Mike O’Hearn and Dr. Gabrielle Lyon Discuss The Necessity of Protein for Longevity

The interview also dove into how the volume of nutritional information available can be confusing.

After a week-long hiatus, The Mike O’Hearn show returned to Generation Iron‘s YouTube channel with episode 14, featuring the show’s namesake interviewing Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, a medical physician whose academic accolades include:

  • Doctorate in osteopathic medicine from the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Clinical fellowship in Nutritional Science and Geriatrics at Washington University in St. Louis

Lyon and O’Hearn discussed what they believe to be the necessity of well-roundedness regarding knowledge in fitness and nutrition versus discipline. They suggest that to remain healthy and physically fit into the later years of life — longevity is a recurring theme on The Mike O’Hearn Show — one needs an understanding of health and the capacity to apply it. Check out the full interview in the video below:

[Related: 2022 Yamamoto Pro Bodybuilding Show Preview]

Information Overload

When adhering to someone else’s fitness or nutrition advice, O’Hearn and Lyon agree that a person’s credibility in the space comes down to their ability to follow what they advocate.

Nobody will listen to you talk about fitness if you are a slob.

While O’Hearn agreed with the notion, he disagreed with the reality, suggesting “people do that,” meaning listen to out-of-shape individuals discuss fitness. Lyon elaborated that there is a difference between discipline at work or in external endeavors and self-discipline.

It’s an attribute. An idividual can have a lot of external discipline to execute, and really low internal disciplined intelligence.

Lyon and O’Hearn delved into remembering their early years in the fitness and nutrition space when nutrition did not influence peoples’ behavior as much as it does today from their points of view. Similar to the discussion of longevity, comparing O’Hearn’s formative years in the fitness world to the social media-influenced fitness world of the modern day is a recurring theme.

Nutrition is a religion. I grew up on Wonder Bread peanut butter and jam sandwiches. It’s just confusing now to the individual.

Lyon suggested the volume of information about nutrition available to anyone creates confusion and division within the fitness community instead of a communal understanding of best practices. She advocated for thinking long-term and giving less credence to the short-term fads in nutrition.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Nutrition ▪️ Science ▪️Protein (@drgabriellelyon)

[Related: Check Out Regan Grimes’ Intense Back Training for Hypertrophy]

Societal Influence

O’Hearn is a big advocate for red meat as a protein source, despite the seemingly ever-present societal suggestion that frequent red meat intake is unhealthy. Lyon affirms that “the data doesn’t say that,” though she may have been referring to a high-protein diet rather than a diet specifically dense in red meat. However, she did say that she doesn’t believe “there is an upper limit on red meat.”

All the data would suggest that a more optimal protein diet is better for all biomarkers.

When O’Hearn asked when carbohydrates should be applied to a high-protein diet, Lyon said they should be added when an individual is physically active — eating high-carb foods while sedentary is unlikely to be used by the body optimally.

Carbohydrates are not the enemy.

Lyon addressed her awareness of societal shifts around different macronutrients being favored or unfavored similar to trends that come and go. O’Hearn shared stories of bodybuilders, before the turn of the millennium, not caring at all about their fat intake, focusing primarily on carbs and protein. Lyon recounted how carbs were perceived as terrible for a long time and that now she finds protein being demonized.

I think one of the things that separates those who do really well is thinking long-term. The body is malleable.

Watch the entire interview between O’Hearn and Lyon for their assessment of how protein over the long term affects longevity.

Featured image: @drgabriellelyon on Instagram