Longevity, Stimulation, and Vitalization
Athletes of all ages want to live longer, perform better, and infuse their bodies and minds with healthy fuels—preferably those boosted with performance enhancements. Here is how:
Pictured: Pole vaulter and biologic injections patient Kenneth St Cyr at the 2023 World Masters Association Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland
Longevity is having a moment. Multiple research studies suggest that various supplements prolong the lives of worms, rats, and possibly people. The names of these supplements are NAD, Metformin, Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Ergothioneine, Senolytics, Omega-3 fatty acids, and Magnesium, to name a few.
The common theme is that the destructive effects of certain foods, toxins, chemicals, and radiation in our environments induce premature aging in our bodies. This can include changes in our genetics, our collagen, our brains, vision, hearing, and all our tissues.
The hope is that these effects can be ameliorated—and sometimes even reversed. Most likely these life-lengthening steps must begin at a young age to have the maximum benefit. Ideally, longevity activities begin at birth, with parents providing healthy food choices and muscle-building activities that build a foundation for a healthy childhood and long life. While schools may teach physical education, they never teach longevity—so most people come of age in this space only when they are moved to confront their own mortality.
Strategies to stimulate cells and increase longevity have been around for a long time. In the 1930s, anabolic hormones—mostly derivatives of testosterone—were shown to build muscle and improve athletic performance. Women discovered the benefits of hormone replacement therapies in the 1960s, and both sexes fought off the mixed science that suggested that hormone replacement was detrimental to their health. Caffeine, taurine, and a range of other stimulants clearly produce enhanced sports performance and were added to nutrition programs by athletes without the need for physician guidance. Merging the lessons from these diverse experiences opens the opportunity to have true sports and life performance coaches, clinics, and doctors with solid scientific principles guiding the use of these stimulants.
Vitalization describes the entire field of foods for fuel, vitamins, supplements, and intravenous therapies to support active lifestyles. But how do we ensure that our daily intake of these products not only supports our output but helps optimize our muscles, our weight, and our intellectual capacity? How do we interpret the minimum daily requirements of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins and measure how much more of each is optimal for each unique body? And what does “optimal” even mean? Are we treating aging or deferring it? Are we replacing missing components, or augmenting existing ones? What is the right balance?
While we may not know the definitive answers, we can customize these interventions for each individual. Today, we can merge the world’s knowledge (via AI-driven searches) with each person’s lifestyle profile—measured through wearables, social media posts, and self-reported activities—and add the intuition and guidance of enlightened physicians—to provide a daily personal schedule that should extend quality life years.
Fundamentally, when every intervention is quantified for its relative contribution to increases in quality and longevity of life, our analysis shows that daily exercise is the single most effective action.
While doctors of the future might offer patients novel therapies, sneakers are available right now.