Precision Health Club

Interview – Jordan Mazur from University of California

Rachel: Hey Jordan, thank you for joining us. It looks like your microphone is on mute. Are you able to hear me? Hi everyone, thank you for joining us. We are just getting the tech working and making sure Jordan can hear us and his microphone is working as well. Everyone, Oh Jordan, can you hear us now? No, it seems like we’re still having some trouble with Jordan. So, I have brought up Ty. He is our head of Biz Ops at Rootine but has a number of really interesting health hacks and workouts that he’s been working on. Ty, what is one of the things that you’ve been working on with your health most recently? 

Ty: Hi, everyone, hopefully I’m coming through loud and clear. So a little bit unexpected. Hopefully we can get Jordan on here shortly. But you know, I just moved. I live in the mountains in Colorado. So I live at quite a significant elevation about 10,000 feet. So I’ve been working on kind of bringing up my endurance at elevation. So working a lot on specific things around, you know, blood oxygen capacity, and muscular capacity and things like that. So, some of the things that I’ve been doing are just like, you know, very long hikes and really maintaining kind of a heart rate, like 150 beats per minute, for extended periods of time, which is not difficult to get up to at this elevation. You essentially, you know, walk a little bit and you’re up there. But I definitely noticed that in the four weeks or so that I’ve been out here, you’re have seen essentially gone from, you know, zero aerobic capacity from moving out here. You know, you go on a jog and you’re at the end of the street and you know, you’re very tired and fatigued to you know, when I’m on a 10 mile hike the other day with about 3500 feet of elevation gain, I think the top of that were about 13,500 feet elevation so and did so relatively easily. So combining just kind of daily workouts with some chopping of logs, with some long dog walks, it’s interesting to see how quickly your body adapts to semi-extreme environments. 

Rachel: Yeah, that’s crazy. I mean, every time I go out to Colorado or anything with high elevation I can barely walk. So when you go and you try to ski and then you go from Denver to like 7000 vertical feet from the mountains, it’s definitely a difference. Have you been using any like tracking devices or tracking any metrics to kind of see what those look like as you’ve been adapting to life out there? 

Ty: Yeah, I have an aura ring. I didn’t use it for about a year. But then when I came out here, I put it on, charge it up, put it on, because it’s interesting to see like that the interesting metrics are really around sleep, I think. You just seeing your heart rate, how elevated it can get in the nighttime compared to normal, you know, when I’m at you know, sea level, or even just kind of moderate elevations like Denver at 5000 feet, I sleep and my average beats per minute in the night is probably something in the 40 to 45 range. And the first couple weeks that I was out here, you’re probably more in like the 65 to 75 range, which is a pretty significant increase. And then over time on a weekly basis, I’ve been able to take about three to four beats per minute off on average per week that I’ve been out here. So it just kind of seems like you know that month to month and a half timeframe is kind of what it takes, at least my body, to kind of adapt to altitude and kind of bring that heart rate back down to a normal level when I’m sleeping. But yeah, all sorts of metrics, like my strain metrics, which are attracts were kind of off the charts at the beginning. And that’s mostly due to aberrations in heart rate and things like that at altitude. So that’s just really what I’ve been tracking on the aura side of things. 

Rachel: Interesting. And then in terms of everything kind of else you’re doing across your health. It sounds like you’re paying attention to sleep. Do you have any specific kind of like sleep hygiene or like sleep fitness regimens that you follow? 

Ty: Yeah. I think what’s really important is to one, maintain an average bedtime. I think when people bounce around a lot, it’s really, you know, it’s not good for kind of establishing that routine. Because your body likes a routine. I also like to establish some sort of exercise and exposure to light in the morning. And I also complement that, especially in the winter time with Vitamin D in the morning. Those processes are all kind of tied together and it helps set your circadian rhythm, which I think most people think about, you know, sleep hygiene is something that they do, probably 8pm and beyond. But you know, my sleep hygiene starts in the morning. Because again, it helps set that circadian rhythm, and it is very important to do so in the morning so you reap the benefits of it at night. I think also just keeping a cool room temperature. I’m the type of person who likes to sleep at very cool temperatures. So being in the mountains, it’s very easy for me to pop a window and have my room at you know, less than 60 degrees, it’s kind of my ideal. And that has definitely been shown to really improve my sleep scores for…. 

Rachel: Hey, Ty, thank you so much for that. We’re just gonna check in with Jordan again. Jordan, can you hear us or are you able to talk at all yet? No? So we’re still having some technical difficulties with Jordan. So we are going to keep talking to Ty. He has so much insight across everything he does from his sleep, his health, what he’s tracking. And now let’s talk about nutrition. Are there any specific diets or kind of like, nutritional plans that you’re following right now? 

Ty: That’s a good question. You know, I’ve kind of done everything. Back in college, I was talking to a sports and performance nutrition major. And he told me that you couldn’t gain muscle on a vegan diet. And I wasn’t vegan at the time, but I was like, you know, you’re crazy. And so I was actually vegan for two years just to prove to some random person that I barely knew that you could gain muscle on a vegan diet. And I actually went from about 170 pounds to 200 pounds during that time. And so I tried the vegan diet. I was keto for about two and a half years a couple years ago. Very, very strict keto, didn’t break it for about two years. I’ve really tried everything high protein, low protein, kind of looking at different metrics around all these different types of things. Right now, with kind of the move that I just did, and having kind of like less control over some of the things in my diet, I really just focus on eating whole foods primarily. I try to avoid things that are processed for the most part. I try to avoid added sugars as much as I can and I try to eat things that are in their natural form and then I shall state as much as possible. I do cook foods. I’m not like a raw type person, but I just try to eat things as naturally as they can be. But my macronutrient split for the most part is I’m always pretty high protein. I try to eat something at like the 0.8 to one gram of protein per pound of body weight and I’m about 175 pounds right now. I rarely say I get to 135 grams of protein a day, I’m probably more like the 130 to 150 range. But that is something that I do prioritize. I make sure that I hit a certain level of protein intake on a daily basis, just because that is one of the things that I’ve found that impacts my performance and really how my body feels on a daily basis. When I don’t hit those for multiple days in a row, I can definitely notice it. I am significantly higher carbohydrate than I normally am, and that’s just due to my level of activity. That is another thing that I tend to track is just, and I track loosely. I’m not a macronutrient guy that you know, writes everything down that I eat and tallies it up at the end of the day. But I have a loose understanding of kind of the foods that I’m eating and days that I am more active, I will eat more carbohydrates. So for example, we’re gearing up for winter out here, and I have a wood burning stove. So I’ve been chopping wood every day. I mean that’s a great way of exercising but it’s also a huge caloric burn. So I’ve been eating a lot of carbohydrates to keep up with that. I’ve been doing a lot of hiking a lot of walking with a dog. So just because and I’ve also been getting back into weightlifting. So just because my daily energy levels or activity levels are up so high, I’ve been eating a lot more carbohydrates, so probably on like the 250 to 300, sometimes higher grams per day, just to help me kind of maintain my weight right now. 

Rachel: And how are you thinking about carbs? Like are there specific types of carbs that work better for your body, or is it just any type of carb? 

Ty: Yeah, definitely. So I did the levels, CGM continuous glucose monitor for about four weeks and experiment with some different carbohydrate sources. There are some things that work better for my body than not. I also have the genetics that make me fairly poor at disposing of carbohydrates once they hit my bloodstream. So I kind of “run hot”. So I have a fairly high blood sugar on average, which is not a good thing, which is one of the reasons why in the past, I’ve restricted carbohydrates. But I found that you know, as long as I’m exercising, I do dispose of carbohydrates better. And there are some things that I can do to help that as well kind of from a pharmaceutical standpoint. But when I think about my carbs, the number one thing for me is digestion. I choose carbs that I digest better than others, you know, some carbs have high fiber content, I don’t digest very well, and it makes me feel bad. So that’s one of the biggest things for me. It’s just like, listening to my digestion. And I would say, if that’s even a higher priority for me than kind of my blood sugar and blood sugar response. And that’s just because, from a longevity standpoint, I know that as long as I’m keeping my activity levels up, I’m disposing of the carbohydrates, and I’m maintaining a decent level of blood sugar. And to me at this stage in life, kind of the digestion aspect is more important. Especially just because I eat a lot of food, you know, I’m probably 180 pounds right now, but I probably go through close to 4000, maybe more calories per day. That’s a lot of food for someone, and it puts a decent strain on the gastrointestinal system. So making sure that I cannot, you know, further exacerbate that, from a like carbohydrate standpoint that I don’t digest well is important. 

Rachel: Yeah. I mean, that definitely makes a ton of sense. Because when you think about nutrition, and as you’re trying to kind of optimize around it, it’s really about how you feel and how your body can perform better. And if digestion matters more than blood sugar, and it makes more of a difference to you, then paying attention to that metric for you personally makes a lot of sense. And it might be different for others. I know. Like, for instance, for me, when I eat specific types of carbs, or like much higher sugar, my blood glucose goes insane, and it makes me just feel terrible, I’m not productive, brain fog is insane. So I think it’s really personal to each individual. Just something we always need to remember when talking about health, nutrition. 

Ty: Yeah.

Rachel: And then…

Ty: I think digestion is just interesting, because it impacts so many different areas of life. Like if your digestion is off, you’re not gonna want to exercise. If your digestion is off, it can interfere with sleep, it can also just interfere with your quality of life. So I think it is a nice metric just to pay attention to and think about at all times. And it also impacts like if your digestion is thoroughly messed up, then you’re not absorbing nutrients as you should. So it impacts really everything across the board. So I think it’s something that it’s important that I consider on a daily basis and it definitely impacts the decisions I’m making from a dietary standpoint. 

Rachel: I know you mentioned Vitamin D in the morning, but what else are you taking? 

Ty: Yeah, I mean, I take my routine. So that obviously gives me like kind of blanket coverage from micronutrient side of things. I have a product from foreign right now it’s called Candlelight. And that is primarily like an electrolyte formula. I’m taking that because a pro tip for anyone that is skiing or going to the mountains this winter. Hydration is probably the number one biggest thing you can do to make yourself feel better at elevation. So doubling up kind of on my electrolytes is important to me, and also has a couple other like specialized amino acids that just kind of help you stay hydrated. That’s a product that I’ve been enjoying a lot since I’ve been out here. I am experimenting right now with a different type of Vitamin D, it’s Calcifidial, it’s actually the activated form of Vitamin D. So just kind of like messing around with that a little bit. And so those are kind of like the primary ones right now, you know, from supplementation standpoint, if you include protein in that I do take a whey protein, just about every day. That’s one of the things that helps me kind of get up to my protein goal for the day. And I think that’s about it. For the most point, I’ve been experimenting a little bit, I won’t name drop any of the brands here. But I’m very interested in kind of like the adaptogenic space, kind of from a cortisol standpoint. I think like stress is one of the big things that is ailing most people today. And, most people’s kind of health conditions that they associate with something other than stress are ultimately rooted in stress. So I think it’s an interesting kind of field of study. And so I’ve been messing around with a couple of those compounds and seeing what works for me and kind of looking into the research to see what works for the greater audience. Because I think those are interesting products that have a lot of utility for most people.

Rachel: So it sounds like from a supplementation perspective, you’re really first focused on making sure you have a great foundation, which it sounds like you’re getting through Rootine. And then you’re also thinking about any maybe like seasonal specific considerations as well as like conditions-specific considerations. Is that right? 

Ty: Exactly, yeah. I mean, I think, at the end of the day, most people, they try to do this, and they try to supplement based on their use case, but they definitely don’t have the data to really do so effectively. So a lot of people are just guessing. So I think it’s a very good thing to understand your body to buy data on your body so that you can understand it in a way that is going to, you know, benefit you for the rest of your life. You know, for example, I know my genetics around blood sugar are bad, right? So I am going to have ways to combat that. And it’s good to know that now in my late 20s versus knowing that in my 50s, right, when the damage is kind of already been done. So it’s important to identify your genetic weaknesses to identify your kind of condition-specific needs, and find ways early in life to address them so that you can continue to make those practices throughout your life. And so you can really reap the benefits. A lot of people unfortunately, identify these things, and it’s kind of already too late, the damage has been done. And they’re kind of left trying to make up for decades of, you know, poor lifestyles, or even just genetic weaknesses, whatever it may be. It’s a little bit too late at that point. 

Jordan: Hello.

Rachel: Yeah. 

Jordan: Can you hear me? 

Rachel: Hi Jordan, how are you? 

Jordan: I’m sorry for the delay. I honestly, I’m really tech savvy. So it was kind of frustrating. But I realized that there’s, I’m at my work. And there’s probably like some firewall that was like blocking it through the Wi Fi. So I took off the Wi Fi on my phone, and then it solved everything. 

Rachel: Interesting. Well, thank you. Thank you for the patience with that. We did not realize that that might be an issue. Well, Ty just got off the stage, but want to give him a shout out. Thank you for going through kind of everything that he’s been doing. But Jordan, thank you for joining us, really excited to have you here. And just for short intro Jordan is the director of nutrition for the 49ers. He’s also an advisor to multiple companies in human performance and biohacking space, and was previously Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of California. Anything else that I didn’t say that’s super important and impressive by your background Jordan? 

Jordan: No, that pretty much sums it up. I’ve kind of been a few different places with you. Like you said, I work with a bunch of companies, but I also am a contributing writer to Men’s Journal and some other media outlets too so. And that’s kind of how I feel basically all my time. 

Rachel: So what do you do in terms of kind of your day to day work with the team? What are you really focused on? How are you helping them optimize their performance from a nutrition standpoint? 

Jordan: Yeah, that’s a good question. And I guess, you know, people ask me that a lot. And there’s really no day is the same. So there really isn’t like an easy you know, an easy one day like a typical day that people ask, and it really just depends on like the phases of training where we are in the year. So if you go back to like the beginning of the year from like, actually, we’ll start in training camp because I guess we’ll start with like the football season. So training camp starts around the end of July and so for my focus there is to get the guys in, and I manage all body weight and body composition for all the players that come in on the team. So we’ll get a body weight, we’ll do a nutrition assessment, see where they’re at, we’ll do a lot of baseline blood work and their physicals. You know, we’ll measure a lot of biomarkers and things that are actionable as well as baseline health testing. We’ll get their body weight, body composition, we have a DEXA. So we have a, you know, one of the best, you know, the gold standard for body composition measurement here, which we’re lucky to have and see where their lean mass is versus their body fat is instead of just that number on the scale, which is really important. And then I’ll help to set some of the body weight and goals for the player just for performance, but also overall health. So within the football team, you got, you know, guys that are 330 pounds, and you have guys that are 190 pounds. So you know, there are different teams within the teams, I like to say with the different position groups and the wider range of athletes that are within the team itself. So it starts there, and then you kind of roll through training camp and the focus there is just trying to fuel guys up and trying to make sure that they’re fuel is going into practice. Training camps are pretty rigorous in terms of the practice schedule, usually go three days on three days in a row and one day off, typically all the way through. And then you kind of have preseason games that you have to prepare for. So there’s a lot of that during the training camp and our focuses on fueling, maintaining body weight, meeting those individual goals and also recovery, right? You want to recover from the training session, you know, maximize the training effect is what I like to say from training and also the lifting that these guys are putting their bodies through and really in preparation to really just build the body up versus breaking it down by the time the season comes in. There’s so much work that’s done during training camp in preparation for the season, that you don’t want to dig yourself in a hole by the time the season comes. And so nutrition and recovery modalities are a big part of that. Hydration is a big part of it too. We’re lucky, I’m lucky in California. Weather is pretty temporary to mild, we don’t have to worry about hydration as much as someone you know, an athlete that’s in Houston or Miami during training camp. August in Miami and Houston are pretty brutal compared to here. But hydration is also important. So we’ll do some sweat testing on guys to identify salty sweaters, different sweat rates, which are highly individualized for every individual. So guys that we know that have some cramping issues or have issues previously, before they appear on college, we can identify that really more, give them some targeted nutrition strategies for their needs. And that kind of rolls through into the regular season. And then they you know, there’s really no break before game one. And then game one, you know, we basically go week to week. So, we have games on Sunday. So we want to make sure that they’re fueled up leading up to that. So that work really starts on the Monday leading up. So Monday and Tuesday are pretty much kind of off days and recovery days for the players and then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, are our big practice days kind of taper down to Saturday which is kind of a walkthrough. And so you know, our role is to make sure that I’m providing the adequate nutrition, the best meals and food possible. And food availability, nutrient timing is really important. And then making sure that they’re recovering post workout post lift. And so I’m doing a lot of that and then that goes throughout the whole season and then you know work closely with it’s not just working one on one with the players, I go over every single menu with my Executive Chef here. We go over where we’re sourcing those foods because I think food quality matters. So nutrition quality matters of what we’re serving, not just the foods that we’re serving, but where that food is coming from. And then I work with our sports medicine staff on injury nutrition, pre, post-surgery nutrition of guys have to have surgery, concussion management, soft tissue injury, there’s a nutrition component to all that for the return to play. And then the performance aspect of it like I mentioned, body weight, body composition, making sure they’re fueled to get through the workouts, hydration, pre workout, post workout nutrition that we have available to them. And then I work with our logistics team when we’re traveling. So what we serve on the plane, what we serve at the hotels, then what we start with the stadium which is very similar to game day here, where we serve pregame meal at the hotels and then the pre pregame nutrition available to them at the game, halftime nutrition and then post game food. And so you know that’s kind of like you know, synopsis of what I do throughout the season. And then offseason comes where I have a little bit more downtime and we have offseason training from mid-April to mid-June. Where you know we have offseason program, OTAs, and practices in that time in preparation of the season. We got a few weeks off about 40 days off between July between June and in July where we kind of start it all over again. So that’s the long but brief answer I guess of what typically I do for the team. 

Rachel: I feel like that’s short compared to everything that you do. There’s a ton of moving pieces it sounds like. On the testing side if we go back to the beginning kind of how you think about creating a baseline and then kind of tracking how people are doing over the course of the season and offseason. What analyze are you really looking at like what tasks are you doing at the baseline? And then what are you kind of tracking or continuously testing over time? 

Jordan: Yeah. So we’ll do a standard baseline like a CBC, blood lipid profiles that typically most people would go, don’t get from their physician and their yearly physical. We’ll add a lot of nutrient biomarkers like Vitamin D, we’ll add Vitamin A, we’ll look at, you know, Zinc, Vitamin C, we’ll look at magnesium, RBC magnesium, we have a pretty comprehensive panel of not just biomarkers that just to measure but also ones that we know that can be actionable from a nutrition standpoint. So, ones that we can be affected through diet or nutrition, and supplementation if needed. You know, we find that a lot of the ones that most people are deficient in, you know, there’s a lot of cholesterol issues for some of the bigger guys, right? You have guys that are 330 pounds. And although they’re professional athletes, and really in shape, they’re at risk for some of those, even, you know, metabolic syndrome, and basically pre-diabetic. So we look at blood sugar levels as well, for some of those guys. Some of the common ones that we see is insufficient, or deficient in Vitamin D is a very common one. B for being insufficient and deficient. We look at RBC magnesium is another common one. So magnesium in general is one that’s more common. We see Zinc is also one that’s more common than I think people think about, right? It’s a component for a lot of functions in the body, including immune health. So those are some of the most common ones that we kind of can address. And then we do that once a year. And then if we find that there are ones that we need to follow up on, ideally, we would do it more often in a perfect world, you would do it every three or four months for some of those performance follow up panels. Some of those baseline months, you can do like once a year, or twice a year. But overall, those are some of the major ones. We look at ferritin that are in the Omega3s, you know, the DHA, EPA, Omega 3 risk index that we see that a lot of guys are, you know, are deficient, I can do some help with. And then more often, we have the ability here to measure HSCRP, as well as redox. So those tests are for, you know, acute inflammation and chronic inflammation that we can measure. And then redox is a measure of really your antioxidant capacity compared to the free radicals that are in the body. And so for these athletes who are putting their body through so much, it’s pretty eye opening to see where those fluctuate. We’ll do it, you know, in real time, so two or three days a week, throughout the course of the season to see where they’re recovering from and CRP is really an indicator of generalized inflammation, but it’s an indicator that something’s going on in the body and these guys are putting their bodies through a lot. So it’s more can we manage the flame with nutrition and other modalities, right? Elicits a conversation about nutrition, it can be intervene with some more, you know, fruits and vegetables, high antioxidants, food, high anti-inflammatory foods, or things like glutathione, Vitamin C that we can supplement with that we know can help that to help recover is that increased inflammation inhibiting their ability to recover from week to week, or from Sunday to Sunday from game to game. And then we also have a conversation about sleep and stress and other things that can may be contributing to that as it’s multifactorial, including, you know, slight sleep stress, outside factors, environmental factors, infection, things like that. So those are some of the more acute markers. And then I think, you know more frequently we’ll measure those ones that I mentioned those nutrition biomarkers and those follow up panels that we can measure to make sure that if we’re supplementing or making nutrition interventions that they’re doing what they’re doing, and, you know, we can follow up to make sure that we’re not supplementing blindly, that they’re where they need to be for health and performance. 

Rachel: So is all of those test results and individually kind of crafting nutrition and supplementation plans per player, or you kind of batch grouping folks for this is what we’re going to do if people have inflammation issues, this is what we’re going to do if we see deficiency in Vitamin D. How are you kind of approaching that next step after the testing and the performance checkups? 

Jordan: So we have protocols for each. So obviously we’ll do the batch testing then we’ll categorize the players into their areas of need. So we basically have like readiness to perform scale so you know, one through four scale based on some of those biomarkers, and then we’ll address the ones that are more higher risk that need more attention and so we have a protocol. So if they’re low in Vitamin D, we have a Vitamin D protocol. We have you know, for the other supplements, magnesium, fish oil, DHA, EPA, we have food and supplements and then same thing with like the inflammation. We have more specific protocols when it comes to supplementation. So we’ll use glutathione, which we know is a strong unit, in accident, we’ll figure out ways to increase anti-inflammatory foods that they can eat that are going to be beneficial that they’re probably not including in the regular diet, but it gives them you know, an actual, you know, they can measure their own levels, and see that they need to start to make an intervention, instead of telling them, “Hey, you probably inflamed, you know, putting your body through a lot, we’re not blindly doing that, and we’re actually gonna measure it”. And they’re kind of competitive by nature, right? Athletes are different kinds of beasts. So anything that you can make more competitive, and ways that they can improve and better themselves, tangibly see those numbers, they’re going to be more likely to be able to do your interventions and then follow them. And so we have all those protocols based on if they are, you know, their CRP is elevated, or their redox numbers are in the perfect ratio or need some work. Same thing with Vitamin D. And a lot of times, it’s a combination between foods to include that sometimes you need some supplementation, especially if it comes to Vitamin D, or fish oil, those EPA and DHA, and then Zinc or things like that. 

Rachel: Are you looking at additional kind of wearable metrics? Like are any of the players utilizing wearables to help further inform these nutrition plans or just recovery plans in any way? 

Jordan: We aren’t doing that necessarily. I mean, the players that, you know, we’re working in with a professional sports league, the NFL and NFLPA have certain protocols and things that, you know, we can measure, and we can’t measure. And so we obviously are doing a lot of sports science in terms of, you know, external load measures and GPS data, load man loads, high speed yards, high speed, just a top speed, things like that. And then the internal loads that we were measuring, obviously, I measured the CRP that I mentioned and the redox, it was more of the internal loads that we can try to overlay with some of that. I think that the players themselves can have some of them are more interested in we use eight sleep. They have the option to purchase that and use that for their own, we can’t necessarily track that ourselves, per like the NFL guidelines. But we can offer that and encourage them to use it to track it themselves and give some guidelines if it indicates something that we can help with. You know, they have the boot bands, I think is an NFL, you know, sponsor through the PA. So they have the ability to get some of those and track those for their own health. And then, you know, me personally, I’ve used things like levels and some of these other aura rings, things and try them myself. And I think they have an application, and there’s value to all of them in a certain setting. And, you know, that’s just not something that we can provide per se, but we can also encourage them and educate on the benefits and what help interpret some of those results for their recovery and performance. 

Rachel: That’s very interesting. I didn’t realize that there were kind of so many guidelines and regulations around what can and cannot be tracked at least by the team. So it sounds like there are some things that you can’t exactly incorporate if you wanted to. But hopefully people are getting access to kind of those interesting data points across levels across aura. Is there anything else from a product standpoint, either wearables or consumable products that you yourself, utilize? 

Jordan: So, I mean, obviously, I’ve used Rootine for a while and there are a ton of nutrition health products that use Sun Genomics, which is a unique DNA sequencing for the gut microbiome that will create individualized and customized probiotics. I’ve been working with them and using them for almost four or five years now. So I have a lot of data points. I’ve given a lot of stool samples to measure my unique gut microbiome and adjusted accordingly based on some of the imbalance differences. And it’s really interesting to see how that is manipulated through, you know, constantly. It’s changing based on new diet, lifestyle, you know, if you’ve interacted, if you’ve been sick, illnesses, medication, anything that you’ve used, how it’s changed. Anecdotally, I’ve had a lot of changes just by using that over the years. So that’s one that I’m a big fan of, and we work with our players on some of that too, if they voluntarily choose to do that. Because I think gut health and the microbiome is so interesting that it has such a big impact on human health, and we’re learning more and more and more about it. As those DNA sequencing and the technologies are advancing more and more and we’re learning more and more about you know, the specific bacteria that have certain roles in the human body. You know, specific bacteria that might be more beneficial for an athlete or that might help with metabolism or recovery or inflammation that might be more beneficial by directing it towards the gut for recovery and performance. And then there are a lot of functional food products that we use, you know, tart cherry juice is a common one that you know, there’s a lot of research for muscle soreness and recovery is an antioxidant. Beverage I use, sleep is really important. So we use you know, a product called Sound Sleep that’s just to make a more natural melatonin, magnesium, big V six GABA sleeps up on me. Because like the night before the night leading up to the game, sleep is so important, basically a week, but you want to make sure that they’re well rested for recovery for not just physically but mentally and, you know, getting ready for Sunday. And so those are a lot of the products that I like to use. Personally, you know, including, you know, Rootine is my you know, micronutrient and cellular nutrition product to kind of be more individualized and specific to my own needs. 

Rachel: Thanks so much for going through that. I’m sure that’s very helpful to a lot of people in the audience to think about kind of what you use personally and how you think about what the team uses as well. I would love to switch gears a little bit and start to ask the audience questions. Rob wrote in question around if one of your athletes is hungry an hour before training, or a game, what would you recommend that they eat as to not interfere with the performance yet also give them the energy they need? 

Jordan: Yeah, that’s a great question. One I get a lot, but one that’s kind of again multifactorial. So it really depends. Pre-workout or pregame nutrition depends on what the workout is, the intensity, the type of exercise, the length of the workout, what time of the day that is, when you last ate, and then also your individual goals. So if you’re talking about pro football athletes at this level, they eat a little bit different than most individuals. Most of them are bigger, they require more fuels, they have high metabolisms. They’re very lean. So for us leading up to practices, you know, our practices and our workouts are much more intense than someone just going to the gym and working out at, you know, a weekend warrior. So timing is really important. So for us for practices or games, it really starts like the day before and the night before. And then the day of our practices are usually later in the afternoon. So we try to get two full meals in and the snack prior to training. So the further out the workout or the training or the game is, the more substantial the meal can be. So three to four hours out, you can have more of your pregame meal, or pre-practice meal, which is a larger meal, you know, full macronutrient, carbs, fats and protein and pretty balanced meal clean. But then as you get closer to your workout, you want to get easier to digest familiar foods, really more carbohydrate-based snacks that will give them a boost in blood glucose, which they’re going to use in their training or practice session, or game. And so like an example, a classic case is a PB&J, which is it’s kind of funny because we eat that as kids, right? It’s something that you feed your kids that everyone loves when you’re young. But even adults love a classic you know peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, you had a great ratio of good, simple carbohydrates something that most stomachs are familiar with, right? You got to think about your own GI, your GI preferences, which are individual for everyone. Some people digest certain foods that are easier than others, but really, it’s about familiarity. So we also use a lot of bars and choose honey stinger makes a lot of bars and choose like gummies and waffles that are great quick digesting carbs that you can you know go leading straight up to practice in that 30 to you know, immediately before even intro workout. That’s easy to adjust. It tastes good there, you know, basically, quick sugar. We’ve done things like leading up to like Greek yogurt and granola. But some people don’t necessarily want to do dairy or can’t digest dairy like that before. Smoothies and liquid nutrition are always good options that are easy on the stomach, easy to digest, get into your bloodstream pretty quickly. So that’s really the time that like a Gatorade or a sports drink, a carbohydrate based drink is most appropriate. Pregame halftime nutrition like that’s when it’s going to be really useful, really, for the most part. No other times of the day. It’s really, really beneficial. But you really just want to avoid heavy high fat or fried spicy foods that are going to bother your stomach if you Harper and toughen your GI system during practice. So, each player knows their body’s best you know. Everyone knows their own bodies, you know, knows their own bodies and what’s going to work for them. So yeah, it’s pretty variable but individualized. 

Rachel: And moving on, we have another question from Carlos. If you can elaborate on how you collaborate with the other specialists on the team like the trainers, the strength and conditioning coaches, to recalibrate athletes with a personalized feeling and recovery needs. 

Jordan: Yeah. So here, we have a performance team. So our performance team set up, head up by our Director of Player Health and Performance. And he kind of oversees the whole department. So there’s really kind of three legs to it. So there’s the strength and conditioning aspects. So he kind of oversees that, the sports medicine aspect, and then the nutrition aspect. So those are kind of like the three pillars. Our Head of Player Health and Performance oversees all that. And he really streamlines communication, because if you think about it, there are so many different moving parts, so many athletes. There are coaches that need information, there are, you know, personnel and executives, and you know, people that are making the roster decisions as well. So there are a lot of moving parts, there are decisions on guys that are going on injury reserve released that are playing that week, not playing that week, practicing, not practicing. Team so we all work together, stay in our own lane, but work together, it’s a very collaborative effort. There’s a lot of communication in everything. And that’s going to be what’s most important. 

Rachel: I know, that makes sense. So many moving pieces, especially when you think about all the different pieces of the health stack, that especially these high performance athletes really need to think about. So now I have a couple of questions from Lily. The first, which is, what is one piece of advice that you wish you had known sooner when it comes to fitness and nutrition? 

Jordan: Well, I think this is kind of twofold. So it’s more of like a professional. So like, figure out work-life balance earlier. And I think that could be applied for most people, fitness and nutrition, or the professional sports industry like myself, you really don’t know what you’re getting into, there’s no way to prepare for it; the schedule, the long hours, weird hours during the season, seven days a week, 12 hours a day, sometimes traveling, there’s no days off. And then that’s for six months out of the year, offseason a little bit different. So it’s no traditional 9 to 5. So figuring out a work life balance and figuring out what that works. Because, you know, typically there is like the 9 to 5 work week, give your weekends off. So you can plan that around better your work-life balance and time for yourself. So you really have to be more strategic about that. So I guess it’s more of a general world of figure out a work-life balance that works for you, for your own professional life, but also mental health as well. And making sure that you find balance in life. So it’s not all just about work, you also find time for yourself and your family and your life outside of work as well. And that’s harder, it’s easier said than done, especially when I started. Because a lot of people, including myself, right, you just want to work and work and work and build your career and build your passion and whatever you want to do. And kind of put some other things to the side. But it’s always about adjusting and finding that work-life balance. But when it comes specifically to work to fitness and nutrition, exercise and nutrition, I didn’t realize as much but everyone has an opinion. And everyone thinks that they’re an expert. And everyone has some kind of opinion on nutrition and exercise. And there’s a lot of debate. And the hard part is, you know, kind of combating social media and false information out there. What’s the right information, there’s a lot of mixed messages and everything when it comes to nutrition and what’s best and what’s going to work for the individual. And it is so highly individualized. People forget about the genetic components, you know, what works for one person might not work for another person. If you give 10 people the same diet exercise plan, they’re going to respond in 10 different ways for a number of factors. So, you know, you got to be careful in what you’re providing in terms of exercise and nutrition information out there. Because you want to be provide sound evidence based. Evidence based is always going to be the key to it, I think that there’s some component of, you know, anecdotal, and what’s worked for that individual, and you have to just kind of, you know, work through all of that. And that’s something that you won’t figure out until you kind of get in the field. You know, going through school, you don’t really have to deal with much of that you’re working through, you know, school and textbooks and lectures and things to learn the science behind it, but the application side is kind of the hard part. So you know, being an expert, being a sponge, learning as much as you know, you can, especially when it comes to nutrition for me learn what the trends are. And then people are gonna ask questions, people are gonna have an opinion on the keto diet or the Paleo diet, or they watch this documentary or I read this on Twitter, or my personal trainer told me to do this, or this me, you know, my mom lost a bunch of weight doing this. And you got to be able to sort through all that, hear them out, provide the evidence based, you know, recommendations and kind of go from there. So, you know, there’s a two part there professionally, and personally trying to figure all that out once you start getting them in this field. 

Rachel: To learn and think about and it’s continuously emerging science as well, especially as the tools around the testing and tracking. I’m really thinking about from an individualized basis. It’s continuously, I’m sure a learning experience. So we have another question from Stephen around any specific recommendations for adjusting your diet to deal with acute injury recovery? 

Jordan: Yeah, so we do a lot of that. So acute injury depends on what type of injury it is. So soft tissue injury, like a hamstring pull, or calf strain, a little bit different than, you know, an ACL tear, or something. And so the body’s gonna respond in different ways to that. You got to allow the body to first kind of have that natural inflammatory response to swelling, trying to get that swelling down to whatever the injury is. And then there’s a lot of nutrition protocols that we have when it comes to soft tissue injuries. You know, there are things like collagen and Vitamin C, where there’s a lot of emerging research out that can help strengthen those ligaments and tendons around maybe a tendinitis, or you know, a hamstring pull. Hydration, kind of reducing that inflammation. So measuring that and trying to, you know, you want acute inflammation, but you know, after a while, chronic inflammation can cause problems in the body and delay healing. So you want to manage that as much as possible. There are certain supplements like beet juice, and dietary nitrates account with blood flow to help with that swelling, and then acute injury. And then you have, you know, post-surgical, pre, you know, making sure if someone had tears like an ACL or something like that, they’re going into that surgery well-nourished to maximize the recovery, and then that short term, you know, right after surgery is gonna be really integral where nutrition is going to play a big role in the recovery, the healing process, where your body is really open to, you know, the nutrients in healing your body as quickly as possible. And then you kind of extend that out more long term, because that’s a long, long rehab. So there are different phases of, you know, return to play and return to health, where nutrition plays a big role. And, you know, making sure that there’s adequate protein, maybe reducing the carbohydrate center, or you’re at the beginning, your energy expenditure is a little bit lower, but you actually have, you know, your body’s healing. So that requires energy as well. So it’s kind of a finely tuned, you got to evaluate and figure out what’s gonna work. So, you know, you’re well nourished, and you’re priming the body with nutrients that it needs, but you’re not delaying the healing process either. So there’s that and then you know, fractures, right, so you have, you know, bone fractures, where you know, calcium, Vitamin D, bone nutrients, are going to be important to allow it to heal properly and quickly, as fast as you can. And so it really depends on the injury. And then there are certain protocols and nutrients, targeted nutrients that can help with all of that. 

Rachel: So much to think about. Is there any other kind of on the personalized biology or genetic standpoint that you should be taking into account when thinking about injury recovery and nutrition? 

Jordan: So, I mean, I think that, you know, you have to look at the cause of injury, right? You know, is there a past medical injury, other underlying, you know, other issues going on that might increase inflammation, some autoimmune issues, or anything that might be going on internally? Probiotics in the gut health are really important when it comes to, you know, recovery and nutrition as well that people don’t really think about, especially if you’re taking antibiotics. If you’ve had a surgery or something like that, you know, can kill out, you know, protect you from a lot of bad bacteria, but it wipes out a lot of that good bacteria too. And so those are the major components you want to manage. You know, look at your body weight, body composition too if it’s a longer term surgery to, you know, make sure that you’re not gaining too much body fat, and you’re not losing too much lean body mass, well, you know, you’re immobilized or inactive until you get back. So those are, you know, a lot of the so many different components and ways to monitor, especially if you’re an athlete to make sure you’re returning as quickly but as you know, in a healthy way. 

Rachel: And then, I think just looking at the time, I think we have time for one more question. I’m going to add this is from Ty. Any excitement on your end over specialized performance macronutrients like slow really starches or ketone esters? Not sure if Jordan is still here with us. Awesome. Well, it sounds like Jordan might have fallen off. I just wanted to thank him so much for joining and we will circle back up with him after. And thank you to everyone who has come on, has listened, and submitted questions. Continue to look out for new folks that we’ll be having on our Expert Series. And if there are any suggestions or types of folks you’d like to hear from, please let us know as well. Well, we’ll find some people to come and answer your questions. Thanks again.

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