Episode #222: What Is The Best Way To Track Your Heart Rate Variability (HRV)?

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Dec 19, 2012 free podcast: What Is The Best Way To Track Heart Rate Variability (HRV)? Also: what is glutathione, the least amount of exercise necessary for good health, how to minimize stress from travel, how and when to swim with a snorkel, how to deal with a foot neuroma, and how antacids and ADHD medications affect exercise.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right side of this page, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or scroll down to the “Ask Ben” form.

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Listener Q&A:A donate button that reads - keep the podcasts coming

As compiled, edited and sometimes read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.

Audio Question from Annie @ 00:18:44
Wants to learn more about glutathione. Will it protect the brain if it is taken by IV before and after surgery?

~ In my response, I mention acetyl-glutathione. And combining a full spectrum antioxidant such as Lifeshotz with a liver cleanse such as CapraCleanse.

Audio Question from Debbie @ 00:29:33
Wants to know what the least amount of time is that she needs to workout to maintain a good level of fitness and health. She doesn’t race or compete and also doesn’t have a lot of extra time in her day. She is currently following Ben’s “Shape 21” workout program.

Craig asks @ 00:40:45
I have both an EmWave 2 and an iThlete. How do you use your EmWave to help you determine whether or not you are overtraining? I use the iThlete for this purpose but it sounds like you prefer the EmWave 2. Also, I travel nearly every week and find it stressful. A friend asked me “why is it stressful?” I wasn’t sure how to respond. In your opinion, why is travel stressful and what can you do to mitigate this?

~ Craig is referring to this emWave2. In my response to Craig I recommend SweetBeat HRV monitoring, for which you need: phone app, chest strap, and ant+ adapter. I also recommend the Stress Check app from Azumio.

Kathy wrote @ 00:52:46
Ben, I heard you mention that you’ve been swimming with a snorkel after a podcast guest said he uses one for training.  I was in a bike accident not too long ago and fractured a couple of vertebrae.  I get a little achy from the twisting motion of breathing while swimming, so lately, I’ve been doing most of my swimming with a snorkel. I have noticed I have more feel for body position. But I’ve also found that I’m slower by 5 sec/100m, which I find surprising.  Perhaps I’m not rotating enough, since I’m not breathing to the side?  Any thoughts on that or additional advice on training with a snorkel?

~ In my response to Kathy, I mention this Finis snorkel.

Tricia asks @ 00:57:28
I have neuromas in both of my feet that only bother me when I run. I have been seeing a podiatrist for about 4 months and have been getting a series of “alcohol” based shots. I also have custom orthotics for my running shoes. I have had some improvement from the shots but still have some discomfort. Surgery is my next option and I wanted to know your thoughts on neuroma surgery and recovery and if I could do both feet at once?

~ In my response to Tricia, I mention metatarsal buttons, metatarsal pads, and orthotics.

Jim wrote @ 01:02:16
Hey, could you talk about in an upcoming podcast about what the prescriptions Prilosec (omeprazole) for acid reflux and Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) for ADHD do to athletes? I am mainly a road bicycle racer, but do a duathlon and triathlon every so often.

~ In my response to Jim, I reference this paper on ADHD treatment. I also recommend reviewing this free book on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

And also:
– 2 to 4 scoops CapraColostrum per day
– 4 to 6 drops oil of oregano per day, 1-3x/day
– Hydrochloric acid – start at 1 and work up to 5-7x650mg/day. Recommend NOW Foods Betaine HCL.
– If H. Pylori, include 2-3 capsules mastic gum per day. Recommend Jarrow Formulas Mastic Gum.
– Bitters. Recommend Floradix Herbal Bitters, 1-2 servings daily.

Regarding ADHD, I also mention some of my recommended brain supplements, including these Brain (supplements):
– 1 TianChi per day (Chinese Adaptogenic Herb complex) on empty stomach
– 2 to 6g/day triglyceride based fish oil – recommend SuperEssentials
– Acetyl-L-carnitine – 500mg, 1x/day – recommend 1-2 servings “NutraRev” per day
– Alpha-lipoic-acid, 100mg, 1x/day – recommend 1-2 servings “NutraRev” per day
– For depression/lack of motivation – 3000mg Tyrosine + 300mg 5-HTP

It is HIGHLY recommended that you do neurotransmitter testing before experimenting with these particular supplements, but for neurotransmitter balance (behavioral issues, depression, etc.), you can start with 4 NeuroReplete (to balance catecholamines and increase serotonin), twice daily (in the AM and at 4 PM) with 2 CysReplete (for L-Cysteine to increase catecholamine synthesis or when using D-5 Mucuna), three times daily (the first dose at noon). Read the Kalish Method book or talk to Ben before experimenting too much with this stuff.

Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!

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11 thoughts on “Episode #222: What Is The Best Way To Track Your Heart Rate Variability (HRV)?

  1. I've had neuromas in both feet that feel like a bunched up sock and pain under my 3+4th toes for 3 years. I have tried the custom orthotics made for around $500 that had some effect but minimal and did not cure the problem.

    The best results I have had involves putting a frozen "blue, cooler cube" right on the neuroma under those toes for about 30 minutes a day. Twice a day if they hurt a lot.

    That and great shoes have kept me going through training and long course Tri's for 3 years. When the slow growing neuroma finally becomes too painful, surgery is reliable but takes a long time to recover from. When considering surgery, double and tripple check the creds of your prospective surgeon. Shop him/her. They are not all created equal and if the surgery is screwed up the first time, you are in for a world of trouble.

  2. When you test your hrv, are you breathing normally or are you following the breath pacer? Because my hrv is totally different between the two, like twenty points different.

  3. The Suunto Ambit uses the HRV from your workout/training to calculate a recovery time in hours, which can accumulate if you do not wait out this time. This is similar to the guidance provided by the Firstbeat First Athlete software, which works with the Suunto Tn watches and I believe the Garmin 610 and 910.

    Also, BodyTrack is working on HRV monitoring software which uses the Polar H7 Bluetooh HR strap.

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