Podcast #235 from
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: What’s wrong with the China study? Also: Is Greek yogurt healthier than regular yogurt, what can you do about nervous system failure, the best natural supplements to control pain, what is Evo athlete, and does marijuana increase exercise performance?
Brock: Okay. On Sunday, I was doing a race in Hamilton, Ontario – a 30k road race. In Hamilton, you can’t do half marathon or full marathon. You have to do something in between. It’s called Around the Bay. And I was 4k in, just starting to settle into a nice rhythm and was running next to a couple of guys, probably around my age and they were chit chatting away and I heard one of them say, “So I was listening to this podcast the other day and this guy was going on and on about heart rate variability and how you can measure your stress levels and how you can figure out if you’re recovering from your workouts properly and then he was talking about this thing you put on into your finger and it measures your oxygen saturation” and so I ran just a little bit closer and like, “Did that happen to be Ben Greenfield that was talking about that?” And they looked at me and said, “yeah, it was”. And I was like, “I’m Brock” and they were like “oh, it’s so awesome to meet you” and we all started shaking hands and had this great bonding moment for probably like 400 meters and then I realized that they were actually keeping a pace that I wasn’t able to sustain so shamefully.
Ben: I was gonna say, you didn’t hold hands and skip across the finish line or something like that, did you?
Brock: I wish. They were significantly faster than me so I dropped back and saw them disappear into the distance. But nonetheless, I still felt like a rock star for a few minutes there.
Ben: Wow! Well, apparently, our audience is 2 more people than our moms. That’s great!
Brock: Yes. We’ve got 4 listeners.
Ben: Cool! And how did the 30k wind up going for you?
Brock: Well, for the first race this season, I’m not horribly disappointed. I didn’t hit the time that I wanted but I only missed it by actually, a minute and 2 seconds. Not horrible, but it did point out to me that there are few things I need to work on like one is hills. I lost all my time on 2 hills. I know I need to attack those better. And I hate to say it but I think I’m just carrying too much weight.
Ben: You’re pregnant, are you?
Brock: Shhhh…3 months…
Ben: Wow. Tell you what. Maybe what we can do at the end of the episode for any listeners who are interested, when we talk a little bit at the end of this episode about how to become a better hill climber and how we need to go about shedding some weight to get you ready for Boston Marathon.
Brock: It’s not all spare tire. Only part of it is spare tire. Some of it’s some muscle as well, unfortunately. But that’d be great.
Ben: …..some birth control pills. All right. We better jump in.
Brock: Okay. This is the time of the show where Ben explains all the interesting news flashes that he’s been sending out on Twitter.com/bengreenfield, at Facebook.com/bgfitness and also at Google+. So what have you got for us this week?
Ben: Well, Brock, I’ve been saying for years that there’s a big, big problem with a lot of these studies out there that looked into what you’re eating and how what you’re eating can affect your performance and the main reason for that is (any long time listener to the show might know) that most of these studies were done with people who were in fasted state, meaning, how many of us do actually frequently go out there after a good 12-hour fast and do a time trial or a hard weight training session or something like that.
Brock: Even people who workout first thing in the morning, like personally, if I know I’m doing something first thing in the morning, I’ll have a little snack before I go to bed like 8-9 PM so you and my 6 o’clock swim isn’t really in a fasted state. I’ve still got a lot of stuff on board.
Ben: Yeah. I can’t remember the last time I worked out in the morning actually. I think it was during the Superhuman Live event when I had to get my ass out of bed at the ungodly hour, 6 AM, for that boot camp. I’m not a big morning working out person unless you…
Brock: That’s because you don’t have to get up and go to the office every morning.
Ben: That’s right. Well, I do. I have to somehow get my butt and gear to do the home office thing. Anyways, though, what happened was, in the Journal of Nutrition, they put out an article called Carbohydrates and Exercise Performance in Non-Fasted Athletes. For me, one of those articles that was like, it’s about time they did something like this.
Ben: Yeah. Finally. And that’s how much of a geek I am in that I get off when I see an article come out in the journal start pumping like this.
Brock: It’s better than Christmas.
Ben: That’s right. What they reported was essentially that, there is this consensus that claims the ergogenic effect of carbohydrates ingested in the proximity of or during a performance bout. But in these studies, the protocols that are used are typically, very, very standardized non-real world scenarios in fasted subjects who are exercising at this constant exercise intensity with the test of time to exhaustion, not a test of performance, meaning, they’re typically tested how long you can go out without becoming exhausted. Whereas in the real world, a lot of times, we’re looking at how fast we can complete x amount of distance, right? Or how much we can lift x amount of weight. So, a lot of these situations don’t reflect competitive real-life situations. What they did in this article was, they systematically summarized all of the different studies that actually did truly mimic the situation of a real-life competition, meaning, people exercising after they’ve eaten and meaning, performances that were more time trial like performance test like a fixed distance or fixed time. And they went over thousands and thousands and thousands of studies. Now, of all the studies that actually looked into the efficacy of doing something like a high carbohydrate dosing or carbohydrate intervention, what was found was that the improvements from taking in carbohydrates prior to exercise were far, far lower than what is typically reported to us in say like, Shape Magazine or Men’s Health or common sports nutrition advice. And when they looked at studies that actually mimicked real-life competition, what they found was that carbohydrates that you take in in the proximity of or during a performance about that is at 70 minutes or less offers you pretty much no benefit, meaning that if your exercise session is gonna be an hour to an hour and 10 minutes, there is no need for you to go out and eat carbohydrates beforehand or during. And there is a possible but much lower significance of the effect of carbohydrates in performance durations that are longer than 70 minutes, meaning that the amount of benefit that came out of (and they’re studied from 26 all the way up to 240 minutes and most of these studies were on cyclists just because that’s typically what a lot of these lab studies are done with. Very, very little effects in terms of how much carbohydrates truly help you in this real world situations. And so it was just super interesting to go through this and have that “come to Jesus” moment where it’s like, “Wow, we’ve been so wrong for so long about this stuff. So I’ll link to the abstract of the study in the show notes for this episode. What is this, Episode # 235?
Brock: 225. Wait, I think it’s 235. Oh you’re right, 235!
Ben: Anyways though, check it out if you’re interested in looking into carbohydrates and exercise performance in non-fasted individuals rather than fasted individuals.
Brock: Very cool.
Ben: Yeah. A couple of other things that came across the radar this week: One was that yoga can actually increase your deadlift. And this one surprised me. There is this study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning where they looked at Bikram Yoga and they tested Bikram Yoga and about 8 weeks of Bikram Yoga at 3 times a week. And they looked at everything from heart rate and blood pressure to VO2max to fat mass to lean mass to lower back and hamstring and shoulder flexibility and they also looked at hand grip strength and isometric deadlift strength and even though after 8 weeks of this Bikram Yoga, which is the hot yoga, they didn’t find an increase in cardiovascular measures. They didn’t find an increase in maximal aerobic fitness but what they did find, in addition to the increased flexibility (which you would have expected) was increased deadlift strength.
And the hypothesis here was that, many of the postures that are specifically involved in something like Bikram Yoga, actually do involve a forceful contraction, almost like an isometric contraction of your trunk and your shoulder muscles and so these people actually got stronger with yoga.
Brock: Were they doing any weight lifting at the same time as yoga or they were just doing yoga for 8 weeks?
Ben: No. They controlled it for any training outside of the yoga so they were just doing yoga training vs. a control group that was not doing yoga training. There you have it. Yoga can make you stronger. I’ll bet that there are much, much faster ways to get stronger but just in case you’re concerned that if you’re doing a solo yoga practice, you’re not gonna build any strength at all. It turns out that you actually can maintain some strength and I would assume that these folks were doing a proper…Bikram Yoga’s a 90-minute protocol and having been through a few Bikram Yoga sessions myself, I can tell you that there are a lot of isometric movements in there that are kind of exhausting. We’ll actually talk about isometrics and why they work, later on in the show ‘cause I think we’ve got a question about the Evil Athlete Program that we’re doing. We’ll get into that a little bit more. Last thing that I wanted to mention if all of the listeners haven’t left already to go do their yoga, is a study that looked at the effect of cadence on cycling efficiency and what’s called local tissue oxygenation. This one was pretty interesting. What they did was, they took a bunch of recreational cyclists/triathletes. It’s not like elites but people who’ve been cycling a while. They looked at 3 different cycling cadences: cycling at 60 rpm, cycling at 80 rpm and cycling at 100 rpm. And what they found was that, these trained cyclists and triathletes were more efficient and more economical when they were cycling at 60 rpm compared to when they were cycling at 80 or at a 100 rpm. And they also found that heart rate and also blood lactate levels were higher when people were cycling at 80 rpm and at 100 rpm compared to when they were cycling at 60 rpm. And so a take away from this was that cadence of 60 rpm might actually be advantageous for performance in moderately trained athletes. And you need to contrast this with studies in the past which have found that higher rpms do actually improve your performance but those studies were done in elite cyclists, who may have a lot more efficiency, a lot better ability to recruit more muscles at those higher cadences. And again, this is also something we’ll get into ‘cause this is part of that Evil Athlete Protocol Talk about as well. But what it comes down to is you don’t necessarily have to shy away from gear mashing, so to speak, from being down around 60 rpm if you’re a triathlete out there doing a triathlon. There’s no evidence that it’s actually gonna hold you back and it may indeed, be more efficient than cycling at higher cadences.
Brock: I remember, there actually being a great debate a number of years ago between triathletes and road cyclists. There was that debate of whether you should be actually doing the 90 revolutions per minute and the road cyclists were saying “no” and the triathletes were saying “yes” so maybe, it’s somewhere in between?
Ben: Was it like gangs of New York where they’re out on the street with shoes and pitchforks?
Ben: That was more like a Westside Story. They were dancing and snapping their fingers at each other.
Ben: Yeah. In spandex.
Brock: All right. Mr. Webinar, you’ve got a couple of webinars coming up with the Inner Circle, one on April 6th about How to Raise Superhuman Children.
Ben: That’s right. And you know what’s funny is, my kids actually wear capes about 24/7. They’ve got these capes that mom made them when they were 3 (they’re Superman capes) and one says “T” and one says “R” and they do wear those capes everywhere – grocery store, day care, everywhere. Anyways though, that’s not why we titled this particular upcoming webinar.
Brock: That’s the whole webinar is – How to Make a Cape for your Kids.
Ben: Exactly. How to Sew a Cape. No, it’s How to Raise Superhuman Kids and we’re just gonna teach you how to really optimize performance and health in your kids.
That one’s coming up next Saturday, April 6th and then there’s another webinar we’ll be doing for the Inner Circle called Ask Ben Anything about Minimalist Triathlon Training. Again, those are limited to people who are part of the Inner Circle but it’s just 10 bucks a month. And in my opinion, for everything that you get inside the circle, the best 10 bucks a month you’re ever gonna spend so check that out. We’ll put a link to those in the show notes along with the times and everything. And of course, if you are in the Inner Circle, you get access to the replays of those as well as the replays of every single webinar we have ever done. And there are a lot of them I there now. Also, it’s not a webinar but Brock and I are gonna be doing a guest episode of Jimmy Moore’s Living La Vida Low Carb.
Brock: That’s right. I’m excited. I feel like we should wear some Carmen Miranda hats or something just to be the Living La Vida.
Ben: That’s right. And you can call in and leave your low carb question. And I’m totally going over what Brock said and ignoring it because I have no clue what Carmen Miranda is.
Brock: She is a Spanish dancing singing lady from the 70’s who wore a big hat made of fruit and played maracas.
Ben: Oh! I know what you’re talking about. I was showing my age.
Brock: I know, I was showing my age.
Ben: So, call in and leave your low carb question for our Jimmy Moore episode same way you’d call in and leave a question for any of our episode. You either call toll-free to 8772099439 or you leave your message on that little speak pipe tab on the right side of the page at bengreenfieldfitness.com. A couple other quick things in the way of special announcements: The first is that Abel James, the host of the Fat-Burning show along with myself put together a special little package for you. And in between this special announcements and the Q & A, Brock and I will play a little special announcement that Abel and I actually put together for you. So listen in to that ‘cause that’s coming up in just a second. And then, a couple other things: I owe an apology to people who subscribed to the podcast and saw the video that I put out this week, in which I interviewed Heather from the blood-testing company called the Talking 20 ‘cause you couldn’t hear Heather’s voice. You could hear it on the website but you couldn’t hear it on the podcast. Anyways though, if you wanna go check it out over at bengreenfieldfitness.com, Heather’s got this cool new service called Talking 20. She’s an MDPhD, which is code word for being smart.
Brock: Super smart. And she’s Canadian.
Ben: Yeah. And what Talking 20 is, is you order this package and they send you 36 different cards. And you can use these cards anytime you want. You can use it in 36 days in a row. You could use them for 3 years but just one drop of blood on these cards and you send them back in and you get everything from organ panel to cholesterol panel to inflammatory panel to pretty much everything that you’d want to know about what’s going on inside your body. But as opposed to some of the other ways to measure your biomarkers that we’ve talked about in the past, this does not involve getting in your car and driving to a lab or giving a bunch of blood or peeing in a cup or anything like that, or sniffing peanut butters. You can drip saliva into a tube, which is my secret. You just send it off and super convenient. It’s not cheap ‘cause you’re buying 36 all at once so it’s like $1300. If you use this special code that I put in the post, it’s closer to 1100 but kinda cool especially if people like to geek out on biohacking. So check that out. It’s called Talking 20.
Brock: That can’t actually be as accurate as those other tests, can it? ‘Cause it’s just one drop of blood vs. all these vials.
Ben: It is. It’s mass spectrometry so it is. It’s in the technology that they’re using and it’s kind of the next thing before we all just get a chip and plant it in our forearm that allows us to monitor our biomarkers 24/7.
Brock: I’m not looking forward to that day.
Ben: There you go. And then the last thing I wanted to mention was that, at the recent Become Superhuman Live event, onstage, I was showing folks the brand new 213-page manual and 14 CDs that include everything you’d ever need to know about optimizing performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep and hormones. It’s this big binder you can order. It gets mailed to your house. You can also get in digital format so it all gets downloaded straight to your computer and even though that originally was exclusively available at the Become Superhuman Live event, it is now available for anybody anywhere in the world.
I will put a link in the show notes if you want to grab that essential guide to becoming superhuman and whether you’re a personal trainer or whether you’re just somebody who wants to know everything that you need to know about optimizing your body, it’s a pretty cool deal. Hey folks, it’s me, Ben Greenfield.
Abel: And this is Abel James.
Ben: You may recognize me, Ben from the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Abel: Or me from the Fat-Burning Man Show.
Ben: And today, Abel and I wanna tell you the number 1 workout that we’re doing right now to burn fat. So, Abel, I want you to take it away first. What is it that you’re doing right now when it comes to exercise to get your body as lean as possible?
Abel: So the first thing that I do that a lot of people skip is a warm-up. I do about 5 minutes of shadow boxing and light stretching, then I go straight into doing some pull-ups to failure, doing some burpies and then I do some heavy squats and heavy deadlifts in the shed in the backyard. And that’s it. It’s easy and I love it right now.
Ben: Did you just say a shed in the backyard?
Abel: That’s right. I workout in my shed. Usually, I workout, actually, in my backyard in the sun because it’s just that nice in Austin.
Ben: I was gonna say the shed’s about as masochistic as you can get. You see after doing your squats and deadlifts…
Abel: A punching bag is.
Ben: I’ve got this thing that I’m doing. It’s called a Liebenow sprint.
Abel: I love how you geek out all the time, Ben.
Ben: I’ve no clue what Liebenow even mean. Anyways though, what I do is, I’ve got this 50-lb dumbbell and I take it out to the hill behind my house and I do 15 dumbbell swings and then sprint 400 meters up the hill. I drop the dumbbell and hold the dumbbell. It’s like still in mid-air dropping to the ground and I’m off sprinting. I do that 8 times through and man, when it comes to a fat-burning workout, that is about the most potent thing that I found yet.
Abel: So you sprint back and forth before the dumbbell even hits the ground, right?
Ben: Exactly. It’s like Road Runner from….Looney Toons…
Abel: That’s a fat-burning workout right there.
Ben: Exactly. I guess folks are probably wondering why Abel and I are here geeking out about fat loss. It’s because we’ve got a new website.
Abel: That’s right.
Ben: And it is basically, Abel and I following each other around each other’s houses with a camera, virtually, of course, since Abel is in Austin and I live in Washington and we are basically showing you everything we do from the time we get up out of bed in the morning all the way up through lunch through our workouts through dinner through bedtime to live what we call a “Lean Lifestyle”.
Abel: Yeah. And you’ll learn things that are kind of a more advanced strategies. A lot of times on our podcasts or shows or blogs, we’ll talk about things that are kind of generalized to the public but these are the things that we literally do ourselves everyday – all the secrets of what we’re cooking, what we’re eating for breakfast or not eating for breakfast for that matter, what we may or may not be putting in our coffee depending on the day, pretty much any supplement that we’re taking and tons more. Ben has all sorts of crazy gizmos that you’ll be able to see. It’s a blast to watch.
Ben: And Abel’s house is much cleaner than mine as you’ll also find out. Anyways though, here’s what you do if you want to get inside the Lean Lifestyle Insider right now. All right. Abel, what is the URL that people can go to if they want to get in on that Lean Lifestyle Insider right now?
Abel: That would leanlifestyleinsider.com/b.
Ben: That’s leanlifestyleinsider.com/b. And I’ll put a link in the show notes for URL, too. Hey, Abel, thanks for coming on the show.
Abel: Anytime, Ben.
Listener Q & A:
Kamil: Hi Ben and Brock! It’s Kamil here. My question, Ben, recently, I was listening to Rich Roll about all the stuff and the China study. It was quite disturbing reading ‘cause they tell that you should remove all the animal food and their approach is quite different. To be frank, I’m quite…I don’t know what to do now. Should I remove all the animal food? I’d want to hear your thoughts on the subject. Thanks in advance for a reply.
Brock: That’s interesting. I know a lot of people have read the China study and had a very similar reaction like sworn off meat for the rest of their lives because it does make a very compelling argument.
Ben: Yeah. I read it cover to cover and found it quite interesting. The premise for the people who haven’t read it, is that all animal foods, whether we’re talking about chicken mcnuggets or grass-fed beef are responsible for pretty much every modern ailment that we have from heart disease to cancer to everything. And so the China study has quickly risen as almost like this Bible for the vegan and the vegetarian community because it appears at first glance to have a ton of evidence in it for meat being bad for you, for animal products being something that can cause a lot of issues. It’s called the China study because it draws upon demographic information primarily collected from groups of people living in China who had access to meat and groups that didn’t have access to meat even though it does go into a little bit more detailed in just that and there are some studies on the rats, etc. as well so it’s not just about China. It’s written by this guy named T Colin Campbell and he is, as I believe, a researcher. I think he’s a physician as well. What happened was, he noticed that liver cancer was an issue among Filipinos and particularly, wealthy Filipinos and this liver cancer was happening in those wealthy Filipinos at a much higher rate than their less wealthy Filipino counterparts. Campbell thought that this might be due to their higher intake of animal protein. On top of that, and one of the inspirations for him going on in kinda looking into this issue in China, he also found a study that showed that high protein intake could cause potential for increased risk of liver cancer in rats while at the same, a low protein intake kinda seem to prevent that liver cancer. And so Campbell, basically launched in to writing the China Study and not only looked at the demographics of these folks in China but also started to study rats. And he did a series of experiments where he exposed rats to very, very high levels of what’s called aflatoxin. And we’ve actually talked about aflatoxin on the podcast before. It’s this carcinogen produced by mold that grows on peanut and on corn and so what T Colin Campbell did was, he gave each of these group of rats very high levels of aflatoxin and then he fed them a diet and he broke them into groups and each diet contain varying levels of this milk protein called casein, which we’re probably all familiar with. It’s something that we get from dairy products and occasionally in some protein powders and derivatives like that as well, and of course, in cheese. What happened was that, in all the studies that he did, the rats that had a low, low amount of total calories comprised of these casein protein, remained tumor-free and didn’t get cancer. And the rats that were eating 20% or more of their calories from casein were developing these tumor growths that showed that they were starting to go into liver cancer. What happened was that he also decided he was gonna look into the type of protein and he reported that animal protein was the worst because in several of his experiments, when aflatoxin-exposed rats were fed wheat proteins or soy proteins, these vegan or vegetarian protein derivatives instead of casein protein, they didn’t develop cancer compared to the 20% level that the rats that were fed the animal-based protein seemed to develop. And so it appeared that plant proteins were better than animal proteins that specifically reduced risk of cancer growth. And so, on he went to write the China Study and report in this. But one of the issues here is that there are a lot of other studies that go way outside of this study that T Colin Campbell did in which he put rat in a relatively unique situation of having been exposed to high amounts of aflatoxin before even starting into the protein feeding.
And these studies show that another major animal protein, whey protein, actually consistently suppresses tumor growth rather than promoting tumor growth and that’s probably because whey protein can increase levels of something called glutathione, which is that same antioxidant that I use before I go out and drink copious amounts of alcohol. But either way, whey can prevent cancer. And so that kinda flies in the face of some Campbell’s research. The other issue is that there are issues here with the actual study itself in that, the rats that were consuming the high casein diet were indeed developing liver cancer the way that Campbell described. And the reason that the rats in low casein group were not reported as being a group that was at as high risk of developing live cancer is because they were actually dying earlier. That’s a big, big flaw in the study. Basically, the reason for that is because when you have a protein deficiency that prevents your liver from detoxifying your body the way that it’s supposed to. So if you give me a bunch of aflatoxin and then take away all my proteins while I’m not getting the glutathione that my liver needs to keep it from dying, then what happens is I’ll just die earlier so I won’t get cancer but it won’t matter ‘cause I’ll be dead. So one really, really big issue with these studies is a lot of the animals that were reported as not getting cancer, they can’t get cancer because they were dying.
Brock: I’ve heard one oncologist say that if a person or a race or any group of people live long enough, they will eventually die of cancer.
Brock: It’s kind of a given for most living beings: If you live long enough, you will get cancer and it will kill you. So yeah, if you die before you get it…
Ben: Exactly. Even one of Campbell’s experiments was completely left out of the study and that particular experiment showed that when you do with a lot of vegan and vegetarians do, which is mixed proteins to form a complete protein like nuts and grains are perfect examples, you’re adding something like an almond to a wheat so that the lysine that’s not present in the wheat is getting added to your meal because you’re getting the lysine from the almonds. But for example, what was shown in one of Campbell’s experiments on rats was that when you supplement wheat gluten with lysine to make a complete protein, that particular protein combination behaves exactly like casein to promote tumor growth and so it was almost like he was cherry-picking these studies to vilify animal proteins when in fact, combinations of plants proteins can cause the same issue. Once again, with a caveat here that we’re talking about a population of rats put in a very unique situation in that they’ve been exposed to these high levels of aflatoxin. And so this is not a very, very real world scenario. Anyways, there are a lot of other issues with the China study and I could talk for a long time about them but I think that the subject itself has been treated very, very thoroughly by someone named Denise Minger. Denise runs a website that was originally designed to help vegans and vegetarians eat more healthy and helps specifically raw food. It’s over at rawfoodsos.com and Denise has written a very, very thorough analysis of the China study that does a fair job presenting both sides of the issue but that kinda comes out on the side of showing that there’s a lot of research and a lot of conclusions drawn from the China study that you simply can’t extrapolate to the general population, particularly the fact that a lot of the variables that are left out of the diets or the lifestyle of many vegans and vegetarians such as not smoking, in many cases, avoiding vegetable oils and processed foods or foods high in preservatives. A lot of times, living a very healthy lifestyle such as a Seventh Day Adventist might do. A lot of these are confounding variables that make it so we can’t simply take a large vegan and vegetarian population point out that they’re having a lower risk of cancer turn around and blame it on the presence of animal proteins. I’ll link to Denise Minger’s study in the show notes for Kamil and that would be a really, really helpful thing to go and check out.
Brock: Yeah. I was just looking up T Colin Campbell online here and it was very unfortunate the first thing that popped up in my Google window was “T Colin Campbell Quack”. But that aside, he’s not a physician, he’s a biochemist and I actually didn’t realize he also wrote Forks over Knives, which is the other Bible for vegan and vegetarians.
Ben: That’s a movie, isn’t it? Or is it a book?
Brock: It’s a book. They made it into a movie.
Ben: Okay. I gotcha. I didn’t realize it was a book as well. Interesting. I would certainly go look into that ‘cause I didn’t spend as long a time talking about it but all these associations between cholesterol from animal proteins and cancer and the association between cancer and animal proteins. There are a lot of confounding variables in there that need to be considered so I’d go check that out. If you’re vegan or you are vegetarian, listen to the previous episodes that we’ve done or even go to the MyList that I created. If you go to the Ben Greenfield Facebook page over at facebook.com/bgfitness, I’ve got an entire MyList over there that gives you a really convenient handy list of the things that you should include in your diet if you’re vegan or vegetarian because there are things missing such as gamma linoleic acid and a lot of your omega 3 fatty acids, a lot of your vitamin B complexes, a fair amount of zinc, a fair amount of vitamin D, things of that nature that you do want to supplement with and so check that out too and that’ll be useful for you. I’ve personally eaten vegan (my wife and I did raw vegan for about 6 months) and I did it the right way and I felt pretty good. I didn’t experience a lot of defocus and the mental deficits and stuff that folks who do it the wrong way and go low-fat-high-carb get but I just lost a lot of muscle ‘cause I wasn’t getting enough creatine and I wasn’t getting enough amino acids to really support my particular level of activity and effect that I like to maintain, slightly higher levels of muscle than I naturally would maintain so it didn’t work out for me but that’s just because I like to flex in the mirror.
Bill: Hi Ben! This is Bill from Reno. I’ve got a nutrition question for you about Greek yogurts? Is Greek yogurt made with cow’s milk or goat’s milk. And if it is made with cow’s milk, wouldn’t that cause that same amount of intestinal leakage and gastric distress and inflammation that regular yogurt causes? What’s the big difference here? Thanks.
Brock: You know what I have to say to Bill?
Ben: My wife and I wound up accidentally at this Greek wedding in Portland once when we were down there. I think we’re down there for triathlon and we went out at night and walked in to this building. It should have been a warning sign to us but it had like a giant octopus on the top of it.
Ben: And it was like empty downstairs but we heard a bunch of commotion upstairs and the host just asked us if we want to go up and join a Greek wedding. So really cool, we went up there and within about 10 minutes, I was out there in the crowd doing my simulation of a chicken dance and getting Ouzo poured down my throat by a server, literally. First time I’d ever had Ouzo and it was getting poured directly from the bottle and into my galette and it was quite an experience. They didn’t have any Greek yogurt there that I can recall.
Brock: It doesn’t go well with Ouzo.
Ben: I know. I wouldn’t imagine. But Greek style yogurt is essentially just strained yogurt so you start with your traditional fermentation of yogurt and after the fermentation process is complete, you then strain that yogurt using filters and sometimes you spin it to remove a significant portion of that kind of watery part of yogurt that you typically get in yogurt.
Brock: That’s the whey, right?
Ben: Yeah. The water part is whey. It’s very similar to the whey that my wife and I make yogurt cheese. We’ll get a good organic yogurt or my wife will make yogurt from a raw milk that we get from a local farm and after we make the yogurt, we’ll strain out all the whey and we wind up with yogurt cheese. But you can also use a similar process if you have a spinner or yogurt maker to make a thick creamy yogurt and that’s Greek style yogurt. And unlike the name suggests, it’s not necessarily something that originated from Greece. I believe it was originally from some air bridge in the Middle East but either way, it’s gotten incredibly popular as I think most folks now, especially here in the US and there seems to be kind of this myth going around that it’s healthier than regular yogurt.
And what it comes down to is, it really, really depends on the type of Greek yogurt that you get because for example, Greek yogurt does tend to have lower amount of carbs, more amount of protein, tends to be because of the absence of the large amount of whey, lower potential for an immunoglobulin allergic reaction to it. It tends to be, for people who are into kind of a whole high-fat-low-carb thing, higher in a lot of those fats and it just tends to taste pretty darn good. Greek yogurt can also, if it’s made with the traditional fermentation technique, be a little bit higher in probiotics. For some of those reasons, I think it’s gotten this wrap as being healthier than regular yogurt but at the same time, f you go and look at all the major brands of Greek yogurt that you could find in the supermarket, many of them have had additives and thickeners like milk protein concentrate or cornstarch or gelatin or even in some cases, ironically, they’ve had whey protein concentrate added to them to make them more of that kind of Greek yogurty texture that tends to sell better and have better mouth fill. So if you’re getting like Yo plate, you’re getting a Greek yogurt with a lot of additives. The same way with Lucerne, which is the brand you get at Safeway here in the states.
Brock: And Canada too.
Ben: Cabot is another one that has a lot of preservatives as well. If you’re getting yogurt with a bunch of cornstarch added into it, that’s an issue. There are decent brands out there – Stony Field is a really good brand and they use a cultured pasteurized organic milk. The Oikos, that one’s a decent brand even though it has lower levels of the active yogurt cultures than a Stony Field or a Chobani brand. Traders Joe’s is not bad. That’s another one that’s pretty decent. The Olympus brand Greek yogurt is also pretty good. And we did a whole podcast where we talked about like if you’re gonna buy yogurt at the grocery store, which brands are gonna have high levels of probiotics and fewer preservatives added to them and I’ll link to that in the show notes for him. But what this comes down to as far as the question about intestinal leakage and gastric distress and inflammation. Commercial dairy is commercial dairy and many people do have adverse reactions to yogurt and just about any dairy product and it can be a combination of the fact that we use cattle especially here in the states that has been bred for what’s called A1 protein, which causes more inflammation in humans than an A2 cattle. We, a lot of times, are eating milk products that are derived from cattle that have been raised in grain-fed situations and exposed to a lot of antibiotics, exposed to lots of hormones, and so whether it’s a Greek yogurt or a regular yogurt, yes, it’s going to create issues for you if that’s the case. Now, an organic yogurt would present fewer of those issues. An organic yogurt from a pastured cow would be even better if you can get a Greek yogurt from an organic pastured cow. And the best bet if you really wanna totally geek out and be the hairy hippy would be to just find a local farm, get some raw milk, and make your own yogurt using yogurt starter and a yogurt machine with milk that you know is from a clean farm with organic grass-fed cows. But a really, really good resource for you here if you did wanna get a list, not only of good Greek yogurts and regular yogurts but also just decent dairy products in general, if you’re shopping at a grocery store, would be the book written by Mira and Jayson Calton called the Rich Food Poor Food – A really good resource, fantastic book, I think everyone should have on their shelf for just your grocery shopping needs. I interviewed them on a podcast. If you go listen to that episode and of course, use the Amazon link at Ben Greenfield Fitness to get the book. We get a few dollars thrown in our hat.
Brock: A few shekels.
Ben: That’s right. A few shekels. And that one’s called Rich Food Poor Food. Ultimately, for someone who has an adverse reaction to milk, goat’s milk is gonna be better than cow’s milk. And then, of course, using just a coconut milk yogurt or something like that is even gonna be better than using a dairy base and that’s just gonna depend on you. I found that a lot of folks, including myself, who don’t do well at all with regular commercial milk, do just fine with unpasteurized unhomogenized milk from a local raw dairy. And it’s gonna come down to whether or not that’s available in your area.
Jessa and I are members of CSA, which means that we take turns with 6 other families driving to a local farm and picking up a bunch of eggs and milk and stuff and then it comes back into town, we all meet at a central location, grab it and tuck it under our arms and sneak back to the house while trying not to get pulled over with our raw milk.
Brock: That’s your illegal milk.
Ben: That’s right. Our illegal milk.
Brock: Such bad asses.
Ben: Yes. Wheat is now legal in the state of Washington.
Brock: But not raw milk.
Ben: Actually, raw milk is legal.
Brock: Is it?
Ben: Yeah. It’s not like California so they’re not stomping SWAT teams in the farms up here yet.
Brock: You mentioned cultured milk earlier on. What does it mean when…like I’ve seen cultured milk. You can get butter that’s been cultured. You can get yogurt that’s from cultured milk. What does that mean exactly when you culture milk?
Ben: The way that I understand it is that cultured milk is synonymous with that milk being a fermented milk product so the 2 terms as far as I know, are synonymous and basically, a cultured milk product would be any type of dairy product that’s been fermented. This whole process of lacto fermentation like when you go and get a yogurt starter, that’s lactic acid bacteria, like a lactobacillus or a lactococcus or any of these different lactic acid bacteria. And when you ferment a dairy product or you culture a dairy product in that manner, it increases the shelf life of the product and it’s something humans have been doing for literally tens of thousands of years. And essentially, what it allows you to do is adjust the taste of the dairy product depending on the type of starter culture that you use and depending on the type of dairy that you’re exposing that starter culture to. And so, looking at everything from yogurt to kefir to sour cream to butter milk to any of these types of things, all are examples of cultured dairy products. And then, of course, cultured dairy products just act a lot better in public. They tend to walk around with bow ties, high heels, sharp looking dresses…
Brock: I see them all the time at the symphony and stuff. They’re very, very high class folks.
Brock: That’s good comedy.
Steve: Hey Ben! Hey Brock! You’re show kicks butt. First off, before I get to my question, I like to say that I heard of your podcast couple of years ago. I did a fun race thickening Cancer society where I raised $70,000 for in for them. I drummed in for 121 hours straight, breaking a Guinness world record in the process. I think you would uphold leaky doubt of the process for preparing actually performing for it and the recovery of the event. The punishment was brutal. I actually subluxated 4 ribs where it last for a hundred hours. And we believe it was a seizure around hour 116 after my core temperature plummeted. And if you feel like it, I love to geek out about this, actually the recovery part as after a year, I’m still fatigued, I still get out-of-the-blue strange cramps in my hands, my arms, my joints. I get headache spasms and sometimes when I’m on the bike, training, I have a difficult time keeping my heart rate above 120. I just cop out with no energy. I just can’t keep it there.
Ben: Oh gosh!
Brock: Well, you broke a Guinness world record along with 4 ribs. Congratulations?
Ben: Wow! I can just close my eyes and picture Steve. He’s built a little bit like animal in the muppets, his hair flying all over the place and…
Brock: No sleeves on any T-shirts.
Ben: Tattered T-shirt and tattoos and the complete opposite of the cultured dairy products that we just got done talking.
Brock: Exactly. Yeah.
Ben: This is a toughy and I should probably jump in here and say that this is not a medical podcast. I’m not a doctor.
Brock: Ben is not a doctor and the content provided on this podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical or health care advice.
Ben: Anyways, what this sounds like to me is an issue with your nervous system and there are conditions kinda similar like when you overtrain, except this would be like overtraining all at once. Some people take a year to overtrain your body. He did it in 121 hours. He did in 121 hours what some people took a year to accomplish. Basically, you’ve got this autonomic nervous system. And the autonomic nervous system is part of your peripheral nervous system. It acts as your control system. It controls pretty much everything that’s below your level of consciousness like your heart rate and your digestion and your respiration rate and salivation and perspiration and all these things that are relatively involuntary.
And it’s divided into 2 systems – systems that we’ve talked about on the show before – the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is that division of your autonomic nervous system that’s basically your rest and digest, so that would include your body functions like digestion and urination. Your sympathetic nervous system is the part that’s more fight and flight so that’s what would tighten blood vessels when you stand up or increase your heart rate when you’re scared or when you’re getting ready to exercise hard. This whole idea behind an autonomic nervous system failure falls under the category of what’s called disautonomy, which is autonomic dysfunction. This term is kinda catch-all term that describes any type of malfunction of your autonomic nervous system. There are a lot of different kind of conditions that would fall underneath this umbrella. One is simply referred to as PAF or pure autonomic failure. Pure autonomic failure is a dysfunction of a lot of these different processes that are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Typically, what happens when you’ve got pure autonomic nervous system failure is your blood pressures falls really quickly when you stand up so you get dizzy. A lot of times, you become pretty intolerant of either really hot or really cold conditions or you have difficulty controlling your temperature. Sometimes your pupils will widen like they’ll dilate or they’ll narrow out of your control so you’ll have vision issues. Basically, you’ll get blurry vision. Sometimes you’ll have difficulty with bladder control in the same reason that someone who’s overtrained might have to get up at night to pee. Someone who’s got complete pure autonomic nervous system failure may just have trouble with bladder movements all the time and a lot of times, hand in hand with that, a lot of guys get erectile dysfunction. It’s like your autonomic nervous system is just kinda blown up and it’s smoking. As far as how you would find out if this was indeed the case with you, there are tests that they do in a medical setting to find out how strong your autonomic nervous system is. This might be something that Steve should go in and do – an autonomic nervous system test. One of the things that they do during this test is they’ll ask you to do a velsalva maneuver. And the velsalva maneuver is where you blow but you hold your breath at the same time so you start to blow but you block the breath from actually getting released from your esophagus. And what happens is, of course, you get a brief increase in blood pressure when this happens. But because you’re straining, you’re decreasing the entry of blood from your veins into your heart. And so when that happens, your blood pressure begins to progressively fall. And when your blood pressure begins to progressively fall, your brain senses that fall in blood pressure and it decreases the outflow of your parasympathetic nervous system to your heart and then that causes you to release a bunch or norepinephrine, which tightens blood vessels in your body and causes your blood pressure to go back up. And all this is happening really, really quickly but what happens is, if someone has autonomic nervous system failure, they don’t get that kind of response and so what happens is they’ll do the velsalvic maneuver, their blood vessels will constrict, will get that overshoot of blood pressure but the blood pressure will stay up and so they’ll get this rapid rise in blood pressure. So you can just do the velsalva maneuver and take your blood pressure at the same time and you’ll see a big, big rise in blood pressure when that happens. That can be a sign that you’ve got some autonomic nervous system issues going on. They also do what’s called the tilt table test, which can test how well you do with regulating your blood pressure.
Brock: I’ve had one of those.
Ben: Have you?
Ben: You did that for the cardiovascular issues that you had.
Brock: Yeah. When I had myocarditis.
Ben: Exactly. So you know what this is about.
Brock: And my heart stopped.
Ben: Really? When you got on the tilt table your heart stopped?
Brock: Yeah. 2 minutes and 40 seconds into it, my heart stopped, which is not a good thing. It’s not fun.
Ben: Wow. Yeah. Scary. Well, we’ll have to tell your story again some time. Or people can go back and listen to the first episode that I had Brock where he told the story about the carditis. Another test they’ll do is the sweat test ‘cause your brain will increase your sweating directly view the sympathetic nervous system traffic to the sweat glands in the skin. And it releases this chemical messenger called the acetylcholine and that acts on your sweat glands to stimulate the production of sweat. They actually have a special form of a sweat test that tests the ability of your sympathetic nerve terminals in your skin to release this acetylcholine and increase your sweat production. The way they do that is they apply a drug to a patch of skin that would evoke sweating at the drug site but allows your body to release its own acetylcholine that results in sweat production.
Brock: It’s sweat in just one little spot?
Ben: Yup! Exactly. So if you had a loss of sympathetic nerve terminals that would normally release that acetylcholine, applying those patches, you wouldn’t sweat. So that’s another thing that can test. Another one is the cold water test where you could dunk your hand in cold water for a couple of minutes and that would normally rapidly increase your blood pressure by increasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and that wouldn’t happen quite as readily in someone with the autonomic nervous system issue. So I know these are a lot of tests but these are examples of the way that you could test whether or not your nervous system was kinda sunk which when you describe everything from the inability to get the heart rate up which suggest that there probably is a blood pressure heart rate issue to having this fatigue and strange symptoms and when it first happened you had a seizure and your core temperature plummeted, I suspect that there is an issue here with the nervous system and it’s something that you could go and test and you could find someone in your area. There is a few on…google it, what’s called an autonomic disorders consortium and I’ll try and put a link in the show notes for you. It could help you. What we’re talking about getting is dysautonomia and that would be what you’d wanna look up if you’re interested in some of the commentary even for this. And there are many pharmaceutical treatments that they give somebody like an antiarrhythmic drug or a beta blocker, a lot of these kinda bandaid type of drugs. If it were me, again, don’t misconstrue this as medical advice but I’d look into this the same way that I would look into something like overtraining because overtraining really is a little bit of nervous system fatigue. Two things that I would really look into that I found help out people quite a bit when they’ve got some adrenal fatigue and some nervous system overtraining going on which typically, I would look at by just seeing a sharp drop in their heart rate variability. One would be adaptogenic herbs and adaptogenic herbs simply allow your energy system to reset and they relieve a lot of these adrenal stressors. The herbal tonic that I use for something like this is Tian Chi and it’s just got a lot of traditional herbs in there that basically helps to restore balance, restore chi in your body. The other thing that can happen when you have nervous system dysfunction is you get a real, real imbalance in your electrolyte status. Typically, you tend to retain a lot of sodium and you tend to lose a lot of trace minerals and minerals that are really, really important to your general physiologic function. And so for that reason, I also recommend a good trace mineral supplement to folks who are overtrained or have a lot of issues like this. Now, I don’t guarantee that this stuff would help with autonomic nervous system dysfunction but those are 2 things I would at least look into from a nutriceutical standpoint. And I’ll certainly put links to both of these in the show notes. They’re part of the Recovery Pack that I recommend to people over at Pacific Elite Fitness. So, Tian Chi Chinese adaptogenic herb, a good mineral complex and then look into some of these tests to investigate whether or not it really is an autonomic nervous system issue. If it is, you’re probably going to need to do some of the other things that I recommend to folks who overtrain, which is, avoid any type of stimulating exercise. Stick to some easy yoga, a lot of relaxation, a lot of stress control until you get to the point where your nervous system has recovered. That’s just a kind of brief glimpse to some of the stuff that I would look into.
Brock: As he say, no disrespect to people with epilepsy, but after you’ve been drumming for 116 hours, how did you know you had a seizure?
Ben: Yeah. How did you know?
Brock: When it just looked like you’re playing the drums?
Ben: It should probably go without saying but I wouldn’t be drumming anytime soon. And I actually would not be doing much in the way of flipping the radio to metallica or anything else that has heavy drumming involved. I am incidentally, the only person in my family who doesn’t play the drums. All my siblings play the drums.
Brock: Some people would say that’s a good thing.
Ben: Well, I grew up playing the violin. I was a contrarian, not play the guitar.
Brock: Some people would say that’s not a good thing.
JD: Hey Ben and Brock! This is JD coming from Athens, Georgia. I will not say where the surgery occurred nor who performed it to protect the doctors and hospital but it was not in Georgia so Georgians can rest safe. I had a surgery about 2 years ago to fix a kidney problem I had. I’m 21 now. I grew up with my whole life undergoing about 60-80 surgeries for my kidney. This particular problem in question was an extreme diverticulitis along with a few other things that happened. The surgery was successful but in the surgery, while making an incision in my back, my right lower thoracic nerve was cut. This injury causes me a great deal of pain everyday and I would like to know if there are any treatment other than the neurontin I am prescribed. Thank you also so much for all the you do. Thanks to you all and others like Dave Asprey, Sean Croxton and Clark Danger, I’m in the best shape of my life. Thank you.
Brock: I bet you’re in a great deal of pain. That sounds terrible.
Ben: Yeah. And gosh! Right lower thoracic nerve was cut. There is some stuff you can do for nerve pain and this seems like another medically question.
Brock: Yeah. Refer back to the previous announcement of Ben not being a doctor.
Ben: You probably heard of TENS units before for low back pain, right, Brock?
Brock: Yeah. I even used them.
Ben: Yeah. This kind of overpowers some of the same stimulations that would tend to cause pain. You can actually get what’s called the peripheral nerve stimulation devices that are electrodes placed along the course of specific peripheral nerves to control pain. And once the electrodes are in place, they turn on and they administer this kind of weak electrical current and you get this tingling sensation instead of pain stimulating that same sensory pathway. You can work with a neuro surgeon or a pain clinic to get one of these type of devices and you can run an internal battery pack similar to a pace maker battery. A lot of times, for people who have pain, that can help you to resume a lot of your normal activities at daily living and even exercise and things like that even if you’ve got significant post-operative pain. One thing that I would look into would be peripheral nerve stimulation. There are things that you can do and these would be the same type of things that I would recommend to people who wanted to really have healthy nerves, improve nerve function, improve reaction time, stuff like that. These are the same type of things that can also help to rebuild nerves or at least relieve some of the nerve pain. One of the things that I would recommend that you do is look into a good fatty acid balance. Not only will adequate fatty acids help to reduce a lot of the free radical generation, what’s called the peroxide generation that can cause some of these pains but it can balance out your omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio. Specifically, there’s a type of fatty acid called gamma linoleic acid, which can really help with nerve health – borage oil, which you may have heard of before. It’s something that has really, really high amounts of gamma linoleic acid in it. Primrose oil is another. What happens is these particular oils will increase blood flow in the nervous system areas, which helps to decrease a lot of the stress that the nerve can be under. It can also help to improve nerve function in general. As far as a particular supplement for that, I would recommend the Fish Oil that I really stand behind and that’s the Living Fuel Super Essentials Fish Oil. There are a bunch of different fish oils that are on the market. Most of them do you more harm than good because they’re either rancid or they’re not packaged along with antioxidants. And some of the things that help protect fish oil from going rancid or else they’re not balanced properly with things like a little bit of omega 6, gamma linoleic acid from something like borage seed oil. So the super Essentials Omega that I recommend and it’s the Fish Oil that I use, it’s got an ultra pure fish oil in its natural triglyceride form so it’s not in that poorly absorbed ethyl esther form. It’s got some vitamin D and some vitamin A antioxidants in it. It’s got a full spectrum vitamin E in it. It’s got a very, very powerful cretinoid called astaxanthin in it and it is the best fish oil I have ever seen in my life. So that’s the one that I get. That’s the one that my kids use and it’s got about 3:2…. (I’m sorry it’s not 3:2, most fish oils have 3:2.) 1:1 EPA to DHA ratio. And since higher levels of DHA are optimal for your brain and your nerve function and over-all health, really, really favorable ratio, so that is a fish oil that I will certainly vouch for and stand behind. The best one that I can recommend if you’re gonna use a fish oil and you don’t want a lot of damage that some of these conventional fish oils can cause. So I’d look into that.
A few other things that really, really help with nerve function are of course, your B complex vitamins. Optimization of vitamin D, E and of course, vitamin B, when it come to replacing your entire vitamin B complex as well as optimizing your vitamin D and your vitamin E levels, probably the top thing that I would recommend for that would be something that I personally use every single day. I don’t necessarily use it for nerve function or pain. I use it to mitigate the effects of a toxic lifestyle. Lord knows how many cigarettes I smoke, in addition to how many chlorinated pools I jump into (I don’t smoke, by the way, just so you know), toxins, pollutants, etc. I use this stuff called Lifeshotz. It’s got about 500% of your daily values of vitamin D. It’s got your entire vitamin B complex in it from folate to B12, B6, pantothenic acid, ribloflavin, everything in really, really high amounts. It has some magnesium in it, which is an amino acid that’s chelated that some of these compounds to help them get absorbed a little bit more quickly, and it’s also got zinc in it. Zinc and magnesium are actually 2 of the most common mineral deficiencies that you experience with nerve pain because what happens is, you get an unregulated pathway in terms of the way that signals are transmitted in nerves when you got magnesium or zinc deficiencies. So something like this would really cover your bases if you’re looking at something like nerve health especially if you combine it with a supplement like a good high, high quality fish oil. So those are a couple of the main things I would look into when it comes to just pure pain control and pain management. There is one particular supplement called Phenocane. It’s got Phenylalanine in it, which has the ability to help your brain maintain higher levels of serotonin, so it can help with mood elevation and reduce pain in general – this DL Phenylalanine precursor. There is also high, high doses of turmeric in it, which can have a decent pain killing effect. And along the same lines of that, what are called curcuminoids, which are the sub particles that make up curcumin, and again, are part of the whole turmeric thing. So that’s one that I would recommend in general. It’s the best alternative to ibuprofen and Advil and stuff like that.
Brock: I took 2 of those yesterday after I got back from getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist.
Ben: What? Phenocane?
Brock: Yeah. It helped a lot ‘cause my teeth were just…they scraped all that tartar off there and just rinse.
Ben: It’s better than just dumping a bunch of turmeric in your mouth, too, ‘cause then, your teeth are orange and you gotta go back to the dentist and it creates a vicious cycle. So those are some of the main things that I would recommend. I’m trying to think if there’s anything else when it comes to nerve health and nerve pain. I guess a lot of these chronic pain type of pharmaceutical drugs that they will prescribe for you like neurontin, they do decrease pain but they can also produce excessive sleepiness, which can result in a little bit of addictive potential down the road. They can cause weight gain. They can cause you to feel like you probably shouldn’t be driving a piece of heavy machine or anywhere. There are some definite issues with addiction to some of those pain drugs so I’d be pretty careful with that and maybe try some of these natural things that I’ve talked about. I guess the only thing I didn’t mention, which we kind of alluded to when we’re talking about the China study earlier in this podcast, was glutathione. Glutathione is pretty much one of the most potent free radical scavengers that you can consume and you are gonna get a lot of free radicals produced when your body is healing like this or when you’re under a lot of pain like this so I would look into using something like the sublingual glutathione that you spray underneath your tongue. That gets absorbed a lot better than an oral glutathione. So that’s be another one. I know I just mentioned a bunch of stuff. I’ll link to all of it in the show notes as well as in the MyList for this episode. And the other thing would be acupuncture. That’d be one of the things that I would definitely look into for pain management. That is again, a natural method that has some efficacy and some good studies behind it in terms of its pain-killing effect.
Kyle: Hi Ben! This is Kyle. I come from Auckland, New Zealand. I just listened to a podcast of Jay from Evo Athlete, talking about some really interesting stuff. I knew there’s some really good information but I didn’t understand half of what he’s saying. It was like I needed a translator to put it into really easy-to-understand language so I could understand. I’m sure there’d be other people there with more questions and answers about some of these concepts and that sounds really, really interesting. So I was hoping you could explain a little bit more detail or just make it easy to understand so we can incorporate some of these ideas and philosophies into our triathlon training. I enjoy the show. Keep it up. Thanks much.
Brock: The thing I’m most curious about is, how can I incorporate that trick where he was putting people on the back of his truck and driving at 60 miles an hour and then making them run. I wanna run 60 miles an hour.
Ben: I think it was like 30 miles an hour and it was for very, very short distances but yeah, that’s over speed training. Since you asked, one of the ways that I’m personally replicating that is by simply running downhills as fast as possible on soft surfaces. So I literally have the same hill that I run up, that’s behind my house, has this sand/dirt lawn that runs along beside it and that’s a super, super soft landing so I run down that as fast as my little legs will carry me. That’s one of the ways that I’ve been doing some over speed training. I’ve also been doing some fin work and some elastic tubing work in the pool, also to work on that over speed component, that is one of the components that Jay was talking about. And then some super, super high cadence efforts on the bike, meaning pedaling the bike at 150+ RPM
Brock: Wow! you can get a 150+?
Ben: I can. My goal is to get up to about 180. I wanna train my leg muscles to turn over as quickly as possible so that I produce a higher economy and efficiency at lower speeds, training my body to pedal at those really high RPMs like professional cyclists are able to pedal at. But with the economy and the efficiency that appears to have been disproven in the study that I just talked about, probably because a lot of the recreational cyclists are not practicing pedaling at these higher intensities.
Brock: I’ve been practicing for almost probably, a year and half now and the highest I’ve ever hit is 135,
Ben: Yeah. One of the issues that people look at as wanting to have some resistance when they’re pedaling and actually, you don’t want the resistance, you do need to remove the resistance when you do something like this and use a very, very low resistance and then just pedal fast, fast, fast. That’s one aspect of this whole Evo Athlete thing: Over speed training. And I’m probably not gonna say any of this quite as well as Jay Schroeder, the gentleman I had on the podcast. I literally went through a 2-day conference with him so I’m compressing into this brief answer what he and I…
Brock: We’ve got 3 minutes. Go!
Ben: Yeah. Exactly. So, over speed work to improve that neuromuscular coordination and the efficiency and the economy at lower speeds doing over speed work like fins and bends in the pool in short, short repeats and then doing over speed work and a run by even including something like soft surface downhill repeats, and then also including over speed work on the bike by using low resistance really high, high cadence. So I’m doing one workout per week that is a high cadence type of workout for swimming, one for running, and one for cycling. In addition to that, Jay has me doing some things that…I actually showed a video for…in a post that I’m going to put as a link in the show notes this episode, Episode #235 over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. What I did was I listed what a typical week of training looks like for me right now and I published it on my personal blog. The address is bengreenfieldtri.blogspot.com. But I’ll link to it in the show notes as well. I addition to that over speed stuff that I’m doing, Jay also has me doing essentially, pen drops, where you’ll drop a pen or a small object that you can hold with your arm. Brock, you just screwed up this thing.
Brock: I was holding a pen. You’re not supposed to drop it.
Ben: A small child, a puppy. Basically, you drop it and then you catch it as quickly as possible and so you can do lateral pen drops with your arm outstretched where you open your hand, drop it, catch it as quickly as possible and then you can also do it, for example, bent over with the arm bent similar as what you do with the one-arm dumbbell row, you drop, catch and repeat.
Jay has instructed me to do these exercises before or after or in between a swim set or something like that and so I actually have been swimming with a pen beside the pool. And in between those over speed sets that I talked about, I’ll just grab a pen and do 10 drops for one hand and 10 drops for the other hand. What that’s doing is, it’s training my nervous system and it’s training my sub-conscious almost to react more quickly, to anticipate. And so again, we’re talking about improved economy, improved efficiency, better neuromuscular balance, better turnover, that type of thing. That’s another thing that I’m doing and another way that I’ve practically utilized some of the stuff that he’s instructed me. The electrostimulation component of this, I’m only doing that once a week. With Jay’s athletes, what he recommends is this electrostimulation unit called ARP Wave. I believe ARP stands for accelerated recovery program but this is very different than a standard electrical muscle stimulation unit. It’s a specific wave form of electricity that allows the current to penetrate really deep to your muscle tissue without causing skin burns and stuff like that. And also, basically, without causing the muscle to spasm and for you to lose control over the muscle. So it works a little bit more harmoniously with your nervous system. Now, I don’t own an ARP Wave because it’s very expensive and I haven’t had a chance to purchase one. Yes, there are a lot of 1-10-dollar donations that come in for this podcast. We truly appreciate them but they don’t justify me going out and buying an $8,000…I believe it tops out at $13,000 EMS unit. I do have an electrical muscle stimulation unit that apparently, I’ve even asked Jay and he’s like “it’s a waste of time, you shouldn’t use it.” But I actually, have noticed a little bit of benefit personally from this experimenting with it. I have one called the Compex Sport Elite and it’s not cheap either. It’s like $1,000 or $ 1,500 unit. But what I do is once a week, I’ve been hooking these electrodes up to my quads and then doing another set on my hamstrings and I do a pre-program set on the EMS unit that’s called and Explosive Strength set. It puts my muscles on a really high frequency and it can simulate up to really, really heavy squat. Basically, my maximum squat, I can get that same type of feel in the muscles and so I’m stimulating a whole bunch of muscle fibers all at once and training my nervous system without actually causing the same type of joint use or impact that I’d get if I were to go out and do a bunch of hill repeats or go out and do a bunch of squats or lunges. What I’ve been doing is preceding my Saturday bike ride with a muscle stimulation session and I found that I feel as though I can recruit more muscles and have better coordination when I’m riding the bike after I’ve woken up my muscles, so to speak using this electrical muscle stimulation. So that’s another kind of component. I’m using the cheap version of the ARP Wave but that’s how I’m using that. And then, the other component of this, and this is one that I’ve been prescribed the most of by Jay and that is the whole Isometric Extreme. Isometric means that you hold a contraction with no change in muscle length or as would be the case with doing a 5-minute squat, a very, very slow change in muscle length. And there’s a few benefits that you derive from that. One would be that it teaches you perfect technique and perfect positioning. The idea behind proper positioning means that you’re able to maintain really, really good technique and reduce your risk of injury from poor biomechanics during training. So I will be doing something like an extreme isometric lunge. When I was doing this last night, where I will literally hold the lunge position for 4-5 minutes on one leg with that leg fully contracted. And that teaches me very, very good positioning, good strength of my big toe, good strength of the same muscles that are responsible for the push-up phase while running or the turnover phase while cycling. And so that’s one benefit to the isometric training. Another benefit is that you’re really able to put all of your mental intent into the correct musculature and so you get very, very good body awareness and what’s called kinesthesia. The main thing that I’ve noticed is that I am more aware of my posture and I’m more aware of where my body is at in space when I’m forced to hold these positions for long periods of time whether it be a planking or a squatting or a lunging position or whatever the case may be.
Pull-up position is another one, a door frame push-up, which is basically a standing push-up is another one he has me doing. So that’s another thing this has helped with. The other thing that isometric exercise can do is it can help with your flexibility. So when you hold an isometric contraction at the deepest joint angle possible such as a deep lunge position, for example. You’re not only training yourself neuromuscularly and posturally, but you also improve your range of motion when you’re moving through a hold like that and holding the end-point range of motion for a long period of time. I’ve found that I have a little bit better knee drive and little bit better toe off from these types of isometric holds I’ve been doing. Remember, I’ve only been training for 2 weeks and I’m already noticing a significant difference. Another thing that happens is a ton of lactic acid build up in the muscle because when you’re holding an isometric contraction, it shuts up the blood pumps to the muscle so the muscle gets engorged with blood and metabolic by-products from this contraction and that lactic acid environment vastly improves the amount of buffering capacity that the muscle has and the ability of the muscle to, once you release that contraction, shuttle all that lactic acid back up to the liver to be reconverted into glucose and kinda turn back into usable energy. So those are some of the benefits of doing the isometric training and it’s something I’m doing almost everyday. He’s got me doing isometric squats, isometric lunges, isometric push-up holds.
Brock: You know what my favorite isometric move is?
Ben: The squatty potty?
Brock: The isometric teeth clench when I’m around delicious food.
Ben: Yeah. That’s another good one. Anyways though, as Brock totally derails my train of thought.
Brock: Somebody had to.
Ben: That’s it. That’s a long answer, I know but those are the basics. Hopefully, that gives you a basic idea of some of the ways that this practically flashes out and manifests in my own training protocol. I’m working on implementing some of these concepts on some of the minimalist training protocol concepts, not only into the book that I’m writing right now but also in the protocols of a lot of the athletes that I’m working with through Pacific Elite Fitness. Brock, I believe I’ve had you doing a little bit of particularly, the lunge-based extreme isometrics.
Brock: Yeah. And all the super slow stuff on it. It’s strangely hard. At first, I was like “oh, this is merely boring and lame” but then, I’m like shaking and sweating and “okay, I get it.”
Ben: Yeah. Especially, after a run. As I just alluded to it also, vastly improves your form on something like a squatty potty.
Brock: That’s true. Jay, you should probably tune in to the April 27th webinar that Ben’s doing then ask Ben about anything minimalist triathlon training ‘cause he can probably talk about a lot of this kind of stuff there.
Ben: I ain’t gonna go over that quite a bit but it’s Kyle, not Jay.
Brock: Oh, sorry.
Ben: Jay is the coach. Kyle is the question.
Brock: How am I supposed to keep all these names straight? There’s me, there’s you, there’s Jay, there’s Kyle.
Ben: And of course, we have weed man.
Brock: Weed man. There we go.
Anonymous: Ben, I’m wondering what your thoughts are on smoking marijuana and the effects it might have on endurance sports. I primarily compete in the marathon. When I do smoke, it’s in the evenings long after I trained, which is primarily in the morning and I’ll do it maybe 2 or 3 times per week. Okay. Thank you.
Ben: Well, first of all, let me say that I live in one of two lucky, lucky states – Washington State. And I have been accused before of smoking a big fatty before this podcast because people said that I sound like I’m high when we’re recording and I guarantee you I am not.
Brock: I never said that.
Ben: If you hear me start to open potato chip bags, perhaps that means that I’ve gotten to that point. But at this point, I actually keep myself relatively marijuana-free despite the fact that it’s very, very easy to get your hands on down Washington state and you have to be far less nervous about drugs around in your car, for example. That being said, marijuana, interestingly, has been shown to result in better lung function. Pot smokers have been shown to have better lung function, not only better lung function than cigarette and tobacco smokers but better lung function than people who didn’t smoke at all.
Ben: And the reason for that is because marijuana is a bronchodilator. Because of that, it may have a performance enhancing effect and so that would be the first reason that it would potentially violate the ability for it to not be on the World Anti-Doping Association list because it does, indeed, appear on the list of prohibited substances and methods by the WADA. There are 3 criteria that are named by the WADA that something has to be performance enhancing, something has to be potentially health risk or something has to be against the spirit of the sport for it to be considered something that would get you banned from an Ironman triathlon or the Olympics or something like that. Cannabis, not only as I just mentioned, has the potential to be a bronchodilator but it may also have potential to decrease your anxiety and decrease your fear. My personal opinion is that it decreases your anxiety and your fear too much.
Brock: So much that you don’t get off the couch.
Ben: Yeah. There’s this whole parabolic curve in sports psychology that the tip of the curve is the zone and you can be either overly stimulated or not stimulated enough and I would imagine that cannabis would keep you towards the low end of that zone.
Brock: But that was the main reason all us Canadians remember the day when Ross Rebagliati was stripped of his snowboarding medal in the Winter Olympics because he was caught with cannabis in his system and I think that was the primary thing they were going after him for was that he would take away his inhibition and he was able to snowboard better because he didn’t care if he lived or died.
Ben: Yeah. Ironically, though, it can also decrease cognitive performance and so that’s why it would violate that second criteria by the World Anti-Doping Association is being a potential health risk. Even though I really don’t think it has any pulmonary toxicity, I think it probably improves lung function from all the evidence that I’ve seen but I guess it would depend the way that you would smoke it, too and what you’re smoking it through. The last thing would be the whole role model issue and whether or not there’d be some negative perception by your sponsors or the media or the public or something like that but also just generally, the role model for perhaps younger athletes who are looking to you as a role model and who, if they did start to use marijuana, wouldn’t necessarily be of the mindset to be able to use it responsibly or properly or not overuse it, that type of thing. Those are some of the reasons that a professional athlete or someone who is in the limelight or even someone who is competing in a sanctioned even would wanna stay away from marijuana. I personally do not think that it improves endurance performance even with its bronchodilatory effect. I haven’t seen any evidence that it would increase time to fatigue or performance in a time trial or something like that. If there is evidence out there that I’m unaware of, if there are people out there doing case studies and any experiments, leave your comment in the show notes. Go for it and I’m curious to hear if there is evidence but as far as I know, it’s not really gonna help you out significantly and it is banned.
Brock: There you go. And that ends the questions for today. We’re all out of question.
Ben: Well, you have a question, Brock.
Brock: Yes. I guess I do have a question.
Ben: Brock, what is your main concern at the hill climbing and then losing weight?
Brock: Well, the losing weight thing is just more of a feeling than anything. I don’t actually feel like…I’m certainly not overweight for general population. But you look at the people who are winning marathons and well, first all, they’re a foot shorter than me and they’re good 25 lbs lighter than me. So I just feel like that would definitely be an advantage losing some weight even on the flat ground and certainly on the hills.
Ben: Yeah. I would recommend some of the things that I personally do when I’m trying to significantly (and with a great focus) lean up for an event. And I don’t even take my body fat, I don’t get on a scale or anything like that. I pinch a little fat section right above the hip and that’s how I keep track of whether or not I’m in low enough body weight/body fat to really be able to have a good power to weight ratio for running or biking.
Brock: Right above the hip in the front or in the back?
Ben: In the front. Right there above the hip bone. And some of the things that I do is, first of all, I don’t, as I think I’ve mentioned before in this podcast, engage heavily in fasted morning workouts and fasted morning cardio but I do implement 12 hours of zero eating into every single 24-hour cycle. And during that 12-hour time frame of zero eating, each 12-hour frame must include at least 5 minutes of cold thermogenesis combined with approximately 20 minutes of aerobic movement. For me, the aerobic movement is typically my morning ritual (if you will), which is yoga and deep breathing. And I do a bunch of different yoga movements combined with deep breathing. I throw a little bit of calisthenics in there like some body weight squats and some moves like that. You’ll see that on your program that I write for you in Training Peaks, there is that stretch that I instruct you to do everyday. That’s your stretch protocols. Now, especially this time of year as the weather is getting nicer, you can do those and kinda keep yourself a little bit chilly as you do them. So what I’ve been doing is I’ll do my cold thermogenesis in the shower and because it’s going to the point where it’s about anywhere from 45-50 degrees in the morning here in Spokane, I’ll go outside of my back porch and granted it is chilly and I wear socks because my feet get really cold. But I’ll do that entire stretching protocol out there. And I’ll do all of this in a fasted state. For me, typically, based off the time that I eat dinner and the time that I tend to eat breakfast 12 hours later, I’m usually doing this type of thing still an hour or 2 before I even eat breakfast. So after I’ve done this, this active movement after the cold thermogenesis, I still got an hour to being in a fasted state. And the only thing that I’ll consume during this time, and this is typically before I do the cold exposure, is some caffeine. For me, it’s either green tea or coffee everytime and that caffeine can speed up the utilization of fatty acids even more.
Ben: But I don’t cheat on that. That’s literally everyday. When I’m traveling in airports, a lot of times, I will check into the lounge and do the whole cold shower thing just so that I keep that practice up as much as possible. That’s something that I personally found. I know it flies under the radar and it seems like a weird technique but when it comes to stuff that seems to work really, really well, that’s one thing. Another thing that I’ve been doing quite a bit of when I want to shed weight fast is about 30 minutes prior to dinner, I’ve been doing this insulin sensitizer. That’s the bitter melon extract, that MPX 100 stuff. If you don’t have that on hand, a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon will have kind of a similar effect. It’s not quite as potent but it can work and so you can stir a couple teaspoons of cinnamon up, you can just eat them as long as you don’t sneeze cinnamon all over the place. Putting it into decaffeinated tea in the evening is one way that you can do this. And you want that in your system about 30 minutes prior to your evening meal so that your insulin response is a little bit lower and your blood glucose levels stay more stabilized so you get a little bit less of a fat storage response to your evening meal.
Ben: That also helps out quite a bit along with simply avoiding a lot of that evening snacking. The 2 ways that I avoid an evening snacking that work best for me are, I use these energy bits, which are the LG tablets. I’ll do about 20-25 of those when my wife’s making popcorn, I’ll pop some of those. That, or I’ll do the amino acids capsules. Both, I’ve found to be quite effective in reducing night time cravings and keeping me from engaging the type of eating at night that I found adds up day after day in terms of keeping you from shedding fat.
Brock: So you’d avoid the popcorn when Jessa’s making popcorn, you don’t partake?
Ben: I do not partake. She puts a hell of a lot of butter on that stuff, too. For me, sure, I’ll eat it when we’re sitting around during the holidays or whatever, but when I’m creeping up on race season, that’s the kind of stuff that I will eliminate.
Ben: The other thing that I will really, really focus on, especially when I’m trying to stay lean and pretty much, I’ve gotten into the point where this podcast is the only time I don’t do this, is for every hour that I’m sitting and I do have a standing work station but sometimes I do sit whether it’s to write an article or when I’m traveling, etc., I have to do 100 jumping jacks for every hour that I sit. So if I’m not able to get up every hour and do those 100 jumping jacks and I do have my butt planted, say on an airplane for a couple of hours or something like that, that number ups to 200.
So it’s pretty much this rule that for every hour that you’re sitting, you gotta do 100 jumping jacks. That’s kinda this concept of greasing the groove and keeping the metabolism elevated. That’s another thing that works really, really well for me when it comes to little Jedi tricks throughout the day that assists for fat loss. You know, a lot of the other stuff I kinda already have worked into your program, such as not too much chronic cardio, doing some sprints, doing some heavy lifting, doing the kind of stuff that results in that fat burning hormonal response, your diet plan right now, we kinda have you plugged in to the higher-fat-lower-carb-moderate-protein approach. And of course, that also is gonna be efficacious for you to stay with that. You also have all kind of the meal plans that I shared with you for each different phase of your training, right?
Brock: Yeah. I just went through leading up to the race on Sunday, I was doing the pre-race week meals. Even though I didn’t follow it strictly, it certainly gave me a great guideline to follow.
Brock: If I didn’t have exactly those ingredients in the fridge, at least I was able to be like, “oh, okay well, I don’t have chicken but I’ve got some pork or some beef I can use.
Ben: Right. Exactly. And so what you would do now that we’re back into a build phase for your next race is, you would bring back in the meal plan phase for the build week. And that would be the one that you’d use here going forward and it’s still what the build week does is, it’s low carbohydrate 5 days of the week and then it cycles up your carbs on Saturday and kinda moderate carb on Sunday and then drops you back on to low carb on Monday rather than say, like an off season eating phase where you’d be low carb everyday, for example, or a base training phase where I have a little less protein in the base training phase than into the build training phase because you’re beating up your body a little bit more with the build training.
Ben: That’s the concept behind that. Now, as far as the hills go, I think that one of the things that we may wanna consider adding into your program, even above and beyond just the weight thing, and we did this a little bit last year and that’s Lydiard hill repeats.
Brock: Yeah. The bounding and the skipping, dipping up the hill.
Ben: Exactly. Those are the workouts where you skipped up the hill and then jogged recovery back down and then you bound up the hill and then you jogged recovery back down. And then the last one was just straight up sprinting up the hill and then jog recovery back down. These were kind of based off of Arthur Lydiard’s Hill Training Protocols and he really used these as one of the keys in speed training and in not only running form but also hill climbing abilities. I think that we may want to consider instead of some of the straight up hill work sprints, that kind of stuff we’ve been doing. Actually working the Lydiard’s back into your program, I think that we should consider throwing those back in.
Brock: Yeah. I’ve started. Leading up to the races, I had a lot of those runs where you basically, hike up the hill and then run like crazy when you get to the top. Those are really hard but they weren’t a very different system.
Ben: Yeah. Exactly. Those are designed to load you up with lactic acid and then it enforces you to run with high levels of lactic acid in your muscle.
Brock: Yeah. Actually, when I go to one of the hills in the race, I felt like I should be hiking up with big swing in your arms.
Ben: Exactly. A big reason for that is we were working on strength a lot in the off season and do the base training. But what I’m gonna do this week when I sit down to work on your plan is, work in a Lydiard hill phase. We’ll do Lydiard’s at least once a week for the next month and use that to improve your hill climbing.
Brock: When it’s actually of the time of year when I can start doing that, too ‘cause in the middle of the winter, it’s pretty impossible to do that and that’s dangerous, in fact, with all the snow and ice all over the place, I would have broken my ankle and perhaps my neck.
Ben: I thought you were like a hockey player, ice skater, ballerina dude.
Brock: I am. If you want me to wear ski skates on the hill, that’s not a bad idea.
Ben: They call the tutu, the ballerina thing that guys wear or is it something different?
Brock: No. Guys don’t wear tutus.
Ben: What do they call your get-up?
Brock: I guess sometimes, unitard?
Ben: Unitard. Go out and do Lydiard’s on your unitard, all right?
Brock: And my hockey skates.
Ben: There you go. That’s where I would start, Brock and that’ll kinda go after the fat burning in the hill climbing and that’s some of the stuff that we’ll start into.
Brock: Sounds good. I think I’ve got a blend and it starts with eating a bunch of pop corn.
Ben: This was a good podcast. I know we went on for a while. If folks want resources to go along with this episode, just visit the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com, Episode #235. We will embed our MyList for this episode right there so you can have access to some handy dandy resources that you can even share with your Facebook friends and you can always drop a few bucks in the hat while you’re there to support the podcast. And of course, we always appreciate reviews on iTunes, preferably, the positive variety if possible. So if you haven’t yet subscribed or left a review in iTunes, go do it. What are you waiting for? And for people who are at Paleo FX this weekend, I’ll be down at Paleo FX in Austin, Texas. I am not Paleo but I will be there in my grouch remarks Paleo disguise.
Brock: The cave man bone in your hair?
Ben: Which is the one without the milk moustache and the cave man bone in my hair, exactly. I think that’s about it and we will not burden you with any of our country twang this week.
Brock: Never again.
Ben: That’s right. This is Ben and Brock signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have a great week.
March 27, 2013 free podcast: What’s wrong with the China Study? Also: is greek yogurt healthier than regular yoghurt, what can you do about nervous system failure, the best natural supplements to control pain, what is EvoAthelete, and does marijuana increase exercise performance? This is a big one, folks… (that’s what she said!)
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- YES. I’ve been saying for years they need to do “pre-workout” carb studies in NON-fasted athletes & they finally have.
- Could Bikram yoga increase your deadlift? Perhaps.
- Results of this cycling cadence study surprised me. 60rpm turns out to be quite efficient for triathletes.
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As compiled, edited and sometimes read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.
Kamil says @ 00:24:55
He read The China Study and is confused about whether he should stop eating meat or not.
~ In my response I mention this Raw Food SOS article.
Bill asks @ 00:37:22
Why is Greek yogurt better than regular yogurt? Is it made with different milk? If not, wouldn’t it cause the same intestinal leakage, gastric distress and inflammation?
~ In my response, I mention Episode #212 What Kind Of Yogurt Is Best?
Steve asks @ 00:47:34
He drummed for 121 hour straight (breaking a Guinness World Record) to raise money for cancer research. During the session he subluxated 4 ribs and had a seizure (around hour 116) when his core temp plummeted. It is a year later and he still has fatigue and strange symptoms (he can’t get his heart rate over 120 on the bike), can you help him figure out why and what he should do about it?
JD says @ 01:00:00
During a recent surgery, while making an incision in his back, his right lower thoracic nerve was cut. He is now in a great deal of pain everyday. He’d like to know if there is any other treatment for it, other than the neurontinhe has been prescribed.
~ In my recommendation for pain management to JD, I recommend: A whole food antioxidant that includes vitamin B, D, E and wild plant derivatives, such as LifeShotz. High omega 3 fatty acids and GLA intake, including borage oil, Natural painkillers from something like phenocane, High magnesium intake, A zinc supplement, and Glutathione.
Kyle asks @ 01:10:08
He listened to the podcast with Jay Schroeder of EvoAthlete and got confused. He would like you to explain how some of Jay’s techniques could be incorporated into training.
~ In my response to Kyle, I reference my current training protocol at bengreenfieldtri.blogspot.com
Anonymous asks @ 01:23:41
Wonders what your thoughts are on smoking marijuana and its effects on endurance sports (he is primarily a marathon runner).