Introduction: In this episode, can coffee really make you live longer? Also, panic attacks in open water, bathroom issues during your morning run, preparing for an endurance weekend, hyper mobility syndrome, water filtration, pain while swimming with scoliosis, are Veggie straws healthy, staying strong while recovering from injury, c-sections and tummy tucks, and building bigger arms while losing weight.
Brock: Welcome everybody to another Episode of the BenGreenfieldFitness podcast. It’s a beautiful sunny day and I went for my first open water swim of the year. Ben, what do you think about that?
Ben: How cold is it out there?
Brock: It’s actually really nice. I don’t know what it is in Fahrenheit but it was 29 degrees Celsius on Monday when I went for the swim. The water on the other hand on Lake Ontario, was not 29 degrees Celsius.
Ben: Nice. It’s about 48-49 degrees Fahrenheit in my river. I’ve been like going out and tooling around. But it’s one of those deals where it’s so cold that you get a headache. And I’ve been using it a little like cold adaptation and some soaks after workout and some stuffs like that but you can actually swim in it.
Brock: I need to get one of those Fahrenheit-Celsius calculators on my iPhone. So during the show I can be calculating things on the fly because I don’t know 40 degrees, that sounds cold but I’m not sure.
Ben: Yeah. It suffices to say that there is some shrinkage. By the way, I wanted to mention because you were talking as we were getting ready to record here Brock, about how you sometimes get hungry during the podcast. And I’ve been experimenting a little bit with breakfast and blood sugar fluctuations. And I’m trying out some twist on the usual breakfast that I do which is usually like some soaked oats with some protein powder and omen butter and coconut milk and everything else.
Brock: And you’ve been having that, like, steady for like years now, haven’t you?
Ben: Yeah, basically.
Brock: That’s been your fallback.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. So, when I travel though, I don’t really eat oat meal. I’m usually just having like protein powder or a protein bar for breakfast, in most cases. And I noticed a little bit better energy, more stabilized when I’ve been travelling between breakfast and lunch. And I don’t know whether or not it’s the blood sugar fluctuation caused by oats or possibly the higher levels of lactones and the phytic acids in oats that might be causing a little bit of inhibition of nutrient absorption, blocking minerals. Anyways, I’ve eliminated oatmeal just for this week, just trying it out. I’ve been having chocolate pudding every morning for breakfast. Seriously, I’ve been taking these.
Brock: I believe you. It just doesn’t seem like a healthier choice.
Ben: I take a magic bowl of blender, about quarter can of full fat coconut milk. You add a couple teaspoons of a coco powder and a couple tablespoons of protein powder and an avocado, about half a banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon. And then I blend that all up. It makes a chocolate pudding like texture and then I sprinkle some chia seeds for crunch. And it’s actually really good.
Brock: That sounds delicious. That’s what I was waiting for. When you said chocolate pudding, I was like waiting. It can’t be just like chocolate pudding out of a little package. It’s not Jello brand. Of course, it’s got avocadoes. It’s got coconut. It’s got healthy fats. It’s got protein.
Ben: Yup. Let’s hurry up and do this podcast so I can go eat my chocolate pudding.
Brock: Sounds good.
Brock: All right. Google+ and Twitter.com/BenGreenfield is the place to get all the interesting news flashes every week, almost everyday, probably close to everyday. But this is the time that we take to highlight a few of those. What do you want to start with?
Ben: Multiple times a day, really. I actually read an interesting article by a guy named Seth Godin this week. He was talking about Twitter blindness, where there’s so many people just tweeting now. That you almost tend to get blind to tweet some links and stuff like that. But just for you folks listening and I do promise to keep my tweets relevant. I try to put out good tweet each week that links to relevant research that you can’t get other places when it comes to what I’m talking about for example, over BenGreenfieldFitness.com. But one study that came out last week that was reverberated across the news was the study about coffee. And how coffee makes you live longer and coffee drinkers have lower risk of death, all this about coffee kind of being the best thing since slice bread or maybe even better. The interesting thing is there is an article that came out on CBC news website. And thanks to Brock who made me aware of this article. But it went into how they actually conducted the research study that they used to report this lower risk of death in folks who drink coffee. Specifically ten percent lower risk of death in men who drink two or more cups a day 15 percent lower risk of death in women. And the study was pretty weird. Before they even conducted the study, they excluded anyone from the study who had cancer, heart disease, stroke, who ate a lot of calories, who ate low number of calories. Pretty much they tried to pick and choose every single healthy person that they could. And this was from about 500,000 American seniors. And then they based all the data on a questionnaire about how much coffee, up to this point, that people were drinking. And then tracked them to find out who died and who didn’t. So they’re working with this healthy skewed population. And then they’re basing this questionnaire from someone whose aged 50, it might be 20 years from the time that they felt this questionnaire before they die, or 30 years or 40 years. And so you have no clue if they quit drinking coffee or they started drinking more coffee and they switched to tea or anything else. They did not make distinctions between caffeinated coffees, decaffeinated coffee, organic coffee, non-organic coffee. And essentially, the entire study itself was a big mess. So, as we’ve mentioned before on the podcast, be careful. The only thing that this study shows is that coffee may not make you die earlier than someone who doesn’t drink coffee. And that’s really about all you can conclude from the research.
Brock: I’ve found part of the most interesting thing about the entire way that this was handled was that in the research itself and even the researcher himself said there’s a modest association between coffee and mortality. But somehow that turned all the headlines for like, drinking coffee extends life, and coffee will make you live longer. It doesn’t actually say that anywhere. It was just a matter of the media really spinning this into something that it absolutely wasn’t.
Ben: I personally limit coffee because coffee is a central nervous system stimulant. And it does stimulate the adrenal glands that are on top of your kidneys. And you need to be careful especially when you’re already exercising and working your sympathetic nervous system quite a bit. You get to a point where you can exhaust yourself from over stimulation of your nervous system using stimulants. And so I’m always careful with coffee. And the harder I’m training, the more careful I am because I know that coffee can mask the signs of fatigue and push you through a workout that you may not normally do unless you’re caffeinated. So, I personally do eight ounces of dark rose French crust every morning, black. And that’s my coffee intake.
Brock: That sounds pretty good.
Ben: Another thing I wanted to mention was a study that came out that was a report actually from the United States Department of Agriculture, who we all know in love. It was actually pretty good. I looked into whether or not healthy foods are really more expensive than packaged foods because that’s what you hear from a lot of people. It’s that they can’t eat healthy because it’s more expensive. And so, what they did is they compared the prices of healthy and less healthy food. And when we’re talking about less healthy food, we’re looking at foods that are, in the research, higher in process fats, higher in added refined sugar, higher in sodium which is usually pretty good signs something like a packaged food. And they looked at the price for calorie, they looked at the price per weight, and they looked at the price for and average portion. And for all of the things they measured except the price for calorie, healthy food, vegetables, fruits, food, in its raw, unrefined form was less expensive. The only time that junk food per say was less expensive was in the case of price per calorie. If you were just looking for pure calories, buy a jar of hydrogenated fat filled peanut butter. And it’s going to be cheaper price for calorie than buy bananas. But ultimately, it’s an interesting study. It debunks the idea that you can’t eat healthy it’s expensive when in reality, especially when you look at produce. That was the most glaring part of the study. It was produce so much cheaper than junk food across the board. Of course, one of the things to bear in mind I think this stop a lot of people more than the price is when you’re buying foods in their unprocessed raw form. There is that opportunity cause that time caused a preparation. And I think that’s what holds a lot of people back because the fact that even if packaged foods may end up being more expensive, their easier and more accessible to eat quickly. And that’s worth a gorilla eating in a hole, slow food, enjoy your food, food prep, learn to cook type of movement, its super important for people.
Brock: Isn’t there a lot of people that talk about the availability of as well? Like the inner city where there tends to be sort of a lower income type of family. Or type of individual that are actually isn’t the opportunity of the availability of that kind of food like whether it’s more expensive or not that doesn’t really matter if it’s not there.
Ben: Yeah. And if I was in that situation, I’d just buy a gun and start shooting pigeons.
Brock: There’s a solution to everything.
Brock: There are all kinds of cool stuff going out at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many comments on a post as there has been on the be-honest-with-me post. It’s at 140 right now.
Ben: I won’t dwell on that too much. But I threw up a post over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com just kind of getting a feel for what kind of content people would like me to provide. And basically, it kind of sort of turn into what annoys me about Ben Greenfield. But it’s really good data. And just so folks, I appreciate the brutal honesty. And I’m definitely going to make some adjustments in the way that I present information and the price that I put on the products and everything else. And of course this podcast isn’t a podcast where we’re going to spend too much time talking about marketing and pricing and everything else. But what it comes down to is that we run a membership website called The Inner Circle. Where we kind of get into nitty-gritty details on one of the stuffs we talk about on BenGreenfieldFitness and do a lot of group coaching and help folks out on a form. And I was basically just kinda get the feel for the people who are members, what they like, what they didn’t like, and for the people who aren’t members, why they weren’t members and stuff. I’ll definitely make some changes based on the feedbacks that I’ve got. So if you want some good entertainment, go read the comment treads. Grab a beer and go read the comments. The other article that came out last week was how to run barefoot. I highly recommend, if you ever thought of switching to a minimalist or running shoes then you go read that article because it will keep you from getting that stress- fracture Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and all the other issues that happened when you start running barefoot. So, check that out.
Ben: There’s something important for people to know. There is no podcast next week. I’m heading down to Hawaii. I’m heading down there next Sunday. And it’s a high volume training camp, maybe not high volume but modern volume training camp. First stand there, we’re riding the entire Ironman Hawaii bike course. We’re going to be doing multiple 50 to 115 mile rides all week long. A bunch of open water swims, some run and the week culminates or ends in the Hawaii 70.3 half Ironman triathlon. So, a lot of volume on what would typically be a taper week like a little volume week. I’ve never did something like that before a race. So, I’ll be interested to kind of self-experiment and see how the body handles that type of load going into a race. So basically in this entire week, I’m going easy not doing much exercise just to make sure I go into that week-fresh. That being said, what I’m gonna do for, folks, because I won’t be doing the podcast is on Monday of next week and on Wednesday of next week, I will be doing a live Google+ video hangout for any of the folks who are following the BenGreenfieldFitness Google+ page. And we’ll be sure we’ll put a link to that in the show notes for this episode, episode 195. Specifically, what I’m going to be talking about is the type recovery method you use during a big training week like that. How to eat and how to hydrate, and where electrolytes and minerals come in during a big training week like this in Hawaii and how you get ready and I may throw in and extra episode after the race to take on more Q&A. But if you just want a chance to take on a sit down, fire-side and take a chat with me, video hangout on Google+. If you’re following me on Google+, what I’ll do is the day before, or the morning of the video hangout, what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna put a link out for folks. And you’ll get that come across your Google+ feed. And you can come and join me and those will be recorded also and put on the BenGreenfieldFitness youtube page. If you’re not available for a live chat, and you just want to watch the video later on so we’ll be doing that in lieu of next week’s podcast. This weekend, we’ll also be releasing a really good interview about water and chlorine so people who swim can protect themselves better against the chlorine.
Brock: That’s fantastic. That came up last week when we were answering questions about the thick flam that happens sometimes when you’re swimming a long time especially in chlorinated water, I’m excited to hear that one.
Ben: It’ll be excellent, not to drag this special announcement for too long but a couple other quick things. First of all, for any people who are U.S.costumers, who order things like nutrition supplements, books, the gear that I recommend etc. over at pacific elite fitness we’ve added an Amazon prime style shipping there. It’s where you join as a prime member and you get free shipping for the year after you join. So, I’ll put a link on the show notes. A lot of people who order supplements can spend 300 to 400 dollars on shipping for the entire year. So this is for people who order supplements a lot. And stuff like that knocks that cost down. And then finally, last quick things is, we’ve got a ton of content at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, lots of articles, lots of podcast, and lots of videos. And one of my projects for the next month is to begin to subcategorize all the content. We’ve done a podcast on nutrition. We’ve done podcast on sports nutrition, on digestion and nutrition, and fat loss and nutrition etc. What I need is for somebody who really knows how to use word press, knows how to use categories, to kinda help me categorize the content. Preferably someone who’s geeked out a little bit on fitness and health and nutrition, kinda understands and listens to the podcast, who reads the blog and what I do, who wants to kinda help categorize stuff. So we can make the website easier for people to find content when they arrive.
Brock: You need a fitness librarian.
Ben: That is the role that I’m looking for, fitness librarian, email me, Ben at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. We’ll put that email address to the show notes too and hopefully we can work something out.
Listener Q and A:
Brock: As usual, tons of awesome questions, and a few audio question to start out with, and here is one from John.
John: Hey Ben, this is John. It’s a question for your podcast. I just completed a spring triathlon. And I’ve been swimming all winter and spring, feeling really good about the swimming. But I had a panic attack in the water and just could not catch my breath. I’ve been hanging to a canoe for the first time of my life. I’m just looking to see if you have any advice or guidance on how to avoid panic attacks or calm your mind during the swim. I thought you’d appreciate it, thank you.
Brock: I can completely relate John. Like I mentioned earlier, I went for my first open water swim of the year. And it’s always that adjustment period, just sort of, getting used to those waves. There’s no visible bottom. There are no lines on the ground. All that stuff can be pretty freaky.
Ben: Basically, me too, same thing. I remember first triathlon I did over in quarter lane, kinda like the first open water. I made it like a hundred yards out, all of a sudden, breathing constricted. I wanted to rip my wet suit off, from the chest, just rip it open and climb out of it. And came up and started treading water. And I’m like, this sucks. And of course, you think that you’re the only person feeling that as you’re out there treading water having this complete panic attack. If I looked around there, I’m sure would’ve seen a dozen other people doing the same thing. But it’s the culmination of it being black, of you being a high exertion load of it, sometimes being a little bit cold and all this things come together. And it’s almost like having an anxiety attack or panic attack. And the very first thing I want to mention, I want to skip this out of the way earlier, is make sure that your wet suit fits you correctly. In many cases people put on their wet suit. And there’s too much wet suit rubber down around the legs. And the hips and not enough pulled up around to the chest. And that in itself can cause this claustrophobic chest tightness feeling. You always want to make sure that you pull your wet suit when you’re swimming in the open water, all the way up, as far as you can, past the hips. The good wet suit is gonna take you 5 to 10 minutes to put on. You just can’t put on a wet suit quickly. And you’re going to find that you’re always more comfortable when you make sure you’ve pulled up the leg sleeves, the arm sleeves. And it’ll really spend a long time making sure that there’s not a lot of fabric collected especially down the quads, hand strings, hip area and your paw and all that, up from your chest and shoulders. So, that’s the first thing. The next thing is the acclamation to the water prior to the race beginning is incredibly important. Of course it should go without saying that if you have the opportunity to do any open water swimming leading to the race, you should. But before the actual race, try and get to your triathlon a little bit early. So that you have time to drive at the water’s edge, you could, 15 to 20 minutes, prior to the actual race start and give yourself a few minutes to kind of wade in, really gradually. And then give yourself a couple more minutes to practice dunking yourself under and recovering back by breathing after you’ve dunked yourself under. And then what you do is swim nice and slow and take about 30, 40 strokes nice and slow away from shore and then back towards shore and you should feel okay at that point because you’re not really exerting yourself too much. You’re not in a hurry. You’re trying to keep yourself nice and calm. And basically, you do that again. You swim away from shore and then back to shore. But this time you swim a little bit harder. And you start to practice siding and looking up a little bit. And then do it the third time and this time swim it more in a race pace like real hard, get your heart rate up there. And again, just like 30 to 40 strokes out, 30 to 40 strokes back. And if you’ve got the time at that point, you can kind of tread water a little bit. Dunk your face a few more times, look around and familiarize yourself with landmarks so you can fix something’s to sight off during the race. And then go line up for the start and you want to line up for the start generally about anywhere from 45 minutes prior to that, gone going off. And when the race actually starts, if you really don’t want to get this panic feeling, try to resist that urge to go out as hard as a lot of the crowd does for the 300 to 500 yards. And instead you just take your time. Understand that you may lose like 30 or 60 seconds if you don’t go out as hard as everybody else, and whole scheme of thing in terms of your comfort and your enjoyment of the day, that’s not super important. So I definitely do that and the other thing that I would do. And this is something I learned back when I was playing tennis to kinda help myself get relax. It was to help myself get relax when I was starting to freak out during a match that I was losing. When I started to get anxious or full of tension, this concept is called progressive muscular relaxation. And what you do with that is this technique that a lot of athletes and teams use. And it reduces anxiety by, basically, what you do is lie down on the ground. Or you find a really easy place for you to relax. And you tense your muscle up really tight and then you relax them. And it works best when you start at your feet. And you work your way up, all the way up to your forehead muscles, tensing and relaxing each muscle group as you go, and you’re gonna find that once you reach the very top of your head, you kinda in this state of extreme mental relaxation and at that point, you envision a colour, for me it was blue, it’s my colour of relaxation, it could be yellow, orange, whatever, and then you finish up your progressive relaxation session, and you kinda stand up and let yourself come back into the world, and when you do find yourself in a situation where your totally stressed out, you basically visualized that colour, or say that colour to yourself and that just helps you go back to that feeling that you had before, so where you don’t want to do this type of relaxation if right before a race, because it’s almost gonna leave you too relaxed, what you do is you just use this every once in a while, before workout or after workout and you kinda get to the point that you can grab that colour out of your head and use it to relax yourself, and, obviously, there’s like a dozen stress relaxation and muscle relaxation techniques out there but that one worked really well for me and still does. So, that’s another option.
Brock: I think I’ve mentioned before on the show, that I did a thing called cognitive behaviour therapy. I used to have a lot of problem with panic attacks and not just doing a triathlon or open water but sitting on the couch at home, alone, I’d have panic attacks, and two of the things I found that worked the best for me, and one of them was to actually rationalize what the fears were and really identify them rather than just being a more physical lewd of I’m scared to really picture and figure out what everything was. And then put it through a rational of why do I think this is actually going to happen, so in the open water, if you’re afraid of, let’s say, getting a cramp, you can think through it and say, why do I think I’m gonna get a cramp, have I ever gotten a cramp before, if I have ever gotten a cramp before, did it mean I drowned and died, or did it mean that I had to stop and massage it out, really working through the logistics of the actual problems and breaking them down, and the second thing is to make yourself aware of things outside of your body because it’s really easy to get on, when you start to get panicky, everything moves inside, everything is just inside your own head, so if you start to spawning things like a piece of seaweed, I’m aware of that piece of seaweed over there, I’m aware of somebody swimming next to me, I’m aware that the water is slowly leaking into the top of my left goggle, any of the kind of stuff that takes you out of your own head, you’ll just, all of a sudden, forget about your panic, you’ll forget about what’s going on, and you’ll actually be aware of what’s really happening, not what you think is going to be happening.
Ben: Great suggestion, and then for the sharks, chain mail, I would say, maybe that’s the option.
Brock: Okay, so our next audio question comes from Terri.
Terri: Hi Ben, my name is Terri, and this is probably not gonna make it to your podcast but I’m going to go ahead and do it for the future. I am doing a half marathon on the memorial weekend and I’ve been training, my issues regarding to morning training run, I have severe bowel bathroom issues when I do my long morning run. I go to the bathroom after breakfast, and later I walk the dog to loosen up into a dynamic stretching, and then I have to go again, 2 to 4 mile of my long run, again, and then 8 mile, then again. Is that my strength or my stomach won’t tolerate water? And then I end up with the walk run and now the strength and cramping. I’m much hydrated before I leave. I drink a lot of water. I eat high proteinBerryyogurt, apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, kinwa, and brown rice. No wheat except occasionally sour dough bread, only coconut or almond milk. Breakfast is living tail super berry one scoop and living berry, 1 scoop of protein with coconut milk, and 1 slice of fuzzy peaches with almond butter. Supplements are fish oil, digestive enzymesK2, vitamin D, only 2 super green capsules per day, and one magnesium tablet. I’m so totally psyched out. I’m even doing the half, but I have worked hard, can you help it all? I have no problems with my afternoon and evening runs. Any help you can give me, I would so very much appreciate it. Goodbye.
Ben: Interesting, and this is based off the complexity the circadian rhythm. If you step back and look at and consider what happens to your body before you wake up every morning, this is really all part of that, so at night, your body secreting melatonin, and that’s something that’s helping a lot on the repair and the recovery and the body temperature and everything, basically, be where it’s supposed to be at when you’re sleeping but right around an hour or so before you wake up is when that melatonin secretion is really significantly decreased and at that point, in combination with the production of light in many cases, you start to produce a lot of cortisol, that’s what wakes you up and pulls you out of bed and your body temperature goes up and your gastrointestinal tracks starts moving again and your cellular metabolism goes up, and usually anywhere, from an hour or two, after that, what happens, what’s called your colonic motility starts to increase and you generally are stimulated to have a bowel movement, that’s just the reason why at some point at the morning most people take a dump, and it’s why a lot of times if you are running or exercising in the morning, you can sometimes have a little bit more gastrointestinal discomfort, then if you’re doing it later on the day, after you’ve mobilized what you’ve got in there out of the system So, a big part of this is the circadian rhythm. And based on that, if you’re going to be going on a run or a workout in the morning, you’re either gonna need to figure out a way to get stuff out of the system earlier or figure out a way to kinda wake up your body a little bit earlier and get that cortisol going earlier so that you increase the gastrointestinal motility a little bit better, so that might be something as simple as being exposed to light for a longer period of time in the morning before your heading out for your workout, natural sunlight works best but you could buy this light boxes off Amazon that you set on your kitchen table during breakfast. And they amp up a bunch of light in your face and kinda bring your cortisol levels up and to help wake your body up to reset your circadian rhythm, you can try and use something at night before you go to bed so that you have a little bit gastrointestinal motility or the stuff basically slips out a little bit easier in the morning, like a liquid trace mineral, like a natural calm magnesium, that can help out quite a bit, what I use when I’m travelling, because jet-lag throw off your circadian rhythm, that’s why you get constipated a lot of times when you’re travelling is because your morning gastrointestinal motility is based on your circadian rhythm, dark cycles but also where you’re at in terms of where you’re supposed to be because of addition to light and dark, there’s another component of the circadian rhythm, it’s called nitric oxide synthase or NOS, in addition to circadian rhythm’s kinda being linked with the light-dark cycles that can also be linked to the production of this nitric oxide synthase, and so you’re one of these influenced by where we’re at in terms of where we’re used to be in as far as our time cycles are concerned and so when you’re travelling and jet-lag the times you do have, constipation and reduced to gastrointestinal motility so I’ll use like a high fiber, I use Capracleanse when I’m travelling, three in the morning and three in the evening and that, I get stuff moving super quick in the morning because that’s for a while, that was one of the worst times for me to workout was in the morning while I was travelling, especially because it just seems it takes stuff so much longer to get out of your system in the morning when your four or five times away from where you used to be so that’s another thing that I would look into, it would be the ability to push stuff out a little bit earlier in the morning but it’s really interesting how the circadian rhythm kinda works when it comes to regulating the activity of your stomach and your colon and basically the specific neurons that kinda line your gastrointestinal track that are super sensitive when it comes to the white-dark cycles and there’s actually researchers, there’s a few different research studies that I’ve looked at folks who worked on night shift, for example or people who a lot of disruptions of their natural circadian rhythms and you’ll see increases for colon cancer and increase gastrointestinal symptoms like constipation and diarrhea, well established in the research in this folks and a big part of that is the disruption of the circadian rhythm due to either a change in the light-dark cycles or simply a change in the normal day-night rhythm. These are definitely yokes, the gastrointestinal tract and the circadian rhythm and the best thing that you can do is to simply try and get stuff moving earlier and get a little bit light exposure earlier in the day to try and get the cortisol surging a little bit or else just start exercising in the afternoon or early evening.
Brock: I have two thoughts after that, Capra cleanse stuff that you use, that just a high fibre, is it?
Ben: It’s a lot of different stuff, It’s got a liver cleanse in there, it’s got whole food, high fibre blend in there. It’s got some essential oils in it. It’s got some digestive enzymes. It’s got some probiotics. It’s got a full on, I don’t want to say gastrointestinal nukes because that sounds bad. But what it does is it just keeps stuff moving along, so the times that I use it are when I’m travelling and if I’m using pharmaceuticals, I will make sure that I will get on this stuff for the liver cleansing properties because the liver’s happen to detox to greater extent when using pharmaceutical drugs or antibiotics or anything like that and then the other time that I’ll use it is if I’ve been drinking alcohol because alcohol is tough on the liver and it also tends to constipate you a little bit. So I just keep a bottle on my fridge and those are the three times when I use it, three in the morning and three in the evening it gets a lot quite a bit.
Brock: So will there be any problem for a say like a shift worker of some sort, like you were saying, the people who are switching schedules quite often, would there be any problem with them sort of taking that constantly or if they wanted to take something like that, should just take it on the days when they’re doing night shift or when the schedule is shifting or something like that.
Ben: You can take it constantly but still, I doubt it will just be a band aid just because circadian biology is super critical to your health and it’s the way that we’ve kind of, from an ancestral health standpoints lived for a very long period of time and there is a big link not only between your gastrointestinal health and your gastrointestinal motility and the circadian rhythm but also the proper function of your DNA, for example, a lot of cell cycling and gene regulation occurs during the deep sleep cycles that you experience in a proper circadian rhythm and so defects in circadian biology are linked to things like cancer and chronic disease because of that so I mean, unfortunately, I know somebody who’s working on night shift probably doesn’t want to hear this but you really are fighting biology when you’re in that situation and yes, if you’ve got gastrointestinal issues, the Capra cleanse is going to help but it’s only a band aid.
Brock: It will help you cope but it certainly no replacement.
Ben: Yeah, if you really want ideal function, you get on the proper light-dark sleep cycle.
Brock: Let’s move on to the next question that comes from Dave.
Dave: Hello Ben, my name is Dave, and I’m a member of your rockstar academy. The question for the podcast or just anybody who’d like to get back to me, I have an endurance weekend race coming up that will include a 5k run on the Friday night, sprint triathlon on Saturday morning, 500 swim, 30mile bike and 3 mile run, immediately followed by a trial on the same course, a 15 mile time trial course, roughly 3 to 4 hour break a then a 25 mile road race later that afternoon, and then a crit on Sunday morning. I’m a triathlete. I trained, not a cyclist necessarily and this will be on August inMississippi. So needless to say it will be very hot and very humid, I would love your advice for what you’re training would be for the week going into the race, more importantly what you’re fuelling and what you’re recovery attack would be going the race, first race between different disciplines, just how you handle that weekend in between different races, fuelling and recovering attack would be. Thanks again Ben, and keep up the good work.
Brock: First of all, do you know what a crit is?
Ben: Yeah, a criterion, like a cycling crit which is basically multiple laps around a specific section. A lot of times I had these in downtown cities, you’ll be doing a loop, high intensity super fast bike race. It’s fun stuff, lot of changes in pace, and typically a few crashes here and there, yeah, they’re fun. So this endurance sounds awesome. So we’ve got, we’ll run this out again for folks who didn’t get it, 5k run on Friday, and then you wake up the next morning, you have a sprint triathlon that’s immediately followed by a 15mile time trial on the bike and then you get a little break, and then you have a 25mile road race on the bike and then you wake up the next morning and you do this crit. So we’re talking about a lot of, this isn’t a three day long bike ride, this is a bunch of a really high intensity, high carbohydrate utilizing and muscle tearing type of activities performed three days in a row, and so where as if this was a long steady effort, I would be really prescribing or recommending higher fat intakes, some solid intake of cold amino acids from good protein sources like beef and fish and stuff like that and that type of thing, this is completely different, so we’re looking at trying to dose carbohydrates accordingly and, remember, while I do not believe that carbohydrates and high sugar intakes is healthy for you, it is definitely a great ergo genic drug to be used in situations like this to really amp up your energy levels so what I would do is start off by understanding that you’re going to want to keep your muscles as much as possible from cannibalizing or become cannibal during efforts like this so I’ll get your hands on a good pre-digested amino acids supplements, like an amino acids capsule or amino acids powder because you’re not going to have to require your gastrointestinal system to digest a whole protein and put out the energy necessary to digest a whole protein when you’re using a pre-digested amino acid so like before, pretty much on any of these efforts, you’re going to take those 30 to 60 minutes prior, five or ten grams of a good amino acid supplement, if you can’t afford a whole amino acid supplement, at least get a branch-chain amino acid supplement which is cheaper and is still going to allow some of that stating off of muscle degradation, so you do that right before, and then starting with your 5k run on Friday, basically you have a little bit of carbohydrate directly before your 5k run, like half a banana or an energy gel or anything of that nature. Now, immediately after your 5k run, and I’m looking at this based off of, if you’re going to run, I don’t know how fast Dave is, but anywhere from 15 to 30 minute 5k or a little bit more, you might burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories during that effort and it’s going to be primarily carbohydrate based calories, so immediately after the 5k run, when our bodies are going to be most able to uptake and restore muscle glycogen levels, you need about 400 to 600 calories who’re easy to digest carbohydrate, so we’re talking about sweet potatoes or white rice or brown rice, maybe some quinoa, some fruits that are nature but we’re looking about 400 to 600 calories of carbohydrates immediately after, and if you’ve done amino acids before, you don’t have to eat a ton of protein right after. Eat your regular food the rest of the day, you have my standby pre-race dinner the night before, it’ll be a little bit easy to digest protein like some fish with some greens, spinach or something like that, a little bit of potato with some rice with dinner on Friday night then you wake up in the morning before your sprint triathlon, two to three hours before that race, you want to have breakfast, normally, I would say, it doesn’t matter if you have breakfast before a sprint triathlon but since you are right after goes straight into a 15 mile time trial and then you get a break and then another big race after that, eat breakfast so that you’re not dipping too much into your storage muscle glycogen, so usually for breakfast before sprint triathlon, you’re going to be topping off your livers, glycogen source and that’s going to be again, about 400 to 600 calories of an easier to digest carbohydrate about two to three hours before your sprint triathlon in the morning so again, If I were you, I’d just be throwing a ton of sweet potatoes before this thing and just take and wrap them in aluminium foil and take them with you because that’s my favourite standby carbohydrate, so eat that before breakfast or eat that for breakfast two to three hours before that race and then, same thing, you do some amino acids 30 to 60 minutes prior to the sprint triathlon, you do the sprint triathlon and just like the 5k, you try and top off your glycogen that you burnt through with another 400 to 600 calories of easier to digest carbohydrate after you finish that sprint triathlon/time trial effort and because you’re going to be racing for a longer period of time than an hour, try and take in about 250 calories per hour during an event like that and then right after that event, because you’re going to have a three to four hour break before you start your next event, you again do 400 to 600 calories of carbohydrate before you go into your 25 mile road race and then you can pretty much do dinner the same way that you did on Friday night, a little fish with some easy to digest carbohydrate with some greens, you wake up Sunday morning, you treat that the same thing you did with Saturday breakfast, again do some amino acids right before the effort, and you go out and you race, now a bunch of people might be scratching their head and say, Ben, I thought you said that post work health nutrition was important and it was blown out of proportion by people who were trying to get you to eat within one or two hours after a workout when, really, you don’t need to, this is true, except in situations where you’re working out and then you’re going to be working out again within four hours or you’re doing two a day within pretty close proximity one another and they’re both intense, in a situation like that, post workout, nutrition becomes important and post workout carbohydrate become important, most people, in day to day lives, they’re working out once during the day, and so all of these description that I just went through of pre and post workout, amino acids, carbohydrate, all this stuff isn’t that important because you tend to top off your energy levels just with your normal day to day eating, when you get into situation like this, multiple workouts, two a day, that’s where this comes in much handier, and this is the same way I treat something like a training camp, like a week-long training camp because you’re doing multiple training session in multiple days, pre and post workout nutrition comes in much handier, so as far as a few other things, recovery is important, I’d be using a topical trans dermal magnesium, a spray on magnesium after every effort, after every one of these race, that can help recovery quite a bit, I would be kind of living in compression gear, compression tights, compression socks between each events, every evening, I’d be doing an ice bath or a cold shower to shut down inflammation a little bit along with some foam rower to make sure that you’re not getting super stiff between these events and then I’d make sure to really prioritize deep sleep by, again, doing something like using magnesium or using some melatonin or something to help you get into a really good solid sleep before you go to bed at night, and between this, that’s what I’d do, sounds like a fun weekend.
Brock: It does sound like a very fun weekend, just a word of caution if you’re going to do the magnesium spray and/or magnesium to let you sleep, make sure you don’t take more than you’re used to because it could ruin your weekend, you could spend the weekend on the toilet instead of running your races and riding your races.
Ben: So good rule of thumb is for most people, once you get above about 500 milligrams of magnesium, sometimes it could give you some loose stool, it depends, I’ve had some people go over a thousand but if you’re using the spray on magnesium, usually each spray is going to give you about 10 milligrams so think of it that way, so if you’re doing 250 milligram of magnesium before you go to sleep at night, you can still get another 25 sprays or so of a topical magnesium before your get to a point where you might be getting so much magnesium, basically the minerals are attracting some extra water in your colon and you get loose stool.
Brock: Which magnesium should they look for in the spray, there’s one that absorbs a lot better than the other one?
Ben: The one that I use is ancient mineral magnesium oil and that one, you can usually find it at a lot of health food stores and most website are going to have it, I’ll put a link to it in the show note about the stuff I use.
Brock: Next audio question comes from another John.
John: Hi Ben, this is Jonathan from Florida, I’m considering running the ING New York city marathon in November and I would greatly appreciate your advice as to, whether or not, it would be a smart move on my part. I’m primarily 27 years old, I’m about 5”7 and I weight on 145 pounds, I’ve run two half marathon over the last two years, and I’m going to the gym, usually around four times a week doing cardio and lifting weights, I’m in pretty good shape although I could lose maybe 5pounds off my stomach. A few years back, I actually weight about 185 and ended up losing all of that last two or three years. So each of the half marathons, I train usually using mostly high intensity interval training plus one long run per week. While training for the last half marathon which I had in March, I injured my right knee trying to run a five minute mile on a five percent inclined on the treadmill, there’s a very intense pain directly above and below my kneecap whenever I walk, so I went to the physical therapist and they told me I have a slight case of hyper mobility syndrome which is a basic means that my joints is move a little bit further that it should because the ligaments and tendons are slightly too loose all throughout my body. I’ve always noticed my knees and I’ve been a little bit on a hundred eighty degrees. So I haven’t really thought of anything of it and I kind of assumed that’s how everyone was, after each of the half marathons I did, I could not really walk for a few days due to intense pain on the top and bottom of my feet due to the tendons being strained which the doctor told me, I’ve receded pain, it pretty much went away and after a week or so, I could run again. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon and I feel like it’s sort of now or never because I’m pretty much on the best shape of my life and I obviously don’t want to do it if there’s any real chance to see if I could do it myself, given my condition in the past six years and the other half marathons, any advice including a brief training résumé, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks a lot and I love your show.
Brock: If you do theNew York Citymarathon, Ben will be there.
Ben: That’s what I was just going to say, I’m going to be there, so shout out to John, don’t do it John, no I’m just kidding, so I need every advantage I can get here, it’s a couple weeks after Iron man Hawaii so I know it’s going to be what’s the marathon, anyways though, hyper mobility syndrome or hyper mobility in any joints typically can really be improved to strengthening the connective tissues, the ligaments, the tendons and the muscles around that joint with weight training and I’m a huge fan of strength training for helping hyper mobility, I personally have fairly mobile shoulders and elbows and I can hyper extend both my elbows instantly, I’ve injured both of them snowboarding for that reason, but you can really decrease a lot of this issues that you’re having, would it be hyper mobile knees or hyper mobile joints, anywhere really with weight training, and it’s the reason why in most of the marathon training program that I write, the average person is only running anywhere from three to a maximum of five times a week, but strength training are good two to three times a week and in terms of the type of strength training that you do, for something like training for a marathon, full body, three times a week is a perfect place to start, the type of strength training program that you do is going to vary from person to person based of what you have access to but you take something like hyper mobility syndrome in your knee, a lot of times, that simply means that the patella, the knee cap is tracking laterally, tracking off to the side of the knee because the muscles inside the quadriceps tend to naturally be a little bit weaker and the ligaments on the outside of your leg to naturally be a little bit tighter, so you adjust something like that by doing a lot of strength training for the inside of the quadriceps, the VMO muscle, it’s called the Vastus Medialis, which would be like, straight leg races and leg extensions while making sure that you maintain range of motion in the outside of the light by doing something like foam rolling on the outside of your leg and you could just go through your whole body, doing full body weight training, making sure you do some foam rolling for any tight spots and not to blow off the sensor because I know that this type of pain, this type of injuries that John’s experiencing can be extremely frustrating but really, I would just start weight training and I would be really focusing high quality weight training session and John, I know that you’re saying that you go to the gym, I think you said four times a week, a lot of times and I know especially runners tend to get more prone, there’s really not enough heavy lifting going onto really cause the type of strength like hyper mobility, strength is necessary to adjust to something like hyper mobility, so I would be going heavy doing six, eight, ten reps in terms of your rep range using a weight that really challenges you and maybe even makes you rest for a little while in between reps, requires that maybe you have a spotter or if you can afford it a few times, just like a personal trainer to help you learn how much weight you actually can lift and really focus on the strength component, runners tend to have this propensity to focus on muscular endurance when they go to gym, and doing high rep, low weight, cardiovascular work, think like a weight lifter when you go to the gym, that’ll really help you in terms of building up the type of strength necessary to help on something like hyper mobility, a marathon training program that I wrote over at marathondominator.com, I put that together with the running coach from Seattle and that’s a solid program. We’ve got a lot of injury prevention stuff/ strength training/ minimalist running approach in that. And that’d be a good one for you to use forNew York City marathon. Or you can go to New York City marathon webpage where they have training programs written out and you can merge that with three times a week, full body, heavy strength training program and that’s really what I’d be doing in that situation and I see no reason why you wouldn’t be able to run the marathon as long as you get your body strong.
Brock: That race is until November, is it? So there’s lots of time, plenty of time to get this taken care of.
Ben: Right, yeah, so our next question comes from Greg and Sharon.
Greg and Sharon: We noticed in one of your videos at home, you have a water filtering system. I don’t remember the name of it but we looked at it about two years ago and wondered about it, I even contacted the company with my question. When the water is filtered through all of the layers, it stays in your container with the filter, right? In other words, you just spent the whole night filtering water, but the filter stays up in the middle of the water after its filtered. Where did the impurities from the water go?
Brock: That’s a little bit of a confusing question. But I think I understand it, the idea is the water’s being filtered but nothing’s coming out of the filter in the water you’re drinking.
Ben: Right, well, I thought this question was so interesting because I literally got a new water filter put into my home last night, so I thought this was an interesting and very relevant question, but up until last night, what I used was an activated carbon filter which basically, what carbon does is carbon removes certain sizes of particles from the water prior actually in the faucet or in your shower and carbon is incredibly absorbent, it’s basically like charcoal and so one pound of carbon can absorb thousands and thousands of different chemicals and the way that this filter is designed is the carbon absorbs the contaminants that are in the water and the actual water that you’re drinking doesn’t then pass to those contaminants the second time so that’s why this question kind of confused me because it’s just like the way the filter is built, carbon removes the contaminant from the water and the way that it does that is it attracts negatively charged ions to the positively charged carbon and then when those pass through the carbon, they’re removed and so they kind of almost, if you think of it this way, they stick to the carbon and they can’t end up in your water after they’ve already passed through the carbon and activating carbon filters are pretty good because they’ll take out pesticides or besides, chlorine, benzine, a lot of the manmade chemicals that you’re going to find in tap water, and though they remove some heavy metals, unfortunately, like a lot of filters do, they will remove a good portion of minerals as well so there’s something from the water that you’re not going to get, although some mineral do actually pass through a carbon filter, carbon isn’t going to do much for bacteria and viruses, it doesn’t give anything for fluoride, it doesn’t give anything for nitrates, and unfortunately, if you have iron in the water, carbon is pretty useless in terms of filtering iron too but it’s a decent way to go, going with an activate carbon filter, the person who I interviewed about protecting yourself from the effects of chlorine, and even drinking chlorinated water goes in the water filtration in this weekend’s podcast so I will really geek out on the type of the water filters too much but that’s going to have a carbon filter works that I had in home until last night, and then at the risk of scaring everyone away with Woo-woo science I’ve had that entire water unit replaced with what’s called the structure water unit and basically what a structured water unit does is it actually affects the molecular structure of the water, so water is actually passing through to what’s called a vortex, a series of glass beads and what that does is it actually affects the formation of all these different water molecule, different h2o molecules that are stuck together and it affects the way that these cluster together and basically creates water molecules that are clustered quite regularly or a very organized fashion and that can help out in terms of lowering the surface tension of the water and it improves the extent towards the waters able to hydrate yourselves, it can improve the ability of, like the plants growing in our backyard to be able to absorb the water a little bit better, it kind of redefines what’s called the atomic vibration of the actual atoms that makeup the hydrogen and oxygen molecules within the water and it basically affects the way that things like toxins and larvicides and pesticides are actually in the water and it kind of separates those from the water almost like a sediment type of action so you’re still getting all the minerals from the water but it’s a structured water, hydrates a little bit more completely passes out a lot of other stuff through sedimentation and it’s really, the reason I had it put in my house is because my dad is basically in a process of building a business right now, he’s really trying to help farmers get better yield from crops and get better vegetables, better fruits through the type of water that they use on crops and he proposed to me that he wanted to put one of these in the my house so I studied it up a little bit and I said okay, and we’ll do it, so it’s in my house now and I’ve literally had maybe one glass of water since I had it put in but that’s what I used now in terms of the filter.
Brock: The coolest part of this new filter is that it actually transports you to an alternate dimension as well.
Ben: It’s actually pretty cool. I’ve been travelling all over the world through my special new vortex installed in my bathroom closet.
Brock: All right, the next question comes from Scott.
Scott says: My daughter is a competitive high school swimmer and also has scoliosis with a 27 percent curvature. This has been a great activity for her for the past 12 years and has really helped her body stay strong. However, this spring season, she has developed a sharp pain on exhaling forcefully or on impact like diving or pushing off the wall. She has never scratched a race before but now, she is unable to complete a 100 meter backstroke rather breaststroke. The pain is located on her left side, the low side of her spinal curvature, below the scapula in her rhomboid. She’s been icing, stretching, using ibuprofen and electrostim. Do you have any suggestions on how to rehab the injury and any special considerations for rehab and training given her scoliosis?
Ben: Let my start by saying that I’m not a doctor and I certainly don’t specialize in things like scoliosis, I’ve talked about the type of weight training sessions that you can do with mild scoliosis and how to be a little bit comfortable weight training but when it comes to scoliosis, one of the issues especially with kids is that your body changes as you get older and specifically, if you’ve got this side curve in your spine, that curve can progress with gravity and with activity and basically what we do is we age and as that progresses, the spine can begin the rotate and since each one of your ribs are attached to your spine, your ribs can start to shift as well so the ribs on kind of a concave side of the side of the curve start to get crowded together and the ribs on the convex side of the curve that’s rotating the other way, they’ll start to spit apart and it can create this type of discomfort, this type of pain especially a swimmer who’s trying to stretch out with each stroke, it can create this pain because it begins to crowd the lungs, it begins to crowd the heart, these ribs, they shift and as they change it’s so, it’s kind of a tough call in this case because we’re talking about pain management to a certain extent but that kind of being a temporary band aid over the need for potentially and more aggressive type of treatment for something like this, like for example, they have what we call rib therasoplastis which is an actual surgical technique to help out with this type of rib shifting that takes place. And you could go to the website, for example, for the National Scoliosis Foundation and you could read up on like a rib therasoplastis that tells about something like this. There’s also a really good book out there that was written by someone with scoliosis that’s really, fairly thorough in terms of outlining, the types of shifts that occur when you have scoliosis and some of the surgical and medical options that are available for those and that book which I’ll link to at the show notes for you, for this episode, episode 195, it’s called Stopping Scoliosis and you could read that book as well to help you out a little bit, I know that this point, what you don’t want to hear is to go read a book but I just want you to understand that sometimes there’s stuff that can’t be fixed by stretching and weight lifting because is natural physical shift in the ribs, I do know that a lot of chiropractic physicians listening to this show and they certainly get exposed to some of this structural change type of information a little bit more than I do. And so, if Carol is listening, you may want to leave a comment on the show notes as well, as far as pain management, from all of the evidence that I’ve seen, ibuprofen doesn’t work quite as well as, could’ve seen a doctor and see if you can get a personal prescription for something like a low dose naproxen for pain management until you can get to a point where you get this sorted in terms of kind of seeing if there is going to need to be a little bit of surgery that takes place unfortunately, you bounce back from surgery like that super fast, it’s a pretty quick surgery with, anywhere from one, two or three month recovery, the other thing you could look at is their developing a lot of these newer night time braces for scoliosis that are designed to be fitted to the body and worn just when you’re sleeping at night, you don’t have to go through the embarrassment or discomfort of wearing them during the day but they’re designed to increase flexibility and to induce some structural changes while you’re asleep at night and you could look into these type of night time braces for scoliosis as well to see if that helps out a little bit too. I know that’s not really a fix as much as just kind of giving you more information to act on but those are some of the things that I would look into.
Brock: Those are all great suggestion. All right, our next question comes from Jenell.
Jenell says: Now, I want to know what your take is on Veggie Straws by Sensible Portions. They seem to be healthy and are all natural with no preservative but I have my guard up so to speak on them because at times, what seems healthy for you really isn’t. If you could provide your feedback on this, it would be greatly appreciated.
Ben: Veggie straws by Sensible Portions, you probably seen this before, it’s like this back and they’re literally like straws and their different colours and there’s a lot of commercials for them and their advertised as being like the alternative to potato chips that are cholesterol free and have no preservatives, and it is true that they’re a little bit lower in preservatives, in oils, in trans fats, in any of the leading potato chip brands out there, but they’re basically like potato flour, sunflower oil and cornstarch and they’ve added some spinach powder and tomato puree in them in order to be able to call them vegetable chips and some salt and some sugar and some turmeric, there are definitely worse things in the planet that you could be snacking on but these are not going to do you any favours nutritionally, they’ve got like zero percent of your vitamin A and 2 percent of your vitamin C and 1 gram of fibre which is basically nothing, if you’ve got nothing else to snack on and you want to grab one of these to satiate your appetite, it’s not that big of a deal, they’re not going to kill you, they don’t have a ton of added ingredients in them like many of the processed snacks out there do but there are better options out there, it’s so easy to make something like kale chips with some oil and some really mineral and nutrient rich kale and you just wash kale and you literally spray it with olive oil, not extra version olive oil but like regular olive oil which is fairly heat stable and then you just toss them in the oven for anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want then and we have to all the time during summer, it’s super easy to make, you can make a big batch on them, keep them on a bowl in your kitchen counter and they’re really good, sprinkle them with a little sea salt with they come out of the oven and that’s a great recipe, I’ll link for a recipe for kale chips in the show notes but it’s that easy, you literally just have the kale, cut them into pieces, you lay them on the baking pan, spray with olive oil or you sprinkle with olive oils or you can even put it in a bowl and just stir it up with some olive oil and you throw them in the oven. I’m not really against the Veggie straws, it’s just that, I would go for kale chips, we do the same thing with nori chips as well, the sheets of seaweed the you can get, you can do a really similar thing as kale chips, this stuff is to easy to make at home and it’s so much better when you make it at home that I don’t see why you wouldn’t do that.
Brock: And as the old saying goes, if you’re not hungry enough to eat kale chips, you’re probably not that hungry.
Ben: That is a saying that I’ve never heard in my life before, Brock.
Brock: Yeah, I just made it up.
Julia says: I am recovering from a fracture to my tibial plateau and a recently bruised sternum, got a little stupid using a poorly adjusted upright rower at the gym. I’m trying to picture out how and why, can you figure out how she did this?
Ben: I was thinking maybe she got underneath the actual rowing machine itself and was trying to drag it across the gym with her chest.
Brock: Maybe somebody was throwing it at her and she didn’t catch it. Anyway, obviously, chest and weight bearing exercise is contraindicated. Do you have any creative exercise to share, particularly ones that can strengthen my lower body in some way?
Ben: Well, step back and look at this from a bigger perspective, I get injured, folks that are training get injured, everybody that works out kind of gets injured and the other, they’re certainly like strategies that you can use to stay fit when you’re injured and typically, a gym membership comes in really handy just because gyms have machines that isolate body parts and that can allow you to get a decent weight training strength training workout without hurting an injured joint because part of the joint’s healing is a little bit of rest and protection of that particular joint so whereas I’m not normally a fan using weight machines in the gym when I’m working with somebody who’s injured or kind of giving me advice on somebody who’s injured, there really can be a good way to isolate an area, keep you strong, give you a little bit of cardiovascular workout if you turn it into a weight training circuit and I’ll link to an article that I released over at EveryManTri.com, but it just kind of goes to common injuries and how you can stay fit with certain injuries, like if you hurt your ankle on you foot, I’ve got to work out on there, where you’re doing a lot of work called open chain exercises where your feet are in contact with the ground where you’re doing like machine leg extensions, machine leg curls, inclined dumbbell chest press, lat pull downs, stability ball push ups, inclined dumbbell row, and some hanging leg raises. Doing that is a circuit and kind of going through it, several times through knee injury, similar thing, where you’re just doing a circuit one day where it’s all kind of like upper body cables, a circuit another day works a lot of core work and again, kind of done as a circuit, back to back, minimal rest between exercises, keeping you in cardiovascular condition and still strength training you without actually working the legs, similar thing for a shoulder injury, you can do a lot of metabolic work on the bike, on the elliptical, on the treadmill, you can combine that with some jumps, with some single side work for the opposite unaffected shoulder and there’s so many different ways that you can take an injury that when you’ve got 1 body part that’s injured, you just use that as the opportunity to find some ways to isolate the other body parts and strength and those instead, so I’ll link to that article in the show notes but in this case, if you hurt your chest and you also have a fractured tibial plateau which is basically down in your leg, my recommendation would be that during your workout where you are primarily targeting your core and your targeting the unaffected leg and you’re doing some exercises that aren’t really pulling sternum and your ribs in too much like some curls and some triceps extensions and things like that, generally what I’ll do, if I’m really beat up and I’ve had bike crashes before where it’s like three to four different muscle groups are hurt, I’ll just find as many different exercises I can that leave those muscle groups out of the equation, I’ll string those exercises together in a circuit and just go to the gym and do that circuit every other day and you can bind it out with a little low intensity non-weight bearing like water workout like aqua jogging or some swimming or something like that, you can usually string yourself through an injury and stay relatively fit.
Brock: Sounds like aqua jogging would be a great way to get some cardio with these particular injuries right here.
Ben: Yeah, fractured tibial plateau depending on the extent of the fracture, something like aqua jogging could work, something like single leg strength targeting for the unaffected leg can also work, single leg extensions, leg curls, cable kicks forward, cable kicks back, that type of thing.
Brock: I know there’d be a previously to, it’s probably like 20 or 30 episodes ago, you actually talked about how the affected, if you’re exercising one leg, let’s say you’re doing leg raises with your left leg, your right leg is actually getting a workout as well, there’s some sort of neuromuscular connection between the two.
Ben: Yeah, you get that contra lateral training effects, yeah, absolutely, that’s why when one side is injured, you should work the other side.
Brock: I’ve always been worried that I should always keep it even, like if you’re doing 20 curls on one side, you should be doing 20 curls on the other side as well but it’s not so. Okay, so our next question comes from Carla .
Carla says: I’m very lean, normal BMI, body fat percentage, mother of three. I exercise five times a week; cardio, weights, plyometrics, high intensity intervals etc., but after 3 C-sections, my abs are not responding and I can’t get rid of the excess skin in the lower part of my abs. I am considering a tummy tuck. Is there any other way?
Ben: Just throwing this out there, guys don’t really mind C-sections too much and I think that women, a lot of time, are their worst critics, I know my wife has occasionally complained about her stomach or whatever and honestly, I don’t even notice it, so don’t beat yourself up too much if you had a C-section and your tummy shows that, it’s just part of life, first of all, I don’t want to kind of make you think that your body’s got to be perfect, I personally, I don’t mind the C-section look at all, just shows the you’ve lived.
Brock: Even the first part of the question really points to being, doesn’t seem like anything’s wrong, I’m very lean, normal BMI and body fat percentage, doesn’t sound like there’s a problem.
Ben: Yeah, a lot of times when you’re seeing a magazine cover model who’s had baby and you know they’ve had a C-section, there’s a lot of times some airbrushing that’s going on there, so first of all, I wouldn’t let it bother you too much, it’s not that big of a deal, you can get a tummy tuck to get real loose skin and it is fairly effective at getting rid of excess skin, you can also just try to take care of the skin as much as possible, try to nourish and care for the skin, get as much circulation going into the skin so that you’re really increasing collagen and elastin formation, there are skin tightening creams out there that have herbal formulas and ingredients like aloe vera and like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A and all of that stuff can actually help out quite a bit whether you’ve lost a bunch of weight and you’ve got loose skin or whether you’ve had a C-section, you have loose skin, collagen and elastin can really help to restore the integrity of skin, even though in some cases, it mean using this creams for good six to 12 months before you notice a really significant difference, making sure that you’re getting adequate protein, of course, is also really important to make sure that you’ve got the amino acids on board to help to form the collagen and elastin, to kind of keep the skin nice and plump and hydrated in and elastic, plump is probably the wrong word to use when we’re talking about the tummy but aside from plump, I’d say, just basically have a little bit of tightness to the skin so making sure that you’re getting adequate protein around 0.5 to 0.7 grams per pound, it’s generally what I like to see for protein intake, that’s good as well as attending to you hydration needs since water is a very critical component for maintaining your skin elasticity. As far as getting skin tightening cream, stuff like that, new website I recently discovered was called GreenCupboards, they’ve got a lot of pretty good kind of like body care, personal health care type of creams and lotions and stuff like that. I’ll link to that in the show notes for you. Ultimately, aside from a skin firming cream, getting enough protein in your diet and making sure to stay hydrated, just include lots of good ab exercises can especially help as well, kind of keeping the underline muscle nice and tone, sounds like you’re eating cardio weights and plyometrics and high intensity interval training so you’re probably okay but I’ll also link in the show notes that in 195 for you to an exercise article I wrote about ab exercises for pregnancy and the same type of ab exercises for pregnancy, there’s 14 of them that I put there, can also be done post pregnancy, post C-section and can really help to firm the tummy a little bit and that situation too so, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes.
Brock: I’m drinking some kombucha, this ginger kombucha and when you get to the bottom, there’s all that sediments, it’s like the kombucha’s sediment but it’s also like really intense ginger and it’s burning the heck at the back of my throat.
Ben: I apologize in advance for Brock’s ginger kombucha consumption distracting you from answering your question, will you be okay champ?
Brock: That’s good stuff. I hope it’s doing some good in the inside. If I’m not back next week then you know the kombucha got me. Okay, our final question comes from Gregory.
Gregory says: I weigh 250 lbs and I’m 31. I want to get bigger arms but I also want to lose weight, how do I go about doing this without using small weights? I was told that I should just do a bunch of cardio to drop the weight then start lifting. Others have suggested that I do a circuit with a high heart rate, like do some heavy weights then light weights at high rep then some quick cardio. So, how am I supposed to get/maintain some big muscles and trim down to like 225/230?
Ben: So this is something we’ve mentioned last week in intro, I think it was last week, about the new studies, a couple of them may have come out in recent years that shows that it doesn’t matter if your goals is to get nice big muscle in a specific body part, like in this case, bigger arms, doesn’t matter if you lift heavy or if you lift light, all that matters is that you worked in muscle to exhaustion or to failure and at that point, the muscle will get bigger, now if you’re trying to get stronger, if you’re trying to get more powerful, yes, you do need to lift heavy weights but if all you’re trying to do is get a muscle bigger like get your arms bigger, then is doesn’t matter if you do 50 pound curls or 300 pound dead lifts or you 25 pound curls or a 150 pound dead lifts, as long as your lifting to exhaustion, you’ll be able to get a specific muscle part bigger so if you’re trying to lose weight and get big muscles at the same time, first of all, what you should know is that weight training is just as good as cardio for fat loss, so what that means is that the calorie burn, the hormonal response for fat loss, all of the is just as good, if not, more superior when you’re weight training and so especially, when someone comes to me and they want to get good looking muscles and they also want to burn fats simultaneously, one of the things that I try to avoid in those type of folks is chronic cardio, it’s doing lots of time on the treadmill, lots of time on the bike, lots of metabolic work, get a lower intensity, just because that tend to have a have a catabolic kind of muscle wasting type of effect, yes, that’s necessary for someone who is going to need to go for long periods of time due to the riggers of their sport like a triathlete or marathoner but there’s always going to be some sacrifice of muscle when something like that takes place, so when somebody wants to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, I’m a huge fan of relying primarily on the weight training to burn the fat and the best type of work out for burning fat and building muscle at the same time is to do a weight training set and in this case I would recommend slight higher reps, slightly lower resistance so you’ll get a little bit of that cardiovascular effect followed by a quick cardio boost so you’re going to take, for example, five different exercises that when strung together work your entire body so we’re going to go chest press, we’re going to go pull-up, we’re going to go shoulder press, we’re going to go row, and we’re going to want to go squat, and you’re going to do three sets for each of those exercise but after each set that you do, you’re going to do a quick burst of high intensity cardio like 30 seconds as hard as you can go on the bike and when you get to the end of that circuit of exercises, you’re going to go back to the beginning so you’re going through a circuit three times through hitting each muscle group three times, that’s an example of a really good workout for building muscle and burning fast simultaneously and then you’re going to move on and you’re going to take that one muscle section that you’re really wanting to focus on as a vanity section, like your arms in this case, and you’re just going to work them to exhaustion so you’re going to finish up that workout with cable curls, or dumbbell curls, you can do one set to exhaustion, you can do several set to exhaustion, bigger arms typically mean you’re working both your biceps and you’re triceps so you can work back and forth, biceps and triceps, both to exhaustion but that’s the way that I’ll put together a training program for something like this and if you’re overweight, there are other things that you can make sure that you do just to make sure you’re keeping your body in really good fat burning capacity as much as possible, getting adequate sleep, staying active when you’re not at the gym, so you’re kind of keeping your body in fat burning mode, getting adequate recovery between workouts, all the kind of stuff that kind of already goes without saying but don’t just beat yourself up at the gym and go live a crappy lifestyle the rest of the time, you got to make sure that you’ll really take care of yourself on a sleep recovery and over all physical activity standpoint if you really want to vastly improve your results, that’s kind of the standpoint that I’d come from when it comes to something like this.
Brock: That sounds really good and that also concludes this weeks questions. Good work!
Ben: I know I use dumbbell curls as an example a lot when I answered that question but honestly, I’m not a huge fan of dumbbell curls, if you want to get guns, do dead lifts and pull-ups. That’s the way I do it, I’ve got a pull-up bar installed to the door at my office, every time I go in my office or go out of my office, my rule is I have to do 5 pull-ups.
Brock: Underhand? Or overhand?
Ben: It’s the perfect pull-up bar so when you do the pull-up, it kind of rotates as you pull-up, it starts of overhand but it kind of almost goes underhand as you pull yourself up but it saves your shoulders a little bit that way, the bar is 19 bucks and I installed it at the door of my office, it’s super solid, and honestly, just by doing 5 pull-ups, it’s probably, I do it 15 times a day, doing five pull-ups, I can now jump onto a pull-up bar at the gym and easily rep out 25, 30 bodyweight pull-ups, no problem.
Ben: Yeah, and my dad can beat up your dad.
Brock: I won’t go there. Anyway, if anybody has any questions for the podcast, you can do it two ways, or three ways actually, you can click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page and you don’t have to memorize that, it’s on the website if you go to Episode 195, you can also Skype to Pacificfit or you can go again to the website, scroll down to the bottom of any of the podcast post and there’s a form right there, the Ask Ben form, so you can fill in that.
Ben: And then I remember, go to the show notes for this episode, episode 195, we’ll have a link to the BenGreenfieldFitness Google+ , and you’ll be able to join me multiple times next week for a video hang out and again, I want to keep question on the topics for the video hangout really focused on kind of the hydration, electrolyte and recovery during the big training week type of scenario so if you’re interested in any of that stuff, come and join, if you’ve got some other questions, that’s fine too but really, I want to focus on the stuff.
Brock: I’m going to be really disappointed if you’re not wearing a grass skirt and holding some sort of a fancy drink with an umbrella in it.
Ben: And I coconut bra.
Brock: You can wear that if you like. I’m not making that a stipulation.
Ben: All right folks, this is Ben Greenfield and Brock signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com, have a great week!
For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net
May 23, 2012 – free audio podcast: Can Coffee Really Make You Live Longer? Also: panic attacks in open water, bathroom issues during your morning run, preparing for an “endurance weekend”, hypermobility syndrome, water filtration, pain while swimming with scoliosis, are Veggie Straws healthy, staying strong while recovering from injury, c-sections and tummy tucks, and building bigger arms while losing weight.
Have a podcast question for Ben? click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype to “pacificfit” or scroll down on this post to access the free “Ask Ben” form.
If you have trouble listening, downloading, or transferring to your mp3 player just e-mail [email protected]. Also, please don't forget to leave the podcast a ranking in iTunes – it only takes a minute of your time and it helps grow our healthy community!
- Can coffee really make you less likely to die?
- Eating junk food is more costly than eating health food?
In lieu of next week's podcast, Ben will be doing multiple Google+ hangouts – with a focus on big training weeks, recovery and hydration – so be sure to follow the Google+page to get in on the video hangouts with Ben.
US customers can now join Pacific Elite Fitness Prime membership – and get free shipping for the year on Ben Greenfield's recommended nutrition supplements, books, gear and more!
Ben now has workouts available – on the PEAR exercise device.
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Thailand Adventure – Join Ben in Thailand this winter for the triathlon adventure of a lifetime at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon and the Asia Pacific 70.3 Triathlon! Get all the details at www.pacificfit.net
As compiled and read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.
Audio Question from John:
He just finished a sprint triathlon. He's been swimming all winter and spring but had a panic attack in the water during the race. Hung on to a canoe for the first time in his life. How can he avoid this in the future? How can he calm his mind during the swim.
Audio Question from Terri:
She has bowel/bathroom issues during her morning training runs. She eats breakfast, goes to bathroom, walks dogs, goes to the bathroom again, and then again a few more times during the run. She does not have this problem during afternoon and evening runs.
Audio Question from Abe (sorry… I mean Dave):
He has an “Endurance Weekend” race coming up: 5k run on Friday, sprint triathlon Saturday morning, followed by 15 mile time trial. Then after a 3 to 4 hour break, there is a 25 mile road race. On Sunday morning there is a “crit”. What would you do training, fueling and recovery for the week of the race?
~ Here is my magnesium oil.
Audio Question from John:
John is considering running the ING New York City Marathon. He has run 2 half marathons, goes to gym 4 times a week, and is in good shape (but could lose 5lbs around stomach). Has a slight case of hypermobility syndrome in his knee. After previous half marathons could barely walk for a few days (due to foot pain). He really wants to do a full marathon but doesn't want to break himself.
~ In my response to John, I mention www.marathondominator.com, since it sounds like he's not really doing much weight training.
Greg and Sharon ask:
We noticed in one of your videos at home you have a water filtering system. I don't remember the name of it but we looked at it about two years ago and wondered about it (I even contacted the company with my question). When the water is filtered through all of the layers it stays in your container with the filter, right? In other words, you just spent the whole night filtering water, but the filter stays up in the middle of the water after it's filtered. Where did the impurities from the water go?
My daughter is a competitive high school swimmer and also has scoliosis (27% curvature). This has been a great activity for her for the past 12 years and I feel has helped keep her body strong. However, this spring season she has developed a sharp pain on exhaling forcefully or on impact (like diving or pushing off the wall). She has never scratched a race, but now is unable to complete a 100 breaststroke. The pain is localized on her left side (the ‘low' side of her spinal curvature) below her scapula in her rhomboid. She's been icing, stretching, using ibuprofen, and electo-stim. Do you have any suggestions on how to rehab the injury and any special considerations for rehab and training given her scoliosis?
~ In my response, I mention the book “Stopping Scoliosis“.
Now, I know this may come off as a weird question, but what is your take on Veggie Straws by Sensible Portions. They seem to be healthy and are all natural with no preservatives but I have my “guard up” so to speak on them because at times what seems healthy for you really isn't. If you could provide your feed back on this it would be greatly appreciated.
~ In my response, I mention my top 5 quick summer fat loss recipes, including kale chips.
I am recovering from a fracture to my tibial plateau and a recently bruised sternum (got a little stupid using a poorly adjusted upright rower @ the gym). Obviously, chest and weight bearing exercise is contraindicated. Do you have any creative exercises to share, particularly ones that can strengthen my lower body in some way.
~ In my response, I mention this article.
I'm very lean, normal BMI/BF% , mother of 3. I exercise 5 x a week (cardio/weights/plyometrics/hiit etc), but after 3 C-sections my abs are not responding and I can't get rid of the excess skin in the lower part of my abs. I am considering a tummy tuck. Is there any other way?
I weigh 250 lbs and I'm 31 I want to get bigger arms but I want to loose weight, how do I go about doing this without using small weights? I was told that I should just do a bunch of cardio to drop the weight then start lifting. Others have suggested that I do a circuit with a high heart rate, like do some heavy weights then light weights at high rep then some quick cardio. So, how am I supposed to get/maintain some big muscles and trim down to like 225/230?