Welcome to Pushing The Limits. The show that helps you reach your full potential. With your host, Lisa Tamati, brought to you by lisatamati.com.
Lisa: Hi, everyone, and welcome back to Pushing The Limits. This week I have Damian Porter with me. A fascinating gentleman someone who’s been in the Special Forces and counterterrorism. He’s also been a firefighter—is currently a firefighter, national bodybuilding champion, exercise rehabilitation physiologist. He’s been in the police and the army—just an incredible person with a great amount of experience. And we're going to be doing a deep dive into both health, and we're going to talk about ketones because he has an excellent ketone supplement. He knows an awful lot about ketones, which is one of my pet subjects at the moment, and is also an expert in optimising health and performance. So I hope you enjoy the session with Damian Porter.
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Lisa: Well, hey, everyone. Lisa Tamati here at Pushing The Limits. Today, I have an exciting guest for you. I managed to uncover some very amazing people, and I'm excited about today's interview. I have Damian Porter with me. Welcome to the show, Damian. Nice to have you, and I love the shirt.
Damian: I want to thank you for letting me come on. It’s a pleasure, Lisa.
Lisa: It's awesome. For those who can't see in just here, he's got an All Blacks shirt on. Go All Blacks! We just had Conrad Smith on last week, so that was exciting. By the time this comes out, it'll be a few weeks back. But make sure you go and check that out, everyone. Damian, if you can, I want you to give us a little bit of background because you've had a very interesting life. When I read your bio, firefighter, police force, Special Forces, rehab physiology, personal trainer. Like what the heck?
Damian: Yeah, I think the only uniform I haven’t got is the ambulance permit uniform.
Lisa: Yeah, it seems like it. So, tell us a bit of where you got started and how your career unfolded?
Damian: Thank you. I think it’s, had three, three journeys. I interviewed a Delta Force guy, started as a major a few weeks ago. And he talks about what chapter of life are you in? And we think we’re at the end almost. But it's interesting thinking about that question. I think there's sort of three chapters there. Mainly in my adult, air quotes—life. As I was bodybuilding was my career as it were, even in the amateur days, I was 19, oh, 17 years old. I won my first title at 19 years old and won my first international title. And here I thought I was going, looking fancy at that young age. It’s funny. I'll tell you the story of where it progressed.
See, you're 19 years old Panpacific champion in my age class, then we started personal training back in the day. At least those[incorrigible] personal training in the world. So that's where I thought that was going, and it was really, but insular. It's a very selfish sport, but the personal trainer was nice. He was helping people in educating the self. Movement exercise rehab there, which was much more helpful, I think. That's going to be the theme is, helping others or the service of others. And then I fell into the military. I joined the army. They call me the reserves. Here in New Zealand, as the territorials. But yeah, I'm army. And then in 2000, I went to East Timor, and we did a mission there—in the full-time army, that was life-changing anyone could handle. And you sure as hell learn not to be selfish in the military.
Lisa: Yeah, for sure. Let's dive into that a little bit before you carry on because East Timor, what was that like to be? And so you are a full-time army at that point, so what was your job over there? And what was that like being posted overseas like that?
Damian: It makes you a grown-up, I think. We had a 20-year-old come with us. I must have been somewhere between 20, 27, and 32 years old, but we had a 20-year-old come over with us. And I watched him become a man. Not a 21-year-old boy hit his 21st; I remember him hitting his 21st year, and I watched him become a man, being you're thrown into such grown-up situations. Look, it's austere. It’s beyond the third-world to paint a picture for yourself and everybody. I'd watched a five-year-old girl going down to the river with a four-litre or four kilos. Very heavy for this little girl to get water, and she had her two-year-old sister or brother. And that was normal life—like going down and brushing your teeth.
It was a great mission; I was with a regular army or one battalion. We’re up at a Firebase Vera motor about 1200 meters high. We go into the jungle, patrol the border for about five days and do a covert patrol. Then we come out, and we do blue head or United Nations patrols, hearts and minds in the villages, make sure everything's good. And then we'd have five days back in the base and just be lifting weights, getting fit again. And, we were what was called a quick reaction force where if anything happened, we'd be ready to go. But I'm in six months a year, and what it did for me, Lisa was coming back. It’s very hard for anybody on a mission to come back and transition into normal reality or vet reality. It showed me how good we had it. You've come from such an austere and likes it beyond, what environment? It was just phenomenal coming back, and it really made you appreciate life.
Lisa: Yeah, and what you take for granted here in the Western world, all their comforts and stuff. I can relate to that a little bit because I haven’t done anything military like that. But I've, been to some really poor countries and ran through them, and experience them. Visited the schools and being a part of the things in different parts of the world. And sometimes, it's absolutely shocking. I remember I was doing a race in a place called Niger, one of the poorest countries on earth. It was at the civil war at the time. And we were running a 333k race through there. And that didn't turn out well for me, but that's another story.
But I remember afterwards. We went to the school of sorts in Agadez, which is the main city there. And it was just—the poverty was just phenomenal. Like we bought all the extra things that we have with us. The other runners bought lots of pencils and pens and things to give to the schools specifically. And when we get there, they realise they don't have paper.
Here we are, bloody Westerners, coming at them with their pencils and pens, and there's no paper. And I remember like we came up with all our lollies and stuff like that and now, the leftover stuff and we gave them to the teachers, for the children. But the teachers beat the children to keep them away, and they took them; we were just sitting there like, “Holy, holy heck, we trying to do something good here.” And obviously, we're just not way out of our depth. And I remember this lady trying to give me her baby to adopt. “Take our baby. Take it.” Give it a bit of life. And it was just heartbreaking shit. It was just heartbreaking. So I can imagine, what you must have been through there and the horrors that yet you get to see. How did you cope in that aspect?
Damian: You take what good you can, and you compartmentalise it. Like in the fire brigade, like they do in place. They compartmentalise it. It's not like the special forces which I'm moving on to. But we were fairly good at compartmentalising it, I guess. I remember a woman turned up at our gates. I remember we’re at the firebase with only 30-vests guys, kind of like Vietnam sort of time. This woman turned up to the gate with the jaw broken, bleeding, and an inner beating. And that was normal. We're looking at this horrible injury; I don't need to see it. But you compartmentalise, I think, and leave it at the time. Now, especially the fire brigade and being in special forces, you definitely know how to deal with it differently but compartmentalising it was one. And maybe talking it through with your mates, which I think you can take away. And knowing that, yeah, you've gone in there to try and do some good, I guess.
Lisa: It should, but it's shocking coming from a firefighter family. I've seen my brother, dad, and my husband having to deal with trauma daily, as you guys do. I hear he comes home, and he talks to me he does share, which is really good. And I'm like, how the hell are you dealing with it? How are you coping with it and putting it into a box when you come home to see your family? How do you switch it off and that compounds too over the years, I think? He's struggling more with that now than he did when he was younger. It starts to add up all that exposure to traumatic events.
Damian: We almost transition into that here. I love to teach from my experiences and my study. And how I think you deal with it is talking straightaway. With the fire brigade or special forces, there were small teams of four guys, two guys, four guys, six guys. First up, talk it through with your mate someway, then talk it through as a team of four, and then talk it through with your partner, maybe. And then talk about it the next day.
And just by talking that through, it opens it up. It makes it real, makes it less bottled up. And then the other side is biological because there’s psychological and mental. But, sleep is where we disconnect emotions from traumatic events. If you've been up all night, not be able to sleep. Of course, you're going to feel the same the next day. So it's all of us, especially the people I interview. It's about getting good food, getting good sleep, a bit of exercise, and having a connection with somebody in some way will help you out.
Lisa: Yeah, man. That's really good advice. And I'd love to transition into your teachings. But before we go there, can you give us a bit of a break there? How did you end up in the Special Forces? I mean, how do you jump from regular territorials, regular army, and then in Special Forces? That’s sort of an unusual career path, isn’t it?
Damian: It is. I like to get the whiteboard out when people ask me because it's probably the only way I can get to it. After Timor, I left the military and went really hard into the exercise rehabilitation side of things. My back was with a firm what they call the chick program for chickens brought in Swiss balls [incorrigible]. You might know those. But after about one and a half years, I realised hang on a sec. I've seen both sides. I've seen them civilian-military and civilian. The grass is greener on the military side, and I really want to get back to that. So way back in the military, I think three, and then it came up entry into the counter-terrorist team for New Zealand SAS group at the time. We started up in a new squadron there, and in 2005, I went in that inaugural selection, and a bunch made it through. And we started the counterterrorism team there as a standalone squadron. And that's what, three days? And, that's not right. Not three days. Three years. And, I loved it.
Those people are selected to be a certain mindset. You got the physical capabilities. Of course, that's a given. But a certain mindset, and I was just thinking about it. I think this morning, a lot of people when they're at work, there's one person that I like, especially at a big company. It'd be something that somebody that I get along with. Then there’s one person that I didn't like or enjoy having in that unit because they're also like-minded. And it was phenomenal. That really made me into a man, I think.
Lisa: Yeah, I can imagine you’ve got the terribly difficult selection courses for starters. What were they like? Your typical sort of Bootcamp-type situations? What were they like?
Damian: There's not really like that. So selection for Special Forces is a bit different. They don't stand there yell at you or make you do all these things. You got to do the things that you can do by yourself. Our selection was a bit different from what they call the Green Roll. So ours was fantastic, and it was made especially for counter-terrorists. That's a fancy term. Just think hostage rescue. It's hostages and the building you're in. Who’s going to come in and save you? You have the hostages and the jumbo jet you're in. How's it going to come and save you? Our task revolves around there. And all I can say is pain. Mental and physical pain and playing on anything, give it a thought.
Now, I've done a little bit of endurance racing. Unlike you, I haven't done it over that time. But you and I will have the same pain mindset as just one foot in front of the other. If you ever think about 30ks, you wouldn't start the race, your first day, or the first checkpoint? And can you keep going? Okay, I'm having a really bad hour here. Can I just do one foot in front of the other, or I’m feeling really good here? Now, I might have my mates along or boys? I'm really, I won't swear. But I'm messed up here. That will hopefully pull you along. And that is what bonded us together; you wouldn't have got through it just as a singular person. But it is mental or physical pain beyond what anybody could imagine. And this is the biggie, that's just getting to work. You’ve got to do the job.
Lisa: Then you got to actually do your job.
Damian: 30 to 30k race, and then start work.
Lisa: And then you start work. How do you manage to keep yourself focused for such a long time? And, you're persisting through all these problems and obstacles and things all the time. It's never an easy day at the office. There’s no downtime. How do you cope with that without burning right out? Like getting totally burnt out really quickly?
Damian: Do you mean the selection process, or in our normal work, day-to-day?
Lisa: More on the day-to-day. Like doing this type of work? How do you not burn out from that and cope with it?
Damian: This is easy. We've got 40 heads in the unit and one is on the SAS regiment now, I know the Australian SAS is a different tenant. But the first one is the unrelenting pursuit of excellence. You’re tenants and that's how you live. That's not roles, but that's the ethos. Eerie theory , but what it means is, this is how our brains are wired. The unrelenting pursuit of excellence is number one, higher standards of self-discipline. So your discipline is teaching and learning bits. To understand the word discipline is to be in this cycle. And those two things there will make you want to get out of bed, make you want to get up and smash PT next to each other. Push yourself and or push against someone else, and PT. And then in this, we do shooting and repelling, fast roping, on the boats and all those things. You just try to do your best and then be better than that. You are not just trying to hit a standard. Trying to be better than that. In my pistol shooting, our job is to get a headshot in the mouth. That's a pretty small thing. And it takes literally; we would shoot millions of rounds each person a year. If I got nine out of 10, and one just struck outside, I’d think that as a failure. So I'd really be working hard and positively trying to get 10 out of 10, not nine out of 10.
Lisa: Wow, that's pretty intense. So how do you keep up, though? I've just actually got a book by a lady named Jenny Valentish, Everything Harder Than Everyone Else. And that's actually, and I haven't even started reading it. But Jenny is coming on my show, and that's an interesting dive into people who do extreme stuff. And why in hell and the psychology, what sort of problems we might have in the background. And guys, I definitely had some issues when I was doing my crazy stuff. I still got some issues, but I'm not doing that quite so mad anymore. But you do have that mentality of “everything's go hard or go home.” We have full bore all the time. And I have noticed now that getting a bit older and wiser that their approach doesn't always work.
That all or nothing and that biology is much more nuanced than that. And if it hurts, just push harder, go more, be better, do more. Now I actually respect the fact that you're a human being, and you want to look after your biology. Because now I'm older, much older, and 53. And I want to keep this functionality going for as long as possible, have longevity, and realise that the approach that I took in my 20s and 30s isn't really going to serve me now in my 50s, 60s, 70s,and beyond. What's your take on that? And have you changed your mindset from those days as a Special Forces guy? Where everything is, go ahead and go home all the time, to the way you see things now. Is there a moment? A little bit more of a change in that respect like I'm talking about?
Damian: Yeah, absolutely. So it's funny you say that because talking to many people around my age, I'm 48 years old, and I have Special Forces friends around the world. The same thing, we're all looking for longevity, a bit of smartness, a bit of wisdom, maybe. And just doing things smarter, not harder. The great thing about Special Forces is they evolve very quickly as well; they’re trying to be ahead of the curve. So what we did 12 years ago in the unit is very different from what we're doing now. For example, the regiment here in Australia, they've got sleeping pods.
Lisa: Floatation tank
Damian: Sleeping and no questions asked. Do you need a nap? Go in there, crash out and they know that this other person performs better. They're evolving. Back in my day, you're performing the task hard, but this is… let’s paint a picture of our mindset. We go into the kill house. Go shooting, do hostage rescue either against live hostages or targets. And you're shooting the bad guy targets. I've bullets, live explosions, all this fancy stuff. Outside, before we get the standby, go, we're literally having a laugh, we've got our jet masks on and having a bit of a chinwag. A bit of a joke because we got to be pretty chill.
And then you hear this all call signs, and then it's boom, game face, switch. And then you go and do what you got to do. And then afterwards, you switch off. So you have that ability to switch on, switch off, have a laugh all the time, look after each other like that. And then moving on to now, my mindsets changed a lot with physical training, which I think is what you're going through. There’s just, be smarter with your training.
The sciences of both so much especially in the last five years, even just with exercise selection; how you do exercise performance. I think just keeping up with the times and listening to. All the people that I listened to, who exercise, are young. These guys are 30 years old, 35 years old. And if I was not humble, human humility is the third tenant. I should know more than him. Don't listen to the young guy. But yeah, there's, they’re skilled. I guess I can prey on one another analogy or example when I interviewed the All Blacks strength and conditioning coach, Professor Nick Gill. He said the guys are now 19, 20, 21 years old. They're talking about how can I lengthen my career to make more money and have a longer, all those careers? And then how do I get out of it? They have that kind of thinking now.
Lisa: Wow, that's amazing, because I talked to Conrad Smith not long ago. He's, of course, legendary All Blacks, with a long career. And he's now helping rugby players transition out and looking after their welfare once their playing days are over. And he's seeing a lot of problems still in that space. Because what he was concerned about too is that we're coming in earlier and earlier and grabbing these kids and putting them into these fast track. “You're going to be an All Black one day”, and all it takes is one injury, and those guys are gone. And then I said to him because my brother was a professional rugby player. We used to have arguments because I was always, like with my sport, I had to fight for every dollar to the races. I remember qualifying for the New Zealand team and 24-hour racing, and it took me eight years to get there. I'd run 24 hours around the track every time, and I finally cracked the 100, and I got 194ks in 24 hours, and I was able to represent New Zealand. He didn't even get a single of it. There was nothing. So I learned how to market, speak, get sponsors, and bring people on board with my vision,, lots of skill sets. When I talked to my brother, he's now different. But back then, he was like, “Why are you always on the public highway? Why are you caught in the media? We used to hide from the media. You love the limelight.”
And I'm not. I don’t love the limelight. I need to do this to get to my sport. You get everything shoved up your backside, basically. No need to fight for anything, so you don't understand us. And now he understands and gets it. Now that he's long out of it and saw. But that's what Cameron said too.
You’re in this bubble, and you expect everything given to you. And you get a pretty big head often, and then all of a sudden that you have an injury, you're out. Then you've got no infrastructure, no resilience, nothing there. Nothing left. And that's a dangerous thing, We can't just make them out to be gods and give them everything. We've got to make them fight for some stuff and understand that they can take it away. So it's good to see that they're already starting to think about the post-career times because your careers are short.
Damian: This is the kids coming into all the actual; they’re playing themselves, which is great. But that's a person playing a kids’ game, Lisa. Sport is a kids game. They're playing a game of kicking a ball around. Imagine being a Special Forces guy, who you said; you use the word gods. These guys are at the top of the country in most of the world. Among them being at that level, and having things handed to them as well, as you said, they decide to leave and boom. Driven people can achieve anything. And then they're asking themselves to do it by themselves. And that's where they fall over.
Lisa: And then in also, you've been in the sixth, like you said. When you came back from East Timor, I've experienced this on a smaller, much smaller scale. We're coming back from extreme events. Where you come back, and you're like a fish out of water, you don't know who the hell you are when you come back to normal civilian life, and everything's going on is phenomenal. And that sort of a film where you're standing still, and everything's rushing around you and you just don't get it anymore. For a good period until you adjust back. And you do adapt and adjust. And that process now because you've done it over and over. But that sent me into depression.
Often when I would come back from doing something extreme, often in a third-world environment. You come back home, and nobody gets it. Nobody knows what you've been through. You tell a story, and you just see this glazed-over look in their eyes where they just don't understand you. And they don't know what it is to run maybe 10ks, let alone to run across a desert for hundreds of kilometres. They don't understand what you've just been through, and it hurts because you want to share this new knowledge and stuff, and you've got nobody to share it with. That can be really, and this is where the team and having the aftermath, having a team of support of people who have been through similar things can be really beneficial I think.
Damian: Now, with teams, of course, going back to the biology as well. I had an interview the other day with a Delta Force guy, Pat Mack. Really cool guy; he does basic dude stuff. And he said connection is the cure. Substituting Cisco [incorrigible] talked about the other day, about “build a team before you go.” And the team could just be your wife. That's your team. But at no point in the military and no point in the old base did you ever do anything by yourself. So definitely connection and team.
But also you're running across the desert, that biology around that, the dopamine, the endorphins are kicking off, now you have that massive void. same thing for us. It's normal for me to blow a hole inside of a building, throw a flashbang, go and shoot the head, and try not to shoot the hostage in the head. It's normal. That’s a normal amount of fun stress for me. So it's a bit of fun, and I get a good head of my brain from it. And you've got a massive void, that you got to try and fill with something else, healthfully.
Lisa: Yes, without going this is the dopamine stuff. And I've studied dopamine quite a lot in addictive behaviour. Which I definitely haven't. Like I studied genetics, I know that I have an addictive set of genes. So I'm chasing dopamine. I never have enough dopamine. I’ve never had that sense of satisfaction even if I did the toughest, hardest thing. I'm just like, “Oh, yeah, but someone else was better.” So there's never any of, “You did really well.” I've tried to change that and understand how my chemistry works, to not be a victim of that. Because in the days gone by, I would do something massive. Be in as soon as I cross the finish line, and it was gone. I didn't integrate what went into my life, into my psychology. I will always be criticizing myself. And then I'd be off to the next mission before I even had time for my body to recover.
That's not a good, healthy way to be. And you can transition that life now into my work, and my research, and my science. And my stuff, doing the same sort of principle, right? You just go and hard out to the point of breaking all the time, just in a different way. And it makes for very motivated people who achieve quite a lot of things. But it also can sometimes leave. My family often says to me, like you, “Can't you just sit down and bloody enjoy the day or hang out with the family or sit at the beach?” But you're always on a mission. Get off the mission and just be in the prison. And that's a problem. For me, that's a real problem. Because I always want two steps ahead all the time. Do you have any trouble at all? Do you manage to calm down? I mean, do now to some degree, but
Damian: I can definitely relate. I'm always looking for the next thing to do. But I'm also, hopefully, I get to interview some amazing people to learn from them, like yourself. As we talk, I'm learning and reinforcing things. Biology creates psychology. You've got to think that the way you are is from your biology. Biology will start your thoughts and so on. And if your biology, if you got that void of dopamine, a void of those cool things that you used to do, then you got to fill that void, again, with something healthily so that those thoughts don't go round your head.
Fill the void so that you can sit down and enjoy the time on the beach, or at least be aware of it. And then change the thinking in your brain because your thinking will create this psychology as well. But I just think, being self-aware, being able to then self-reflect, and then apply something. And if I can't do it, I'll ask someone that can help me identify it or help me throw it off. Or I get their advice, analyze that and then apply it to myself, but applicability. I’m just trying to get it right. I always don't know, trying to work out the puzzle.
Lisa: I'm five years older than you so we got that out. So definitely a work in progress, like, and there are good sides to it. That's how you achieve some crazy stuff. And you push yourself to the limits. And you managed to do a lot of things, and we need to in our society and that's the way you sort of keep your head above water to a large degree.
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Lisa: But, so in your day-to-day now. You've been in the Special Forces. Are you still in the Special Forces and the firefighter brigade at the moment, or has that sort of?
Damian: Good question. I left the unit. I left New Zealand in 2009 into Perth, Western Australia. We all come here to make money. About four of us came, a couple of guys, the regiment here. I came just for the mining boom. And I fell into policing; I did a couple of years in the police. And then I heard about the fire brigade, and I joined the fire brigade and been fire brigade for ten years. It's two things now. I do the fire brigade two days, two nights, and on four days off; I coach clients in sleep stress and human nutrition. Then I run my store with real ketones as well.
2015, so I'm six years out of Special Forces. Every single day I woke up, I wanted to go home to New Zealand. I wanted to rent my fist down somebody else's throat here in Australia. Sorry, Australia. I didn't get to it. And I didn't realise that I was depressed and anxious because it's become the norm. And when I started ketones in 2015, after about two or three months, I didn't have the achy pain that I had in my own body trying to keep up the depressiveness. One day, it was the first day, I realised I didn’t want to go home today. And then there's a bit longer, the longer. Yeah, it's 2021. And the anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects of those are huge for me.
Lisa: Wow, okay, because it's something I hadn't thought about, to be honest, because I've been so focused on the cancer journey with ketones and stuff. So is it because it's the blood sugar regulation, do you think? Or is it something low? What's going on nearby taking exogenous ketones? So we're talking ketones now—a flip topic to you, guys. Ketones are a fuel source so if we give people a bit of a definition. A fuel source that the body can take like beta-hydroxy, butyrate, and acetate, and what's the other one?
Damian: And the smelly one, acetone.
Lisa: Acetone? Yeah, yeah. And basically, when you get into a keto diet, that's what you're aiming for, to get into ketosis to have this fuel source for your brain. And it does a whole lot of great things in regards to cancer, sports performance, and so on. But you reckon it's also very beneficial for your brain, as in depression and stabilising moods.
Damian: Yeah, in stabilising moods. So I mean, ketones were invented in 2013 for navy seals for one reason, they needed to stop seizures when they dove. In 2015, the research came out for a drop in anxiety, but the research came out for real ketones 2019. A 40% drop in anxiety in humans. When you asked about the mechanism as simple as this, I’m painting the picture for your listeners as well. There's a chemical in your brain called glutamate. It's exiled excitatory glutamate. Take your kids to read cordial or glutamate. Now, when your brain sees ketones, if it's from exogenous ketones like I take it, we're doing the keto diet or starving what they call fasting. It will embrace these ketones, changes glutamate into GABA. GABA is a farming chemical in your brain. So not only does it give you more GABA, it changes the thing that makes you excited and anxious as hell. Because excitement isn't very clever. It calms you and gives a 40% drop or 39 points.
Lisa: Neuro inhibitory thing. So this GABA glutamate thing is just fascinating. Like I'm studying something called ferroptosis for cancer, which is one of the ways to kill cancer cells. And you have to let kicks the glutamate out of the cell, brings it into the system and does many other things. And basically causes lipid peroxide of the membranes and then kills the cancer cells. I'm trying to see if I can work out a protocol for mum for this. But the interesting thing is, it kicks out the glutamate into the areas that can damage your brain when you do this process—so taking things like MSGs and things like your marmites and stuff. This is why it's not a good idea. Because they are excitatory so they're going to make your neurons fire like hell all the time, and you'll be over-excitable as well. And you'll end up with this anxiety and so on. I butchered the science and I’m neither a human nor a scientist, but I did have Dr. Dom D'Agostino on, this week on the podcast. He’s on a couple of days ago, legends of a bloke. Have you met Dom?
Damian: I met Dom in 2016, and we’re in Dallas.
Lisa: Oh, wow. You're a lucky man. He's an awesome dude, isn’t he?
Damian: Very humble, isn't he?
Lisa: He's amazing. Yeah, so he was the one who discovered the seizures and the toxicity working with the Special Forces divers to try to stop the oxygen toxicity that happens when this guy dives. That divers are on oxygen under the water, but then stumbled across his ketones can inhibit these seizures for them and other seizures. Epileptic seizures and other types of seizures. And the ketones then can also do so much in the cancer space. So you now have real ketones as the name of the product you have. And that's a d-beta-hydroxybutyrate, is that right?
Damian: The real ketones is two products, real ketones was the original ketone that Dom studied. So it's been around for the longest time, and there are 700 copies of it out there.
Lisa: Oh, wow. That’s amazing.
Damian: Yeah, they've got two products. One's a straight DB-HB. That's a human identical ketone that just transits with BHB in a person's brain into ketones. So human identical ketone. That's one. And that's got some beautiful human studies behind it. But the one that's got the best effect on anxiety, the best effect on fat loss and weight loss, and then I'll go into the human brain performance is the L-D-BHB Mix, right? And they with a nonhuman identical actually converts it to human identity. Then it's mixed with MCT oil powder, a dairy-free one. Now that gets the longest ketones and the highest amount of ketones. That's the one the human studies were done on and it’s key, not animal, publishing a PubMed. I just got the email yesterday. The poster was just accepted. And is published in PubMed over the next one or two months. Human studies on 59.9% drop in anxiety, 159% more fat loss in humans. Well, the DB-HB you're speaking of gets a 10% greater brain processing speed in humans.
Lisa: Well, I've noticed mom's brain pick up. We're on the D. Are we on the D-BHB? Is it right? And try the ones I bought from Trudy, our friend Trudy and biohacker coder NZD. I got her ones. I'm still waiting for the ones from you guys. That's still on the posts, which has taken forever. I think it's a DB-HP that one.
Damian: So the lemon, the grape, and the orange are LLD and MC mix and the chocolate and the peach or DBHB mix.
Lisa: Okay, I think we've got pina colada might have been some older.
Damian: Yep. So that's an LD. They just discontinued the flavour. They discontinued the flavour. I like it. But, yeah. The massive amount of brain performance. Yeah, it's absolutely brilliant.
Lisa: My mum’s brain has improved, like
Damian: Of course
Lisa: She’s been on it. Like she’s coming back from this brain tumour surgery and has lymphoma. So I need it for the lymphoma side, but actually, her brain functions picked up not sure what. I wish I'd put her on that before when she had the aneurysm. I didn't do exogenous ketones with the keto diet, but it didn't do exogenous. Can you actually take it? Like, is there a benefit to taking exogenous ketones if you're not on the keto diet? I mean, if you're on a real high carb diet, it's probably not going to help you. But if you're on a pretty good diet, but not a keto diet, is it going to be of benefit too?
Damian: No, I totally disagree. On the premise there. Remember why it was invented. It was invented for Navy SEALs not to die underwater. The reason Dom invented. Sorry, Dom and Patrick Arnold invented the exogenous ketones that the ketone drink is because they went back to the United States Navy and said, “Hey, just put you guys on a keto diet. It's free. And it works.” The Navy came back and said, “No, white-coat people. Make a pill because we don't want to make them do this silly diet.” Take the drink, regardless of if they've been on whatever they're eating. They could eat m&ms and then drink the drink, and an hour later do the mission.
Lisa: They’re on ketosis as well
Damian: It’s absolutely relevant of the diet at all. You'll still raise your ketone levels, and with real, to be the highest and longest ketone level. So it doesn't matter about the diet at all, depending on what you want it to work for. But you have the greater brain processing speed again to get it to prove that point. Truly, the study was done on fat loss. This is where you get 159% greater fat loss. They put the two groups on the same diet as three hundred ten calories on average restricted. It was on a zone diet. The Zone Diet For those listening is 40-30-30 or 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fit. This standard high carb diet. And they got, there's no change in diet. They're both the same diet. I think over 12 weeks. It was 100 to 159% greater fat loss on the ketones themselves.
Lisa: Wow. Independent, man . That's another reason to bloody take it, isn’t it? It's good for everybody. So I couldn't get mom into ketosis because of the drug combinations she's on, right? Because it's putting her blood sugar levels. So now she's in ketosis every day doing this, even though she is on a very strict diet as well. But, we've got her at around the 2.5 to three millimole, which is pretty good, considering, and that is bloody, helping me stuff, the bloody tumours that she's dealing with. And there's a key part of that process we're doing, it's not the only thing we're doing. We’re doing a hell of a lot. But this is a real-in, for high performance. This is also really important.
So I had Professor Grant Schofield on the podcast several months ago, but he's the fat-adapted athletes’ guy. He’s written the book, What The Fat and all that jazz. And he too, says that the keto diet, and I'd love to ask him if he's actually using exogenous ketones back then. I didn't ask him that. But he's getting huge results with his athletes, who are fat-adapted endurance athletes. I never did it when I was doing my career. And I'm like, oh, man, I wonder, with exogenous ketones, whether they'd make a hell of a difference. I wasn't particularly well-disciplined at not eating carbs because I've probably used to train ridiculous amounts, and so I'd be super hungry all the time. But I always struggled back then with my weight, more so than I do now. Like, it didn't matter what distance. I was always running. You’d think that you could eat whatever you like because you're burning crazy amounts. But I was fatter then than I am now, but as by a longshot
Damian: It makes no sense but look at a marathon runner at the Olympics fitness around a female and then look at the 100-meter sprinter.
Lisa: Yeah, I mean, part of its genetic, like you got a genetic component. These are more indigenised. Usually, the sprinters are, they've got more muscle mass, they've gotten leaner bodies, they've got problems with their periods and all that sort of jazz. So there's a genetic component to the body, the way the body looks. But the long-distance running, if you're doing it when you have certain genetics. And this probably is interesting for you like I have this gene called the 9P21 and I have a six-gene variant which means it's the worst variant means I'm really prone to inflammation. So the inner lithium linings of all my vessels and my gut and blood vessels, especially, are very prone to inflammation. So any toxin anything coming in my body's going to go inflamed. You do that, or you have that. And then you go and do an ultra marathon, and then you add poor methylation, which I also have. And poor detox genes, my glutathionylation genes, like my GST1P1, and I have terrible ones of those. That's a person who should not be doing ultramarathons. I did that to myself. And that's why I was always inflamed. I was always struggling with a bit of puffiness, was overweight and had hormonal issues and fertility problems. And you name it; I had it. Because that type of exercise for my genetics was really counterproductive.
Damian: That’s an interesting set of information, Lisa, because ketones inhibit two inflammasomes from being made.
Lisa: These are LP, 3? 3Rs something?
Damian: There's a bunch of tongue twisters there, but they stopped to inflammasome from BH being created. So you and I probably have relatively private information, and it just makes my body a bit happier.
Lisa: Yeah, and you can probably cope with a little more training and get the adaptation, whereas I would train and then just be inflamed into whole fluid and so on. Because I was like, hit through the wall mentality, you could keep doing it, but it wasn't healthy. And if I'd continued there, I think I’d shorten my lifespan. And now, I just did the genetics for a young girl today. And she's actually got a similar breakdown. And so, I'll be telling her mom; I don't want you to send her down the path of doing extreme exercise. It's not going to be beneficial for her health long term.
So all of these aspects are just way more complicated than we think. And it's more nuanced than “Follow this diet, everybody, and you'll be fine. Everybody, take a high-fat diet.” But there is their genetics where having a high-fat diet can be really detrimental. So for having the ketones in the mix, then I'd like to do a bit of connecting the dots on this part of it. If you because the real ketones they don't they only got 60 odd calories, I think and save. So it's not like you're going to put on weight. No, you take these extra to your diet.
Damian: We know we’re now going to lose weight. Well, it's one of the human studies. You’ll drop body fat. Look at the endurance racing side. When you've got ketones in your system, it spears the carbohydrates or, the fancy word, glycogen. So when you're not going as fast, you're utilising ketones as your primary fuel source and fats as your primary fuel source. And if you're not fat-adapted, because you weren't, as you said, then you can't do that. And so you're going to hit the wall; you’re dropping out your glycogen. And then, of course, you use glycogen as you speed up to pass someone. But how I'd roll with that, as an endurance athlete in my direct bio, we'll be having exogenous ketones, maybe with the MCT or powder because it's the longest one. Electrolytes, maybe, a few carbohydrates because carbs are bad, like I said. The man with the ketones and that would pretty much be, given the basis and probably a little bit of branched-chain and or essential amino acids to not drop things, and that'd be your real drink. And you just be going forever on that rocket fuel.
Lisa: Wow, gotta stop playing around with us; once I've dealt with mum’s dramas, I can't focus on myself.
Damian: The interesting thing is real ketones; as I said, we got 700 copies. The closest copy up there, there are two salts. So, for people new to this, it’s the ketone bound to a salt. Now, salts—we think of sodium, food, potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. That's the things you need to be hydrated. Real ketones have all four. So it's draining. If you've got a ketone salt, there's only one or possibly two
Lisa: Or you going to throw your electrolytes, are they?
Damian: It’s basic sciences
Lisa: And then you can end up with problems, especially if you're an athlete, and you haven't got enough potassium or sodium or whatever the max
Damian: You’d be cramping and potassium. And your hearts got issues. It's pretty ugly.
Lisa: Wow. So this one's got the whole four in it fits. That's, really, really good. So this is part of what you do now. So you do one-on-one coaching over, or is it online?
Damian: Coaching online, Lisa, I help. I love helping people a lot, so I coach clients on sleep stress and Human Nutrition. I started to teach them how to normalise sleep, conquer stress and then human nutrition for what they need. The majority of it, Lisa, is really sleeping stress nutrition. See, nutrition is a small amount of the goal, but when you get someone who hasn't slept properly for many years, and you get them to manage this or conquer this stress — they perform so much better either as a CEO or as a nurse or as a mum. Those mums have it hard. They perform better. And a sleep-deprived mum, just getting them back on track. I get a lot out of it.
Lisa: Hell yeah. Cause sleep is the biggest leverage point. I think we’ve got a mutual friend. Do Dr. Kirk Parsley?
Lisa: And he says sleep is the key factor. If you focus on not the food, not the exercise, focus on this link first. Get your sleep hygiene right and your diet right in your life exposure. And all of these aspects is just the first place to start, and then you can layer in the food and the ketones and the exercise and the right types and times and all the rather fancy stuff. But that sleep. If you're not doing it. If you've got poor sleep, you're going to be overweight probably. You're going to have hormonal changes.
Damian: Mostly for one year, you’ll be seven kilos overweight.
Lisa: Yeah, within a year. Like that’s just an hour of sleep, missing a night.
Damian: Exactly that.
Lisa: How do you, as a firefighter, you’re doing night shifts and stuff like that? How do you manage your training? If you've had a hard night shift, do you do anything special to try to catch up on that?
Damian: I do. I'll answer that. I'll just go back a little bit. Just re-emphasise how important sleep is for those parents that are listening. Your three-year-old, would you let them get six hours sleep? If you possibly think on that, you think that's insane. Don't do it to yourself because we are the same as three-year-olds, six-year-olds.
So a special thing for me if I've had a hard night shift, I would do a Tabata in the morning. It depends if I've got to stay up all night or not. Let’s say I finished my last night shift, and I've got to go be a human being appearance; I got to get myself together. I'd probably do— if I had to stay awake, I’d do a Tabata session. So it's 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off four minutes of exercise. I'm not going to hurt myself or do the cycle that will regain some of my insulin sensitivity. So while I do that, I get the light exposure. I'd use caffeine in the morning, and then I'd use theanine and ketones throughout the day to calm me down.
Lisa: You’ve caught yourself in Tabata as well.
Damian: Exactly. I knew that cortisol. I used to have my carbs low because I'm on the lack of sleep under five hours, your insulin resistance which is why I do Tabata. That's what I do to stay awake. If I had to be awake and performing the day because mums or dads have to be able to do the job. If I didn't, if it was between night shifts, straight away, as soon as I finished the night shift—orange glasses on, because it's now nighttime in the daytime. Orange glasses, on a big carb feed and food to get me to go to sleep. Because I mask on into bed cold because it's in the day, you got to be in a cold room to sleep. So I'd have hardly any blankets on, feed out and then I would get up at about start night shift at six. Most people do not. I just get up about 3:30, have breakfast, and I train. I would do some kind of get first to start to walk around the block and then go for a jog or do a circuit train, gets yourself ready, have dinner and then go to work.
Lisa: Wow, that's a gold recipe there that you've worked out, depending on which way you're trying to get your body to flip or not. But night shifts wreak havoc with your body, like for those understanding that and having compassion with yourself and knowing that you need to and that this is the thing you can't even catch up on the weekend or the days off because it doesn't work like that. But you can catch up to a certain degree. You're not going to get the level and quality you would if it was the right time of the day and, but you can do some things.
Damian: A couple of things are either hit them or miss them. But I’d definitely take the sleep remedy that Kirk makes because I'm probably not going to get as long asleep as you said, but I want what I do get to be good. So I take it, and that's got things like magnesium, theanine, tryptophan, GABA, all those things you need to sleep. I do that. And yeah, absolutely, you can't. You just got to throw that night away. Bad luck. Yeah. And then, going forward, get a great night's sleep again the next night.
Just get it right, and you can't really pay back that sleep too much. But get good quality, and the night's going forward during that compound. If you let it compound, like a common human word is, get the stress up there. I want to stop and hit my time. I want to watch maths or the hell it is you want to watch. And you're doing yourself a disservice. You're doing your health a disservice to your brain. So definitely, sleep is where it starts.
Lisa: It's super key for neurodegeneration, and for cardiovascular health, diabetes risk, all of these cancer risks, everything goes up when you're not getting enough sleep. I actually use a Whoop. Whoop’s a good aura ring, but I use the weapon that tracks my slow-wave sleep and my light asleep and my REM sleep so that I know if I'm getting or getting some quality in the air or not even if I'm not getting the time. Hey, Kirk. Oh, Damian. You called me Trudy before. Obviously, we're tired. Where can people find you? And like, Where can people get the real ketones? And if they want to reach you for some coaching or anything like that, where do they find you?
Damian: Thank you so much. Look, my website is eatwellmovewell.net. All in one word. Same on Insta, reach out to me anytime you want to get questions. And the real ketones is realketones.australia.com. Just punch in real ketones. It'll come up probably in Google. But yeah, I love what those things do. It's such a simple way to help someone. If you want the coaching for the sleeping stress side, absolutely happy to help. I don’t coach many people. My partner asked me or give those clients that sort of push back on you. They're hard to do. I don't because that I'm a pretty different individual. They've self-selected to come to me, or they come to me they’re ready to learn what I teach. And I teach from facts, not from my opinion but love helping people, and if I can help one person get this sleep and anxiety and stress right, I think I've done my job.
Lisa: You go. You’re absolute gold. Damian Porter, thanks so much for taking your time today. I've really enjoyed this interview and I think we'll stay connected. And I'm going to have to punch some of your guests maybe for a while.
Damian: You’ve got some of them before I did. I’m impressed.
Lisa: I was pretty lucky. I had Commander Dr. Joe Dettori last week. And he's an amazing dude as well. Also, one of those crazy diver guys in the military who’s in aeronautical, was it? I can't even—biomedical engineering PhD and something else. And he's worked with Dom as well. Another very cool dude. So you have to listen to that episode as well.
Damian: To listen to these people and hear their wisdom is just phenomenal. We're so we're so lucky.
Lisa: They're also humble. Like, all these incredible people. None of them is arrogant. They're just incredible dudes that you just like, oh my god. And they're just so normal. So I'm really grateful to meet all these amazing people. So we'll have to do some swapping of connections, I think.
Damian: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been great to have a chat.
That's it this week for pushing the limits. Be sure to rate review and share with your friends and head over and visit Lisa and her team at lisatamati.com.