t be there. It’s probably illegal to get you a little bit more hooked on it. So supplement quality is really important. And also why, you know, the more supplements you take, the bigger the risk you’re taking. And then you mentioned variety ,variety is.

[00:12:58] One of the hallmarks of good nutrition for sure. something that a lot of people, like you said, you know, chicken, rice, and broccoli or something, that’s like a standard bodybuilder. Right. But something that I just, you know, that’s something that I’ve really seen is a lot of people tend to get locked in to, to one particular type of color.

[00:13:16] And that’s something that I like to tell all of my clients is it sounds cheesy. And they’ll hate me for saying it, but eat the rainbow if you can, every day, which is to eat every single color. That existed in the natural world, if you can, every single day. So have a yellow, have a red, have a green, have a purple don’t have spinach and broccoli all day long for the rest of your life.

[00:13:36] And that’s because each color is associated with a unique phytonutrient and nutrient profile. And if you’re diversifying it that way, then you’re going to make sure you’re getting to the broad spectrum of it. One extra additional notes of that. well maybe two extra one. You can help yourself out by eating seasonally.

[00:13:53] And two, you can help yourself out by having a mix of both cooked and raw a lot of people tend to just only eat cooked vegetables for example, or cooked foods, try to work in some raw as well. 

[00:14:04] Lance Wantenaar: [00:14:04] I think the interesting thing is that the body is designed to deal with a certain amount of variability and it actually.

[00:14:09]Has got a lot more benefit because there’s a number of cases where people have gone. You could say very, very, you could say consistent with a certain food. I know Dave Asprey decided to really test eggs quite heavily, and he’s now become sensitized to eggs. So he can’t. Eat as many eggs, or if he has a one too many he has a reaction to it, but that’s the way we can actually, you can build a sensitivity or a reaction to a food source.

[00:14:35] If you become over focus on just one typical food source and it creates its own problems, which is, which is bit of a problem. That’s where the whole toxicity. concept comes into play because they say the difference between a medicine and a poison is basically the dosage, the poison, if you, if you just, yeah.

[00:14:55]it makes you realize that it comes down to, you know, being careful and just being considerate and just being practical about it. The more impractical you go about it, the more difficult it makes your conditions and more difficult makes Being able to cope with any kind of diet and being consistent with what you’re eating, the more variety you’ve got in, the more you can enjoy the food that you have.

[00:15:15] So definitely agree with some of that. So the other area that you have tested, which is an area, which I’ve also had a test in, or which I’ve tried. Is a nootropics. Now, again, my go-to nootropic is coffee. I’m very specific about it. I do as good quality coffee as what I can, and I’m fairly fortunate. I get roast on demand and because it’s such good quality coffee, I enjoy it a lot more.

[00:15:42] And also I’m not, caffeine sensitive so I can, get away with drinking quite a lot of coffee, but saying that I do tend to compensate by making sure I only have it in the mornings. And then the rest of the day I drink water. So I don’t drink coffee all day long, just because I know that I’m caffeine insensitive.

[00:15:56] The reason why I’m touching on nootropics is that there’s a lot of people that played around with nootropic stacks and I’ve tested a couple of them and I’ve found. One or two products would just not work for me at all. it was just causing me too much of a problem. And the stacks started getting really complex.

[00:16:12]and also found that after a certain time, when certainly the supplements my body seemed to down-regulate the effects and they weren’t working as well. So I wanted to find out what your view was on that. And also, what are your, suggestions are on anybody that looking at nootropics?

[00:16:29] Yeah. Nootropics is a wide, wide, wide field. These days. There’s so many different stacks. I will say that. Nine times out of 10, when you’re looking at a nootropic, that’s what you’re buying won’t work for you in the true sense of a definition of what a nootropic is. So a nootropic is supposed to take someone’s brain who’s functioning at a hundred percent capacity and take it to 110% capacity.

[00:16:53] Something like that. It’s supposed to exceed your normal functioning capacity. We want to get better than we are, right? Most nootropic. In general, the compounds they use in there, the literature that it comes from is usually in people who are of a clinical condition, like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, those cognitive impairments, or in rodents.

[00:17:15] And a lot of the data and nootropics comes from this area and people say, okay, well, you know, it helps, people with Alzheimer’s disease improve their verbal memory or something like that. And it’s like, okay, well, that’s great. They have a deficient of acetylcholine in the brain. And so your compound is helping acetylcholine that’s obviously going to help out with Alzheimer’s disease, but in a healthy brain, I’m making enough acetylcholine. It’s not going to do anything for me. Right. And so most nootropics fall into this trap. That’s a problem. And so what you need to do as a consumer is find. The compounds that have been shown to help in normal, healthy functioning individuals.

[00:17:52] If you do care about Alzheimer’s disease, that’s great. There’s medications for that. And you probably shouldn’t be relying on a nootropic stack. You should then be relying on actual created products for, you know, whatever the clinical condition. So that’s the first problem is most nootropic products out there.

[00:18:07] 9.9 of them are relying on data that comes in a clinical brain and not a healthy brain. as far as sensitivity to, to them, you definitely see that most of the remaining ones, let’s say we’re talking about something that is good for a normal, healthy brain, like caffeine in the form of coffee or tea or something like that.

[00:18:27] What you see is. If you habitually use it and abuse it, then you will quickly become desensitized to the effects. And so that’s also a problem, right? Because if you’re trying to do it for day-to-day improvements, it’s not really gonna help. And going back to my previous message, there are some things that you can do that will most certainly help out with your brain health for a long time, which are some of the basics, like really get enough sleep.

[00:18:50] Are you drinking enough? Are you exercising those kinds of things? Right? And those will have impacts on the brain that will last you for lifespan. It’s boring stuff, right? There was no one, like no one cares about that stuff, but it truly, it’s gonna do wonders for your brain almost instantaneously, which is great.

[00:19:06] Like if you go from never exercising to just like a week or two of exercising, you can literally like double the mitochondria content in your brain and you’ll be feeling more alive and energetic. You know, it’s amazing. It’s magical. So, okay. So to your question though, you know, general stance on nootropics, if you want to use them strategically, I think there’s a great utility and some of our nootropic compounds to be able to do that.

[00:19:29] So it’s like I’m big presentation. I have a big business meeting. I have a competition, you know, those kinds of things. you can use nootropics to acutely enhance your brain. And you will see. And so you can use it strategically to enhance when you most need it. But from like of the nootropics that actually work, you can’t abuse it and take it every single day because then.

[00:19:53] Like you said, you’re going to lose the effectiveness so the strategy, at least when I’m working with like e-sports athletes or other athletes from the off season, let’s test out this stuff. Let’s find out the ones that actually work. And by finding out what actually works, you have to measure it. You can’t just say, oh, I feel better I don’t care about feelings. I care about performance. So I’m going to measure your reaction speed, and then I’m going to put you on the nootropc, and then I’m going to measure your reaction speed again. Did it get better? Cool. We’re good to go. And now, you know, if there’s no side effects, no issues.

[00:20:24] Now I know that before competition, we’re good to go and use it again. so you experiment with it in a safe setting find out what works for you, and then you try to not use it at all until you actually do need it. And then when you do need it, that’s where you can take it for that extra little kick, that extra little boost.

[00:20:41] So that’s, that’s kind of a smart way to go about nootropic compounds. for most of them, there are several that require, Like a buildup phase in your brain. And for there are some that you can’t use strategically. It’s like, I have to take them for a month or a couple of months before I’ll actually be able to measurably show an improvement in my brain function.

[00:21:03] And so there are several that fall into that category, but most of them are going to fall into the acute category where it’s like, you have to just be strategic with it. The other thing I was wondering about, I know we stepping back into some of the basics, but. This is something which I don’t think people appreciate how well some of these basics actually work.

[00:21:24] Cause it’s something, again that I’ve tested as well. Sleep is an absolute requirement because it’s got the biggest bang for its buck. It’s got one of the biggest benefits for anybody to be able to function normally because it allows the brain to rest. The brain clears up a bunch of toxins. It goes into recovery phase.

[00:21:43] It needs it for the brain to be able to do what it needs to do to get ready for the next day you need sleep. And it says to you all know, high performers don’t sleep or they sleep very little. They bunch of idiots. I’m going to say that outright because the end of the day, you start making mistakes.

[00:22:02] You start getting emotionally agitated. your decision making becomes compromised and you start relying on high calorie foods to fuel your brain, which means you start spiking. So you start relying on either sugar or caffeinated products to boost your performance. And then what happens is you start crashing and then it gets to a point where you start having negative impact on your, on your health.

[00:22:26] Long-term. So anybody that goes down that road is just going to get into a burnout at some point. And I’ve seen it before. I’ve been in that situation before. Cause I’ve tested as well. I know what I’m talking about in that regard. So anybody that wants to poo poo me can happily do it. I can tell them where to go and suck eggs basically.

[00:22:45] And if it sounds a bit harsh because it is the only other area which I find is quite fascinating is the whole ketosis and fasting, because I’ve found that when I’ve done. fasting if I do intermittent fasting, or even when I do say one meal a day for an extended period of time, I’ve found that ketosis state seems to give me quite consistent energy.

[00:23:09] And I actually feel a lot clearer by the end of the day when I’ve tested with ketosis. So what’s your views on that? 

[00:23:16]Casey Thomas: [00:23:16] Yeah, that’s, that’s a great one. So as far as ketosis is concerned, the data is equivocal. You know, there’s been a, there’s been several meta analyses that have come out, taking a look at this now.

[00:23:27] And what you see is that some people see an enhancement with ketosis. Some people see no change and some people get worse. And what I will say is in advance that there’s two confounders. Okay. Well, one is, if you’re someone who is eating like a standard Western diet, you’re eating like trash, right? And then you suddenly start caring about your diet.

[00:23:50] And usually when you start caring about your diet as, because you’re caring about your health, right? And so if you start caring about your health, then you’re going to do things like I’m going to sleep more. I’m going to drink more water. I’m going to exercise. I’m going to also go on this keto diet. And so then you have all these kinds of confounding variables that are also obviously going to improve you, but then the people who go on this keto diet for the first time, they say, wow, I feel amazing.

[00:24:11] And they might attribute it to the keto diet when maybe it was the exercise. Maybe it was the sleep that was actually the variable. So, and you see that with any diet, literally any diet is going to report. Enhancements when you compare it to a trash diet, right? Yeah. And so that’s, that’s the, that’s the biggest issue in my mind with nutrition scientific literature is the control group for, you know, who we’re comparing to for almost every single dietary pattern is the standard.

[00:24:40] At least in America, it’s like the standard American diet, or what they’ll do is they will do what the government regulations. So like whatever Australia recommends, that’s going to be our control group and we’re going to compare or say the Mediterranean diet to Australia’s government or something like that.

[00:24:56] And usually neither of those match what the person was doing beforehand. And usually both of those are showing enhancement, but, so, okay. So getting back to keto though. The brain’s natural preference is to rely on carbohydrates as a fuel source. if you go on keto for 20 years and then you eat a piece of bread, your brain will go back to that carb from that bread, from the bread, it’s going to try to use that to the best of its ability.

[00:25:22] It considers that its primary fuel source and it considers ketones as its backup fuel source. Now carbohydrates. In a normal brain, they work out fine, but if you have an overly excitable, you know, everybody’s on, on like a nice bell curve, right? So if you’re, you know, maybe this side where your mind’s a little bit more excitable, I suspect that these people are going to see better enhancements with the ketogenic diet, because ketones are less excitable.

[00:25:46] And this is also why ketones are used as like a prescription for people with epilepsy. They have a very, very excitable brain. And so when you put them on a keto diet, it kind of dampens the brain a little bit and it lets it function because it’s too hyperactive. And so as far as the ketogenic diet goes, I believe if the reason why it’s so spread out, some people see benefits.

[00:26:08] Some people don’t is because everybody’s brain is a little bit different. So it works for you. It’s not gonna work for me, not gonna work for the next guy. And we have to figure out what works for you versus what works for me. I can’t just copy you. And I believe what’s happening is the people who are on the more excitable side.

[00:26:23] Their brains that are a little bit more hyperactive, a little bit more, you know, they’re, they’re going all the time. those people probably see a little bit of enhancement with the ketogenic diet cause people who are on this side, these people are probably going to be favoring the carbohydrate diet.

[00:26:35] And what I would just say in general is this might be a slightly bigger group than this group, just because. When you’re looking at just evolutionarily, the brain seems to prefer the carbs over the ketones. That being said, ketones. There’s a lot, a lot of really interesting research coming out behind those, as well as like MCTs and things like that.

[00:26:56] And, we’re seeing that they can help improve with things like concussion, risks, TBIs, all sorts of stuff. So that’s really exciting. And I’m really curious to see where the, or the literature leads us. But as far as just like, if you had to take. Average standard bringing right now it’s a coin flip. if keto is going to boost it or not, it might, it might not.

[00:27:16] But that’s the nice thing about nutrition. Like I said before, just test it out and see if it does, if it does.

[00:27:23]Lance Wantenaar: [00:27:23] I think the other thing that you’ve mentioned over there, which is very key is each person needs to take responsibility for their own nutrition and find out. What works for them? What doesn’t you have to become personally responsible, for your and nutrition for your health, because that’s going to give you the keys to your own kingdom of how your body functions.

[00:27:42] I mean, the reason why I went down the  whole keto road is I wanted to test it to see how I could function and whether I could function better or more consistent when it came to you’d say some of the endurance events that I was doing. Cause I, the big challenge that I had. When it came to endurance event is that some of them, you could say supplements that they give, especially the, the packs and the energy packs and energy gels.

[00:28:07] There’s so, so highly flavored and sweetened that they actually cause intestinal upset, but it’s actually, it’s really, really. Quite harsh on your stomach. So I tended to veer towards the ketone or the ketogenic diet, just because I felt I could get a more consistent energy burn without going through that crash.

[00:28:31] I felt that I was a lot more consistent with the energy and I didn’t have that. You could say fluctuation where suddenly I do to, to fuel, to be able to maintain it. And I didn’t get that jittery feeling. I was a lot more, you could say consistent with that feeling of. Calm confident with, with the fact, if I did feel like having some carbohydrates or something, it was done as a strategic intake of it.

[00:28:54] But most of the time, because I was testing it, I was also, I was already eating very, very well and very carefully before I started down this road, this is not something where, I had a really rubbish diet and then stepped into ketogenic diet. And then everything was improved and i thought, Hey, this was fantastic.

[00:29:10] I was testing a bunch of things before, and then when I actually stepped into it, I then had a way of actually. Sensing how it was, whether it was improving or whether it was good for me or not. That’s why I knew when I was doing the fasting because I was eating that way. I felt a lot more, you could say consistently energetically, although I felt hungry.

[00:29:30] I knew I could manage it over a long period of time, but also again, I’ve tested some fasting for two, three days for a number of reasons, because I wanted to see how my body functioned and whether I could actually still carry on doing it. But it was also at one stage either, but a reaction to some wheat that I was eating and the only way to basically get the body to repair itself, it be go in to a fast, instead of having to deal with the food, the body, then just going to regeneration.

[00:29:57] And I, was able to, almost reset my, body to be able to get into a recovery phase. So I do these things strategically, but it’s because I’ve been testing it for an extended period of time. So I know what my range is. And that’s, I think the most important thing is people need to go down that route of it’s self experimentation to find those ranges.

[00:30:17] Once they know what the ranges are. Then it gives you the 80 20 area, which you can work on and the basics are the most important aspect of it all. 

[00:30:27] Casey Thomas: [00:30:27] Yeah. One little quick, note that I just want to say is like so many people to get paralyzed, looking for the perfect diet, you know, they’re like, well, I’m doing some research on this and that, and I’m trying to figure out what’s exactly.

[00:30:38] And I need a meal plan. I gotta buy containers. I got, you know, they just get held up on all these small details and it’s like, You don’t need anybody to tell you what the perfect diet is. if you, if you’re curious about one, go spend 20 bucks, go to the grocery store, buy the foods and try it out yourself.

[00:30:50] Like you will very quickly learn your body will tell you everything you want to know. You just gotta listen to it.

[00:30:58]Lance Wantenaar: [00:30:58] Yeah. The other key thing is another important thing is to go down the road of getting a good kind of biometric device or doing something that does biometric testing, that gives you a feedback and pay attention to what your body markers are doing, because that’s going to give you an indication if you can’t log it and you don’t have data or metrics or anything of that nature to give you feedback, you’re going on feeling.

[00:31:20] I know you mentioned about journaling. Journaling is a good way to track that because it gives you indisputed evidence of what you felt like when you eating it and you can compare things, which is why sometimes these apps are really good. If you record. Your food intake, the type of foods that you eat.

[00:31:35] And it also tells you the calories. And it also gives you that idea of this is what I’ve been eating on a day-to-day basis. So it gives you actual data instead of perceptual information, because a lot of times you think, oh, my diet is actually really good. It’s, it’s not really, when you start writing it down, you actually realize that your diet is actually pretty rubbish.

[00:31:53] And that was a big eye-opener for me, because when I actually took the effort of writing down what I was eating, I suddenly realized I was eating a lot more rubbish. Thinking I was eating and that was for me the biggest change, because I was able to, I couldn’t lie to what was on paper, which is the most important thing, because now you can’t dispute it.

[00:32:15] And that’s, that to me was a, was a very big learning curve to help me improve my, my nutrition overall, because then I knew exactly what it was that I should be eating and how I should actually be monitoring things. Sure. 

[00:32:30] Casey Thomas: [00:32:30] Yeah. I, I like to tell people if you’re not measuring your guessing, So I don’t care about your feelings, like at least in the scope of this conversation.

[00:32:37]I mean, I might care about your feelings if that’s what we’re trying to improve, you come to me. But, if you’re asking for a few performance enhancements, then we need to measure those performance enhancements to see if it actually makes you feel better. there’s a funny story with NASCAR drivers back in the day, cocaine was very, very popular amongst NASCAR drivers.

[00:32:54] They would all do some cocaine before they went out to, to drive and every single one of them. I feel like a God, you know, I I’m ready to go. Like I am, I am king of the world. I am, you know, this, this helps me compete. I’m the best ever. And then when you look at the data and you look at the compare, the cocaine users, no difference in performance whatsoever.

[00:33:14] No difference. It makes you feel better. It makes you feel amazing, but it has no difference in performance metrics. so if feeling is what you’re going after, certainly there’s a lot of things you can use to boost your feelings, but I have different performance metrics or something you care about, then you actually need to measure.

[00:33:29] Just so that we know if you’re actually improving it. 

[00:33:31] Lance Wantenaar: [00:33:31] What do you is your go to, you could say basic nutritional fundamentals that you would suggest to everybody when, they first starting out, are they starting to look into nutrition? I know that you mentioned this basics, if you had to say to somebody, when they first start out, what is the best advice that you can give them?

[00:33:49] When they start looking at nutria? 

[00:33:52] Casey Thomas: [00:33:52] Yeah. So some of the basics, right? Like the first thing, and this is a little bit difficult for me to admit, but the single most important aspect of any nutrition intervention is whether or not you can actually do it. And usually I like to jump right into the intervention, which is like, this is the prescription.

[00:34:10] Here you go. I’m handing you a piece of paper. This is what you need to do. But if I give you something that you physically cannot do, then it’s going to fail. Right. I can give you the best diet in the world, but if you can’t do it. But if I can give you a suboptimal diet, but you can’t do it, then at least you’re 10, 20% better, something like that.

[00:34:25] So the first step is to just be very real with yourself. Be brutally honest and figure out what can I actually do right now? You know, am I a single mother with four kids? Do I have time to meal prep every day? Probably not. You know? And what’s your budget? Do you have the money to actually go buy all these fancy new ingredients?

[00:34:43] Maybe, maybe not, I don’t know. Are there certain foods that you physically cannot ingest because you have allergies, right? Like if you’re allergic to eggs, but I give you something that says you have to eat eggs every day, you know, you’re kind of Sol like you’re out of luck. So first step is just to be very real with your current situation and what you’re actually able to do.

[00:35:03] Because any diet you can stick to was going to be better than your old one. So if you can do something, if you can do it in one small, tiny, tiny change, that’s going to be infinitely better than me giving you the perfect plan and you being able to do 0%. So that’s step one. Step two, I would say is I’m in general, a fan of what I like to call like the 90 10 rule, which is just 90% of the time.

[00:35:24] Try to be eating healthy. If you break down the math on the meals that will give you about two meals a week where you can. You know, be out with the boys or go out with the family, you know, it’s a birthday party or something, you know, it’s a holiday, have some social interactions. I’m not saying go wild.

[00:35:39] You know, that two meals is not, you know, I’m going to have a case of beer and, you know, a bucket of fried chicken and three candy bars. You know, I can relax a little bit. Maybe I’m not logging my food for this meal, or maybe it’s, you know, just a little relaxing. Of the 90% where you’re on point, most of it should be coming from whole foods.

[00:35:59]And some people ask me, what does a whole food say? Okay, well, did it, fly? Did it swim? Did it, run on the earth? Did it grow out of the ground? And if they say yes and I said, okay, there’s a whole food. And if it didn’t, if, you don’t know what the ingredients are, or if, you know, it’s like many steps removed from those processes, then you’re probably not dealing with a whole food

[00:36:18] and in the supermarket, a nice way to identify whole foods is usually the perimeter is where all the whole foods are. And then the interior Isles are where all the processes. And that’s not to say that you can’t mix and match, right. You can make a beautiful stew out of whole ingredients. So if you look at a label, you should be able to identify most of the ingredients starting from the top.

[00:36:36] Once it gets down to, you know, if at the top there’s ingredients that you can’t identify, then that’s probably a problem because you’re probably dealing with something that’s been heavily processed. So in general, you should probably be trying to have more whole foods after you’re taking care of that.

[00:36:50]You should make sure that you’re drinking enough fluid in a day. So water, most people don’t know this. Like, everybody knows that the body is like two thirds water. Everybody says that when their kid is like, oh, do you know the body’s two thirds water? , but the brain is actually about 75%. water so what that means is when you’re a little bit dehydrated, your brain feels that much more than the rest of your body.

[00:37:15] And when you look at a brain scan of a dehydrated brain versus a normal brain, but the hydrated brain has actually shrunk. Okay. It looks like an Alzheimer brain under an MRI scan, which is kind of scary. So your brain is physically strong. And the worst part about this when you’re dehydrated is you’re locked under your own perceptions.

[00:37:32] So you don’t actually notice that your brain is impaired. You might be, you know, reaction speed has dropped significantly, but you don’t really notice that you think maybe it’s just like an off day or something like that. So you’re locked into your perception so you don’t realize it, but a good rule of thumb is you should not get thirsty because if you get thirsty, you’re too many steps behind the process.

[00:37:53] You should have somewhat of a hydration plan. You should be drinking enough fluid in a day that you’re not having super concentrated urine. but it also shouldn’t be crystal clear. Why, if it’s crystal clear white, then you also have a problem with your urine, but another basic would be simply energy balance

[00:38:09] and by that, I mean, let’s say you were trying to lose weight, right? Like you went on a diet plan. You said I was trying to lose weight. But you notice you’re gaining weight, something wrong happened there, and something was something big wrong or something happened there. And so that was not in line with your goals, or let’s say you were trying to maintain what you’re like.

[00:38:26] I am happy with my body. I love my body and I want to stay right here. And you notice that your weight is plummeting. Your weight is going down. Something wrong is happening. Your intake is not matching your expenditure. So you should be keeping an eye over time on your weight, or just look at yourself in the mirror and see  how you’re doing

[00:38:43]I would recommend that you have at least, you know, like two servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. but in general, the more plants you eat the better off. Humans tend to be. I think every single study that’s ever looked at this has only shown benefits to plants. So I’m not saying you have to go vegetarian or vegan.

[00:39:01] I’m just saying, just eat some more plants, try to eat more colors, try to eat more Raw ones. those will probably cover you like 80% of the way you’re doing it. The only ones where people tend to start dropping the ball a little bit. Is there a little bit of a protein phobia these days and, government guidelines for protein were based off of old, like nitrogen based studies, nitrogen excretion studies, which are like really outdated data showing if you compare someone who has government recommendations approach.

[00:39:28] And increases their intake of protein. They will spontaneously build muscle without even having to go to the gym, just like that, which is kind of crazy. But what that tells you is that your body wants to build stuff. It just didn’t have all the building blocks to do itlike it wanted to, and you were starving it up the right building blocks to do it

[00:39:44] and so this caps out at about 1.2 grams per kilogram, per day of protein, the standard government recommendations are at about 0.8. And if you’re physically active, as I hope you are, you probably need even more than that because you are damaging your muscle tissue. And so I don’t know, a lot of people think that protein is evil, but you’re made of protein your

[00:40:04]body would not function without protein. You are, you need a lot of protein. So I would just make sure that you’re getting adequate protein in a day to match at the very least, you know, your physical activity patterns. if you’re dieting there’s data, showing that even more increases in protein helps out just because it helps with satiety and being hungry sucks when you’re trying to diet.

[00:40:24] So, yeah. Protein. Yeah. The other challenges when you dieting and you’re restricting your food. Is that you start focusing on being hungry instead of focusing on, other things. And it affects your cognitive ability because if you’re hungry,  your brain becomes starved of energy, which means it’s going to then key in on whatever’s going to give you food.

[00:40:45] And it’s as simple as that, the brain can be very, very persistent when it says. You’re hungry. You’re hungry. You hungry. It’s like, did you know you’re hungry? Did you know you’re hungry? It’s like that. Person’s got a donut she wants something like that, donut. And that’s when you start getting cravings and that’s when you start eating other foods, which is really, shouldn’t be, cause that’s, that’s a big challenge as people going on diets, they don’t really plan what they eat in a, in a careful way.

[00:41:10] And I think the simplest thing, especially for me is. What simplified my life as I made the food the night before, and I had a ready cause it removed the, necessity for making a choice the next day. And I meant I was able to consistently eat a healthy. Balanced diet over longer periods of time, which aided kind of muscle development, training, recovery, and everything else.

[00:41:33] So the less complicated your life is that’s a reason why meal plans work is because it removes that choice of having to make a decision. And then when you go out, you tend to buy impulsively instead of eating what you should do so there’s, a method in the madness, but I don’t think people realize that that’s why people do meal plans and they prepackage their food and that waste because it’s a way of removing those obstacles and being consistent in what they eat on a day to day basis.

[00:42:02] Yeah. Couldn’t have said it better. There there’s a concept that we like to talk about or just call it decision fatigue yeah. Amount of decisions in a day that you have to make your brain eventually gets tired of making them. And at the end of the day, that’s where you’re more likely to break down and, you know, have some alcohol, have a doughnut and have some treats, you know, whatever it is.

[00:42:21] Uh, just because you’re more tired of the day. You had to say no 50, you said no 500 times, but all it took was your mind to have to say yes one time. Um, so removing those decisions, as you said, is a great way. If you can do anything to make it easier. So that way. When you’re stressed out. And when you don’t want to be thinking, if you put yourself in a tough situation, you’re going to make the wrong choice, right?

[00:42:42] Like if you’re stressed out, you’re tired and you don’t have a meal there. You’re like, well, I’m just going to go to the local fast food because I’m tired and angry right nowyou know? So. Preplan a lot of stuff. And that helps you when you’re at a low point.

[00:42:57] Yeah, yeah. 

[00:42:58] Lance Wantenaar: [00:42:58] Yeah. It just makes things overall a lot easier and it makes a lot more consistent because consistency in nutrition is the key that will beat any kind of complex plan over a long period of time in any kind of.

[00:43:10]wild diet any kind of, you know, supplement stack, because the what’s the saying you can’t out-train bad diet. 

[00:43:18] Casey Thomas: [00:43:18] Yeah. There’s a really interesting, word, which I would like to reintroduce, which is the root for the word diet is actually a Greek word, which is díaita. And this word means a way of life.

[00:43:31] It doesn’t mean I’m going to do a 30 day hardcore crash, you know, get lean diet. Díaita means a way of life. And I feel like what you said is spot on You want to find something that is consistent and your new, sustainable way of life, what you do every day in and day out that changes who you are. It’s not this, you know, crash or fad diet or any of this kind of stuff.

[00:43:52]Lance Wantenaar: [00:43:52] Yeah. I think that’s probably a good way to, end this, podcast episode, because I, don’t think people realize. How valuable a statement is because I tended to go away from diet, instead of focused on saying nutrition, just because nutrition makes you realize that it’s a way of life.

[00:44:11] And once you accept that as a way of life, and you want to change that because you’re going to get a benefit out of it. You’ll put a lot more effort into it, but I do like the fact that going back to, you could say the Latin word or the old word, and actually take a look at what is the true meaning of the word, because that gives you a lot more context and understanding of, and when you start realizing that it’s a way of life and you know, it’s a long-term plan, it’s a long term, how you want to structure your health.

[00:44:37] And as part of your health plan, Then it changes the context, because then it doesn’t mean that you’re trying to punish yourself to get into a certain shape. When you focusing on nutrition as a long-term plan to improve your health, which means everything else will fall into place. That’s that’s my soapbox on this one.

[00:45:01] Where can people get hold of you if they want to speak to you about e-sport nutrition or just nutrition in general. And they want more advice on this way, and you kind of supplement the insights or any kind of crazy experiments that you’re doing. 

[00:45:15] Casey Thomas: [00:45:15] Yeah. So it’s a little bit of a sin in my industry, but I actually don’t have social media.

[00:45:19] I have an intern who’s trying to help me out with that. But for, for most people, if you want to get in touch with me, honestly. Yeah. I’m old school. Just email me. It’s Casey Thomas [email protected], which is fine. I tend to read what people send me and I tend to be as responsive as I can be. I did recently launch the gamer diet.gg website, which has a lot of articles on there that I think.

[00:45:43] Truly applied to a lot of people and not just gamers. Yes. That wasn’t the target, but all the information on there is great for just how to improve mental performance. In general, a couple of e-books, there’s a bunch of articles. There’s a bunch of podcast episodes where I just ramped up nutrition stuff and different nootropics and all sorts of stuff on there.

[00:46:01] So check it out. It’s free. I hope you enjoy it. And like I said, if anyone wants to reach out to me directly, just shoot me an email. And if anyone is good at social media, let me know because I’m trying to get this up. 

[00:46:13] Lance Wantenaar: [00:46:13] That’s fine. That’s fine. Yeah. I’ve got the same consistency as a, as a librarian when it comes to social media posts and everything else, so, yeah, but have a love, hate relationship but yeah, that’s, that’s fine.

[00:46:25]I’ll share your details on the show notes and on, my websites. So, yeah, definitely. I’ll, put the word out, but, hopefully we can, do another interview at a later stage. We can go into some more topics.

[00:46:38] Oh, absolutely. I love talking about this stuff. I’ve had a blast chatting with you.

[00:46:42] So, if anybody, if you want to talk about anything specific nootropics or anything more detailed than, and we only kind of scratched the surface, but I love talking about this stuff and people normally have to tell me to shut up. So that’s cool. That’s excellent. Thanks. A lot of Casey. No problem. Have a good day.

[00:46:58] You too. Take care.