How Blenders Can Destroy Food, Why I Eat 20-25 Servings Of Vegetables Each Day, The Vegan-Paleo Debate & Much More.

Dr. Richard Aiken

Every morning I start my day with what I call my “big-ass smoothie”. In a moment, you’re going to find out what this has to do with my guest in today’s podcast, Richard Aiken, who is pictured above on his horse Teeko, which he used to race in Western “Ride & Tie” races, an endurance race up and down mountains for two people and a horse.

Anyways, back to my smoothie.

The smoothie begins with a huge bunch of greens. I prefer kale, but spinach, bok choy, mustard greens, etc. also do the trick, and lately I’ve been making a concerted effort to go out into the forest near my house and pick at least one or two “wild” plants to throw in too (such as plantain, nettle, wild mint, etc.)

Next, I add some kind of herb. Cleansing herbs like parsley, cilantro or thyme are nice. Rather than opting for the old, dried, powdered versions you buy from the grocery store, I buy them fresh or pick them fresh from my garden.

Next is half an avocado (or occasionally a whole avocado if it’s a high calorie day) along 2 teaspoons organic cacao powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, a teaspoon of sea salt (I use this fancy Aztecan stuff), and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.

Then, before blending, I add just enough full fat coconut milk to make all my plants blend. I prefer an extremely thick smoothie that I have to eat with a spoon (so that the digestive enzymes in my mouth can work on pre-digesting before the food even makes it to my gut). Like my mom always said, “Chew your liquids and drink your solids.”

Then, I blend everything above for about 60 seconds-ish. I’ve always had a hunch that it may not be that great to pulverize things like protein powder, collagen, etc., and I also don’t want to pulverize the chunky chunks of goodness I’m about to toss in. So after blending, to my green goodness, I add 20-30g of a “clean” protein powder, 1 large handful of unroasted, non-vegetable-oil coated walnuts or almonds, 1 small handful organic dark cacao nibs and 1 large handful organic unsweetened coconut flakes.

I then use a spatula to ensure the entire contents of this relatively expensive smoothie make it into my giant morning breakfast mug, although I have been known to simply eat it straight out of the blender container when in a hurry. Depending on how exact my measurements are, my big-ass smoothie weighs in in at anywhere from 700-1000 calories.

Throughout the remainder of the day after the smoothie, I consume a giant salad at lunch, and heaps of vegetables for dinner. So I’d estimate that I probably consume 20-25 “servings” of vegetables each day, typically accompanied by boatloads of oils and fats such as olives, olive oil, coconut milk, coconut oil, avocados, fatty fish, bone broth, and organ meats.

OK, so why am I telling you all this?

Here’s why: I just read a book called The New Ancestral Diet, and it’s reinvented the way I think about all these plants I’ve been eating.

The New Ancestral DietPrint is described like this:

“We as primates have struggled mightily during the past 85 million years to find and eat enough food for survival. Fortunately, every one of your ancestors was successful so that you might succeed in that same endeavor. However, today that survival is in jeopardy. Recently and suddenly, from an evolutionary standpoint, the problem of subsistence in “civilized” countries has inverted: we have plenty of food but are not making selections that lead to long-term survival.

Our plant-based ancestral diets for which we have become genetically adapted have become animal-based. For thousands of millennia, primate nutrition happened while seeking a wide variety fruits and vegetables sufficiently energy-dense to supply our needed daily calories. Today we still seek energy-dense foods, but in the form of high fat animal products or sweet processed foods. Nutrient-dense foods, formerly our staples, are tolerated as side-dishes.

Taste, the most primitive of our senses, over the eons existed for our survival (as all the other senses), that is, to deselect plants sufficiently bitter as likely toxic or non-digestible. With the expansion of our brain capacity, taste was joined by higher brain regions’ appreciation of flavor. The result is a demand for flavorful energy-dense foods. Every meal experience must “taste good”. Dietary patterns based on such flavorful energy-dense foods has lead to chronic inflammatory states with high morbidly and mortality in the Western world.

This book suggests a return to our true ancestral dietary patterns, supplemented by what is known from the latest scientific research concerning nutritional health. It is clear that we have evolved to be quite versatile eaters and while we can eat a variety of foods, a whole-food varied plant-based diet is best for our long-term health and happiness.”

In the book, author Richard Aiken, a medical doctor and PhD in chemical engineering, describes how plants wage a chemical warfare against our body, why we should be careful with pulverizing and blending the hell out of our vegetables, why epidemiological data is very strong for a whole-food, primarily plant-based diet, and much more.

He holds a PhD in chemical engineering from Princeton University and an MD from the University of Utah. He has lectured throughout the United States and Europe, is the author of numerous peer reviewed scientific articles on nutrition and chemistry, and is a board certified psychiatrist with a clinical practice in Springfield, Missouri.

During today’s podcast interview with Richard, you’ll discover:

-How endurance runners can keep up with horses during races in the mountains…

-Richard’s journey from getting a PhD in chemical engineering from Princeton, to starting a space exploration company to singing opera to attending medical school…

-How human beings progressed from insectivore to fruitarian to herbivore…

-Why the advent of cooking tubers may have been more important than the advent of cooking meat…

-The amazing recent research on chlorophyll, sunlight and the potential ability for humans to photosynthesize…

-Why you should go out of your way to eat things that don’t taste good…

-Whether blenders can damage plant matter and if so, what the alternatives are…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Denise Minger’s refutation of The China Study

The Hillbilly Vegan Facebook page

Richard’s website MoodForLife

The New Ancestral Diet book

-The recent research on chlorophyll, sunlight and the potential ability for humans to photosynthesize

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dr. Aiken or me about this episode? Leave your thoughts below!

Episode #325 – Full Transcript

Podcast #325 from


Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show: Will Ice Baths Shrink Your Muscles, Do Antioxidants Ruin Your Training, Can Marijuana Damage Your Brain And Liver, The Best Way To Train For MMA Fitness, Should You Avoid Iodine, The Benefits of Fasted Workouts and much more!

                           He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is – Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that for the natural movement, get all them. When you’re working all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest effort to see.”  All the information you need in one place right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Brock:               So let’s start the show off by me thanking you for not only doing the show a day early but also getting up early to do this.

Ben:                   I am!

Brock:               You haven’t had a workout, you haven’t done anything you normally do before you record.

Ben:                   You mainly get out of the bed so early for this episode, too.

Brock:               Yeah.  And I appreciate it but I also understand it’s gonna be rough.

Ben:                   I had a cup of coffee, I took a cold shower, I shaved, so I smell nice.  I put like my oregano oil and olive oil and all my little anti-aging secrets all over my face so I smell fantastic and to address the elephant in the room, I’m feeling great because we got rid of the lady with the phone sex voice.

Brock:               Oh yeah! I feel like it’s our new intro is almost too much, but it’s awesome because it’s almost too much.

Ben:                   I do like our new intro.

Brock:               In a world… (chuckles) Good stuff.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Well, the other phone sex lady had to move on to bigger and better things like phone sex, so…

Brock:               Yeah.

News Flashes:

Brock:               Whether you’re being commanded by some manly voice or being charmed by a sexy lady on the phone, you can always tune in to and check out all the news flashes.

Ben:                   And by the way, if you’re driving with kids, put your muffs on them but I don’t think people actually do phone sex anymore.  I think they only do chat sex.

Brock:               I’d assume so.

Ben:                   Chatroom sex.

Brock:               That seems very 90’s.

Ben:                   Actually no, Snapchat sex.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So…

Brock:               Or, what’s our new thing? Periscope.

Ben:                   yes, Periscope sex.  People have actually tried to convince me to start doing Ben Greenfield Fitness on Periscope and I don’t wanna livestream my life, right now.

Brock:               No.

Ben:                   So just for those of you who have been asking, it’s not gonna happen at this point.

Brock:               Not gonna happen, folks!

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s hard enough for me to get out of the bed in the morning and podcast on my boxers.

Brock:               (laughs)

Ben:                   So anyways though, I have been tweeting out some interesting studies, and two of the first that I wanna talk about are related.  So there were a couple of studies that hit the news this week about cold.  The first was that post exercise cold water immersion can – and this is from the title of the study ‘Attenuate anabolic signaling and adaptations in muscle to strength training’.  And the post that came out right alongside of that was that ‘regular post-exercise cold application a.k.a. icing can attenuate trained muscle adaptations’ so, of course the news on the internet is that you shouldn’t do cold baths, you shouldn’t do icing because you may blunt the training response or reduce the ability of muscles to grow.  So, I have a couple of problems with these studies.  The first problem is that in the cold water immersion blunts the anabolic response and adaptations to muscle and strength training study.  They were actually “fatiguing” the muscles by having people do wrist flexor exercises.  Yes…

Brock:               Oh, we’re back to that one again.

Ben:                   Wrist curls and they were doing them two days a week.  Wrist curls, two days a week wrist curls.  So, to me that is…

Brock:               That’s a hard workout, folks.

Ben:                   …not a very, very difficult workout.  In the other study, the icing study, they were doing twice a week strength training sessions with three full days of recovery between each session.  And so none of these activities that are in a lab surrounded by scientist in white lab coats reflect in my opinion, what say like a Tour De France cyclists might experience during some brutal multi-day staged race with you know, five hours every day cranking out more wattage than the average – you know, scientist in the lab coat rides in an entire year.

Brock:               (chuckles) 


Ben:                   Or what you know, an Ironman triathlete could experience during ten hours of red binding their body in the heat, or what a football player might get during like two days in the summer, or what a body builder might get when going to the gym one or two times a day to exhaust multiple body parts.  So ultimately, I would say that you know, in the same way that many antioxidants studies for example say that antioxidants blunts the training response but they really don’t put people through very hard training at all.  A lot of these icing studies and cold water immersion studies do not translate into a real world environment for hard-charging people.  And you know…

Brock:               The only workout I can think of that’s sort of mimics what they were talking about is like a masking protocol – the one that Dan John…

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.

Brock:               That’s got the really hard workout and then followed by like two or three days of complete fully recovery like lying on the couch kind of recovery.

Ben:                   And most of the folks who were using like cold water baths and icing aren’t doing them everyday.  Like they do in these studies after every workout, right? So after that killer workout that you might hit every once a week or once every couple of weeks so there’s that.  And then the other issue is there are so many things that go above and beyond anabolic signaling and in a moment, I’ll get into why maybe we shouldn’t be focusing on anabolic signaling and muscle growth as the holy grail anyways, but there are ton of benefits of cold exposure that go way beyond what they actually look at in the studies for example, we’ve talked on the show about like browning of white fat before red like the fact that you can literally convert storage adipose tissue white fat into metabolically active brown fat and you know, that’s done the other hormone irisin which can also function in neuro protection of brain tissue.  It’s been shown to kill certain types of cancer cells like breast cancer tissue; it’s been shown the length and DNA telomeres sort of maybe like a longevity enhancing effect – so a lot of benefits of that, that irisin hormone release and then you also get a release in hormone adiponectin when you’re getting frequent exposure to cold and that’s the one that can trigger the release of free fatty acids from tissue.  So you basically up-regulate you’re ability to burn fatty acids while decreasing your reliance upon glucose because the other thing adiponectin does is very similarly to insulin is, it shoves glucose to the muscles, so it allows nutrients to be kind of funneled away from producing fat and into muscles so you get like this repartitioning effect.  There’s a lot of other things too; there’s like apoptosis, right? Like pre-programmed cell death, there’s the production of ironically, in response to cold, heat shock proteins which enhance your cardio-vascular blood flow and help to protect you against or help you to kinda like withstand exercise in the heat.  You get a bump up in growth hormone – we talked about the sleep hack last week, how you lower your core body temperature and increase your ability to synthesize melatonin when you get some kind of cold exposure at night, you get increased insulin sensitivity.  So ultimately, you know these studies – and the reason I’m bringing this up and kinda harping on this is I got so many people asking me on Twitter and on Facebook like “Are you gonna stop taking cold shower? Are you gonna stop icing? Are you gonna stop doing cold baths because it turns out that they might you know, make your wrist flexor muscles smaller?” And I was like, “no.”

Brock:               You will never have a strong wrist.

Ben:                   Absolutely not.  So – so that’s the deal and I totally disagree with the results of this new ‘Ice Baths Don’t Work’ studies, so.

Brock:               You know one of the benefits that you missed on wearing a – or using an ice vest like this morning? It’s really hot in Toronto and when I’m recording like this morning, I was doing some voice-over recording and it was getting really hot in my office so I put on my cold fat burner vest just to keep me cool.

Ben:                   Yeah, those are cool.  That’s the one – that’s actually the brand, the fat burning gear, I like it.  It’s cool –, they have like a vest and the have like this what they call the gut-buster that goes around your waist.  And that…

Brock:               Yeah.  That thing’s dangerous; I gave myself some serious prospect with that thing (chuckles).

Ben:                   Yeah, you can like wear a shirt when you wear it – those are pretty cool for – pun intended – for doing like cold thermogenesis when you don’t wanna do cold shower or an ice baths, so you can check…

Brock:               Or you use like a…

Ben:                   check out our friends.

Brock:               an American conditioner.

Ben:                   Check our friends at  They’re not a sponsor of this podcast but you can check them out anyways.  We won’t have…

Brock:               And no we don’t have a discount code.

Ben:                   (chuckles)

Brock:               Don’t even ask.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So another interesting take on this whole like things that blunt the training response, this is the one on antioxidants.  So you’ve of course heard Brock and I’m sure about people saying you shouldn’t take Vitamin C or you shouldn’t take Vitamin E after workout because and this is actually – again, with the newest study says – it says it blunts the increase in total lean body and leg mass after 12 weeks of strength training.


And this most recent study, they put a group of men – they were elderly men but they were, they were real men less.  Elderly men are still men.

Brock:               They’re still men.  As you get older, you’re still a man.

Ben:                   You’re still a human even when you wearing the pants.  But they put them on a strength training regimen, and they put half of them on supplements, they put half of them on Vitamin C and Vitamin E and then half of them of course not on supplements on the placebo.  And then they have them do 12 weeks of strength training.  What they found was that the muscle increased in thickness – an average of 16.2% in the placebo group but only 10.9% in the antioxidant group.  So, so far the takeaway from that study is ultimately – it looks like your muscle size will be larger if you don’t take antioxidants.  But linking in the show notes and by the way, the show notes to this podcast are all over at – I’m gonna link them to show notes to a very interesting take on this article written by our friend Paul Jaminet ‘The Perfect Health Diet” fame.  He’s been on this podcast a few times, but he dug into this study a little bit more and he noted that there was a significant gain in strength in the antioxidant group even though they gained less size.  So essentially the smaller muscles were able to exert more force and his take on this was that the smaller muscle that can exert more force is in fact most likely the healthier muscle.  Now the article goes on to point out that large muscle size could potentially be a sign of poor health.  So when you look at like cardiomegaly which is an enlarged heart – that’s when your heart tissue becomes dysfunctional and incapable of exerting as much strength as it should, and you get basically a hypertrophy or growth of heart muscle tissue and this is something that reflects actually a myopathy like poor health of the heart when this happens to heart tissue.  We see a similar response and he goes into a study that happens or that took place in guinea pigs – belt body building guinea pigs.  I need body building guinea pigs.

Brock:               Awww, cute.

Ben:                   But what they looked at was they put the guinea pigs on diets and one diet was a control diet and another diet had a bunch of antioxidants in it.  And what they found was that in a group that was deprived of antioxidants and antioxidant supplementation and antioxidant exposure on a diet but was doing strength training and I don’t know how guinea pigs strength train by the way.  I’m guessing tiny, tiny guinea pig bench…

Brock:               That’s I’m – yeah, matching a lot of bench press…

Ben:                   Yeah, tiny guinea pig kettlebells.

Brock:               …and these tiny little dumbbells.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Anyways though, those guinea pigs experienced – those ones who did not get antioxidants, they experienced a significant loss of strength and an inability to exert force and this continued until the guinea pigs could no longer stand or move…

Brock:               Awww.

Ben:                   …and at that point, they lose the ability to feed and they began to die of starvation.  And that happen in as few as 30 days because of damage by what’s called lipid pro-oxidation because of lack of antioxidants which led to cell death, they didn’t have enough antioxidants.  So what happened was that the guinea pigs did not actually lose much in terms of muscle size but what they loss was the ability of their muscles to function.  And so it’s very, very interesting that a lot of these studies that look at again, like antioxidants and cold exposure and etc. it’s like the holy grail is muscle growth and muscle size, right? And so what Paul gets into in this article is how they’re not even taking into account what may be a much, much bigger marker of your health and that’s the ability to have muscles that may not you know, look good in your “Welcome to the gun show” t-shirt, but that can exert very, very high amounts of force, right? Like the folks you have a – like a small like wiry physique but who can just like you know, throw around weight like crazy, like a power lifter that they would technically be more healthy than say, a bodybuilder.  And actually in that article, Paul goes into the fact that there’s a lot of bodybuilders who die early of heart disease due to a lot of this, this cardiomegaly or increased hypertrophy of heart muscle tissue.  There is a lot of health issues that you get with this increased in muscle mass and being in constant anabolic state and the fact is, antioxidants and taking antioxidants in conjunction with the strength training program can actually increase your muscle strength even if yes, it made blunt in increase in muscle size a little bit.  But ultimately, maybe muscle size isn’t the only thing you should be looking for.  So really interesting take.

Brock:               Out of the weight ratio. 


Ben:                   That’s right, baby.  Uhm, okay…

Brock:               I just Googled ‘guinea pig workout’…

Ben:                   Oh, yeah.

Brock:               Just ‘cause I had to see what was going on there.  There’s a picture of a guinea pig and he’s got sort of these little pads on his shoulders with springs and it looks like he might doing sort of like a football player like a sled push…

Ben:                   Oh, yeah.  Kind of thinking sled push.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Not to be confused with the hamster dance.  Do you remember the hamster dance video?

Brock:               (chuckles) No.

Ben:                   (singing the hamster dance tune)

Brock:               Oh, I just keep thinking of a hamy-hamster.

Ben:                   You should Google the hamster dancing and play our dear listeners the hamster dancing… Okay, so the last thing and I thought this was interesting because I actually wrote about this and the last article that I wrote on cannabidiol and the use of CBD for a variety of health effects and use of it for like neurotrophic effects for sleep, for focus etc., I talked about how we would likely see at some point pharmaceutical companies jumping on the bandwagon.  And sure enough, an article came out this week that the drug maker GW Pharmaceuticals has received approval on a patent covering the use of specifically cannabidiol from CBD for treating cancer.  And so what they’ve done is – they’re essentially to patent CBD, which means they’re gonna just blow the price through the roof on CBD to use it as the…

Brock:               It’s already expensive enough, too.

Ben:                   actual cancer drug – they’re gonna patent it as a cancer drug.  The reason I’m bringing this up is I got a bunch of questions from people about whether that means that like this new cannabidiol  product that we’re selling at Greenfield Fitness Systems this Nature CBD stuff that’s going to have to disappear, right? Like if we’re gonna be violating a patent by GW Pharmaceuticals by selling those stuff.  The issue is that you can still get CBD in that form for example in the form of Nature CBD, but we would not be able to make any claims or say anything about its potential for causing like cancer cell apoptosis or anything like that because this pharmaceutical company were on a patent on it but I thought it was interesting that – that pharmaceutical companies are now jumping on the marijuana bandwagon and trying to patent now the use of these natural compounds like cannabidiol.  And this literally came out like weeks after I release my CBD article that now they’re you know, they’re patenting it for a reducing cell viability, inhibiting cell growth or reducing tumor volume and cancer so, there you go.  Drug companies…

Brock:               It’s funny, I thought the first one to come out would’ve been a drug for treating epilepsy because it seems like that’s got the longer history with CBD.

Ben:                   Yeah, but cancer is sexier.

Special Announcements:

Ben:                   So, Brock, do you still have a beard?

Brock:               I don’t.  I shaved it off.  Maybe a month or so ago when it started actually become summer here in Toronto.

Ben:                   And what kind of shaver did you used?

Brock:               I used a crappy one that I’ve had for years and years and years.

Ben:                   Did you used it?

Brock:               And I actually – and I missed a little bit this morning when I shaved.  I’ve got a little patch of fuss on the top of my cheek that shouldn’t be there.

Ben:                   Was it a Bic or a Gillette?

Brock:               A Gillette.

Ben:                   Or maybe one of these – this dollar shaped clog shavers?

Brock:               It was not one of the – not one of the ones – it’s our so kindly sponsor of this show.

Ben:                   Yes.

Brock:               But I don’t think they actually deliver in Canada yet.

Ben:                   Well, you read my mind.  Because the sponsor of today’s show is Harry’s who actually bought a blade factory in Germany and they crafted the world’s highest quality blades and I actually want to visit this blade factory in Germany because I imagine this like this giant old stoned castle whether it’s like you know, like men with mustaches you know, churning out wearing aprons and making blades in Germany.

Brock:               (chuckles) Do they really need to wear apron? Well yeah, I guess.

Ben:                   I don’t know, I don’t know.

Brock:               It looks better.  Fashion statement.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Anyways though, so they make these high quality blades and they cut out the middle man and then they ship it straight to you.  So they skip the drugstore – you can’t get them in drugstores but you get a really, really good shave at a fraction of a price of drugstore brands and the only complaint I have is like they’re gonna get this old school like heavy nice shaver that makes you feel like a real man – well perhaps a very macho woman if you’re the type of woman who wants a blade made by Harry’s.  My only complaint is that they don’t make like those old – what do you called the old school shavers that have no guard on them?

Brock:               The straight razor.

Ben:                   Yes.  I wish they just sell a straight razor, a Harry’s straight – there’s probably some liability involved with shipping straight razors to people…

Brock:               I just think there’s a very limited market for that.

Ben:                   I’d use one.  I mean, I just – I think that would be like the ultimate macho would be to use one of these straight razors in my face.


Brock:               Pretty macho.

Ben:                   Yeah, it would be.  Anyways though, so here’s the deal: you got, use the code ‘ben’ and you get to, use code ‘ben’, you can get five bucks off anything from Harry’s including their little pack.  That’s like a razor and three blades, and some of their shave cream and it’s the kind of shave cream that is not going to shrink your balls or decrease your testosterone ‘cause it may have…

Brock:               Woah!

Ben:                   parabens and phthalates and stuff like that.

Brock:               Oh, I see.

Ben:                   So, yeah.

Brock:               Just don’t put it on your balls.

Ben:                   You could – no! I’m saying you could put the Harry shave on your balls and it would be okay.  You could also put it on your face and it wouldn’t shrink your balls, so.

Brock:               Ah, there you go.

Ben:                   Yeah, so, check it out.  Use the code ‘Ben’ when you get to

Brock:               And I was totally wrong – they do ship to Canada – so I misspoke.

Ben:                   There you go.

Brock:               All you Canadians, we can also get

Ben:                   Harry’s – maybe it’s, I don’t know.

Brock:               I don’t know.  I don’t think so.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Anyways though, another quick special announcement is that I have now released Chapter Four of my new work of fiction which you can read along over at and I promise to keep it entertaining, exciting and educational – that was alliteration on the spot, by the way.  That’s just how good of a writer I am and…

Brock:               You’re a freaking poet!

Ben:                   …why you should read this book.  Anyways though, I’m having a lot of fun writing it, you can read it on Wattpad which is a free platform for finding any book and reading a book serially.  So the book is released in a format that makes it very, very easy to read because frankly, I could write it all and release it in some giant 500-page novel but instead you’re just kinda getting to read it serially as I go.  So you can download the Wattpad app to your phone – it’s very conducive to read it on small screens, you can put it on your Kindle.  I may publish the paper version for you old school folks once it’s all done but ultimately, you can check that a lot at and I am recording some audio versions of those chapters and releasing them…

Brock:               At least we’ve tried a couple of times now.

Ben:                   Yeah, releasing them to – to our Premium channel and this is the last special announcement, the last thing I wanted to mention if you’re listening in and you haven’t yet plugged in to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Premium channel, we have over 300 different secret hidden audios – everything from every back episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show to insider interviews that we’ve done to PDFs and videos of live conferences that I’ve been at.  To even you know, up to Chapter 21 now of the updated audio book version of “Beyond Training” – what do I mean by ‘updated’? What I mean is that as I am reading and recording my book “Beyond Training” for our Premium channel, I’m making updates as I go so that all the information is well, updated.  So…

Brock:               I thought you’re gonna say you’re making up crap as you go (chuckles).

Ben:                   I’m making up crap as I go.  So anyways though…

Brock:               Although I can tell you’re slightly adlibbing as you’re going which is actually makes it kinda interesting even if you have read the book already.

Ben:                   Not adlibbing so much as adjusting things that may be slightly outdated or adding new information and new research and that’s come to light since I wrote that book last year.  So ultimately, it’s up to Chapter 21, I don’t know how many hours of audio that is – probably almost I would say, 21 hours of audio…

Brock:               Yeah, either 20 or 21 hours, yeah.

Ben:                   …or close to that.  So anyways, all available inside at the Premium channel that’s at and is $9.99 for the entire year – so freakin’ slammin’ deal, check it out and that’s it. 

Listener Q & A:

Mr. Mary          Hey Ben and Brock.  You’ve  been  talking  a  lot  about  marijuana

Jane                   lately and I was reading a book on ayurvedic medicine and it says “Calamus root is the best antidote for the ill effects of marijuana.  Marijuana is toxic to the liver and brain cells.  However, if one smokes a pinch of calamus root powder with the marijuana this herb will completely neutralize the toxic side effects of the drug.”  I would love to get your statement on this whether or not it has any real scientific weight or not, and thank you for all the information.

Brock:               Now this fellow did not say his name.  I guess he wants to be anonymous but I think we shall call him Mr. Mary Jane.

Ben:                   Mr. Mary Jane.


Ah, Mr. Mary Jane, you know marijuana is something I’ve gotten a lot of questions on now that I have revealed the fact that I consider cannabidiol and CBD extract which doesn’t did come from the cannabis plant to be one of the most medicinal and naturally beneficial compounds that you can put into your body.  It’s something I consume nearly every day whether it’s for like sleep or focus – it kinda depends on dosage, right? Like I take three or four capsules – one of them on the airplane when I wanna sleep or before bed at night, and I’ll take one or two that you know when I want them like mixed it with a smart drug or you know, just basically de-stress.  But ultimately, it is as I’ve written before and talked about before – far, far different that THC, the tetrahydrocannabinol which is kind of…

Brock:               Psychoactive.

Ben:                   …more…  Yeah, the more psychoactive form of marijuana.  And the fact is that there are – there are some definite toxicity issues with marijuana that you do need to be aware of.  And the first is that THC and especially many of these edibles that people consume now, those are metabolized by the liver and THC can cause in high doses a very similar effects as like fatty liver disease so the same as if you were consuming very, very high amounts of alcohol.  And when you consider the fact that folks are now breeding marijuana you know, the marijuana we have available to us now is far different than our grandparents or our parent’s marijuana in terms of the THC percentages, right?  You’ll see now marijuana with THC percentages up close to like 25 to 30%, you know, and that’s up from like 4% back in the 80’s.  And so you’re having to metabolize a great deal more of that and it is indeed metabolized by the liver, and it does indeed bind to receptors in neural tissue and because of that, there is potential for toxicity especially when you use – what are those two situations.  When you use a high THC compound regularly especially in younger individuals like an adolescents and teenagers – it has been shown to cause some neural deficits and some cognitive damage and in any one it has been shown to cause some things that – that kinda simulate what you might get from say like fatty liver disease.  Now, a couple of ways around this: the first is that if you’re going to use a plant for its medicinal effects, use it for its medicinal effects and not its psychoactive effects which is why I am indeed a fan of choosing like higher CBD strains than THC strains.  And don’t use it if you still a growing nervous system such as if you are like an adolescent or teenager especially like the higher THC containing components.

Brock:               Ah, really?  So that actually has more of an effect or more of a lasting effect on a…

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.

Brock:               …developing nervous system?

Ben:                   Yep, exactly.  The same way as you’d wanna keep – you’d wanna do a better job keeping everything from like, you know, radiation to caffeine away from a growing nervous system.

Brock:               Oh, okay.

Ben:                   You just have more rapidly dividing nerve cells.  Now the other thing is that if you were to use let’s say an edible, and I will come right out and say like I will occasionally use like – like edible marijuana derivatives.  It’s completely legal in my state – one that I use is called Hi Jewels.  It’s made by company called Baked Botanicals which produces like organic and natural ingredients like – like kemp seed oil and cosmetic products, they’re based out of Seattle, and one of the things that they produce is called a Hi Jewels, and it actually is something that contains THC in it.  I am very careful not to actually swallow that or eat it in its traditional manner.  Anytime I use an edible from like an edible oil to an edible lozenge, I dissolve it in the mucous membrane of my mouth directly underneath my lip so that the THC component of that goes directly into the bloodstream rather than being metabolized by the liver.  And you can do this for many pharmaceuticals and compounds that would normally be metabolized by the liver, you can basically mainline them into your bloodstream by letting them dissolve in your mouth or underneath your lip rather than – than shooting and swallowing them.

Brock:               Interesting.  I used to take – well I used to have a prescription for Ativan and that was a sublingual Ativan.  And like as I’ll beat the same idea so you’re bypassing or not…

Ben:                   Uh-huh.

Brock:               …not impairing your liver the same way.

Ben:                   Yup, yup, exactly.  So a couple of other things to bear in mind when it comes to toxicity: when you look at the way that a lot of these hemp plants and you know, anything from the tobacco leaf to a marijuana leaf and even recently, a new study came out with kale – you look at things like thallium, cadmium, metal concentrates – you get these things accumulating in plants especially plants that are grown in industrial sections of the country, plants that are perhaps not grown organically that are mass produced.


And metals as we know, can accumulate in the body and can cause metal toxicity issues.  And so not only am I a firm believer in doing something like a metal detox at least once a year to mitigate some of these effects, but the other thing that I would be careful of because the best way to concentrate especially cadmium in your body would be via traditionally traditional smoking of the leaf, okay? So actual smoking of marijuana or tobacco is not something that I recommend versus say either vaporizing or you know, like I mentioned, dissolving the components sublingually or behind your lip.  I’m really not a fan especially because of the metal component and also because of the effect that it can have on your alveoli – I’m not a fan of smoking.  Uhm…

Brock:               What’s the alveoli?

Ben:                   Ah, in your lungs.

Brock:               Okay, that little more feathery things?

Ben:                   Yeah, it can cause damage to those.  So there are companies that make things like vaporizers that you simply put oil into or even like a waxy substance that contains something like marijuana into, and again, I hope people’s adolescents and teenagers and children aren’t listening in too intensively because I do not endorse…

Brock:               Firm up, kids!

Ben:                   …this process, you know.  But I mean in the same way, let’s put it this way you know, I’ll sit there and drink a cup of coffee in front of my kids and I’ll tell them, “Hey, when your bones are done growing, right? And your nervous system is done developing, you too can have a cup of coffee just like Dad.”  And my kids have seen me smoke before too, or they’ve seen me vape marijuana and I’ve told them the same thing.  When their nervous system is done developing or when their brain cells are done growing, I am okay with them using something like that but until that point, they need to wait because it will do more harm than good.  So ultimately you know, I’m not a fan of like you know, putting earmuffs and blindfolds on kids when it comes to this stuff.  It’s just you know, some of those things where I’m a bigger fan of educating a child you know, on some of the issues.  So another thing that you wanna be careful of is – a lot of marijuana, depending on how it’s been grown, how it’s been stored, how it’s been handled – it can contain fungal contaminants that can be really problematic and already immune compromised people.  But of course, fungus and molds can be an issue with anyone and damp marijuana is a really good breeding ground for aspergilla and many, many other molds and bacteria and…

Brock:               Did you say sasparilla?

Ben:                   Aspergilla.  And not sasparilla.  Not root beer.

Brock:               Sasperilla.

Ben:                   Not root beer.  Aspergillosis is a very common fungal infection in marijuana smokers that’s caused by this mold that you can find in either like old marijuana or marijuana that’s been a lot become damp or that’s been stored in like damp settings – you wanna be careful if you’re using like leaves or buds or anything that’s been designed from leaves and buds that you’re careful of the source.  So I always look for like small organic growers that are committed to quality and I’d like – I don’t, I don’t use any buds or leaves or anything like that unless I know exactly where it’s come from and so you know, I’d actually use this little app and website called Leafly, l-e-a-f-l-y which grades marijuana and leaves and kinda tells you about the quality and the original manufacture to ensure that I get high grade oils, high grade leaves and that I’m not you know, basically getting mold and fungi, etc.  So ultimately I think that the benefits outweigh the risks in most cases but most of what I’ve just gotten and talked about is a little bit of a moot point because, if you’re looking at this for medicinal purposes, if you’re looking for a lot of everything from like the creative enhancing properties of weed to the sleep enhancing properties of it, etc. – I say just go straight to CBD, go straight to cannabidiol and that’s where I use the – just like a CBD capsule.  And sure, I have an entire article – I won’t even get into it ‘cause it take me an hour to get into all the different considerations, but I have an article about the effects of weed on exercise.

Brock:               It’s a hell of an article, folks!

Ben:                   And there are some cases like a hard core trail run, very difficult workout, etc. where THC can come in handy and you know, dissolving something like a THC edible oil sublingually can assist with the workout you know, 5 to 10g – you know, 30 to 60 minutes prior, but of course there are other considerations like World Anti-Doping Association and you know, other, other issues you know this is stuff that you don’t want in your bloodstream whereas cannabidiol is a completely different molecular derivatives – it is not illegal, it is not banned by any of these, these sporting federations.


And so you know, ultimately I’m just a bigger fan of CBD than I’m of THC, but that’s kind of the issue with it potentially being toxic to the liver and the brain cells especially as higher THC compounds.  As far as the calamus root powder, I’m gonna be straight forward with you: I have no clue.  I do know that CBD will neutralize some of the toxic effects of THC, like taking CBD along with THC and you can do that, you can take a few capsules of CBD when you’re using THC and it will compete for some of the receptors and antagonize some of the psychoactive you know, schizophrenic, potential liver or neuro-damaging effects of THC but I don’t know that much about calamus root powder, I’ll be totally straight forward.  So that’s the deal – I have now exhausted my entire knowledge based on marijuana on a single podcast.

Richard:            Hi Ben!  This is Richard.  I have a question for you.  I’m a MMA boxing coach here in Charleston, South Carolina with a Charleston Fit in MMA, and I was wondering if you thought that fight sports were endurance events you know, the boxing can go up to 3, 12 minute-rounds and MMAs can go for 5-minute rounds (clears throat) and that’s no way near an Ironman, but training can be long grinding days and it’s different because you have to take punches and you know, you have to absorb punishment and there’s the emotional aspect of fighting that comes into play as well.  So I was wondering what you thought was the best way to train my fighters?  Do I – can I train them or do you recommend that I train them in the same way that you would train for triathlon? Or do you think something else would be better? Or what would you recommend in general? You know, I need that long grinding ability to work every day because they need to come in and drill.  Repetition is such a big part of achieving proficiency that they need to be able to keep focus and make those hours of training everyday efficient and allow them to learn something instead of just going through the motions.  And at the same time I need them to be explosive in the ring when they have to fight and when it comes up for it, so – and also at the same time I need them to be durable and as Napoleon said “Fatigue makes cowards of all men.”  So anyway, just wanted to know what you’re thoughts were on this and thank you very much.

Ben:                   Well I can tell you when I fight, it’s an endurance event – basically involves knee turning and running…

Brock:               (laughs)

Ben:                   …until the person who’s trying to fight me gets tired (chuckles).

Brock:               I thought you’re gonna say something about wrestling bears in your backyards…

Ben:                   Or it takes five or ten miles, I just basically turn and run.  I’m pacifist.  No, I completely agree that MMA style training and boxing can you know, take a lot of endurance.  It can require a lot of endurance you know, long grinding days, taking punches, controlling your emotions – everything Richard refers to and you know, my whole experience with boxing and MMA, I’ll come right and tell you – I haven’t done a lot of rolling, I haven’t done a lot of jiu jitsu, I haven’t spent much time at all in the cage wearing my shorty-shorts and bouncing around.  I was part of the boxing club for two years so I used to wake up…

Brock:               Huh?

Ben:                   …at 4a.m., hit the bags and train for boxing – that was back in college, right? And I took aikido for couple of years as a kid.

Brock:               I took aikido in college too but we didn’t actually engage each other in any sort of combat – it was very controlled movement.

Ben:                   Yeah, but at the same time, I have done MMA style fitness programs in particular using two different sources that I think are fan-freaking-tastic when it comes to training for MMA fitness – they’re the books by Martin Rooney.  And Martin Rooney, he’s brand is called ‘Warrior’, so he has books like “Ultimate Warrior Workouts” and “Cardio Workouts for Warriors” and these books are not only are they really fun to read because he’s got wonderful photos and workout and diet plans and everything in them.  But you know, for example in his “Ultimate Warrior Workouts” book, he literally travels around the world taking photos and getting the fitness training regimens of the world’s best fighters in like jiu jitsu and karate and muay thai and sambo and judo and everything else.  And it – you know, his books are just jam packed with some really, really good workouts and so you know, I own both “Ultimate Warrior Workouts” and also his Warrior cardio book which is a little bit more kinda MetCon-based and considered to be a little bit more for like burning fat, getting lean, etc.


                           But I would, I would…

Brock:               That’s metabolic conditioning for you folks out there wondering what MetCon is.

Ben:                   Yeah, I would highly recommend his books as a resource.  Now, as far as actually training fighters using that type of approach, they are a few considerations: one would be the time of training year, right? So as with any training program whether you are a triathlete or a football player or an MMA fighter, you wanna periodize your training.  So let’s tale for example you know, again these Martin Rooney books you know were one the “Ultimate Warrior Workouts” and I’ll link to both of these if you want to check them out over on the show notes at  One, the ultimate warrior book that’s more strength training based you know, you’re doing 6, 8, 10 reps – you’re doing a lot of plyometrics, you’re doing a lot of power, explosive speed-style training – it’s more of a type of workout that you would do during the “in” season right?  Like during the fighting season not during the “off” season whereas if you were trying to develop a cardio-vascular base or if you were needing to say you know, shed fat leading up to a season of fighting, that’s where you would use something like the warrior cardio book – a more cardio-vascular style training, longer amounts of time on the treadmill, on the bike, in the pool, etc.  So the time of training here is one thing that you gotta bear in mind.  Another is your body type, right? So I would completely expect that a fighter who is more like mesomorphic and naturally muscular or naturally filled out or with a naturally high fats which muscle fiber that – or even let’s say someone who’s done DNA testing, right? Which reveals whether you are a power responder or an endurance responder; reveals your slow twitch versus fast twitch muscle fiber capacity, etc. that’s going to influence the type of training that you’ll respond to best.  You know even myself, you know I am a power responder – meaning that I’ve done salivary testing via DNA fit and via 23andMe and I know that based on my fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fiber capacity and the specific genetic markers that I have in terms of mitochondrial density that my body responds best to power, to high intensity interval training and to short explosive efforts even for building endurance, you know – and some people would be the complete opposites so that’s going to influence the type of training that you as well.  If you’re an endurance responder, yeah, you’re gonna spend a lot more time if you want to build endurance most effectively for you doing, say like, roadwork like what would be considered like the linear pace or the maffetone pace or an aerobic pace.  If you’re a power type of athlete, you’re probably doing more like 30, 45, 60 second you know, hill sprints on a treadmill – those type of things.  So your body type and your genetics are going to influence your fitness choice as well and just leave a date and age we can test that kind of stuff.  The other thing to bear in mind and this is something I’m very conscious about in my daily activities, right? Like right now, I am standing as we’re podcasting on a mat, and the mat was designed as called the Kaibin – I think, do we have the interview with the designer of this mat inside our premium channel, Brock?

Brock:               No, not yet.

Ben:                   Okay.

Brock:               It is – it’s already to go, it’s just hasn’t released.

Ben:                   I think we’re waiting for them to come to the U.S. first, ‘cause either if you’re listening from Switzerland and their shipping was just ungodly like (murmurs)…

Brock:               Yeah, I think some time in a next couple of weeks though…

Ben:                   Yeah, so they develop shoes and mats, etc. that are modeled after like the rice paddy fields in Korea, and so the entire time that I’m standing during the day at my work station which is typically three to four hours in a day that I’m standing on this mat, my feet are constantly shifting and I’m balancing and I’m moving and then for another couple of hours while I’m doing phone calls, consults, some of my writing, etc. I’ll be walking on the treadmill, I’ll be going out to my pool a few times a day and just jumping in and doing a few hypoxic sets of cold water swimming, and I’ll be walking under the pull-up bar and throwing pull-up right in there but that is – that stuff adds up in terms of building your low level endurance throughout the day, your mitochondrial density, the ability of a lot of your smaller feet and core and hip muscles to be able withst… to withstand long periods of time under stress like this whole concept of greasing the groove is something that I think not a lot enough athlete – especially athletes who have to go through a long grinding day taking to accounts.  So, if you can hack your environments to turn your day to day activity into an endurance event and then throw the high intensity workouts, the MMA training, etc. into your routine as kinda like the icing on the cake on top of this low level endurance that you’re building throughout the day – it is a really good strategy…


Brock:               I hate turning your day into an MMA match make, yeah, a dangerous idea…

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.

Brock:               That’s what I thought you’re going with this.

Ben:                   No.

Brock:               Just antagonize everybody around you, so they’re constantly bumping you and attacking you, dodging…

Ben:                   Exactly.  No, but that’s what I would do.  Now as far as training the same way I would train for triathlon; training a fighter the same way I train for triathlon? I would be careful with that, right? Because what you don’t want to do – you know for example, I used to be able to dunk a basketball with no problems at all, I mean, I’m 6’2 you know athletic, I have hops like I mentioned a power responder but my ability to dunk once I started doing the running in Ironman training because I experienced fast twitch to slow twitch muscle fiber conversion, disappeared, right? Like my ability to produce high, high amounts of speed and power – so in my opinion for something like fighting, what you wanna do is ensure that you’re not engaged in consistent and excessive chronic repetitive motion because you don’t want to get excessive conversion of fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fiber.  And that’s why I mentioned you know, someone who naturally has a high amount of fast twitch like amnesia morphic body type, they can handle more of the cardio and aerobic work and more like this cardio workout for warriors type of book and “roadwork” without producing a lot of damage when it comes to losing fast twitch muscle, whereas like the more active morphic or nasal active morphic fighter you know, someone who’s naturally skinny, lean, thin wrists, smaller, hard-gainer, however you wanted to describe it – you know, you are going to have a hard enough time putting on fast twitch muscle and producing power to where you wouldn’t wanna do as much on endurance work or as much as like say like traditional triathlon training style of work.  So ultimately, I just spent the past like ten minutes saying “it depends”…

Brock:               (chuckles)

Ben:                   But it does.  I’ll put a link to those books though because I do real… I you know, I know that there are other folks who write MMA training books other than Martin Rooney, but I do like Martin Rooney’s stuff just because it’s easy to get to read of big beautiful books that are fun to read and that’s a really good place to start as well, so check those out and also listen to the past episodes that we’ve done with some guys in MMA like Mike Tullius for example…

Brock:               Oh, yeah.

Ben:                   We have a one episode on him as far as like you know, head damage and things of that nature and so we do have some episodes with MMA fighters that we’ve done over at if you wanna take a listen and go check, check, check it out.

Rob:                   Ben and Brock, I’ve been listening to you for years.  So thank you very much for the studying and the education that you’ve been offering – I really appreciate it.  My name is Rob, I’m calling from Minnesota today or not really calling more like clicking from Minnesota today.  Sitting down for a little late snack here after workout and I’m looking at my sea salt that I’m sprinkling over some corn-on-the-cob and it says it doesn’t supply iodine which is a necessary nutrient.  And I’m sure you guys have heard about the ups and downs of salts and sea salts and everything else when it comes to salt.  My main question here is: do I need to take a certain amount of iodine daily? And if I do, where do I get it from if I don’t get it from my sea salt? So I guess that’s two questions.  Thanks guys, I appreciate it.  I look forward to the answer.  Cheers!

Brock:               You’re in both Rob’s corn-on-the-cob…

Ben:                   Mmmm.

Brock:               …special workout made me really wanna have some…

Ben:                   My mouth is watering.  Yeah.

Brock:               Damn.

Ben:                   Yeah…

Brock:               You think butter next to it with some like garlic mixed it?

Ben:                   Actually what I like to do with corn-on-the-cobs I do, I do salt like a good sea salt, like a good core sea salt but then I’ll do cayenne pepper…

Brock:               Mmm.

Ben:                   and olive oil.

Brock:               Mmm, oh!

Ben:                   Some really good extra virgin olive oil – that’s how I like my corn.  That’s how I like my corn and of course I like it non-GMO, of course.

Brock:               (chuckles) That’s hard to find in America.

Ben:                   It is, yeah.  Non-GMO corn with olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper – yes, please.  And true it well, so you don’t get corn in your crop, it’s also corn.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               Who cares?

Ben:                   Anyways though, sea salt and iodine.  Yes, sea salt doesn’t have a ton iodine so it retains like any, any sea salt like I use this fancy Aztec salt stuff – it’s like you know, whatever – sustainably harvested off the Mexican coast that you pay out the butt for ‘cause it’s tasty but it’s – I will admit, it is expensive salt.


And it does have – it retains its natural iodine in a form of little microscopic sea lives, but when you look at the actual iodine requirements for the human body you know, and you look at sea salt or some of the this fancy like Himalayan salts, they contain a lot of trace minerals but they don’t have a lot of the iodine in them or at least enough iodine for you to reply upon them as your sole source of iodine.  Now…

Brock:               So did you see the Science Babe just put a thing on Facebook kind like the day before yesterday or something.  The words, just the big picture of salt in there and it was just like salt is – salt people get over at it or something like that.

Ben:                   Mmm.

Brock:               Basically just talking about how the amount of minerals that can actually be found in any type of salt is so negligible that it really does make a difference between table salt and Aztec sea salt or whatever else you’re paying for Himalayan big salt.

Ben:                   Well for just looking at iodine, that is true.  But I mean, look at table salt, right? Like look at your average sodium chloride table salt – it’s stripped of its natural iodine and magnesium and most of the other trace minerals during its refining process – it’s just what happens.  And so they add iodine back to it, they add what’s called the potassium iodine back to table salt in an attempt to replace some of the natural iodine that gets completely destroyed during the refining process.  And potassium iodine is actually why table salt – once you’ve kinda wind yourself off it, taste almost like chemically.  And the problem is that once you’ve added potassium iodine back in, they gotta add a bunch of anticaking agents a.k.a. aluminum to keep the salt dry and those cause the salt to have a little bit of a metallic taste and ultimately you know I’ve talked about this in – about it before on but table salt is not the best thing on the face of the planet to be eaten.  So ultimately though, when it comes to iodine yeah, whether you get into fancy salt or whether you getting the cheap-o-salt, you’re not gonna be getting enough iodine.  So the question is: should you be supplementing with iodine? Well, first of all, iodine is – it is important.  You wanna make sure that you get it – it’s involved in for example, thyroid hormone production.  So it’s a key component to hormones that are made in the thyroid gland and you know, I’ll get into the issues with iodine and thyroid in a moment because some people are under the impression that if you have a thyroid issue, you should be completely avoiding iodine but that’s not necessarily the case and I’ll explain why in a moment.  But ultimately, iodine is very, very important for the thyroid, it’s important as a mineral for several other enzymatic reactions in the body kinda similar to magnesium, but the role of iodine in thyroid gland health is especially crucial.  Now when we look at iodine, you’ll get – some people saying that iodine supplementation aggravates what’s called autoimmune thyroiditis which is also known as Hashimoto’s and you’ll find a lot of folks you know, you – I’ve seen Chris Kresser talk about this, I’ve seen Dr. Datis Kharrazian talk about this, you know, both folks who have quite a few writings that I would agree with on the internet about iodine – you’ve seen them kind of like oppose iodine as potentially being like gasoline on a fire for people who have hypothyroidism or for people who have something like Hashimoto’s.  Well, the issue is that you always have to consider iodine in the presence of selenium.  Okay, you always have to consider iodine in the presence of selenium.  So, the reason for that is that when you look at any of the studies that have been done on the ability of excess iodine or iodine supplementation to shut down what’s called thyroid peroxidase enzyme or to deleteriously affect thyroid.  They have been shown to create that type of iodine toxicity or thyroid damage in cells or in study subjects who had selenium insufficiencies, who had selenium deficiencies.  And when you look at everything from mice to humans who were given iodine but who are given iodine in the  presence of adequate selenium – the issues with excess iodine intake aggravating thyroiditis or aggravating autoimmune issues like Hashimoto’s – it disappears if selenium is actually present in adequate amounts.  Now interestingly, there are few studies that show if you’re taking excess selenium, right? If you’re taking too much selenium, too many selenium supplements say like eating handful of Brazil nuts every day, iodine can also create a toxicity issue or aggravate thyroiditis in that case as well.


So ultimately what we’re talking about is taking smart amounts of selenium if you are going to supplement with iodine and when you combine healthy selenium intakes with healthy iodine intakes.  It is actually one of the best things that you can do for your – for your thyroid and for your thyroid health.  So selenium deficiency can cause an intolerance to high iodine – that’s one of the things that almost all the literature in the studies that have been done on iodine shows.  Now, here are few other things that you need to consider about iodine, let’s say that you’re getting enough selenium in your diet, you’re using Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds and maybe taking a multi-vitamin that has selenium in it, and so you’re okay with using iodine.  The problem is that one of the number one sources of iodine that you see people recommend is seaweed and sea vegetables.  And there are many, many studies that have shown that when you consume seaweed and sea vegetables and you rely upon those as your primary source of iodine, you are at the same time taking in a bromine, arsenic, mercury and even radioactive iodine from things like you know, the Fukushima disaster and other areas where iodine has become irradiated.  And so, there is an issue with relying upon sea vegetables that are just harvested from your average sea vegetable source as your primary source of iodine, and iodine intake via seaweed is basically something that’s been shown in literature to accompanied by thyrotoxic metals and what are called halides both of which can damage thyroid tissue.  So, if you have a thyroid issue and I would say anybody should consider this but especially if you have a thyroid issue and you’re trying to get adequate amounts of iodine and adequate amounts of selenium which is indeed important for good thyroid health especially if you have hypothyroidism – you should not be relying upon sea vegetables as your primary source of iodine, okay?  So those are two things to consider: first of all, if you’re gonna use iodine, you have to have enough selenium, and also if you are going to supplement with iodine, you don’t want to get it all from sea vegetables even though they can be a decent source of iodine.  So what are some non-sea vegetable sources of iodine?

Brock:               Mmm-hmm.

Ben:                   Well…

Brock:               Oregano.

Ben:                   You’ll find iodine in decent amounts.  So if you look at sea vegetables, just a tablespoon of sea vegetables has 715 micrograms of iodine.  Okay that’s over like five…

Brock:               That’s a lot!

Ben:                   500% of the daily recommended intake for iodine…

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   I mean like the daily recommended value for iodine.  And so it’s an excellent source of iodine but ultimately, it’s not…

Brock:               It’s an excellent source of other terrible things.

Ben:                   Yeah, I mean you wanna look for like organic sea vegetables – there are some out there like I’m a fan of Thrive Market – I’ve got some articles on Ben Greenfield Fitness about Thrive Market.  They’re a good place to get like good, high quality sea vegetables.  Scallops are decent source of iodine and cod also, about 135 micrograms of close to a 100% of the daily recommended intake values for iodine in scallops and in cod.  Yogurt is not a bad source of iodine, shrimp is also pretty decent; milk and dairy products – you can get decent amount of iodine in and then eggs, also.  So – but when you look at eggs, eggs have about 15 micrograms, right? And I’m sorry, eggs have about 3 micrograms but again, like I mentioned, sea vegetables weigh up around 750.  I personally use the multi-vitamin made by EXOS and that has 75 micrograms in my three morning capsules and another 75 in my three evening capsules.  And that’s actually balanced out with a 100 micrograms of selenium and that’s in its very absorbable form called selenium methionine in the morning dose and also a 100 in the evening dose.  So by the end of the day, I personally get a 150 micrograms of iodine and 200 micrograms of selenium, which is a very good ratio and for me that is you know, along with my normal daily diet – some of the Brazil nuts that I eat, some of dairy that I take in, etc., the organic sea vegetables that I’m eating – that’s enough in terms of iodine supplementation, I don’t have to worry that for example my salt doesn’t have enough iodine.


So ultimately, you can find vitamins that have iodine and selenium in adequate ratios – that one’s called the Multivitamin Elite it’s made by EXOS.  So…

Brock:               So you don’t consider – what would I call the… oysters to be a good source of iodine?

Ben:                   Oyster…

Brock:               Dr. Jack Kruse.  Dr. Jack Kruse talked about that, didn’t he?

Ben:                   I do not believe that oysters are a significant source of iodine but I could be – I could be wrong – I mean, I know a lot of seafood has iodine in it like scallops and cod, salmon is decent, I know sardines have some and tuna has some – I’m not sure about the iodine content of oysters though.  I know that oysters are good for you know things like DHA and some of the other minerals but I suppose you could use Dr. Google and find that out.

Brock:               That’s what I’m doing right now.

Ben:                   Oh, nice!

Brock:               Yeah.  No, it’s not on the…

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               it’s not on the list of WH Foods.

Ben:                   Yeah, I haven’t really heard of oysters having an extremely significant amounts of iodine compared to some of those other marine sources that I’ve mentioned, but I would imagine that they have some in there but I’m not exactly sure how much.

Brock:               Now I might have to go back and find out what Dr. Kruse was talking about when he said that oysters were the greatest there.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  I know.  You know, some shellfish are gonna have iodine in them, but ultimately it’s not gonna come close to what you’ll find in sea vegetables, and you know, I think that if you are just taking a good multivitamin with a balanced amount slightly more selenium than iodine is what you want like I mentioned, I get about 200 micrograms of selenium in about a 150 micrograms of iodine for my multivitamin source – you should be okay…

Brock:               You know what probably why?  ‘Cause I think it was zinc.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               It was zinc in selenium.

Ben:                   That’s right, yeah.  So there you go.  Thank you, Google.  So yeah, ultimately, yeah, salt is not gonna have a ton of iodine in it and you’re gonna want other iodine sources and especially if you have hypothyroid, you wanna make sure that you balance out that iodine with adequate selenium and you wanna make sure that you’re not relying upon a nasty sea vegetables that aren’t organic, sustainably harvested, etc. as your primary source of iodine.  So, there you go.  Now you know how to have your duby and your iodine.

Erica:                 Hey Ben, I have a question for you.  When my schedule allows, I generally wake at 7:00, have a green smoothie at about 9:00 and workout at about 10:30.  Do you think it would benefit me to switch the order of the food and the exercise, so I’m working out fasted and fueling up afterwards?  Love to know your thoughts, thanks!

Brock:               Now, personally, I do reverse my morning from what Erica said.  I usually get up and I do my workouts and then I waited until I’m actually hungry like stomach growling-hungry and then I’ll eat breakfast.

Ben:                   Yeah.  The way that I do things is – I do all of my easier workouts typically in the morning and that’s just because your parasympathetic, your rest and digest nervous system is prime for morning activity and your body temperature and your reaction time and your post-workout protein synthesis and all these other variables including based on recent research, even the ability of exercise to help you with sleep – all of that peaks at some point between about 4 and 6 p.m. in the afternoon/early evening.  And when you combine that with the fact that I eat the majority of my carbohydrates with dinner, and I want to be as insulin sensitive as possible when that occurs, the afternoon/early evening just turns out to be a very, very good time of the day for me to do my hard workouts whereas the morning is the best time of the day to do like the easy, fasted, fat-burning type of workouts.  The only caveat to that is that I’m kind of dug into this hole painted into this corner where like a lot of Spartan races and triathlons and a lot of these competitions I’m doing, they’ll start at like 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning, right? So…

Brock:               I feel lucky.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               I feel like six.

Ben:                   So I will, I will go out of my way about once a week to just remind my body how to do a hard workout in the morning and I will do a hard morning workout – not because it’s natural but just because that’s what I’m gonna move my body’s gonna have to do, and a lot of times I’ll do that a couple of times during like a race week where I really want my body just be ready for hard core, stressful sympathetic nervous system type of stuff in the morning.  But more often than not, it’s simply an easy 20 to 30 minute fasted yoga or easy walk or kinda like low intensity cold water swim – those type of things, before breakfast in a fasted state.  Now the reason for that is because of some of the researches out there about the benefits of fasted training.  So for example, there’s one study that took a bunch of lean, active twenty-something-year-old men and they put them into three groups.  They had rough fasted training group, they had a fed training group and then they had a non-training, controlled group.


And what they had the fed and the fasted groups do was eat the same meals made up of the same foods but at a different times relative to their workouts.  So they both train in the morning – it was kind of a mix of a bunch of endurance type of training, and they actually were kind of difficult training sessions – not weight lifting but like harder endurance type of sessions.  And when they looked at the performance of those groups during the actual training sessions, the fasted group performed much better in the actual workout itself but over the course of the study, they also gained the least weight and the least amount of body fat and experienced a significant increase in glucose tolerance and in insulin sensitivity.  So from a metabolic standpoint, doing the fasted workouts beat doing the fed workouts for morning workouts when it came to like insulin and glucose control.  Now another thing that you can look at is a factor involved in muscle protein synthesis or the ability of you to be able to like repair and recover after a workout.  And they did this study where they again looked in the fasted endurance style training in the morning, and they had one group that got like this carb-rich breakfast and carb-rich drinks through an endurance training session that took place in the morning and then they had the fasted group that only got water.  And in this case, they had them train three times a week for two hours in the morning, so that’s a long, long fasted morning workout.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   And they found that the fasted group experienced what’s called a higher amount of dephosphorylation.  And dephosphorylation indicates that it’s basically good for muscle maintenance, it indicates that you’re ability to synthesis proteins to be used for muscle repair and recovery is enhanced.  This is based – this is what’s something like there’s this diet that are called the warrior diet – this is what that’s based on that somehow when you do somebody’s fasted workouts even if they’re long and voluminous and difficult in the morning that you can – you somehow send your body this message that it is better able to – you send your body a message that allows it to be better able to engage in post-workout protein synthesis to be able to repair the body a bit more quickly.  Maybe you know, like an evolutionarily favorable mechanism – I don’t know exactly why but ultimately, it looks like from a metabolic performance as well as a post-workout protein synthesis standpoint, doing this fasted workouts in the morning is going to be more favorable than doing it like in the – in the mid-morning you know, for – you know like after breakfast.  Now the only exception to this rule would be, and this is something I think I’ve talked about before in the podcast – if you’re in a state of adrenal fatigue, right? Like if you’ve done like a salivary adrenal index and you have difficulty with producing cortisol in the morning – that’s one of the primary characteristics of adrenal fatigue is when you wake up in the morning and you have a very low morning cortisol.  Well, low morning cortisol is something that is going to actually be deleteriously affected by doing hard, fasted morning workouts versus doing getting like a little bit of yoga, a little bit of sunshine and then, eating breakfast.  And so for people with adrenal fatigue, I’d really don’t recommend fasted morning workouts especially fasted hard or voluminous morning workouts.  For the average person though, a fasted workout that is of low to moderate intensity is definitely going to enhance your cardio-metabolic health, enhance your post workout protein synthesis and it’s something that I am  – based on the research that’s been done on fed versus fasted morning workouts, I’m a bigger fan of the fasted.  And Brock has nothing to say about that.

Brock:               Oh, I thought you’re – I thought the Skype broke. (laughs)

Ben:                   (chuckles) Nope that was just me waiting for your feedback, Brock.  But…

Brock:               I – I agree obviously, ‘cause that’s what I do.

Ben:                   Usually you have some kind of a stupid question after I finish talking but I guess that’s…

Brock:               Why? You just answered that so damn thoroughly then what am I supposed to say other than…

Ben:                   That’s right.

Brock:               Awesome!

Ben:                   That’s right.  Yeah.  And I know that the reason that we’re recording early today is because you have a doctor’s appointment to get off to.

Brock:               I do.

Ben:                   Are you okay?

Brock:               A physiotherapy appointment.

Ben:                   Oh, physiotherapy.  Yes.

Brock:               Yeah.  That’s…

Ben:                   So that’s basically you telling me that you made me get my ass up this early to do a podcast because you have to go get a massage.

Brock:               Well, acupuncture – little bit of active radiance and some acupuncture.

Ben:                   Well that sounds nice.


Brock:               My neck is totally messed and it’s not nice – it’s really, it’s quite painful.

Ben:                   Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.

Brock:               But at least I’ll be able to turn my head to the left again.  After I went last week I was like “Hey, I can shoulder check on my bike again! Yey!”

Ben:                   Are you just finding a way to get to your doctor’s appointment that involves only right turns on the road?

Brock:               (chuckles) Yes, I just put my head down and ring the bell incessantly.

Ben:                   (laughs)

Brock:               “Out of the way!”

Ben:                   It’s like the…

Brock:               (mimics bell sound)

Ben:                   It’s like when the UPS plans out their deliveries, they avoid I believe as many left turns as possible because they spend more time in traffic when you’re just taking left turns – that’s actually I do myself when I’m running errands – I ensure that the majority of my errands involve a right turns versus left turns because left turns used spend more time in traffic based in the U.S. and in the most countries where you drive on the right side of the road.  And you can get things done faster when you do right turns versus left turns.

Brock:               There you go.

Ben:                   So there you have it.  You’re going to be incredibly efficient if you can’t look to the left.

Brock:               Exactly. 

Ben:                   And we do have a review today.  If you like this podcast and you wanna spread the good karma; we’ll put a link to where you can go to leave iTunes review over on the show notes at  But if you leave a review and you hear us read your review on the show, and you write to [email protected] – I know this is incredibly complex, but it’s really not – you write to [email protected]. Let us know your address and   your t-shirt size and we’ll get a handy-dandy Ben Greenfield Fitness gear pack off to you, and before we read this review though, before you read this review, one quick note, Brock.   We have a podcast coming out this weekend, it’s an hour and a half long, I recorded it yesterday. – an hour and a half long, an interview with a – me interviewing a vegan, plant-based eater.  If you’re already who want to get into the whole paleo-vegan debate, it’s a good one to listen to, I think.

Brock:               It is, it is!  I think the most interesting part of the whole show was that Dr. Richard Akin is a fan of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So we do have a really good interview coming up this weekend and so stay tuned for that.  But in the meantime, listener TheLifeofSymmetry left a…

Brock:               The life of symmetry!

Ben:                   …5-star review on iTunes called “This podcast will make you poop” – what you think, Brock?  Wanna take it away?

Brock:               It always makes me poop.

Ben:                   Mmm.  Eventually, I do poop at some point after as soon as possible.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Right.

Brock:               Ah, it goes like this: “Before Ben, my athletic life was bland.  Now I’m pooping better, sleeping better, performing better and well – I’m just all around better! You could say Ben’s podcast (chuckles)… you can say Ben’s podcast is a laxative, sleep aid, exercise machine, nutrition guide and all things related.  He dares to go where no other athletes coach are a human dare to go by experimenting on himself and going against the grain in all areas of nutrition and performance.  After discovering Ben’s podcast, I downloaded every episode and binge listens to them like a teenager” (laughs)… I didn’t read this before we started.  Okay “…teenager who first did discovered porn” – nice, I hope he’s wrist is okay. “If you are interested in losing weight, improving your sleep, athletic performance and getting your body under control – listen to this podcast, sign up for the newsletter and start experimenting with yourself” – that goes well with the porn comment.  “…why let your teammates and competitors have the competitive edge? You owe it to your body.”

Ben:                   Wow.

Brock:               There you go.

Ben:                   Wow.

Brock:               “Like a teenager who first discovered porn.”

Ben:                   Yeah, there’s some good takeaways there: Ben’s podcast is a laxative, listening like a teenager who first discovered porn and started experimenting with themselves.

Brock:               Hmmm.

Ben:                   Well, LifeOfSymmetry, I’m glad we can make your life on the internet that much better and thank you for the review! Write to [email protected] and we’ll give a nice gear pack at ya.

Brock:               It sounds like you’re getting robbed or something.

Ben:                   Mmm.  I’m watching my sister-in-law’s dog right now this – well, let me be straight forward, I have goats, I have chickens, I have a – these ______ [1:14:38.7] back, I’ve got a dragon lizard – all sorts of amazing pets, but my sister-in-law’s tiny wiener dog is something that I’ve vehemently detest, and I don’t mind saying that on the podcast because she doesn’t listen in.  But every time that she drops this tiny little wiener dog off for us to watch, I want to eat it, so…

Brock:               Mmm.

Ben:                   Yes.

Brock:               I hear they’re quite delicious.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.

Brock:               Barbecued, little mustard…

Ben:                   Barbequed, a nice little gluten-free hotdog buns and ketchup – that dog is freaking going down as soon as we finish recording.  That’s breakfast.

Brock:               Awesome.  Have a great barbecue.

Ben:                   Alright, later!

Brock:               (chuckles) We’ll see you next week!

                           You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  Go to for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.

[1:16:42.2]     END


325: Will Ice Baths Shrink Your Muscles, Do Antioxidants Ruin Your Training Response, Can Marijuana Damage Your Brain And Liver, & Much More!


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

July 22, 2015 Podcast: Can Marijuana Damage Your Brain and Liver, The Best Way To Train For MMA Fitness, Should You Avoid Iodine, and Benefits Of Fasted Workouts.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.


News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on, and Google+.


A donate button that reads - keep the podcasts comingSpecial Announcements:

This podcast is also brought to you by Harry’s. Get an incredibly luxurious shaving kit at drugstore prices now when you use the code BEN at

Sep 23-24, 2015. Ben is speaking at the Biohackers Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now.

New Greenfield Longevity Panels. Working closely with WellnessFX, America’s top laboratory for concierge blood testing and online access to all your blood testing results, Ben has developed the “Greenfield Longevity Blood Testing Package”, which is the most complete blood testing package that money can buy. There is one package specifically designed for men, and one for women. This is by far the most comprehensive blood testing package that exists, and Ben created it for the health enthusiast, biohacker and anti-aging individual who wants access to the same type of executive health panel and screening that would normally cost tens of thousands of dollars at a longevity institute. Virtually all hormones and all biomarkers are covered in this panel.

Ben Greenfield has officially launched his first work of fiction: “The Forest”. Twin brothers River and Terran discover a portal to a hidden forested world attacked by parasitic fungi, dark shamans, and serpents. Along with an assembled band of unlikely misfits that includes coyotes, whitetail deer, wood thrushes, and fox squirrels, they must unlock their unique powers to control the elements of earth, air, fire and water, and save the forest before the evil they’ve uncovered can spill back into their own world. Click here to read it now! (or click here to listen to audiobook version inside our Premium channel). New chapters released every 7-14 days.

The BenGreenfieldFitness Quarterly box has officially launched! When you sign-up, you’ll get a Quarterly handpicked box jam-packed with Ben’s favorite fitness gear, supplements, nutrients and research-proven biohacks.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

Can Marijuana Damage Your Brain and Liver?

Mr. Mary Jane says: Ben, you’ve been talking about marijuana a lot lately and he was reading a book on ayurvedic medicine which mentioned how marijuana “is toxic to the liver and brain cells, however if one smokes a pinch of calamus root powder with marijuana this herb with neutralize the toxic effects of the drug”. What do you think? Does this have any merit?

In my response, I recommend:
Article: The Effects of Weed On Exercise

The Best Way To Train For MMA Fitness

Richard says: He is a boxing and MMA coach, and is wondering if you consider fight sports to be endurance events. Both only go for a few minutes (no where near an Ironman) but training can be long grinding days, plus you also have to take punches and control your emotions. What do you think is the best way to train fighters? The same way you would train for triathlon? They need long grinding workouts with repetition but they also need the explosive power.

In my response, I recommend:
Martin Rooney’s Workout Books

Should You Avoid Iodine?

Rob says: He’s just sitting down to eat some post workout corn-on-the-cob and noticed that his sea salt does not contain iodine. This made him wonder how much iodine a person actually needs on a daily basis, why, and where are the best places to get iodine… since it’s not in his sea salt.

In my response, I recommend:
Aztec Sea Salt
EXOS Multivitamin

Benefits Of Fasted Workouts

Erica says: In the morning she usually wakes up at 7:00, has a green smoothie at 9:00 and works out at 10:30. Do you think it would benefit her to switch the order of the workout and the smoothie so she is working out fasted and fueling afterwards? What would be the benefit or drawback?


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!


Ask Your Question

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Can Exercise Cause Depression?


Meet Wesley Chapman, pictured above.

He was abandoned at 1 by his father, then at 6 1/2 by his mother. 

He tried to commit suicide 12 times before his 16th birthday.

Wesley was on 25 meds a day for 10 years.

His liver failed at age 16 and he was given a 20% chance to live.

But for the past 19 years, Wesley has been studying health, the brain and alternative methods to failed treatments for depression, and today, we specifically discuss the shocking link between exercise and depression.

-How Wesley detoxed off 25 different medications and healed his liver…

-The little-known link between your colon and your brain…

-How exercise can make you depressed, even if you’re not “overtrained”…

-Why pharmaceutical companies have been writing Wesley angry letters…

-What types of physical activity and exercise can actually make you depressed…

Resources from this episode:

-“The Human Project

Coffee enemas

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about whether exercise causes depression? Leave your thoughts below!

324: Algae For Fat Loss, Biohacking Mental Focus, American Ninja Warrior Training Tips & More!


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

July 15, 2015 Podcast: American Ninja Warrior Training Tips, Biohacking Mental Focus, 10K Training And Nutrition Tips, and Does Algae Work For Fat Loss?

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.


News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on, and Google+.


A donate button that reads - keep the podcasts comingSpecial Announcements:

This podcast is also brought to you by Onnit. I just ordered a crapload of sandbags (they call them sandbells) from Onnit. I pile them at the bottom of my driveway and carry them up. You save 5% on all fitness gear and 10% on all supplements at

Sep 23-24, 2015. Ben is speaking at the Biohackers Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now.

New Greenfield Longevity Panels. Working closely with WellnessFX, America’s top laboratory for concierge blood testing and online access to all your blood testing results, Ben has developed the “Greenfield Longevity Blood Testing Package”, which is the most complete blood testing package that money can buy. There is one package specifically designed for men, and one for women. This is by far the most comprehensive blood testing package that exists, and Ben created it for the health enthusiast, biohacker and anti-aging individual who wants access to the same type of executive health panel and screening that would normally cost tens of thousands of dollars at a longevity institute. Virtually all hormones and all biomarkers are covered in this panel.

Ben Greenfield has officially launched his first work of fiction: “The Forest”. Twin brothers River and Terran discover a portal to a hidden forested world attacked by parasitic fungi, dark shamans, and serpents. Along with an assembled band of unlikely misfits that includes coyotes, whitetail deer, wood thrushes, and fox squirrels, they must unlock their unique powers to control the elements of earth, air, fire and water, and save the forest before the evil they’ve uncovered can spill back into their own world. Click here to read it now! (or click here to listen to audiobook version inside our Premium channel). New chapters released every 7-14 days.

The BenGreenfieldFitness Quarterly box has officially launched! When you sign-up, you’ll get a Quarterly handpicked box jam-packed with Ben’s favorite fitness gear, supplements, nutrients and research-proven biohacks.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

American Ninja Warrior Training Tips

Trevor says: He has been using your biohacking tips and tricks in his Ninja Warrior training. On of his biggest challenges is to increase his muscle endurance and reduce arm pump during upper body obstacles like the peg board (especially after a bunch of obstacles back to back to back). Do you think the baking soda hack would work to increase his muscle endurance? Do you have any other biohacks he could use?

In my response, I recommend:
-My article on American Ninja Warrior training
How to use a soup can for forearm massage
Any of these smart drug hacks
-Beta-alanine + creatine (+baking soda?) stack

Biohacking Mental Focus

Craig says: He was a competitive cyclist in college (he is 42 now) and knows how to push himself in physical tasks but he has trouble staying focused and giving himself that same mental push during mental tasks. He follows the “Bulletproof Diet” and uses some supplements that you recommend and also takes adderall (which helps a little but he still has issues). What else can he try?

In my response, I recommend:
-Dual n-Back training
-Creatine (I mention this NaturalStacks stuff)
-Krill Oil (I mention this NaturalStacks stuff)
Any of these smart drug hacks

10K Training And Nutrition Tips

Edward says: He is preparing for a 10k (and taking some NatureCBD to deal with some inflammation and aches and pains). He is wondering if there is any reason to run 35-47 miles in a week in preparation for the 10k? Also it is a hilly 10k and is wondering if you would suggest and specific hill sprints to prepare? And finally – how would you, Ben, fuel if you were running a 10k (he is very low carb)?

Does Algae Work For Fat Loss?

Sue says: She is trying out some spirulina, chlorella, algae supplements because she heard they were good for weight loss. Do they actually help you lose weight or is it just that they are so high in protein that it cuts down your appetite? She knows it is good for her and very healthy but she is taking 15 pills at a time. Is this right for her?

In my response, I recommend: (use 10% discount code GREENFIELD)


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!


Ask Your Question

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Episode #324 – Full Transcript

Podcast #324 from


Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show: American Ninja Warrior Training Tips, Biohacking Mental Focus, 10K Training And Nutrition, Does Algae Work For Fat Loss and much more!

Welcome to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  We provide you with everything you need to know for total performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, sleep, brain, and hormone optimization.  So whether you’re an Ironman tri-athlete, or you’re just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from

Brock:               I personally am on my third cup of coffee this morning.  How are you doing for the caffeine intake, Ben?

Ben:                   I’m very well caffeinated.  Actually, as we were discussing before we began recording, I have a quite a few different bio-chemical compounds circulating through my bloodstream right now because I woke up this morning wanting to try this new smart drug coffee that someone sent me.  I get all these strange things in the mail and I got this stuff called Kimera coffee which is basically coffee and they’ve added smart drugs like Alpha GPC and Taurine and L-Theanine and something called DMAE which is basically like a kind of choline that you find in fish.  And they have all these things blended into the coffee but then I had a conundrum.I already had a pot of coffee brewed from yesterday so I had a regular pot of coffee brewed but then I had this bag of smart drug coffee burning a hole on my refrigerator just waiting to be brewed.  So, I actually used yesterday’s pot of coffee, I heated that up and then I used it to French press the smart drug coffee, so I used coffee to make coffee this morning.

Brock:               (laughs) I’m scared.

Ben:                   And nothing has happened in the choline that would indicate that I have completely blown myself out.  However, if you recall that episode a couple of months ago where I overdosed on THC and halfway through the episode, just kind of dropped off and disappeared, that may happen but in a very opposite way this morning.  I may just go into fast forward and began talking so quickly that the microphones explode, so.

Brock:               That’s… (crosstalk)

Ben:                   It’s an interesting episode.

Brock:               We did that episode a few – probably a couple months ago where I had a bunch of coffee, I had a bunch of creatine and Ciltep and then took some Alpha Brain, and I actually got two people wrote to me on Facebook and told me that I sounded weird that day on the podcast.

Ben:                   Weird.  Not smart, just weird.

Brock:               Just weird.  Yeah, exactly, I was like “Okay, that didn’t work.”

Ben:                   Well, if there’s anything that all of this smart drug and getting high prior to our podcast has done for us, it is one thing: we were actually the top ranked health and fitness podcast in all of iTunes this week.

Brock:               (creates a trumpet sound)

Ben:                   So there’s that, you know.

Brock:               Cool.

Ben:                   So all of these…

Brock:               Only in America.

Ben:                   …drug taking is paid off.  I know in Canada all you guys get our hockey and yoga podcast, but here in America – in the most important place in the world, we were number one – so there.

Brock:               U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

News Flashes:

Brock:               In the U.S.A., in Canada and around the world, you can access and get all kinds of awesome news flashes, right now?

Ben:                   That’s right.  There is no place in the world where I believe that Twitter is banned.

Brock:               Ah, I think China.

Ben:                   China? Really?  Is Twitter banned in China?

Brock:               They banned a lot – they couldn’t even get Google in China for a while.  I’m not sure what is the state is about it.

Ben:                   Are you sure Twitter’s banned in China? Tell you what, while I talk about the first little hack that I tweeted out about this week, why don’t you use Mr. Google and see if Twitter is banned in China?

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   ‘Cause I’m actually interested in that.

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   So in the meantime, while you keep yourself busy with that, an interesting little video came across my radar this week that I tweeted out about – about a cool little freeze sleep hack.  And I’ll link to this as well over in the show notes for today’s episode at  But basically the idea here is that in your feet you actually have special blood vessels, you have these in your hands, too.  They’re called arterio-venous anastomosis –these blood vessels and what specifically…

Brock:               Can you say that again?

Ben:                   (laughs)

Brock:               What is it called? I just went away.

Ben:                   I need to say it again at the risk of potentially butchering these words and saying something that would get us banned from iTunes in the explicit category. 


Brock:               (chuckles) Especially in China.

Ben:                   Arterio-venous anastomosis.

Brock:               Nice.

Ben:                   So, basically these are special vessels which when coupled with a lack of hair, specifically in the bottoms of your feet, are designed to dissipate body heat very, very efficiently.  And what they found in a study that they did on feet out of the covers versus feet in the covers, was that you could drop your body temperature by about one or two degrees by simply sticking your feet out of the covers when you sleep.  And when you do that, you actually can get deeper more restored of sleep because one of the mechanisms via which you churn out more melatonin as you sleep is triggered by cooler room or a cooler body temperature, or taking a cold shower or even a bath before bed to cool the body.  But it turns out that something is simple as sticking your feet out from underneath the covers can dissipate body heat efficiently enough to drop temperature one to two degrees and enhance sleep.  So if you’re one of those people who sleeps in wool socks with your feet all tucked up underneath the covers, you could be completely screened yourself and the whole reason that you’re ugly and you have a crappy job and you have brain fog all day long and you have appetite cravings…

Brock:               Your parents hate you.

Ben:                   …your body fat is just going through the roof is because you’re sleeping…

Brock:               Your feet smell.

Ben:                   …with warm feet so…

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Try that one out and I’ll link to the little video where they kinda introduced that little hack.

Brock:               They really need to make a video to show you how to stick your feet out from the covers?

Ben:                   (laughs) I guess so.

Brock:               That seems pretty simple.

Ben:                   That’s right.  So I’ve got one interesting about the hamstrings too but before I do, any word on Twitter in China?

Brock:               Yeah.  According to Wikipedia, “access to Twitter is currently blocked in North Korea, China and Iran.”

Ben:                   Mmm.  Well, Wikipedia.  They know.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   So.

Brock:               Although, then it says under the China heading – this is confusing, it says, “Twitter is blocked in China however, many Chinese people use it anyway.”

Ben:                   Mmm.

Brock:               And it does not going to explain how that’s possible.

Ben:                   Well, you can be Chinese and not live in China, so maybe that’s what they’re indicating.

Brock:               Oh, yeah.  Many Chinese people use it anyway, good point.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm!  Yeah.

Brock:               Block you, China!

Ben:                   Fleeing China in droves to be able to use Twitter.

Brock:               Then cross the border, tweet like crazy and then go home.

Ben:                   That’s right. Okay, so…

Brock:               Anyway, there you go.

Ben:                   So here’s one on hamstrings, and there’s this really cool little info graphic that goes into a study that’s not new – study that actually came out in the American Journal Sport Medicine way back in 2011.  But what it is – is an infographic that teaches you how to do an exercise called the Nordic Hamstring Exercise. You heard this exercise, Brock?

Brock:               No.  No, but it sounds intriguing, it sounds like something had to do at a spa.

Ben:                   Hmm, yeah.  It’s not really something you do at a spa, believe it or not.

Brock:               Oh.

Ben:                   But the Nordic hamstring exercise is an exercise in which you kneel on the ground and a partner holds on to your heels or your ankles.

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   And then you allow yourself in that kneeling position to slowly lower towards the ground until you get to the point at which you simply cannot support your body anymore and then you kinda fall to the ground, you catch yourself with your hands, you push yourself back up…

Brock:               Oh, wait, wait, okay.  So you’re going forward like face first towards the ground?

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s essentially…

Brock:               Yeah, okay.

Ben:                   …eccentric lengthening exercise that increases the hamstring’s ability to be able to resist rapid lengthening which is when the hamstrings typically tear or sprain or strain when you’re kicking a soccer ball or when you’re sprinting for example.  And so this exercise is – you know it’s pretty similar to the type of training that you’d get if you were to say find one of those glute or ham extension machines at the gym and just lower yourself very, very slowly…

Brock:               Hmmm.

Ben:                   …right, you could achieve a similar effect, but this one can be done with a partner.  And the other thing that you can do if you don’t happen to have a partner to help you with this exercise and you don’t have one of those glute-ham extension machines or you don’t want to go to the gym to use one – you could just tuck your feet under anything that would support your feet like a bar or a couch or anything like that, and just slowly lower yourself towards the ground.  And it turns out that in participants following the Nordic exercise program in which they were doing about 30 repetitions of this exercise – I believe they are at three times a week in the study and this was soccer players: a group of folks who are actually almost hamstring injury prone populations on the face of the planet.

Brock:               Yeah, they’re always pulling a hammy.

Ben:                   Yeah, ‘cause you’re either kicking or sprinting – two things that tear hammies.


They experienced a 70% reduction in hamstring injuries when incorporating this particular exercise in the training program.

Brock:               That’s significant!

Ben:                   It – I would say so.

Brock:               (chuckles)

Ben:                   Yes.  So yeah, so Nordic hamstring exercise: the great hamstring saver and I’ll link to that info graphic in the show notes but it’s actually – it’s pretty cool so, yeah.

Brock:               Cool!

Ben:                   Add that one to your repertoire.  And then the last one while we’re doing things like sticking your feet out from underneath the covers and doing hamstring lengthening exercises with a partner holding our ankles, here’s another one to add into your routine: the new swim stroke that this article on the website Nautilus reports could be the fastest swim stroke yet.  It’s called…

Brock:               Oh!  Yeah, yeah!  The fish kick!

Ben:                   The fish kick.

Brock:               So cool!

Ben:                   An amazing, amazing video on the site showing that compared to any other form of – what you call a locomotion in the water? I guess it could be locomotion anywhere, right? It doesn’t have to be underlying on something to be considered locomotion, right?

Brock:               I don’t think so.

Ben:                   Oh, I don’t really know what the word ‘loco’ means, but anyways, let’s say…

Brock:               Crazy, isn’t?

Ben:                   Aqua motion.  Yeah, I don’t think ‘loco’ means land.  I’m not sure though.  I should’ve taken my lab…

Brock:               (chuckles) I’m thinking of Spanish.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So anyways though, the fish kick.  So…

Brock:               That motion is loco!

Ben:                   Most people seen a dolphin kick, where you are on your stomach, right? You’re in this frontal plane and you’re kicking with both feet – some people would do this with like a monofin and usually like if you’re watching the Olympics for example, when the swimmer pushes off the edge, right? They’re using the dolphin kick…

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   …underneath the water to propel themselves as far as possible before coming up and converting into say, like a freestyle swim stroke.  While this new swim stroke is called the fish kick and the way that it works is you actually shift to your side the same way that a fish would kick.  And the hypothesis here is that when you’re doing a dolphin kick, and you’re creating these vortices or vorteces depending on what country you’re from – and a vortice is something – it’s wave, it’s gonna travel towards the pool bottom and towards the pool surface and potentially create a little bit of turbulence that could theoretically slow you down just a little bit more compare to if you send those vortices sideways instead, right? Like parallel to the water surface. And so the idea is that you are creating a form of turbulence that’s not slowing you down while getting all of the airo dynamic benefits of the dolphin kick – so it’s called the fish kick.  And I actually just discovered this article and the kick this week, so I haven’t had the chance to get into a good open body of water and try this form of locomotion – underwater locomotion but it’s a fascinating article if you’re a swimmer or for someone who’s wanting to discover some new swim stroke that might allow you to go faster – I think it actually looks pretty cool and some of the videos are just kinda fun to watch how fast some of these Olympic swimmers go when using the fish kick compared to the dolphin kick so.

Brock:               Yeah, they go a lot faster than – like my favorite stroke is the fish stick….

Ben:                   Mmm! Mmm-hmm.

Brock:               that’s not quite as fast.

Ben:                   Right, right.  Breaded, fried…

Brock:               Exactly, yes.  Roll around in bunch of bread crumbs.

Ben:                   Right.  Little bread crumbs, huh?

Brock:               And some sauce.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               Delicious!

Ben:                   Absolutely, absolutely delicious!

Special Announcements:

Ben:                   So, Brock, I just went to my favorite website for ordering heavy stuff and got myself a bunch of sandbells.  You know what sandbell is?

Brock:               It sounds like something you’d decorate a sand castle with.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.  Yup, exactly with ringing bells – you got it, perfect.

Brock:               Yup.

Ben:                   Yeah, I ordered bunch of those.  Love’em.

Brock:               (laughs)

Ben:                   No actually…

Brock:               (laughs) Every man needs set of those!

Ben:                   That’s right, it’s just a pancake shaped sandbag, the same as you would use in like a Spartan race and the reason for this is that I just got back from competing in the Spartan races in Pennsylvania and one of the obstacles that they have there is a double sandbag carry which they probably have a Spartan World Championships as well.  And the double sandbag carry involves carrying two – I believe there are about 50lbs. sandbags up a very steep ski slope and believe it or not, it’s tough to figure out how to carry two sandbags at once up a steep hill when your heart is pounding out of your chest.


Brock:               Are you allowed to put them over your shoulders?

Ben:                   You can put them over your shoulder, you can grab them at your side – whatever, but it’s really, really more tough than it sounds to say…

Brock:               Yeah, yeah.

Ben:                   …than it looks on paper.

Brock:               I’m torn, it doesn’t sound that hard – it sounds heavy but it just doesn’t sound that hard.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Well either way, I learned that this is something that I need to practice.

Brock:               Alright.

Ben:                   So, I got myself some sandbells.  I can practice, I pile them at the bottom of my driveway in a little, like you know, plastic tub – and just practice every day carrying two sandbags up.  I probably do it like when I go you know, get the mail or whatever – just turn getting the mail into a horrible masochistic exercise of carrying a 100lbs. up the mountain.

Brock:               So it’s quite normally a pleasurable experience going down to pick your bills or overdue notices…

Ben:                   I’ll carry the mail in my teeth and the sandbags on my shoulders.  Ultimately though, I went to Onnit to get these sandbells and the reason that I’m telling you this is because Onnit is actually a sponsor of today’s episode.  And any of you out there listening in who wanna get a new thing from sandbells to sandbags to kettlebells to – you name it really when it comes to just heavy crap and go to  When you go to, you save 10% on supplements like smart drugs like Alpha Brain, you could probably break those capsules open and put them in a coffee if you want to.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   To simulate the mental state that I’m in right now or you could for example – what are some other things I have? They have like nut butter, they this cold little like bison energy bars and the of course, have all these fitness gear.  So the website is, so if you wanna pile a bunch of sandbags at the bottom of your driveway or wherever else you happen to carry heavy objects up and down, you can do that at  So, there’s that.

Brock:               Nice.

Ben:                   And speaking of Spartan races, do you live in the San Francisco area or the bay area?  Brock, don’t answer that – we know that you do live anywhere…

Brock:               Yeah, I am nowhere near.  I wish!  It can be awesome.

Ben:                   Anyways though, I am going to, at the time of this podcast is coming out, to in a couple of days had down to San Francisco and I’m going to compete in the AT&T Spartan Race down there on Saturday, July 18th.  And since I’m not going to fly home on Sunday or fly home until Sunday, I thought it’d be fun to do a little Ben Greenfield Fitness Meet-up in the San Francisco bay area.

Brock:               Party!

Ben:                   Party!  Now, since I’m not super familiar with the area and the best place to do this, I’m looking for a handy-dandy volunteer who wants to be boots on the ground to help put something like this together.  And obviously, this is rather time sensitive since it’s literally couple of days after this podcast comes out.  But if you happen to be listening into this podcast the week that it’s released and you live in the San Francisco or the bay area, and you wanna help put together a Ben Greenfield Fitness Meet-up on Saturday, July 18th sometime in the evening on that day, then go ahead and head over to the Facebook Ben Greenfield Fitness page.  That’s and there is a thread over there about the potential for a San Francisco Meet-up whether or not you’re doing the Spartan Race – we’re gonna figure that somewhere – bar, restaurant, park, bowling alley, I don’t know…

Brock:               Mmm.

Ben:                   What else do they have in San Francisco.  A startup, there’s a lot of startups in San Francisco – I don’t know if there’s a – some kind of a startup lounge, right? Or startup warehouse.

Brock:               Did you say Starbucks?

Ben:                   There’s Starbucks, too.  Yes, you name it.  I’m sure we can find a place to all get together in San Francisco.  So, if you’re interested in doing that, go to, if you don’t wanna help to organize it but you just wanna be there – go there anyways, comment, say something like ‘in’ or follow that thread and that way when we do decide upon the time and the place, you’ll know.  So…

Brock:               Okay guys, there’s a super cool or super cheesy I should say, tiki bar in San Francisco you guys should go there.

Ben:                   Mmm.  I was hoping for chucky cheese in San Fran but that’s just wasn’t me – so the last thing is that I’ve published chapter three of my brand new book.  This is the fiction book that I’m writing about two boys who traveled to a whole new world, (clears throat, sings) a new fantastic ba-na-na – no it’s not, it’s not like that.  Anyways though, you can check it out at, that’s – completely free book but I’m releasing serially, seriawy, serially? How’s with that word pronounced?


Brock:               You’re releasing it serial.

Ben:                   That’s right.  I’m releasing it serially at on reading platform called Wattpad which is the number one platform in the world for digesting and reading free books.  So, you can go there or you can discover my book, you can read it, you can preferably vote for it or comment on it.  And I’m simply doing this because I love to write fiction, and I would love to write fiction that you enjoy, that you read and I’m trying to wrap up a lot of cool little you know, natural living, survival, wilderness, wild, edible type of tips in there as there even though ultimately it’s going to be shifting more towards dragons and (murmurs) – all sorts of…

Brock:               What?

Ben:                   …cool little fantasy things like that.

Brock:               Oh, spoiler alert!

Ben:                   Spoiler alert!

Brock:               Bam!

Ben:                   Anyways though, along with an assembled band of unlikely misfits that include things like coyotes and wood thrushes and fox, squirrels, it’s about two boys who unlocked unique powers of being able to control the elements of earth, air, fire and water to save this parallel world before it becomes destroyed.  So you can check that out at that has nothing to do with health or biohacking or longevity and anti-aging or nutrition or anything else that we talked about on this podcast.  But ultimately it’s a fun little book, I’m enjoying writing it and you should check it out so – check, check, check it out.

                           Hey, it’s Ben Greenfield and yes, this is a commercial but don’t press fast forward because it’s actually something that I think is really gonna benefit you.  See, every day I write down every single workout that I do and I upload it to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Inner Circle, now that’s not all.  Each month, my wife and I sit down and will make an entire list of the food, the supplements, the gear, the productivity hacks, the health hacks – everything that we have found to be interesting, random, entertaining, etc. and we have a glass of wine, we get in front of the camera and we talk about all those things live for you while we answer your questions as they come in.  It’s like coming in to our living room and sitting by the fire, heading to the coffee shop with us.  Now, there’s also inside the Inner Circle something called ‘The Healthy Home Workshop” and let me give you an idea of what the Greenfield house looks like each week.  My wife is constantly carrying a video camera around and recording what she cooks, how’s she’s working in the garden, how’s she’s creating a healthy home.  Well let’s just give me you an example of what came out just this week inside the Inner Circle Healthy Home Workshop that she does each month, it’s like an online video magazine with PDFs.  She did something on guilt-free treats that keep you cool.  In other words, how to create things like healthy icies, ice cream, popsicles, etc. that don’t spike your blood sugar – she did an episode called “Everything but the Root” where she talks about how to take root vegetables like say turnips, carrots, etc. and it was way more like the stems, the leaves, what you can do with them, their nutritional value, etc.  She did an entire video on natural waste to clean your dishwasher completely toxin and chemical-fee ways to make your own dishwasher detergent – everything you need to know about your dishwasher, and then she finally did amazing ways to use a lowly planter pot where she goes on how to take old planter pot, pots and to everything from making tiki torches to string lights to umbrella holders with them.  It really is pretty amazing which she puts together every month and even if you’re not interested in Healthy Home Workshop, the daily workouts from me, the monthly Q&As and intimate workshops with my wife and I are well-worth being a member of the Inner Circle.  So, sorry for the long commercial but you can check all this out over at, it’s a buck to check out, it’s $14 a month to be a member of which is a drop of the bucket compared to what you actually get as far as value.  Yes, you’ll get full access to all the archives and everything we’ve ever produced in the Inner Circle.  So if you pretty much wanna have your house run just like mine, if you wanna do workouts just like me, if you wanna eat the foods that I’m eating and prepare the dishes that my wife is making etc. – the Inner Circle really is the place to do it so check it out: and it really will change your life, I promise.  So, see you inside! 


Listener Q & A:

Trevor:              Hey Ben, this is Trevor and I was hoping you could help out this Ninja biohack.  I have been using your biohacking tips and tricks over the years and I applied it to my Ninja Warrior track.  On my biggest challenge is – is improving my muscle endurance and reduce arm pump during upper body eccentric obstacles such as the peg board especially when combining several different obstacles together back to back to back.  I heard on previous podcast, you suggested using baking soda to buffer lactic acid during intense training sessions.  Do you think baking soda would help the muscle endurance and do you have any other biohacks I could add into my bag of tricks to help increase in muscle endurance and to reduce dreaded arm up on obstacles? Thanks, Ben, Brock – you guys rock!  Oh and look for me in a few weeks in the city ______[0:25:51.3] of the special military episode of American Ninja Warrior.

Brock:               That’s super cool that’s he’s gonna be on American Ninja Warrior.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.

Brock:               I don’t have cables so I ain’t get to watch that show, I just get to watch the snippets on YouTube but it’s so fun.

Ben:                   Me neither.  I just watched either YouTube or Hulu when I see something cool come across like that.  I like that little like five foot tall girl Kacy.

Brock:               Oh, that was awesome!

Ben:                   Yeah, she’s pretty cool.

Brock:               Stunning little ninja.

Ben:                   If I could be on American Ninja Warrior, I would wanna be a five foot tall female gymnast.

Brock:               Who wouldn’t?

Ben:                   Now that you all know my personal fantasy, let’s move on to addressing Trevor’s question.

Brock:               Yeah!

Ben:                   So first of all, you know, total disclaimer: I do not profess to be an American Ninja Warrior expert, I know we do have listeners who listened in who have done American Ninja Warrior and done well in it, and I don’t want you to sneaker and think I’m just this guy that they’re dishing out advice about something that I’ve never done and don’t know anything about.  My experience with American Ninja Warrior goes as far as I have done training at the American Ninja Warrior lounge down in Fort Lauderdale and messed around on some of the course obstacles before.  There are American Ninja Warrior esque obstacles appearing with normal frequency now and things like Spartan races, right? Like the Spartan rig where there’s like rings and bars and stuff like that and you know, I do some bouldering, I do some rock climbing and so I at least had my head wrapped around some of the feelings that Trevor’s experiencing as far as like you know, the arm pump, the muscle burn, the specific muscle and finger and forearm endurance that’s necessary for something like Ninja Warrior training.  So…

Brock:               We actually, we know a ninja as well – Angelo dela Cruz.

Ben:                   That’s right.  Angelo is a ninja as well.  The guy who works with Mark Sisson and has been at a – some of the conferences Brock and I have…

Brock:               Yeah, he’s got a website called Vita Move – Daily Vita Moves.

Ben:                   Yeah. So…

Brock:               You guys check that out.

Ben:                   Let’s start here.  There was actually – just a couple of days ago, I was reading the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research which I do when I wanna have a really good time and I was…

Brock:               When you wanna have a really good dump.

Ben:                   They actually did or they had an interesting article on the importance of four different muscle groups for indoor rock climbing performance.  And this one kind of caught my attention because it is somewhat relevant to doing things like you know, hanging from bars or doing pull-ups – stuff like that.  And what they did was they looked at a specifically four muscle groups.  The digit flexors which are the flexors of your fingers, they looked at the shoulder adductors which would be the type of muscles that you’d use when gripping walls, gripping pull-up bars, etc. with your shoulders, right? Like that upper body muscle is involved with that.  They looked at the elbow flexors, right? Which would be your biceps and all the little muscles and ligaments that cross your elbow – that assist you with gripping and pulling and then they looked at the lumbar flexors – the flexors of your back which are also – believe it or not, involved pretty intensively when you’re holding on to a wall or you’re hanging from an object this would be considered like you’re – kinda like you’re core hanging muscles.  And what they specifically wanted to see was how important each of these were and the way that they did this study was they took a bunch of male climbers who were familiarized with an indoor climbing route and then they randomly assign them to climb with a pre-fatiguing exercise designed to specifically target those muscle groups that I mentioned and they looked at what happened in terms of climbing performance when each of these muscle groups were pre-fatigued.  So, it actually didn’t really affect the climbers very much at all when their shoulder adductors were pre-fatigued or when their lumbar flexors were pre-fatigued, but when you look specifically at the digit flexors, right?  So the tiny little muscles in the fingers and the wrist and then when you look at the elbow flexors, right? Like the biceps and the brachialis and some of these muscles that are responsible for pulling at the bicep angle or the elbow angle – pre-fatiguing those muscles resulted in significant decreases inability to complete the indoor rock climbing course. 


And so this gives us the first kind of you know, clue, and this maybe like a kinda like a head slapper for some people who climb, who know how important these muscles are, but it definitely shows that if you are going to prioritize what muscles you train for something like bouldering or rock climbing or American Ninja Warrior training or you know, Spartan training or anything else for which you need to be able to move across objects using your hands like this – like peg boards and pull up bars and things like that.  It would behoove you to focus more on your fingers in your grip strength and also your bicep strength then it would your core strength to your shoulder strength, okay? So fingers – fingers and elbow muscles predominate when it comes to ultimate performance for something like climbing and if you’re not training those muscles, you’re definitely shortening yourself.  So, as far as how to train those muscles…

Brock:               That’s what I was just going to ask.

Ben:                   Right.  I have a couple of articles first of all – well, one article in particular that I will link to in the show notes over at  It’s called ‘How to Train Like an American Ninja Warrior’ and all it is – is it’s an article about how to incorporate things like foot speed and parkour style training and grip strength training and all of the different variables – the different physical variables necessary for success on something like an American Ninja Warrior course.  I wrote that over on the Quick and Dirty Tips website, and I get into like balance and flexibility and specific mobility protocols as well.  But in the grip strength part of that, you know, I get into some of the things that have been shown in literature to be the most efficacious for gaining grip.  One of the things is pinch grip – pinch grip is incredibly important and it tends to be one of the tougher forms of grip training that you don’t tend to experience with traditional like pull-ups and dead lifts and things like that in the gym.  And the best way to do pinch grip training is literally with weight plates.

Brock:               Mmm.  Mmm-mmm.

Ben:                   You pinch two weight plates and you just carry them around, farmer’s walk style or you do dead lifts with them and what I mean by pinch is rather than gripping or holding an object, you’re literally pinching it between your fingers and your thumb.  That’s a really, really good way to train your grip.

Brock:               That’s sort of like you’re wearing mittens and pick it right like that.

Ben:                   Right, right.  That would be number one and if I could give you two other really, really good forms of grip training, one would be thick bar training.  They actually make attachments that you can attach to regular size bars to make those bars thicker and you can also – if you want to make something thicker you can use towels or like you can wrap towels around pull-up bars, you can even hang towels from pull-up bars and then hang from those towels and anytime that you are hanging from something that it’s hard to get your grip around, that really, really helps especially with that digit flexor strength that I mentioned was so important from that journal research.  So…

Brock:               And so in that case you’re still – you’re grabbing onto like it’s a rope, right?

Ben:                   The thicker the bar, the thicker the dumbbell; the thicker the kettlebell, the thicker the towel or whatever object that you’re hanging from, the more quickly your grip strength is going to grow, so in fact that would be the second.  And then thirdly passive grip strengthening and I know keep – just because I’m really working on my grip strength for Spartan racing, I keep one of these Captains of Crush grip trainers in my car and also in my bag.  I don’t have a really, really heavy duty one.  I mean of these like that armor slurs use you know go up to like you know, something insane – it’s like 300 and 400lbs something like that.  I just have like the hundred up – I think mine is the 160lbs. and I will simply grip that and I’ll do everything from just gripping, holding one to two second and releasing and doing 10 to 15 reps of that to do doing like a rapid pulse grips where I’ll do like 20 really rapid fire grip or you’ll grip it and hold it close for five to ten seconds.  But I’ll just do that kind of stuff you know – for example you know, I had two hours of driving in Pennsylvania back to the airport this past week and all I did was just you know kinda move that back and forth from hand to hand while I’m driving – it’s like that kind of pass of grip strength thing like that greasing the groove type of grip strength like I know you, Brock.  As a matter of fact, early on this podcast we had to re-record something because your stupid little alarm went off on the phone…

Brock:               Sorry.

Ben:                   But that alarm goes off to remind you to do push-ups, right?

Brock:               Yep, every hour I’m doing 30 push-ups today.

Ben:                   Right.  So that’s…

Brock:               Except for this hour ‘cause we’re recording.

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly.


So you know, greasing the groove, having little things that you’d implement like that to work on grip strength, it’s really important too – but basically…

Brock:               And by the way…

Ben:                   Go ahead.

Brock:               There’s really cool – and studies have been done about grip strength or not necessarily the grip strength but doing that kind of isometric grip training and blood pressure lowering.

Ben:                   Yeah, that’s right.  As a matter of fact my friend Steve Wood actually…

Brock:               Yeah, yeah.  That’s the…

Ben:                   I used to go to church with Steve like down in Moscow, Idaho – Steve lived in Moscow, I lived in Moscow and we were church mates – I don’t know, what do you call somebody you go church with? Fellowshipper?

Brock:               Jesus-buddy? (chuckles)

Ben:                   Yeah, whatever.  We were Jesus-buddies but anyways though, he you know, we eventually parted – he went like to Boise or something and I moved to Spokane but then yeah, he’s recently come out with the Zona device which is like a blood pressure reducing device that’s based on grip strength.  I believe that our friend Dave Asprey recently had him on a podcast talking about that Zona grip strengthener.  So, anyways though…

Brock:               So added benefit there.  A bonus.

Ben:                   Added benefit – I’ve actually thought about that before when I’m using my Captains of Crush grip strengthener that it does actually help with blood pressures as well.  So anyways though, some of this stuff – anyone who is seriously competing in American Ninja Warrior, this is not news to you – how to train your grip, but those are three good ways you know: the pinch, the thick bar and then just greasing the groove by having one of these grip strengthening tools around.  But the other…

Brock:               I’m intrigued by this towel-thing.  Can we just go back to the towel-thing just for one second?

Ben:                   Hmm, yeah.

Brock:               So you said you throw a towel over top like a pull-up bar and then you just hang from it?

Ben:                   Well, two different ways to use a towel for increasing your grip strength.  Number one would be: you use a towel to make either a bar, right? Like a barbell thicker wherever you gonna grip it…

Brock:               So you’re backing your – okay.

Ben:                   so before you grip, you wrap the towel around or say to go to a pull-up bar or dumbbells or whatever, right? Like you can wrap a towel around anything to make it thicker, but then the other thing that you can do is you can simply take – say like two towels – like hand towels or bath towels or whatever, you can hang them from a pull-up bar and you can do your pull-ups from the towels rather than from the bar.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   It’s simply more difficult, more slippery, thicker object to grip and you know, it’s kind of like hanging from a rope, right? It’s just more difficult than hanging from a bar or a pole.  So that’s the towel trick pretty sure…

Brock:               I misunderstood when the first time you said it, I didn’t realize you were wrapping it around like multiple times just to make the bar thicker.  I was thinking you were dangling from it but you can do both!

Ben:                   You can do both, yes.

Brock:               Fantastic!

Ben:                   I’m glad that we were able to work the word ‘dangling’ into the show.  It’s always important.

Brock:               A couple of times.

Ben:                   So the other thing, well a couple of other things: the first is that anytime you’re doing this type of grip strengthening, one of the things gonna happen is you will develop a cross linking and adhesions and some fascial immobility in your forearm muscles.  And when that happens you can develop areas of hypoxia in the forearm muscles that result in an inability to remove lactic acid as efficiently or to deliver glucose and oxygen as efficiently to those muscle areas resulting in more muscle burn when you are hanging or when you are doing pull-ups or when you are doing your peg board or anything else that you’re doing for your American Ninja Warrior style training.  And because of this, it’s very, very important to do deep tissue work on your forearms.  So for example, there are two ways that I personally do this simply because I really have been focusing more on my grip strength than on my forearm strength.  And the other reason; my grip has been taking a hit, my forearms have been taking a hit just because I’m doing a lot of shooting too with the bow and that actually involves quite a bit of grip work specifically for my right arm which I’m pulling the bow with or pulling the string with.  So I do two things: the first is I keep what’s called the Battle Star on my kitchen table.  The Battle Stars are really, really good deep tissue massage device and I’ll try and link to some of this stuff in the show notes for you – but basically the Battle Star – it’s almost like a bunch of roller blade wheels stuck together that is like an incredibly hard like a polyurethane based type of foam roller.  And the reason that I keep that on my kitchen table is because I can lean over and I can do deep tissue work on – I can roll my arms on it, right?  Like the top of my arms and the underside of my arms and because it’s sitting there right in front of me in the kitchen table, I remember to take few breaks during the day you know, from typing and working to just basically foam roll my forearms. And compare to trying to lie down on the floor and work a foam roller up and down over the arms, this is a much easier way to do it plus it’s a great conversation piece when you have guest over…

Brock:               (chuckles)

Ben:                   …and you go by that giant roller blade wheel as simply as sitting on top of your kitchen table.  So…


Brock:               And people do that between the courses of the meal.

Ben:                   Exactly.

Brock:               You won’t get your main course until you roll your forearms.

Ben:                   So there’s that and there’s also this device called the ArmAid and the ArmAid was actually designed by climbers for climbers and it’s an even more impressive device when it comes to this type of deep tissue work for the arms and I have this up in my bedroom and it’s sitting beside my bed so when I get up in the morning and I sit there on my bed, and you know, after I gotten up and I’m done you know like my journaling and my meditation and everything, I sit there and just for like 30 seconds – not a really long time, I work each arm and literally it’s like this device that pinches all the muscles of your arms.  So you slip your arm into it and you just kind of like move your arm through the device back and forth and back and forth and you rotate a little bit to the side.  And it does just deep, deep tissue work on all the forearm muscles – it’s like one of those things that hurts so good but it’s called the ArmAid – the ArmAid.  And I swear by that for decreasing like pain and fascial adhesions, yeah… tendonitis in the elbows, stuff like that in the arms – that’s a really, really important thing.  You know just like when you run right? Like if you train, run fast; if you don’t do any massage work or any foam roller or anything like that in your quads in your hamstrings – they can sometimes feel like there’s just little heavy, right? Like a little locked up or something like that, same thing with the forearms – like you gotta do deep tissue work on those and that’s an area – it seems like people always think “Oh I need to do whatever – foam rolling for my IT band or I need to get my low back massage, but they neglect their forearms and those are really important muscles to work for this.

Brock:               You think you could put the ArmAid around your neck? To work on like your…

Ben:                   Around your neck?

Brock:               like your neck muscles?

Ben:                   You could not.  Have you seen it?

Brock:               Just the video that you show with it.

Ben:                   You would suffocate.

Brock:               Oh.

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s not big enough for the neck, definitely.

Brock:               Damn, somebody should make that.

Ben:                   Yeah, that would be interesting like some kind of device that you could stick your head into it – a guillotine like device.

Brock:               (chuckles)

Ben:                   That you could move your head around it and back and forth.  Yeah, that would be cool – there probably have to be a little bit of liability waiver with that one and you have to have a pretty…

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Pretty damn good insurance for selling a device like that.  I would imagine so.  Okay, so and then you know and this would kinda fall into more of like a biochemical hack like a supplement type of hack and you know, again I would say that any rock climbers/gymnast work their salt would sneaker at the idea that you could somehow enhance your level of performance in a sport like that by popping a pill, but there’s anecdotal evidence that you could potentially increase your ability to be able to buffer the lactic acids that builds up during something like climbing, hanging, pull-ups, etc. by using some of this same supplements that runners or cyclists will use to buffer lactic acid.  Now one thing that we look at is baking soda and baking soda provides carbonate ions when you take baking soda and we talk about this on the podcast before.  And these carbonate ions circulate in the blood and they stabilize the Ph levels outside the muscle cells.  And what that allows is more hydrogen ions to be basically buffered or shunted out of the muscle cells into the bloodstream. So it keeps Ph levels more stable inside the muscle cells and that’s important because hydrogen ion build up is what’s called – is what causes acidity in the muscle area, so muscular fatigue can be caused by a buildup of this hydrogen ions and this substance get burning that comes along with them.  So the only issue with using something like baking soda as something you stack with or load with prior to something like, let’s say an American Ninja Warrior course to decrease the burn is that none of the studies that have been done on baking soda have really shown much efficacy for very, very short events you know, for like you know, anything from like ten seconds to a couple of minute right? Like most of them are on off like two to ten plus minutes in terms of the efficacy of baking soda for buffering lactic acid, okay?

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   So baking soda is kinda blue sky if that would actually work for something very, very short.  It would definitely work for like a longer event like a 5K or even like a you know – even like a 800m or something like that.  However…

Brock:               Weren’t most of the studies done like time trials?


Ben:                   Mmm-hmm, yeah.  Stuff like that, stuff that wouldn’t be considered as shorter intensities as explosive as something like American Ninja Warrior even though for you know, for like a long rock climbing course – probably it wouldn’t be efficacious as something worth trying as long as you can you know, you gotta load with it in small doses leading up to the event.  A little bit carbohydrate with the baking soda, a little bit of water with it, otherwise you get explosive diarrhea and nobody wants to be on NBC with explosive diarrhea doing American Ninja Warrior course, especially…

Brock:               No emergencies on TV.

Ben:                   since most folks who do that wear tidy-tight pants anyways is just a bad combo.  So anyways though, there is a substance very much like baking soda – it’s converted to the body to what’s called the carnacin and carnacin works very similar to baking soda in terms of keeping Ph stable within muscle cells and helping to buffer hydrogen ions but this particular compound and I’ll tell you what it is in a second – that actually has been in very, very short efforts like six seconds sprints and time to exhaustion tests of two to two and a half minutes and things that baking soda that hasn’t been used as much for.  And this particular substance is called beta alanine, beta alanine – and beta alanine you can find in supplemental form of a standard doses you use in most are anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000ml, okay? So 2 to 5g – you get a little bit of what’s called a tingling feeling when you use it – it’s called paresthesia. but as long as you know that’s gonna happen and you’re aware that it’s a completely harmless side effect but it is something that has not only shown efficacy in reducing the amount of lactic acid burn and decreasing or I’m sorry, rather increasing time to fatigue during short sprints.  But it’s also something that in some studies has been stacked with baking soda, meaning you could load with baking soda and load with beta alanine and get kind of a double whammy – the baking soda offering you some buffering for the longer bouts of exercise and the beta alanine offering you buffering effect for the shorter sprint based more American Ninja Warrior-esque bouts.  And so you know, this would be something efficacious perhaps for you know not only you know, something like a Spartan race for example, but also you know as particularly from the beta alanine standpoint – something like an American Ninja Warrior course, so beta-alanine with baking soda.  And the other interesting thing – another substance that’s been shown to improve the efficacy of beta alanine is creatine, and because creatine has been a well studied for its ability to enhance your capability to bang out more reps right? Like do eight reps instead of six when lifting right so you’ll be able to engage in better strength, better power, things like that.  Creatine is certainly something that – if someone came up to me and said “Well what, you know I’m gonna do American Ninja Warrior. What supplements were gonna give me the most bang for my buck?” Probably the first two I would say would be beta alanine and creatine, and preferably combining the two.  Creatine by the way, is about 5g a day and then beta alanine like I mentioned, about 2,000 to 5,000ml – you would take a stack like that, right? Like 5g of creatine with let’s say 2500ml of beta alanine about a half hour before any event that you were gonna do for what you wanted better power and better lactic acid buffering.  Now what actually be a pretty good little stack the baking soda would be optional but if were longer effort, you could throw in the baking soda as well and that little one to three combo could work pretty well.  Again there are no studies that have been done specifically on that American Ninja Warrior training, no studies that have been done on that and you know, like rock climbing or anything like that but it certainly something to try, try in your training before you try in your competition – again, because of the explosive diarrhea potential, but aside from that, yeah well worth the try and those are all well-researched supplementation stacks.  So there you have it.

Craig:                Ben and Brock, this is Craig from Indiana.  So I’ve got a question for you guys that I think bridges across a few things you guys touched on: physical performance, biohacking or brain-hacking and supplements.  As a competitive cyclist in college, I’m 43 right now, I’m able to push myself mentally on doing physical test whether it’s a physical work or physical exercise.  The hard part for me though is getting that same mental push when I’m doing mental tasks instead doing my work – its emails, phone calls, meetings and being able to stay focused is an issue for me.


Diet-wise, I probably follow the bulletproof diet 70 to 80% of time; I am – supplement-wise using magnesium, zinc, calcium, fish oil which I would change into krill oil – thanks to you, guys.  And I also had a prescription that I take each day 20ml of Adderall which kind of sort of helps from the – that I get my focus perspective, but I still get thoughts that fly in out of my head you know, I don’t know if there’s any help that you guys can offer from that perspective.  Curious to see what you guys may think, appreciate your help and I love listening to podcast.  Thanks guys, bye!

Brock:               I thought that Adderall was sort of the cure all in terms of trying to stay focused.

Ben:                   Mmm.  Yeah, but I don’t like Adderall.  (murmurs)

Brock:               No, no, I don’t.  I’m not saying it’s a good thing, I just thought it was like if you wanna solve your focus issue, Adderall’s the way to go.

Ben:                   Well Adderall well you know, also known as modafinil can do that with some people but some people they get almost like too ‘multi-tasky’ – I’m gonna make up that word, ‘multi-tasky’.

Brock:               Oh, I like it.

Ben:                   So if there’s only we could combine them with the word ‘dangling’ it would be quite good.  So anyways though, they bounce around too much, right?  From task to task almost because their brain is in hyper drive versus focus.  So I would say that for focus, I would instead focus on a – that’s kind of a catch 22, I guess.

Brock:               Focus instead of focus.

Ben:                   So assume that…

Brock:               Dangling.

Ben:                   Assuming that you can focus, some of the things that I would do when it comes to improving your focus and being able to have that mental push during mental task.  First of all, understand the brain is like a muscle in some aspect, it can be trained.  And that’s the first thing you want to do is, you want to train your brain and one of the best ways to train your brain specifically for focus, not just focus, but also interestingly, IQ.  It’s called Duo n-Back training.  Now you can download, and I’ll put a link in the show notes to a variety different n-Back training apps, but honestly you can just go to the android’s store or the iTune’s store and find this yourself.  They’re cheap and or free and very easy to learn how to use, but Duo n-Back training is a form or memory recall training that typically involves looking at a pattern or a number or a color and then remembering that number and recalling it – and recalling it in a specific sequence.  So for example, when using an n-Back protocol, 1 + 4 might be the first equation that appears on the screen, so you’ll remember that’s 5 and then 3 + 4 might appear and of course you know that’s 7 and then maybe 1 + 1 would appear and that’s 2.  And then you need to remember, okay 2, 7 and 5 – whatever I just said, obviously I’m doing a crappy job of doing it myself.  But then you move on to the next series, the next sequence of things to memorize – you might get to the point where you memorize like ten different things in a row and recalling what appeared like seven times ago and it’s a very, very good and simple way to train simple meaning that it’s just an app, right? It’s not a simple, your brain’s gonna hurt, right? You feel like smokes coming out your ears when you’re doing a Duo n-Back training but it can improve focus and the cool thing is you could do that while you are standing in line at the grocery store or taking a work break, you know or something like that.  So do n-Back training is probably when it comes to all these different brain training apps like lumosity and brainscape and all the different ones out there, that’s the one that I like for specifically improving focus because you pretty much can’t really be doing anything else ‘multi-tasky’ while you’re doing n-Back training – you’re just focusing on n-Back training.  It’s a really, really good way to increase your focus.  Another thing that I would look at as far as focus goes would be smart drugs and nootropics.  And some of the ones that I would specifically look into when it comes to focus, one would be creatine.  Now creatine is a known nootropic I just mentioned dosage and dosage is all you really need for that was about 5g a day.


Studies have shown that it improved your brain function more so in people who are creatine deficient, right? Like if you’re vegan or you’re vegetarian or you don’t get enough meat but ultimately creatine is the good one to look into, and I’ve talked about one form of creatine called the CRE-02 before which is made by Millennium Sports and is a form of creatine that’s made with cordyceps.  There’s also a company called Natural Stacks and they make a creatine called BioCreatine and it’s creatine that’s been blended with a Himalayan pink salt which purportedly increases the uptake of creatine and then also something called fenugreek.  And fenugreek extract activates your insulin receptors, and that may also increase your creatine absorption.  So when you combine the creatine with salt and with fenugreek, your uptake might be improved or it might be .  And so that’s a form of creatine to look into – this BioCreatine, the stuff made by a Natural Stacks or you could look into this CRE-02 which is like a capsule.  I happen to have both of those forms of creatine in my refrigerator right now.

Brock:               I’ve been taking the BioCreatine that’s – I’ve been taking for the few months.6

Ben:                   Yeah, little bit of a creatine junkie.

Brock:               (chuckles)

Ben:                   So that’s one.  Another one that you could look into would just be krill oil.  Now omega 3 fatty acids are essential for brain function and brain development and so one specifically that has higher levels of phosphatidylcholine in it which are specifically used was for brain nutraceutical is krill oil.  Now krill oil is expensive compared to fish oil – the extra amount that you pay for krill oil does not give you – you know, let’s say you pay and this would be you know, kinda like ain’t going right – let’s say you pay five times more for krill oil than you do for fish oil.  You don’t get five times more omega 3 fatty acids, but you do get a significant amount of the added phosphatidylcholine and some of the derivatives that can specifically be used to enhance cognitive performance – if you’re just taking something like a fish oil or an omega 3 fatty acid not for health but for cognitive performance or focus, krill oil would be a pretty good choice.  I would prefer krill oil over the fish oil when it comes to neuro-protective and memory enhancing or executive thought processing.  So krill oil and creatine would two to get.  That company that I mentioned Natural Stacks for just looking to save on shipping or whatever, they make both creatine as well as krill oil – that’s the same company that makes Ciltep which is the smart drug that Tim Ferriss where’s buy and so you could – and I’ve never done this before but you could theoretically stack Ciltep with creatine, with krill oil.  I don’t know how that would work out, I do not think….

Brock:               That’s almost what I did the time I was told I sounded weird on the podcast.

Ben:                   Hmm.  So there you go.

Brock:               Not the krill oil, I put Alpha Brain instead.

Ben:                   There you go, there you go.

Brock:               So you too could sound weird.

Ben:                   Yeah.  And then another interesting one and I know most of this is supplementation based but these are all things that I would do and I do ‘do’ (chuckles), I said ‘do-do’…

Brock:               (chuckles) You do-do.

Ben:                   …as an alternative to something like Adderall or modafinil simply because none of these are metabolized by the liver, that you only have one of for the rest of your life which is one I’m very careful with something like adderall or modafinil.  I personally stay away from it because it’s a – it’s a pretty big potential damaging hit on your liver.  Anyways though, L-Carnitine, L-Carnitine.  Now L-Carnitine is more known as like the fat that helps you burn fat or the compound that helps the mitochondria burn more fat and the single L-Carnitine is something that’s often sold in like fat-loss stacks or fat-loss supplements, but there is a form of L-Carnitine that actually is used more for cognitive enhancement.  And the particular form of L-Carnitine that’s used for cognitive enhancement is called Acetyl L-Carnitine or ALCAR – Acetyl L-Carnitine.  So when you’re looking at L-Carnitine supplements, there are different forms like L-Carnitine L-Tartrate is typically used for physical performance and power output.  If you’re an athlete that’s a form of carnitine you’d want to use.  And there’s another one that’s used more for blood flow issues or what’s  called a claudication, and that’s a glycine based L-Carnitine. But for cognitive performance this ALCAR or Acetyl L-Carnitine would be a form of carnitine that’s been shown in research to assist with basically like a cognitive performance and also decreasing neuro degeneration. 


So the dosage on something like that is for ALCAR about a 1000 to 2000ml or a 1000 to 2000ml of a Acetyl L-Carnitine – so that’s the form you’d take and it’s been shown to help with everything from like dopamine neurotransmission to choline neurotransmission, to a memory and learning to – and this is particularly relevant for your attention even though the studies that have been done intention were done primarily in 6 to 13 year old boys however I know many, many men who’s cognitive pattern seem to seem like those 6 to 13 year old boys.  So carnitine would be another one to look into, okay? And in the final thing that I would mention when it comes to popping pills, would be one that have been talking about quite a bit of late or talking about quite a bit of late and that’s cannabidiol.  And cannabidiol is at least in the U.S. is completely legal.  It’s the one that I’ve been using more and more and I’ve been experimenting a lot with that – I’ve been stacking it with different things like Alpha Brain and Ciltep, and you know, I found it to be amazing as far as either magnifying the effective pretty much any smart drug that I’ve used or enhancing sleep.  So for example on my recent flight back from Pennsylvania, I actually took four – I took four of these CBD capsules and was out like a light for two hours on the plane – woke up feeling fan of freaking fantastic.  So that is the nature CBD stuff.  Again it’s cannabidiol, it’s different than THC – I’ve talked about it before and had some podcast and blog post on this.  You can go to just do a search for CBD if you wanna educate yourself more on that one, but that one is particularly efficacious and whereas THC, actually it’s been shown to potentially have some – and Brock and I were actually talking about this before we start recording today about – Brock, you heard on some podcast recently about the potentially deleterious effect of THC and marijuana on a brain performance, correct?

Brock:               Yes it was actually interesting that we – you brought up the Duo N-Back training ‘cause that’s exactly the process they used to test the memory impairments even as it turned out that the people who used THC on a regular basis had the people who were put through that sort of memory test or remembering numbers, if a new number was introduced they were more to likely to think that was an old number where are the number they’ve seen previously if they were a regular THC user.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               Sort of a weird memory trick that was going on.

Ben:                   Yeah, plus they probably thought the n-Back training was really funny.

Brock:               Probably.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               Like you just didn’t care.

Ben:                   Probably they didn’t care.  So you know – and again, I’m not completely against THC use, I mean I personally have – you know I make my own homemade edibles, you know I basically decarboxylate weed by grinding up weed in very, very fine and then I put that in a crackpot with coconut oil and make this nice little like weed-based edible, but ultimately that does not in any way assist with cognitive performance whereas CBD does.  So and the THC would be more just for relaxation or partying basically.  So explain that to your kids if they are listening in and in the meantime, Craig, those are some of the things that I would be going after when it comes to focus and I would be stopping the Adderall if I were you and if it were my liver.  So there you have it, hope that helps and I’ll put links to all that stuff in the show notes at

Brock:               If anybody wants to learn more about why Ben’s talking about protecting liver or you actually had a really good conversation with fellow that the podcast coming out on Saturday.  Will you guys talk about all that stuff?

Ben:                   Mmmm.  Oh yeah, that’s right, the one about how exercise can cause depression and also how to give yourself colonics, that episode?

Brock:               Yes. (chuckles)

Ben:                   Yes, that’s a good one.  That is coming up, Saturday.

Brock:               It’s a good one, yeah.

Edward:            Hello, Ben! Hello, Brock! I just took the NatureCBD because I thought it sounded pretty cool and I wanted to give it a try for the inflammation of my body.  Getting ready for the 10K coming up and I get some aches and pains.  My question for you is: is there any reason why I should be running 35 on the low end up to about a 47 of a high in miles a week in preparation for a 10k?  Second of all, there are some good hills on the 10K – not really hilly but some good hills – and would you suggest any specific hill sprints in order to do better in the 10k?


And then thirdly, how would a guy like you fuel for a 10k?  I am very low carb, I don’t eat any real traditional carbs except for a sweet potato once a week, and I guess we should count two shots of Tequila once a week times two as a carbohydrate as well.  So thank you much for the NatureCBD, how many miles for a 10k, specific running or a hilling course like a 10k? Thank you, Ben.  Thank you, Brock.  You’re both great, bye-bye.

Brock:               I think we could answer the – if you were running the 10K, what would you – how would you fuel?

Ben:                   Hmmm.

Brock:               We could answer that one pretty quickly.  Let’s say eat a meal sometime that day?

Ben:                   Yeah.  So let’s start here: yeah, so the fueling is pretty simple.  A 10K unless you are taking a very, very long time to run a 10K is not something that’s going to deplete your glycogen storage, you could get out of bed in the morning and run a 10K pretty quickly without eating anything and as a matter of fact, even when it comes to like in Olympic distance triathlon which is a 1½K swim, a 40K bike and then ends with a 10K.  Back in the day most pro triathletes do most things pretty quickly like one in like a sub two hour Olympic distance triathlon would do so without eating anything at all and after without even drinking or eating during the race either.  So…

Brock:               Yeah.  I was just at the Pan Am games on the weekend watching the men’s triathlon and the announcer kept saying “And the athletes will be taking in some serious calories right now on the bicycle” and I watch them go by and they don’t even have a bottle…

Ben:                   Not really.

Brock:               and kinda like “No, they’re not” they’re doing in 1:47…

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  That’s all kinda trickled down advice from Ironman triathlon.  So you really don’t need to eat much though grand research out there that shows something like swishing and spitting a sugar solution can help with cyclist doing 40K time trial even though they aren’t depleting their carbohydrates stores, there’s something about the taste of sugar that can somehow help your brain to compete a higher level or to not shut down your body so the central governor of your brain does not shut down your body quite at quickly when you taste something sweet.  Something could be said for amino acids, right? Like we could take 5 to 10g of like essential amino acids even though you don’t need them – you’re not like breaking down all the protein in your body and somehow replacing that with amino acids.  It’s just their mere presence in the bloodstream kind of like the mere taste of sugar can help but it’s not necessary – that’s like that little extra like 5% or whatever, ultimately you could just get up and run the 10K at nothing at all.  If I were running a 10K and I didn’t have to get up super duper early to get down breakfast, I would get up earlier in the morning and I would eat the same type of breakfast that I need for anything that’s very glycolytic, extremely glycolytic.  And that would be a very, very simple, easy to digest carbohydrate-based meal.  So for example, like before my – both the Super Spartan that I did on Saturday and the Sprint Spartan that I did on Sunday, both extremely glycolytic right? Like hard efforts, burning lots of matches, going up hills, carrying heavy stuff, burning pure carbohydrates you know doing both of those events – I just had white rice, a little bit of olive oil and sea salt.  I think on Sunday, the day before the longer event, the one that took closer to two hours, I actually had little bit of peanut butter in there with the white rice to just give myself a little bit of more a slow burning fuel and that just happen to be the nut butter that I had around in the house that I was renting, otherwise I would’ve used the far healthier almond butter, but…

Brock:               Of course.

Ben:                   Ultimately, you know, very, very simple, easy to digest carbohydrate, gastric emptying of that only takes about two hours compared to four to six hours for like a protein or a fat.  So you know, pretty simple on the nutrition front. You really don’t need much.  Now as far as the training goes, is there any reason to run 30 to 50 miles for example a week in preparation for a 10K?  You will see a lot of professional athletes running with that volume for a 10K and so you could certainly argue that for the higher level competition in order to develop the efficiency and the economy necessary to run extremely fast with a high turnover and a low ground reaction time or decrease current contact time – at that amount of running volume can help if you – you know, if you’re getting paid in a pay check you know, that type of volume maybe necessary for something like a 10K.


But ultimately let’s say for like the average person is 10K or the person’s got a job, family, career – obvious and you know they’re running the 10K as you know for fun or to get a good time but not because you’re getting a pay check at the finish line, I would have a pretty simple training set-up where in addition to any cross training or sports that you’re playing and weight training that you’re doing or whatever, you’ve got a three runs a week while you’ve got your strength training based run which is steep hills and hill repeats and you know, using an inclined treadmill or using you know, any other type of hill or a stair climber or stairs or anything else, and you’re focusing on strength.  And then you’ve got another session during the week where you’re focusing on turnover and speed and short sprints, you know fifties, hundreds, two hundreds.  You know, short 10 to 30 second treadmill sprint and it’s just very, very short sprints with high turnover and a focus on speed and then you have one final run that is more of your aerobic run where you’re straining together anywhere from 5 to 10 minute intervals you know, where you’re doing you know, let’s say mile repeats with quarter to have mile recovery periods, and you’re doing that in a volume that’s closer to the actual you know, 6.4 miles that you’d run during something like a 10K.  But ultimately, that’s kinda like your three main running sessions per week where you get your strength session, you get your speed session and you’ve got your aerobic session.  And you know for a hilly 10K, those hill sprints or those stair climb prefer repeats in the strength work would be crucial.  Now, whenever I lay things out in as simplistic way as I just did, it’s important for me to highlight the fact before all the strength conditioning coaches and personal trainers listening in that begin to scream though the airwaves – periodization here is something to bear in mind.  You know I get some people that will ask me “What’s the perfect training program for whatever – my triathlon or my marathon? Like what’s the exact sessions I should be doing each week?”  Well, it completely depends on the time of the year, right? So you know, in a truly well thought out and well-structured training program, you would at some point starting the year be doing lots of long, slow-based aerobic work with strength training.  And then as you’re getting into more of a phase where you’re focusing on more intensive race preparation, you’d be doing slightly longer, higher intense intervals, continued aerobic work and continued strength work.  And then as the race approaches you’d be focusing more in power plyometrics, extremely short sprints and very, very raced specific intervals and that’s going to change throughout the year you know, that’s why frankly, people hire me to put together training plans you know, it’s why I personally will quit to coach to do like my Spartan training plans is things change throughout the year.  You know, otherwise, we could just you know, have a coach right outside our weekly training plans, and sit back and just do that same thing each week, right?

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   You never get faster, you never get slower, you eventually burnout or you get bored but ultimately the idea here is that things change throughout the year.  But for a basic program, for basic 10K program – you’ve got a strength training run, you’ve got a sprint or an over-speed training run, you’ve got your aerobic interval-based training run with race specific intervals and then you know, all of these stuff that’s peppered in the between is just some strength training, some cross training and of course, smart recovery – everything from like you know, foam rolling to cold, to compression – everything else.  So you know…

Brock:               To your point, we’re also just guessing that Edward doesn’t have any races coming up that he’s only training for a 10K.  Let’s say he’s got a marathon in the fall that’s also – but he’s also building for he’s got a triathlon that he’s training for that’s everything changes on that…

Ben:                   Right.

Brock:               …priorities as well.

Ben:                   Right.  Yeah.

Brock:               Not just the time of the year but it’s – does he have other goals? Does he try to lose weight? Is he trying to put on muscle mass as well?

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.

Brock:               It’s “I love this time of the year” actually like – because we’re into the race season by the way just sort of still early in the race season, so coaching one of my athletes right now becomes such a mathematic kind of juggling artistic versus Math kind of a juggling act – it’s really, it’s really fun to be a coach this time of the year.

Ben:                   Yeah, and the last thing I’d say, obviously, like shameless commercial here, but I mean like at Greenfield Fitness Systems, we have tons of coaches who’s specialized in run through.  We’ve you got 15 different coaches over there, you know, as well as  physicians and pretty much anything you’d need for any goals, if you go to and you click on ‘Coaching’ you know, a lot of people and I do realize… 


like for people to coach with me, I’m kind of expensive you know, most of what I focus on now as I train lots of CEOs who want like longevity, anti-aging, some of them are doing triathlons, marathons, stuff like that but I work with people who are you know, relatively well-to-do and just want to outsource everything to me: sleep, heart rate variability, training, recovery, anti-aging, longevity, blood work, lab work – everything.  But I mean, if you just wanna hire like a coach to train you for a 10K, you may not need that level of what I do, but ultimately there are a bunch of coaches at Greenfield Fitness Systems who have you know, their own – you know, including Brock for example, you know, they have payment systems set-up there, different than what I charge for example for training and so you can go to and check out some of the coaching options there as well if you wanna get into a more detailed periodized 10K program ‘cause frankly, if I were running a 10K, I would necessarily be relying upon the 10 minute podcast answer to from the crocks of my program but hopefully this at least gives you some direction.

Sue:                   Hi, my name is Sue.  I bought some of this chlorella, spirulina – trying to take some algae.  I heard that it was good for weight loss. So what I’m trying to find out is, is it good for weight loss or is it just that it’s so high protein, it cuts out the appetite? You know I’m really into it, find out more about it and it sounds like it’s really good for me and healthy – and that’s good.  But I’m taking like 15 pills at one time a day – it doesn’t bother my stomach or anything like that – that’s what I was told to do when I was looking into buying it so, just wanna make sure I’m doing the right thing for me – would like to hear a lot from you.  Thank you.

Brock:               Now you don’t see a lot of skinny whales around?

Ben:                   No, you don’t see a lot of skinny whales, apparently eat a bunch of a – well doing more plankton than they are in algae…

Brock:               Oh, that’s right.  It’s more of plankton.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.

Brock:               Can it be like the plankton it’s like the cupcakes of the sea.

Ben:                   Get your marine nutrients sorted, Brock.

Brock:               (laughs)

Ben:                   Seriously.

Brock:               You can tell I’m land-walk.

Ben:                   Yes.  So algae – algae is – so first of all I should say that I use algae almost every day, either in like the green supplement that I take or in this little things called energy bits.  So I use the stuff called chlorella.  Frankly, I use it just because if I don’t have like something crunchy to munch on at night, I would go for dark chocolate, popcorn with butter like you know – I just I get the munchies at night sometimes.  And so, I actually eat organic cracked-cell wall chlorella as my snack at night – it turns my mouth green, my wife hates it, I gotta rinse off my mouth, you know, if I wanna get laid, I definitely have to brush my teeth after the chlorella or else you know, I totally get a shut down.  So…

Brock:               It does taste pretty terrible.

Ben:                   Yeah, but chlorella – basically what it is – is that’s a fresh water micro-algae.  It’s got the highest known amount of chlorophyll that you’ll find in anything in nature.  Chlorophyll is the stuff that has a chemical structure that’s very similar to hemoglobin and because of this, it can help to carry oxygen around in the blood, it can increase your red blood cell count and so it can assist with cardiovascular performance when you do something like work chlorophyll-based compounds like chlorella into your bloodstream.  And the other thing that’s cool about chlorella is that like activated charcoal, it can assist with what’s called your Phase 2 liver detox, meaning that it can leech heavy metals, it can assist with the removal of hydrocarbon-based pesticides, herbicide, insecticides and has a really protective effect on the liver which is like we mentioned earlier a pretty viable toxin filter in your body.  So that’s because chlorella has an indigestible cellulose on its cell wall and that just attracts and binds all out of those compounds and they’re simply removed from your body via your stool.  So the other cool thing about chlorella is it’s got RNA and DNA content that can potentially assist with slowing the aging process – you know that’s blue sky – there’s no actual studies that’s been done on the potential of those particular nucleic acids to assist with anti-aging or longevity.  However, they can definitely help with cell growth, cell repair, etc.  So chlorella is about 3% RNA and 0.3% DNA by weight, and that’s some of the highest on a DNA nucleic acid component of pretty much any food on the planet.  So you know, I don’t like to throw around the words super food too much, but chlorella’s very, very good as far as that and because of its nutrient density and its chlorophyll content, chlorella can stave off appetite cravings. 


And so you know, indirectly could help with fat loss from that standpoint – really, really, really interesting thing is this recent research that’s come out that shown that when you eat, compounds that are high in chlorophyll – dark leafy greens, fresh vegetables, kale – whatever and chlorella would fall in that category.  And then you get exposure to sunlight, it actually sets with your body’s ATP production.  Normally your body would burn calories to generate ATP, but it turns out that similar to plants, humans – if we have a high amount of chlorophyll circulating in our body and we get exposed to sunlight, it can assist with her ability to produce ATP in even the absence of calories and so again, indirectly, you could get energy without eating as much food and hence, assist with weight loss or at least assist with lower calorie intake while maintaining energy levels when implementing something like chlorella or any other chlorophyll rich compound in your diet.  My only beef with chlorella is it’s freaking expensive to get like a good 100% organic cracked-cell wall chlorella.  I get my stuff from this company called EnergyBits – it’s not cheap – chlorella is expensive and anything that has good chlorella in it, is gonna be expensive.  Spirulina is the other probably most popularly known form of algae that everybody holds for you is talking about.  So spirulina is actually higher than chlorella in protein content and because of that has even better appetite satiating properties.  Spirulina does not have the same type of detoxing in like heavy metal and herbicide and pesticide binding potential as chlorella because it doesn’t have as much indigestible cellulose in its wall but spirulina is about 7% lipids, it’s very, very high in gamma linolenic acid acid along with the EPA and DHA.  So if you’re a vegan or vegetarian and you don’t eat fish and you wanna get some of these good fats for your brain and your nervous systems, spirulina is a really, really great source of that.  It’s also very high in most of the vitamins, most of the minerals and it’s got you know, it’s one of those things that has like this dizzying, laundry list of nutrients that it contains that you know – again, makes it known as this “super food” and it really is…

Brock:               I thought you were saying that it actually makes you dizzy.

Ben:                   Just dizzy to read about it.  And it’s also got it in extremely high amount of beta-carotine and extremely high amount of anti-oxidants like I mentioned, really, really high amount of omega 3 fatty acids, and so, it’s got over 40 different vitamins and minerals in it but it’s got by one calorie per serving, one calorie per serving.  So similar to chlorella, a good way to ensure that you’re not producing micro-nutrient deficiencies if you’re on a diet and you’re trying to lose weight but you wanna, get you know, enough vitamins and nutrients and minerals.  No studies have shown that by popping a bunch of spirulina you’re gonna lose weight, but if you are controlling calories from other sources: exercising, engaging in physical activity, doing all the things that are kind of like you know, big glaring objectives when it comes to fat loss, you could use spirulina as something you know, for like a nutrient, vitamin, mineral source in the absence of high amounts of calories.  You could use something like chlorella as a detox or an alternative energy source or even as a way to repair and recover more quickly, you could do one, you could do both – the website I mentioned EnergyBits, they have – their stuff that’s called EnergyBits – that’s spirulina.  They have another product called RecoveryBits and that’s chlorella and again, both are expensive but you wanna make sure either way.  If you’re getting algae, get organic because a lot of it does get dose it it’s not organic with lots of herbicides and pesticides just like any vegetable.  They also tend to put a lot of fillers in the gelatin capsules that you’d normally get algae in and so chewable algae like these bits are a little bit better than getting an algae in its capsule form.  The country of or…

Brock:               You don’t have to chew those, it says you can swallow.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah, you can swallow.  Yeah.  The country of origin is also very important – a ton of the suppliers of spirulina in China falsify  their paperwork and make claims about being organic when it’s really not, so I would not get a Chinese – sorry, China – form of algae.

Brock:               We’re picking on China a lot.

Ben:                   We’re picking on China a lot.  They can’t get on Twitter, they can’t grow anything except crappy algae – just horrible.  Yeah.  So I mean just like beef though, there’s different grades of spirulina and chlorella and the low quality grades definitely a fewer nutrients, lower concentrations of proteins and sometimes need like 10 to 20 times than the normal amount of an inferior grade of algae to get any good effect. 


A couple other quick things when it comes to algae, cracked – when I say ‘cracked-cell wall chlorella’ all that means is that they can crack the exterior shell of the chlorella to allow the nutrients to be better absorbed by the body.  They do that using a sound chamber and sound wave vibrations for extraction….

Brock:               What?!

Ben:                   …for the chlorella.  Yeah, yeah.

Brock:               That’s crazy!

Ben:                   I’m serious, yeah.  That’s how they crack the cell…

Brock:               That’s so cool!

Ben:                   of chlorella – that’s like…

Brock:               I have no idea.

Ben:                   It’s like this 50 year-old technique, it’s how they crack it in Japan and by the way Japanese chlorella – Hi Japan! – far, far better than Chinese chlorella, so that’s an okay place to get chlorella.  You can crack cell wall chlorella using high amounts of heat but that damages the nutrient content of the chlorella.  So like a sound-based cracked-cell wall chlorella is better.

Brock:               Very cool.

Ben:                   And similar to that you don’t want to use heat-dried algae just because air-drying is far less damaging in terms of oxidation; heat drying makes it no longer like a real true raw food and can damage it.  And then just make sure any algae that you get is in some kind of a non-transparent container because just like most the fish oil-based supplement, UV rays, heat, light – stuff like that can really decrease its longevity and cause oxidation.  So EnergyBits website the place where I get it, there is a 10% discount code on that stuff, I don’t remember if the discount code is ‘Ben’ or if it’s ‘Greenfield’.

Brock:               Hmm.

Ben:                   So, one of those.  (chuckles) Try them both, just go there and try if ‘Ben’ doesn’t work, try ‘Greenfield’ and they might both work.

Brock:               I can look that up if you keep talking for me.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Yeah, okay.  Well, either way, so that’s the skinny on algae, is it – it’s – there’s no studies that show it’s gonna kinda ‘cause you to lose fat but you know, you could use it as a way to have a really good nutrient dense energy source in your diet that might help you to eat fewer calories.  So indirectly could help with fat loss – I’m a big fan.  I use both spirulina and chlorella, I like it – it turns your mouth green but you can rinse that out with water afterwards.  So there you go! Now you know everything you need to know about chlorella and about how crappy the chlorella from China is.  So just thought towards China and really bust one more time while you’re looking that up, Brock.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   So?

Brock:               I can’t find it.

Ben:                   Yeah, either way…

Brock:               Sorry folks.

Ben:                   it’s either ‘Ben’ or it’s ‘Greenfield’.   Just go to and we’ll figure it out and put the link there in the show notes along with everything else.  So that being said, we’ve been going on for a while.  Should we leave?

Brock:               Yeah, this is a long one.

Ben:                   Yeah, should we read a review?

Brock:               Probably.

Ben:                   Alright. Well if…

Brock:               Oh! But we should do it at two times speed just to…

Ben:                   Two times speed.

Brock:               keep everybody on their toes.

Ben:                   Let’s do – let’s do it two times speed.  Let’s read a review two times speed.  This is not two times speed, this is just me talking faster than normal.  Living2150 left a 5-star review, the reviews from Aj21207 left on July 12, 2015.  If you leave a review on iTunes and you hear us read your review on iTunes we will send you a handy-dandy gear pack with a tech t-shirt, a BPA-Free water bottle and a beanie.  All you have to do is email [email protected] that’s [email protected], give us your address and your t-shirt size and we’ll mail a handy-dandy dear pack to your house or you could just go and leave an iTunes review out of the goodness of your heart, just spread a good karma and now, Brock, will read our review.   Is that pretty good, two times speed?

Brock:               That was pretty good.  I was convinced, Ben, check this out.

Ben:                   I know.  I should read disclaimers for pharmaceutical company.

Brock:               (chuckles) “This is definitely a great podcast – digesting all the aspects of fitness, nutrition world, from hard science to bordering on pseudo which you’ll enjoy entertaining the theories and testing them out.  This podcast has practically everything you need.  Download, listen on two times speed, go to the website, read over the notes and start experimenting on your body.  Trust me, you’ll learn and have fun.”

Ben:                   Dude, do not listen to us on two times speed.

Brock:               Yeah, why do you in such a hurry Aj21207?

Ben:                   There’s two reasons Aj21207 that you don’t wanna listen to us on two times speed.  Number one, is you just wanna absorb as much of the gold nuggets of goodness that we dished out.  Number two, is that you completely lose our personality when you listen to us in two times speed, that’s why I don’t listen to any podcast on two times speed.  I have a bunch of friends who do.  You lose the personality, you lose the vibe – you just – I don’t like it, frankly.  So don’t listen to us on two times speed, if you want us to talk faster, we can always talk faster.

Brock:               I can’t. I’ve tried.  This is the fast that I can talk.

Ben:                   This is about fast that I go.  Yeah.

Brock:               And I prefer to go slower and this is me trying to talk fast.

Ben:                   Yeah, now I’m really trying to speed things up here.  I’m really, really, really.

Brock:               Yeah. Yeah.

Ben:                   So AJ and all of our listeners, have a – it’s almost like Paul, what’s his name? The old radio announcer?

Brock:               Oh, Paul.  What’s his name?

Ben:                   Remember him? A good day!

Brock:               Good day!

Ben:                   Wow, why am I forgetting his name? Anyways…

Brock:               Oh, I thought you were kidding.

Ben:                   No, do you remember his name?

Brock:               No.  No? Maybe.

Ben:                   If you remember, leave a comment in the show notes it’s at, good day, good day!

                           Visit for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.

[1:31:30.9]     END


The Nitty-Gritty Underground World of Supplement Ingredients, Sports Nutrition Frankenfuels, Illegally Laced Compounds & More.


My guest in today’s podcast, Shawn Wells, MPH, RD, CISSN, has probably forgotten more about supplements than most people will ever know. His brain contains an extremely unique blend of time spent in the science trenches and a formal education in the fields of performance nutrition and supplementation.

Shawn attended UNC-Chapel Hill, earning a Master’s degree in Nutrition and minor in Exercise Science. His education also includes credentials of Registered Dietitian, Certified Sport Nutritionist (CISSN), and board member of the ISSN. His role as CEO of Zone Halo Research, a consulting group for supplement formulations, and CSO of Biotrust, along with extensive experience in formulating supplements for big companies (likely some of the ones you’ve tried in the past few years) distinguish him as an expert in sports nutrition and supplementation.

If you’re into supplements, you will love this interview with Shawn Wells. We discuss:

-How Shawn went from being a practicing Chief Clinical Dietitian to being in the thick of the supplement industry, and some of the most helpful books he read along the way…

-The most important factors that differentiate a high-quality supplement manufacturer from a low-quality one…

-The deceptive practice of “fairy-dusting” and why many, many supplement manufacturers do it…

-How to know if taking different supplements together (e.g. stacking) can be dangerous, or on the flipside, more efficacious than taking one at a time…

-Why a supplement can rapidly degrade as soon as you put it into your refrigerator or pantry…

-Why everything from solubility to flavor additives can make or break the absorption and efficacy of supplements like whey protein…

-Why you could be getting 600mg of caffeine (6 cups of coffee!) in an average “energy” supplement that says it only has 100mg…

-The surprising development that Shawn things is the next big thing in the world of supplements and nutrition…

-And much more!

Resources we discuss during this episode:

-Book “Optimum Sports Nutrition by Dr. Michael Colgan

-Book “The Four Agreements

The Examine Research Digest

Behind The Scenes Of How A Supplement Is Made

My podcast interview with the folks at LabDoor “The Crazy, True & Scary Facts About The Supplements Industry”

BioTrust supplements

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about how to know supplement ingredients or anything else Shawn and I discuss? Leave your thoughts below.

323: The Effects Of Beer On Hydration, Cross Country Running Tips, Home Remedies For Hernias & More!


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

July 8, 2015 Podcast: Cross Country Running Tips, Should You Use Wraps, Sleeves And Belts For Weighttraining, Home Remedies For Hernias, and How Protein Spikes Insulin.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.


News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on, and Google+.


A donate button that reads - keep the podcasts comingSpecial Announcements:

Sep 23-24, 2015. Ben is speaking at the Biohackers Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now.

New Greenfield Longevity Panels. Working closely with WellnessFX, America’s top laboratory for concierge blood testing and online access to all your blood testing results, Ben has developed the “Greenfield Longevity Blood Testing Package”, which is the most complete blood testing package that money can buy. There is one package specifically designed for men, and one for women. This is by far the most comprehensive blood testing package that exists, and Ben created it for the health enthusiast, biohacker and anti-aging individual who wants access to the same type of executive health panel and screening that would normally cost tens of thousands of dollars at a longevity institute. Virtually all hormones and all biomarkers are covered in this panel.

Ben Greenfield has officially launched his first work of fiction: “The Forest”. Twin brothers River and Terran discover a portal to a hidden forested world attacked by parasitic fungi, dark shamans, and serpents. Along with an assembled band of unlikely misfits that includes coyotes, whitetail deer, wood thrushes, and fox squirrels, they must unlock their unique powers to control the elements of earth, air, fire and water, and save the forest before the evil they’ve uncovered can spill back into their own world. Click here to read it now! (or click here to listen to audiobook version inside our Premium channel). New chapters released every 7-14 days.

The BenGreenfieldFitness Quarterly box has officially launched! When you sign-up, you’ll get a Quarterly handpicked box jam-packed with Ben’s favorite fitness gear, supplements, nutrients and research-proven biohacks.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

Cross Country Running Tips

Stacy says: She is calling for her son. He is a Junior in High School and a Cross Country runner who is moving up the ranks. What should he concentrate on, as a cross country runner, to make him faster? What can he add to his training and is there anything special he should do with his diet at his age to increase his performance and keep him healthy.

In my response, I recommend:
Beyond Training book (especially the chapters on 40 Easy Meals, How Much Carb/Protein/Fat, and the strength/mobility/power/speed/balance sections).

Should You Use Wraps, Sleeves And Belts For Weighttraining?

Hammer-Slammer says: She competes in Roller Derbies and as her cross training she does a lot of strength training. She would like to know what you think of using wraps and sleeves and belts while lifting. She tends to do this later in her sets when it gets heavier. Is that a bad habit or should she continue to do it?

In my response, I recommend:
Rogue Fitness

Home Remedies For Hernias

Will says: He believes he is dealing with a hiatal hernia. Which he got from heavy lifting and copious amounts of lemon juice which shoved his stomach above his diaphragm. He is getting symptoms of GERD and he can’t take a deep breath or each much food. What is your take on this? Do you know any nature remedies for this – to get his stomach back in the right place? He would love to get back to doing normal things like breathing deeply and eating.

How Protein Spikes Insulin

Stephen says: He wants to know more about protein intake and insulin response. He eats low carb and mostly carb backloads. He is concerned about eating too much protein because he has heard that it can spike insulin even more than carbs. What is the balance here? Is it more about timing the protein (after or before a workout)?


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Episode #323 – Full Transcript

Podcast #323 from


Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show: The Effects Of Beer On Hydration, Cross Country Running Tips, Should You Use Wraps, Sleeves, And Belts For Weight Lifting, Home Remedies For Hernia, How Protein Spikes Insulin and much more!

Welcome to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  We provide you with everything you need to know for total performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, sleep, brain, and hormone optimization.  So whether you’re an Ironman tri-athlete, or you’re just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from

Brock:               Greenfield, are you trying to kill me?

Ben:                   Mmm.  Possibly?  Yes.

Brock:               That’s what I thought so.  I really I – I think last week we talked about how you’re – you’re sort of putting me into an over-reaching phase of my training at the moment and damn it man, I’m – you know when you have to like use your hands to help yourself lower on to the toilet and then getting off the toilet you have to like grab on to something pulling yourself up?

Ben:                   Hmmm.

Brock:               That’s me today.

Ben:                   Hmmm.  Why?

Brock:               Ahhh, ‘cause you gave me this crazy workout not even yesterday, it’s the day before.  So I’m at the peak of DOMS right now.  It’s the obstacle workout do you call that one? The bear crawls, the burpees, the…

Ben:                   Hmmm, yeah, running, stopping, bear crawls, burpees.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Yeah, grow up pair!  It was not that hard.

Brock:               It was- it was awesome!  It was super fun!  And then yesterday I did my sprint workout and was like “Yeah, I’m a little sore”, but this morning I got up and was like, “Holy crap!”

Ben:                   I’m just making you resilient to the pending zombie apocalypse.

Brock:               And I appreciate it.  I really do.

Ben:                   Oh, I’m picking coconut flakes out of my teeth this morning.

Brock:               Delicious.

Ben:                   I’ve tried a few new things with my morning breakfast protocol.  I actually just finished a book – really good book.  I’m getting at the author on a podcast soon about like ancestral eating patterns, wild edible plants, the responsive plants to certain preparation methods, etc.  And one interesting part that the book goes into is about blending food, particularly blending vegetables on how like heat and oxidation can potentially occur when you’re just like pulverizing the hell out of your kale.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   So…

Brock:               Yeah, that’s why they do the – oh what’s the masticating juicer instead of the old school juicer?

Ben:                   Masticating juicer like a mortar and pestle?

Brock:               Yeah, like cold press.

Ben:                   And be like kinda like the really old school, I’m gonna make my breakfast with the mortar and pestle though, I just…

Brock:               Just a hammer.  (chuckles)

Ben:                   I refuse to do that.  However, I have been simply blending anything that I’m making far less on a little bit lower setting.  So I used to just like pulverize stuff right?  For like 60 full seconds.  Now I just kinda blend it for about 20 to 30 seconds so my smoothies you know, they were already little chunky.  They’re even chunkier but you know, I simply need to chew them a little but more hence the coconut… (murmuring)

Brock:               So you have it, you’re even like straight up gazpacho for breakfast now?

Ben:                   It’s kinda like gazpacho like a thick, chunky kale, green gazpacho that my wife says looks like cat poop, so it’s good stuff.

Brock:               Oh, delightful.  Just as a classy broad. 

News Flashes:

Brock:               Speaking of classy broads, I have seen some pretty, awesome tweets going across (chuckles) out of your Twitter account, Ben.

Ben:                   Man, you’re lucky that my wife – lucky my wife does not listen to the Ben Greenfield Fitness show.

Brock:               (chuckles)

Ben:                   Anyways, yeah!  I have been tweeting out some interesting things.  Let’s start here, here’s a fun one: the effects of a moderate intake of beer on markers of hydration after exercise in the heat.  This was a crossover study in which they took a bunch of active males and they were relatively fit males.  Their VO2max was up close to 60…

Brock:               Hmmm.

Ben:                   …which is pretty fit consider it’s like almost double of a sedentary population, but they had been performed an hour of running at a pretty intense pace.  And they had them do that hour of running two times but their run sessions were 3 weeks apart.  Both of them however, took place in a hot laboratory setting.  Quick Math, Brock, it was 35 degrees Celsius and 60% humidity, what does that come out to as for Fahrenheiters?

(music playing)

Brock:               A hundred and five?

Ben:                   A hundred and five degrees, yeah.  So, a 105 degrees running for an hour and then during the 2 hours following the exercise, they either consumed mineral water ad libitum – and I love that word just ‘cause it makes you sound smart – much smarter than saying whatever the hell you want.

Brock:               Yeah, just like as much as you want. (chuckles)

Ben:                   Yeah.  Or up to 660ml of beer, just regular beer.  And the beer was followed by water ad libitum but not until they actually drink their 660ml of beer.

Brock:               At 660ml, that’s more than a pint.

Ben:                   It’s – yeah, it’s more than a pint at least on a beer.


Brock:               Like two cans.

Ben:                   And they followed things like their blood serum and their fluid balance and their urine excretion before, after exercise and after rehydration.  And what they found was that the folks who had the beer and then had the water experienced no deleterious effects of drinking a bunch of beer before they had their water.  Their hydration status did not change, they were just as hydrated as the folks who drank water ad libitum, so it turns out that having a cold one after a tough exercise session in the heat really doesn’t influence you deleteriously from dehydration standpoint.

Brock:               Yep, from a hydration standpoint.

Ben:                   Contrary to popular belief, yeah there may be other things that happen I wouldn’t necessarily you know, drive you car home from the park after you slam a couple of cold ones following an hour of running at a 105 degrees, but aside from that, there’s no worries.  Now I think the next experiment that they should do is see what happens if you mainline the beer, right?  Into like the radial vessels via intravenous injection.

Brock:               Aaah, like IV drip, nice!  Well, actually, no.  No, I enjoyed the taste of beer way too much to waste it like that.

Ben:                   It’s quite possible that you can taste it in your mouth.  I mean, when you do a coffee enema, you could sometimes taste coffee so, I guess to say perhaps a beer IV would allow you to taste beer.

Brock:               Like the beer enema, perhaps?

Ben:                   And by the way, if you’re listening in, any of the research that we sight, the studies, the resources from today show, you can access at  And here’s the next one: whey protein.  I have talks before about the difference between like whey protein and amino acids particularly like whole amino acids right? Whole amino acid powders, whole amino acid capsules, there’s sometimes also called essential amino acid capsules or powders or EAAs.  I’m personally right now, tapering for the Pennsylvania Sprint Spartan and the Super Spartan – I’m going to do back to back Spartans this weekend up in the Blue Mountains in Pennsylvania.  And when I’m tapering, one of the things I’m aware of and we’ll talk about the insulinogenic effect of protein later on in the show.  One of the things I’m worried is of course is calories because I’m exercising less.  But I still want to enhance recovery, and so one of the tools that I use during a period of time like that is I will often substitute proportions of meat to a portions of protein powder instead essential amino acids capsules or essential amino acids powders because they are very, very low from a caloric standpoint, but contain all the building blocks for muscle.  Now granted they’re not going to have it as… say as big an appetite satiating effects as say, you know like protein would because their void of calories, but from recovery standpoint, theoretically up until those point they could help with the recovery.  But what a recent study in the American Journal of Physiology and Endocrinology Metabolism looked into was a comparison of these amino acids with whey protein.  And they particularly looked at the anabolic signaling right?  So if you take in a bunch of whey protein in this case, they used I believe… yes, it was 20g of whey protein and they compared that to 3g of these amino acids which is interesting to me because I’ve been using 5 to 10g of amino acids and granted this study was on women.  So…

Brock:               Tiny, little women.

Ben:                   Tiny, tiny, little women like tooth fairies.  Anyways though, what they looked at was plasma insulin and amino acid concentrations.  They looked at micro vascular blood flow and they looked at muscle anabolic signaling, particularly like your post-workout protein synthesis meaning your ability to take amino acids and repair and rebuild muscle.  What they found was that the anabolic response was similar to both whey protein and amino acids – meaning that the whey protein offered no anabolic advantage over the amino acids, and the whey protein from a caloric standpoint is of course much, much higher than amino acids compound.  So what this means for you is that if you need to rely upon something like amino acids for repair and recovery, and you’re concerned that it may not be as anabolic or might not allow you to have as much of a muscle repair recovery effect as say, whey protein or whatever your protein choice happens to be.  Turns out the amino acids are just as good.  This is the first study I’ve seen you know, that was done by an independent organization not the people making the supplements, right?  Not the people making the amino acid supplements, so yeah.  And then the question just becomes “do you want powder or do you want capsules?”  I use both.  The stuff I use, I use the EXOS (e-x-o-s) Aminos Powder and then when I want a capsule I use the – it’s called the Perfect Health Aminos which is very, very similar to the Master Amino Pattern aminos but anyways…


Brock:               Did they stop making the Master Amino Pattern and just turned into the perfect one now?

Ben:                   No, I just found a much better deal that’s perfect to me as basically made by the same lab except that it’s just cheaper.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   So I’ve got both of those listed at if anybody wants to go delve into them but yeah, interesting stuff on amino acids.

Brock:               Yeah!  Yes.

Ben:                   And then the last thing was workouts!  What I tweeted was that if you’re tempted to finish up a workout with an “extra” set of bicep curls, leg extensions, etc. there’s no need.  So perhaps this is leftover thought from my old days of body building but I’ll often finish up a weight training workout that you know, say like dead lifts and I’ll be tempted to you know, throw in an extra set of bicep curls ‘cause I get 10 minutes or you know, finish up some squats with some leg extensions to get a little bit more burn for the quads right?

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Make it burn before I go drink my giant creatine shake.

Brock:               Before you go and chug your beer?

Ben:                   Get swoll.  Anyways though, what a recent study looked into was what happens when you add a single-joint exercise, right?  Like a bicep curl and that’s actually what they used in this case was bicep curls to a multi-joint exercise program.  What it does to muscle strength, what it does to muscle size and in this case they used trained men, and they had one group do multi-joint exercises without finishing up with single-joint exercises, and they had one group do multi-joint exercises with single-joint exercises.  And they measured things like arm circumference you know, your bicep circumference, your elbow flexor strength, etc. when you threw in the curls.  And it turned out that there was absolutely no difference between the two groups in terms of muscle strength and muscle size and the take away was that the addition of single-joint exercises to a strength training program that already has multi-joint exercises in it does not give you additional benefits and it’s not very time-efficient.  So it turns out that you don’t need to be doing all those curls, Brock.

Brock:               So you could spend or I should spend that extra 10 minutes in a cold shower perhaps instead of doing bicep curls.

Ben:                   In a cold shower or maybe just doing extra multi-joint exercises, I don’t know.  Pick your poison but ultimately curls are as I think I heard a strength conditioning coach once say “Curls are for girls.” And that’s just like super sexist, I’m sorry to all my female friends and listeners…

Brock:               Yeah, what do you think, this is Obstacle Dominator podcast?

Ben:                   That wasn’t what I said, that’s what he said: “curls are for girls.”  Okay, we better move on.

Special Announcements:

Brock:               There are biohackers summits happening in all over the damn places this fall.

Ben:                   Well, I’m gonna be at the one in Finland and so that’s the big special announcement for today.

Brock:               That’s, yeah.  That’s gonna be it.   That’s gonna be cool.

Ben:          you can check it out, I think its biohackers or biohacker?  Actually I think it’s, anyways though, September…

Brock:     , yeah.

Ben:                   September 23rd to the 24th if you feel like jet-setting over to Helsinki, Finland.  I think it’s gonna be a pretty cool event.  So there will be everything from like gym therapy to biometric shirts, shirts?  Biometric skirts?

Brock:               Shorts?

Ben:                   Biometric shirts, food prep cooking, science and kitchen chemistry, molecular gastronomy like all sorts of really, really cool kinda like cutting-edge biohacky stuff.  So check it out if you feel like going to Helsinki, Finland.  A few other places where we could meet up or you could say ‘hello’, I’ll be in San Francisco July 17th for the Spartan Race there, like I mentioned I’ll also be in Pennsylvania this weekend for the race in the Blue Mountains there.  I will be at the Train to Hunt National Championships in Colorado, the first week of August and I’ll be in Washougal, Washington for the Spartan Sprint over there.  The… I don’t know one that is, I think it’s like August 1th, 12th, something like that I wanna say.  So anyways, if you happen to be in those places, come say ‘hello’, I’ll try and wear my giant Ben Greenfield Fitness t-shirt, beanie, carry around the water bottle, etc.

Brock:               (chuckles)  All the gear.

Ben:                   Oh, the stuff that I do.  Okay, what else?  If you feel like catching up on the work of fiction, I’m almost ready to release the third chapter of my book “The Forest” and this third chapter is a monster.  You can check that out over at, you can read it for free serially, chapter by chapter.


I’m also releasing the audio book version as well.  And you can get all the details on all that over at to…

Brock:               You’re like a modern day Charles Dickens.

Ben:                   I’m just like a modern day Charles Dickens, exactly.  I don’t know what else about….

Brock:               He released his books in like chapter by chapter.

Ben:                   Oh, that’s right!  He released them in like the newspapers.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Yeah, I’m just like him except no newspapers wanna publish my book, so I just put it online on Wattpad which I didn’t realized this but Wattpad’s actually like the world’s top most visited website for consuming free books online.

Brock:               Hmmm, nice!

Ben:                   So, there you go.  And my book is free online.

Brock:               There you go.

Ben:                   I have no clue why it’s free, I’m just writing it out of the goodness of my heart because I love to write.  Writing it for my children but it isn’t technically a kid’s book, it’s for adults, too.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   And the last thing that I wanted to mention was that we shipped our first Quarterly Box and now it turns out that the second one is going to be shipping quite soon and you can get it on all the goodness of having Christmas roll around every quarter from me.  With a nice hand-written letter – well it’s not hand-written; it’s in PDF-form, typed but hand-written sounds nice – personalized letter from me.  You can get in to all that at  That’s

                           Hey, it’s Ben Greenfield and yes, this is a commercial but don’t press fast forward because it’s actually something that I think is really gonna benefit you.  See, every day I write down every single workout that I do and I upload it to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Inner Circle, now that’s not all.  Each month, my wife and I sit down and will make an entire list of the food, the supplements, the gear, the productivity hacks, the health hacks – everything that we have found to be interesting, random, entertaining, etc. and we have a glass of wine, we get in front of the camera and we talk about all those things live for you while we answer your questions as they come in.  It’s like coming in to our living room and sitting by the fire, heading to the coffee shop with us.  Now, there’s also inside the Inner Circle something called ‘The Healthy Home Workshop” and let me give you an idea of what the Greenfield house looks like each week.  My wife is constantly carrying a video camera around and recording what she cooks, how’s she’s working in the garden, how’s she’s creating a healthy home.  Well let’s just give me you an example of what came out just this week inside the Inner Circle Healthy Home Workshop that she does each month, it’s like an online video magazine with PDFs she did something on guilt-free treats that keep you cool.  In other words, how to create things like healthy icies, ice cream, popsicles, etc. that don’t spike your blood sugar – she did an episode called “Everything but the Root” where she talks about how to take root vegetables like say turnips, carrots, etc. and it was way more like the stems, the leaves, what you can do with them, their nutritional value, etc.  She did an entire video on natural waste to clean your dishwasher completely toxin and chemical-fee ways to make your own dishwasher detergent – everything you need to know about your dishwasher and then she finally did amazing ways to use a lowly planter pot where she goes on how to take old planter pot, pots and to everything from making tiki torches to string lights to umbrella holders with them.  It really is pretty amazing which she puts together every month and even if you’re not interested in Healthy Home Workshop, the daily workouts from me, the monthly Q&As and intimate workshops with my wife and I are well-worth being a member of the Inner Circle.  So, sorry for the long commercial but you can check all this out over at, it’s a buck to check out, it’s $14 a month to be a member of which is a drop of the bucket compared to what you actually get as far as value.  Yes, you’ll get full access to all the archives and everything we’ve ever produced in the Inner Circle.  So if you pretty much wanna have your house run just like mine, if you wanna do workouts just like me, if you wanna eat the foods that I’m eating and prepare the dishes that my wife is making etc. – the Inner Circle really is the place to do it so check it out: and it really will change your life, I promise.  So, see you inside!

Listener Q & A:

Stacy:                Hi Ben, my name is Stacy and I call about my son.  He’s going to be a junior in high school and is a cross country runner.  He is on the edge of moving up to the next level in the sport and I wanted to know what things he could be doing to achieve faster times and how to eat properly?


We are still struggling with that when to eat, how to eat, what to eat for performance and to increase his speed.  So I would appreciate any of your insights.  I love your show.  I just found it this summer and have been listening these so many of the podcast.  I really liked it, I’ve learned a lot and I really appreciate what you’re doing.  It’s been super helpful, thanks!

Brock:               So junior in high school, that’s grade 10?

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.

Brock:               So what he’d be like, 16 years old?

Ben:                   Yeah, something like that.

Brock:               Mmm, okay.  So pretty much finished growing or almost finished growing so…

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               Pretty much treat him like a grown man.

Ben:                   Pretty much.  He’s a grown man.  He’s probably full faced beard, hair in his legs – we’ll call him a grown man.

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   Anyways, so…

Brock:               I was just bring that up because of like, the hormone stuff are ready in the growth plates and stuff…

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  Sure.

Brock:               …and he’s super young and you don’t wanna push him too much…

Ben:                   Yeah, absolutely.

Brock:               I wasn’t being creepy.

Ben:                   Good consideration.  Anyways though, as far as cross country runners go, I would say and I talk about this quite a bit in my book “Beyond Training”.  There’s kinda like five neglected areas that I tend to see especially like endurance runners and cross country runners run into, and it either hold you back in terms of speed or affects things like balance, coordination later on in life sets you up for injuries, etc.  So some of the things that I would say that Stacy’s son should focus on for cross country running or anybody listening in should focus on if their wanting to become a faster cross country runner and they already have a good running program in place like a good base running program.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   One would be strength you know, I recently interviewed the folks from university I forget which one on using strength training protocols to enhance endurance performance because of the increase in motor neuron unit recruitment and also the increase in movement efficiency and economy.  And the basic idea behind this is that during the off-season you should be lifting with high force, low velocity and then during the on-season you should be lifting with low force, high velocity.  So high force, low velocity would be like multi-joint exercises, heavy six to ten reps, etc.  Low force, high velocity would be things like plyometrics, skipping, hopping, leaping, bounding, etc. but for a runner, my recommendation is anywhere from one to three times per week spent in strength training.  So strength would be the first thing, the second thing would be power.  Now, power obviously is something you’re gonna hit a little bit with something like your low force, high velocity type of training but as far as other ways to improve power, I would say one thing that tends to get neglected is the strength of your nervous system and specifically you know, things like neuronal health, adequate fatty acids, fish oils, stuff like that.  So making sure that you really taking care of things from a nervous system standpoint you know, sleep, high fat diet – that type of thing.  But then also, you know I’m a big fan of having some things around the backyard, things like agility ladders like speed and agility ladders, weighted jump ropes, some kind of a plyometric box right?  So you can do a single leg or double leg plyo-hops.  I’m a big fan of medicine balls for things like slams, throws, etc. – anything that allows you to just basically throw stuff around or move your body quickly especially from an explosive standpoint would be beneficial and possibly things that a cross country coach who may not have available or be using in something like their own cross country training program.

Brock:               Okay, here’s a question.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               When you buy those boxes, when you’re getting like stuff to do box jumps with, would you – what would the height, what would the optimal height be?

Ben:                   Generally, about the height of your knee or higher, right?  So I mean, like a really good athlete is gonna be able to get up onto a box that’s a hip higher but I recommend you start with about a knee height or higher.  Now for a single leg hop, that’s still gonna be a little bit high, I mean some people you know, like a height of the treadmill belt right?  From ground up to treadmill belt is high enough for a single leg hop but for like a double leg jump, a depth jump – things like that, I would go for knee or higher in terms of height.

Brock:               Alright.

Ben:                   So yeah.

Brock:               There you go.

Ben:                   You just basically need stuff that you can throw and swing around without breaking and boxes that you can jump up onto, so that power.  And again I get into a lot of detail on my book about strength, power and some of the other things I’m gonna talk about here.


Speed is another particularly over-speed training.  Okay, downhill running on soft surfaces, getting on a treadmill that pushes you at a speed that you would not normally run if you’re on grass or track or field and jacking nothing up and running at over-speed.  Even over-speed repeats on like a bicycle right? like a 120RPM – all you’re doing is trying to get yourself, get your central nervous system to send that message to your muscles as quickly as possible so that running at a rate of 90 plus RPM which is really how fast you wanna be running for a really good speed movement efficiency, economy, etc. so that become second nature.  And the only way to do that is by doing over-speed training where you’re working at a 100plus RPM – so I’m a big fan of some of those strategies and Brock, it sounds like something was funny?

Brock:               I just – you don’t recommend the dropping and the – dropping her son off the back of a truck while you’re driving along, like who was that you had on the show that was talking about doing over-speed training while you’re driving along in the back of the truck?

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  That was when I interviewed the guy who does – Jay… I forget his last name, I met him at the Bulletproof Biohacking Conference and he trains folks using like electrical muscle stimulation and super-duper over-speed training where yeah, he was like… I think it was his son; he was like dragging him behind the car.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   He used that and a single speed bike, right?  So you’d ride him on top of your single speed bike and when you’re going downhill, you have no choice but to pedal as quickly as possible, and those were two methods that he used for over-speed training for his son but yeah, I think like an over-speed treadmill or running really fast downhill on a golf course is a better idea than dragging your kid behind you on a pick-up truck.

Brock:               (laughing)

Ben:                   So, yeah.  Thanks for clarifying. (laughs with Brock)  The next one is mobility.  So you know, mobility is something I’ve talked about quite a bit on the show before.  I think every athlete should own  like Kelly Starrett’s “Becoming a Supple Leopard” book along with a foam roller, some kind of like a ball, right?  Like a massage ball and preferably you know, some kind of like mobility type of traction equipment, right?  Like elastic bands that you can attach to the feet to the full part of the knees for knee traction in order you can attach to the hips for hip traction, etc.  So yeah, I would definitely say using those type of strategies is good I mean, you know, case in point, this morning my “workout” was 20 minutes on foam roller along with this thing called the “Battlestar” which is like you know I use a Rambo roller and I use a Battlestar.  A Battlestar is this really hard – I don’t know what kind of plastic is used on it but it’s almost like roller blade wheels all attached together and Kelly Starrett, the same guy who wrote “Becoming a Supple Leopard” book, he sent me one of these and it’s incredibly hard.  You think the Rambo roller’s tough and this one’s very, very good at like separating adhesions in small areas like your calf, like your soleus and your gastrocnemius that can separate those muscles of the calf.  Those are really good job at separating a lot of the hamstring muscles, some of the quad muscles but man, it’s an incredibly hard, hard piece of equipment; you could Google image search and see what it looks like, it’s called the Battlestar.  Anyways though, great name, by the way.  Doing mobility work like that you know, so this morning I spent 20 minutes of full body foam roller along with the Battlestar, and because I wanted to kill two birds at one stone, I had my hypoxic air generator hooked up to my mouth – so I was doing all that at about 13,000ft elevation.  No, this was – I had that one set on 18,000ft elevation, so it’s kinda cool because I can put up a pulse oximeter on my fingertip and watch my blood oxygen saturation drop from like 98 down to 87 as I’m going through my foam rolling protocol, so I’m building a bunch of new red blood cells while I’m foam rolling.  So I do all…

Brock:               While do red blood cells killing brain cells.

Ben:                   So exactly.  Now I have got a headache for a while after some of those sessions and wonder, “How many brain cells died?”

Brock:               No doubt.

Ben:                   Anyways though, the next thing that I did after that was a hang from my inversion table right? So after I foam rolled everything and I got all the knots out of the ropes so to speak, I stretched the rope out by hanging from that inversion table so I was elongating you know, my knees, my hips and like kinda swing from side to side a little bit and just basically provide traction on all of those muscles that I’ve just kind of freed up in terms of the fascial and connective tissue sheaths surrounding those muscles.  So that type of mobility work is not necessarily gonna make you faster but it’s gonna keep you in the game, right? That’s really, really important when it comes to everything from like over-used injuries to stretch fractures to you know, arthritic-like symptoms, etc. so you’ve got strength, you’ve got power, you’ve got speed, you’ve got mobility and then the last neglected component is balance. 


And balance would be things like you know, single-leg exercises you know for example, right now as we are talking I am standing on… on my little anti-fatigue mat that’s at my desk, right?  And so your son could easily have you know, things like a standing work station in his room or these types of mats and for example, a gym and you know I use one called a Kybounder, and I stand on this on one leg and I stand on the other leg, it was built based on inspiration from the guy who walked around Korean rice-paddy fields and noticed that he had – not only did his feet feel fantastic and got very strong but he had to work a lot on his balance.  This step of single-leg balance exercises on mats that move around a little bit are really good incorporating you know, single leg squats incorporating hip hikes – anything that kinda challenges your son from a balance standpoint is really important to even visual perception, right? And what’s called the vestibulocochlear perception which is like the strength of your ears that’s also very important.  I mean, making sure that you take computer breaks to look often to the distance to train your eyes to see something more than 2ft ahead of you, or making sure that you don’t listen to extremely loud music on your headphones so that those tiny little bones in your ears are able to make micro adjustments much better as your head and your body moves.  And then of course doing the single leg exercises or standing on unstable surfaces trains kind of like that third cognitive balance called your somatosensory system which is the balance component in your joints.  I want you to put all three of those together, you really gonna take care of yourself from a balance standpoint which is important for everything from stability on more technical cross country courses to decreasing your ground contact time as you’re running so there’s a lot of benefits to including balance as well.  So strength, speed, power, mobility and balance would be the five areas that you know, if one of my sons were really wanna get go to cross country, and I already knew that they’re cross country running program was sound as far as like what the coach’s programming from a running standpoint, I would focus on those components.  So that’s where I would start and then as far as the diet goes, you know I talked about this on podcast before but you know, read the article, have a about 40 easy meals for busy athletes and then read the one about how much carb protein and fat that an athlete needs and I’ll link to those resources in the show notes for you over at, please send me a check when your son wins the world championships of cross country running and…

Brock:               And he better be wearing a Ben Greenfield Fitness t-shirt when he does it.

Ben:                   That’s right and those really shorty-shorts.


Slammer:         Hi Ben and Brock, it’s Hammer-Slammer from the Shipyard Sirens in Saint John, New Brunswick Roller Derbies Team and as cross training, I do a lot of strength training and I was wondering what your thoughts are on using wraps and sleeves and belts while lifting?  I usually tend to do this later on in my sets when it gets a bit heavier and I was wondering if you think that’s a bad habit or I should continue doing stuff like that?  Love the show and I look forward to hearing what are your thoughts are on this.  Thanks!

Brock:               Hammer Slammer.

Ben:                   Hammer Slam.  It’s a good name.  So, the deal with this, by the way, Roller Derbies, that’s pretty awesome.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   I would not wanna mess with the Roller Derbie girl of the Roller Derbie girls that I’ve seen.  So anyways though, as far as belts, wraps and sleeves go, you know they have their specific function and it’s important to use them properly and just not like indiscriminately use them in every workout even though I would admit that they look pretty damn cool.  And when I walk into a gym wearing my weight-lifting belt, my bright sleeves, the wraps around my wrists maybe some kind of weight-lifting shoes – I look pretty bad-ass at least in my opinion.

Brock:               (chuckles)

Ben:                   Sometimes just walk around the house that way, just to feel better about myself.

Brock:               (chuckles)  Walk around the backyard.

Ben:                   Yeah.  We’ve done an episode on weight-lifting shoes, so I would go and listen to that episode, so we won’t cover that.  Let’s talk about belts, wraps and sleeves.  So belts, this weight-lifting belts, what they do is they give you something to brace against during a lift and when you use them correctly they can actually help you lift more weight.  I mean essentially what the belt does is it makes it easier for you to create intra-abdominal pressure right?  Like you’re breathing against the compression of that belt and as a result, you’re able to maintain a good position under heavy loads such as say like a box squat or an overhead snatch or a dead lift.


And what some people will say is “Okay will weight-lifting belts can help you lift more weight, so why not just use them all the time? What’s the problem with that?”  Well, you don’t want to rely on a piece of equipment like a weight-lifting belt to create a strong and stable core especially if you find yourself consistently unable to keep your torso strong or to stay upright when you’re doing a back squat or you can’t maintain a strong back position during a dead lift that is less than like a single wreck dead lift.  There’s probably an underlying weakness or problem that you have to deal with and all the belt will do is cover that up and sure it might help you in the weight room but as far as functional activities and activities to daily life you know, it is a little bit of a band aid.  The time and place to wear a belt in the weight room would be like I mentioned, when you’re doing very heavy wraps near or at your max – I wouldn’t wear weight-lifting belt for any weight that you can do more than three times, period.  It’s just not…

Brock:               Oh, really?

Ben:                   Not necessary, so that’s one thing.  In competition, you know, let’s say you know this is very similar like breaking out the – you know, whatever, the aerodynamic wheels during a triathlon or something like that, right?  Like you can train your back to become very strong in training and then break out that extra assistance during competition.  So let’s say you’re competing at like you know, whatever, CrossFit regionals or nationals and you’re doing 2 minutes dead lift at body weight for time right? Like I would not recommend the weight-lifting belt for that – for a dead lift that is only your body weight in normal circumstances.  But for something like that where it’s competition, you’re gonna be pushing yourself to the max and you want that extra little bit of help, then something like that can come in handy, you just don’t want to use it as a crutch for every training session.  And sometimes if you’re having an off-day from training and you want a little bit of extra support to help the muscle repair and recover, some people do swear by using you know, after a tough day of squats and dead lifts the next day, using a weight belt in the same way that you would use like compression leggings, right? Or compression tights as just a way to take some stress, distress off an area, keep it compressed and assist with recovery.  But those are really be the only situations in which I recommend using a weight belt so.

Brock:               I thought they were primarily just for keeping your intestines inside your abdominal wall…

Ben:                   No.

Brock:               …when you’re lifting.

Ben:                   No, I mean sure, if you are someone who’s had to deal with hernias, for example, they can keep you know, hernias from protruding through your abdominal wall; perhaps keep your hernia from developing.  But ultimately the most important reason for wearing them is they give you something to brace against so that you create intra abdominal pressure so you can lift more weight.

Brock:               That’s interesting.

Ben:                   That’s the number reason that like a true weight-lifter would do something like that.

Brock:               So sort of like scrapping a smith machine right onto your body?

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.  Yep, exactly.  So…

Brock:               That’s a terrible analogy.

Ben:                   (chuckles)  It’s really, really bad, now hearing what you said exactly.  Wrist wraps.  So, if your wrists get very, very sore because of the amount of weight that you use, then a wrist wrap that helps you attach your wrist to a bar so that you can grip that bar more readily can come in handy to decrease some of that pain and get you to the point where you can lift a very, very heavy weight if you’re the type of person who has just you know, anatomically extremely skinny wrists and that’s something that’s holding you back.  Or if your hands are so torn up and blistered from weight training that you’re having a tough time…

Brock:               Or from Roller Derbie-ing?

Ben:                   Yeah, from Roller Derbie-ing.  That you’re having a tough time actually gripping the bar, that would be another case while either weight–lifting gloves or a wrist wrap would come in handy.  But let’s say you know, you’re somebody who just has a weak grip, right?  Like using grip strength in the wrists like Captains of Crush grip holders or like you know, thick bars, things of that nature to get a stronger grip is a much, much better strategy than using a wrist wraps, so it’s the same analogy here as using you know like a weight-lifting belt.  It’s like there are some scenarios where we come in handy but in most cases, unless you’re competing and going for every advantage possible on the floor of competition, wrist wrap is in most cases a crutch – again, unless your hands are just so torn up and you need to work out but can’t grip the bar so and that can be…

Brock:               It seems like in competition they wouldn’t be allowed to use that kind of stuff ‘cause that seems like cheating?

Ben:                   No, in most cases, you are.  You’re allowed to use everything from like weight-lifting shirts to straps, to knee sleeves to wraps – I mean especially like in Olympic weight-lifting or power lifting competition you’ll see a lot of that stuff used quite a bit in order to you know, basically get the most out of body in the same way that it’s legal during a triathlon to use fast wheels on the skin suit so.


And straps kinda fall into a similar category as the wrist wraps, right?  Like they can help out a little bit if your hands are shredded.  If you don’t know what the end this stuff looks like, I’ll put a link over to best place in my opinion to get these stuff is the Rogue Fitness website if you’re all looking like belts, wraps, sleeves, wrist wraps – stuff like that or you know, you wanna educate yourself on them a little bit more, you can go check them out over there.  But straps would kinda fall onto the same category as wrist wraps.  And then the last thing would be like knee sleeves or knee wraps and these are like solid tubes that are made of like neoprene or nylon or some other kind of material.  And they go over the knee and they provide a little bit of warmth in the joint, they can give it some support and especially if you’re doing like a snatch where you’re lifting a very heavy weight overhead and then dropping underneath that weight getting extremely low and needing a little bit of extra support to kind of like you know, push out that deep squat or you know, where even just doing like a back squat for example, that’s where you’ll see a lot of folks using knee wraps to help them and to keep them from you know, blowing up their knees for example.  But again, it’s something that you don’t want to use to mask an underlying weakness.  So the knees wraps I would say if you’re using, if you’re doing again like any very, very heavy weight in which you’re dropping your knees below 90 degrees, that’s where that kind of stuff can help out a little bit.  The risk is that there’s some potential for the knee sleeve to push your patella slightly out of position and so when you lift with your patella out of position you can produce some grinding and some potential for like arthritis in the knee joint, so you gotta be careful with overuse of those as well.  So ultimately in competition, yeah under very heavy loads, yeah; for the knees under loads that might not even be like an extremely heavy load but that’s past 90 degrees can help out a little bit.  If your hands are completely shredded right, like a wrap or wrist wrap can come in handy but you know, in most cases it’s just kinda depends and I definitely wouldn’t be using these stuff in you know, in every workout but you know, Hammer-Slammer says she tends to it later in her sets when it gets heavier.  That might be a case where if biomechanics were really going to pot, you could use a little bit of extra help to get through those last few sets, just don’t rely upon the stuff as crutch to mask underlying weaknesses and that is what I have to say about that. 

Will:                  Hi Ben and Brock, this is Will in Seattle.  I have been dealing with before I believe to be a hiatal hernia for the past few days which I believe I got from mix combination of heavy lifting and copious amounts of lemon juice which kinda shoved my stomach up above my diaphragm.  And it’s been uncomfortable, like I’m getting symptoms of GERD and it’s kinda harder to take a deep breath and I can’t eat much food without feeling like it’s just kinda come right back up.  And I wanna get your take on it and see if you know of any kinda natural ways to remedy this and kinda get the stomach back where it needs to be – its proper place so I can get back to doing all the stuff I love doing especially heavy breathing and eating.  (chuckles)  So I look forward to your response and I really appreciate everything you do and take care.

Brock:               Wow.  Will gave himself a hernia by drinking too much juice?

Ben:                   My wife got a hernia.

Brock:               What kind?

Ben:                   It was one of the abdominal hernias?  She got it from the herculean hoist at a Spartan Race.

Brock:               Oh no.

Ben:                   So the herculean hoist for those of you who don’t know what this is, you like run up on it and it’s like a hoist that you pull down with a rope and my wife – bless her heart – doesn’t actually train for these event, she just shows up and does them.  And so she started doing the hoist, it was obvious within like 20 seconds that there is no way in hell that she was gonna get this sand bag lifted all the way up to the top of the bars that she had to lift it up.  It’s like 20, 30 foot hoist something like that.  However, even though she could’ve just gone and done 30 burpees and lost 2 minutes and kept going, she refused and she actually went up wrapping her legs – both legs around the rope, lying on her back, pulling this thing one inch at a time, resting, recovering, pulling it again and she was at the hoist for I would say, probably good 8 to 10 minutes working again and just to put that in perspective for you – you know most people will run up on it and if they can do it, they’ve got it done within about 30 to 60 seconds and they move on.  And she fought this thing for freakin’ hour like she was having a baby and she got all done and like a week later she’s like “My stomach really hurts and there’s something poking out of it.  And it’s been feeling this way since the Spartan” and I’m like, “Yeah, you probably herniated”, so she’s staying away from like crunches and planks and stuff like that for a little while.


Brock:               I think that’s called the tenacious hernia.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmmm.  A tenacious hernia, there you go.

Brock:               With too much tenacity.

Ben:                   Hiatal hernias a lot different though.  Hiatal hernia occurs when part of your stomach pushes upward your diaphragm.  So you diaphragm normally has this little opening and called the hiatus and that hiatus is where your food tube, your esophagus passes through on its way to connect to your stomach, but the stomach can push up through that opening and it can cause a hiatal hernia.  And in many cases you don’t even notice a small hiatal hernia but a large hiatal hernia can allow food and acid to back up into your esophagus and you can get things like heart burn for example, that’s one of the more common things that you see arise with something like this.  And there are variety of treatments and drugs, as well as variety of tests and diagnoses to go after something like this so, and some of these things you really gotta be careful of.  As far as symptoms in addition to heart burn, a lot of times like you belch a lot, you have difficulties swallowing and sometimes get chest or abdominal pain, you feel really full after meals – if it gets really bad, you start to – your stool can be a little bit black like you have a combination of heart burn and black stool that can indicate some actual gastro-intestinal bleeding that can go along with the hiatal hernia.  Traditional medications that they’ll usually get for something like this would be into acid or medications to reduce acid production which of course have issues because once you reduce your acid production you’re not able to actually break down proteins, so you get amino acid deficiencies and so… not fun – so you can also get surgery.  So an operation for a hiatal hernia involves like pulling your stomach down into your abdomen making an opening in your diaphragm smaller and then you can also reconstruct your esophageal sphincter or you can remove the hernia sac.  Sometimes a surgeon can use a teeny-tiny camera and just go through several pretty small incisions in your abdomen, so it can be somewhat minimalist but still, not fun and you may want to give a go to some alternative remedies before you jump right in to you know, getting a surgery.  So, some of the things that you’ll see recommended as far as lifestyle changes that can help out with the acid reflux you can get from a hiatal hernia would be to avoid really, really big meals right?  Like eat several smaller meals throughout the day, avoid things that trigger heart burn which should be like chocolate, onions, spicy foods, tomato based foods, grandma’s pasta, dinner – that kind of stuff.

Brock:               (chuckles)

Ben:                   Pasta.

Brock:               All my favorites.

Ben:                   All of god.  Avoid alcohol for sure and coffee as well should be something you want to be really, really be careful of.  Definitely don’t smoke, and some people even swear about like elevating the head of their bed about six inches like the head’s lower than the feet for example so you’re not getting much pressure on the head as you’re sleeping.  Now in terms of alternative medicine, you’ll see like a very interesting fixes kinda out there in the hiatal hernia alternative medicine world and one of the ones that is recommended is to get your stomach out of the hole without surgery by doing a special morning exercise.  And the way that it goes is this: you drink a glass of room temp or slightly warm water when you get up in the morning, and then when you’re standing, you bring your arm straight out from your sides and you bend your elbows so your hands are touching your chests.  Okay, arms straight out from the side, then bend your elbows ‘till your hands are touching your chest.  Then you stand up on your toes as high as possible and rapidly drop down or like slam the heels onto the ground – you’ll get a pretty good jolt while you’re hands are still touching your chest and you’ll drop down like this ten times like rapidly.  And then, while still standing up with your arms up in the air, you breathe short, quick breaths with your mouth open for about 15 seconds.  Now, what that practice does is you’re forcing your stomach out of the hole, out of the hiatus and the warm water that you drink beforehand access a little bit of weight in the stomach to help as you jolted down and relaxes the stomach muscles a little bit too.  Then the breathing at the end helps to close the diaphragm and the hole where the stomach was lodged.  Now that’s something you can try, I am not a physician.  Do not misconstrue this as medical advice but some people swear by that practice to cure the hiatal hernia.  And so, that you know something that you can certainly give a go to but you know, I can’t guarantee results but you know, I’m a fan of this kind of stuff to at least try prior surgery you know that’s take like…

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   …another thing that a lot of people do with this like prolapse right?  Like a vaginal prolapse or a rectal prolapse and in many cases things as simple as like bio feedback or Kegel exercises, or things of that nature can eventually fix the problem rather than you going in and getting like you know, part of your colon cut out to fix the problem.


So you know, I’m always a fan of before you cut out body parts or stick tubes in your body to first try the natural alternative methods even though I should warn you that sometimes they just don’t work and you have to go under the knife.  So hopefully that helps you out a little bit though that’s would I would at least try. 

Stephen:           Hi Ben.  I was wondering if I could get some help understanding protein intake and insulin response.  I currently eat more on low carb side and mostly use carb backloading.  I’m concerned about eating too much protein especially multiple times a day.  I’ve heard that a higher protein intake can raise insulin even more than carbs.  I’d like to keep the muscle mass as I try to lose some weight, but I don’t wanna do it at the expense of high blood sugar and health problems down the line.  What’s the balance here?  I always train in the morning and 50% of the time I train at night again.  Should I eat my protein like carbs more after workouts or in the evening and then less in between?  I appreciate your help, Ben and look forward to listening to the podcast.  Thanks so much.

Brock:               I remember when you had Jimmy Moore on the podcast and he was talking about his new book “Keto Clarity” and he was very against – well, not against protein but he was very measured in his protein intake because it caused such as an insulin spike.

Ben:                   Mmmm, yeah.  Yeah and Jimmy of course is famous for his images online eating entire sticks of butter which by the way kind of a rabbit hole, but there’s an interesting study that just got released – actually I just tweeted about how they compared like a whole milk consumption like milk fats, dairy fats, etc. with butter and butter actually had a very deleterious effect when consumed in excess on cholesterol particle count compared to like whole fat dairy.  So it’s interesting when you drink like the fat globules in like a homogenized dairy source – it’s actually better.  And if you are doing like the whole fat thing and you tolerate dairy then butter, but anyways that’s not…

Brock:               Interesting.

Ben:                   …the question that we’re answering.  Protein and the insulinogenic effects or protein, it is been well proven that like whey protein for example and many other proteins was including meat you know, steak, whatever, they are what are called pro-insulinogenic.  Pro-insulinogenic and there was one very interesting study where they compared glucose particularly glucose from white bread which is essentially what white bread is it’s almost just pure sugar.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   So they compare to white bread meal with an amino acid-based meal, and in this case they used…

Brock:               That supposed sound delicious.  (chuckles)

Ben:                   Yeah.  Hmmm.

Brock:               Hmmm.

Ben:                   Just like grandma used to make.  Whey protein with white bread and they did this and they took multiple blood sample at 7 ½, 15, 30 and 45 minutes after the meal.  And what they found was that both meals produced a significant increase in insulin and were extremely pro-insulinogenic.  And it’s been proven in many other studies that you get a very big insulin spike in response to whey protein and many other protein sources as well.  Now whey can still be better than sugar, and one of the reasons for that is that amino acids, when you take in amino acids, those have an effect on what’s called your GLUT4 transporter that’s your glucose transporters that shuttles, that carries glucose from the bloodstream into the cell.  And the increase expression on skeletal muscle cells in response to a protein-based meal with respect to that GLUT4 transporter means that you actually drive far more of the glucose that you may take in along with the whey protein or even the glucose that the protein turns into that’s called gluconeogenesis – you’ll drive that sugar into muscle tissue far more readily than if you were to eat glucose or carbohydrate source.  So the effect of the amino acid is to up regulate the GLUT4 transporter so that if you have say, a steak with a potato, you’re more likely for both the potato based starch as well as the glucose generated from the steak to get driven in the skeletal muscle rather than for it to say getting you know, converted into fat by a liver.  So there’s that up regulation in GLUT4 from protein that makes that spike an insulin a little bit more likely to drive things into skeletal tissue. 


The other thing that you need to be aware of is a.) insulin is not necessarily the devil.  So if your insulin spikes, and let’s say you’re not insulin resistant or in insulin resistant meaning that you don’t have full-blown insulin insensitivity and you’re able to respond to that insulin – what happens is your cells suck up glucose, your blood sugar drops and then your insulin drops.  So, really one of the more negative side effects would not necessarily be getting fat or having chronic high blood sugar, it would simply be a possible like postprandial hypoglycemic response in response to eating too much protein, right?  So you would have too much protein before bed and then you’d wake up with hypoglycemia at 1 a.m. or you’d have too much protein you know, in the let’s say with lunch, right? Like way too much chicken and fish and steak with lunch and then your energy will almost drop by 2 p.m. in the afternoon because of hypoglycemic response after insulin has done its job right?, assuming that you’re insulin insensitive.  In pre-diabetics that increase in insulin release from a protein source can actually improve their postprandial glycemia meaning that you know, in a pre-diabetic who’s prone to hypoglycemia after a meal, that increase or hyperglycemia after a meal like high blood glucose that insulin can help drive some of that glucose out of the blood stream and into muscle tissue and cells and so it could help in someone who is prone to a hyperglycemia or a high blood glucose response to a meal.  You also have to take in, have to take anabolic effect which we talked about earlier in the show where you know, when you eat white bread there’s not much of an anabolic effect, right? Because there weren’t an amino acids, there’s no maintenance of skeletal muscle mass and because skeletal muscle mass can allow for greater intramuscular glucose source and higher amount of fatty acid oxidation, better lipid metabolism, etc. and when you compare like protein and white bread you can’t say that they’re equal simply because the protein is going to assist with assuming you’re active, skeletal muscle formation, and so there’s that as well.  And then there’s also the fact that you get even though the insulin response is similar between like pure sugar and whey protein, the whey protein does have a better ability to induce satiety.  So you get an increase in hormone called GLP1 and when you increase this hormone GLP1 you feel full much faster which is why in many case is higher protein diets even though they can result in gluconeogenesis, high blood glucose, high insulin response, etc. they can also cause you to eat less.  And so, when compared to say like a high carbohydrate diet that induces that same glucose and insulin response, you still would technically lose weight or eat fewer calories on the higher protein meal even though there are some negative effects from the  insulin.  Now, the negative effects from the insulin are something that I actually recently talked about of both the negative and the positive effects insulin or something that I recently talked about in on Endurance Planet podcast.  We will link to that in the show notes but we took a deep, deep dive into both the benefits of insulin right? from like an anabolic standpoint and the ability to increase muscle or to improve recovery and also the detriments such as potential for creating insulin insensitivity if you have frequent surges of insulin from protein or from sugar, or even the potential to decrease longevity due to constant anabolic activity, constant activation of what’s called the M2 protein which technically puts you in a constant pro growth state and increases the rate at which your telomere shorten which is technically anti-longevity or decreases your potential for a longer lifespan.  So ultimately, the trick with protein, and I’m gonna put another link as well, I’m gonna put two links for you in the show notes.  One of that Endurance Planet podcast that we did, another to an article that I just recently wrote for and the article goes into the fact that with a few small doses of protein spread throughout the day about 20 to 30g spread throughout the day at different times such as at breakfast, at lunch with a pre or post-workout snack and at dinner is really all that you need.  You’re shooting for about 0.55 to 0.7g per pound of protein that comes out to about 20 to 30% of your daily calorie intake coming from protein.  And if you do that, you generally gonna avoid too much of the insulin or too much of the constant pro growth effect.  So as far as insulin spiking from protein consumption, yeah, it’s true – not a myth.  


But there are other things to take into consideration like go above and beyond a simple comparison of protein to white bread and saying that’s just the same because it’s not, because this tidy effect because of the up regulation in GLUT4 transporters, etc.  So there you go, that’s how protein spikes insulin and what you can do about it.

Brock:               And insulin is not the devil.

Ben:                   Insulin, not the devil.  That’s what we should have called this podcast episode: Insulin is not…

Brock:               We still could.

Ben:                   …the devil.  We still could?  But I’d rather call it “The effects of beer on hydration”, I think that’ll give more clicks – it’s all about the clicks!  So speaking of clicking reviews, if you leave the show a review on iTunes, not only it’s a great karma especially if you say something good from our Science Babe episode on Saturday, we had both the good and the bad.

Brock:               Hmmm, not bad.

Ben:                   A lot of people had some interesting thoughts although you know I just read yesterday, and there’s a list of people who had been in the pocket of big pharma released and guess whose facebook page appeared on someone who is on the pockets of big pharma?

Brock:               Yours?

Ben:                   No.

Brock:               (chuckles)  Mine!

Ben:                   Yes, this podcast brought to you by GlaxoSmithKline.  I know that the Science Babe was on there.  So I don’t know, what they you know, maybe she has her own defense but I didn’t know she was on there, so yeah, there’s that.

Brock:               I’m not really sure what that means, but…

Ben:                   Ahh, it means that at some point she would have accepted money from a pharmaceutical company.

Brock:               Oh.  Okay.

Ben:                   Well you know, that can mean anything, I don’t know.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Anyways though, kinda of a rabbit hole.  The thing I was getting is it was the reviews!  So if you leave a review and you hear us read your review on the show and you email [email protected] with your t-shirt size, we’ll send you a cool tech t-shirt, a beanie and a water bottle – a BPA-free water bottle.  So, there you go.

Brock:               What a deal.

Ben:                   You’ll look good and you won’t get cancer.  So we have a review this week from Sadie…

Brock:               You might get cancer.

Ben:                   You might, yes.

Brock:               Just not from the water bottle.

Ben:                   Just not from the BPA.  We have a review from Sadie James, a mom of a 1 year-old whose trying to have optimal health, left us 5 whole stars.  Brock, you wanna give this one a read?

Brock:               It’s a long one.

Ben:                   Hmmm.

Brock:               I have to read it quickly perhaps.

Ben:                   You can do it.  Okay.  Do we want new music for this one just because it’s long?  To entertain…

Brock:               Yeah, maybe I need some kinda like Benny Hill kinda style of music.

Ben:                   Hmm.  Let’s do it.

Brock:               “I’ve found Ben after he was on a podcast for Wellness Mama, I have always tried to live cleanly and make it as much of our food and beauty products as I can.  I was very interested to learn that my home may need some of my attention as well so after the podcast, I switched over to Ben’s podcast and it’s been a whirlwind ever since.  Also my husband and I started Shape 21 program with amazing results.  I have always been active and tried many diets…”

Ben:                   Hmmm.

Brock:               Don’t interrupt me.

Ben:                   Okay.

Brock:               (chuckles)  “I have always been active and tried many diets and workout programs with results being temporary.  We finished the program and started at the beginning again and we are loving it, it’s a program we can live on.  I’m a mom of 1 year-old and turning 40 this year so I need things that are not complicated and also do not break down my body but having optimal health is our goal.  Ben is a fountain of knowledge and can sometime go way over my head which gets me to Google some of the topics, but I can keep up with many, many of his talks and be inspired on and on.  I can say that I haven’t turned on my TVs since I found Ben Greenfield and I find myself just turning on the podcast, instead.  I would recommend him come completely”.

Ben:                   (laughs)  Wow.  That was quite not awful.  Now what you forgot was all the multiple exclamation marks throughout that review.

Brock:               Yeah, I was trying to shape more.

Ben:                   So which turns me to great Sadie we – your excitement is palatable through the airwaves.  Palpalpable? Palatable?

Brock:               Palatable – be taste good.

Ben:                   Ah, palpable, yes.  (chuckles)  Which means you can feel it, I think?  Palpable?

Brock:               Yes.

Ben:                   Anyways though, that’s interesting and so I have lots to say about the exclamation marks, also it’s very interesting that she and her husband are using Shape 21 because…

Brock:               Yeah, that’s an old program.

Ben:                   Shape 21 was the first book that I ever read or that I ever read, that I ever – I think the first book I ever read was Dr. Seuss, I’m guessing.  The first book I ever wrote was Shape 21 when I got out of body building and decided that I wanted to work out with the only pair of home gym equipment that I owned which just two dumbbells and I wanted to do it in a park across the street from my house, and I spent 4 months getting as ripped as I could with the set of dumbbells and my body weight and I recorded everything and I wrote this book called “Shape 21” and I designed the 21-date beginner, a 21-date intermediate and a 21-day advanced program incorporated in these exercises and I remember I had my mom up for the weekend to film all the videos and photos for that book which actually are the same and the book has in terms of like the photos and the videos that hasn’t been redesigned. ,


Now the book has gone through redesign because it also includes nutrition for each day, like it tells you what to eat for each day.  I’ve redesigned it once to go from like oatmeal and the whole wheat phase and the more of like a – you know, quinoa, and amaranth, and millet phase as my own personal diet has evolved.  However, I have not yet reinvented that book to reflect like kind of like a lower carbohydrate higher fat approach you know, like the book still uses phrases like “clean protein” for example.  So I do eventually need to reinvent the diet portion of that book but the exercise part, if you only have is a pair of dumbbells and you wanna see me at whatever 22 years-old?  Shirtless in a park, getting filmed by my mom doing exercises in the very first book that I ever wrote?  You can go and check that out at a – well you just go to  All my books are over there, including Shape 21 if you wanna get ripped this summer.  So…

Brock:               That was actually the first program that I used of yours as well.

Ben:                   Hmmm.  There you go.

Brock:               Not before I was on the show.  Yeah, like probably a year before I started being on the show, I bought that book and did it faithfully in my living room.

Ben:                   It’s a great name.  Shape 21.

Brock:               It is.

Ben:                   I don’t know.

Brock:               Next time when you release it again just add a couple days.

Ben:                   Yeah, Shape 23.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Was it P90x that does that?

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Yes, we need that an X.  Shape X 23, Shape 23X, Shape 21X.  Alright, so this podcast is degrading quickly, so we better stop but this weekend tune in to a very interesting episode on actually –it’s not the one on “how exercise makes you depressed”.

Brock:               No, it’s the supplements.

Ben:                   That’s right.  Oh yeah, I interviewed the guy in the supplements industry.

Brock:               He is very passionate about his supplements.

Ben:                   Yeah, he is…

Brock:               I appreciate his passion.

Ben:                   He is passionate.  We talked about like stacks, we talked about you know, chromatography machines, and all sorts of ways to analyze what’s in your supplements, etc.  Really interesting chats and also why he doesn’t like lab door, so it was interesting.  So check all that out, it’s coming out this weekend.  In the meantime, head over to for the show notes and everything that we talked about in today’s episode – everything from the Finland Biohacking Summit to the beer in hydration study to of course, Shape 21 and have a healthy week!

                           Visit for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.

[1:08:12.3]     END


Is The Food Babe Really Full Of Sh*t?

Science Babe

I recently read an article on Gakwer entitled The “Food Babe” Blogger Is Full of Shit.

It was written by today’s podcast guest: Yvette d’Entremont.

Yvette, AKA “The Science Babe”, has bachelor’s degrees in theatre and chemistry along with a master’s degree in forensic science. With a background working as an analytical chemist, she currently runs the Science Babe website full time. Her site is an interesting mix of debunking pseudoscience with humor and science.

She lives in southern California with her stinky dog, Buddy (who makes a fun cameo in today’s podcast). During our controversial discussion, you’ll discover:

-Why Yvette thinks that chiropractic treatment is total BS…

-Why Yvette, in her post on the “Bullshitproof Diet“, calls Dave Asprey a Douchebag…

-How Yvette thinks that the Food Babe’s Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte was blown way out of proportion…

-What Yvette thinks is the next most unproven, hyped up, dangerous or scientifically inaccurate trend or fad currently making it’s way down the health pipeline…

-Why living by the rule “If a third grader can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it” is a dangerous rule to follow…

-The details behind the group on Facebook called “Banned By Food Babe” that boasts nearly 6,000 members…

-And much more…

Resources we discuss during this episode:

-The Gawker article The “Food Babe” Blogger Is Full of Shit

Public Library of Science (PLOS)

Science Based Medicine

TheNess Neurological Blog

The “Natural Ingredients” In A Blueberry

My article on Bulletproof Coffee Enemas

I imagine that you probably have some thoughts about this podcast. Perhaps some strong thoughts. Leave your comments, questions and feedback below and I promise to reply!

Episode #322 – Full Transcript

Podcast #322 from


Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show: The Truth About Starvation Mode, Ketosis and Crossfit, Raw Milk Versus WheyProtein, Measuring HRV During Exercise, Should You Eat Before Bed, and much more!

                           Welcome to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  We provide you with everything you need to know for total performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, sleep, brain, and hormone optimization.  So whether you’re an Ironman tri-athlete, or you’re just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from

Brock:               Dude, two big birthdays within 24 hours. This is quite a day.

Ben:                   This is great.  Well, it’s my last birthday last night. Who else’s birthday?

Brock:               It’s Dominion Day! It’s Canada’s birthday.  That birthday is being ahh – confederation.

Ben:                   I’ll sing you, I’ll sing, I’ll sing you the Canadian National Anthem. Here it goes…

Brock:               Ok, you’ll make me cry.

Ben:                   Ohh, Canada… (singing)  da, da, da, da

Brock:               (chuckles) It’s about how well I do the American National Anthem too.

                           It’s like – The star-spangled banner… (singing)

Ben:                   Ohh, Hockany… uhm…, hockey.  Uhm…

Brock:               Actually here’s a – I’ll just really quickly.  A little gift for all the Canadians out there if they’re listening today.

                           Do it!  (crazy sounds)  kolukoko-koko-koko!  Kolukoko-koko-koko!  Here’s a- Good day!  Welcome to the Great White North.  I’m Bob McKenzie’s, my brother Doug.

Brock:               Do you remember the Bob and Doug McKenzie?

                           How’s it going? Our topic today is Great White North…

Brock:               Did you ever, did you guys kept them down… across the border?

Ben:                   Yeah.  Like vaguely.

Brock:               That was the theme song to their television show The Great White North.

Ben:                   Hmm. Ohh!  Well, there you have it.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   You just intrigue all of our Canadian listeners.

Brock:               Yeah. That’s more Canadian than the Canadian National Anthem. I’d -I’d been true to say.

Ben:                   And may the rest of the planet cringe.

Brock:               Yeah!  Now they hate Canada.

Ben:                   On a more pleasant note. We, the boys named it – just a dinner last night and I think I mentioned this before on a few episode.  How we’re kinda getting a lot more into wild edibles. And finding wild edibles, hunting for them, identifying them, adding them to our vernacular, learning about their medicinal properties, their edible properties, etc. So, we made mom a nice, well, actually we got fresh lobster and we made lobster with a garlic butter sauce, but then everything else was just a pick from the land.  So wepicked everything from a wild pineapple to a minor leaf lettuce, to pretty much, just like, I sent my boys out for like 2 hours, and we’re just out in the fields finding all the edibles and we dress them with olive oil, lemons, sea salt, black pepper.  It was – it was kinda cool too.And actually I use all the leftovers in my smoothie this morning. So, we’re almost to the point where we don’t have to step foot into the produce aisle of the grocery store and, this is a tip for you parents out there who may have access to land, or farm, or whatever. I know it’s a small section of our listeners, but one thing that we’re doing now on a weekly basis is, the kids from breakfast up through dinner, or not up through dinner, up to dinner, uhm once a week, we’re implementing an only-eat-outside-day which means they can’t eat food from the refrigerator, from the kitchen, anything. They have to either grab eggs from the chickens or else plants from outside that they find that they can eat.  They can prepare them whenever they want, but the rule is they have to pick things from the wild to sustain their bodies during the day.

Brock:               I like it!  It’s, it’s so old-time-me.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm. Yeah.

Brock:               I feel like we’re back on little house on the prairie.

Ben:                   And I have yet to have one of my boys, munch in to a bunch of poison ivy or poison ox.  So, gonna like it so far.

Brock:               Just be ready.

Ben:                   We’ll see.

Brock:               It’s going to happen one day.

Ben:                   That’s right.

News Flashes:

Brock:               So early this week at, you tweeted out something that I clicked the link. I was so excited.So I dig into it. It was a hundred and forty seven freakin’ pages long.

Ben:                   Speaking of setting my boys out to live off the land for the day, this particular tweet wasactually about Starvation Mode. Really the best article I’ve come across in a really long time, when it comes to laying out everything that goes on inside your body when it comes to, this idea of starvation mode. And we linked to this, this same article in the show notesover at, but basically it goes into all the different studies that have been done out there on what happens to your body when you lose weight, what happens to the body in response to energy restriction? Because there is this idea out there that when you restrict energy, that it can do everything from whatever, damage your thyroid to lower your metabolism.


                           And they found some very interesting things, and obviously, you know, a hundred and whatever forty pages or so, I’m not gonna go over the whole thing in the podcast but ey!  Go read it.

Brock:               Page by page.

Ben:                   You know, if you wanna wrap your head around this stuff but some of the highlights – for example, there are specific things that happen as a result of energy restriction.  And this would primarily be related to studies in which folks went on low calorie diets without any re-feeds. Right? Without nightly re-feed or though perhaps maybe a weekend day where you’re eating calories, ad libitum, etc. So, in most cases we’re talking about 3-4 plus solid weeks of energy restriction. So, what did they find?  First of all, they found that humans naturally down regulatephysical activity during periods of energy restriction.

Brock:               Mmm-hmm.

Ben:                   Meaning, that, not only does your metabolism naturally lowers through a down regulation or thyroid hormoneproduction, but you also move less, whether that’s consciously or subconsciously. When you are on a diet, you move less, you exercise less, and they found this to be true across a variety of studies which was really interesting when you consider that, you know, decrease and physicalactivity can affect your fitness levels. So, that was interesting. But then getting a little bit more nerdy, Folks wanna strap on their propeller hats. Another that energy restriction did was, it induce the decrease in a specific component of adipose tissue or a fat tissue called Eldo-C, and what Eldo-C does is, it reduces your glycolytic capacity, which means that it reduces your capacity to be able to break down muscle glycogen and liver glycogen. I’m sorry. Increases your capacity to be able to break down muscle glycogen and liver glycogen so that you get more glucose into your blood stream to rely upon for energy when you are in a state of energy restriction.  But for athletes, or for people who are actually using a lot. This is actually a catch 22 because it means that you have reduced ability to store glycogen, you break down glycogen more readily.  And so, it’s one of those things where, once again, if you’re engage in long term energy restriction and calorie restriction without doing re-feeds, you are inhibiting your ability to store away glycogen in times of need. So that was one, one kind interesting takeaway.

Brock:               So, would that be the same reason why people like, if we put our diet better kind on, basically on a long fast, like a 72 hour fast. Is that the same, would that be the same mechanism?

Ben:                   Do you mean that for someone who is a diabetic to fast would be a bad thing or?

Brock:               No, it would be a good thing.

Ben:                   Uhm.

Brock:               ‘Cause they’re actually increasing their ability to breakdown the glycogen rather than just storing it away.

Ben:                   Not necessarily because in a diabetic, the frequent surges in blood glucose that would come with a, an energy restricted diet, and this breakdown of glycogen would not necessarily be a good thing versus restricting carbohydrates, but not necessarily restricting calories. Meaning for a diabetic, it would be better to just have fatty acid to rely upon for energy by restricting sugar and starch intake versus going out on a very, very low calorie diet. So…

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   Yeah. Another, another interesting take away was related to leptin.  And what they found was a significant decrease in the hormone leptin in response to energy restriction.  And leptin is one of the hormones that assist with our ability to be able to control our appetite, and so, long term energy restriction, long term diet can actually decrease your ability to be able to control your appetite. And the other thing that is associated with a decrease in leptin is a decrease in sympathetic nervous system activity in fight-or-flight nervous system activity, which we would think would be a good thing, but again in athletes, exercise enthusiast, etc., that long term energy restriction and the complete down regulation of your ability to kinda like go hard when you wanna go hard, could kinda be a catch 22. So the article goes on and on but ultimately, for me the biggest takeway point was that it’s better to consistently push yourself away from the table when you’re about 80% full, and to have one meal – if you’re an athlete or someone whoexercises quite a bit, one meal a day or you’re eating calories ad libitum, such as your evening meal, and even if you’re not an athlete and you just kinda living a “normal life” and you’re not doing like cross-fit wods or triathlon training, or something like that, to have at least one day during the week where you are giving your body a little bit of a feast in response to the fast to fuel.


So ultimately, I’ve only skin the surface of the actual article itself and I recommend you go read it if you wanna dig in to starvation mode, but the takeaway point is that your body definitely response biologically to calorie restriction and long term calorie restriction appears to have more down sides than up sides.

Brock:               Alright. That, that seems logical.

Ben:                   So. Now that we just…

Brock:               Fast is okay, but a long term starvation – you will die.

Ben:                   You will die. Now, that we’ve just thrown everybody up their diet band wagon, let’s turn to something more pleasant. Tea. Tea. They actually did a recent study.

Brock:               Uhm, delightful!

Ben:                   Ahh, yes. Delightful. A recent study on tea. And specifically, what method of tea preparation results in the greatest amount of benefits from said tea when it comes to you being able to get access to all of the antioxidants and the tenands, and the flavonoids and the polyphenols, and all the good stuff that’s in tea.  And it was really interesting because  what they found was that most teas actually respond best to what’s called cold extraction.  And so with cold extraction, what they actually did was they put the tea in cold water and they let it steep in cold water for about 2 hours, with a stirring it about every 30 minutes or so.  And I’m not necessarily convinced at the stirring is necessary versus kinda like making your tea in cold water, like steeping in cold water than just putting it in the fridge and letting it sit for a while, but ultimately compared to our traditional method of making tea, which is boiling tea and, you know, pouring the boiling water over the tea, once the teapot is whistling or the kettle is whistling, it turns out that cold water extraction is actually better when it comes to tea. And…

Brock:               And when you say cold, like cold, cold, or room temperature?

Ben:                   Yeah, we’re talking, well we’re talking about room temperature and then putting it into preferably and this is especially be case for like matcha or a green tea, very cold water. And this is, you know, in my recent quarterly, I’ve mailed about matcha tea or green tea that was part of the bengreenfieldfitness quarterly that we mail on a quarterly basis, which is by…

Brock:               That’s a good name for…a great quarterly box.

Ben:                   … it’s called quarterly. Yes, our quarterly that we ship out yearly. No. But the matcha or the green tea, you’ll know the instruction that came along with it indicated that it’s best prepared at a cold temperature. So for example when you’re using like a matcha powder, you get very, very cold water, even water that you kept in the freezer for like 30 minutes before preparing the tea and you steep the tea in that, then you can either use a latte frother if you wanna speed up the process, or you can simply shake it up really well.  Put it in a refrigerator and let it sit for up to 2 hours taking about every 30 minutes or so to shake it again. It turns out that if you really wanna get the most benefit out of your tea, this cold extraction method is superior and I’ll link to this article, uhh, the title of the article is Evaluation of Hot and Cold Extraction of Bioactive Compound in Teas, that appeared in International Journal of Food Science and Technology.

Brock:               Wow, the title like that I can understand while you needed to rip into it.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.Yeah, so check that out if you are, if you are a tea drinker. So, now that all our Canadian listeners and our English listeners are happy, let’s talk about drinking something else, shall we?

Brock:               Alright.

Ben:                   Alcohol.

Brock:               Sweet!

Ben:                   This was interesting. I thought at least. It was, and I have no clue who thinks of these studies but this was ina Journal of Physiology, and they found that melatonin in administration reduces the ethanol induced increase in duodenal mucosal permeability and motility in rats.  In none geeks speak, what that basically mean is that alcohol can eff up your gut and it can, and most of us are somewhat familiar with that post drinking morning experience of kinda like a little bit of like loading gas, stomach upset, maybe decommissioning a few bathrooms, and it’s true that ethanol, alcohol, etc., and the more that you drink of it can affect gutpermeability and can cause gut damage.  But what they did in these rats was, and I love Brock how you sound almost guiltily silent in response to them.

Brock:               I, the only thing that I was going to add to the conversation was really disgusting term that I referred to as. And I decided I would notsay it on the podcast.  (chuckles)

Ben:                   Oh, go ahead and say it. And will bling, bling it out.


Brock:               It was just called bud mud.

Ben:                   Ahh. With, that would have to point bling that out.  That’s actually…

Brock:               No, no it’s just gross.

Ben:                   Bud mud.  I like it.  Anyways though, can we introduce a bling, blingsound effect here just – because I was…

Brock:               Sure.  Disgust. (sound effects)

Ben:                   Alright. Now that we’re back to the rats. So what they did with the rats was they basically got them really, really messed up on alcohol. They gave them a bunch of ethanol, but then what they did was they gave some rats melatonin, because melatonin has been actually been shown to have a positive effect on specifically what’s called your duodenal barrier, which is a part of your small intestine. So it helps with intestinal barrier function and it can also have a little bit of a gut healing effect.  And what they found was that administration of melatonin actuallyreduced some of the damaging effects of alcohol. So it turns out that if you go out on a bender, it may behoove you to keep a couple melatonin capsules on your bedside at night and take some melatonin after you finish drinking to not only help you with sleep and some of the sleep disruptionthat can occur with alcohol consumption but also with some of the gut damage. So…

Brock:               Now, here’s a question. Does it have to be taken orally or could you use a melatonin patch?

Ben:                   Uhm, or suppository, perhaps.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   You know that, that is a great question because melatonin patch is something that I’ve endorsed before as a good way to get like a slow time release of melatonin, and knock it that wake up of like 3 or 4am that you can get from melatonin when a melatonin wears off and you know what, they gave it orally to the rats. They administer melatonin in the tap water and I would suspect that for this specific goal of melatonin, you’d probably need an oral administration, but frankly one of the things that you can do is just keep another dose of melatonin next to your bedside. When the melatonin wears off, you wake up at 3am, take a little bit more, fall back to sleep. So there’s always that.

Brock:               Sneaky.

Special Announcements:

 Ben:                  Brock, there was one thing that I did this morning before our podcast. One very important thing. Can you guess what it was?

Brock:               Ah, just because we are talking about bud mud now and I’m concern that was it was.  (chuckles)

Ben:                   All that too. But I, I shaved so…

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   As I do, you know, I have 5 hairs on my chest that I plucked every once in a while, and about every 2 weeks or so I enforced to shave my boyish chin and…

Brock:               Really, 2 weeks.

Ben:                   And I don’t have to shave that often. Just as, that’s me. That’s the way I am. And I have seen both my brothers attempt to grow beard and it looks like pubes on their face. And so, I’m very careful to keep my hair messing clean on my face and of course, what I used was today’s sponsor, Harry’s. It’s this great big German engineered blade that looks like a fancy work of art.  When I take it out of the top drawer in my bathroom, so, it looks nice and impressive so there’s that. If there’s any crowd standing around watching you shave.  And then…

Brock:               Uhm, there are always is…

Ben:                   Also, all of their cream, their shaving creams are, you know, they’re low fragrance, paraben and phthalate free, so they’re not gonna make you grow man boobs. And they also are obsessively engineered at a very low price so you get anextremely like sharp blade that last a really long time, on a really nice handle.  They make them in thesefactories over in Germany. But they also, they work, really, really well and they’re about half the price of the big name drug store brands like – I won’t throw me under the bus right now. But for example, one rhymes with killette. Anyways though, you can get -wow, no laughter at all, nothing?  How a crowdy day, Brock.

Brock:               (chuckles) Yeah. I’m destructed by my patriotism.

Ben:                   Mmm.  Yes, that’s true.  Canada Day. It’s so distracting. Anyways though, so you can get a Harry’s blade if you go to and we’ve got a code for you. You get 5 dollars off when you use this discount code “Ben” to get a sharp and précised Harry’s blade. Don’t cut yourself, stay off your jugular. So, what else? Speaking or your jugular, we have a brand new Longevity Panel. So I’ve been talking with the good folks at WellnessFX for quite some time about the fact that I really wish that there was, even though it’s probably pretty small subset of the population that I kinda wanna get this, I wish there was like 1 lab tester to rule them all. Like everything that you would ever need all hormones, all bio markers, specifically everything that your doctor probably wouldn’t order for you, everything you would have had to have paid tens of thousands of dollars at a Longevity Institute to get. What if you could just go and get that all yourself and not have to get a blood test and look at the results, and wish you had gotten the hormone component or wish you would gotten all the different thyroid panels and instead just have it all there at once.


So, what I did over the past month was helped WellnessFX to developed one panel for men, we called the Longevity Panel and one panel for women, also called the Longevity Panel and these are extremely, extremely comprehensive panels.  And I will come right out and tell you, now, they are not inexpensive.  We’re talking about north of 12,000 dollars for a full blood panel, but I mean it’s everything. So for example, like the men’s panel is all your heavy metals like lead and mercury and copper, it’s got of course all your hormones like cortisol or testosterone, all your omega3 fatty acids, every single thyroid parameter you’d ever want to test: selenium, red blood cell magnesium, all of your cholesterols and your cholesterol particles sizes, complete metabolic panel, complete blood counts, of course all of the usuals,like the vitamin D and the insulin, and the glucose and all that, and then ferritin, iron, fibrinogen, you name it.  We put all on this panel to cover everything.

Brock:               Does it have the hemoglobin A1C?

Ben:                   Of course, well of course,it has the hemoglobin A1C.  I’m glad you asked.

Brock:               Does it have the RDC magnesium?

Ben:                   It does. I just said that.

Brock:               Oh, did you?

Ben:                   Yes.

Brock:               It doesn’t have the uric acid.

Ben:                   Pay attention. It does have uric acid. It has, it has…

Brock:               What about estradiol?

Ben:                   It has estradiol. Yes.

Brock:               How about luteinizing hormone?

Ben:                   You can, you can check on your man boob risk.  Luteinizing hormone, did you, did you go pull up the panel and you just reading this and throwing me softballs?

Brock:               No, no.

Ben:                   Ohh, of course.

Brock:               No, I wouldn’t do that. (chuckles)

Been:                 Yes, it has luteinizing hormone. Anyways though, I’ll put a link in the show notes over at  Obviously this is my apologies to all of our Australian/Canadian listeners, etc. This one’s only available to the US, but if you want to cover all, these panels are extremely comprehensive and I put a lot of work with WellnessFX, in getting this created and so check them out.

Brock:               I wouldn’t think that as non-US folks can do especially like British/Australian/Canadian/Cuban listeners who have full medical coverage through their government, but you can print off that page. Take it to your doctor and say I want all these.

Ben:                   Yup, exactly.

Brock:               That’s what I’ve done in the past with some of the WellnessFX stuff.

Ben:                   Yes, yup, you can absolutely do that. You know.

Brock:               So there you go.  Boom!  Twelve hundred dollars saved.

Ben:                   Get a little hacked there, Brock.

Brock:               Yeah, thanks.

Ben:                   Okay so, biohacking. The Biohacker Summit is coming up in the wonderful town of Helsinki, Finland.  And the good folks in Finland – perhaps you read my post that, you know, I’m constantly releasing blog post.  I know some of our podcasters don’t actually read the blog post but we release some – some killer articles over at if you’re not subscribe with the newsletter over there, you should because our last one was on how to biohack your circadian rhythm using a bright light shown into your ears to stimulate the photoreceptors in your brain. And I was specifically talking about a new product out of Finland called The Human Charger.  And it’s a couple of light that you shine in to your ears. Ultimately though, over there in Finland, they’re delving into everything from implanted chips to gene therapy, to bionic arms to biometric shirts to robotic assistance, to virtual reality. You name it, like really, really cutting edge biohacking stuff.  So, for those of you who have thought about getting a bionic arm but had never really known how to go about doing it. So, I’m going over to Finland to speak at the Biohacker Summit and you’ve got plenty of time to get your plane tickets to Finland sorted out because this isn’t coming up until September 23rd to September 24th, but this is gonna be everything from like food prep cooking, kitchen chemistry to some of the other stuff that I just mentioned to wearables digital health, movilaps, etc. So, it should be pretty interesting and again its is where you can check that out. So…

Brock:               I’ve always wanted to go to Helsinki.

Ben:                   Hmm. Yes, and now you can go to Helsinki and get your eyes cut out and replace with night vision goggles. So do it.

Brock:               Nice!  Actually I’m gonna get one of those, the – ear plugs with the lights in it for next winter ’cause I don’t necessarily get seasonal effect of disorder like to a debilitating amount but it definitely affects me. So I’m gonna give that a try next winter.

Ben:                   Yeah, I used it this morning actually because one of the things I’ve been using the photoreceptor lights in the ears for, is when I begin to get on  a kick when waking up earlier than usual, which I’ve been doing lately because I was in Southern Idaho over the weekend.


So I was getting up an hour earlier than usual.  So, when I return from something like that, I begin to wake up an hour earlier than usual, right.  So I wake up at 5:30 instead of 6:30.  So when I wake up at 5:30 I don’t go outside for an hour, if it’s sunny outside, and instead I stay inside and then when 6:30 rolls around, I put those little chargers in my ears and usually that’s when whatever – sipping coffee, checking email, whatever and I get that bright light exposure and within 2 to 3 days I can reset and like shift forth my circadian rhythm, so that I am once again waking at the time that I want to be waking. So…

Brock:               You’ve got a busy guy this morning.

Ben:                   I don’t know. It’s fun stuff.

Brock:               You shave, stuff stuckon your ear, had a big dump.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm. That’s right.

Brock:               Easy.

Ben:                   So the last thing speaking of busyness, is that for those of you who are into fiction I have released the second chapter of my new book over at the two boys who discover a portal to a hidden forested world. And uhm, some people have asked me if this is a book for children. It is not for children although like Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia for example, kids will probably get a kicked out of it and it’s not going to be an explicit book. It’s not gonna be like Fifty Shades of Grey, or anything like that but…

Brock:               Now you’re too good of a writer for to be Fifty Shades of Grey. Focus of piece of crap.

Ben:                   Never read it and didn’t see the movie. No interest.

Brock:               Oh I – I read like just a few sentences because I had to see how badly it was written and I was astounded.

Ben:                   Despite my obsession with – with weighted penis magnets, I just couldn’t get in to Shades of Grey.     Anyways though, uhm, this book of fiction, I’m releasing a free chapter every week or two, and you could check it out at  Last week we played a little anecdote from it.  I got a few complaints from people who didn’t want us talking about fiction on the podcast.

Brock:               Yeah, it’s kinda weird.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               Like, like you should start a children’s podcast if you’re gonna do that.

Ben:                   And here’s – here’s the deal. If you read this book, I am working in a ton of scientific concept everything from – from biohacking to a wilderness survivor, etc.within the book. So you actually will learn a great deal and so are your children as well when you read the book. And so, it actually, you know, I can’t write a book without a tying in some of that knowledge. And so it does include a big component of that as well. So.

Brock:               I can say that chapter 2 is a little dark too.

Ben:                   Chapter 2 is a little dark, it’s a little short, but it’s – I have to have that little emotional component. So, and now if you’re curious about what chapter 2 is, thanks to Brock.  You can check it out.And again, it’s all free. I’m not writing this book to make money. I’m writing it to entertain the world and scratch my itch to write creatively and I hope that you enjoy it, and get a lot out of it.  So, there you have it.

Listener Q & A:

Anthony:          Hello Ben, this is Anthony. A long time fan. I should make it through the Seal Fit folks and then we hang out a little bit at Niel’s event not long ago. And my question today is about crossfit and ketosis, like cyclical ketosis and just fueling for that type of strategy. I know you’ve talked a ton about ketosis and endurance training and yeah, and I totally get how it’s extremely affecting particularly like in that, you know, 60 to 70% capacity kind of exertion level, but I also know that seems like, like with the higher intensity, explosive movements in a really short period of time like crossfit requires that it’s, it generally seems they need more carbohydrates and I know.  Just give it a little bit more, a little bit less way from extreme endurance and a little bit more in that direction in terms of your own training, in your own diet. So, yeah man. I just, uhm, I’ve been in the crossfit year, made a lot of progress, and I just found doing strict ketosis is pretty hard, doesn’t seem to be totally optimum for that kind of workout, and I know a lot of, there’s a lot of disagreements in the community in terms of fueling and how much carbs you should have in that kind of, you know, in that overall things. So yep, that’s my question. Great job with the podcast, blogs, products, everything you do is awesome man. Love it. Thanks man.

Brock:               For all of you listening at home, you just missed me sniffing, Ben taking a big drink and then clearing his throat, we’re like, well, Anthony was asking his questions so politely. We’re being disgusting in the background.

Ben:                   Mmm. That’s right. Yes, if we ever record this podcast live people are gonna get completely grossed out.


Anyways though.

Brock:               Anyways.

Ben:                   This question on ketosis is interesting, because they did a study last year in the International Society of Sports Nutrition Journal. Where they took a bunch of – of a high intensity athletes, in this case they took elite gymnasts, and they put them on a ketogenic diet that primarily comprise of green vegetables, olive oil, fish, meat, partially no carbohydrates. It’s actually a more strict ketogenic diet than and the type of diet that I personally would tend to recommend for athletes. What they found in this situation was that there was no deleterious effect upon performance in this elite gymnasts, and they’ve observed similar effects on cyclists for example, who have been put on that high fat ketogenic diet. And especially for example on the recent faster study by Jeff Voigt. They have found a no-deleterious-effect to ahh, in people running on a treadmill, in terms of VO2 Max.  Now, the problem is that, it’s typically takes a long amount of adaptation in order for you to be able to perform high intensity exercise on a high fat or a ketogenic or a carbohydrate restricted diet.  Now, before I jump into what the implications of that are, please understand, I’m making the assumption here that you are familiar of what the ketogenic diet is, if you’re not uhm, this is not the podcast for you to discover that. I’m not gonna go back and explain everything about ketosis and what a ketogenic diet is, because we have plenty of episodes about that in the past.  We have my podcast with Jimmy Moore about his “Keto Clarity book”. We have the guest podcast that Brock and I hosted on Jimmy’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb show in which Brock and I actually delve a lot into this topic of exercise and ketosis. We have the article that I wrote called “How To Become A Fat Burning Machine Part 1 and Part 2”, in which I go into my own participation in Jeff Voigt faster study.  And then we even have the KetoMeal Plans for Athletes book that I helped to create. And that is available over at greenfieldfitnesssystems.  So, I’ll link to all that in the show notes but ultimately the -the idea here is that if you want to use ketosis for crossfit, or you want to use ketosis for high intensity and explosive workouts, there are some hoops that you need to jump  through that.  Most people don’t take that time to jump through and so ketosis tends to get a bad wrap in the high intensity, or  the power, or the strength through the explosive or the crossfit community in many cases. So, a few things to bear in mind if you are going to perform at high intensities and use a high fat or ketogenic diet to do it. First, it will take you, yes, as you probably heard before about 2 weeks after you switch from a – any other diet onto a low carb or ketogenic diet before you begin to not feel crappy.

Brock:               Crappy.

Ben:                   Yes. And…

Brock:               They call that the keto-flu.

Ben:                   During that initial 2 week period of time, I don’t recommend you do any wods at all, period.  Yoga, sauna, cold thermogenesis, easy walks, etc. that’s all fine.  Crossfit wods, high intensity exercise training, just don’t do it.  You’re literally just going to feel horrible, and you’re probably gonna get sick, and you’re going to sacrifice biomechanics and there’s, you don’t have any business doing dead lifts for time or high reps snatch sets when you are feeling as crappy as you’re gonna feel for those first 2 weeks.

Brock:               Yeah, you’ll get sick or worse get injured.

Ben:                   Yes. So that is number one. Number two, is that in terms of length of adaptation, I found that it takes 6 months before you really start to be able to rock workouts and think about competing on a ketogenic high fat diet. It takes about a year before you really get super comfortable, and it took me 2 years treating like lower carbohydrate, higher fat intake before I begin to get to the point where I could just like you know, easily go for 12 hours during the day without eating or go out on a fasted workout and be fine for hours and hours on end.  So understand that for you to build the mitochondrial density that’s necessary for you to be able to burn enough fat, to produce high amounts of ATP, even at moderate to high intensities.  We’re talking about a process that just like musculoskeletal training takes patience and a great deal of time. Okay, so jumping from diet to diet is not the way to do this.  So that’s one thing to bear in mind is the length of adaptation. Another thing to bear in mind…

Brock:               I just – to interject, I like to – when you are were talking to Chris McDougall a few weeks ago,when you had him on the podcast and he was talking about how people are in such a freakin’ hurry.


All the time when it comes to fat adaptation or transferring to a bare foot or minimalist running strategy and everybody is like “Ohh! It’s gonna take me 6 months. Well, screw that.”

Ben:                   Yeah. Exactly. So, it takes time.

Brock:               What is your – this is… It takes time but it’s awesome in yet.

Ben:                   Next, ignore most of the recommendations that are going to commit you from the regular ketosis people. What I mean by that is a lot of the recommendations for ketosis – ketosis and ketogenic diets are trickle down information from a medical population or sedentary population who is not a, who are not using ketosis for excises per say.  And what I mean by that is, you’ll generally see a talk about needing 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrates per day to stay in ketosis and something like, let’s say a – Terry Wahls, you know, Terry Wahls book is great, like the Wahls Protocol.  But you know, Terry Wahls is using ketosis to heal MS.  She’s not using ketosis for something like, you know, hacking endurance or a, you know, jacking up ketones for liver and diaphragm, and heart and brain for something like an intense wod. And what I have found is that for athletes, typically, on an average training day, you need about 75 to a hundred grams of carbohydrates, and on a hard training day 100 to 200 grams of carbohydrates. And in an athlete who is exercising quite a bit, who is also eating a – in addition to those carbohydrates, higher amounts of fat rather than higher amounts of protein, ketosis is still completely doable in that situation.  Okay?

Brock:               Yeah, you’re not gonna get kicked out of ketosis just by having extra carbs ’cause they’re going to other places.

Ben:                   And even if you do, because you’re an athlete who’s highly insulin sensitive, you’re only out of ketosis for 1 to 2 hours before you’re back in it. And you’ll find that in a few test. Breath testing, blood testing, whatever. The next thing to bear in mind for something like ketosis is that you’ll often hear that you simply cannot create enough glucose or cannot have enough glucose during high intensity exercise to be able to support glycolysis or rapid generation of ATP.

Brock:               Yeah, this is the thing that people bring up the most when they complain about this.

Ben:                   Right.  There are 2 things to bear in mind for this. First of all, you have a cycle in your body called the cori cycle which can take lactic acid generating dirt, generated during – during a muscular contraction, and can shuttle that lactic acid back up to the liver where it is converted into glucose, shuttled back down into skeletal muscle and burnt as energy. And if you train that process by engaging in high intensity exercise while in a carb-restricted state, right, so your body is using endogenously produced glucose rather than exogenous sources of glucose. You can actually train yourself to up regulate the cori cycle.  And so, what would that means is that, you’ll basically producing your own glucose. When you combine that with a little bit of extra creatine, I’m a fan of taking about 5 grams of creatine a day. So that you are keeping your creatine levels elevated for the fasfogenic component of intense exercise that last up to 30 seconds. That one-two combo is enough for you to sustain.  Like the highly glycolytic efforts that last anywhere from, you know, 10 seconds up to 2 minutes. So you simply have to train that cycle, I mean you have to train with high intensity interval training in a carb-restricted state to up regulate that cycle.  Okay.  So that’s the next thing to bear in mind, and then related to that is the idea that when I’m talking about high intensity interval training. And when I’m talking about exercising at – intensities that cause at least a lactic acid release, if not higher, if not approaching like your VO2max. Understand that even at those intensities, those very, very high intensities, it’s gonna take at least an hour and closer to an hour and a half before glycogen depletion begins to set in, right? Before you begin to need, maybe a slow bleed of starch from something like UCan super starch, or even, you know the use of bars or extra fuel, etc. I’ve rarely found, you know, crossfit wods, etc. that are getting up in an hour, an hour and a half range. That’s – that’s more like a seal fit wod, right, where you’re exercising at a very, very high intensity for an hour, an hour and a half, 2 hours. So, understand that you’re not nearing glycogen depletion anyways, and your glycogen levels are gonna be just fine as long as you’re following that recommendation  that I gave earlier of going close to the 75 to a hundred grams of carbohydrate on an easy training day, and a hundred to 200 on a hard training day.


You won’t have any issues with going to the well for long periods of time. So ultimately, that’s kinda overview of what your expectation should be when it comes to ketosis and high intensity exercise. I know I just, you know, I spend maybe 2 minutes addressing that when we could probably talk about this for an hour but I want it to at least give you a few, a few little tips, and we’ll put plenty of our other resources over on our show notes at, but ultimately, there – there are reason you’d want to use something like ketosis for high intensity or explosive workouts would be that you are going to have high amount of ketones available for cognitive performance. You’re gonna avoid a lot of the glucose fluctuations that can result in energy swings. You’re gonna avoid some of the fermentation, you’re gonna avoid some of the free radical build up. You know, and for example I recently competed, I said I was in Southern Idaho, I did the Train Hunt Competition down there, and that’s incredibly intense, extremely intense.  So, anywhere from  – it was about 10 minutes of very, very hard trek into the mountains with a hundred pounds on your pack at full on, all out heart rate intensity, like you’re running for your life. Up to, you know, obstacle courses that included shooting, focus, cognitive performance, and then also moving through burpees and sand bag, polls and tire drags, and stuff like that, but extremely intense for just 20 minutes. So something that very, very closely co-relates to crossfit wod with some shooting throwing in. I was in ketosis for both 2 days of that event. I was using some hacks like I was using a little bit of creatine, I was using a little bit of baking soda which I’ve talked about in the podcast before, and I won the event. I won the entire event and took on nearly close to zero carbohydrates during the actualcompetition itself. So ultimately, it can be done. It just takes some adaptation.

Allie:                 Ben and Brock I have a question about whey proteinversus raw milk from morningsmoothie or morning shake.  Ben, I know, you say you use whey protein but I was thinking about using a raw milk from my local cows and just to make my morning drink a little more natural. And I was wondering if there’s any negative effects of raw milk versus whey protein. I want to get protein in with avocados and kale, ginger and all the rest of the stuff I stick in there. Thank you very much, great shows always. Bye.

Brock:               Alright, we do have another milk question but we’ll hold off until you answer Allie first.

Ben:                   Yeah. Everybody’s interested in milk this morning. So, yeah, so raw milk rather than whey protein.

Brock:               ‘Cause it’s more au naturalle.

Ben:                   That’s right.

Brock:               I like that.

Ben:                   Well, first of all when it comes to raw milk in general, and a lot of the fears out there about raw milk. There are some – some things to be aware of when it comes to like – like the CDC says about raw milk. ‘Cause there was this big study done by the CDC in which they estimate that a lot of people are getting damage from raw milk. And when it comes to raw milk or unpasteurized milk, if you look at the period of time over which they conducted that CDC study, there were 37 outbreaks and 800 illnesses from unpasteurized milk during the period from the year 2000 up to year 2007. So that’s about a hundred cases per year, a hundred illnesses per year, from…

Brock:               It’s not much.

Ben:                   From unpasteurized milk. And that was conducted in a – on a US population of about 313 million folks. So…

Brock:               Woah!  That’s not much at all.

Ben:                   Yeah. So, if we, if we use the CDC survey data that indicates that 3% of the population consumes raw milk then based of the number of people in the United States for example, we can estimate that like nine and a half million people drink unpasteurized milk.Approximately nine and a half million people. So if you look at the average of a hundred illnesses per year, that means you’ve got about 1 in 94,ooo chance of getting ill from drinking unpasteurized milk or raw milk. So when we looked at pasteurized milk, the CDC, during the period of time that they were studying unpasteurized milk also studied pasteurized milk and they found 8 outbreaks with a little over twenty-two hundred illnesses. That averages about 277 illnesses per year.And that was again done over a population of about 246 million people who are consuming pasteurized milk. So about 78% of the US population.  Now once we look at that, that means when you crunch the numbers that for pasteurized milk such as you might buy at the grocery store,that’s a 1 in 888 thousand chance of getting, you know, so you’ve got a 1 in 94 thousand chance of getting ill from drinking raw milk. You’ve got a 1 in 888 thousand chance of becoming ill from drinking pasteurized milk. So your risk is about nine and a half times higher, all though CDC claims it’s a hundred and fifty times higher it’s not once you look at the actual population numbers that were studied because we’re looking at a much, much smaller percentage of the population who’s drinking raw milk.  But there is – there is definitely, and I will admit a higher than – a higher risk of getting sick even though it’s still a very, very low risk. You’ve got a higher risk of getting sick from unpasteurized milk than you have of getting sick from pasteurized milk. Now, the illnesses though that they used in that CDC data in terms of people getting ill from raw milk included illnesses associated with what’s called Bath-tub cheese which is a basically Mexican style keso fresco that people are making illegally at home. It’s way more dangerous than raw milk. It’s associate with way more serious outbreaks and illnesses, and compared to like a properly aged raw milk cheese for example, this case of fresco is not fun stuff. So understand this statistic here. Understand that a) your risk is higher than your risk from drinking pasteurized milk, but it’s still very, very low. NowChris Kresserhas a really, really great breakdown of the statistic that are linked to where he goes into much greater detail than I just did, but ultimately what it comes down to is relatively low risk. Now when you compare that risk to the actual benefit of drinking raw milk, then there’s some pretty interesting things to think about. So, first of all raw milk has much higher nutritional content than conventional milk. Especially raw milk that comes from cows that grays on grass. You’ve got much, much higher levels of conjugated – conjugated linoleic acid, CLA. That’s like the fat that burns fat, really, really important for everything, from cell membranes, tohealthy cholesterol, and you’ve also got a much, much higher percentage of essential fatty acid. When you pasteurized milk, you vastly reduce the nutritional quality, so you get a decrease in manganese, you get a decrease in copper, you get a decrease in iron, you completely destroy most of the vitamin C in milk. You impaired the bioactivity of the vitamin B6 in milk. There’s something called Beta Lactoglobulin and that’s a heat sensitive protein in milk. It would normally increase your absorption of vitamin A, but that gets completely destroyed by pasteurization. So when you’re drinking unpasteurized milk from the grocery store, it’s or rather pasteurized milk from the grocerystore, it’s far inferior in terms of its vitamin and it’s a mineral content. A lot of people get digestive problem with pasteurized milk. I used to be up at night with severe stomach ache and gastric distress when I was a kid, and I would drink anywhere from a half to a full gallon of 2 percent milk, everyday.  And that was just one of my go-to snacks.

Brock:               Wow.

Ben:                   Now, when you look at unpasteurized milk, there is a great deal of a population, including myself, who suffer from everything likelactoseintolerance to digestive discomfort when we’re consuming pasteurized milk, and that completely disappears from drinking unpasteurized milk. We’ll get into this in a second, but even more so once you get into unpasteurized goat milk versus unpasteurized cow milk. So ultimately, raw milk reduces theincident of specifically lactose intolerance. So there’s that as well. There may also be a significant increase in your immune system function especially children from drinking pasteurized milk, or, I’m sorry, from drinking raw milk or unpasteurized milk and that is because it is going to have a higher percentage of some small trace amount of contaminants in it. I mean, there will be not only good bacteria, but also small amount of bad bacteria, but it’s gonna be higher probiotics, it’s gonna be higher in anti-microbial enzymes too. So, a lot of that is balanced out. And when you look at unpasteurized milk studies they found that it contains a variety of anti-microbial components that are completely absent in pasteurized milk.


                           So, pathogens that are in raw milk actually grow more slowly or die more quickly than those same pathogens when those pathogens are added to heat treated milk. Now, I’m not saying that you should go out and find the dirtiest raw milk out there because it’s got, the things in it, it helped pathogens to die. But understand that if you were finding like a clean farm and specifically I would use a website like to vet your farm and to find a good farm to get raw milk from. Ultimately, raw milk contains bioactive components that are going to – going to help with your immune system function anyways. So, other, there’s that consideration as well, and you know, we can get in to things like the sustainability of small dairy farms that produce raw milk and being more environmentally friendly compared to like typical large-scaled dairy farm that are far more energy intensive, and the ethics of the way that a, pastured cow in a raise on grasses treated versus a large scale commercial cow production facility, feed a lot but on a same array drowning in a little bit. But ultimately, the idea here is that raw milk actually is a quite – quite beneficial innourishing for you compared to pasteurized milk. Now, if you had a kinda look at this versus a – a wheyprotein, I personally, I don’t do well with whey protein isolate.  I usevegan protein. I either use the living fuel, living protein, which is like a mixed of pea and rice protein, I’ll occasionally use the Onnithemp force hemp protein,  and I also use the exose vegan protein.  And the exose, by the way, they’re getting an NSF certified for athletes for all of their protein. So you’re guaranteed, is not lays with stuff. But the problem with whey protein is – there’s a few issues with it, and a few reasons why sometimes why people drink whey protein or use whey proteinisolate in their smoothies, get like a thick coating of mucus in their throat, get like, sometimes like head colds, they’ll get like bloating gas, all of those things happen to me when I consume whey protein. And so, there are few reasons for that. First of all, you’ll always hear people say that wheyprotein isolate contain very little lactose or very little of the type of proteins that might cause mucus productions or allergenic tissues, but the problem is that in studies they’ve done on whey protein isolate powders, they still find significant amounts of whey proteinconcentrates, even if the manufacturer claims it’s a whey protein isolate. And if any protein powder has, what’s called, whey protein concentrate in it versus just whey protein isolate, then it definitely has lactose in it. It’s impossible to have whey protein concentrate without the presence of lactose. So, if you’re lactose intolerant and I am lactose intolerant, whey protein isolate that has traced amount of whey protein concentrate in it can mess with you, and a lot of companies will have concentrate in there even though it’s not listed on the label. So, that’s one thing when it comes to whey protein. There are protein fractions of dairy products in many whey protein isolatesupplements out there, and again, even though it’s not gonna be as high as what you may find in like milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. There are enough protein fractions in a whey protein isolate that are specifically those dairy proteins that… Again, if you don’t do well with dairy or you have  a – a little bit of an allergenic response to dairy, whey protein isolate is gonna mess with you versus a hypo allergenic proteinsource such as the – probably the most hypo allergenic source of protein out there, is a rice protein isolate.  And yes, it doesn’t have the complete complement of amino acids in it, but ultimately if you’re taking a rice protein isolate, and you’re adding some – like some raw nuts, like some almonds, or some walnuts and, you know, you’re adding a bunch of like a plants and some coconut milk and stuff like that to a smoothie, you’re gonna get a pretty complete protein profile. Anyways, so, uhm, and the other thing is that the lactose and the dairy proteins that you’re going to find, even in trace amount in a whey protein isolate are not packaged with a lot of the enzymes, the probiotics, and the even – even the lactase, which is technically an enzyme that you’re gonna find in raw milk.  There my roaster calling, back there.

Brock:               (chuckles) Yes.

Ben:                   He’s attacking at the window right now. So ultimately, what this means is that you may be able to digest ironically raw milk, even better than you digest the whey protein isolate.


And if I personally have to choose, I would use a raw milk in my smoothie instead of a whey protein isolate in my smoothie if I’m going for the maximum bang for my buck from a nutrient density standpoint with the consideration that if you are personally who just like sensitive to dairy period, just use like a hemp or a rice or a pea protein. So, there you have it. And my roaster agreed.

Brock:               The roaster agrees. Now, we’ve got another question about milk, so let’s go straight into mark’s question.

Mark:                Hey Ben. I have to stop by saying thanks for all that you do. So, tremendous help.  I got a question, what does it take on drinking raw goat’s milk? Seems like there’s a lot of different information and scams to people out there that are die-hard “you should be doing it” to you know, “you’re a lunatic and you’re gonna die within 5 minutes of doing it.” So what are your thoughts?  Do the benefits outweigh the negatives?  Is getting the good bacteria versus the bad bacteria for things like gut health and other functions worth it? And would you recommend doing this scenario or do you wouldrecommend that for any weight gain/weight loss performance just a normal life, etc.  I appreciate it. Thanks again.

Brock:               So, does all the same things that you just said to – the last question, to Allie.  Does that apply in this case as well to Mark?

Ben:                   It does as far as the raw milk considerations and the unpasteurized versus the pasteurized, but when we look at, say like a raw goat’s milk versus raw cow’s milk, if I had a glass of each sitting in from of me on the table, I would choose the goat milk. And it’s one reason why, once my kids were done being breastfed, we didn’t switch them to a raw cow’s milk, we switch them to a raw goat’s milk. A few reasons for that. First of all there is a protein called alpha s1 casein they’re gonna find a pretty high levels in cow’s milk, and you find almost none of it in goat’s milk. And alpha s1 casein is one primary proteins that you find in dairy products made from cows that people are allergic to, and so folks who are allergic to cow’s milk can drink goat’s milk with virtually no side-effects.

Brock:               Isn’t the caseinalso the reason why the paleo diet like the strict paleo diet doesn’t allow dairy?

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm. Yep, it is, exactly. So, technically if you’re on a paleo diet, goat’s milk – if the paleo police are looking through window would be a little bit more…

Brock:               And they’re always are. 

Ben:                   That’s right. So, another thing, and this is really interesting when you look at homogenization.  You could take a glass of fresh cow’s milk and you could take a glass of fresh goat’s milk, and put both in the refrigerator overnight, and the next morning, the goat’s milk would look exactly the same but the cow’s milk, that could, it separate into two phases, right? You get the cream on top.

Brock:               It’s the delicious part.

Ben:                   Right. And you get the skin at the bottom.  And that’s a natural separation process because of a compound that’s in cow’s milk that’s called agglutinin,and it – it’s basically, you know, homogenization gets a rid of that. That’s why when you buy a milk from a grocery store, you don’t get that same separation cream because they homogenize, they forced the milk through a tiny hole and they are in tremendous amount of pressure and that destroys the fat globular cell walls in the milk and allows the milk and the cream to stay homogenous or suspended and well mixed. And the problem with that homogenization is that once the cell wall of the fat globular has been broken it get a – a really, really big release of xanthine oxidase.  Xanthine oxidase is a really potent free radical that can cause DNA mutation, cancer, metabolic damage, etc. So goat’s milk, the reason why it doesn’t separate like that is it has very, very small fat globular that are better absorbed by the human body. Goat’s milk doesn’t have agglutinin in it. So a goat’s milk is naturally homogenized, so you eliminate all the dangers associated with homogenization as well as all the inconveniences of having – to have that separation occur. So,something really interesting a lot of people don’t know about goat’s milk but it makes it really – really convenient from that standpoint. I mentioned this fat globules and how goat’s milk has smaller fat globules but it also higher levels of what are called medium chain fatty acid, what that mean is that when you digest goat’s milk, that fat globules and the individual fatty acids have a larger surface to volume ratio. Right?

Brock:               Mmm.

Ben:                   So it’s just the same as, you know, that’s why it’s easier to digest a bunch of greens that have been blended up in a smoothie rather than eating those greens.  I – it’s simply results in a larger surface to volume ratio, and it quicker and easier digestion process.


Now, when the proteins that are found in milk denature, they basically clump up in the stomach because of that fat globular structure, goat’s milk forms a much softer, which called a bollis in your stomach like whenever you chew anything, it cause like a bunch of clumping in your stomach but the goat is much softer and easier to digest because of the composition of those high levels of medium chained fatty acids, and the smaller fat globules.  So, that’s another advantage to goat’s milk.  Another one is lactose.  I mentioned lactose in how cow’s milk allergy related to lactose is an issue for a lot of people including myself.  Goat’s milk has very, very low levels of lactose compared to cow’s milk.  It’s simply something where lactose is an issue.  So, for example, one of my kids stutters like crazy after he has dairy from cow.

Brock:               Really?

Ben:                   It doesn’t happen to him at all after he has goat’s milk.  It’s the allergenic reaction and it may be related to that casein, that alpha S1 casein.  It may be related to lactose, I don’t know.  But either way, he simply has no issues with goat’s milk, you know and we actually have – I’m still trying to finish up the fencing at our house all over our house yet.  We’re keeping one on a different form but we have Nigerian dwarf goats that we’re putting on our property here for milking….

Brock:               That sounds cute.

Ben:                   …in a couple of weeks.  Yeah, they’re really, really cute.  Tiny, tiny tits – so easy to milk – my boys will able to go out there and hi-hi milk tiny goats.  And then the last thing, speaking of tiny, thermodynamics of the goat protein.  So the goat’s milk is better for human consumption because the proteins are closer to the size of the – now when you look at the protein…

Brock:               If you were to eat a human.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Basically.

Brock:               If you were a cannibal.

Ben:                   Let me put it this way, so you look at a baby goat.  Usually starts life at around 7 to 9lbs., a baby human usually starts life at around 7 to 9lbs., baby cow or a calf usually starts life at around a 100lbs.  So when you look at things from a purely thermodynamic position, the two animals have significant and different nutritional needs for maintenance and re-growth.  And so both baby goats as well as adult goats which weigh anywhere from a 100 to 200lbs. are closer to the size of human.  So biochemically and thermodynamically speaking, goat’s milk simply matches up better to the human body.  And I know I’m making some scientists out there or even milk scientists are cringing right now because I’m not explaining this in great chemical detail but it comes down to the thermodynamics of the protein.  And if you want me to throw in a few other things, goat’s milk has a higher amount of essential fatty acids even a higher amount of essential fatty acids than raw cow’s milk; it’s got higher amounts of Vitamin B6, higher amounts of Vitamin A, higher amounts of niacin and as if that were enough.  All the things like the – if you go to Greenfield Fitness Systems, the colostrum over there, the… a joint support compound the NatureFlex, the cleanse, the NatureCleanse – all of that contains products from organic grass-fed goats raised on a farm in Central Washington.  Everything from the minerals to the colostrum itself to the ingredients in the NatureFlex, all that comes from those goats.  So interestingly, I actually use supplements made primarily from goats, so you can check those out at  You can check out a link to, Chris Kresser’s raw milk article, etc. over in show notes at, but I’m personally am infatuated with goats.  So there you have it.

Chris:                Hey Ben, its Chris here, love the show.  HRV during exercise, I wonder if maybe you can give an indication of what type of values one should be looking for you know, during steady state, long intensity cardio like all should you know.  Mine’s basically dropping out and hanging like flat line and yeah, hopefully, you’re able to have a look at these questions if you have time and once again, I love the show and take care.  Ciao.

Ben:                   Did Chris say he is hanging like a flat line?

Brock:               Not he isn’t hanging a flat line.  I hope he’s not hanging like a flat line, I assume he meant as HRV.

Ben:                   His HRV is hanging like a flat line.

Brock:               Like a flat line.

Ben:                   Okay, so let me put this in context for you.  So HRV, your heart rate variability – excuse me, there’s a belch, I’m drinking… what is this stuff? Pellegrino sparkling natural mineral water, I’ve been like burping our entire podcast.


                           It’s great for you, fantastic and full of minerals.  Very, very hot these days in Spokane, it’s like a hundred plus degrees.  I’m trying to drink mineral rich water and…

Brock:               How did – did Ironman Coeur d’Alene actually happened? Or was it too hot?

Ben:                   It did, it did happen.  Yes, I was up in the hill shooting things with my bow and arrow during Ironman Coeur d’Alene but from what I hear, it did happen so.

Brock:               Oh.

Ben:                   Anyways though, so heart rate variability.  In the studies that have done – that been done on heart rate variability, specifically during high intensity exercise and I’ll link to a particularly good on in the show note.  I found that HRV is going to decrease significantly during exercise, and the more intense the exercise is, the greater the decrease in the heart rate variability simply because both branches of your nervous system become stressed.  And when you look at your low frequency power, so when you’re tracking your heart rate variability, it’s going to show your low frequency power which is a measurement of your parasympathetic nervous system strength.  And it’s also going to show your – I’m sorry, which – the low frequency power is a measurement of your sympathetic nervous system strength.  The high frequency power is a measurement of your parasympathetic nervous system strength; you’re going to find that both drop significantly during exercise.  So typically what happens, a typical response especially during intense exercise is the first thing to take a significant hit is your parasympathetic nervous system or your high frequency score that should have a significant dip at the beginning and that continue to fall throughout the workout.  Your low frequency takes a little bit longer to drop compared to the high frequency but ultimately the sympathetic nervous system score drops as well.  It’s just kind of a more consistent drop probably because it takes a little while for you to get warmed up and then stressed out and the sympathetic nervous system begins to drop.  It’s gonna be…

Brock:               That’s an intense exercise, right?  Not aerobic.

Ben:                   That’s during intense exercise.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   However, if you look at even the study of heart rate variability during aerobic exercise, you find a significant drop even from something as simple as aerobic exercise.  You find the significant drop in heart rate variability when you get out of bed in the morning versus lying in bed, it’s just the nature of your nervous system all of a sudden being up, moving around, regulating your body, etc.  Now one of the things to bear in mind with this is a.) that’s not necessarily a bad thing when heart rate variability drops during exercise that is why you exercise.  If heart rate variability did not drop, it would indicate that exercise is not stressing your body significantly therefore you are not getting “fit”.  Now at the same time, during aerobic exercise, if you are looking at your sympathetic nervous system score, right? Your low frequency score, if that drops significantly compare to your high frequency score, it would indicate that you are potentially working out at a pace that’s intense enough to where you were stressing your fight or flight nervous system.  And if you find that you back off and you get less of a drop in that low frequency, you get less of a drop in your sympathetic nervous system score and that would indicate that you are doing a better job staying aerobic during you know, whatever if you’re training like Maffetone or Lydiard pace or something like that.  At the same time, the question is whether heart rate variability is the best way to be measuring it since heart rate variability is gonna drop anyways versus just say keeping at your aerobic heart rate, keeping at a conversational pace, staying at an intense – would allow you to say for example, breathe through your nose right? Like to me, those all have far better research behind them in terms of you know, what happens to them during exercise versus heart rate variability, so that’s one thing to bear in mind.  The next thing to bear in mind is that as we talk about during the podcast episode with Dr. James Heathers a couple of weeks ago, breathing has – breathing introduces a variable in the heart rate variability that goes above and beyond just movement – meaning once you begin to for example breathe deeply, breathe short and shallow, breathe through your nose versus breathe through your mouth – all of…

Brock:               Or hold your breath.

Ben:                   Right.  All that affects heart rate variability and throws – it throws an uncontrolled variable into the measurement.


                           And unless you…

Brock:               You almost skews the numbers.

Ben:                   Skews the numbers and unless you are lying in bed for five minutes each morning which is exactly when I personally take my heart rate variability and you’re just breathing normally there lying in bed, your breath is always going to skew your numbers regardless of what your nervous system is doing.  Okay?  So that’s another thing to bear in mind is that it may not be that beneficial for you to be taking heart rate variability during exercise anyways because breath is gonna skew it so much.  The last thing to bear in mind is that I have experimented a little bit with heart rate variability during exercise, and I have identified certain things that really stress my body, okay?  So two things for example: one is back squats with a barbell on my back, and another one is sprinting uphill.  Both of those result in a significant drop in my heart rate variability even more than I’d experience with something like dead lifts or kettlebell swings, so we’ll say like you know, underwater cold swimming.  So…

Brock:               Wait, I’d just have to ask – is it just back squats or would like front squats or goblet squats or something like that do the same thing?

Ben:                   You know, I don’t know if it’s something having a weight on your back, but that seems to drop it the most.

Brock:               Really?

Ben:                   And it did some kind of a defensive mechanism I suppose that occur from having a – you know, a bear climb on your back.

Brock:               (chuckles)

Ben:                   Ultimately, you can use that to your benefit because if you can identify certain exercises that stress out your sympathetic nervous system the most then you know that if you those exercises and then you recover properly from them.  Those are the exercises that are going to make you the most stress resilient, right?

Brock:               Mmm-hmm.

Ben:                   And so by putting on a heart rate variability monitor and I’m not a fan of doing it for the rest of your life because you are exposed to a Bluetooth signal, there is some EMF that occurs.  But let’s just say you’re gonna do it for two weeks during every exercise session that you do to see which exercise sessions stress you out the most, which exercises stress you out the most and which stress you out the least.  Then you’ll be able to paint the picture of the best workout sessions for you to choose for a recovery phase or recovery day, and the best workout sessions are exercises for you to choose when you wanna get the most bang for your buck from a stress standpoint from your training.  So ultimately, you can get some value out of measuring heart rate variability during exercise but understand that it’s always going to drop or even flat line compared to what you might get while say, lying in bed.  And then the last thing to understand is that in the Journal of Physiology Measurements, they had an article about heart rate variability reproducibility during exercise.  And it is you know, if you’re gonna measure for two solid weeks, it turns out that you are going to get good data, right? So you’re going to generate good relative data about what your heart rate variability does in response to your exercises and your workouts.  Okay, it’s reproducible, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can take everybody and do some study in heart rate variability during exercise and necessarily see data that allows us to draw a good conclusions from each of those people but for you measuring just relative to your own body’s response, I’m might do something that will give you some benefit.  So you could use something like a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, you could use the Greenfield Fitness System’s Nature Beat app and…

Brock:               Nature Beat.

Ben:                   Nea-ture.  I always like spend more time in nea-ture.  You look up Nature Guy in YouTube, people.  Anyways though…

Brock:               (laughs)  Sorry, silly…. I interrupted your train of thought there.

Ben:                   So yeah, you can measure it, it’s not something that like I mentioned, I measured for couple of weeks you know, back in the day.  I don’t really measure that much anymore just because it’s one more thing to be wearing during exercise and I know what stresses my body out, frankly I know when I’m not aerobic or I’m not at my fat-burning heart rate and so I don’t use heart rate variability anymore but when I did used it for couple of weeks, I did find some interesting things.  So that’s the skinny Chris on measuring HRV during exercise.

Vladimir:          Hey Ben, Brock.  It’s Vladimir from Soviet.  I’m a huge fan and thanks for doing what you’re doing.  It’s useful, informative, intelligent and fun-to-listen-to podcast.  I also have your book and I exercise in a regular basis so I got two questions: When I work all day and the only thing I want to do is to go bed but I haven’t had the time to eat.  Should I eat or not before bed?  So basically, never eat before bed or never go to bed hungry?  And the second question is, what’s wrong with being called Vladimir?  Thanks, guys!  And P.S. ______ [1:14:49.3]

Brock:               You know, there is nothing wrong with being named Vladimir.

Ben:                   Mmm.  Well…

Brock:               Just don’t use it as your coupon code for

Ben:                   Vladimir.  Vladimir, there’s nothing wrong with being named Vladimir especially if you work for the Russian Mafia, you can get the baseball bat and break a leg when your name is Vladimir.


Brock:               I’m afraid he’s gonna be at your front door when you finish this podcast.

Ben:                   Vladimir, I will be waiting for you.

Brock:               He’s waiting for you.

Ben:                   I will be waiting for you.  Insert evil laugh here: ha-ha-ha-ha!

Brock:               You sort of sound like the guy from the Minions movie, what’s that called?

Ben:                   I was thinking…

Brock:               Despicable Me.

Ben:                   Sesame Street.  Oh, Despicable Me.  Yeah.  You are like a little girl, Vladimir.  Okay Vladimir, seriously though.  Yeah, you probably have heard that eating before bed is bad.  That the food like sits in your stomach or turns to fat or whatever, and there’s been a ton of research on this subject.  It’s like everybody wants to see like you know, what makes you fatter?  Eating breakfast or eating dinner, etc.?  And way back in the 90’s they actually tried to compile the findings of a bunch of different studies regarding meal timing and they found…

Brock:               Way back in the 90’s.

Ben:                   Way back in the 90’s.

Brock:               Talking about nineteen hundred nineties.

Ben:                   Yeah, and that was one of the more what shall I say? Not a lot, yeah I guess one of the bigger studies that was done – what they found was that obesity rates were not connected to the times of day that you eat and they were primarily significantly connected to – insert drum roll here – the amount of calories that you eat per day.

Brock:               (gasps)  Huh? What?

Ben:                   The old saying, “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper.” There’s not necessarily a lot of studies to back that up and yeah I know that Dan Buettner says in his recent Blue Zone’s book that a lot of this blue zones they do that right?  “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper”, but at the same time when you flip that around you’ll look at something like you know, John Kiefer research on carb backloading, you could say that for anabolic effect you could breakfast like a pauper, lunch like a prince, dinner like a king.  And if you are injecting a work at it the end of the day, you would also be relatively bullet proof to gaining fat.  So, there was also though – a pretty recent article on the – it was called ‘The Health Impact of Nighttime Eating’ and this came out just two months ago, and was actually published in a… at the time that we were recording that April of 2015, and they found some really interesting things in the study.  So first of all, they found that a bedtime supply of nutrients could promote positive physiological changes in populations that were already healthy, like on populations who did not have chronic disease who weren’t experiencing obesity and things like that.  Specifically small nutrient dense, low energy foods or foods that were comprised of single macronutrients rather than large mixed meals.  So from this, we can draw that a.) nutrient dense food would be something like you know, having a handful like chlorella or spirulina tablets before bed, or doing something like you know, essential amino acids and maybe like coconut oil you know, dense concentrated sources of a high amount of nutrients.  And so, that’s one thing or single macronutrients.  Single macronutrients would be like this practice and I know I just talked a lot about casein and the issues there but let’s hypothesize for a second that you – or let’s theorize for a second that you were just fine with dairy, right?  Like you could have just whey or not whey but just so like a casein protein before bed, for like a slow bleed of amino acids.  Or you could have for example, you know another example of a single macronutrient meal would be the one that I recommended before in the show like a handful of almonds right? Or even doing like the raw honey and tea, that would be an example of a carbohydrate single macronutrient.  So it turns out that that bedtime supply of nutrients promotes physiological changes.  One of my favorites is you take coconut milk and you blend it up with chocolate stevia, right?  And I’ll put that in the freezer for about 10 minutes and that’s just kinda like a fat bomb before bed.  Now they’ve found that the nighttime consumption of this single nutrient meals or these meals with small nutrient dense low energy foods doesn’t appear harmful and may actually be beneficial for muscle protein synthesis and for cardio-metabolic health, and this is the most recent study that was a meta-analysis of a lot of these studies that are out there so you know, it’s kinda been done since the 70 or since the 90’s.  So 70’s, 90’s – it’s all the same.  Way, way back and the freaking long ago.  So ultimately, whereas back in the 90’s from an obesity standpoint, they didn’t did verify that doesn’t matter you know, big dinner, big breakfast you know, eating before bed, whatever – what’s ultimately most important is the number of calories that you eat the entire day.


                           And yes, that is important but it turns out that let’s say that you were to take some of those calories and shift them into a night time snack, you could actually benefit from a muscle protein synthesis and a cardio metabolic health standpoint.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   And for a lot of people who report anecdotally that they don’t wake up at 1 or 2 a.m. from something like hypoglycemia when they incorporate the strategy.  Now, understand that the amount of calories used in this particular study and the average amount of calories in the studies that this latest 2015 study looked into was about 150 calories.  We are not talking about half a pizza before bed.  We are not even talking about the average size, whatever, you know, protein bar like whatever – a quest bar or bunk break or something like that.  When I personally have an energy bar before bed, which I will occasionally do – like if I’m travelling and you know, I’ve gotten to location, I’m hungry, I wanna eat something before bed but you know, all I have in my bag is like bars stuff like that – I rip the bar in half or like I say if half to put into chunks in my morning smoothie and then I have the other half right there before bed because a lot of these bars are like 300 calories.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   So understand that you know, a 100 to 200 calories max is all you need for this night time snacks in order to get the benefits of eating before bed.  So that’s what we see in terms of the actual research in again, in healthy populations.  Now when you work all day and you get home and you just want to go to bed, if you were working all day, it means that let’s say you are eating – I’m just gonna throw this out there – 2500 calories a day keeps you at energy balance.  If you get home at the end of the day and you’ve only had 1500 calories let’s say by the time that you finish work, Vladimir.  What that means is that you can, based on research, eat a 1000 calories when you get home from work.  And if that – if you’re still on energy balance, there’s not gonna be a deleterious effect from doing that.  Now granted that I’m making the assumption that you’re needing a 1000 calories of good nutrients right? Like let’s see you’re making some scrambled eggs with some nori and maybe a little bit of fish and some roasted vegetables, right? Or you know if not, you know a bowl of popcorn and some ice cream and dark chocolate.  So assuming that the actual composition of your meals is sound from a health standpoint, it appears at this point, based on the researches out there on nighttime eating that if you’re healthy, chronic disease is absent, diabetes is absent, obesity is absent, etc.  And if that meal is not putting a positive calorie balance that it’s just fine so…

Brock:               So…

Ben:                   …go ahead.

Brock:               I’m gonna say, so theoretically, if you’re somebody who has trouble with like nighttime snacking, like there’s a lot of people I’ve – a lot of people I coach always come to me and they’re like “Oh by like 7 o’clock, 8 o’clock at night, I just loose it and then repeating a whole bunch of crap while I’m sitting there watching TV”.  So theoretically they could skip breakfast, wait until 1 or 2 o’clock in the afternoon to have their first meal and then as long as the food is it again, popcorn, dark chocolate ice cream, pizza kind of thing have those snacks later in the evening so they don’t – could that work?

Ben:                   Yes, it would.  It would but then remember that in addition to light and activity.  The one other thing that really helps regulate your circadian rhythm is food and so by skipping breakfast, if you’re a person who struggles with sleep, insomnia, getting up too early, waking up too late – that type of thing, skipping breakfast may not serve you best.  And in a case like that, you could like cut the number of calories for breakfast and half-skip a snack that you may half after lunch, eat dinner and then shift those calories that you cut earlier the day to after dinner.  That would work so.  So, there you have it!  Wow, we covered a lot today and not only that, but we’re even gonna throw a little bonus at you guys because every week, I release a new chapter of my book “Beyond Training” inside the Ben Greenfield Fitness…

Brock:               It’s more like every month.

Ben:                   Yeah, every month.  They take a long time to record.

Brock:               I’m not – I’m just saying.

Ben:                   Anyways, if you want to get a taste of that and the type of stuff that you get inside the Ben Greenfield Fitness premium channel where we’ve got over 300 secret hidden episodes, PDS, videos, etc., stay tuned for after this episode ‘cause we’ve got some extra extras coming at you there so.  And it’s going to be all about how to get all the benefits of being uber fit without neglecting your family, you friends, your career, etc.  But before we delve into that juicy piece, we do have a review.  Yeah?


Brock:               (chuckles)  I like it when you call me a “juicy piece”.

Ben:                   Yes, I’d like to call you a juicy piece.  So juicy piece Brock, we’ve got a review from Swophie531, left a review on iTunes.  And if you leave a review on iTunes, if you’re listening in, you head over to iTunes, find the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast, leave 5 stars in a review, if you hear us read your review on the show, and you email [email protected] and include your address, your t-shirt size, everything.  We’ll send you a fancy BPA-free water bottle, a cool tech t-shirt and a – what else do they get, Brock?  A beanie, a beanie.

Brock:               Or a tuque.

Ben:                   A fashionable tuque.

Brock:               That’s we like to call it.

Ben:                   Fashionable tuque.  So Swophie, if you hear us read this review, we’re gonna get a fashionable tuque out to you.  Brock, you wanna take this one away?

Brock:               Yeah, just a second, my two CPs is hanging like a flat line.

Ben:                   Mmm.

Brock:               (laughs)  Alright Swophie531 says, “Ben is one word: Rocks.”

Ben:                   Hmmm.

Brock:               Hmmm, you’re one… okay.

Ben:                   Dramatically interesting.

Brock:               I – yeah, and there’s an extended ellipses in there as well, I’m not sure what that indicated.  “I mean, he can climb them, figured a way to eat them if there is some value to them I’m sure.”

Ben:                   Hmmm.

Brock:               Hmmm, okay.

Ben:                   Swophie must be foreign.

Brock:               Oh, perhaps.  “What a life-changer…” in quotation marks so, not sure what’s indicating there – “of a podcast.  Keep up the great stuff for the BG nation.”

Ben:                   Interesting.  Interesting.

Brock:               I have no idea what’s this review means.

Ben:                   Figured the way to eat them.  I mean, I don’t know.  But I think it’s a play on the word ‘rocks’ so….

Brock:               Yeah, I guess.

Ben:                   Yeah.  What Swophie doesn’t know is that I actually included rocks in my enema as well.

Brock:               Oooh.  (chuckles)

Ben:                   So that’s one that also…

Brock:               Now that is a life-changer.  (laughs)

Ben:                   That’s right.  That is a life-changer.  No, I don’t actually do that.  Before a lot of our listeners who take every word that I say like the gospel rush out to find little rocks to put in your enema tubes, don’t do it.  However….

Brock:               Like these marbles, of course like rocks.

Ben:                   However, and this is the last thing I’ll say ‘cause I know we’re droning on.

Brock:               Alright.

Ben:                   I did – I interviewed the Science Babe who wrote the article about how the Food Babe is full of s-h-!-t…

Brock:               BEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

Ben:                   And we’re releasing that interview this weekend, and you could hear her jaw-drop when I told her I do – ‘cause she was calling Dave Asprey a douchebag during the interview and I told her I do bulletproof coffee enemas.  It was an interesting conversation…

Brock:               That was one of my favorite moments, for sure.

Ben:                   …that ensued from there.  So you will want to tune in to this weekend’s episode with the Science Babe.  But until then, you can check out today’s show notes at, where we’ll link to everything from the article on starvation mode to the stuff about How To Become A Fat Burning Machine to the article on The Health Impact of Nighttime Eating and oh so much more!

Brock:               (old man’s voice)  Oh, so much!

Ben:                   (old lady’s voice)  Oh, so much more!

Brock:               (old man’s voice)  So very much!

Ben:                   It’s delightful!

Brock:               (old man’s voice)  Uhhh.

Ben:                   Until then, have a healthy week!  And we apologize to everyone from the Russians to the elderly who we just insulted.  But either way, hopefully you come back for more.  Talk to you later,, over and out.

                           Welcome to Beyond Training book, Chapter 19 in which you’re going to discover “The Zen Of Getting Uber-Fit Without Neglecting Your Friends, Your Family and Your Career”.  A few years ago an article appeared in the Walls Street Journal entitled “A Workout Ate My Marriage”.  It begins with the tale of the wife of an endurance athlete, Caren Waxman, who wakes up alone every morning, including holidays.  Her husband leaves before dawn each morning for hours of exercise to prepare for his upcoming triathlon.  The article goes on to describe other exercise widows and lonely husbands who often wake up to an empty bed – a sure sign of their spouse’s morning workout.  Or they find their dinner plans spoiled by a sudden avoidance of any complex foods or big meals before an evening workout.  And of course, parties or nighttime social events get completely thrown out the window if they remotely threaten to sacrifice the quality of the almighty morning workout.  Regret grows as romance falls to the wayside, since the exercise enthusiasts in the relationship collapses like a sack of potatoes by the time of 9 p.m. approaches.  Intense commitment to a demanding training schedule for triathlons, marathons, Crossfit or some other lofty physical goal leaves couples fighting about who does chores, who gets time for themselves and who decides where and how the family has fun.


                           And all the effect of extreme exercise on divorce rates has never really been investigated, resentment on the part of friends, spouses and families is an undeniable reality, with many lonely wives, husbands and children wondering when the exercise insanity is going to end.  Of course, the consequences of extreme fitness pursuits can go beyond family disputes and can also include degrading of important relationships and friendships, decreases in personal income or stagnant career growth and a complete lack of the ability to do anything well except lift the heavy weight, row 500 meters very quickly, or swim, bike and run faster than all your neighbors.  Well, let me ask you a question: you don’t want to regret the finish line, do you?  Let me ask you another question: are you missing the important things in life?  Let me ask you one more question: is your tombstone or obituary simply going to say: “This person was a really good at exercising.”?  The fact is, unless you’re a professional athlete and your paycheck depends on your performance, the temporary glory of crossing the finish line of an Ironman or a marathon; winning Crossfit regionals, or riding a bicycle a hundred miles is simply not worth the neglect of your friends, your family, your career and all the other things in life you could be enjoying.  But the fact is, there’s a way to become uber-fit without creating exercise widows or exercise orphans, without giving up important advances in your career, without missing out good friendships and relationships and without feeling like you never got to get good at other things you really wanted to try – like music or theatre, cooking, arts, sports or whatever else strikes your fancy.  So in this chapter and the next, I’m gonna fill you in on all my insider training and time-saving secrets that allow me to be in the upper echelon of some of the fittest folks on the planet – while still having time to write and play guitar or play tennis and basketball, learning languages, travel, take my wife on dates, throw dinner parties and play for at least a few hours every day with my twin boys.  You may find that this chapter is skewed towards advice for endurance athletes like Ironman triathletes,and that’s simply because not only as that my wheelhouse but I also find that endurance athletes simply tend to have more pressure to put in a long hours compare to say Crossfitters, weight lifters or more recreational sane exercisers.  However, no matter what you are, who you are, you’re gonna get some serious exercise time-management gems, so let’s get started.  As you learned in Chapter Three, most endurance athletes and especially Ironman overdo exercise, big time.  Based on the research at, triathletes train an average of 7 months for the Ford Iron Man World Championships.  The average hours per week devoted to training for this world championships generally fall between 18 and 22 hours.  Average training distances for the three events are: miles per week swimming: 7, miles per week biking: 232, miles per week running: 48.  That’s right: the majority of Ironman triathletes training for the world championships in Kona are averaging close to 3 hours per day.  And as an Ironman coach and competitor, I can tell you that the training programs of other Ironman triathletes aren’t far behind.  Yes, professional athletes train up to 4 to 6 hours per day, but their job depends on it.  Does yours?  But there are exceptions to this rule.  Take Sami Inkinen for instance, Sami’s just coming of an amateur Ironman winning time of 8:24 at Ironman Sweden a couple of weeks ago, and last year his finishes included: Overall amateur champion at Wildflower, Overall amateur champion at Hawaii Half Ironman, Age group world champion at Ironman 70.3 distance in Las Vegas, Age group world champion runner-up at Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, with an 8:58 Kona performance.  Here’s the kicker: despite kicking the butts of the 20 to 30hour per week athletes and beating many of the professional Ironman athletes, Sami trains a maximum of about 12 hours per week using many of the methods you’re about to learn.  At that same Ironman, Hawaii that Sami performed an 8:58 at, I was about a half-hour behind completing the race at about nine and a half hours but on a training schedule of 10 hours per week.  In a podcast I recorded with Sami at entitled “How to Maximize Triathlon’s Success with Minimal Training Time” you’ll learn the nitty-gritties of many of his personal strategies.  I’ll link to that podcast over at and we talk about everything from using a swim snorkel up to training on a computrainer.  But I’m also going to take now several important takeaways from that discussion as well as other tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years to avoid and extreme number of hours wasted in the pursuit of uber fitness.  Now before we jump into exactly 13 ways to get fit in less time without neglecting your friends, your family and your career, please remember to review or revisit Chapter Three in which I outlined which of the science behind these techniques and why they work so well.


                           That being said, let’s jump right in.  Number one: Do Short Swims.  To be a decent swimmer you don’t need massive yardage.  You simply need frequent exposure to the water.  Swimming requires much more efficiency, economy and ‘feel for the water’ than it requires pure fitness, which is why a 12 year-old girl can easily be me in a hundred meter pool sprint.  For this reason, frequency and consistency in swimming is much more important than marathon-esque swim workouts of 60 to 90 minutes, like you might experience in a typical master’s swim class or a classic swim workout.  Let’s use Ironman swim training as an example.  For Ironman you only need to swim ‘long’ once per week and that swim doesn’t need to be longer than 4,000 meters rather than a steady, slow swim, you could structure this workout to include hard, race pace intervals with short rests like warm-up, 3 by 800 at race pace and a cool down.  Then you can simply pepper additional brief a 15 to 30 minute swims like 20 by 50 or 10 by 100 throughout the week, preferably before a strength training session bike or run so that you minimize prep time: goggles, swim cap, pre-shower, post-shower, etc.  Number two is to Train Indoors.  Outdoor bike rides and runs often involve getting in your workout clothing, inflating tires, filling the water bottles, scheduling, driving to and meeting with the group and engaging in another preparatory activities that can take 15 to 20 minutes before your training session begins.  And once you’re finally out there, traffic lights and stop signs can significantly detract from the efficacy of your workout.  For athletes who live in inclement weather, this process becomes even more laborious and often includes a ranging multiple layers of clothing, getting hats, gloves or toe warmers and of course removing and washing all that fabric once you’re actually done with the workout.  So, if you wanna maximize your training bang for your buck, find a room in the house to be your ‘pain cave’, set up an indoor trainer or treadmill and do 1 to 2 short, intense, indoor bike trainer sessions or indoor treadmill runs per week.  You’ll stay focused and structured with this approach.  If you need some ideas for killer indoor training workouts, I’d recommend you check out some of my favorites like MaccaXPro cycling and treadmill workouts, Sufferfest cycling and brick workouts and Runervalstreadmill workouts.  I’ll link to all those over at  To save yourself driving time, make sure you’ve got a good indoor home gym too.  I’ve written an entire article and recorded a podcast on “How To Make A Home Gym”, but my personal set-up costs less than 300 bucks and just includes a suspension strap, an indoor sprinting device called the FIT10, a stability ball, a Gymstick, a door frame pull-up bar, a kettlebell and a few other free weights that I got for nearly free off Craig’s List.  Zero fancy machine’s required and I’ve saved many, many minutes by heading out to the garage rather than getting dressed for weather conditions, going outside and fighting stop sign, stop lights, traffic and grandmothers on roller blades with their 8 grandchildren and 2 schnozzle dogs in the bike path.  And if you don’t have time to head to the pool, just check out my ‘Baby, it’s Too Cold Outside to Drive to the Pool’ swim workout over at which simply requires some elastic tubing.  Number three is to do Minimal ‘Off-Season Training’.  In contrast to their peers, who are disappearing into the basement during the winter to do 3 up to 5 hour indoor training sessions also followed by long jaunts on the treadmill or heading outside to do 4 to 6 hour bike rides up to several months before their actual race, most of my athletes save all their baby training for that final 8 to 12 weeks before their big event and I encourage you to do this too.  When it comes to mental and physical freshness and vigor when you really need it, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to beat yourself up off of fallen winter long in preparation for a spring or summer event.  After all, do you really think that 2-hour run in January is gonna help you in an August marathon?  Or that watching back to back movies on an indoor trainer in gonna create any kind of fitness that’s still ‘with you’ during a summer Ironman?  Number four: Train Alone.  Don’t get me wrong – I understand the concept of ‘tribe’, the importance of social interactions and the exercise motivation that can be derived from peer pressure and a friendly competitive environment.  If that’s your only social outlet and it’s not stealing time for your family and other things you want to do, then by all means, join the Master’s swim, a running, cycling or triathlon club or a Crossfit box.  But if you really wanna maximize your time and workout efficiency, then for both indoor training sessions and outdoor rides or runs, you should try to train alone quite frequently.  Here’s why: group training sessions not only requires significantly greater time investment to schedule, gather your group together and head out for the actual session, but for athletes, these sessions rarely simulate what you’re gonna experience during an event.  Just think about it: how often during an Ironman for example, are you drafting, socializing or frequently fluctuating pace? A gym can be a complete times-suck.  With plus chairs and couches conveniently located near big screen TVs, smoothie bars well stocked with snacks, piles of magazines, friends, workout buddies, vibration platforms, scales, saunas, spas, fliers and articles and fancy new workout contraptions –


                           you can literally spend hours of the gym preparing to exercise, eating for exercise, learning about exercise, and talking about exercise without actually doing much exercise.  Case in point: I recently went to the gym to take a “metabolism boosting class”.  The class was scheduled to begin at 6:30.  I left my house at 6:00 to drive to the gym and get there by 6:15 so I can get into the class.  I then waited around for 15 minutes for class to start, and then a few extra minutes waiting for the late-comers.  I then spent another 10 minutes in the class warm-up although I already warmed-up while waiting.  Each section of the class included demos and instructions by the teacher, by the time the class was over and we spent 10 minutes doing a simple cool-down and some stretching, I’d spent 90 minutes devoted to ‘working out’, but when I looked at my watch, found that I only actually engaged in significant fitness-boosting exercise for a total of 22 minutes.  Although I guarantee that multiple class participants would proudly check off the class as being 60 minutes of exercise.  Had I stayed home and just used my inexpensive home exercise equipment, I could’ve achieved three times as much exercise and still had plenty of time left over.  Number five: One Long Run A Week.  You heard me right.  In your build up to a marathon or an Iron Man, you really only need one long run, typically 3 to 4 weeks out from your main event.  Just the other day, during an podcast, the host informed me that her coach advised 20 runs of up to 20 miles prior to an actual marathon.  I responded by pointing out that this multiple long run strategy is all good and fine if the race involves a pay check for you, but if not, you spend 19 weekends pounding the pavement when you could’ve been spending time with your family or learning a new hobby.  And while a long bike ride is a session from which you can recover relatively quickly, a long run of 2 plus hours, can significantly impact your joints and keep you inflamed and beat up for several weeks!  So, what do you do instead of a long run? In the same way that anaerobic high intensity interval sessions have been shown to significantly enhance aerobic fitness, short and intense runs of 80 to 90 minutes are all you really need to get you ready for a marathon or an Ironman and some of my best Iron Man performances have come from running only once per week for 80 to 90 minutes often with elliptical training on my Elliptigo or noon basketball or tennis for the other ‘run’ sessions.  The trick is that you need to make each of those 80 to 90 minute runs high-quality, not long slow death marches like most endurance athletes treat their long run.  Do the session on fresh legs, after a good day’s rest and you’ll maximize the intensity and efficiency of your one key run training session.  And for Pete’s sake, whether it’s your one long run or any of these ‘short’ 80 to 90 minute runs, make it a devoted practice of form, efficiency, economy and turnover and focus and not a mindless slog.  Number six is to Run on Short Courses or Loops.  When you run, try to stay away from long courses, like loops that are actually longer than about 3 miles or lengthy trails because the longer the course, the more likely it is that you’ll take your time and run it slow.  Instead, choose to run on tracks, neighborhood blocks or short loops that are far more conducive to brief, high-quality and intense intervals.  It’s a strange mental trick, but the closer you are to home or the shorter the loops that you’re running, the faster you typically go.  Perhaps your body simply knows that it’s always relatively near a safe haven, food and comfort, so it’s okay to go hard.  For example, if I am running more than once per week, one of my key Iron Man training sessions would be 12 by 200 meters repeats – literally in the cul-de-sac outside my house.  Including full recovery between repeats, that workout takes a maximum of about 30 minutes, but if it’s performed at maximum intensity.  I feel as though I’ve run 2 hours by the time I finish and my kids can join me on their bikes for this session to “race daddy”.  Number seven is to Lift.  We kinda kicked this horse to death in Chapter 3, but multiple research studies have shown that strength training can improve endurance performance by increasing neuromuscular recruitment, efficiency and economy – especially for cyclists and runners.  In other words, you can get fit without necessarily spinning or running for hours on end.  Anecdotal evidence, particularly from many older endurance athletes, guys like Mark Allen and Dave Scott, suggest that strength training also plays a significant role in injury prevention.  And you can even get a significant cardiovascular boost from certain types of strength training like the super slow and isometric training I discussed in Chapter 4.  The nice thing is that when you lift, you can easily train at home with your family.  My twin boys will often drag their kid-sized kettlebells and medicine balls into the backyard and join me for my swings and slams.


                           They also have miniature jump ropes, yoga mats and their own stability ball.  Sure, the workout is not quite as high quality as if I had strapped on my earphones and headed to the squat rack at the gym, but once again, I’m concerned about more than my tombstone simple saying “he was a good exerciser”.  I’d rather my children have some fond memories of sweating with dad – more on training as a family later.  Number eight is to Eat Lunch kinda Fast.  Now it’s never a good idea to eat extremely fast in a stressed state or as my mom refers to it “hoovering” your food like a vacuum cleaner.  At the same time, I’ve heard many folks complain that they just don’t have enough time left in a day for both exercise and the other elements of life they want to enjoy but then they spend an entire hour just eating lunch.  In reality, you can get a healthy, solid lunch comprised of real food into your system within 10 to 15 minutes and much less time than that if it’s a smoothie or a shake.  In other words, when lunch hour rolls around, you can head out a 30 to 50 minute training session, get back, take a quick cold shower and still have plenty of time for lunch.  So what kind of lunch takes a long time to eat? Salads, casseroles, dinner leftovers and pretty much anything that requires cutlery or getting together with a group to eat so, choose faster lunch alternatives instead if you’re pressed for time: wraps, smoothies, shakes or edible real food that you can actually take out on your training session with you.  Chapter 11 has plenty of fast, easy, real meals and Chapter 16 has plenty of portable, edible foods you can take with you on the fly.  Number nine is to Commute.  Now I own a pickup truck but I only drive it once about every 1 to 2 weeks.  Sometimes I worry that I’ll forget how to drive.  This is because I go by foot or bicycle almost everywhere.  Commuting is not only a great way to mimic an ancestral, hunter-gatherer life, but it can drastically cut down on training time.  For example, you can skip all your bike workouts for the week and just ride your bike to work.  Put your clothes in a backpack and pack babywipes or Actionwipes to wipe yourself down.  If you’re like me, you can even go so far as to wash your hair in the sink.  For 2 years, I trained for Ironman just by commuting 8 miles on my bicycle, 5 days of the week, then throwing in one tougher, slightly longer effort on the weekend.  Now if this doesn’t work for your work location, life or training schedule, you could also do things like: run or bike to the grocery store for small items like bags of spinach or bananas, grab a backpack and run errands like post-office and banks on your bike, sprinting between stoplights and stop signs and recovering during your stops; you can ride or run to social events like parties, make sure you’ve packed a backpack with a change of clothing on yourself or your family’s car and then drive home with your friends or family.  There’s a reason those little Ethiopian boys who run to school every day grow up to be world champion marathoners.  Number ten is to Include the Family.  As soon as my wife and I found out we were pregnant with twins, we equipped our garage with a double bike trailer and a double jogger.The bike trailer always had two little bike helmets and a bunch of books and toys inside to keep kids entertained during rides, and until the boys were too heavy to push around, that double jogger was used nearly every day for neighborhood jogs, 5K’s and 10K’s, nature field-trips, running the kids to soccer-tots practice, running to the gym and even running to the grocery store with the kids.  If you have younger children, try to join the gym or health club that is child-friendly with free kid care like the YMCA, so that you and your spouse can exercise together while the kids are being safely watched.And if you have older children, begin to include them in your workouts.  Several times per week, the kids and I go “Fitness Exploring”, a fun workout that involves running through the neighborhood finding trees to climb, obstacles to jump from, curbs and fences to balance on and other elements of play around us – a technique discussed in mypodcast episode with Darryl Edwards – who owns the fantastic FitnessExplorer website.This type of play, also seen in movements such as Parkour, or MovNat, is included in my  in this book.  I’d also highly recommend you check out the website for more fun physical activities you can do with your family.  Now once a month, I take the kid’s to the local sporting goods store and let them choose a new piece of physical fitness equipment to bring home, like kettlebell, medicine ball, dumbbell, bouncy ball that bounces in different directions or anything else that strikes their fancy, just to keep them excited about fitness and anxious to join me in any home workouts that I do.  Now I know some training schedules and coaches say that “Invisible Training” is advised, which involves only training early in the morning or late at night when your training is “invisible” to your family, but I encourage the complete opposite: make your family a part of your training.  Number eleven is to Communicate.  You, your spouse, your family, your friends, your co-workers and your boss should actually be aware of your training schedule when you have a 5 hour bike ride planned for the weekend, or you decide to disappear to the gym for an extra hour on Wednesday morning.  Trust me, it’s better to announce the huge amount of time you plan on devoting to fitness rather than trying to keep it secret and pretend you’re not training.We used to keep a giant calendar on the bulletin board by our front door, where we wrote down workouts, family events, races, and sometimes the ever-present reminder for me to “mow the lawn already” which as you’ll learn in the next chapter on time-saving, I never actually do anymore.


                           Nowadays we are slightly more geeky and my wife and I use a shared Google calendar.  Jessa knows my training plans and I know hers and whenever it becomes necessary, I can share the calendar with co-workers, employees, friends, etc.Even though it’s an extra step, I try to have a basic idea of where I’ll be and when at least 30 days in advance, so that there are no surprises.  I don’t lay things out very, very thoroughly, but just enough so that my family and friends can have a basic idea of what I’m up to.  Now I also log all my workouts over at if you want to take a peek at those.  Now don’t be embarrassed to wear your training schedule on your sleeve.  Most people will respect you for being committed to fitness.  Just make sure you give advanced notice and when the temptation arises to be rigid in your schedule no matter what, remember to ask yourself whether fitness is your hobby or your job.  Number twelve is to Cross-Train Socially.  Even though I do indeed like I mentioned, perform my actual training nearly 100% solo, many of my social relationships are formed from playing tennis with a group of guys in my local tennis league, smacking around the volleyball on Sunday afternoons with friends or hopping into the occasional noon basketball game at the gym.For me, these are social outlets that keep me from being an isolated training geek who has lost the skill to communicate with the general population and instead stare off into space focused on run turnover or pedaling stroke.Of course, you’re also not “wasting precious fitness time” when you cross-train in your training schedule.   There’s a wide world of sports just outside your front door and many of these sports are not only entertaining and a fresh mental break from your normal training routine, but are also a perfect way to address cardiovascular fitness deficiencies, train weak muscles, stimulate your mind and give you a way to expand your social circles.And while the social sports of golf, softball and baseball may not be the best cardiovascular cross-training activities, you can look into things like soccer, basketball, tennis, or maybe if you are an international listener, cricket.  Now for more details and tips on how to socialize, get fit and cross-train simultaneously, read a 2-part article series that I wrote on cross-training.  I’ll link to that over at  And there’s Greasing The Groove, a concept I originally discovered in a book calledThe Naked Warrior.   The idea is basically this: instead of doing a long workout at the gym, you simply spread your exercises through the day.  This not only allows you to become proficient at certain movements but also elevates your metabolism throughout the day and gets you fit or maintains fitness without you needing to always set aside time for structured workouts.  Since it’s an integral part of being an “Ancestral Athlete” which you learned quite a bit about in Chapter 4 – this is an important rule to have in your system.  For example, I have a pull-up bar installed in the door of my office.  Every time I walk under that bar, I have a rule that I have to do 5 pull-ups.  Other examples of “Greasing the Groove” that I include in my own life to become fit even when I’m not exercising are: beginning and ending every day with 10 to 15 minutes of yoga and calisthenics with deep nasal breathing, doing 20 body weight squats every time I take a bathroom break and of course, using a Squatty Potty, doing 25 kettlebell swings at least once per day, spending as much of the workday as possible at a standing workstation or treadmill workstation, doing 100 jumping jacks for every hour that I sit, taking an icy cold shower 2-3 times each day which is actually good cardiovascular and mind enhancing trick, consistently engaging in the deep, diaphragmatic breathing similar to what you learned about in Chapter 9, you get the idea.You don’t actually have to “workout” to be working out and this is one of the biggest ways that I trick my body into staying in my only active hunter-gatherer, fitness gaining mode all day long – freeing up more time for family, friends, work and play.  Now all of the tips I’ve shared with you are already included with or can be worked into the training plans that will accompany the final version of this book over at  Now incidentally, I happen to write this chapter while I was hooked up to an electro-stimulation device that was firing away on my quads and hamstrings, giving me a training and recovery effect while I sat on the couchand my kids were playing with Legos on either side of me.  Had I wanted to burn fat at the same time, I could have also been wearing a CoolFatBurner vest.  And if you want to free up even more time and if you are willing to incorporate these type of time-saving biohacking technologies in your own life, I could’ve used any of the other type of things I’d recommend in my Underground Training Tactics For Enhancing Endurance chapter.  Now I will admit, that if you feel as though some of these biohacks or time-enhancing techniques make you feel as though you’re missing the journey of your quest to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve, then you can skip some of this stuff.  If you enjoy a five-hour bike ride, by all means, do it.  But make sure that you ask yourself whether perhaps a 2-hour bike ride and then 3 hours with your kids might be an even better option.  Well, a full list of additional chapter resources, helpful links, scientific references and surprise bonuses for this chapter are available at, enjoy.

                           Visit for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.

[1:56:17.2]      END









322: The Truth About “Starvation Mode”, Does Ketosis Work For Crossfit, Measuring HRV During Exercise & More!


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

July 1, 2015 Podcast: Does Ketosis Work For Crossfit, Raw Milk vs. Whey Protein, Measuring HRV During Exercise, and Should You Eat Before Bed?

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Sep 23-24, 2015. Ben is speaking at the Biohackers Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now.

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Ben Greenfield has officially launched his first work of fiction: “The Forest”. Twin brothers River and Terran discover a portal to a hidden forested world attacked by parasitic fungi, dark shamans, and serpents. Along with an assembled band of unlikely misfits that includes coyotes, whitetail deer, wood thrushes, and fox squirrels, they must unlock their unique powers to control the elements of earth, air, fire and water, and save the forest before the evil they’ve uncovered can spill back into their own world. Click here to read it now! (or click here to listen to audiobook version inside our Premium channel). New chapters released every 7-14 days.

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

Does Ketosis Work For Crossfit?

Anthony says: He knows you have talked a ton about Ketosis for endurance events but now that you are skewing more towards the shorter high intensity type of training for OCR would you still recommend it (he does Crossfit). He understands how ketosis is advantageous for the 60-70% intensity range but with higher intensity and explosive workouts, don’t you need more carbs. He has been trying to use ketosis for his Crossfit lifestyle but finds it to be hard and there seems to be a lot of controversy around that type of diet.

Raw Milk vs. Whey Protein

Allie says: She is wondering what you think of using raw milk in a morning smoothie/shake rather than whey protein. She knows that you use whey but she would like her morning smoothie to be more “au natural”. She gets raw milk from some local cows and is wondering if there are any negative effects of raw milk instead of whey protein to go along with her  avocados, kale, ginger and all that other good stuff.

— ALSO —

Mark says: He is wondering what you think of drinking raw goat’s milk. It seems all over the board from the die hard “you should do it” to “you’re a lunatic and you’re going to die in 5 minutes”. Do the benefits outweigh the negatives? Is getting the good bacteria vs the bad bacteria for gut health worth it? Would you recommend this? Do you do it? Is it good for weight gain or loss or better performance?

Measuring HRV During Exercise

Chris says: He would like to know more about measuring HRV during exercise – what type of values should someone be looking for during steady state, aerobic, low intensity cardio? His is hanging like a flat line. What could this indicate?

In my response, I recommend:

Should You Eat Before Bed?

Vladimir says: He works all day and sometimes when he gets home he just wants to go to bed. Is it a bad thing to skip dinner or is it worse to eat right before going to bed? Basically: never eat before bed or never go to bed hungry? He also wants to know what is wrong with being called Vladimir? (we made a joke about that name in last weeks’s show)


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Backpacking, Bowhunting & Shooting Tips From A Natural Born Hunter.

Will Bradley
Last weekend, I competed at the TrainToHunt event in Northern Idaho.
And on the day this podcast is released, I’m competing at a second TrainToHunt event in Southern Idaho.
If you have absolutely no idea what a TrainToHunt event is, then I’d highly recommend you listen in to my previous TrainToHunt podcast with Kenton Clairmont. In it, Kenton and I discuss why bowhunting is probably the most appropriate example of ancestral athleticism and functional fitness that exists, and why I’m personally getting more and more into the bowhunting scene.
I also talk quite a bit about hunting fitness in the episode “How To Build Primal Fitness And Endurance By Hunting: An Interview With A Bowhunting Triathlete.”
Today, I interview Will Bradley (pictured above), fellow podcaster, TrainToHunt director and host of the Natural Born Hunter podcast.
Will was born and raised in upstate New York, where the concept, image, and ideas of hunting are deeply rooted in the culture. Although Will wasn’t “born” into a hunting family, his love for nature and the outdoors has always run through his blood. He spent many hours upland bird hunting and fly fishing with his grandfather in Adirondacks in his youth, and in 2012, Will took this passion for the outdoors to the next level, as he purchased his first bow. Will is a passionate bow hunter, and an avid CrossFit athlete, and as the paths of fitness and bowhunting began to intersect, Train to Hunt became the obvious choice for Will as a way to express and share his appreciation for the sport.
Here’s Will’s take on being what he calls a “hunter athlete”:
“My whole life, I have always had a desire to take on new challenges and push myself out of my comfort zone. Being a hunter athlete is a never ending challenge, where the word comfort is seldom used. You have to always push yourself past your limits physically and mentally to find success. A hunter athlete must go farther than others have travelled before and push themselves well outside the boundaries of what is thought to be conventional hunting. It is on the edge of these limits that we define our sport. There is no offseason and there are no breaks. Becoming a hunter is one of the best decisions I have made in my life.”
In this episode, you’ll discover:
-How a construction worker from upstate New York got into bowhunting…
-Why Will thinks sitting in a tree stand for your hunting still requires a fit body…
-Whether this whole TrainToHunt and hunting fitness thing is a passing fad…
-What Will’s workouts look like, and what he eats…
-The biggest mistakes people make when getting ready for something like TrainToHunt…
-The best way to estimate your yardage when shooting…
-How to fill a pack  the right way… 
-And much more!
Resources we discuss during this episode:
This podcast was brought to you by Onnit, where you can save boatloads of money on things like sandbags, kettlebebells and walnut butter. Do you have questions, comments or feedback about Train To Hunt, hunting fitness, shooting, packing, or any other topic Will and I discuss? If so, leave your thoughts below…

321: Chicken Broth vs. Beef Broth, Home Altitude Training, How To Recover From Overreaching & More!


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

June 24, 2015 Podcast: Is It Safe To Leave Metal Plates And Metal Screws In Your Body, Chicken Broth vs. Beef Broth, What’s The Best Way To Do Home Altitude Training, and How To Recover From Overreaching.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.


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Ben Greenfield has officially launched his first work of fiction: “The Forest”. Twin brothers River and Terran discover a portal to a hidden forested world attacked by parasitic fungi, dark shamans, and serpents. Along with an assembled band of unlikely misfits that includes coyotes, whitetail deer, wood thrushes, and fox squirrels, they must unlock their unique powers to control the elements of earth, air, fire and water, and save the forest before the evil they’ve uncovered can spill back into their own world. Click here to read it now! New chapters released every 7-14 days.

Make a donation to convert an entire classroom in California into a standing desk classroom! This is the pilot experiment that could change how schools worldwide are designed. Tim Ferriss, me and many others are joining forces with Kelly and Juliet Starrett, the brains behind this project and founders of StandUpKids. The goal is to get every public school student in the US at a standing desk within 10 years. This massive goal is achievable if the right snowballs are put in motion now, and this proof-of-concept school is the most important. Media coverage, national attention, political pressure/alliances, etc. can all stem from this. It’s super high leverage.

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

Is It Safe To Leave Metal Plates And Metal Screws In Your Body?

Marc says: He has a metal plate in his ankle from where he broke it playing tennis a few years ago. He has recovered fully and even feels 110% but is wondering if you recommend having foreign bodies (like the plate and screws he has) removed from your body or just left in. His doctor says that it is completely his choice but he can’t find a good answer anywhere he looks.

Chicken Broth vs. Beef Broth

Jane says: She listened to the podcast about Bone Broth and still has one question – if the animals were all raised on ethically run farms and pasture fed, is there a big nutritional difference between chicken and beef bones? Is there a reason to choose one over the other?

In my response, I recommend:
Podcast episode with Chef Lance Roll

What’s The Best Way To Do Home Altitude Training?

James says: He has been using the AltoLab Altitude Simulator device for almost a year. He finds the protocols provided in the instructions to be quite taxing but along with the usual fatigue he gets eye muscle soreness (that passes with recovery). Do you have any insights into how to use this device other than the recommended 6min on, 4min off, for one hour, several times a week (if not every day).

In my response, I recommend:
Elevation Training Mask

How To Recover From Overreaching

Garik says: He is reading Beyond Training right now and is at the “overreaching” section. He has two questions about that: Is overreaching and lifting to failure the same thing? And during the recovery period of overreaching, is “Grease the Groove” ok to do? Or do you have to rest for the full 2-3 days (which would mean you can only workout 3 times per week) to get the best results and full nervous system recovery?

In my response, I recommend:
The NatureBeat app


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Episode #321 – Full Transcript

Podcast #321 from


Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show: Using Baking Soda For Performance, Is It Safe To Leave Metal Plates And Metal Screws In Your Body, Chicken Broth vs. Beef Broth, What’s The Best Way To Do Altitude Training, How To Recover From Overreaching and much more!

Welcome to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  We provide you with everything you need to know for total performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, sleep, brain, and hormone optimization.  So whether you’re an Ironman tri-athlete, or you’re just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from

Brock:               {crows like a rooster)

Ben:                   That’s right, we’ve already heard them a couple times before we even started recording, and I believe that my rooster may threaten to interrupt us many more times during today’s podcast.

Brock:               So you got yourself a rooster that doesn’t know what time.

Ben:                   I have chickens everywhere.  We have a mobile chicken coup and sometimes they’re getting out from the chicken coup but our rooster in particular, seems to be a rather confused rooster.  He’s name is Mister – really inventive, creative name.

Brock:               Seems to be a missing part of his name.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.  No, just ‘Mister’ but he crows all day long, pretty much the entire day: not just the morning, not just 4 a.m., not just 10 p.m. but just kind of all day long.  So I believe…

Brock:               That’s when you started talking about this I just – I pulled up – I Googled ‘why do rooster or when do roosters crow?’…

Ben:                   Mmm.

Brock:               and apparently… apparently, they will crow at any variety of stimuli.

Ben:                   Mmm!  So it’s not…

Brock:               Like being fed.

Ben:                   So it’s not just that my particular rooster has an F top circadian rhythm it’s just roosters in general.

Brock:               Yeah, it even says right here “roosters really aren’t picky when it comes to excuses for crowing.”

Ben:                   Hmmm.  Well there you have it!  We’ve shattered…

Brock:               There you go!

Ben:                   We’ve shattered the myth about chickens that roosters just crow in the morning.  So if you don’t learn anything else from today’s episode, you now know an interesting fact about roosters. 

News Flashes:

Ben:                   Well Brock, rooster’s crow but I tweet and whether it’s Twitter…

Brock:               Ahhh! Nice one!

Ben:                   I know, (clears throat)  excuse me, I’m losing my voice.  I still have too much, and literally just finished my smoothie.  I think I’ve still got smoothie chards floating in my tonsils.

Brock:               (ice in a glass clinking)  You hear that?

Ben:                   Oh, what are you drinking?  Scotch on the rocks?

Brock:               (chuckles)  I wish.  No, it’s a – I’ve been cold brewing coffee in my French press.

Ben:                   Mmm!

Brock:               It’s actually like put all the grounds in, put all the water in and then just put it in a fridge for like a few hours and it’s so good.  It’s so good.

Ben:                   Less acidic, too.

Brock:               It’s totally, yeah.  It’s so smooth.  It doesn’t get bitter like if you make regular coffee and then just put it in a fridge.  You can actually cool it while it’s brewing, it’s so smooth.

Ben:                   Yeah, I’m a fan.

Brock:               You can find Scotch?

Ben:                   Fan of cold brew.  Anyways though, a few things that I tweeted out this week that might be of interest to those of you listening in: the first is about baking soda. And…

Brock:               Again?

Ben:                   Yeah!

Brock:               You’re obsessed with baking soda!

Ben:                   Well I thought this was kind of interesting because – well here, I was speaking with someone about this, this weekend at the Train to Hunt Competition which I competed in and I think I mentioned last week I was gonna compete in it.  After – well, I’m going to be releasing a podcast this Saturday with more details, but after nearly killing several small forest animals and hikers with straight arrows, I managed to eke out a third place in the competition.  But it was very – it’s very, very intense right? Like whereas a Spartan Race might last, you know, an hour up to five plus hours or you know, a triathlon: two hours to ten plus hours.  These events are very, very fast.  We’re talking like you know, five minutes to twenty minutes of just like super duper high, high intensity similar to like a cross fit wod, for example.  And in situation…

Brock:               So one of those things like not everybody sort of starts all at once?  Like you go one at a time kind of thing?

Ben:                   Hmmm.  There are hits.  So… and hits are relatively small you know, three to five individuals competing in a hit.  So, the reason that I was having – the reason I bring this up is we’re talking about buffering lactic acid.  And the fact that especially for these shorter more sprint-like competitions, sodium bicarbonate has a great deal of research behind it, in terms of its ability to buffer the lactic acid and the hydrogen ions that build up during extremely difficult efforts.


                           So whereas bicarbonate hasn’t really been shown to help you much with aerobic activities like say, an Ironman triathlon or really anything that lasts much longer than about thirty minutes.  It has indeed – especially for high intensity interval training and anaerobic efforts been shown to give you some really significant increase in performance.  I mean we’re talking like 15 to 20% improvements…

Brock:               Woah!

Ben:                   …in terms of your speed that which you can complete events.  Now there was an interesting study that came out June 4th of 2015.  So relatively, recently – about sodium bicarbonate and its ability to improve exercise tolerance; its effects on high intensity intermittent exercise – but in this study they actually had a very precise dosing schedule for the sodium bicarbonate which is for those of you listening in, you haven’t yet caught wind of this on previous podcast is baking soda.  And in this…

Brock:               The old baking soda.

Ben:                   In this particular study they took 0.4g/kg, which is a relatively standard dose of sodium bicarbonate that’s been used in other studies but…

Brock:               Grams per kilogram of body weight or the muscle mass.

Ben:                   Grams per kilogram of body weight.  So let’s say for the – let’s say for like an 80 kilogram individual, we’re looking at somewhere in the range of like 31-32 grams of baking soda.  What they did was they spread it out…

Brock:               Ben, 3.1.

Ben:                   Ah, no.  No, 31-32 grams because 0.4 g/kg let’s for like…

Brock:               Ah, yeah, yeah.  Sorry, I didn’t move the decimal point over.

Ben:                   Yeah.  That’s okay.  You’re Canadian.  So, what they did was they took the baking soda and they split it into micro doses about every 30 minutes or so leading into the competition, or actually it was a – I’m sorry, not every 30 minutes, about every 10 minutes leading into the competition with the last dose taking place about 15 minutes prior to exercise.  In this case, in the case of this study, the first dose taking place about 90 minutes before exercise so, counting back from the time that the high intensity exercise is supposed to take place, you would for example at 90 minutes, 80 minutes, 70 minutes, 60 minutes and 50 minutes take in a small portion of baking soda.  Now the total amount that you would actually take in would still come out to let’s say, you’re taking five micro doses to six micro doses around in that amount.  You know, if you weighed 80kg it still come out to about a level teaspoon because a level teaspoon contains about 4g or so of baking soda – that’s the approximate amount.  So think one level teaspoon, not a heaping teaspoon…

Brock:               So not much.

Ben:                   but a level small teaspoon…

Brock:               It’s a pretty small amount.

Ben:                   It’s about 4g of baking soda and you would split that out.  The reason you wanna split it up is so that you don’t get the gastric distress that would occur from you taking all of that at once.  So let’s say you have a race or a very hard event like some kind of a hit or something like that, that starts at 9 a.m.  Well starting at 7:30a.m. you take a small amount of baking soda and then every 10 minutes thereafter until you gotten up to the amount that you’re supposed to take in if you’re shooting for that 0.4g/kg of body weight.  You would simply spread it all out you know, so for an 80 kg person, one level teaspoon, you’ll spread out in those 10 minute increments leading up to the event or the competition.  Now a few things about baking soda, and of course I link to the study and all these recommendations in the show notes.  You can access the show notes at  The first thing is that you must consume significant amounts of water when you consume baking soda to eliminate some of the GI distress that tends to occur when you consume baking soda also known as…

Brock:               When you…

Ben:                   …diaper pants or explosive diarrhea.

Brock:               Okay.  That’s what I was gonna ask.  Are you talking about a poo-mergency or just cramps?

Ben:                   We’re talking about a serious poo-mergency and also potential for cramps.  So what you wanna do is take in a good twelve plus ounces of water with each…

Brock:               Woah!

Ben:                   …of those feedings, and you know it’s not a ton of water but it’s enough to where it’s a good reason to be tapering this off a good 50 minutes prior to your competitions so you’re not pee…


Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Okay.

Brock:               Well, I’ll just be water-logged – that’s a lot of water slushing around your gut.

Ben:                   Right.  And another couple of things to note – both caffeine as well as carbohydrates have been shown to enhance the ergogenic effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation.

Brock:               Oh, cool.

Ben:                   So what you could do is you can for example, take in an ergogenic amount of caffeine and generally that’s somewhere in the range of 200 up to 500mg of caffeine is the equivalent of you know, one large up to four large cups of coffee as you go through to this, you could count that as your water intake.  And also small micro doses of carbohydrate taken at the same time that you take the baking soda, can also assist with the ergogenic aid but also again, reduce the GI distress.  So when we step back and we look at this big picture, you could for example again, start 90-minutes prior to your competition at 90, 80, 70, 60 and 50 or possibly even 40 if you wanted to split in to six micro doses; take in your micro doses of sodium bicarbonate, take in a little bit of caffeine, take in a small amount of carbohydrate you know, such as 10 to 20g of carbohydrate from like a sweet potato or a sport drink or a bar or something like that.  And you’ll be sitting pretty when it comes to actually increasing your ability to tolerate lactic acid by an extremely significant amount.  So…

Brock:               Wow.

Ben:                   There you have it.  Baking soda.

Brock:               There you go.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So what else? There’s another interesting study that I tweeted about, and this was a new study that came out that took basically this crapola of recovery methods that you know, a lot of these studies that look at like…

Brock:               It’s a scientific term.

Ben:                   Yeah, crapola.

Brock:               Crapola.

Ben:                   They’ll look at… you know, a lot of studies will look at say like cryotherapy or they’ll look at ibuprofen or they’ll look at anti-oxidants or they’ll look at like some kind of a protein-carb blend and they’ll study that particular recovery method in isolation, right?

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Rather than perhaps looking at what happens when you combine a bunch of different recovery methods to get some kind of a synergistic effect or some kind of an additive effect.  And what they did in this study was they looked at recovery after high intensity anaerobic exercise and they found out when you combine a bunch of different recovery methods and in this case, they used Vitamin C and Vitamin E, right? So, relatively well-known anti-oxidant vitamins.  They used ibuprofen and I wished they would’ve used a more natural sort of ibuprofen like one that I’ve talked about in the past quite a bit has been curcumin, right?

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Which has been shown to have very, very similar effects to ibuprofen without the potential for gut or liver damage.  They used cold water submersion and they used whey protein.  So took a bunch of things that have been shown to potentially have a mild recovery enhancing effect, and they combined them all together.  And what they found was that when they combine vitamin C, vitamin E, ibuprofen, whey protein and cold water immersion, it gave a very significant recovery enhancing advantage.  Meaning not only did subjects who received that after a morning workout produce more power during a p.m. workout that followed that morning workout, but they also had a low perceived pain rating during that second workout.  And these were for very – these were for what’s called the ‘wingate protocol’ which is a very short but extremely intense power protocol on the bike.  So ultimately, the big picture here is that let’s say you know, maybe you feel as though a cold shower post-exercise doesn’t really help you to recover, or taking in anti-oxidants as post-exercise doesn’t help you to recover; perhaps the technique of combining a whole bunch of different recovery protocols all at once is what you really need to be doing.  So you might take your – yeah, you finished a hard morning workout or you finished a hard race or something like that, you wanna recover as quickly as possible – well combine a lot of things.  Combine a good meal that contains protein with cold water submersion or a cold shower with perhaps compression gear, anti-oxidants and you know, curcumin or some kind of anti-inflammatory and once you start to put a bunch of these stuff together, it looks like there’s a little bit of a synergistic effect.  So, I’ll link…

Brock:               Which I guess kind of stand us to reason if you’re – if something, well I guess it doesn’t always work this way of something.  One thing works a little bit than a whole bunch of things that work a lot.


Ben:                   And well interestingly, many of these things in isolation like say, cold showers or cold baths, have not actually been shown in research to have that significant over the fact on recovery.

Brock:               Especially after a short anaerobic.

Ben:                   Right.  Exactly!  So the unique part of this study was that it shows that when you take things that normally, don’t have a significant effect by themselves, and you combine them with a bunch of other different recovery protocols that also don’t have a really significant effect, you all of a sudden produce a significant effect once you begin to combine them all.  So that’s what…

Brock:               They do any sort of control for placebo?

Ben:                   It’s pretty interesting.  Control for placebo?  What do you mean?

Brock:               I just feel like, if you’re doing all of these stuff, you’re going through all these great lengths, then you’re probably easily convincing yourself that you’re going to feel better and we all know that carries a lot of weight.

Ben:                   Yeah, there may be a placebo effects and they didn’t necessarily – this would be a study you know, you can’t really have a placebo for a cold shower or…

Brock:               Yeah, I guess… Yeah.

Ben:                   you know, some things you can have a placebo for like you can give a sham you know, say like a curcumin supplement, right?  You can give a sham curcumin plus a real curcumin but once you’re combining a bunch of different recovery protocols, it is tough to have a placebo control.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   But ultimately, it looks like there’s a very, very good chance that by not just focusing on one thing like say like you know, suck on a protein smoothie down the harsh post workout.  That by doing the bunch of things all at once, you’re going to significantly enhance your ability to recover.

Brock:               Yeah.  And I don’t mean to poo-poo the placebo effect either.  I’m a huge fan of the placebo effect of it if it works…

Ben:                   Yeah!

Brock:               that way?  That’s great!

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  Exactly!  So, you know…

Brock:               Give me the sugar pill any day.

Ben:                   Tie a dead chicken around your neck and put on a magic bracelet and yeah, if you feel better…

Brock:               There you go.

Ben:                   …you feel better.  So another thing was that our friend Paul Jaminet…

Brock:               Paul Jaminet.

Ben:                   Jaminet. I like his website, I like the book “Perfect Health Diet”, it certainly is one of the books that I will endorse when it comes to a really ancestrally appropriate diet that works for a lot of people.  He’s always blogging about very interesting things, I like how he experiments with a lot of stuff and He recently wrote a really interesting article “The Benefits of  Near Infrared Light” and in that particular article, he talks about how when you have nitric oxide in your system, nitric oxide can actually bind to something called ‘Cox’ and Cox stands for cytochrome c oxidase.  It’s a very, very important enzyme involved with mitochondria respiration or mitochondrial function.  Now, when you finished the tough exercise session or you’ve been injured or you have inflammation, what happens is you do generate quite a bit of extra nitric oxide and that nitric oxide binds to Cox and it can actually inhibit mitochondrial respiration, it can inhibit recovery and it can inhibit performance.  So, where…

Brock:               Hmmm.  That’s no good.

Ben:                   We, a lot of times think of nitric oxide is being like this good thing like Viagra for your muscles, it turns out that if you have too much bounds to Cox, it can actually hold you back.  Well, what’s very, very interesting is and it goes into the details of this in the article, I’ll link to it.  The exposure to red light such as you might get from like a literally like a nine-dollar and ninety nine-cent red light bulb off of a you know, off of Amazon which I recommended for sleep before like you put one of these red light bulb heat lamps next to your bed at night and it can help with sleep, it can help with collagen, and so it kinda like has an anti-aging effects.  But and of course, it also provides you light but not blue light which can disrupt your circadian rhythm and keep you from sleeping instead produces just this red light and you can still sleep when you have that red light.

Brock:               Yes, good if you wanna read a book in bed.

Ben:                   Yeah, well this red lights, they also help nitric oxide to disassociate from that Cox enzyme, and so you get a decrease in inflammation and enhancement in mitochondrial respiration with exposure to red light and specifically this would be near infrared light where the type of light that this like heat lamps will put out.  So, I think this is super interesting and the article goes into much more detail but one thing that I knew even going into and this is something I haven’t yet released the article on, but I think I’ve eluded to the couple times in previous podcast.  I’ve been experimenting quite a bit with infrared saunas and I’ve actually built an infrared sauna in my gym that I have been using. 


I’m doing a specific – it’s what called the niacin infrared sauna protocol and I don’t have time to get into it now but it’s a really, really interesting protocol.  You take high dose niacin then you exercise, then you sit in an infrared sauna.  What I’m doing now is I’m installing near infrared, red light bulbs in my far infrared sauna so I get some of these benefits of disassociating nitric oxide from the Cox enzyme in the mitochondria, and I get the benefits of both near infrared and far infrared while I’m sitting in my far infrared sauna.  So and yes, I am working on an article about this that kinda shows you how to do it too, but ultimately, kinda cool that you can do something as simple as just like get a red light bulb and enhance your ability to recover and enhance mitochondria function.

Brock:               What I wanna know is are you also tying things around your junk and working out that way?

Ben:                   I am and thank you, Brock for making that transition easy.  So if you – if you do not subscribe to the free newsletter at and why the heck don’t you?  If you don’t, you need to get on that.  I just released an article about how to make your penis stronger.  Kind of a controversial article but it goes into…

Brock:               Not so much controversial as this as just risky.  I don’t think any…

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s not controversial.

Brock:               it’s not controversy, it’s just…

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  I actually didn’t get…

Brock:               like shocked people.

Ben:                   …as many complaints from folks as I thought I might when I released that article.  I spent 30 days experimenting with the 2.5 ounce magnet weight designed to enhance the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, the – what are also known as the kegel exercising muscles, and also the muscles that are involved with increasing the strength of an orgasm and also the power of ejaculation.  And I…

Brock:               Which is something every man is concerned about.

Ben:                   That’s right.  And both women and men will find this post quite interesting but I just published it.  It’s a rather long post that goes into 30 full days of experimentation…

Brock:               (chuckles)  It’s a rather long one.

Ben:                   Using something called a “Private Gym”.  So if you missed the controversial Private Gym post, I will put a link to it over in the show notes for this episode at  It’s well worth checking out so go read that one.

Brock:               I’m just happy after 30 days of doing that, that you aren’t blind.

Ben:                   Mmm.  Blind?  No hairy palms either.  I actually go into the article how I broke the rules that they recommended for the Private Gym and mentioned the entire experiment without actually utilizing pornography or anything of the like which I actually I’m not a big fan of and I go into it in the article about why and why film pornography is actually bad for your brain.  But I get into that and a lot more in that particular article.  So if you haven’t read it yet, head over to the show notes at where we linked to. 

Special Announcements:

Ben:                   Well, speaking of hairy palms, this podcast is actually brought to you by Harry’s Shaving.  So Harry’s over at

Brock:               I’ll just scratch my chin the entire time you do this ‘cause I haven’t shaved in like three days.

Ben:                   That’ll be great sound effects, I love the background noise.  Harry’s makes high quality German-engineered blades and they’re crafted for sharpness, they’re crafted for precision.  But the cool thing is that even though they look expensive, they’re actually about half the price of the big named drugstore brands and they have free shipping straight to your door.  It is the razor that I use when my wife hasn’t stolen it to use it to shave her legs which means I have to go find the shower and hunt down my cool Harry’s razor.  You can go to and get 5$ off when you use discount code – here it is, hard to remember, but you can do it.  Discount code: ben…

Brock:               Woah!

Ben:                   …over at, I know it’s tough.

Brock:               It’s crazy.

Ben:                   I’m glad that my name isn’t Mordecai or Vladimir or something like that because Ben is such an easy coupon code to remember.  So…

Brock:               It is.

Ben:                   There you have it.

Brock:               And easy to spell.

Ben:         , 5$ off with discount code ‘ben’.  So…

Brock:               And by the way folks they do ship to the entire United States, Canada and U.S. Military locations around the world.  So before you start emailing and asking, there you go.

Ben:                   Sweet.  There you have it.


Couple other things, I mentioned this last week but you can still donate to convert an entire classroom in California into a standing desk classroom.  You just go to, now when you go to you can get involved with this pilot experiment where you can make a small donation to help basically outfit this entire school with stand up desks.  And so it’s a project that is – it is originally designed by Tim Ferriss, Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett.  I’m on the board for their StandUpKids organization.  I am a huge proponent of kids growing up with the idea that you don’t have to – you don’t have to sit to get things done all day long.  And so, it would be way cool if you as a podcast listener could take a little bit of massive action whether it’s five bucks, twenty bucks, five hundred bucks – whatever you can afford.  Head over to and help this classroom in California to be able to set the standard from any other classrooms around the nation.  I think it’s a pretty cool project so

Brock:               And when we talked about this last week, I said that I was looking for something in Canada that was going on, and listener Michelle Rosemire actually wrote in and said that there’s a school in Laval, Quebec that has introduced bicycle desks for the students with attention deficit disorders.  So it’s not for everybody but they’ve been giving it to the kids with ADD and experimenting with that and finding some really good benefits.

Ben:                   It’s in Quebec or Quebic?

Brock:               Quebec.

Ben:                   Qeubec.  There you have it.  And so another couple of things, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Quarterly not only launched but it shipped.  People all over the nation have been receiving their Quarterly boxes and we’re getting a lot of good feedback.  So if you want to – to find out more about how you can get a bunch of hand-picked items and a personal letter from me about how to use each of those items shipped straight to your house every quarter, go to to get involved with that.  It is a ton of fun.  It’s a lot of fun for me to find all the items to put together in a box, that’s also pretty cool to get this box and learn how to use this stuff.  And yes, we may even be including – speaking of weighted penis magnets, we may even be including something along those lines.  Like almost like a sexual performance biohack in the next quarterly, so you know, there’s that.  I promise it would not be refurbished or second hand.  It will be brand new, wrapped, clean.

Brock:               That’s good to know.

Ben:                   Yes.

Brock:               I’m glad that – that I haven’t missed out ‘cause I totally, I spaced out for up to get on board so I’m glad I can still sign up for the Quarterly.

Ben:                   You can.  You can get on it any point during the year and that just means you’re on board for whenever the next shipment happens.  So the last thing, and this is something I’ve kinda been working on behind-the-scenes but ever since I was a little boy, I’ve loved to write.  By the time I was twelve years old, I’d actually written a four-hundred page fantasy fiction novel that my brother wound up deleting from the computer.  It was a sad day for me.

Brock:               So that’s not “Beyond Training”?

Ben:                   That was not “Beyond Training” but I’m getting back into writing fiction.  And I’ve actually just last night, published the first chapter of my brand new work of fiction called ‘The Forest’ which is about this twin brothers who discover a portal to this hidden forest at world that’s attacked by parasitic fungi and dark shamans and serpents.  And so, they hook up with this band of unlikely misfits that includes things like coyotes and deer and wood trush and fox squirrels, and also unlocked their powers of being able to control the elements like earth and air and water and fire.  And it’s basically a full-on fantasy novel completely unlike most of the dry scientific things that you listeners are probably used to me, writing.  But anyways, totally free – I’m releasing a new chapter every seven to fourteen days.  And not only can you check that all out over at that’s but it is – it’s written as an adult fantasy fiction but it’s kid friendly.  I’ve been reading it to my boys as I go and I’m also releasing every chapter via audio on the Ben Greenfield Fitness premium channel.


So if you go to, you can tune into the audio.  If you go to, you can read it chapter by chapter on your phone, on your Kindle, on your computer – whatever you like to read on, it’s all there.  So check it out!  Leave comments, you can leave like reviews, you can rank the story how you liked it but I think anyone who likes to read fiction or wants something a little bit more unique should read this.  Now I’m trying to work in a lot of – well I tend to get a little sciency when I read anyways so it’s…

Brock:               Yeah! That’s what actually I enjoyed the most about, it was the fact that you actually have worked in some real science and some real facts and it’s actually educational as well as being fun.

 Ben:                  Mmm-hmm, yeah.  That’s kinda, kinda the goal so yeah, it’s not just all fairies and dragons.  It’s actually gonna make you smarter so check it out and that wraps up this week’s special announcements. 

Listener Q & A:

Marc:                 Hi Ben and Brock.  Love your show, you keep me company doing my long commute sometimes and very much appreciated, loved all the information.  I’m almost 48 years young and about three years ago I broke my ankle, smashed my tibia on the tennis court.  Had a little metal plate in there, everything is fine, recovered fully from 100% and 110%; got better, stronger, faster.  My question, don’t think it’s ever been discussed on the show, do you recommend having metal plates like that or let’s call them the foreign bodies inside the body, removed?  Or do you just leave them alone?  Doc said it was pretty much my choice.  Can’t seem to find the real good answer or information on it anywhere I look.  Thank you.  Keep doing what you’re doing.  You guys really rock.

Brock:               I hope you don’t say that we’ve have to take our metal plates out ‘cause like the one in my head is gonna be really difficult to take out.

Ben:                   You got metal plate in your head?

Brock:               No, I don’t and I probably shouldn’t joke about that.

Ben:                   Mmm.

Brock:               That’s mean to all the people who have skull fractures or something. (chuckles)

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               I apologize.

Ben:                   Remember the scene in one of the – not the Avengers movie, the – what are the mutants?  The ahh…

Brock:               X-Men?

Ben:                   Yeah, the X-Men.  The scene in the X-Men where the guy who can control metal literally just like pulls the metals out of this guy’s body and makes a – like these metal balls that he can get out of prison with.  You see that?

Brock:               Yeah.  Magneto.

Ben:                   Yes!

Brock:               He’s awesome.

Ben:                   We just need Magneto to help us all get the metal – the metal debris out of our bodies.

Brock:               So Marc just has to find Sir Ian McKellen and convince him to suck the metal out.

Ben:                   That’s right.  Well they…

Brock:               Done!

Ben:                   …they’ve actually done studies on this particular issue.  And there’s a very interesting research article that I’ll link to in the show notes that appeared in the Orthopedic Surgery Journal put up by the Mayo Clinic a couple of years ago.  But it discussed this concept of whether or not we should actually be leaving things like titanium plates in fractures and metal implants within bodies you know, after someone’s gone through like a fixation surgery, right?

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   To fix a fracture or broken bone and in many cases…

Brock:               Yeah, I don’t have a thing in my head but I actually do have two screws in my shoulder, my collar bone from when I was like twelve, I’m gonna say – when I broke my collar bone.

Ben:                   Yeah.  A lot of people…

Brock:               I’m forty-three years old now, that’s a long time to have those screws in there.

Ben:                   A lot of people have this and typically it’s titanium that’s combined with other metals like cobalt or chromium or meladinine to create like a light, durable material.

Brock:               Yeah, mine was done in the 70’s.  I think it was just straight-up iron.

Ben:                   Hmmm.  Yes.

Brock:               Iron or…

Ben:                   Steel.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Yes.  Well, there are some concerns. So, there are animal studies for example, not human studies, that show that there’s a definite effect on suppression of the immune system.  An increase in white blood cells called lymphocyte reactivity.  Now, that does not really appear to be causing any type of surge in… you know, serious immune system deficiencies or autoimmune disorders in humans but it could potentially mean that by having the metal plates or the metal implants in your body that what happens – this tiny flakes of the metal chip off, they enter the bloodstream in the nearby soft tissue or the joints and that can cause a little bit of a hyperactive immune system response.


So all that means is you might get sick a little bit more frequently, and then that’s just based on primarily these animal studies that show a slightly more hyperactive immune system in response to the metal plates staying in the body.  So, there are few other studies that have been done on metal debris and metal implants.  So there are other studies again in mice that show there is potential for metal ware debris to damage chromosomes which not only makes it a potential carcinogen but could also increase the rate at which telomeres shorten which means that it could cause a little bit of an accelerated aging effects to leave metal debris in the body versus having these removed.

Brock:                           Hmmm.

Ben:                   Now of course we’ve talked before on the podcast about the potential for having metal toxicity from everything, you know, from chromium to copper.  And they have also found that you do have a higher than normal level of metal in the bloodstream specifically one of the things that they found is chromium especially for what are called intramedullary nails which is like these titanium nails that they’ll use in many of these surgical situations.

Brock:               What are they called?

Ben:                   Ah, intramedullary nails.

Brock:               Hmmm.  Nice.

Ben:                   So higher the normal levels of metals circulating in the bloodstream including this chromium.  So of course, you know, in dentistry, we’ve talked before in the podcast about all the issues with mercury and some of these…

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   …you know, other alternatives to mercury that are used in implants, but ultimately it looks like some of these issues may go above and beyond just dentistry and also apply to some of these screws and plates that are placed in the body.  So ultimately, yes, you should consider taking the plates and the screws out when you’re able to do that.  And I will link to primary study that’s been done on this – the one that I mentioned that appeared in the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery.  The other thing that you can do, and this is just something that I do 30 days out of every year, just as kind of a – kinda like a safety protocol for me of a little bit of a detox protocol I guess.

Brock:               Is it the penis lifting?

Ben:                   No.  And by the way are we – do – are we even allowed to say that word or we’re gonna have to bleep it out every time we use that term from human anatomy?

Brock:               I – if it’s the real term, I can’t imagine that’s the…

Ben:                   I don’t know the iTunes rules.

Brock:               That’s the medical term.

Ben:                   We could get banned from iTunes.

Brock:               I have to check.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Anyways though, Metal Free Spray, I use this Metal Free Spray to sublingual spray, it chelates metals and allows them to be removed from the body via the urine and the stool without the metals actually being allowed to circulate through the bloodstream which a lot of these metal chelators will actually do.  And so you’ll do a chelation in metals will say get removed from soft tissue but then they winding up crossing the blood brain barrier and they wind up in neural tissue, and so, you wanna be careful what chelators you use for metal.  I use this Metal Free stuff, and that’s something that I think could be prudent to use, whether or not you have a screw or plate and I don’t.  I just do it because you know, I get exposed to everything from receipts to Chinese toys to car keys to radiation, you name it.  So I just – I just do as…

Brock:               I forgot about the receipts study.  That was crazy.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  That’s like one of the biggest exposures we get to some terrible, terrible stuff.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  Don’t mess around with those receipts.  Well just – just tell them you don’t want the receipt.  Anyways though, Metal Free Spray’s something I use.  I’ll link to that in the show notes so you can go to to get the link to some these studies on screws and plates and also that spray.

Jane:                 Hi Ben.  First of all, thank you for providing such awesome content, I’m a huge fan.  I just listened to your podcast episode about bone broth and I have a question before I start making it myself.  Assuming that the source of the bone is from an ethically treated, pasture-raised animal, is there a nutritional difference between chicken or beef bones?  Should I go for the beef or should I go for the chicken?  Thank you.

Brock:               Well… I think…

Ben:                   Mmm.

Brock:               that chicken…

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm?

Brock:               actually taste better…

Ben:                   Mmm! Okay.

Brock:               So I hope it’s got a – I hope the nutrition’s either better for chicken or the same.


Ben:                   Well beef is more macho though ‘cause you get like the big bones and the knuckles and the marrow, so there’s that the beef has gone for.

Brock:               There’s marrow on chickens, too but it’s more like sucking it through a straw rather than digging it up with spoon.

Ben:                   Yeah, but when you order marrow at a restaurant, when you order like beef marrow at a restaurant, they never bring you this tiny little you know, chicken bones – you get the big old beef bones.  So I’m just saying, beef is a little bit more macho when it comes to broth.

Brock:               (laughs)  Why we need to secularize our bone broth?

Ben:                   Okay.  There’s another reason that beef broth is better.  So chicken broth has an inferior Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acid ratio, and the bones are smaller, the bones are weaker – I’m not just joking about this, you actually get less marrow, you get less minerals, you get less connective tissue in chicken broth versus bone broth.  However, chicken broth does seem to be easier to digest in people who have compromised guts, people who have like irritable bowel syndrome, gastro esophageal reflux disease, etc. – chicken broth just seems to create a little less GI distress in many folks who may not be able to handle the machoness of beef broth.

Brock:               (laughs)

Ben:                   So ultimately, we do a little bit of both: we’ll do some chicken broth, we’ll do some beef broth.  I would say if you want to get the best benefits nutritionally, and you want the best Omega 3 fatty acid to Omega 6 fatty acid ratio, you should go with beef and if you just want some – if you want more digestibility which kinda specially be handy like if you’re sick for example, then you go for chicken.  Now for example, one of the places that we will get broth when we’re not making it ourselves, the one of the places I recommend to my clients for broth is from this guy who I interviewed on a podcast named Chef Lance Roll and he makes both beef broth and as well as chicken broth.  Now interestingly, both have a similar simmer time.  So the chicken is about – the chicken that he does is about 18 hours.  So if you’re gonna make chicken and the chicken broth like using a whole chicken, looks like 18 hours you know if we look at what the experts are doing, 18 hours is a pretty good period of time.  For beef, it’s closer to a full day, it’s closer to 24 hours.  So the way that they do their beef broth is the take the beef bones and they combined them with carrots, celery, onions, garlic, ginger, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, apple cider vinegar and sea salt and basically that all goes into the crack pot and you simmer it for 24 hours.  Now of course they use grass-fed beef, they use grass finished beef as well and that’s where the bones come from. 

                           So, using all kind of organic stuff, but that’s the recipe that they use, and I’ll link to that one in the show notes.  And you can use everything from like knuckles to fimmers which are like marrow bones fimmers are really good.  You can use scapula, the hooves, the neck bones.  I believe they add a little bit of organic red wine to deglaze their roasting pan as well. So, that’s kind of a really, really good example of how you do a really nice beef broth and that’s the same one that they sell over at The Brothery and I’m pretty sure they ship – I don’t think they ship to Canada, they ship to U.S.  If you want these stuff to ship…

Brock:               I need to check because I just make it generally.

Ben:                   Yeah, and their chicken broth recipe again, that’s simmers for about eighteen hours. So for the chicken broth, what they do is they’ll use chicken feet and chicken backs.  At our house we just use the whole chicken, we just toss the whole chicken in there.  But then, what they put in there is carrots, celery, onions, lemons, ginger, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, pepper corns, and apple cider vinegar. So, not too much difference than the beef broth recipe. The only difference is of course they’re using chicken versus beef for the chicken recipe, and then the beef goes just slightly longer.  So…

Brock:               I wonder if there’s a lemon, actually do something like as in active component or it is just a flavoring.  That’s the only thing I’ve never used in my chicken broth.

Ben:                   You know, I actually made a chicken broth last week and I toss a couple… I just covered them, and I didn’t even removed the outer layer, anything like that – the peel of the lemon. I just threw it all in. I thought it gave a pretty good flavor but I would imagine because lemon can be used in like a ceviche, to pre-digest the fish or the scallop or whatever you’re using for ceviche or lemon or lime.  I would imagine that there is a little bit of enzymatic effect on the meat or on the bones or on the connective tissue that allows it to become soft or… I like the flavor though when I put lemon in last week.  That’s something I usually do, but the lemon itself actually tastes pretty good as well and the peel kind of dissolves to get the lemon peel which is a lot of really, really good anthocyanin and other antioxidant in it.  So, I’m a fan.  And what I’ll do for folks who wanna listen in to the previous podcast episode that I did with Chef Lance Roll,


                           or we just, we geeked out on broth and its benefits, and how to make it, etc… for almost an hour.  I’ll put a link to that podcast episode over in the show notes, if you wanna take a listen.

James:              Hello Ben and Brock!  I have a question about intermittent hypoxic training.  I have been using the alto lab device for a little over a year, I should know that alto lab presented at the recent bullet proof conference.  I find these protocols provided in the instructions quite taxing along with a general fatigue, I am getting some eye muscles soreness, this issues pass with recovery.  Perhaps it is my age, I am 45 though I didn’t set the P.R. last year. I ran a 3230 1oK.  I have heard you mentioned these types of device in the past, but you have not gone in depth.  I have always embraced the end of one spirit.  I am wondering if you have any insights or knowledge on ways to use this device that differ from six minutes on, four minutes off for one hour, several days in a row if not every day.  I see Victor Conti has some videos on the subject but I don’t really trust that guy.  Thanks!  I love the podcast – James.

Ben:                   Well, this is actually somethin’ that’s kinda on my radar because altitude training, whether you are like going, you know, getting in your car and driving to altitude or moving to altitude or whether your using one of these home devices, it generally takes about eight weeks to really begin to get the full benefits, and so because Spartan World Championship which I’m competing in, is in Lake Tahoe this year.  In September…

Brock:               Is that like six thousand feet?

Ben:                   I believe that it gets higher than six thousand feet.  Although 6,000 feet is kind of the cut off.  Six thousand feet plus is about the point where you’re gonna really start to feel the effects of the altitude, right?  And that’s where you were – any event that takes places than six thousand feet plus, it behooves you to figure out a way to either use like one of these home altitude training devices or move to train in that altitude or drive to altitude on a weekly basis or whatever it takes.  Ultimately though, I was going to begin my personal altitude training at the beginning of July.  To give me all of July and all of August to get ready for the altitude I’d experience in something like the Spartan race.

Brock:                          Okay, so lake Tahoe is at 6,225 feet.

Ben:                   There you go.  So it definitely behooves you, and that maybe the actual city for anyone to – who want to…

Brock:               That’s the actual elevation.

Ben:                   Maybe, now that you’d just want to ride your bike or drive outside of Lake Tahoe, you get a significant rise and elevation, and so, I would hazard the gas that for example, like the Spartan Tahoe Race will probably get as eight thousand…

Brock:               Oh, this is the actual lake, the surface elevation of the actual lake. So, yeah, the city is likely higher.

Ben:                   The city is about the same level of the lake but there are a lot of mountains around the city that go higher than that.

Brock:               Anyway, that beside the point this is just interesting.

Ben:                   But I just qualified for the Trained Hunt National Championships and those take place Colorado Spring in August.  So now I’m pretty much needing to start my altitude training almost right away.  Now, I have one of these Hypoxico devices and the Hypoxico is an altitude generator.  Now, I’ll go into this alto labs as well, so you can kinda know the difference between the two.  So the AltoLab is this small plastic rebreather device that’s similar to any other altitude training device or device lowers your body’s oxygen to levels that you would find at high altitudes.  Now unlike the big bulky air generators that you would get when you use a typical altitude stimulator.  The alto labs are these kits that you order, and the kits contain mixers that adjust your altitude anywhere from twenty five hundred up to the forty thousand feet.


                           Depending on how high you want to go.

Brock:               Woah!  That’s space!

Ben:                   Yeah, so what it is – is you get like this mixer and then a mouth piece and a face mask, and each time that you use that mixer – it’s basically like a, what would you call it?  A disposable, it’s like a disposable air mixer where the fresh air goes in one end and the fresh air has something almost like twenty some percent oxygen and then the air that comes out in the other end of the mixer contains anywhere from 8-12% oxygen.  So you’re breathing oxygen that’s at much lower saturation in the air than what you’d get at sea level without being at altitude.  So, you combine this with the use of a pulse saxometer which are at the end of your fingertip that tells you what your actual finger ought to reading is.  And in an ideal situation as you’re doing your training session or as even you at some hypoxic training protocols. You just sitting passively while you use something like this. You can watch the oxygen drop, you know, from usually sea level, you’re anywhere from 96-99% oxygen saturation if you’re going to measure on your fingertip. And once you get to about 6,000 feet, that will drop down to 90-95% and you know once you’re approaching like 20,000, 25,000 feet, your oxygen saturation can be below 80%. And so, for example for this alto labs machine, you use a specific number of what they call alto mixer to stimulate certain altitude. So you’d use one for 5,000 feet and you’d use like three for 15,000 feet and something like five for 25,000 feet, but basically you just purchase these kits from alto labs.  So to give you an idea of the price. I know they sell something called the performance Kit that’s about $579 and that one includes six alto mixers that gives you up to 30,000 feet and then a bunch of what they call Silos, and it carry, I think it comes out to about a month’s worth of training for that price, so still kind of spendy but more portable than this kind of like bulky altitude generators.  Now, you’ve also got and I actually own one of these Hypoxico.  And the Hypoxico generators are very big bulky unit that is several thousand dollars to purchase.  You can also rent these things for about a 175 to 200 bucks a week so still…

Brock:            Yeah. Yeah. It is…

Ben:                It is expensive to get the – to get your hands in any type of good altitude training system.

Brock:            They’re like the size of like an air conditioner unit.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.  They’re big.  There’s one behind me right now actually.  You can also… They also do altitude tent sleep systems and they even build Hypoxico – we’ll do entire room conversion and for those of you out there who just like to own nice things, you know, for example one of the photos they have on their website is that they’ve taken someone’s desk, where they’re going to be sitting and doing work anyways, and turn their entire desk into an altitude room.  So they’ll convert bed rooms, they’ll convert gyms, and literally you can build an entire room in your house that you keep at, whatever you want to keep it at – 15,000 feet or 20,000 feet or 25,000 feet. So, I know the sky is the limit depending on your budget when it comes to this stuff.  You can get these alto labs or probably the less expensive, less bulky version that’s going cause you, you know, looks like a five to six hundred bucks for a month whereas like, the Hypoxico you probably looking at eight hundred, you know, if you’re looking for a monthly price somewhere right around eight hundred per month on up, and then you can full on buy these hypoxico generators for several thousand dollars.  So, I understand that these stuff is not cheap but at the same time for those of you who are, you know, kind of looking at and really wanted to perform and compete at altitude, this is the kind of price points you’re looking at if you don’t wanna move to Colorado Spring or Mexico City or whatever.  So ultimately, as far as the way that you use this like… Well, it’s called intermittent hypoxia when you’re using tools like this and that’s the way that most of these are meant to be used.  So what intermittent hypoxia is, is it’s bouts of hypoxic exposure intersperse with normoxic exposure.  So for example, if I were to set up my bicycle next to this hypoxico altitude simulator, I could ride my bike for five minutes with the mask on and then ride my bike for five minutes without the mask on and do that, you know, four times through, for example if I were gonna do like a forty minute exercise session.  Now, they have actually done studies in which they’ve compared multiple short duration bouts of intermittent hypoxia with longer duration bouts of intermittent hypoxia.  For example, one study that they did was one group did  twelve five minute bouts of hypoxic exercise with each of those separated by five minutes bouts of rest at normal air exposure and that group was compared to a group that simply exercise for a full sixty minutes at the hypoxic level.  And in that particular study, they found that there were greater altitude training benefits in the group that actually didn’t do the intermittent hypoxia as much as just wore the hypoxia the entire time during the full exercise session.  So, you know, in that example it turns out that there were better effects achieve from rather than like putting a mask on and taking it off and putting  it on and taking it off  during an exercise session.  I just keep it on the whole time.  However you’ll see most recommendation coming from like alto labs or hypoxico to actually use it in a more intermittent format meaning, you know, two minutes on, and one minute off or five minute on, five minutes off.  The reason being, I suspect is that it’s a very physiologically difficult and mentally difficult to just keep that mask on the whole time and you’re exercising.  You get very short of breath, you get a little bit light headed, and you get a little bit dizzy, on my end, I personally have a very difficult time during  altitude training without like taking breaks to go from regular altitude or to reaping the mask off and breathing normal room air and putting it back on.  Now, as far as the other way to use it, you can of course do things like sleep in an altitude chant or, you know, work at your desk in an altitude chamber like kind of this guys limit  to the stuff, but one thing that you should be aware of despite the evidence of being all over the place as far as the gold standard, you know, intermittent hypoxia time and recovery periods is that it’s always going to take you longer to recover when you’re breathing lower amounts of oxygen and this is why hyperbaric, right, like increase concentration of oxygen in the air under higher pressures can improve recovery, decrease partial oxygen or hypoxic condition, reduce your ability to recover.  So if you are for example, sleeping in an altitude train tent or training in an altitude training chamber, you gonna take longer to recover, you’ll be able to exercise a little bit less, you may have lower quality of sleep and so there is a, you know, there’s a fine line that you have to walk with this stuff.  So I can tell you what I personally plan on doing, beginning, now that I know.  I just found out, you know, three days ago that I qualified for the Colorado Springs Train Hunt which is gonna be at altitude. I’m going to begin three times per week actually using some form of altitude in my life.  Not necessarily in my training but in my life.  So, probably what I wind up doing is twice a week doing my normal sessions that I’m doing indoors or riding a bike or on a treadmill, but I will, a few times during those sessions, be putting on a mask and breathing hypoxic air, you know, for anywhere from five or ten minutes at a time.  And then I likely, also take one of the sauna sessions that I do where I’m just kind of sitting in there for thirty to sixty minutes anyways, and I’ll breathe hypoxic air and at even higher altitude and I would do training. So, I’ll breathe like, you know, anywhere from about twenty to twenty five thousand feet while I’m sitting passively and then during my exercise session I’ll breathe probably in a range or ten thousand to fifteen thousand feet.  So ultimately, kind of more than one way to skin the cat, I can’t say that there’s research that shows a perfect recommended time, but I would say that your best bet is going to be to contact the manufacturer or whatever altitude stimulator system that your using, whether it’s alto lab or hypoxico etc., and use the protocol that they recommend because they’re going to know their own equipment best.  And that’s what, that’s what I would do when I’m in your shoes.  And I’m in discussions with hypoxico right now to get a better idea from them, as to what they’d recommend for my own intermittent hypoxic training.  And then finally, if you can afford any of this stuff, I always get this question.  Can I just use one of these elevations training masks right, at least $50-70 fifty elevation training masks?  The fact is, that those, you know, they’re the Bane Batman mask that you put on, they will not reduce the partial part of oxygen, and they will not simulate altitude but they still will increase your inspiratory and your expiratory muscle strength and endurance, and they will increase your tolerance to the feeling of having to suck air.  And so, they are completely useless when they comes to helping your body to cope with some of the same physical stress that your body’s gonna face at altitude.


                           They’re not gonna increase the erythropoietin production or red blood cell production, or any of the things that are gonna happen with altitude training but they’re at least help things up from a muscular standpoint.  So if you have nothing else to use, do those elevation training mask or, yeah… They’re going to help you with that feeling that you are going to experience in altitude even though they may not help you physiologically to do say creating red blood cells or to stave off some of the effects of altitude sickness. You know, if you can afford to pay whatever eight hundred bucks a month for altitude training.  Still just by having one of those masks you will at least be able to help yourself out a little bit.  So, they aren’t completely useless, plus they look badass which is a…bonus.

Brock:               That’s the important part.

Ben:                   That’s right.  That’s the important part.  So, if you’re listening in and you have your own thoughts about intermittent hypoxic sessions and times and recovery periods that have worked well for you or that you’ve seen in research, we’re always open hearing from our smart cookie listeners.  So if you wanna leave any of your comments over at,  go ahead and do so.  We do not get rid of, delete or filter any of those comments unless they’re completely spammy, or unless you say something rude about my mother.  Other than that anything goes.  So go ahead leave your comment at 

Garik:                Hello Ben. Currently I’m reading your “Beyond Training” book, and I am now on the section related to overreaching.  I have several questions of this topic.  First one, I am a little bit confused.  Is overreaching and exercising to a failure, is the same thing?   And my second question is related to when I have – I’m doing overreaching and I should recover during that recovery period greasing the grove is okay practice or not, and like in order to have a good recovery, in your book its mentioned that from muscles it should be, two days and for neurological recovery should be free days or vice-versa.  Does it mean that it’s better to have only two workout per week and have a good rest, in order to have a performance increase on week to week basis?  Thank you very much.

Brock:               Overreaching can be kind of confusing, especially if you confuse it with over training.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm. Yes.

Brock:               Like most people do equate overreaching with over training.

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s not.  It’s wrong.  They’re completely different.  So over training is when you like coped out your adrenals right. When you’ve pushed yourself for so long, so hard you’ve got like relationship stress, you’ve got environmental stress, you’ve got physical stress, you’re working out hard and that’s when you typically see, right, like the Weekend Warrior, or not even the Weekend Warrior, I just like the… Let’s say for example, like the Ironman triathlete with the family and the job, you know, those are the people you see over trained. They get to the point where they’ve produce cortisol for so long; their adrenal glands begin not even produce cortisol very well at all.  They rely on like glucose and caffeine, they get through the day. Typically you’ll get to a certain point where you’re just not motivated to train and you can’t get your heart rate up and it’s just like every, you know, life just begin to suck. That’s over training.  Overreaching is when you’ve, maybe got into the point where over one to two weeks you’ve maybe not have a recovery day, and your ten, fourteen days, you begin to feel a little bit blah, training begins to get a little bit staled but you’re not stretching that out over a long period of time.


And if you did, you would definitely become over trained but overreaching is actually a good strategy to use when you are training for an event or when you’re training to build muscle or significantly your hand fitness because, if you combined overreaching, digging yourself into a little bit of a hole, maybe having two or three days in a row where you’d normally take a rest day or a recovery day but you kind of push through the soreness and you push through the fatigue, but then you give yourself recovery block where that’s a taper for a race or an event, or whether that’s a few days or you’re just doing yoga and a little bit of cold water swimming and some sauna sessions.  You’re getting – when you do that is called a super compensation effect where you dig yourself into a hole and then you rely yourself complete recovery and you actually bounce back with a higher level of fitness, a higher level of mitochondrial density, a greater amount of hypotrophy, or a muscle fiber growth or muscle fiber addition, then you would, if you had just say trained yourself at a comfortable phase consistently year round.  So, an ideal training program actually is more of a stairs stepping effect where you’ve got to really, really hard series and a hard block followed by an easy block.  And that’s why a lot of times, you know, Brock keeps seeing this before with me coaching you.  I will just like beat you up and spit you out sometimes, for two or three weeks.  I’ve got you doing like you know, murph and a bunch of kettlebell work and some really hard treadmill sprint intervals and tough weekend workouts that are really long and sometimes I have you going for good fourteen days without a good rest day throwing in but then…

Brock:               I think I’m in more of those periods right now.  I see my workout schedule next Friday, I’ve got the hardest workout ever invented.

Ben:                   Yes, you do but… So…

Brock:               And I think I’ve got a reboot week after that.

Ben:                   Exactly! So then you’ll notice, I don’t have your training calendar pull out  in front of me right now, but you’ll notice, I think it’s in two weeks or so, something like that, I’ve got you doing yoga, easy walk, a little bit of cold thermo, some sauna and you’ve got almost a full week devoted to recovery and that’s the period of time that you’ll super compensate and I guarantee right before you get in that phase, you’ll be over reached.  Like if we tested your cortisol, they’ll be sky high and if we tested your inflammation, like your HSCRP, it would definitely be above, like that 1.0 range and possibly, significantly higher than that, like 2.0 plus.  And if we tested your thyroid, it might be slowly beginning to rise.  And if we test your testosterone, it’ll be slowly decrees but that’s over reaching and it’s ok to get close to that point, the problem is a lot of people stay in that for like a month or two month or six months and that’s over training.  So, that’s kind of, the skinny of overreaching versus over training.  Now, a few questions that Garik ask, the first is overreaching and lifting to failure the same thing?  The answer is no.  Lifting to failure is just an acute thing that you do during an actual exercise session.  So, when you lift to failure, you trigger a great amount of lactic acid in the muscle tissue.  That’s typically, that causes you to fail is acidity in the muscle tissue, all the hydrogen ions that build up as you produce a bunch of lactic acid and when you produce big increases in lactic acid in muscle tissue, that triggers an increase in what are called intramuscular growth factors, and it also causes you to especially in your the end of a set to failure to switch to fatiguing not only all of your smaller muscle fibers, but all of your larger muscle fibers as well.  So one of the things that this is known as is central fatigue where you get to the point where you’re using many muscle fibers as possible, you’ve got a huge increase in lactic acid formation, and the nervous system gets completely fatigue.  And when you do that during an actual exercise session, it is a great way to get yourself to increase your ability to be able to buffer lactic acid, increase your tolerance to lactic acid, and you gain the ability to recruit more muscle fibers.  Now, if you overdo training specific muscle groups to failure, then that can decrease what is called post workout protein synthesis.


                           It elevates the level of something called adenosine monophosphate or AMP, and elevated AMP occurs when you completely drained solid energy and that can cause a decrease in protein synthesis, and if you do that over and over again then you get really increased resting levels like later on in the day, or later on the next day of cortisol and also suppress levels of what’s called IGF1 which is one of your main anabolic in growth and recovery type of hormone.  So if you lift to failure everyday or what I found in most athletes is, if you lift to failure more often than every 48 to 72 hours, you can very quickly not just over reach but over train, which is why I’m a fan of for example, if you’re weight training, only having sessions where you lift to failure one to three days per week and definitely no more of that.  Some people try to lift to failure and I used to do this, you know, when I was a body builder, we take muscle groups to failure every single day.  The problem is that even though that was great for me for muscle growth, if I was just on that over training edge almost all the time and had low testosterone and high levels of cortisol.  So the trick is to lift to failure to get yourself into a slightly over reached state, right?  So you can get yourself an over reach state by lifting to failure, but there are two different things really like, lifting failures something you do during the actual workout, overreaching would be the consequence of doing that enough times in a row.  So, does that make sense?

Brock:               Totally.

Ben:                   Okay.  And then, Garik’s last question was during overreaching is greasing the groove okay to do.  And what he means by greasing the groove is, you know, can you, during your recovery day maybe stop here and there to do five pull ups or ten pull ups or maybe you know, do a hundred jumping jacks every hour to boost the metabolism or to make yourself more efficient at certain movements.  I tend to air towards more low level physical activity to increase blood flow, and lymph flow, and to help move metabolic by-products and inflammation out of muscle tissue on a recovery day.  And so, what that means is that in most cases, even on an easy recovery day, yeah, I’ll stop here and there to do a few pull up, I’ll stop here and there to do some jumping jacks,  I’ll do some cold water swimming or do some sauna, some yoga, etc., and as long as you’re not over doing it, as long as you’re not pushing through muscle soreness, it’s fine to stay active and even to do things like, like brief spurts of physical activity on a recovery day and because you’re not pushing to fatigue and because you’re not stressing your central nervous system or your peripheral nervous system in the same way that you would, if you were, say like stopping in doing it instead of twenty pull ups or doing anything else to muscular failure is not as big of an issue.  Now, all of this should be put in the light that the best way to test where your specific boundaries are, or your specific tolerances is, is to use heart rate variability testing.  And what I mean by that is for example I mentioned this, some people can lift to failure and have a very, very difficult session every 48 hours. Some people are every 72 hours, some people can only handle once per week and it varies quite a bit.  There are genetic reasons for that, meaning that there’s a specific genetics synapses associated with your particular glutathione production, your super oxide dismutase production, your level of anti-oxidant production, and that’s going to dictate how quickly you recover.  I personally recover very fast.  I don’t do well with very long voluminous exercise sessions, but I’ve tested my genetics, you know, I’ve gone to 23andme, I’ve exported those results to DNA fit and I’ve seen what my personal recovery ability is, and it’s very, very good but at the same time I’m unable to handle very, very big workouts, like I can’t do three to four hour long workouts.  I have to exercise for 60-90 minutes consistently every day.  That’s kind of like what my body’s able to handle, but when you use heart rate variability, you can every morning test and see when your body has recovered from a very, very difficult exercise session.  So what I mean by that for example, I have the Trained Hunt Competition on Sunday and this morning was the first time that my heart rate variability really began to approach very, very high levels again, and so today is technically the first day that I should be training really, really hard after that Trained Hunt Competition and on Monday and Tuesday, those were easier days for me, but I would know any of this information about when I’m over reached and when I can handle harder training sessions again etc., unless I’m using heart rate variability.


                           And on the flip side, you can use heart rate variability to know when you’ve over reached and you know when you can super compensate and recover.  So for example, you could train yourself into a state of low heart rate variability and rather than taking a day off, you could train through that, like you could do another day at low heart rate variability and another day at low heart rate variability and even though I don’t recommend any more than three days of pushing through low heart rate variability, you can get yourself into that over reached state and then you simply rest and recover for a block of anywhere from three to seven days, and you super compensate and your fitness goes up.  So it’s really cool you can do once you start to customize your training and identify when you’re over reached and then identify when you’ve recovered from that over reached state using something like heart rate variability. So, I personally use the NatureBeat app for that as one that I helped design. It’s available at  It’s one of the only electrical new final devices that I attached to my body every morning to measure my nervous system strength, so that’s a really good way to do things.  So there you have it.

Brock:               There you have it!

Ben:                   There you have it!  And speaking of having it, we actually have a review that someone left on iTunes.  Here’s the deal-yo.  If you leave the show a review on iTunes, ‘cause we put a lot of work in to this, we try and put out some good info for you and so leaving your review is a great way to get a good karma and to not have me and Brock be pissed at you and…

Brock:               We don’t want that.

Ben:                   Lighting paper bags full of poo on fire on your doorstep and running away.  Anyways though, if you leave a review on iTunes, not only does it help the show, assuming you’ll leave a good review and some good star ratings but we also, if we read your review on the show and you hear it, and you email [email protected], we’ll send you a B.P.A. free water bottle, we’ll send you a sweet tech t-shirt, and we’ll send you a beanie.  And you can get any of those things by the way, any point if you go to and that supports the show too, you can also win this stuff, when you leave a review. So we’ve got a review today from Cris Duncan.  Who says, a great way to make non-stop talkers be quiet on long road trips, and he left us five stars.  So what do you think, Brock, are you going to read this one?

Brock:               I’m guessing from the title that the show puts them to sleep, that’s why they stop talking on longer trips.

Ben:                   Yes, or they just are listening intently to hear us to say the word “penis” again.

Brock:               That’s more likely.  Okay well, this is what Cris Duncan says – “It’s entertaining, informative, intelligent, and slightly irreverent.”  Not irrelevant but irreverent. I just want to make that clear.  “What more could you ask for in a podcast?  If you struggle to find topics to discuss at cocktail parties, this is for you.  If people look at you a little strange when you suggest carrying around a cinder block a few times a day or chopping wood as a way to increase your testosterone levels, never fear, they will soon be calling you to say “thank you”.  Seriously, it’s solid information presented in an intelligent manner without getting too penis and stuffy.  In fact it’s so good that if you find yourself trapped in a car with a non-stop talker, you can put on an episode for a bit of a reprieve and if they try to talk over Ben you can just say “oh wait, this is important” and they will close their mouths.  Thanks for creating such solid programming.”  I could just see Cris Duncan drive longer.  Oh wait, this is important when a person starts talking.  Oh no, waaait, wait, this is important.”

Ben:                   This two are important.  I’m glad we’ve given Cris a way of being anti-social. So, and Cris, that’s a great review too, and carrying around the cinder block like a few times a day or chopping wood as a way of increasing your testosterone levels, shows that you’ve been paying close attention to the show.  So, thanks for your review and if you email include your t-shirt size and we’ll get a sweet gear pack out to you.  So for the rest of you, what are you waiting for.  Quit sitting on your hands, quit doing whatever it is that you’re doing, messing around, scratching the metal plates on your body, making bone broth.


Brock:               Wait, wait wait.  This is important.

Ben:                   Breathing in to a hyper oxidation device.  What?

Brock:               I’m just… I’m just trying to see if I could get you to stop talking over yourself ‘cause it’s important.

Ben:                   I like it!  Yeah!  It’s very meta… Anyways, you can leave review on iTunes, also everything we talked about today, everything from the brand new work of fiction that I’ve just written.

Brock:               Oh, oh, should we play a little bit of that at the end here?

Ben:                   Yeah, let’s play folks and sit.  So I’m sitting down and read it to my children every night, recording it.  I’ll be right now with my super nice microphone but…

Brock:               And you can hear somebody doing dishes in the background…

Ben:                   Yes, some is doing dishes in the background, or you hear my dog and my kids commenting about… Well, we’ll put a sample in for the end of the show, and you can listen in and you can go check it out at, but I know there are tons of other things that we’ve talked about, so if you don’t wanna remember any links and you just wanna go grab it all in yourself, we spend a lot of time creating some chiller show notes for you.  So, go to for the show notes, remember to leave us a review in iTunes, and we’ve got a great podcast coming out for you this weekend.  I’ve threw down a little interview over the Trained Hunt Competition with Will Bradly from the Natural Born Hunters, so listen in to that if you like to…

Brock:               He seems like the nicest guy ever.

Ben:                   He is a nice guy.  So if you like to kill and eat tasty animal, listen to that episode and until then.  Have a healthy week.

Now completely soaked from head to toe, his face, chest and pants covered in mud and small cuts on his face from charging to the branches and the sticks, concentrated with ferocious intensity to move to the ever thickening forest and still catch sight of the small shadow of the chickadee darting from three tree, toe, midfoot, heel. Keep your eyes on the bird, toe, midfoot, heel.  Precious side of the thorns, toe, midfoot, heel.  Glides back to see if brother is still there.  Silence!  The bird had suddenly stopped, no call, no movement, Terran squint to the trees.  He pulled the side of a couple branches.  He could hear River quietly panting behind him. Through the thick rain, he tried to focus on the direction, he last seen the black dark of the bird’s movement.  He couldn’t see any sign of the bird, but there is something else… some kind of dark shadowy structure, too thick to be a tree, and too symmetrical to be a clump of big bushes.  It was some kind of a building. Terran move forward again to a position of the trees no longer blocked so much of his view.  Now he could see it more clearly.  It was too small to be a home, not a barn, a hunting blind perhaps, an outhouse turned to a few steps forward, behind him River sharply whispered. “Terran, let’s go!”  Terran step forward again.  “Home Terran. Let’s go!”  Terran shook his head and without looking back, took two more big quiet steps forward.  Now he could see the structure clearly, about fifty feet away was an old wooden shed and purge just above the door of the shed was the chickadee sitting, silent, staring right back at Terran with two beaty black eyes.

                          Visit for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.

[1:24:21.1]   END


How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance.


I just finished reading what I consider to be one of the best books of 2015: Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance.

In the book, best-selling author Christopher McDougall, today’s podcast guest and a guy who you may recognize as the same author of Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen travels to the Mediterranean, where he discovers that the secrets of ancient Greek heroes are still alive and well in the razor-sharp mountains on the island of Crete – ready to be unleashed in the muscles and minds of casual athletes and aspiring heroes everywhere.

In the story, Chris recreates an amazing true tale of a band of Resistance fighters in World War II who plotted the daring abduction of a German general from the heart of the Nazi occupation. He  makes his way to the island to experience firsthand the extreme physical challenges the Resistance fighters and their local allies faced, and on Crete, the birthplace of the classical Greek heroism that spawned the likes of amazing physical specimens such as Herakles and Odysseus, McDougall discovers the tools of the heroes, including skills such as natural movement, extraordinary endurance, and efficient nutrition, skills that are still practiced in far-flung pockets throughout the world today.

If you want to be a modern-day athlete who can hone ancient skills to be ready for anything, then this podcast episode is for you. Prepare to get inspired to leave the gym and take your fitness routine to nature—to climb, swim, skip, throw, and jump their way to your own heroic feats.

So who is Christopher McDougall ?

Trained as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, Chris covered wars in Rwanda and Angola before writing the international bestseller, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. His fascination with the limits of human potential also led him to create the Outside magazine web series, “Art of the Hero”, and then most recently, the book Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance.

During this audio interview with Chris, you’ll discover:

-How Chris combines a life of immersive journalism and juggling family life with a study of extreme sports…

-Why the tiny island of Crete was such an important part of World War II, and how the Cretans developed such amazing athleticism…

-How to manipulate your body’s own fascia to generate huge amounts of force, to run faster and to master natural movement…

-The only form of hand-to-hand combat that you should learn if you really want to learn to fight as efficiently as possible…

-Why Chris studied Parkour to prepare for his trip to Crete…

-How the mighty Cretan runners ran dozens and dozens of miles on virtually no calories, and how you can learn to do it too…

Why it’s a myth that running a marathon killed the first person that did it…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Wing Chun

My podcast with Barry Murray on becoming fat-adapted

Chris Mcdougall’s Amazon author page

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for me or Chris? Leave your thoughts below and one of us with reply.

320: How To Do Your Workouts Using Biofeedback, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, How You Burn Ketones & Much More!


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

June 17, 2015 Podcast: How To Do Your Workouts Using Biofeedback, Natural Remedies For Stomach Ulcers, How You Burn Ketones, Supplementing With Inositol, and How To Know If You’re Getting Enough Micronutrients.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.


News Flashes:

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This episode is brought to you by Sheer Strength Labs, where you can get everything you need to enhance performance in both the bedroom and the gym – from nitric oxide, to creatine, to testosterone booster. Click here and get an automatic discount.

Click here to make a donation to convert an entire classroom in California into a standing desk classroom! This is the pilot experiment that could change how schools worldwide are designed. Tim Ferriss, me and many others are joining forces with Kelly and Juliet Starrett, the brains behind this project and founders of StandUpKids. The goal is to get every public school student in the US at a standing desk within 10 years. This massive goal is achievable if the right snowballs are put in motion now, and this proof-of-concept school is the most important. Media coverage, national attention, political pressure/alliances, etc. can all stem from this. It’s super high leverage.

The BenGreenfieldFitness Quarterly box has officially launched! When you sign-up, you’ll get a Quarterly handpicked box jam-packed with Ben’s favorite fitness gear, supplements, nutrients and research-proven biohacks.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

How To Do Your Workouts Using Biofeedback

Natcha says: She has been using an Autoregulatory Training approach (with bio feedback) in her strength training where she measures her body and nervous system response to a workout by going through a range of motion test. If she does the test, and the range of motion increases, then that indicates that her nervous system likes that particular exercise and they recommend that she continue doing the exercise until it becomes more difficult or until it no longer tests well. Is this a good way to increase strength and performance? What do you think of this approach?

Natural Remedies For Stomach Ulcers

Anonymous Tummy says: He is looking for ways to treat his stomach ulcers.

In my response, I recommend:
Allimax garlic
DGL Licorice

How You Burn Ketones

Chris says: A few episodes (Episode 318) ago you mentioned how Ketones can be used for energy but are unique because they bypass the Krebs Cycle. His limited understanding is that the breakdown of Ketones leads to the production of 2 acetyl-CoA molecules that then go into the Krebs Cycle and get oxidized like any other molecules. He would love to know more about how this works.

Supplementing With Inositol

Holly says: She wanted to get your opinion of Inositol. Her naturopath has put her on it for long term management of polycystic ovarian syndrome. He naturopath said that it helps with the metabolic side of things and with shortening the menstrual cycle. She hasn’t been able to find any information on long term side effects. Do you have any concerns with it?

In my response, I recommend:

How To Know If You’re Getting Enough Micronutrients

Josh says: He currently eats mostly ketogenic and tracks everything he eats with a cronometer which has built in recommended values for micronutrients. He has heard that those RDA values are not necessarily “optimal” so he is wondering if you have any recommendations for micronutrient values.


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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