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Natural Remedies For ADD & The Surprising Benefits of Freediving

On a recent trip to the beach, I dove into the ocean depths with Andrés Preschel, a Miami-based fitness wizard and friend of mine who’s just as nuts about exercise physiology as I am.

Andrés and I chatted about everything from freediving to spearfishing, from breathwork to staying healthy while on the road. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Andrés’ story is a testament to perseverance. New York-born but Venezuela-raised, Andrés navigated life with ADD from an early age, all the while dealing with health issues like body dysmorphia, anxiety, insomnia, and more. Yet, in true warrior fashion, he decided to take charge of his own health before his hardest year in high school, stepping off medication and taking on a health-focused journey.

Blending a passion for sports with a scientific brain, Andrés dove into the study of human nutrition and physiology, overcoming his personal battles and even acing academic exams in the process. Fast forward, and he’s built up quite the résumé: a degree from the University of Miami, numerous academic accolades, and a muscular physique to boot.

Juggling a rigorous course load at university, Andrés kept his plate full with teaching gigs, late-night research escapades, and even found time for boxing and bodybuilding. Post-undergrad, he secured a fully-funded research scholarship for his Master’s Degree in Applied Physiology, with a focus on Nutrition for Health and Human Performance.

From 2017 onward, Andrés took the fitness world by storm. He’s worked on lifestyle and longevity programs, co-authored a book, and led webinars on hot topics like intermittent fasting and exercise physiology. Plus, he’s made an impact by coaching CEOs, founders, athletes, and everyday folks looking to up their game.

Currently, as the founder of Know Your Physio and a founding member at Drym Health, Andrés is on a mission to offer lifestyle solutions to the most ambitious people out there, creating data-driven programs for better performance, longer lifespan, ideal body composition, and so much more. When he’s not geeking out on health and fitness, you can find him spearfishing, cycling, cooking, or chilling with his loved ones.

So, whether you’re a high-flying exec, a sports champ, or just an average Joe or Jane hoping to find the sweet spot between ambition and contentment, Andrés has got a solution for you.

In this episode, you’ll learn the secrets of freediving and spearfishing, discover tips for maintaining health during travel, explore effective ways to manage ADD without medication, delve into the science behind nutrition and physiology, and get insights on how to design a lifestyle that optimizes performance and longevity. You’ll also hear about Andrés’ journey from a struggling student to an accomplished exercise physiologist, and perhaps draw some inspiration for your own journey. So get ready to take notes, this episode is teeming with golden nuggets of wisdom!

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Andrés Preschel…02:45

  • Andrés was born in New York, raised in Venezuela
  • Dad, an eye surgeon, of Romanian, French, and Polish descent
  • Mom’s side Lebanese and Italian
  • Background in Exercise Physiology
  • Host of Know Your Physio podcast

-Breathwork for freediving…05:44

  • Tremendous benefits to Wim Hof breathing
    • Not suitable for freediving and spearfishing
    • If you don’t breathe correctly, you may not get the stimulus you need to return to the surface in time – you may black out in the water
    • Your life could be in danger
  • The stimulus for breathing is high CO2, not low oxygen
  • In Wim Hof-style breathing, you are offloading CO2
  • When freediving or spearfishing you need to
    • Do very slow breaths
    • Slow down your heart rate
    • Lower your cortisol and adrenalin
    • You need to be calm
  • Not consuming food that thickens the mucus when freediving
  • Caffeine, smart drugs, and nootropics are contraindicated
  • Liquid ketones or ketone esters are good
    • Helps protect the brain in a low-oxygen environment
    • Increases the breath hold time
    • Boosts endurance
    • Helps preserve glycogen
  • Calm and relaxed dive – to enjoy and be safe
  • Podcast with Dom D’Agostino
  • My Octopus Teacher documentary
  • Freediving an amazing tool for learning how to relax the body, lower the heart rate, deal with the cold in a relaxed environment
  • Freediving makes you feel like flying, having the sensation of freedom
    • Scuba gear makes that sensation impossible
  • Freediving is like bow hunting underwater

-Diaphragm stretches and contractions…14:46

  • Stretches for diaphragm
  • Evolve Freediving
    • Preparing a freediving course for Ben
  • In deep water, you need a flexible diaphragm
    • As your body gets the urge to breathe, you get contractions
    • You have to overcome these contractions
  • More advanced freedivers use contractions as a timer
  • Once you learn these tactics, you can find freedom and joy underwater
  • Freediving skills should be carried over to life on land
  • Post Session Podcast with Ashley Chapman of Evolve Freediving
    • Freediving for trauma therapy
    • Allows people to be able to maintain a calm presence when in a sympathetic state
  • Most people can learn to dive to 10m within an hour
    • For 20-30m you have to develop interoception – that bodily awareness

-How did Andrés get into freediving?…20:14

  • Freediving his whole life
  • His dad was freediving and spearfishing since he was 20
  • His whole family is into cooking, preparing meals using every part of the fish they catch
  • Carrot cake overnight oatmeal recipe

Andrés’ ADD diagnosis…25:29

  • Diagnosed with ADD when he was 8 years old
  • Was taking amphetamines as medication for 10 years
  • A lot of side-effects
    • Anxiety
    • Very low body weight
    • Wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t eating, wasn’t drinking water
    • Taking the highest prescribed dose
      • Vyvanse – 70mg
      • Adderall – 60mg
    • Started to stutter
  • Ben and his sons have ADD/ADHD; they don’t take medicine
  • Lifestyle factors have a huge role in managing ADD/ADHD
  • Andrés’ parents are medical professionals
  • His mom researched everything about the ADHD medicine
  • With ADHD, you have a very low level of dopamine or low-level dopamine sensitivity
  • Obsessions become something you really like – stimulative
    • You get dopamine hits naturally
  • ADD and ADHD can become superpowers
  • Nootropics Ben uses for focusing
  • Andrés’ Summer Scholars Program at UM in neuroscience
    • Started learning about the brain
    • Started exercising, eating Omega-3 rich foods, avoiding gluten
    • Within 2-3 months gained 15 pounds of muscle and became social
  • Ditched the medication and had intense withdrawal symptoms – totally depressed
  • Passed all  tests successfully without medication
  • Decided to learn about his physiology
  • Know Your Physio
  • Studied exercise physiology with a minor in psychology
    • Master’s in neuroscience
  • Omega-3-rich foods like
    • Walnuts
    • Fish (DHA-rich fatty acids)
    • Eggs

-The influence of gluten on ADD/ADHD…35:16

  • Did a genetic test – found out that he is predisposed to celiac disease
  • Brain fog, low energy, trouble digesting
  • It’s not gluten that gives symptoms, but gliadin protein
  • Gliadin proteins can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause a neuroinflammatory response
  • The problems with wheat in the US
  • Deactivating gliadin proteins in ancient grains like
  • High-quality ingredients with pre-fermentation won’t be harmful

-Working in physiology and Andrés’ obsession with data…39:30

  • Ben has a master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
  • Andrés is obsessed with data
  • Wanted to see just how efficacious all these new habits, tools, tips, tricks, and biohacks are
  • Discovered that deep, restorative sleep is extremely important
  • Worked with athletes and billionaires
  • Breathwork is one of the best ways to achieve deep sleep
  • Ben’s experience with breathwork and mouth taping
  • Wearable devices for tracking sleep
  • Tracking HRV
  • Podcast with Dr. Jay Wiles:
  • Gives a sense of what people can handle on a day-to-day basis
  • Ben uses periodization
    • Having certain periods of the training year to push yourself 
    • Pushing yourself from a stress standpoint
    • Getting HRV intentionally super low, and then having a recovery week to compensate
  • Heads Up Health

-Bloodwork and biomarkers to pay attention to…49:48

  • DRYM Health
    • Andrés is a founding member
    • Elevating the standards for health and performance
  • Biggest key markers
    • CRP and high-sensitivity CRP
  • Genova Diagnostics
    • Provides a more complete inflammatory count that goes beyond just CRP
  • Good to look at the full range of inflammatory markers
  • Cyrex Food Allergy Tests
  • CEOs are similar to athletes
  • Podcast with Doug Brackmann:
  • Another interesting marker noticed in CEOs is elevated sex hormone-binding globulin
    • Low testosterone
    • Probably under consuming carbohydrates

-The spiritual component and plant medicine…56:32

  • Has the privilege to choose who he will work with
  • People come for improved fitness and recovery metrics
    • But stay for the soul journey that they go through
  • Andrés’ story about the client he met in a coffee shop
    • At first, the goal was to lose some weight; lost some after a few months
    • Worked with him for 2 years and helped him realize that he used cycling as an escape
    • Identified some trauma from his past
    • Used psychedelic medicine to get to the root cause of his behaviors and bad habits
    • Had a psychedelic medicine therapy session
    • He became super empowered, open-minded, and a loving guy
    • Changed the life of his whole family
  • Ben’s stance on plant medicine
  • Ben has achieved more deep and lasting fulfillment through fasting, prayer, meditation, breathwork, silence, solitude, and time with God, than with plant medicine
  • Andrés is very reserved on the psychedelic stuff
  • Another story about the client who lost all his hair
    • Prescribed all kinds of meds that made him weaker
    • He regained his hair in a year
    • Identified that the cause was the use of nicotine and vape pens
  • Final advice for people with ADD and ADHD
  • “Escape competition through authenticity” – Naval Ravikant
  • Everybody can be authentic
  • Know Your Physio podcast

-And much more…

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Andrés Preschel:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Andres Preschel or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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