Nov 15, 2022

Sunbound Asks: Will Nitze of IQBAR

Nat Miller

This week on Sunbound Asks we had the pleasure of sitting down with Will Nitze, founder of IQBAR. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, this high-growth startup produces and sells brain-boosting IQBAR protein bars and IQMIX hydration mixes. Its products are sold at 8,000+ locations across the US, its website (eatiqbar.com), and all major e-commerce marketplaces. We had a great time welcoming Will to the blog, covering a wide range of topics from his favorite habits for staying focused, to the best ways to take care of our brains as we age. To learn more about Will and IQBAR, check out their website here or read our interview below.

Q: When did you start IQBAR?

A: Technically I incorporated IQBAR in late 2016, but we didn’t sell our first bar until mid-2018.

Q: What was the inspiration behind IQBAR?

A: After transitioning from the Standard American Diet (SAD!) to a low-carb diet supplemented with the right brain nutrients, I experienced astoundingly good physical and cognitive results. I then became obsessed with the idea of ready-to-eat “brain food.” It was nowhere to be found on the market and I couldn’t understand why.

I also was eminently un-passionate about my job at the time, was super intrigued by entrepreneurship, and was young enough where I just didn’t see all that much downside in starting my own business.

 

Q: What’s your favorite fact about the brain you’ve learned since you started IQBAR?

A: I already knew a bit about the brain when I started IQBAR given I studied psychology and cognitive neuroscience in college, but I have an endless amount more to learn. I think my favorite recent learning comes from Jeff Hawkins - Palm Pilot inventor turned neuroscience enthusiast. He recently advanced a highly viable theory that everything we perceive is the result of ~1,000 “microbrains” within our aggregate brain. The microbrains compete and what we ultimately perceive is the consensus that results from this competition.

 

Q: How does nutrition affect our brains?

A:  The brain is like any other organ – it requires fuel to function, it’s subject to inflammation if exposed to the wrong compounds, etc. At a high level, if you consume a diet that produces tons of free radicals (unstable molecules that damage neurons and other cells) – a.k.a. one high in refined grains and sugar –you will damage your brain over time. If you instead consume a diet that mitigates free radicals – a.k.a. one high in healthy fats and protein – you’ll fortify your brain over time.

 

Q: How can we use nutrition to take care of our brains as we age?

A: Heed the advice I laid out in my last answer! Less carbs, more fat and protein. Don’t forget regular exercise and proper sleep habits too. You could have the best diet in the world – if you’re sedentary and get terrible sleep, it won’t matter all that much. Your brain will punish you.

 

Q: Other than IQBAR, what other dietary sources can help people keep their brains healthy as they age?

A: Start with macronutrition – this will have the biggest impact. Eat more healthy fats and a high-protein diet. Cut back on the carbs, especially refined carbs. Then layer on micronutrition. Vitamin D, curcumin, magnesium (specifically magnesium l-threonate), B vitamins, and DHA/EPA omega-3s are probably my five favorite brain supplements.

 

Q: What are some other non-nutrition things you can do to keep your brain healthy?

A: As mentioned earlier, exercise and sleep are massive. They not only restore and repair your brain after a long day, but they promote neurogenesis – the growth of new neurons. Developing and maintaining healthy social relationships is also super, super important. Spending time with friends, family, and/or a spouse reduces stress, which in turn reduces strain on your brain.

 

Q: What’s your favorite habit for keeping yourself clearheaded and focused?

A: Getting a great night’s sleep! Or going for a 5-mile run. Both are so powerful.

 

Q: If you hadn’t started IQBAR, what do you think you’d be doing now?

A: Wow…no idea. I very well might be still selling software to energy companies. Funny to think about, given that couldn’t be more different than what I’m doing now.

 

Q: Have any great nutrition or health resources for our readers to check out?

A: Listen to the Huberman Lab podcast. Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist and Stanford professor. He dives into a host of brain and body relevant phenomena in a super approachable and compelling way. Worth a listen!

Keep checking the Sunbound blog to continue getting the most important news and updates on senior care. And to learn more about how Sunbound can help you find and pay for senior living, please reach out to us at info@sunboundhomes.com or check out our FAQ page to learn more. Sunbound is on a mission to make senior living more accessible and affordable for all.

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