Dr. Peter Attia on Life-Extension, Drinking Jet Fuel, Ultra-Endurance, Human Foie Gras, and More (#50)

Tim Ferriss and Peter Attia

“How do you balance the desire to live longer with the desire to perform well?” — 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.

#50: Dr. Peter Attia on Ultra-Endurance, Drinking Jet Fuel, Human Foie Gras, and 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):

#65: Supplements, Blood Tests, and Near-Death Experiences (Dr. Peter Attia)

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

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…

Subscribe to The Tim Ferriss Show on Apple Podcasts.

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

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

Leave a Reply

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.)

132 Replies to “Dr. Peter Attia on Life-Extension, Drinking Jet Fuel, Ultra-Endurance, Human Foie Gras, and More (#50)”

  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!

  3. I radically changed my eating habits back in 1995, after the T Factor diet nearly killed me. A radio interview with Barry Sears saved my life. He was promoting the Zone Diet on a Dallas talk radio station. I went from 235 lbs. (height 6’2”) with body arthrititis and symptoms of the onset of MS to 168 lbs and feeling great using the Zone diet guidelines for 6 months and taking 2 grams of fish oil daily. I have used the Zone diet guidelines up until recently and maintained good health for over 20 years. My weight varies, but has generally been maintained at around 180 lbs. during that time. At 68 years old I am medication free. I still take fish oil, an have an amazing ability to recuperate from injury, especially being bruise resistant from physical injuries. A year ago at 185 lbs., I began experimenting with ketosis, emphasizing high fiber carbs with most of my calories coming from fat. By June 2017, I hit 165, and I have easily stayed at that weight. Over the last year I have taken 2 grams fish oil, 5000 mg vitamin D3, MK7, CoQ 10, Magnesium, (all from Dr. Sinatra) per day. I am currently making up a list of blood tests that are relevant to me using the Recode protocol of Dr. Bredesen’s book, “The End of Alzheimer’s”. As for Syndrome X, I have the following numbers. BMI 22.4,

    BP 115/75, TGL 54, HGL, 67, LDL 190, fasting glucose 83 and waist size of 34”. This is the first time I have been at 165 since 1977. I occasionally have weighed 162, which I haven’t weighed since 1969. Dr. Sears was the first person that I heard describe disease as coming from chronic inflammation caused by diet. His Zone diet has served me well, but I feel the need to step up my bio hacking to a higher level. Dr. Sears is against Ketosis, so I am using information from scientist/doctors, like Dr. Attia, Dr. Valter Longo, Dr. Perlmutter, and Dr. Bredesen. I also love Dr. Rhond Patrick’s Website Found my Fitness.

  4. First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that

    I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself

    and clear your thoughts before writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts

    in getting my ideas out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?

    Many thanks!

  5. Tim – Have you tried Generation UCAN SuperStarch products before? I know Peter is a fan of them for before/during his high-endurance activities. I think it would be interesting to hear how you do with taking it before something like a longer jiu-jitsu or martial arts session.

    – Sam

  6. Tim

    I love all the coverage on athletic endurance. I’m a weekend warrior (endurance mountain biking, triathlon, running, etc) and most of it is over my head, but my wife is a Registered Dietitian and dumbs down the science for me. Speaking of which, I wanted to suggest a future guest for you. Bob Seebohar has been getting a lot of attention due to his cutting edge (sometimes controversial) approach to nutrition periodization and metabolic efficiency training. However, it is becoming more widely accepted and some of the worlds best athletes, including 15 + Olympians and 30 + professional athletes, have adopted his teachings. Much like you, he uses himself as a guinea pig for his experiments and is an accomplished athlete himself.

    Anyway, I have no dog in this, but am loosely connected to Bob since he was my wife’s college soccer coach (2 club national championships :-)) and I’ve read his books and follow his protocol to great benefit. I think a conversation between the two of you would be wildly fascinating.

    Thanks for all you do, love it.