It has been quite the year for everyone. Whether we are talking about political happenings, COVID-19-related news, sports, or the Metaverse, 2021 was filled with emotion and forward (and perhaps some backward) progress for humanity.
2021 was also a great year for Science & Chill, a little project that I began at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 and have continued to grow and love ever since. What began as a locally-recorded podcast has now graduated to a show with an international guest (and audience) list, with most of the interviews held and recorded over Zoom. While online interactions often lack the personal touch of in-person conversation, I have nonetheless enjoyed making new “virtual” friends, chatting about life and science with my guests, and learning a lot from the experiences and knowledge of others.
In 2021, I published 17 episodes of the podcast, and the total episodes (excluding weekly “Physiology Friday” podcasts) now sits at 40. Each of these 17 episodes was jam-packed with information, and I was fortunate to have had on a wide variety of insanely smart guests who were more than willing to share their work and insights. Thank you to all guests who appeared on the podcast this year — you are truly special.
Thanks also to my incredible audience. The total number of podcast downloads this year was 11.6 thousand, up ~350% from last year. While this number may pale in comparison to those of other podcasts, for me, every single download is meaningful. Continued growth is all that one can hope for when producing this type of content! It is also fun to see that I have a somewhat international audience — with downloads from several countries around the world.
With that being said, it’s time for the yearly review of the top 10 podcast episodes (ranked by number of downloads) this year. Below each episode, I’ll post the podcast shownotes which contain some summary, links, and other relevant information for each episode. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to any of the most-popular interviews, I encourage you to find a guest whose work seems interesting and take a listen!
Finally, if you are in the giving spirit this season, enjoy my content, and would like to show your support, please consider becoming a monthly supporter on Patreon or making a one-time donation through PayPal. All support is appreciated more than you know!
In episode 34 of Science & Chill, I interview Jerry Teixeira. Jerry is a strength coach and health and fitness influencer who is the creator of “body weight strength” — a program designed to help individuals build muscle and strength with little to no equipment. Jerry offers personalized coaching and training programs to clients, and also hosts a YouTube channel where he provides free demonstration videos of dozens of body weight exercises.
Not only is Jerry a strength coach, but he has an intense interest in all things related to health, longevity, nutrition, biohacking, and performance. I frequently interact with Jerry on Twitter about these and other topics, so it only seemed right that we finally sit down to discuss our shared interests. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to talk specifics about Jerry’s fitness programming and training, since our conversation veered off into topics related mostly to longevity and performance optimization. As we approached 2.5 hours in this podcast, I have already invited Jerry back for a round 2 to touch upon topics that I had planned to speak on but which we did not have the time to cover.
- Website: BodyWeightStrength.fit
- Follow Jerry on Twitter: @jerryteixeira
- Follow Jerry on Instagram: @jtbodyweightstrength
In episode 26 of Science & Chill, I interview Kevin Bass, who has been on my “to interview” list for quite some time, and we were able to finally make some time to record this episode. If you aren’t familiar with Kevin, he is a scientist and also a truth-seeker, experimenter, expert, and social-media presence in the area of nutrition. Kevin has become low-key famous on Twitter and elsewhere for his rants about nutrition and his recently scrutinized “quack list” — topics that we discuss in this episode along with much more.
In this episode of Science & Chill, I speak with Chris Cornell. I have been coaching Chris for the past 15 weeks as he embarks on his goal of breaking 25 minutes in the 5k at age 57, a feat he will attempt on Labor Day (September 6, 2021). Chris is very active on social media, where he posts about his diet, fitness, and has been documenting his 5k training for the past few months.
In this conversation, we recap his training program, talk about some pre-race strategies, and answer some questions from Twitter about how Chris has approached his current running goals as well as his other goals in life.
- Follow Chris on Twitter @BiggestComeback
- Check out Chris’s training on Strava
In this episode of the podcast, I speak with Dr. Stephen Anton.
Dr. Anton is a leading authority on Intermittent Fasting and Chief of the Clinical Research Division at the University of Florida’s Department of Aging and Geriatric Research.
In this episode, we cover everything from the basics of intermittent fasting and time restricted feeding, to the specific cellular benefits that come from fasting. We also discuss a bit on how fasting and the ketogenic diet are similar but also some of the distinct benefits that come from each. If you’re interested in intermittent fasting or time restricted feeding or want to learn more about the physiology of this topic, I think you’re going to really enjoy this episode.
In this episode of the Science & Chill podcast, I interview Dr. David Church.
Dr. Church is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where his work involves many topics but primarily a focus on using stable isotope tracers to understand protein metabolism within the body. As you’ll hear in the episode, Dr. Church has an extensive training background in physiology; from strength and conditioning and sports science to specific pathways involved in muscle signaling. We cover many of these topics in this interview. We cover some of the basics around protein — what are amino acids, what is muscle protein synthesis, and what influences whether we build up or break down muscle? David even touches upon some long-held myths surrounding protein like the optimal dose and whether the “anabolic window” really exists.
We also discuss muscle catabolism — what happens to skeletal muscle when the body is in a state of extreme stress; things like aging, extreme burn injury, and sustained military operations. Dr. Church recently published a paper discussing potential countermeasures that military and other organizations may be able to make use of to prevent muscle breakdown in states of extreme metabolic stress.
In this episode of the podcast, I interview Ryan Dreyer. Ryan and I have become acquaintances recently through Twitter, similar to how all great relationships begin (only partly kidding here), and I have absolutely loved following his training, posts on nutrition and fitness, and the other content he shares.
Ryan has an intense passion for health, nutrition, and endurance sports, something that we both have in common. I wanted to interview Ryan to just talk shop about the basics of nutrition and training and his philosophy on how to live a well-balanced life, but also some of his personal practices surrounding exercise and diet.
Ryan also just completed a half-ironman triathlon. We spend a good deal of the beginning of this podcast recapping his race and talking about triathlon training. Some other topics we cover include Ryan’s training routine, what he typically eats and how he thinks about his diet, and a few random topics that we are always talking about with people on social media including ice baths, caffeine and alcohol, fasting, and supplements that he uses.
Ryan also just released an awesome E-book called “Running 101.” We talk about his book at the end of the podcast. I highly encourage you to check out the book if you are interested in perfecting your running or even if, or perhaps especially if, you are just beginning to take running seriously. You can find a link to Ryan’s book in the show notes below.
Coincidentally, Ryan and I mention several different products in this podcast despite none of them being sponsors — including Primal Kitchen products, Stamets 7 mushroom blend, Redmond Real Salt, and Grim Hood’s black seed oil.
However, we ARE in part supported by LMNT electrolytes, and awesome brand that makes a really quality product for athletes, anyone doing a low-carb diet or fasting, or simply those who would like to get some extra sodium, magnesium, and potassium during the day. You can check out LMNT electrolytes and even try a FREE sampler pack by using my special listener link at drinkLMNT.com/scienceandchill.
If you find that you’re able and would like to help support this podcast and the other work that I do, please consider becoming a monthly supporter. You can do so by making a monthly pledge through Patreon. I have support tiers starting at as low as $3 per month and, while seemingly a trivial amount, that goes a long way in keeping this podcast up and running. To those who support currently, thanks so much and to all future supporters, thanks in advance.
- Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanvdreyer
- Follow Ryan on Instagram @dreyersheets21
- Check out and purchase Ryan’s new running E-book “Running 101”
In this episode of Science & Chill, I interview Dr. Tamara Hew-Butler.
Dr. Hew-Butler is a podiatric physician and associate professor of Exercise and Sports Science at Wayne State University. She earned her PhD at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she studied and trained under the legendary sports scientist and physician Dr. Timothy Noakes. Dr. Hew-Butler is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) and specializes in both sports medicine and exercise physiology. Her expertise is in exercise-associated hyponatremia, a topic we cover in detail, and the hormonal regulation of water and sodium balance. She is also an avid runner.
I reached out to Dr. Hew-Butler after reading a cover story on her that appeared in the Physiologist Magazine, which is a monthly publication from the American Physiological Society. You can find a link to that story in the show notes. After reading this story, I immediately contacted Dr. Hew-Butler to invite her on the podcast, because I knew she’d make for a fascinating guest. Given my recent interests in talking about and often debating about, hydration and water drinking on social media, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to interview someone with expertise on all things hydration who has both field and laboratory experience on the topic. In fact, her interest in the topic first began when she was part of the race staff at major road races and observed cases of athletes experiencing sometimes near-fatal cases of “overhydration.”
- “A Runner’s Quest” (The Physiologist July 2021 cover story)
- Follow Dr. Hew-Butler on Twitter (@Hyponaqueen)
My guest today is Dr. Thomas Clanton. Dr. Clanton is a professor in applied physiology and kinesiology at the University of Florida, where he conducts research on immune cells in skeletal and cardiac muscle biology, the origins of heat stroke, and the effects of heat stroke on physiology and epigenetic regulation. Dr. Clanton is also a member of my PhD advisory committee and has been highly influential on the way I think about and do science throughout my graduate school career.
We begin our conversation with a deep and lengthy dive into Dr. Clanton’s scientific career — why he got into science, his early career work in respiratory and lung physiology, and what led him to become a cell biologist who now primarily focuses on animal models. We cover some basics of respiratory physiology and also talk about inspiratory muscle training devices — one for which Dr. Clanton actually has held a patent on for the last 40 or so years.
We then talk about free radical biology, reactive oxygen species in normal function and health and disease, and the key role of free radicals as signaling molecules throughout the body.
I was so glad to sit down with Dr. Clanton for our brief chat, and know that you will thoroughly enjoy this tour through what is a pretty jam-packed scientific career.
In this episode of Science & Chill, I interview ultra-endurance runner Zach Bitter.
Zach is the previous world record holder in the 12-hour run on the track and the 100-mile run on the track (which he actually ran in the same race). He also holds the world record for the fastest 100 miles run on the treadmill. In this episode we talk about these records and put them into perspective, so you all will get an idea of how fast he is running these insane distances.
Zach is also a fascinating guy because he is interested in the nuances of metabolic health and performance. He is famously known as the “low carb endurance runner” in nutrition and running circles. Through his appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast and affiliation with the carnivore doctor Shawn Baker, Zach has gained a reputation as someone who thrives on a low carbohydrate diet. This is the main thing I wanted to talk to Zach about — what he actually eats, how he structures nutrition and thinks about fueling, and some of the nuances surrounding low-carb diets when it comes to optimal human performance.
In this episode of Science & Chill, I interview Matt Fitzgerald. Matt is an author, endurance sports coach, and certified sports nutritionist whose work has appeared in national publications including Bicycling magazine, Maxim, Men’s health, and Outside magazine. Matt has written several popular books on the science and art of running and endurance sports including 80/20 Running, Racing Weight, How Bad Do You Want It, Diet Cults, Running the Dream, and his most recent book, The Comeback Quotient.
I wanted to interview Matt to talk about his writing and running, but the main reason I asked him to come on the podcast was to discuss his recent struggle with what is being referred to as post-acute covid-19 syndrome (PACS) — the constellation of physical and mental symptoms that seem to arise months after one has suspectedly or certainly been infected with the COVID-19 virus. This is exactly what happened to Matt, who suspects he contracted COVID sometime in March of 2020, but didn’t start to experience severe COVID-related effects until nearly 6 months after his stint with the virus. In this podcast, he details how his athletic and personal life have been impacted by post-acute COVID syndrome and an alarmingly slow to nonexistent recovery. In some respects, he thinks he only seems to be getting worse.
I’m excited to announce that this podcast is being brought to you by LMNT electrolyte drink mix. If you haven’t heard of LMNT, you probably will soon. LMNT is the best electrolyte supplement out there, and I swear by this stuff for fueling and helping me recover from my workouts. I had a packet during and after my indoor cycle this morning and feel considerably better than if I was drinking just water.
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Right now, LMNT has a special offer for all Science & Chill listeners. You can get a free LMNT sample pack, just pay the $5 price for shipping. In the sample pack, you’ll get 2 packets each of their citrus salt, orange, raspberry, and raw unflavored salt. This gives you an opportunity to try out LMNT and see the performance and health benefits for yourself. Again, this is hands down the best electrolyte drink mix I’ve tasted and the only one I’ll ever purchase again. To claim this offer, go to DrinkLMNT.com/ScienceandChill.