The path to optimal health and performance shouldn’t be that complex. We just need a nudge of inspiration, some scientific backup, and self-initiation. It’s enough to lead us to an amazing experience, where we feel what it is like to be energetic, vibrant, and dynamic.
Once you explore what skipping breakfast or sugar does to your energy, how an adaptogen boosts your alertness, or blue blockers improve your sleep, you’ll never be the same. Once you experience the after-workout high from hitting a HIIT session on the rower, lifting weights in a functional manner, or taking a long run in the hills, you’ll never be the same.
- The Path to More Energy, Vigour, and Vitality
- Vitalscend: What is it, Purpose and Values
- 8 Steps to Vitality
- 1. Fasting – Skip Your Breakfast
- 2. Nootropics – Power Up Your Coffee
- 3. Functional Fitness – Do Your Deadlifts
- 4. Pure Nutrition – Eat That Avocado
- 5. Mobility – Squat Deeper, Reach Higher
- 6. Cardio – Break Some Sweat on the Rower
- 7. Sleep – Put on the Blue Blockers
- 8. Heat / Cold – Take the Plunge, Hit the Sauna
The Path to More Energy, Vigour, and Vitality
Optimizing health and performance is our main goal. Most of us know a lot about nutrition, fitness, and health, but a lot of things get lost in translation. People are still lost in figuring out what’s the best diet for weight loss, the best workout for muscle growth, or the best supplement for focus. Fear not.
Vitalscend aims to simplify things and list the habits that could give you the highest return on investment. To help you embark on a transformative journey, for both your body and mind. It’s filled with functional movement, eating nutritious foods, optimizing sleep, and a few biohacks. Enjoy!
Vitalscend: What is it, Purpose and Values
Vitalscend is a health and performance optimization brand focused on improving vitality, energy, and vigor. Its structure relies on the 8 pillars or 8 steps that lead to vitality. The most effective habits or practices to follow to experience an increase in energy, lengthen lifespan and function better.
To inspire a healthy lifestyle and instill healthy habits, so we can feel energetic, vital, and function at our best.
Who is vitalscend for? Anyone looking for ways to optimize their health and performance who’s willing to embark on a transformative journey. You know, people listening to biohacking podcasts, those looking to extend their lifespan and feel better, those looking to lose weight or increase muscle strength, or those looking to sharpen their focus.
“Not a quick fix, but Fundamentals of Vitality”
We believe in the fundamentals of health, not a quick fix. That’s why most changes aren’t very fast and acute, but take some time. We look to optimize under the covers, and that’s your mitochondria, the power cells that create energy. And that’s not done with a pill, or an energy drink, but a healthier lifestyle.
How and Why does it work?
The idea started way back, when the creator, Simeon realized that during the periods when he read books on nutrition, listened to biohacking podcasts, or read fitness articles most changes occurred. It’s when we educate ourselves, that interest spikes, inspiration grows and we feel confident to take the next step. And content consumption does that quickly.
4 reasons Why Vitalscend is the real deal.
It’s not the information provided that changes you. It’s self-initiation. Everyone has the same info, but now that you read it, what will you do about it?
8 Steps to Vitality
The 8 steps to vitality are the top habits or practices we believe can transform health and optimize performance. It’s not a step 1 to step 8 kind of ladder, meaning you can start anywhere it looks most convenient for your lifestyle.
Perfection doesn’t exist. We do not aim at that. But we’re interested in experimenting with what fits. Everyone can pick the habits they believe bring the most value and enrichen their life. To start with, you pick a category and educate yourself. First, you read the guiding article, then if it spikes your interest, you go on to the next 6-8 main ones. By the end, you’ll get a solid grip on it.
For Karen, it may mean starting the 16-h fast, while Brad adds some Citicoline to his coffee. Charlotte eats more avocados and berries while Henry starts training compound 2 weekly. Olivia does hip mobility and thoracic rotations to fix her posture while Robert adds 1 HIIT session weekly on his indoor bike to boost VO2max. Sophia pops her blue blockers and L-theanine pre-sleep while Arthur hits the infrared sauna now after any visit to the gym for muscle recovery. Everyone picks their weapon.
1. Fasting – Skip Your Breakfast
Waking up to a croissant feels nice. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yes, if you want to feel lethargic, tired, and fuzzy. Imagine waking up to no food for the first 4 hours.
You step into the kitchen, drink a tall glass of water, and maybe enjoy a clean black coffee. At first, glucose drops, the hunger hormones increase, and you feel like the end of the world is coming. Give it a few minutes, hunger goes away. Give it a month, you’re not hungry in the morning anymore. You experience greater mental clarity as internal detox takes place and energy levels increase. You can’t believe you ate breakfast your whole life. Voila.
Fasting is about extending the non-eating window to reset one’s metabolism and energy levels. The most popular and practical type is 16:8, or 16-hour fasting, then eating all your meals in the span of 8 hours. Alternative intermittent fasting schedules are 12:12 and 20:4 as well. There is also alternate day fasting (ADF) or 5:2 fasting, which restricts calories to <25% of the total, on fasting days.
Short-term restriction in calories, especially sugar shifts the body to fat burning more. It resets insulin levels and reduces glucose spikes which in turn improve insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, and metabolic health. (1) (2) (3) This results in weight loss, metabolism reset, and energy increase. (4) (5) (6)
Fasting can also stimulate autophagy, a self-preservation mechanism that helps remove junk, toxins, dysfunctional cells, and misfolded proteins. It stimulates regeneration, exerting potent anti-aging effects, hence why it’s believed to be a great strategy for longevity. (7) (8)
Fasting. The most popular dieting approach based on extending the non-eating window. It’s meant to put our…
2. Nootropics – Power Up Your Coffee
Working at your desk, wondering how to sharpen your focus. You take a hit of caffeine and experience a boost in energy. Add some L-theanine, you’re alert and awake, without the jitters. A punch of Lions Mane powder, to protect your brain and facilitate learning. Processing speed faster than a Ferrari, memory is elevated, and creativity is off the charts. Now you have a superbrain, have fun with it.
Natural nootropics are what we’re interested in. These aren’t acute and won’t make you Lucy right away. They work on fixing the fundamentals, and that’s the way your brain creates energy. The kind of nootropics that improve brain health and cognitive function with minimal-to-no side effects.
- Neurominerals: Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium
- Neurovitamins: B6, B9, B12, Vitamin D, C and E
- Adaptogens: Rhodiola, Bacopa, Ginkgo, Pine Bark, Ashwagandha
- Amino-Acids: ALCAR, Alpha-GPC, NAC, Taurine, ALA
- Healthy fats: Omega 3’s, EPA, DHA
- Mushrooms: Cordyceps, Lions Mane, Reishi, Chaga
Most of these are potent antioxidants for the brain, stimulating brain repair and promoting neuroprotection. Some enhance learning and neuroplasticity, (9) (10) (11) others boost short or spatial memory. (12) Adaptogens help balance mood and relief stress, (13) (14) while healthy fats make up the structural integrity of the brain. (15) (16)
No nootropics discussion is done without the miraculous caffeine. The potent psychoactive stimulant that blocks fatigue, increases energy, and sharpens your focus. (17) (18) With proper cycling, clean black coffee can be a powerful tool to optimize cognition.
One worthy routine to take a look at is creating a brain-power drink. For some, that means adding some Lions Mane and Citicoline to one’s coffee. For others, it may mean powering up your Yerba Mate with L-theanine and Reishi for alertness and stress-relief. It’s on you to pick your brain elixir.
Building a Super Brain What’s the secret to building a super-brain? To be able to unlock 100% of your…
3. Functional Fitness – Do Your Deadlifts
Not a Greek God(des) yet, you head to the gym for a strength session. You pick up the barbell, do a couple of deadlifts, squats, rows, and presses. Thought you were tired to start, but in the middle of it you have more energy, isn’t it? You feel the blood flowing to your muscles, you feel the pump, the juice spreading in your blood vessels as you break a sweat. You feel empowered, sexy, and confident, more than ever.
Functional fitness incorporates multi-joint or compound exercises that give you the best ROI (returns) for muscle growth, strength, and stability. It’s training that translates into real-life movements and superior athletic performance.
Going back only a few years ago, strength training was considered unsafe. Today, science has proven over and over again, strength is essential for physical health. (19)
It improves body composition by increasing muscle mass and reducing fat %. It accelerates your metabolism, making you an active calorie burner. It boosts libido and increases energy levels, skyrocketing your confidence. (20) (21)
Doing compound movements like squats, overhead presses, or lunges maintains and improves your joint mobility. It enhances stability and increases bone density, preventing falls and risk fractures with aging. (22) (23) (24)
Strength is a prerequisite for life. Literally, anything like maintaining an optimal posture, running longer trails, playing with your kids, or sustaining grip strength – an important predictor of longevity, is made possible with strength.
The highest return on investment for most adults hovers around 2-3 workouts weekly, focusing on slow and controlled 8-12 reps, 3 sets, 4-6 exercises. That’s split into push days (bench or Arnold press) that focus on pressing motions, pull days for posterior chain (deadlift, rows) strength, and squats (legs push) with core stability (dead bug) workouts.
Building a Strong and Functional Body Building a strong and functional body is a key step to greater health…
4. Pure Nutrition – Eat That Avocado
You enter your primal kitchen to pick up a few nutrient-dense staples. You cut your avocado into cubes, cook some meatballs with onion and mushrooms. You prepare your pumpkin smoothie with cashew butter and collagen, thinking how delicious this nutritious life can be. You fill your body with miraculous nutrients, powering your physiology as they assist the body to create more energy, regenerate, and replenish itself.
There are numerous diets out there, it’s hard to pick the best one. That’s cus it’s non-existent. Nutrition is contextual, and most modern diets are a reset program. The most common problems are overeating or ingesting trans fats or refined sugars. No matter the diet, we want to eliminate these.
Keto or LCHF diets ditch carbs, focusing on fats. This can improve metabolic health as it resets insulin levels, improving glycemic control. It’s mostly beneficial when used as a reset diet, so one takes a break from glucose overload, increasing energy and mitochondria function
Vegan or vegetarian cuts meat / dairy out leading to greater cardiometabolic factors in the short term. By eliminating meat and animal products we’re reducing the intake of excessive sodium, cholesterol, and potentially trans fats, found in red processed meat.
Paleo respects the non-processed primal diet of our ancestors, like nuts, meat, fish, veggies, and fruits. This is believed to reduce inflammation, while still improving metabolic health as refined sugars are excluded. It’s also pretty high in protein, hence why it’s a preferred athlete of many athletes.
The Mediterranean diet is considered the healthiest due to its non-restrictiveness and versatility. It focuses on complex carbs, vegetables, white meat, fish, and seafood. Occasionally nuts, dark chocolate, and quality wine. It excludes refined sugars, trans fats, and deep-fried foods.
Nonetheless, a few things most nutritionists will agree upon to make a diet healthier are increasing the intake of fiber and protein, eating more veggies and fruits, and drinking more water. That simple.
We’re not huge on diets. We believe in superfoods, hence why we’ve created the 10 Elements 90% nutritious diet. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s an approach, not a diet. It functions on the premise that an individual knows what foods are generally healthier, making food choices simpler.
It’s about picking the 10 staple foods (or their alternatives) that make up the bulk of your diet. The only thing is, these have to be healthy and nutrient-dense ones. We’re talking avocado, fish, seafood, nuts, eggs, green veggies, berries, etc. It makes dieting practical, shopping easy and simple.
Why is Nutrition Important Healthy Nutrition is essential for sustaining the vital physiological functions of our body,…
5. Mobility – Squat Deeper, Reach Higher
Rusty hips, rusty shoulders, back tightness. You start moving a bit. Push a stick up overhead with full extension. Do a couple of deep squats. Spiderman lunges with a twist. You open up your chest on the inhale, close back up on the exhale. Moving in a dynamic manner, temperature increases, blood flow follows. You unlock your movement, become fluid and limitless. Every rep becomes easier as you can reach a deeper range of motion. Before you know it, you become a lizard.
Mobility is essential to being dynamic, mobile, and maintaining your activity. Once you unlock your hips and shoulders, movement becomes fluid, painless, and effective.
Improving mobility boosts athletic performance, as you can squat deeper, deadlift heavier and push overhead with full extension. This translates to running faster, throwing harder, or jumping higher. It also helps prevent injuries and reduces chronic pain. (25) (26) (27) (28)
Having optimal ROM also improves posture. It reduces neck stiffness, back tightness, and forward head, kyphotic posture. Moving more (being mobile) can also improve one’s energy levels, cognitive function, and productivity while reducing anxiety and stress. (29) (30) (31) (32) (33) (34) (35) (36)
The key aspects of mobility to focus on are the three major joints. That’s the hips, to allow you to squat deep. The shoulders, to be able to fully extend overhead. And thoracic spine to stabilize the core, bend, and twist with no pain or restrictions.
While specific mobility-targeted sessions like 40-60 min. yoga classes are the most effective, for some it ain’t practical. Many would profit from incorporating 15 min of mobility in their warm-up routine pre-workout, or by taking an active break for 5-10 min at the office. Whatever floats your boat, we got you covered.
The ability to move freely in space is such a gift. To re-connect to the child that could…
6. Cardio – Break Some Sweat on the Rower
Finally, you found the type of cardio you enjoy. Facing your 10-minute challenge today, you put on your smart band, set the mode to cardio, and sit on the rower. As you grip the handles, you take a deep breath and start rowing. The machine’s oars glide smoothly through a water-like resistance as your heart rate goes up. You start sweating, and while it’s uncomfortable at first, every stroke becomes easier and faster as you reach a meditative experience. You’re in sync with the rhythm, your head is clear as you shred fat off your frame. Lungs expand, heart function improves and you’re ready to step it up.
Cardio is a cyclic activity that increases respiration and heart rate, enhancing your cardiorespiratory fitness. Lung and heart function improves, VO2max increases, and metabolic rate rises. It comes from the Latin word kardia, training for the heart.
Cardio offers numerous benefits that lead to greater energy production. We train to utilize and transport oxygen better, to power up physiological processes. It’s effective for fat loss and weight maintenance, (37) improves cardiac function, (38) helps regulate blood sugar, (39) aids in longevity, (40) and prevents cardiovascular diseases. (41)
There are different training zones that determine the intensity using measures like HRmax % or VO2max %. There is lighter cardio at zone 2 like jogging, swimming, and hiking at 50-60%, so-called LISS or High-intensity cardio (HIIT) like sprinting, maximal cycling, or rowing at 90%+ at zone 5.
Zone 2 cardio or LISS, low-intensity steady-state cardio is done at a slower tempo. It works the fundamentals of endurance, optimizing mitochondria function, burning fat, and improving cardiometabolic health. It’s why 10,000 steps daily are essential.
Zone 5 cardio of HIIT, high-interval intensity training is done at (sub)maximal intensity, usually in intervals of 10s up to 3min. It has a work-to-rest ratio of 1:1 or 1:3, and it’s greater at increasing VO2max values, heart function, and improving metabolic health.
For optimal health, fitness, and longevity, a combination of zone 2 and 5 on a weekly basis is a good bet. For most, that’s around 1-2 LISS sessions at 60-75% HRmax for 45-90 minutes and 1-2 HIIT sessions using shorter or longer intervals at 90%+ intensity.
Cardio 101: What is Cardio Cardio is a cyclic activity that raises both heart rate and breathing rate and…
7. Sleep – Put on the Blue Blockers
7 o’clock comes around. Not a nighttime routine yet, but we block light. You switch the red light bulbs on, put your blue blockers as the filling aroma of lavender oil evaporating occupies the room. As the night progresses, you slowly cut electronics out, take a walk out and clear your head. A hot shower follows, to relax your muscles. Positioned onto a wall, you glide a massage ball on your traps. It progresses into a few deep breaths, and before you know it, you’re off to a deep and restful slumber. Welcome to dreamland.
Sleep is a natural restorative process that helps replenish and regenerate the body. Anything from clearing plaque from the brain, to restoring focus, consolidating memories, and resetting our metabolism, sleep does it. (42) (43) (44)
Deep sleep promotes numerous benefits in the body. It supports heart health, (47) controls appetite and aids in weight loss, (48) (49) is essential for muscle recovery, (50) (51) improves cognitive performance (52)
(53) and metabolic health. (54)
Improving your sleep environment is the first step to optimizing your sleep. You can play switching to red light bulbs at night, removing electronics before bed, or adding essential oils to your routine. The three key fundamentals are sleeping in a quiet, dark, and cool room.
Additionally, popping blue-blocking glasses a few hours before bedtime can greatly improve sleep. When blue light exposure is cut, your brain can produce more melatonin so you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. (55) (56) (57)
Many natural sleep aids which can be better alternatives to a standard 3mg Melatonin one can develop tolerance to, are out there. Such include adaptogens like Rhodiola Rosea and Valerian root, as well as Magnesium or Glycine. All work to stimulate GABA, enhancing the inhibitory response to relax and wind down.
To step up your sleep game you might want to look at smart bands or sleep trackers like the FitBit, Aura ring, or Whoop band. This helps you distinguish patterns, sleep phases, and schedule, allowing you to gain insight into which habits improve your sleep in a quantifiable way.
The innate biological process of sleep, which occurs naturally, is fundamental to our health and well-being….
8. Heat / Cold – Take the Plunge, Hit the Sauna
Entering an amazing spa center, you’re eager to see what’s there to play with. You see a cold plunge, with disappointment on your face. As fear fills you up, excitement spikes as well. You know it’s uncomfortable at first, but the energy boosts you get later is priceless. As you step into the ice bath, your lungs fill in with air as never before. Vessels constrict as you start to shake, generating heat while burning fat. Before you know it, it’s time for the good part.
A hot Finnish sauna awaits you. As you take your clothes off, you enter a steaming wooden cabin. Pour some water on the tray of rocks, and feel what’s it like to melt down at 70 C. Blood vessels expand, more oxygen flows through your muscles, and your body relaxes. You sweat off your toxins as your muscles recover. Now, you’re officially a biohacker.
Temperature shifts cause various body adaptations, leading to greater adaptability, resilience, and a higher metabolic rate. The main one is an increase in heat shock proteins which repair proteins and cellular structures. (58)
Red Light Therapy
Cold exposure has been widely used for mood, immunity, muscle recovery, and fat loss. (59) (60) (61) (62) Popular methods include cryotherapy, cold air exposure, cold showers, or an ice bath, the so-called cold plunge.
Once the cold hits, our blood vessels shrink as we start to shiver, to heat the body back up. This increases brown fat production, making us more metabolically active. It also boosts the function of specific immune cells, and adaptation later leads to improved circulation.
Heat exposure is mainly done in a sauna, primarily for heart health, relaxation, and weight loss. It’s in such hot and humid environments that our bodies improve muscle blood flow and help relax the nervous system as we melt down.
Saunas aren’t effective for fat loss, but they improve other factors which indirectly impact it, like sleep, stress, and toxin removal. They are effective though, for energy increase and muscle recovery. (63) (64) (65) (66)
In the world of modern biohacking, saunas, and cold showers are key practices to optimize our…
What’s Your Favorite?
If you made it thus far, congrats. To finish it off, ask yourself what was the one thing that spikes your interest and will fit your lifestyle the most. Taking too many things up at once increases resistance and puts too much pressure. The easiest route is to educate on one specific subject, you’re very interested in.
You gain momentum and knowledge as you dive deep, read a couple of articles, watch some videos, and listen to a few podcasts. Who knows, maybe this will be the start of a great transformation. Maybe you become fitter, increase energy levels, sharpen your focus, improve your posture, enhance endurance, sleep deeper, and feel better. Looking back, it might just be the best decision you’ve ever made.