Here’s part 2 of our interview with Andy Galpin, Ph.D. In this section, we discuss challenges and myths in the human performance field, as well as Galpin’s most universally recommended protocols.
What do you see as the biggest challenges to overcome in this field?
The biggest challenge I see is precision. My focus is on understanding how we get tailored protocols based on your individual needs rather than categorically. My goal is to get people into a position for lab-based, research-backed individual protocols rather than general protocols just based on their age or demographics.
Being able to take extensive biomarkers, putting them on protocols that actually matter, and having that all scientifically validated is the biggest challenge and opportunity. That goes for sleep, training, and everything else that we do. It's a move towards what we call the ‘biomolecular blueprint’ and unveiling that on an individual level, so that you're not wasting anything or going in the wrong direction.
Tell us about your approach to supplementation.
Because of the clients I work with, the first thing that has to happen for me to even consider working with the supplement or purchasing a product from a company is that it absolutely has to have some sort of third-party certification. If it's got NSF certification, that's great. If it has informed choice, that's even better. Those are slightly different and they come up with different benefits. So I need to know, number one, that the supplements are not contaminated.
Number two, I need to actually know the active ingredient and dosage. That is a very, very important fact because our people cannot be taking contaminated supplements, and second, my career and my job are based on this protocol working. I have to know what's supposed to be in there, is actually in there. It's critical to understand that your product is being made at clinically meaningful dosages. So in other words, the science suggests X amount of this supplement is what's needed to be effective, and that amount better being the serving size. I better guarantee that's actually in that product. And there are very few companies that have that ability. In fact, a very small handful of them, Momentous being one of the best in the world at that fact. Also, I look at single-ingredient products. We have to be able to control the situation as much as possible.
Lastly, I like supplements that are led by teams of people who have actual performance in mind. The vast majority of supplement companies do not. They're really just trying to get you to love their brand more than the products themselves. This is why Momentous is totally different. It's a professional brand. You don't see cheesy marketing. You don't see glamor tricks. They're going after a different audience in a different crowd. This is a true high performance brand. Just look at the people they work with. It's science-based and evidence-based high performance.
What are some of the biggest myths that people believe in when it comes to performance nutrition?
The biggest misconceptions are effectively single protocols. That it's just sort of like ‘one study found X, therefore this is how,’ and it just doesn't work like that.
The other big misconception is that this thing is over. Science is a moving field. It's evolving. We don't have all the answers, so you shouldn't have such arrogance in thinking that the solutions are all here. We have to have a bit of humility thinking we know some things to be true, but surely we know that many other answers aren't here yet. Things will change. You need to approach the field with that humility and confidence. As long as your confidence matches the level of the evidence, then we're good. It's when those things mismatch, that's a problem. The other thing I'd say is a big misconception is that supplements don't work. If it goes in your body, it probably has an effect.
The question is, do you realize that effect? Does that affect you enough for you to count or care? Does that matter to you and your situation?
What are the most important products and protocols that you recommend?
Multivitamins are a very important recommendation of mine, especially the iron-free multivitamin for men is a very low-risk proposition. Creatine is one of the most established and well-rounded supplements ever developed. It's actually absurd how effective and safe and risk-free creatine is, especially with even more evidence coming out now in regards to cognitive function and neurological disease. There's a lot of reasons in rationale for protein powders, whether it's the plant based one or the Whey. They're very convenient and they're well documented and scientifically effective. Vitamin D and fish oil (Omega-3) are things that ideally you shouldn't need, but reality of it is, most of you probably do. They are generally effective and very, very low-risk solutions.
Want to learn more about navigating the health and wellness landscape?
Check out the guest series on the Huberman Lab podcast where Momentous partners Dr. Andrew Huberman and Dr. Andy Galpin discuss specific ways to enhance your fitness and overall health.