Hammering Down Your Hydration Plan with Hammer Nutrition Founder Brian Frank

Hammering Down Your Hydration Plan with Hammer Nutrition Founder Brian Frank


In this episode we're featuring Brian Frank, the founder and CEO of Hammer Nutrition.

Hammer is one of the most trusted brands in endurance sports. And Brian is one of the most knowledgeable guests that we've ever had. If you've never heard of hammer nutrition. Well, that might be by design.

Hammer focuses their marketing efforts on grassroots events, the very backbone that makes up our industry. They have a phone number where you can call them anytime and ask them questions and they focus on making quality products.

This conversation was so good, it went on for two hours. So we decided to split it up into two episodes.

In this episode, you're going to learn how an unorthodox childhood directly led to the start of hammer nutrition.

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Podcast Transcription

The following transcript is provided for your convenience. It was created through a program, and may not be entirely accurate to our conversation.


Intro Quote [00:00:00]

Brian Frank:

So if we're prematurely spending all of our glycogen to fuel muscles, because fat burning has been inhibited, this is where the mental acuity and the brain function starts to really become compromised. And then we are, we're having trouble even making the right decisions as to do I need to drink more, do I need more electrolytes? Do I need more calories? Because you're getting fuzzy headed.

Episode Intro [00:00:27]

Kevin Chang: [00:00:27]

Hello and welcome to the RaceMob podcast. This is episode number 60.
I'm Kevin entrepreneur technology and fitness nerd. And I'm joined by the head coach of RaceMob and master motivator, the incomparable Bertrand Newson.

Guest Introduction [00:00:41]

Hello, RaceMob crew and welcome to this extra special edition of the RaceMob podcast.
Today we're featuring Brian, Frank, the founder and CEO of Hammer Nutrition. Hammer is one of the most trusted brands in endurance sports. And Brian is one of the most knowledgeable guests that we've ever had. If you've never heard of hammer nutrition. Well, that might be by design.
Hammer focuses their marketing efforts on grassroots events, the very backbone that makes up our industry. They have a phone number where you can call them anytime and ask them questions and they focus on making quality products.
This conversation was so good. It went on for two hours. So we decided to split it up into two episodes.
In this episode, you're going to learn how an unorthodox childhood directly led to the start of hammer nutrition. We'll talk about the early days of hammer and how Brian started the company at the age of 20 in his apartment in San Francisco, the supplement stack that he recommends everybody take, regardless of their activity level.
Why the fueling philosophy he lives by is less is best. And what this means for athletes, especially those looking for maximum performance on race day.
You can find all of the show notes online at RaceMob.com/podcast.
And without further ado here's our conversation.

Start of the Interview [00:02:01]

Well, we want to welcome today onto the RaceMob podcast. The one and only Brian Frank founder of Hammer Nutrition, Brian, welcome to the RaceMob podcast.

Brian Frank: [00:02:12]

Kevin, thank you for having me on, it's an honor to be here. ### Brian's Origin Story [00:02:15]

Kevin Chang: [00:02:15]

Fantastic. And Brian, we know that you have just such an interesting background, such an interesting childhood. I know that , you spent part of your early childhood in Africa and actually growing up there and then moving down to Soquel. So can you tell us a little bit about your childhood, what it was like, how you grew up.

Brian Frank: [00:02:32]

Yeah. because it really, I mean, that was the background, the childhood background, and what I learned from my parents who were also dedicated to helping people later ended up becoming the business in a very distinctly different career path than I had intended than I had been on. For many years, I was going to be an international trade specialist, you know, free trade was going to raise all ships.
And luckily my dad gave me a crystal ball and he said, this is what's going to happen through free trade. Do you want to be a part of it?
And I was like " downsizing, outsourcing, closing factories, exploiting foreign labor markets and bringing those goods back here and selling them to the people who just lost their jobs and can't afford to shop anywhere but Walmart?", no, I don't think that's what I want to do for a living.
So, you know, You guys remember in, like, I think it was ninth grade in social studies class. You have that week or two where they have you fill out all these charts and tests and answer questions to decide what type of career you might be best suited for.
Back then, I was like, I already know I'm going to work in the shipping industry, I'm going to be importing and exporting, you know, international businesses, my thing. And I went to a special high school in long beach, called the center for international commerce when we studied foreign relations and international trade.
And we studied the Olympics, which were in LA that year. I went to San Francisco state university because it was the best international business department in the west coast.
At that time got through basically my first year, second year, you know, the, all the core requirements and everything, and started getting into the business classes and again, doing my own reading and really learning what the end game was.
And you know, one of the many things that I learned from my dad was, you know, life is short and it's too short to have a job you hate or a career that, you know, doesn't nourish your soul or give you some sense of satisfaction.
And again, this is coming from a person who was, you know, a chiropractor, a Reichian therapist of supplement and diet advocate from the sixties. My mom is a midwife retired now and a homeopathic practitioner. So all, you know, growing up I was watching them, helping people.
And so the childhood growing up was being born in Laurel canyon in the Hollywood Hills in 1966. No doctors, no midwife, just mom, dad, and my two sisters. And from there, it was, you know, we were those original granola, you know, hippies in, in Southern California in the early seventies.
You know, my mom had a Volkswagen van. We went to a free school where classes were offered, but participation was optional. And we regularly loaded up the Volkswagen van with my German shepherd and went on road trips of unknown locations for indefinite periods of time.
Maybe we'd end up in Vancouver in Canada, maybe we'd end up in the painted desert out in Arizona. But it was always, you know, no white death. We were forbidden from consuming, refined dairy, sugar, wheat products.
And back then, you know, we had Altadena. In Southern California, you could buy raw unpasteurized cream on top milk, butter, cheese, everything at the supermarket. And we had didn't have the GMO and all of the craziness that we have now.
Believe me, you know, my mom's gluten-free carob chip cookies. They weren't very good. They pretty much tasted like cardboard. It was a lot harder to be that, you know, healthy granola person back then.
And I didn't think it was, I knew we were strange. I knew we weren't like most of the other families on the block and what but you know, that was how we lived. And that was my normal. That was my daily life. You know, we ate mostly fruits and vegetables, you know, and lean proteins.
So at mealtime, it wasn't a matter of, you know, you have to eat your green beans or whatever, before you leave the table. I mean, I had to take all my vitamins before I left the table.
And so between that was the first eight years growing up in Southern California, got plucked out of there and dropped in central Africa in Chad in the capital of, in Jamaica, which at the time in 76, when I arrived Bangladesh and Chad were kind of dueling it out for the status as the poorest countries in the world, you know, annual household income was about $72, infant mortality rate was 80%.
Yeah. For a hippy kid from Southern California. Culture shock was a pretty big deal and appeared pretty big daily occurrence. But again, there, we saw how, you know, the locals ate when they could get food to eat and how the Americans and the ex-pat community and everybody ate and then how we ate.
And it was just, it's always been different. It's, you know, we were getting wild frogs and venison and things like that from vendors that would come and knock on our gate, you know, and be like, you know, we just killed this deer. Do you want to buy it?

Kevin Chang: [00:07:41]

Wow. Wow.

Brian Frank: [00:07:43]

You know, whereas all the other Americans are like, they're only buying, like getting their Swanson frozen dinners or whatever, from the way cast, airplane you know, and, and stuff. So it was a very different parallel universe. And so when I got to this turning point in my life in terms of career, it was kind of, it, it just fell in my lap. You know,
I'd been going to Hawaii for family vacations to Kona. I had actually seen Ironman in 84. And it was like, Wow. these people are from raised Z. But you know, I was in high school at the time I was swimming, playing water polo, racing, motorcross, you know, I was training four or five hours a day.
Our school Woodrow Wilson high school in long beach was a perennial powerhouse and swimming and water polo. We were, you know, five time divisional champions, I think when I came in. So, you know, you were just expected to be in the pool for at least four hours. Most, every day of the week, that was just cross training.
That was racing motorcross, you know, Wednesday night, Thursday night, Saturday, Sundays, if I didn't have meats or events you know, so in trying to do all that and maintaining a nearly 4.0 GPA you know, I was like, I can't do this just with food alone.
So. Calling on the expertise of my father who had been taking mega doses of niacin and stuff in the sixties, you know, it was like, okay, what do I need? You know, you need more antioxidants, you need more protein. And there's this miracle nutrient that just came out of Japan called coenzyme Q 10, that supports cardiovascular health and helps to improve endurance and recovery in athletes.
So in 85, 84, 85, I was taking high doses of coenzyme, Q 10, vitamin E iron is seen in a whole other host of micronutrients and using amino acids and protein to facilitate recovery. And when I did all that stuff, I could maintain my schedule. When I didn't then I'm falling asleep in the locker room and, you know, just getting through workouts and you know, not doing well.

Observing Dietary Habits [00:09:51]

So, now I'm jumping around, sorry, but back to 1986, and there's this sport of triathlon and all these yuppies are driving their BMWs and their sob convertibles. And they have every single waking minute of their life scripted in their day planner. Before you had apps and what right.
They had that daily calendar planner thing that everybody lived on and they were training like maniacs. They're doing triple volume training because they're like, I'm going to train like a marathon runner so I can run the marathon. I'm gonna train like a cyclist so I can do the time trial and I'm gonna train like a swimmer so I can swim.
Meanwhile, on the experts of the day, when it came to dietary habits, we're telling endurance athletes that protein is not necessary. You don't want to be big and muscle bound anyways. You just want carbs and a lot of carbs the more, the better. So we saw this a whole population of athletes, basically, you know, just becoming hypoglycemic, living on carbs, two our hunger cycles.
I mean, I would talk to guys that were eating, you know, a loaf of bread or two a day

Kevin Chang: [00:10:59]


Brian Frank: [00:10:59]

Plus pasta, plus, you know, everything else. They could get their hands on because you know, they're training like maniacs. They're not recovering. Their immune system is faltering. You know, the chronic protein to sip deficiency is causing all this muscle cannibalization and all that.

Realising What Athletes Needed [00:11:15]

Things in the body that, you know, mimic disease and aging and so forth. So I was like, I know what those guys need. Those guys need what I've been taking for the last several years of my life, getting through my athletic career in life. And this is what they need.
And, you know, back then you just picked up the phone and called Scott Molina and was like, Hey Scott, I got this new product. You want to try it out? Sure. Send it to me. So you know, within a few months of launching the business, we had basically all of the top, all the legends of triathlon, except Dave Scott, Dave, Scott never, never associated with him, but Mark Allen, Scott Tinley, Scott Molina, Paula Newby, Frazier, Kenny sous Lisa Lighty on and on and on.
I mean, if you were a pro triathlete, you know, in the late eighties, You were using ECAPs as they were known back then, you know, and following our program and seeing massive improvements in energy, endurance and recovery.

Suppements and Diet [00:12:18]

Kevin Chang: [00:12:18]

That's incredible. And I mean, we're right now in the middle of a cut the crap challenge. So I mean, how apt that you're talking about this. You know, the white death, right? Removing processed sugars from your diet, removing the white breads, removing the alcohol, and the saturated fats from your diets.
And seeing both improvements in, reduction of inflammation, improvement in how your body's feeling, but more energy, more endurance, more of the other things.
So when you had athletes that were using your supplements, were you also teaching them about, you know, the cause supplements can only help you so much, right. They can only help you that little 10%. It's so much of what you need to do to change is in your diet or in, what you're eating day to day.
So were you kind of changing landscape of what some of these athletes were eating at that point in time, or was it mainly focused on, on supplements ? And did things change?

Brian Frank: [00:13:10]

Good question and you know, absolutely. I was trying to, from the very beginning, trying to impress upon all these athletes, the fact that I'm supplying them with micronutrients and coenzymes, that are helping their body on a cellular and sub cellular level. And that's awesome.
But your macro nutrients...
okay. I'm going to get up for one second here or I'll just move the computer with me. Cause I need to get a book out to show you one of the first books I read as a child and that both of my parents read probably before or after I was born. Is food is your best medicine by Dr. Henry Bieler?
The first publication on this book I believe is in the fifties. Oh, this was copyright 1965. So he was an MD practicing in the fifties and became really the first health food advocate in history. And his hypothesis was simple. All disease comes from our diet and all cures come from our diet.
So that coupled with, you know, the reality of, you know, refined sugar, wheat, dairy products and the effects that they have on our body over time, you know, you can't, un-know these things.
And so even though, you know, business experts, you know, people like Peter Drucker, you know, Seminole thinkers in business and management theory, you know, have said, look, keep it simple, find an unmet need in the market for a product or service. Make that product or service sell it to those people. Don't waste your time trying to educate people.
Don't, you know, try to bring a market to you. Don't try to move the mountain, right. You go to the mountain everybody loves sugar, so make a sugary product and, you know, put some bells and whistles on it and some sizzle and, you know, sell that stuff like hotcakes right

Brian Frank: [00:15:09] But that wasn't me in that could never be me.

And I still, to this day I was doing the education as best I could verbally and things in, through communication with my clients, because keep in mind back then there was no. If you want to place an order for my products, you had to call me and we would have a very long conversation if you want it.
And we would discuss all of these things and yes, my race caps and Duro caps and the original products are going to help them with these things. But you have to concentrate on protein and you have to moderate the deleterious substances in your diet and so forth. Because back then, and unfortunately, even still to this day, we see this mentality of athletes, you know, where they think that they're just a calorie burning machine.
So, you know, they can just eat whatever they want and then burn it up. And, you know, we use the analogy of trying to heat your home with a wood stove, but instead of using wood, just putting newspaper. you're going to get a big flame and you're going to for a few minutes or whatever, but it's not going to heat your house.
So I've done what we're not supposed to do for the past 34 years, which is attempt to educate people about the evils of sugar specifically, but all the processed and refined foods that they're consuming because nobody else is going to tell you, you can't bite the hand that feeds and all of these companies provide billions of dollars of revenue to magazines and newspapers and the media and stuff.
So they can't, their hands are tied.

Kevin Chang: [00:16:39]

And you just look at, you know, a couple of weeks ago, Cristiano Ronaldo moving his Coke bottle to the other end of the table. And suddenly Coca-Cola's share prices, , dropped by $5 billion
so what we appreciate most about Hammer is , the amount of information that you give out to your customers and entire world for free, you know, you can just go onto your website, you have a whole educational section , where you're really giving a lot of information, a lot of value to any type of, person out there. So we appreciate that and we appreciate you helping educate.
If you like our podcast and sign up for our newsletter, where we give you weekly tips on how to run your best race and have fun in the process. Just go to RaceMob.com and sign up today.

Starting Hammer Nutrition [00:17:22]

And so we're definitely going to dive into, because I know that you have a lot of information for us to fuel up on race day and even before race day, but I do want to get into the beginnings of the company and something that you had kind of mentioned a little bit earlier, which was your dad taught you a lesson about the value of, of life about, you know, needing to take every day as it comes.
And so talk to us a little bit about the early days we know you're a San Francisco was where you guys started. So talk to us a little bit about the early days of, of Hammer.

Brian Frank: [00:17:51]

Yeah. I was, you know, I was 20 years old. When we incorporated in may of 87 we launched at, in August of 87 at the Coors classic bicycle stage race, which at that time was the only true like grand tour style stage race in this country. It was 23 stages from San Francisco to Boulder, Colorado, you know, different stage in a different town every day.
I mean, just literally just like the tour de France only in California, Utah, Colorado. And so my honeymoon, my wife and I got married on August 2nd, excuse me, seventh. And I think the course classic started I think, around the 10th or 11th. And so the first expo, the first day expo we're in the inside the, the pure buildings down at fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco at pier 39.
And we've got this little, you know, table and a banner, and we've got this bottles of co Q 10 and you know, the race caps and the Enduro caps. And right next to us is this young couple named Brian and Jennifer Maxwell while she was young, she was young, he was not, but anyways, a couple.
And yes, the founders of of PowerBar and they had, they were cutting up sections of these Power bars and telling people about, you know, eating them while they were riding to prevent bonking and what, and then they would come to this next booth and pick up this bottle of pills.
And keep in mind, Ben Johnson had just tested positive for steroids at the Seoul Olympics, so, you know, first it was the joke of like, oh, these are steroids, right? Ha ha ha, no, really? What do they do? Why do I want to take these? You know, and it was energy, endurance, recovery, et cetera. And so we set up, you know, an expo basically every day in San Francisco, in Sacramento, in Squaw valley in Reno
And that was the model for me. From the very beginning was to go to the clients, go to the events, go to triathlons again, primarily in 87 through the mid nineties, it was almost exclusively triathlons. And then triathlon had its first slump and mountain biking came in. Well, actually before that in 89, Greg Lamond wins the tour, right. And all of a sudden masters road racing is a thing in the United States again. And you know.
So 89, 90, 91 92. Was, you know, all of the you know, executives and white collar guys getting into master road racing. And they had, you know, trained as, as athletes earlier on in life. But you know, now they're in their thirties, forties, fifties, and they want to ride two, 300 miles a week or more, and, you know, be racing on weekends and stuff.
And they find themselves in the same, over-trained under recovered state as the triathletes and in the mountain bikers, they got serious about fitness. You know, Jo Marie, I sponsored Joe Murray in 86. He was the first our, excuse me, I sponsored him starting in 87, but in 86 he had won Orban national championship.
The first Northern nationals, cross country trampoline ship, basically on bike handling skills with no fitness, because there was no roadies who had gotten on a mountain bike yet. And you know, the sport had come out of, you know, mill valley and Belinas Ridge and a bunch of stoners, you know, riding cruisers down repack not exactly, you know, peak cardiovascular fitness required.
So in the nineties, when mountain biking and specifically cross-country mountain biking got real and got, you know, to be one of the elite levels in terms of fitness and, you know, the numbers you had to be putting up to be competitive.
And so every new market that's evolved, we've done the same thing. We've sought to educate them. And I digressed a minute ago so far that I didn't mention endurance news, which I think you guys are familiar with. Started out as a little 10,000 word newsletter in 1992, but I would write every word of again to get this information out to at least my clients, if not the world.
And that became bigger and bigger and bigger. And now I call it a magazine. Because it is, and, you know, we mail it out to about 55, 60,000 of our favorite clients. So it's truly one of the larger circulation pubs in the in the country. And, and again, people say we're biased and I, and I say, you're absolutely right we are.
We are always, always going to be biased against sugar and artificial ingredients and processed and refined foods. And too, and again, like we were saying earlier, because my mission is to help people primarily. And we put principles before profits every day. We have to educate them and we can't get our message out any other way than having our own publication.
So we do endurance news five issues a year bi-monthly except for in the winter months. And then we're doing now, we're doing endurance news weekly. Which is a weekly feature article written by either me Dean Karnazes, Dr. French, Steve born, or my son miles is now getting involved as well. So you know, again, we just, we disseminate this information.
People hopefully they'll pick it up and hopefully, you know, they'll put it to the test. You know, I was really, really excited to see the popularity and the growth of the whole 30 diet plan

Kevin Chang: [00:23:12]

Yeah, whole foods. yeah. I mean whole actual eating whole

Brian Frank: [00:23:17]

and no sugar. for 30 days. And again, I've been trying to get people to do that for decades, so whatever they did to spin that and make that so popular. I love it because any athlete I come into contact with, if they say they've done whole 30, then I know instantly they've experienced the change in how you feel.
When you delete these things from your diet.

Sugar and Energy Storage [00:23:43]

Kevin Chang: [00:23:43]

Well, and I mean, people don't realize that so much of the fueling on race day comes before race day and how your body can learn to use fat to fuel yourself. Right? So if you only feed yourself carbs, simple carbs sugars, those sorts of things, then your body is not as efficient at utilizing your fat stores.
, and that's the more efficient energy storage in your body . And I've heard that there's a very high percentage of the population that has chronic fatty liver disease right now , and unless you can, start reversing the signs of a fatty liver , you won't be able to utilize fat stores, and have that energy in mile 10, 20, 30 of your race.
So I love that you're disseminating some of this information that we can dive a little bit deeper into, , what works and , what people should try.

Brian Frank: [00:24:28]

I try to continually remind people about, you know, this fixation on the flavor and the taste of food. And, you know, I have to like what it tastes like. And, you know, if I don't like it, I won't eat it. And you know, I'm talking to, you know, junior athletes that want to be professional athletes and make a living and have a career as a professional athlete, you know?
And it's like, you have to change that paradigm in your mind. You know, we'll get to the fact that healthy whole foods can be amazingly delicious, but first we gotta deal with the myth that packaged processed and all these refined foods are the only thing that we like to eat.
Because for me, the momentary satisfaction, again, I grew up in Southern California and, you know, we shopped at trader Joe's in the seventies when there. was two stores, one in Sherman Oaks and one in Pasadena, because that was literally the only place you could get fresh squeezed orange juice.
But my mom was a street racer in van Nuys in the fifties. And she knew about in and out. And I, I had a couple in and out burgers in my day.
In fact there was one on the 22 freeway at the Magnolia exit on the way back from Saddleback. And if so, if I won, I pull off the freeway and get myself to double-double animal style French fries, animal style, and a chocolate vanilla milkshake.
And it tasted so good going down, but I would, I would literally be ill for like the whole night and possibly the next day, you know, and I, and I finally got to the point of where I'm like, it's not worth it. That enjoyment that I get from eating all that food, the aftermath.
And that's just you're talking about a three to six hour hangover, food hangover, you know, people that have been mainlining high fructose corn syrup and, you know, for fine sugar through beverages and, you know, refined and packaged processed products. I mean, they have no idea how much differently they can feel, how much better they can feel with just a 30 day sugar fast.
###### Kevin Chang: [00:26:34]
And part of the key is it does take, you know, at least seven to 14 days. Because your body's going to reject it. You know, your body craves that sugar, you're going to get headaches. Your, body's going to want that sugar. And so, , I think that's why we've really enjoyed this challenge with so much of our community.
We're getting towards the end of this 14 day of this challenge. And you know, it is really at the end of these 10 days, 11 days, 12 days that we've seen so many people just be, feel so much better. Their inflammation is down so much. We've had A1C has dropped. And so really it is, it does sometimes take support and it sometimes tastes the community to help you get there.
And that's why I love, you know, to try it for 10 days, try it for 14 days, try it for 30 days, really see how your body feels and really commit to it. Cause yeah, we believe that you'll feel so much better and your performance will get a lot better over time as well, so.

Yeah, I think we wanted to get into a couple of different things, one around supplements. So, you know, we, we know Koki 10 is kind of that, that first supplement that you brought to market and that there's a number of other supplements that Hammer Nutrition has as far as, as you know, kind of daily vitamins go and, and other things.
So what potentially are some of the supplements that you would recommend for the casual runner, the casual athletes, at least be aware of and to think about these days?

Brian Frank: [00:27:52]

Absolutely. Well, the first thing to address is another myth that is still propagated today by men and women of science. Doctors, nutritionists will tell somebody you don't need to take supplements, just eat a balanced diet.
But the problem is is that no one knows what a balanced diet is. It's never been seen in the wild there's not a single study or published paper that identifies what your macronutrient intake should be.
You know, they say to eat a balanced diet, you know, plenty of fruits and vegetables and you know, not too much of the other stuff and you'll be good to go. Okay. Well, the reality is, is that, you know, even according to like the one a day Centrum commercials on TV, 90% of Americans are not getting basic daily essential vitamins from their diet.
And I would suggest that it's actually a hundred percent of people who do not supplement the, just eat food that are living with vitamin mineral enzyme, deficiencies that their body is having to struggle with. So the first thing to put out there is I never, ever, ever want somebody to be using supplements as a crutch.
Okay. You're not going to get there. Okay. But you still need to try your very best to eat that balanced diet. And we put it into numbers. You know, we break it down. This, you need a half a gram of protein per pound of body weight daily, just to service the muscle tissue you have when you're training five, six days a week or more.
If you're trying to cause hypertrophy or muscle growth to occur, you got to increase that to three quarters of a gram per pound of body weight daily. So my diet starts with protein and we build around that. But the point is, is if an athlete is not getting, you know, we use the 165 pound male athlete as our sort of average, okay?
So that person is not getting 80 or 90 grams of protein a day. Muscular recovery is inhibited, certainly. Okay. So I want them to try as best they can to get there with their daily diet, you know, stop just doing oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, you know, give yourself a good quality protein serving.
At that point, it could be a couple of farm eggs it could be some lean protein, it could be a combination of rice and legumes or something. If you're eating plant-based, you know, but you got to have protein at every meal and usually need to SAB some protein, you know, some raw and salted nuts of avocados and things like that to snack on during the day. Or you're not going to even get close to that. 80 90 grams.
Most of the athletes I come into contact with who fit that description are usually hitting about 50 or 60. So the first thing is, come on, get serious about protein in your diet. Plant-based is awesome and that's great, eat more vegetables and stuff.
But, you know, stop trying to do protein void meals. Now, then you add in something like, you know, our whey protein isolate. There's no schwag in it. It's 92% protein by volume. We add six grams of glutamine. You know, that is a really, really high quality source of protein, 20 grams per serving. Okay. So maybe one serving a day, if that'll get you to your protein mark.
Awesome. You're good. So protein is key. We make a branch chain, amino acid supplement, but I usually that's about the 10th or 11th product I recommend because I really want people to be focusing on protein from their diet, from their macros.
So the first pill or supplement that I would recommend somebody taking, who doesn't take anything at all is our premium insurance caps.
And I consider that to be originally that's dietary insurance, cause keep in mind other until I was forced to by law. I never had health insurance. My family never had health insurance, my kids, you know, no, we didn't because we didn't go to doctors. We were wouldn't wouldn't really work.
And you know, my daughter had, you know, my middle daughter had an appendectomy, you know, and that was a few thousand dollars, but I think I calculated it over the first 20 years we were married. I saved about a quarter million dollars in insurance premiums. Because we self-insured

Kevin Chang: [00:32:07]


Brian Frank: [00:32:08]

through diet and exercise. Occasionally, you know, I needed a good carpenter with really expensive tools to put me back together when I broke a bone or something. That's total respect to orthopedic surgeons. I just that's. Anyways,

Kevin Chang: [00:32:21]


Brian Frank: [00:32:21]

so the premium insurance caps is a multivitamin formula. It's got 54 different nutrients in it. Vitamins minerals, enzymes. You name it, it's in there. It's got everything you want for a women's formula, prenatal formula postnatal. It's got all the bells and whistles. And the cool thing is, is it's not a one size fits all, all 54 nutrients are proportionately in every capsule.
So, you know, like my kids started taking one a day when they were like five, six years old by the time miles got to be 14, 15, and he's racing, cyclocross and stuff, he's taking four or five a day. You know, I'm taking five to seven a day, depending on my training volume. But the daily multivitamin, just to cover those nutrient deficiencies that your normal whole food diet can't supply.
And yes, your urine will change color and yes, your body will definitely jettison some of the excess, but this is again, the beauty of it. Your body will self-select exactly what it needs and it will keep that, and it will jettison the rest.
We have a lot of pothole filled roads up here. No, you guys have pretty rough roads around that, the bay area too. So, you know, I, I analogize your diet as this kind of potholed road filled road that, you know, you have to work around and stuff or your car gets beat up and broken. Then they come along and put down that fresh coat of black top and it's just like butter.
And yeah, it filled in the potholes and some places that the road was fine. It's still covered that too. Okay. But now you've got a nice smooth road to drive or ride on. This is what you're doing with a multivitamin you're resurfacing, that diet road, filling all those potholes and all of those gaps. So your body can do what it wants to.

Advice for Runners Starting Later [00:34:08]

Bertrand Newson: [00:34:08]
Fantastic Brian so far. And Kevin started the, the, the conversation flows centered around athletes everyday. A lot of our audience they're blue collar athletes, some cases rediscovering their inner athlete or discovering for the first time. You know, 30, 40, 50 years young, and some cases tackling their very first 5k, 10 K half marathon.
What advice do you have for that type of runner? And what they should do in a week leading up to a race night before day of, and during the day,

Brian Frank: [00:34:37]

Sure. You know, new athlete, veteran athlete. I like to try to have people simplify things and try not to change anything if possible. Okay?
This is where usually kind of the train goes off the track. You've got extra time, cause you're Tapering You're not training in your normal routine or whatever. So what are you going to do?
Well, I'm going to help my body by loading up. You know, I'm going to carbo load. I'm going to, you know, walk around with that gallon jug of water. I'm going to go, you know, get those extra double salt, potato chips and beef jerky, and you know, I'm going to help my body get ready for that race on Saturday.
And it's basically just every single thing a person could do wrong. We want to train like we race race, like we train, you know. That 5k timed competition on Saturday, to me, I would not approach that any differently than I would a five K workout on a Tuesday or a Thursday morning.
So, you know, again, the idea is if you've been training, you're normally going to take some time off a day, or two before the race just maintain normal caloric intake, normal hydration, intake, normal sodium intake, because in the scheme of things, whether we're talking to 5k or an iron man, okay.
When your body's thinking about life and death, these are not really big deals. We could probably do the 5k or the 10 K on water if we needed to. And so that's my message. Coach "B" is do less and just let your body run through the process because it can handle it, it can handle it. And this is why my fueling philosophy is termed less is best.
Because in almost every single situation, when we have an athlete, who's struggling with their training in their performance. It's not from under consumption of fluid calories or electrolyte it's from the opposite.

Calories Dynamics [00:36:36]

I mean, I talked to guys that are, you know, carbo, low pasta loading the night before and having like 1200 calorie breakfast and having a, a gel on the starting line for a 5k. Come on, man. You know, the interesting thing again is we, we consistently see athletes who are training 10, 12, 15 hours a week carrying around five to 10 pounds or more of excess body fat. How's that possible?
It's from over consumption. I mean, they're essentially, they're eating to train and training to eat. But again, as Kevin mentioned, our body is built to burn fat. We have hundreds of thousands of calories of fatty acids available for energy needs if we allow our body to get to it.
But the interesting thing is, is when an athlete eats a meal within three hours or so of race start time, they have just eliminated their body's ability to burn fat. When they start consuming excessive amounts of calories during an event, they also inhibit the body's ability to burn fat.
So we need to start our events. And again, I want people to train like they race, race, like they train. If you are going to go for a run at six o'clock in the evening, It would be ideal for you to be eating a late lunch or a second lunch around three o'clock and then do that run at six from six to seven 30, and then sit down and have dinner.
Not have lunch at noon and then be like, oh, it's six o'clock, I haven't eaten since, you know, noon. I'm super hungry. Okay. I'm going to have a sandwich before my run, or I'll have a sandwich at five o'clock or whatever.
And again, runners so much more so than cyclists or triathletes, they know it's no fun to run with food in your belly. Okay. So we essentially want to start every event and training session when possible in this prime state where we're three hours, post-meal our insulin levels are down, our, all of our hormone levels are down. Our body is in a state to commence burning fat immediately.
Stomach is empty. Muscle liver glycogen is full, and again, we need to start burning fat early on because if we cut off fat burning by eating a meal, let's say an hour before race start, we're going to blow through our glycogen stores in the first two hours.
Well, our body wanted to use that glycogen sparingly to provide about 15 to 20, maybe 30% of our calories while the rest of it's coming from fat. And here's the one of the reasons, and we see this bigger, a big time in motor sports is the brain doesn't run on fat. Okay. The brain can only run on glycogen on blood sugar.
So if we're prematurely spending all of our glycogen to fuel muscles, because fat burning has been inhibited, this is where the mental acuity and the brain function starts to really become compromised. And then we are, we're having trouble even making the right decisions as to do I need to drink more, do I need more electrolytes? Do I need more calories? Because you're getting fuzzy headed.
So we want to burn fat from the very beginning and we want to necessarily preserve glycogen. And then we want to intake an amount of calories that the body can actually assimilate and absorb, which we've were told that, you know, the liver can process one gram per minute of carbohydrate.
So that would give us a total of 60 grams an hour times four calories per gram of carbohydrates. So 240 calories. Is our theoretical hourly maximum for caloric intake and assimilation. I personally, you know, at, at 1 65, 1 70, my optimum minimum hourly caloric intake is one 30 and we should circle back and come to this topic because it's, it's a big one.
And we constantly see athletes trying to divine what products they can use that will allow them to consume the maximum amount of calories possible.
And I'm saying, this is not the question we want to even be asking. I want to know what is the fewest calories I can consume from start to finish without slowing me down.
That's all I want to take in. I mean, one more calorie than that is wasted. It didn't get me across the finish line any faster. And again, I use one 30 as my base. I can peddle for eight hours at 130 calories an hour without any drop-off in, in power output. I can do 150 calories I can do. I've done as much as 180, 190, but I didn't go any faster. I just wasn't quite as hungry when I was done.
So we see people continually trying to over-consume calories and Coach B to your point, you know, light dinner the night before light breakfast, three hours before the morning of, and maybe five minutes or so before that gun goes off, you know, you take a gel, you have a big sip of water and you go out and you run for 20 or 30 minutes at a, at a pace that's comfortable for you or in sustainable.

Kevin Chang: [00:41:55]

Yeah, I love this topic. The whole less is more because I do think that so many of our athletes are thinking, oh, I've just got to drink as much water as my body can take. I just need to consume as many calories as my body can take. And actually what you want to do is see, okay, what can my body actually utilize and how is it going to utilize it the most efficient way possible?

Episode Outro [00:42:17]

Wow! We hope that you enjoyed part one of this incredible conversation. In the next episode we dig into the difference between water and electrolytes. Brian details, his race day fuel and hydration strategy.

We talk about why many elite athletes still have pre-diabetes markers. Brian details, his recovery protocol and the recent sodium study, that is a game changer. Plus he talks about the incredible supplement that he is most excited about.

Check out all of the show notes or find a running buddy online at RaceMob.com. Please subscribe to us on apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave us a review until next time.
Keep on moving.