3-Time Canadian Natural Bodybuilding Champion, Wade Lightheart, is one of the world's premier authorities on Natural Nutrition and Training Methods. Having majored in Sports Science at the University of New Brunswick, he has authored numerous books on health, nutrition and exercise which have sold in over 80 countries. Wade is sought out by athletes and high-performance oriented individuals worldwide for his advice on how to optimize their health and fitness levels.
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Creating Unique Supplements In Heath and Fitness
Mike: Thanks for joining us today and I'm excited that to dig in. What got you started and creating some of the supplements that are very different than what typically sold in health and fitness?
Wade: That's a great question. It’s great to be here as always. It’s fun to connect and talk shop because it's just this, I'm just like, I've been fascinated with the whole body and physiology. And for those who don't know or haven't heard my story, in 2003 I was competing at the Mr. universe contest and I had the best coach in the world. And after 16 years of training, and nine and a half months of dieting, I guess it was, and I was like staying at a lean body fat. After the universe, I went from, I would say Mr. universe to Mr. marshmallow, he gained 42 pounds of fat and water in 11 weeks.
Totally blew up, totally wrecked my digestive system. I was doing the classic, 250 grams of protein a day and all that sort of stuff and training like a maniac and all that stuff. I mean that, that was all well and fine and that was what I would call a performance based diet in a performance space was I was looking for a certain cosmetic external result that was relative to the sport I was doing, which is body belly, which is purely cosmetic. When that happened, I was dumbfounded.
I was like, how is this possible? I've got the best coaching in the world, I've got Spartan like discipline, I'm not missing anything on my diet, I go to the pinnacle of what I'm supposed to be at and I'm a train wreck.
Meeting Dr. Michael O’ Brian
And I had the good fortune of meeting a fellow with the name of Dr. Michael O'Brian. God bless his soul. He passed away about a year ago and he was in his late seventies and he had Clear eyes and radiant skin and he was super vibrant and he was, I was just like, this guy could just totally kick my butt.
And he's in his seventies I attended a lecture to him and I was just amazed with his knowledge, his wisdom, his understanding, his comprehension, just to see the aspects of physiology that I, I wasn't connected to because I was focused on kind of the industry standards. And so, I went to him and I said, explain my story. And I said, Dr. Brian, what am I missing here? And he says, very simple. It's changed my life. You said you learned how to build the body from the outside in, but you haven't learned to build the body from the inside out and that just like, what's the sound of one hand clapping, bang!
It hit me like a ton of bricks. Exercise, physiology, Nutrition body, all of those things that I have been doing for all those years, we're looking from that and made some fundamental assumptions that if I put it in my mouth, it automatically went either as a building block or to an energy unit. And what I learned from Dr. O'Brian is there's a multi-phase conversion process that has evolved and the efficiency of that process determines my result, which means food comes into the mouth,, you chew it up, you break it down, and it goes into the esophagus.
Down there in the upper cardiac portion of the stomach, you got 30 to 60 minutes where the enzymes work on it. If they're present, most people don't have that present. Then hydrochloric acid comes in. Hopefully you're producing enough. Most people buy 40 or not. That creates a change in the pH. It also deals with your immune system and then it's buffered by minerals to come out of that so you don't get like, all the inflammation or ulcers and stuff on your stomach. And then into the gut flora, into your intestinal tract where you've got all these different strains is the good, the bad, the ugly, 10% good, 10% bad, 80% opportunistic, which are now going to convert whatever you consumed into either energy units or building blocks.
And if it doesn't do that, what's going to happen is it's going to convert that leftover food to some sort of toxin that's going to mess you up. And then hopefully your peristaltic contractions going on and you eliminate everything. I realized that just because I was eating 200 grams of protein, that didn't mean I was converting that into 200 grams of amino acids.
The Ideal Protein Intake
Mike: Can you tell us about like how much protein do you really need to be eating when you're being on an athlete like that with or without enzymes?
Wade: I was consuming kind of the standard one gram per pound of body weight and a little bit more in a contest dieting because of the satiety factor that protein provides, especially on a low-calorie diet. That's one of the advantages of it. I was taking at about 250 grams a day at the time when I was competing in Oh three. Well, after a meeting, Dr. O'Brien and learning about enzymes and probiotics and how they interacted and could optimize your utilization of the protein you were consuming. I'm Matt and I really went after this and started split testing.
We had a whole group of bodybuilders from around the world and we were kind of like the original bio-hackers. This was like, Four or five or them. And we started, we started developing specific enzyme and probiotic strains that worked on breaking down amino acids, protein into amino acids. And over the course of the four years, I went from consuming 250 grams of protein to 85 grams a day. And people go, well, how's that possible? I'm like, well the assumption people make is there's, they assume that they're taking whatever they are taking in is getting digest and utilize.
I went back to the world championships. I did better, I felt better and I didn't blow up after and I was only eating 85 grams of protein a day on a plant based raw food diet. That's how extreme I went. I'm not suggesting or promoting that, I'm just saying I want it to push it to the extreme. Could I achieve levels? I showed up about eight pounds heavier than I was like eight pounds a muscle heavier for years later, four years later into my career eating a third of the protein I have.
But I was stacking it with the mass times in the probiotics, which is that. And I had all this research. I mean I knew what I was doing by that time because I had, thousands of people giving you the feedback and we kept tweaking and optimizing the form. from that point on, I started looking at a lot of different things related to, well, how is it We I knew about the gut brain connection. Okay. And that 95% of your neurotransmitters are made in your brain. And we also noticed that there was a lot of people who are suffering from various, I would call it psychological conditions.