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


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.

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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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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?


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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:

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:

Go to TrainingMask.com and use code BEN2014 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.

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.

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!

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


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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!

The 2014 Bulletproof Biohacking Conference Show!


drloI’ve just returned from the 2014 Bulletproof Biohacking Conference, where I spoke on “5 Potent Biohacks For Beastlike Performance”, tested the latest and greatest biohacking gear, and grabbed 13 educational and entertaining interviews for you with some of the best biohackers and biohacking tool companies on the planet.

IMG_3988The slides for my presentation, along with each and all of these insider interviews are now available (along with our vault of over 300+ other secret BenGreenfieldFitness shows, interviews, videos and pdf’s) over on the BenGreenfieldFitness Premium channel. Click here to go Premium for ten bucks a year (yeah, $10 for the entire year – you heard right), and listen in or download now!

Here’s what’s included in the 2014 Bulletproof Biohacking Conference show (WARNING: some of these audios are funny, but also slightly edgy and inappropriate):

1) An “injectables” interview with the amazing Dr. Lo – who sings me a beautiful song as she injects a 100% legal recovery and performance cocktail into my butt cheek…

2) A interview about why not all electrostimulation is created equal, and how to use high and low frequencies to get different results…

3) A chat with Daniel Vitalis of Surthrival about whether elk antler velvet can really increase testosterone…

4) How to get an entire safe and EMF-free Pulsed Electromagnetic Field, light and sound, binaural beats room in your house for way less than you’d think…

IMG_39785) A frank chat with the guy at Muse about whether it’s actually safe for your brain to hook up EEG electrodes to your head…

6) How an ex-cop turned herbal chef of JingSlingers makes blue nootropic ice cream, and her exact recipe…

7) How to biohack sex and experience a 15 minute orgasm…

IMG_39848) What happens when you combine compression with weight, attach it all to your body, then try to walk around…

9) How I felt when the most powerful therapeutical laser on the planet was pointed at my knee, and whether protective eyewear is really necessary when playing with devices like this…

10) A new wearable device that shocks you when you do things like check Facebook or search for kitten photos…

11) The pulsed electromagnetic coil that you wrap around a body part to instantly shut down pain and make bones heal faster…

IMG_398512) The gaming and brain training system that you can control with your brain waves…

13) And finally, what it feels like to get oxygen infused with pure essential oils shot up your nose…

When you click here to go Premium and grab this entire biohacking show, which includes all the audio clips above, you’ll also get full access to the Powerpoint slides from my talk “5 Potent Ways To Biohack Beastlike Performance”. Enjoy!


Episode #295 – Full Transcript

Podcast #295 from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/10/295-red-light-and-blue-light-biohacking-tips-can-coffee-raise-cholesterol-the-ultimate-guide-to-stretching/


Introduction:           In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast:  Red Light and Blue Light Biohacking Tips, The Ultimate Guide to Stretching, Should You Stop Taking Supplements Before a Blood Test, Can Coffee Raise Cholesterol, How to Reset Your Sleep Cycle, How to Beat Insomnia 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:               What’s happening Ben?

Ben:                   I’m tired!  I got up early this morning at about 5 to build a gym in my basement.  I’ve got about 600 pounds of bumper plates, barbells, squat rack, a battle rope, and a bunch of kettle bell training equipment that has finally arrived that I’ve built up in my home gym so now I can get strong like bull.

Brock:               Yes, that sounds awesome but shouldn’t you be like swimming or cycling or doing something triathlon-related perhaps?

Ben:                   I should, I probably should, yeah, not be lifting weights right now.

Brock:               Yeah, that’s not the most important thing you should be doing right now leading up to Ironman Kona.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               With no training.

Ben:                   For people who don’t know, I just got the word two days ago that Timex, who I race for, wants me to race Kona.  And the problem is that I have not really been training for Ironman and have barely been swimming, biking at all for the past year.  So it’s gonna be really interesting.  It could be quite disastrous.  But if you wanna follow that journey, probably the best place to follow that whole Ironman Kona thing is go to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Facebook page at facebook.com/BGFitness, where you can witness me putting the hurt on my body, you can guess my finishing time for amazing prizes from Timex.  Who knows what other swag will materialize for you out of this but it should be interesting.

Brock:               It will be something that’s for sure. I’ll be in Kona doing other things while you’re racing but I’ll do my best to keep an eye on your times and do some tweeting and Facebooking and stuff during the race, do so people wanna check in.

Ben:                   That’s right. I’ll get some gory pictures of the finish line and next week we’ll have a special Ironman, post Ironman podcast since Brock and I are staying in the same condo he’ll yank up the microphone and shove it in my face…

Brock:               While you’re sitting in a bucket of ice.

Ben:                   At some point on Sunday post-race, prior to me diving into my cold margaritas.  One other thing speaking of epic adventures, as everyone who listens into this podcast knows, I have a full face beard and very easily can grow body hair like a matted freaking ape.

Brock:               Really?  Hmmmm.

Ben:                   No, I have smooth skin like a baby but regardless, this podcast is actually sponsored by Harry’s Shaving which we’ll tell you more about later, but for now, you can visit Harrys.com and use the promo code “Ben”, to save 5 dollars off some really sexy shaving gear.

News Flashes:

Brock:               Even while you’re ignoring your Ironman training you’re still tweeting stuff out, Facebooking stuff out, and Google plussing all kinds of interesting articles, all over the place and right now we’re gonna highlight a few of those.

Ben:                   That’s right, we’re gonna talk about sleep and biohacking sleep.  I was actually just at the Bullet-Proof Biohacking Conference.

Brock:               Oh yeah, that’s right I forgot. I was over at Primal Con and you were over at the Biohacking Conference. In the same State but not at the same conference.

Ben:                   That’s right. One of the things I actually spoke about in that conference was biohacking light, although it turned out to be a really interesting presentation because, the Spartan Race CEO Joe De Sena and myself were scheduled to speak, we’re like the closing speeches and we were on two different stages, in two different rooms.

Brock:               Oh, so not at the same time.

Ben:                   So we called, yeah, Joe and I called an audible and we actually gave our presentations together and it turned out to be like this kinda, Flintstones versus Jetsons.  You know him talking about flipping tires and me talking about biohacking and we put it all together and it was actually, actually kind of fun.


                           So, anyways though, I tweeted out that there’s a cool new reason to use those little sunrise alarm clocks.  Now I actually have my children, now that they’re getting up a little bit earlier for school, using these sunrise alarm clocks.  And what a sunrise alarm clock is, for those of you that don’t know, it’s an alarm clock that you set when you want to wake up and it gradually begins to release light over 20 to 30 minutes as you gradually wake.  And so it’s the same as if the sun was rising in your room and they actually did a study called “The Effects of Dawn Simulation” and honestly…

Brock:               Dawn.  Like D-A-W-N?

Ben:                   Uhmm.  I think that’s a much more marketable term than sunrise alarm clock.  I like the, how about the Dawn Simulation Device.

Brock:               Yeah, I like that.  It sounds soothing.

Ben:                   Yes.  Effects of dawn simulation on markers of sleep inertia and post-waking performance and what they found was that light exposure during the last 30 minutes of habitual sleep can increase your alertness and cognitive performance and even your physical performance after waking and this study was exactly what it sounds like.  They compared a group of people who got light in the morning via one of these gradual dawn simulators versus folks who didn’t.  Now, even if you don’t have a sunrise alarm clock, another way that you can do this is with what’s called blue light boxing which is where on your desk or even on your table at breakfast if you live in like a darker area like say Seattle or Portland, and I’m sorry if that’s the case.

Brock:               Canada

Ben:                   Canada.  You set one of these up and you just have it running for 20 to 30 minutes as you’re eating breakfast or sitting at your desk in the morning and that also would be dawn simulation if you can’t get out into the sun.  One of the things that I have, I actually spent this morning as I was building my gym bathed in sunlight because I use this special form of light bulb in my house called the Awake & Alert Light Bulb.  It’s in my office, it’s in my gym.  Two areas where I actually want simulated sunlight and what it is, is you’ve heard of blue light reducing bulbs this is just the opposite.  These are bubs that actually have a bunch of blue light in them to simulate the sun and so they light up the room and you feel as though you’re standing in sunlight and it has that same dawn simulation effect.  So that’s another option you could go with, the light bulb effect. The one that I use is called the Awake & Alert bulb by a company called Lighting Science. They are expensive bulbs, you wouldn’t want one in every room of your house but in areas where you want enhanced cognitive and physical performance like your gym or like a home office, it’s perfect.  Or you could simply have a room in the house where you turn it on.  I mean this is gonna sound, let’s say this is gonna sound weird, but let’s say you go to the bathroom in the morning, so you, you have the bathroom in your house that you go to the bathroom in, in the morning with one of these Awake and Alert bulbs, you don’t want that thing flipped on if you gotta pee, go to the bathroom at midnight.  If you habitually use the same restroom every morning why not have the sunlight shining on you as you poo.  So there’s that.

Brock:               So I’m assuming those light bulbs don’t have UV radiation associated with them, just the blue light.

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s just the blue light.  I’ll put a link to them in the show notes for this episode at bengreenfieldfitness.com/295 if you wanna check them out.  And the other thing that I tweeted out was there’s a good reason to consider only having red light waves spectrums in your bedroom or perhaps in your master bathroom where you might get up during the night to use the restroom and the reason for that is a second study, and I’ll put both these studies in the show notes, but the second study was called Millisecond Flashes of Light Phase Delay the Human Circadian Clock during Sleep.  What that means is, is that they took a group of folks who were sleeping and compared them to a control group that didn’t get this treatment.  And the group that got the treatment was actually subjected to a series of light flashes during the night from about hours 2 to 3 after they went to bed.  And what this is was it shifted and actually disrupted their circadian rhythm.  Just these brief exposures to light while they were asleep which kinda should make you think about if you’re trying to get the best sleep possible, if you’re trying to optimize your circadian rhythm in the best way possible, or you’re trying to say ensure that your sleep phase during the night doesn’t get shifted forward, so you’re sleeping in longer and longer because somehow you sent the message to your body during the night that it was daytime.  You should consider limiting light in every possible respect in your bedroom.


And one of the ways that I’ve started doing this is number 1: I make sure that when I use the bathroom at night, if I need to get up and go to the bathroom, I pretty much just try to do it without the light.  So, so far my big toes have survived there’s been no stubbing but…

Brock:               Nope, how about puddles?

Ben:                   No, uhm, well, actually yeah.  My wife did shout at me once.  I learned that you need to sit down rather than stand because…

Brock:               Yeah, you can’t aim in the dark.

Ben:                   I pretty much drenched the toilet one time, so you do have to be…

Brock:               That’s not surprising.

Ben:                   … be careful with the sink.  Oops!  Not the toilet.  So, there’s that. But the other thing is that the other form of light bulb that this same company makes, this Lighting Science company makes, is a Good Night bulb and it’s exactly what you would expect.  The bulb where they take all the blue light out of it and it’s only the red light wave spectrum and it filters the blue light that would get in the way of melatonin that would disrupt your sleep cycle in this way and just make sure that if there’s something flashing in your room like a whatever, like a WiFi router…

Brock:               Or stalkers taking photos of you.

Ben:                   Yeah, or even like your phone if you have your phone and you’re using a white noise app or something, flip it upside down so that the light doesn’t getting released from it.  So like anything you can find in the bedroom that’s releasing even little blips of light, it’s pretty significant or well I should say insignificant the amount of light they use in this study, like we’re talking about really low wave light flashes.  So basically, the take away massage here is control the lighting in your environment in both the morning and in the evening.

Brock:               The takeaway message for me is that we’re all screwed.  Seriously like living anywhere, like I live pretty close to downtown and we’ve got curtains and stuff but man, it’s really hard to eliminate all of the light.

Ben:                   Yeah, well I mean you could always just use the sleep mask too.  And that’s a good way to go and I sleep with a big ol’ sleep mask.  So, and the other thing in addition to my full face beard, of course, the other thing is of course when I was at the Bulletproof Biohacking Conference they unveiled their big new supplement called Unfair Advantage.

Brock:               Oh yeah, the PQQ stuff.

Ben:                   Yeah it’s called PQQ.  It’s a supplement that contains PQQ.  And I think a lot of people are confused about what PQQ actually is.  So I found a really, really good article that kinda explains what it does but PQQ is an abbreviation for a molecule that I’m not going to embarrass myself by attempting to pronounce it on today’s show.

Brock:               Oh come on.  Come on.

Ben:                   So a few of the things that PQQ does is, it’s a key regulator in energy metabolism because it upregulates the expression of this enzyme in the cell that is responsible for increasing glucose uptake into the cell and improving the delivery of energy into a cell during like strength training, endurance training etcetera.  Another thing that it’s been shown to do is to be involved with the actual – it’s called a CREB signaling protein or a cAMP-response element-binding protein and the basic idea behind that is that it helps to activate skeletal muscle tissue, and because of the way it interacts with that particular protein, it might actually have an anti-carcinogenic effects too.  And then the other thing that it does is that it prevents cell death by interacting with this cell signaling protein that helps to combat oxidative stress or free-radical damage.  Now what I just went into was the basic, kinda like layman’s term almost description of PQQ but if you want to delve into the science the website Biohacks Blog at biohacksblog.com did a really good series on PQQ and everything you need to know about it.  Just delving deep into the science of how it works, what it is, why is it the new darling supplement, you know, why there’s this new Unfair Advantage supplement that uses it, and why it beats the pants off a lot of these things we hear about like Coenzyme Q10 or mitochondrial support supplements.  So, well worth checking out and the one last thing I should mention when I’m talking about the Biohacks Blog is, I think, we’ve kinda kept this under wraps for a while because I wasn’t sure if I really wanted folks to know, I actually, in charge of that blog.  Yeah, I own it.

Brock:               That’s why it’s so darn good.

Ben:                   That’s why it’s so darn nerdy.  It’s like my outlet for the true propeller hat type of stuff, yeah.

Brock:               Ladies and gentlemen, if there is more nerdy stuff in Ben’s head than he lets out here, so believe or not…

Ben:                   The reason I bring it up is because of that blog is just a totally free blog, and I, and in order to keep that going, the Biohacks Blog, I need some advertisers who wanna actually get on there and we may actually be looking for writers too for that blog as well.  So, anyways if you’re interested in the whole biohacking thing and if you wanna get involved then come on board and help that website, the biohacksblog.com, or if you’re interested in writing then just email me personally.  Email [email protected] and I will help you take part in the nerdiness.


Special Announcements:

Ben:                   Well Brock, like I mentioned this podcast is brought to you by Harry’s and Harry’s at harrys.com makes these German blades at least they say they’re German, I’m going to assume that they’re German.

Brock:               Why would they lie about that?

Ben:                   They appear to be very high quality blades.  As a matter of fact, when I shave with them, my full face beard that I grow every few days, they…

Brock:               Because I’m actually stroking my full face beard…

Ben:                   Because you actually have a beard, I almost…

Brock:               I actually have a beard.

Ben:                   I actually, I honestly only have to shave at least once every three days. That’s about how, how infrequently I grow facial hair.  But when I do shave I’ve been using these Harry’s blades and you don’t get any nicks, you don’t get any scrapes, you don’t get any razor burns, they actually are not that expensive considering that they’re these pretty cool fashionable looking, really sharp, I’m assuming, because they can cut really well, blades. I have only used them on my face I have not tried to shave a goat or kitten or anything like that, but I would imagine that you could probably shave a goat or a chicken with these Harry’s.

Brock:               I thought you said a kitten.  Shaving a kitten, that would be cute.

Ben:                   Yeah, shaved cats are all the rage on YouTube.  So you can go to harrys.com and they give you 5 bucks off if you type in the coupon code “Ben”, so harrys.com.  I guess I should probably mention it: h-a-r-r-y-s, dot com. How else would you spell Harry’s? Maybe I-S

Brock:               I-E?

Ben:                   Or I guess probably h-a-i-r-y, hairy, right?  But it’s not hairy, it’s Harry’s like the name. harrys.com and there’s a coupon code “Ben” for 5 bucks off and start shaving better, today.

Brock:               When I decide to get rid of my beard that’s the way I’m gonna go.

Ben:                   Okay, a few other things that I wanted to mention for special announcements before we jump in to this week’s Q&A if you are in Kona, then head on over to the Ironman Sports Medicine Conference, it’s not just for doctors, that’s what their logo should be.

Brock:               Not for doctors anymore.

Ben:                   Not just for doctors.  Anyways, you can go check it out.  A ton of medical and nutritional geekery over there and I will be speaking on fueling the ancestral athlete and actually that was the original reason why I was gonna go to Kona was just to speak at this conference.  Now it turns out I’ll be exercising a little bit too while in there.

Brock:               A good 18 hours of exercise.

Ben:                   We’ll put a link to the conference in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/295.  The other thing is that my friend Yuri Elkaim who’s book we’ve been talking about for the past few weeks is now releasing a bunch of free videos that you get all week long from him this week when you grab his new All Day Energy Diet Cookbook.  So he’s got a video how to kill cravings, how to make healthy eating stick not to be confused with how to make healthy eating sticks.

Brock:               If they’re healthy I’ll eat ‘em.

Ben:                   I made a joke.  And then also the worn-out weight gain connection.  So he’s got all those videos, of course his book and then the cookbook that has recipes for natural Gatorade and green cappuccino, bone marrow and all these good stuff over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/aded, that’s All Day Energy Diet. bengreenfieldfitness.com/aded.  One last thing Brock, I’m gonna go to Dubai, yeah, I’m gonna be speaking in Dubai.  It’s a long ways off because it’s in January.  But if you listen in and you’re in the Middle East riding your camel…

Brock:               Not in Dubai.

Ben:                   Is that racist?  Maybe, I don’t know.  But we’ve talked about camel milk before and how nourishing it is but I don’t know.  Aladdin used to be my favorite cartoon, and when I think about the Middle East all I could think about is the Tupperware salesman riding his camel across the desert. Yeah, anyways.

Brock:               But it’s Disney, so either way…

Ben:                   All of you over in Dubai, you know I love you.  I was over there a couple of years ago, doing a superhuman fitness conference.  I’m going to do another one.  We’re gonna get into fitness, fat loss, and human performance optimization over at the Emirates Towers in Dubai.  So if you’re in Dubai or if you feel like, I don’t know driving your car over to Dubai from Nebraska or…


Brock:               Going shopping, I heard they have super good shopping there.

Ben:                   There is.  There is an indoor ski resort too.  So there’s that.  If you want a really cool photo of the indoor ski resort, flip to the back of the November 2014 issue of Outside Magazine which has also a really interesting article on fat loss or fat fueling during exercise, November 2014 issue of Outside Magazine.  I love Outside Magazine.  They’re not a sponsor of this podcast though because they don’t sell shaving equipment but there is a photo of the ski resort in Dubai at the end of that magazine.  So, check it out. 

Listener Q&A: 

Brandon:          Hey Ben and Brock, Brandon from East Troy Wisconsin.  So what do you know about stretching?  It seems that there are some advocates doing very fast stretching, very quick in pulses for a neurological effect.  Some talk about stretching for a long period of time to get to the deep fascia. What do you think and love the intro music makes me wanna bust a move but only I will stretch first.

Brock:               I like this.  I think we’ve talked about many, many times about how stretching before some sort of thing like playing a football game or playing a hockey game, or something, doing static stretching is not a good idea but it is a good idea when you’re doing other things.

Ben:                   Yeah, it does not warm up the muscle it decreases force production, blah blah blah, all these stuff that we all kinda know about these days.  There are actually four different kinds of stretching.  Four, count them.  There is this ballistics stretching, that’s the rapid bouncy stretches where you’re using momentum to theoretically stretch to the maximum but that’s not the way muscles really work.  You can’t really, actually stretch your muscles to the maximum by bouncing.

Brock:               That’s why we got the Gold Yee tendon form.

Ben:                   Uh huh, so the muscle produces an inhibition reflex that would actually keep it from lengthening as you’re bouncing to keep the muscle from tearing.  So ballistics stretching, there’s really no place for ballistics stretching.  All muscles do is respond to that type of stretching by contracting to prevent themselves from over extending.

Brock:               Panicking. They’re like oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap!  That’s what would my muscles say.

Ben:                   Dynamic stretching is where you’re walking, moving, lunging, twisting, and often times swinging a muscle through a range of motion.  And this type of stretching is not effective because it lengthens the muscle.  It’s effective because it increases blood flow to the muscle and it begins to neurologically wake up the muscle to go through certain movement patterns.  Now it can, when it increases the blood flow prevent arterial stiffness, it can help to produce synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints that are surrounded by the muscles, which can help you to basically feel a lot better during exercise if you tend to get joint pain during exercise, and it can also assist with balance, and posture, and coordination during exercise.  There is no evidence though that it actually increase flexibility or elongate muscle tissue or make you able to move through a much, much greater range of motion, okay.  So really dynamic stretching is basically just exercising.  It’s a fancy term for exercising.  It’s like a dynamic stretch technically if I’m gonna do a squat, would be doing 20 body weight squats, right?  So dynamic stretching does work, but it doesn’t work because it increases flexibility.  Now there’s also another type of stretching called PNF stretching, that would be the third type of stretching, and PNF stands for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching.  Now when I was a personal trainer I always thought it was very, very impressive that I would take my clients and I would tell them that we’re going to do proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching.  And they would be all like – oh my gosh, I want to pay you extra for this.  But what it involved was, or what it involves is you have a partner who will resist you contracting a muscle, say like your hamstrings as you’re lying on your back, pushing your hamstrings down against that partner who is resisting it and then you relax, and then they push you to an even greater range of motion and then you relax and they push you.  The idea behind it is when you contract a muscle then you relax it, it releases some of that inhibition, that goggy tendon organ you mentioned.  The inhibition from that and the muscle is able to, basically the joint, specifically is able to move through a little bit greater range of motion.


                           But it also has no evidence showing that it increases flexibility or makes the muscle stretchier.  All that it really does is temporarily in that  moment, allow our muscle to move through a slightly greater range of motion, but once you’re done with it, there’s no evidence of increased flexibility.  And then finally the fourth type of stretching is the static stretching, and static stretching is where you stretch and hold a muscle and there is actually some evidence to show that this can increase flexibility but it’s not by making the muscle longer or elongating the muscle fibers it’s because it increases your tolerance to the physical discomfort with that stretch.  Isn’t that interesting?  So it’s all neurological when you’re reaching and touch your toes and everyday you can go a little bit farther, it’s not because your hamstrings are getting longer per se, it’s simply because you have a greater neurological tolerance to the discomfort produced by that stretch.

Brock:               So, it’s like resetting your central governor for stretching.

Ben:                   Right, exactly.  So, when you look at someone who may need a very great range of motion, say like a gymnast or a skater, or a dancer, or someone like that.  Static stretching for very long periods of time or literally talking about holding stretches for 20 minutes, I mean, doing hamstrings for 20 minutes, etc.  It can definitely increase flexibility but again don’t get the impression that they’re getting super stretch in long muscle fibers, that’s not what’s happening.  What’s happening is they’re getting less inhibition of moving through that range of motion.  Okay, so that’s what happening when you’re doing those long static stretches.  So, it’s really interesting, and hopefully the way that I’ve described that helps to dispel some of the myths out there about stretching.  But…

Brock:               I think you just ruined thousands of years of yoga.

Ben:                   Well no, I’ve written a really comprehensive article on yoga and the fact is, that yoga can decrease blood pressure.  It can decrease stress.  It can decrease cortisol.  So can Taichi.  But in Taichi, by the way, for those of you who’ve done it, you’ll know, it doesn’t involve much stretching.  The relationship between yoga and Taichi is awareness, focus, breathing, and it’s those things that decrease blood pressure and that give you those cardiovascular benefits or those hormones stabilizing benefits.  It’s not the elongation of the muscle fibers because a muscle fiber is not like a rubber band, like many of us have been lead to believe.  A muscle fiber – if you look at it, I’ve dissected a lot of cadavers.  I’ve spent 3 years in college dissecting cadavers and muscle fibers…

Brock:               Isn’t that thing with Jessa?

Ben:                   Oh yeah, baby.  Actually, before one of our first dates, I was in the Anatomy lab dissecting cadavers and I actually spilled a bunch of formaldehyde and human fat all over my feet.  I remember sitting at the movie theater and I can smell the formaldehyde coming off my feet and I was just hoping, keeping my fingers cross inside that she could not smell the dying tissue preservative coming out of my skin.

Brock:               This guy’s really nice but really stinks.

Ben:                   He smells dead.  So anyways, muscle is more like a giant type t-shirt that covers your body.  The combination of muscle and fascia and everything, and it’s like you can pull that t-shirt a little bit, you can move it a little bit, you can adjust it but you can’t stretch it that well.  So, and actually my kids can stretch their t-shirts really far.  It’s made of some crappy analogy.  ‘Cause my kids are like…

Brock:               Uhmm, it depends on what their shirt is made of, I guess.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah, exactly.  But the idea – I should say rope, right?  Muscles are a little more like rope, then it is like rubber band.  There.  That was more concise.  I do really…

Brock:               I think you started and said, things like your Achilles tendon is more like the telephone wires that you see going towards the city.

Ben:                   Uhmm, yeah.  Yup.

Brock:               That in flex, or that in stretchable.

Ben:                   Yup, exactly.  Now, I do really like this book and I’ll put a link to it in the show notes, it’s called “Stretching Your Boundaries: Flexibility Training for Extreme Calisthenic Strength”.  A really interesting take on stretching and what the author of that book does go into are certain ranges of motion that all healthy, able body people should be able to perform.  And I actually do – I do like the approach to this and I’ll tell you what those positions are.  One is, you should be able to get into a deep squat position.  Both of your heels flat on the floor and your calves and hamstrings touching its other.  Okay?


Dump in the wood position, right?  Everybody should be able to move to that range of motion of the dumping wood position.  Yeah, and don’t get me wrong, this is a reflection of mobility and range of motion more than it is stretchy, stretchy muscles.  Another one, is to be able to bend over and touch your toes with your knees close to being walked.  And that also is a great range of motion test.  It’s not necessarily meaning that your hamstrings are super duper stretchy.  What it does mean though is that you got good pelvic mobility, right? – in the mobile low back and thoracic spine to be able to bend down and touch your toes.  Another one, is that you should be able to lie flat on your back with your leg straight and your lower body in contact with the ground.  What’s called a hollow spine position, and when you’re in that position lying down, you should be able to reach your arms overhead and put both of your wrists flat on the floor behind you.  That’s an indicator that you have good thoracic spine.  People who can work on computers all day, they can’t do this stretch.

Brock:               Yeah, I can’t do it.

Ben:                   And the best way to get yourself to be able to have that thoracic spine mobility for doing that is to just do that position but put a foam roller under your back so that you’re increasing or even a couple of like lacrosse balls taped together, and that helps to increase the thoracic mobility necessary to achieve that position.  Okay, another one is that when you’re standing up, you should be able to pick up one of your legs and basically do like that cross-legged chair position while you’re standing up by putting that leg up on a table, a raise surface, even like sitting down into a cross-legged chair position with your foot that is off the ground on top of your supporting knee, so basically you should be able to sit down in a chair if you’re sitting cross down-cross again in a chair without the chair.

Brock:               Oh, get leg done figure four.

Ben:                   Yup, exactly.  Figure four, exactly the figure four.  I’m sorry, I forgot that Canadians only speak in numbers.

Brock:               Yes!

Ben:                   Yes, the figure four position.  And then the last one, people always love this one.  You gotta reach one arm from above your back, one arm from below your back, and touch the tips of your fingers together.

Brock:               Alright, good lord.

Ben:                   That’s what we’re talking about when you reach back much.  You get people should be able to do that.  If you can do those 5 things, you’re good to go like you’ve got good mobility, that’s sounds a pretty good benchmark.  I will put a link in the show notes to his book, if you really wanna delve into this even more.  But…

Brock:               I don’t.  It’s making me feel bad about myself.

Ben:                   Are you tryin’ it right now?

Brock:               Yes.  I’m the word near.  I got my shoulder and maybe my scapula.

Ben:                   Uhmm, maybe you need to shave.

Brock:               Perhaps the beard is holding me back.  Nope, I can’t.

Brayden:           Hi Ben!  I’d like to get a real assessment of my naturally occurring nutrient levels.  How long should I wait to take a blood test after having stopped my vitamin D supplement.  Thank you very much.

Brock:               Yeah, I guess you don’t necessarily want a whole bunch of supplemental vitamin D boosting up your levels, unless you’re planning on taking them forever.

Ben:                   I don’t know.  Yeah, I mean like, when I go in for blood test though, I just like to just open the refrigerator and take everything and see what kind of chemical soup shows up in my bloodstream.

Brock:               You’ve baffled the doctor into thinking… what the hell?  Your vitamin loaded with everything.

Ben:                   Yes, he takes off the chart.  You have fish oil, globules in your cholesterols, and your white blood cells are filled with adaptogenic herbs.  That’s a good thing, right?  Anyways though, yes.  If you wanna watch out – well, first of all, let’s talk about this.  What type of supplements are going to affect a lab test in a way that might skew the results, right?

Brock:               Yeah, some things have a really short half-life and they’d be out of your body really quickly anyway.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Let’s say you’re going to get screen for riboflavin, and riboflavin deficiencies are B vitamin deficiencies that something a lot of people have.  If you’re gonna tested for those, you’d wanna avoid anything that has a B vitamin in it but you would also – if you’re just going to get a urine test, that’s looking using a color of your urine on a dip stick to indicate like acidity, etc. stuff like that.  If you’re taking a B12, then that also – if you’re taking any vitamin B supplement, that can also interfere with a urine test that’s being done for color.  So, that’s one that you’d wanna avoid.  Folic acid would be another or anything that contains a form of folate.  If you’re being tested for a vitamin B deficiency and you take like a methyltetrahydrofolate or folic acid or something like that, then it can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency.  So basically what I’m getting down to is, anything that’s got vitamin B in it, wash that out prior to going in for a test.

Brock:               Now that include like foods that are really high in vitamin D or vitamin B?


Ben:                   No.  I mean, unless they’re – let’s put it this way – I mean like, if you’re gonna test firstly, you’re gonna be overnight fasted, right?  And second of all, you’re gonna – probably be eating a normal staple diet comprises of the things that you’d normally eat.  So, and that’s for my beef with the underlying assumption behind Brayden’s question might lie.  And that is that if you’re gonna be taking supplements anyways, why would you wanna test your blood to see what it looks like in the absence of those.  I guess – No, you know, I take that back.  It does make sense what you’re saying.

Brock:               I think the supplement side, make sense but the food side doesn’t.  My question doesn’t make sense but this…

Ben:                   We’re going down a deep, deep [0:35:48.5] ______ now.  Damn it Brock.  Uhm, okay.  So, a few other things, calcium.  Calcium, if you’re taking calcium supplement and you’re getting a bone density scan, actually calcium can give an artificially high reading on a bone density scan.  So using any like CalMag supplement or multivitamin has calcium in it, you actually wouldn’t wanna do that prior to a bone scan, like a dexa scan.  Then there are supplements that have blood thinning properties, okay, like fish oil, gingko, ginger, and garlic, and a lot of things that you’re gonna find like anti-inflammatories, etc.  There are some tests that measure things like prothrombin and what’s called a blood coating ratio and if you’re test is going to look at any clotting factors, you would not wanna take these type of blood thinning supplements prior to that.  So, that’s another one to kinda avoid.  Those would be most of the biggies as far as things that are going to directly mess up a lab test.  So, that was a long answer to Brayden’s question.  Here’s a short answer, most every study that’s done on supplements and especially supplements that are done looking at populations when they’re on a supplement.  Doing a certain activity like say, a workout and then off that same supplement and then coming back to the same workout, what they generally use is a 10 day wash out period, okay.  That means that, for 10 days you don’t take it.  So, that’s generally what’s use in research and I would say that based off of that Brayden,  that’s about what you’d be looking at for stopping taking a supplement prior to getting a blood test would be a 10 day wash out period.

Brock:               So, is the wash out period, does that actually entail any washing out?  Like drinking a bunch of water or…

Ben:                   No, no.  It’s just the term that they use in literature although you could try to swallow a bunch of soap.  Just make sure it’s good edible soap like…

Brock:               Just make sure you swish it around blood before you rinse.

Ben:                   Dr. Bronner’s… Do you and Dr. Bronner’s gonna come on our podcast?

Brock:               No!  I didn’t know he’s a real person.

Ben:                   He really is.  I didn’t know this either until he wrote me and… there is a Dr. Bronner and he’s gonna be on the podcast.  Talking about soap, and GMO, and personal care products, and sorts of cool stuff.  So, I’m actually interviewing him next month.

Brock:               And I will have Dr. Sholes on.

Ben:                   He’s a real person just like Colonel Sanders.

Nathan:            Hey Ben and Brock, Nathan here.  Would love to hear your thoughts on cafestol content in coffee, whether it can actually affect cholesterol in a negative fashion.  My understanding is that there is more cafestol in Arabica coffee which is more commonly used over a buzz of these days but the cafestol content can also be minimized with a paper filter when making coffee.  Does that negative effect of cafestol on cholesterol levels have more to do with pop culture misconception about cholesterol in general or should I actually be concerned about the type and preparation of my coffee.  Thanks for your time and for an absolutely wonderful show.

Ben:                   Alright, coffee drinkers, set down that mug of coffee that you’ve heard it’s so healthy for you because… they finish right.  Coffee can raise your cholesterol.  There is actually a compound in coffee called cafestol that can elevate your cholesterol.  It’s really interesting how it does that to.  It hijacks this receptor in your intestinal pathway and in particular where it acts upon is your liver and what it can do – and they’ve actually investigated the biochemical background of how cafestol actually works.  Is it inhibit bio-acids synthesis.  Bio-acid synthesis being what helps you to breakdown cholesterols, breakdown fats, etc.  Which is why some people if they have coffee and then have a really fatty filled breakfast like eggs with cheese and bacon, and stuff like that.  They can’t digest that well that’s because bio-acid is inhibited.

Brock:               Which is why it’s actually shut down.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So, it’s really, really interesting.  It’s probably also why people who do the bulletproof coffee thing, even though bulletproof coffee has a lot of cool effects, tend to have higher levels of LDL and triglycerides if they’re not careful with the way that they prepare that coffee because believe it or not, you can get rid of this cholesterol elevating cafestols.


                           So, it is possible to hack your coffee and then hack it again by making it bulletproof.  So…

Brock:               Oh man.  This sounds really complicated.  Coffee.

Ben:                   I know.  Okay, I will make this simple for you.  So, cafestol and kahweol are fat soluble compounds that you find in coffee known as diterpenes.  Okay, they’re present in the oil that derives from coffee beans.  Now, these diterpenes can raise your cholesterol and they can raise your cholesterol not just by the fact that they are basically fat soluble compounds themselves but they can also raise your cholesterol via their inhibition of that bio-acid synthesis that I’d talked about.  So, you will find in Arabica beans – which are I generally what I recommend anyways because they are lower in fungus and micotoxins and are generally healthier growing in higher drying climates, etc.  Those contain both cafestol and kahweol, and the other type of beans, the robusta, robusta beans depending on what part of the world you’re in.  How’d you say it in Canada?

Brock:               Uh, I think it’s really boring, robusta.

Ben:                   Uh, you know how we say it in Washington State?  RobustaRobusta!

Brock:               Ah, robustaAtutu robusta!

Ben:                   I make love to you all night long then I make you omelet and give you some robusta! Uhmm.  Okay, so robusta beans contain about half as much of that cafestol.  And cafestol actually does raise your cholesterol much more potently than kahweol does.  So technically, even though the Arabica beans, I know it’s getting confusing, are lower in micotoxins and fungus and all that jazz, they do have higher levels of this potential cholesterol increasing compound.  Now, here is the cool thing though, both of these type of compounds – the cafestol and the kahweol, they’re extracted by hot water but they are retained by a paper filter.  So this means that, boiled coffee, Turkish coffee, French press coffee, (sorry, French press lovers) these actually contain relatively high amounts of cafestol and especially if you’re like a bulletproof coffee person or someone who’s doing a high fat breakfast, you really wouldn’t want coffee that was not prepared with some type of A-paper filter method.  Filtered coffee, percolated coffee, anything like that, that you’re using a filter for or like the Aeropress – that’s the one that I use.

Brock:               Oh yeah!  Like crazy squeezy thing.

Ben:                   Uh uh!  That filters out most of these cafestols and lowers that diterpene concentration.

Brock:               Does espresso has bpa into it?

Ben:                   A espresso does have actually pretty high levels of the diterpenes like the cafestol and stuff but even espresso are in smaller serving size, either way you’re gonna get some with the espresso.  So, anytime there’s a not a really some kind of a paper involved, you’re generally gonna have higher levels of these potentially cholesterol increasing compounds in coffee.  So basically, you may want to change up your brewing method and use something that contains paper filters which remove those specific coffee oils.

                           Now, you wanna hear something that’s even more confusing and may really spin your brain.

Brock:               Kinda.  Uhh, maybe.

Ben:                   When you drink bulletproof coffee, like one of the things that you’re doing, when you’re putting MCT oil and butter, and stuff like that in the coffee, is you’re enhancing the ability of these fat-soluble compounds, the diterpenes to cross the blood brain barrier and cause some of that cognitive performance enhancing effect that bulletproof coffee can cause.  And so, you kind of have this paradox between raising levels of cholesterol significantly and suppressing bio-acids synthesis and your ability to digest fats, and increasing your cognitive performance.  So, it’s a real catch 22.  So yeah.  So ultimately I think the best way to go is that you use something with a paper filter or if you don’t wanna wash out those diterpenes because you want some of those cognitive performance enhancing effects, you take them in everything but maybe you do a little less butter, or a little less MCT oil in your coffee, or don’t have that coffee with a fatty breakfast or even, I guess the other way you could hack this, is you could take all that stuff and then you could take like a bio supplement like a lot of digestive enzymes contain bio-extract supplements.


                           Like ox bile extract and stuff like that.  Like the one that I recommend a lot – the Thorne FX digestive enzyme, that has a bile extract in it.  So, you could also – if you really want to have the best of both worlds, have your cafestols and your cognitive performance enhancing effects and also get your cholesterols would be to take a digestive enzyme with your coffee.  So, there you go, Nathan, I bet you didn’t know you’re gonna create so much confusion for so many people.

Brock:               So much confusion.  And really, this is like the – yes, where the end there about it being misunderstanding of cholesterol.  And this is really not because it raises cholesterol like “cholesterols” because of the…

Ben:                   It keeps it from getting broken down basically.  So yeah, it could potential create issues with high levels of circulating cholesterol or in my opinion even more concerning issue of inhibition of breaking down fat.  So, that can just create some digestive upset later on.  Some diaper time.

Brock:               Diaper time.

Ben:                   Diaper time.

Will:                  Hey Ben and Brock!  I have a question regarding biorhythms.  I’ve always been a night owl.  I find it very difficult to wake up early in the morning and I actually fall asleep around 2 AM and usually wake up around 10 AM.  Whenever I am forced to wake up early, I’m sure there’s a lot of negative symptoms like muscle fatigue, absent mindedness and some resistant GI problems way far from optimal functioning.  I try going to bed earlier, use different sleep aids, turn off all the lights, stay away from the computer, etc. but nothing ever since are really helping.  I just sitting, lying there in bed just staring the ceiling fully awake.  And this is most problematic when I signed up for ultra races.  For instance, I just ran 50 mile today and it had a 6 AM start time, I started off fast but after about 5 miles into the race, I quickly fatigue and felt back into, down to the back of the pack.  Then about 10 or 11 Am which is about my normal wake up time, my body seems to turn on and my performance drastically improves and I moved way up in the back you know, I pass through the rest of the race and I actually run stronger as the race got longer.  So, what are your thoughts on how I can resolve this issue especially if I can run as well in the morning as I do in the afternoon and evening then I can really kill these races.  So, I really appreciate your thoughts and thanks for everything you do and keep it up, guys.

Brock:               Will is like the complete opposite of me.

Ben:                   Uhm, you mean you wake up early and then you get tired at night and you go to bed?

Brock:               Yeah, I fall asleep on the couch before 10 or around 10 and then 4 or 5 AM, I wake up and like ready to go!

Ben:                   Uhm, yeah.  It’s all based on your sleep rhythms.  So, the idea here is that there are like 2 – it’s called a 2 process model of sleep regulation and this was actually something that was develop in 1982 in the field of sleep research at the University of Zurich where there was this article on the Journal of Human Neurobiology where they described this two process model of sleep and it really helps to understand why you might wake up a certain time, and how you could reset that sleep rhythm or hack that sleep rhythm to actually either wake up early or wake up later depending on what you wanna do.  And…

Brock:               That sounds like what we’ll need.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Just what we’ll needs.  So well, we’re gonna educate you.  So, this 2 process sleep rhythm thing is basically, you’ve got process one – which is called sleep pressure and what sleep pressure means is that from the moment you wake up in the morning, you get this pressure for sleep that mounts continuously until you sleep again.  So that sleep pressure helps you to fall asleep at night and it helps you stay asleep until the morning.  While you are asleep, sleep pressure decreases and after a night of complete sleep, you start the next day with low sleep pressure and if you are waking up really early, then you have low sleep pressure when you’re waking up, and if you’re sleeping in and you don’t wanna earlier but you’re sleeping in until 9 or 10, that means your sleep pressures like staying with you for really a long time into the morning but then your sleep pressure isn’t kicking in, right, until later on like 12 AM or 1 AM or 2AM or whatever.  So, the second part is called wake drive.  So, you’ve got sleep pressure, you’ve got wake drive.  So, wake drive is basically all the different parts of your brain are responsible for wakefulness producing this alerting signal that increases in intensity to counteract any type of sleep pressure.  So, sleep pressure is gonna build from the morning to the night but wake drive will also build from the morning to the night, and your alertness is going to increase as that wake drive goes up.


                           So you’ve got these two kinds of yin and yang cycles working together and ideally you’ve got wake drive that kicks in when you want it to kick in in the morning and if again to turn off as sleep pressure mounts as night approaches and then you fall asleep when that sleep pressure peaks and you go into your night rhythm.  So, the idea here is that you can tweak the sleep rhythm primarily with light.  And the cool thing is, that we already kinda talked about how you could do this.  So, let’s say that you want to reset your sleep rhythm and this works for when you’re travelling, this works for when you’re – like in Will’s case, for you just like, you’ve kinda set up this lifestyle where you’re stayin’ up awake late at night and getting up every morning, the way that you would reset the sleep cycle is you’re going to have to first of all force yourself.  Set the alarm whatever, blaring alarm clock, 9 inch nails, whatever you gotta do with your alarm clock to wake yourself up.  Or perhaps, nudge, nudge, wink, wink – one of those sunrise alarm clocks.  I talked about earlier if that’s able to get you up even though, it may not like if your sleep rhythm is really off.  You may actually like me – it’s full on like loud, blaring alarm clock.  The most annoying sound in the world. (making sounds)

Brock:               I tried to love to wake up to that.  We should make a little sound to people and sell that.

Ben:                   That’s right.  Anyways though, called the most annoying sound in the world to wake you up.  It can be just the one from dumb and dumber.  (sounds)  Okay, anyways Will, sorry about that segue.  The way that you would do this – you force yourself to get up when you wanna get up, okay?  Force it!  Make it happen – 6 AM, 7AM, whatever that time is.  And as soon as that happens, blam!  Bid yourself in blue light, okay.  Use one of those awaking alert bulbs I talked about, get yourself a blue light box, get outside in the sun, and if you have time, do some yoga in the sun or just like stand there blurry eyed wishing you could go back to bed just like staring in the sun in your backyard, in your underwear.

Brock:               You’re not going to point to the sun.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Whatever you wear to bed at night.  Your underwear, your night cap.  Anyways though, your negligee.  But you stand there staring at the sun or getting bathe in blue light.  Expose yourself to blue light, enhance that wake drive, right?  So that’s what we’re trying to do.  Okay, now what’s going to happen is that first of all, by jumpstarting that wake drive, you’re automatically going to shift your sleep pressure back earlier in the day because you’re just getting get more tired, right?  ‘Cause you force yourself to stay awake.  Now, you can also use adrenergic supplements.  You can use like caffeine, or you can use smart drugs: piracetam, aniracetam, ciltep, you name it, yeah.  Anything  you want to do to just basically put yourself in a hyper alert state in the morning even you don’t wanna be in that state.  Now, that’s gonna be really uncomfortable for a few days as you do this, I will admit.  But then what you wanna do is as soon as you are getting within about 3-4 hours going to bed or when the sun is setting, or whatever area in the world that you happen to be in, freakin’ limit blue light to the extreme, okay.  Blue light blocking glassesOnly red light in the areas that you’re in.  Putting flux on your computer, or screen deeming your phone.  Keeping the lights off as much as possible.  I mean, just do not tell your body or that it is constant daylight or anything like that as you’re getting into the evening hours, okay.

Brock:               Then go to Vegas.

Ben:                   Limiting TV, limiting computer use, limiting cell phone use, I know it sounds kinda extreme but this is what it takes to reset that circadian rhythm, okay.  So you might have a few days or you just go to the library, get these paper things, they’re called books, they don’t have lights, they don’t have flashing sounds, yeah.  Just a book.  Like a paper book or some magazines.  I actually in a process doing this right now ‘cause I’ve been travelling for 10 days, right?  So, like last night was a perfect example.  I turn on my little infrared light next to my bed and I crawled up with 3 magazines, okay.  No computer, no phone, nothing.  And that’s a really, really good way to just like basically doze off to bed and you just basically do that for several days in a row and it can take a little bit to reset that circadian rhythm, but that’s how you do it.  I mean, it sounds simple, and stupid, and it all kinda make sense when you think about it, but that’s how you reset a sleep cycle and all you’re doing is you’re shifting that rhythm, you’re shifting that two process model of sleep, right?  So, make sense?


Brock:               Yeah.  Did you mention the use of any melatonin to just sort of kick in that…

Ben:                   Oh, yeah.  I mean, in the same way that you would use adrenergic stimulants in the morning.  You could use melatonin.  You could if you don’t get addicted to it or use a long term getting use like phenibut which is a powerful inhibitory neurotransmitter that doesn’t make you groggy the next morning.  I’ve actually used sometimes before races and stuff when I really need to get to sleep but I don’t want the – like ambien, valium, all that stuff.  That can stay in your system like 48 hours and it can really inhibit muscle function.  Not something you want before triathlon or race or something like that but you could melatonin, you can use phenibut, you could use passion flower, you could use gamma aminobutyric acid.  There’s a variety of things that can do the trick when you need to get that evening relaxation.  Hemp oil, like the cannabis extract – that works really well like cbd oil.

Brock:               Oh yeah.  I haven’t tried that.  I wanna get to try that one of these days.

Ben:                   Yeah.  All sorts of ways to skin that cat.  So, yeah but basically any inhibitor in the evening along with the excitatory stuff in the morning.  So, I think that this is a perfect time to mention that we’re gonna do something special on this podcast episode.

Brock:               Uhmm,  that’s exactly why I chose this question for today.

Ben:                   Uhmm, we’re gonna sing you a song.

Brock:               Uh la, la, la, la.

Ben:                   No, Brock.  Joking, we’re not.  I know you’re excited to help but no, we’re not.  We’re actually gonna play you an excerpt from my book. (music playing)

Brock:               (singing)  Go to sleep, go to sleep.  Shot those big blood shot eyes…

Ben:                   Brock, no!  Actually, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna play folks an excerpt from my book.  The audio version of Beyond Training.  It’s getting release chapter by chapter right now to every person who is a part of the Ben Greenfield fitness premium channel.  That’s the special channel where you pay $10 for the whole year, yes, for the whole year.  And what happens is, you get access to every single past episodes we’ve ever done and you get access to things like, my audio book, PDFs, videos, all sorts of cool little thing  So, anyways…

Brock:               You got a thing coming out on Friday in fact.

Ben:                   That’s right.  We’ve got my entire bulletproof biohacking review and I called the bulletproof biohacking show, it’s just like off the hook, entertaining, slightly inappropriate…

Brock:               Slightly inappropriate, I edited it last night.  It gets in the blue.

Ben:                   Yeah, I was kinda jacked up on.  Smart drugs.  Anyways though, that’s gonna be part of the premium show but either way, what we’re gonna play you now is a portion of the Beyond Training book from chapter 10 called “How To Fix Insomnia” and if you want to get more after listening to what we’re about to play you, again, you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium.  And Brock and I will be right back after you listen in to this excerpt on how to fix insomnia.

                            Okay, so let’s talk about insomnia.  If you follow all the instructions that you just learn about how to get better sleep, it’s highly likely that you’re not gonna have to deal with insomnia again.  Once you’ve done things like darkened your room, you eliminated bright screens, and electromagnetic frequencies, introduced smart sleep supplementation into your protocol, and given yourself the freedom to engage in free-running sleep whenever possible, insomnia typically becomes a non-issue.  But, let’s say you pulled every trick out of the closet, you’re already using every imaginable sleep pack and you still can’t get to sleep.  In other words, for some reason you’re still experiencing full blown insomnia.  That’s driving you nuts and ruining your sleep, your productivity, your relationships and your life.  Assuming all the other strategies that I just got keep on describing have been established as lifestyle on sleep time.  There are 5 more strategies I’ve discovered which I recommend to my client or athletes I worked with who suffer from debilitating insomnia.  These strategies were either free of the body’s energy flowing meridians which are keeping you from sleep or eliminate hidden sleep stealers.  Number 1 is to eliminate parasites.  Okay, prepare to be grossed out.  Intestinal parasites which you can pick out from water, dirty food, or public toilets can affect your central nervous system and block your body from performing its normal body routines during sleep.  Parasites introduce toxins into your body that can cause restlessness and the shaky feeling making it difficult to rest and sleep.  And when you do finally get to sleep, a parasite can disrupt your body’s natural ability to efficiently detox via your liver.  So when you combine this with the fact that most parasites are nocturnal and get very active at night in your gut, this makes normal deep sleep pretty difficult.  Now, I’ve had parasitic infections before both which I think I’ve picked up in the racing triathlons overseas, swimming in nasty water.


In both cases about every 2 weeks just like clockwork when the parasites were hatching, yes, hatching.  I would have extremely restless nights of sleep in both cases I identified parasites using this at home poop test.  I eliminate the parasites using an intestinal cleanse and I started sleeping like a baby again.  So, sorry about that unpleasant visual.  The lab test that I did was called The GI Effect Test with Parasitology.  You could talk to your local natural health care practitioner about it.  I’ve also got a link to it if you want to oversee that test yourself over at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com.  Number 2, is to get rid of overtraining.  And as you learn back in chapter 7, having trouble gaining sleep at night, tossing and turning through the night, waking up much earlier than usual, and that happens in the early stages of overtraining or waking up much later than usual, and that happens in the later stages of overtraining.  These can all be signs of inadequate recovery or adrenal fatigue.  And when the early stages of overtraining, this type of insomnia is usually accompanied by a daily tired but wired feeling in which you get really tired at night, but you just can’t fall asleep because it feels like your mind and your body are both racing.  In the later stages of overtraining, insomnia actually becomes a non-issue as you tend to just fall asleep, stay asleep, sleep late, but never be recovered no matter what you do because your body is depleted of the building blocks necessary for night time repair.  So, the fix for this is pretty easy.  Go back to chapter 8 and listen to chapter 8 ‘cause I give you everything you need to know to get rid of overtraining.  Okay number 3, is to lower night time stress and it’s no secret that work in lifestyle stress can keep you awake at night.  Earlier in this chapter, you learn a bunch of the stress control methods that can come in handy.  And it may sound simple but the very best insomnia beating night time stress can sort strategy that I found is just to have a hard stop.  Sixty minutes before bed.  That’s the point at which you stop responding to emails, you stop thinking about work, you stop paying bills, you stop studying, you stop reading “how to” books, or doing any mentally demanding or even mildly stressful tasks.  And from this point until bedtime, you do things like read for pleasure, play an instrument, have sex, watch something funny, of course with your blue light blocking glasses and screen deemer turned on, of course.  Or you just chill.  Number 4 is acupuncture.  Okay, this may not seem like poking fine needles into your body with somehow help you to sleep better but a 1999 study, I’ll link to over at beyondtrainingbook.com/chapter10, found that acupuncture improves sleep quality and normal people with insomnia.  And there was another study in 2004 that found acupuncture help and increase evening melatonin production and total sleep time.  And patients who got it in this study fell asleep faster, they were less aroused at night and experience less stress.  And the researchers concluded that acupuncture treatment may be of value for some categories of anxious patients with insomnia.  Another study found that acupuncture improves sleep all in patients with HIV which is actually a condition that can cause insomnia.  This makes sense because an added benefit of acupuncture is relief from chronic pain which can also be a contributor to sleeplessness.  So, back in chapter 8 – the chapter in overtraining, I gave you a bunch of good information on acupuncture for recovery and finding an acupuncturist.  So, go listen to that or read it.  Number 5 is to fix mineral imbalances.  And, I feel I’m like repeating myself here but as you also learn in chapter 8, correcting mineral imbalances can be one good way to fight adrenal fatigue.  So if you find your sleeplessness and insomnia is accompanied by this feeling of blood pounding in your ears as you try to fall asleep at night, or rapid annoying heart rate, this maybe because your room is too hot but it may also be because you’re in early stage of adrenal fatigue.  You have a mineral imbalance or you sweated out too many electrolytes in the day where the week of training.  And I found that there are many sleepless nights just getting out of bed and having 1-2 teaspoons, yes, that’s 3-6 grams of an extremely mineral rich sea salt can help tremendously with this issue.  So you can get a basic Himalayan sea salt from Amazon or at the grocery store, sometimes the source of those can be effie and it’s not as high quality as another couple options I’ll give you but in a pinch (pun intended) this stuff is actually pretty decent.  There’s another company called Onnit and they make a Himalayan salt.  I’ll link to over at beyondtrainingbook.com/chapter10 and the salt deposits from which this salt is mined were deposited long before the earth became polluted with heavy metals, pesticides, and PCBs.  So it’s pretty pristine stuff, it’s spendy but it’s a better choice if you’re concern about quality.  And finally if you don’t mind spending a lot of money on salt, there’s a stuff called Real Good Salt, from Astec and it’s naturally flavored, organically harvested, artisanal salt that’s higher in minerals than either the other salts sources that I listed.  So, it’s a gold centered salt and a lot expensive, I personally keep at least 1 bag in my pantry at all times and use it sparingly.


So you can mix any of these into a glass of water before bed at night or into a post workout glass of water and fortunately all of these salts are pretty dang delicious on food too.

Brock:               Wake up!  Wake up!  We’re back.

Ben:                   Okay.

Brock:               You have such a lovely reading voice.

Ben:                   Uhmm, that’s right.  I spend a lot of time in a rocking chair, crocheting, reading aloud…

Brock:               to yourself.

Ben:                   To myself.  I spend a lot of time by myself.

Brock:               Anyway, that’s funny.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Let’s do this week’s iTunes review.  So, if you hear your review right on the show, then we send you a cool package of Ben Greenfield fitness swag.  Water bottle, t-shirt, beanie, all sorts of cool stuff, and the way that you get that is you go to iTunes and you find the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast or you can go to the show notes for this episode at bengreenfieldfitness.com/295 and you just basically click the section that says, leave your review for a chance to win some.  And then if you hear us read your review, just email [email protected] with your mailing address and your t-shirt size, and we’ll get this right out to you.  And it’s not a big cotton t-shirt, it’s one of those cool tech t-shirts that makes you look awesome muscular.

Brock:               Yeah.  So they tell you their sex as well?

Ben:                   For this particular one, that might be interesting.  Yes.

Brock:               Yeah, sometimes that means do not indicate anything.

Ben:                   Yeah, alright.  Why don’t you read this next one, Brock.

Brock:               I’m assuming this one by sritunes22 or senior, sir iTunes maybe.  And the title is, Seriously this podcast will change your life.  Five stars.

Ben:                   Five stars baby!  Yeah!

Brock:               “Number 1: Ben is awesomely hot.  He is my dream man (don’t worry Jessa I know he is taken) but I hope there are more Ben Greenfield’s out there.”

Ben:                   That’s okay.  My wife doesn’t listen in to the show.  You can say stuff like that on iTunes and I won’t get in the dog house.

Brock:               There isn’t a Ben out there but your – is your brother single?

Ben:                   Uh hm

Brock:               Is Zack single?

Ben:                   No!  He’s not.  No.

Brock:               ‘Cause he’s actually a hotter version of Ben.

Ben:                   Thank you.

Brock:               Sorry.  It’s true.  Anyway, “Number 2: Brock maybe hot… I have never seen him.  But he is super chill.”  I’ve never heard myself describe this super chill.  That’s great!  “and is great at making humorous side comments.”

Ben:                   May I interject that Brock is funny and funny looking.  He has a great voice for radio but he is super chill.

Brock:               And yeah, and that’s the reason why I’m not on television.

Ben:                   Boom!

Brock:               I have a huge growth.  Uhm, “and many of which go right over Ben’s head.”  Referring to the humorous comments.  “Number 3…”

Ben:                   So, she’s basically saying I’m stupid but good looking and you are not hot but you do have many humorous side comments I can’t understand.  That’s where we wrap right now with this review.

Brock:               I think that’s an accurate summary.  Yeah.

Ben:                   Let’s keep this thing going.

Brock:               So, the number 3. “I am a health care professional with expertise in nutrition and integrative medicine.  I have learned more applicable information about current research, nutrition, and physiology from Ben in the past 4 months of listening and reading his book than I have in most of my classes.”

Ben:                   Okay, remind all of us not to go to whatever school you went to.

Brock:               She’s going to the school of health care and arc welding.  “Number 4: If you want optimal and superhuman health, this podcast and Ben’s book are the rosetta stone to understanding crafting your body and quality of life the best it can be.”  Thank you for…

Ben:                   The rosetta stone was for learning Spanish.

Brock:               I think it’s for learning any language in… yeah, just or like the babel fish you put in your ear.  Uhm, “Thank you for your infinite education and entertainment on all my half marathons and long commutes.  Ben, if you ever make a clone, please send him my way.”

Ben:                   I did make a clone.  But it’s a sheep, so.  I hope you got in Montana…

Brock:               Yeah.  It’s very smart and awesomely hot.

Ben:                   Sheep.  But you could shave the sheep with your blades from Harry’s – sponsor for this podcast.  So, there’s that.

Brock:               Nice!  I like that.

Ben:                   Not only sash swatches and kittens but also sheep.  Well, I think that wraps this up, so.  You can leave your review in iTunes.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/295 for all the resources that we talked about in this show.  Remember to email me if you’re interested in the whole biohacksblog.com involvement and stay tune next week to find out if I died in love fields of life.  Have a wonderful week everyone!

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

[1:10:38.4]     END      

295: Red-Light And Blue-Light Biohacking Tips, Can Coffee Raise Cholesterol, The Ultimate Guide To Stretching & More!


Click for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Oct 1, 2014 Podcast: Ben’s Ultimate Guide To Stretching, Should You Stop Taking Supplements Before A Blood Test, Can Coffee Raise Cholesterol, How To Reset Your Sleep Cycle, and an excerpt of “How To Fix Insomnia” from Chapter 10 of Ben Greenfield’s Beyond Training book.

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:

Visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com/aded – to get Yuri Elkaim’s new All Day Energy Diet cookbook for free (with recipes like hemp balls, natural gatorade and green cappuccino)! This week you get free videos all week long from Yuri, including “The Worn-Out Weight Gain Connection”, “How to Kill Cravings” and “How to Make Healthy Eating Stick”.

October 8-13: Ben will be speaking at the Ironman Sports Medicine conference in October during Ironman Hawaii. He will be presenting on nutrition myths and alternative methods of fueling Ironman (and Brock will be there too).

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.

Ben’s Ultimate Guide To Stretching

Brandon asks: He wants to know all about stretching. He hears that some people advocate fast stretching, with quick pulses for a neurological effect. Some like stretching for a long period of time to really get to the deep fascia. Which is best and when should you use them?

Should You Stop Taking Supplements Before A Blood Test?

Brayden asks: He wants to get a complete view of his naturally occurring blood nutrient levels. How long should he wait after he has stopped taking a supplement (Vitamin D) to get his blood tested?

Can Coffee Raise Cholesterol?

Nathan asks: He has heard that the cafestol content in brewed coffee can effect cholesterol levels in a negative fashion. Is there more in arabic vs. robusta beans? Is this issue limited by using a filter? Is this even an issue or is it just another symptom of people misunderstanding of cholesterol?

How To Reset Your Sleep Cycle

Will asks: He has always been a night owl and finds it hard to wake up early. He usually goes to bed at 2am and wakes up at 10am. When he is forced to wake up early he experiences muscle fatigue, absentmindedness, GI issues, and far from optimal functioning. He has tried going to bed early using all kinds of techniques and nothing helps. He just lays there in bed awake. This is an issue with ultra races. The first part of the race is terrible but the back half (when he would normally be awake) he picks up the pace and kills it.

In my response I recommend:
-Morning blue light box exposure
-Evening red light and blue blocking glasses (see GreenfieldFitnessSystems for light solutions)

– This podcast finished with an excerpt of “How To Fix Insomnia” from Chapter 10 of Ben Greenfield’s Beyond Training book, click here to go Premium and get access to each audio chapter as it is released! –


– 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!


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How To Stop Sitting From Killing You: The Sitting Solution.


I’ve got one problem with the whole “sitting is the new smoking” movement.

There’s a lack of practical solutions for how to fix what happens to your body when you sit, how to structure your workday to minimize the damage of sitting, and how to make your body bulletproof to the issues with sitting.

So in today’s podcast, I interview physical therapists Chad Walding and Brenda Walding, authors of the new book “The Sitting Solution: How To Save Your Spine, Body & Life.

During the interview, Chad and Brenda discuss what happens to your body when you sit, why standing may not be the best solution, how to fix the issues that happen to your body when you sit, and the unique set of problems facing athletes who sit.

Below is a sample screenshot from The Sitting Solution that shows how you could easily structure your workday using the techniques we talk about in this episode:


This podcast is brought to you by Rebel Desk. At RebelDesk.com, you can use code “BEN” to get $40 off their Rebel Crank-Up desk and you can use code “GREENFIELD” to get $20 off the Rebel Chair that comes with their desk. 

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about how to stop sitting from killing you? Leave your thoughts below, and be sure to check out The Sitting Solution!

Why The Future Of Health Is Better Than You Think.

Lab on a chip

A few months ago, we had an amazingly popular podcast episode with Steven Kotler, author of “Decoding The Science of Ultimate Human Performance“.

During that podcast, Steven mentioned another book he co-wrote with Peter Diamandis (famous founder of the X-Prize Foundation) called “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think“. Frankly, I thought this other book sounded like a bit of an airy-fairy, positive thinking, Everything Is Awesome (cue Lego movie soundtrack here) type of a book.

But then, over the course of just one week, three more people recommended this book to me, including SEALFit commander Mark Divine. So I figured I should probably read it. And I did.

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think is based on a contrarian view that exponentially growing technologies and other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions on our planet, that the gap between the privileged few and hardscrabble majority is closing fast, and that this is drastically affecting human access to everything from water to food, energy, healthcare, education, and freedom.

In today’s podcast, you’re going to learn why Steven believes that the future of health is better than you may think, and how you can help make all this a reality. During our discussion you’ll learn:

abundance-book-What the pyramid of abundance is…

-What Steven means about your stress levels when he says “if it bleeds, it leads”…

-How you can grow enough food to feed 9 billion people using vertical farming, skyscrapers “growing food in water”…

-Creative ways to get the world’s population more protein…

-Where “synthetic life” like algae come in for creating biofuel…

-A special new kind of toilet that can power your house with your own feces…

-How a Star-Trek like Tricorder and a Lab On A Chip would work…

-Whether we can actually use genetics to stop obesity…

-What the next steps are, and how can you can take action…

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about the book “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think“? Do you disagree with Steven? Leave your thoughts below!

8 Energy Boosting Desserts, Yoga For Energy, Food Labels Made Easy, A Kitchen Makeover, And More!

yuri elkaim book

A few weeks ago, my friend Yuri Elkaim (pictured above) published a book. Yuri is a bit of an outlier and renegade in the nutrition and health community. His mission is to empower everyday men and women with proper nutrition and health wisdom so they can take better control of their own health.

He also holds High Honours degree in Physical Education and Health/Kinesiology from the University of Toronto, is a former professional soccer player, and for 7 seasons acted as the strength & conditioning/nutrition coach for the nationally ranked men’s soccer program at the University of Toronto.

Some refer to him as the “health whisperer” for being to get to the heart of what matters and produce amazing health, weight loss, and fitness results where there seemed little hope.

I interview Yuri in today’s podcast, and in this episode, we talk about protein digestibility, enzyme exhaustion, why most juicing recipes are no good, and much more.

I must admit, Yuri’s new book “The All Day Energy Diet” is not the kind of book I would not normally read.

After all, Yuri – despite being an ex-professional soccer player – is bigtime into juicing, cleanses, detoxing – and I guarantee the guy eats far, far less steak than me…

…so I would *almost* classify him as a Whole Foods hippie.

But his book is, frankly, brilliant.

All day energy dietIt covers dietary concepts that I haven’t ever seen discussed in a book – concepts like:

-adjusting your blood pH with the foods you eat…

-how to test your adrenals without expensive lab tests…

-which foods literally exhaust your digestive enzymes…

-a new thing called the “PRAL” load of specific meals…

-six myths about plant protein

-how to choose the best kinds of coconut oil and butter…

-and much more.

I learned a ton from this book, and Yuri is a fellow athlete, a father, and a very smart dude, so I’m happy to tell you about his new book.

Better yet, if you click here to get the book now, you get the following ten bonuses (easily worth way more than what you pay for the book of course – $577 to be exact)…

1. The All-Day Energy Diet Community Cookbook ($29 value)

Features 67 energizing, gluten/sugar/soy/dairy-free recipes that take less than 15 minutes to make from some of the industry’s leading experts and a few of our very own customers (including two recipes by yours truly).

2. 8 Energy-Boosting Desserts ($19 value)

These yummy and healthy desserts will finally allow you to have your cake and eat it too, without the dangers of sugar, dairy, or gluten.

3. Food Labels Made Easy ($39 value)

Chances are you will still have some packaged foods from time to time. This walkthrough video and workbook shows you how to understand those tricky food labels so you don’t get taken for a ride.

4. The All-Day Energy Diet Grocery Guide ($19 value)

Get the complete list and quantities of foods you’ll need for The All-Day Energy Diet.

5. The All-Day Energy Diet Kitchen Makeover ($49 value)

Watch Yuri show you around the kitchen and see what you should and should not include your “energized” fridge and pantry.

6. The Bodyweight Energy Workout ($29 value)

Burn fat and get energized with this simple 20-minute follow-along bodyweight workout with Yuri.

7. Yoga for Energy ($29 value)

15-minute yoga routine to relax and rejuvenate your body.

8. The “Energy Sessions” audio series ($199 value)

Features 5 audio interviews with Dr. Alan Christianson (endocrine), Mitchell Stevko (sleep), me (fitness), Dr. Isaac Jones (cellular health), and Brendan Brazier (alkalinity).

9. 1-Hour “Getting Started” Group Coaching Call With Yuri ($99 value)

10. Lifetime Access To Yuri’s Private Facebook “Social Support” Group (priceless)

All these bonuses disappear Friday, by the way.

Just click here to get the All Day Energy Diet with all the bonuses listed above, and leave your thoughts or questions below! 

Underground Strength Training Secrets: How To Get Strong And Stay Strong Using Training Secrets Of The Athletic Elite.

lifting rocks

Zach Even-Esh – author of the new book the “Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning” – is one of my friends, and one of the few guys who I truly consider to be an absolute beast when it comes to physical strength.

But he wasn’t always so strong. As a kid, Zach was crippled by self-doubt, low self-esteem, depression and career-ending injuries.

Later in life, he got sidetracked by false prophets trumpeting bodybuilding lies that weakened him and had him beaten down over and over again by stronger, more agile, tougher opponents.

Faced by all these failures he could easily have thrown in the towel and contented himself with a comfortable, average role as a so-so athlete and so-so personal trainer. But Zach had a dream and a vision that was more powerful than the army of setbacks and the bouts of despair.

So he never quit in his relentless quest for athletic supremacy, and continued to persevere and struggle, through multiple odds and continued setback.

Things finally changed when he was told that he was put on earth to make people strong.

And that’s what Zach and I talk about on today’s podcast – not just his backstory, but also how he’s discovered a ton of secret, underground training methods that build strength fast in both men and women.

zach even-esh book

During our discussion, you’ll learn:

-Zach’s amazing story of how he got into underground style strength training…

-Zach’s favorite body weight training exercises that you rarely see people doing…

-How to get fit with nothing more than a picnic table…

-How you can make our own sandbag, and the #1 sandbag move that Zach recommends…

-The hardest workout Zach has ever done with a rock…

-The shocking ways you can get fit by just using a tire (and it goes way beyond tire flippin’!)…

-How you can get a keg and how you can use a keg for a workout…

-And much more!

Some of the world’s toughest—and most successful—men have endorsed Zach Even-Esh’s Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning as a must-have, go-to resource for developing the supreme athletic durability, multi-functional strength and spiritual fortitude they most prize.

Men like Joe De Sena, founder of The Spartan Race, who says:

“At Spartan, we have always said the world needs a thorough encyclopedia on strength and conditioning. Whether it is our own athletes attending our races, moms, or even the elite special forces we speak to, everyone is looking for an edge. Zach’s Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning is exactly what today’s society needs to build a stronger mind, body and life, just as we encourage here at Spartan. The inspirational life lessons shared in this book along with these training methods are what make this book powerful and timeless. You owe it to yourself to read this book if you want to change your life.”

And men like the warrior-athlete Mark Divine, founder of SEALFIT and Unbeatable Mind, NYT bestselling author of 8 Weeks to SEALFIT and The Way of the SEAL, says:

“When it comes to functional strength and conditioning—old school style—Zach Even-Esh has been there, done that. Zach is a master at developing young athletes who not only become world class at their sport, but also develop the strength of character to be successful at whatever they choose in life. I highly recommend this book, as it will open your eyes to reality-based training.”

So in the comments section below, feel free to let Zach and I know which of his methods you’ve tried, be sure to grab his new “Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning“, and leave any other feedback and thoughts!