Evolving with Nita Jain
Evolving with Nita Jain: Health | Science | Self-Development
Technology for Better Health & Productivity with Avisha NessAiver of Distilled Science

Technology for Better Health & Productivity with Avisha NessAiver of Distilled Science

Fitness trackers, digital second brains, muscle maintenance, & precision medicine

In a world where simplicity is attractive, Avisha NessAiver, founder of Distilled Science, bucks trends and embraces nuance while setting out to maximize his health, income, & productivity.

We talk about his daily gadgets and apps, science communication, safe workouts for hypermobility, the importance of having a digital second brain, and the need for adequate nutrition as we age.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, and YouTube.

Chapter Summaries:
[00:00:00] - Avisha NessAiver is the founder of Distilled Science—a blog dedicated to science-backed optimization and performance—and a speaker, futurist, & engineer.

[00:00:41] - Avisha has recently started a series where he aims to 10x his health, productivity, and income. His approach is more ambitious than practical, as some evidence suggests that it's better to have slightly unattainable goals and fall slightly short than to have something that's consistently attainable.

[00:01:53] - The 80/20 rule states that you should aim to fail at least 20% of the time for maximal learning and improvement. The optimal learning speed occurs when you understand a good percentage of a task and then fill in the gaps with practice.

[00:05:40] - In the last two years, Avisha has listened to over 25 million words using the Speechify app, and he also happens to be the number one user. He regularly reports to the company about potential bugs and fixes.

[00:08:43] - Notion is a notetaking app on steroids combined with a content management system that allows you to create interlinked databases. Avisha’s website is built in Notion, and he plans to give people access to his digital brain as a constantly growing resource.

[00:11:37] - In the information age, it's important to have a digital second brain to offload fact storage. Avisha recommends Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte to help people get started with setting up their own digital back brains as well as Getting Things Done by David Allen to learn about offloading mental tasks using technology.

[00:14:39] - The education system still needs to realize that our brains are made for critical thinking, not storing facts.

[00:18:57] - Fitness trackers are overused and underused. The best use of a fitness tracker is for personal tracking and motivation, not to provide ground truth values. The relative accuracy is typically a lot more reliable than the absolute accuracy.

[00:21:28] - Science media outlets sometimes report relative risk reduction instead of absolute risk reduction. The dose makes the poison, and animal studies often use extremely high doses to evaluate the effects of potential environmental toxicants.

[00:24:53] - Hormesis posits that small amounts of stressors can be beneficial to the body. However, certain enzymatic pathways in your body have a finite ability to break down compounds like caffeine and cocaine, and these systems can become overwhelmed. Cumulative effects matter, and stress in general can lead to excessive cortisol production.

[00:30:58] - Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with increased lifespan compared to complete abstinence or heavy drinking, but it's clear that any amount of alcohol is toxic to the system. Drinking facilitates social bonding, which may account for the improved longevity observed among moderate drinkers.

[00:36:39] - Polyphenol-rich red wine, sometimes purported to contribute to gut health, may exert more adverse effects than beneficial ones due to the presence of compounds called congeners.

[00:39:38] - Avisha and Nita have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a condition characterized by problems with the body’s collagen production system, leaving connective tissue weaker and more prone to injury. To circumvent this issue, Avisha’s workout protocol involves using high volume at lower percentages of the one rep maximum and slowly building up. Working out is important for people as they get older to prevent sarcopenia, or loss of muscle tissue.

[00:44:40] - As we get older, our need for protein increases due to the loss of muscle mass. Most people lose around 1% muscle mass every year after the age of 50. Gaining more muscle during your 20s and 30s will help offset this loss. 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is a good guideline for putting on muscle mass, but it's not enough for most people.

[00:46:52] - Protein intake and muscle maintenance are essential to optimal health as we age. When you have more muscle, you are better able to move your body and maintain an active lifestyle. If your muscle starts degrading, your overall lifestyle becomes more sedentary.

[00:48:53] - As part of his science communication efforts, Avisha lets his sources provide the authority and translate them in a way that is accessible to someone without a scientific background. In order to film a 60-second Tik Tok video, he spends hours pouring over research papers. He plans to create more long-form content and believes personalized, targeted interventions are the future of medicine.

[00:56:29] - The government is the single largest payer that will benefit from a preventative approach to healthcare. This change will likely be funded through the payers that are more agile and backed by insurance companies and large employers who will be incentivized to have a healthier employee base.

[00:58:55] - Medical education needs to shift towards preventative approaches instead of solely operating under a “diagnose then drug” paradigm. Western medicine system is very good at treating acute problems, but chronic conditions like fibromyalgia can have multiple root causes.

[01:02:28] - Avisha tries to find a middle ground between traditional and alternative medicine camps and believes there needs to be greater oversight in the functional wellness space. In its current form, FMT lacks standardization. Some microbes might be beneficial in one body and not in another.

Connect with Avisha on TikTok & Instagram! If you enjoyed this episode, you can support the show. Thanks for listening!

The show’s theme music, “New Beginnings” by Joshua Kaye, was provided courtesy of Syfonix. This episode was recording using Riverside and edited using Descript. Some links are affiliate and help support my mission to share actionable self-development insights with the general public at no additional cost to you.

Evolving with Nita Jain
Evolving with Nita Jain: Health | Science | Self-Development
Whether it's a workout protocol, productivity routine, or mindfulness practice, Nita Jain shares actionable insights designed to help listeners optimize their lives and become their best selves. Topics covered include science, psychology, philosophy, health, fitness, longevity, entrepreneurship, and everything in between. The show aims to be interdisciplinary, encourage forward thinking, and approach subject matter in a balanced way.