Hey y'all and welcome to the everyday athlete podcast recorded live from Omaha, Nebraska and I'm your host, Katie danger U S army veteran and founder of Red H Nutrition providing everyday athletes just like you, clean, effective nutritional solutions, custom formulated to help you reach your absolute potential every single day.
Hello hello hello athletes. It is that time again, episode number 16. Thanks for tuning in this week for our discussion on red light therapy and what you need to know. So we are 16 episodes strong here at the everyday athlete podcast and I feel like my, now I've said it enough times, I will try almost anything once and I will specially try almost anything once if it has to do with improving the quality of life or fitness performance or just finding those 1% advantages that I think add up over time. Have you guys ever read the book by Ben Bergeron called chasing excellence? So I read this probably a couple of years ago now. I'm, when it came out I got it right away. But in that book he talks a lot about how he takes his athletes through a process to be able to succeed at one of the most intense events that an athlete will go through. And that's the CrossFit games. So it takes a lot of preparation and he preaches that.
(01:13): It's about the little things, it's about the small things. Those 1% advantages that if you focus on those small things and over time they're going to add up to huge, huge advantages. And you know that the whole point of the podcast and the topics that I talk about are finding you ways because I know you're busy, I'm trying to find you ways to improve your life. And because we're so busy, we've set in our routines and we, you know, we wake up one day and we know we're not just going to be a completely different human being. That's not how it works. So we've got to find those small little ways to improve ourselves. And that is what this podcast is all about. And that is what today's episode is all about. One of my secret weapons is a human being is that I understand that consistency and time are important.
(01:55): And when you put those two variables together, the consistency in time, that's when the really, really big results start to happen. That's when you started to see the changes in your life that you want to see. So how does all of this relate to red light therapy? Well, this is another way that you, the everyday athlete, this is how you can improve your quality of life. But what does quality of life mean to me? Well, that's a good question and now it's going to mean a little bit something different for you. But for me, quality of life means being better every single day. It means that when you wake up in the morning, you know that there's a new opportunity out there to help you with a goal that you've set. For example, I love fitness and I love to improve my performance. No, I'm not a competitive athlete anymore.
(02:36): I really don't even do many competitions. I don't have my sights on any competitions and I'm not making any money off of this, but I still really care about getting the most out of my body and out of my DNA and finding what my true capacity actually is. Now I believe that there is no ceiling to what human capacity is. So I believe that I will spend my entire life trying every single day to be better than I was because I will never reach my potential because there is no ceiling human potential. So I'm always looking for new ways to help me get better. And especially when it comes to my fitness and performance. So when I want to feel less pain, less inflammation, I want to sleep better, I want to recover better. Those are the solutions I'm going to seek out. And before I go off on too much of a tangent of what brought me to red light therapy, ultimately it was wanting more, but here's how I came about it.
(03:22): Okay? So I was scoping out some Groupons one afternoon and I was looking at offers and some inference, sauna time came up and it was in the same category as like aesthetic things like Botox and float therapy. And then there was this red light therapy. So I've heard of it before but I really didn't even know that it existed in my area. It's not something I've ever looked about getting into. So when I saw that there was red light therapy option on Groupon, I'm like, well, okay, you know, like this is in our area now. Maybe this is something I should look into. So now let's talk about red light. Okay. I'm going to tell you a little about the history of light therapy and then we're going to get into the meaty stuff about red light therapy, the benefits, how it works, and then I'm going to share the options that I have for you, including home red light therapy units and how you can start adding this to your routine.
(04:08): Just like I have. So the history of light therapy, humans have been aware of the power of light for a really long time. And currently we know that we need natural sunlight to help with our body's production of vitamin D and prevent rickets. So sunlight, you could argue, is an essential nutrient. But let's roll back the clock a little bit. And nearly a thousand years ago, we've found documentation that light therapy was being used in ancient Indian medicine in the 18th century. And on. Now we start to see these scientific research literatures that refer to the use of light therapy with many ailments. This includes ulcers, shrinking tumors, healing wounds, and then healing skeletal and joint issues. So now you know that light has been used for centuries to help heal. But what about red light? Like what's the deal with that? In 1960 a Hungarian researcher was using a red light laser to cure tumors that were implanted in hamsters.
(05:03): So unfortunately when he was using the red light, he did not find that the red light shrunk. The tumor is more significantly than his control group. But what he did find is that the wounds that were created from the insertion of the tumor, so these little hamsters, they're lab rats essentially, and they have to have these tumors and plants and well there had to have been a cut well where he had used the red light. Those hamsters healed significantly, statistically significantly quicker than the group that did not have the red light therapy. So although he didn't necessarily get any answers to his hypothesis, he certainly got a new opportunity for a new research venue. Right? A new research Avenue, and this is, Oh my gosh, did red light lasers really help these hamsters heal their wounds quicker? Well, more research has come out literally thousands and thousands of research studies that have talked about red light and in 1990 NASA since has been using it to help astronauts maintain bone muscle mass.
(05:58): Now we're going to talk about red light therapy for this podcast. There's two terms that you need to know. It's red and near infrared and those are the two wavelengths of light that we're referring to when we talk about red light therapy. This is also referred to, I'm not going to call it this, but in literature and then in perhaps some blogs you're going to hear called photobiomodulation or PBM. So red light therapy involves the use of specific wavelengths of natural light to enhance the health and function of ourselves. This is done without any harmful UV rays or excessive heat. So it is generally considered very, very safe. People are actually doing this out of their homes as well. A lot of people think of light is just being the absence of darkness, but if you Google the visible light spectrum, you're going to see there's a lot we don't see.
(06:46): In fact, the human eye doesn't see a lot of things. So the point is there's a lot more to light than what you might know or what you might see. Well, I started to look more into red light therapy. I picked up the book, I got it on Amazon. It's called the ultimate guide to red light therapy. And here is what it says in the introductory paragraph and it's a very, very strong statement for red light therapy. And I totally, totally support the statement. What the author writes is the author is Ari Whitten, and he writes, if there were a pill that was proven to have powerful anti-aging effects in our skin, combat neurological disease, fight, depression and anxiety, increased fat loss, speed recovery from exercise, increased strength, endurance, fight autoimmune disorders, and speed healing from injury all without side effects. It would be a billion dollar drug.
(07:32): It would be a miracle drug. Well, the good news is that this drug exists and it's called at red light therapy and the quote. So wow, this is some powerful stuff, right? Well, yeah, it is. It is. And in fact, there are over 3000 clinical research trials involving the use of red light therapy to study the benefits and effectiveness of red light therapy, all the way from exercise to autoimmune disorders to depression, anxiety, skin, neurological diseases, you name it, red light is being used to treat it. So to summarize, red light helps with a whole heck of a lot of stuff and helps you feel a whole lot better. But how does it work? So that's another great question. And the majority of studies involving red and near infrared light around the mechanism of action surrounding mitochondrial energy production cells. Mitochondria are the tiny organelles in ourselves that are to be the powerhouses.
(08:26): They create the powerful energy our body uses to process and red light therapy helps the mitochondria create even more of that energy. Now in the case of mitochondrial power production, more is always better, so when exposed to red light therapy, there are specific photons, light energy. These photons react with the photoreceptors in ourselves and these photoreceptors I'll call the cytochrome C oxidase. This interaction between the photon and that photo photoreceptor. This interaction stimulates the mitochondria in ourselves to use oxygen more efficiently. This then allows the mitochondria to produce more ATP. ATP stands for a Denison triphosphate and this is an complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many cellular processes like muscle contraction, nerve impulses, and chemical synthesis. All very, very important for physical fitness and exercise. ATP is often also referred to as the molecular unit of currency. When our cells have more energy, they perform better and the rest of the body follows suit.
(09:34): Red light therapy has been called by some researchers as bringing the cells back to homeostasis, which is balanced and ultimately homeostasis is perfect health. When the body achieves that harmony synergy and reciprocation, another mechanism of red light therapy besides the mitochondrial energy production, it's creating a temporary low dose metabolic stress. The stress is known as hormesis and it builds up the anti-inflammatory antioxidant defense systems of the cell. Now hormesis works a lot like Wolff's law does on building bone strength, right? If you stress the system and then allow it to recover, it's going to be built back stronger than before. So red light therapy actually produces a low level of stress that stimulates healthy adaptations. It is no secret that being stronger makes you harder to kill. And in life we get stronger after we experience a low levels of stress or sickness, we exercise, right?
(10:32): We exercise to break down and build ourselves back up. Light therapy is the exact same thing. It acts as a low level stressor to ourselves. And the end result is that our cells gain these advantageous adaptations including more energy, higher antioxidants, and then more resilient anti-inflammatory systems. So now you know what red light therapy is. It's benefits the mechanism of actions. And I want to ask you, are you convinced yet if you're ready to try out red light therapy, here are some options for you. You could buy a whole home unit. Now a full body unit is about $1,000 online or you can get a small spot treatment unit for about $250 or you could find a group on like I started with,
(11:14): Or you could find a club, a gym, or a spa that gives you reliable and consistent access. Ever heard the same. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. A major component to your competitive success will be your nutrition prep. And I create a competition nutrition guide to help you utilize pre intra and post-competition nutrition protocols, boost your confidence heading into a competition, recover quicker post comps, you get right back to training and increase your power output and max capacity. So you can own that podium. I created this guy just for the everyday athlete and you can get your free copy at competitionnutritionguide.com.
(11:51): I'll say again, competitionnutritionguide.com. Here's the problem though. The problem that I found was if I was going to use it, yeah, Gym or a club or go to a facility, you've got to be consistent with red light therapy. So recommendations in all studies across the board, they're looking at at least three times a week with every day being the perfect center. So at least three times a day, optimal is you're doing every single day. So if you start doing the math here on how much it costs for a single visit to go to a spa or another place that has a red light unit for you use, it's probably going to be about 30 to $50 for a drop in. And this is looking at up to 15 minutes of red light therapy. Now you don't need a lot of red light therapy, especially if you're using a standup whole body unit, you know, less is more in this case. So let's just imagine that it's 30 to 50 for 15 minutes of therapy.
(12:43): If you do it just a few times sporadically, you're not going to get results. Red light therapy time or time and all of these research study, it thrives and has the best results with consistency. So after finding out the research and understanding that consistency is important, it made sense for me to purchase my own home unit. I did my research and I found Mito red brand Neato red is out of Arizona and I think they are the best units for the best price and they have free shipping too. There were a couple of brands out there. There's some on Amazon, and then there's another popular brand called juve, J O V that I looked into. I wouldn't when it came to having the right specifications, which is you got to have the red and near infrared light, so it has to have the cricket light spectrum or nanometers, which is the intensity.
(13:26): Then there's light coverage and then of course there's price. The Mito red brand beats everybody Mito red. They have a few different sizes to choose from. They have like small ones that you can hold just like on spot treatments. Like if your knee hurts, I want to put on your thyroid on your belly, like things like that. Or they have units that work for, they're about six feet tall and this is great for really deep penetration into Oregon health. This is great for full body coverage and it certainly lessens the time in which you have to use it every day. Now the small lights are great because if you're on a budget and you want to break into the red light scene, you can't for only 250 bucks, that's middle Red's entry-level unit and it meets all the specifications on light wavelengths and been shown to be beneficial in research.
(14:08): So it's got the right kind of light at the right intensity. That's what you always want to look for in these units you're purchasing, whether it's going to be a meter read or whether it will be another brand. It's gotta be the right kind of light, the red and near infrared, and then within the right nanometer wavelength and it's gotta be the right intensity. Okay, so how many Watts is this particular unit producing? Now the downfall of these smaller units is that you want to treat your whole body or multiple parts of your body. You'll need a lot more times. The cool thing is with these larger units, the one that I decided to purchase is you can cover a lot more areas of the body and the lights are more powerful, so they're going to get deeper into the tissue and deeper to help with organ health.
(14:46): Now I go all in. When I do something, when I am sold on something, I go all in. So I purchased Mito mega and it's their largest and most powerful light. Now there's really no standard way to dose yourself with a red light. The unfortunate thing with all of the information out there and when I was trying to figure out how to dose myself, I didn't really know where to start because literature and research is all over the place. I'm not doing it for a chronic illness or a sickness. I'm just really doing it for health and vitality and wellness and living life better. Right? Those 1% so finding how to dose yourself. There is no right or wrong way to do it. However, the caveat to that is research shows that if you do more, more is not better, more can actually harm you in a way where you actually can see the reverse effects, more lethargic instead of more energy.
(15:32): Now, depending on the light that you decided to purchase, that's going to determine how much time you spend in front of it. In the Mito mega world, the largest one that Mito red has. Here's how my routine goes. I start with two minutes and I face the unit. So you do this and you're naked. I start with two minutes and I'm facing the unit and it covers from my collarbone all the way down to my ankles. I turn around and I get the back side of my body, so I get the same from my clavicle down to my ankles and I just turn around and I get two minutes on the back side of my body. I stand about six inches from the unit, which is what suggested if you want to target the organs and deep tissue health melt light is very powerful, especially red and infrared and it can reach past the first layers of the skin and it is always suggested.
(16:12): Get as close to the light as you can so it can penetrate deep and get into the cells in your organs. So after I stand two minutes to my front, two minutes to my back, I sit down and I get my upper back for two minutes, which is going to cover, you know, my whole entire head down to about my hips and I turn and face the unit. I actually do keep my eyes open because I'm acclimated. Now red light therapy is not bad for your eyes. Some people do cover their eyes simply because it can be just a little too intense to begin with. But I do, I actually keep my eyes open. I get my face, my forehead, and my chest. And like I told you before, my main motivators for using red light is for Oregon health and joint health. And then that I believe is going to lead to overall health and longevity.
(16:53): This whole routine, it only takes me a little over eight minutes and it's such a quick and easy way to improve my quality of life. I do it in the morning, I do it. One of the very first things I do when I wake up. There are recommendations that if you're doing it for exercise, performance and recovery, specifically do it immediately or as soon as immediately after you can have your workout. So if you're really serious about this, I say buy a unit for yourself. If you start and just kind of like want to see what it feels like, get a group on, go to a club or a sauna, but just remember you've got to stay consistent with the benefits. This isn't something that you can just do once a week or twice a week for a couple minutes and expect to see any results. You in fact would just be throwing your money down the drain with that.
(17:34): So I did the math on this one and I want to share it with you. The unit that I bought, the middle mega, it comes with a two year warranty and it costs me $956 it was free shipping and I even had a small coupon that I was able to use. If you want that coupon, email me, email@example.com and I'll hook you up now one session at a spa here, $35 and this also comes with a membership commitment and I do get some other offerings in that too. So for $35 one session, so what again? And if I wanted to go five times a week for at least a month, that's going to cost me $600 for one month. And I'm not even doing every day. I'm doing it five times a week for about 15 minutes at 600 bucks. So to me, I wanted to do this for the long term.
(18:14): You know, it's already two thirds of the way. After one month I just figured to buy the unit itself and I can't speak highly enough about my experience with red light therapy and the benefits. As of recording this podcast, I've been using my Mito Megan L for four weeks and I'm just starting to experience the benefits energy. I have clear skin, I have less knee, neck and hip pain and I'm actually sleeping better too in the morning. I've also known as that I have like a general cognitive or focus clarity that really I can't attribute to anything else that's changed in my environment. Just adding red light, listen athletes, there are over 3000 studies available. The information is out there on the benefits of red light therapy. The research is solid. I was sold and I was still before ever even bought a unit and now that I have one, I can't imagine living without.
(19:00): It is just such a part of my routine and I really think that if you're the kind of person who believes in stacking all the cards in your favor, red light therapy is a tool that you want to have in your toolbox. You just got to add it. You've just got to add it in for your quest for optimization and I highly suggest that you start with Mito red brand. They're a great company. They're based right here in the USA and you do get free shipping. If you want to know more about Mito red, I am an ambassador for the brand. You can just send me an email, Katie@redhnutrition.com and I'll hook you up with a coupon code to you guys. Thanks so much for sticking with me again this week as I gave you the four one one on red light therapy.
(19:36): I've got a really fun episode. Next week I'm going to share my diary of a juice fast, so I'm going to share the ups and downs of what I've experienced. When I did my first ever juice fast, I didn't eat any solid foods and I stayed under 100 grams of sugar for three whole days, 81 hours to be exact. So I lived and I want to podcast about it. So I want to be sharing what that feels like to refrain from solid foods for three days and what I learned from the whole experience. So you know what, as always athletes, I know you're juggling a ton of responsibilities. I know you've got a lot going on, so I want to help you out, okay? I want to help you optimize your life and live your life better. Find your best fitness routine. Go to [inaudible] dot com check out our awesome supplements to help bridge the gap between Wallace and performance and use code podcast 20 at checkout. Save yourself 20% remember, head over to ready shop.com check out our supplements, use code podcast 20 save 20% live your life better athletes. That's all for episode number 16 until next week, this is Katie D over and out.
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