136 – The physiology of breath, and its life-changing effects, with James Nestor


Today Ben speaks with James Nestor, one of the world leaders in understanding the physiology of our breath and how it can impact our lives, our minds and bodies, and our resilience. In this info-packed episode you’ll learn tangible ways to easily incorporate simple ideas and techniques that can have a dramatic impact on your mental state and clarity, anxiety levels, sleep, fitness, and more. 

James Nestor is an author and journalist who has written for Scientific American, Outside, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and more. His latest book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art was an instant New York Times bestseller. Nestor’s first book, Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves, was published in 2014 and was a finalist for the 2015 PEN/ESPN Award For Literary Sports Writing, an Amazon Best Science Book of 2014, and more. You can find out more about James and his work at mrjamesnestor.com.

Thank you to our awesome show sponsor, makers of my favorite grassfed collagen and powdered MCT: BUBS, a company making just a few extremely high-quality products and giving back a whopping 10% of their sales to charity. I use their powdered collagen and MCT in my coffee every morning. Use the code BEN for a full 20% off your purchase at bubsnaturals.com


[00:32] Introducing our guest, James Nestor & their work, the amazing book; “Breath”.

[01:09] Importance of proper breathing.

[03:14] Sponsorship by: BUBSNatural.com

[04:48] Welcoming our guest, James Nestor on the show.

[05:16] Why James wrote “Breath”.

[07:36] James experiment with plugging his nose for 10 days.

[13:03] What switching the Breath Pathway does to our body.

[14:19] Effects of Mouth Breathing on the body.

[16:54] Mouth Breathing While Working Out.

[18:31] What James learned about slower breathing.

[24:42] Evolution of Human Face.

[26:09] Facial Epigenetic Cross-Generational Inheritance in Human Beings over the last century.

[27:52] Appliances that you can use to open up your nasal cavity.

[32:37] How do sea divers have extreme level of CO2 tolerance?

[34:11] Wim Hof’s breathing practices. – Tummo Breathing.

[38:54] James experience with Dr. Justin Feinstein.

[41:21] Important things that James did not include in the book.

[47:39] Adapting to breathing as little as possible.

[51:54] “Bad breathing leads to bad posture.”

[57:11] Conserving energy by controlled breathing.

[01:00:23] You got to grind yourself to get the reward.

[01:03:41] Lowest Common Denominator to Optimize the Breath.

[01:06:00] Follow James Nestor and do read his amazing work.

[01:06:38] Wrapping up.

Featured Guest






Related Links/Products Mentioned

Book “Breath” by James Nestor

BUBS Naturals

People Mentioned

Patrick McEwen
Brian Mackenzie
Jayakar Nayak

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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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