April 24, 2013
Podcast #238 from: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/04/238-electronic-cigarette-health-the-best-sleeping-position-exercising-in-pollution/#more-12356
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast: Do Electric Cigarettes Produce Harmful Second-Hand Smoke, Which Sleep Position Is Best, How To Recover From Pneumonia, What To Do When Exercising In Polluted Cities, When To Use Olive Oil and When To Use Coconut Oil, and Ways To Support A Healthy Pancreas.
Brock: Okay, right off the bat. I’m going to apologize if the show sounds a little unrehearsed or unpracticed it’s because I forgot to send Ben the questions last night so he only got them like what, like an hour ago.
Ben: I actually have no freaking clue what we’re gonna be talking about today and it should be interesting, should be.
Brock: It will be fun. It’s a new challenge.
Ben: I will just pull stuff out my butt. Speaking of which, I actually got reprimanded by one of our facebook fans for the shameless pictures of my butt that appeared on the facebook page.
Brock: It wasn’t just your butt, it was like 6 other “must we do” butts as well.
Ben: Yeah, if you folks haven’t been over to the facebook.com/bgfitness page yet, you may have noticed if you follow that page, we’re doing a lot more fun stuff over there but one thing that we did was we posted one of the old school body building pictures of me, but we didn’t say which one was me, it was like 6 dudes asses and then this morning I actually posted all of us turned around, did the front flex and you get to see which was actually me.
Brock: I have to say, it wasn’t all that tricky ‘cause you’re the only guy with dark hair. Actually, you’re one of the only guys with hair, period.
Ben: Someone commented that my spray on tan was quite nice as well. Yes, I blamed Jessa for that ‘cause she does a killer spray on tan. As a matter of fact, if my business ever goes belly up she could probably just gonna do the whole spray on tan thing and we could retire off that. So, there you go.
Brock: She’s a true artist.
Ben: Head over to facebook.com/bgfitness if you wanna see the best spray on tan of the biz.
Brock: And some snappy buns as well.
Brock: Alright, to get these and few other illuminating news flashes each and every week, make sure to follow Ben on twitter.com/bengreenfield and facebook.com/bgfitness and google+.
Ben: That’s right and I wanted to go over some stuff about running today and also a little bit about carbohydrates so…
Brock: You are on 2 topics that are very foreign to this podcast.
Ben: Two things we kicked to death (2 horses we kicked to death). First of all, there’s a study that came out in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research (thanks to Gram for sending this one through). It was on the effects of static stretching on one mile uphill run performance so, we’ve of course been given the impression in studies that up to this point that static stretching may not be God’s gift to mankind and many yogies are convinced that it actually is. And in this study they took a bunch of runners and they split them into two groups and had 1 group warm up on a treadmill and then do bunch of stretches like a bunch of lower body stretches that they held for 30 seconds and then the other group just kinda sat there drooling their thumbs for 10 minutes and then they have them run uphill as fast as they could for a mile and it was pretty significant. The group that didn’t stretched averaged 6 mins and 51 seconds for that uphill mile can re-group that stretched averaged 7 mins and 4 seconds so, 15 seconds for it by stretching.
Brock: Fifteen seconds over 1 mile. That is significant.
Ben: Yeah, granted that people who stretched probably had whatever lower blood pressure or they’re more relaxed and maybe they slept better that night. But when it comes to pure performance, stick to the dynamic warm up folks, stick to the leg swings and arm swings and stuff like that. I wouldn’t beat you in a lot with the static stretching.
Brock: I can’t believe how many professional athletes are still doing the static stretching especially like hockey players, football players, basketball players that need that explosive like movement and energy production and it’s really baffling that these studies haven’t made it into the professional sport realm yet.
Ben: It’s just the old school dive in the wall coaches who are the same folks who are still stuck in the whole high protein bar phase and Gatorade phase and everything else. You know, you watched even the Super Bowl when the lights went out in the Super Bowl and everybody sittin’ around doing a bunch of static stretching. I think I read an article about that before on the website after the Super Bowl. People will learn eventually as the new school replaces the old.
Brock: I hope so.
Ben: Another kinda cool study that I saw on running and maybe this is just ‘cause I’ve got an infatuation with running on sand when I do happen to be in San Diego or other places that have the beach. It is comparison of sand vs. grass for running and this is was kinda cool study where they took people and they took this group and tested them on 2 different surfaces, 7 days apart. One surface was grass, the other was sand and they measured things like how much lactic acid they can produced during the workout and how high they could get their heart rate but then they also went in post exercise and measured some markers of inflammation or how beat up the muscles were like myoglobin, and creatine kinase and C-reactive protein and some of these common inflammatory markers of muscle damage and what they found was that when you run on sand, you get higher levels of blood lactate and you’re able to push your heart rate higher while at the same time your levels of inflammation are significantly lower.
So, if you’ve got a choice, if you live near a beach or you’ve got the option to work out on the sand, it turns out that running on sand is better for your fitness and less damaging to your muscles compared to running on grass surface so you get that greater physiological response without as much of a recovery kinda implication or detriment to your next day’s performance.
Brock: I find that really surprising like I always assumed it would be like asphalt and concrete or definitely the worst because you’re bashing your feet into it and then grass or dirt would be the best and sand would actually go too far in the opposite direction and you’d actually be damaging yourself more because you’ve got so much give and so much play in your ankles and knees and stuff.
Ben: Yeah. No, it’s not the case and they did find that (not in this study but in previous studies) of course with asphalt and pavement and concrete, you get the higher markers of muscle inflammation but now in this particular study they’re looking at kinda 2 alternative training surfaces to “soft” training surfaces.
Ben: Yeah! Everybody move to the coast, all you runners move to the coast. There you go.
Brock: Or buy really big sand box.
Ben: Okay, really big sand box and some cats. The last thing I wanted to mention was this whole idea of using carbohydrates to replace glycogen stores, because I get a lot of questions especially from like low carb athletes and people who are eating low carb like how do you keep your glycogen levels toughed off and even though I’m not an advocate of a high high protein diet, what you should know is that protein can actually be used to replenish glycogen stores. And this is …..
Brock: Kinda called nucleogenesis.
Ben: That was kinda like Marvin the Martian. You’re just makin’ up crap. What do you call that again? Glycogen…..
Brock: Glyco nucleogenesis.
Ben: Glyco nucleogenesis. I like that. That’s a cool word.
Brock: You know now what it’s called?
Ben: No! That’s nowhere near what it’s called.
Brock: Now what it’s called?
Ben: Gluconeogenesis. Yeah! Some syllables, that’s awesome! But we’ll add that one to the vernacular to the Ben Greenfield fitness vernacular. This study is called, The Effect of Oral Glutamine on Whole Body Carbohydrate Storage during Recovery from Exhausted Exercise (and I know it’s a mouthful) but what the study looked at was whether or not when you ingest glutamine (which is basically just amino acid) that would promote the storage of carbohydrate in your skeletal muscle and it turns out that it does and of course glutamine is a key ingredient in stuff like protein powders and it’s part of meat and many other protein sources and it turns out that the body does a pretty good job just taking proteins that you’ve consumed and using them to replenish muscle glycogen stores.
Fatty acids, ketone bodies for example, it’s a little bit metabolically inefficient but you can do it with ketones and fatty acids with what’s called the “glycerol backbone” of those fatty acids to a lesser extent but the whole take away point I wanna get after here without getting too nerdy is that you don’t need a bunch of carbohydrates to keep your glycogen levels topped off and I know that’s a big concern for a lot of people who are … whatever had into a crossfit workout or a triathlon training routine or something like that and concern that they’ll gonna run out of muscle glycogen. If you’re reading, you know, moderate amount of protein, high amount of fat, same amount of carbohydrate, you don’t want to worry about your glycogen levels being topped off and you’re you can always do a muscle biopsy or something like that to prove to yourself that you actually have enough onboard.
Brock: Okay, so if I’m a low carbohydrate athlete and I’ve got 2 workouts during the day I’ve got to run in the morning, I’ve got a weight session in the afternoon or vice versa after that first session what would be like a real world kinda thing that I should eat?
Ben: Well, this is something that I discussed recently in a podcast that wasn’t released yet. I did a podcast (I guess it was last night) with the wellness guys over in Australia and we were talking about this and it will be short and put a link at to twitter from that podcast comes out but what we’re getting after, I think it was in that discussion (it was out of that or in the Endurance Planet podcast).
Brock: Oh, it might have been. Yeah.
Ben: I do too many podcasts. We were talking about what rule to follow and basically what I laid down was this, if you are working out in a fasted state because all the post workout nutrition recommendations that are hanging around out there were all done in people who are working out in a fasted state but if you are doing workout in a fasted state, that’s when you would want to include some kind of a post workout carbohydrate source generally anywhere from 30 up to a hundred grams of carbohydrates whatever. Quinoa, fruits, seeds, nuts, etc. Now, if you are not working out in a fasted state (many have already had breakfast maybe it was eggs and bacon, avocado, green smoothie, maybe Living Fuel Super Greens or one of this new replacement powders or whatever), you’ve got more than enough amino acids and glucose and stuff circulating in your blood stream so you don’t need to be prioritizing post workout fuelling when you’re still burping up your pre-workout meal.
Brock: So, just continue to eat low carb meals as scheduled.
Ben: Yeah with the caveat to that being if your workout is one of those long workouts, let’s say you’re training for Ironman and you’re waking up and you’re eating a pre-workout meal but then you’re going out and you’re exercising for anything longer than about 2 hours which is going to exhaust glycogen stores in your muscle, in your liver that’s where post workout meal once again does become a good idea, that’s where you’re pretty much getting to that point where you’re in similar state as you would be if you done a shorter workout in a fasted state. So, pretty much the 2 types of workout that you do want to include a post workout meal after are a) any fasted workout and b) any workout that’s more than 2 hours long. So, that’s kind of a simple I’d look at things.
Brock: Makes sense!
Brock: Okay so, for dinner last night I made some tom gai goong the way that we’re taught to make it in Thailand when we took that cooking class and it was delicious though it’s really hard to find that special ginger so they have to find it outside of Thailand.
Ben: You know I still haven’t perfected my pad thai since we got back. I’ve tried to make pad thai 6 times and the very first time we got back from Thailand (the very first time that I tried to make it and our cooking class was fresh on my mind) I made really good pad thai. It is just going downhill from there. It’s like every time I mess….
Brock: You know, the only way to remedy that is, go back to Thailand.
Ben: Go back to Thailand, baby. So, of course we were talking about this because I just put together the 2013 Thailand Triathlon Adventure and this one is gonna be pretty dang cool. I’ve already got the calendar up for the whole thing and we’ll put a link in the show notes. What episode is this?
Brock: It’s 238.
Ben: 238. So, go and check it out. I’ve even tacking on an extra little mini-camp before for people who wanna go extra long, for people who have no life and high amount of expendable income and just wanna go chill in Thailand for 3 weeks, we’ve got the option for a camp leading up to the 2 week triathlon festival so, it’s gonna be a freaking blast unless you (I made this mistake last night actually my wife and I watched the movie, “The Impossible” which is about the tsunami that hits Thailand) yeah, and just completely ruins peoples’ lives. Don’t watch that movie until you go signup for the trip in and commit to it because otherwise you’ll be scared and think Thailand is a horrible horrible place where tsunamis attack.
Brock: And it is when tsunamis attack likely it’s not very often.
Ben: I went there the year after the tsunami and it was amazing how quickly they built the place back up from a tourism perspective. Anyways, they will put that link in the show notes, the 2013 Thailand Triathlon Adventure. For those of you who want to keep things domestic, anybody near New York, Stamford, Fairfield, the whole Connecticut area, I’m gonna be doing an essentials of triathlon training clinic over there on Saturday, May 18th. So, if you live near Stamford, Connecticut or you know somebody who does and you wanna get in on that, it’s gonna be a ton of fun, it’s gonna be 1pm to 4pm in the afternoon on that Saturday and we’re just gonna hang out and a bunch of nutrition and training workshop and get all geeked out on triathlon. So, we’ll put a link to that one in the show notes as well.
Brock: Yes, pretty cheap too especially if you’re booked before May 1st.
Ben: Yeah. It’s just a $50 clinic and that includes a steak meal. No, I’m just kidding. It doesn’t. It didn’t include any food at all. But it is sponsored by Whole Foods so, there you go. There’ll probably have some food there or something. And then, if you just don’t wanna get out of the house at all you don’t wanna go to Connecticut, you definitely don’t want to go to Thailand, you just want to stay online and sittin for your computer at home in your mom’s basement, I am teaching a spreecast and that’s this Saturday it’s called “Ask me anything about minimalist triathlon training” and that’s for any of our inner circle members. So, we are constantly releasing videos and webinars and stuff like that in the Ben Greenfield fitness inner circle. It’s 10 bucks a month which is a steal of a deal just put up a video last week called “Everything you know about weight loss cooking is wrong” it’s a 90 minute video along with a bunch of recipes my wife did and this weekend is ask me anything about minimalist triathlon training. So, that’s this Saturday night 6pm, replay of that of course is available to all our members for the rest of all time. So, check that out over at bengreenfieldfitness/innercircle.
Brock: I think you guys should just start a whole series that’s “Everything you know is wrong.”
Ben: That would be a good podcast actually. Everything that you know is wrong.
Ben: Hey folks, it’s me Ben Greenfield.
Abel: And this is Abel James.
Ben: And 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 doin’ right now to burn fat. So, Abel I’ll let you take it away first. What it is that you’re doin’ right now when it comes to exercise to get your body as lean as possible?
Abel: Alright. 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 up to failure doing some burpees and then I do some heavy squats and heavy deadlifts in my 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 work out in my shed. Usually I work out actually in my backyard in the sun because it’s just nice and awesome this time of the year.
Ben: I was gonna say the shed about as masochistic as you can get and see out there doing your squats and deadlifts.
Abel: That’s where my punching bag is.
Ben: So, I’ve got this thing that I’m doing it’s called a litvinov sprint and it’s…..
Abel: I love how you geek out all the time Ben.
Ben: I’ve no clue what litvinov even means. Anyways though, what I do is I’ve got this 50 pound 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 like I drop the dumbbell and all the dumbbells kinda like stone in mid-air dropping to the ground and I’m off sprinting and I do that 8 times through and man when it comes to fat-burning workout that is about the most potent thing that I’ve found yet.
Abel: So, you sprint back and forth before the dumbbell even hits the ground right?
Ben: Exactly, exactly. It’s like the road runner from Looney Tunes.
Abel: That’s a fat-burning workout right there.
Ben: Exactly. So, I guess folks are probably wondering why Abel and I are here geeking out about fat loss is because we’ve got 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 was in Austin and I live in Washington and we are basically showing you everything that we do from the time we get up out of bed in the morning all the way up through lunch through our workout through dinner through bedtime to live what we call a lean lifestyle.
Abel: Yeah, you learn things that are kinda of the more advance strategies a lot of times on our podcasts or shows or blogs we talked about things that are kinda generalized to the public but these are things that we literally do ourselves everyday. All of 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 all of the, I mean …. Ben has all sorts of crazy gizmos that you’re able to see. It’s a blast to watch.
Ben: And Abel’s house is much cleaner that mine as you’re able to find out.
Ben: So, anyways though, here’s what you do if you want to get inside the lean lifestyle insider right now. Alright so Abel, what is the URL that people can go to if they want to get in on the lean lifestyle insider right now?
Abel: That would be 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 man.
Listener Q & A:
Anne: Hi Ben, I came from Boston. I was wondering if there are any negative second-hand effects of electronic cigarettes. My boss recently started smoking them and he would smoke them in a room when I’m there talking with him and smoke in a meeting when I’m in an enclosed space with him and I’m becoming increasingly concern that there could be some negative second-hand effects of nicotine in the air or something like that. Thank you very much for the podcast and I’m looking forward to your response.
Brock: You know what? I’ve never seen an electronic cigarette in real.
Brock: Have you? No, like …
Ben: Huge, huge business. Huge business. They don’t look that much different than a regular cigarette. They just have this little like plastic piece on the end of them. Let me get this pack out of my packet actually I’ll hold it up to them, to the Skype video camera … No, it’s just like an inhaler and it vaporizes basically like this liquid chemical solution into mist so it stimulates tobacco smoking. I seem to remember, we’ve talked about it in the podcast before but it’s got a similar amount of nicotine as a regular cigarettes or a can but I think you can adjust the amount of nicotine at the actual … Yeah, you can dial it down. So, you can even like wean yourself off from nicotine the same way that you could with gum. But yeah, essentially it’s just this vaporizing action where it vaporizes nicotine that’s deluded in the solution and it just stays in this little disposable plastic cartridge and it’s got a little like a heating element in it that used to heat up and vaporize the nicotine and in it goes so….
Brock: But there isn’t any visible, like there’s no exhale visible smoker or anything or vapor.
Ben: There technically would be a vapor but they don’t produced the same kind of toxic smoke, you know, that would cause lung disease and cancer and stuff like that when you inhale it overtime ‘cause there’s no actual combustion so you don’t get a lot of those tobacco toxic pretty much and all you get is the nicotine part of things.
As far as the whole second-hand smoke deal, I know that Reuters Health ran a story on electronic cigarettes and what they actually did to the user’s airways and I think this is where we ended up talking about in the podcast at one point was about the research they did in Greece that saw changes in the lung functions of smokers who used an E cigarette for just like a few minutes and what they found was that they’re actually some pretty acute effects in terms of the airways and the people who are smoking the E cigarettes even after just a few minutes had airway constriction and a lot of these similar types of inflammation as you would note from a regular cigarette and it trigger that effect pretty quickly. So, I think that there’s still maybe some airway concern, you know, as far as the second-hand and the third-hand smoke goes there’s not really a need that I’m aware of I mean, any of the type of vapor that would be released would maybe be a little bit of like a nicotine particle type of vapor which I guess if you’re just like a total nicotine addict may sets you off and make you go want a grab a pack of cigarettes for yourself but I’m not aware of any second or third-hand smoke considerations at all when it comes to E cigarettes just because there’s really not any combustion that occurs.
You know, anytime you’ve got like a vapor from something like nicotine getting activated, you’re probably gonna get a little bit of like what we’ve be called volatile organic compounds forming. You might get a little bit of like formaldehyde, I supposed you may risk depending on what they’re using as the solution activate the nicotine. Maybe like some mercury or something like that, but again I’ve haven’t seen any studies that would suggest that those are created in any type of quantity large for it to be an issue. So, I wouldn’t worry too much about that, I’d worry more about the first-hand effect of an E cigarette still not something I would be smoking before a marathon or you know, I think the last time I spoke about cigarette was, I was actually in Thailand, I think it was our post race party in Thailand.
Brock: Yeah, you and Macca were both I should tell stories about school but you guys were having a good time and I was a little flabbergasted actually.
Ben: Yeah, yeah! I barely remember that for reasons other than it being a few months ago. But yeah, I would not worry about the second-hand smoke from an E cigarette.
Anonymous: Hey Ben and Brock, welcome to podcast! Quick question on sleep to rest recovery for triathletes and other athletes. What about side vs. back sleeping positions, any research that says one or the other is any better for you and also lots of stuff out there different pillows and mattresses, etc. Just curious about this one. Thanks!
Brock: Maybe I’m old school but any position that you can sleep in is a good position to sleep in.
Ben: That’s what I’m at too. What position do you sleep in Brock?
Brock: Generally, I sleep flat on my back with my arms across my chest. Like I’m in a coffin. It’s actually really bad because my hands fall asleep like that but it’s so comfortable.
Ben: Really, that’s interesting. I cannot sleep on my back at all even though if you’ve got a nice firm mattress and by the way, we’ll link to the podcast that we did on mattresses ‘cause we did one podcast were we talked about the best mattresses but if you’ve got a good mattress, sleeping in that position (that’s concern to be the supine position) that’s supposed to be a pretty good position to actually sleep in in terms…
Brock: How much you’re a snorer.
Ben: …of airways and stuff like that. Yeah, but I’m a total side sleeper not only do I sleep on my side but I take a pillow, I put it between my knees because I feel like my back feels better that way and I sleep on my side with the pillow between my knees. So, that’s how I fall asleep really really well.
Brock: And a sleep mask on and earplugs in and an earth pulse under the bed.
Ben: I do all that but the most important …
Brock: You are the most complicated sleeper I know.
Ben: The most important part is I’m humping that baby pillow that’s between my knees when I’m asleep. Interestingly, there was a study that was done on a bunch of different sleep patterns of tribal people specifically and I think it’s an interesting study because it looks in the kind of instinctive sleep patterns of a wide variety of different tribes and tribal people who really don’t have access to a lot of the…. like the soft beds and stuff that we’ve got in the westernized culture and it just look into those instinctive sleeping postures that people seem to revert to from more of an ancestral standpoint and I’ll link to that in the show notes but the interesting thing was that they found that these forced dwellers and nomads and tribal people suffer from a lot fewer muscular skeletal issues compared to the general westernized individual and they suspect that part of that might be due to the resting postures and how much less stressful the resting posture are under joints.
So, one really really common resting posture that they noted in that study was just the basic sideline posture with the neck supported by the hand. So, the hand just gonna tucked underneath the head lying on the side with the knees bent. The interesting part about the study is that they also note the importance of having one knee slightly elevated compared to the other knee to protect the penis from insects. So, I’m hoping that there are no listeners out there who are in situations in their homes where they need to protect their penis from insects while they’re asleep but in case you do make sure that one knee is elevated compared to the other if you’re in that side sleeping position. Another common position is what’s called the look-out posture where you’re lying on your stomach and you’ve got both hands just kind of tucked underneath your chest and sternum area like underneath your chin a little bit with your legs outstretched behind you and that’s another posture that seems to be ideal especially for keeping your collagen fiber stretched as you’re sleeping and the elbows are just kinda out sideways and the chest is on the ground and that’s supposed to be really good sleeping position for people who suffer from spinal issues because it kinda like automatically manipulate your spine while you’re asleep.
Brock: You’ve got that whole crick in your neck like turn great to the side. I can’t lay on my stomach for very long ‘cause my neck is really sore.
Ben: The elbows are out sideways but the head is kinda resting on the forearms and it….
Brock: Also your forehead is on your hands.
Ben: Yeah, and the interesting thing I like about this study and again I’ll link to it in the show notes ‘cause there’s pictures and stuff too, like these aren’t showing sleeping patterns that are totally natural that literally you would do like, you could do in the grass, in the park like no pillow and mattress and special sleeping appara as required. The last one that’s interesting is called the quadropedal line pattern where it’s really really similar to what I just described how you’re lying on your stomach except if you’re lying with your legs kinda tucked underneath you a little bit and it’s a really interesting look as well. I know some of these are kind of hard to describe on a podcast but…..
Brock: That sounds like it’d be a child’s pose in yoga.
Ben: Kinda similar to child’s pose in yoga except with your knees kinda tucked out to the side a little bit. I personally (like I mentioned) I am to any of those, I am kind of a pillow cuddler and sleep on my side with the pillow tucked between my knees. There’s an interesting book out there that I recommend that you check out though it’s written by a gal who I get a chance to hangout with and meet at the Ancestral Health Symposium last year. Her name is Esther Gokhale and she is a chiropractic physician who has invented something called the Gokhale method and she has a book that is called “Eight Steps to a Pain Free Back” and one of the critical components of her book in addition to teaching you how to sit to properly and stand properly and how to keep your spine lengthened is how to actually lengthened your spine before you go to bed at night. And essentially what it comes down to is as you’re getting into bed at night, you first touch the mattress with your sacrum then you lay both your palms under the mattress after that and then you slowly lower yourself back lengthening your spine kinda vertebrae by vertebrae as you push through your hands.
Again, something that there would be better illustrated by you actually seeing this in her book. I think she does show it in the video if you google Esther Gokhale but it’s called stretched line, her method of stretch line and it puts you into this kinda sweet spot posture from a joint and spinal alignment standpoint as you’re sleeping. It’s something that’s supposed to work pretty well. I never really gotten into it but she talked about it at the symposium and stuff. Again, I’m still the guy who walks in the bed with a pillow and once I start sleeping crappy maybe I’ll change up my sleeping posture but for now (knock on wood) I don’t have back issues, I wake up I feel great so…. but if you do need to correct your sleep those are some of the ways you could do it and we’ll put those links in the show notes for people who wanna access them.
James: Hey guys, it’s James here. So, I come down with the case of pneumonia which pretty much killed my ray season. Lots doctors and friends have warned me that this is really serious and that I need to take it slow otherwise it will just get worse and will take really long time to heal. So one thing that I could do to get healthier as quick as possible. They put me on antibiotics and I already took those and they send your advice, I knew I start taking probiotics and oil of oregano, I also already to take a great amount of fish oil a daily basis. Right now my biggest issue really seems to be my lung capacity in shortness of breath. So wondering if there’s anything I can do to get my lungs healthier as quick as possible and get rid of this pneumonia. Thanks guys.
Ben: Well Brock, I think that first of all we should mention that this is, this whole strengthening the immune system, bouncing back from colds and flus and illnesses as quickly as possible is definitely something we’ve addressed in detail.
Brock: It is. So much so that it’s actually available on the Ben Greenfield hot tips volume #1.
Ben: Hot tips. I think it’s hot topics, isn’t it? I don’t even remember, I’m pretty sure it’s hot…
Brock: Top hits. It isn’t hot at all, it’s top hits.
Ben: Hot tips sounds like buffalo when you order at the local steak house.
Brock: Oh yeah, it does.
Ben: Hot tips with some ranch dressing. What’s it called? Hot topics?
Brock: Top Hits volume 1.
Ben: So, we’ll link to the top hits volume 1 album on iTunes and may be some folks can still get a kind of a sample of the type of stuff we’ve got on that album. We’ll play the immune system part of that album right after I hit on a couple components of James question that maybe we didn’t get there which is, it’s really the whole pneumonia thing and some other things specifically that might help with pneumonia.
One thing that’s really interesting is there was a study in and this was in Natural News and it’s about coconut oil and it actually found that dozing with coconut oil actually normalize respiratory rate. This was in children who had pneumonia but the idea was that the lauric acid (which is the anti-microbial substance that you find in coconut oil) boosts the immune system but it also boosts the effectiveness of the antibiotics that are being use in something like pneumonia. And of course, I’ve talked about antibiotics on the show before and how to mitigate some of the damage that those can do (stick really run a number on your digestive tract) but coconut oil and the use of just like an extra virgin coconut oil that you could use, a few teaspoons in a day would be one thing and in this case they administered that for 3 days in a row with these kids. As far as a few other things when it comes to pneumonia, you know, like natural remedies that go above and beyond what we’ll get to the immune system thing that will play. Apple cider vinegar is supposed to be pretty good as far as like a natural remedy something that you can turn to, it’s something that we keep around our house as a natural tonic. You can take shots of apple cider vinegar. To me it tastes like hell.
Brock: Oh, I love it! I love apple cider vinegar. I put it on my salad like pretty much every day. I love it!
Ben: Oh, it makes me shudder. I guess on a salad like with some olive oil or something but like taking a shot of it, I’m just ahh but anyways, apple cider vinegar is one thing that you can do. Another common remedy that’s out there for pneumonia is specifically is hydrogen peroxide and this is something that you gotta be a little bit more careful with but like a very very diluted hydrogen peroxide that you can gargle with is supposed to be another decent fix for pneumonia but I think it’d be better to just play the immune system episode that we did ‘cause we’re getting in to stuff like this in a lot more detail on that.
Let’s talk about some ways that you could for example, shorten the duration of a cold but potentially make your immune system a little bit bulletproof. Before we do though, let’s talk about snot. So you know a lot of times in the winter and in the cold season, a lot of people do get green snot (green mucus) and while green mucus in the morning is no cause for warning (there’s your …. for the day) constant green mucus or green colored mucus throughout the day can a lot of times mean that you are suffering from a bacterial infection and it can be an indication of an infection. The reason that it turns green is you’ve got these white blood cells that are part of your body’s defense system and those dies ‘cause they fight the bacteria and when the part of that white blood cell called the white blood corpuscle dies it turns green in color and you also get some bacteria and some fungi that begin to multiply and cause swelling and contribute for example to this headache that Clay’s getting. Is getting and you know, it’s a classic upper respiratory tract infection type of thing. Sometimes you’re gonna find that’s not as yellow when this happens and a lot of times when it’s yellow, it can be more of a viral infection than a bacterial infection. Interestingly. So just….
Brock: So, if it’s not as yellow just stay mellow?
Ben: Don’t give up your day job dude. Yeah, keep working on that one maybe if you did it with your accordion.
And then, that mucus should really be white and clear most of the time. The only other color you’ll gonna see sometimes is like reddish pink which could happen if you got, you know, punched in the nose or you like snowboarding in the day and your nose gets all dry from that super cold. You get a little bit of bleeding in that case but the green a lot of times is bacterial infection and so antibiotics is probably not gonna be the way to go unless you were diagnose with an actual viral issue going on. But let’s say that you did have the need to take antibiotics, I will link to an article that I wrote about how to mitigate the effects of taking antibiotics because they do kill off the good bacteria in your GI tract and you could (and a lot of people do this) take a bunch of probiotics while they’re on an antibiotic regimen and the fact is that doesn’t really do much for you because the antibiotics pretty much nuke those probiotics as soon as you take them in.
There’s certainly quite a bit of benefit to starting into a good antibiotic regimen as soon as you get off the antibiotics but there’s not gonna be much it’s gonna stand up to antibiotics aside from one probiotic strain that’s called saccharomyces boulardii. You kind it some probiotic compounds but saccharomyces boulardii is one probiotic strain that can do a decent job maintaining some amount of gut flora while you’re on antibiotics but most of the probiotics are just gonna killed off by antibiotics either way. However, as soon as you get off that antibiotic regimen, you only wanna start in the fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut and pickled things, kimchi, stuff like that. But you should also start like a good probiotic. I’m also a fan of teaming up the probiotics with some type of anti-yeast compound (I’m a big fan of oil of oregano for this – few drops of oil of oregano everyday) because yeast and fungus can a lot of times churn up in the digestive tract when you have a bacterial imbalance such as would be created when you finish up an antibiotic regimen. So, that would be one thing – get on good probiotic and a good oil of oregano after you finish and during that antibiotic regimen and look for something like saccharomyces boulardii. You’re gonna want to protect your organs when you’re on antibiotics, just a basic liver detox, the best two would be milk thistle extract is a really really good liver detox, another good one is like n-acetyl-cysteine that’s one release at the hospitals a lot of times for supporting the liver and protecting it in the presence of high amount of pharmaceutical intake or alcohol, stuff like that. Ginger can help settle the stomach and limit the nausea a little bit from antibiotics (so that’s something to do as well) you can just peal ginger and slice them in small slices and boil it and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or just chew on it or drink the ginger tea that you just made. Last thing you should look to ……
Brock: Would you chew on it or swallow it?
Ben: You could chew on it or swallow it, you could take ginger pills whatever. I like to chew on ginger that I boiled, I think it’s good. And then glutamine is another one to look in to. Glutamine helps you to repair your intestinal lining and also could help to similarly to oil of oregano eliminate yeast infections similar to glutamine like a bone broth would have an effect as well. A lot of people don’t wanna make a bone broth when they’re sick though so I mean, you can just use a glutamine supplement or a gelatine supplement or something of that nature. But either way, those are some of the things that you could do to mitigate the effects of antibiotics but let’s talk about not getting sick in the first place shall we?
Brock: That’s sounds like a great plan.
Ben: Alright. So, wellnessfx recently had a really good article on their website and in that article they interviewed all their different practitioners and physicians about what they would do and what their favourite things are they recommend to their patients and their clients to help them not get sick and also to get over sickness more quickly. So, some of the more interesting ones that folks may not be aware of ….
Brock: There are bunch of it in that article that were just sort of obvious things like wash your hands, don’t cough into your shoulder or into your elbow, that kind of stuff, but then there’s some interesting ones as well.
Ben: Yeah, get enough sleep whatever. We don’t care about this stuff. You know, the weird stuff.
Brock: Yeah. This coughful of weird stuff.
Ben: Ascorbic acid, pure ascorbic acid. Dr. Daniel Chong recommends that you take 1-2 grams of pure ascorbic acid during flu season or cold season and if you’re getting sick or you’re over-stressed you take that amount every waking hour of the day until you get loose stools and then when you’re well again you go back to the standard dose. And for anybody who’s taking 1-2 grams of vitamin C, taking that amount every waking hour until you get loose stools is a lot of vitamin C but he says it can help you get better faster and when you’re using it just that much per day not every hour boost your immune system. So, there’s an option. Dr. Hernandez (a naturopathic physician over Wellnessfx) recommended astragalus twice a day during flu and cold season and astragalus is just basically an herb. There was a recommendation on there for elderberry tincture which is something I tried a little bit and I actually I’ve found that when I’m starting to get sick when I’m just trying to get this sniffles and everything, I’ve got some elderberry tincture that I keep in my bathroom and a few drops of that and (knock on wood) bright as rain so, I like the elderberry tincture and I’ve noticed the same effect with an echinacea tincture (and for those who don’t know tinctures just like the oil of the extract). So, another thing that was in there that I thought was interesting was colloidal silver spray was recommended by Dr. Justin Mager who’s actually coming up to speak at the superhuman event, and he recommends colloidal silver spray for topical anti-microbial activity. This will be like using it you know, like cat’s wounds, scrapes, stuff like that during cold and flu season but also something called DHEA, which a lot of times as recommended as like a hormonal pre-cursor or hormone really. He recommends about 20 mg of DHEA for women and 50 mg for men to boost your immune function the day before and the day of travel, like when you gonna do airplane travel or something like that. DHEA, so I thought that was an interesting suggestion when that I was not familiar with. Another physician, Dr. Nee Bay, she recommends a homeopathic remedy that has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the days that you stay sick and the name of this remedy is oscillococcinum and it’s a homeopathic remedy you take just a little bit of it and it supposed to not to prevent flus and colds from occurring but possibly to reduce the number of days that you stay sick.
Those are the things that I thought were interesting remedies that were recommended and I did produce a MyList for all these stuff, for all the 21 tips that were in that article and I’ll link to the article and also to the MyList for that in the show notes. For people… because we’re recording this during January which is still kinda cold and flu season, those are some of the things to try, you know, what I personally do is I use oil of oregano, I use elderberry and I use echinacea and those are kinda my three but there’s more than one way to skin a cat, more than one way to boost your immune system and you could certainly take any of these methods just went over.
Julius: Hey Ben and Brock! I have a question for you and it’s triggered because my nephew recently moved from Indiana where the air is nice and clean and it’s a track weather, that college age track weather and he moved to Beijing for a semester abroad. So my question is, are there any recommendations that you have for outdoor activities specifically running when you’re in a polluted environment such as you have in Beijing. I also live in Hongkong where that particular matter and other pollutants are high relative to the cities in the U.S. My question is if you have recommendations on what to do when training outdoors in a polluted city. Thank you.
Brock: So yeah. Exercising in really polluted areas definitely we’ve talked about this before in a news flash. I’m not sure if we went into great detail about it.
Ben: There’s not a big difference between Indiana and Beijing, I don’t think really. People look a little different, that’s part of diet, that’s the main thing.
Brock: That’s fair enough.
Ben: Maybe a few more dogs on sticks that you can buy from a street vendor in Beijing. I don’t know, do they have dogs on sticks in Indiana?
Brock: Probably, just not as delicious.
Ben: Send us a picture if so. You know, this yeah was a huge discussion back in the Beijing Olympics for 2008 ‘cause all of the pollution and of course, breathing polluted air can trigger inflammation and oxidative stress and that can increase your risk of asthma and stroke and unfortunately even heart failure, and the concern here is that when you’re exercise you’re breathing more deeply and so more of these particles kinda by pass your normal filter which is your nose hairs. (One good reason not to pluck out your nose hairs if you live in Beijing) But your nose hairs trap a lot of those particulets and if that isn’t happening then you probably can get some there are lodge kinda lower down in your airway and they actually ended up digging into a lot of these studies on this stuff going in to Beijing.
One study that they looked at was one in the Medicine and Science and Sports and Exercise Journal where they looked at mice and they had the mice exercise while being exposed basically to diesel exhaust – the mice were essentially just like second air out of the air pipe) and they saw a pretty dramatic spike in lung inflammation and oxidative damage from this mice but those were the mice that weren’t exercising, I believe this is the way that this study went. When they took mice that were actually exercising, they were almost completely protected from that same type of pollution damage. And I know that they did a follow up study in humans, and I’m pretty sure this was one of the studies they did up in Canada where again they had a group that breathe kinda tainted polluted air and didn’t exercise and another group breathe the polluted air and exercise and what it came out to was the exercise was basically overpowering in the effect of the pollution meaning that somehow exercise by opening up the airways, by stepping up natural production of antioxidants, natural anti-inflammatories, it actually does mitigate some of these effects of pollution.
Brock: The benefits outweigh the bad stuff at a different level.
Ben: Exactly. So, if you’re gonna live in a polluted area, you better off exercising in the pollution than not exercising in it, interestingly. But I still wouldn’t be going out of your way, you know, go run beside a polluted road and if you’re gonna exercise in the pollution, I would mitigate the damage as much as possible so I would stir clear busy streets ‘cause the pollution is gonna drop considerably and I remember we talked about this in a podcast about the study that they did where they’re looking at the difference in polluted air 20 feet from the road vs. like 40 or 50 feet from the road and the pollution drops like exponentially, the farther that you moved from a congested roadway.
So, if you can stay fairly far away from the busy roads that gonna off your protection. Trees and parks because of their ability to mitigate a lot of the polluted air and churn out a little bit more clean air, trees and parks are gonna offer production too so anytime you can get to a local park, you know, when I’m over in Bangkok for example, I always go to the park to run vs. like running alongside the busy street that’s got all the motorcycles and pollution and sewer coming out from the concrete and stuff like that. Ozone is gonna be a little bit more reactive when sunlight hits it and so the levels of ozone are gonna rise throughout the day so if you can get your run done or your exercise outside done first thing in the morning, that’s gonna be better so earlier. They do make these masks and masks can block a ton of the dangerous, ultra-fine particles you gonna get from pollution. The number on the mask you’d wanna look for (anything grab this off of Amazon if you wanted to or wherever else) would be N95 (you wanna get an N95 rated mask) and all that means is that it blocks 95% of the particles and it can be a little bit restricting as far as your breathing pattern goes but if I lived in Beijing and I was a runner, I would be staying away from the busy roads, I’d be running early and I also be wearing a mask.
The last thing I would really consider would be antioxidant supplements which should help guard against some pollution into stock the days of oxidative damage and there’s not much study that has been done out there in terms of comparing groups on antioxidants in polluted environments vs. those weren’t on antioxidants. The body’s natural increase in antioxidant activity from exercise, we do know protects you from the effects of pollution so you can draw a little bit of a collolary and say that adding in even more antioxidants through the use of things like broccoli and red peppers and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables and maybe even antioxidant type of supplements would be prudent. I’ll link to it in the show notes but at the Superhuman Live Event my personal physician, Dr. Todd, talked about antioxidants and just what happens in terms of cellular signalling in the body and how extracts from wild plants specifically can help to protect you from a lot of the toxins and pollutants that you get exposed to from just life and living and air and pollution and everything else. And it’s kind of an interesting scenario but your cells talk to each other and when your cells are talking to each other, the signalling process that cells used to communicate can be interrupted when the body is exposed to like a toxin or a pathogen or the type of thing you get in a polluted environment because your cells have to release what are called pro-oxidants or free radicals to neutralize or to kill those threatening agents.
And so when your cells are releasing those high high levels of pro-oxidants, if you’ve got low natural levels of antioxidants or you don’t have enough of the nutrients in your diet to be able to mitigate the production of those pro-oxidants you can tend to get a lot of connective tissue damage and tend to get a lot of damage to the cell membranes, interruptions in cellular signalling and it can basically just lower your quality of life your quality of health. In the podcast that I did with Dr. Todd about cell signalling and I’ll link to that one in the show notes as well. He talked about ways that you could actually test your body’s antioxidant response capabilities. There’s this lab out there called Brunswick Labs and they do a test called an antioxidant response element test. They also do a test called Acert One and another one called an anti-inflammation and all of these tests test your ability to produce antioxidants and to mitigate the effects of exposure to toxins and pathogens and stuff like that. You can actually test your body’s ability to be able handle these stuff and you kinda see how equipped you are going into something like a polluted environment like Beijing. When you’re looking at this from a supplementation standpoint a ton of different antioxidant blends out there. You know, you’ve got the overpriced wine bottles full of whatever, goji berry and mangosteen and all that.
The one that is the mixed of the B vitamins and acetyl-cysteine, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and a bunch of these other micro-nutrients that you find in wild plant derivatives is called Lifeshotz and that’s the one that I used, that’s the same one that I take like before I go for a swim to mitigate the cell damaging effects of chlorine, definitely take it when I’m going around a polluted city or in a more polluted environment, I use it when I’m travelling like on an airplane, going to airports, bus stations, anything like that. It’s Lifeshotz and it’s just like this packet that you dump in to your mouth, so that’s what I would highly recommend just like making a part your life as like your “go to supplement” if you’re gonna to use a supplement for something like this. That’s about all I can think of in terms of pollution.
What do you think Brock? Did I?
Brock: And you nailed it.
Ben: Alright. Cool. So yeah, starting that and I’ll put a link to Dr. Todd’s superhuman live talk and also the talk that he and I had on the podcast on cell signalling and how these wild plant derivatives can help quite a bit in terms of mitigating effects of pollution and toxins and stuff like that because I do think that it is smart when you’re putting your body into an unnatural state to just give it a little bit extra when it comes to supplementation. And by the way, when I talk about supplements and stuff like that I’m only saying this because we got this scaling review on iTunes from somebody who’s like “Ben talks about supplements in his podcast….” (and I don’t remember the full gist of the review) but basically he was like “there’s no way that Ben takes all the stuff that he talks about” and you’re absolutely right. I don’t take all the supplements that I talk about in the show like for example, I’ll talk about something like Capraflex or high dose turmeric and glucosamine chondroitin, I’ll talk about colostrum, I’ll talk about probiotics or activated charcoal while I certainly do have all of the above in my fridge like I take glucosamine chondroitin if and when I’m injured, I take probiotics when I’m travelling and I’m not eating fermented foods like I usually do. I take activated charcoal when I’m in a situation when I’m eating meat that I don’t know the source of like if I’ve met a party or something like that, I’ll just take one when I’m drinking.
You know like this Lifeshotz stuff that I just talked about, if I’m not getting exposed to chlorine and if I’m not going for a swim that day and I’m not in a polluted environment, I’m gotta my way to take it. It’s like I have this stuff on hand just like food like I have eggs on my fridge but I don’t eat eggs everyday. When I’m talking about supplements it’s different strokes for different folks and different situations so I’m not saying that you like have 20 different supplements in your fridge that you pop every single day. I’m not talking about doing anything like that at all. I’m just talking about kinda knowing when better living through science make sense and being able to select stuff that make sense to you just when you need it and that’s all I’m saying when it comes to supplementation because I don’t want people to think that like I wake up in the morning spend 10 minutes counting on my pills like an old man or something like that.
Brock: I have a feeling most of our listeners out there understand that that’s probably just one of the… one person that got the wrong impression that decided to….
Ben: One pissed off listener but you know what, it’s amazing because actually our reviewers on iTunes are pretty awesome and I love our listeners. But I do find that people more often go to their way to say something bad. I guess it’s just human nature.
Brock: I guess it’s the nature of the internet too. Have you ever look at … and I don’t advice anybody that actually go and do this… it’s looking at comments on YouTube, it’s just a whole bunch of asine ridiculousness always.
Ben: Yeah, that’s a good mind melting activity is gonna comments on YouTube. Just like the office episode with Andy where he’s reading about the comments on his banjo playing.
David: This is David calling from Chicago. I have a question regarding coconut oil. I recently did this switch from olive oil to coconut oil from most of my cooking and I was wondering how much of it shall I actually be consuming per day or per week, per month whatever. I recently started incorporating 1 Tbps. of coconut oil mixed in to my morning cappuccino and I don’t know if that’s too much or too little. The other question I have was regarding this smoke point, everything I’ve read online shows that olive oil and coconut oil have a pretty similar smoke point, I think the olive oil actually had a higher smoke point or maybe I’m confused on that, maybe you can shed a little light on that I would appreciate it. Thanks a lot guys, take care.
Brock: You know David, I didn’t do it this morning but I did yesterday morning I did the same thing, I put 2 tbps. of coconut oil, a tbps. of butter and a few other things into my coffee and I love it. Keep it up.
Ben: The whole bulletproof coffee thing and I do have something to say about that ‘cause I talked to Dave Asprey when he was out here at the become superhuman event and he gave me a hard time for some of the stuff that I’m doing. You know, when I do the high fat coffee recipe and I think that he does have a few good points I wanted to bring out. But first of all the whole smoke point thing, olive oil is different than coconut oil and probably the best smoke point chart that exists that’s out there that I could point you to is the one on Wikipedia. I mean, it’s just the Wikipedia entry on smoke points and it gives a pretty comprehensive list from everything from butter to avocado oil to macadamia oil to extra virgin vs. regular olive oil which shocks a lot of people the difference between those.
Brock: Yeah, it’s big difference.
Ben: Big, big difference. Olive oil is good, extra virgin olive oil not for high heat cooking but when it comes to olive oil vs. coconut oil for reasons that I’ll get in to in a second, really the only type of coconut oil that you should have around would be extra virgin coconut oil. So, if you have extra virgin coconut oil, the smoke point of that is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Now if you’re looking at olive oil and like a regular basic olive oil not an extra virgin olive oil but one that you’d get just whatever a regular cooking oil is 460 so you’ve got an extra 110 degrees Fahrenheit to play with when you’re looking at olive oil.
So, I’m a bigger fan of olive oil or grape seed oil for like the higher higher heat cooking, I generally trying to stay away from using like high high heat cooking oil as much at all. It’s pretty rare that we do. Avocado oil and macadamia oil are also okay, those are more expensive and higher to get your hands on. Around here in the Greenfield house, we basically use extra virgin coconut oil for like lower heat cooking, we have regular olive oil for some higher heat stuff, we have extra virgin olive oil on handful for some salads and stuff like that and then a little bit of sesame oil and chilly oil and stuff like that, here and there for some Asian dishes but we don’t really have a lot of avocado oil and macadamia oil and stuff like that just ‘cause gosh we can only have so many oils before you ran out of room in the pantry. If I’d to choose olive oil or coconut oil for high heat cooking, I’d go for olive oil.
Now, when it comes to this whole high fat coffee or “bulletproof coffee” thing, a few things that you need to consider: first of all, they’ve asked for its original recipe for bulletproof coffee, uses medium chain triglyceride oil not coconut oil and the reason for that is a) coconut oil in many many cases, unless you’re getting the extra virgin coconut oil, is not necessarily all that healthy and it is because of what’s called the copra or the dried coconut flesh that’s used in a basic coconut oil and the coconut meat that’s used in there is gonna kinda this gray rancid appearance and a lot of times, coconut oil that doesn’t have a lot of that copra or that dried coconut flesh removed from it, it gets very smoky, it gets rancid a lot more easily, they got to use chemicals to bleach the oil and to clean the oil vs. using like an extra virgin coconut oil and with that typically it takes a little bit more what’s called center fuge spinning and expeller pressing to get the oil extracted but it results in less of that flesh being present and less of the potential for toxicity. The other thing that happens is you tend to get a little bit higher levels of that anti-microbial lauric acid that I was talking about earlier when I was mentioning how coconut oil could be used for something like immune system and pneumonia and so that’s one reason that you gotta be careful if you’re using coconut oil and you gotta go and spend the money on extra virgin coconut oil. The other thing is that if you’re gonna be using like fat in your coffee for the purposes of transporting extra fatty acid into your brain, for the purposes of keeping yourself in the state of ketogenesis you’d want to use medium chain triglyceride oil simply because it has like 6 times more fatty acids in it than coconut oil does and so you’re just gonna get bang for your buck from the physiological and also really financial standpoint by going to Dave Asprey’s website and buying the MCT oil over there. That’s the stuff that I have in my refrigerator – the bulletproof MCT oil.
Incidentally segue here, I’m gonna be going through way more that stuff starting May 15th because for 12 weeks going in the Ironman Canada I am doing full ketogenesis and I’m working with bio-marker testing company Talking20, they’re gonna be doing hormone and inflammation and bio-marker and lipid testing on me every single week. I’m gonna be doing heart rate variability testing, poll sack symmetry testing, I’m gonna be using brand new fancy swanky breath ketone monitor and basically tracking all these stuff and put it out on bengreenfieldfitness.com all the results for each week but I’m gonna try and prove that you can actually go very very fast in Ironman triathlon staying in full ketogenesis. That’s my propeller hat segue but… yeah, so medium chain triglycerides better than coconut oil adding cream or milk or not milk or sugar or honey or anything else like that is going to induced an insulin response and stop the type of cellular cleaning ketogenesis effect that drinking high fat coffee is supposed to do. So, you don’t wanna add any of that stuff in if you actually do want the true benefits of doing something like a coffee and that would include when you say morning cappuccino, that would include the type of lactose sugar that you’re gonna get from milk or from cream depending on what you’re using on that cappuccino so we’re talking about just like regular black coffee with medium chain triglyceride oil added to it and then the other recipe, you know, when you like original bulletproof coffee recipe is kerrygold grass fed butter and that’s it.
Now, there are some other things and I’ll link over to the upgraded self-website to Dave Asprey’s website because I actually got the chance to try all the stuff down in his conference and mix it all in with the bulletproof coffee and it’s actually really good. Vanilla (like a really high quality vanilla extract) has really cool brain anti-inflammatory effect, cinnamon (like a good high quality cinnamon), stevia would be okay and then there’s also this stuff that again Dave has over on the upgraded self-website called upgraded chocolate powder and it is way way different than you use them like a regular chocolate in terms of regular chocolate like having milk and stuff like that added to it but it’s just a super antioxidant rich organic cocoa fiber based chocolate powder and I would get that as well. If you are gonna use the coconut oil, I’ll put one other link in the show notes and that would be the coconut oil that we generally uses the nutiva, it’s the organic extra virgin coconut oil meaning it’s unrefined, it’s unfermented, it’s unbleached, it’s made from fresh coconut, it doesn’t have that dried coconut flesh in it, it’s non-gmo, certified organic, you can buy it by the case for pretty dang good deal like right now I know like a gallon of coconut oil normally is like 90 bucks for that kind of stuff, they’ve got it on sale right now for 60 bucks so pretty slammingly deal. We’ll put a link in the show notes and we’ll also (as we do with all the episodes), we create a MyList for each episodes so we’ll put a list to Dave Asprey’s website for the upgraded stuff and then also the nutiva extra virgin coconut oil and all that jazz in the MyList and in the show notes and usually when we do that it means that if you use those links it puts a few nickels in our hat when it comes to supporting the podcast.
Brock: But only in our hat not in our pocket.
Ben: Only in our hat not in our pocket it doesn’t… well actually pretty much go straight in to the hosting fees that we pay for the podcast but regardless it keeps the podcast coming to you that in your generous donations when you’re over there at bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Brock: I just wanna ask one more thing about coconut oil, I found that I work my way through like 3 or 4 different kinds of coconut oil until I finally arrived at the one that I’m eating right now which is cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil and I found the flavour of it is so much more coconutty it’s actually quite delicious like I can eat it by the spoonful and be super happy. Do you notice that with the quality like if it tastes very little like coconut then it’s probably not high grade quality?
Ben: Yeah and those are just the higher levels of the lauric acid, the more concentrated fatty acid components, those are always gonna a little bit aromatic and the coconut flesh is less…. it’s smells less coconut even the actual coconut oil so absolutely and so it’s better for things like uses as moisturizer and things of that nature.
Brock: And not to drag this question out too much but Dave did ask is he’s having a tablespoon in his coffee and he’s wondering if that’s too much, he was wondering about how much he should be eating of coconut oil. Is there any true rule of thumb you can give him?
Ben: There’s not a rule of thumb, like the original bulletproof coffee recipe was too full on tablespoons of kerrygold grass fed butter, 2 tbsps. of medium chain triglyceride oil and then you add that into about a cup and a half or two of coffee. So, assuming that you’re not doing the milk sugars and you’re working those out of your diets so you’re staying in that ketogenesis insulin sensitive state, you’re fine with doing the tablespoon or even 2 tablespoons.
Jim: Hi Ben, this is Jim. You talked about on the show about maintaining low blood sugar and provided several supplements to use to do that and to support liver health. I was wondering what supplements were available to support pancreatic health and help maintain healthy beta cells. Thanks!
Brock: Wow, Jim is a … I think we had questions from Jim before. He’s quite a clever fellow.
Ben: Yeah, yeah and as far as the pancreatic cells, the beta cells in the pancreas those are pretty dang important when it comes to production of insulin and really your entire metabolic mellow in your body and it’s generally held that type 2 diabetes is due to this whole problem with metabolism of carbohydrates. And that is part of the problem, another part of the problem is it has to do with fats and with oils in the diet but essentially with type 2 diabetes insulin can’t penetrate the cell membranes in the body and so the cells don’t get enough insulin and that results in the sugar in the blood or blood glucose not getting absorbed into the cells so get high blood sugar and you get low cell sugar and you get all the health problems that go along with the high blood sugar causing inflammation in the arteries and the low blood sugar were causing low metabolism and you know just this vicious cycle.
One thing that I think flies under the radar with diabetes and with the insulin sensitivity is that every single cell in your body is surrounded by this oily membrane, they keeps it separate from all the other fluids that surround that cell and that oily membrane is it’s whole purpose is to allow nutrients and oxygen to come in and allow carbon dioxide and waste products from metabolism to flow out and what happens is if you are exposing your body to the wrong types of fats and oils, that cell membrane tends to not work quite as well at all and that can aggravate a lot of these insulin sensitivity effects that go hand in hand with the diabetic and blood sugar regulation issues. When insulin actually binds to your cell membrane that’s would initiate these cascade of bio chemical reactions that causes basically upregulation of what’s called glut 4 transporters and allows glucose to enter into a cell and allows glucose to be lowered in the blood stream. So, you’re looking at first of all wanting to make sure that you have healthy cell membranes and anytime that the fatty acid composition of your diet is not ideal, your cell membranes are gonna get stiffer, they’re gonna get more (basically the best way that I can describe it is) sticky, they’re gonna inhibit that glucose transport mechanism and the ability of insulin to bind to the cell surface receptors for insulin that means that your pancreas has to churn out a bunch of excess insulin, it puts more stress on the beta cells of the pancreas that are responsible for churning out that insulin and so before I even talked beta cells, one really really important thing is to make sure that you’re going after the root of the issue here and taking care of your cell membranes.
So, talked about fats and oils already but pretty much all vegetable oils that had been heated up I would have those far far away from you that includes like roasted nuts, roasted seeds, tri-mixes not oils especially margarine soy oil, canola oil, all of those. Make sure that those are completely out of the diet before you even start to go after the pancreas and the beta cells and then make sure you’re getting lots of really really high quality fatty acids in the diet. These stuff that I specifically recommend if you’re really concerned about this would be like a really good fermented cod liver oil, my green pastures does have a really good fermented cod liver oil. I would be doing a regular eggs from like pastured healthy free-ranged chickens or ducks (those are gonna have really really good fatty acid profiles), like a cold pressed extra virgin high quality olive oil have that in the diet and then you’re gonna be getting fats from dairy make sure it’s full fat yogurt preferably like unpasteurized, unhomogenized, from organic cows or sheep or goats or something like that. What we’re talking about are all of the essential fatty acids that are really gonna give you a step up in terms of your cell membranes so that’s number 1.
Now, you asked about supplements and there are basically 3 main things that I’d recommend. The first two are highly interrelated and what they allow you to do is assimilate glucose into your cells more readily. There’s specifically a mineral that’s involved with glucose transport into the cells. One is called chromium one is called vanadium so chromium and vanadium, I’m a big big fan of those for blood sugar regulation. I should go on my way to say that I’m not a doctor, I don’t want this to be misconstrued as medical advice but I would definitely be including a chromium and vanadium supplement if you’re concern about blood sugar stabilization and those can easily be had any healthy food store or grocery store really, they’re pretty easy to find, the supplement that I personally recommend to folks is called thermofactor because that has some other fat loss support components in it as well as the chromium and the vanadium for blood sugar stabilization so that’s one thing would be using something like thermofactor or getting your hands on some chromium and vanadium.
There is another supplement and it’s basically an extract, it can literally and it‘s been shown to do so in studies regenerate beta cells in the pancreas (completely repair beta cells) restore insulin sensitivity and do a fantastic job stabilizing blood glucose from the transport of glucose into cells in the way that I just described and that is bitter melon extract. Bitter melon extract. That is something that I personally use as a health tonic, as a liver tonic specifically when I’ve eaten large amounts of carbohydrates so if I’m at a party, if I’m in a situation (like the other night we went out to a Greek restaurant, I eat more whey more white rice than I’d planned on) I will eat the bitter melon extract either 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after a meal like that and that does a fantastic job with blood glucose stabilization with supporting insulin sensitivity with regenerating beta cells in the pancreas that would be the top supplement that I’d recommend for pancreatic health. It’s even been shown to lower the risk of and help to eliminate pancreatic cancer so big big one here would be bitter melon extract. The stuff I like for that is called MPX100 it’s made by company called Impax, we’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well but MPX100 for the bitter melon extract, thermofactor for the chromium and the vanadium, and that’s what I would do in addition to really really taking care of things from a fat and oil standpoint so, that would be what I would do. So, eat your eggs and your cod liver oil and all that jazz and take your bitter melon extract then yeah, take care of those beta cells.
Brock: Very cool! Alright everybody, make sure that you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and search for episode 238 and check out the show notes for everything that we’d talked about, we have links to all the good stuff including the pancreas supporting supplements and the ….
Ben: the butts, the butts, the facebook butts, we’ll link to the facebook butts or you just go to the facebook. If you go to https://facebook.com/bgfitness that’s pretty much all you need to do ‘cause you’ll the MyList for this episode, you’ll get to link to the show notes which is usually published the day after and you’ll also get the butts and so ….what more can you ask for.
Brock: What more can you ask for?
Ben: Alright, so I can hear Brock’s voice getting staticky. Hey Brock say something so people can hear what it sounds like.
Brock: This is what it sounds like when you’re in Canada and you’ve been on Skype for more than an hour.
Ben: That’s horrible. I don’t know if it show in the podcast but you just sound staticky.
Ben: It’s like…. you’re like getting struck by lightning or something. It’s kinda cool. Alright, cool! Well yeah folks, I guess that about wraps it up. That’s great radio ending on our show host getting…..staticky….getting a picture kid, sounds so horrible we should end this thing. Alright folks, thanks for listening in, head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com to get everything you need to go along with this episode or over to facebook.com/bgfitness. Alright, over and out.
April 24, 2013 Podcast: Electronic cigarette health, the best sleeping position, how to recover from pneumonia, exercising in pollution, how to make bulletproof coffee, when to use olive oil and when to use coconut oil, and supplements for beta cells.
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- Another good reason NOT to static stretch before your workout.
- If you have the choice to run in sand vs. running in grass, sand is better for getting fitter.
- Of note to those concerned about low carb diets/glycogen stores, protein does indeed replace glycogen stores.
If you’re looking for a topic we covered in the past – we have released the Ben Greenfield Fitness Top Hits, Vol. 1.
1. The Benefits of Fish vs. Fish Oil
2. The Best Ways to Stop Hair Loss
3. Increase Your Hematocrit & Oxygen Levels
4. Strengthen Your Immune System & Shorten the Duration of a Cold
5. Top 10 Ways to Boost Drive
6. Get Rid of Migraines Naturally
7. Become a Curvaceous, Lean, Ripped Female Athlete Without Destroying Your Health
8. Stop Side Stitches as Fast as Possible
9. Is It Possible for a Vegan to Be a Healthy Endurance Athlete
10. How Much Water Do You Really Need to Drink Each Day
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As compiled, edited and sometimes read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.
Anne asks @ 00:22:56
She is wondering if there could be any negative effects associated with second hand “smoke” from electronic cigarettes? Her boss smokes them around her all the time in enclosed areas.
Anonymous asks @ 00:28:17
Which sleeping position – back, side or stomach – is the best for rest and recovery for athletes?
~ In my response I mention Esther Gokhale’s book: 8 Steps To A Pain-Free Back, this study and a previous podcast we did on the best mattress.
James says @ 00:36:04
Recently came down with pneumonia which has killed his race season and has been warned to take it easy and give himself time to heal. He has finished a course of on antibiotics and then immediately started taking probiotics, oil of oregano and fish oil. His biggest issue right now is his lung capacity and shortness of breath. He wants to know what he can do to get healthy as quickly as possible.
~ This question is answered in part by a track from the iTunes album Ben Greenfield Fitness Top Hits, Vol. 1.
Julius asks @ 00:50:23
His nephew recently moved from Indiana to Beijing. Can you recommend what to do when you are an outdoor runner who lives in a highly polluted city like Beijing or Hong Kong?
~ In my response, I recommend Dr. Todd’s antioxidants talk at Superhuman Live event, the podcast episode How Your Cells Talk To Each Other, and LifeShotz.
David asks @ 01:04:34
He recently switched from Olive Oil to Coconut Oil for most of his cooking and is wondering how much he should be consuming. He is mixing about a tablespoon into his morning cappuccino – is that too much? He is also wondering about the smoke point. He has read that Olive and Coconut Oil have about the same smoke point. Is that true?
~ In my response, I reference this smoke point chart, Nutive extra virgin coconut oil, and also KION coffee.
Jim asks @ 01:16:56
Ben talks about using supplements to maintain low blood sugar and promote liver health but are there any supplements that support the pancreas and help maintain healthy beta cells.
~ In my response to Jim, I recommend MPX100 and Thermofactor.
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