#263: 5 Ways To Stay Awake Without Coffee, Why You Shouldn’t Mix Carbs and Fats, How To Build Extreme Speed & Much More!

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Nov 13, 2013 Podcast: How to build extreme speed, why sugar causes heart disease, 5 ways to stay awake without coffee, is high potassium bad, stomach problems during long runs, what are the best blood sugar controllers, how to gain body fat in a healthy way, what is the best kind of electrotherapy, and is DNA testing worth it?

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, edited and sometimes read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.

How To Build Extreme Speed

Alex says:
He is currently in the military and hoping to become a police officer. Both professions require being able to go from 0 to 100 in a split second without a warmup. Is there anything he can do to prepare his body, improve his performance doing this and reduce the potential for injury?

Why Sugar Causes Heart Disease

Archie says:
He has heard Ben talk about avoiding sugar if you are eating a high fat diet. Do you need to avoid eating sugar all the time or just at the same time as eating fat (eg. apples + bananas in a high fat smoothie) or is there a timing aspect to it? Can you clarify how this effects heart health?

-In my response I mention a blood glucose monitor.

5 Ways To Stay Awake Without Coffee

Becca says:
She needs help staying awake. She is a 22-year-old personal trainer with an active lifestyle who struggles to stay awake while sitting still and paying attention (ie. in class, in church, driving). The rest of the day, when she is up and moving, she is fine. She sleeps well, falls asleep as soon as her head hits the pillow and sleeps through the night. She doesn't like coffee and avoids energy drinks.

-In my response I mention inverted positionsTianChi, delta-E or edible green tea, curcumin and cold showers.

Is High Potassium Bad?

David says:
In January he started eating Paleo/Primal and increased his fat intake. He has been testing his electrolytes since then, and has noticed his potassium levels are increasing steadily. In Jan it was 4.7, in May it was 5.6, and in Sep it was 5.8. His CO2 levels are steady at 21. He only exercises once a week (body weight work). His blood panel showed that his kidney and liver function is all ok. Should he be worried about his potassium levels? Why are they on the rise?

-In my response I mention my article on reducing stress and also Himalayan salt from Onnit.

Stomach Problems During Long Runs

Derrick says:
He has done some serious ultra running and using your advice from the podcast his recovery and performance has been increasing exponentially… but has noticed that during long runs (over 8 hours) his ability to ingest sugar decreases dramatically to the point that he is unable to run (ends up in a drunken waddle). He has been trying out Feed Zone Portables and chewing MAP every 20 minutes, which has helped, but his stomach still sours. How can he increase his ability to ingest sugars and is there anything he can take to help settle his stomach during the race?

-In my response I mention: Digestive enzymes and The Endurance Pack

What Are The Best Blood Sugar Controllers?

Eric says:
We all know you prefer Bitter melon for blood sugar control but how do you feel about Glycosolve (Berberine HCL and Banaba Leaf Extract) that Jimmy Moore is always talking about?

-In my response I mention MPX100.

How To Gain Body Fat In A Healthy Way

Greg says:
He is looking for a way to increase his body fat (not necessarily his weight) in a healthy way. He is over 6 feet tall but only 53kg and 5% body fat. Is there a specific amount of calories he should eat and, perhaps more importantly, what should the percentage of fat, carbs and protein be? There are a lot of opinions out there around what percentage is appropriate especially for someone trying to gain fat.

-In my response I mention The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet.

What Is The Best Kind of Electrotherapy?

Paul says:
How does the ARPwave compare to the Compex Electrostim Unit? He has been using the ARPwave to cure a very tight calf muscle at a local sport clinic and it worked very quickly. Can he switch to a Compex?

-In my response I mention the Compex Sport Elite.

Is DNA Testing Worth It?

Roberto (alldamnday28) says:
He is wondering about the DNA testing he has been seeing commercials for on the TV (which he knows he shouldn't be watching). Is this effective? Is it worth looking into? How could this help him in the long run?

-In my response I mention 23andme.com genetic testing.


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15 thoughts on “#263: 5 Ways To Stay Awake Without Coffee, Why You Shouldn’t Mix Carbs and Fats, How To Build Extreme Speed & Much More!

  1. ffirestine says:

    If you Google "fuhgeddaboudit" you can see the signs in Brooklyn with the correct spelling. :-) Thanks!

  2. ffirestine says:

    First of all, I found the show opening to be highly offensive! :-) I have family members who live in southern New Jersey (aka South Jersey), which is more closely identified with Philadelphia and the accent for the Pennsylvania/Delaware/Maryland area. North Jersey as popularized on television… Ugh. Since your accent was a bit muddled, I will add that I am a longtime resident of the NYC area, and that sounded like something out of The Honeymooners TV show. Nice try, though.

    On a more serious note, I am cycling off caffeine for a week based on your previous recommendations. This is my third month of three weeks on, one week off, which is a little different than your schedule. I reviewed the transcript, but how do you avoid withdrawal symptoms with your approach? I learned after the first month to give myself a day or two, and maybe slip in a cup of coffee before the headache gets too bad. My usual consumption is 2-4 cups per day. This month I went from 4 cups, then 2 cups the next day, and nothing needed after that.

    1. Forgeddaboudit!

      Usually if you are cycling a few weeks on and one off you don't get the withdrawal symptoms… but, since you do – I'd say your approach of titration is a good one. Or you could try adding a little decaf into your daily cup slowly, day by day, leading up to the week off.

  3. lqdedison says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation on testing with a blood glucose meter. I didn't ask the original question but your response has been very helpful. I picked one up this weekend and have been testing a lot the last few days. I like having more metrics to look at to make sure I'm heading in the right direction. Great tip!!

    1. It's a great trick to have in your back pocket.

  4. cagalindobr says:

    Dear BEN:
    Should I switch to smaller meals if I want to do a high fat, high calorie diet for bulking?

    I have been eating around 3,000 calories split into just 2 meals per day. High fat, protein, around 150g carbs.

    After this episode, I am worried since I'm only splitting so many calories into 2 meals. And since I am eating 60%+ fat, that could be a problem to cause the fat to oxidize….? Do I need many smaller meals? Separate fat and carbs into separate meals? Trying to figure out how to do a 'healthy' bulk… ughhh


    1. 3 meals and a snack would likely be ideal. The only thing you'll want to split up pretty evenly is your protein. And of course eat your carbs closer to exercising.

  5. feerlessfood says:


    Based on what you said about how lean bitter melon extract keeps you, what would is your supplement regimen for taking it? I see that MPX100 is out of stock right now, but would a general extract work similarly as well and how much and when should I take it? Are there any other steps I need to take to make sure it "works" and is there anything I need to look out for (example, effects on workouts, etc.)

    Thanks so much man! Your show is great I and I voted for the Get Fit Guy podcast in the podcast awards!

    1. 30 min before OR after any meal that contains carbs or that would normally spike blood sugar. Dn't use it before workouts or you'll go "hypoglyemic". And you can still order…it will ship as soon as it's back in stock!

      1. feerlessfood says:

        Thanks Ben! So I don't make you spell it all out again for me, do you know which podcast it was where you went pretty in depth on using it?


          1. feerlessfood says:


  6. hemming01 says:

    Hi Ben,

    I appreciate that you also address the question of how to gain weight (not just muscle) as its something that's often neglected. Trying the body fat calculator at www.getfitguy.com I get a body fat percentage around 0% :) That was just a fun observation.
    My question is relating to Archie's. I eat a high fat diet and avoid sugar for the exact reason you mention. I can't test my LDL particle size but I just had the standard lipid panel done:
    Looking at my ratios they're all good. Is it fair to assume that I'm doing fine on the high fat diet given these numbers?

    1. They're OK, but here's a goal for you: See if you can get HDL HIGHER than Trigs!

      1. hemming01 says:

        Thanks Ben,

        I would like to lower my trigs too as I see that many low carbers are in the 60's. So the obvious question, how do I lower my trigs or raise my HDL? I already eat a strict diet, CT and do bodyweight exercises three times each week.

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