Forget young blood — Bryan Johnson says his body transformed when he stopped eating late-night brownies and stressing about work

  • Bryan Johnson calls himself the world's first "professional rejuvenation athlete."

  • He runs his life according to a "Blueprint" of over 200 protocols aimed at boosting his longevity.

  • He says his most powerful longevity boosters are easy and cheap: sleep, exercise, and diet.

These days, Bryan Johnson is better known as that guy spending millions of dollars every year doing far-out longevity treatments, including recently injecting his own son's blood into his body to rejuvenate himself.

Johnson made his fortune as a tech VC, building the mobile payment startup Braintree, merging it with Venmo, and selling the whole venture to PayPal for $800 million in 2013. But the years that Johnson spent building that brand in his early 30s were also some of his most miserable, he said.

Born and raised in the Mormon church, Johnson was struggling with his faith, dealing with "chronic depression," and also busy fathering "three little babies," as he told a crowd gathered at RAADfest 2023 – the Revolution Against Aging and Death conference – on September 7.

"Every night at 7 p.m., the stresses of the day would just be on my shoulder, and it felt really heavy," he said. "The only thing that would bring me relief was thinking about those brownies in the refrigerator, or leftover cookies. It was like this idea that if I could somehow get my hands on this food, I would have this momentary relief of this pain of my existence."

He felt helpless. He wanted something to change.

"When 7 p.m. Bryan would arrive, I would know full well like, 'Oh God, he's here again. We're going to down a whole pan of brownies,'" Johnson said. "One night, I just kind of jokingly said: 'Evening Bryan, you make my life miserable. You're fired.'"

Firing '7 p.m. Bryan' was life-changing, and led to a cascade of healthier behaviors, Johnson said

bryan johnson shirtless in his gym
Magdalena Wosinska

That was the moment that Johnson started what has become a years-long journey into biohacking and longevity. In addition to the young blood infusions, his habits include eating "nutty" puddings and super veggie bowls as well as a strict 8:30 p.m. bedtime.

"I had to peel back 20 layers of the onion," Johnson told the crowd, describing his bad habits as an avalanche of interconnected activities. "It was my 7 p.m. performance, and then it was the time I ate my last meal, and then it was the food I ate specifically at that time, and then it was my psychological state, and then it was my wind-down time before bed, and then it was this whole series of things."

nutty pudding in a bowl
Bryan Johnson's nutty pudding includes macadamia milk, ground walnuts, berries, and chia seeds.Bryan Johnson

Since 2021, he's been publishing the finer details of his new routines on the internet for all to see — he calls it his "blueprint" for longevity. At first, nobody really paid much attention to his effort, but in recent months, he's become the world's foremost biohacking celebrity.

He's turned his anti-aging quest into another tech exercise in number crunching and big data, evaluating his performance as a "professional rejuvenation athlete" with all kinds of tests and procedures. He says he's rejuvenated at least 78 organs, with over 200 "science-backed" protocols.

One of his biggest accomplishments, he said, is better sleep.

"There's this portrayal that this is inaccessible: rich guy spending a whole bunch of money," he said. "You don't even have to do what I do, just stop the bad stuff. Stop overeating, stop skipping sleep, stop skipping exercise."

bryan johnson getting a skin treatment
Johnson getting a skin treatment.Bryan Johnson

As a result of following this rule of three (among many, many other protocols), Johnson says he's in the best shape of his life — mentally, physically, and spiritually.

"I would not have believed it would work as well as it has," he said. "You have the ability to not spend anything and just stop these bad habits and do simple things like go to bed on time."

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