#299: Does A Vegetarian Diet Reduce Sperm Count, Cell Phones And Brain Cancer, What Is A Good “HRV” Number & More!

Sad Sperm

Nov 19, 2014 Podcast: The Best Place to Live For An Active Lifestyle, How To Naturally Increase HCL Production, What Is A Good HRV Number, Meat Broth vs. Bone Broth, and Breath Ketones vs. Blood Ketones.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form… but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.


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December 15-19, 2014: Ben interviews 23 of the world’s leading experts in performance, recovery, nutrition, fat loss, brain, sleep and hormone optimization, and you get a free all-access pass. Check it out now at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/RevYourself.

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December 4-5 Ben will be speaking at Mark Divine’s Unbeatable Mind Retreat in Encinitas California. This is a life-changing experience for anyone looking to learn about SEAL principles, health and peak performance – with LIVE, hands-on training from Mark Divine and a world-renowned team of experts.

January 30th – 31st, 2015, Ben will be speaking in Dubai – Talise Fitness and Jumeirah Emirates Towers, proudly invite you to take part in an exclusive two day seminar held by the renowned nutrition and fitness expert, best selling author, coach, speaker, ex-bodybuilder and Ironman triathlete, Ben Greenfield. Click here for all details.

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Listener Q&A:

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

The Best Place to Live For An Active Lifestyle

Geoff asks: Given your lifestyle of travel and sport, why do you live where you do? Where do you think would be the best place in the world to live for swimming, biking, running, wellness and living an active lifestyle in general?

How To Naturally Increase HCL Production

Cathy asks: She has tried to supplement with Betaine HCL (for all the good reasons you have mentioned in the past) but it gives her major insomnia, a little anxiety and some joint pain. She can’t find any information on why this would be happening. She saw that it could be related to suppression of potassium and magnesium. Could it be a mineral imbalance?

What Is A Good HRV Number?

Annie asks: She wants to start using HRV to avoid over training. She understands that her LF and HF should be balanced with high power and that her HRV and rRMSD should be high… but she is not sure what numbers she should be looking for. What number is “ideal” and what number is “out of whack”? She is 25, if that makes a difference. Do you have any quantitative numbers that she can go by?

Meat Broth vs. Bone Broth

Robin asks: She has heard all about how good bone broth is for us and would like to start using it but she has heard that it is also very high in glutamate. She already has high glutamic acid in her blood so she is reluctant to try it in case it raises her glutamate even more. She is confused. Should she be drinking it?

Breath Ketones vs. Blood Ketones

Amely asks: She recently purchased a Ketonix breath ketone meter and is wondering how the measurements from the breath compare or relate to the measurements from a blood ketone meter? She doesn’t want to buy a blood ketone meter but she does want to know if she is achieving a state of ketosis or not. She is worried the breath meter is not sensitive enough. Can you give her a sense of what the comparison between the blood and breath meters are?

In my response I recommend:
-Jimmy Moore’s Ketone Clarity interview


– And don’t forget to go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/love!

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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Why You Get Cancer And What You Can Do About It.

doran sheffer

A couple weeks ago, I caught a lot of online flak for publishing a controversial article about how professional basketball player Lebron James’ constant use of a cell phone held up to his head probably contributed heavily to his recent development of mouth cancer.

And then, just yesterday, here on my wellness visit to Israel, I visited the home of another professional basketball player – Doron Sheffer (the photo above is of me and Doron in his backyard garden as I interview him).

Doron was an amazing basketball player.

He was an achiever. A hard-charger. A professional person.

As a guard for the dominant college basketball team UConn, he fed the ball to star teammates like Ray Allen (recently with the NBA’s Miami Heat) and played for legendary coach Jim Calhoun. Sheffer averaged five assists and thirteen points per game, he hit 40 percent of his three-point attempts and he led the Uconn Huskies to a brilliant 89-13 record, along with NCAA tournament appearances in each of his three seasons.

He was the first Israeli ever drafted by the NBA (the Los Angeles Clippers selected him in the second round in 1996), but he instead signed a lucrative contract with the Israeli professional basketball team, Maccabi Tel Aviv – which he then led to four consecutive national championships.

But then Doron got cancer. Testicular cancer. All the tremendous pressure, tension, difficulties, frustrations pent-up emotions and stress from the life of a hard-charging professional athlete eventually built up inside him and culminated in disease.


Stress Causes Cancer

Indeed, scientists have actually discovered that emotional stress similar to what Doron experienced can be a trigger for the growth of tumors. As a matter of fact, any sort of trauma, emotional or physical stress, can act as a literal pathway between cancerous mutations, bringing them together in a potentially fatal combination.

In other words, your risk for developing cancer can be positively or negatively affected by your emotional environment, including everyday work, physical, emotional and relationship stress.

Now here’s the deal: I’m personally a very hard-charging guy focused on personal and professional excellence in everything I do.

And as I noted to Doron in the audio that accompanies this article, I truly believe that unless you are able to relax, to breathe, to de-stress and to simply stop and smell the roses, you’re going to be the kind of person who eventually develops a disease that puts your fast-forward life into slow-motion.

So you have to put the brakes on before your body puts the brakes on and forces you to stop, perhaps with the flu, perhaps with back pain, or perhaps with cancer.

Make sense?


How To Slow Down Before Your Body Forces You To Slow Down (Audio And Video)

The ultimate question is: how can you do this?

How can you slow down before your body forces you to slow down?

How can you somehow dig yourself out of a hole of a constant barrage of e-mails, text messages, phone calls, over-exercising, eating to train and training to eat, going to bed late, 24-7 self-quantified biohacking, trying to “have everything”, getting up early and still somehow managing to squeeze in some semblance of quality in your friend and family relationships?

This is exactly what Doron figured out, and this man’s new approach to life, his answers, and his new aura of peace and calm spoke heavily to me, which is why I’m now sharing his story with you. He defied conventional medicine and naturally healed his body of cancer, and his approach to life is now refreshing, relaxed and incredibly peaceful.

Myself and the team from Vibe Israel visited Doron at his peaceful home and private health resort “Hyuli” in Amirim, in the mountains of Northern Israel. Amirim was founded in 1958 as a retreat for vegetarians, and it now serves as a residence and hotspot for a community of aromatherapists, massage therapists, herb gardens, spas, a health food shop, an organic olive oil shop, art galleries, restaurants and wellness bed and breakfasts.

These mountains are where Doron reinvigorated his body and underwent his own “spiritual cleanse” after winning his battle against testicular cancer.

These mountains are also where Doron talked to us for 30 minutes about his new perspective on life – 30 minutes of some of the most valuable content you’ll ever listen to or watch (if you’re serious about living happy and disease-free).

Just do me a favor: don’t listen to or watch this one while you’re out pounding the pavement, punishing the gym, or doing hardcore intervals on your bicycle.

Instead, go sit in your backyard, or at the park, or in a comfortable chair in your living room and just breathe and soak in the message.


Click here to listen to the audio of our talk with Doron, which was recorded in his backyard garden looking over the beautiful hills of Amirim, and eating organic figs, goji berries and sweet local almonds.

Click here for the video version, or watch below (video may not yet be fully uploaded as there is quite slow internet here in the northern mountains).



So that’s it. 

What do you think after listening to the audio or watching the video?

What can you change in your own hard-charging life so that you can slow down before you’re forced to?

Leave your questions, comments and feedback below.

Click here to check out Doron’s private health resort, which is actually open for visitations and retreats for people who want to find the same kind of peace that Doron found, and engage in therapies like Tai Chi, Yoga, Qigong, farming, water treatment, solar healing and simply…playing.

5 Things You Can Learn From The Burgeoning Health, Wellness And Nutrition Scene In Israel.

Ben Greenfield Israel Dead Sea

Welcome to the official report from Israel, where my wife Jessa and I are touring with Vibe Israel, who have brought international on- and offline opinion leaders in health and nutrition on a weeklong personalized experience of the burgeoning wellness scene Israel, including us, Lee from FitFoodieFinds.com, Emily from ThisRawesomVeganLife.com and Kate from CookieAndKate.com.

If you haven’t yet discovered Israel as a country to add to your “must-visit” bucket list, you need to do it. Just check out Part 1: The Israman Triathlon and Ben Greenfield’s Fifteen Fun Facts About IsraelPart 2: Ben Greenfield Engages In Potent Anti-Aging Mediterranean Cuisine Face-Stuffing, and Part 3: Top 10 Tips For Racing Israman Triathlon for my reports from last year, during which I toured the fitness and exercise scene in Israel.

As you read, you’ll definitely want to click here tune in to the audio podcast episode that accompanies this episode, which has includes an audio version of the article you’re about to read, along with a bonus interview from the folks at Scio, the pocket molecular sensor I write about later in this article.

The audio is brought to you by Onnit, which is where I buy crazy equipment for my home gym like Zombie kettlebells, battle ropes and sandbags, along with tasty functional foods like Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and Organic Raw Walnut Butter. Click here to check out Onnit and save 10%

OK, let’s jump into the top 5 things you can learn from the burgeoning health, wellness and nutrition scene in Israel (and by the way, the photo above is me covered in mud at the Dead Sea).


1. Vegan Food Can Be Damn Tasty

On our very first evening in Tel Aviv, we stumbled upon “Mezze“, a unique vegan restaurant located in the heart of Tel Aviv. From roasted mushroom pate to organic rye and spelt bread to a “sabha” of hot black-eyed peas sautéed with tomatoes, garlic and cilantro on organic tahini (a rich and thick eggplant paste), we dined in style after a long day on the airplane.

But the highlight of the meal – by far – was the Mezze spin on “moussaka”- a traditional Greek dish made with layers of eggplant and potatoes with lentil and vegetable stuffing. This stuff literally melts in your mouth.

So I twisted the arm of chef Gal Barzilai, a vegetarian and wild plan expert since the age of 13, to hook us up with his custom recipe for moussaka. Here it is. Bon appetit, baby (or as they say here, “be’te-avon”).

Mezze Mussaka (as translated from Hebrew to English by Adi Kaplan). Click here to convert from metric to common.


-700g chopped onion
-2 garlic cloves, crushed
-600g orange lentils (soaked/sprouted) – weight after straining and soaking
-1 kg mushrooms torn hand into small pieces
-100g walnuts + 50g cashew nuts soaked for 30 min in boiled water
-1/2 kg sweet potato peeled and thinly sliced
-30g sweet paprika
-1/4t hot paprika
-60g beets
-olive oil

Vegetables (for layering):
-1kg large potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise
-1 eggplant peeled “zebra” style, sliced thickly (1.5 cm)
-handful small tomatoes sliced pretty thick (1 cm)

Tahini (put all ingredients in a blender/hand blender; can also mix by hand):
-125g raw tahini
-150ml cold water
-1 garlic clove, crushed
-1T wine vinegar
-40ml lemon juice
-1/2t salt

1. Saute 600g onions in white oil (canola, grape seed) when starts to brown, add mushrooms and continue to sauté until nicely browned. Grind in a grinder (thickly, leaving small clump – if needed, add vegetable stock or water), then put aside to chill.
2. Put lentils, cashew and walnuts with the soaking water, final 100g raw onions, beets, 150ml water and both types of paprika in a food processor.
3. Brush potato and eggplant slices with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and put in the oven on very high heat

Putting it all together:
1. Brush a pan with a lot of olive oil
2. Layer very densely: eggplant slices, the mushroom/lentil mixture, potatoes, mushroom/lentil mixture, very little tahini, eggplant, thin layer of tahini and top it off with a very dense layer of tomatoes. Brush with olive oil

Bake in oven on 190 degrees Celsius for an hour. It is suggested to let the mussaka “rest” for an hour before serving.



 2. Dates Aren’t Just For Eating

The morning after our dinner at Mezze, we headed to the Dead Sea – an area well known for it’s extremely mineral-rich water – so mineral-rich, in fact, that it is nearly impossible to get your head under the water. You just…float. Here’s a video to show you what I mean:

Anyways, while at the Dead Sea, we visited The Synergy Spa at the Ein-Gedi Hotel. The spa is built on a hillside overlooking a the Dead Sea, and the spa facilities not only contain air saturated with oxygen, but also a bromine treated pool (which I’m floating in on the video above) filled with Dead Sea water.

My chosen treatment at Synergy was a “Date Wrap”, done with Ein Gedi date mud cream. Apparently, the same polyphenols and flavonoids that make dates such a dark and flavorful fruit also have anti-aging and nourishing properties for the skin. As I lay wrapped up and smelling like a giant human date, I was treated to a head and neck massage.

Time will tell if I actually look younger, but apparently this is one of the only places in the world where one can get rubbed down with dates. Eat your heart out, Robert Lustig.

Anyways, even though I couldn’t seem to find date mud cream for you anywhere, this spa did get me thinking about how you can saturate the air in your own house with oxygen, even if you can’t smear fruit on your own body. Here’s what I found:

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has looked into specific houseplants that can improve indoor air quality by absorbing environmental toxins and increasing oxygen levels.

Ferns, particularly the Japanese royal fern, not only release oxygen into the air but also absorb formaldehyde. The Boston fern adds both oxygen and humidity to indoor air. Gerbera daisy purifies and boosts the oxygen level of the air of your home while you sleep at night, making this a good choice for bedrooms. Other indoor plants considered highly efficient in oxygen production and air purification include heartleaf philodendron, snake plant, spider plant, Chinese evergreen and golden pothos.

So there you have it. NASA studies indicate that 15 to 18 plants in 6- to 8-inch-diameter pots will adequately increase the oxygen in the air in an 1,800-square-foot residential home. This translates to approximately one large potted plant or two smaller potted plants about every 100 square feet.

Now your home can be just like this fancy Dead Sea spa (and here’s a photo of me inside this gorgeous spa).



3. You Can Put Coconut Milk In Your Cocktails

Yes, you simply must drink some alcohol while in Israel.

I of course, have been, every night.

Here’s an idea of the crazy cocktail concoctions I was served just last night at the famous Taizu Asian Fusion restaurant (this is an advantage of being a blogger – they just brought me a sample platter of cocktails).

-Hendrix Masala: Gin Hendrix, Campari, Sake, Red Vermouth, Masala Tea

-Lady Gin: Gin, Chartreuse, Cucumber, Fresh Lime, Ginger

-Red Old Sage: Sage, Stolichnoya, Pomegranate, Ginger

-Green Tai: Stoli, Sake, Litchi, Cream, Green Tea

-Sharp Satori: Pineapple, Stolichnoya ginger, Remy Martin, Wasabi, Lemongrass

And my favorite…

-Punducherry: Strawberry Vodka, Vermouth, Coconut Milk, Lemongrass, Herbal Berries

With a mix of herbs, fresh muddled fruits and a few goodies thrown in like coconut milk and green tea, I actually wasn’t too guilty after indulging in this alcohol-infused sampling. Go ahead and try one of these recipes for yourself this holiday season (just be sure to detox afterwards).

This may come as no surprise to you if you listened to Podcast #267, in which we had the following conversation about the olive oil club I’m a member of and the olive oil martinis I make (read full transcript here):

Ben: …now, I actually I’m part of this club called the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club. They send 3 bottles of olive oil to my house every quarter from like a different area in the world like Australia or Chile or this last one is from Italy.

Brock: You really know how to party, don’t you?

Ben: Well, that’s what I’m getting at. You can do olive oil tasting, it’s actually kinda interesting. It’s somewhere a wine and that you start to recognize the flavors and the aromas and whether an olive oil is herbaceous or sweet or smoky, etc. but you can also make drinks out of olive oil and what I’ll do is take a shot of olive oil and put that like in a martini shaker and then I’ll take a really nice vodka and put 1-2 shots of that in there, squeeze a lemon, do a little bit of olive juice, so it’s kind of like a dirty martini with a splash of olive oil and then I’ll just strain that into a martini glass, sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on there, garnish with an olive and it’s olive oil vodka martini and it taste fantastic like the olive oil adds this splash of flavor that you don’t get in a regular martini and the mouth feel, like you’d think it be like oily but it’s actually got this really cool kinda mouth feel, it’s a very enjoyable drink. Anyone who hasn’t tried an olive oil martini before should try one.

So there you have it. Now you can add coconut milk into your cocktails too. L’chaim! (photo below is me with the other bloggers and my wife, washing down our cocktails with a tasty glass of Jordanian merlot)



4. You Can Exercise Anywhere

When I’m traveling, I have standby workouts, and this trip to Israel is no exception.

For example, if I find a gym, I’ll often do my twist on a 5×5 workout – which is basically 5 sets of 5 repetitions of 5 different heavy lifting exercises. But I throw mobility and movement exercises in the 90 second to 2 minute recovery periods between each 5 rep lift, like this:

-5×5 Bench – Walking lunges while reaching for the sky (10 per leg) for recovery

-5×5 Barbell Back Squat – Bird Dog Opposite Arm-Opposite Leg Extensions (10/side) for recovery

-5×5 Power Clean – Ab Hollowing With Back On Ground With Deep Breathing (10 breaths) for recovery

-5×5 Deadlift – “Quiet” Box Jumps With Silent Landing (10 reps) for recovery

-5×5 Push Press – Bicycle Crunches (10/side) for recovery

If I’m limited to a hotel room workout, I’ll often strap on a Training Mask (use 20% discount code GREEN1) and do a body weight workout for 4-6 rounds like this:

-20x burpees

-10x lunge jumps for each leg

-20x MostFit suspension strap rows

-20x mountain climbers per leg

-60 second handstand hold against wall during recovery

And of course, just like Venice Beach and Miami, they have gyms along the beach here in Tel Aviv, so you can throw down a weight workout with the locals while you’re cycling or jogging on the boardwalk along the Mediterranean Sea. Incidentally, whether I’m traveling or I’m at home, I log every workout I do, 365 days a year, for all members of my Inner Circle (if you’re already an Inner Circle member, just visit the forum and click “Life Of Ben”).



5. You Can Measure Anything. Really.

As you listen to the audio version of this article, you’re going to hear a special interview with a start-up located right here in the heart of Tel Aviv: SCiO.

SCiO is the world’s first portable molecular sensor that literally fits in the palm of your hand. It contains a tiny spectrometer and allows you to get instant information about the chemical make-up of just about anything around you, sent directly to your phone.

SCiO is based on near-IR spectroscopy analysis method. The physical basis for this method is that each type of molecule vibrates in its own unique way, and these vibrations interact with light to create its own unique optical signature.

The device includes a light source that illuminates the sample and an optical sensor (the spectrometer) that collects the light reflected from the sample. The spectrometer breaks down the light to its spectrum, which includes all the information required to detect the result of this interaction between the illuminated light and the molecules in the sample.

Normal spectrometers are big (about the size of a laptop) and expensive (tens of thousands of dollars). SCiO is unique as it is based on a tiny spectrometer, designed from the ground up to be mass-produced with low cost optics – with minimal compromise on the analysis capabilities.

So based on this technology, SCiO can actually read the chemical make-up of any materials around you, including food, plants, medication, oil and fuels, plastics and wood. For example, you can:

-Get nutritional facts about different kinds of food: salad dressings, sauces, fruits, cheeses, and much more.

-See how ripe an avocado is, through the peel.

-Find out the quality of your cooking oil.

-Know the well being of your plants.

-Analyze soil or hydroponic solutions.

-Authenticate medications or supplements.

-Upload and tag the spectrum of any material on earth to our database (including your own body).

Every time you use SCiO you actually help to build a database of knowledge about the stuff around us. The bigger the SCiO community gets, the more data SCiO will have about different materials and this goes right back to the community of users.

Check out the SCio Kickstarter project here, and listen to my podcast interview with the inventors here.



Alright, that’s it for now…but more to come later, including information about a brand new startup that can analyze and give you instant nutritional facts on any recipe you find on any food blog or website, anywhere, and another startup that allows you to instantly check how polluted the air is where you’re at, and the “cleanest air” routes for running, hiking, or cycling. Stay tuned.

Shalom – and be sure to check out Onnit if you need killer fitness gear or functional foods that optimize performance, stay tuned for more on what you can learn from the wellness and nutrition scene in Israel, extra entertaining videos from this trip, and tips on taking your own to health and fitness vacation to Israel. In the meantime, leave your question, comments and feedback below!

photos by Or Kaplan



The Little Known Truth About Smart Drugs And Nootropics (Audio & Article)

smart drugs vs. nootropics

The following is a guest post by Dr. Andrew Hill, Lead Neuroscientist at truBrain. Click here for a fascinating audio podcast that accompanies this article. featuring Ben Greenfield and Dr. Hill.

Dr. Hill received his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCLA in 2012, studying how attention operates in the brain. He has been employed as a Lecturer at UCLA over the past few years, teaching multidisciplinary courses on both Healthy Brain Aging and courses in Neuroscience and Psychology. Dr. Hill has published chapters on measuring and modulating human attention, and continues to research self regulation.

Prior to UCLA, Dr. Hill obtained extensive experience working with both psychiatric and developmental populations as well as gaining experience in high technology areas. He received his B.S. in Psychology/Neuroscience from UMass Amherst, and is a key adviser in the formulation of the truBrain’s cognitive blend (get 20% off on your purchase with the code BEN20).


The Limitless Pill

In the 2011 movie Limitless, Bradley Cooper’s character gets his hands on a smart drug (NZT-48) that enables him to be cognitively super human.  

The only known side effect is that his eyes change color while he is on the drug, but that changes over the course of the movie as side effects, including withdrawal symptoms, begin to get worse and worse.  It’s a sci-fi thriller with a not-so-feel-good message about addiction and performance enhancing substances.  And goons chasing you.

Makes smart drugs sound dangerous, right?

Like any good sci-fi , this movie questions our assumption on the limits of science.  And some of what it is suggesting is not science fiction today. Smart drugs and nootropics are a current reality, being used more and more not to treat or remediate any active condition or complaint but towards boosting already typical or superior performance, in colleges, board rooms, military theatres, and by forward thinking gerontologists.

With the wide variety of compounds available today that have some research support for cognitive effects, it is important for you to understand the risks and benefits associated with usage, or at least how to choose smarter, when choosing things that affect your brain.

For example, one of the most popular misconceptions about smart drugs is that they are the same as nootropics.  This may be due to similar benefits that people use them for, but ultimately they do not share the same range of effects, mechanisms of action, safety and side effects.

So – what are smart drugs?  What are nootropics?  How do we know if something is safe or effective?  What are these drugs actually doing to my brain?  Why am I asking so many questions without answering them?  Keep reading to get this and more information you need to understand these questions, and start formulating your own answers – and your own strategies for selecting nootropics. 


Smart Drugs vs. Nootropics

A smart drug is generally a prescribed medication or off-label drug used primarily to treat some kind of mental or cognitive disorder.

The most common are drugs such as Adderall (dextroamphetamine) or Ritalin (methylphenidate) in the stimulant class used to treat symptoms related to ADHD – although legal and illegal off-label use is rampant.  And while they may promote focus and energy in some people, others have dramatic side effect, to body and brain.  Smart drugs in the stimulant class also tend to be reinforcing, producing spikes in dopamine and norepinephrine.

This leads to tolerance and habit formation, including adverse effects on appetite, mood stability, cardiac function, stress levels and possibly many other unwanted effects – especially on younger brains such as teens and young adults.  Irritability and mood swings, anxiety, sleep issues, and other forms of emotional or cognitive regulation problems can crop up over time with stimulant use, as well.

A popular atypical stimulant “smart drug” includes the narcolepsy agents Modafinil / Adrafinil, although their effects on cognition beyond wakefulness are unproven, and side effects – while rare – can be life threatening.  If attention problems are already present the side effect risk appears to be significant increased, as well. (Kumar, (2008), Approved and Investigational Uses, Drugs. 68(13):1803-39.).

In contrast to a smart drug, a nootropic is generally a non-prescribed compound, including vitamins, herb, other supplements, natural or synthetic compound that may increase or protect cognition in some way.  The preponderance of research in the past 40 years shows some effects on focus, attention, effects on aging, and possibly cellular metabolism.

To paraphrase the definition of “nootropic” as initially coined in this article by the researcher Girugea in 1972, it is something that improves cognition without appreciable side effects, or provides from protection to the brain.

In a modern context we think of nootropics as something used not to treat any mental condition or pathology directly, but instead to provide support to peak function, protect against long term risk, and provide daily boost.  Across the field, true nootropic ingredients and full blends can now be found largely sourced from natural ingredients.  Nootropic blends are designed to leverage synergy effects suggested in the research and subjective experiences.   The goals with nootropics should always be to allow for greater and more consistent cognitive effort and flow, without the side effects of a stimulant or other harsh substance.


How Do I Know If A Smart Drug Is Safe?

As a rule of thumb, it is the nature of science to be wrong at times.  

We’ve come a long way since we accepted that the theory behind the Earth being the center of the universe was wrong.  We understand that new research may overturn old knowledge.  So how can we truly know the risks and benefits of long term use of nootropics or smart drugs?

A red flag in understanding the harm of a substance is the body’s ability to handle an overabundance of this substance.  Small amounts of toxic substances may be beneficial in the short term, but the magic happens when we look at what is happening in the body when we get too much.  Something as simple as a cup of coffee may seem harmless, but caffeine in high amounts can cause dizziness, anxiety, and even cardiac arrest or death.  Caffeine mimics the action of the neuromodulator adenosine in the body.  This leads to higher adrenaline and cortisol levels.

Even in typical doses caffeine can deeply affect our sleep and cause heart arrhythmias for some people.   Alcohol has even worse short and long term toxicity symptoms at non-moderate doses, and some people struggle to keep their dosing moderate.  In better doses – perhaps a couple cups of coffee a day (without sugar) and a drink or so per day on average, these substance are actively health promoting, and reduce risk for many brain and cardiac diseases.  When you are picking substances and compounds, dosing should be cautious at first.

From this, a couple rules come out –

1) don’t take any compounds, substance, or blends of substances that don’t list all their ingredients out in plain amounts.  

Proprietary blends with lump-sum amount hiding buzzword-compliant list of magical ingredients known as “fairy dusting” in the supplement industry.

Don’t be fooled.

Read the ingredients.

Figure out why and what is in there, and if you want it.

2) don’t chase suspicious research chemicals without much history of use or safety profile.  

Experiment on yourself if you like, but you only have one brain – make rational and cautious choices.  There are nootropic, smart drug, and cognitive enhancers that have been around for decades – something released last week as a “Research Chemical” with a bunch of numbers and letters for a name and no human studies isn’t worth the risk to you.  Not for years.


What About Adderall & Modafinil Safety?

Smart drugs such as Adderall can cause dangerous lows, psychosis with extreme use, rebound fatigue, and depression, even at lower use levels.  As an amphetamine, Adderall can act as a reuptake inhibitor, meaning that it can compete with other neurotransmitters for reuptake.

Specifically it is thought to block the uptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are associated with reward behaviors and our nervous system functions, respectively.  This causes a flood of these neurotransmitters onto multiple receptors, causing neurotransmitter depletion and overexcited receiving neurons.  This large “signal” is the reason for the focus, but also responsible for some of the side effects that go along with this class of prescription drugs.  Existing research is also a bit weak on any improvement that Adderall or other stimulants may have on short term memory or cognitive function, and some actually may impair function.

Modafinil, also known as Provigil, is an example of a smart drug that has been used like a nootropic.  Modafinil is prescribed to treat sleep disorders, but when combined with a normal functioning brain, can potentially cause increases in cognition and awareness.

Just like Adderall, the use of these drugs outside the medical field does not make them a nootropic.  Modafinil is also a reuptake inhibitor for dopamine, causing the same type of neurotrasmitter flood as Adderall.  However, Modafinil may also affect the histaminergic pathway, which deals with wakefulness and the delicate immune response of the body.  Histaminergic neurons in the brain are more active during wakefulness and slow their firing pattern as we rest or sleep.

Modafinil’s “beneficial” side effects may come from this heightened histaminergic neuronal activation, but too much activation can cause apoptosis, or cell death.  In addition, this has been shown to cause adverse skin reactions that required hospitalization since the histamine pathway also deals with our immune system.  Modafinil may increase your intelligence, but can be extremely dangerous to the health of your brain and body.


Enter Nootropics

Nootropics, like truBrain’s cognitive blend, and a few other products on the market, have dose-toxicity levels much lower than salt, caffeine, and especially Adderall.  

There doesn’t seem to be any neurotransmitter depletion, tolerance or habit forming potential, adverse body side effects, or impaired brain function, from most true nootropics, by Girugea’s definition.  The mechanisms for nootropics lie within the structural connectivity of the brain, the optimization of blood flow and oxygenation, and the fortification of brain regions over long term consistency.  Nootropics act more as a super supplement to protecting the brain.  Girugea’s own first synthesized nootropic (in 1964) is still in use today and has been shown to have effects on mitochondrial metabolism, cell membrane fluidity, and functional connectivity in the brain.

Piracetam is this poster child for nootropics, and one of the main ingredients in truBrain nootropic blends. It is one of the only compounds used in that formulation that can not be found in nature, however it was originally derived from – and has structural similarities to – the neurotransmitter GABA.

Since Girugea bought piracetam to light in 1964, there has been lots of research to support the benefits of piracetam.  It has been shown to positively affect our cell membranes and to have neuroprotective and pro-metabolism effects on cells.  The fluidity in our membranes changes with stress and old age, as well as moment to moment as one method of regulating receptor activity. By keeping our membranes healthy we can promote the cells ability to communicate.

For example, truBrain combines other membrane oriented supplements – including choline. The cell membrane – especially in the brain – relays ongoing control signals and messages from other cells to the inner processes of the cell.  Neurons’ membranes in the axon (wiring) and soma (cell body) help generate and propagate electrical signals, sum distant signals, and even have computational and complex learning functions related to changes in membrane function.  Healthier and more active cell membranes bring us increased activity and cell communication, and hopefully better cognition.

Piracetam along with other truBrain ingredients such as magnesium, choline, and DHA, increases in brain plasticity and are designed to improve cognition and efficiency under processing load – or peak performance, versus remediation.  Nootropics may support increased cognitive potential as well as long term protection.  The truBrain team added L-Theanine and L-Tyrosine to support neurotransmitters of GABA and Dopamine, respectively.

You can use a similar or different strategy when building your own nootropic regimen, but use a strategy.  Know why you are putting an ingredient in, know how it might interact with the others, and be sure that dosing is safe.

When you are planning your nootropic or nutraceutical regimen, think in terms of nutrition support to cell metabolism and function, amino acids, natural or near-natural compounds, and avoid bad fats and harsh chemicals that give a momentary boost at the cost of later crashing or having other more serious side effects, such as excess sugars and caffeine.

And don’t forget what else you put in your mouth – additional DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids (in grass fed meats, deep sea fish) are excellent for brain health. Craft your diet like you craft your brain supplement regimen – or have both catered / curated for you in a high end product.  If you do create your own blend, think precise selection, not shotgun approach, and add slowly to your regimen.


The Problem With Instant Gratification

As a culture, we often hear false marketing claims or create mindsets about what is possible with our health.  

We see ads that advertise a pill that gets rid of “stomach fat fast”.  Truthfully, fat is lost uniformly in the body and the fastest and healthiest way to lose weight it about 1-2 pounds uniformly a week.  So we eat poorly and don’t exercise for 2 years and then criticize our healthy workout plans and diet 1 month in when we don’t get the results we want.

The healthiest and most effective things in life are often the ones that we do routinely.  Consistency is key.  This is true if you are talking about athletic performance, academic or intellectual training, or nutrition and supplement support.  While not “necessary” like supplements or medicines, nootropic use follows this principle as well.  There is another rule, emerging.

If something is strongly “felt” dose to dose – if it gets you high, or wired, or sedated…it’s a smart drug, recreational drug, or something that may enhancing some aspect of performance (perhaps at the expense of another), but is definitely not a nootropic.  And finally, nootropics should be sustainable.

With some nootropics there is an initial loading phase followed by a maintenance phase, and while subtle, results can be felt fairly quickly on the timescale of a few days.  The contrasting quick highs / crashes of coffee, alcohol, smart drugs, and even quickly digesting carbs are definitely experienced more immediately, but have consequences that make them unsustainable for many people.



So in summary – here are a few initial rules to help select your own nootropic or cognitive enhancing blend:

  • Know your ingredients, and their amounts.
  • Don’t spend your money on obfuscate fairy dusting or expensive blends that are full of caffeine or random research chemicals.
  • It’s not a nootropic if it has side effects.
  • Your nootropic solutions should focus on mild nutritive and metabolic support, for long term gains and protection.  Break the cycle peak and crash that you get with too many stimulants, and avoid the more serious side effects that you risk with smart drugs.
  • Nootropics don’t get you high, altered, or wired.

And don’t forget the other accessible and evidence-based brain and cognition improving methodologies we have at our disposal today: meditation, yoga, and other contemplative (attention training) practices, biofeedback and neurofeedback, diets high in good fats, and other modifiable behaviors you can implement to take control of your brain health and performance.

So take care of your brain – the tools are out there, to support health and shift performance.

Leave your questions, comments and feedback below. Also, if you want to try the nootropic that Dr. Hill helped design, grab truBrain and get 20% off on your purchase with the code BEN20.

Part 2: 67 Steps to Getting Anything You Want Out of Life Health, Wealth, Love, & Happiness with Tai Lopez


Welcome to Part 2 of this special podcast series, in which you get to sit in and listen to Tai Lopez coach Ben Greenfield (and you!) using the strategies from Tai’s online video series “67 Steps to Getting Anything You Want Out of Life Health, Wealth, Love, & Happiness“.

You can listen to Part 1 here.

In this episode, Ben and Tai talk about how to know when you’re actually making enough money, and when you can stop focusing on income, start focusing more on life, love and happiness, and how to strike the ideal balance between being overambitious and underambitious.

Books and resources Tai and Ben discuss in this podcast:

Finding your strengths/personality tests:

1. If you’re an Entrepreneur or are thinking of becoming one, this book and psychology test is best fitted.

2. If you’re a leader or an active member in a team, this book and psychology test is best fitted.

3. If you work a regular job or you want to know how to apply your personal strengths in your everyday life, this is the book and test for you.


-The online Meyers-Briggs personality analysis

-Joel Salatin’s books and resources

-Book: The Snowball: Warren Buffet and The Business Of Life

-Book: A Few Lessons for Investors and Managers From Warren Buffett

-Book: The Five Love Languages

-Tai’s Millionaire Mentor program

-Tai’s online video series: 67 Steps to Getting Anything You Want Out of Life Health, Wealth, Love, & Happiness

Do you have question, comments or feedback? Leave your thoughts below.

How A Magical Soap Company Is Fighting Toxic GMO Crop Production.

Dr. Bronner Soap

As you may know from reading my article on “How To Detox Your Home“, if I can’t eat something without it killing me, I don’t smear it on my body either. From liquid soaps, to my bar soap, to lip balms to lotions, I’ve been using products from Dr. Bronner’s Magical Soaps (yes, that’s really their name) as one of my main personal care products sources to follow this simple rule.

Unlike most commercial soapmakers, who distill the glycerin out of their soaps to sell separately, Dr. Bronner’s retain it in their soaps for its superb moisturizing qualities. They use natural vitamin E from sunflower seeds and citric acid from fermented tapioca to protect freshness. They don’t add any chelating agents, dyes, whiteners or synthetic fragrances, and instead use pure and powerful high-quality certified organic essential oils. All their soaps are biodegradable and nature-friendly and their bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic.

In today’s podcast, I interview David Bronner, the president of Dr. Bronners, and a guy who has been arrested for hemp activism, written a recently polarizing Huffington Post article on GMO’s , and who recently championed a drive towards labeling GMO foods in my own home state of Washington, a drive that unfortunately lost by narrow margins, but is now being revived in another form, which you’ll learn all about in today’s episode, including:

-The amazing story of the original Dr. Bronner…

-Why there are over 30,000 words on the label of Dr. Bronner’s soaps…

-What’s in Dr. Bronner’s soap…

-Why not all coconut oil is created equal…

-Why David Bronner recently penned this controversial article in Huffington Post on GMO’s

-What you can do to stop the toxic production of GMO’s on our farmed crops…

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about Dr. Bronners or about GMO labeling? Leave your thoughts below, be sure to check out all of Dr. Bronner’s products by clicking here, and visit OregonRightToKnow.org to help fight GMO crop production, to cast your vote, to donate and to stop the spread of toxic herbicides.

#298: The Best Remedies For Hot Flashes, Does N-Acetyl Cysteine Increase Glutathione, How To Increase Shoulder Mobility And Much More!


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

Oct 29, 2014 Podcast: The Best Remedies For Hot Flashes, Does N-Acetyl Cysteine Increase Glutathione, How To Increase Shoulder Mobility, and Getting Rid of Scar Tissue.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form… but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.


News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.


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

Need to fix your gut, build new muscle, or enhance the effectiveness of your probiotic? The brand new Greenfield Fitness Systems NatureColostrum has arrived. Click here to check it out now. 

Go to TrainingMask.com and use code GREEN1 for a 20% discount on your third lung.

November 17-21, 2014: Ben interviews 23 of the world’s leading experts in performance, recovery, nutrition, fat loss, brain, sleep and hormone optimization, and you get a free all-access pass. Check it out now at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/RevYourself.

Go ask your burning Obstacle Racing questions at ObstacleDominator.com for the brand new Obstacle Dominator podcast.

Other places you can meet Ben: Nov 2-9 London (meet-up and drinks at Skylon Restaurant, November 8 at 6pm), Nov 9-16 Israel, Dec 4-7 Unbeatable Mind Retreat.

January 30th – 31st, 2015, Ben will be speaking in Dubai – Talise Fitness and Jumeirah Emirates Towers, proudly invite you to take part in an exclusive two day seminar held by the renowned nutrition and fitness expert, best selling author, coach, speaker, ex-bodybuilder and Ironman triathlete, Ben Greenfield. Click here for all details.

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 – 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.

The Best Remedies For Hot Flashes

Graeme asks: His wife has been experiencing pre-menopause hot flushes. Most of the supplements focus on eostrogen i.e. Are phytoeostrogens which they are NOT a fan of due to increased risk of breast cancer etc. She has been using Magnesium which is helping a LOT, plus some Vitamin E and they have also heard Kelp powder (iodine) helps. Do you happen to have any other suggestions?

In my response I recommend:
-This article on acupuncture and hot flashes.
-This article on black cohosh and hot flashes.
-Black Cohosh/dong quai (e.g. Thorne MetaBalance)
-Organic Maca Powder
-Vitamin E

Does N-Acetyl Cysteine Increase Glutathione?

Brian asks: He is interested in learning more about N-Acetyl Cysteine. He has read some articles that say it can help with a wide variety of health issues – helping to make things better for the body. One of the major questions he had was how does it work to reduce pre and post exercise oxidative stress? Also, could you recommend a pure quality product? Are there any side effects from taking NAC?

How To Increase Shoulder Mobility

Mark asks: In June this year he did a Tough Mudder and had fun and felt really good. The next day he played two, back to back, soft ball games. He felt a tweak in his shoulder every time he threw the ball but didn’t think much of it. From that day on he has had tightness in his shoulder and his range of motion was very limited (reaching for high things is difficult, playing golf is hard and even playing his dreadnought guitar is painful). It is getting better, very slowly, but it is still very tight in the morning and interrupts his sleep at night. Do you know why this is taking so long to heal, why it is tight in the morning and what he can do to speed up the healing?

In my response I recommend:
-Becoming A Supple Leopard book
-AllThingsGym.com mobility page (esp. shoulder flossing and lacrosse ball shoulder)

Getting Rid of Scar Tissue

Yvonne asks: About a year ago she ripped her thigh muscle doing an aerobic workout. She now has some scar tissue at the top of her leg. Now she gets a burning sensation in her thigh muscle and wonders what it could be. Can you tell her?


– And don’t forget to go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/love!

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!

Podcast music from 80s Fitness (Reso Remix) by KOAN Sound. Buy this track now!


Ask Your Question

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Episode #298 – Full Transcript

Podcast #298 from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/10/298-the-best-remedies-for-hot-flashes-does-n-acetyl-cysteine-increase-glutathione-how-to-increase-shoulder-mobility/


Introduction:           In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: The Best Remedies For Hot Flashes, Does N-Acetyl Cysteine Increase Gutathione, How To Increase Shoulder Mobility, Getting Rid of Scar Tissue, and much more.

Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com 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 triathlete, or you just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.

Brock:               Ahooz!  Your teeth, I hear?

Ben:                   Ayayayayah!  Seriously, my teeth are still chattering and I finished my cold water morning swim almost an hour ago.  And I’m okay with that ‘cause I know my body’s churning out lots of nitric oxide and creating all this new special brown adipose tissue, etc. but I got to tell you Brock, I have this new strategy that is pretty killer for every Wednesday morning.  So you gonna have to put up with this now every single time we record.

Brock:               Okay, tell me about it.  I wanna know what this is.

Ben:                   So, and if you’re listening in to this podcast and you wanna go out and replicate this setup for yourself, knock yourself out.  You can even email me you know, of how I put all these together.  But basically I have a 19 foot, what’s called an aqua fitness pool and this is like one of those endless swimming pools…

Brock:               Oh, I was gonna say 19 feet, that’s like two of you.

Ben:                   It’s pretty long but I mean by the time I’m stretched out with my arms and my legs, I’m already getting moved around that thing pretty rapidly because it’s got high speed jets and so, I swim against the high speed jets and I’ve got this half hour routine that I do where the pool is at 59 degrees, and that’s Fahrenheit, 59 degrees Fahrenheit.  I swim for 8 minutes and I do a combination of freestyle swimming and underwater hypoxic no breath swimming against these jets, and then next to that I have what’s called a J470 jacuzzi.  And you can look up this model but this particular model of Jacuzzi allows you to have a hot tub without having to add much chlorine to it.  It’s all ozone treated, so you avoid all the chlorine chemicals.  So, I go 8 minutes in the cold water, and then 2 minutes in the hot water, and for the 2 minutes in hot water, I try and hold my breath underwater for the entire 2 minutes.  Basically I’m getting that hypoxic oxygen deprivation effect, and then I jump back into the cold pool.  So, you could replicate this kinda cold water swim at your local health club if it has kind of colder pool but ultimately, that’s new Wednesday morning routine – is 8 minutes cold, 2 minutes warm, 3 times through for this killer 30 minute routine and that’s why my teeth are still chattering.

Brock:               You know where else they do that workout?

Ben:                   Where?

Brock:               Guantanamo Bay.  (laughter)

News Flashes:                 

 Ben:                   Speaking of jumping from cold to hot pools, Brock, I tweeted out this week about crazy endurance quests that the Outside Magazine website published.  So, I’ll go through a few of these with folks and this somebody’s are pretty crazy but if you want to tune in to what I release on twitter each week, just go to twitter.com/BenGreenfield and you can get these news flashes right when they come out.  But here’s a few of the 13 toughest endurance quests that Outside Magazine published this week.  We’ve got the jungle ultra – that’s 142.6 miles through the Peruvian jungle in a self supported race, and they describe the courses dropping 10,500 feet to the jungle floor as you cross 70 rivers.  So, that’s called the jungle ultra.  I thought that one looked pretty interesting.  How about this one: the Alaska mountain wilderness classic, in which you trek over a hundred miles across wild Alaska terrain and there’s no route and there’s no GPS but apparently you can carry a satellite phone, so there’s that.


Brock:               I think that’s just sending a whole bunch of people out to get lost.

Ben:                   Here’s an interesting one.  This one’s called the Self Transcendence, 3,100 mile race.  It’s held in unassuming corner of Queens, New York and its test competitors mental strength is much as their fitness.  You must complete 3,100 miles in 52 days by completing 5,649 mine naming laps around one city block.  The Self Transcendence – it lasted for 18 years.  I’d be curious if any of our listeners who’ve ever done that one.  I wouldn’t be surprise, we got a lot of listeners in New York.  I bet at least 1 or 2 of our crazy listeners have done this self transcendence.

Brock:               I hope so.  I wanna hear about it.

Ben:                   How about this one.  The 633 Ultra – this is a self-supported 350 mile race in the Arctic Circle in which you have to cross the Arctic Circle  and it lies at 66 degrees and 33 minutes.  Apparently that’s the – I don’t know, I guess the latitude, longitude of the Arctic Circle?

Brock:               Uhm, yeah.

Ben:                   Temperatures have around 25 degrees below zero and you must complete the course in 191 hours or less.  Just basically 8 days.  Only 11 people have finished it in 7 years.

Brock:               And only 8 people or maybe 9 people signed up for it.

Ben:                   That’s right.  So, if you wanna check up some of these crazy endurance quest, I’ll put a link to all of them in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/298.  So, if you’re bored, you’re twiddling your thumb, you’re sitting around on the couch, and you feel like a crazy endurance quest, go sign up.  So, there’s that.

Brock:               I like it.  I think we should choose one to do each year.

Ben:                   That’s right and just see how long we actually live.  I’d give us a couple of years before we get bitten by some giant Peruvian bumblebee or drown in the Arctic Circle.

Brock:               Exactly.

Ben:                   Here’s another interesting thing I tweeted out.  This was an article that appeared last year entitled, “Do Olympic athletes train as in the Paleolithic era?”  and it’s really interesting because this article goes into how some of the best athlete on the face of the planet seem to naturally progress towards training in a way that’s very, very much like our hunter gather ancestors would have trained.  For example… oh, go ahead.

Brock:               I was gonna say it’s a lots and lots of just low level activity.

Ben:                   Exactly.

Brock:               With their sprints.

Ben:                   Uh huh, like this 80/20 rule.  There’s this polarized training type of approach where if you look at (inaudible) turns that characterized by the prevalence of daily bouts of prolonged low intensity aerobic based activities in a spurs with periodic short duration high intensity burst of activity.  And sure enough, if you look at some of the best Olympic athletes and especially if you look at endurance athletes like marathon or cyclist, etc. you see a lot of low level aerobic training, a lot of physical activity not performed at a super high intensity but performed regularly and consistently.  And every once in a while extremely high, high intensity interval training sessions that pushed them very, very hard.  Such as you would do  if you are fighting a lion or defending your family against the savor tooth tiger or…

Brock:               Running from a rhino…

Ben:                   One of those giant elephants with a tusk or those one called – the big mouth…

Brock:               The mammoth?

Ben:                   Yeah, the woolly mammoth.  So, you tend to see that same type of ancestral movement pattern replicated in the training patterns of some of the best athletes and teams on the face of the planet.  Another point that they make out is that a lot of times these activity patterns in the hunter gather era were undertaken with low carbohydrate availability and it’s interesting because a lot of modern day research shows that this concept of like train low, raise high.  Meaning – you train in instead of relatively low carbohydrate availability and then you make carbohydrates available during a race or actual competition.  It turns out that that can actually upregulate the production of mitochondria when you do something like that and also helps you fire up free radical and a lot of oxidative stress from exercise.  So, it’s interesting that we tend to see that physical activity in the state of low carbohydrate availability also displayed in hunter gatherer type of activities.


                           So, there’s that.  Another thing that they mention is that if we look at the Paleolithic era, a lot of times, strength and power such as like finishing a wild animal that you may have killed or fighting after a long day of hiking and we tend to see strength and power typically performed after sometimes an exhausting aerobic activity.  And so it turns out that after you, for example, run or worn yourself up from a practice or something along those lines, it can actually help from fitness standpoint and also in mental toughness standpoint to still have to perform some kind of a strength or power activity afterwards.  So, this entire article is really interesting as post in the Journal of Sports Medicine but it’s called, do Olympic athletes train as in a Paleolithic era?  And I think it’s worth the read.  It’s just really, really interesting how some of the best athletes kinda tend to train like caveman whether they know it or not.

Brock:               I like it.  The sort of goes against what we talked about for a sort of the all those folks who have jobs and have families and lives and stuff, not doing that really low level but specifically for those people who are doing this for a profession.

Ben:                   Right, exactly.  Completely flies in the face of sitting in your computer all day in a seated position and then drinking a jamba juice and then doing a workout, right – like it’s completely the opposite.  So, there you go.  Not that we have anything against jamba juice of course.  We love jamba juice.

Brock:               I don’t know if we have jamba juice in Canada.

Ben:                   I don’t know.

Brock:               We have other offenders…

Ben:                   I saw jamba juice under the bus a lot.  So, sorry jamba juice [0:11:55.0] ______.  Okay, so another thing was that are interesting article and this is a great read, it appeared over at suppversity website and this was an article that went into a lot of the latest research who was just like  a quick review of a bunch of latest research.  And a few of the things that I thought jumped out of me was number 1; there are 2 different things they talked about that could increase cerebral profusion or increase blood flow to the brain or act as a smart drugs/nootropic in terms of increasing performance on cognitive test.  And these two things; number one was cold water.  Drinking cold water prior to an exam actually helped participants do better on a cognitive test.

Brock:               Hmm, crazy!

Ben:                   And so we talked about cold water before as increasing blood flow throughout the whole body including the brain, it turns out as not just like taking a cold shower or doing like I did this morning going for a cold water swim, it’s also just drinking cold water.  And the other thing that they found could increase cerebral blood flow was a high flavonoid cacao drink.  In order words, like a dark chocolate type of drink.  So, you could eat dark chocolate and you could drink cold water and you just be a smart little cookie just based off of those two little lifestyle changes.

Brock:               I keep my chocolate bars in the freezer.

Ben:                   Hmm, that’s probably the ultimate nootropic.  The other thing that I thought that was interesting in this article was they talked about the water trick.  And a lot of people think that it’s a total myth that if you drink a glass of water prior to a meal, that you’ll eat less, but they actually did this study where they showed that when folks drink, the equivalent – it was right around 16 ounces of water prior to what they described as an ad-libitum porridge breakfast which is basically eating as much porridge are you like.  Well, it turns out that folks ate much less of that ad-libitum porridge when they had this water intake meal before a meal.  And so therefore, water intake may actually be an effective strategy to suppress energy intake.  So, if you’re gonna eat something and you think you might over-eat it, try to drink a huge, giant glass of water first.  And if you happen to have an exam afterwards, make sure it’s a cold water and have a little bit of chocolate.  So, there you go.

Special Announcements:

Ben:                   Brock, I have a very, very special announcement and it involves breast milk.

Brock:               My favorite kind of announcements.

Ben:                   So, we’ve talked about colostrum before on the show and colostrum is that life giving fluid that’s produced as pre-cursor to mother’s milk and mammals.  That’s what used to like heal up the gut lining in a new born baby, it heals leaky gut, and in full grown babies aka adults. 


                           It can help out with growth hormone formation, muscle building, excellent for enhancing immunity, it’s something you can load with for like 2 weeks before any kind of race in hot weather to increase the health of your gut specifically by decreasing permeability of the gut during exercise and hot weather.  Tons of research behind all the different immune and growth factors produced by this stuff and its colostrum.  So, colostrums has been kind of a daring supplement that we’ve talked about for a long time in the show, and the special announcement that I have to make is that Greenfield fitness systems which is named after me…

Brock:               What a surprise.

Ben:                   Greenfield fitness systems now has its own colostrums supplement.  It’s a goat based colostrum supplement, very, very low allergenic potential, it’s got a lot of different what are called immune-globulins in it, growth factors, growth hormones, and anti-bodies that help to strengthen your immune system and destroy for a antigens and so if you have gut issues, or a leak gut, or weak immune system, or you’ve got an upcoming hard workout, or race in the heat or you wanna recover faster, or increase growth hormone, this is a way to do it.  You take about 4 colostrum capsules in the morning, and if you want kinda double dose, you do 4 in the morning, 4 in the evening, and it’s called Nature Colostrum.  It’s the brand new Greenfield fitness systems supplement, Nature Colostrum.  So, all of our listeners can get a grip it bottle stuff, it’s 40 bucks for your own bottle of human (not human, that’ll be horrible)…

Brock:               You say, who are you milking?

Ben:                   … goat press milk.  My mom.  No, it’s goat colostrums.  So, if you want to jump start your immune system and heal the leaky gut, check it out.  We’ll put a link in the show notes or you can go to greenfieldfitnesssystems.com to check it out but it’s called Nature Colostrum.  So, anyways I’m pretty excited about that.

Brock:               Yeah!  It’s cool.

Ben:                   So that is out now and look for other Greenfield systems supplement coming very, very soon specifically focused on your joints and on your gut.  Colostrum is the first one that we officially have available as a Ben Greenfield fitness approved supplement.  So, you can check that out.

Brock:               Sweet!

Ben:                   While you are taking your colostrums, check out the sponsor for today’s show, and our sponsor is Training Mask.  This show is brought to you by Training Mask.  You may have noticed that if you’ve listen in to previous episodes and you try to use our special discount code for training mask that it may not have worked, and that because training mask made that discount code go by because it wind up on some of these popular coupon websites like retail me not or coupon codes or whatever, so anyways, here… drumroll please… is the new discount code that gives you 20% off this cool Bane Batman like mask that helps you to grow a third lung, and the discount code is GREEN1, GREEN1.  So, you can use discount code GREEN1 over at trainingmask.com and get a 20% discount on growing that third lung that you’ve always wanted.

Brock:               Disclaimer, it will not actually produce a third lung.

Ben:                   It will just make you feel like you’ve grown a third lung.  So, check it out trainingmask.com – it’s the one that all of the UFC fighters are wearing.  So, if you really wanna get really good at beating people up and not breathing hard while you’re doing it then put on your training mask.

Brock:               So very valuable skill on today’s world.

Ben:                   That’s right.  A few other things… as I think we’ve mentioned on this podcast before, I am going to be speaking at a private event in London, England next week.  I’ll be in London from November 2nd through about November 9th but it just so turns out that we’re gonna have a little meet up for all of the Ben Greenfield fitness listeners and fans, and we’re gonna do that on Saturday night, November 8th.  So, if you’re in London on Saturday night, November 8, here are the details: we’re gonna get together at this restaurant called Skylon Restaurant – we’ll put a link to that on the show notes.  Apparently it’s on the south bank near the London Eye where we…

Brock:               Oh yeah, just down from the Wicker Shanks.

Ben:                   Just down from the Wicker Shanks… You know where that is really?

Brock:               No, I made that…

Ben:                   Oh, you made that up.

Brock:               Not a thing.  As far as I know, anyway.


Ben:                   I love how we’re so likewe’re so…

Brock:               Culturally insensitive…

Ben:                   Culturally insensitive that we think of London as being like Harry Potter’s school.  Anyways, Skylon Restaurant, Saturday night, November 8, 6PM, come join me, Dr. Tamsin Lewis is gonna be over there, and basically just gonna hang out.  It’s totally nothing formal, it’s not like a talk or a lecture or anything like that.  It’s basically just drinking at Skylon Restaurant.  So, check that out if you’re in London.

Brock:               Do they have blues in England, do they?

Ben:                   I believe they do.  I think what they do is they had alcohol droplets to their tea.  Dip their crumpets in that and have a grandeur time.  So, you can check that out.  Also, few other places that you can hunt me down – as I’ll be over in Israel from November 9th through the 16th .  I have no clue at my schedule be over there but if you follow me on twitter at twitter.com/bengreenfield and tune in to the facebook.com/BGfitness page, you’ll be able to kinda see what’s going on when I’m in Israel and hopefully we have a chance to do a meet up over there as well with my wife and I will be over there.  And then December 4th through the 7th, I’ll be speaking at the Unbeatable Mind Retreat near San Diego, California and we’ll put a link to that and all these other fantastic locations over on the show notes, and then finally if you happen to be hanging around and you’re in the Middle East, I’ll be over speaking in Dubai at the end of January and that’s a little ways off by now but I thought I’ve mention that as well just we don’t leave the good folks in the Middle East out.

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Listener Q&A:

Graeme:           Hey Brock and Ben, it’s Graeme from Adelaide in Australia.  My question is actually from my wife.  She’s experiencing  hot flashes as part of early stages of menopause.  Now, most of the supplements help the same go down the estrogen part which may not really comfortable with given the links to breast cancer and stuff like that.  We’ve been experimenting with magnesium and vitamin A and been getting some really good results but I was wondering if you could recommend any other supplements that actually more help with hot flushes.  Thanks guys!

Brock:               Hey, it’s nice to hear from Graeme.

Ben:                   It is nice to hear from Graeme, and uhm, you know what’s interesting about hot flushes, Brock?  Did you know guys can get hot flushes?

Brock:               I didn’t but I believe that, ‘cause I get really hot sometimes I’m sitting on the couch.

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s actually something that can happen to guys of all because basically hot flushes, the way that they work, for those of you who are unfamiliar with or haven’t had the pleasant experience of getting a hot flush.  What happens is – blood vessels in your head and in your neck expand really fast and this can happen during the day or during night – you don’t have to get all the sweating and the dizziness, and the high heart rate, and the headache, etc.  Sometimes it can just feel like you’re just really hot and sometimes it can be sweating and dizziness and a faster heart rate, and the headache.  But it’s basically just blood vessels in the head and the neck, expanding really quickly.  And in women, you tend to have this happen more often leading up to menopause or during what’s called the peri-menopausal years, and one of the reasons for that is because estrogen levels sharply drop and when that happens you can get more of this rapid blood vessel expansion, increasing blood flow to the head and the neck, and it’s just a result of the hormonal changes specifically that drop in estrogen that occurs.  So, part of it may have a little bit to do with another thing that can increase blood flow to the head called luteinizing hormone.  And you can get some surges in luteinizing hormone that also happen during this peri-menopausal years.  In guys, you typically tend to see hot flushes occur if there’s a dramatic reduction in testosterone levels.  So in women, it’s a sharp drop in estrogen levels that can cause it.  In men, a sharp drop in testosterone levels can cause it.

Brock:               That doesn’t vote well for me.

Ben:                   Uh uhm.  So, if you’re guy and having a hot flashes, you get your testosterone checked out.  There’s a lot of different remedies that they’ve looked at.  Obviously hot flushes are something that women have been experiencing for a long period of time and because it can disrupt sleep, and create insomnia, and create a lot of discomfort especially at night.


                           There are a lot of things as far as alternative remedies that folks have looked into that go above and beyond kinda some of these estrogen therapies that you might see prescribed more in like traditional western medicine or the use of phytoestrogens.  And Graeme is right, using things like phytoestrogens and even using a lot of times things like soy and other sources of estrogens that can create some downstream issues as far as increased risk of breast cancer and other cancers simply because estrogen is so pro-growth and so trying to band-aid the issue with just a bunch of estrogen exposure is not necessarily the best idea.  So, as far as some of the alternative remedies for hot flushes that actually have some decent research behind them; one incidentally is not really a netriceutical at all and it’s simply acupuncture.  And there’s a really, really interesting study.  This was actually a study done by Turkish researchers and I know we all have a special place in our heart for the good old Turkish researchers.

Brock:               We love them Turks.

Ben:                   That’s right.  We love them Turks.  So, in this study, they actually recruited a bunch of post-menopausal women and they put them through a course of acupuncture and at the end of the study period and in this case if was a 5 week course of acupuncture where they’re doing acupuncture 2 times a week for 20 minutes.  The women who got the acupuncture showed significantly more relief from their symptoms compared to another group of women who got sham acupuncture.  I’m not really sure what sham acupuncture is, but – and in all seriousness, I think what it is they actually use blunted nails that don’t actually penetrate your skin.  So, yeah, so you think that you’re getting needles poked in to you but you’re really not.  So anyways though, the real acupuncture vs. the fake needles, turned out to actually decrease other symptoms of hot flashes, so and other uncomfortable symptoms of menopause as well.  So, acupuncture is one thing that you can do.  Even though I know that can be inconvenient to go out of your way to visit an acupuncturist a couple times a week for 20 minutes, is something that has been shown to be effective.  And I’ll put a link to that particular study in the show notes if you wanna check it out over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/298.

                            So, another thing that has been shown to be useful for this is is Maca and Maca is just basically an adrenal stabilizer.  You can get it in organic powder form, you can add it to smoothies, you can take it in like a capsule form as well but it’s basically – it’s great for guys actually to increase testosterone but in women, it may actually cause a little bit of a natural surgeon estrogen that can relieve some of these hot flash symptoms.  So, Maca root is another one to look into and you definitely wanna get the organic variety but you can typically find the organic variety for example on amazon.com.  You can get some good organic varieties of Maca root and also goes by the name lepidium – l-e-p-i-d-i-u-m, is the scientific name of Maca.  Most of the time you just gonna find as organic Maca or Maca root if you wanna sound more…

Brock:               Is that M-a-c-a?

Ben:                   M-a-c-a.

Brock:               So that’s not macha.

Ben:                   Yes, yes.  Not macha green tea but maca root.

Brock:               There you go.

Ben:                   So, there’s another thing called black cohosh.  And I think black cohosh just sounds cool.  But the root of the black cohosh plant has actually been used for many, many centuries and it’s actually in native American remedy to help relieve menstrual cramps and the symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, and irritability, and mood swings, and sleep disturbances.  And they’ve done clinical studies with black cohosh and found it to be a safe and effective alternative for women who cannot or will not take a hormone replacement therapy which should be one of the more modern remedies for hot flashes and menopause.  So, black cohosh is actually this flowering plant that you find in some mostly eastern areas of North America which why it’s a more than native American remedy but it can be found in capsule form, tablet form, and like a liquid tincture or you can find it in a dried root for tea, but it’s something that would definitely be considered a clinically proven and effective remedy for hot flashes.  So black cohosh would be another one.


                           Now, when I’m bringing up some of these things like black cohosh, maca – there’s also interestingly some studies on vitamin E and hot flashes in menopausal women.  Vitamin E – you gotta be careful with.  You always wanna make sure it’s balance out with vitamin C, another natural antioxidant because high dose synthetic vitamin E especially can lead to increase risk of strokes.  So you need to be very, very careful with the overuse of vitamin E but in its natural form, balance out with vitamin C, vitamin E would be another thing that – along with black cohosh and maca root can help out quite a bit.

                           Anyways though, there is one supplement called Meta-Balance, you should be able to find at many health food stores.  You can find it on Amazon, we’ll put a link to it in the show notes but that’s one that’s made by Thorne, and Thorne was one of those companies that I really, really admire in terms of their avoidance of using nasty fillers and their adherence to very, very high quality additives in their supplements.  And this particular one, Meta-Balance, it’s got black cohosh in it, it’s got something called Vitex in it, it’s got something called Dong Quai in it which acts very. Very similar to Maca root, and it’s got some wild yam in it which helps provide you with a little bit of natural progesterone which can help to decrease a lot of the symptoms of a lot of peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms.  So, it’s got all of that in it.  Along with it, I believe it has a little bit of vitamin E and vitamin C in there as well.  It’s just something that you can take – it’s relatively affordable, it’s 25, 30 bucks for a bottle of the stuff but it’s called Meta-Balance.  Meta-Balance – that’s another one that I’d look into.  So, those are some of the biggies.

Brock:               Taking that with me, you wouldn’t have to worry about all the dosages ‘cause all that stuff here are listing else like, okay so how much…

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  So, it’s one of those convenience, those convenient things that you can just add in.  The other thing I’m looking to, just be like a basic Chinese adaptogenic herb complex.  A lot of times with hormonal fluctuations, adaptogens can help out quite a bit.  They helped to produce more hormones when there’s hormonal deficits, produce little less, you know, for example if you have excessive cortisol, help to decrease cortisol production little bit, and one of the adaptogens that I recommend and use myself called TianChi, that’s got a lot of components in it that help to regulate blood flow to the brain as well.  So, that’s another one that you could look in to and that’s just something to take like mid-morning, on an empty stomach or even early morning on an empty stomach, is called TianChi.  So, those are some of the main things that I would look into.  If you didn’t want to go out of your way to do acupuncture, I’d look in the black cohosh, maca, this Thorne meta-balance stuff, if you wanted the mix of that and some of the vitamins like vitamin E that can help out with regulating hot flashes and then this TianChi.  So, that’s what I would do and that’s the block.

Brian:                Hello Ben, my Brian Balls.  I’m calling from Martinsville, Virginia.  I have a question regarding the supplement NAC –  N-Acetyl Cysteine.  I’ve been reading some articles about it and saying that it covers a wide variety of health issues, helping to make things better for the body, and one of the major thoughts that I have about it was – what are your comments on how it works to reduce during and post-exercise oxidative stress?  And also, if you could recommend a pure, quality product, that would be greatly appreciated, and also too, if you know of any research that there are like any major side effects from taking this supplement.  I think that’s all I have, appreciate your input and your time.  Okay!  Have a great and I hope to hear from you soon.  Thanks.

Brock:               So we have talked about N-Acetyl Cysteine in the past but this is a very specific kind of question about the oxidative stress.  So, he’s looking for a sort of an antioxidant side of things.

Ben:                   Yeah.  I think we’ve talked about in the past has a pretty significant liver detox type of thing that to add in to your protocol if you’ve had a heavy vendor.


                           So, for all of you getting ready to put on your Halloween zombie costumes and go out and drink a lot of shots of hard liquor…

Brock:               Your sexy zombie costumes of course.

Ben:                   Yes, of course your sexy zombie costumes or nurse costumes as the case may be.  What are you gonna dress up for this Halloween, by the way?

Brock:               I’m gonna dress up this the guy who hides inside his house with all the lights turned off.  I do that pretty much every year.  It’s my staple.

Ben:                   (laughter)  I love it.  I’m gonna dress up as a dad who walks his kids around and… yeah, and to think my kids are not…

Brock:               And knocks the candy out of kids hands.

Ben:                   I think I’ve got a – like a Dracula, like a vampire kid and my then my other guy is something cute.  He’s like a squirrel or an Ewok or something like that.  So, yeah, pretty random.

Brock:               I like it.  It’s good comment.

Ben:                   Anyways though, that has nothing to do with N-Acetyl Cysteine really.  So, N-Acetyl Cysteine is just the – you may have heard of the amino acids cysteine before and N-Acetyle Cysteine is basically the amino acid cysteine but there’s what called an acetyl group attached to it.  And when you do that, when you add an acetyl group to cysteine, it makes cysteine water soluble.  So, normally if you’re just take oral cysteine which isn’t water soluble, it’s not well absorbed by your intestine, and so if you’re just taking a cysteine supplement, it doesn’t really get absorbed and it doesn’t really have any of the effects of cysteine that I’ll tell you about in a second.  Now you can get dietary cysteine as the breakdown product of proteins and peptides.  Like whey protein for example, like if you supplement with whey protein, you get and you may have read about this, a little bit of an increase in glutathione synthesis.  And one of the reasons for that is because cysteine if it is absorbed, is one of the amino acids that contributes to the synthesis of glutathione.  And you may be familiar with glutathione as one of the most potent antioxidants that your body makes.  It’s important in your liver detox pathways, it’s important in fighting free radicals on a cellular level.  So, glutathione is really important but the problem is that, if you just taking like a cysteine supplement, you are not really going to get much absorption to form glutathione.  If you’re eating like whey protein, you actually do get some cysteine absorption from that but the tray office of course maybe whey protein might cause some GI side effects for you or maybe you just don’t want the calories that come with whey protein for example if you’re trying to supplement with cysteine.  The other thing is that, you would have to eat a lot of whey protein.  We’re talking like dozens of scoops of whey protein to get a very high intake of cysteine if you’re looking for like more of a therapeutic or like a pretty big liver detox effect.  So, this is where something like adding an n-acetyl group to cysteine comes in handy.  So, what happens is, like I mentioned n-acetyl cysteine is a pre-cursor used by the body to produce glutathione and glutathione is this really important and powerful antioxidant that’s help protect you against free-radicals damage and services as a liver detox.  So, when you add this acetyl group to cysteine, then what you allow for cysteine to do is get quickly what’s called d-acelated and metabolize in your intestines and in your liver, and then it combines with a couple other amino acids.  One called glycine, and one called glutamate to form glutathione and so, really the main reason that you would take an n-acetyl cysteine would be to get to that end goal of producing glutathione.  Now, there are some forms of n-acetyl cysteine that are very, very well absorbed compared to other forms.  For example, if you look for an n-acetyl cysteine capsule, which is where you’re gonna find most n-acetyl cysteine supplements packaged then, what happens is n-acetyl cysteine is really easily oxidized when it gets expose to the air.  So, an open bottle of capsules is really vulnerable to oxidation and degradation.  So it’s kind of an issue if you’re getting your n-acetyl cysteine in like a capsule form.  You can also get n-acetyl cysteine in effervescent form and this is a form that – I personally, I’ll tell you right now, I don’t take n-acetyl cysteine, I take liposomal glutathione instead.  I use the bulletproof upgraded glutathione and so, that’s my way of getting glutathione rather than going the n-acetyl cysteine root.


                           But basically an effervescent form of n-acetyl cysteine is the way to go because what happens is not only do it as a solid capsule or a tablet get dissolve really gradually in your stomach and can’t really fully dissolve, it can cause some irritation in the gut especially in the mucus membrane of the stomach but it’s very, very prone to oxidation.  An effervescent tablet gets absorb very, very well and one of the forms that I like is there’s this company called PharmaNac, is a p-h-a-r-m-a Nac, pharmaNac, you can get it off of Amazon.  It’s an extremely well absorbed form of n-acetyl cysteine if you want to use that as a root to increase glutathione levels.  So, that’s the way that I would go if I were gonna use n-acetyl cysteine to boost glutathione.  But like I mentioned, I don’t use effervescent n-acetyl cysteine like pharmaNac, I use the liposomal glutathione and this is the stuff that taste like liquid dog farts basically.  So it’s not pleasant, but what you do is you put it in our mouth, you hold it for about 30-60 seconds then you just chase it with a glass of water or your swallow and it’s a great way to get targeted glutathione into your gut cells and do so in a way that doesn’t allow your enzymes to degrade the glutathione before your gut is able to absorb it and deliver it to the cells.  So, the way that liposomal glutathione works is – glutathione binds this peptide, this peptide called lactoferrin and lactoferrin by pass stomach degradation and delivers glutathione straight into the gut.  It crosses your intestinal mucosa through this process called endocytosis and basically all that means is that you don’t get degradation of the glutathione like you would with a capsule or a tablet and it just get absorb.  So, kinda 3 different ways to skin the glutathione cat – one would be to use something like n-acetyl cysteine in its effervescent form like this pharmaNac stuff, one would be to use to take crap loads of whey protein, and then another way would be to use like a liposomal glutathione.  So, if I were gonna take n-acetyl cysteine, I would use this pharmaNac stuff, so I’ll put a link to that the liposomal glutathione in the show notes, you can check out those ways to live better through science by upgrading your free-radical buffering capacity.

Mark:                Hi Ben, hi Brock!  It’s Mark from [0:42:48.9] ______, Canada.  So, good old Canadian welcome to and hello to Brock there.  Anyways, in June of this year, I did a Tough Mudder and I was felt good and had a really good time and then the next I played 2 back-to-back softball games and I felt a tweak in my shoulder every time I throw and at that time I thought – oh, nothing of it, probably just a sprain but from that day on I kinda felt some tightness in my shoulder and my range of motion was very limited, had trouble playing golf to start, and there is other things like reaching for high things became difficult and even at times playing things like my dreadnought guitar was difficult and so, anyways, it’s gotten better, my range of motion has almost come back and when I’m wondering is why is it that it’s taking this long, it now the middle of October, and I wonder if there’s anything that then you could suggest that could help me with the tightness and soreness that I feel initially in the morning.  And I wanna thank you both for the great work that you do and I really appreciate all the hard work that you do.  Thanks.

Brock:               I like how Mark just so ever so subtly let us know which kind of guitar he’s playing.

Ben:                   Uhmm, yeah.

Brock:               I do enjoy dreadnoughts.

Ben:                   I do enjoy a good dreadnought guitar.  I don’t know what dreadnought guitar is honestly.

Brock:               Oh, it’s one of those big fat acoustic guitars.  So, I can see why that would actually crank your shoulder more ‘cause he has to reach around a little bit.

Ben:                   Uhhmm, yeah, yeah, of course.  So, as if doing a Tough Mudder and then the next day playing 2 back-to-back softball games wasn’t enough.  He’s now adding the dreadnought guitar into the equation.  I could see why his shoulders are complaining.

Brock:               Exactly.  He’s probably got some long flowing locks and I’m sure he was singing a love song to some hippie girl.

Ben:                   Yeah, I mean, the problem with the shoulder is that because it’s a complex joints and there’s so many different muscles and tendons that kinda travel underneath the clavicle and through that – what’s called the glenohumeral joints and also on the top of and the inside of and underneath the shoulder blade.


                           That just resting the shoulder or just stretching the shoulder typically is not gonna get rid of pain.  And as soon as you start to throw, or as soon you start to move, or as soon as you start do whatever you do on the Tough Mudder, the arctic enema or the giant huge mount Everest wall that you climb over, you’re gonna feel it again.  And so, I have 2 different things that I do for my shoulder that I swear by and there’s this really, really good website.  So you probably heard about the book, Becoming a Supple Leopard right, Brock?

Brock:               Uhmm, yeah, I own it.

Ben:                   Yeah, great book.  I own it too and I love it and anytime I’ve got a tweak or pain in a specific area, I literally just use Becoming a Supple Leopard book like a cookbook.  I flip to the specific area that involves the area I’m feeling pain in and I pretty much do every mobilization and every technique that’s in that book.  You know, he’s got everything from like voodoo flossing to deep tissue mobilization, to… gosh.  What… you name it.  The book is just chockfull of all these methods that you can use.  But there’s also, just if you wanna take the lazy man’s route, there’s a website that has a lot of the moves in that book on the website.  I’ll link to it in the show notes but it’s just called allthingsgym.com as in g-y-m dot com.  Not to be confused with allthingsjames.com.

Brock:               Which should also be very interesting..

Ben:                   I spoil like a devo taste site to  Jim Carrey or something like.

Brock:               I thought it be Captain Kirk.

Ben:                   Yeah, or Captain Kirk.  But anyways, they’ve got a mobility section – it’s the allthingsgym.com/mobility101 and they split it in to like shoulders, ankles, calves, feet, hip openers, hips, back, etc.  and a lot of times actually with some of the clients that I’ve worked with, I’ll send them to specific sections of these page and we’ve got little aches and pains that we’re dealing with just to have them do specific what are called mobility WODs or mobility movements that are on here.  Two of the ones that I really like to do for my shoulder, that I use frequently, that I found to be very effective for the shoulder – one is to really work on the elements of the rotator calf that tend to travel underneath the armpit.  This should be muscles like the infraspinatus and the teres minor if they’re adhesed and if there’s lack of range of motion in them, they generate and radiate pain to the front of the shoulder and a lot of times in throwing athletes or an obstacle course type of athlete who are going over walls and stuff, when you get this tightness in the shoulder, it’s all starting back in there, kinda underneath the armpit at the bottom of the lat.  So, there’s one mobility move called the lacrosse ball shoulder mobility 1 and just take a lacrosse ball or tennis ball or ball about that size, you lay on it so that you kinda like laying sideways on it and that ball is kinda tucked underneath your armpit and pinning all that soft tissue in the armpit, the lower lat area, and you just move through every area of tightness in through there.  And what works really well is if after you’ve gone through all that teeth grittingly tough work underneath the armpit and the lat, you then stretch the shoulder across the body, and do a few shoulder stretches like that would be the time to stretch the shoulder after you’ve done that soft tissue work, and then you hit the other side.  So, that one is called – and again I’ll link to this in the show notes for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/298 but that one is called the lacrosse ball shoulder WOD.  The other one that I like is called shoulder flossing.  And this is really cool.  You need one of those big bands, tooth floss simply will not do the trick.  You could try tooth floss but I think it probably break it.  Use a big band like a rouge fitness band, and what you do is you attach one end of the band to an immobile object like a pole or a beam, or something that’s not gonna move around, or even like a bed post or something that’s gonna move much.  And then you hold on to the other end in your grip.  You kinda wrap it around like your wrist and then hold on it with your hand and then you move your shoulder through a variety of different ranges in motion like internal rotation and external rotation, horizontal fletching, horizontal extension, but as you’re moving your shoulders through all these different ranges of motion, that band is maintaining tension on your shoulder.  And it’s doing what’s called traction, right.  So, it’s distracting your shoulder joint and kinda opening it up and almost milking inflammation out of it as you move through these different ranges of motion –this called shoulder flossing.


                           That’s another really, really good one and I would actually recommend you do that after you tacked down all that soft tissue in your shoulder with a lacrosse ball or with some soft ball, tennis ball, whatever you can use to break up that tissue.  There’s even these really, really cool balls with little spikes coming out of them called beastie balls, if you do a search for beastie balls, b-e-a-s-t-i-e balls, you’d be able to find those.  Lots of very offensive website, I don’t know which, but either way, beastie balls are pretty cool too.  I use those and I always travel with one of my bag, but I will do a little lacrosse ball shoulder, or I do the shoulder flossing with the rubber band.  And I mean like you know, all of the other things that can help with inflammation –like we talked about before on the show like doing some cold with some electro stim, and doing a – what else did we talk about, like acupuncture like kind of stuff.  The top 2 things I’d start off with before I do any of that stuff would be some – just some deep shoulder tissue work with the ball, some shoulder flossing, and that will generate free of blood of that inflammation that can collect in that soft tissue around the shoulder, and that really isn’t gonna go away no matter how much rest you do unless you actually start to do some of these other methods.  So, check out the links that I put in the show notes to that stuff.

Yvonne:            Hi, my name is Yvonne Heat.  About a year ago I ripped my thigh muscle doing an aerobic workout and which I have now a lump of scar tissue at the top of my leg which about to [0:51:37.2] ______.  But a lot of the time I keep getting a burning sensation in my thigh and I keep wondering what it was.  If you could tell me, thanks, bye.

Ben:                   That just sound painful, thigh muscle ripped.

Brock:               Uhhm.

Ben:                   This should be a case where ripped muscles is not a good thing.  Not fun.

Brock:               Wait.  Oh, yeah, yeah, as opposed to getting ripped or getting ripped.

Ben:                   Yes, exactly.  So, ripped thigh muscle.  Yeah, so, what happens here is when you tear a muscle, you sprain a tendon, or you strain a tendon, you sprain a ligament, whatever, you can get a scar tissue.  It also can go by the term adhesion, or fibrosis and the words are all different but the concepts are pretty much the same.  You get this dense fibrous tissue – that’s an underlying factor and in many, many injuries, and it’s one of the reasons that you can injure it and keep on injuring it afterwards because when you form this scar tissue after an injury, it binds up and it ties down other tissues in the area that need to move freely.  So, the scar tissue builds up, muscle will become shorter, it will become weaker, it will get tension on tendons that have scar tissue or that are surrounded by areas of scar tissue that can cause tendinosis.  You can get nerves that become trapped in areas of immobile scar tissue and that can cause things like tingling and numbness, and weakness, reduced range of motion, loss of strength, the loss of mobility, and there’s kinda 2 different ways that scar tissue gets formed – one is; a mechanical injury – right, a muscle or a tendon or a ligament gets torn by getting stretch too quickly, or it gets crushed and the body creates scar tissue to basically more or less glue those torn pieces together.  And that’s a necessary part of the healing process but if you don’t pay attention to some of the things that I’m going to talk about in a second here as far as making sure that that glue is laid down in an align pattern, then you get some of these issues with a lack of range of motion, and nerve tissue becoming trapped, etc. and a shortened weak muscle.  Now, scar tissue can also form in areas of your body that don’t receive enough oxygen and this actually occurs more often than what we may think like for example, sitting for long periods of time during the day can create hypoxia in your hip flexors and cause scar tissue to form in your hip flexors causing pain in your low back, and muscle tension, and weakness, and nerve entrapment.  Even if you haven’t torn your hip flexors or strained your hip flexors.  So, anytime we increase muscle tension by keeping a muscle in a shortened position for a long period of time, we get hypoxia or we get reduced blood flow to an area and once that reduce blood flow happens, that means less oxygen, that means hypoxia, and when you don’t have enough oxygen being delivered to a muscle area, that leads to free radical accumulation.  So, I mean you could take all the glutathione on the face of the planet but if you’re not actually getting oxygen into an area, those free radicals attract specific cells that produce scar tissue.


                           And that scar tissue gets laid down in greater, greater, amounts overtime and it can begin affecting like I mentioned, your surrounding muscles, and tendons, and ligaments, and fascia, and nerves, and sometimes it can be a matter of a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.  Like you could be sitting for a long period of time with shortened hip flexors, you go for a run with shortened hip flexors, create hypoxia, create scar tissue, and then just have this vicious cycle where you get less lactic acid drainage, you get more burning in those areas of hypoxia, you get an increased risk of injury to that area because it’s not mobile or it’s not able to produce strength, and it’s just this vicious, vicious cycle.  So, the trick here is to somehow figure out a way to actually get rid of this scar tissue or to remove this scar tissue.  And in my opinion, there are only 2 really effective ways for getting rid of scar tissue.  One, is not quite as effective as the next one that I’ll give you but I’ll give the first that’s slightly less effective method first and that would be just basically using waves to break up scar tissue.  So, typically ultrasound waves are really the number one way to do this, and this would be the type of ultrasound wand that you’d find at – for example, physical therapy institute and they move that ultrasound wand around and around in an area like knee or an elbow that has built up scar tissue.  And those sound waves literally assist with breaking up the scar tissue.  So, that’s one way that you can do it.  In my opinion, not only is that a little bit annoying and expensive but it’s not as effective as the second method which is actually just use deep tissue therapy.  Like deep, firm strokes that are moving in the direction of the muscle fibers and helping to realign scar tissue and to move oxygen back into an area.  Now, deep tissue sports massage is really the best way to do this.  You can self-administer that with things like foam rollers, and lacrosse balls, and a lot of the other methods that we’d talked about.  You can have someone else, like someone who is well versed in deep tissue sports massage, do this to you as well.  This specific form of deep tissue sports massage that I think is best at mobilizing areas, reducing scar tissue, and realigning tissue in a pattern or in a direction that it should be aligned, is active release technique or ART.  That’s the number one form of deep tissue massage that I would recommend as far as something that you should be able to find relatively close to you in your area.  That can really work to break up scar tissue and get rid of hypoxic areas.  I’ll put a link in the show notes to the part of the active release therapy website that let’s you find a practitioner in your area who can work on you.  But that’s what I would recommend.  And I mean like, it’s easier than you would think to find an ART therapist.  And this is where you can go to a clinic, and I mean like for me, even like before Ironman, I had a lot of little injuries in areas that I knew were hypoxic like especially in my knees.  After racing the Spartan  world championships and I actually had a deep tissue sports massage therapist come to my home.  It’s actually less expensive than you think.  I basically kinda like bulk paid him for, I think it was like 4, 5 sessions to just come to my house and treat me and he kept his table in my living room closet and just pulled it out every time he showed up, and work on me a few times and that was convenient for me ‘cause I could just, you know, I could be doing my work, working at my office and then he’d up and then I do my 45 minutes immobilization and he’d leave, and I followed that up with foam roller and some lacrosse ball work but getting deep tissue massage is so therapeutic at removal of scar tissue, and frankly, I’ve been talking about this with some of my clients, especially, you know, most of folks I trained, people think I worked with pro-athletes, I mostly work with like about 40-60 year old male, and female executives who still wanna perform and go out and do things like triathlons, and obstacle races, and ultra runs, and mountain bike races, and things like that.  And what I find is, that not just for myself but also for these folks that I’m working with, it becomes so important to even replace workouts throughout the week with deep tissue work.  We fall on skip yoga sessions or we fall on skip weight training workouts, etc. and instead just do deep tissue mobilization.  Spending like 30-40 minutes on the foam roller or balls just hunting down spots and eliminating them and I think that that is an off neglected focus of training that helps to nipple out of this in the butt and get rid of it before it happens.


                           I mean, I’ve got 2 days in a week now where I do – it’s kinda funny – in Kelly Starette, he’s the guy that wrote the book, Becoming a Supple Leopard, he also wrote this newer book called Ready to Run, and he calls it goat hurting, where you’re just basically sitting with all your different yell like a muscle stick, a foam roller, a lacrosse ball, etc. and  you just finding all those areas that hurt and just going after ‘em, and essentially  putting force into them to remove them and to realign those areas with scar tissue.  And so, I’ve got 2 full days a week now, where I’m spending a long time just doing this goat hurting, and I just  put on a podcast, or an audio book, and listen to it and just sit on my living room floor and go to town.  Really, really important if you wanna be in this for the long game and if you wanna get rid of a lot of nagging aches and pains, and a lot of athletes, and weekend warriors, and exercise enthusiast have to deal with.  So, that’s what I would do for this, and again, I’ll put a link to that active release technique practitioner search in the show notes for you.

Brock:               well, that’s fantastic.

Ben:                   Fun freakintastic.

Brock:               I think you solved some serious problems today.

Ben:                   That’s right.  And by the way, speaking of fantastic, we did get a review this week, and as usual, if you leave the podcast to review over on iTunes, we will send you the exact gear package.  You can go check out the gear package at bengreenfieldfitness/gear.  As a matter of fact, you can even for $47 support the show and buy one of those gear packs that are cool.  Ben Greenfield fitness beanie, a bpa-free, guilt free water bottle, and a cool tech t-shirt that makes you look all muscular and sexy.  You can check that all out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear.  But if you leave a review and you hear us read your review on the show, and you email us and let us know, just email [email protected] , let us know your t-shirt size and we’ll actually get a gear pack out to you, straight to your front door, possibly with Brock jumping out of a cake and singing you a song, if you’re lucky.

Brock:               Probably! That’s what usually happens.

Ben:                   Yeah!  So anyways, our review this week comes from… I_murder_Kale, and…

Brock:               Oh, that’s just Kale, I thought it’s I_murder_Kate.

Ben:                   No, I_murder_Kale actually.

Brock:               Okay, that’s better.

Ben:                   Yeah, so I want you to read this one, Brock.

Brock:               Oh, the title of this review is – I think of these guys every time I take a shower.  Which I think we don’t even need to read the whole review now ‘cause that’s better than anything.

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s yours.

Brock:               Okay.  “This podcast has done at least two things for me: #1, it provides my brain with the perfect balance of humor and stimulation for the solid hour it takes for me to fold and put away laundry”.

Ben:                   Uhmm, nothing like stimulation when you’re putting my laundry.

Brock:               Yeah!  I was – take that as my service zen time but if you need stimulation, that’s okay.  And it continues, “And #2, it has also successfully turned my daily bathing routine on its head.  Showering will never be the same for me now that I know all the super cool benefits that comes with cold thermogenesis.”

Ben:                   Oh yeah, baby.

Brock:               “Warm, luxurious showers and baths are the thing of the past as I now keep my tap on the coldest setting possible.  So thanks, guys, you’ve turned one of this stay-at-home-mom’s only luxuries into a battle-of-wills fire breathing freak fest.”

Ben:                   That’s hot.

Brock:               “P.S. My husband thanks you for lowering the energy bill.  Keep up the great work!”

Ben:                   well, we’re gonna think about you now every time we take a shower.  So, goes two ways.

Brock:               I gave up taking showers long time ago so…

Ben:                   That’s right.  Well, for all of you stay-at-home sucker moms out there who are taking showers and thinking of Brock and I, thanks!  And of course, be sure to leave us a review in iTunes, and thanks to I_murder_Kale, we’ll send you a very cool beanie that you can wear while you take your showers so…

Brock:               ‘Cause she just keep the extremities warm while doing cold thermogenesis.

Ben:                   That is crap.  So, and also we’ll put a link to everything from the crazy endurance quest that we talked about at the beginning of this show should you wanna sign up for one of those, to every where I’ll be from London to Dubai, etc., as well as all of our recommendation for increasing glutathione and improving your mobility over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/298.  So, thanks for listening in and also of course, be sure to support today’s sponsor by going to trainingmask.com and using code GREEN1 to get a 20% discount on your third lung, and while you’re at it, surfing around the webs, go to greenfieldfitnesssystems.com and check out the brand new Nature Colostrum.  So, thanks for listening in, and happy showering.

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

[1:06:09.5]    END                      









How To Find Nutrient-Dense Wild Edibles And Medicinal Plants In Your Own Backyard.

wlld plants

Ever wished you knew if you had plants in your backyard that you could actually eat – plants that might even be good for you, save you money grocery shopping, heal you, provide you with nutrient density and more?

Or maybe you just want to know how to survive in the wilderness for a few days on your own.

The fact is, if you know what to look for, you can find a wealth of edible and medicinal plants all around you. You just need to know where to look, and which plants to avoid so that you don’t poison yourself.

Not only that, but you can also survive in the wilderness with just a few primitive skills – fewer than you’d think.

In this podcast, I interview Tim Corcoran, an expert on wilderness survival, permaculture, edible wild plants and more. Tim is co-director of Twin Eagles Wilderness School · Nature & Wilderness Survival School, an organization he co-founded with his wife, Jeannine Tidwell in Sandpoint, Idaho (located about an hour from my house. Tim is a certified Wilderness First Responder, a graduate of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program, and a graduate of the Vermont Wilderness School’s five-year Apprenticeship Program.

During this episode, we discuss:

-3 wild edibles you can find in your own backyard…

-Two crucial wilderness survival skills that everyone should know…

-How you can quickly die if you don’t have the right mindset going into a wilderness survival situation…

-Why we’ve lost our sense of tribe and community and what we can do about it…

-How to go through a rite of passage…

-Why you should know Gilbert Walking Bull’s “Seven Sacred Attributes“…

-And much more!

Click here for the YouTube videos that accompany this episode, click here to grab the free e-book that Tim is offering on “Top 10 Edible Wild Plants”, and leave your questions, comments and feedback about wild edibles and medicinal plants below!

Episode #297 – Full Transcript

Podcast #297 from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/10/297-how-warrior-breathing-works-the-best-way-to-use-dhea-should-kids-drink-mct-oil/


Introduction:  In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast:  How Does Warrior Breathing Work, the Best Way To Use DHEA, Should Kids Drink MCT Oil, Natural Remedies for In-grown Hairs, Applied Movement Neurology, and much more.

                           Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast.  We provide you with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon, and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation.  So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete, or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.

Brock:               I’ll try not to sound too gross for everybody but I’m picking almond butter and spelt that in my teeth.

Ben:                   That’s gross.  If there’s one thing that I cannot stand when I’m talking to someone, it’s the smack of almond butter in their mouth.

Brock:               I cannot abide…

Ben:                   I have too many healthy friends who eat raw nut butters while I’m talking to them.  Gross.

Brock:               I thought you liked it?  I spread the word, that people should do that around you.

Ben:                   It’s like hacking hairballs when you’re talking on the phone, dude.  Not cool.  That’s just disgusting.

Brock:               Okay, I’ll stop all my disgusting noises.

Ben:                   Was that your breakfast?

Brock:               That’s already my lunch, actually.  It’s already 12:20 here in the east.  My breakfast was awesome, though.  I had a… we talked about it a few weeks ago on the podcast, I’d fry up some green banana and some butter, and then I had two eggs, little bit of coconut milk and some flax seed.

Ben:                   Actually, that sounds really good.

Brock:               It’s really good, and some cinnamon and some vanilla just to give it a little more excitement.  Awesome.  It makes my brain buzz too… like, I just feel super smart after I eat that.

Ben:                   That’s the starch from the green bananas, fermenting in your stomach and creating cytokines that activate, like, activation of brain neurons; it’s actually true.  Resistance starch can make you smarter, by activating cytokines.  It’s really interesting.

Brock:               Well, there you go!  That’s a little recipe I got from a book called “Paleo Girl”. For teenage girls that want to go Paleo.

Ben:                   That’s great.  You’re carrying around “Paleo Girl” in your purse.  My wife made brownies last night, so I had a kale smoothie this morning with a brownie crumbled up in it.  It was really good.  That was my breakfast.

News Flashes: 

Brock:               So I took a bath last night in red wine.  Some really smart guy tweeted about that the other day, and I thought, what the heck?

Ben:                   Oh no, you did not do that.

Brock:               I know.  That’s ridiculous.

Ben:                   That’s disposable income as an employee of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.

Brock:               Even like lump sum Charlie, the cheapest wine I could find, it was still a bathtub full, dude.

Ben:                   bathtub full, two buck chuck.  No, I tweeted this out, of course in all of our news flashes, they come out from twitter.com/bengreenfield every week.  We talk about some interesting things.  And this was on ESPN, that there’s this guy named Amar’e Stoudemire, and he’s actually a pretty good NBA player and he actually takes a bath in red wine to create more circulation in his body, and he makes the red wine hot so it’s like a hot tub full of red wine, and he says that it just absolutely soothes the body, and then there’s a quote in the article from the vinotherapy spa in the Plaza Hotel in New York City, which is where you could get these wine hot tub treatments, they say “great polyphenols fight against free radicals which cause 80% of skin aging”, and by the way 93% of statistics are made up on the spot.  “In addition to their exceptional anti-oxidant power, polyphenols reinforce micro-circulation, protect elastic and collagen fibers, and prevent the destruction of fundamental elements of the skin’s support tissues”, and what they say is that they do not recommend soaking in red wine as the alcohol content will dehydrate the skin.  So they instead actually use tracks of red vine leaf to soak in the bath rather than full on red wine, but this Stoudemire guy actually uses wine, uses red wine…

Brock:               Yeah, seems like it would dry the hell out of you.  It’s like rubbing alcohol all over your body.

Ben:                   Yeah, and then he says in the article, and I think this is pretty cool, I’m all about cold thermogenesis and epsom salts bath and different ways to treat your body with water, so he says you have this ancient tub so you kinda have a salt tub and a hot tub and a cold plunge in the pool, and then you just mix all of these things up.  So this guy’s jumping back and forth from like, cold tubs to red wine baths to hot tubs to epsom salts baths.


                           I would love to see his little recovery chamber that he’s doing these all in.

Brock:               And it would be quite amusing to watch a Keystone Cops version of taking a bath.

Ben:                   That’s pretty nuts for a 31 year old NBA player.

Brock:               I guess he’s got the dough, I guess…

Ben:                   Yeah, and speaking of anti-aging tactics, there was another, probably more feasible study that came up, the more practically applicable study for our listeners who don’t have giant tubs full of red wine to bathe in, and this was the concept of exercise and the minimal amount of exercise that would actually prolong your life. I thought this was kind of interesting because when I’m out walking, or when I’m out running sometimes I wonder like how long would I need to run to be the equivalent of this walk, or vice-versa.  Like if I go on a run, how long would I need to walk to have equated that run?  You know, from like a cardiovascular standpoint or an anti-aging standpoint, and this particular exercise must not have minimum amount of exercise to prolong life: do you walk, do you run, or do you just mix it up?  And one, the entire study is really interesting, it’s available for… well it’s not available for free, but you can go read the synopsis of it at least online.

Brock:               That’s all they could probably understand, anyway.

Ben:                   Yeah, the abstract.  But, I thought the interesting part of this study was that it comes to about a 3:1 ratio, so you can get extension of life expectancy from both walking and running, but a 15 minute walk can be replicated with a 5 minute run, or a 5 minute run can be replicated by a 15 minute walk when you’re just talking about the anti-aging and cardiovascular health benefits.  We’re not talking about preparing for marathon or the performance benefits but it turns out that if you’re short on time and you need to get rid of your 15 minute morning walk, instead go on a 5 minute run, that’s okay and also if you’re maybe not feeling like running but you still want to get all of the blood flow and anti-aging benefits of movement, you can just go on a walk instead with the understanding that you’ll need to walk approximately 3 times as long as you’d normally run in order to get the equivalent benefits, so there you go.  You can do a 12 hour marathon instead of a 4 hour marathon.

Brock:               No, thank you.  That sounds like… some kind of hell.

Ben:                   Yeah, and then, finally, and I’m kind of getting into farming lately because we’re building… no not farming, more of gardening, I should say; we’re building…

Brock:               Extreme gardening!

Ben:                   …Extreme gardening.  We’re building a bunch of garden beds right now outside of my house, a bunch of raised garden beds, and then once those are in, we’re starting into a barn that goes in behind the garden beds and we’ll put about a dozen or so chickens and one or two goats back behind in that barn although it’ll be a few months before add the chickens and the goats but right now folks, on the garden beds (and this is a really interesting article that caught my eye) that was about this Amish farmer that’s using a pesticide sprayer on his crops…

Brock:               That’s not allowed!

Ben:                   Well, rather than putting pesticides in the pesticide sprayer, he’s putting like, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, he’s got like this mix of extremely nourishing compounds that he’s spraying his crops with.  I thought the article itself was actually really interesting, and it’s certainly something that you can, you can use this concept yourself if you are, like a backyard gardener.  You don’t have to get a full-on sprayer and you don’t have to go become an Amish dude… even though I do recommend you go read the article, but there are a couple of things that you can put in a backyard garden that can really enhance the mineral absorption that you’d get from the fruits and vegetables that you eat in that garden.  You know, whether it’s like a, your back porch or you’ve got maybe some planters hanging because you have limited gardening space or whether you have a full-on backyard garden with raised garden beds, now what we use are minerals, okay so we use traced minerals that are actually mixed up and you can buy these off Amazon, you can get like organic traced minerals for your garden and…

Brock:               Oh so you’re not putting like Gatorade on your plants…

Ben:                   Purple Gatorade. Yeah.  No, you can actually go to Amazon; most of the brands of organic traced minerals are actually really good there, and you just sprinkle it all over your garden bed. Use exactly according to package instructions.


                           Basically you’re just sprinkling a few cups full of this stuff over your garden beds.  Uhm, I’ll put a link in the show notes to some of the ones that we use, and then the other thing that’s really interesting is that if you live in a coastal area, like, when I was in San Diego a few months ago I was walking along the beach and there was just like seaweed everywhere, washed up on the beach, and seaweed is incredibly mineral rich.  You can actually mulch seaweed in burlap sacks or garbage bags or whatever, and you can use that as a garden mulch on your garden soil, and it’s a fantastic way to mineralize like, a backyard garden, like a raised garden bed or a plant or pot in your porch, so just basically… seaweed. You can use fine, broken up seaweed and you just basically sprinkle that and put it in your garden and then there’s a great article actually, one of the blogs that I follow is called “Earth Easy” at eartheasy.com. I really like it; it’s like a mix of organic living and gardening.  I read that and I subscribe to the magazine Mother Earth News, like those are my two primary sources of gardening home setting info.  Anyways, I’ll link to this article on Earth Easy about how you can go get seaweed off the beach and you can use that as a mulch and a compost in garden beds for really nutrient rich fruits and vegetables.  So, yet another use for seaweed aside from wrapping your lunchtime salads in nori wraps.

Brock:               I don’t think you can go down to the beach and get that kind of seaweed.

Ben:                   But actually, something I should mention is, while we’re on the twitter bandwagon, someone tweeted at me whether or not… I think it was a, maybe a blog comment on bengreenfieldfitness, but it was about nori and whether we should choose organic sources of nori and I actually linked to them an article on WH Foods that goes into the fact that a lot of these seaweed wraps that you buy at the grocery store, they actually tend to have higher levels of metals, arsenic, and potentially radioactive materials just from like the whole Fukushima thing so it turns out that it may actually be a good idea if you’re one of those people (like me) that uses nori seaweed to use certified organic nori and I haven’t been eating certified organic nori just because I haven’t really been thinking about it too much, but turns out that if you’re eating things from the ocean you do need to be a little bit careful, and so I’m going to start using certified organic seaweed for like, you know, when I make wraps and sushi and stuff like that.  There you go.  Not to scare people too much, but just one more thing to think about when it comes to optimizing your health.

Brock:               Thank you, webisphere.

Special Announcements: 

Brock:               *British accent* Hell governor, I hear you’re going to London.  That was a terrible British accent, I am sorry to all my British friends.

Ben:                   I’m gonna go have me some tea and carpets.  Was that Australian?

Brock:               Okay, yours was worse.  Mine sounded more Boston, yours sounded more Australian.

Ben:                   Yeah. Sorry.  I’ll have to work on my London accent so that people can understand me when I go to London, England.

Brock:               If I may call it a couple of weeks, darling.  Apparently I have to call people “darling” when I’m doing British.

Ben:                   No, I am gonna go to London, I am doing a… actually I’m speaking at a private event in London that none of our listeners are actually invited to. But I will, I’ll actually be on the London Real Podcast from over there, and I’ll be there in London from like the 4th to the 9th and Dr. Tamsin Lewis and I are planning on maybe doing some kind of like a little bit of a Ben Greenfield Fitness meet-up on November 8 in London.  I think November 8 is a Saturday.  So, anyways, if you’re over in London, I know we’ve been getting lots of emails and comments about that, we’ll keep you posted but we would probably do something, somewhere on November 8 and I’ll probably announce it in next week’s podcast or announce it on the facebook.com/BGFitness page.  So, that’s the London deal yo.  For those of you who are listening to this podcast when it first comes out this weekend, I’ll be racing back-to-back Spartan events down in Sacramento, so if you’re gonna be at the Sacramento Spartan races, come and say hi, and then November 9th to the 16th, my wife and I will be over in Israel, so if you’re one of our Israeli listeners, we’ll be in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, etc. shooting some health and nutrition and wellness videos and recording some podcasts for you over there.  So that’s where the Ben Greenfield Fitness bandwagon is travelling around these days.

Brock:               I’m jealous.  All I get to go is Chicago next week.

Ben:                   Chicago’s cool.

Brock:               Yeah, Chicago’s cool, and I get to…

Ben:                   Pizza to go along with your almond butter.

Brock:               I’m going down to Encinitas, actually you’re gonna be there too.  We’re both gonna be at the Unbeatable Mind retreat.


Ben:                   I forgot about that, yeah that’s December 1st and 2nd?

Brock:               No, 4th to 7th.

Ben:                   4th to 7th, December 4th to 7th.  If you’re in the Encinitas or San Diego area, Mark Divine, the SEAL fit gentlemen’s Unbeatable Mind seminar where you can learn how to have an unbeatable mind.  We’ll be coming up and I’ll be talking about biohacking your brain.  That one.

Brock:               Nice.

Ben:                   All of those places, and then also, if you don’t happen to be in any of those places, we still got lots of goodies for you online.  I’ve got an upcoming online conference called the En Theos Rev Yourself conference. You can check that out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/revyourself in which I interview 23 of the world’s leading experts in performance and recovery and nutrition. These are cool interviews because they’re video, and we talk about stuff, like I’m not a fan of online conferences where you’re like “I’ve heard that a million times before”.  I actually get into some pretty cool things; I talked to guys like Doug McGuff, the Body by Science author, I talked to… who else is on there, you know like Mark Sisson, Mark Divine, Peter Attia, Jack Kruse, all sorts of different folks.  So, I highly recommend you check that one out.  It’s at bengreenfieldfitness.com/revyourself, it’s just like a free online conference.  And then, just a couple other things: first of all, this podcast is brought to you by one of our favorite resisted breath training tools… called Training Mask.  If you go to trainingmask.com you can check it out, these things are rock, it’s one of the cheapest, most practical and effective ways to grow a third lung, and I am not kidding when I mention like I did last week that I go out on my back porch and do yoga with my Training Mask on almost every morning, and it turns the average yoga session into an extremely beneficial, inspiratory, experatory muscle training session.  That’s my top way that I use it, like I’ll go do runs and some body weight sessions, and like some burpee counts and stuff with it on but I just, I like doing yoga and having the yoga feel like it’s actually making me fit; not just flexible and decreasing stress but also building me bigger lungs so that’s how I recommend you use your Training Mask.  Just do yoga.  The other thing I’ve been doing with yoga is I’ve been doing loaded yoga with a kettle bell.

Brock:               And getting drunk first?

Ben:                   No, you can actually do yoga sessions holding a kettle bell, so you can do like Turkish get-ups, you can do some of your warrior moves holding the kettle bell overhead, you can do some of your ground rotations with a kettle bell; it turns a yoga session into a very demanding resistance training session, but I’ve been just trying to do some of my normal yoga flow exercises while handling a kettle bell.  If you do that and a Training Mask, man, we can make an exercise video. That would be great.  We could trademark it.  Something like…  I don’t know what we would call it, Kettle Bell Yoga?  Hypoxic Kettle Bell Yoga.

Brock:               I still think you should be going by the name “The Masked Yogi”.

Ben:                   Hypoxic Kettle Bell Yoga is the next training system I’m gonna create. Anyways though, go to trainingmask.com and you get a 20% discount on that third lung that you’re gonna grow when you use code BEN2014, that’s code [email protected].  Check them out.

Brock:               I keep my third lung in my pants.

Listener Q&A: 

Brian:                Hey Ben.  I recently attended a level 1 academy down at SealFit and my favorite revolution by far is when they brought in the Chi Young guy to do that warrior breathing.  The experience was profound to say the least: I experienced intense feeling of oneness with all humanity, saw crazy visions of flaming, exploding zebras, and by the end of it, I was crying like a baby.  However, when we walked out of the room, one of my teammates who was a pilot killed my medi-physical buzz by telling me that what we just experienced was pretty much oxygen deprivation, somewhat like altitude sickness.  Basically, I just want to know your own thoughts and experiences with warrior breathing; maybe what’s going on at a physiological level that might trigger this type of psychedelic, out of this world experience. Thanks Ben!


Brock:               Man, way to kill a buzz!

Ben:                   Awww.  The warrior breathing.  Actually, I wrote about this, and I’ll link to the article in the show notes for this episode.  Of course, everything we talk about, you can grab the show notes.  They’re extremely helpful; Brock and I spend a lot of time on the show notes, creating resources for you guys, and today’s show notes are at bengreenfieldfitness.com/297 Anyways though, I wrote an article back from the SealFit Academy, because we did the same thing that Brian’s talking about the Chi guy came… I’m blanking on his name, but there’s this really cool, bearded guy who’s like a martial arts expert and lead you through this intense warrior breathing protocol, and I had the same thing.  I was crying like a baby by the end of it, I was like, hallucinating, I was having visions, I was having extreme moments of clarity and breakthrough in terms of my life purpose, in terms of some of the ways that I want to raise my kids, and it was about… I think it was about a 75 minute session or so, that we were in there?  Not just doing this crazy, intense breathing but also the visualization, the meditation, pounding, pounding music that this guy has that brings you through the protocol.  I’ve never done anything like it in my life.

Brock:               What do you mean by “pounding music”?

Ben:                   I mean it’s like, the music is… it’s like a little bit of like, kinda underground techno-ish music with some Indian type of flavor and kind of like yoga music on steroids, almost.  Let’s just call it “Yoga Music on Steroids”.  So, I wrote about this and I’ll link to my article that I wrote about my experience and some of the more specifics on the clarity that I had during that warrior breathing experience in the show notes for this episode.  The type of breathing that you do while you’re doing that is very similar to what Wim Hof and I talked about; Wim Hof is the Iceman.  I interviewed him and he talked about fire breathing, and this is how he increases (and scientists have actually measured this), he’s able to increase his core temperature by simply incorporating the same type of fire breathing protocol.  A very long series of sharp and deep inhales, followed by not very forceful and less deep exhales, okay, so what you’re doing, and it sounds like this, *breathes heavily* it’s very sharp inhales, very brief exhales, you’re essentially, just like an excited puppy except they decided to call it warrior breathing instead of excited puppy breathing for reasons…

Brock:               If you came to my fitness class, it would be Excited Puppy Breathing.

Ben:                   Excited warrior puppy.  Anyways though, Brian says that his teammate killed his medic-physical buzz by saying that it was just oxygen deprivation.  In fact, it’s not oxygen deprivation.  It’s just the opposite, from the physiological standpoint.  So first of all, just step back and think about this logically right:  you’re inhaling more than you’re exhaling, so technically you’re breathing in more oxygen than you are blowing off CO2 right, your oxygen to CO2 ratio is increasing – I’m sorry, decreasing. Your body is going to be retaining extra CO2.  Now this is very, very important to understand because oxygen doesn’t transfer from hemoglobin.  Oxygen is carried around in your blood and hemoglobin, but oxygen is not going to transfer into your tissues.  It’s not gonna transfer into myoglobin or oxygenate your tissues unless there’s something to drive oxygen from hemoglobin into tissues.  Now to a certain extent, there’s the partial pressure of oxygen and the air is gonna help to drive some oxygen from hemoglobin into tissues, and when you’re just breathing normally, just like your normal day-to-day breathing as you’re standing around, you’re gonna be anywhere from about 97 – 99% O2 saturated, or like the average person is gonna be about that level of saturation in the bloodstream, like if you use a pulse oximeter and measure the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, most folks, 97 – 99%, right around in there.  Now, when you breathe more, you’re gonna increase that O2 saturation but you’re gonna lose some of the CO2 if you’re just focusing on, basically normal hard breathing.  Now, if the level of CO2 decreases in the body because you’re exhaling too much with like deep forceful breathing that focuses on the exhale rather than the inhale, then what happens is as CO2 disappears in your body, your level of carbon dioxide decreases; hemoglobin actually doesn’t release oxygen in the tissues.


The presence of CO2, or increased levels of CO2, is one of the primary mechanisms that will drive your body to release hemoglobin in the muscle tissue, and so what you’re doing when you are, when you’re breathing in and you’re forcing your body to retain more CO2 by breathing out less forcefully than you’re breathing in is your driving oxygen out of the bloodstream and into muscle tissue more readily. You’re actually hyper-oxygenating muscle tissue while decreasing blood saturation of oxygen.  So, if you were to wear a pulse oximeter as you did warrior breathing, what you would find is that ideally, you’re gonna see your oxygen saturation in your blood, what you would measure with a pulse oximeter, like a fingertip pulse oximeter if you were to wear it during one of these sessions, it would drop from, say like 98 down to 96, down to 95, possibly even lower than that as your body gets saturated with CO2 and oxygen is driven from hemoglobin in the blood into muscle tissue, and because you’re doing this so forcefully, what happens is you are essentially hyper-oxygenating your body, and that’s a term that gets thrown around almost too much these days, it’s actually relatively difficult to hyper-oxygenate your body by say, breathing in pure oxygen like an oxygen bar or taking these oxygen shots and supplements that they sell now that are like these oxygen sprays that you spray into your mouth.  The reason for that is that it, at the normal partial pressure of oxygen, you’re generally mostly oxygen saturated in your blood, and once you’re oxygen saturated, it’s very, very hard to get more oxygen saturated in your blood by doing something like breathing pure oxygen, but as far as the muscles go, you can oxygenate the muscles more readily by decreasing blood oxygen saturation and increasing the amount of oxygen that gets disassociated from hemoglobin driven into muscle tissue.  Now, CO2 is one thing that can do this.  Interestingly, lactic acid is another thing that can do this, or more specifically the presence of hydrogen ions, so as your body becomes acidic, what happens is blood saturation of oxygen begins to fall, and your muscles can become more oxygenated, so that’s just… it makes logical sense, right, when you’re pushing hard when lactic acid is getting produced and you’re getting all these acidic hydrogen ions built up in your body as a result of hard exercise, ideally you want less oxygen in your blood; you want more in your muscles so you can run from that lion, whatever it is that you’re doing.  So, that, and the presence of CO2 are two things that can drive that curve more towards releasing oxygen in the muscle tissue.  The last thing that can do it is this substance called 2,3 diphosphoglycerate or 2,3 DPG and interestingly when you train at high altitudes, your body produces more 2,3 DPG which drives, again, oxygen from blood to muscle tissues.  That’s one of the effects of altitude training is your body more readily releases oxygen from hemoglobin, and in the muscle tissue.  So there’s a few different ways to hack it but this warrior breathing, the reason that you feel like so awesome and psychedelic and light-headed and different and almost a rebirth when you finish this thing is you actually are hyper-oxygenated and one of the reasons that I know that Mark Divine includes it in the SealFit Academy, especially towards the end of it, is to help you with recovery because as you drive more oxygen into muscle tissue, that helps your muscles to recover a little bit more readily.  So, that’s basically what’s happening; blood oxygen is beginning to fall, delivery of oxygen in the muscle tissues begin to increase, and as delivery of oxygen in muscle tissue begins to increase, it’s possible that your brain might be becoming a little bit more oxygen starved.  I’m not quite sure of how the distribution of oxygen between muscle and brain is distributed when that curve shifts due to the presence of carbon dioxide, but ultimately, you are not oxygen depriving yourself.  If anything, you are oxygen depriving your blood but increasing oxygen to your muscles, and either way, the way I do it is if you’re having a total breakthrough, and all these cool feelings and crazy visions, and emotional feelings like that’s great, that’s good and it’s just not… even if it was just oxygen deprivation, great. That’s what it takes for you to have some kind of an emotional breakthrough, who cares?


                           But that’s what’s going on in a physiological level with warrior breathing, that’s how warrior breathing works.

Brock:               And that’s something that monks have been doing for, like, hundreds of thousands of years.  They do chanting, which is sort of restricting your oxygen and your breathing and then actually throwing in some self-flagellation so they’re actually like beating themselves while they’re doing these chants and kinda achieving the same sort of thing.

Ben:                   Yeah, but just ‘cause something’s been doing something for thousands of years doesn’t mean… like, they haven’t been having sex for thousands of years and I just can’t get on board with that.

Brock:               You mean the monks?

Ben:                   Yeah, monks. So just ‘cause a monk does it, doesn’t mean we should do it.

Buddy:              Hey guys, long time listener, reader and buyer of books, I wanna get your thoughts on DHEA.  Ben, I think you mentioned on twitter a while back that if you weren’t competitive, then you would consider it, so for non-competitive, non-athletes, what are your thoughts, concerns and, precautions, and where will be a safe place to start if someone wanted to move forward while with a trusted brand.  Thanks a lot, bye.

Ben:                   Yeah, I did indeed saying a few times that if it wasn’t banned by the World Anti-Doping Association, I probably would use DHEA ‘cause it has some cool effects, and by the way just as a total… not a total segue as set aside here, a lot of people ask me about the WADA banned supplements list and like what’s on it, what’s not on it, it’s so easy to search and go find out.  Like, I’ll put a link in the show notes to the official WADA banned supplements list and there you go.  Now you have it, you can bookmark it, if you compete, you know okay.  So just go, like anytime you start taking anything, go search there first because that is important and of course the WADA is the only authoritative body of sports leagues, organizations on the planet and maybe there is some other sporting league and you may also want to check, but the WADA is the main one, and DHEA is definitely on the WADA banned supplements/substances list (currently).  As far as DHEA and what it can do…  But first of all…  What is…

Brock:               Yeah.  What the heck is it?  Why would they ban it?

Ben:                   Your body makes DHEA.  It’s a naturally occurring hormone that can convert into testosterone or estrogen in your body, and DHEA was originally marketed as an anti-aging supplement but is now used as a testosterone booster, as a hormone booster and for a few other reasons that we’ll get into in a second, but it’s an androsterone.  Technically DHEA stands for dehydroepiandrosterone.  DHEA.  You can supplement with it, your body can actually make DHEA naturally, we’ll talk about how you could do that, but, like I mentioned it’s converted by your body into sex hormones, mostly testosterone and estrogen and this may help with libido, it may help with sports performance, etc.  As far as the studies that have looked into DHEA and the notable significance of the studies, the number one thing that it has been shown to do in most studies is to increase testosterone and the interesting thing that you should know is that the vast majority of literature finds that it increases testosterone in women where it can help significantly with libido in women.  I think a lot of girls who want increased sex drive (or increased testosterone) may not realize this; the DHEA actually, of all demographics where it can have the greatest effect, it’s in women.  So yeah.  Guys, slip a DHEA pill over to your girlfriend or your wife and… there you go.

Brock:               We do not condone this behavior.

Ben:                   We do not condone this behavior.  So anyways, estrogen is the other thing, and this is also of note because if a woman is struggling with estrogen dominance or over-dramatization of testosterone something like that, DHEA is actually not the best idea of something to take.  It would be for a highly active woman, or to a lesser extent for a man, DHEA would indeed be a performance enhancing supplement due to its ability to increase testosterone and increase blood DHEA.  The few things that it can help out with, studies have shown it can help out with bone mineral density, it can help with that; it can help to decrease sex hormone binding globulin or SHBG.  SHBG is what can keep your total testosterone from getting converted into free and more bioactive testosterone so DHEA is good for that.  Tons of studies have shown that it definitely increases libido, it’s been shown to decrease fat mass, it’s been shown to increase lean mass, it’s been show to increase what’s called IGF1 or Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 which is a highly anabolic hormone and it’s even been shown to increase subjective well-being while decreasing cortisol.


                           So yeah, lots of cool effects of DHEA and in most studies, the dosage range is about 25-50 milligrams per day, although for the purpose of pure testosterone enhancement especially in males, it tends to be higher than that.  It tends to be closer to 200 milligrams of DHEA that you would use for something like that.  So that’s the deal with DHEA as far as supplementation goes.  If you’re going to look for a specific brand of DHEA and you wanted something that’s not potentially gonna be laced with other steroids or sterones and this is important to me, I would… like, there’s a variety of different brands out there, because I don’t personally use DHEA I can’t speak personally about the effects of different brands but I’d go with Thorne. Thorne Research is, it’s incredible well-betted, it is a physician’s brand that’s been used for a very long time as a third party-certified and extremely, strictly regulated supplement company so I’d go something like Thorne.  You can get it off Amazon, just basically like a Thorne DHEA, they’ve got anything from like a 25 up to a hundred milligram capsules so literally, Thorne DHEA.  That’s not Thorne FX, it’s Thorne Research, same company that owns Thorne FX but Thorne Research produces a lot of physician’s lines and a lot of anti-aging docs use Thorne as their preferred source of DHEA.  So I’d go with Thorne if I was gonna supplement with it, but there are other ways that you can increase DHEA; naturally, even if you are competing and you’re not wanting to take some of these that are banned in the WADA list, there are things that can definitely help with hormone production and with DHEA.  One would be the consumption of oysters and any of these types of shellfish that are associated with increased libido, that can help to increase DHEA so going to an oyster feed or doing the whole shellfish, seafood payaya type of thing, that’s one way you could do it.  Exercise, specifically lifting heavy stuff can increase DHEA so it’s another good way to do it is just to basically lift heavy stuff; sprinting is a close second for an exercise that can increase DHEA.  Chronic stress can decrease DHEA, I know that I’m not producing any groundbreaking news flashes here, these are all the things that can help out with our hormones, but decreasing stress can help out quite a bit.  There are several medications that can really put a damper on DHEA and on libido in general, but birth control pills are one of the biggies when it comes to decreasing DHEA or decreasing testosterone, so something to think about.  And those would be really the biggies; lift heavy stuff, sprint, de-stress, be careful with pharmaceuticals that affect fertility, those are the ways where you can naturally increase DHEA.  So that’s the skinny on DHEA!

Chris:                Hi Ben and Brock.  Love the podcast.  It’s really brought out the inner nerd in me that I never even thought I had, so thank you for that. Question is, I have a six week old baby boy and he is breastfeeding and he doesn’t sleep very long, 2 hours is really the most he sleeps even at night.  I wanted to start playing around with giving him a little bit of MCT oil in his bottle that I give him at night when his mom is sleeping; it is breast milk, I did try two nights in a row I gave him just one milliliter, 1CC of MCT oil in his breast milk in the bottle. I wanna know your thoughts on that, in my opinion, he did seem like he slept a little longer and more comfortably.  I’m just thinking those fatty acids will fill his belly and make the digestion a little slower.  Want to know your thoughts and ideas on this.  Thanks.

Brock:               One CC is not very much MCT oil, I guess for an adult that would be a ridiculously small amount, but…

Ben:                   Yeah, you gotta be careful with the baby or you could literally have a diaper moment.  We joke about that with adults and excessive consumption of MCT oil; with a baby, I know you’re gonna have a diaper moment but I’m like, I don’t know if you’ve ever overdone MCT oil, Brock, but it doesn’t just cause you to have the runs but it’s like the burning anus runs like…

Brock:               Yeah, you do too much MCT oil.  I haven’t done that.

Ben:                   Yeah. It’s not a cool feeling, it’s like eating too much Thai food.


It just doesn’t feel that great coming back out, it’s got a little bit of an acidic burn and… yeah.

Brock:               Weird.  It seems like you’re just making it slippery.

Ben:                   Yeah, and during exercise you can generally top out, like an adult can generally top out about 1 to 2 tablespoons of MCT oil per hour and trust me, I’ve experimented with this a lot, I did a research on it, we did a whole podcast on it last year at some point after Ironman Canada when I was experimenting with MCT oil and we found the research studies that showed that the maximum human tolerance for MCT oil (and basically if you’re just gonna use it over the course of a day) you top out right around 1 to 2 tablespoons per hour, depending on your size.  So, you don’t need too much of these stuff in order to get that effect, that metabolic effect.  We delved into the physiology of MCT oil last week, so go back and listen to podcast number 296 if you want to know what’s going on with MCT oil but when it comes to kids, it’s really interesting because when you look at breast milk, breast milk is naturally very high in fat and that means that most newborns who are breastfed are actually getting a ton of ketones and that’s because breast milk’s fat content is very much geared towards medium-chain triglycerides and so babies are already keto-adapted, and generally stay keto-adapted until you start feeding them cheerios, and Gerber sweet potato mash, and fruit roll ups and everything else.  So, anyways it’s really interesting though if you look at the composition of breast milk, it’s designed to help babies develop and help to build their brains and their central nervous system due to the amount of medium-chain triglycerides and fat soluble vitamins that are found in it.  So, obviously if breast milk is chock full of MCT oil, then adding extra MCT oil to breast milk is just adding a little bit of something that’s already in there.  I personally think that in a mother who’s eating a normal, ancestral diet who’s not starving herself, who’s gaining enough fat soluble vitamins, I think breast milk is a pretty good composition for babies, period.  I don’t necessarily endorse messing with it.  If you add MCT oil to a bottle and it seems like it helps your baby sleep better, I would suspect it’s more due to the extra calories than it is due to the fact that that’s how shoving your baby even more deeply into ketosis even though technically they are burning those MCTs as medium-chain triglycerides and churning out ketones is a byproduct of MCT metabolism, that’s possible.  And we see that when you look at kids and MCT oil, it’s a well known therapeutic remedy for kids with epilepsy or seizures to put them on a ketogenic diet or to use MCT oil quite liberally in their diet, and it’s well accepted in medical literature that it’s just fine and it’s safe for kids in that type of situation again, in moderation.  In terms of the actual dosage, it’s one of those things where you have to pay attention to symptoms, gas bloating, diarrhea, etc. but most kids can get away with anything from about 5 to 10 tablespoons of it during the course of a day, maximum for most young kids.  Ultimately though, because breast milk is so high in ketones and in MCT, it’s really not gonna be a big deal to give it to a baby just exactly what they’re getting anyways, it’s one of the reasons that giving a child soy milk or soy formulas or baby formulas that are lower in fats, that don’t have as much medium-chain triglycerides in them really shorts them not just from a central nervous system development standpoint but also a gut healing standpoint ‘cause breast milk has lots of colostrum and probiotics and all the things in it that help with the lining of the gut.  So I would say probably Chris what I would do in addition to adding MCT oil to the breast milk in the bottle to help your baby sleep better is maybe give them the nice pipping hot cup of bulletproof coffee in the morning, just to get them going.  Give them a little blended coffee.

Brock:               You should rub the MCT oil all over them.

Ben:                   That’s right, put a little ice cube in the bulletproof coffee so they won’t burn their little mouths but… no seriously though MCT oil in babies’ bottles of breast milk, it’s not gonna hurt them but understand that they’re already getting a ton of it in mom’s breast milk.

Jasmel:             Mr. Greenfield, Mr. Skywalker, question about ingrown hair.  I have ingrown hair on my face, and of course it got worse once I got to my adult life and also everytime I shave, so I guess my question is if there is anything that you may recommend for me to do since antibiotics on my face (also cream and I also ingested antibiotics) didn’t work, I’m looking to see if there is anything else that I can try.  Thank you, I appreciate it guys.


Brock:               I used to get terrible ingrown hairs in my neck.  Like, just at the bottom of the beard…

Ben:                   I’ve never had a problem with ingrown hairs until I started manscaping and because… African Americans are one population that tend to get more ingrown hairs just because their hair’s more curly, and as most people know, the hair down there tends to be curly hair and so what ingrown hairs are (also known as razor bumps) hairs that have curled around back into your skin instead of rising out of your skin and I never really had to deal with them, again until I started manscaping a little bit and started getting all these little razed red bumps that look like little pimples and discovered the magical experience that is in ingrown hair so yeah.  It tends to happen in the beard area, legs, armpits, bikini area, and it can create inflammation, it can create redness, it can be a little bit embarrassing when you get these little spots forming and there are certainly things that you can do about it though.  Let’s talk about some of the ways that you can get rid of ingrown hairs aside from putting antibiotics on your face, which I don’t necessarily recommend, remember that.

Brock:               I’ve never even heard of that before…

Ben:                   Yeah, I mean it would be a way to clear up any type of bacterial inflammation that results from the wounds that are created by an ingrown hair but it’s not gonna get rid of the ingrown hair, period.

Brock:               So when you get like a slight infection in the ingrown hair?

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly.  So, one of the best ways to do this is to use and exfoliator, I mean you can easily make your own exfoliators; my wife in the Ben Greenfield Inner Circle, she’s always creating these videos and she’s got a bunch of handouts in there, on it; how she creates all her own natural personal care products, and one of the things that she does is just a skin exfoliator, and you can just use basic sugar, if you just want a basic skin exfoliator, you can mix sugar with some extra virgin olive oil, or some coconut oil, or your preferred oil of choice and you can stir in some essential oils into that… we had a whole podcast on essential oils, but some really good topical essential oils are like tea tree oil, that’s a good one, lavender is another really good one, and that’s it.  It’s just sugar, usually about two part sugar to one part oil, and you put in a few drops of essential oil and that’s a very simple three ingredient homemade scrub and you just scrub that into your skin and then you rinse it off with water.  You can do that everyday, you can do that a couple of times a week but that’s just a basic skin scrub.

Brock:               Watch out ‘cause the dog will try to lick it off.

Ben:                   That’s right.  One use for sugar that’s actually okay.  Baking soda can also work pretty well, you can do the similar thing with baking soda, in a pinch you can use toothpaste but basically with the baking soda, you can just make like a paste with baking soda and you dip a cotton ball on that paste and you dab it on the skin, you let that sit for a while and you wash it off with water.  That’s very, very similar with the type of thing that you can do for like, acne and zits and spider bites and things like that, to just draw some of the inflammation out, and that can also exfoliate a little bit.  Tea Tree Oil, again, that essential oil that I just mentioned, that’s great as a topical that you can literally just put some on your fingers and rub it into the area where you’re getting the ingrown hairs and that can help a ton.  So, that’s another one.  Black tea bags can get rid of ingrown hairs because they have tannic acid and that reduces redness and inflammation, the way you do this is you just get the teabag wet, like you moisten it with warm water, and then you just rub it over the affected area for a few minutes and that’s it, and then you make your friends some tea.

Brock:               Your enemies.

Ben:                   …after you’ve cleaned your bikini line with the black tea bag.  So, yeah, but black tea bags are another one that you can use.  Honey, actually has some really cool antibacterial properties, especially Manuka Honey. Manuka Honey is great from everything like road rash to scrapes to cuts to burns and it’s very, very simple: you just put a layer of honey right on the skin, you let that air dry for 10 to 15 minutes and then you rinse it off. Or if you prefer to walk around with a sticky face, you can keep it on there, but yeah honey works really, really well, and probably the last thing I’d recommend and another thing that most folks should have around their house anyways because it has some great internal yeast and bacterial cleansing properties (and it’s very alkalinic) is apple cider vinegar.  And that’s also great topically for these type of things and very similar to the way that you use baking soda, or you use tea tee oil, you can use a cotton ball, you put some apple cider vinegar on the cotton ball and you just dab that all over the infected area and you let the skin absorb it, you leave it on there for 10-15 minutes and then you wash it off.


                           That’s another way that you can do it.  You can use apple cider vinegar, you can use an exfoliator, you can use the tea bag method, you can use manuka honey, and you can use essential oils, all things that… we have certain things that are just like staples in our house anyway and probably everything that are just scribed except sugar, are things that I recommend having around anyways in your natural care medicine cabinet, so try out some of those things and that’s what I would do.

Brock:               So how does exfoliating make the hair not grow back in on itself?

Ben:                   Well, it helps the ingrown hair actually come out of the skin.  It removes dead skin cells, and it actually will pull the ingrown hair out of the skin as you’re rubbing that exfoliator into the skin because an exfoliator, it creates friction so as you’re rubbing and creating friction, the ingrown hair is coming out.

Brock:               Okay, so the dry skin or the dead skin or whatever was holding it in, once it’s gone it can rise.

Ben:                   It can rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

Brock:               Display itself in all its curly glory.

Ben:                   …in your beard, or your pubes.  So, there you go.  Help that little ingrown hair become the ingrown hair that it was always meant to be.

Brock:               I’m glad you said pubes.

Aaem:               Hi Ben.  My name is Aaem Henry and I’m calling ‘cause I’m curious if you’ve ever heard of applied movement neurology?  It’s a program/certification/application where you learn about the nervous system as it pertains to movement, blending functional neurology, biomechanic gymnastics, and balancing, and martial arts.  It’s supposed to increase strength, improve mobility and enhance athleticism.  I’m curious, again if you’ve heard of applied movement neurology, if you know anything about this program and if it’s worthy of looking into further.  As someone in health and wellness, I’m a personal trainer and I am really big into progressive calisthenics; I feel like it’s very holistic, it’s a holistic approach to strength building and this applied movement neurology seems like something that could pair up really well with that and yeah.  I’m just curious what your opinion is.  Okay, thank you!

Brock:               I had a sneaking suspicion when I first heard this question that we talked about this before but after I did a bunch of searching around on the website, I don’t think we have!

Ben:                   We talked about something that’s basically the same before, and that’s Z-health and both Z-health and applied movement neurology are based off of the same type of theory of activation of the brain and the nervous system and optimizing activation of the brain and the nervous system by training the brain and the nervous system, and kind of getting the ultimate combination of balance and eye movement and joint motion and coordination and the activation of proprioceptors or the cells or joints that can sense movement and kinda using movement patterns, using training to actually get all of the complexities of the nervous system to work together.  So, that’s kind of the idea behind applied movement neurology or behind Z-Health is that your brain and your body will basically get better and work better together when they practice or get exposed to certain movement patterns and this can also help with everything from like corrective exercise to pain relief.  So, for example one of the things that Z-Health has is they’ve got this thing called the vision gym that allows you to actually not have to wear glasses anymore. It retrains your eyes and I own this system and it’s just a series of eye charts that you use to train your eyes, it’s a series of exercises that you do with a pencil like divergence and convergence exercises as you hold a pencil close to your face and then farther away from your face.  You do the same thing with your hands, you practice tracing giant circles with your eyes, you do palming exercises and cupping exercises over your eyes, you’ve got balancing exercises where you’re balancing and looking at an object close to you while you’re standing on one foot and then an object farther away from you while you’re standing on one foot and it’s just a way in which you’re training your nervous system to communicate with your joints and this feedback tells your body where it’s at in space and tells the eyes where they’re at in space and tells your body how fast your appendages are moving; it helps to retrain movement patterns, it helps to train your nerves.


                           I mean, your nervous system is the fastest system in the body and your nerves communicate with lightning speed and what you’re trying to do is train all that to work in coordination.  I mean you look at faulty movement patterns or you look at bad eyesight or you look at muscles that someone has a hard time turning on or coordinating during performance, a lot of times it’s not muscular-skeletal, it’s nervous system related and a system like Z-health or applied movement neurology is basically one of those things where you’re training your nerves, and if you look at this from as simplistic standpoint, you can do everything from making sure that you’re not neglecting balance exercises in the gym to doing plyometrics to training your eyes, even like training your ears to training your joints, and that’s the basics behind it.  Now, I’ve never really done much with applied movement neurology but I do own some of the Z-Health stuff, I plan on going to one of the Z-Health’s certs sometime in 2015, I plan on going to one of those and I’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/297 to the podcast that we did with Eric from Z-health ‘cause it actually is a really cool program and you can just like get books and CDs, and like this vision gym that I mentioned for example from them to fix your eyes and make it so you don’t have to wear glasses, and that’s really amazing stuff that not a lot of people are tapping into.

Brock:               Cool!  So you’re gonna actually get, become a cerfified Z-Health practitioner?

Ben:                   I don’t know if I’m gonna be a certified practitioner but I mean basically like the people that run and own Z-Health, I’ve met them at a few conferences and every time I meet them they try to convince me to come to one of their certs and I really want to because again like I mentioned given this vision gym thing that I own, it’s amazing.  Like, I’ve got 20-20 vision anyways but I’ve done it a few times and I’m stuck in the DVD, and I knew some of the little eye chart patterns like the 3D vision charts that come with the program just to train my eyes and keep them activated and it’s kind of fun to do as a nervous system training.  Those type of things are great on a recovery day, right, on a day where you’re not gonna beat yourself up with the weight training session or swim or bike or run, you can just train your vision or you can just train your nerves or you can do this kinda stuff without beating up your muscles and your joints.  So, yeah I’m a huge fan of the system and you should check ‘em out, and I’ll just put a link to the podcast who do it with the folks of Z-Health but I suspect it’s very, very similar even though I haven’t seen any of these stuff from applied movement neurology, I suspect they’re probably pretty similar.

Brock:               Very cool!

Ben:                   Yes sir, and speaking of very, very cool, we got a very, very cool review that someone left us and as usual, if you go to iTunes and you leave this show a review and we read your review on the show, then you get a sexy Ben Greenfield Fitness gear package sent straight to you and if you wanna see what you get, just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear.  If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear you’ll see the sweet t-shirt, you’ll see a water bottle, you’ll see the beanie hats, all that fun stuff so check it out, and if you hear your review read on the show, just email [email protected] and we’ll send you straight to your door steps.  Before we read today’s review though, just real quick, I did mention last week that we are looking for a main sponsor for bengreenfieldfitness.com, this means that you get a featured sidebar ad that’s gonna get exposed to the 350,000 unique visitors that we get each month to bengreenfieldfitness.com and what we are looking for specifically, I can tell you the exact dollar amount, is we’re looking for an $8000 sponsor for the year which is actually, compared to most advertising fees, that’s actually a pretty slamming good deal for a yearlong sidebar ad at bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Do not apply if you happen to be a business that specializes in something that we do not support for          example, if you know the CEO of Little Debbie’s Snack Cakes, we probably will not feature their sidebar ad on our show, but if you or someone you know happens to come to mind as being someone who would fit as like a cool corporate sponsor or a personal sponsor of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast, just email [email protected] and again it’s 8k for the year, featured sidebar ad, 350,000 unique views a month.  And specifically what we would be using your sponsor money for, is for the actual internet fees to support this show.


                           So, there you go.  That being said, Brock, what do you think?  Do you want to read the review?

Brock:               I just wanna, I wanna be one of the sponsors and just like have my picture on the side, not sell anything, just be like, just me.

Ben:                   Just your beard with a few random ingrown hairs.

Brock:               Yes. Some really good infected ones.  That’ll teach the people who go to the website.  Okay.  Anyway.  The review is from… hey it’s from Kay-el. Isn’t that Superman’s name?

Ben:                   I have no idea.

Brock:               Yeah, I think that’s his real name.  Damn, Superman reviewed this show. Nice.  It goes like this: “Ben delivers great content in a way that credits the listener with some intelligence, but also demands that his guests know and can back up what they are saying.  Ben is a respectful Devil’s Advocate who helps his guests get their main points across clearly and convincingly.”  Do you think of yourself as a devil’s advocate?

Ben:                   Absolutely.

Brock:               You advocate for the devil?

Ben:                   I advocate for the devil.

Brock:               “I appreciate Ben’s healthy skepticism when no science substantiates claims and his support of an idea when the science is there.  If you want to follow a hacker extraordinaire, then get in the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast train.  I’m sleeping, eating, and exercising better after about ten episodes.  You will do.”

Ben:                   My healthy skepticism.  Yes.

Brock:               It’s better than an unhealthy skepticism.  That’s what I have.

Ben:                   That’s a very polite and kind review, and I cannot think of anything bad to say to Kay-el or anything I could say that would give him a hard time. Usually, I give our reviewers a pretty hard time, but that was actually pretty good aside from the fact that he said he’s sleeping and exercising better after about 10 episodes when in fact we have hundreds and hundreds of episodes.  So Kay-el, you need to get busy neglecting your family, your friends, your career and your hobbies and just start listening in to all those back episodes.

Brock:               So I think he has to start neglecting his sleep and eating and exercising.

Ben:                   That’s right.  So, that being said, you probably want to (after listening to this episode) rush out and make yourself a Kale smoothie with brownies in it.  So make sure that you’re doing so wearing your brand new training mask from trainingmask.com, use your 20% discount code, BEN2014, check out everything from today’s show over on the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/297.  Don’t forget to hyperoxygenate while you’re making your Kale smoothie with brownies wearing your training mask, and, until next time.  Have a great week.

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

 [1:03:29.2]    END

#297: How Warrior Breathing Works, The Best Way To Use DHEA, Should Kids Drink MCT Oil & More!


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

Oct 22, 2014 Podcast: How Does Warrior Breathing Work, The Best Way To Use DHEA, Should Kids Drink MCT Oil, Natural Remedies for Ingrown Hairs, and Applied Movement Neurology.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form… but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.


News Flashes:

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November 17-21, 2014: Ben interviews 23 of the world’s leading experts in performance, recovery, nutrition, fat loss, brain, sleep and hormone optimization, and you get a free all-access pass. Check it out now at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/RevYourself.

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And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – 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 Does Warrior Breathing Work?

Brian asks: He recently attended a level 1 academy at Sealfit. His favorite evolution of the academy was the qigong guy that lead them through warrior breathing. He experienced intense feelings of oneness with all of humanity, crazy visions of flaming zebras, and was crying like a baby by the end of it. When he walked out of the room a teammate killed his metaphysical buzz by saying what they just experienced was oxygen deprivation, similar to altitude sickness. What are your thoughts and experiences with warrior breathing? What is going on physiologically that might trigger this type of psychedelic experience?

The Best Way To Use DHEA

Buddy asks: DHEA. What are your thoughts, concerns, feelings? You once tweeted that if your weren’t competitive, you would consider using it. Where would be a good place to start? Trusted brand?

In my response I recommend:
-The WADA Banned Supplements List
-Thorne DHEA

Should Kids Drink MCT Oil?

Chris asks: He has a 6 month old baby body who doesn’t sleep very well. He wants to try giving him some more MCT oil. The baby is breast feeding and Chris has tried adding 1 cc of MCT oil with breast milk in his bottle and it seemed like the baby slept better. What are your thoughts on this idea?

In my response I recommend:
-Upgraded MCT Oil

Natural Remedies for Ingrown Hairs

Jasmel asks: He gets ingrown hairs on his face. It has gotten worse as he has aged and also gets worse when he shaves. He has tried antibiotics on his face as a cream as as a medication. Is there anything else he can try?

Applied Movement Neurology

Aaem asks: Have you heard of Applied Movement Neurology? It is supposed to increase strength, improve mobility and enhance athleticism. Do you think this program is worth looking into further (he is a progressive calisthenics trainer) and thinks this sounds like something that might pair up with that.

In my response I recommend:
-My podcast with the folks at Z-Health


– And don’t forget to go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/love!

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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Episode #296 – Full Transcript

Podcast #296 from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/10/296-does-food-combining-really-work-how-to-exercise-with-a-knee-injury-why-do-you-put-mct-oil-in-bulletproof-coffee/


Introduction:           In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Does Food Combining Really Work, How To Exercise With A Knee Injury, Why Do You Put Fat In Bulletproof Coffee, How To Jump Farther And Higher, and How To Handle More Alcohol.

Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast.  We provide you with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon, and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation.  So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete, or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.

Brock:               What are you doin’ over there?  What’s going on?

Ben:                   Hmm, I’m walking, Brock.

Brock:               Oh, are you outside?

Ben:                   I finally have my treadmill workstation.

Brock:               Oh!  The treadmill ride.

Ben:                   I’ll set up.  Yes, I’m outside with the giant long cable.

Brock:               I see.

Ben:                   Get me.  Yeah!  I’m walking on my home office treadmill.  It’s actually – it’s very cool ‘cause I didn’t want – like treadmills are one of the biggest contributors to electromagnetic pollution.  They just churn out a ton of EMF and I’m trying to do the whole like zero electrical pollution office here.  So, it’s a manual treadmill, it goes from about 2 miles an hour up to 12 miles an hour.  So, you can do an all out sprint on it and I had them kinda hack together this custom job for my home office.  So, it’s called a – it’s made by a company called Samsara Fitness

Brock:               Oh, yeah.  Okay, I’ve seen this sort of stuff.

Ben:                   Have you used it before?

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   They’re really cool.

Brock:               They’re really expensive.

Ben:                   Well, yeah.  They aren’t cheap but they did a custom kinda like no frills model for me.  ‘Cause I’m like – all I wanna do is just have it from my desk.  So it’s got no rails on it and use – and it fits perfectly underneath this kinda desk that I’m using.  So anyways, it’s – you can check them out there at samsarafitness.com – s-a-m-s-a-r-a fitness.com and I won’t walk on treadmill the whole time.  I’m tired.

Brock:               Yeah, you already heard your breath that’s part of reporting.

Ben:                   No.  And then, they’re giving all of our listeners a discount code on this.

Brock:               Oh, cool.

Ben:                   It’s BEN10.  So, yesterday I spent almost an hour filming in my office.  Saw all the little things that I’m putting altogether in here that are – that’s kinda make it my biohacked home office for my inner circle members but one of the things is this cool, new, treadmill.  So, there you go.

Brock:               I like it!  Can you take a picture of it and we can put it in the show notes?

Ben:                   Yes.  It’s already done.  I will upload it to Instagram.  We can put it in the show notes.

Brock:               Awesomeness.

News Flashes:

Ben:                   Okay, so before we jump in to the news flashes here, I have to turn a little – little hand crank on my desk down because I’m no longer on my treadmill.

Brock:               Now I heard a bunch of stumping and bumping and stuff going on while we’re playing our music.  What are doin’ now?

Ben:                   Yes.  Now I’m just – I’m leaning now against my little, my pelvic chair.  It’s a chair that shaped like a pelvic bone and you just kinda lean back on it.  It’s like a standing work station.  This one is made by Focal Upright, it’s called a Mogo.  It’s like this portable 2 lb standing work station chair and I use it like in the hotel rooms and stuff but I’ve also got it in my office and I’m kinda in a half leaning, half standing position.  So…

Brock:               That’s when it kinda – it’s almost like riding a unicycle.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So it allows you to be in a seated position without your hip flexor shortening.  So, we should just pretty much to geek out this whole podcast and I’ll just shift to a new position and describe it to our listeners the whole time.

Brock:               Yes.  I’m just standing at my desk.  I have one of those health mats underneath.  That’s exciting.

Ben:                   Oh, nice.  Yeah, I was thinking next I’ll lie down on infrared biomat.  We’ll just keep on.

Brock:               And then the show ends as Ben falls asleep.

Ben:                   Okay.  So, news flashes this week.

Brock:               Yeah, yeah.  I almost forgot what we’re doing here.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So, this first one is really interesting.  I actually spoke last month at the Ancestral Food Symposium in Vermont and I met a guy name Jeff Leach, and Jeff has just returned from hanging out with the Hazda tribe.  The Hazda hunting tribe in Tanzania.

Brock:               Oh, nice.

Ben:                   We’re talking and as you do when you’re talking to someone that you’ve just met, he mentioned that he had – just that previous week, he gotten a Hazda feces injected into him.


He actually did a poop transplant from one of the members of the tribe that he was living with.

Brock:               Hmm.  Where did they inject that?

Ben:                   Well he just wrote a big article on it because he was like – the article starts, he’s hanging upside down from like this upside down bicycle to keep the poop in his body.  And he’s just doing this as in N=1 experiment to see if he put an ancestral hunter gatherer gut microbe ecosystem into him into someone living in a modern environment, does it affect their health and if so, how?  Like, does it affect like bifidobacterium and bugs in the western gut?  Does it help heal a leaky gut?  Does it contribute to a better ecosystem in the gut?  And, the article that he wrote on is really comprehensive.  It’s actually a little bit of a long article but I tweeted it because I actually thought it was quite interesting that this gentleman had injected himself literally with what is called ancestral poop.

Brock:               I know when they do like the repopulate and stuff the feces or the gut bacteria has been sort of clean and sterilized and repackaged and stuff before they inject them into the person.  Did he go to through that process as well or was it just straight up like somebody poop, you took it and put it in?

Ben:                   I think this was a little bit more tribal.

Brock:               I’m getting the feeling.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  You need to go read the article.

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   I’m gonna link to it in the show notes.  Yeah, okay.  So, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/296 if you wanna check out what type of things people are putting into their distal colons these days.

Brock:               Or go to twitter.com/BenGreenfield.

Ben:                   Yes, I also tweeted out there.  But for the show notes, we’ll link to all the articles over at 296, bengreenfieldfitness.com/296.  The other thing is that there’s a really interesting article that came out on Plant Food Sources for Vegetarians specifically vitamin B12 rich-plant food sources.  Now I know we have a lot of athletes – especially who was in – athletes in general whether vegan or omnibore or vegetarian.  They tend to be mildly deficient in B12 just because of higher metabolisms and more turnover.  You know, more exercise.  And, while of course having a hefty piece of steak is a great way to get your B12, that’s not necessarily something that a vegan or a vegetarian is gonna do unless it’s the tofurky on thanksgiving day and unfortunately that’s the – tofu is not a form of soy.  There’s a form of soy that contains decent amount of B12.  The tofurky is not gonna be your best bet.  So, I’ll link to this article but what I thought was really interesting – first of all was the main take away from the article which is that there is this purple – it’s this what it’s called and you’re gonna be really familiar with it.  Is this called dried purple laver – l-a-v-e-r.  But dried purple laver is just noriIt’s nori seaweed that you get from the grocery store and this is actually, of all the plant sources of vitamin B12 that they measured, the highest in vitamin B12, in absorbable vitamin B12.  And it’s also really rich source of iron and omega 3 fatty acids – two other things that tend to be more difficult for vegans to get.  So, nori is the highest source.  Some of the other things they tested that were really, really high in great plant sources for vegans or vegetarians.  One was fermented beans and fermented vegetables especially like fermented soy beans like nato, and miso, and ones that was highest in B12 and some other nutrients was tempe.  Another thing that – and I’ve recommended this before in the show was edible algae like chlorella and spirulina.  Very easy to get your hands on like these edible algae bits like I recommended this stuff from energybits.com before.  Something you can kinda pop like popcorn but that also ranked really high as a plant based source of B12 and other vitamins that vegans and vegetarians tend to be deficient in.  And then they also tested some wild edible mushroom species and what they found was that wild edible mushroom species can kill you if you don’t choose them carefully.

Brock:               Yes.  Or do other crazy things to.

Ben:                   They lost a lot of researchers on that one.  Now really, shitake mushroom actually rank really high as a wild edible mushroom that’s gonna be high in B12 and have a lot of other pretty decent vitamins in it.


                           But most of these didn’t really hold a candle to nori.  So, there you go.

Brock:               Now, how much nori do you need to eat for it to be efficacious ‘cause I’ve heard people like Chris Kresser say that it’s actually not all that bio absorbable.

Ben:                   Yeah.  What they used in the study was 4 grams which accounts for – they describe as several sheets of nori.  Now…

Brock:               Several.  It’s not very helpful.

Ben:                   I’m going to share  what several – I know, it’s kinda for literature to not specify the exact number of sheets but I’m guessing it’s probably like 3-4 something like that.  That’s usually that I have with lunch is about 3.  I wrap up my salad and I have 3 nori wraps with lunch.  I just make a salad and I eat my salad with nori instead of eating it with a fork.

Brock:               I usually put my scrambled eggs in nori.  That’s delicious!  Just put it and roll it up.

Ben:                   Hmm, that’s actually really, really good way to have nori too.  I like that.  Sweet.  The other thing is that – you wanna be careful to make sure that you get nori that hasn’t have a bunch of canola oil and stuff added to it.  I’ve notice like in airports – when I’m going through airports, little nori snacks they have at airports.  If you look at the ingredient label, a lot of times they use canola oil or safflower oil or sunflower oil in those.  You want either olive oil or just no oil at all.  The SeaSnax – s-e-a-s-n-a-x, SeaSnax – makes a pretty good nori.  And you can find those on Amazon literally.  We just get the plain Jane nori from the agent food store and that works just fine as well.  I don’t even know what brand it is but it’s literally just nori, you know, nothing added to it.

Brock:               Yeah.  The ingredient listed in mine is seaweed.

Ben:                   Uh huh.  Yeah, exactly.  Yeah, which is not something that’s hard to pronounce.  So, it must be healthy food.

Brock:               Yes, exactly.

Ben:                   So, the last thing is heart rate variability.  There’s a really good article actually that our friend, Mark Sisson published at Mark’s Daily Apple about how to increase your heart rate variability.  And of course, that’s the one thing of all the different quantitative self-quantification variables that I recommend that people test – one is heart rate variability or the most important one is heart rate variability.  And I thought some of his recommendations based on research for increasing heart rate variability were very interesting.  One was to drink green tea or use something that’s a rich source of L-theanine.  Yeah, to increase heart rate variability.

Brock:               Nice.

Ben:                   I just had a giant cup of coffee and a kale smoothie.  I don’t know if that did the same thing.

Brock:               I’m having a big cup of coffee and I took some of those smart caffeine that has – I think it has 200 mg of L-theanine in it.

Ben:                   Uhm, so your heart rate variability is high.

Brock:               My heart rate period is really high.  I know.

Ben:                   And I’m definitely going to be regular.  So you’ve got that going for us.  Another thing, there are some interesting things that were straight forward like de-stress, don’t procrastinate, don’t work too much or commute too far.  The only thing I thought interesting with those was that there have actually been studies that have shown that commuting decreases heart rate variability or that procrastination decreases heart rate variability if you’re taking an exam after you procrastinated.  Some things that we would considered to be common sense, right?  Yoga will increase it, meditation will increase it, listening to the right kind of music like a baroque music increases heart rate variability compared to heavy metal.  Again, no big surprises here that these are all things that would de-stress you.  And one of the things that I thought was really interesting that I actually tried while I was measuring my heart rate variability after reading this article was alternate nostril breathing.  I thought this was really interesting.  What you do is, you cover up your left nostril and you breathe through your right nostril and then exhale through your left nostril and then you alternate and you go vice-versa, you go in through your left nostril and out in your right nostril.  Just using your fingers, right?  To plug the appropriate nostril as you do that – what’s called alternate nostril breathing.  That had a really significant increase in my heart rate variability.  That was an interesting one, I just laid in bed and did that.  Few other ones in there were fish oil, forest bathing which is just walking in nature.  I love that we have to give “walking in nature” a special name – forest bathing.

Brock:               I think that’s a Japanese term.  The forest bathing.

Ben:                   It is.  Shinrin – forest bathing.  It’s called walking outside and then – actually interestingly exercising during pregnancy was shown to increase fetal heart rate variability.  So, if you wanna give your baby a favor, and you’re a mom out there, just exercise during pregnancy can actually increase heart rate variability in fetus.  So, there you go – how to increase heart variability.

Brock:               Anyone else is really interesting about that article?  If you go over to iTunes and subscribe to their podcast, that article is read to you by very handsome Canadian fellow that sounds a lot like me.


Ben:                   Yeah, that’s right.  I forgot, you’re reading the articles now, right?   From Mark’s Daily Apple…

Brock:               Uhmm, in my best announcer voice.

Ben:                   Yeah, so if you’re not sick of Brock’s voice yet.  You can be.

Brock:               You can be so sick of it.

Ben:                   Mark’s Daily Apple podcast.  Alright, well cool.  So those are the news flashes and if you wanna kinda keep your finger on the pulse of all the news flashes that I published everyday, just go to twitter.com/BenGreenfield and if you want to grab any of those articles and delve in to them more thoroughly, you can get the links over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/296.

Special Announcements:

Brock:               So I hear you’ve been using your training mask a lot lately in your backyard, in your underwear, freaking out the neighbors.

Ben:                   Sorry.

Brock:               Are you using it right now, grace.

Ben:                   Are you my father?

Brock:               You’re not my father!

Ben:                   Batman!  Batman.  (laughs)  Yeah, no.  The training – like we joke about the training mask but we love the training mask like it’s one of our favorite training tools over here at the podcast.  And training mask is not only one of the things that is my favorite – a little affordable gym tool that makes just about any workout, a killer workout.  I actually did my workout last night was battle ropes.  So, I’ve got battle ropes in my gym and I did battle rope waves, battle rope slams, battle rope burpees which is kinda cool.  You just fold the ends of both battle ropes and you do a burpee and then you stand up with the battle ropes slam them at the end of the burpee, then do another one.  And then battle rope squat overhead press which is where you actually get in the middle of the battle ropes and you squat with both of them like drake over your shoulders and then press them overhead.  Hard workout!  Those things are hard.  And that was my workout.  I was going through a few rounds of that.

Brock:               Are you doing it right now?  Just drop the ropes.

Ben:                   Nah.  That was – somebody fell down upstairs.  But – did that wearing a training mask?  Oh man!  That is a good – any like body weight metabolic workout, tabata set, whatever, you know, freakin’ bike ride while you’re forest bathing.  Wear the training mask.  Check it out.  So, they’ve got a 20% discount for all of our listeners and the code that you can use at trainingmask.com is “BEN2014”.  So, trainingmask.com, “BEN2014”, so you get 20%.

Brock:               So that code replaces the one that we talked about last week when we’re broadcasting live from Kona.

Ben:                   Yeah.  I don’t think the Kona code is working anymore but the BEN2014 – one should work, so.

Brock:               There you go.

Ben:                   So check that out at trainingmask.com and another thing that you may have noticed if you subscribe to the free newsletter is that I spend a good deal of my summer interviewing people like Jack Kruse, Kelly Starrett, Mark Sisson, a bunch of folks…

Brock:               A bunch of fools.

Ben:                   Yeah, a bunch of fools.  And pretty much everybody I can hunt down in the realm of performance, recovery, fat loss, digestion, brain, sleep, hormone optimization, etc. and I interviewed them interestingly ‘cause I don’t do this very much via video.

Brock:               Oh!

Ben:                   Via video and so all those video interviews are now available in an online conference.  The online conference doesn’t actually go live until November 17th but you can get a free pass to it now, it’s 23 video interviews and I got to say it’s some pretty dang cool content.  So, it’s over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/RevYourself.  Rev yourself.

Brock:               It sounds slightly rude.

Ben:                   Yes.  It sounds… maybe inappropriate or illegal in some States but check it out now, at bengreenfieldfitness.com/RevYourself.  And a few other things that I wanted to mention to folks listening in, the first is that, I will be traveling, if you wanna meet me the next few places that I’ll be is – I’ll be in racing down in Sacramento, at the Super Spartan, October 25th to the 26th.  I will be in London from November 2nd through the 9th.  Speaking over there and also recording a podcast with the folks at London Real and then I will be gallivanting about Israel working at some health and wellness videos, podcast, and articles for our readers and listeners.  After that, November 9th through 16th, so, if you’re in any of those places then you can drop by Israel, or London, or Sacramento.

Brock:               I’d love to drop by Israel.  That’s one place I really wanna go.  Seriously.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  It’s pretty cool.  You know, the last time I was there I did the Israman Triathlon.  And then the last thing, and this is just a shout out to our listeners before we jump in this week’s Q and A.  Basically, this entire podcast right now is being run for you off of this tiny little AT&T wifi hotspot which is the only way that I’ve been able to get internet to produce podcast, articles, videos, anything, out here in the wilderness where I’m living now.


                           The problem with that is when I shoot a video for you guys, it’s taking me 6-8 hours to upload a single video.  When we do a podcast, I upload it to dropbox afterwards for audio editing, it takes forever and it also means anytime that I am sitting here producing this content, I have to carry this little AT&T wifi hotspot around with me.  And so, the reason that I’m saying this is because there is a way for me to get high speed internet out here in the forest so that I can do my job.  But it is expensive.  The set up fees to do this are $8,000.

Brock:               Woah!

Ben:                   I know, I know, it’s life.  So, what they do is they land a giant saucer full of UFOs on the roof and the UFOs just do their thing up there and the flying saucer to ensure that the internet runs okay.

Brock:               Yeah, they have to stay in geosynchronous orbit right above your house at all times.  So yeah, that’s expensive!

Ben:                   Yeah, so Norfil for me to rent those aliens.  It’s $8,000 and here’s the deal.  I need help with that fee for me to be able to run all of these and what I’m offering any corporate sponsor, or any sponsor who is interested in helping to support the Ben Greenfield fitness internet fees, what you will get is a full sidebar banner for the entire year at bengreenfieldfitness.com where we get right now about 350,000 unique monthly visitors who are there for anywhere from 3-10 minutes reading article, surfing around.  So, if you’re interested in sponsoring bengreenfieldfitness.com, then simply email [email protected].  You’ll get the sidebar banner ad for the entire year if you can support carrying a load of setting up the internet here to keep the magic happening at bengreenfieldfitness.com.

Brock:               Nice.

Listener Q & A:

Combine:         Hey Ben, I was wondering if you and Brock could discuss a little bit about food combining and whether the combination of macro nutrient that we put together really matter in terms of fat gain or muscle gain.  So, thanks Ben.  You guys can just talk food full of it, I’m really appreciate it.  Thanks.

Brock:               Interesting.  I’ve heard lots of people talk about like – Oh, you can’t have your starches with your proteins and…

Ben:                   Yeah.  Let me explain what food combining is for those who don’t know what it is.  So, the basic principle here is that – the people who are proponents of a food combining diet have different foods required different pH levels to digest properly and different foods have different transit times in your gastro intestinal tract.  So, by eating certain food combinations like eating protein-rich meal combine with carbohydrates.  That combination would technically be hard to digest and so you will get nutrient absorption, you have food sitting longer in your GI tract which might promote gas or bloating, or build up of toxins from food not kinda passing through your gut quickly enough.  And so, what you do is you have specific combinations that are okay and specific combinations that are not okay.  Anyway, that most food combining diets that are set up is, you’ve got acid, alkaline, or neutral foods.  So, acid foods should be like meat, fish, or dairy.  Alkaline foods would be like potato or rice for example.  And so, you wouldn’t mix acid or alkaline foods and the entire thing has basically four rules: the first is that anytime you have fruit, it’s on an empty stomach.  So fruit is always by itself.  The second is that, starches are always by themselves or only consume with vegetables like if you have a potato, it’s never with a steak, it’s with a vegetable.  Yeah.

Brock:               What?  That’s like the best [0:24:28.4] _______.

Ben:                   Is that if you have meat, dairy, fish, eggs, etc. any high protein food, they have it alone or you could have it with vegetables.  Again, vegetables are kind of like the okay.  Vegetables are the neutral food, right?  And then the last would be, if you have seeds, nut, things along those lines, those are also have to be consumed with vegetables and not with carbohydrate-rich or protein-rich foods.  So, we’re almost like isolating our fats or protein and our carbohydrates.  So, question is – does it actually work?


                           So, some of my thoughts on this, first of all, the idea that certain food groups will digest better in acidic environments vs. alkaline environment or vice-versa is kinda partially true like carbohydrates for example.  Carbohydrates will digest better in alkaline environment in your stomach and that’s because that alkaline environment activates what are called amylase enzymes which help you to breakdown the carbohydrates.  Now, the thing is though stomach acid is gonna get released when you eat any kind of food whether it’s a carbohydrate or protein or fat and even if your stomach is completely empty, it’s still acidic.  So, once anything that you eat goes into your gut, your stomach releases acid.  And that can be whether you get carbohydrate, whether you eat protein, whether you eat fat.  And what happens is that once the acidic contents of the stomach move in to your small intestine, your pancreas goes into action.  What your pancreas does is it releases digestive enzymes along with something called bicarbonate and that secretion from the pancreas is alkaline, it’s non-acidic.  It neutralizes the stomach acid in your small intestine and that allows you to create this alkaline environment that’s better for breaking down carbohydrates and that’s better for breaking down fats whereas a lot of the protein digestion begins in the acidic environment of the stomach and still will continue to some extent in the small intestine.

Brock:               That is so cool.  Man, the body is awesome.

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly.  So, what your body does is, it will digest a meal containing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats efficiently based off of this inner play between alkalinic pancreatic production, and acidic stomach production.  So, ultimately if you were to say eat protein with carbohydrates and with fat.  You’re gonna get a little bit of extra acidic production from the stomach from that protein, you’re gonna get a little bit more alkaline response from the pancreas ‘cause these two interplay very, very well and what happens then is that will technically increase not decrease digestive capacity.  So it’s almost exactly the opposite of what you would expect when it comes to food combining that a meal comprise of a bunch of different macro nutrients mixed together would almost digest more easily because your body is working together.  It works very, very well with everything mix together.  So, the deal with food combining from that standpoint from the acidity, alkalinity standpoint is – there’s not much to be said for it, there’s not much science behind whether or not it works.  There are some studies that I’ve looked into food combining that I’ll tell you about here in a second.  But there are also some issues with the food combining diet.  Like for example, eating fruit by itself.  Anytime you’re looking at wanting to control blood sugar level or control say like, insulin resistance or insulin response to any food.  Anytime you’re eating something that’s going to cause a high glycemic response or spike in blood sugar, if you eat that food on its own, in the absence of proteins or in the absence of fats, that’s going to magnify that blood glucose response.  So, eating fruit all by itself is actually not that great an idea from a fat loss standpoint compared to like having an apple with a little bit of cheese or having a banana with a little bit of almond butter, right?  So, eating by fruits by themselves are not necessarily something that I would endorse.  And again, there’s no evidence that eating fruit by itself allows that fruit to be more easily digested vs. having it with a protein or with a fat.  The next thing to realize is that fat-soluble vitamins, phytochemicals – what are called mixed carotenoids that you’re gonna find in fruits and vegetables are enhanced in terms of their absorbability when they are consumed with a fat-based source like putting olive oil on your kale-spinach salad or having nuts with fruits or even using something like butter with roasted vegetables.  All of that increases the nutrient absorption from those foods, so when we’re isolating fruits or even when we’re isolating vegetables, we’re not getting as much of the nutrients from those foods as we potentially could.  So, that’s another is that you’re shorting yourself from a nutrient absorption standpoint here when it comes to using a food combining diet.  The next is – like I mentioned, they have looked at this from a study standpoint and there’s not any evidence that a food combining diet is superior for weight loss which is why a lot of people do it.  And they actually had a study where they compared a balanced diet – that is just like a normal average diet.  It wasn’t like a high fat or high carb diet, just kind of a normal, almost like a USDA-ish diet.  Yeah, like 50% carb, 25% protein, 25% fat and then they use the diet that was similar in macro-nutrient content but that follow these food combining rules and what they found was that both diets by the way, were calorie controlled, meaning that they were calorie restricted diets.


                           There was no difference in the amount of weight loss between the group that followed a low calorie food combining diet vs. a group that didn’t pull out their hair trying to follow all these complex food combining rules based off of the – chart hanging on their fridge.  So, ultimately there’s no evidence that it’s actually going to help you at all with weight loss.  So, some people do feel better when they switch to a food combining diet.  And I suspect that is for one of two reasons.  The first is that – if you’re nor producing adequate digestive enzymes for example to breakdown carbohydrates or fats or proteins, a complex meal can cause heart burn, gas, bloating, etc. and a lot fo people have insufficient pancreatic enzyme production or insufficient digestive enzyme production whether it’s in the stomach or the small intestine.  And this would be a situation where rather than using a food combining diet and shorting yourself from a nutrient absorption standpoint, potentially causing rapid fluctuations in your blood sugar and going through a lot of heartache to not necessarily have much of an effect, jus take digestive enzymes which actually when you take them for a certain period of time can actually help to jumpstart your own enzyme production.  It’s really interesting.  So, like a good high quality digestive enzymes supplement that you use prior to big complex meals or meals which you’d normally get heartburn, gas, bloating, digestive issues, that type of thing, that’s one thing that can really help.  Another thing here is that if you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria – like if you have what’s called a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or if you have lack of good bacteria in the gut.  Any number of these issues called dysbiosis or perhaps you’ve had hunter gather a poop that impacted in you and that caused an issue.  Anyways though, if you’ve fallen to one of those camps, where bacterial issues are occurring, then you’re also going to have a lot of difficulty with digesting meals properly.  And so, for example, a carbohydrate rich meal in the presence of proteins and fat might cause fermentation of those carbohydrates, excessive fermentation of those carbohydrates which may actually inhibit digestion of the proteins and fats and cause digestive upset.  And again the fix here is not food combining diet.  The fix here is looking at using things like oil of oregano, natural cleanses, garlic, ginger, turmeric, things that can help to clear up bacteria in the digestive tract and then combining that with a good therapeutic grade probiotic whether it’s a soy-based probiotic like a prescriptosis or whether it’s like a really good shelf stable advance probiotic like the Mt. Capra – they make the Caprabiotics advanced which is one that I travel with ‘cause doesn’t need to be refrigerated.  But basically paying attention to your gut health.  And you could test this too, I mean, if you go to Direct Labs, I like the GI Effects Comprehensive Gut Panel over there.  It will tell you pancreatic enzyme production, it will tell you good bacteria, bad bacteria, parasites, yeast, fungus, all that stuff.  So, ultimately I think that the food combining diet does not have much science behind it.  I think it’s one of those things were you just gonna be pulling out your hair trying to follow all of these rules of what you combine with what and you’re just gonna be boric parties though.  When someone hands you the watermelon wrap in porchetta and you have to lovingly unwrap the porchetta from around the watermelon and eat the watermelon.

Brock:               Oh, I never had that.  That sounds delicious.

Ben:                   Wait 20 minutes and then have your porchetta and then move on to your vegetables which you need to scoured to make sure there’s no like bacon crumbles or anything like that in your vegetables.  God forbid.  So ultimately, I’m not enamored with the food combining diets and I don’t really think it’s gonna be the best bet if you’ve got gut issues, use digestive enzymes, take care of your gut bacteria, maybe got a poop implant, and go from there.

Scott:                 Hi Ben, this is Scott in [0:34:30.1]______, Maryland.  I’m calling with a question in behalf of my mom.  We recently found out that she’s been diagnosed with some severe knee damage in her legs due to some genetic problems.  And she has been told she’s probably headed for knee replacement in a few years.  But she wants to get out to the gym and start working out and getting fit and we were wondering if you have any advice for the kind of exercises or equipment she should be using.  We obviously know that she should be using things like the elliptical or the bicycle over the treadmill.  We’re wondering if you had any other input on a regimen or suggestions and we’d appreciate all your help.  Thank you so much and keep up the great work.


Ben:                   Uhmm.

Brock:               Scott’s a good boy.  Looking after your ma.

Ben:                   That’s right, Scott.  I hope you got your mom listening in.

Brock:               Hi, mom!

Ben:                   Yeah, that’s most of our fans actually are.  Brock’s mom, my mom, Scott’s mom.  Yeah, that’s it.  You know, I just went through some of the issues myself.  Like we all were leading up to this Ironman that I just did, my knees were banged up from Spartan world championships.  Since I did the Ironman I’ve had the kinda nurse my knees back to health for this second set of Spartan races that have coming up this weekend and ultimately there are some things that I did from a therapeutic standpoint to help with my knees.  But the first thing is, getting fit when you have a knee injury.  Let’s just look past the healing of the knees part and what can you do to get fit when you have a knee injury.  Well, I actually, I record and write a lot of articles for quickanddirtytips.com and I’ve got an entire series over there like how to stay fit with an ankle injury, how to stay fit with a low back injury, how to stay fit with a knee injury.  And I’ll link in the show notes for this episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/296 to my article about how to stay fit with a knee injury, and it’s really basic.  One of the best ways to do it is just to split your workouts into circuit and for example, one of the circuits that I list in that article is an upper body circuit where you do an overhead shoulder press, seated if necessary, an assisted pull up on one of the assisted pull up machines, or a lap pull down either one.  A lying dumbbell chest press, a seated row, and then an inclined dumbbell chest press, and then a reverse grip lap pull down.  And then you just go through that circuit multiple times.  And that’s gonna bomb the upper body pretty hard, it’s gonna get a lot of blood flowing but then on an alternate day, you could work the core for example.  So, you could do like a seated medicine ball turso twist like a Russian twist, and you do some plank variations like side planks or front planks, then you can move on to maybe some pushups on stable surface like medicine ball pushups and then on to front plank variation and then on to more rotations and a pushup position.  So, I’d like that scenario if your legs are really beat up, of alternating day to day from an upper body workout circuit to like a core workout circuit with some functional training thrown in and just going back and forth like that.  And you could even throw in a third day of cardio exercise that isn’t going to aggravate the knee such as swimming, upper body ergometers like those machines at the gym where you’re just turning the wheels with your upper body.

Brock:               Yup, peddling with your hands, kinda.

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly.  Yeah, swimming’s really the best but rowing in some cases can be okay for the knees just kinda depends how hard you’re pushing off.  You can almost row in a manner that uses more the back and the upper body than the knees.  But ultimately, I’ll link to that article for you but the big idea here is to use weight training core and then cardio modalities that are easy on the knees.  Now as far as healing the knees, I mean, if this is like a genetic issue like a rheumatoid arthritis or some kind of issue where you just like – your knee cartilages are shot, you can’t really grow that stuff back at least not yet.  You know, know with our current science.  But if you’re listening in and you just beat up and you just wanna healing, I can tell you some of the things that I did that worked really, really well for me, one is if you read Kelly Starrett’s Becoming a Supple Leopard book and he’s actually got a new book that I just read that’s fantastic.  If you’re a runner, you need to own this book.  I actually wrote to a bunch of my clients who are either runners or dealing with injuries and I said you need to get this.  It’s called “Ready to Run” by Kelly Starrett.  And one of – well, there’s two modalities in there that I really, really like.  One is called Voodoo Flossing where you get an old bicycle tube or you can get what’s called a fitness band – there’s a company called Rogue that sells these things called fitness bands and you take a joint that you need to kinda milk inflammation out of or restore mobility to and you wrap the area above and below that joint with the old bicycle tube starting from below the heart and working towards the heart right to your milking towards the heart and then you move that joint through a range of motion like for example, you would use a bicycle tube below the knee, you use it above the knee, and you’d wrap it around pretty tight and then you do a series like hold on to a pole or something you can support yourself with and do a series of kinda like some deep squats where you’re moving knees through some ranges and motion and just like kinda milking the knee, milking the inflammation out of the knee.


                           I really like that technique.  It doesn’t work so well if you’ve got like arthritis, no cartilage but if it’s just knee inflammation, that works really well as does any of the deep tissue work like going hunting for tight spots so, using lacrosse ball or one of the – I like the beasty balls made by a company called Rumble Roller.  They make this foam roller that has spikes coming out but they also make these beasty balls that are perfect, that I always have one in my bag that you can just go and hunt tight spots down with and work on.  So, Kelly Starrett’s book, Becoming a Supple Leopard or even more specifically his new book, Ready to Run – is really good.  Two other things that I used quite a bit was, I did a lot of covering in area with ice and then just electro steaming the hell out of it.  Like taking a knee that’s inflamed, putting – I use the MarcPro, and you may recall I did an interview with the folks at MarcPro, they offered all of our listeners a discount at marcpro.com.  You can use $32 discount code “BEN” and save 32 bucks off at marcpro but basically this is a type of electro stimulation device that recruits muscles in a very therapeutic way, and the way that it works is, you just put the electrodes around the area that hurt.  You just surround that area with the electrodes basically, you lay ice on top of that like an ice pack and then you just e-stim it for 15-20 minutes.  I was even did that on my foot just this morning before we started recording.  Just because my feet are still a little bit beat up from the Ironman marathon.

Brock:               You were doing that the entire time we were talking in last podcast as well.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  I don’t recommend running a marathon in minimalist footwear if you have been actually training for said marathon.

Brock:               No.

Ben:                   Not a good idea.  And then finally, CapraFlex, I’ve been popping CapraFlex, four of them 3 times a day which means I’m going through like a bottle every 15 days which is not cheap but this is the most potent anti-inflammatory joint healing formula I’ve ever used.  It’s like ginger, turmeric, glucosamine, chondroitin, tart cherry, like if there’s ever been anything studied to help decrease joint inflammation naturally, other than Ibuprofen which is unnatural – this stuff is the beast knees, pun intended.  So, CapraFlex works really well.  So, I like eletro stim with ice, I like that voodoo flossing and deep tissue work, I like Kelly Starrett, I like CapraFlex – like that’s my holy trilogy for if I’m injured and I’m trying to knock some out of the ball park.  And then, for Scott or for Scott’s mom specifically in the show notes, I’ll link to that article on how to exercise with a knee injury if you just want some workout that your mom can do.

Nick:                  Hey Ben and Brock, this is Nick from California.  I really like the show, appreciate what you guys do.  I have a question about bulletproof coffee, specifically if there is research that shows that the terpenes in the coffee are more bio-available or more highly absorbed with the bulletproof coffee.  So basically, I’m wondering if it’s the MCTs that are responsible for the terpenes doing their job or it’s something like half-and-half with a heavy cream or work just as well if not better.  Thanks for your time and I look forward to seeing your answer on podcast.  Thank you guys.

Brock:               For a while there, I was drinking a lot of bulletproof coffee but I’ve actually gone off a bit sort of going in a little waves here and there.

Ben:                   Yeah.  I have like maybe once a week or once every two weeks or so.  Like I don’t drink just ‘cause I like to eat my calories but that’s…

Brock:               I love breakfast.  Breakfast is awesome.

Ben:                   I actually almost – almost had a cup this morning but I end up having time to make my kale smoothie.  So, terpenes are hydrocarbons.  And if you took Chemistry, a hydrocarbon is just mostly carbons and hydrogens and in the case of terpenes it’s typically about a 5 carbon chain with 8 hydrogens on it and a bunch of different plants make terpenes.  So the coffee plants make terpenes, marijuana makes terpenes, just about any plant that has any type or any potential for having any kind of an effect on your brain makes terpenes because terpenes – they actually can interact with your brain.  They can cross the blood brain barrier potentially if they are in a fat-envelope and they can affect serotonin and dopamine chemistry, or neurotransmitter production, they can alter the permeability of cell membranes in your brain, they can bind to cannabinoid receptors in your brain, they can interact with a lot of different neurological receptors.  And this is why a lot of different plants, you know, from cannabis to coffee actually have some kind of a neurological effect.


                           It’s the actual terpenes that are acting on you when they cause that effect.  Now, if you listen to our episode a couple of weeks ago, we noted some of the terpenes like cafestol and kahweol is another one in coffee, they can also increase your cholesterol which is really interesting.  They can actually interact with the liver and shutdown bio-acid production and increase cholesterol or fats which is not necessarily a big deal unless you also happen to have inflammation, oxidation, high blood glucose, etc. present in the presence of those fats, right.  Like high cholesterol isn’t an issue unless there’s other risk factors present.  But ultimately that’s what terpenes are, that’s what they do and this is where it comes down to why you would actually put something like fat into bulletproof coffee.  Because what happens is those terpenes are soluble in fat and they’re better able to cross the blood brain barrier and elicits some of the actions that I just described when you consume them along with fat.  So, the deal with using something like MCT oil – first of all, coconut oil, rather than MCT oil has a couple of issues.  MCT oil is purified kinda fractionated form of coconut oil.  So you’ve got much more concentrated forms of fatty acids and something like MCT oil vs. coconut oil.  Now, of course if you want to kinda go down like the Dave Asprey route, you know, he’s very into micotoxins and mold, many brands of coconut oil might actually contain micotoxins which is why you might get brain fog when you have bulletproof coffee with coconut oil but you wouldn’t get it after you had bulletproof coffee with MCT oil.  So, the way that MCTs work is they are very rapidly absorbed by your body.  They’re a reduced chain length based fat and so what happens is MCTs will get converted into medium chained fatty acids in your liver, and when those medium chained fatty acids enter your mitochondria, they enter into what’s called the creb cycle which we may all be familiar with as one of the ways we produce ATP.

Brock:               The most confusing 17 steps your body can do.

Ben:                   Yeah.  One of the thing is kicked off a medium chained fatty acids into the creb cycle ketone bodies, so you get elevated levels of ketones that you may not get quite as readily or in quite as high volume when you use other sources of fat aside from MCT oil.  And then what happens is, once MCT oil has kinda pass through the liver, get in gone converted into medium-chained fatty acids, those have gone through the creb cycle, you get citrate as a by-product that’s converted into acetylcholine, that gets converted into more long chain fatty acids and then you get things like triglycerides, phospholipids, cholesterol, etc. getting pass into the bloodstream where you get that binding with terpenes the – basically like the passing of the terpenes into the blood brain barrier, that chaperoning you could say of the terpenes and the blood brain barrier as they’re envelop in fat and then you get that neurological effect.  So, long story short, that entire process is going to be most – where you enhance the most efficient when you’ve got not just high terpene content in coffee meaning, that you haven’t used say like a paper filter, to filter out the terpenes but you’ve used something like a French press to make your coffee or an Aeropress or something like that.  But then you’ve also used MCT oil rather than coconut oil or rather than some of these other forms of fats.  Now, the other issue here is that some of these other forms of fats producing market insulin response or contain forms of sugar, and half-and-half and heavy cream fits that bill.  Now the reason this is an issue is because I just mentioned that high levels of cholesterol for example, produced by terpenes that have been inhibited by bio-acid production or from the triglycerides that wind-up in the bloodstream from MCT oil metabolism, these can tend to get oxidize or you can tend to form glycation products when glucose adheres to these cholesterol particles.  And so, consuming things that have sugars in them like cream and half-and-half or consuming things that gonna cause a market insulin response, may not be such a good idea in the presence of these terpenes and some of the other components of coffee same thing with like nut milk or almond milk, same thing with sugar, same thing with honey.  Like ultimately, some of the safe things you could flavor – cinnamon is okay, stevia is okay, like an unsweetened vanilla is okay, and unsweetened chocolate sources is okay, MCT oil is okay.  But I’d be really careful with things like creams and heavy creams and a lesser of the evils will be use something like coconut milk even though it’s not gonna give you quite as much as a biohack neurological effects.


                           But ultimately, when I do have a cup of this coffee is, I do a little bit of an unsweetened coco powder, I do some cinnamon, I do some stevia, I do some MCT oil, I have the coffee, I have blend.  I didn’t put the butter in just because frankly, the butter is for more of the gut help effects that the butyric acid gives you.  The butter does not contribute in neurological effect and frankly for me, I’m just not a fan of drinking that many calories because calories do count believe it not.  So, I leave the butter the out in most causes.  That’s the dealio with why you would put MCT oil into bulletproof coffee.

Tyler:                Hey guys, Tyler from Oregon here.  I was wondering if you could talk about jumping.  I’m imagining that like sitting, standing, walking, and running, jumping is a skill that most of us haven’t properly learned.  So, do have any tips or resources or safe and effective jump training for both height and distance?  I already have one surgically repaired ACL and I’d like to avoid tearing another one.  Thanks.  Love the show.

Ben:                   Well, the first thing Tyler is – you need to go back in time and make sure that you were born to African-American parents, probably number one.

Brock:               That’s helpful is it?

Ben:                   Or parents with very tight hamstrings.  Like my wife, she is notorious for like pulling a hammy, she’s notorious for twisting her ankles, she’s got like really tight leg muscles but she can also or she can’t anymore but when we were dating, she can grab the room of a basketball hoop.  I mean, she’s like 5 foot 7, I mean, she’s got hop, she can sprint but she’s got really, really tight hammies.  So sometimes you trade in jump height and jump distance if you’ve got either a loose muscles from yoga or from static stretching if you’ve got a high amount of slow twitch muscle fiber from triathlon.  Like, I used to be able to dunk a basketball, once I started doing triathlons, I couldn’t dunk anymore about a year or two when I started to use all my vertical jump capability just because a lot of times, your jumping muscles are kinda like your couch potato muscles ironically.  So doing too much endurance training can definitely limit your jump height, your jump distance.  And then, too much stretching.  You know, those are some of the basics.  But if you really wanna train to jump higher and – you wanna jump higher, you wanna jump farther, there are some basic things that you can do and then there are some more advanced things that you can do.  Some of the basic things that you can do, no surprises here, number 1 would be plyometrics.  Where squad jumps, bounce, slips, skip, hops – it’s no secret that when you do things like that you decrease your ground contact time, you decrease what’s called the time that it takes for the stretch shortening cycle in your muscles, and so you increase your overall explosiveness and you decrease your tend in elasticity, you’ll increase your tend in stiffness, and you allow yourself to simply jump higher when you do plyometrics.  So, plyometrics are one, I like jumping rope single leg.  Jumping ropes works really, really well and teach you how to land properly.  We’re just talking about landing mechanics – I’m a huge fan starting with double leg jump rope and progressing to single leg jump rope because that’s all it is.  It is jumping and landing without any of the complexities of running and so you’re just there in place moving with the jump rope.  That’s a great way to teach yourself how to land properly.  Another really, really good way to teach yourself how to land properly with less joint impact is just the basic box jump.  Just the double leg or a single leg jump up on to a box.  Like, those would be the basics, the basics but if you want into the more advanced type of things that you can do to jump – one would be to use bands.  So, getting into a squat rack and actually using resistance bands, like I talked about that Rogue Fitness Company, they make like these monster bands that you can attach to a barbell and you can do squats or even squat jumps with the resistance band.  And when you’re accelerating the eccentric portion of the lift, meaning that when your muscle is lengthening and you’re being forced to work against the resistance of the bands as that muscles lengthening, that can really help with your jump performance as can having to make that quick reversal and accelerate upward rapidly with the added pulling down effect of the resistance bands – I’m a huge fan of resistance bands and using those for something like jump training.  Another thing…

Brock:               Okay, so… wait.  Just to be clear.  The resistance band is holding you down or it’s helping you go up?

Ben:                   It’s holding you down.

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   And you’re working against the resistance band doing like a barbell squat with resistance bands.

Brock:               Gotcha!

Ben:                   Another one would be your hip flexors and most athletes have really super tight hip flexors and the problem is that when you jump, tight hip flexors can create a lot of friction in the hip extensors and they can really limit you in terms of being able to jump farther and faster.


                           So, any type of hip flexor stretch especially dynamic hip flexor stretches can help a ton.  I like the one where you’re literally just hold on to a wall, straight leg swings back and forth just to open up the hip flexors, that’s really, really good and then just avoiding hip long period of times sitting so the hip flexors aren’t chronically shortened.  Like you know,  a basketball player sitting on a bench, if they really wanna perform once they head on a basketball court, they should be kneeling on the bench making sure that they’re in positions where the hip flexors are staying lengthen rather than just being a bench warmer with the butt.  That’s a really, really good way to shorten the hip flexors and affect your jumping capacity.  So all basketball teams, you need to get this little Mogo thing that I’m sitting on right now which allows you to sit and keep the hip flexors lengthened.

Brock:               I would really scolded you from the front row….found players sitting on stools.

Ben:                   Just saying it… just saying it.  If I would do the basketball team, they would not be sitting during – they would not be traditionally sitting at least.  Few other things that I really like: one is depth jumps which is the opposite of a box jumps.  It’s a little higher impact but it works really, really well.  This is where you just step up from a race platform, as soon as both feet touch the ground or one foot touches the ground, you reverse direction, jump again as high as you can.  So, that’s an excellent exercise for increasing jumping capacity.  Another one is to work your butt and one of the exercises I really like is the reversed hyper extension machine.  There’s not a lot of machines that I like at the gym but hitting your hamstrings, your glutes, and your spinal erectors, all over the course of one rep with something like a reverse hyper extension machine.  I’m a huge fan of that.  And if you don’t have a reverse hyper machine that you can use, you can literally just lay face down on a bench with everything below your hips hanging off of that bench.  Lay face down on a bench with everything below your hips hanging off the bench then just raise your legs up in the air as high as you can.  Those are the reverse hyper where you’re working your butt, your working your hamstrings, and you’re working all the muscles that are gonna assist you with jumping higher or farther but you’re doing so in a low impact way.  That’s another great exercise for Scott’s mom, by the way.  It’s a great butt exercise you can do if your knees are hurt, it’s just reverse hypers but your holding on to a bench just lifting your heels towards the ceiling where you’re holding on to the bench.  Just a couple other things I’m a fan of – of course, the deadlift is awesome as an exercise that works every single element of the jumping chain just picking heavy stuff off the ground or picking heavy stuff off the ground explosively in doing that is like a power cling.  And then the last one, of course would be to spend anywhere from $200-300 on these fancy shoes that what the big platform on the bottom of them that are in the backpack of the men’s magazines.

Brock:               With the springs?

Ben:                   Nay with the springs you know, just the shoes that make you walk on your tippitoes so that rather than just walking around in your tippitoes, you can pay someone lots of money for shoes that make you walk around in your tippitoes.  The funny thing is those actually work but so does walking around in your tippitoes.  So, either one.

Brock:               I thought that’s actually the shoes that Wile E. Coyote gets when he’s trying to get the…

Ben:                   One of my clients had one of those when I used to do home training here in the Spokane area.  I would drive to people’s homes and do personal training with them.  And one of my clients, Dave, he had this – the spring shoes and he had a couple of sets like for some of our workouts ‘cause he lived out on the country, we just literally ran up and down in our country roads wearing these spring shoes.  It was awesome.  It was like bounding like a kangaroo.  So, pretty cool.  So, get yourself some kangoo shoes.

Alex:                  Hey, this is Alex.  I know you’re just finished your show talking about stopping drinking and I’m wondering how to start.  I stopped drinking alcohol about 14 and then start again until I’m in late 20s. A glass of red wine now and then both for health and to be social.  The problem is, just a sip or two and I’m blitzed and no matter whatever, food, water or what.  This has been going on for about 10 years, I’m just a lightweight so I’m wondering – first, could be tiniest amount of wine be more harmful to me than they are to more tolerant drinkers given how usual I get drunk?  And second, is there an enzyme I need to build up or something?  I’d love to learn how to drink short of going back to college and see what I missed.  Thank you.

Ben:                   Alex is a lightweight.  (laughs)  Alex is like me.  I’m a light – I’m like – I can handle my alcohol if I’ve been drinking, but as most of us know, if you’re limiting drinking, then you are gonna have a harder time handling your alcohol.  Before I answer Alex question, I just realized I don’t think we’ve mentioned this on the podcast.


                           But over on the Facebook page at facebook.com/BGFitness, we just opened entry into a 30 day no alcohol experiment where we gonna choose one person and Wellness FX is giving us their fancy panel.  We’re gonna run a blood test on you before and then 30 days after, no drinking.  And I’m gonna sit down with all your results and see what happens to the liver, the kidney, the lipids, the hormones, vitamins, everything, when you do 30 days no drinking.  So, if you’re listening into this podcast and you wanna get on that contest, it’s running right now at facebook.com/BGFitness and all you do is you write like this single one paragraph essay about why you should be the person chosen for that and uhm, yeah, it’s pretty cool contest actually.

Brock:               I’m totally jealous. I feel bad that I can’t ‘cause I want…. This sounds cool.

Ben:                   You have to live in the U.S. and not New Jersey or New York.  Anyways though, as we – most of us know there’s this thing called “Asian glow” and that is because of the lack of dehydrogenase enzymes specifically aldehyde dehydrogenase and sometimes alcohol dehydrogenase that some people, especially people from Asian cultures have that makes is so that when ethanol enters the body, it’s not broken down properly.  So what should happen is when ethanol enters your body from alcohol, it should first encounter alcohol dehydrogenase and that turns the ethanol into acetaldehyde.  And acetaldehyde is really nasty.  It’s like formaldehyde – you know, the embalming food that they put dead people into.  Just like it destroys proteins, it destroys DNA, it’s probably why you get a hang-over after you drink is, it’s the production of acetaldehyde.  Now, the thing is, a lot of folks have aldehyde dehydrogenase and make it in adequate quantities and what happens with aldehyde dehydrogenase is as long as ethanol is in present, huge amounts overloads the aldehyde dehydrogenase that breaks down acetaldehyde and it turns into things like acetate which yourselves can actually burn pretty well.  They’re gonna burn it preferentially actually over fats, and  proteins and carbohydrates which is why you can get fat when you’re combining drinking with high amounts of food as your body is burning the acetate of burning the carbs and the fats, and the proteins and the food.  But ultimately the body has a mechanism for breaking down acetaldehyde if you have enough aldehyde dehydrogenase and for breaking down ethanol if you have enough alcohol dehydrogenase.  And actually, Esquire Magazine – they really have an interesting article on this just last year in which they said, they published like this trick to being able to drink as much as you want without ever getting hang-over.

Brock:               Oh yeah, I remember that one.

Ben:                   And the trick was basically yeast which is dehydrogenase and what happens is – the problem is that all that is is it’s like giving yourself a bunch of extra alcohol dehydrogenase and as you just learned, if you’re drinking a bunch and you got a bunch of alcohol dehydrogenase in your system whether because you’re making enough of it or you’re using like this as Esquire Magazine yeast trick, you’re gonna produce crap loads of acetaldehyde and you’re gonna make yourself feels super duper crappy after a night of drinking unless you also take aldehyde dehydrogenase which would theoretically breakdown that acetaldehyde into acetate.  The problem is that there is no aldehyde dehydrogenase pill.  That doesn’t exist, right.  And this would be the fix for the situation is technically like the one-two combo is you take alcohol dehydrogenase or yeast and you combine that with some type of aldehyde dehydrogenase pill or supplement and that’s how you would do it but there is no aldehyde dehydrogenase pill and a lot of people have an inefficient aldehyde dehydrogenase gene and that’s why a lot of people just can’t handle alcohol especially folks with Asian ancestor or East Asian ethnicity.  Now, the interesting thing is that there are supplements out there that have nutrients in them that help you to produce your own aldehyde dehydrogenase or help you to produce more aldehyde dehydrogenase if you were drinking and if you have the gene that’s capable of you kinda being able to pull that trigger if you’re not of Eastern Asian ethnicity and you just need extra aldehyde dehydrogenase from some kind of a supplemental form.  This stuff can help like there’s a supplement called NoGlo and NoGlo is actually advertised as being able to help your body breakdown acetaldehyde better.


                           And at first when I found this one, I thought – Oh, so they make an aldehyde dehydrogenase pill that you could take – that’s pretty cool.  That would actually work.  But when you look at the ingredients label for this NoGlo stuff, and I’ll link to it in the show notes, it’s basically just alpha lipoic acid, it’s acetylcysteine, it’s pantothenic acid, vitamin C, vitamin A – it’s basically amino acids and antioxidants.  And if you happen to in your supplement covered have amino acids, if you happen to have antioxidants, like any antioxidants, you know, blend or formulation like powdered vegetables, powdered fruits, greens.  The one that I uses is called LifeShotz, TianChi has antioxidants like any of these antioxidants rich-supplements and they’re all around out.  If you take that, you combine with amino acids, you’re gonna support more of your own aldehyde dehydrogenase production and you don’t need to go out and buy another – yet another supplement, you can just take amino acids and antioxidants.  Now, if you were to combine that with using some – like use that before you drink and you then you do something like activated charcoal at a different time, ‘cause you don’t want to take activated charcoal with other supplements ‘cause it will soak up and absorb those supplements that you’re taking it with.  So, if you’re using this one-two combo, you take the activated charcoal after you drank.  That would be the best way to combine the two.  So, take the activated charcoal like, you know, whatever you set it down next to your bed stand for when you’re done drinking, or you put it in your pocket or ziplock bag from out of the bar, and you take activated charcoal to absorb a lot of the toxins that you might find in mix drinks to absorb some of the acetaldehyde that’s produced from the alcohol breakdown and activated charcoal can work pretty well for that.  So, those will be your best bet – would be antioxidants, amino acids, smacked with the charcoal, and that’s where I’ll start.

Brock:               And of course, go back to college and relive those glorious years of binge drinking and kegs stands.

Ben:                   Beer bong and just train yourself.  Just like training.  So yeah!  Hopefully, hopefully that’s helpful.  And speaking of drinking high quantities, we did get a podcast entitled “Unicorn Tears” or podcast where we called “Unicorn Tears”.  Did you see that?

Brock:               I did.  That’s – so sad.  Why is the unicorn so sad?

Ben:                   Well, unicorn tears are valuable, Brock, that’s why.

Brock:               Uh, I see.

Ben:                   Unicorn tears are kinda like – kinda like, I don’t know, what?  Rainbows?  Unicorn tears, bit coins, bit coin tears.  Anyways, if you leave your review on iTunes and we read your review on the show, and you hear us read your review, then you get a care package from Ben Greenfield fitness.  You get a Ben Greenfield t-shirt – cool tech t-shirt, that’s not like one of those big cotton tents but it’s actually a cool t-shirt that makes you look sexy and muscular, and a bpa-free water bottle, and a beanie cap.  So, if you email [email protected] after you hear your iTunes review read, we’ll send that to you.  And we actually have a review just this week called Unicorn Tears.  You wanna churn it out, Brock?

Brock:               I do.  It goes like this: “Dear Ben Greenfield, we don’t hate your stinkin’ guts.  In fact, you’ve done wonders for our guts.  Thanks for all the probiotic and fermented food tips.  You don’t make us vomit, not even a little bit.  You’ve taught us how to fuel ourselves with real food even during our toughest activities and a well fueled athlete is not a pukey athlete”.

Ben:                   That’s right.

Brock:               That’s very true.  “Finally, you’re not the scum between our toes”.

Ben:                   Who’s saying that I was?

Brock:               I don’t know.  That’s…

Ben:                   That’s what I wanna know.  Where’s the other review?

Brock:               “We do, however, greatly appreciate your suggestions to get outside and get some dirt between our toes.  We Love the idea of an obstacle course in the backyard and we wish we could come and play on yours.  Love, Nutrition Geniuses Marie and Laura”.

Ben:                   Uhmm, that’s pretty cool.  That’s such a nice review.

Brock:               That is nice.  I’m glad they don’t think you’re the scum between anyone’s toes.

Ben:                   And that they wanna come and play on mine.  Anyways, email [email protected], Marie and Laura, and we’ll hook you up with Ben Greenfield fitness gear pack and care package sends to your house.  I guess you can share the t-shirt.  There you go – one of you can wear the t-shirt and one of you can just wear the beanie.

Brock:               You know what, Ben?  You don’t make me vomit either.

Ben:                   So, that about wraps up today’s show.


Don’t forget to go to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/296.  Remember, we need some internet support.  So, please if you know somebody wants to sponsor the show, or sponsor bengreenfieldfitness.com for the sidebar ad for the year, email [email protected].  Check out our sponsor for this episode, trainingmask.com and use your 20% discount code, “BEN2014” to grow a third lung and finally, don’t forget to find some ancient Hazda or Mayori tribesman and borrow their dang for the day.  Uhmm.

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

[1:11:05.6]      END 



















#296: Does Food Combining Really Work, How To Exercise With A Knee Injury, Why Do You Put MCT Oil In Bulletproof Coffee?


Pictured above is Ben’s home office with SamsaraFitness treadmill (use 10% discount code BEN10) and RebelDesk (use $40 discount code BEN)

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

Oct 18, 2014 Podcast: Does Food Combining Really Work, How To Exercise With A Knee Injury, Why Do You Put Fat In Bulletproof Coffee, How To Jump Farther And Higher, and How To Handle More Alcohol.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form… but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.


News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.


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

This podcast is brought to you by TrainingMask.com. Use 20% discount code BEN2014 to grow a third lung.

November 17-21, 2014: Ben interviews 23 of the world’s leading experts in performance, recovery, nutrition, fat loss, brain, sleep and hormone optimization, and you get a free all-access pass. Check it out now at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/RevYourself.

Other places you can meet Ben: Oct 25-26 Sacramento Super Spartan, Nov 2-9 London, Nov 9-16 Israel.

Go ask your burning Obstacle Racing questions at ObstacleDominator.com for the brand new Obstacle Dominator podcast.

January 30th – 31st, 2015 – Talise Fitness and Jumeirah Emirates Towers, proudly invite you to take part in an exclusive two day seminar held by the renowned nutrition and fitness expert, best selling author, coach, speaker, ex-bodybuilder and Ironman triathlete, Ben Greenfield.

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 – 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.

Does Food Combining Really Work?

Combine asks: Could you talk a little bit about food combining? Does the combination of macro and micro nutrients we put together really matter in terms of fat gain and muscle gain? Does this change if you are eating before, after or in the absence of a workout?

How To Exercise With A Knee Injury

Scott asks: His mom has been diagnosed with some severe knee damage due to some genetic problems. She is headed for a knee replacement but she wants to get fit. Is there anything she should be doing in particular? Machines, regimens, suggestions? Ideas like using the elliptical instead of running?

In my response I recommend:
-How To Exercise With A Knee Injury podcast
-MarcPro (use $32 discount code “BEN”)
-Kelly Starrett’s “Ready To Run” Book (Voodoo Flossing technique, deep tissue work)

Why Do You Put Fat In Bulletproof Coffee?

Nick asks: He is wondering if there is any research that shows that the terpenes in Bulletproof Coffee are more bio-available or highly absorbed or if it is the MCT oil in particular that is causing it? Would half-and-half or heavy cream work better or just as well?

In my response I recommend:
-Upgraded MCT Oil

How To Jump Farther And Higher

Tyler asks: He is wondering about jumping. Is it a skill that most of us haven’t properly learned? Do you have any suggestions, resources or tips for effective jump training for both height and distance? He has one surgically repaired ACL and would like to avoid tearing the other one.

How To Handle More Alcohol

Alex asks: He is wondering how he can safely start drinking again. His problem is that after a sip or two, he is “blitzed”. Doesn’t matter if he drinks water or eats before. This has been going on for 10 years. Could the tiny amounts of wine be more harmful to him? How can he learn how to drink?

In my response I recommend:
-Activated Charcoal


– And don’t forget to go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/love!

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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Everything You Need To Know About Essential Oils For Fat Loss, Performance, Smart Drugs, Scar Healing, Detoxing And More.

Essential Oils

Two years ago, I got a nasty staph infection.

It exploded into the flesh-eating bacteria MRSA, it took over both my arms and legs, it ate a golf-ball sized hole into my right thigh and I nearly lost my left arm.

The entire nasty story, along with shocking photos, is here.

After trying every natural remedy and topical creme on the face of the planet, I eventually got rid of the entire thing and healed myself with essential oils.

Over the past two years, I went from knowing nothing about essential oils to discovering an entire wealth of knowledge about these amazing natural remedies, and in today’s podcast episode with Dr. Sarah Lobisco, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about essential oils for fat loss, performance, cognitive enhancement, scar healing, detoxing and more, including:

What exactly an essential oil is and how an essential oil is actually made…

How essential oils work chemically within your body…

The three different ways you can apply and use essential oils…

The best essential oils for your immune system…

The best essential oil blends for stress and sleep…

The best essential oils for fat loss (and for stretch marks too!)…

Amazing ways you can use one essential oil as a smart drug and cognitive performance enhancer…

How essential oils can be used to enhance physical performance…

How essential oils can be used for cleansing and detox…

-Why not all essential oils are created equal, why some can do some serious damage to you if you’re not careful, and the exact brand that Dr. Sarah uses

My guest, Dr. Sarah Lobisco, is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport’s College of Naturopathic Medicine (UBCNM). She is licensed in Vermont as a naturopathic doctor and holds a Bachelor of Psychology from State University of New York at Geneseo. Dr. LoBisco speaks professionally on integrative medical topics, has several journal publications, and is a candidate for postdoctoral certification in functional medicine. She currently has a private integrative medicine consulting practice located in Ballston Spa, New York, where she incorporates her training in holistic medical practices with conventional medicine.

Do you have more questions about essential oil? Leave your comments and feedback below, and click here to peruse the Young Living Essential Oils we discuss in this episode.

The Official Ironman Insanity Race Report Podcast.


Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 7.26.10 PMBen just raced the Ironman Hawaii World Championships with only 14 days of preparation.

In this post-race podcast straight from the Big Island just hours after the race, you’ll find out:

-How Ben prepared (including why he wasn’t able to stick to his original plan, and had to biohack instead)…

-Why Ben did yoga during the actual race…

-Ben’s top mental tactics for achieving things that seem like they should be impossible…

-The crazy illegal drugs Ben was offered during the race…

-What you can learn from Ben’s foray into extremely minimalist Ironman training, and whether you should try this too…

This episode was brought to you by Training Mask. Visit TrainingMask.com and use code “GREEN1″ to save 20% on this essential training tool that Ben uses to grow himself a third lung.

During this episode, Ben and Brock also fill you in on the brand new “Defying Sports Nutrition Paradigms” episode that was just released inside the BenGreenfieldFitness Premium channel.

Leave your questions below!

How To Get To Sleep At Night Before A Big Race.


For two years, since nearly breaking the 4 hour mark in a Half-Ironman in Japan, I’ve had an “anchor”.

Not that heavy piece of metal you drop off the back of a boat.

I’m talking about a mental anchor.

Basically, it goes like this: when I’m in the middle of a race, I squeeze my thumb up against the inside of my hand, and this triggers my mind to shout this phrase “never gonna catch me”. Then I seem to just take off like a shot. I’m totally not kidding. It shuts down the pain, let’s me focus, and causes me to tap into a quick burst of hidden energy.

I developed this anchor during something called a neurolingustic programming session (also known as “NLP”) that I recorded for a podcast just a few days before that race in Japan, and I released the podcast a few days later. You can listen to it at “How To Rewire Your Brain and Body With Neurolinguistic Programming“.

But this simple programming technique still didn’t tackle another important issue – the trouble that many athletes have getting to sleep at night before the big race. After all, no matter how well wired you are to perform fantastically, you’ll be miserable if you feel like you’ve just pulled an all-nighter!

So today I have good news: I’ve invited back on the podcast the guy who taught me that anchor and neurolinguistically “programmed” me. His name is Andy Murphy, and in this episode, he’s going to teach us exactly how to get to sleep at night before a big race or event.

During our podcast, you’ll learn:

-How to tap into your subconscious in a practical and easy-to-understand way…

-How to instantly make your room more comfortable, even if it’s a hotel room, tent or some other place you’re not used to sleeping…

-How to stop the “excitement” movie from playing in your head, and replace it with relaxation…

-How to program your subconscious for deep sleep to feel calm and happy before your event…

-And much more!

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about how to get to sleep at night before a big race, or your own tips to share? Leave your thoughts below!

How Quitting Alcohol Helped Today’s Guest Lose 30 Pounds, Make More Money, Attract Better Friends And Lovers, And Got A Job Hosting SportsCenter on ESPN (And Your Formula For Reducing or Quitting Alcohol).


In recent podcasts, I’ve talked a lot lately about alcohol, and what it does to the body, both good and bad.

My friend James Swanwick, who wrote the article below and is the host of the Alpha Male Club podcast, has a very interesting take on alcohol. So in today’s podcast, you’re going to learn how quitting alcohol helped James lose 30 pounds of fat, make more money, attract better friends and lovers, and got him a job hosting SportsCenter on ESPN – and get a formula for reducing or quitting alcohol.

You’ll learn:

-Why James quit alcohol…

-What happens to your body when you stop drinking, physically and mentally…

-The biggest challenges that happen when you stop or reduce drinking…

-What to do when you’re at a party or bar if you’re not going to order a drink…

-If James turned to any other vices as a replacement…

-Why James doesn’t just use a “one glass of wine a day” approach…

-And much more!


“I am four years alcohol-free today.

What started as a 30-day challenge, turned into a four-year lifestyle change. Friends often ask me about this so I figure I’ll quickly share my story, assuming others may be interested.

I was never a big drinker. I’d enjoy a few quiet beers during the week.  Most weekends I’d go a little harder and get a good “buzz”. On a handful of occasions over many years, I would say I got “drunk”.

It was all good fun. There was no drinking to excess. I never had a drinking problem.

But I awoke with a shocking hangover one morning four years ago at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas after a particularly fun night. I walked into an International House of Pancakes for a hangover breakfast.

The IHOP menus have photos of the food you can choose – big, bright, bold colors. The sight of those scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes on the menu and big, fat, overweight people sitting at tables next to me made me ill.

I decided then and there to see if I could go 30 days alcohol-free. It was simply a personal bet with myself to test my self-discipline. I didn’t plan to go more than 30 days. But I eventually would.

The first two weeks were hard. I went out with friends and ordered water or diet coke and they’d give me a hard time. “You’re un-Australian!” they’d say to me.

But I got through those two weeks and I was off to the races. I felt better, slept better and had much more mental clarity.

After 30 days, I’d lost an incredible 13lbs (5.9kg) of fat around my stomach. Just from stopping drinking. I had more money in the bank balance, my skin looked considerably better and I actually enjoyed getting out of bed early morning to exercise.

James (left) a few years before he quit drinking at 218lbs (98kg) and James (right), today, alcohol free, at 180lbs (82kg)

So I said to myself, “Bugger it. I feel great. I’ll just keep going and see how far I can go.” Little did I know just how far I would go.

After 60 days, I craved a cold beer. Or a red wine. Or a Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic with a dash of lime.

When it was hot outside, I started dreaming, “I would smash an ice cold beer right now!” But I breathed deeply, downed a diet coke or water and the feeling passed.

After three months, I felt terrific. I’d dropped a few more pounds of fat and was starting to put on some lean muscle in the gym. People were complimenting me on how good I looked.

I also realized that despite not drinking, I was still managing to have wildly entertaining nights out – even with my drunken friends slurring their words around me. Conversations with women became much more interesting.

When I told women I wasn’t drinking, far from them thinking I was an alcoholic in recovery, they actually told me they were impressed with my self-discipline.

You don’t need alcohol to have a good time

“Beautiful,” I thought. “I can stop drinking and still be fun, entertaining and attractive to women.”

Guys were always suspicious of my story, though. They always thought I was a recovering alcoholic who “obviously” had a problem. I just smiled.

Between three and six months I was in the zone. I felt energetic and healthy and I actually started to thrive on telling people I had temporarily stopped drinking.

But many people – particularly guys – still challenged me. They called me a “Pussy!” Or said to me, “Just have one!” Or “An Aussie that doesn’t drink?!?! F$%k off!”

I just laughed, pointed to my head and gave them my stock response, “I’m too strong in mind!” Some idiots even tried to secretly slip vodka into my soda. I had to make a point of always sniffing before drinking if they’d ordered for me.

Six to 12 months was fairly easy to be honest. And this is where I noticed the most dramatic changes.

I found that my relationships were considerably better – romantic and platonic. For example, I was constantly thinking about how I could help my friends rather than how they could help me.

I was more inclined to help people generally and was more considerate. I was calmer and noticed I made better decisions.

My work productivity soared. My business made more money.

More opportunities – like an ESPN audition to host SportsCenter – came my way. When it did, I was clear in mind, energetic, and seized the opportunity. I ended up getting that gig and hosted SportsCenter for two years.

I did, however, find I got tired at night time and went to sleep earlier. Listen, I could still burn the midnight oil until 5am during my sobriety. But I found I didn’t really want to. I felt like nothing that good really happened after 1am anyway.

So I would party hard – alcohol-free – until 1am. Most people who just met me weren’t even ever aware I wasn’t drinking. I could still be the life of the party with nobody even knowing. Then I headed home to be asleep most Friday and Saturday nights by no later than 2am.

James still James partying late  – alcohol free

I was up at 8am or 9am on weekends to hit the gym, showered, had breakfast and was ready to tackle the day by 11am when my mates were just dragging their lazy hungover backsides out of bed.

When I reached the personal milestone of one year without drinking, I found myself back in Austin at South by Southwest. I went to a pub, ordered a Budweiser, and put it to my mouth.

For James, no alcohol means more energy for exercise

It smelled good.

I had every intention of drinking that beer. But something stopped me from taking a sip. I paused and thought about it for a minute.

I decided that all the pros of not drinking outnumbered the cons. So I said to myself, “I’ll just keep going.”

So I did. I put the Budweiser down and haven’t picked up a drink since.

March 12, 2014, is four years to the day since I gave myself that initial 30-day challenge.

I’m 20lbs (9kg) lighter today than I was when I started on March 12, 2010. I’m 38lbs (17kg) lighter than when I was at my porkiest (See fat face photo above). Drinking definitely kept fat around my waist. Stopping drinking eliminated it.

This is likely due to three main things: 1. Alcohol contains a lot of carbs 2. Drinking makes you eat a lot more food, especially bad food like fries and desserts 3. Quitting drinking gives you more energy which turns you into a fat-burning machine.

I’m not for one moment suggesting you should quit drinking entirely like I did. Obviously, I am an extreme case. But my story clearly shows some of the positive benefits you can get if you do quit. Even just reducing your alcohol consumption by a few drinks a week, I believe only positive things can happen.

If I have a drink today, no worries. I’ve accomplished my goal. But I just don’t feel like having a drink.

In summary:

PROS: I feel better, look better, work better, act better, am better, have more money, have better quality of friends, really enjoy a nice ice cold water, don’t miss alcohol, realize I CAN party like a rock star WITHOUT alcohol, friends who’ve known me a long time say I’m a considerably nicer and more agreeable person

CONS: It is sometimes awkward explaining to new friends or business associates why you don’t drink. BUT…that initial awkwardness is mostly felt by THEM, not by you. And you can’t control how they feel.

If you decide you want to give it a try, trust that the pros will likely outweigh the cons. Set yourself a 30-day-goal. Or a two or three-month goal. Test it. See how you feel. See if it works for you. Or go for a year.

Or don’t do it at all. If you’re happy drinking, keep drinking! I love drinking! I love to drink a six-pack of beer and a bottle of red with the best of them.

I’m sure I’ll do it again one day. But for now, I’m happy with water and soda and feel like I am the best version of me.”

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about the health of alcohol, quitting alcohol, reducing alcohol or anything else related to today’s podcast? Leave your thoughts below and either James or I will reply!