Beyond Training Part 2: The Batman Diet (+ Supplement Regime)

By on July 28, 2021

In Beyond Training Part 1, we discussed how to “sleep like Batman,” and how to use strategies like meditation and sun-exposure ensure maximum recovery on limited time. Just as important as sleep and meditation, though, is Batman’s diet. How would Batman eat?

To support the kind of intense training depicted in the comics, Batman would need to eat smart. And being a high-tech genius, you just know he’d be using some pretty cool strategies to ensure just that. Let’s take a look at how to eat and supplement for optimal human performance.

Batman Supplement Regime

The Batman Diet: Calories

The obvious starting point is calories. Batman would need a LOT of calories to support his training, crime fighting, research, and business activities.

In the book “Becoming batman,” author E. Paul Zehr suggests that Bruce Wayne would need to consume somewhere in the ballpark of 4,000 calories per day. The author also suggests that Batman would weigh around 210 pounds, at roughly 6’2”.

The Batman Diet

But this is no dirty bulk. In order to support his optimum performance, Batman should be consuming highly nutritious food that will serve as building blocks to forge the strongest mind and body possible. This is where a lot of people go wrong: food is not just fuel. It’s not just a matter of getting the right number of calories.

Because the right foods can be absolutely game-changing for your health and wellbeing. Consider how something like omega 3 fatty acid can affect countless processes in the body. Omega 3 will combat inflammation by improving the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 (study). It will improve cell membrane permeability, helping nutrients and important chemicals produced by the body to exert their effects. It will encourage the myelination of neurons to aid learning through brain plasticity (study), it can elevate the production of DHEA, which supports healthy hormone balance… the list goes on!

See also: And The Best Supplement for Your Brain, Body, and Athletic Performance Is…

How about lutein? This is a carotenoid that contributes to healthy vision (study), increased energy levels (study), and even healthy neuronal development.

Supplement Stack

Phosphatidylserine, available in soy, eggs, beans, and liver, is a naturally occurring nootropic. Phosphatidylserine promotes healthy levels of the plasticity-promoting nerve growth factor, it plays a role in building mitochondria to enhance energy, and, like omega 3, it can improve the fluidity and permeability of brain cells. It increases levels of acetylcholine, too, and it is protective against age-related cognitive decline (study).

See also: Lutein for Weightloss & Supercharged Energy Levels?

Collagen

Something I’ve been very interested in lately is consuming collagen. Collagen is synthesized in the body from glycine, lysine, and proline. The problem is that most of us aren’t consuming enough of these amino acids, with the average person falling 3-5g short of their daily glycine quota, for example, leading to impaired collagen production (study). You may think that you don’t need to worry if you already take a lot of protein powder, but 100g of pure whey protein will only provide 1.15g of collagen. So you need to get it from other sources.

Collagen

What’s worse, is that if you get a lot of protein from meat, then you’ll be consuming large amounts of methionine. Methionine is good in small quantities, but too much of it can increase levels of the harmful homocysteine, leading to all kinds of issues. This gets worse if you’re low in folate, which a lot of people are. The good news is that glycine can counteract many of the negative effects of methionine and homocysteine. Not only that, but collagen can aid in tissue repair, with athletes taking collagen reporting reduced joint pain (study). Collagen has even been shown to improve sleep quality and boost mood via increased serotonin (study)!

Our ancestors would have eaten those parts of the animal, thereby enhancing recovery and longevity

The best dietary source of collagen is bone broth and all the sinewy bit of meat that we tend to cut off and dispose. Proponents of collagen, such as Mark Sisson, argue that our ancestors would have eaten those parts of the animal, thereby enhancing recovery and longevity, while preventing some of the negative impacts of a very high protein diet (study). Collagen even appears to improve the anabolic response to training, which it does by offering a kind of “buffer” so that dietary protein can be used for other things.  

I would definitely imagine Bruce Wayne would ensure he gets plenty of collagen. Especially as he starts to get older and more prone to injury.

The Right Approach to Diet and Supplementation (And the Issue With Biohacking)

The point is that nutrient dense foods act like power-ups and can boost cognitive function, energy, bone strength, and just about everything else.

If you have low testosterone, low energy, poor mood, poor sleep, joint pain… there’s a good chance that something is missing from your diet. And this is particularly common, given that many of us eat primarily highly processed foods that have lost a lot of their initial nutritional value.

Nutrient Dense Diet

Thus, we read studies showing us that supplement A can do wonders for us, and supplement B is this magic pill that is like some kind of legal steroid… And we end up buying product, after product, after product. This is one of the big issues with biohacking in general: you can end up with a stack of 30 supplements, many of which are highly expensive, and many of which won’t deliver the desired effects.

Even if they do. A 5% or 10% increase in testosterone is not the game-changer that it sounds like on paper. Remember: there are countless other things that can offer the same results: like combating stress, getting more sunlight (more on that in a moment), or training smarter. Plus one hundred other ingredients in your diet, which each move the needle just a little in either direction. A supplement that has been shown to provide +2 IQ points might sound amazing, until you realize that the much smarter way to accomplish that, is by actually using your brain, sleeping lots, and eating well.

How to Get Your Nutrients

We must not be reductionist. Instead of focusing on every single product with some evidence backing it as a potent supplement; we should instead focus on the bigger picture. We should eat a wide variety of healthy foods that will naturally offer a broad spectrum of “super foods” and substances, in the right combinations and quantities that we have evolved to benefit from.

See also: And The Best Supplement for Your Brain, Body and Athletic Performance Is… (Okay, It’s Omega 3)

The variety itself is also a huge asset. For example, by getting the widest variety and range of foods, we can actually support the healthiest and most diverse gut flora (microbiome). A fantastic book discussing many of the topics I’ve covered here, is Peak by Dr. Marc Bubbs. Bubbs suggests that the microbiome is far to complex and diverse to accurately control every element. Think of this like tending a garden. If you want to get rid of aphids, the best option is not to use a chemical insecticide – which can harm other important aspects of the ecosystem – but rather to attract ladybirds naturally and to allow them to prey on the aphids. You thus create a natural ecosystem, that is self-sustaining and hardy.

Peak

The same thing is true of nutrition generally, and especially for nootropics. Every substance in the body has countless roles. Every “bad” chemical has important functions. Nothing is simple. As I’ve said before: trying to increase focus by swallowing a pill is like trying to tune a radio with a hammer. We need to focus on the big picture.

Some Useful Supplements for Bruce Wayne

See also: Superorganism: Microbiome Brain, Performance, and Health Effects

With that said, there are some aspects of the modern diet that are simply lacking. This is where supplementation can be useful. For example, a healthy microbiome requires a large amount of fiber. Studies looking at the guts of the Hadza hunter gatherer tribe of Tanzania, found that they were rich in bacteria with fibre-degrading properties. Those individuals consumed large amounts of fibre naturally, with a diet thought to be very similar to that of pre-civilized man.

Likewise, our lack of collagen sources, low amounts of omega 3, etc. are things that can be fixed with supplementation. Creatine is another ubiquitous supplement that likely offers worthy benefits: boosting everything from energy levels to IQ. Creatine supplementation may even benefit methylation by freeing up the cycle for other tasks.

Supplements for Batman

But the vast majority of your nutrition should come from a balanced, varied, and varying diet. Because this is something else to think about: if you’re trying to create the most “natural diet” by following a perfectly strict intake of specific nutrients every single day… well, there’s nothing necessarily natural about that! Historically, we would always have been dictated by the environment and availability.

DNA Analysis

Another way to optimize your diet in the face of such complexity, is via personalized recommendations. The simple fact is that a supplement that works for one person might be ineffective or even harmful for another person. One option is to use a combination of trial and error, but this can be risky, confusing, and time consuming. Blood tests can help you to identify nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and other issues. But how do you know where to start?

Check out SelfDecode and Use Discount Code “SINICKI15”

One option is DNA analysis. By getting your DNA tested, you can find genetic predispositions that may leave you vulnerable to a range of issues. This way, you can find out why you don’t respond particularly well to a particular diet. Which nutrients you may be lacking in. And which interventions are likely to have the most profound impact. You could then support this with blood tests or by cautiously trialing certain changes.

This seems like something Bruce Wayne would totally do. By analysing his own DNA, he could create a personalized supplement regimen to support his diet and optimize brain function and physical performance.

I’ve been working with SelfDecode lately, which is a DNA analysis company that uses advanced AI to provide the most nuanced and informed recommendations based on your genes based on a swab of saliva, or a pre-existing DNA file from a site like Ancestry. You can find a link in the description below and if you buy from there, I’ll make a commission – so you’ll be supporting the channel. You can also use the discount code SINICKI15 for a 15% discount.

NAD+

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with elevating levels of NAD+.

NAD stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotode. This molecule is a cofactor and a coenzyme and is absolutely crucial to energy metabolism; we wouldn’t survive more than 30 seconds without it. Essentially, NAD+ supports a large number of reactions that involve the transfer of electrons between cellular mechanisms.

NAD+ and another form of NAD, NADH, play crucial roles in energy metabolism. NADH, derived from NAD+, is necessary for glycolysis and the Krebs cycle, whereas NAD+ is directly involved in the electron transport chain. All these processes increase ATP levels, and thus energy.

Cold Exposure NAD+

Moreover, NAD+ can also aid in the protection and support of DNA. That’s because proteins called sirtuins and PARPs also require NAD+ to function. These are proteins that specifically repair and protect DNA. Thus, efforts to elevate NAD+ with a precursor (called NR) appear to increase the lifespan of rats.

See also: What is NAD+? A Molecule for Energy, Longevity, & More

There are a number of ways to increase NAD+. We still need more evidence before it’s possible to safely recommend NR, or related NMN, supplementation to increase NAD+. However, many other strategies appear to raise levels: especially anything that increases “energetic stress.” High intensity training, fasting, calorie restriction, and heat or cold exposure are all candidates.

Intermittent Fasting

This seems like another big win for intermittent fasting, which Bruce might conceivably use to aid energy and recovery. There are many other huge benefits to fasting, of course the big one being autophagy, which essentially recycles damaged cells and aids regeneration. If Batman intends to fight crime well into old age (which you know he does!), this would be a good strategy. Plus, it’s another way to enhance testosterone.

While autophagy is a spectrum and not a binary, it is generally recommended that fasting lasts at least 16 hours to get the full effects (ideally more). This will ensure Bruce gets the benefits of “autophagy.” This is a cellular repair mechanism that kicks in to recycle unwanted tissue. It has lots of health benefits.

I would suggest that Batman should use fasting strategically, however, to ensure that he has the optimum energy during a case. The same goes for the rest of us. There’s no need to strictly fast at set times.

Chopping Onion

Batman would also need to ensure that he still met his maintenance calories in that short window. That would be tough, but it’s where protein shake and other tools would come in very handy.

I’ve written a massive in-depth post on intermittent fasting already, so I won’t go into it in depth here. But if you want to know more about autophagy and the other beneficial effects, you can check that out here:

See also: Intermittent Fasting – A Huge and Comprehensive Introduction for Weight Loss, Energy, Longevity, and More!

Ultimately, though, I believe there’s enough evidence at this point to suggest that periods of fasting are optimal for human health and performance.

Closing Comments

So, there you have it: the Batman diet and supplement regime!

As you can see, I’ve stopped short of providing strict guidelines. As we’ve discussed: diet is a highly personal thing and should adapt to genetic and lifestyle differences.

But with that said, there are a few things that I could recommend to anyone trying to optimize their performance:

  • Nutrient density
  • Variety
  • High calorie
  • Intermittent fasting (strategically employed)
  • Supplements: creatine, protein shake, glycine/collagen, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acid
  • Personalized recommendations based on DNA analysis
  • Possibly: strategies to increase NAD, hydrogen water

But remember: supplements are never a requirement for those looking to build muscle and lose weight. All the benefits I’ve discussed can and should be gotten from the diet first. For those starting out, make sure to dial in the diet and the training first. This is just for that extra 5% – for those that want to try and emulate a Batman diet!

Order your copy of SuperFunctional Training - A complete training program for body and mind.





ORDER HERE



Support the Bioneer at Patreon for Exclusive Content: Click Here!

About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *