037 – Beyond healthy: achieving optimized performance with Dr. Ralph Esposito

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Our guest on the show today is Dr. Ralph Esposito who is a particularly authoritative voice on the topic of hormone optimization. He has been a guest on the podcast before and is a prime example of somebody who lives an optimized life: he is mindful about every decision he makes and, like me, he is against the common word on the street, all those myths that people believe about health and wellness.

On this episode, we discuss the various factors to consider when it comes to optimal functioning, paying specific attention to testosterone levels and the role that this important hormone plays, along with others such as cortisol and estradiol.

Ever wondered about testosterone replacement therapy? We also talk about everything you need to keep in mind before going this route and why it is more important to consider how you physically feel than what your testosterone test result says.

Dr. Esposito also gives great advice to listeners who suffer from sleep deprivation and shares his personal views on the ketogenic diet, the various kinds of fasting, adrenal fatigue and the incredible benefits of regular meditation.

Don’t miss out on another super educational episode! 


  • Understanding the optimization level and what the testosterone range is. [5:20]
  • The most accurate way of testing cortisol and estradiol levels. [8:50]
  • Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and other hormones that should be tested. [12:56]
  • How testosterone functions and why some men are more sensitive than others. [14:10]
  • The relationship between prostate cancer, testosterone exposure, and PSA levels. [18:18]
  • Focusing on how you feel rather than on the number of your testosterone level. [22.51] 
  • Considerations before taking testosterone replacement and its management. [23:22] 
  • Advice for a dosing schedule for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). [30:00]
  • Melatonin, herbs and other guidance for those who struggle to sleep. [35:17]
  • The dynamic interplay between testosterone and cortisol. [39:00] 
  • Strategies for decreasing cortisol and the role of meditation. [43:40] 
  • Contemplating food as a stressor and how fasting should be approached. [47:27]
  • Dr. Esposito’s personal experience with a ketogenic diet. [50:54] 
  • Differentiating between time-restricted feeding, fasting and hypocaloric fasting. [54:52]
  • What adrenal fatigue is and how adrenal dysfunction can be corrected. [59:35]
  • How fasting can help support the digestive tract and liver repair. [1:06:28]
  • Using the Ōura ring to track sleep and to measure the quality of meditation. [1:12:07]

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Ben Pakulski

Ben Pakulski

Since first lifting weights as a teenager, Ben has been on a mission to do whatever it takes… …to become the most muscular man on the planet! On the eve of The Arnold Classic, he confronts the dark realities of bodybuilding… And his own future! Follow him on his journey…

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Formerly the Muscle Expert Podcast. The world’s top authority on intelligent muscle building and fat loss gives us a simple to understand deep dive into the complex world of building a body you love, and living your greatness. Weekly interviews with leading experts in a vast number of scientific fields focusing on health optimization (nutrition, sleep, hormones, mindfulness and mind set), strength, (both physical and mental), and muscle hypertrophy. Learn proven strategies for optimum life performance, whether it be in the gym, the board room or the bedroom; this is the blueprint for becoming the upgraded modern man. Ladies, this podcast is for you too. The topics, tips, and life hacks covered are essential for every individual who wants to upgrade themselves mentally and physically.

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