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


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!


Ask Your Question

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#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)

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!

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


Ask Your Question

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


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 “KONA” to save 25% 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 B[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.

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


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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!


Ask Your Question

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


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!

#294: How Many Calories Do You Burn With Cold Thermogenesis, How To Build Muscle On A Vegan Diet, How To Use A Powerlung & More!

Photo of swimming in cold water

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

Sep 17, 2014 Podcast: How Many Calories Do You Burn With Cold Thermogenesis, Dangerous Ingredients In Muscle Rubs, Building Muscle On A Vegan Diet, How To Use A Powerlung, and Autoimmune Issues In Kids.

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)!

Visit GotHunts.com if you listened to the recent podcast on bowhunting or read the recent article on hunting fitness and you want the VIP Ben Greenfield treatment from the folks at GotHunts!

September 21-23: Ben will be speaking at The 431 Project - where astronauts, technologists, screenwriters, CEO’s, educators and more, will assemble in the picturesque Green Mountains of Vermont to take up a crucial call to action to end inactivity and obesity in the U.S.. Imagine Ted Talks meets Davos meets the National Geographic Channel. Vibrant fall foliage, fresh farm to table cuisine and world-class sommelier-curated wine lists are a bonus of this exclusive summit. If you want to connect, share, learn, have the time of your life AND change the world… get invited by requesting an invitation in the efforts to lead 300 million Americans towards positive choices, healthy living, and simple, sustained changes that will change their lives.

September 25-27: Ben will be presenting at The Vermont Traditional Foods and Health Symposium at Shelburne Farms. Inspired by the teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation, this event explores the core principals of how traditional diets can contribute to health, wellness, and longevity.

September 26-28: Ben will be speaking at 2014 Bulletproof Biohacking Conference in Pasadena – Dave Asprey has decided to extend the pre-sale ticket price of $400 until this Friday, August 1st. Dave is stacking this year’s event with an all-star speaker lineup of bestselling authors… entrepreneurs… Olympic athletes… nutritionists… world-class biohackers… and more… Plus, an interactive expo of the latest biohacking ‘tech’ – including cutting-edge gear designed to get you into hyper-productive “flow” state, courtesy of the Flow Genome Project. And YES, that means Dave is making sure all the best ‘toys’ are on display in one place – and you get to play with them… click here to get in now.

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.

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 Many Calories Do You Burn With Cold Thermogenesis?

Jared asks: He has been searching all over the net for the specific amounts of calories that are burned in an hour long session of all the different forms of Cold Thermogenesis.

more Cool Fat Burner breakthroughs

Autoimmune Issues In Kids

Andrew asks: His 4-year-old son has itchy skin (visibly fine) and a persistent cough (for 3 years now). He also has “insane mood swings”. He eats a real food diet (with some fruits and starches). He has tested positive for mould sensitivity. They dealt with as much mould as possible. They live in Australia so they can’t get tests without going through their doctor. What would you suggest they get tested?

Building Muscle On A Vegan Diet

Mark asks: He is looking for a soy free, vegan, muscle building program. He is a vegan athlete looking to put on some muscle. What food, meal plan, nutrition, supplements that would you recommend to put on some muscle?

How To Use A Powerlung

Michael asks: He wants to go “beyond training” with a Powerlung. He has read the book and listened to the interview with Gregg Wells. In it you said you use it twice a week but the instructions say to use it twice a day. What is the best way to use the Powerlung to get maximum benefit? Best sets and reps? Best rest? Should he use it in the morning or will that effect his run or spinning session? Is it better to use after a training session? Should he use it under a cold shower doing static lunges, with a weighted vest, being hooked to am EMS device with training bands on his legs to build up extra lactic acid while reading your book?

Dangerous Ingredients In Muscle Rubs

Mori asks: He came up with an ointment made up of coconut oil, topical magnesium and caffeine. He has been rubbing it on his sore knees, ankles and calves and it seems to be helping. He got the idea from a dream he had… do you think it really is helping or is it all in his head?


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

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

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


Ask Your Question

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Episode #294 – Full Transcript

Podcast #294 from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/09/294-how-many-calories-do-you-burn-with-cold-thermogenesis-how-to-build-muscle-on-a-vegan-diet-how-to-use-a-powerlung/


Introduction:           In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: How Many Calories Do You Burn With Cold Thermogenesis, Autoimmune Issues In Kids, Building Muscle On A Vegan Diet, How To Use Something Called A Powerlung, Dangerous Ingredients In Muscle Rubs, 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:               Hey, Ben!  How are you doin’ this mornin’?

Ben:                   I’m wide, wide awake and alert, dude.

Brock:               Oh, really!

Ben:                   I’ve been dumping stimulants into my body since I got up this morning.

Brock:               Do tell.

Ben:                   So, the first thing is that, my electrician finally showed up and installs the light bulbs in our house.  And I’ve chosen specific

Brock:               Have you been carrying candles around for the last 3 weeks…

Ben:                   With mostly been sunlight and it’s actually been really nice ‘cause I’ve fallen asleep at 9 PM ‘cause there’s been no light.  Anyways though, I’m using these new bulbs that are made by company called Lighting Science and so, in specific rooms of the house, like my office and my gym, the lights actually have more of the blue light waves spectrum and they’re brighter lights higher lumen.

Brock:               Ah!

Ben:                   And then, like in the bedroom…

Brock:               So you’re doing the opposite of the hack in the evening where you limit the blue light, you’re actually blasting yourself with blue lights in the morning.

Ben:                   Yeah!  And they also make a sleeping bulb – oh actually, I’ll be talking about some of the lighting techniques I’ve used in my house at next week.  So, Bulletproof Biohacking Conference down in Pasadena, and we’ll try and get some resources out for our listeners or recording of that out to our listeners.  Yes, that’s number 1, I’ve got light in my office now and I’ve got my awake and alert bulbs on, and it really is a pretty big blast of almost sunlight like light.

Brock:               So, is that better than actually standing like I’ve got window wide open right next to me with sunlight just streaming in.  Would I feel in any advantage of having that light bulb as well or is the sun still a preferable source?

Ben:                   I find that these direct lights overhead seem to enhance the sun.

Brock:               Nice!  Better than the sun!  That should be their slogan.

Ben:                   I could get skin cancer on Wednesday, I don’t know.

Brock:               Oh geez!

Ben:                   The other thing – oh, another couple of things, I took Ciltep this morning.  And…

Brock:               Me too!

Ben:                   … that was something that I believe you actually connected me with, Brock.

Brock:               Yeah.  Nick from the Natural Stacks contacted us and wanted us to go with the try.  And I was like – hell, yeah!

Ben:                   Yeah, so Ciltep then, ‘cause Brock and I are willing to try anything once.

Brock:               Or anything to our body once.

Ben:                   With molar zit pop off my ears or something but it’s a – Ciltep stands for chemically induced long term potentiation.  It’s like a smart drug basically.  Tim Ferriss made it popular in an article that he wrote.  And it’s a blend of artichoke extract, Coleus Forskohlii – which is a root, L-Phenylalanine, and Acetyl-Carnitine.  So, I just took some this morning when I got up.  It was the first time that I actually tap into that, and feeling good.

Brock:               The question is, did you mix it with the smart caffeine?

Ben:                   No.  But here’s the third thing that I did and then I’ll shut up.  This last thing is probably gonna scare away a lot of our listeners.  As maybe come a knowledge if you’ve been a long time listener to this podcast…

Brock:               Oh I know, I know where you’re going with this.

Ben:                   … or when you go to Ben Greenfield fitness blog, about once, every once to two weeks, I give myself an enema.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   So, I actually had a coffee enema about an hour ago in which you literally make coffee and you shoot it up your butt and it cleanses you from the inside, and you feel like clean as a whistle and freakin’ fantastic afterwards ‘cause you actually absorb a lot of the components of the caffeine as well into your bloodstream.

Brock:               Now that’s the part I don’t understand ‘cause your bowel should not have absorbed the properties.

Ben:                   Well of course they have absorbed the properties.  I mean, in your colon where fiber ferments, that’s where you produced a lot of fatty acids.

Brock:               For your colon but not your bowel.  It is actually making way to your colon?

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s actually makes its way into your large intestine.

Brock:               Okay.  Well, that make sense ‘cause I was thinking like you’re just shooting it in your bowels and your bowels really are like that depository of things you don’t want to absorb.

Ben:                   You shove this tube to in pretty far of your body.

Brock:               I guess so.  I underestimated that.

Ben:                   I actually have an article – I have an article.  If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and you do a search for enema, I have an entire article on how to do a coffee enema.  I know this is gross and weird, and we probably just lost a bunch of listeners, but it is true.


                           So, I have my light bulbs, I have my Ciltep, and I have wiped my butt, but I also have coffee enema.

Brock:               Hmmp?  Yeah, it’s just your butt people.  Get over it.

News Flashes:

Brock:               Every single day, you can get these news flashes delivered right to your computer’s desktop if you follow Ben on twitter.com/bengreenfield.  And right now we’re going to elucidate upon them.

Ben:                   That and photos of every meal that I eat.  No, I’m just kidding.  I don’t tweet too much.

Brock:               Instagram, the course.

Ben:                   I’m not one of the lunch twitters.  CEO Fitness.  This was an interesting study that came out this week.  That showed that companies that have CEOs who are fitter tend to have higher firm value.  And…

Brock:               So Chief Executive Officers like the guy who runs the company.  This is not a fancy acronym for something else.  This is the guy or the woman who runs the company.

Ben:                   Marathon runners make better CEOs is what the study kinda sort of found.  So what it looked at was, they took a bunch of CEOs and using data from 2001 to 2011, they figured out which of the CEOs of all of these S&P 1500 companies had any given year completed a marathon.  And then they matched those findings with each company’s market value.  And they found that the companies that were run by marathon runners, huh, pun intended.  They found that these companies were 5% more profitable.  And they actually wanted to check into whether or not it was that the marathon runners were better executives because they were fitter, or whether marathon runners as a group share some kind of similar pre-existing characteristics, right?  That would make them better CEOs to start with.

Brock:               Yeah, I’m thinking just going and getting Patrick Makau to run your company, probably isn’t a good idea.

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly.  So, to do that they looked at group of CEOs who particularly likely to experience high levels of stress.  Under which that CEO’s fitness would technically be most beneficial.  So they look at older CEOs and high tenure CEOs and CEOs with a high work load and in all of those higher stress groups that they also included as part of the study, all the companies led by a fit CEO were 8-10% more valuable.  So, it doesn’t, yeah, it doesn’t entirely limit the possibility that marathon running CEO share these personality traits that make them good at their job.  But it does suggest that, if you’re fit and you’re running a company, that fitness somehow helps you moderate stress and probably increases your cognitive performance, your productivity, etc.  So the next time that you’re strapping on the shoes to go out for a run or headed to the gym, if you happen to be a CEO, really anybody, you know, under a high work load listening in, you can make that excuse to your partner or to the person who’s giving you a hard time about heading out to the great outdoors that it’s actually going to make your wallet fatter.  So…

Brock:               Next time you’re interviewing for the CEO position, make sure that that is your first question.

Ben:                   Just like show up in your running shoes and harken back to all of those marathons that you ran in the past year.  I guarantee, you’ll be bumped up to CEO in no time.

Brock:               You are shoe in.  A running shoe in.  Haha!

Ben:                   Aha!  So, another couple of studies.  These next two are on one specific molecule and maybe I’ll keep our listeners on a cliffhanger as I jump into this.  This molecule is something that I take 5 grams of, a day, everyday.  It’s just like part of my morning routine.  Even though I use a multivitamin and fish oil, this is also something that I use every single day and have since I was a body builder.

Brock:               And which end of you does go…

Ben:                   It goes into my mouth.  It’s like a tablet.  And 2 studies came out this week on this specific molecule.  I felt like this is Sesame Street.  This mystery object.  Anyways, one study showed that it suppresses the cortisol response to high intensity workouts specifically lowering the amount of stress that is experienced after very intense workout.  In this case, very, very intense swimming workouts.  So, lowered post workout cortisol which in the actual study that showed what this molecule does, the researchers suggested that it could technically be used as a way to stave off overtraining.  And then, another study again, just came out this week, showed that the same molecule stimulates fatty acid oxidation, and triglyceride secretion.  All that means is that, it allows you to tap into your own adipose tissue to mobilize your fat tissue as an energy source.


                           Which means that if you were to use it prior to like take on a cold shower, or doing like a fasted morning aerobic workout, that type of thing, it would actually help you to mobilize fatty acids.  And it is in fact the most researched and proven molecule over the past decade of any specific molecule in sports performance.

Brock:               Crazy.

Ben:                   And it’s called creatine.

Brock:               Creatine!

Ben:                   Creatine.  So, yeah!  There you have it.

Brock:               If it’s controlling the cortisol response from exercise, could that potentially sort of lower your energy level while you’re working out?

Ben:                   Hmm, what they were looking at was the cortisol response post exercise.  So technically, you want a little bit of a dump of cortisol during a workout –  an adrenaline, epinephrine, all of that will cause that to happen.  It will mobilize your liver glycogen and open up blood vessels and give you all sorts of acute stress responses that are beneficial.  But that cortisol concentration remaining high for a long periods of time, you know, high constant medium to high cortisol levels is a sign of overtraining in athletes.  And eventually it leads to consistently low cortisol levels which are technically adrenal fatigue.  So, you actually would benefit from slightly reduced cortisol concentrations post workout.  You want cortisol to settle down because it is a stress hormone that in excess can cause things like immuno suppression, overtraining symptoms, etc.   You know, catabolism of muscle, that type of thing.

Brock:               So taking the creatine is not actually inhibiting your ability to get that cortisol going.  It’s just sort of flushes it faster and more effectively.

Ben:                   Exactly.  And of course, just a quick thing here as far as like loading protocols, stuff like that.  There’s all sorts of protocols for creatine out there.  What most studies have shown is that there really is no need to jump in to a 20-30 grams a day, for a week and then taper off that type of thing.  You can just jump right in and take 5 grams a day.

Brock:               So no loading necessary.

Ben:                   Yeah.  And, honestly you don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy pants creatine supplements with all these added ingredients.  I use one called CRE02 and the reason I that I use that one is it’s made a few hours from my house.  I know the guy that owns the company that makes it, and it basically has this fat coating on it, that for me when I’m out running and stuff, keeps creatine from causing cramping, so I like that too.  It’s very stable.  So, that one’s called CRE02.  He gave all of our listeners a 50% discount on it by the way.  Like, for life – 50% discount.  And, I will put a discount code in the show notes for folks, if you want to grab any creatine at 50% off or use the same stuff I used.  You can check that out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/294.

Special Announcements: 

Brock:               With all the traveling that you’re about to embark on, we’ve got some pretty cool podcasts.  They’re all scheduled up and ready to go.  Do you wanna tell the people?  Give them a little teaser?

Ben:                   Yeah, absolutely.  So, I’m headed out to race the Spartan World Championships in Vermont this weekend.  If you’re listening in, the date of this podcast comes out, and then I’ll be speaking in Vermont at something called The 431 Project, which you can check out at the431project.com.  If you feel like going to Vermont.  As well as the Vermont Traditional Foods and Health Symposium, and then I’ll head over like I mentioned over to the Bulletproof Biohacking Conference in Pasadena on the 27th and the 28th.

Brock:               Pasadena just sounds like a made-up place.  I guess it’s ‘cause I’m Canadian.  It just doesn’t – that was sort of an imaginary place in the Wild West as far as I’m concerned.

Ben:                   E!  Pasadena eh!  Glad you know like Disney World.  That’s my Canadian accent by the way.

Brock:               That’s pretty good actually.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  See!

Brock:               I suddenly understood you so much easier.

Ben:                   Let’s go have some poutine!  Anyways though…

Brock:               Poutine!

Ben:                   Poutine.  It’s podcast – I’ve got a few special ones coming out for you guys, if you wanna listen in this weekend.  My buddy Zack Even-Esh is coming out to talk about how you can use things like cags, tires, sandbags, kettlebells, big heavy rocks, to get more fit.  He’s an awesome dude and I think you’re gonna get a kick out of that podcast.  And then, after that one on next Tuesday, I’m having my friend Yuri Elkaim, who just wrote this all day energy cookbook that we’ve talked about in the past couple of podcast episodes.  We’re gonna talk about deserts, like how to make good healthy deserts.  We’re gonna be talking about reading food labels and then kitchen makeovers.


So, a lot of cool stuff on that one.  And also, if you wanna jump the gun and grab his cookbook, anytime you buy Yuri’s cookbook, not only do you get the recipes for hemp balls and natural Gatorade and all the other crazy stuff – bone marrow, listen there.

Brock:               Cappuccino…

Ben:                   So, anytime you grab the cookbook, Yuri is actually giving a portion of that back to us to support the show.  So you can get that at bengreenfieldfitness.com/aded and just in case you didn’t have enough to listen to the day after Yuri’s podcast, I also have an interview coming out with Steven Kotler, and he’s gonna be talking about why the future is better than you think specifically regarding some really some cool things about health care and making food, and even growing meat in petri dishes.  We’re gonna cover all that stuff.  So, lot of cool things coming up for you guys in future podcasts if you don’t yet subscribe in iTunes.

Brock:               I like that that podcast in particular pre-supposes that you have a bleak outlook for the future.

Ben:                   It’s not so bad.  A lot of people do.  We talk about that in that podcast actually.  A lot of people do.  So, you know.  So, check all that out.  We’ll put links to everything that we just talked about over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/292.

Brock:               294…

Ben:                   … like I was saying, subscribe in iTunes if you want to make sure that you get that stuff automatically delivered to you.  So, there you go.

Listener Q&A:

Jared:                Hey Ben and Brock, this is Jared from the Midwest.  I love the podcast and the book, I’m tried searching all over the net for this and a purpose for video that shows elevated metabolic rate over the course of a day.  I haven’t had much luck finding specific calorie burning from cold thermogenesis and any of the forms.  I know you’re not really big into the whole calorie concept, I was curious if you have any insight into how many calories will burn from the different forms of CT to an hour session.  Thanks.  Bye.

Brock:               You know, at first I wasn’t quite sure what Jared was getting at but I understand now.  There’s so many different ways to make yourself cold, apply ice to your skin or just expose yourself to some sort of thermogenesis that I guess each one has a different reaction, doesn’t it?

Ben:                   Yeah, and I covered this on recent article that I wrote for T-Nation and I link to that article if you wanna read it.  But basically I wanna read the 3 different ways that you can do, called cold thermogenesis, and I tell you about how many calories you can expect to burn but let me cover which of the 3 intensities they are.  So you’ve got like what would basically consider casual intensity.  So that’s where you would be like sitting in a room that’s a little bit cold like 60, 66 degrees without a lot of clothing on.  You know, lounging around in your skivvies for example.

Brock:               So, you’re sure it’s an – a toque.

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly.  And a what?  A toque?

Brock:               a toque.

Ben:                   What’s a toque?

Brock:               You know, a wall hat.

Ben:                   Oh yeah!  Of course.  Yeah, the toque, of course.

Brock:               You guys, won’t call them toques?

Ben:                   No, we call them – I don’t know, beanies, little hats.  So, you’re cooled off but you’re not cold.  So you get this mild increase in your calorie burn because your autonomic nervous system does kick in to slightly increase your body temp and this would be the same thing as like sleeping in a cold room, walking around in the cold, making sure that you’re not too bundled up.  I frankly do that all day long.  Like right now, my office in is the basement so it’s already a little bit cold.  I don’t have my shirt on, I’m just wearing compression pants, standing here at my work station, and I’m a little bit cold.  Like if you look at my forms right now, there are a few goose bumps and I’m at this casual cold thermo stage where – and I tell you how many calories here in a second, but my calorie burn is slightly bumped up.  And then you’ve got moderate cold thermogenesis.  So, moderate cold thermogenesis is really the point where you start to get a little bit of brown fat formation.  And remember that that this brown adipose tissue or brown fat is the type of fat that actually produces heat.  So it will use your calories, use your fat, use whatever energy substrates you have in your body to generate heat rather than to generate like ATP based energy.  And you can build brown fat once you get down anywhere below about 60 degrees in the room.  So now we’re talking about you’re relatively cold and preferably closer to like 50, 55 degrees.  Ideally without a lot of clothing on.  So this would be like, you’re gonna go for a walk on a crisp spring, fall morning and you’re gonna wear maybe a cotton t-shirt and a pair of shorts, and wear your shoes, and technically if you’re really wanna hack things, you can wear like a gloves, and by keeping your feet and your hands and your head warm when the rest of your body cold, you actually keep your body from down regulating your metabolism to protect your extremities.


Brock:               Oh, so that hypothermic response…

Ben:                   Uhmm, but that’s like moderate cold thermogenesis, okay.  So, you’re gonna burn more calories with that.  And then the last…

Brock:               So no shivering in that one.

Ben:                   Nope!  You’re really not gonna be shivering, you’re gonna be goose bumpin’.  And then you got hard core cold thermogenesis.  And I’ll go in all these stuff in great detail on this T-Nation article but this is where you are doing things like wearing a – one of this like vest like I’ve talked about before.  Like I wear this cool fat burner vest where I actually pack ice that these little ice packs that come along with the vest, it drapes over my body, it covers the areas where brown adipose tissue tend to be really high like my collar bones, upper neck, etc. and it really amps up fat burning.  Same thing with like the 110% compression pants.  There’s a specific company that makes these compression pants that come with ice sleeves so you can compress ice up against your legs and cool those areas of your body.  And I’ll put on the cool fat burner vest and I’ll put on this compression pants with ice and get a double whammy.  And you do shiver.  And if you want the intense cold thermogenesis, you want to get to the point where you’re shivering.  So before you even do, either of those protocols, you can take a cold shower for example.  Another example for this would be, swimming in cold water for a long time.  Like going for a 20, 30 plus minutes swim in water.  That’s pretty dang uncomfortable in terms of its temperature.  So, as far as what you can expect to burn for calories, they have done studies on this.  Indirect calorimetry studies, where you have a mask attach to your face and you’re measuring oxygen consumed carbon dioxide produced.  And that gives you a measurement of your metabolic rate.  So, for the sitting around in a slightly cold environment that’s not dipping below 60 degrees, you get about an 8% increase in metabolism, okay 8%.  And this is based off of data from Eric over at coolfatburner.com.  So 8% increase on that.  When we get up to the moderate levels, we’re at like 50-60 degrees or definitely goose bumping or doing like these cold walks, that type of thing, then you’re looking at anything from 30 up to 65% above normal as far as the actual increase in the number of calories that your burn say, snuggled up against the fire with your wool vest and toque on, and covered in your bare skin vs. walking around with your shirts off.  So, 30-65%.  And then when we get to low level or like this hard core intensity, you know, what Eric over at cool fat burner, he calls it shiver surfing.  Basically, you’re getting anything from 65-75% bumped up in calories.  So basically now, you’re looking at what you get if you’re running on a treadmill or you were bicycling or you were lifting weights or doing something that was burning a significant number of calories.  So you’re pretty much up there at the same level you’d be at if you’re exercising once you get to the point where cold thermogenesis is making you shiver.  So, and of course the other benefit from getting up to that level is you’re forming a lot of brown adipose tissue which is gonna stay metabolically active for a while turning yourself into a big big ol’ polar bear.

Brock:               Nice!

Ben:                   So yeah, that’s what you can expect.  So, it’s pretty significant, I mean, even just sittin’ around at 60, 66 degrees around in that range without one much in terms of clothing.  You can definitely do it from there.  I’ll put a picture in the show notes.  I mentioned this Eric guy from cool fat burner and it’s pretty significant like as I’ve known him for a couple of years and kinda watch him transform.  He’s rockin’ a six pack now and he still doing all these nerdy tests like where he wears a gloves and a beanie and boots but then he’ll take his shirt off and go into a cold room for hours.  He’s doing a lot of interesting stuff as far as this stuff goes.  So, check out that photo.  I’ll put it over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/294 along with the link to the T-Nation article.

Mark:                Hi Ben and Brock!  My question is about a soy-free vegan body building program.  I’m a vegan athlete, looking to put on some muscle on a vegan diet ideally soy-free.


So, I was looking to get your thoughts on food, meal plans, nutrition, any supplements that you would recommend to pack on some muscle.  Any thought would be great.  Love the show, thanks so much.

Brock:               It’s not possible, right?  Like, vegan space clear just doomed to be this string-gy, hippy, sort of smelly, frenzy…

Ben:                   No, there are some vegan body builders out there.

Brock:               Really?

Ben:                   There’s some big old like 70s big vegans out there, and they’re figured out to do things the right way.  They’re not pushing grocery shopping carts through whole foods with buckets full of dinosaur kale, I can tell you that.  They’re actually going out of their way.  You pretty much have to engineer muscle on a vegan diet and I followed a raw food vegan diet for about 6 months, I didn’t do it the right way and I lost almost 10 lbs of muscle on that diet.  I got way too skinny.  If I could go back and do it over again, I definitely use some of the tips that I’ll give to Mark.  But before I even jump into the tips, let me say that – I mean like, this maybe a little bit of a cultural thing.  I don’t wanna offend people, but a lot of times the mentality around vegan lifestyle and vegan eating pattern is an endurance lifestyle or yoga lifestyle or lifestyle that simply does not involve lifting heavy stuff.  It’s few and far between that you find vegan to – are power lifting, weight lifting, and doing a lot of the heavier more intense activities.  And again, like I know we have a lot of vegan and vegetarian listeners and I don’t wanna necessarily, you know, offend people but I really do notice that.  I think it’s just like us, maybe it’s that veganism causes you to – because you’re eating less protein and shy away from those type of activities thinking that you may not have enough protein to repair and rebuild muscle or something like that, or maybe it’s that as you tap into endurance, running, cycling, yoga, stuff like that, it really is a culture that based a little bit more on, you know, tofu, and hemp seeds.  Just like all these things that tend to kinda go hand in hand. It’s weird culturally how that happens.

Brock:               I think there’s also a predisposition in a certain type of person who will choose a vegan lifestyle.  They probably just have a little more of a gentle loving kind of spirit.  I mean, a lot of vegans do it for reasons that are very spiritual based or – what’s the word I’m looking for – I wanna say hippie but I don’t mean that in a bad way, which also doesn’t really go hand in hand with throwing a lot of weights around and bulking up really huge.

Ben:                   Right!  you’ve got like your beard swinging stick chewing, you know, uhm

Brock:               Arnold Schwarzenegger re-shopping…

Ben:                   Arnold Schwarzenegger like, hunters out in their flannel vest killing animals and you’ve got the quiet vegans eating their salads running long distances, and doing yoga, right?

Brock:               Yeah.  Again, in their… but there definitely is a correlation.  That’s there’s definitely pre-disposition for both of those and there’s obviously a crossover.

Ben:                   Yeah, but there are

Brock:               I guess Mark.  Mark is our crossover.

Ben:                   Yeah.  There are exceptions and what got me going down this slight segue is that, the first you have to realize is that, if you are doing like running, cycling, yoga, stuff like that, you need to shove some of that aside and simply lift heavy stuff.  And go listen to the podcast that I did with Dan John about Mass Made Simple which incidentally if you’re going to gain mass as quickly as possible is the program that I’d recommend you do.  It’s a combination of barbell complexes, heavy weights, some very high reps medium weights squats which are a fantastic way to build muscle.

Brock:               So many squats… so many squats.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Brock’s done that program.  I’ve done that program, and it’s very, very good.  I’ll link to that podcast we did with Dan John in the show notes.  But first of all, you must adjust your exercise to lift heavy stuff period.  So, that being said, I wrote an article on how vegans can customize their diet to make sure that they’re fill in a lot of the holes.  Now, there are certain things I didn’t talk about in that article because I wasn’t really focusing on muscle loss as much as general health, or muscle gain as the case maybe as much as general health.  Some of my recommendations in that article as far as like supplements and food choices to fill in the holes, one was to avoid a lot of the textured vegetable proteins and processed soy products that you find in a lot of plant-based foods that are trying to either replicate meat-based foods just like tofurky or other common foods that you’ll find in vegan diets.   Basically once you get a lot of the isoflavones and estrogen mimickers and things like that.  You can create some estrogen dominance and that can cause some testosterone deficiencies that can limit your ability to build muscles.  You so wanna avoid basically plant-based franken foods, just what I call ‘em.  You know, fake meats, textured vegetable proteins, processed soy products, even tofu.  Avoid that stuff if you’re gonna go plant based, those should not be staples in your diet.  Another thing that tends to creep up quite a bit in vegan-based diets are like soy bean oil, corn oil, cotton seed oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, even margarine sometimes, make sure that you really careful to stay away from any of those type of more inflammatory omega 6 based vegetable oils.  So, that’s another one to be careful with.  I probably don’t need to say this, but fat soluble vitamins: Vitamin D, vitamin K2, vitamin A, all of those are really important for forming the hormones that you’ll gonna need for muscle building.  So, those you’re probably gonna need to supplement with.  So like vitamin K2, vitamin D3, and vitamin A.  I will link to the article that I wrote in the show notes for this episodes, you can go look at the exact dosages because I’m really, honestly, I’m just not gonna get it through here.  So, another couple of things that vegans tend to be deficient in and I’ll really focus on, that I talked about in that article, one would be taurineTaurine is this amino acid that’s only found in animal foods and it’s pretty critical for muscle repair and also like brain development, and fighting free radicals.  There are vegan taurine sources out there but for that I’ll give you a dosage I recommend about a gram a day of taurine.  Preferably not from lots of Red Bull.  So, taurine would be another one and then vitamin B12 along with Iron.  Two things you’ll gonna find in pretty heavy levels and things like red meat, you’ll probably gonna need a little bit of vitamin B12, little bit of extra Iron.  So, I have all those recommendations in that article but if I were to go back and re-write that article and say here’s what you need to build muscle, I would also add in 20-30 gram regularly times dosage throughout the day.  Like, if you’re really trying to build mass, you got to eat a lot, and you got to eat frequently.  You know, that’s the mass building rule 101 whether you’re a vegan or carnivore, omnivore, or whatever.  You lift heavy stuff and you eat a lot of food.  And one of the things you’ll probably gonna need is a good vegan based protein powder that you can mix up with something really calorie dense like coconut milk and a little bit of nut butter.  And we’re talking about pea hemp rice-based protein blends, I like the Living Protein made by Living Fuel, that one is one that doesn’t have a lot of like heavy metals in it and stuff like the Garden of Life protein has in it.  And also the Thorne, which is another company that I’m a big fan of.  They make a vegan protein as well.  So, either Living Protein or Thorne Vegan Protein and getting dosages of those in throughout the day – so 20-30 gram dosages of protein timed regularly throughout the day can help a lot with muscle gain.

Brock:               And those dosages are important ‘cause I made the mistake of really, really loading way too much when I was doing the mass made simple program and I actually got kinda fat around the middle and got some serious muscle with it and also got really strong but I got kinda squishy around the belly.

Ben:                   You get a lot of gluconeogenesis that occurs once you exceed about 30 grams as far as that dose goes, meaning that your body simply cannot utilize all of those amino acids and proteins for muscle repair and recovery and muscle formation, and you get a lot of it shunted into the liver converted into glucose, converted into triglycerides, and fatty acids and basically stored away in your waistline like Brock experienced.

Brock:               My spare tire.

Ben:                   The other thing is you wanna go into every single one of those like heavy lifting workouts, with high blood levels of amino acids.  And if you find yourself burping up the protein or the pre-imposed workout meals or enough for you but you still want to get higher levels of amino acids, get an amino acid powder or an amino acid capsule.  Five to ten grams of amino acids for every hour that you’re lifting.  If you really wanna put on muscle as quickly as possible, keep yourself in a very anabolic state.  That stuff works wonders because amino acid powders or capsules are non-caloric but highly bio-absorbable and your body will use those and rely upon them rather than catabolizing your own lean muscle for energy while your lifting.  And then the last thing that I would throw in would be, there is this vegan nutritionist/power lifter who’s a big dude.


                           He coaches a lot of big vegans and his name is Mike Mahler and Mike’s got a podcast, it’s a good podcast, it’s called the Aggressive Strength Podcast.  He also has a supplement – a testosterone boosting supplement.  It’s called Aggressive Strength, Aggressive Strength Testosterone Booster.  That one…

Brock:               That’s just too much of a cliché.

Ben:                   Yeah, but I mean, it was designed by a vegan originally to address a lot of the testosterone deficits that you tend to see more often in active vegans.  And that actually is a really good blend – it’s specifically can increase your luteinizing hormone which enhances the ability of your testes to produce their own testosterones.  So sound like a testosterone replacement that shuts down your body’s own ability to make testosterone rather it is allowing your body to make more of its own, and it’s also got some aromatase inhibitors in there which are going to keep some of those like estrogens if you are getting sources of like soy, tofu, stuff like that in your diet.  It will keep a lot of that from having as much of a deleterious effect as it potentially could.  So that one’s called Aggressive Strength testosterone.  Now, I know that sounds like a lot of supplements, but honestly like if you look at the most jacked body builders and weight lifters on the face of the planet, they are taking a lot of pills and capsules to help that out.  I mean, you’re trying to get to an unnatural end by using a potentially unnatural means with regards to the amount of supplementation that you might be using to achieve that.  But I mean, if you really wanna get swole, you may have to be doing everything from taurine to creatine to amino acids, to these proteins powders, to like a testosterone booster, to the vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin K, avoiding the soy, avoiding the omega 6 fatty acids from the vegetable oils, looking at vitamin B12, looking at Iron.  A lot of stuff to consider, but if I were gonna go on vegan diet, and I wanted to pack on as much muscles as possible, that’s what I would do.

Michael:           Hey Ben and Brock, this is Michael from the Netherlands.  And I got a question about how to go beyond training with the PowerLung.  I’ve read the book of yours, and I listen to a lot of podcasts including the one you did with Greg Wells but I couldn’t really find what I was looking for.  In the podcast you say, you use it twice a week but the manual prescribes twice daily.  My question is: how to get the maximum results out of the PowerLungs for cardiovascular performance?  What are the optimal sets and reps?  What does the amount of rest you need to recover or give super conversation?  What is the optimal training frequency with the PowerLung?  So, for instance if I use it in the morning, does it affect my afternoon run or spinning session or is it better to use after training session to get the maximum out of the lungs and the muscles you use for breathing.  So, for instance when you get home and do a few sets with the PowerLung while doing some static lunges under a cold shower with a weighted vest being hooked to an EMS device with first per style training bands on your legs to build up extra lactic acid while reading your book.  So, I really hope you can go beyond training with the PowerLung and hope you can answer this question for me.  Thanks.

Brock:               Yes Michael, you should definitely use it under a cold shower doing static lunges with the weighted vest being hooked to an EMS device with training bags on your legs to build up the lactic acid while reading Beyond Training. (laughs)  Done!  Next question.

Ben:                   The PowerLung.  You know, what’s funny, I keep a PowerLung in both my cars for when I’m stuck in traffic and or I’m driving and I want to workout.  Some of total multi-tasker.  And you can hold it up to your mouth with one hand and you can do PowerLung sets.  Like I don’t necessarily follow the PowerLung instructions on a PowerLung website or follow the instructions that Greg Wells gave us in that podcast that we did with the PowerLung guy.  But I just go 3 seconds out, and then 3 seconds in, and I try and do 10 reps of that.  So if I’m driving, let’s say – I fly down to LA for example, and I got to drive to San Diego.  Every time I pass a certain mile marker or a certain – I make a game out of it like every time I go under an overpass or whatever, I got to do 10 reps of 3 seconds in and 3 seconds out on the PowerLung.  And so just like this little way that I’ll build up my lungs and build up my inspiratory and expiratory muscle capacity while I am in the car.  That’s almost the most of the time I used the PowerLung ‘cause frankly I’ve got 2 PowerLungs that I owned and one’s in 1 car and one’s in the other car, and I don’t really use the PowerLungs except while I’m in the car.

Brock:               The way that there are no destructive driving laws in your State.

Ben:                   Don’t tell.

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   So, the instructions on the PowerLung website, the instructions that we talked about on the podcast that we did with the guy from PowerLung was that, what you’re supposed to do is, you inhale and exhale through the PowerLung.


And it actually is about a 3 to 5 second inhale, and a 3-5 second exhale and you do that for a total of 10 repetitions.  So kinda similar to what I do in the car, and then it says, take a short break and repeat those steps 2 more times, for a total of 30 repetitions and do that twice a day, every day.  So, twice a day for 10 minutes, they’re saying to use the PowerLung.

Brock:               Yeah, that’s the protocol I followed when we first got our PowerLung.  So I wanted to see what would happen, I did exactly that.

Ben:                   What’d you think?

Brock:               I liked it!  I felt, I don’t know, I just felt stronger in my breathing which seems weird but it actually did have that effect.

Ben:                   Did you get big flappy cheeks like Louie Armstrong?

Brock:               I already have that.  (laughs)  Uncle Louie has those.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  So, I’m more like – I’ll use the PowerLung like once every – cause I actually don’t drive that much but once every week and a half to 2 weeks.  I’ll use it for as many sets as I can long drivin’ around and I definitely don’t use it everyday, so it’s one of those things I just use every once in a while.  And that’s how I use.  If you wanted to use it for maximum benefit, I mean, the studies that they’ve done on the PowerLung, that’s what they were doing.  They wear it twice a day for 10 minutes to actually strengthen the muscles that’s support your breathing and that’s where it has been shown by independent studies to improve your breathing capacity.

Brock:               That’s what people at CAPD too, like the actual compromise breathing function.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So if you wanna go gold standard, you get one of these things and you use it twice a day for 10 minutes in the way it just described.  Now, the reason that I also don’t go out of my way to use the PowerLung in exactly the way that it is described is, I do a ton of other things for my breath.  I’m gonna get into this in more detail actually in that biohacking presentation that I gave at the Bulletproof Conference.  Like, once a week I swim with the front mounted swim snorkel that has the cardio cap on it.  Meaning that, I swim with airflow restriction.  So, while I’m swimming I’m having to breathe like through a straw. So I do that once a week, and typically at the end of that particular swim workout, I also do 10 sets under water where I simply swimming for as long as possible hypoxically under water holding my breath.  So, that’s a long buster workout like your muscles don’t feel it but your lungs and your breath control are definitely enhanced by workout like that.  And I do that once a week.  I typically one to two times a week while I’m training, whatever the training session happens to be whether I’m doing kettlebells swings, or I’m doing like a hike with a weighted backpack or whatever, I wear one of those elevation training mask which is the mask that restricts air and that’s another way that I’m strengthening my lungs well while I’m out there.  When I go and sit in the sauna, ‘cause I go to the sauna about one to twice a week and I’ll just sit there for about 30-40 minutes, I’m reading magazines, I’m listening to music or podcast but I get to a point where all I can do – because it’s getting so hot in that sauna, is just sit and stare at the wall.  And when I get to that point, I practice what’s called box breathing, which is another great way to strengthen and train the lungs and that’s a 4 count in, 4 count hold, 4 count exhale, and then a 4 count hold.  And you’ll find that after about a  minute or so, box breathing in a sauna, you start to feel really short of breath and it takes a lot of focus especially on that exhale part.  But what happens as you’re doing this, you’re stimulating your body to produce new red blood cells, new erythropoietin to give you the ability to actually carry and deliver more oxygen along with strengthening the muscles that are around your lungs.  So, you get a pretty big effect when you’re doing all these things throughout the week.  So, that’s why I don’t use the PowerLung everyday ‘cause I’ve just got so many little things organically kinda spread throughout the week that I use to make my lung stronger and enhance my breath control, that I don’t see any, to use exactly as recommended.  But, what I will do for Michael is – all the stuff I just talked about like the swim snorkel, the cardio cap, the previous podcast that we did with the folks at PowerLung, the training mask that I used like the elevation training mask – I even have like phone apps that I use that walk me through, that box breathing protocol that I talked about.  Oh! There’s even one other thing I do that I wanted to mention that I’ve been doing since I got back from Seal Fit and that’s warrior breathing.  Where I finish up a yoga session, ‘cause typically about twice a week, I go on the porch and do about 30 minutes of yoga, I’ll finish that session with about 50 to 100 warrior breaths, which is very sharp nasal inhales followed by sharp short exhales.


That’s a technique that Wim Hof talked about.  Wim Hof the Iceman, the guy who like – will go sit, hunt in snow and immerse himself in ice for like 2 hours.  That’s the technique that he uses to warm his body.  He calls it inner fire breathing.  Commander Mike Divine from Seal Fit calls it warrior breathing, but that’s another great way to train your breath.  Basically, it’s a – I try to snot the microphone but it sounds like this.  (sounds)  But you’re basically doing that for like a good 2 minutes and you get this super high, hyper oxygenated feeling and that’s another thing that I’ve been doing a lot of lately.

Brock:               It’s not just straight up hyperventilating?

Ben:                   Yeah!  It’s very similar to just like hyperventilation.

Brock:               So you have to be careful if you’ve got a propensity for anxiety.

Ben:                   Probably.

Brock:               Can set it off pretty bad.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Anyways though, I’ll put a link to all the different little breath things that I do and previous podcast that I’ve done, and books that I recommend on breath control.  I’ll put a whole host of stuff in there, in the show notes for you, Michael if you really wanna geek on this stuff but alternatively you could use your PowerLung while under a cold shower doing static lunges with the weighted vest being hooked to an EMF device with training bands on your legs to build up extra lactic acid while you’re reading my book.

Mori:                 Hey Ben and Brock, this is Mori from New Jersey.  I just wanna get your thoughts on an ointment that I came up with.  It’s a mixture of coconut oil, topical magnesium, and caffeine.  I’ve been rubbing it on my knees and ankles and calves and it seems to be helping.  I got the idea from a dream that I had a couple of nights ago and I want to know if it’s just all of my head or if you think that it’s actually helping.  Thanks.  Bye.

Brock:               I think that sounds like it would be delicious!

Ben:                   Uhmm, delicious must sound.

Brock:               I don’t think I would rub it on my knees, I think I would rub in on some toast.

Ben:                   My wife makes this coco rub like for her face.  It’s like infuse it with like coco like – I don’t know, it’s like coco fats or I don’t know what it is but it makes me just wanna like eat her face, if I can say that on the podcast.

Brock:               Uhmm, sexy?

Ben:                   That’s right.  And Mori, maybe I wanna eat your face.  That extra sounds pretty good.  Coconut oil, topical magnesium, and caffeine.  Well, caffeine is actually something that has been shown to have anti-aging effect.  It can prevent the formation of wrinkles by enhancing blood flow to the skin.  Caffeine is something that you’ll find in a lot of anti-aging serums out there.

Brock:               Is that ingested or applied topically?

Ben:                   No, that’s applied topically like I actually – I bought a bunch of really high quality coffee infused oil when were in Thailand last year.  Actually Brock, you were there.  We went over to that lemon grass place.  It’s like the world’s famous soap and natural product place that’s on the island of Phuket out there in Thailand.  And we just loaded up with this stuff and brought back this coffee oil which is amazing.  You smear on your face and you smell like a giant latte.  Yeah, really.  No, more like a mocha, like a giant tasty mocha but it has this anti-aging effect too which is really cool.  But anyways, when it comes to muscle rubs, I have some that I definitely like and I do like that you’re using that magnesium, Mori because that that does have an effect that I’ll talk about in a second.  But you also do need to be careful and go easy with some of the medicated lotions, and creams and gels, and muscle rubs that are out there.  It was a few years ago and this hit the news pretty big time.  There was this New York City high school track star and she died from an overdose of one of these sports creams.  So, she used – I don’t remember if it was Icy Hot or Bengay but it was one of these popular over the counter pain relieving ointments that has as its key ingredient methyl salicylate which actually built up in her body, because as we know, your skin is a mouth, and it somehow interacted with some type of aspirin that she was using, and she went into cardiac arrest and she died.

Brock:               Geez!

Ben:                   There was this other athlete who died of a lidocaine overdose because she has this lidocaine based numbing gel as she applied to her legs and she went into a convulsion, and then to a coma, and then she died.  And obviously lidocaine is something that would be more prescribed by a physician, not found in like an over the counter muscle rub but it’s an example of what this stuff can do for you if you’re not careful.  So, a few of the things that you need to be careful, like that methyl salicylate that I talked about, there you’re gonna find in Bengay, Icy Hot, Tiger Balm, all these stuff.  It acts really similarly to aspirin and because you can go into a cardiac arrest, from the blood thinning effect of aspirin.  Using this stuff too much can also cause that same type of blood thinning issue.  So, I actually got kinda sick when I was a kid cause I took one of these methyl salicylate creams that my mom had and I rubbed it all of my body because I thought it smelled really cool, as like this giant mint, and I woke up in the middle of the night not just shivering but also feeling horribly sick and my parents had to give this bath and wipe it all of my body, and so, maybe that’s what happened to me.


So, methyl salicylate overdose.

Brock:               Maybe.  At some point your super powers will…

Ben:                   At some point my Spidey powers.  So, the licodaine, the benzocaine, the tetracaine, all the things that you might get from numbing an area, those type of topical anesthetics.  You usually not gonna find those in muscle rubs but they definitely can cause basically like an overdose type of effect.  A lot of people have allergies to them but you can also get pretty sick from over using those.  Hydrocortisone is another one that you’ll find as an anti-inflammatory topical steroid that will get prescribed in some cases for pain.  You know, knee pain, elbow pain, stuff like that but that can cause a little bit of an irritation effect as well and in some people you can have a pretty significant allergic effect.  There are some anti-aging creams that are out there that have like hydroquinone in them.  And hydroquinone is actually one of the things that can be carcinogenic that’s in those compounds.  So you’d wanna be careful with something like that.  Even high doses of vitamin A which you find in these other anti-aging creams.  High doses of that topically can cause vitamin A toxicity effect.  So you’d wanna be careful with that too.

Brock:               Is that the one that trims your arms as well?

Ben:                   Uhmm, yeah exactly.  The main one though that I have the biggest issue with this is the methyl salicylate that you find in like these smelly popular muscle rubs like Bengay, and Icy Hot, and Tiger Balm, and I don’t use any of those.  I do have a few favorite balms that I use that I’m going to… but first, magnesium.  We’ve talked about on the show before, but it – I mean, that stuff is magic.  Like it displaces calcium, it relaxes muscles, it opens up cells, it supports detoxification, it’s got – got a lot of cool stuff.  The magnesium that I use is this stuff made by Magnetic Clay, and the primary ingredient is just magnesium chloride but it’s mixed with like olive oil, and coconut oil, and they add in MSM which helps to heal broken skin, broken blood vessels, torn muscles, things along those lines.  So that is probably my favorite go-to-topical, that’s one that I put on.  I was talking to Tawnee on Endurance Planet podcast about this the other day.  We’re talking about magnesium and we both came with the conclusion that that’s something that we’re almost to the point of using that stuff twice a day.  Like every time we take a shower like we just ______ [0:52:53.3] that stuff over any sore muscles.  That one’s called Ancient Mineral Magnesium Lotion, but that’s – that’s why magnesium works so well, it’s not only relaxes muscle, but it displaces a lot of the calcium build up that can cause muscle to be sore.  So, magnesium…

Brock:               That works in a hurry too.  That stuff is like almost instant.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  And the lotion works way better than the spray by the way.  So, you totally by-passing your gut, you’re going straight into the skin, you rub it straight on the area that actually needs that relaxation or that calcium displacement and  it works really, really well.  So, magnesium is way up there on the list.  The other topical that I use pretty frequently – one thing I’ve been using a lot of lately pre-sleep is just a little bit of lavender essential oil.  I rub that into the back of my neck.  I put about a drop on the pillow, and I’m a big fan of lavender now for relaxation.  I’ve been using it when I travel, something about lavender – I mean, you just fall asleep like a baby after you use that stuff.

Brock:               You know, I hate the smell of lavender.  I really hate it.  I just dislike it so much.  People keep buying me.  Like I’m a terrible sleeper, I always wake up in the middle of the night.  People are constantly getting me stuff like – Oh!  you have to try this and it always has freakin’ lavender in it.  I smell some old lady.

Ben:                   So first of all, you gonna have to listen in to the podcast that we have coming out in a couple of weeks with Andy Murphy.  Because he literally – he hypnotized me on the podcast and then like basically we did an LP session about sleep.  And like how to sleep better, in this case we were doin’ one on how to sleep the night before a big race.  So, yeah, tune in to that podcast if you haven’t listen

Brock:               Does it gonna make me smell like lavender?  I’m a big fan like Downton Abbey.

Ben:                   I’m a big fan of lavender, I don’t why lavender, maybe it had…

Brock:               I don’t know, it’s just a weird thing.

Ben:                   … horrific experience that you’re suppressing from childhood… lavender.  A freak lavender accident.  Yeah!  So, lavender is another big one and then the last one that I’ve used that I like is the stuff from Hammer Nutrition called Hammer Balm.


And that’s a pretty good formulation too.  It’s basically ginger root and clove oil and arnica.  And arnica is an ingredient that you’ll gonna find in a lot of these better, natural, over-the-counter muscle rubs.  It’s a medicinal plant that used to treat like skin wounds and bruises, but it works really well for muscle aches and pains too.

Brock:               Sounds awesome on bruises.  If you’ve got a bruise somewhere where you don’t wanna have it for very long just put some arnica on there.

Ben:                   Yeah, so if you look at my transdermal cabinet, it’s basically magnesium lotion, lavender, and then I’ve got some of those hammer balm as well.  And I’ll put links to all those on the show notes but there’s also this interesting study on PubMed that goes into all the different ingredients that you find in muscle rubs.  And one ingredient that have been shown in multiply studies to help with not just nerve pain like neuropathy but also muscular skeletal pain and even arthritic symptoms is Capsaicin.  And I can’t say that I actually have any muscle rub that I use right now or that I even experimented with one that has capsaicin.  You know, this chili peppers extracted from chilis.

Brock:               Get in your eye when you’re choppin’ up chilis.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So, if any of our listeners out there and you’ve got idea from master of the heps capsaicin, or maybe more can add this in this coconut oil, and this topical magnesium.  Make you a little spicy, add some capsaicin in there.  I thought that was interesting that of all the different things that this PubMed article goes into, capsaicin is one of the more popular.  Another good one by the way, that if you’re on a pinch and you just gotta get some from most groceries stores, you’ll gonna be able to find this there and a lot of natural physicians swear by this as well – it’s called arnica, chamomile, and Echinacea, and a bunch of stuff in it.  It is called traumeel, that’s like a homeopathic muscle cream.  A lot of people swear by that one too.  And that one is also okay, it doesn’t have a lot of dangerous ingredients in it.  So, that one’s traumeel – t-r-a-u-m-e-e-l.  So, I’ll link to all these resources for you in the show notes but those are some of the better muscle rubs.

Andrew:            Hey Brock and Ben!  Thanks for the wonderful podcast.  My question is related to my almost 4 year old son.  Like many children his age, he has a persistent cough which is going on for 3 years now.  He eats a real food diet which includes some fruits and starches, potatoes and sweet potatoes, but without going on a full auto-immune diet, it’s probably as good as I can get.  His skin is always itchy despite being visibly fine and he often complains of a sore tummy and he has sign mood swings.  We see many doctors and specialists, however we’re having a hard time to maintain them with too much investigation other than prescribing drug which are mostly steroids and antibiotics that don’t seem to work.  Sodium montelukast help with the cough to some degree but had horrible side effects.  We finally got one doctor to test for mold sensitivity which did come back positive.  However, it wasn’t until we ask for the actual results that we even find out.  We’ve seen that any of the molds we have control over but that doesn’t mean there isn’t exposure elsewhere.  We live in Australia so we can’t really order the test for that going through a doctor.  So, we’re hoping for some suggested tests which I can then discuss with them.  I’m going to take his fasted glucose tomorrow in the off chance, it’s the start of Type 1 diabetes developing but we never have history of that in the family and aside from that I’m pretty much ______ [0:58:36.7] I need help and hope you can help.  Thank you.

Brock:               Wow!  That’s a – that doesn’t sound very comfortable.

Ben:                   Yeah.  It actually sounds a lot like my nephew.  So, I have a nephew who has an auto-immune disease and there’s a lot of different like pediatric or what are called juvenile auto-immune diseases.  So, it can be tough to put your finger on what exactly the auto-immune disease it is.  So, type 1 diabetes is certainly one.  But you’ve also got celiac disease can cause a lot of these symptoms.  Just some pretty severe food intolerances particularly with regards to gluten.  I mean, that’s the biggie for celiac.  Lupus is another one.  Rheumatory arthritis like a lot of juvenile rheumatory arthritis can be another issue.  Lupus – one called scleroderma which is more of like a skin issue but it can cause some of these other issues that Andrew is talking about.  So, it can be tough to put your finger on exactly what type of auto-immune issue that the kid has and frankly, you know, and this is something I talk about in my super human kids book.  You know, auto-immune disease and auto-immune issues due to our growing use of things like antibiotics and antibacterial hand soaps, and C-sections, and lack of fermented foods in kids, and opting for soy milk vs. breast milk.


                           I mean, it’s becoming a much, much bigger issue in kids and you tend to see all of these little issues: itchy skin, or skin rashes.  You get tingling, you get joint pain or muscle pain or weakness that a lot of times will set in.  A little while after a meal, you’ll get a persistent low grade fever.  A lot of times swollen glands like in the neck, or the armpit or a lot of the lymph nodes tender reside.  Sometimes like brain fog, like a kid just had difficulty thinking or they stutter a lot.  Sometime you’ll see hair loss, I mean, one of the same things that you’ll see in adults who have auto-immune diseases, you see in children as well.  Now, I’ll talk in a minute here about some of the things that you can do as far as testing is concerned.  But the number 1 biggest issue when it comes to auto-immune disease in kids, is that you have to realize that a very, very large portion of the auto-immune system lies in the gut, and in many cases leaky gut syndrome or gut inflammation is one of the leading factors that spills into a lot of these other issues that are created in a kid.  So, taking care of the gut is the number one most important thing that you can do.  Like if you’re child was say, born via C-sections, they didn’t pass through mom’s birth canal to pick up all these good beneficial bacteria, or they weren’t breast fed so they didn’t get that colostrums that helps to seal up the gut lining and keep leaky gut from forming.  I mean, two of the best things that you can do, would be expose your child to a wide variety of fermented foods, and then get them on some kind of colostrums supplement.  That could be anything from a straight of colostrums supplement to like a good healthy raw goat’s milk or cow’s milk or anything like that.  That’s gonna have some of that colostrums in it.  So, that’s really important in addition to getting them started on fermented foods as much as you can or even like a good probiotic.  Most kids can take about 1/3, 1 quarter of the adult dose of a probiotic whether it be prescriptosis or caprobiotics or any of these probiotics kids can use and you can open those up and put them in apple sauce or you know, if they don’t wanna swallow a capsule and that type of thing is fine.  Now, if I had a child with auto-immune issues, the diet that I would highly recommend in conjunction with the use of colostrums and fermented foods would be the Autoimmune Paleo Book.  That would be the number one book that I would recommend as far as a very, very good way to eliminate a lot of the common things that are gonna cause autoimmune triggers like grains, beans, eggs, nut seeds, night shades, even some of the spices, etc. And give you a really beautiful done for you recipe guide that you can follow and that a kid a gonna be able to eat.

Brock:               That book is like a textbook.

Ben:                   It’s a good book and it was written by a friend of mine, Mickey Trescott.  She lives over in Seattle.  I trust her, what she writes, she studied this quite a bit.  Dealt with autoimmune issues herself and  it’s a really, really good guide.  So, I’ll be sure to link to that for you but some of the other things that I would definitely include just because again the gut is the place to start with most of these issues.  Bone broth, that would be enormously important and it can really help to heal up a gut lining of a child or an adult.  The other thing that can really help with a lot of the inflammation would be like a really good highly absorbable form of curcumin.  And kids can do curcumin supplement in the same way that they can do probiotic supplements , there’s no issues with children using curcumin but that would be another thing that I would look into.  Would be to use curcumin.  I’ve talked before on the show about this one called Rebound, that’s a curcumin phytosone meaning that it actually bound up with a fat.  It’s highly absorbable.  That would be another one that you could use.  So when you’re looking at this from like a supplementation standpoint: colostrum, probiotics, and some kind of really good anti-inflammatory that will help with joint pain, that will also help with gut inflammation. And that would be curcumin and then something like the Paleo autoimmune diet as far as an actual diet to follow in conjunction with some of these other things.  Now, as far as testing, you specifically ask about mold allergy and first of all, as far as  some of these other things that I mentioned, type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, test are gonna vary as far as those are concerned.  And what you would wanna do is just basically go in to the doctor and talk with your doctor  about all the different tests that you can do for these type of things ‘cause frankly, we could spend hours talking about each of the different tests for everything from celiac to type 1 diabetes, to rheumatoid arthritis.


 But as far as mold goes, you can get a blood test for mold and it‘s sometimes called an RAST test which stands for radioallergosorvent test.  So that measures your immune system’s response to mold.  It measures the amount of certain antibodies in your bloodstream better known as iGe or immunoglobuline-e antibodies and they test for evidence of sensitivity to specific types of mold and it’s much, much more accurate like the skin prick test.  So, it’s called an iGe food/mold panel or it’s also known as RAST test.  Here in the States, you can get it through Direct Labs, you can literally like order it, you get the requisition form that you print off, you bring in to a lab near your house. They do the blood draw and within about a week you get a pdf mailed to you that tells you which type of molds sensitivities that you were you found to be sensitive to.  And typical things that you’d find that may contain mold you’re sensitive to would be like egg whites, almonds are another big one, shrimp, rice, beans in some cases, some type of yeast, sweet, along those lines, peanuts are another big one.  Basically this would give you a print off of every mold that you may or that your child may be sensitive to.  It’s not a cheap test, here in the States we order through Direct Labs.  I think it’s like a $600 test but it kinda tells you for life what kind of iGe antibodies that you have circulating in your blood stream that may be causing mold sensitivities.  So, we probably at some point, in here should have a “I am not a physician disclaimer”, yeah.

Brock:               Uhm, good call.

                           Ben Is not a doctor and the content provided on this podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical or health care advice.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Those are the places that I would start and if I had a kid who is showing autoimmune issues, I would without a doubt jump right into an autoimmune diet combine with colostrums, bone broth, curcumin minimum, and then continued testing, you know, talk to your doctor about some of the things that I mentioned that could be causing this issue, and that’s would it start.

Brock:               Whew!  I’m sure that would help.  That was a – we’re going really long.

Ben:                   Are we?

Brock:               Sorry folks.

Ben:                   Sorry folks, we better wrap this thing up.

Brock:               Yeah, we’ve been trying to keep the show to an hour or less.  It’s not happening.

Ben:                   It’s all, it’s all that Ciltep and the enema – tubes, that’s sticking in my back side.

Brock:               Yes!  It got so much.

Ben:                   Well, let’s give somethin’ away before we wrap this thing up, shall we?

Brock:               Uhm, let’s give away a beanie, a shirt, and a bpa- free water bottle all branded with awesome Ben Greenfield fitness logo.

Ben:                   That’s right and if you hear us read your iTunes review on the show and you email [email protected], we mail all that shiznits straight to your front door anywhere in the world, seriously.

Brock:               Nice.

Ben:                   To pick up the shipping cost and everything…  So, I’m actually gonna read this review because it actually, it well, it will be pretty self explanatory.  So, the name of the review is, Ben might be the cat’s pajamas but…  and this review is from TheRealEllie.  And it say: “Brock is the bee’s knees!  Sure, Ben might have that alphabet soup behind his name, but often overlooked is the genius that is Brock Skywalker-Armstrong.  Let’s begin with his name: A Jedi mixed with the first man on the moon.  You cannot get more legit than that.  Brock is totally rad due to his ability to take the scientific jargon Ben spews out and make it understandable for the person listening while on a tempo run or bike ride.  Let’s face it, no one…”

Brock:               So I damn it down.  I’m good at damning it down.

Ben:                   I think so, yeah.  That’s what they’re saying.  Let’s face it, you caveman it Brock.  It says:  No one besides Ben has a low-frequency house, a sound-proof office and a backyard that resembles a serial killer (hay bales to throw spears at?!)  Actually I know.

Brock:               Jack Kruse may have a very similar home.

Ben:                   “Brock makes other biohacks like standing more, drinking fatty coffee and tracking heart rate seem manageable for the average human.  Lastly…. The guy CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD!”  That is true folks by the way, if you’re listening.  Brock has died and came back…

Brock:               My death has been greatly exaggerated.

Ben:                   If that’s not the reason to listen to this podcast, I don’t know what is.  He is like Jesus, resurrected and showing Ben how to relate to podcast listeners ever since.”

Brock:               Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!  Too far, too much.

Ben:                   Wow!  You’re deity dude.  “Seal Fit training?  Laughable compared to Brock’s ability to live in Canada for most of the year!  By far, Brock makes the show go around and one reason I will always listen for health and fitness tips.”  Holy Shazam!

Brock:               Thanks, mom!

Ben:                   Wow!  Yeah!  (laughs)  Thanks Brock’s mom.  Well cool!  Now that I know I’ve got Jesus as a podcast sidekick, I’m feeling pretty comfortable here.  That or the fact that she thinks I’m a serial killer.  Alright!  Well cool.  That was a fantastic review TheRealEllie.  So if you heard that, email us and we’ll get you out a care package and for all the rest of you listening in, head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/294 for all the handy-dandy show notes and everything else that we talked about from the all day energy cookbook, to dangerous ingredients in muscle rubs, to weird things that you can breathe though.  So, check that all out.  And have a healthy week.

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

[1:11:31.9]      END


How To Reverse Aging With Bone Broth, Race An Ironman With Bone Broth And The Best Bone Broth Recipes.

what is bone broth

“Good broth will resurrect the dead,” says a South American proverb.

I don’t know about that, but I still drink bone broth every week for healthy skin, hair, nails, a strong gut lining, good joints, and even a bit of a liver detox.

Whether you’re injured, need to heal your gut fast, build muscle, need more natural sources of minerals and electrolytes in your diet, or simply want to drink, sip and cook with some the most nourishing liquid food on the face of the planet, bone broth really is the ultimate solution, and in today’s podcast, I interview bone broth expert and chef Lance Roth.

Creator of TheBrothery, bone broth and Executive Chef Lance Roll puts his 20-year diverse culinary career and education as a health and nutrition professional into each special batch of bone broth to create the healthiest broth on the face of the planet.

Lance actually freezes his broth and ships it around the continental US too, making for the ultimate, easy done-for-you bone broth experience, especially if you don’t have the time or resources to make your own bone broth.

In this podcast, you’ll discover:

-How bone broth can enhance liver detox pathways…

-How to make the best kind of broth, including a few of Lance’s secret ingredients…

-The important difference between broth and stock…

-Is it safe for you to ship bone broth around the country without it going bad…

-What are the tastiest things you can do with bone broth once you get it…

-How to use bone broth during an Ironman triathlon…

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Leave your questions, comments and feedback about bone broth below, and feel free to share any good bone broth recipes you may have!

#293: 5 Ways To Have More Energy At Work, Can Cigarettes Enhance Performance?, The Best Ways To Increase Grip Strength & More!

Tour de France riders smoking

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

Sep 10, 2014 Podcast: 5 Ways To Have More Energy At Work, Can Cigarettes Enhance Performance, Can Dehydration Cause Arthritis, Eyes Watering During Exercise, and The Best Ways To Increase Grip Strength.

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


News Flashes:

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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)!

Visit GotHunts.com if you listened to the recent podcast on bowhunting or read the recent article on hunting fitness and you want the VIP Ben Greenfield treatment from the folks at GotHunts!

September 21-23: Ben will be speaking at The 431 Project - where astronauts, technologists, screenwriters, CEO’s, educators and more, will assemble in the picturesque Green Mountains of Vermont to take up a crucial call to action to end inactivity and obesity in the U.S.. Imagine Ted Talks meets Davos meets the National Geographic Channel. Vibrant fall foliage, fresh farm to table cuisine and world-class sommelier-curated wine lists are a bonus of this exclusive summit. If you want to connect, share, learn, have the time of your life AND change the world… get invited by requesting an invitation in the efforts to lead 300 million Americans towards positive choices, healthy living, and simple, sustained changes that will change their lives.

September 25-27: Ben will be presenting at The Vermont Traditional Foods and Health Symposium at Shelburne Farms. Inspired by the teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation, this event explores the core principals of how traditional diets can contribute to health, wellness, and longevity.

September 26-28: Ben will be speaking at 2014 Bulletproof Biohacking Conference in Pasadena – Dave Asprey has decided to extend the pre-sale ticket price of $400 until this Friday, August 1st. Dave is stacking this year’s event with an all-star speaker lineup of bestselling authors… entrepreneurs… Olympic athletes… nutritionists… world-class biohackersand more… Plus, an interactive expo of the latest biohacking ‘tech’ – including cutting-edge gear designed to get you into hyper-productive “flow” state, courtesy of the Flow Genome Project. And YES, that means Dave is making sure all the best ‘toys’ are on display in one place – and you get to play with them… click here to get in now.

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.

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.

Testimonial from Jack:
Started off the year using Tri-Ripped (second year on this plan) to prepare for early season races. Switched to the Beyond Training Ancestral plan 12 weeks out from my yearly half. Used the tools and protocols in the book alongside the plan and adapted the race nutrition protocol to fit my sensitive stomach (GI meltdown the last time). In a downpour most of the race, last Sunday I had a PR in each leg and an overall PR by 28 min for my first sub 5:30 half. Felt great all day (probably could have pushed even harder) and now enjoying a smooth recovery. Love the Beyond Training concepts – can race fast while not cheating family and work or destroy the body.

5 Ways To Have More Energy At Work

Darren asks: He has been working 8 hour work days for years now and is about to start a job where 12 hour work days are common. Do you have any tips on how to improve stamina and endurance at work or energy management during the work day?

In my response I recommend:
1) Block WiFi (watch my electrical pollution video), which includes:
-Biohacking Healthy Home book
-GreenWave EMF Filter
-Negative Ion Generator
-Laptop Grounding Cable
-Airtube Headset
-Superhuman Encoder
-Harmonizer (use code BEN15 for discount)
-Blue Light Blocking Glasses2) Standing Workstation (read this article on Biohacking the Hazards of Sitting)3) Compression socks or tights and inversion poses4) Smart drugs such as TianChi, Bulletproof Coffee, or Peak Nootropics

5) Lots and lots of good water, including the brands we talk about in this podcast.

Can Cigarettes Enhance Performance?

Matt asks: He is an ex-smoker (quit years and years ago) but recently he has been having the occasional cigarette (1 or 2 here every couple weeks/month). Is it possible that low dosing with cigarettes could have an hormetic effect on training? He is not planning to use cigarettes as a training protocol for his upcoming Ironman but he has noticed a decrease in his resting heart rate and an increase in his sprinting ability (especially in the pool).

Can Dehydration Cause Arthritis?

Richard asks: He is in his early 40s, follows a low carb/paleo diet and has osteoarthritis in both hips (is heading in for total hip replacement surgery in 2015). He is wondering what you think of Dr Jack Kruse’s idea that arthritis is caused by dehydration? In Robb Wolfe’s last podcast he and Paul Jaminet suggested that restricting carbs could lead to dehydration; impacting mucus production, cartilage, synovial fluid, etc… what do you think?

Eyes Watering During Exercise

Ellie asks: Sometimes while she runs, one of her eyes will water and tear continuously. One steady tear, just in one eye. What could be causing that?

In my response I recommend:
-Artificial tears

The Best Ways To Increase Grip Strength

Wilmer asks: He has been lifting progressively heavier and heavier weights over the last few months but he can’t seem to hold a grip on the weights. What devices and exercises do you recommend to improve grip and wrist strength?


– 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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