Dr. Peter Attia on Life-Extension, Drinking Jet Fuel, Ultra-Endurance, Human Foie Gras, and More


Tim Ferriss and Peter Attia

“How do you balance the desire to live longer with the desire to perform well?” (Tweet It)
– Peter Attia, MD

This episode delves into all types of performance enhancement and tracking — optimizing blood testing, drinking “jet fuel,” training for ultra-endurance sports, consuming synthetic ketones, using metabolic chambers, extending longevity by avoiding certain types of exercise, and much more.

Peter Attia is the co-founder and current president of the Nutritional Science Initiatives (NuSI).

He is an ultra-endurance athlete, compulsive self-experimenter, and one of the most fascinating human beings I know. Peter also earned his M.D. from Stanford University and holds a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He resided at John Hopkins Hospital as a general surgeon, then conducted research at the National Cancer Institute under Dr. Steve Rosenberg, where Peter focused on the role of regulatory T cells in cancer regression and other immune-based therapies for cancer.

UPDATE: People loved this episode so much that we did a follow-up episode, where Peter discussed his supplement use (and what he avoids), the top-5 blood tests you should consider, and much more. Here it is (stream below or right-click here to download):

This episode is brought to you by Onnit. Joe Rogan introduced me to Onnit, and since then, my garage has resembled a showroom. I own Onnit supplements (like chewable melatonin for jetlag and flights), maces, battle ropes (not “battle robes,” as I first heard it), kettlebells, and enough gear to ensure a lifetime of self-inflicted torture and higher performance.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY:  What counter-intuitive physical “hacks” or dietary approaches have been most impactful in your life? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, please leave a short review here. It keeps me going…

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Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • Peter Attia’s obsessions on performance [11:35]
  • Is hemoglobin A1C a running 3-month average of your aggregate glucose level? [16:50]
  • Managing metabolic syndrome [17:15]
  • What are synthetic ketones and why might people care? [19:45]
  • Peter Attia’s first experience consuming synthetic ketones [24:55]
  • Potential benefits or advantages of consuming synthetic ketones [28:55]
  • Exploring the difference between ketoacidosis and ketosis [31:10]
  • A mnemonic for the difference between exogenous and endogenous [34:40]
  • Interesting results derived from tests with metabolic chambers  [35:15]
  • Thinking about the health complications related to blood bio-markers [41:45]
  • The bio-effects of swimming from Catalina Island to Los Angeles (10 hours later) [51:05]
  • Questioning fecal matter transplants [53:45]
  • Challenges regarding daily cycles of testosterone and how this effects testing [46:35]
  • The sloppy thinking around life extension [58:45]
  • Perspectives of death avoidance, IGF-1 and growth hormone use [01:03:00]
  • Heart-rate optimization for longevity [1:14:15]
  • Exercise recommendations for extending life [1:21:15]
  • Addressing challenges with cancer, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and neurodegenerative disease [1:44:45]
  • Rapid Fire Questions: Meditation, the most enjoyable $100 spent in recent memory, the successful and the punchable [1:31:30]

Information Mentioned

Posted on: December 18, 2014.

Please check out Tools of Titans, my latest book, which shares the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers. It was distilled from more than 10,000 pages of notes, and everything has been vetted and tested in my own life in some fashion. The tips and tricks in Tools of Titans changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for sample chapters, full details, and a Foreword from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

125 comments on “Dr. Peter Attia on Life-Extension, Drinking Jet Fuel, Ultra-Endurance, Human Foie Gras, and More

  1. Dear Tim, here´s Mike from Munich in Germany, a fellow broadcaster and comedian from Germany´s most listened-to radio station. Your podcasts (and your books also) are a REVELATION for me and I can not thank you enough for this humongous treasure, that makes those long rides in the car something i long for now instead of dreading them. Please keep up your work, I especially enjoy your “Solocasts” with your glass of wine and the ones with Dr. Attia. Amazing stuff, please do more of those.
    If you ever come to Munich and wanna have a special time on Oktoberfest, with getting into the tents instead of waiting outside just give me a holler, I once made one american travel aquaintance a very nice evening and he was so happy i´d gladfully repeat that for you.
    Yours sincerely, Mike


  2. What are the brands of synthetic ketones you recommend taking and how many times a day? Any opinion of KetoForce or KetoSports brands? Or maybe Keto OS? Ive heard mixed things about OS. Thanks!