Episode #246 – Full Transcript

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Podcast #246 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/07/246-how-to-know-if-a-supplement-is-safe-how-much-superstarch-should-use-how-women-can-naturally-increase-fertility/


Introduction:  In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: How To Know If A Supplement Is Safe, How To Eat For A Half Ironman, What To Do About Multiple Allergies, How Much Superstarch Should You Use, Running With A Weighted Vest, What To Do About Runner’s Toe, and How Women Can Naturally Increase Fertility.

Brock:  So you’re feeling all pumped up and ready to podcast, my man?

Ben:  I’m feeling like I’m about to burp up the full-on kitchen sink smoothie I just had.

Brock:  No burp-ups, here. You’re too old for burping-up.

Ben:  No.

Brock:  I believe when you reach your age, it’s called barfing.

Ben:  Dude, I shoved the entire contents of my refrigerator into an omni blender about 5 minutes ago.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  No, I’m serious. Like I had spinach from the garden, along with a little bit of mint. I threw kelp powder in there, I threw some hemp protein in there, some of the medium change triglyceride oil, a few Brazil nuts, a few almonds, a little bit of butter, some coconut milk, a little dark chocolate powder, a little vanilla powder, some sea salt, and what else? A tiny bit of the great lakes gelatin, bone broth stuff to finish it up, stir that in and …..

Brock:  A little bit of drano….

Ben:  Some raw cashew butter. I mean, like, no I’m not kidding, like I am and then I came in here and I’m just like sat my ass in the chair and called you up on skype and here we are so…..

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  If I slip into a food coma during today’s podcast, that’s why.

Brock:  I’ll be on the abstinent of things cause I’m just, I’m drinking an iced coffee right now cause it’s hot and humid and I’m using whole milk from this organic farmer just outside of Toronto and when I poured it out on my coffee, there’s actually chunks and it’s not because it has gone off, it’s actually just like chunks of fat and perhaps whey.

Ben:  I was gonna say it’s something like rat fur or something like that, is it?

Brock:  Well if it is, it’s delicious rat fur.

Ben:  Well later on in today’s podcast I do wanna mention something about raw milk so there we go.

Brock:  All right.

News Flashes:

Brock:  All right. Cruise on over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/246 and you can find links and links and more links.

Ben:  That’s right and you know what, why don’t we start right off the bat with the new study that confirmed that raw milk is indeed a low-risk food.

Brock:  Awesome.

Ben:  And this came out last week.

Brock:  Even raw milk with chunks?

Ben:  Hit the globe news wire last week, even raw milk with chunks. What they found was that food borne illnesses is from raw milk consumption have been blown way out of proportion and this idea behind some of these pathogens like staphylococcus, some listeria and all this stuff that people are saying is in raw milk. As it actually was discovered a few times way back in the 1930’s, it turns out that there has not been any cases reported in terms of listeriosis in raw milk. There has been a 40 plus year worldwide absence of listeriosis cases from raw milk and this was a 2013 scholarly review that looked into this stuff and I found that there was very very little harmful bacteria found in raw milk so pretty interesting study, kind of a study of studies that came out and so there you go. You know, the chunkiness in iced coffee that you’re consuming right now is the fact that I’m guessing it’s like an unhomogenized kinda whole milk.

Brock:  Yeah, yeah.

Ben:  Like the…..

Brock:  So I’m safe.

Ben:  Healthy flat globules, all intact.

Brock:  Yeah, it’s nice ‘cause it gives a chewy texture as well.

Ben:  And they’re cute, furry, chewy format.

Brock:  Yeah, when we were kids out on the farm, we used to actually squirt the, grab the teat of the cow and actually squirt it like almost right into our mouths, would often miss but I mean, you can drink milk like right out of the cow. We used to just like grab the heavy stuff, the heavy cream right off the top of the buckets that my uncle would be milking the cows into.


So this doesn’t surprise me that people aren’t getting sick you know, we did it all the time, we didn’t get sick. In fact it probably made us like super, super powerful immune systems from doing that.

Ben:  Skated around your farm up there in Canada with your hockey sticks, occasionally stopping for a suckle from the teat and then heading for in the farmhouse for some poutine.

Ben:  That’s what you do more than just catch one.

Ben:  Another study from Alex Hutchinson and it isn’t he a Canadian dude?

Brock:  Yes, he is from right here on Toronto.

Ben:  That’s what I thought. He had a report in the study that was published in the Journal of Frontiers in Autonomic Nueroscience. I think if I ever probably started a journal, I’d start with the word Frontiers.

Brock:  And Autonomic.

Ben:  Frontiers in Autonomic Nueroscience. They looked at people who were watching people exercising. Literally just kinda reclining in chairs watching a video that someone took while they were resting, walking, and running and then they measured the changes in heart rate and breathing and kinda like the anticipatory response generated by the brain in these folks who were just basically just watching people exercise and it turns out that just the experience of imaginary exercise from like looking at a video, in third person format, you listen to the response. Meaning these folks actually had a big change in their physiological parameters by literally imagining exercise. They had an increase in nerve activity, heart rate, respiration, and skin blood flow during researchers called the “passive viewing of exercise.” So.

Brock:  Wow. So how do you explain all those heavy set fellas that are sitting there, watching sports all day on every Sunday?

Ben:  You know that this was a first person video. Kinda like a video game. Where…..

Brock:  Oh okay so not, sports would not like watching a football game wouldn’t count.

Ben:  Unless they have like a GoPro attached to the quarterback’s helmet or something like that.

Brock:  I get you, so you’re imagining yourself doing it, not just somebody is sort of working out in front of you.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  More seeing the dumbbell-coming-towards-your-face kinda thing.

Ben:  Yes, and I would imagine getting your hands on a first person exercise video that would stimulate muscle, sympathetic nerve activity, heart rate, respiration, and skin, blood flow. Might be slightly more spendy than something like something, say like cheap porn. Ultimately, passive viewing of exercise turns out, it can actually help you. You know what I would be interested in is like you get a bunch of cyclists’ right, and you put them on one of these computrainer devices that would simulate say like an Ironman triathlon by course which a lot of these videos do these days. And then you see whether or not people who are just like riding a trainer maybe you know, watching a movie, listening to music, you know, or something like that experienced a different training response than people who were like….

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  watching the first-person video. That’s where I think this would kinda real world effects. But it’s interesting.

Brock:  Superfest kinda does that sort of thing.

Ben:  Right.

Brock:  Puts you right in the frame. I wonder why you like it so much.

Ben:  I freakin’ love those videos. Okay. So the last thing that I wanted to mention was how often you can actually skip your workout and get away with it. And this is….

Brock:  You mean in terms of your coach-hunting, you’re down.

Ben:  With a baseball bat. They looked at the effects of training attendance on muscle strength on young men after a few weeks of resistance training and what they found was that in terms of a strength training response to an exercise routine that you could skip up to 20% of your workouts and you could still get the same training response as someone who is doing a 100% of the workouts. It turns out that strict adherence to an exercise program, in this case a strength training program, is not necessarily gonna give you some advantage over and above, hitting you like whenever you can but occasionally skipping it if you have to do whatever, lifestyle or social or relationship obligations or you know, like tomorrow, the 4th of July, lighting stuff on fire, whatever.

Brock:  You guys blow things up on July 4th.

Ben:  That’s right. It turns out that you can get away with a little bit of non-attendance with your workout routine and it’s not gonna kill you. So for those of our type A anal exercise listeners, every now and again, it’s okay.

Brock:  Calm down.

Ben:  It’s okay to skip the workout.

Brock:  That sounds it would be incredibly variable depending on the intensity or duration of the workout program you’re on. I don’t know how they can make that broad of a statement if you’re on a really minimalist training program already when it’s like I would have 20% basically drop it to almost nothing.


Ben:  Yeah, well at least for working out twice a week for 11 weeks in a row and the group that skips 20% or the people that skip 20% of the workout still had the same gains in terms of strength.

Brock:  So it was within the controlled group so everybody was doing or supposed to be doing the same training workout, it wasn’t. They did not look at some guy who was doing like crossfit or some guy who’s doing P90X or somebody who’s skipping 20% of their home workout.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  Okay.

Ben:  Basically they compared full attendance with about 85% attendance with about 70% attendance and what you got down below, kinda 80% attendance mark, that’s when skipping exercise kinda started to hurt you so there you go.

Brock:  Gotcha.

Ben:  That is about it. So now that everybody has set down the barbell, gotten off the bike, quit running and decided they’re gonna just sit down by the side of the road and listen to the rest of the podcast here we go.

Special Announcements:

Brock:  Right, I had to put down my calculator and trying to figure out how much 20% is, how much can I skip.

Ben:  Alright. While you’re doing that, let me make a couple of special announcements here.

Brock:  Do it.

Ben:  For my inner circle members, we are doing a fun little sleuthing activity next week. I forced Jessa to log her diet for a full week and we’re gonna go in and using her as a guinea pig, as a scapegoat, go through and teach you how to analyze your own nutrition logs. Show you what to look for, show you what software is best for tracking and analyzing, kinda teach you how to sit down and look at what goes on when you eat and what kind of daddy can glean from a diet log.

Brock:  Awesome.

Ben:  You know I’m not a huge fan of like wasting all your precious time tracking and testing your training and your sleep and nutrition and everything like that if it comes to the detriment of enjoying the finer things in life but I think everybody should just log their nutrition for a week and see what they get.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  And it can be pretty eye opening, you know, like for me it turns out that, I thought that my diet was like you know, anywhere from 100-150 grams of carbohydrates for example, on most days. It turns out, I’m kinda actually closer to that kinda 50 to a maximum of 100 grams per day range unless I take all the contents of my refrigerator and put them into a blender.

Brock:  And turn them into a smoothie.

Ben:  Even that smoothie didn’t really have, I’m thinking about, you know, everything I’ve just listed off. I don’t think they were, aside from the small amount of carbs in the almonds, I don’t think they were any other carbohydrates in that smoothie.

Brock:  In preparation for this, for the webinar you’d be doing, I’ve actually been tracking my diet as well, so while I have something while I’m listening to you talk about this, I wanna have my diet set aside. It seems that that would be a good way to prepare for this. So for all you inner circle people, start tracking.

Ben:  For the inner circle members that are listening in, all, I think there’s about 700 or so inner circle members spread across the globe be logging your nutrition you guys, if you’re listening in. And if you’re not part of the inner circle, you get into that at bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle. It’s fun, we do webinars every month, we got a really super active forum of like 3000 threads on the forum from everything from nutrition to fitness to you name it so there you go.

Brock:  I like all the recipes. It’s my favorite part.

Ben:  And lots of recipes. Okay, the other thing I wanted to mention is that I know it seems like it’s a long waits off but the end of November, beginning of December, Thailand’s Triathlon trip is filling up. We still got room to squeeze a few more folks in for the adventure of a lifetime. We are doing a really really cool training camp leading into the adventure where we’re gonna spend 5 days in this natural health resort called Thanya Pura. Learn a bunch of stuff about wellness, fitness. This one’s really catering to triathletes of course. We’re gonna do swimming, biking, running, drills, workouts, lectures, special guests coming in to talk. It’s gonna be some pretty cool shizbang so you can check that out at pacificfit.net/Thailand or you can go to links in the show notes but it’s gonna be super cool so highly highly recommend for any of you who have, for some reason 3 weeks where you’re able to not do anything except lay on a beach in Thailand this winter. Come on over and do it.

Brock:  I highly recommend it. I did 4 weeks last year and it, I came back a new man.


Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  And I’m not exaggerating.

Ben:  Literally.

Brock:  So fantastic.

Ben:  Literally the hospitals over there with the sex change operations that they can do, then Brock came back a new man.

Brock:  I’m almost a foot taller and have hair in places I didn’t before.

Ben:  Taller or longer?

Voiceover:  Finally, a solution for healthy living that actually makes sense. Ben Greenfield and his wife Jessa have cracked the code on healthy living and revealed their entire system inside the Ben Greenfield Fitness Inner Circle when you get instant access to 24/7 four-minute action with Ben and Jessa. A live monthly webinar, meal plans, videos, Ben’s body transformation club archives and much much more. If you and your family wanna learn how to achieve the ultimate healthy lifestyle on a budget, then the Ben Greenfield Fitness Inner Circle is for you. Get 4 free videos to get you started and full access to the Inner Circle at bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle. That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle. We’ll see you inside.

Listener Q&A:

Brock:  So last week we had a question about cissus which is an extract that is good for your joints and your cartilage and stuff like that but it also has a bit of aide for weight loss.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  And we have a follow-up question. Amie wrote in and said, “I know you ultimately recommend bitter melon extract over cissus however, if I wanted to try cissus, could you recommend a brand and a dosage?”

Ben:  That is a good question.

Brock:  Which I remember we didn’t really get into that. That was part of the original question and we just got so focused on other things so it’s a good follow-up Amie. Thank you.

Ben:  That’s true. Sometimes we completely blow-off what the actual question is. We do that quite a bit. You know, stepping back and looking at this big picture, you know, it really comes down to a question of how do you know whether or not a supplement is gonna be efficacious, whether or not a particular brand or supplement is gonna be safe for you to take and we actually did a fairly long kinda investigation into how to know if a supplement is safe back in a previous podcast episode and we’ll link to that. We always put helpful links in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/246.

Brock:  And you can grab them too if you’re listening to this in the phone app. There’s a little button down at the bottom that’s like an info symbol. When you push on that, you can get the links out of there as well so you don’t have to cruise over the website if you’re in the app. They’re right there.

Ben:  Yeah. The phone, actually, I’ve been messing around with the phone app, it’s actually, it’s pretty cool if I don’t say so myself like, you listen to the podcast at the same time you can like click and see the links and stuff and it’s super useful. Anyways though, if you’re trying to figure out if a supplement is safe, there’s a few little strategies that you can use in addition to going back and listening to that podcast episode. So like, when I do a search for cissus quadrangularis which is the full….

Brock:  I didn’t try to see that. I skipped the word.

Ben:  Cissus. I come up with a variety of brands, you know, for example on amazon.com you know, is a place where you can buy supplements when you have an Amazon Prime Membership. You know, usually it’s a decent way to go. You know your stuff’s gonna get shipped quickly in the case of an herb, it’s not gonna spend you know, 14 days in transit, you know, in hot conditions, that kinda thing which you wanna be careful with. But when you look at it, there’s a variety of brands, now one thing you can do right off the bat, if you wanna know if a brand is safe and you’ve never heard of it before, say you live in the US. You can go to the FDA website, fda.gov, and just do a search for that brand name like PrimaForce Cissus is the first brand, the brand PrimaForce comes up and if you go to fda.gov, you can literally just like type in PrimaForce, that brand name and it will pull up whether or not it has product recalls of that brand, whether or not it’s ever been you know, like laced with metals, that kind of thing. You know, and essentially, you can get a decent look at whether or not there has been legal action taken against that brand. Now I’m not saying that in all cases, the fact that the US government has taken legal action against something means that it’s harmful. You know, we just got talking about raw milk.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  Just the fact that you know, the FDA is like cracking down, sending full on, you know, gun-totting SWAT teams into dairy farms to cease raw milk you know.


Brock:  Really?

Ben:  Yeah, seriously. Like in the state of California it’s pretty crazy.

Brock:  That doesn’t happen here. Canadians don’t worry.

Ben:  Yeah. Some may take this stuff with a grain of salt but the fda.gov website, for example, is one place that you can go and I’m sure that other countries like…. Brock, what’s the equal of FDA in Canada?

Brock:  I have no idea.

Ben:  Okay. Just curious. Anyways though, that’s one way you can take a look at whatever government body is kinda keeping an eye out you know, for everything from you know, food to supplements to imported products, stuff like that. Just do a search with the brand name there.

Brock:  It’s just, sorry, it’s just health canada, that’s why I don’t know it. We don’t have actually a specific taskforce.

Ben:  It’s disappointing.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  No SWAT teams up there.

Brock:  It’s just that we don’t care enough.

Ben:  Yeah. The other thing that you can do is you can look at certain certifications on the label. There are 3 certifications that come in handy to look for in addition to checking on the supplement to make sure it says CGMP somewhere on it which stands, which means it was created in a certified good manufacturing practices facility. Now just the fact that it was created in a CGMP facility doesn’t mean that it may not be laced with things that might, for example, if you’re racing in a triathlon, get you popped on a urinary blood test or perhaps, you know, just CGMP is not the highest sign of quality but it’s a good place to start. consumerlab.com, Consumer Lab offers supplements and approved quality products seal and seeing that seal as well as doing a search for a product on consumerlab.com is another good way to see if a supplement kinda passes muster. There’s another certification called NSF and NSF is an internationally recognized certification. It’s fairly expensive for supplements to get this certification but that means that it’s super duper safe for protecting you against, if you’re super duper concerned about say like, whatever, the electrolyte capsule that you’re taking being laced with steroids. You know, you might want to check if it’s NSF certified. Here in the US, there’s also another supplement verification program called US Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplement Verification Program and that’s another good one. There are a few others out there and we dig in into more detail on that on another podcast episode that I’ll link out to you but those are a few places to start. And of course, this is stuff you do have to think about because some supplements, I think what we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, are spiked with prescription drugs, you know a lot of the drive-enhancing supplements you may grab from a Wallgreens or a health food store. They’ve been found to be laced with active ingredient of Viagra and you know literally it’s being created in the same type of laboratory factory as some of the prescription drugs. You can easily overdose if you’re not paying attention to what you’re taking in. I recently had an athlete, he’s listening to the podcast, he’s probably gonna hear this, I won’t name in but we did a lab test on him, a blood test and his folic acid levels were through the roof. Like literally hundreds and hundreds of percentage points above what I want blood folic acid to be in and it turns out that these kinda like gummy vitamins that he was like chewing on everyday happen to have a ton of folic acid in them. So he was literally like…..

Brock:  Like not listed in the ingredients?

Ben:  No, they were listed in the ingredients but sometimes you got to take in a fairly close look. You know, one multivitamin might have 20 international units of vitamin D, another might have 500 and you could easily overdose on a fat-soluble vitamin if you weren’t careful so there are a lot of little things that you need to pay attention to if you’re taking a supplement and that kinda leads into the last thing that I wanna mention in my response was look at what’s found to be efficacious in studies. For example, in a few weeks, I’m going to be talking about a new reference guide that’s coming out for supplements. I don’t think it’s published yet so I won’t go into it now but there’s a really really comprehensive reference guide coming out soon that I’m stoked for its release. It’s from the folks from  Right Examine but if you look at let’s say cissus for fat loss and how much has been found to be efficacious for fat loss, you know, if we were to look at something like that, in most cases, I believe dosages for cissus, I believe what we talked about last week, I think it was somewhere around 300-400 milligrams a day of cissus and if you go out and say like Amazon.com and you look up all the cissus capsules out there, you’re gonna find some capsules around the rage of 20 milligrams, some capsules are in the range of 725 milligrams.


And if we know the recommended dosage for fat loss is 300-400 milligrams, well if you buy 20 milligram capsules you’re gonna have to take you know, however many of those, more than 10 obviously for it to be efficacious for weight loss and you know, on the flipside, you might buy a capsule that has way too much and a megadose that you don’t actually need for an efficacious response. So going in and looking at the studies, either googling the name of the supplement that you’re looking for plus the the effect that you are looking for plus the word study or research can usually get you an idea of the approximate dosage requirements and then you can go and check and see whatever brand you’re looking at actually has that dosage or has way too much or has excessive dosage or you know, not enough, that type of thing. So those are kind of the ways you can know if a supplement is safe or if the dosage you’re looking at taking will be efficacious.

Brock:  I like that answer. You just taught Amie how to fish.

Ben:  I still did not respond to Amie’s question.

Brock:  No but you didn’t give her a fish.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  You taught her how to fish.

Ben:  I taught her how to fish. And ultimately I haven’t gone and done the research that I just described to you on cissus so using information I just gave you, go check it out and I’m sure you’re gonna find a few brands on cissus that would pass muster so.

Shelly:   Hi Ben. This is Shelly Grunfield. I have a question for you. I have Vineman 70.3 coming up in 2 weeks. I’ve been following your low-carb diet for a while as well as been listening to podcast and I just simply don’t know what to do in terms of fueling for the race. I’ve been following what you’ve done on your low-carb ketogenic diet and I do have generation UCan. I do have some Energy28 that I purchased through you and a NatureAminos but I don’t know what to do in terms of solids. If you would recommend having almond butter, I don’t know if it’s too much fat on a race. I just need a little direction here since my current coach and most of my friends are not that adapted, they’re just basically having gels and now just purchasing which is kind of counter-productive to what I’m doing right now. Thank you so much. Take Care. Bye.

Brock:  Okay, I have to ask right off the bat, any relation?

Ben:  Shelly? Did she say Shelly or Sherry?

Brock:  I think she said Shelly.

Ben:  But either way, the last name, Grunfield, I think it’s Grunfield, not Greenfield. Could be a relation. Could be, I don’t know. You know, I did my genetic salivary testing through 23andme.com and they have the ability to make people there relative request to like have you add them as your relative based off of some you know, link way back into the family tree so I’ve got like, everyday I get an email from somebody who’s like a fifth cousin or something like that who’s like, “Hey! Just discovered you in 23andme.com. Turns out we have the same great great far grandfather/uncle.” You know and it’s kind of interesting.

Brock:  That’s kind of fun.

Ben:  You can also turn off those notifications which I’m highly considering doing ‘cause I’m not actually adding these people to my family tree. Either way, when it comes to, and we wanna answer this question because it sounds like this triathlon is coming up in a couple of weeks so it’s kinda time sensitive, following a low-carb diet for fueling during the race. If you’ve got the Generation UCan, SuperStarch, the Energy28, and the Master Pattern Amino Acid, sounds like you basically bought the endurance pack of Pacific Elite Fitness. You don’t need to add in solids to that at all and that’s kind of the thing with half Ironman is that, whereas with something like an Ironman triathlon where you’re gonna be out there basically all day long, solid foods can come in handy on the bike just to keep you from getting freakin’ bored, to kinda give you that carrot at the end of the stick, you know, so for example, when I race in Ironman Canada, yeah, I’ll probably toss a couple of Bonk Breaker bars or like Cocochia bars or something like that in the back of my jersey and just do like a tiny little chunk of those at the end of each hour just because frankly, I want something to chew just a little bit if I’m gonna be on my bike for 5 hours. But on a half Ironman, I’m just a big big fan of just fuel straight from the bottle with no need for solids at all so the way I personally mix stuff up is I’ll take the entire contents of that endurance pack for example so the SuperStarch, the Energy28, I’ve been adding that X2 Perfomance stuff in there as well, and then the Master Pattern Amino Acid is gonna sound kind of nasty but what I do is literally just chew them into my mouth and spit them into the bottle now so it’s one less thing to carry.


I wish they make it in powder form but they don’t so I literally just chew on the tablets and spit them into the bottle and….

Brock:  Like during the race or before the race?

Ben:  Before the race.

Brock:  Okay.

Ben:  So basically all this stuff is just in a down tube bottle, in like this super thick kinda sludgy mixture that I literally stir up with a butter knife and kinda shake before I take a swig from it during the race. It’s almost like a gel-like texture and that’s all that you’re doing during the bike of a half Ironman triathlon and you’ve got enough. For me it’s like you know, right around 600, I guess it comes around 600 calories worth of fuel in that down tube water bottle for something like you know, if I may be out there for 2 hours in the bike for example. And you just nurse in that bottle during the bike ride and then I do a similar similar approach during the run of a half Ironman except it’s mixed into that gooey gel-like texture in a flask rather than a bottle. And the important thing to remember is that the more you mess around with adding extra sugars on top of like very very slow digesting starch like a SuperStarch, the more you’re gonna affect the whole reason you’d be using something like SuperStarch anyways, which is to keep your body in this full-on fatty acid utilization ‘cause it’s a very very slow release carbohydrate. So if you were gonna do solid foods and you were just, you put your foot down and you’re like I really need something solid, you’d wanna stick to things that are preferably not simple sugars so you’d want to stick to things that really aren’t comprised of like dextrose, glucose, stuff like that. The reason that I’m specifically saying that is because the trace amounts of glucose or fructose that you’re gonna find in some of the compounds that I recommend adding into the endurance pack you know, like the X2 Performance or the Energy28, that’s enough to maintain or to stave off what’s called neuro fatigue meaning that your brain needs trace amounts of glucose and I’ve found that I do better with trace amounts of glucose but then if you add in extra amounts of glucose on top of that from solid sources like chomps and you know, gummy bears and things of that nature, you shove yourself over the edge from a you know, keeping yourself out of fat utilization standpoint. So if you’re gonna go with solid foods, I’d go with things that are a little bit more fat-based you know, raw seeds, raw nuts, like raw cashews, raw almonds, stuff like that. Raw nut butter, regular nut butter, like Justin’s Nut Butter or Pocket Fuel or something like that that’s more of a nut butter, preferably the stuff that isn’t much flavored with a lot of chocolate and honey and added sweeteners. You could do like chia seeds slurry even if I don’t see that offers you any added advantage over just you know, basically have a nut slurry mix that you have on your down tube water bottle on your bike. Some other fat sources that you could chew on, you know a lot of people like to do like the almonds rice cakes with the bacon and stuff mixed in. Those are pretty carb-intensive so be careful with those. Some of you need to come out with just a coconut oil or MCT oil chew. Some of that would be something to try.

Brock:  I wonder if you could mix MCT oil with Chia seeds and leave it overnight. I wonder if that would get gooey enough.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  I probably could still not touch it.

Ben:  You know one thing I have been doing which is taking this BulletProof MCT oil from Dave Asprey’s website and mixing that in with the Pacific Elite Fitness Endurance Pack for some added fats, and that’s probably the approach that I’ll be taking in for Ironman Canada. But ultimately for half Ironman you don’t need solids at all and you especially shouldn’t even be going near solids on the run. That’s a really really good way to kinda screw up your stomach during the run so definitely liquids on the run, if you’re gonna use solids on the bikes, just keep on the fat-based. Use some seeds, do some nuts, something like that. So, yeah, some bacon.

Brock:  Yeah. So the UCan stuff, what I’m hearing is she was thinking about approaching this the way that you brought about in the scratch labs kind process where your fuels in what do they say? Hydrations bottle fuel in your pocket?

Ben:  Yeah. And that’s a totally totally different approach. And it can work but because I am the low-carb, keep-your-body-in fat burning state-mode kinda guy, that’s not the approach that I recommend that I personally use. So why not you….

Brock:  Yeah, well that’s not what Shelly’s doing either so.


Ben:  Yeah, exactly. Did you just call her Shelby? We don’t know if….

Brock:  Changing her name.

Ben:  because of the voicemail if her name is Shelly, Sherry, or Shelby but either way, there you go. That’s what I’d do.

Allergy:  Hey Ben and Brock. I’ve had allergies for as long as I can remember and everyone in my family has allergies too mostly to things in nature you know like rye, wheat, pollen, dust and molds as well. You know, over the years, growing up, my Mom kinda tried all these different therapies you know, we take the allergy shots, we’ve done even muscle testing and acupressure therapy, acupuncture, and I’ve also taken all of your typical over the counter allergy medicines and you know, over the years I think that my allergies have gotten slightly better but I’m kinda just wondering what your professional opinion is about some of these therapies and what have been shown to be the best to people and just in general what you think about allergies and you know, if it’s something that is over diagnosed in people. Just looking for your opinion and any kind of research or advice you might have about allergies and treatment. Thank you.

Brock:  It sounds like you and I had the same kind of childhood. I went for the allergy shots, I did the acupressure. I don’t know if my mom sent me for acupuncture but I went all through that stuff ‘cause I was allergic to freakin’ everything when I was a kid.

Ben:  Yeah. One of my kids got stung by a bee when he was young and we actually did a full-on homeopathic kinda like bee venom type of micro dosing that we gradually brought up to a maximum dose then wean them off of and he hasn’t been stung since. So we actually don’t know if that approach worked. I’m thinking about intentionally stinging him this summer.

Brock:  I was just gonna say don’t.

Ben:  Capturing a bee. Well you know….

Brock:  Not look happily on that.

Ben:  Anyways though, when you’ve tried all these different things for allergies and nothing is working, in most cases, there is a deeper underlying issue. Usually what it comes down to is, in women, some type of a candida or fungus or yeast infection that needs to be addressed typically through a combination of a gut cleanse along with a restricted starch diet so working out a lot of the typical things that would feed yeast or fungus because those kind of things could lead to you being hypersensitive to a lot of these issues. Now, the other thing that can definitely help a lot and this is something that we talk about in my episode about How to Fix Exercise-induced Asthma in Kids that I do with Dr. David Minkoff, it would be an auto-immune diet. There are a few good ones out there, one would be like the paleo autoimmune diet ebook. I’ll link to that one in the show notes so that’s one that I own. It’s super easy to follow. That’s one option. There are also books out there, one’s called the Gut and Psychology Syndrome or the Gaps Diet, that one’s also really really good at essentially healing your gut, getting rid of leaky gut and eliminating your propensity to have these autoimmune reactions triggered very very easily by things like pollen and reg wheat and dust and mold and things of that nature. A few other things that Dr. Minkoff talked about in that podcast episode that I did with him was a stool test and specifically, he mentioned correlation between low levels of hydrochloric acid and higher propensity for autoimmune reactions and allergies. So that’s another thing to look into and if that is low, you could get on for example, an HCL supplement and a GI stool test is just something you can order to your house literally through a company like MetaMetrics for example. Another thing that’s associated with higher sensitivity is magnesium deficiencies and you can get a red blood cell test for Magnesium, that’s another one you can self-order from a company like Direct Labs for example. We also talked about, for kids who or for adults who were raised on formula, not fed breast milk using something like colostrum, using a colostrum supplement for a few months to kinda heal the gut lining and seal up the gut lining. Natural anti-inflammatory is fish oil. It’s probably the most common natural anti-inflammatory. Little bit higher levels of fish oil normally than I’d recommend like up and around the regular of 8-10 grams a day. A few of the other things that we talked about in that podcast was natural allergy elimination techniques and that would be something you can study up on the website naet.com and that would be very very similar to like the homeopathic micro dosing bee venom type of approach that I used with one of my kids where we just titrated up a dose it was bee/wasp/hornet venom that he literally got every day which sounds again like something that the social services should be like breaking down my door to stop me from doing but it really….


Brock:  But that’s exactly what allergy shots are though.

Ben:  It’s just homeopath, yeah. It’s amazing.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  Same thing as a vaccination without the mercury and everything. And then you no longer…. Just a little bit. Educating yourself on the realities and alternatives to immunizations and vaccinations. If you have a kid who’s dealing with these issues, in the website that Dr. Minkoff recommended for that that I’ll link to in the show notes here is nvic.org which I believe stands for the National Vaccine Information Center. But you know the interesting thing is that a lot of times, this stuff can be related to stress. And there’s a study that just came out this week, it was a few days ago, where over in Israel they’d been doing this big study between chronic stress, looking at the link between chronic stress and auto-immune disorders and this was a study reported in the European Journal of Immunology but they found that chronic stress really plays a key role in how much sensitivity you have to you know, to pollen, to auto-immune issues, to foods, food allergies, things of that nature, and there’s a big big link between chronic stress, cortisol, and development of auto-immune conditions and allergies. And so that’s another area you know, over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. I’ve been writing an article series on sleep tracking and stress management and the 3 last articles that I published on the side, one the earliest this morning, are all on managing chronic stress and managing sleep issues and a lot of relaxation, meditation, visualization, yoga kinda sleep-hacking and insomnia-hacking techniques and stress-relieving techniques and all this stuff you can use that can have a pretty significant effect on allergies and auto-immune reactions so I would definitely look at yeast and fungus, I would definitely look at your diet, and I would definitely look at stress. Now, in terms of allergies being over diagnosed, I think that there are a lot of people out there especially in the Paleo or alternative health of you know, kinda healthier “cutting-edge” community who kinda worry too much about food allergies and there is some evidence that food allergies are pretty highly over diagnosed and they are really truly affect only about less than 10% and possibly as little as 1-2% of the population. Like a lot of people go out and get these IGE studies, these immunoglobulin studies to look into food allergies and they’ll see that they’re allergic to a bunch of different things. But these studies actually have a 50% likelihood of having like a false positive meaning that they’re gonna say that you are allergic to a certain food when in fact you are not and you always always always have to look at not only what a test is saying but also at what your actual qualitative reaction is to food. So if a study says that you’re allergic to eggs for example but you feel great when you have an omelet, and you never get tired, and your heart rate variability score doesn’t you know, get thrown out of whack and you feel like a million bucks after you’ve had eggs then there is a high high possibility that the reason that you’ve got high levels of antibodies for eggs in your blood stream is because you’ve been eating a lot of eggs not because you’re actually allergic to eggs so you know, over diagnosis to food allergies I do think is a big issue especially when it comes to people like muscle testing for food allergies and stuff like that or you’re like hold a piece of paper with the name of the food written on your hand and do a muscle test and even like hold the food or hold the vial that contains extract of the food on your hand and do the muscle test. I don’t put a lot of credence on that stuff. I’m like a bigger fan of like if you eat something and you spend the next 40 minutes blowing chunks out your butt in the bathroom or you know, bend over in stomach pain or you have a horrible workout later on in the day.

Brock:  Or you swell up like crazy.

Ben:  Yeah or you swell up like crazy.

Brock:  Covered in hives.

Ben:  Yeah, you got a bunch of mucus ….

Brock:  Get so itchy.

Ben:  Mucus production, that type of thing. You know, you see that your allergies are worse that week. To me I put way more credence over that stuff than I do in some of these immunoglobulin test or muscle test or things of that nature.


So yeah, I certainly think that food allergies can be over diagnosed and I think that a lot of people end up with a medical school student syndrome where they’ll go and look something up in the internet and diagnose themselves with the disease that they’d just learned about when in fact, you know, that’s not really the issue. So.

Trevor:   Hey Ben and Brock, this is Trevor from Dallas. I was recently planning my first 70.3 fueling requirements based on your recommendations of doubling up the UCan serving size requirements per hour. I then ______ [0:45:35.2] in a day, Bob Seebohar’s seminar on metabolic efficiency is sponsored by UCan in the Dallas area. I saw he went to great lengths to convey the message that 1 UCan serving or less per hour is more than enough for race fueling services based on his own experience and experiences of his athletes. So after the seminar, I cornered him and quizzed on him specifically on the serving size recommendation and I asked him the intensity of the race, the size of the person, offered different amounts and he simply said no need to double up the serving prior to the race and everything else, one serving per hour with all that you needed. So my first 70.2 I changed my serving size based on what Bob said and about 10-15 miles into the bike, my quads started failing me. They weren't cramping, they were just failing. I was never ______ [0:46:24] in, my heart rate never really was out of control, but my quads were done. Is it possible that I depleted my quad glycogen source that quickly? Has it been replenished fast enough after backing off? Anyway, on a side note, during the run, I took a GU Chomp from 1 of the 8 stations and just wondering what it would do for me and I was pleasantly surprised that surely after that I felt a lot stronger. Too bad, it was a little too late. And finally, Bob did suggest barely using any water to make like a UCan paste if you wanted more texture in the product instead. How does that impact the modality of the fuel source that you’ve talked about in the past? That’s all I got guys. Sorry about the long ramble.

Brock:  Now Trevor is a friend of ours and I had a lot of trouble chopping his story down cause he left like a 3-minute voice mail so I did remove some of it. I’m sorry Trevor but you do spin a good yarn.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  Must be that Texan thing so this is a question that I get a lot so I think we should address it on the podcast. This whole idea behind using SuperStarch which is a high molecular whey carbohydrate that results in a lower blood glucose or a slower blood glucose release and a lower insulin response after you consume it. So you basically, if you’re trying to stay in a state of ketosis when you’re exercising, it does a better job at keeping your ketone bodies or your fatty acids in your blood stream elevated because you are tapping into sugar from your small intestine a little bit less as a fuel. It also helps you….

Brock:  Wait, so you can actually stay, that you can really stay in ketosis while you’re using this stuff?

Ben:  Absolutely. Absolutely.

Brock:  I thought it will keep you close to ketosis.

Ben:  No you can stay in ketosis and this is something we talked about in the podcast episode that I did with Dr. Peter Attia where you know, he’d go on bike rides but stay on ketosis with a little bit of SuperStarch used you know, during a bike ride. I’ve been using the metronome breath ketone sticks and I can go out even though I rarely use SuperStarch in my training simply because I really don’t like to use engineered fuels at all, I like just real food, honestly like a big big part, for me, I just like to eat real food. I don’t like the taste of SuperStarch. I use it while I’m racing but I avoid using it too much on training but I have a couple of time going out with the metronome breath tubes used the SuperStarch during about 2 hours of riding and come back and still be in my state of ketosis using my little endurance pack blend. Ultimately though, the question is then, how much of this stuff you have to use because if you go to the SuperStarch website for example and you look at their recommendations for something like triathlon or you look at this guy Bob Seebohar’s recommendations for the utilization of SuperStarch, usually, you know, I’ll read this right off their website. For triathlons lasting over 3 hours, consume, where do we start? Okay, drink 1 packet at least 30 minutes before your race. Consume an additional packet at 30 minutes on the bike and refuel with another packet every 60-90 minutes based on your energy needs. So based off of their recommendations, we’re coming out with around 1 packet or so you know, per hour, 1 serving per hour and I believe 1 serving comes out to, it’s right around 100 calories or so.


So, not a whole lot, 100 calories, per hour. Now I don’t know where they came up with those recommendations, what kind of testing they did for those recommendations. Now what I do know is that these studies on the actual UCan website looked on the individuals in either a resting state or working out at fairly low aerobic intensities when consuming these levels of SuperStarch,  the equivalent of like a hundred calories per hour and there are no studies I have seen on their website that I’m aware of that have actually looked at say a hard-charging athlete exercising at 85% of intensity, closed to blood lactate threshold, doing something like a half Ironman triathlon or an Ironman triathlon. You know, basically, somebody’s gonna go out and do something fast who’s not going to go out and do 15, 16, or 17-hour Ironman at a purely aerobic pace whose not you know, going out for a day-long ultra run at a slow pace, maybe who’s not doing like a super duper short sprint or Olympic distance triathlon but who’s really going out and pushing hard for 5 hours or pushing really hard for 9 or 10 hours you know, I’m gonna be doing up at Ironman Canada. Now, I can tell you right now that based on my personal testing, my money zone for my body size and I’m at about 175 pounds, my money zone is to consume 2 servings of SuperStarch per hour and to include trace amounts of glucose mixed in with that from something like the X2 Performance fuel along with some extra amino acids which I get from Master Amino Pattern capsules and a little bit of that Vespa Hornet extract. Now that may sound like a lot of fuel, that may sound like mixing at lot together but for me, that’s pure liquid nutrition gold in terms of the efficacy for how I feel, feeling stronger as the race gets longer, feeling better and better, no GI distress after the race, no bonking, no cramping during, and the reason I think that what I personally need to take and what the athletes that I’m coaching right now found success with using is more than what’s recommended on the UCan website. I think it’s because we’re going harder for long periods of time than what UCan is actually tested so far in its whatever, in-house research. And you know, you can also go to, there’s a section on UCan where they talk about usage and they give a bunch of quotes from athletes and most of the athletes on there who are kinda coating on how much SuperStarch they’re using, they are using kinda like close to that 1 packet per hour but they have quotes on a bunch of athletes out there and the only person who appears to have a quote, and they use this stuff to go fast in a half Ironman is me and I’m using double what everybody else is using. So this just comes down to what has worked in the trenches versus what research would tell you and I think that you know, Bob Seebohar’s recommendations and what he has told Trevor would work if you’re gonna stay at this nice easy aerobic pace during your half Ironman and you’re willing to do that. But for me, I wanna go fast, I wanna burn a lot of matches, I wanna dip into a lot of fuel, and so I bring a lot of fuel on board. Now granted, for me to take on a little of over 200 calories of UCan SuperStarch per hour during a race plus trace amounts of glucose from something like X2 Performance, that is a fraction of what I used to use. I used to go through 3-4 gels per hour plus about half a bag of chomps at the end of each hour so I use to do right around 500 calories of pure sugar carbohydrate per hour so now I’m using about half of that per hour. But definitely not a quarter of that. And I think that this comes down to the fact that most of the recommendations for how to use SuperStarch are for like faster athletes or for like athletes who are gonna go out there at a fairly hard pace for a longer period of time. I think they underestimate how many calories you actually need for this stuff. So.

Brock:  Yeah. I’m doing an Olympic triathlon in a couple of months and I plan to use the SuperStarch the first time. I wanna give it a try in a race that I’ve done before and feel comfortable with. I’m gonna stick with the one serving per hour but I’m gonna be done in like 2 hours, 45, maybe faster. It’s a cross-country so it’ll be a little bit longer. I might take closer to 3 but still.

Ben:  Everything I just said though, you’re absolutely right, it would apply for Half Ironman or an Ironman or a marathon-esque type of distance.


For an Olympic distance triathlon or for like sprint distance triathlon, you don’t need much fuel at all period. So for an Olympic distance triathlon, I’ll put 1 packet of SuperStarch in with one bottle of X2 performance in my down tube and just suck that down on the bike and then, you know, otherwise just rely on what I had for breakfast 2 hours before the race and nothing else. So.

Brock:  So is there any way that we can get that X2 stuff here in Canada? You know?

Ben:  Yeah, within like a, the time of this podcast recording, within the next week you should be able to grab it off at pacificelitefitness and I’m actually planning on replacing the Energy28 that I’ve got in the endurance pack eventually with just the X2 Performance stuff ‘cause there’s only, let’s face it, just from like a budget standpoint and a logistical juggling standpoint, there’s only like so many things you can suck down during a race or during an event and you know, I have compared the X2 Performance with the Energy28 kinda putting either one into the SuperStarch and I’ve actually gotten a little more pop, more bang for my buck from the X2 Performance so that will eventually become part of the endurance pack instead of the Energy28. Both work but I’m slowly becoming a much much bigger fan of the X2 stuff so.

Matthew:   Hi Ben, this is Matthew. I am a triathlete looking to get into ultra marathons. I am signed up for 50k later this year and looking to get into a 100 miler next year. I was calling about weighted vests. I heard that they work well as a time compression devise so if you wear a weighted vest on an hour run it would feel like a 3 hour run had you not work the weighted vest so I wanted to get your thoughts on investing on a weighted vest specifically for ultra marathon training. Thanks Ben.

Ben:  Brock, do you use the weighted vest?

Brock:  I haven’t used the weighted vest, I’ve used weights on my wrist and ankles before but not a vest.

Ben:  Gotcha. They’re actually pretty cool like they can really upregulate your metabolic rate while you’re wearing them during the day. A little sweaty, a little gamey. They make you look like ….

Brock:  Those are my chutes or you’re probably okay?

Ben:  Yeah, some of your chutes are good, they’re gonna look like a chest pumping gorilla. You know, if you see that nice barrel chested look. Actually, I’m kinda a fan of using them as a like a metabolic hack if you wanna burn a few extra calories while you’re touring around the house gardening, doing laundry whatever, you weigh more so you gonna burn calories moving these things around. Once we get to the point where you’re doing runs in weighted, that’s where stuff kinda starts to get a little bit iffy. And there’s 2 reasons for that: one is that it’s gonna change your biomechanics period and they’ve done studies like, they did one study on lower extremity, connected responses to weighted vest resistance and this was just looking at it during like step aerobics and what they found was that it significantly increase the mechanical demand on all the joints like knee joint, the hip joint, and the ankle joint but there were also 5-10% differences in actual joint angles meaning that for example like when you’re running, your patella (kneecap) might be going 5-10% farther forward than it normally would when your foot hits the ground or your ankle might be getting compressed into what’s called dorsiflexion at 5-10% greater angle or your hip might be getting shove outward like an anteversion which is what can cause that pain on the outside of your hip. Basically, what we’re talking about is the potential for creating kinda this biochemical crap storm if you’re running for long periods of time wearing a weighted vest. Same reason that I discouraged doing stuff like cycling with ankle weights. I think we got that question on podcast episode awhile ago is like, can you burn extra calories by cycling with ankle weights? And the answer was, Yeah, but it will destroy your foot and ankle biomechanics and potentially lead to peroneal tendonitis and plantar fasciitis and some downstream issues that are not worth that extra calorie burn vs. you just say, you know …..

Brock:  Go for 20 minutes longer.

Ben: Or pedaling hard or running faster. I talked about this in the bengreenfieldfitness article series that I did on kinda like the 5 neglected areas of endurance performance and one of them was speed and I talked about how your weighted vest can be used for speed and you only really loaded up with about 5-10% of your body weight and you go out and you do very very short sprint efforts or very very short hill efforts where you’re not going for a long period of time, there’s not a lot of foot loading going on, there’s not a lot of steps, not a lot of repetition so it’s not chronic repetitive motion with a weighted vest.


So, that’s one thing is the biomechanics component. The other component is that if you have any muscular imbalances. So, let’s say that you have like SI joint syndrome or one hip is rotate a little bit farther a little forward than the other hip or maybe you have like the shoulder imbalance or you’ve got like a quad hamstring strength imbalance, a weighted vest is gonna take any of that stuff and put a freakin’ magnifying glass on it when you’re out there training and basically take any existing muscle imbalance and make it worst and low that imbalance and so you’re looking at aggravating you know, assuming that you don’t buy that some perfect balance which is fairly rare to find, you’re gonna aggravate that and again increase your injury. In the Journal Strength Conditioning Research they did a report, a nine week study of training with weight vest and this was in the Marine Corps, these folks are going out and doing some of their chronic repetitive motion with weight vest. There was no change for wearing a weight vest, there was actually decreased performance when the athletes return to unweighted running or when these pre-distance returned to unweighted running. So, for triggering fast twitch muscle fibers, hill sprints, quick sprints, stuff like that. I’m cool with weighted vests but for long runs you’ll really really gonna be risking injury if you use this stuff for long runs. I’d only wear the weighted vest just like run around the house for the extra metabolic burn or during like sprints or like squat jumps and stuff like that.

Longtoe:  Hey Ben, I just downloaded the phone app. It’s pretty cool. I noticed that Brock deal special on shoes, minimal shoes. I noticed his toe next to his big toe is longer one of that just scenario with running. I have the similar issue Brock, you rock man! I love that juggling thing you do, that voodoo you do so well.

Brock:  Well, Matt didn’t know that people are a) using the BGFiness phone app and b) checking out my ______[1:02:16.2] videos and enjoying them too.

Ben:  I’m glad to hear that your toe is similar to mine Brock.

Brock:  Well, you got the same thing?

Ben:  Yeah, it’s morton’s toe that’s what it’s called. It’s a long toe, it’s from your second toe bigger than your big toe.

Brock:  It’s supposed to mean that we’re going to be rich.

Ben:  Yeah! Really?

Brock:  Yeah, all the wives tale says that if your second toes  longer than your   first, you’re getting garner all kinds of wealth.

Ben:  And first digit longer than third digit indicates increase testosterone in males if your index finger is longer than your ring finger. Well, the ratio …..

Brock:  Yeah, I got that too, nice.

Ben:  Anyways though, morton’s toe yeah, it’s really an issue until you start running and then once you start running it can really do a number and that’s called basically runner’s toe or subungual hematoma you know it’s where you get a bunch of blood into the toenail and it kills the toe or turns black or whatever. I’ve got kinda chronic ……

Brock:  Not the toe but the toenail.

Ben:  Yeah, I’ve got chronic runner’s toe on the right foot. If your entire toe turns black, you’re quite have been bitten by a brown recluse spider or you have some kind of horrible infection.

Brock:  You’ve got the diabetes.

Ben:  You’ve got the diabetes. So, basically what you can do about this 1) is ______[1:03:43.2] your toe box and your shoe size sounds like a dumb response but I mean it really is true like your toe box is too small it’s compressing your foot, you’ve got to freakin’ take care of that and get a shoe with a bigger wider toe box. You can clip your toenail so that your toenail isn’t making contact with the shoe you know keep the toenail on that toe particularly short so gets some good hygiene going on. I’m not a big fan of pulling damage toenails off usually just let them fall off on their own if that’s kind of a case. Sometimes …..

Brock:  I fall off in the pool the other day. The hell it is cool.

Ben:  Did they clear the pool? Was it kinda like a floater or they like blow the whistle and then your little toenail is there flippin’ on the surface of the water.

Brock:  All these kids ran out of the grocery, yaahhh, black toe!

Ben:  So, few other things that you can do though, I find that using chamy cream on my foot before a long run can really really help not only with like how comfortable my feet feel during the run but also with that cramped feeling ‘cause my foot just slide during a little bit more but that seems helpful a little bit. Keep your feet dry when it comes to like moisture from sweat and stuff like that so you can wear socks that you know like some of those moisture weaking socks that can help a little bit.


And then just making sure that you’re using those elastic shoe laces for example they’re not like super duper tight which can be the case sometimes if you laced up elastic shoe laces the wrong way which I know a lot of triathletes will do. The trick to there is if you’re gonna use elastic shoelaces, you put them on your shoe more of your foot is actually in your shoe and that one I’m sure that they’re tighten accordingly or not too tight. Ultimately you know it’s one of those issues where typically comes out to the toe box you know interestingly, since I’ve …… I was talking to one of my athletes on the phone about this yesterday ‘cause he’s having like some heel issues and some foot issues and he’s like “Oh, I gotta get new orthotics and I gotta get my foot caps and get these custom orthotics, blah blah blah” I’m like “dude, ultimately all that stuff is just a band aid for poor foot biomechanics and poor ankle biomechanics”, I’m like do your golf ball rolling drills on the bottom of your foot, do your foam roller for your calf and your Achilles, do your ankle mobility like your single leg exercises in the gym to enhance ankle strength and ankle mobility and ultimately after good half year or so of implementing those kind of things, you can swift to barefoot running, vibram running, minimalist running and something like this score running shoes and it becomes a non issue. You know, ‘cause I used to do all these stuff you know, I’ve got a 600 dollar pair of custom running orthotics and I had all the fancy shoes and the overpornation, the built up shoes and I was just like a shoe nerd and would go and try and find and compare shoes at the running store before finding the one that was the perfect Cinderella fit and just all that stupid stuff and spent  lots of money on these stuff and ultimately it came down to the fact that my feet were just freakin’ messed up and I had to go and do like a bunch of mobility work on my feet, a lot of single leg work, spent some time, spent some patience, spent nearly a full year basically re-inventing my feet with golf balls and with foam roller and with the muscles stick and now I can go out and run 30 miles on the asphalt in my barefeet and I’m fine, I get home and I’m 100% fine that’s what I’ll do in the fall or spring when the asphalt isn’t too hot otherwise I can go out on a trail run in sandals like the earth runner sandals and total minimalist shoes, barefoot whatever and it doesn’t matter so ultimately …..

Brock:  That’s true, I saw him run through garbage piles in Thailand barefeet one day.

Ben:  And that’s not something that I always did but it something that you can fix your body, you can fix the damage of having used built up overprice, overpornation blah blah blah fancy running shoes and you can reverse the effects of that within a year and get back to basics and use minimalist shoes and for me that’s also incidentally the reason I bring it up. I get a lot less toe irritation now that I’m just using less on my feet. So, there you go.

Brock:  The other day I’d picked up, it’s like a rumble roller but it’s tiny and it’s made of wood, I’d used it on my feet it’s awesome sort of slanted into the middle so you can really dig in there, you can just roll it back and forth.

Ben:  Really?

Brock:  It’s best thing I’ve ever bought. Yeah. I’ve been using a tennis ball and a golf ball and stuff but this is like awesome.

Ben:  What’s it called?

Brock:  It was just from the farmer’s market. Some dude carved, it was made from wood so I, it actually doesn’t have a name. I was just like…..

Ben:  That’s awesome.

Brock:  Is that for your feet? And he said, sure! I’m not sure…..

Ben:  Dude, you should take a picture of it and put it in the show notes. I wanna see it.

Brock:  Okay.

Ben:  I wanna see it.

Brock:  Sure.

Ben:  Put it at bengreenfieldfitness.com/246 for shizzle.

Jennifer:  Hi Ben and Brock. I was recently diagnosed with estrogen dominance and secondary to low progesterone after some blood test and a saliva test. My husband and I are trying to have a 2nd child and I haven’t been able to conceive yet because I haven’t had a period in several years. So I’m trying to get it back. I’ve stopped exercising and eating a lot. I wondered if you had any thoughts on fertility, things we can do for fertility and is it possible that people can push their bodies so hard that they aren’t able to get their cycles back so I guess I’m asking if this is something that’s reversible. Thank you.

Ben:  So estrogen dominance. We’ve talked about this in the podcast before but we really haven’t discussed it as it relates to fertility.

Brock:  Fertility. Yeah.

Ben:  And she also mentions estrogen dominance relative to low progesterone and there’s kinda 2 cases where you can have estrogen dominance. One is you’ve got a lot of estrogen circulating in your body way more than you should normally have so you’re getting fat, mood swings, breast tenderness, you know, foggy brain, all these issues associated with estrogen dominance but it’s usually due in a situation where let’s say you were to go out and you were to test your estrogen and it’s high, but your progesterone is normal, in that case usually it’s because you’ve been exposed to a lot of xenoestrogens or other chemicals that mimic estrogens you know from shampoos and plastics…..

Brock:  From BPA bottles….

Ben:  BPA, yeah. Stuff like that.

Brock:  Soy milk.

Ben:  You know, your body creates a lot of extra fat cells to store all those estrogens too. High estrogen relative to low progesterone is actually more common than that so what happens is once women are around 35 years old or so, as a natural consequence of aging, they start to run out of eggs. And so literally, more than half of women over 35 have this kinda combination where they’ve got estrogen dominance and low progesterone because they have fewer eggs and so the issue is that, in a situation like that, we’re looking at kinda some issues from a fertility standpoint. And so the trick is to ensure that you’re actually able to mitigate some of those estrogen levels to turn estrogen a little bit more quickly, to metabolize estrogen more completely in the liver, and to put your body in a state where it’s actually able to be a little bit more fertile due to mitigating some of the higher estrogen levels and there are certainly ways you can do that. I’ll give you some tips here in a second. One of the important things that you wanna do regardless, is to ensure that, like we just mentioned, that you’re eliminating a lot of these xenoestrogens, the bisphenol a the phthalates, stuff like that, from your environment, from your life. And so that might mean making some different choices for make-up, for shampoo, for soap. I’m gonna put a link in the show notes to a podcast episode that we did on basically getting rid of a lot of these xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens and stuff like that but I would also highly recommend that you go check out the detox section. If you go to pacificelitefitness, there’s a detox section over there that I’ll link to but it’s got a lot of stuff like dishwashing detergent and dish liquid and cleansers, and you know, even pet food and toothpaste and just like all the stuff that you have in your house that’s gonna be free of these estrogens. I would really recommend that you kinda make the switch to and you know, for example, all I use in the shower is Dr. Bronner’s peppermint-infused soap. Super duper clean stuff. All I use as a moisturizer is extra virgin olive oil or emu oil occasionally. Basically…..

Brock:  Like, moisturizer for your hair or for like…..

Ben:  No, for like my face. For my skin, so I don’t even use a conditioner.

Brock:  So you’re putting that in your hair?

Ben:  No. But I use like a pomade, like Nature’s Blessings Hair Pomade and it’s a natural like oil-based pomade again, that doesn’t have a lot of nasty stuff in it so my entire personal care product line or whatever is has none of those, for me, testosterone disruptors or things that can eventually give me man boobs and stuff like that in it.

Brock:  Moobs.

Ben: Moobs. So check out the detox gear that I’ll link to. And then also, you’re gonna wanna detox your body too and ensure that your liver is sure to clear estrogens properly. I’m a big big fan of a few things for that. One would be like a really really good vitamin B/antioxidant complex because when we’re looking at estrogen metabolism in the liver, there are 2 different phases. One called hydroxylation, one called conjugation that’s gonna take place in your liver in terms of turning over estrogen in your body. And having adequate levels of vitamin b specifically and good levels of anti-oxidants in your diet are something I really highly recommend. My favorite supplement for something like that is the LifeShotz, like a daily packet of these LifeShotz, like a wild plant extract. That’s a really really good way to ensure that your liver has what it needs to kinda clear estrogen or kinda clear out estrogen a little bit more quickly. There are also some other supplements or compounds that I recommend that you check out. One would be diindolylmethane or DIM. I believe it’s a diindolylmethane or a blank on the name of it. It’s the stuff that’s in like broccoli and brussel sprouts. I’m sure it’s DIM and it stands for diindolylmethane.

Brock:  Yeah. That sounds right.

Ben:  It helps to basically keep estrogen imbalances from occurring by essentially helping you to make more of what’s called 2-hydroxy estrone and 2-hydroxy estrodial. So these are more of the protective estrogens. Think of it as favoring good estogens and clearing out bad estrogens. And you would have to eat a crap load of broccoli or lots and lots of brussels sprouts in order to get what you’d get in one capsule of DIM so I’ll link to my recommended DIM source in the show notes but about 200 milligrams a day or so of DIM can help a bunch with this.

Brock:  I wanna know how much exactly is a crap load of brussels sprouts. In liters.

Ben:  They did a study on DIM in reducing the good to bad ratio and they used broccoli on it and you had to eat 500 grams a day. And that’s a lot of broccoli. That’s like some gas on…..

Brock:  Like a pound.

Ben:  Yeah. Yeah, 500 grams is a lot of broccoli.

Brock:  So it’s gonna be a crap load.

Ben:  Yeah, literally. So DIM can help out quite a bit. Hops is another one and of course, up there in Canada…

Brock:  Did you say hops?

Ben:  I said hops, the herb that flavors beer. You wouldn’t wanna drink beer for this…..

Brock:  You don’t say?

Ben:  But hops has been shown to reduce estrogen levels via aromatase which is the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen so this is something that could work for something like man boobs for example as using hops. But a hundred milligrams or so of hops per day. There’s a really good formula, a lot of kinda helpful things in it for this type of situation, a combination of fertility and decreasing estrogen dominance, it’s a perimenopausal formula, it’s called, it’s made by Integrated Therapeutics, it’s called the AM PM Perimenopause formula, that would be a good one to look into as well. So I would definitely check that out. I’ll link to that in the show notes as well. Turmeric, turmeric extract has been shown to counteract a lot of the effects of estrogen and getting on anywhere from 250 up to around 1000 milligrams per day of turmeric which again is a lot of turmeric, if you’re using it a lot of daily spice….

Brock:  In soup.

Ben:  I recommend it in capsular form. Use something like Phenocane, around something like 4 packs or so like a really really high dose, high quality, turmeric extract per day. That can help out quite a bit as well with reducing a lot these symptoms of estrogen dominance. Those are some of the biggies so turmeric, DIM,hops, like a good vitamin b antioxidant complex, eliminating a lot of xenostrogens from the environment and synthetic estrogens from the environment and then, you know, there are other sources of synthetic estrogens as well you know, like meat and dairy from commercially raised animals and you know, even your own body fat, your own weight, sounds like you’re losing already so, sounds like you’re on top of that. But those are some of the things that I’d do. I’ll put links to all of these kinda compounds for reducing estrogen dominance-slash-enhancing fertility in the show notes but that’s what I would do. I would also highly really really highly recommend you check out The Better Baby book by Dave Asprey. I think anybody who’s trying to have a baby should read that both leading up to, during, and after they’ve had a kid so really really good resource and just like making a healthy kid that’s not kinda come out looking kinda funky and have issues so….

Brock:  Come out looking like Dave Asprey instead. That’s terrifying. Sorry I didn’t mean that.

Ben: You do realize that BulletProof coffee is one of the sponsors of my ketogenic Ironman experiment.

Brock:  I think Dave would agree with me that he doesn’t want a whole bunch of kids running around looking like him.

Ben:  That’s right. Really helping me. He’s not a listener. Cool.

Brock:  So ultimately, what you’re saying to Jennifer is the state is reversible then. She hasn’t earned herself a life.

Ben:  Yeah. There is hope but follow some of the recommendations I give. Definitely hit the show notes so by the way….

Brock:  While you’re hitting the show notes, make sure to go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/love.

Ben:  Slash love and spread the love in a safe and clean and hygienic way that is not going to cause disease in any sense of the word. bengreenfieldfitness.com/love. Also, over at iTunes, bunch of reviews came in this week.

Brock:  Cool.

Ben:  I have a, I’m looking at it right now on my desk. I’ve got a bunch of supplements on my desk and I’m gonna be sending a supplements gift pack this week to our top review on iTunes.

Brock:  Awesome.

Ben:  And the review that I’m going to read this week is from in2thegeek. From in2thegeek. And here’s what it says. I have to admit that sometimes I get totally lost in these podcasts.

Brock:  Me too.

Ben:  Ben is the ultimate fitness geek who’s into biohack and I’m just a 50-year old trying to stay fit but I’m always intrigued by these podcasts so I sit there and listen and then look up sometimes to see what the hell he’s talking about. I will say that his ketogenic experiment is interesting because I’ve been trying to keep my total carb intake low. Anyways, I’ll keep listening and keep getting confused and keep looking up the great information that Ben and Brock provide in the podcast. Thanks and keep up the great work.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  That was a nice…..

Brock:  I liked the honesty.

Ben:  And he gave us 5 stars so we can’t complain. So in2thegeek, if you hear this, shoot me an email to [email protected] and I will get a very non-confusing gift pack out the door and out to you ASAP. And in the meantime, of course, the show notes are all over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/246 where you can grab the handy-dandy Ben Greenfield Fitness phone app and use that instead. If you don’t have an Android or an iPhone then I’m sorry, but you’re out of options.

Brock:  You’re left out of some, there is a little bit of content that only you can only get through the app itself. You can still get all the podcast through iTunes as usual.

Ben:  And then also, if you want access to like all the insider podcasts, that aren’t on the app, all our old episodes, stuff like that, you don’t have to have a phone to access that stuff. You just need the $9.99 a year premium deal which you can get at bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium?

Brock:  Well you can follow a link.

Ben:  I don’t know. Just if you go over to the website and you find a podcast that you can’t access, you find a podcast that appears to be locked, you just click on where it says to click. I don’t remember. And it lets you like unlock it and all episodes ever for $9.99 a year and so that is how Brock and I are eventually going to retire by the way.

Brock:  $9.99 at a time.

Ben:  Boom. Alright, so I think that wraps it up. Thanks for listening. You now know how to see if your supplements are safe and also eat for half Ironman while fixing your ugly toes and popping out nice looking babies so hopefully you find that information useful.

Brock:  We have saved the world this week.

Ben:  We have saved the world one ugly toe and baby at a time. Alright. Over now.



July 3, 2013 Podcast: How To Know If A Supplement Is Safe, How To Eat For A Half Ironman, What To Do About Multiple Allergies, How Much Superstarch Should You Use, Running With A Weighted Vest, What To Do About Runner’s Toe, and How Women Can Naturally Increase Fertility.

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Next Month’s InnerCircle webinar – is officially scheduled for Friday, July 12, 6:30pm. Pacific time and is entitled: “Be Your Own Diet Sleuth“. You’ll get the in’s and out’s of analyzing and interpreting your own nutrition and food intake – and the best resources and tools to track your diet.

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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


Listener Q&A:

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

How To Know If A Supplement Is Safe – Amie asks a follow-up question from #245 @ 00:16:32
I know you ultimately recommend bitter melon extract over the cissus.  However, if one wanted to try Cissus Quadrangularis could you recommend a brand and dosage?

~ In my response to Amie, I recommend FDA.gov search database, and also the previous podcast episode we did about how to know if your supplements are safe. Also, Consumerlab.com approved quality product sealNSF International dietary supplement certification, and U.S. Pharmacopeia dietary supplement verification program.

How To Eat For A Half Ironman – Shelly says @ 00:26:39
She is doing Vineman 70.3 Triathlon in 2 weeks and has been following a low-carb diet and doesn’t know what to do for fueling during the race. She has Generation UCan, Energy28 and NatureAminos but she doesn’t know what to do in terms of solids. Almond butter? Or is that too much fat? She needs some direction since most of her friends are not fat adapted.

~ In my response to Shelly, I mention The Endurance Pack and also X2Performance.

What To Do About Multiple Allergies – Allergy says @ 00:35:17
She has allergies to most things in nature (pollen, rag weed, dust, mold). She tried allergy shots, muscle testing and acupressure therapy and acupuncture, and all the over the counter remedies as well. What do you think about allergies? Are they over diagnosed? And what do you think of these therapies and how they affect people?

~ In my response to Allergy, I recommend an autoimmune diet. I also recommend the podcast episode about How To Fix Exercise Induced Asthmas In Kids. During our discussion, Dr. Minkoff and I discuss the following resources:

-Keeping kids away from potential digestive irritants or foods that could trigger an autoimmune reaction, especially gluten (a very good book I recommend on this topic is “Gut & Psychology Syndrome“).

Stool test to asses whether kids are low in HCL, and if they are, getting them on an HCL supplement.

-Red blood cell test for magnesium (look for a naturopathic physician in your area who may be able to order this) and use of a magnesium supplement if deficiency is found.

-Use of fermented foods and probiotics.

-Considering use of a colostrum supplement in a child who was raised on formula and not breastmilk.

-Use of anti-inflammatory antioxidants and anti-inflammatory fish oil.

-Looking into allergy elimination techniques (i.e. NAET.com) to identify and eliminate potential allergenic foods that kids may be eating.

-Educating yourself on the realities and alternatives to immunizations and vaccinations. The website Dr. Minkoff recommends is: http://www.nvic.org

How Much Superstarch Should You Use? – Trevor says @ 00:45:20
He went to a Bob Seebohar seminar this past Thursday (promoted by UCAN). Bob was adamant that the recommended servings of 1 per hour was more than enough (even when Trevor mentioned that you, Ben, typically recommended double that per hour) and Bob said that would only be neccessary pre-race (Bob’s not a fan of other additives such as X2, MAP). Bob also suggests barely putting any water on it so you can make paste and eat it, which seems counter intuitive to the modality. Trevor’s first 70.3 was yesterday. He nursed 2 servings the hour leading up to the swim then only had 2-3 servings on the bike. About 10-15 miles into the bike his quads were basically locking up on him and felt like they were glycogen depleted already. He’s not a ketogenic person but he does eat low carb, super-high fat. He experimented with some on-course fuels during the run and one GU Chomp actually gave him a solid burst that lasted a good half hour or so.  He hadn’t consumed that much sugar at one time in over a year. Is Bob wrong? Did Trevor screw himself by cutting his dosage in half from what you recommend?

Running With A Weighted Vest – Matthew says @ 00:56:19
Is switching from Triathlon to Ultra-marathons (signed up for a 50 and wants to do a 100 miler). Is wondering about using a weighted vest. He heard they can make a 1 hour run feel like a 3 hour run. Would that be a good thing to use when training for an ultra?

~ In my response, I recommend ZFO Sports Weighted Vests.

Brock’s new favourite footsie massage tool.

What To Do About Runner’s Toe – Longtoe says @ 01:01:47
His second toe (the toe next to his big toe) is longer than his big toe and is causes him pain (when running). Is there anything he can do about that?

How Women Can Naturally Increase Fertility – Jennifer says @ 01:09:01
She has recently being diagnosed with estrogen dominance, secondary to low progesterone. She is trying to get pregnant and hasn’t been able to conceive (hasn’t has a period in years). She has stopped exercising and is eating “a lot”. Do you have any thoughts on what they can do for fertility? Is this state reversible?

~ In my response, I recommend the “Better Baby Book” by Dave Asprey. I also recommend the following estrogen dominance formula for enhancing fertility:

-Consider progesterone cream WITH testing or sublingual progesterone

-Do all the recommended Detox Add-Ons and Detox Gear

Vitamin B /antioxidant complex  – 1 packet per day

Integrative Therapeutics AM/PM Perimenopause Formula – take per recommendations

Phenocane – 4 caps per day

Di-indolemethane (DIM) – 200mg/day

— And don’t forget to go to BenGreenfieldFitness.c

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/07/246-how-to-know-if-a-supplement-is-safe-how-much-superstarch-should-use-how-women-can-naturally-increase-fertility/


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One thought on “Episode #246 – Full Transcript

  1. Jimmyjames23 says:

    Ben have you heard of Factor V Leiden. My wife has been diagnosed with it which means she would be required to take blood thinning medication during her pregnancy which would also limit alot of what she's allowed to do physically. I'd like to think that there is a natural way around this diagnosis but from what I have seen it isn't possible. I tried sending a voice message but my mic doesn't work. I know this is a long answer and I'd love to hear it covered on the podcast. Thanks Ben and Brock!

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