What Food Does Rhonda Patrick Eat and Supplement? (2019)
Dr. Rhonda Patrick has been recently on several podcasts such as Tim Ferriss', Joe Rogan's, and Peter Attia's with very long episodes in which she discussed in painstakingly detail various topics including what food she eats in a typical day, which supplements she takes, and what kind of training regimen she adopts. Together with Dr. David Sinclair, she is a big proponent of eating wholesome food to delay aging.
In this post, you will learn: what food Rhonda Patrick eat, what supplements Rhonda Patrick takes, what kind of exercises does Rhonda Patrick do.
Rhonda Patrick (born 1978) is an American scientist studying the role of nutrition and genetics on aging and health. She is a proponent of whole food consumption while avoiding processed and artificial foods. Her work became popular thanks to her appearance on shows such as The Joe Rogan Experience and thanks to her YouTube channel.
She lives with her husband Daniel and child in the Greater San Diego area.
Is Rhonda Patrick Legit?
Yes, she holds a Ph.D. in biomedical science from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis TN and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis TN. Furthermore, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute under the direction of famous scientist Dr. Bruce Ames. Rhonda Patrick is the author of many peer-reviewed scientific papers which strengthen her position as a legitimate science communicator.
Personally, I think she relies a bit too much on animal research to draw most of her conclusions. Nevertheless, results on humans are often slow to obtain and using animal as proxy seems to be a good approximation, especially when we are considering adding things such as parsley or kale to your diet.
Is Rhonda Patrick Vegan?
No, Rhonda Patrick is not vegan. She promotes eating a wide variety of foods including meats such as fish (preferably fatty ones), beef, chicken, game, and organ meats.
Rhonda Patrick’ Supplements Summary
Rhonda Patrick Daily Supplements
Rhonda Patrick Additional Supplements Stack
Rhonda Patrick Nootropics
Rhonda Patrick’s General Eating Guidelines
- no refined carbs, sugar nor processed foods
- focus on nutrient density
- occasional use of smoothies as meal replacement to add servings of fruits and vegetables to her daily intake
Rhonda Patrick seems to be following a Paleo diet. This is one of the best diets to maximize the amount of nutrients and to live a healthy and productive lifestyle. If you are interested in a big selection of healthy, mouthwatering, very easy Paleo recipes, I recommend you check out the Paleo Hacks Cookbook.
Rhonda Patrick’s Breakfast
Rhonda Patrick always eats breakfast and early in the day as the practices time-restricting eating as she discussed here.
Her typical breakfasts rotate between the two following meals.
The first breakfast is scrambled eggs with tomatillo salsa, sauteed kale and garlic in avocado oil topped with olive oil, salt, mustard powder, grapefruit on the side.
She breaks down the reason for each component in her breakfast. Let's have a look.
Eggs are a source of choline which is used to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine but it is also a source of methylation which affects epigenetics.
Tomatoes contain tomatidine which has been found to boost muscle mass in mice by reducing activity of ATF4 which inhibits muscle protein synthesis.
Avocado oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and contains not many polyunsaturated fatty acids which can be easily oxidized hence harmful to consume. Furthermore, avocado oil has a high smoking point, making it resistant to high heat.
Mustard is a source of myrosinase which speeds up the conversion of precursos in kale into isothiocyanates.
Among all the copious amounts of minerals and vitamins, kale is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin.
These molecules protect the eyes and brain from radical oxygen species. Furthermore, high plasma levels of these molecules are associated with neuroefficiency (memory recall requires less brain power), improved neuroprocessing speed, higher volume of gray matter, improved crystallized intelligence (ability to use skills and knowledge that one has accumulated over a life time).
Futhermore, the eggs in this meal increase absorption of lutein and zeaxanthine up to 4-fold.
Grapefruit contains ferulic acid which seems to be anti-carcinogenic and to inhibit proinflammatory molecules such as TNF-alpha and prostaglandin H2. Furthermore it provides naringin which as a wide array of health benefits.
The second breakfast recipe that Rhonda Patrick eats consists of a nut and berry cereal with hydrolized collagen powder and coconut milk. Let's see what it's made of!
The cereal contains a wide array of chopped nuts including walnuts, pecan, macadamia nuts.
- omega3 ALA (not substitute for DHA and EPA)
Blueberries are rich in Pterostilbene which is similar to Resveratrol but is 4-times more bioavailable. In mice it has been shown to improve brain function, prevent heart disease, and to ward off some types of cancer.
Blueberries are also rich in Anthocyanin, a molecule that has been shown to lower DNA damage which would cause cancer.
One of the compounds in pomegranates is transformed by the gut microbiome in Urolithin A. This molecule causes mitophagy, a process in which defective mitochondria are removed. It has also been shown to improve muscle function and endurance in mice by up to 42% and to increase life span by 45% in worms.
For extra ALA and fiber.
For MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) . She doesn't consume dairy milk because it contains salivary protein which binds to Anthocyanin and polyphenols, limiting their bioavailability.
Raw Cacao Nibs
They have plethora of polyphenols, including EGCG which activates many anti-oxidant genes and kills cancer cells. Check it on Amazon >>
Hydrolized Collagen Powder
For proline which accelerates wound healing and for glycine which is an important inhibitory neurotransmitter. Check it on Amazon >>
Occasionally, for extra protein and to make it delicious.
Yogurt or VSL #3
Occasionally. Here the VSL #3 on Amazon.
Rhonda Patrick on Coffee and Intermittent Fasting
Does coffee break fast? The answer is not clear as there is no direct research on the topic. Nevertheless, studies in which people where drinking tea or coffee during time-restricted eating where still seeing benefits. Rhonda Patrick questions whether the effects would be higher if there was no coffee/tea during the fasting periods. If you put cream or butter in your coffee (such as in bulletproof coffee) then you are breaking your fast.
Benefits of Coffee
Drinking coffee seems to lead to a longer life.
According to several studies, drinking coffee is correlated to longer telomers and lower risk of mortality, compared to not drinking coffee. And the effects are proportional to how much coffee you consume. Though, I suspect that there are diminishing returns at some point (source, source, source). It seems to even help with erectile dysfunction (source)!
A recent randomized controlled trial found consumption of dark roast coffee brew (500 ml/day) for 1 month caused a 23% reduction in DNA damage in white blood cells compared to baseline levels. DNA damage can accelerate the aging process and lead to cancer.
Rhonda Patrick’s Lunch
Often she has one of her favorite smoothies for lunch.
The smoothies have all in common the same base:
Below, the exact smoothie recipes she uses.
Rhonda Patrick’s Ultimate Micronutrient Smoothie Recipe
The total volume size is ~64 fluid ounces (1.9 liters) and the all ingredients are organic.
Here is the vitamin and mineral content breakdown as reported from her video. The asterisk indicates whether the 64 fluid ounces meets or beats the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).
Note: in practice, she drinks about half of this in a given serving.
magnesium 588 mg*
calcium mg 2,116 mg*
potassium 5,883 mg*
vitamin K 5,239 μg*
vitamin C 630 mg*
vitamin E 9 IU
vitamin A 4,530 μg*
vitamin D2 600 IU
beta carotene 53.5 mg
vitamin B6 3 mg*
pantothenic acid 4.4 mg*
vitamin B12 1.8 μg
thiamin 0.6 mg
riboflavin 0.9 mg
niacin 10 mg
folate 480 μg*
manganese 9.6 mg*
phosphorous 700 mg*
zinc 4.5 mg
copper 1.9 mg*
selenium 10 μg
iron 10.8 mg*
sodium 985 mg
lutein + zeaxanthin 390 mg
ALA 4,684 mg*
fiber 49 g*
Rhonda Patrick’s Smoothie #2 Recipe
Why Does Rhonda Patrick Put Parsley In Her Smoothie?
Animal studies showed that apigenin causes neural stem cells to differentiate into neurons and also strengthens the connections between neurons. This is important for learning and memory.
Studies in humans have shown that a diet supplemented with parsley increases apigenin levels in plasma and red blood cells with a concomitant increase in activity in two powerful antioxidant enzymes including glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase. (Source, source)
Occasionally she has avocado with lemon juice and wild Alaskan salmon roe with a side of sauerkraut. She breaks down the reasons for each components as we shall see below.
Avocados are rich in potassium and both forms of vitamin E (from supplements you usually only get one single form while from food is balanced). Furthermore, avocados are a source of monounsaturated fatty acids.
Salmon Roe Caviar
Salmon roe caviar is a good source of omega3s which are found here in high amount. Furthermore, the omega3s in caviar are in the phospholipid form which is better for their bioavailability. Phospholipids omega3s are more easily transported into the brain and a correlation has been found between omega3s levels and brain volume.
Salmon roe caviar is also a good source of Astaxanthin which protects from oxidation both the omega3s and the neurons.
Sauerkraut is a good source of fermentable fiber aka prebiotics. These stimulate proliferation of good bacteria and strengthen immune system. Sauerkraut is also good source of probiotics, mostly lactobacilli which might be helpful in cancer prevention.
Rhonda Patrick’s Dinner
For dinner, Dr. Rhonda Patrick has vegetables and protein.
As vegetables she has them either cooked or in a big salad of greens.
As for the cooked vegetables, she often has sauteed spinach.
Spinach are rich in folate which precursor of thiamine (DNA base). Folate has been shown to increase growth of stem cells which normally deplete with age being the main source of aging and organ dysfunction. Furthermore, folate protect telomers.
Instead of spinach she usually sautees:
These contain isothiocyanate. Research has shown that the top 20% consumers of cruciferous vegetables have 22% reduction in all cause mortality.
She sprinkles these with with mustard seeds powder on top for an additional source of myrosinase which is normally inactivated when broccoli (or other vegetables) are cooked. This increases the amount of sulforaphane which has been shown to reduce inflammation and DNA damage (source).
Rich in omega3s and low mercury content.
In addition to protein, they provides cartilage which is rich in prolyne and glycine.
Furthermore, chicken is high in selenium (cofactor for all glutathion related enzymes) and contains modest amount of zinc, copper, iron.
Sometimes she makes a broth with bones to get same benefits of hydrolized collagen.
A few times per month she consumes grass-fed fillet which is a good source of vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.
Rhonda Patrick’ Snack
She doesn't define in the podcast when she consumes this but I assumed she eats it sort of as a snack. I'm ready to correct this as soon as I know her timing better.
Three times per week she consumes a smoothie with broccoli sprouts (100g if fresh weight, less if frozen since freezing increases sulforaphane content).
Rhonda Patrick’ Supplements
Here is the supplementation regimen of Dr. Rhonda Patrick.
She takes the Multivitamin by Pure Encapsulations because it covers the basis for many micronutrients and has some trace elements including boron. Boron has been shown to reduce double strands breaks in the DNA, to accelerate wound healing, to increase plasma free testosterone, and to increase the half-life of vitamin D.
She takes 2000 IUs of vitamin D daily. If she doesn't get enough sun, she supplements with extra 2000 IUs.
Magnesium Citrate Malate
She tries to get enough magnesium from foods which indirectly is the measure of how much greens she's getting.
Normally found in fermented foods (e.g. natto) and in organ meats.
With vitamin D, vitamin K-2 is involved in calcium homeostasis.
She takes 100ug daily in metaquinone form (aka MK4).
She takes 2 capsules of Omega-3 Phospholipids by Nordic Naturals. This form is is isolated from herring roe. The phoshoplipid DHA is in the form uptaken by the brain best and it's the same form that you get if you take krill oil. Check it on Amazon >>
Either once a week or once every 2 weeks she takes a sachet of VSL #3 probiotics.
She takes the one from Thorne Research. This is a form of vitamin B3 that gets converted in NAD and in mice has been shown to improve metabolic function.
She takes the formulation Meriva of curcumin.
Rhonda Patrick’s Exercise Regimen
She exercises daily, even if for only 15 minutes.
She combines a mix of aerobic, high intensity training, strength training, yoga, and ballet.
She runs 3 miles 3x/week. Especially when she has a big decision to make or something is causing her anxiety since running offers her a cognitive boost.
High Intensity Training
She performs squat jumps. A couple of times per week, Rhonda does some high-intensity interval cycling. Some studies have shown that high-intensity exercises can delay biological aging by up to 9 years as measured by telomere length (source).
She focuses on lower body muscles with weighted squats and lunges 2-3 times per week in order to maintain muscle mass
Yoga and Ballet Exercises
3-4 times per week to increase flexibility and tone specific muscle groups.
20-30 min sauna session 3 times per week. Here she explains why.
Rhonda Patrick eats for health and longevity and she does it very mindfully and using science to do so.
Personally I would have more protein throughout the day but we have different goals.
Also be aware that she relies a lot on animal research (being the field very cutting edge) and the findings in animals not always translate to humans.
But she always states when findings are results of animal research and never tries to deceive you.
Finally, it's clear that her eating habits are not for every one, budget wise. Many items indeed are very expensive such as the salmon rod and all that amount of veggies.
Regardless, if budget is not a concern for you, go ahead and be inspired by her healthy way of eating!
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HEALTHY EATING IS BORING...
You will never say it in public but we both know it's true.
Every day almost the same bland food.
It makes you healthy and strong, sure...but how long are you going to last on this lifestyle?...really...
It doesn't have to be this way.
Making a meal healthy *and* delicious at the same time *is* possible.
The Paleo Hacks Cookbook will give you the freedom of not having to think "how can I make these boring eggs interesting again?".
Rhonda Patrick follows a Paleo diet and this book will give you the possibility of eating as healthy as her all year around with lots of easy yet mouthwatering recipes.
Forget another day starting with hard-boiled eggs!
Before you go, could you give me 30 seconds of your time and let me know why are you interested in Rhonda Patrick's way of eating? Just answer in the form below. Thank you in advance!