The Vigor Diet – The New Science of Feeling Your Best

I haven’t “blogged” for quite awhile because I’ve been hard at work on a new “product strategy” at MonaVie and putting the finishing touches on my latest book.

The new book is FINISHED! It’s called “The Vigor DietThe New Science of Feeling Your Best” – and it goes on sale on February 1st (exclusively on Amazon.com)

This is my 11th book, and it’s the shortest. I’ve written 10 other books, with 5 different publishers, and sold close to a million copies in nearly a dozen languages. I like to write and like to communicate ideas about health and wellness that individuals can use to help themselves, and those around them, to feel better.

I’ll get right to the point. The Vigor Diet can help you feel a lot better than you do right now. Perhaps even help you feel better than you ever have before.

Many of the reasons that we feel “off” and not at our best are due to subtle disruptions in our body’s biochemistry. It might be overexposure to a stress hormone such as cortisol – or excessive fluctuations in your blood sugar – or even imbalances in your antioxidant protection – but each of these can lead us to feel “blah” in certain ways.

One of my specialty areas of research is called “vigor” – which, in psychology research, is an overall measurement of physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional wellbeing. The opposite of vigor is “burnout” (physical fatigue, mental confusion, and emotional exhaustion).

The Vigor Diet is about eating and supplementing in a way that restores biochemical balance to your body – and in doing so, helps us to reclaim our natural levels of energy, vigor, and vitality.

I’ve delivered numerous scientific presentations around the world about natural approaches to restoring vigor and helping people to feel their best. You can read the scientific abstracts and see my slides at the following links:

Psychological Vigor is Associated with Stress Hormone Profile

Here is the research abstract from my 2011 presentation entitled, “Psychological Vigor is Associated with Stress Hormone Profile” at the American College of Nutrition Annual Scientific Conference:

INTRODUCTION: Chronic stress plays a major role in the pathophysiology of many disease states, particularly psychological disorders including depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and burnout. These stress-related changes in psychology may be due to both endocrine and behavioral factors – and may be mediated or attenuated by lifestyle factors including diet, exercise, and dietary supplements. Vigor is defined as a 3-tiered sustained mood-state that is characterized by (1) physical energy, (2) mental focus, and (3) cognitive liveliness. Vigor can also be described as the opposite of “Burnout” (physical fatigue, mental exhaustion, cognitive weariness).

PURPOSE: Our objective was to assess changes in Vigor and Metabolic Hormone Profile (cortisol & testosterone) in response to a modest lifestyle intervention including a dietary supplement based on Tongkat ali root extract (Eurycoma longifolia) – used in traditional Malaysian medicine to improve “life force” in fatigued individuals.

METHODS: We report on 153 subjects (103 women/50 men) – displaying moderate levels of psychological stress. We measured endocrine parameters (salivary cortisol to testosterone (C:T) ratio) and Vigor (V, using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) psychological survey) before and after the supplementation intervention. Depending on the cohort, subjects followed one of several different supplementation periods, including 24-hour, 6-wks, 8-wks, or 12-wks.

RESULTS: Compared to pre-supplementation values, post-supplementation measurements indicated significant changes for C:T ratio (reduced by 15-19%) and Vigor (increased by 27-29%).

CONCLUSION: These data indicate that factors that are typically disrupted during periods of chronic stress (stress hormone profile and psychological mood state) may be positively and significantly impacted by relatively short-term supplementation with Tongkat ali root extract (Eurycoma longifolia). Additional research is warranted to determine the precise relationship between stress hormones and mood state.

ACN 2011 Stress Vigor Slides

Impact of Chronic Stress & Nutrition on Vigor

Here is the scientific abstract from my 2012 presentation entitled, “Impact of Chronic Stress & Nutrition on Vigor” at the American College of Nutrition Annual Scientific Conference:

Chronic stress plays a major role in the pathophysiology of many disease states, particularly psychological disorders including depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and burnout – but also including “somatic” dysfunction including hypertension, loss of libido, abdominal obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. These stress-related changes in mental and physical function may be due to both endocrine and behavioral factors – and may be mediated or attenuated by lifestyle factors including diet, exercise, sleep patterns, stress management, and dietary supplements.

Vigor is defined as a 3-tiered sustained mood-state that is characterized by (1) physical energy, (2) mental focus, and (3) cognitive liveliness. Vigor can also be described as the opposite of “Burnout” (physical fatigue, mental exhaustion, cognitive weariness).

Through a series of studies ranging from 4-12 weeks, we have assessed changes in psychological mood state (vigor) and metabolic hormone profile (cortisol/testosterone) in response to a variety of modest lifestyle interventions in groups of moderately stressed subjects. Results have clearly demonstrated that factors that are typically disrupted during periods of chronic stress (stress hormone profile and psychological mood state) may be positively and significantly impacted by relatively short-term lifestyle interventions. These interventions may incorporate various aspects of dietary guidelines, moderate exercise, sleep/stress management techniques, and certain dietary supplements to favorably modify both biochemistry and behavior and help stressed subjects move from a mood state characterized by low vigor (burnout/exhaustion) toward one of high vigor (liveliness/motivation).

Since a majority of patient visits to primary healthcare providers are for conditions related to chronic stress, such modest lifestyle interventions will be of meaningful benefit to quality of life for health professionals and their clients.

Talbott Vigor ACN2012

Effect of Eurycoma longifolia on Stress Hormones and Psychological Mood State in Moderately Stressed Subjects

Here is the research abstract from my 2012 presentation entitled, “Effect of Eurycoma longifolia on Stress Hormones and Psychological Mood State in Moderately Stressed Subjects” from the International Sports & Exercise Nutrition Conference (ISENC).

Eurycoma longifolia is a medicinal plant commonly called Tongkat ali and “Malaysian ginseng.” The roots are used as a traditional “anti-aging” remedy, while modern dietary supplements are intended to improve libido/energy, restore hormonal balance (cortisol/testosterone levels) and enhance sports performance and weight loss.

Laboratory evidence shows that Eurycoma peptides may stimulate release of free testosterone from its binding protein (SHBG) and improve hormone profiles. Rodent feeding studies have demonstrated improved sex drive, balanced hormone profiles, and enhanced physical function. Human supplementation trials show reduced fatigue, heightened energy/mood, and improved well-being in subjects consuming Tongkat ali.

In the present study, 63 subjects (32 men and 31 women) were pre-screened for moderate levels of psychological stress and supplemented with a standardized hot-water extract of Tongkat ali root (200mg/day PhystaTM, Biotropics Malaysia) or a look-alike placebo for 4 weeks. There were no significant changes in markers of liver function (AST/ALT), body weight, or body fat percentage. Mood State parameters (POMS) showed mixed results, with no effect observed for subscales of Depression, Vigor, or Fatigue, whereas significant (p<0.05) improvements were found in the Physta group for Tension (-11%), Anger (-12%), and Confusion (-15%). Hormone profile (salivary cortisol and testosterone) was significantly (p<0.05) improved by Physta supplementation, with reduced cortisol exposure (-16%), increased testosterone status (+37%) and improved cortisol:testosterone ratio (-36%). These results indicate that daily supplementation with Tongkat ali (Physta) improves stress hormone profile and certain mood state parameters, suggesting that this “ancient” remedy may be an effective approach to shielding the body from the detrimental effects of “modern” chronic stress.

ISENC Talbott Eurycoma 2012

Because our ability to improve how we feel (vigor) is so intricately connected to our biochemical balance, I’ll refer interested readers to a more detailed overview of the scientific relationships between stress, biochemistry, and disease in any of my previous books on these topics:

About the Author:

Dr. Talbott is trained in Sports Medicine (BS – Marietta), Fitness Management (BA – Marietta), Exercise Science (MS – Massachusetts) Nutritional Biochemistry (PhD – Rutgers) and Entrepreneurship (EMP – MIT). He has served as a nutrition consultant and educator for elite-level athletes in a variety of sports including professional triathletes, NBA basketball, US Ski Team, US Track & Field, and the US Olympic Training Centers.

Shawn has a consistent track record of creating leading nutrition products and new platforms that help people feel better, look better, and perform better.

As a product developer, Dr. Talbott has created and researched some of the leading nutritional products on the market, generating nearly $1 billion in combined sales across retail, direct-selling, infomercial, and network marketing channels.

Currently, Dr. Talbott serves as Chief Scientific Officer at MonaVie.

Dr. Talbott’s most recent projects include the award-winning documentary film, Killer At Large—Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat (screened for First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House) and his 10th book, The Secret of Vigor (about the detrimental effects of chronic stress- which has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show).

Dr. Talbott is the past Director of the University of Utah Nutrition Clinic and taught as an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Nutrition, where he received the Outstanding Instructor Award. He is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition (ACN), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Institute of Stress (AIS).

As an athlete himself, Shawn has competed at the national and international level in Rowing, Cycling, and Triathlon.

You can follow Dr. Talbott’s work at:

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