Dave’s Ozempic Support Protocol

GLP-1 drugs

What are GLP-1 Drugs? 

In a recent podcast episode of “The Human Upgrade” I interviewed Dr. Anurag Singh, Chief Medical Officer of Timeline Nutrition, on the promising benefits and challenges of GLP-1 (glucagon-like-peptide-1) drugs such as semaglutide aka Ozempic. GLP-1 drugs mimic the actions of GLP-1 which is a hormone that your body makes naturally.  These medications, primarily developed for managing diabetes, have gained attention for their significant weight loss effects. Clinical trials have demonstrated a 10-15% reduction in body weight over 12 to 18 months.  

The Downside of Ozempic 

While Ozempic helps reduce body weight, this weight loss includes significant muscle loss. This is because GLP-1 drugs slow gastric emptying, leading to feelings of fullness, reduced appetite, and consequently decreased food intake. I experienced this firsthand when I was experimenting with Ozempic. I felt nauseous the entire time and didn’t want to eat. Because I didn’t eat, I lost a lot of muscle. 

In our podcast episode, Dr. Singh emphasized that muscle loss induced by GLP-1 drugs is akin to the effects of severe starvation. Rapid muscle loss can have long-term detrimental effects, especially for older adults who are already at risk of sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss). This loss not only affects physical strength and mobility, but also metabolic health, as muscle tissue plays a crucial role in maintaining your metabolism.  It’s also important for aging individuals to keep as much muscle as possible, as muscle mass is an important predictor of longevity. 

Additionally, scientists are concerned about the potential negative impacts on gut health from GLP-1 drugs. Because these drugs delay gastric emptying, they may alter the gut microbiome. Since your gut health is intimately tied to your overall health, it’s important to take care of the good bacteria in there!  

Unless you have significant weight to lose, Ozempic probably isn’t the best long-term solution. In fact, a study in the Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics found that most people who take semaglutide gain back most of the weight they had lost within a year of stopping the medication. The good news is that if you do choose to take Ozempic, there are effective biohacking strategies you can use to mitigate or minimize the negative effects. As promised, here is my Ozempic support protocol –  


The Ozempic Support Protocol 

  1. Get your protein: Consuming adequate amounts of high-quality protein is crucial to maintain muscle mass. I recommend one gram of high-quality animal protein per pound of ideal body weight per day. Some good protein sources are grass-fed beef, bison, lamb, and wild-caught seafood.  


  1. Stimulate your muscles: Engaging in regular resistance training exercises, such as lifting weights or training with resistance bands helps preserve and even build muscle mass. You can learn the most efficient and effective ways to put on and maintain muscle mass in my book Smarter Not Harder. 


  1. Keep your hard-earned muscle: Incorporating supplements that support muscle health and mitochondrial function can be very beneficial for your muscles. Timeline Nutrition’s Mitopure is backed by scientific studies that show it improves mitochondrial function and muscle quality. 500-1000 mg per day is the ideal dose.  


  1. Address your digestion: Betaine HCl and digestive enzymes before each meal will support digestion. They may help with some of the negative gastrointestinal effects from slowed gastric emptying. These supplements will also ensure you can break down and absorb the protein you eat. 


  1. Keep your gut bacteria in check: Prebiotic fiber is a special type of fiber that your gut bacteria love to eat. When they feed on prebiotics, they produce short chain fatty acids that strengthen your gut and your brain. Prebiotics are also great for longevity. A study in the Netherlands that followed more than a thousand people for forty years found a 9 percent reduced risk of total death per 10 grams a day of prebiotic fiber. I recommend getting 10-30 grams per day. I’ve used up to 50 grams a day with great results. You can get prebiotic fiber from certain vegetables such as brussels sprouts and asparagus, but I prefer to use a powdered supplement like acacia gum.  


So there you have it. While GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic offer significant promise for weight loss, you can’t ignore their negative side effects. By incorporating a comprehensive approach that includes adequate protein intake, resistance training, and supportive supplements, you can harness the benefits of these medications while mitigating potential drawbacks. 

For those considering GLP-1 drugs, it’s essential to work closely with healthcare providers to develop a personalized plan that addresses both weight loss and muscle preservation. With the right strategy, it’s possible to achieve a healthier, more balanced approach to weight management and overall well-being. 

For a more in-depth discussion on how to maintain muscle mass while taking GLP-1 drugs, watch episode 1156 of “The Human Upgrade” podcast with Dave Asprey. 





Not Harder

Smarter Not Harder: The Biohacker’s Guide to Getting the Body and Mind You Want is about helping you to become the best version of yourself by embracing laziness while increasing your energy and optimizing your biology.

If you want to lose weight, increase your energy, or sharpen your mind, there are shelves of books offering myriad styles of advice. If you want to build up your strength and cardio fitness, there are plenty of gyms and trainers ready to offer you their guidance. What all of these resources have in common is they offer you a bad deal: a lot of effort for a little payoff. Dave Asprey has found a better way.

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