Biohacking Strategies For Stress Management

Dr. Joel Rosen: Alright, hello everyone and welcome back to another edition of your adrenal fix the less stress life where we teach exhausted and burnt-out adults the truth about adrenal fatigue so that they can get their health back quickly. And I’m joined here with an exciting guest, Bryan Chan. He is a project manager by trade, and he’s joined the bio strap team in 2021. In their mission to democratize digital health services. As part of their small team, he wears many hats.

One of them is that he’s a product specialist, helping small businesses and enterprise clients with the bio strap platform and using it in a way that empowers their decision-making processes. He’s also a highly active recreational athlete balancing his work, his hobbies, and many other endeavors. And he’s no stranger to stress recovery.

He uses his biometrics to guide his health Magian management strategies, which we’ll be getting into and hearing his clinical pearls. And he also enjoys surfing and backpacking and his training for his first half Ironman Triathlon. Brian, thank you so much for being here today.

 

Brian Chun: Absolutely. Dr. Rosen, it’s a pleasure. Thank you for having me.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah. So when I read that bio, I immediately focused on that cool mission. And the mission of bio strap is to democratize digital health services. What is exactly that? What does that mean? Brian?

 

Brian Chun: Absolutely. That’s a great question. That’s a great place to start. Um, a little bit of background, I mean, I joined the bio strap team, because I’ve always been interested in, you know, the Health and Human Performance side of things and quantifying how you feel, as opposed to just going off of just, you know, basic feeling. And so with wearables, you know, you have the power to do that. And so that’s why I joined the bio strap team. But once I joined the team, I learned about the mission, which is to democratize digital health services.

And what didn’t occur to me until I joined the team is that you know, what wearable technology has the power to do is, it pretty much eliminates the barrier to more scientific discoveries, more clinical research, and what I mean by that is, in your current, you know, clinical setting, and in a research facility, you’re kind of limited to, you know, certain, certain things such as geography, you know, you can only recruit from, if you’re having people come to a lab, and you’re running studies there, you’re very limited to the amount of, you know, the patient population that you can test with, you know, does that make sense.

And so with wearable technology, you can pretty much ship these things, you can ship out a wearable, out to people all across the world, pretty much. And you’re able to collect data from a much broader and, you know, you can, you can set certain criteria, you’ll have a much larger patient population to choose from, and get data from all different types of sources.

And, and so that’s just one example of how, you know, it’s reducing the barrier to the kinds of clinical trials and clinical studies that can be run, even with your typical, you know, nonclinical and nonresearch settings, such as you, I mean, you are a clinical setting, right. But for people running remote physiological monitoring, popular, you know, programs, it’s much easier now, with wearables to put, you know, to get data from the clients that you’re working with, and be able to provide them, you know, better insights and applies better interventions based off the data that you have.

And so we’re pretty much you know, it’s making it a lot more accessible to anyone from, you know, huge pharmaceutical companies that have the money to do this kind of research. But it also enables, you know, the smaller businesses, the physical therapy clinics, the doctor’s offices that want better data for decision making. That’s pretty much what democratizing digital health means.

 

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, I mean it to simplify it because it can get very, very complicated. I hear two main, two main areas or buckets if you will. And that is to give x access to people all over the world to clinics, or providers, or even just knowing that they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. But the other one, which I think is cool, which we should explore is typically the problem with research has always been the ivory tower towers, the does the studies, and then that it gets implemented on average 17 years later, for the users that use that information.

And so what we’re talking about is being able to conduct studies by using wearable and looking at certain biometrics that In English, basically, when you put it on your wrist you or wherever it is affixed to, it will give us data in terms of movement and heat and heart rate variability and, and other things that can now set up like, Okay, if I do this, and I test that, and I get a baseline of what, what I’m testing for, and then I implement a different strategy. And I look at those, those metrics.

And I can determine Was that something that helped that person? Or was that something that didn’t help that person? So in that regard, now, we’re able to not only extract the data in real-time, and not have to wait 17 years. But we can actually, I think the third bucket is we’re looking at, at more important data, right? I mean, when you look at blood work, and you look at static things, well, not so much static, but static in time in terms of you’re taking the test at that time.

And a lot of things could be going on with that person that changes from time to time, whereas the dynamic readings that we’re looking at, are always changing over time, but you’re able to catch those changes and make some really important decisions. So let’s springboard from there. And ultimately, give us an idea on what bio strap metrics are testing, like, what things are they looking at when you wear this? And then maybe we can get into what are some of the clinical pearls that you’ve been seeing with all of the time you’ve been spending with bio strap?

 

 

Brian Chun: Sure, um, I can go into a little bit about, you know, the different kinds of biometrics that we record. What we do, is we’re using PPG technology. Okay, I won’t get too deep into that. But for pretty much on a high level, what we’re doing is we’re taking raw heart rate data from the wrist, okay, and we’re using that raw heart rate data and running it through our machine learning algorithms to pump out different biometrics such as HRV, such as respiratory rate, and such as blood oxygen saturation, there are a few other biometrics, will I guess they would still be considered biometrics, such as peripheral elasticity and arterial elasticity that have to do with heart health. Well, yeah, those are pretty much the main biometrics that we’re deriving from this raw PPG data that we’re getting from the list.

 

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Okay, and then heart rate variability can be a major rabbit hole to go down, for sure. I mean, I have an exercise physiology background as well. But to keep it sort of superficial, give us a brief history and an application as to why it’s so important. And maybe give it context in terms of the listener who’s stressed out, exhausted, burnt out, and then they want, they heard this thing called HRV.

Some people may never have heard of it. And then you have people that know very well in detail what it is, but kind of give us an overview on why that’s such, probably the most important metric and bio strap has a couple of unique, I guess, monitors not monopolize a bowl, or just distinct qualities that make their heart rate variability more sensitive.

 

 

Brian Chun: Sure, yeah. HRV is a really big one. You know, it’s something HRV I heard of it before I even joined bio strap. And so I had started using it to kind of guide my training. For the listeners out there that don’t know what HRV is, it’s pretty much you have something like your heart rate, right, which is measured in beats per minute. And let’s say that, you know, just for an easy example, let’s say that you’re working out and you have 100, your heart rate is 100 beats per minute.

What that tells you that in one minute is that in one minute, you’ve had 100 heartbeats, right. But what heart rate variability tells you and what heart rate variability is looking at is pretty much it’s the measure of the difference in time intervals between heartbeats. So you pretty much have a heartbeat. And then you might have like, you know, 10 milliseconds between the first heartbeat and the next heartbeat, but you might have a difference of another 20 milliseconds between that second heartbeat and the third heartbeat and so on for that 100 beats per minute. And what that’s come to show is that pretty much a higher heart rate variability is better.

And a lower heart rate variability is correlated with stress. It all has to do with the autonomic nervous system that’s kind of you know, what is understood as the main driver of you know, heart rate variability, and pretty much if you have a high heart rate variability ability, what that means is that your nervous system is much more ready To respond to stress, kind of how I think about it on a very nontechnical level is that if you are experiencing stressors throughout the day, and your heartbeat is pretty consistent, that’s kind of you would think that consistency is better, right? But in this in regards to heart rate variability, if different stressors are coming at you, you want your heart rate to sort of match that, you know, if you have a lot of stress coming at you, your heart rate might be beating, boom, boom, boom, whereas, you know, in a low-stress environment, you might want it to be a little bit less variable.

And so pretty much a higher variability, you know, equates to better able to adapt to the different stressors that come at you. And a stressor could be anything that your nervous system perceives, whether it’s, you know, a work call, whether it’s this call that we’re, you know, this podcast that we’re doing right now, whether it’s some stress that’s on your mind, from, you know, maybe an argument that you had before, whatever it may be, a big one is, you know, stress that comes from, you know, working out.

And so all of those things affect HRV. A little bit about how bio strap does HRV pretty much what we’re looking at is, we’re when we provide you an HRV value that you see in the app, and I’m sure that you’ve used it before and some of your, you know, clients and you know, study participants may have used seen before, is that HRV value that you see in the app, you might be wondering, is that my HRV value right now, what is that from is that an average from my night’s sleep? Well, bio strap, we believe that nocturnal data, nocturnal biometric data are where you’re going to be able to see the most insights.

And that’s because everyone sleeps, right. And when you’re sleeping, pretty much from person to person, the processes that are happening in your body are consistent, you know, across a general population. And so a really good way to look at how you’re recovering and kind of judge your readiness for the day is to look at how well you recovered during your sleep. And so we’re looking at nocturnal HRV, as opposed to HRV or biometrics during the daytime, to kind of gauge how ready you are for the day. And so what we’re doing is you’re wearing your bio strap to sleep, once we have programmed it to automatically recognize when you’ve entered a state of sleep.

And so once you’ve entered a state of sleep, we’re firing the PPG signals, infrared, red light PPG signals, anywhere up to, you know, you can get about 16 data points per minute, I believe what you have it set on right now you’re getting about 30 data points per minute, we’re flashing that light once every two minutes, we’re taking all of that data throughout the night sleep. And then pretty much what we’re doing is drawing a line of best fit through it.

And the endpoint of that line is pretty much when you wake up, okay, you’re ready to take on the day, what is your ending HRV value, that’s pretty much the value that we’re using to you know, push out a recovery score to you. It’s the value that you see in the raw data that you see in the app. And we believe that you know, taking longitudinal HRV values HRV dependent on longitudinal data is much more reflective of how ready you are to take on the day.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Awesome. So that sort of begs the question now, when you create your algorithm, because if you have machine learning, and one of the things that we teach our coaching clients is, you don’t want to compare it to absolute levels, right, like Joe had this level of HRV. And Mary had this, everyone is unique. And we want to make sure that we’re comparing their HRV longitudinal markers from along the way to see how they’re going above and below their standard scores.

And then if, for example, they’re doing proactive things that are therapeutic, and they’re going to bed earlier, or they’re controlling their exposures to lights or they’re keeping a time-restricted eating window, or they are making sure that they’re getting lots of movement and so forth, and they’re seeing the trends go up. They know that that’s favorable, versus if they are doing things that aren’t so aligned with their rhythms, that the heart rate variability will go down and that’s to your point of the lower the heart rate, heart rate variability, the more they’re under that autonomic service nervous system of sympathetic dominance in your Akata cola means in your adrenaline hormones, neurotransmitters are being released and it’s creating a very sticky Beat and some people get confused. It’s like, well, my heart rates are high. Yeah, your heart rates are high, but the cadence between the beats is very controlled and very low.

And the ability to adapt by definition, if I can adapt and address the environmental stressors, then that tells me I’m, I’m maintaining have a higher capacity to maintain homeostasis. That’s favorable. So I guess the question I would have to you is, how does machine learning work? Brian, in terms of okay, it takes some time to figure it out. And then once it does, it says it gives you some scores, and what are those scores? And what kind of suggestions is it making?

So first and foremost, I guess the question is, how does the how, why does it take a little bit of time before it starts to give you your readings? I think, what is it a four day or five days? Window? Yeah, yeah, a five-day baseline. So what’s going on in the number crunchers that are going on behind the scenes with that?

 

Brian Chun: Yeah, kind of back to what you said about, you know, one person and another person’s HRV scores being, you know, you don’t want to compare it to absolute values. So it goes back to the conversation that we had, during our onboarding call where you ask, you know, is there good is there as a range of good or bad and, you know, really, with a lot of the studies that have been done, it’s kind of that there are too many inter-subject variants, you know, in these studies, meaning that variability, heart rate variability can be up here for one person down here for another person. And so it’s really difficult to set like a normal range. And so with bio strap, that’s one thing that we stress is that the data that you are seeing is a comparison to your baseline.

And so that’s why when you first got the bio strap, we’re not pushing out any sort of, you know, recovery score, because the recovery score is, you know, in its essence, its algorithm generated, right, we’re waiting, we’re taking a bunch of inputs, weighting them applying our logic to it, and giving you a recovery score. And so we can’t do that if we don’t have any sort of baseline data, I think this is a good kind of, you know, little like tip or knowledge, you know, for people that are unfamiliar with wearables is if you ever are using a sort of wearable that’s pushing out any kind of insights or recovery scores to you before getting, you know, at least five nights worth of data or some sort of baseline data, I would, you know, certainly look twice into, you know, whether that is accurate or not, you always want to have some sort of baseline, right.

That’s the reason why for clinical research studies, you know, they do at least two weeks worth of, you know, baseline data control data, before applying the intervention, the same principle applies to, you know, the algorithms that we do is we want to get your baseline data first, before we start, you know, applying logic to it, and providing you with the score that you’re pretty much using to, you know, make decisions about, but about your health.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, I agree, 100%, you have to have that baseline control, because otherwise, you don’t know what you’re comparing it to, especially if you’re getting suggestions on Hey, do this or that and there’s no baseline, and you’re trending well, but you’re not at that level of what the averages you’re below it, then it’s telling you you’re, you know, wrong information. So, okay, then let’s go down the recovery score, and especially for people that are exhausted and burnt out, and they’re not the common thing that I hear is, at this point, I don’t know, my arm from my elbow, I don’t know what which way is up and down. I have 1001 different supplements. I’ve done so many different testing.

And I’ve changed my diet. So many times, I go to bed earlier, I have a lot of gratitude and celebrations, and yet my wheels are spinning, and I’m not moving forward and some days I am and some days I’m not and then I crash. And now I don’t know any data and what to do and why heart rate variability is so objective in that way after the control time has been taken. And now bio strap has this term called recovery index or recovery. What does that mean and what is it based on?

 

Brian Chun: Yeah, good question. So in particular, to bio strap that recovery score if you click on the recovery score, there are four different things in there that you know, we specifically tell you these are the things that affected your recovery score. Right off the top of my head I can think of you know total sleep duration, how much sleep did you get? Sleep efficiency is the total time that you spent in bed. However, how much sleep did you add? Get how much time were you in bed, but you were tossing and turning and you know, in a state of awake awakeness, right?

Your nocturnal HRV, your resting heart rate, all of those things affect your overall recovery score. Those are pretty much, you know, different biometrics and different, you know, sleep stats that are very indicative of how well recovered you are. I mean, it’s pretty without this is not like, you know, very scientific or any, you know, anything complicated at all, it’s just if you sleep longer, and you get good quality sleep, good quality, meaning, you know, typically, sleep efficiency is, you know, very reflective of that.

HRV it’s like, okay, maybe you got a lot of sleep. But did you get junks, you know, and your HRV recovery, your HRV is pretty indicative of whether you got good sleep or not. You know, if you’re, if you’re dehydrated, going to sleep if you are eating within hours of going to sleep if you’re getting a lot of screen time, those are all things that prevent you from entering those deep respiratory cycles of sleep. That can, you know, that’s pretty much making you feel better restored and ready to take on the day. Those are all things that are pretty much taken into consideration when pushing out a recovery score to someone.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Right? And does it also and this is I don’t know if it does or not, does it also take into consideration the activity levels from that day or I don’t even know if it does or not?

 

Brian Chun: No, it doesn’t take into consideration things like so if you record activity with it, or you record an X amount of calories with it, that is not included in the overall calculation, because any activity that you do is going to be already reflected in your biometrics if that makes sense. So if you had a, let’s just say, I’ll use myself for an example, I did a very difficult training block that for one week, and I’m going on, you know, long endurance rides, I’m swimming and I’m running. That’s a lot of stress on my body, that’s already going to be reflected in my HRV in my resting heart rate in my oxygen saturation in that recovery score calculation.

And so there can be nights where I do everything, right, I drink a lot of water, I’m going to bed, you know, according to my normal circadian cycles, I’m not looking at my phone before going to bed. But if I crushed it, that day, I pushed it, I redlined it in my workout, that’s already going to be reflected in my recovery score. And the next day, sure enough, it’s my recovery score is very low, you know, could be in the 20s. In the 40s. Even though my sleep score is high, because I got good sleep, my recovery might not be.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Right. That’s why it’s built into those numbers, it makes a lot of sense. And you’re right, I would agree with you. It’s, it’s not rocket science a lot of the time, right, like, if I had a couple of drinks before I went to bed of alcohol, my sleep isn’t gonna be as good and I’m gonna have a worse recovery score or I have a higher lower heart rate variability. So or if I’m doing a lot of things, right, I will have a higher heart rate variability.

So I definitely would agree with you on that. But then there are the nuances of what I tell my clients calibrating what’s going on physiologically, with what you think is going on mentally, because there’s going to be a disconnect where a lot of the times you think, Hey, I’m more is better. Or I give it’s not there’s a Goldilocks zone of not too little, not too much.

And, you know, I remember listening to a podcast of a friend of mine who was an early adopter of heart rate variability and was doing the remote monitoring and looking at different specific times of their heart rate variability when it was at its lowest and highest and saying hey, like, what’s going on right here. And he mentioned that he was what was entertaining guests and they were over and that was thought of as an enjoyable activity.

But the heart rate variability showed him that it’s at its lowest where you’re under stress more, and hey, what’s going on over here and that’s where he was washing his car and you know, he was in his zone sort of speaking. So sometimes we need the knock over the head with the Hey, this is a stressful event versus a nonstressful event that we don’t necessarily calibrate. I guess maybe speak to some of the nuances that you get.

I mean, it’s hard to see those things when it’s being used mainly in the ER in sleep time, right to be able to get heart rate variability at that time, but maybe give us some clinical pearls that you’ve been seeing just with your data tracking or with clinics that you’re onboarding, what are some of the things that people are not seeing that common sense? cause and effects to make it better or worse, but some of the nuances?

 

Brian Chun: Sure, I have a couple of things to say about that. And the first is all addressed, you know, maybe some people watching this that might be applying, you know, the principles of HRV, as you know, high is, is good and low is bad, right? It’s, um, nothing in life is as clear as that, you know, it’s not as black and white as that. And the same thing applies to HRV. It’s difficult to say that to look at, you know, HRV data, especially during awake hours, right? Nocturnal is different because you’re sleeping, you’re in a state of rest, you’re not taking in any sensory input, right. But during the day, and this is something that I come across with, you know, the clients that I work with, that are looking for solutions, or looking for, you know, biometric recording solutions for some kind of studies or projects that they’re doing is that you know, during the day, people take on so much stress, as I said, stress is pretty much anything that demands your attention, right, it puts anything that puts a strain on your mind, right, and so we’re taking in so many different kinds of stressors.

And just like that example of that person who, you know, was doing something that they think to be enjoyable, which is entertaining guests, whereas some, and then you have another thing where another activity where it’s washing your car that might be perceived as not as enjoyable, at least, maybe to that person, however, everyone is so different, right? Even if it is enjoyable, it could be a lot of stress, right? I mean, I like working out, I like doing things, you know, like that. But during a workout, if I’m pushing it, my HRV is probably going to below. And so how our body interprets stress can vary from person to person.

And especially during the daytime, it’s, it’s hard to match up, you know, HRV data points to the events going on, it’s really difficult to say that, like, oh, during this time, I was on a call with my wife, and we had an argument, that’s why my HRV was low. And then during, it’s tough to match that up. Because there are so many different factors that go into, you know, our, our HRV, which is dictated by our autonomic and our nervous system in general.

And so, I always recommend people when they are doing these kinds of studies, or even just using HRV. In general, if you’re going to do some sort of study, or you’re trying to gauge, you know, readiness to take on stress, nocturnal HRV. And nocturnal data is probably going to be your best bet. During the daytime, maybe some studies have been done that are starting to use, you know, daytime HRV values to, you know, predict outcomes or to measure the effectiveness and efficacy of interventions.

However, from what I’ve seen so far, and you know, from my experience with, you know, wearables and these kinds of studies is that, you know, it’s a little bit trickier to do it during the daytime, it varies. And so to apply a high is good and low is bad, for every circumstance is not it’s, it’s a lot tougher to do it that way.

I know, in some clinics, they are starting to, you know, they do certain tests, they look at the HR active HRV while they’re doing some sort of test, and they go, Oh, it’s a high HRV. That’s good. How did you feel right now? I feel like it’s just such in such an elementary and infant stage to make those kinds of decisions.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, I mean, I agree. I’m sorry. Sorry to interrupt. I think it was a bit of it was a good question for you to shed light on. Again. It’s long, attitudinal. And we need baselines, and we want to look at trends. And so one of the things that I look at, when I’m working with a client one on one is I want them to understand, okay, let’s look at say the week view, or even a month view or even a day view. And let’s look at the week view and see from Saturday to Wednesday, you have trended higher on your HRV let’s start to figure out and reverse engineer what’s going on here. Right? Are we entering more of a different phase of your cycle? Or are you eating differently? Are you changing up your dietary habits? Are you changing up the timing of your habits?

And what stands out to you Mrs. Jones as Why would have been trend they’ll tell you like oh well this was trending low I was in the hospital with you know what? looking after someone so I think more like to your point, Brian, it really is important to understand the trends and the longitudinal studies and being able to get the best objective sensitive and testing markers in, in a sleeping state, and then comparing that otherwise, but as far as for yourself, I guess, what are some of the things that better ask a question that you see, will cause you to trend upwards that you wouldn’t have necessarily thought of?

 

Brian Chun: Oh, I’m both it’s, it’s funny that you asked that because I’m nearing the end of my training blog for my first triathlon. And so HRV was huge. HRV is exactly what I used. And you know, my other biometrics as well, but it’s pretty much what I used to, you know, Taylor, and Taylor, my training regimen. So when I, so I would consider myself a, you know, very beginner, not I’m not a pro athlete like I said, I’m a very highly active recreational athlete, I like to serve backpack and all those things, but those are, you know, day-long endeavors, maybe just a couple, you know, over a weekend or something like that, and I control the intensity, really, but I’ve never really taken on an endurance sport.

I’ve done a marathon before. But this is the first time I’m doing some sort of, you know, hour-long, I’m expecting to finish in like six hours. And so the kind of training that I’m doing for it, I’m very new to it, I pretty much took a training, program offline, talk to some people, and I just dove into the training, right? And I’m the kind of person that likes to hit it hard from the get-go, I’m training hard. I’m pushing it, I’m doing more than what’s you know, recommended in the training program thinking that, you know if I push it harder then I’m going to get better results?

Well, I’ll tell you exactly what happened. I’m looking at my HRV trends from July to August, where I started training at the very beginning of August, and in the very beginning, as a physiological response to exercise consistently, you know, more cardiovascular exercise, cardio-based exercise, my HRV responded by improving it was starting to improve a little bit knows like, Okay, that’s good. But once you get into the zone of overtraining, or just, you know, just chronic fatigue, your body responds to that. And I saw my HRV starting to plummet. And one of the biggest reasons for that is because I’m upping the, you know, the training intensity, the overall volume, just the overall stress that I’m putting on my body.

However, I wasn’t making lifestyle modifications. I’ll tell you right now, I’m a huge coffee drinker, right, and I’m very sensitive to caffeine. But I’m drinking a cup of coffee at 9 am. Before my first meetings, I’m drinking another cup, maybe around one. And so when it comes around to nighttime, as I said, I’m very sensitive 1 am on tossing and turning, I have thoughts in my head, I’m overthinking. Also, maybe a drink at night to unwind, you know, we all know how much alcohol affects our sleep. Things like THC CBD, not CBD itself. But the right marijuana, if you’re using something like that, that affects your body’s ability to go into a deep sleep on the kinds of foods that you’re eating, I didn’t change up my diet yet, I was still sticking to my regular diet, which is not terrible. But there’s a good amount of fried foods in it, right?

And so, while I was upping the intensity for my training, I was not making the lifestyle modifications to get a good recovery. And so my HRV started to plummet. So what I started doing was I completely cut out caffeine, that’s, that was difficult for me. Very difficult for me. But once I did it, I started to see improvements in my sleep, my deep sleep, my sleep efficiency, the total amount of sleep I got, and how recharged I would feel when I woke up just from you know, not drinking coffee for the first week or so, that was enough to tell me, okay, you know, this is worth it.

You know, and how did I know I saw my HRV improved, it was almost like, you know, textbook, just I followed the, you know, protocols that I’ve learned from, you know, past six years of just learning more and more about human performance and, you know, human physiology applied those principals, cut out caffeine, started drinking more water started going to bed at a more regular time. I said You know what, I’m going to cut off work at a certain time and not look at my laptop, not look at my phone past 8 pm or something like that. And overall, when I started to improve my sleep, my HRV started going up is pretty much matching my recovery up in my recovery to match the intensity of my training. And that’s how I use HRV to manage my health.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, and those are some good options. Thanks for sharing the, I think the real clinical pearl on that, that I find a lot of the times when I work with clients is commencer, rating, your improvements or your, your struggles with what you’re doing lifestyle-wise. So what I mean by that is, if you are expending more energy, then you need to take in more calories.

And if you’re expending less energy, you need to take in fewer calories. So that’s very important. I say, don’t trip over dollars to save pennies, you’re looking for the magic formula, you’re going to these online podcasts, you’re taking webinars, and you’re learning all this stuff on your own, but you’re just not getting enough calories to meet your demands. And you should start there. So a lot of the time it’s fat, for sure. And, and the same thing, if you’re less active, and you’re not as busy to be able to dial things down. And then that way, you’re kind of are always staying in sort of that Goldilocks zone.

And that’s really what stress adaptation and the concept of hormesis is in terms of, you want to be able to push the outer limits on both the too much and the too little so that your body’s constantly adapting. But you don’t want to sort of pound the gavel set the the the Okay, Brian, you’re forever having to work out at this intensity, even if you commensurate and make the lifestyle changes, or you’re forever having to be off of caffeine, because I do believe that the body has is very efficient at the information we give it.

And if we’re not giving it new information, it will start to stagnate even with that more healthy behavior. Because it needs a few perturbations to be on its toes to be able to increase its heart rate variability to be able to sort of balance that high wire act, would you agree with that?

 

 

Brian Chun: Yeah, I agree with that. It’s all a balancing act. Those you know, I would make those kinds of, you know, dramatic, drastic lifestyle changes to see the effect on my you know, to see my physiological response. And then from there, it’s all about fine-tuning, right? It’s kind of like the scale, right? You go to the doctors, they move the big scale first.

And then from there, they use a smaller one to fine-tune and get your weight just right. That’s kind of, you know, what I’m using biometrics to do as I make these lifestyle changes, but I will not I love coffee. No, I’m not going to be off forever. I’m still, it’s just I know that there are I know when to use it, and when not to use it. Right?

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah. Right now that’s good. So, one of the clinical pearls that I had just recently the other day, which I wanted to just test, okay, I’m going to see if I have some deeper sleep or a lot better sleep efficiencies or better readiness scores, is using something called royal jelly. royal jelly is very rich in a nutrient called BiOp Trin. And by option is a prerequisite for all our neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine, and adrenaline.

And a lot of the time what will happen is when we’re overstressed and over inflamed, and our heart rate variability is low, and we’re depleted, we deplete our ability to recycle are important antioxidants and are important prerequisites for neurotransmitters and BiOp. The trend is one of those important prerequisites that gets used up a lot. But then that doesn’t get recycled.

And then when you take some royal jelly, you will potentially if you have some really good constitution, and you’re not going to use those prerequisites, and they’re going to get oxidized right away, but it’s going to be used for what you want it to intend to do, then it should increase your sleep. And it did it was profound in terms of how much better my sleep was. But here’s the clinical Perlas Do I go back to it consistently?

I don’t think so. Because what I want, what I teach our clients is I want them to if you catch a wave, you don’t need to get off that wave to find another wave, ride that wave until it hits the ground, and then you go back up again and find another wave. So what would that would mean is taken up, have another day or two, three days or four days without taking the royal jelly again, see if your heart rate variability goes back to before baseline or is it still a little bit above baseline and ride it until it goes below and that may be three or four or five days before because it’s not meant like more is better. It’s meant where you just give your body that little push and let it ride it until the waves are finished and then go back up again, does that make sense?

 

Brian Chun: That makes sense, what I would relate that to sort of like, if, you know, if you’re doing we do commercial studies, and, you know, for clients wanting to test a product efficacy of a product, and, you know, some of the most important data that we see is not necessarily during the intervention phase, but the washout phase when we removed the, you know, intervention or whatever, you know, we were using.

And we, that’s when we see the physiological response is our body returning to the state before we were using, you know, this new product or whatever intervention that we’re doing, or has it adapted to it. So it’s a really, it’s a really important time to look at and kind of gauge, you know, how you’re going to use this new thing that you found. And I agree with you that if you do find something nice, that does work for you, I think over time, right? We adapt to certain things.

And so just continuously pounding with that might not be the best move, right? It’s using it to where you feel good kind of weaning off of it, or just, you know, staying off of it for a little bit and then reapplying it as needed. I think that’s absolute, you know, a good strategy for

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, and I think the word fine-tuning is apropos, you know because you do want to be fine-tuning your understanding of your viewer body. And we do just want if, in a perfect world, we could just have our HRV linearly go up and up and up and up. The reality is, it’s not possible. But if we could, I’m sure we would all want that, right. But at the same time, ultimately making fine-tune tweaks to your, your protocol or to your loop. And it comes down to I always say, it’s nice to know the objective cellular at the root cause of what’s going on physiologically, but what I feel is most important is subjective, do you feel that you’re more focused? Or you’re less stressed? Or you’re more rested? Or have you felt more recovered?

And then that’s the now you can fine-tune? Where if you if that doesn’t answer yes. Now, you could go back into the scientific part of it and, and re-tweak or re fine-tune? And then go back and say, Yeah, you know, what, if I were to look at it, I’d have to say that such and such as better or not, so it’s a balance of how are you feeling at the 30,000 view foot with how are you feeling at the sort of objective biometric level and not letting the biometrics you know, summarize and dictate everything? I guess, is that right? Do you find that’s a fine line?

 

Brian Chun: A very big thing is that you know, I’m guilty of it. I think anyone that’s in biometrics, and is very obsessive about data, can, you know, I’m sure we’re all guilty of it is you get so lost in the data, the data, the data, there’s so much data that you forget, like, hey, take a step back for a second, how do you feel right now, objective data is important, but subjective data to how do you feel, you know, that’s the main reason why we provide, you know, those surveys or we provide the ability to, you know, for clinicians, or anyone using an RPM service, to provide those surveys, whether it’s, you know, the sleep survey that we push out, or you know, your survey that you can link to, it’s important to get subjective data to match up to that objective data.

And at the end of the day, I’d have to say, you know, how you feel is much more important than, you know, the objective data, because data can say one thing, but if you wake up and you feel great run with that, you know, I wake up and I don’t like to say that I’m dependent on my sleep and my recovery scores, I look at it, because it’s just one factor in my decision making for how intense li I’m going to train that day, what things I’m going to do that day, you can’t entirely depend upon it if my recovery Score says, is a 60, I would rather my recovery score be an 80 or a 90 or close to 100.

But if I feel good, I’m well-rested, I’m still gonna, you know, push it that day, and just see how I feel. That’s what I think, you know, you made a really good point. And that, you know, it is a balancing act. Gotta look at both the data is important. But in this world of, you know, especially big data, you know, we can, you know, get lost its subjective data, you know, should be I think subjective data should make the final call.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Yeah, no, that’s a great call. You just sort of override the program, right, and be able to run with that. So now that’s great. Just a quick question before I ask you, the final question is, do those surveys, subjective surveys, do impact the recovery scores, objectively, when you fill those out?

 

Brian Chun: No, they do not affect the recovery score. The recovery score is just based on that’s objective measure, right? We’re taking all Have you the data from that we collect, and then push out the recovery score that subjective data is more so for, I think it would be most useful for people running studies, right to match up, you know, like, whether it’s time-stamped or not, to, you know, look at okay, on Monday, this was the recovery score. This was the process biometrics, this was the sleep score, this was the HRV. This was the raw data. This is the subjective data that goes along with this objective data. So it provides an easy way for whether it’s researchers clinicians to sort of match up subjective and objective data, but one does not influence the other.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Okay, it was It wasn’t sure okay, that’s helpful. So, listen, we come to the time in the podcast, where I always like to ask the guests exciting questions. And it comes down to now that you know what you know, now, especially in the world of biometrics and some of the clinical pearls you’ve shared, especially with overriding the program, when it doesn’t necessarily match how great you feel and vice versa.

If it says you feel great, or you should you had a great recovery, but you just not feeling it that day, then you back off on the other side of the scale. But with that being said, what would you have told the younger naive sort of I always say, joke around bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Brian, the sage-like information you have now that would have helped you leapfrog some of the trials and tribulations especially as it related to stress and overwhelm, and being just on that sympathetic driven, autonomic nervous system thing, what would you have told yourself, then that would have helped you earlier on in the game?

 

Brian Chun: Hmm, this is a this is such a typical, you know, ending, you know, podcast question that I hear a lot. And so I’ll try to answer it on two levels, one from like, a biometric. Kind of like, you know, incorporating biometrics and another just, you know, I guess stress, managing stress-related in that regard, I would have to say that I am still kind of, you know, that naive, young, bushy tail, you know, Brian, and, but if, if we do consider, like, the current version of me to be like that wise, you know, wiser Brian, I would look back and in regards to, like, stress management, I would have to say this seems so generic, but I would have to say, be more patient, and don’t be as greedy.

And I know that sounds like more of like a life lesson, but I’ll explain is that I’m, I’m very ambitious. And I, I tend to set very lofty goals sometimes. And, you know, when I’m, when I take on something new, I enjoy the process of, you know, being a beginner. However, I always bite off more than I can chew. Just to use as an example, this is my first ever triathlon. I’ve never ridden a bike, I don’t want to say ever in my life, but I’m not a cyclist. And I signed up for an iron Half Ironman distance, triathlon.

And so I’m, you know, it’s this weekend, I’m a little, you know, it’s on my mind, it’s a lot of stress, right. Even with other things, too, that I’ve taken on in my life, I would stress because I would take on so much and have such high expectations for myself, that it would stress me out so much. You know, it leads to things like overtraining, overdoing things, and just being on the extremities. And when you’re on the extremities all the time, I mean, if you’re when you’re always pushing so far towards one end, you’re always bound to bounce back to the way to another end.

And so, you know, when you set when I set these high expectations, and high standards for myself, it’s stressful, I’m at one end, but I’m also you know, I end up overtraining, or just taking on way too much, and then I burn out, I fatigue, and then I’m at the other end, where I’m not able to do the things that I need to do, whether it’s a training practice, you know, I think it’s a principle that, um, it just comes down to be consistent, you know, do the amount that you can keep that you can continue to do consistently, as opposed to taking on too much power to look back and, you know, tell younger, Brian, something in regards to stress management, it would be, Hey, man, take it easy, like small steps don’t bite off more than you can chew.

And being consistent, you know, getting more volume in whether it’s practice whatever it is, the volume will end up making you better at something in the long run. From a biometric standpoint, I would just wish that I had started using data and objective data a little bit more. I know this is coming off of the last question where I, you know, I was saying, rely on the subject of data bore. But you know, young Brian was just going completely off of feeling, you know, feeling and emotion. And I think data would have helped me kind of make some better decisions about my training about whatever it is that I’m taking on life.

 

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: And it was a great answer. They’re sort of similar in the sense of the way I would bridge the gap between both answers is, in physiology, you know, you have the same principle with specific adaptations to impose demands, and when I was a trainer, I would teach people, you just want to go a little bit more than what your body’s capable of doing, or you don’t stimulate a response, you either go a little bit above, or you don’t, if you go below, you’re not going to ask the body to, to, to create a stress, environmental change and inside your body to adapt to it.

But if you go way too much, that’s where you have muscle soreness, or at the 30,000 view foot, you have a lot of anxiety and, and stress and panic, and being able to push it so that we’re always doing something every day to expand our stressor, or expand our, our experiences, we also don’t want to push it too hard at that level for sure. And then you also don’t want to be an ostrich and put your head in the sand and not explore the world too. And then on the other side of things. I do think that with biometrics, it is a nice balance between between understand it like knowing yourself, and sometimes you need to have the smelling salts put under your nose.

And that is like the naive younger versions of ourselves. We think that we’re invincible, right? But then we see that, hey, you take a dive physiologically, when you have three drinks, and you come home at 2 am. And you know, it’s not it is common sense like yeah, I feel I, I know it’s impacting me, but you don’t see the actual numbers. And as we get older, we don’t bounce back the same. So it would have been nice to be able to, to know like physiologically, even though we were naive, that was still happening, even if we didn’t see it at the same level. But hey, loss of information today, I appreciate that I’m going to I as you know, I’m, I use the bio strap with our clientele.

And what I will do is in the show notes, I’ll be able to give some links to people if they’re interested in getting it themselves on how to get that. But hey, I appreciate your time today, Brian, and I wish you a successful event this weekend. I know my biggest problem would be the swimming you had already been a swimmer before all of this or

 

Brian Chun: That’s that’s where I’m going to be that’s the event that I’ll be strongest in. But unfortunately, it’s the shortest event it’s only a mile compared to 56 miles for the bike and 13 for the run. But you know what? It’s my first one like I you know, kind of go tying it back to you know my answer to your question.

I’m going to drop the expectations for this. It’s my first one, you know, and just chalk it up to experience rather than you know, stress about any sort of time. So I think I’m just gonna have fun. Dr. Rosen, thank you so much for having me. This is my first podcast ever. I had a great time. And absolutely, I got a lot of, you know, great clinical pearls from you as well.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: No, that’s great. No, I appreciate it. The last thing I would say is to celebrate right because we don’t celebrate enough and we’re so worried about the data and did I fit it? You did it right? And look at how many people have ever done a half marathon half-type triathlon. So kudos to you and I look forward to hearing how you did Brian.

 

Brian Chun: Wonderful. I’ll be in touch. Thank you so much, Dr. Rosen.

 

Dr. Joel Rosen: Thank you. Take care and have a great day.

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