Episode #221 – Full Transcript

Affiliate Disclosure

Biohacking, Podcast, Transcripts

Listen on:

Podcast #221 from



Introduction:   In this podcast, does bee pollen or pine pollen work for enhancing hormones, Cardio before weights or weights before cardio, how to stop muscular fatigue, how to tell if amino acids are working for you, how to get ready for a hilly bike ride, and a promise from me that this is not gonna be another 2 ½-hour episode.

Ben:  Well, here we go again.

Jessa:  Yes, I’m back.

Ben:  We actually just got done getting our butts kicked.

Jessa:  Yeah. That was a hard workout, actually. I’m actually surprised because a lot of times I go to gym and the group workouts are not really that hard.  This one was hard.

Ben:  Yeah. It was tough. Jessa and I did a high intensity interval training workout at the gym and it was like back to back to back exercises that you do.  It was like a triple super set.  And then we go on to the next exercise and the chick teaching that class was kind of a beast.

Jessa:  Yeah.

Ben:  She was pretty…

Jessa:  She was hard core.

Ben:  She was both ripped and you could tell she had some long ____[0:01:50.6]  or so.

Jessa:  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.  So we got beat up and then we came home, put the kids to bed, we just got done down in some beef and little wine and we’re here again for a podcast episode.

Jessa:  Yes.

Ben:  Number 221.

Jessa:  Fun, fun.

Ben:  We got some decent feedback from last week. Everybody loved listening to my vino-filled wife.

Jessa:  I was not. It’s not true.

Ben:  Chatty…

Jessa:  I’m chatty?

Ben:  We emptied a box of wine tonight, though.

Jessa:  Yeah. We’re classy over here.

Ben:  We have a box of organic wine. Speaking of which folks, the “Hangover” post went live and I don’t….

Jessa:  It was not inspired by our last podcast.

Ben:  No. It wasn’t inspired by our last podcast. Check out that “Hangover” podcast over at bengreenfieldfitness.com.  In no way, I condone drinking to excess. Well, sometimes every now and then…

Jessa:  There are occasions.

Ben:  But I don’t encourage anyone out there to be a lush but have some fun this holiday season.  Just make sure…All right.  Let’s jump in to this week’s news flashes.

News Flashes:

Ben:  First of all, let me announce this as an interesting news flash. I don’t know if this one should be in Special Announcements or the News Flashes but my 31 birthday is coming up in…

Jessa:  That’s a news! no, that’s a special announcement.

Ben:  I don’t know. Whatever, but either way, I always send out really cool special deals and discounts and cool gifts to all my listeners and followers on twitter, Facebook and the Newsletter.

Jessa:  It’s very generous of you.

Ben:  Make sure you pay attention on 12-20-2013.

Jessa:  You can guess what I’m getting Ben for his birthday. You’re getting another special prize but I don’t know what it is.

Ben:  Jessa pulls stuff out of … .

Jessa:  And come up with something good, okay, honey.

Ben:  All right.  Speaking of kind of a something good, here is the first news flash that came out this week and by the way, if you want this fresh off the presses, hit twitter.com/bengreenfield.  I tweeted that if you wanna shut down inflammation, you should hit the dark chocolate and this is the reason why. There is a study and the study just came out and what they did was they gave rats a diet that was enriched with coco powder. They’re actually giving the rats quite a bit of coco powder.

Jessa:  So that means, eat lots of chocolate.

Ben:  They were basically getting the equivalent of about 12% of their daily dietary intake from chocolate. Now, before you get scared away, that you’re gonna have to eat 3 or 4 chocolate bars a day.

Jessa:  Why would that scare anyone?

Ben:  If you’re calorie or fat phobic. Moderate levels of cacao consumption have been shown to do everything from improving your HDL to LDL cholesterol ratios to improving your insulin sensitivity to improving your antioxidants activity to improving your mitochondrial density.


There are a lot of studies that have been done on chocolate and many of the studies that have been done in the past on specifically dark chocolate and cacao extract have been done with lesser levels than were done in this study.  But that being said in this particular study, what are called the polyphenols in cacao get and they serve the same kind of polyphenols you’re gonna find in like vegetables and dark skin fruits and things of that nature is they down regulated the levels of some of the more common inflammatory markers and they did that by inhibiting some of the genetic markers that can cause inflammation as well as basically what’s called phosphorylation of some of the compounds that can cause pretty big expression of pro inflammatory enzymes specifically pro inflammatory enzymes like cyclooxygenase 2 which is the same type of thing you’d take or the same type of thing you’d be trying to shut down if you take like ibuprofen. Some really good evidence here that dark chocolate can help you out quite a bit, I was trying to figure out how to express this in terms of like how much we’d need to take to get a decent amount of benefit.  And in looking at the numbers if we’re to translate in the humans, it comes out to right around 100 grams of dark chocolate and that’s like 400 calories of dark chocolate.

Jessa:  That’s a lot.

Ben:  It is.  You’re still gonna get some benefit if you go less than that.

Jessa:  Okay.

Ben:  But here’s my idea for people for Christmas present.

Jessa:  What’s your idea?

Ben:  Organic cacao nibs.  That’s what I got my aunt for Christmas.  ______[0:06:52.7] if you have these things you buy at Amazon.

Jessa:  I don’t think I have.

Ben:  I’ll put a link in the show notes to exactly what I got my aunt.  I don’t think it’s listed on the podcast so I’m not…

Jessa:  You’re not giving away your Christmas present.

Ben:  Organic cacao nibs is something that is a pretty tasty treat to munch on if you want the anti-inflammatory effects from this.  Chocolate!  So that is one thing.

Jessa:  I’m kinda curious.

Ben:  Yeah?

Jessa:  Why do people get migraines sometimes from chocolate?

Ben:  Because they have basically like a reaction to basically the nitric oxide in the chocolate causes a bunch of vasodilation and you get a dilation of blood flow to the head followed by constriction.  And that’s one of the reasons that migraines can occur is rapid dilation followed by constriction.

Jessa:  So those who have migraine should not do this.

Ben:  If you get migraines from chocolate, no, I would not recommend that you do that.

Jessa:  Okay.  Just curious.

Ben:  Although a lot of times that type of reaction can be indicative of basically an omega 3 to omega 6 imbalance so you can get on a good Fish Oil protocol, vegetable oils, and omega 6 fatty acids out of the diet and you may find that you don’t get that kind of migraine reaction to chocolate after you kinda fix that component of your diet.  So I’m gonna think about it.  Then I tweeted a link to another article that appeared in the Atlantic Magazine website about a case for drinking more coffee.  The title of the article was The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like.  And what this article went into great detail on (and I’ll link to it in the show notes) was a bunch of different meta analysis that have been done on coffee and its effect on health.  So it not only was looking at the effect of coffee in terms of its effectiveness in fighting against a lot of markers of cancer.  It looked into basically the effect that coffee can have on your potential for fatty liver disease which is something you’re at high risk of if you have like a high fructose, high sugar, high calorie type of diet when into the ergogenic effect of caffeine in terms of its effect on enhancing performance.  It even looked at the effect of caffeine.  They did an interesting experiment this past February where they subjected a group of individuals to 2 hours of simulated monotonous highway driving.  And many of us will be there over the holidays.

Jessa:  Hopefully, we don’t have snow.

Ben:  Anybody is on a road trip.  So those given a cup of coffee during their short break during this monotonous highway driving simulation showed reductions in driving speed, mental effort and subjective sleepiness.  So coffee had good effect there.


There is a link between coffee and some pretty cool anti- inflammatory effects.  But just remember folks, when you hear all of these things that coffee and the antioxidants in coffee and some of the _____[0:10:14.2] in coffee can do and this is why I actually tweeted, we’re not talking about orange mocha frappuccinos here.

Jessa:  What are we talking about?

Ben:  We’re talking about a good coffee and if you can, a good organic Arabica coffee would be best.  Those are gonna be lowest in mold, they’re gonna be basically more environmentally friendly, and better for your body.  If you jack in your coffee or put sugar and cream, it’s not…

Jessa:  All should know that already.  I knew coffee cured everything. I knew it.

Ben:  There was a study published finally this May in the New England Journal of Medicine that literally looked at hundreds and thousands of people and found that bottom result that people who drank coffee lived longer than those who didn’t.  So obviously…a lot of confounding variables there but ultimately quite a bit to be said for coffee and I’ll link to this in the show notes.  And then another thing that you can eat and this was interesting.  There was a study that just came out that showed that eating high dose garlic or supplementing with garlic in your diet actually boosted testosterone and lowered your protein turnover which is basically like how fast your body dumps out protein and goes into catabolic state and breaks down muscle.  So there’s a big time testosterone boosting effect…

Jessa:  Kind of a bomber if you have a testosterone boost and you smell like garlic. Nobody wants to be with you.

Ben:  It’s like you’d be like a horny dude who turns off every chick who’s around you.  Kind of a Catch 22 there.

Jessa:  That’s too bad.

Ben:  But basically a 400% increase in the testosterone to cortisol ratio with consumption of a fairly high amount of garlic and this kinda returns to something similar to what we said with dark chocolate.  When you look at a study that shows high amounts of something having a pretty decent effect, you can kind of extrapolate that even a more moderate sane amount of that compound may at least have some of that _____[0:12:28.4] effect.  And considering that garlic has been shown to have good effects on things like blood pressure and cholesterol, risk of cardiovascular disease, I never would have guessed that it would have been kind of like a scientifically proven herb-based testosterone booster  but it turns out that for guys including garlic in your diet could actually be a good idea. And later on in the show, we’ll get into something else. There’s a question about bee pollen and pine pollen and effects on testosterone. But basically, the way that garlic works is that it can increase your output of what’s called leutenizing hormone. And leutenizing hormone is what’s released from the pituitary glands, acts on you testes and causes your testes to upregulate their production of testosterone.  There’s a bunch of different things that can happen downline when you’re producing more testosterone you might be in a metabolic state that will cause more of it to get converted into estrogens, more of it to get converted into another compound called the DHT, you may have an impairment in the actual cells in your testes that’s responsible for producing testosterone.  This all assumes that you’re actually in a metabolic state that allows you to produce your own testosterone.  But if so, garlic.  So, there you go.  Have your coffee, have your garlic and have your chocolate.

Jessa:  All things I love.  So that’s great.

Ben:  And then, have your breast milk. Last week, we talked about colostrums and how colostrums has a pretty cool effect on your gut permeability basically, decreasing your gut permeability.  And listen in to last week’s episode, Episode #220.  But basically…

Jessa:  Colostrums’ only produced on the first  3 days of life.

Ben:  Yeah. Another thing to be said for colostrums and this was another study that came out that looked at colostrums supplementation – they showed that it did basically, blunted the exercise-induced reduction in indigenous antioxidant production.  In a nut shell, all that means is that colostrums (when you exercise, what happens is your body will downregulate to a certain extent the activity of antioxidant enzymes, and also a very potent antioxidant called super oxide dismutase which is also abbrebviated SOD and it’s one of the more powerful antioxidants that is able to fight against free radical production and …

Jessa:  Which are found in colostrums.

Ben:  …potentially damaging cell compounds.


No, it isn’t found in colostrums but colostrum mitigates the downregulation of this antioxidant enzymes and the downregulation of super oxide dismutase.  So basically, you give yourself better anti-inflammatory potential when you’ve got this colostrum in your diet. One of the interesting things about colostrum is that most commercially available colostrum supplements, they’re treated with very very high amounts of heat so the effect of…

Jessa:  That would lose a lot of the…everything.

Ben:  Yeah. The effectiveness of any food supplement especially ones that have been treated with high amounts of heat can be significantly reduced.

Jessa:  Is that just ‘cause of the drying?

Ben:  Basically, it’s just heat damage to the actual proteins.

Jessa:  Yeah.  I know but that’s ‘because it’s the drying out of the colostrum or something?

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s basically… So, I started looking into this and I actually talked to Mount Capra this week ‘cause that’s the colostrum that I take and I was curious whether or not there is actually heat treated and if so, to what extent. They use what’s called a refractance window dryer.

Jessa:  What does that mean?

Ben:  It takes a lot lot longer time to dry it but it’s a very gentle low heat way of drying your colostrum to get into powder form so it’s actually powderable for supplementation.  That was pretty cool to hear that that particular brand of colostrum actually not only is gonna have that antioxidant activity but is also going to actually retain its potency. So, that’s something to be said for that.  And apparently, the way that the entire dairy industry post-processes their colostrum before they actually feed it to calves reduces the effectiveness of the colostrum to the extent where it’s rendered almost completely inadequate.  And there is a study that was done on this that showed that a huge number of calves are at risk of basically bacterial infection because of the way that they process the colostrum in most commercial…

Jessa:  Well, a lot of them milk from the mother early on just so they can get the milk from the cows so they aren’t getting colostrums much.

Ben:  Exactly.  So they’re still trying to get these cows their colostrums but the way that they’re processing is the same way they process…

Jessa:  My dad’s in the farming industry.

Ben:  Colostrums supplements.  All right.  Cool! One other thing I wanted to mention was this recent study on aspartame and basically, whether or not the consumption of artificial sweeteners and sugar-containing sodas could increase risk of lymphoma or leukemia in men and women.  And this study specifically looked at aspartame which is gonna be the active component in like Nutrasweet.  And it was fairly big study was done by Harvard Medical School and it actually did find that when you compare diet soda with regular soda consumption, that consumption of diet sodas specifically in men actually increased the risk of cancer.  And there was this basically a chemical reason behind this. Essentially, the consumption of aspartame produces huge huge amounts of a component called formaldehyde.  And formaldehyde tends to leak directly into circulation at the level of the gut and for some reason in men it tends to do so to a higher extent than in women and so researchers hypothesized that the reaction of formaldehyde with blood cells after consumption of aspartame was likely the reason that you saw the increased risk for cancer in males due to their high consumption of diet soda or in males who consumed high amounts of diet soda.

Jessa:  Can I ask kind of a girl question here?

Ben:  No.

Jessa:  Do you think that perhaps maybe because women bleed every month?

Ben:  You had to bring this up last week.

Jessa:  I’m just saying…

Ben:  I just don’t like to talk about girls’ periods.

Jessa:  Yeah.  You know what?  We build new blood every month.  So you guys store it so that would kinda make sense if it leads just directly into your blood.

Ben:  You know what?  That is a great question and I don’t know the answer to it.  I don’t know the reason that women have a more stable gut barrier in terms of….

Jessa:  No.  I’m talking about like you guys, you store your blood.

Ben:  Oh you mean, you’re getting rid of blood cells that…

Jessa:  We get rid of our blood.

Ben:  Yeah. I see what you’re saying. Yeah. That’s a reasonable hypothesis.

Jessa:  Thank you.  I’m very sexy.  I’m very scientific.

Ben:  And very smart.  And you haven’t let 100% as sure as we’ve done together go by without talking about periods…

Jessa:  Hey, I’m a girl, you know.

Ben:  Kudos on that.

Jessa:  We talk about it like anything.

Ben:  Let’s jump in to this week’s special announcements.

Special Announcements:


Ben:  There’s not a huge number of special announcements that are gonna be much different than last week’s special announcements especially considering that I already talked about my birthday but we should mention at this podcast episode like last week’s podcast episode is brought to you by audiblepodcast.com/ben.  Last week, we told you that you should go and check out the book The Hobbit which is based on the popular upcoming movie The Hobbit.  Or maybe it’s the other way around.

Jessa:  I’m sure the book is better.  I’m sure the audio book is way better than I can come up with my imagination.

Ben:  There are, believe it or not, other books on audiblepodcast.com/ben.  You can go get a free one.  Let’s see what the audible best seller is.  Can you guess what the audible best seller is?  Top 2 audible best sellers.

Jessa:  Top 2?

Ben:  Hunger Games Part 1 and Hunger Games Part 2.

Jessa:  I heard Hunger Games Part 2 was not as good as the first one.

Ben:  It’s called catching fire.

Jessa:  I’ve heard it’s kinda slow but I loved the first one. Hated the movie.

Ben:  If you are a hunger games geek and you’re going on a road to that.

Jessa:  So that’s why you should listen to it on audiblepodcast.com.

Ben:  audiblepodcast.com/ben. Going on a road trip, get a bunch of coffee in your system and listen to Hunger Games Part 1 and Part 2.  You have 11 hours for 7 books, $7.50.  That’s not bad.  Some cheap entertainment.

Jessa:  That is good. If you’re on a road trip, sounds a great entertainment. We’ve done that before with the (what’s that book?)

Ben:  Frank Brady. We had the Frank Brady book – Monster. I remember that. That was good. We drove to Portland   with that one.

Jessa:  Yeah. That was good.

Ben:  All right. Cool.  So audiblepodcast.com/ben.  Check that out.  I still got links to all of the triathlon winter camps that are coming out and I just…

Jessa:  People just don’t stop.

Ben:  Just talked to Tri California today. Anybody out there who is signed up for the Wildflower Triathlon which Jessa and I always go to (which is awesome, you’re camped down like San Antonio).

Jessa:  That’s a hard one.  You better be ready for it.

Ben:  They gave the green light today.  We’re gonna camp down there, March 22nd to March 24th down at Lake San Antonio.  Train on the course and we’re gonna camp down on the lake and everything.

Jessa:  We?  Are you saying me and you? Or “we” as in you, the athletes and you?

Ben:  You could go if you want.

Jessa:  Okay.  I didn’t know.  I was just…

Ben:  If you’re triathlete, these are the show notes for this episode, Episode #221.  I’ll put a link to that as well as all the other camps that we’re running and the Vietnam Triathlon which is gonna rock.  I’ll put all that in the show notes.  The other thing that I wanted to mention is that MyList is up and running hardcore over at facebook.com/bgfitness and I wanted to mention that…

Jessa:  This is so convenient to have it right here on Facebook.

Ben:  Jessa is now using MyList and so she’s got her Top 10 Kitchen Tools out there at MyList.

Jessa:  ‘Cause I love to cook.

Ben:  So you can check out Jessa’s Top 10 Kitchen Tools and (I don’t know if we published those over at facebook.com/bgfitness or not  but)

Jessa:  You should have, you didn’t.

Ben:  I think we did link to them over there but either way, go over to create you own MyList and share them with us and you can get featured on this podcast and we’re gonna be bringing our first MyList user on very very same first special podcast episode. You can make a list of anything you want like your favorite fitness tools, your favorite diet things like things that you eat, your favorite wines, your favorite clothes, anything. It’s pretty cool stuff. One more special announcement that we’re gonna play for you here and then we’ll move on to the Swiss Q & A.

Wanna get personal access to all of Ben Greenfield’s secrets life? This March in Spokane, Washington. Ben is bringing the world’s best speakers straight to you. You’re gonna get step by step blueprints for performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep, and hormone optimization and get inside or access to private parties special sessions for podcast listeners only. And of course, delicious locally grown organic meals. The conference is called Become Super Human and it’s already filling up fast. But you can get in now at bengreenfieldfitness.com/superhuman. You’ll come away from this live 2 day event completely set for life  to achieve everything you want for your body, mind and performance. Whether you want to maximize fat loss, achieve an ironman triathlon, or push your body and mind to the absolutely limits of human performance. So visit bengreenfieldfitness.com/superhuman and we’ll see you live and in person March 8th and 9th, 2013.

Listener Q & A:

Mike:  Hey Ben!  This is Mike in New York.  I was just wondering what your thoughts are on pine pollen powder for making sure testosterone levels stay up and also its effect on endurance training and health in general and I’ve got same questions about bee pollen.  How does it work with general health and how to affect my endurance training?  Thank you very much.  I hope to hear this on the podcast sometime soon.  Thank you.

Ben:  All right.  Cool!  So bee pollen and pine pollen.

Jessa:  I’ll have no help on this question.

Ben:  I suspect that the reason that you’re going to see pine pollen asked about more and more over the next few months is because Tim Ferriss talks about it in his book The 4-Hour Chef and all it is is the seeds of testosterone that’s derived from basically the male sperm of pine trees and in traditional herbal medicine, it’s used to increase low testosterone in men and women. So basically, the way that it works is it is a direct androgen in and of itself whereas something that we talked about before like the garlic acting on the pituitary gland to increase production of leutenizing hormone to then cause the testes to churn out more testosterone.  Compared to that something like pine pollen, the idea behind that is you’re literally consuming the testosterone of the plant itself.

Jessa:  So is it like taking testosterone?

Ben:  It is similar to taking free testosterone and there is some concern out there.

Jessa:  Yeah.  It’s because there are some ill effect.

Ben:  The same concern is that of taking like a synthetic hormone replacement such as free testosterone and that is that do you actually shut down testicular production of testosterone.  Do you actually shut down your body’s own endocrine production when you use pine pollen, something like that.  The thing with pine pollen is when you compare it to something like basic testosterone that you’d say like inject that the endocrinologist might give you if you’re using like compounded hormone replacement therapy, is that the molecular structure of pine pollen, because it’s coming from a plant, it’s different enough from the actual testosterone that is produced by your own testes.  You wouldn’t necessarily shut down your body’s own endocrine production of testosterone.  However, no long term studies have been done on the stuff.

Jessa:  C’mon, Chinese medicines like ancient…they don’t document?

Ben:  You get pine pollen in powder form, you can get it in tincture form and basically, if you use it in powder form, you’d use the equivalent of right around like a level teaspoon a day.  I actually have…

Jessa:  So do you think it’s risky to take it?

Ben:  I don’t know…

Jessa:  Has there not much research on it or…?

Ben:  Yeah. I have been trying it a little bit. I’ve been trying like a teaspoon of it, mixing with my Chinese herbs.  I guess since this is one of those too much information style of podcast where you share everything, pretty much all I’ve experienced in terms of changes is I have noticed that I basically…if I wake up during the night at all, that I have an erection, basically.  That is what I have noticed.  That does not necessarily mean that you’re going to learn in the article that I’ll be producing soon at bengreenfieldfitness.com, that does not necessarily mean that my testosterone has increased per se.


However, I have notice that it has that  effect.   There you go.

Jessa:  I already knew that.

Ben:  Okay. So that’s the deal with pine pollen powder so you can try that out.  I’m using this stuff made by Raw Forest Foods and I’ll link to this stuff I’m using in the show notes.  It’s basically an organic pine pollen extract.  The stuff is super cheap but I mean, you…

Jessa:  And if you come to Northwest, it’s free,  you’re going to sweep it off the floor.  It’s everywhere.

Ben:  You could just get pine cones and get ______[0:30:54.0]. Beware too that there may be a little bit of aromatization that goes on here, meaning that you tend that you put testosterone in your body and you may get some conversion into estrogens so you may have to be on aromatase inhibitor like chrysin or myomin or nettle root. The active compound in nettle root can stop the aromatization process as well.  And then also know that anytime you’re messing around with any of this stuff, you always increase your risk of potentially ingesting compounds that could cause you to test positive on doping test or something like that.

Jessa:  Yeah.  I was just going to say, didn’t somebody just get busted for increasing their testosterone?

Ben:  Yes, by taking a synthetic testosterone replacement.

Jessa:  So, is it different if you’re taking a bee pollen extract?

Ben:  Anything that bumps your testosterone to epitestosterone ratio up above a 4:1 ratio is going to flag you on like a World Anti Doping Association doping test.  All this stuff is kinda push your own risk and if it wasn’t, literally, this pine pollen extract, I really wouldn’t try it if it were like in the middle of a triathlon season or something like that just because I never play around with anything like that.

Jessa:  Can you just stop it cold turkey? and you’re fine?

Ben:  Yeah.

Jessa:  And you’re fine.

Ben:  Because it’s cold turkey and you’re okay.

Jessa:  Okay.

Ben:  Yeah. You wanna give yourself a good couple of months to make sure that that’s out of your system.  Okay.  As far as the bee pollen extract goes, bee pollen is something that you wanna be a little bit more careful with.  Now, pollen whether  we’re talking about bee pollen or pine pollen, it’s the male seed of the flower and it is required for the fertilization of the plant and bee pollen itself has a ton of protein in it.  It’s got a lot of free form amino acids in it and it’s again, one of those things that’s used in alternative medicine and has been used as what’s called the tonic – energy tonic…

Jessa:  Yeah.  I see it often in the store.

Ben:  …in Chinese medicine for a long period of time.  And lots of cultures throughout the world rely on bee pollen as a tonic for improving like endurance vitality, extending longevity, helping with recovery.  Some people say it helps you to build new blood and kinda similar to spirulina or algae extract that’s really high not only in your free amino acids but also in most of the vitamin B complex.

Jessa:  So it sounds like it’s a good thing.

Ben:  Well, the issue is that a lot of people who have tried bee pollen have had an allergic reaction to it and a pretty significant allergic reaction.

Jessa:  Likewise if you’re allergic to bees.

Ben:  You don’t see a lot of the same reports from something like pine pollen as you do from bee pollen products and there are certainly some studies that have shown that bee pollen can have for example, pretty potent anti-inflammatory effect or that it may help to boost immunity to a certain extent.  But you wanna be careful with this because there have been several reports of people who begin to use bee pollen as like a super food extract or start to use it in high enough amount that they can have anaphylactic reactions or allergic reactions the same way as you would if you  got stung by a bee.

Jessa:  Where is bee pollen _____[0:34:14.7] I’ve always been curious.

Ben:  You grab a male bee and you just shake it.

Jessa:  Whatever.

Ben:  Just threaten it and make it give up its pollen.

Jessa:  I am curious.  What part of the bee culture does it come from?

Ben:  I’m assuming that you would actually extract it from male bees like you’d actually keep male bees in captivity somehow and extract the bee pollen from them. But I’m not exactly sure because the bees carry around pollen in their legs.

Jessa:  Yeah.  I know.

Ben:  So they have like pollen baskets.

Jessa:  Have you ever seen it?  It’s like granules that looks like…

Ben:  Well, I know that there are honeycombs.  Actually, they’re filled with pollen.  Maybe they’re getting it from the honeycomb itself.

Jessa:  I think it’s a by-product of honey.


Ben:  Yeah. It could be something they’re gathering from the honeycomb or maybe from captured bees.  I’m actually not sure.

Jessa:  I have always been curious ‘cause I just better Google it.

Ben:  Yeah. Go catch yourself some male bees and shake shake those little dudes.  Shake them till they give up their precious pollen.

Chris:   Hi Ben and Brock and/or Jessa!  My name is Chris and I have 2 questions for you. First would be about, when to combine weight lifting with cycle training?  I cycle 4 hard days a week, Tuesday and Thursday being interval days, Saturday being longer even steady pace and Sunday being a group ride.  I’d like to do 3 days weight lifting though to optimize  some testosterone benefit from that but I’m not sure what days to do that on – the heavy workout days or the easier days. Any insight you have would be greatly appreciated. My second question is about optimizing my sleep. I sleep in a very dark room, I have the weight noise apps and the things that you have recommended, of course being comfortable will go, going on, and that’s awesome, by the way. But my problem is that if I have to get up in the middle of the night to go pee, I tend to stay up for a little bit just having a hard time going back to bed. That might happen a few times at night so I try not to drink fluids on the later part of the day but I found when I do that I have a lot more hunger at night which I think is just thirst.  So I find myself much more tempted to over eat which I also don’t wanna do.  I’m not really sure what to do how I can get good night of sleep without having that thirst that I think is being confused as hunger at night.  Thank you very much. I appreciate all you do.

Ben:  This has actually happened to me before. Waking up in the night and having…I have to wake up in the night, you start to think about stuff and you kinda have a hard time getting back to sleep.

Jessa:  Honestly for me, I know it happens when my creative juices are flowing big time.

Ben:  Yeah.  it happens to me too when I’ve had a hard day of work.  Let’s talk about that real quick and then we’ll get to this whole like which when you do weights in conjunction with cardio.  Do you do your weights on your easier cardio days or on your hard cardio days and how do you kinda…

Jessa:  My gut says your easier cardio days but I don’t really know.

Ben:  Yeah.  Sometimes you can’t listen to your gut.

Jessa:  I know but I really like to listen to my gut a lot.

Ben:  In reference to Chris’ question though about waking up in the night, I found that keeping one of the well, three different things can, I’ve honestly found that all three of these things can help.  I don’t take them all at once but if I have nothing of these three things around, these are three things that I do.  One would be this Natural Calm magnesium.  I’ve got a bunch of little sample packs of that that I’ve thrown into my night stand. It’s like about 250 mg worth of just basic Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate and I just grab that and down it because sometimes I do wake up at midnight or 1 or 2 to pee.  Sometimes getting up in the middle of the night to pee can mean that you’re hypercortisolic, meaning that your body’s producing a lot of cortisol and overtraining.  A lot of times when you’re overtrained, you get up in the middle of the night to pee. We talked about this a little bit when we talked about adrenal fatigue last week.

Jessa:  Yeah. We did.

Ben:  But sometimes, you just get up in the night to pee and it doesn’t mean anything other than that your bladder’s full.

Jessa:  Yeah.

Ben:  And I had been in a state where I had been completely relaxed and restored and recovered from training and just get up in the night to pee.  You know, ‘cause maybe it’s not like this where it’s almost 10:00 PM now and we’re recording this podcast, we’re drinking wine and it’s like, I guarantee, at midnight or one tonight, I’ll be getting up to pee.

Jessa:  The magnesium is great.

Ben:  Getting back to sleep, magnesium works really well. That’s kind of the most…

Jessa:  Magnesium puts me to a very deep, like I’m in a very deep sleep.

Ben:  Yeah. Somnidren GH from Millenium Sports is basically like el dopa mixed with gamma aminobutyric acid kinda spins the brain dials a little bit more but the basic idea behind this stuff is that the gamma aminobutyric acid in the Somnidren GH is kind of a mild sedative. It’s also got what’s called the somatostatin inhibiting compound in there. So, you inhibit somatostatin which is one of the things that competes with gamma aminobutyric acid in your brain. And then there’s some other stuff thrown in there like there are some muscle relaxants in there and there are some el dopa in there. If you take the stuff and it’s on empty stomach like you haven’t eaten a couple of hours which is why it actually, it tends to be a little more effective if you take it when you’ve woken up in the night ‘cause your stomach is empty and you need to have a lot of insulin circulating in your bloodstream. The stuff is super effective and it knocks you out.  I’ve even found if I take it at like 1:00 or 2:00 AM vs. when I take it at 10:00 PM, I’m a bit groggy in the morning ‘cause I’m still in the sleep mode. So that stuff not quite as inexpensive as magnesium but that stuff works pretty well too.  And the last thing would be…

Jessa:  Isn’t that something you’ll get horrible vitamin breath?

Ben:  Yeah. You don’t like to kiss me.

Jessa:  No.  It’s disgusting.

Ben:  It tastes good.

Jessa:  Oh it smells so bad.

Ben:  You just dissolve it sublingually.  The same is this other thing I’m about to mention REM caps.

Jessa:  But I’m sure it’s effective.

Ben:  Hammer Nutrition’s REM caps that are mix of natural relaxants like valerian root combined with melatonin. The issue with this is that their time release, you’re supposed to take them 30 to 60 minutes before you go to bed. What I will do is open up the capsule and dissolves it underneath my tongue and then it has a lot faster acting properties and you’d have to wait for the melatonin to get released. Any of those three, you can try.  Magnesium is probably gonna do for you.  It works for 99% of the folks out there.  If you wanna experiment with the Somnidren GH or the Hammer REM caps, go for it.  And I’ll also put a link to that recent podcast that I wrote about Natural Remedies for Insomnia ‘cause I wrote a monster podcast on insomnia and getting deep sleep and you can go geek out on that if you really want to.  As far as when you do your weight training, on your easy biking days or on your hard biking days, there was actually a fairly recent study that looked into what happened when you actually did about 30 minutes or so of easy cardio before you lift weights. What this study found was that when participants completed 30 minutes of stationary bicycling at about 65% intensity prior to going through the weight training protocol, what they saw was an increased expression of some of the components that basically have an effect on potent muscle growth factor called myostatin. And what happened was there was an increase in the expression of specifically the factor for you geeks out there was called PGC1 Alpha 4. PGC1 Alpha 4 is a specific protein that can actually enhance the production of what’s called myostatin which is basically a muscle growth regulator and in people who have myostatin knock out, they tend to get huge.  But basically, you get this big big effect in the PGC1 Alpha 4 and what happens then is you get a better effect from the weight training session that occurs subsequent to the easy cardio or after the easy cardio compared to if you didn’t do any cardio at all before you lifted weights. And you can actually get a similar effect if you lift weights in a relatively glycogen-depleted or carbohydrate-depleted state.  But the difference between the two is that when you work out in a glycogen-depleted state, you can also suppress your immune system function that limits your ability to reach high intensities.  Whereas if you lift weights after you’ve done just 30 minutes of moderate cycling,

Jessa:  So my gut was kind of right.

Ben:  Your gut was kinda right.  So what I would do, best case scenario, is you do an easy bike ride and right after easy bike ride on those easy cycling days, you lift weights. And there was another study that they did that looked at cardio before weights and they actually found that even when you do cardio before weights and you do the easy cardio session like earlier in the day, you still get a more beneficial effect on the weight training vs. if you hadn’t done that cardio at all earlier in the day.  So you can even split up the 2 workouts if you wanted to.  And I would definitely be doing hard cycling workouts just from a neuro recovery standpoint and overall energy intake standpoint, meaning that the hard cycling training sessions are gonna deplete your body’s carbohydrate storage, I’ll be doing all that on different day than when you lift weights.


Jessa:  So just listen to me.

Ben:  So cardio before weights.  Listen to Jessa.  She knows what she’s talking about.

Jessa:  Listen to the body.

Cathy:  Hi Ben! My name is Cathy from Oregon and I have a question about tendonitis. I’m guessing you’ve probably had a question like this before but I could not find it on your website.  My issue is that in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been having pretty bad tennis elbow, I guess you would say. Both of my elbows are kind of on fire when I work. I do construction work, though it’s not heavy construction.  I’m mostly sweeping and cleaning up.  I dig a ditch every once in a while and maybe swinging here and there but it’s not anything that the average person couldn’t handle.   feel like there’s really no reason this should be happening.  Although I am on the GAPS diet as I’ve been on the GAPS diet for 2 months and I’m experiencing pretty good fatigue with that and muscle weakness as I’ve had muscle weakness for a couple of years, actually. So I’m wondering if this I’m just compensating them some way, I’m just too exhausted.  I know I shouldn’t be doing this work but it is what it is and I don’t really have much of a choice. So, do you have any advice for what I can do in the meantime I’m gonna continue with my job? Is there anything I can do to minimize the pain or the risk or doing further damage?  I guess that’s my question.  Thanks.

Ben:  All right. To answer this question from Cathy, it’s important to understand about how neuromuscular fatigue actually works because it can get kinda confusing to understand the various reasons that your muscles might be getting tired and you might be getting hurt more or getting this tennis elbow or this tendonitis that you’re getting due to being tired. Is it because of dietary factors? Is there something else going on? And we can look at people who are exercising in extreme conditions to see what happens when you get fatigued if you wanna amplify the effects of fatigue. But it is true that when you have what’s called neuromuscular fatigue going on that there is a significant effect on things like coordination on literally motor impulses to motor nerves in skeletal muscles. And when that happens, your coordination is affected and you increase your risk of injury because your movement patterns change.  So the question is how this fatigue actually occurs. Now there are 2 different mechanisms via which your muscles can get fatigue.  One is called central fatigue and one is called peripheral fatigue. Basically, central fatigue would be when your muscles get fatigued because of something that’s going on next to the actual motor unit at the muscle level.  Peripheral fatigue would be something that happens when there’s something occurring within the actual muscle unit cell.  An example of central fatigue would be literally your brain and your spinal cord are the source of you becoming fatigued.  Peripheral fatigue would mean that there’s something going on in terms of the actual action potential at the muscle level itself and this is just the stuff for you geeks out there who are interested in the 2 different types of fatigue.  But there are 2 kinds of hypotheses as to why central fatigue or peripheral fatigue could actually occur.  One is called the accumulation hypothesis and one is called the depletion hypothesis.  The accumulation hypothesis of fatigue is basically the reason that you get fatigued is because there’s a build-up of metabolic by-products in your muscle fiber.  So when you exercise at high intensity or for long periods of time, you produce a lot of lactic acid, that lactic acid produces or results in the production of hydrogen ions, you get a lot of ammonia produced from protein breakdown and you also get a lot of what are called phosphate bodies produced when you engage in a lot of work.  So all of this stuff accumulates which is why this called the accumulation hypothesis. And when we look at what happens when it accumulates for example, hydrogen ions produced when lactic acid is made in your muscles, those interfere with the ability of the muscles to bind to one another and also with the ability of the muscles to release from one another.


So you get basically a slower muscle contraction.  The other thing that hydrogen ions can interfere with is your actual ATP production, ATP, being the actual chemical component that allows you to produce a muscle contraction. So that’s one of the issues with the accumulation hypothesis and lactic acid actually causing that effect.

Jessa:  So is that basically not recovering well?

Ben:  No.  That’s essentially having acid build-up.  I mean, really diet can affect this and this is something I wanted to get at in just a second with GI and alkaline vs. an acid diet.  If you are doing exercise sessions that result in a large amount of metabolic by-product, in most cases, lactic acid is kinda buffered from your body within 30-60 minutes after you finished exercising. But having a net acidic state within your body from for example, eating a high sugar, high starch type of diet, which it doesn’t sound like Cathy’s on if she’s on a GAPS diet which is relatively   low in carbohydrate.

Jessa:  What is the GAPS diet?

Ben:  It’s called gut and psychology syndrome.

Jessa:  Okay.

Ben:  It’s a really clean diet. But basically, if you are exercising too much too hard, not recovering properly and combined with kind of an acidic diet, there could be some of this accumulation that’s actually occurring in the part from your exercise session that could be affecting your muscular fatigue. The other part of the accumulation hypothesis is I alluded to as ammonia which we talked about last week.  How ammonia builds up from protein breakdown can cause your brain to eventually become too fatigued.  So that’s the accumulation hypothesis. The depletion hypothesis, this is something that I think is probably a little bit more likely in Cathy’s case. And the depletion hypothesis of muscular fatigue is basically that there are 2 things that can get depleted – phosphogen and glycogen.  And phosphogen depletion is something that occurs when you get a reduction in ATP which again is what provides your muscles with the ability to be able to contract along with a depletion in what’s called phosphocreatine and which we also know in the supplement world as creatine which also provides you with the ability to contract your muscles.  Now, states of phosphogen depletion can result from something as simple as not eating enough meat, not getting enough creatine in your diet, not getting enough phosphates in your diet and this certainly could be caused by dietary factors. We’re not gonna go in and break down the entire GAPS diet and whether or not it has adequate creatine or phosphate in it. But what Cathy could consider doing for example, is supplementing with creatine phosphate and seeing if neuromuscular fatigue is affected by that literally doing anywhere from 2-4 grams of creatine monohydrate on a daily basis, something of that nature.

Jessa:  Okay.  You can just get that at any store.

Ben:  Yeah.  Just basic creatine monohydrate.  No special man that kind type of stuff.  The other thing is glycogen depletion.  And this is really simple but basically, you store about 2000 calories of chained up carbohydrate in your muscle tissue and if that is depleted to a certain extent, that is also a situation in which muscular fatigue can occur.  This is something that happens more often in people who are exercising for long periods of time with the advent of the low carbohydrate diet, it’s something that a lot of folks especially who are making transition to a low carbohydrate diet experience – the neuromuscular fatiguing effects of glycogen depletion.  That’s something as simple as just adjusting the ratio of carbohydrates in your diet, trying to eat a little bit more carbohydrate.  You can still eat from healthy sources.

Jessa:  Yeah.  You don’t have to go eat bread.

Ben:  Yeah. You don’t have to like punish a baguette or something like that. But I mean, just toss a sweet potato or yam or some carrots or parsnip or some healthy carbohydrates here and there.  Those would be a couple of things to look at when it comes to muscular fatigue.  So that’s how muscular fatigue happens from an accumulation standpoint or depletion standpoint and a few different things for you to think about, Cathy, when it comes to looking at your diet or some of the reasons that you might be experiencing neuromuscular fatigue which can then lead to a loss in your muscular coordination which can then increase risk of injury. I know we kinda scratched the surface…

Jessa:  That’s mean that basically, your mind is not connecting to your body…

Ben:  Anybody who’s going in and try to do a hard workout that involved any type of coordination like single leg squats or Turkish get-ups or…

Jessa:  That was me yesterday.  My lunges were ridiculous.

Ben:  Yeah.  Even for me, my movement patterns were very poor in that high intensity interval class that we did today.  That was because I didn’t really know we’re gonna be doing that class and I did kinda like planked that workout yesterday.


That’s muscular fatigue and hopefully that gives you a better idea, Cathy and I hope that you recover quickly from the tendonitis.

Jessa:  Yeah.  Tennis is a great game.   Just picked it up.

Ben:  She actually got tennis elbow from construction.

Jessa:  Oh I thought you said, tennis.

Ben:  Well, tennis elbow.  You can get that from swinging ….You should not try tennis.  If you have tennis elbow, you should wait until…

Jessa:  Sorry.

Ben:  All right.  Let’s move on.

Jim:   Hi Ben! This is Jim. I’m hoping you can help me find some independent research on Master Amino Acid Pattern. I’m 46 years old and run 3 times a week with a weekly mileage of anywhere between 20 and 25 miles.  I strength train on my non-run days 3 times a week and cross train on the elliptical as well.  I typically take a branch chain amino acid as supplement before runs of 8-15 miles.  I’m picking up trying NatureAminos but I can’t seem to find any independent research on it. What I found on Google Scholar all seemed to come from the same group of scientists that seem to be affiliated with the product.  I know it’s popular in the endurance community but that all seems to be based on the claims of Dr. Minkoff. Frankly, his claims about protein absorption and utilization don’t seem to gel with what I’ve read.  I currently supplement post workout with the whey protein or whey casein mix. But the FAQs on the NatureAminos website suggest not supplementing with protein while using MAP.  I’d like to see some independent data before I make such a change to my current regimen.  Love the podcast.  Thanks.

Ben:  This is a great question.

Jessa:  Good question. Something you should question almost everything with.

Ben:  Yeah. The guy that discoverer or the formulator of this Master Amino Pattern supplement (those are white capsules, they’re not capsules, they’re tablets. They’re basically what I chomp on or swallow during a workout and they basically keep your blood levels amino acids really high.).  The basic idea is, this guy where about a 21-year period of time did  a bunch of studies with amino acids until he found a formulation or a balance that maximize what’s called net nitrogen utilization.  And basically, the way that you measure net nitrogen utilization is you do what’s called the nitrogen balance study where you measure the number of grams of nitrogen that you take in from a supplement or from a protein powder or anything like that vs. the grams of nitrogen that you actually excrete in the urine or in the sweat. When amino acids come into your body whether they’re in the supplement, whether they’re in meat or eggs or powder or capsules or whatever, the amino acids are either utilized, meaning that they’re made into body proteins or they’re de-emanated, meaning that a nitrogen is kinda locked off of them.  And what you have left over is a carbon and hydrogen and an oxygen that is burned or is stored as a carbohydrate. There’s a term out there in physiology called gluconeogenesis, meaning that you could technically take an amino acid and turn it into glucose if you didn’t use it.  The nitrogen gets locked off or the nitrogen gets removed as a waste product and for the most part, comes out in the urine as ureas.  That’s the nitrogen out part of the net nitrogen utilization equation.  So if an amino acid is utilized in some type of protein synthesis in your body such as muscle repair or recovery, it doesn’t come out in the urine because it becomes part of the body structure basically. So the net nitrogen utilization is the ratio of amino acids that come out to the amino acids that come in and it’s expressed as a percentage.  So to do a nitrogen balance study on say like whey protein, you could eat like 60 grams of whey protein and you basically collect urine for 24 hours and see how much nitrogen actually comes out, assuming that you weren’t eating any other proteins, that you were just eating fruits and vegetables with very very negligible amounts of protein coming in anywhere else in your diet.  And if you have the ability to actually measure your urinary nitrogen output, you could do a case study like a single case study on yourself in a situation like this.  There was a double blind triple crossover study done on NatureAminos and they compared eggs and dairy to this MAP, this Master Amino Pattern and they found out that egg has a net nitrogen utilization of 48%, dairy had a net nitrogen utilization of 16% and the Master Amino Pattern had a net nitrogen utilization of 99%.


Now, of course, the issue with this is that the formulators of Master Amino Pattern were part of the study.  Dr. Minkoff is involved in a lot of the research and a lot of the studies that’s done on Master Amino Pattern and my basic answer to Jim is that that is simply the way that it is right now.  There’s not that I know of many independent research studies that have been done on the stuff.  What I do know is that Dr. Minkoff owns a big wellness center/wellness facility down in Florida and they give it to patients with pretty severe renal disease and liver disease who literally can’t handle nitrogen at all like any meshed meat or fish or eggs because they become nitrogen-toxic but they can take literally 30 of these Master Amino Pattern tablets everyday without any nitrogen build up.  And they had one published study that came out of that clinic where dialysis patients took MAP and avoided proteins and they were able to significantly reduce the number of dialysis treatments that they needed.  They also treat a lot of cancer patients down there who are in pretty bad shape nutritionally and they put them on 30 MAP a day and they maintained significant amounts of lean body mass which is a pretty big issue in cancer patients is their loss of lean body mass, their catabolic state and there’s not really other protein or amino acid supplement that’s able to accomplish this in that case.  You can check out the physician’s desk reference which is abbreviated the PDR. That includes all FDA-approved drugs and Master Amino Pattern is not a drug but it does appear in the physician’s desk reference with all of those details and that gives it a lot of credibility in and of itself for a lot of physicians and health professionals.  So that’s basically what I would say.  I use the stuff. I know what’s the difference.  I haven’t ever talked to anybody who hasn’t noticed the significant difference when they take this stuff.  And I realized that this could really sound like kind of a fox guarding the hen house type of offer to Jim.  But I’m sure that if you were to call Lifeworks Wellness Center or you’re to e-mail Dr. Minkoff and expressed to him your concerns and what not, that he would be willing to talk to you and he would be willing to correspond with you on your concern about MAP not having independent research studies behind it.

Jessa:  Interesting.  So if you’re not working out hard core, is this stuff not anchored for you ‘cause you will be using it?

Ben:  Well, like I mentioned that there are couple unique situations like in these renal failure patients or in the cancer patients where they benefited from the stuff from the medical standpoint.

Jessa:  Yeah. But what about the average, I mean I workout pretty hard but I know I don’t workout like insane intensity but I don’t know that I would benefit from something like that.

Ben:  It depends. For example, if you’re neurotransmitter depleted, then amino acids can help out because they are the basis if neurotransmitter formation.  If you, generally, beaten your body up that much, if you’re pretty stable from a neurotransmitter standpoint, the stuff is expensive – it’s like 60 bucks a bottle.  I mean, you guard your way to buy it unless you’re actually beating your body up, your neurotransmitter depleted or you have some kind of medical condition like I was talking about, where might come in handy for you.  So that’s the deal with NatureAminos and it’s a great question, Jim.

Jessa:  Yeah. It is.

Stephanie:   Hey Ben and Brock! I’m a 42 year-old avid cyclist who wanted some advice on training for a bike race next April.  It’s called the Tour of the Battenkill. It’s a 62-mile rolling course of 13 pavements and from what I understand, it’s quite hilly.  Currently, I weight train into Tabatha sets at the gym 3 days a week and I also take spin classes 2 days a week.  Right now, it’s pretty cold.  I live in New England so that world biking is minimal if any.  I plan to do some cross country skiing when and if we get some snow this winter as well.  Can you give me some ideas on the best way to train for an event like this?  My world racing experience consists of a hill climb event and a time trail last year.  I more or less put this one on the calendar to challenge myself and get into better shape.  Thanks for any help you can give.  Love your podcast and all of your help online.  I started listening to you almost a year ago, became inspired and I’ve never felt better.  Thanks.

Ben:  All right. I looked into this Tour of the Battenkill thing that Stephanie is asking about…

Jessa:  Sounds intense. Holy cow!

Ben:  It is billed as one of the toughest 62-mile bike racer, just one of the toughest bike races that you can do period.

Jessa:  Is it over a road or is it…

Ben:  Well, the way they describe it is that it has climbing of nearly 4,000 feet with a maximum gradient of 18%.  And anybody who rides bikes knows that 18% is a pretty tough climb.

Jessa:  Yeah.

Ben:  So 62 miles of that, you know, going out on 10 miles of some 18% grade is one kane but 62 miles is tough especially when it has, I think there’s 10 different sections where there’s like dirt parts in this.

Jessa:  Okay.  So what kind of bike should we ride?  I’m just curious.  This is not in the question but…

Ben:  I’d definitely have the 39-tooth chain ring on your front or like a compact crank. I’d have a 25 available on the rig cogset so I’d basically have a gearing that’s favorable for climbing that 18% so make sure that your bike is set up properly.  Gearing standpoints, with the amount of climbing you’re gonna be doing ‘cause 4,000 feet climbing over 62 miles is…

Jessa:  I’m sure lower back is gonna be screaming at you.

Ben:  Yes.  Or you’re gonna be walking your bike a lot.  I’ve got 3 things that I’d recommend for getting better on the hills that go above and beyond just doing like spin classes. One would be what I call hill to temple intervals and this is something that I prescribe to my athletes a lot of time.  Basically, you choose about a 2-4 minute hill and you attack that hill like you climb it hard and you kind of attack the hills like an always-be-pushing type of approach uphill.  But then when you get to the top of the hill you don’t back off.  You continue to time trial for about 1-2 minutes.

Jessa:  That sounds mentally horrible.

Ben:  ‘Cause we build up a bunch of lactic acid and muscle fatigue on the hill and then you get your body used to pedaling in a fatigued state at the top of the hill so it’s a hill to temple repeat menu.  Climb the hill, you do a temple effort for 60 seconds to 2 minutes once you’ve reached the top of the hill.  And then you turn around and you descend and do it again.

Jessa:  See, I like the real word system where you get to the top of the hill and then you just talk.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s traditional low  climbing.  This is better.  This will get you way fast results…

Jessa:  I believe you.  I’m just saying that sounds mentally horrible.

Ben:  Next, you mentioned that you’re doing weight training and you’re doing tabatha sets.  Do you know what a tabatha set is, Jessa?

Jessa:  I have no idea.

Ben:  That’s where you basically do a 4-minute set in the weight room.  That’s 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.  So you do a…

Jessa:  How many seconds on?

Ben:  20 seconds on.  Like in our circuit class that we do tonight, we’re doing three 40 second sets and then 30 seconds off.  So tabatha set is 4 minutes like 20 seconds as many push-ups as you can do and ten 10 seconds off.

Jessa:  Okay.

Ben:  But it’s a fairly muscular endurance-based style of working out and I would encourage you if you wanna maximize what’s called motor unit recruitment and actually get a lot of the benefits that strength training has been tuned to have on cycling power and wattage production. I’d be basically spending your time in the weight room just focusing on power and focusing on strength, doing lower rep higher weights type of exercises like squats, some lunges and step-ups and save any metabolic work or cardiovascular work for riding your bike, for doing this set of repeats that I’m talking about or your doing some of your spin classes and your cardiovascular endurance work on the bike.  But don’t use the gym for muscular endurance. Use your bike for muscular endurance and then go high weight low rep lift for power and lift for strength that focus on that with your gym sessions. And then the last thing I would mention is something that I talked with Chris McCormack about when I interviewed him a few weeks ago and those were his Macca workouts over at GetMaccax12.com ‘cause you get 12 of these workouts and 3 of them are really cycling-intensive. He’s got one workout on that.  It’s called the power up where basically, you go and you climb a hill and you start at the bottom of the hill in basically fairly easy gear.  But then as you climb the hill, every 2 minutes, you shift to a harder gear so by the time you get to the top of the hill, you’re literally mashing gear.  And then you go down to the bottom and you do it again.  So it’s like a hill climb except you’re literally making the hill come super as you go enough.  For a hill climb like this, you wanna use not super duper steep hill climb. If you’re able to look about 3-5 %.

Jessa:  I know when I’m getting ready for a like ______[1:09:47.5] and go hit  our ______[1:09:48.6] which is just like a switch back in sane grid…..

Ben:  Yeah. We have right behind our house.  And at the top of it is a winery.  So you’re kinda getting teas that you climb…

Jessa:  Don’t do that Macca’s mash whatever he said…something like that.

Ben:  It’s called the power up work and basically every 2 minutes, you climb a 10-12 minute hill, every 2 minutes, you gear down and make your gearing more difficult.

Jessa:  I don’t think I can do that on a hill.  I’d fall over.

Ben:  So those are some of my recommendations for you, Stephanie and hopefully that helps you a little bit.  Yeah, that actually wraps up our questions for today.  It’s like a third as long as last week’s podcast.

Jessa:  Yeah.  Seriously.

Ben:  We’ll put links to everything we talked about over at MyList.  Check that out at facebook.com/bgfitness.  We’ll put a MyList for this episode, Episode #221.  It’s like gonna be 11:00 PM soon so we should wrap this…

Jessa:  Yeah.  I’m getting a little sleepy. I’m in my cozy jammy’s…

Ben:  Listen to our own advice and go to bed but we wanna get a podcast out to you guys and again remember, my birthday’s coming up so stay tuned to my e-mail newsletter list.  If you’re not on that, you can subscribe over at bengreenfieldfitness.com ‘cause I always send out some nice little gifts to my e-mail newsletter list and if you haven’t yet signed up for the Super Human event that’s coming to Spokane, Washington got to get in.  Seats are filling up quickly and you do not wanna miss out on this.  So, say goodbye to Jessa.

Jessa:  Goodbye!

Ben:  It’s gonna be Brock next week.

Jessa:  My last time.  Miss you.

Ben:  She’s fired.  She’s officially fired.  You gotta join the inner circle if you want more of Jessa.

Jessa:  You want me talk as much.

Ben:  All right. Cool. We’ll catch you later, folks.

Jessa:  Later.     


      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


In this Episode #221: Does bee pollen or pine pollen work for enhancing hormones, cardio before weights or weights before cardio, how to stop muscular fatigue, how to tell if amino acids are working for you, and how to get ready for a hilly bike ride.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right side of this page, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or scroll down to the “Ask Ben” form.

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!


News Flashes:

To get these and other interesting news flashes every week, follow Ben on Twitter and Google+.

Wanna shut down inflammation? Hit that dark chocolate – in moderation of course (& organic cacao nibs would be better): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23186731

I don't think this article is talking about orange mocha frappucinos! http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/11/the-case-for-drinking-as-much-coffee-as-you-like/265693/

Enerprime is one potent source of garlic extract.

Chalk one up to the pro muscle & testosterone boosting effects of…GARLIC: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/131/8/2150.abstract

Yet another reason I load with CapraColostrum before a triathlon: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/5/649/abstract

Will aspartame give you cancer? You decide (I make a choice to “play it safe”): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23097267


Special Announcements:

  1. New camps announced.

-February 22 to 28, 2013: Winter Triathlon Camp in Austin – details at http://pacificfit.net/resources/calendar/

-March 2-8: Winter Triathlon Camp in Florida – details at http://pacificfit.net/resources/calendar

-Week of March 17: Wildflower camp – details TBA

-Vietnam Trip: April 14 – details TBA – “The Laguna Lang Co Triathlon aims to build on the success of its sister event, the legendary Laguna Phuket Triathlon. The triathlon will be comprised of a 1.8k Swim, 62k Bike and 12k Run. A triathlon Team Relay, a Duathlon and a Fun Run will round off the event program.” Register for race at http://www.lagunalangco.com/

-Ben's Annual Trip to Thailand: Nov-Dec 2013 – details TBA, but e-mail [email protected] if you want in because it will fill fast.

  1. Ben's brand new Low Carbohydrate Diet For Athletes packageis officially released and available for download! Get it here now.
  2. Want to get featured on an exclusive 15 minute feature in the next BenGreenfieldFitness podcast?That's right – I'll personally call you and interview you to tell YOUR story for the podcast. Here's how:

Step 1: Create your own “MyList” list that targets your passion in health, fitness or nutrition,

Step 2: Share your MyList right here by leaving a link to it in the comments,

Step 3: I'll choose the best list, and get you on for an interview about why you chose the items on your list – from gear to tools to supplements to anything else!

OK, get MyListing away! Here's the link to add MyList to your page or profile (did I mention – it's free).

  1. “Become Superhuman” Live EventWith Ben Greenfield Coming To Spokane, WA, March 8 & 9, 2013 – early deadline is December 1! Click here to get in now.

The video below tells you more, and you can also listen to this audio interview from the Wide World Of Health to learn more.


Listener Q&A:

Mike asks: What is the effect of pine pollen or bee pollen on hormones and training?

In my response to Mike, I reference the Pine Pollen powder I've been using, at 1 teaspoon per day.


Chris has two questions:

1) Wants to know when to combine weight training with bicycle training and wants to do 3 days of weight training to optimize testosterone benefit. Should he lift on his hard biking days or his easy biking days.

-Reference “easy cardio” bout before weights

2) Wants to know about optimizing sleep. Currently sleeps in dark room, etc., but if he has to get up in middle of night to pee he has hard time getting back to bed. He tries not to drink fluids at night, but finds that when he does that, he gets hungry at night and is more tempted to overeat.

In my response to Chris, I reference my recent article on natural remedies for insomnia, and also recommend:

Natural Calm magnesium 

MillenniumSports Somnidren GH

-Hammer REM caps


Cathy asks: Pretty bad tennis elbow and tendonitis in her elbow, does construction work and is on the GAPS diet. Experiencing quite a bit of fatigue and muscle weakness and wondering if she's compensating or is too exhausted to be doing work she's doing. How can she minimize pain/risk?


Jim asks: Wants to know about Master Amino Pattern (MAP) – usually takes BCAA supplements, but wants independent research on Master Amino Pattern.


Stephanie asks: Wants to do http://www.tourofthebattenkill.com/, 62 mile rolling course of dirt and pavement, quite hilly. Does weight training and Tabata sets and spin classes, plans to do some cross country skiing, but wants to know the best way to train for this.

In my response to Stephanie, I recommend:

-Hill to tempo intervals

-Do actual strength training and power training instead of Tabata sets

-Use some of the  low cadence, high resistance cycling workouts from http://www.GetMaccaX12.com, including the “Power Up” workout


Ask Ben a Podcast Question

2 thoughts on “Episode #221 – Full Transcript

  1. @tchazzard says:

    Just got around to reading this podcast.

    First, I highly recommend Stephen Buhner's "Pine Pollen" book if you want to really learn about this herb. It should be noted that pine pollen powder will not have much of a hormonal effect. You would need to use the tincture if you are seeking to boost your testosterone.

    Second, I am a big fan of Crio Bru, which is a brewable cacoa. No sugar and is a great beverage to warm up by and has all of the great benefits of cacoa. Check them out at criobru.com.

    1. great recommendations. I'll check it out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *