Episode #249 – Full Transcript

Affiliate Disclosure

Biohacking, Podcast, Transcripts

Podcast #249 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/07/249-is-resveratrol-really-bad-for-you-the-shocking-ingredients-in-beer-debunking-the-magic-of-vitamins-and-supplements/


Introduction:  In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Is Resveratrol Really Bad For You, The Shocking Ingredients in Beer, Debunking The Magic of Vitamins And Supplements, and much much more.

Brock:  So what you’ve been up to so far, Ben?

Ben:  I’ve been burning my eyes out in front of my computer.

Brock:  Ow.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  That sounds unpleasant.

Ben:  Yeah. Match, candle, cattle poker, prod.

Brock:  Bic lighter….

Ben:  Yeah. No. I’ve just literally push published on the latest article, it’s called, okay, ready for this. Brace Yourself.

Brock:   I’m ready.

Ben:  How to fix your gut. 9 Bad things that happen when your digestion goes wrong, how to hit the reboot button, and the best way to detox your body. Yeah.

Brock:  That’s a lot and I can see why that took you most of the day. Lots lots of pictures of porta-potties on the post. Long lines of porta-potties.

Brock:  Of course, you’d have to, really. You’d be negligent if you did not have porta-pottie pictures at least every paragraph.

Ben:  Yeah, I think just about everybody that’s probably engaged in some type of athletic event or like a triathlon or marathon or whatever, probably has a porta-potty story.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  Do you have any porta-potty stories?

Brock:  I do, yeah. Actually my very first marathon, I got to about kilometer 30 or 32 and had that I got to go, right now. There’s no waiting so I ran into a porta-pottie but I was wearing spandex shorts underneath some running shorts cause I didn’t know any better at that point and when I went to stand up, they wouldn’t come up because they were so sweaty and stuck to my calves so I probably lost a good 2 minutes trying to get my shorts pulled up my calf. Which is not the best place to be like stranded. It’s smelly, it’s hot, and you can’t get your pants up and you’re watching the time click by. It wasn’t awesome.

Ben:  Oh, it’s so hot in those things. Mine was in Japan where all of the porta-potties are squatty potties where it’s not a toilet, just a hole in the bottom of the porta-pottie and I squatted in the wrong end. I wasn’t sure which way my bum was supposed to face.

Brock:  You were supposed to face the back of the porta-pottie or the front or the door….

Ben:  Left a nice steaming pile of poo for the next person to come in after me.

Brock:  Oh no.

Ben:  So yeah. ‘Cause apparently, it doesn’t go down that little hole if you go on the wrong end so.

Brock:  So, it wasn’t where like somebody was gonna stand? It just was in the wrong part of the hole. Okay.

Ben:  Yeah, so.

Brock:  I was thinking you could just like kicked it.

Ben:  If we have any gastroenterologist or anything like that listening in, they’re probably still listening and everyone else is gone.

Brock:  Everybody else is like oh, delete.

Ben:  Let’s go ahead and jump into the news flashes for the poop doctors that are still with us.

News Flashes:

Brock:  Come over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/249 to find links to these awesome actually, they are really awesome this week and very timely. These were all the things that were snatched out of the headlines of a lot of publications this week.

Ben:  That’s right. There is a ton of kinda controversial articles that came out that I got lots of questions about and the first one was about Resveratrol and how…

Brock:  Being bad for you.

Ben:  Resveratrol supplements may block the heart healthy benefits of exercise and of course our media darlings around the world, God love them, they also of course twisted this to say that red wine in general will blunt the effects of exercise which just ruined my evening practice of drinking a nice glass of red wine after my workout. I was pretty bummed.

Brock:  But it doesn’t. It’s not the wine. It’s supplements, Resveratrol supplements.

Ben:  Yeah, the idea was that they took 27 guys who were around 65 years old and for 8 weeks they did high-intensity exercise training and half of the group got 250 milligrams of Resveratrol supplement a day while the other group got a placebo pill and the group that got the resveratrol was actually found not to have as positive as an effect of exercise training on their blood pressure and their blood cholesterol and their VO2 max. 


And so what was reported around the world was that resveratrol keeps you from getting fit when you’re exercising.

Brock:  And they’re 65.

Ben:  There were some pretty significant issues with the study. The first is that, like I mentioned, both groups experienced a drop in blood pressure and also a drop in cholesterol and the only thing was that the group was taking the resveratrol actually had a slightly lower drop in both of those values. Now, you could just as easily say, when it comes to blood pressure, because the blood pressure was maintained in a normal range anyways, perhaps resveratrol actually helps you to maintain your blood pressure within a normal range instead of getting too low or too high compared to exercise only. You could interpret that one of two ways. As far as cholesterol goes, the difference is in cholesterol were pretty inconsequential. Cholesterol measures barely budge anyways, and the slight budge that they did move was a little bit more in the group that wasn’t taking the resveratrol. Considering that an increase in blood cholesterol is usually due to an anti-inflammatory response anyways, this once again, could have been simply the fact that the body needed more cholesterol to fight off inflammation ‘cause it didn’t have the resveratrol on board to do that. And then the other thing was that they used synthetic resveratrol tablets and synthetic resveratrol, these hard compressed tablets, they’re known to degrade when they’re exposed to light and heat and oxygen and normally, the idea behind the resveratrol and the red wine or resveratrol from like a liposomal or like a sublingual powder or something like that, is that it’s supposed to activate this longevity-granting survival gene called the sirtuin 1 survival gene. And a synthetic resveratrol that doesn’t actually get absorbed or is broken down and oxidized, may not actually result in this same effect. So ultimately, I would not stop drinking your nightly glass of red wine if that’s something that you do. If you’re taking a resveratrol  supplements, the number of studies that are out there that show the heart health benefits of resveratrol are pretty dang numerous and so I would not let this one study on twenty some odd old dudes kinda block your enjoyment of your glass of red wine.

Brock:  Good news.

Ben:  Or your resveratrol so there you go. So what do you think, should we debunk another study here?

Brock:  Take it down.

Ben:  Not a study, a book. This was the book about supplements that the New York Times was, it may have been NPR, I don’t know if it’s NPR or the New York Times but they talk about this brand new book that came out called Do You believe in Magic: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine and this book was written by this dude named Paul Offit and the book goes into details of how, if you take like large quantities of vitamin A, vitamin E, beta carotene or selenium, or any of these high-dose anti-oxidants or synthetic vitamins that could actually increase your risk of cancer, increase your risk of heart disease and potentially shorten your life and that’s kind of the gist of the book. Now, there are some issues with the book and actually it was the New York Times who came out with an opinion piece entitled Don’t Take Your Vitamins Based Off This Book.

Brock:  Wow.

Ben:  So on the issues primarily with the book is that, when we look at nutrition recommendations, especially in the United States for adults when it comes to supplementation, most of the recommendations for supplementations are based off of what you would need to take to prevent diseases like scurvy or rickets or pellagra so for example, they say you were to take 60 milligrams of ascorbic acid or vitamin c a day, and that’s actually what you need to prevent scurvy. And so where ….


Brock:  So it’s pretty minimal.

Ben:  Yeah and….

Brock:  It’s kind of a baseline.

Ben:  That dose is too low for optimal benefits especially saying somebody who’s got, you know, you store a lot of vitamin C in your adrenal glands so if you’re beating up your body and have adrenal fatigue, or overtraining or something like that, you know, 60 milligrams of ascorbic acid is not gonna really even make a difference at all especially when you consider that you know, the type of studies that are cited on the book are all based off doses of synthetic vitamin c supplemements, you know, similar to what we are saying about synthetic resveratrol. Whole food, vitamin C source, at a high dose, that can actually be really good for an athlete you know, who has adrenal fatigue or somebody who wants to step up their immune system activity or something in those lines. You know, same goes for vitamin d. The RDI for vitamin d in the States right now is 600 international units and that intake is far below what you would actually need to generate optimal, what are called 25-hydroxy vitamin d blood levels.

Brock:  Yeah, I think you’ve recommended like 10 times that dose on the show before.

Ben:  Yeah, in many cases, you know, my recommendation for vitamin d in somebody who’s got low in vitamin d was 35 international units of vitamin d per pound of body weight and you know, many of the studies that are cited in the actual book were performed on the use of these antioxidant supplements like you know, beta carotene for example, in smokers and so we’re talking about kinda people who were living in unhealthy lifestyle anyway, we’re looking at the cancer rates and the effect of these doses of synthetic anti-oxidants in smokers. Yeah, there wasn’t much of a change in things like lung cancer risk but again, we’re talking about sub-par supplementation in an unhealthy population with synthetic sources.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  When we step back and we look at things like antioxidants and multivitamins, when we’re getting them from real high-quality sources that are preferably whole food based, and we’re giving them to a healthy population, that is usually you know, in the case of many listeners to this podcast, kinda beating up their body and asking their body to go above and beyond, even it might be able to get from normal food sources, what it comes down to is you just gotta be careful to what media does with a lot of these studies, you know. They say things like don’t take your vitamins or you know, don’t have that glass of red wine after your workout when in fact, in most cases, we have to step back and look at the way that things really are and not this sub-par supplementation of crap compounds and unhealthy population.

Brock:  The headline should be Don’t Take Crappy Vitamins.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly. So that being said, now that we are all frustrated, let’s talk about booze.

Brock:  Oh no. And it’s beer to isn’t it?

Ben:  Yeah. And this was an article that came out on foodbabe.com which is a website that is actually safe for work despite the name.

Brock:  I’ve never been to foodbabe.com before I saw this post but I think I’ll be back.

Ben:  Yeah. Foodbabe.com is a cool website and the name of this article that came out is called “The Shocking Ingredients in Beer” and the article starts off by talking about how your liver metabolizes alcohol first before it metabolizes like carbohydrates and proteins and fat and so that alcohol in general is a decent way to gain weight if you’re not careful and you know, I really don’t think that a glass of beer here and there or a cup of red wine is necessarily gonna be a big issue when it comes to weight loss and I think that most people, the longevity enhancing benefits of something like a glass of red wine as well as like the stress reducing benefits kinda go above and beyond any type of fat-gain risks that may come along with it but what was concerning to me in this article was the number of legal additives that were found as being acceptable additives that you could add to beer and also the fact that beer is not even regulated at all by the FDA, it’s regulated in the United States by the Department of Treasury or something like that. 


I mean, it’s crazy. But what they found is that when you look at a lot of these kinda popular beers out there like Bud Light and Michelob and Corona and PBR, which I know all of our listeners drink, the Pabst Blue Ribbon, classy.

Brock:  All our great listeners with the great big beards and the trucker hats on.

Ben:  Classy stuff, that’s right, that’s right. ‘Cause we are the white trash of the white trash podcast.

Brock:  And also the hipsters love us.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah, exactly. Anyways though, jam-packed with stuff like monosodium glutamate or MSG, propylene glycol this ingredient found in anti-freeze, calcium disodium EDTA which is made from formaldehyde and cyanides, a bunch of different sulfides and anti-microbial preservatives which have huge issues when it comes to auto-immune reactions, allergies, asthma, stuff like that. High fructose, corn syrup, dextrose, regular corn syrup, a bunch of different food colorings like blue and red and yellow, you know, all the FD&C food colorings as well as insect-based dyes, BPA and the actual can-liners, the best phenolate that can leech into the beer, that’s basically an estrogen mimicker as well carrageenan which is linked to the inflammation of your digestive system, and irritable bowel syndrome and a bunch of these beers have these compounds in them and I mean the article gets pretty specific in terms of which beers contain which of those ingredients that I just went into.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  You know, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel though. There’s a pot of gold at the end of the dark chemical-filled rainbow that she goes into.

Brock:  Thank goodness.

Ben:  So German beers. German beers are good. Go Germans. Apparently they’re pretty strict on what goes into their beers and like they gotta have those co-ingredients of water and hops and yeast and then either malted barley or wheat and German beers taste cleaner and they don’t have a lot of those harmful things in them. So German. There you go.

Brock:  Alright.

Ben:  Also, certified organic beers. So if a beer is certified and organic, it’s also good to go. And these are usually like smaller beer producers, you know, and you could support your local organic beer farmer that way. Crafts and micro-brew beers, like micro beers are also good as long as they haven’t been bought out. You know, like Rolling Rock is a micro-brew but that got bought out by Anheuser Bush so now they can put stuff in it. Blue Moon is another one but that got bought out by Miller and Coors so.

Brock:  That’s too bad. That’s a really nice beer.

Ben:  Yeah. Pretty clean beers that aren’t German and not certified organic but that would be okay. Sierra Nevada, they do a good one. Heineken is okay and Amstel Light is another one that would be considered okay. So there you go. We’ll link to that article in the show notes by the way but it’s pretty interesting, all this stuff that’s allowed to be added to beer.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  I’m personally not a beer drinker anyways but I know you are.

Brock:  I am. Yeah, I just got back from what I consider to be the land of delicious beers. Was in upstate New York and man, there are some really good micro breweries up there.

Ben:  Nice. You know, we should probably come up with some kind of a drinking game for bengreenfieldfitness.com.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  Considering I just read an article on how to detox your body so we got those bases covered.

Brock:  Yeah so once you finish the drinking game, you know where to find out what to do next.

Ben:  We know everybody’s not going to be guilty about drinking red wine now, we know that we’ve equipped our listeners on how to choose healthy beer so the next step is gonna be the drinking game. So maybe we should let the listeners come up with a good drinking game for Ben Greenfield Fitness.

Brock:  Yeah, I think we’ve got ourselves a contest here.

Ben:  Head over to the facebook page. Leave your proposal for the brand new Ben Greenfield Fitness drinking game. We’ll do it.

Brock:  But remember, if you’re not sloshed by the end of the hour and a half, it’s not a real game.

Special Announcements:

Brock:  Do we have special announcements? I’ve never done this show before. Alright, I maybe the slowest reader in the world, I’m still working on the perfect health diet on the book itself and I’m really enjoying it. That’s probably what’s taking me so long ‘cause I’m actually reading every single word and trying to absorb it all. It really is a great book. I love the way it just takes you through all these, all the different reasons why you should be eating what you should be eating.


Ben:  That’s right.

Brock:  And what’s gonna be even better is going to the Perfect Health Diet Retreat in Austin, Texas.

Ben:  That’s right.

Brock:  Where it’d gonna be.

Ben:  The Perfect Health Diet Retreat. Perfect Health Diet, my go-to book. I actually just wrote an article at bengreenfieldfitness.com that has like 40 different meals for kinda like busy athletes that I wrote. A lot of them are based around some of the concepts on the perfect health diet but we’ll put a link on the show notes. 30-day immersion program in this diet done in Austin, Texas which is a dang good place to go anyways. If you like music and good food, so check that out. We’ll put a link in the show notes but February 3rd to March 3rd to freakin’ whatever next year is, 2014. 2014.

Brock:  That’s a month long?

Ben:  It’s a month long. You can kinda choose like you can pop in for a few days, you can go a week long immersion program, you can do a month-long immersion program. I’m gonna be going down there and teaching specifically like athletes how to kinda blend the perfect health diet with an active lifestyle but check that out. Perfect Health Diet Retreat, Austin, Texas. Really cool. So.

Brock:  Very cool.

Ben:  I’ll put a bunch of info in that in the show notes and go listen to last week’s episode. If you wanna hear and interview at the end of that episode with kinda like the head chef who’s getting the food down.

Brock:  Oh and there’d be food too.

Ben:  Oh yeah. It’s all like catered and they teach you how to cook.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  There’s cooking classes. It’s pretty cool. It’s all based on like, optimum circadian rhythms and there’s like hydroponic gardens and hydroponic fish beds and houses and all this stuff. Crazy. Also for people who are over in London, I’m gonna be coming over there to speak at the in Global Triathlon Conference London. September 10th through the 12th but I wanna alert all of our London listeners.

Brock:  This is London, England by the way.

Ben:  Yes, exactly. I’m not gonna be leaving London until the 15th so basically, September 13th to the 15th, I wanna get a bunch of our listeners together and do something fun. Whether we do a clinic or a meetup or we all go whatever, get plowed on organic British beer. Either way, September 13th to the 15th, I will be in London and I’ve got a pretty much a clean slate on my schedule so let’s rally the listeners and do something fun in London. Email me, [email protected] if you’re interested in kinda helping put something together, maybe find a good whatever they have over there, gastro pub or I don’t know.

Brock:  I don’t think they actually have pubs in England. I could be wrong.

Ben:  Yeah, I don’t….

Brock:  But I think that’s an American thing, I don’t think that’s an English thing.

Ben:  Yeah. Yeah.

Brock:  Like they really have little places where you can eat vegetables and drink water.

Ben:  Yeah, no beer, no biscuits, no tea, no crumpets.

Brock:  Yeah, definitely not.

Ben:  Yeah, London’s not the place for that.

Brock:  Anyway.

Ben:  So yeah, the 13ththrough the 15th, I’ll be over there just chilling and then also I’d be speaking at the Global Triathlon Conference September 10thto 12th. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well. A couple other things, the Thailand trip is, we’re just about full with folks for everything except the Thanyapura part of that trip. Meaning that we’ve got kinda like a 4-day intensive health, nutrition, fitness kinda triathlon-focused camp that’s gonna be happening November 17ththrough the 21stover at Thanyapura which is like this high-end triathlon training resort over in Thailand so if you wanna get on in that trip, we’ll put a link in the show notes for that too and all this stuff is at, what is it Brock? 249?

Brock:  It is episode 249, bengreenfieldfitness.com/249.

Ben:  That’s right. And then one other thing, by the way, I sent an email this week about if you’re a gmail user, if you use gmail, they changed a bunch of stuff in gmail so when I send out emails to you, you may not be getting them, if I send you out…

Brock:  They’d be getting them, they’ll just be in a different spot. Not your regular inbox.

Ben:  Yeah like later today I’ll send out an email that I’ll link to that detox article that I just got done writing and it’s gonna wind up in your promotions inbox in gmail and so if you want your stuff from me to wind up in your primary inbox rather than your promotions inbox, then you basically just go, you find any email from me, most of them come not from [email protected] but from [email protected], but you find any email and you just drag and drop that email into your primary inbox and then it’ll just say like do this for all future messages from [email protected], you click yes and then you’re good to go and you’ve beaten google back once again.


Brock:  And don’t be surprised if you look in your google account, you don’t see this feature yet, they’re rolling it out slowly. I know my gmail account doesn’t have it yet but it probably will be showing up in the next few weeks so be ready if it’s not there already.

Ben:  So if you mysteriously quit getting all the annoying emails that I send out every week, that’s why, so.

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 doing right now to burn fat. So Abel, I’ll let you take it away first. What is it that you’re doing right now when it comes to exercise to get your body as lean as possible?

Abel:  Alright, so the first thing I do and a lot of people skip is a warm-up. I do about 5 minutes of shadow boxing and light stretching then I go straight into doing some pull-ups to failure, doing some 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 workout in my shed. Usually I workout actually in my backyard in the sun because it’s just that nice in Austin this time here.

Ben:  I was just gonna say the shed’s about as masochistic as you can get. See out there doing your squats and deadlifts.

Abel:   That’s where I’m punching ______ [0:27:17.2]

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 have no clue what Litvinov even means. Anyways though, what I do is I’ve got this 50 lb. dumbbell and I take it out to the hill behind my house and I do 15 dumbbell swings and then sprint 400 meters up the hill. Like I drop the dumbbell and the dumbbell kinda like still in midair, dropping to the ground and I’m off sprinting. And I do that 8 times through and man, when it comes to a fat-burning workout, that is about the most potent thing that I found yet so.

Abel:  So you sprint back and forth before the dumbbell even hits the ground right?

Ben:  Exactly. It’s like Roadrunner from Looney Tunes.

Abel:  That’s a fat-burning workout right there.  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 it’s because we’ve got a new website.

Abel:  That’s right.

Ben:  And it is basically Abel and I following each other around each other’s houses with a camera, virtually of course since Abel is in Austin and I live in Washington and we are basically showing you everything that we do from the time we get out of bed in the morning, all the way through lunch, through workouts, through dinner, through bed time to live what we call a lean lifestyle.

Abel:  Yeah, and you’ll learn things that are kind of the more advanced strategies a lot of times on our podcasts, our shows, our blogs, we’ll talk about things that are kinda generalized to the public but these are the things 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 of the supplements we are taking and tons more. All of it I mean, Ben has all sorts of crazy gizmos that you’ll be able to see. It’s a blast to watch.

Ben:  And Abel’s house is much cleaner than mine as you’ll also find out. 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 all of you too. Hey Abel, thanks for coming on the show.

Abel:  Anytime Ben.


Listener Q&A:

Heather:  Hey guys, this is Heather from Denver. I’ve got a question about charcoal. I know that it’s taken to negate some of the negative effects of conventional meat and alcohol but a couple of things. Can you overtake charcoal? Let’s say you’re on vacation and you’re drinking a lot of alcohol and you’re eating a lot of meat and fish and you don’t know the source, is it okay to just pop it at every meal, throughout the day? And also, I’m wondering how charcoal works? I know it’s like a binder – binds the toxins and takes them out of your body but would it also bind good things in your body? Does it kinda rob you of any beneficial nutrients when you take it? Yeah, so any info you have on charcoal. Kinda fascinated by it right now. I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

Brock:  I’ve been wondering this myself as well. I’m glad Heather actually stepped up and hi Heather.

Ben:  Yeah. Heather you just basically, you go to like the local grocery store and you grab yourself some charcoal briskets and you can put it on your counter, get a sledge hammer, chop those babies up and then you just kinda suck on it. Like gum or like a piece of candy. No. Charcoal.

Brock:  At first I thought you were actually telling something like I was oh this was awesome, I didn’t know you can…. Oh, I see.

Ben:  The DIY.

Brock:  Don’t do that.

Ben:  The DIY charcoal capsules. Yeah, activated charcoal will basically bind the toxins. It’s an antidote that absorbs most organic toxins or chemicals or poisons and a lot of emergency rooms actually administer pretty large doses of activated charcoal for certain kinds of poisoning. Yeah. And your girlfriend’s a yeah, emergency room doctor or nurse. Did they use that?

Brock:  They do and she said they often, the entire room gets covered in it when they’re using it too. It’s really hard to wrangle so these ones that are for sale in Amazon, they’re in these tiny little caplets are probably a lot easier to handle than the stuff they use in the ER.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly. And it works by absorbing chemicals meaning that it reduces their toxicity and it works for the entire length of your stomach, your small intestines, your large intestines, it pretty much will absorb toxins from your entire GI tract. I also incidentally have used like an activated charcoal-based tooth powder to whiten teeth naturally. You can keep it on hand like if you got kids around and they ingest like toxins or household chemicals but interestingly, you know, a lot of meat, you know, fish, beef, whatever has toxins in it as well. Like, I travel with activated charcoal when I’m gonna be consuming meat from an unknown source or you know, if I get exposed to something that I might need a poison antidote against. I use it, it can actually soak up gas pretty well so I use for example, that UCan SuperStarch as my fuel during triathlons and like if you use that stuff for whatever, 5, 7, 10 hours in a row, it can ferment and it can give you some gas. And I actually use this specific activated charcoal brand called CharcoCaps and it’s a homeopathic, anti-gas formula and I get zero gas discomfort, or pressure, or bloating or anything like that when I take that right after I finish a workout or a race that I’ve use that SuperStarch stuff during and it’s just, you know, it’s got activated charcoal in it, like a vegetable-based charcoal and then it’s got some homeopathics in it like club moss and bark and sulfur and these are all traditional homeopaths that are used for abdominal pains and like bloating and flatulence and stuff like that.

Brock:  Okay. I was wondering what made this a homeopathic version.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  So they actually added some stuff in there. That’s cool.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly. So you just keep this stuff on hand and you would use charcoal like as part of a detox protocol and go read the detox article that I literally just published today. You know, if you listened to this the time it came out, it’s July 25th and that article just went live. And you can also use it to just like basically take prior to any meal that contains potential toxins like meat or animal products for unknown sources or you know, whatever. Foods that tend to give you gas, anything like that. Yeah. So that’s basically the way that I’d use it.


Brock:  I think the biggest part of her question is, the most important part of her question is that is it possible to take too much or take it too often like if you keep popping these capsules all the time, is it going to bind the good stuff and eventually sort of leave your body of any nutrients as well.

Ben:  Yeah, I would imagine that it probably could do that. I mean, it’s a powerful antidote that I would not be using as like your daily go-to supplement and you know….

Brock:  Don’t use it as an excuse to eat at Burger King everyday and then pop your charcoal.

Ben:  Yeah. Exactly. Even though they could do that, they can market the Whopper with charcoal kinda up sell you. You want some charcoal caps with that? CharcoCaps, super size me.

Brock:  Charco milkshake?

Ben:  That’s right. No, I wouldn’t use it everyday, all the time. I just use it every, like, I have CharcoCaps on hand and I pretty much only use them when I am travelling and eating meat at a place that I don’t know where the meat came from or after I used like a sports beverage like SuperStarch where I know I’m gonna get gas just from the amount of carbohydrate fermentation in the digestive tract so.

Brock:  So very specific usage. Very, to pinpoint what might cause some problems, take it then, don’t take it otherwise?

Ben:  Exactly. Exactly.

Brock:  Sounds good.

Ben:  And you can also break open the caps and like smear the the black dust underneath your eyes like a football player….

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  And it just gives you a cool look like before you go workout in the gym or whatever. It just makes you look a little bit more badass.

Brock:  And sucks the toxins out of your eyes.

Ben:  That’s right.

Clay:   Hey Ben. This is Clay. I was wondering if you can compare or contrast the SweetBeat app and the Inner balance app from Heartmath and give us some good reasons why should you use one over the other or you use both.

Brock:  So I guess we should probably start off by saying that both of these apps are things that measure your heart rate variability which is something we’ve talked about a lot on this show.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah, like if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and you do a search for heart rate variability, we talked about that a bunch so I won’t get into that much as much as the difference between these 2 apps. So think about it this way, the SweetBeat app is an iPhone app and it allows you to measure your heart rate variability along with things like the tone of what’s called your vagus nerve, your sympathetic nervous system health, your parasympathetic nervous system health. That’s just a really good snapshot what’s going on with how strong your nervous system is. Think about it like if you were gonna hit the gym, the SweetBeat is gonna tell you how strong you are and how capable you are of actually lifting weights at the gym. Right. It’s just like….

Brock:  In terms of your nervous system.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly. So whereas Inner Balance would actually teach you like how to get stronger or how to lift weights properly if we’re gonna use that gym analogy so what the Inner Balance does is it tests your heart rate variability but then it also has software on it that walks you through the process of learning how to distress so there is this process called a cohesion technique and the cohesion technique is this technique of actually thinking of positive feelings, positive emotions, positive experiences and then using those positive experiences to specifically reduce the negative effects of stress to improve relaxation, to build resilience to stress and this is biofeedback. It’s actually biofeedback training within the Inner Balance app so you’re both testing your heart rate variability and then learning how to sustain really good levels of distress. It has coherence games on it like there’s a game called Dual Drive and another one called Tropical Heat and these games, they actually teach you how to distress properly and so if you’re somebody who say uses the SweetBeat heart rate variability app or any number of these heart rate variability apps like the Omega Wave or the BioForce or whatever and you’ve find that you’ve consistently got this crappy scores, that’s when you might wanna you know, shell out some extra bucks. I think the Inner Balance app is like 97 dollars or something like that if you get the hardware that you need to go along with it like the little thing that attaches to your ear. I believe it’s right on 97 dollars. So you buy that and it trains you.


It’s actual bio feedback training. And so yeah, it’s a little bit more advanced but it’s something where for somebody who’s really got consistently poor heart rate variability values and high amounts of stress, this is what would teach you how to achieve that, you know, that inner balance so to speak. So that’s the difference between the two. One just tells you what’s going on, the other one tells you what’s going on and trains you on how to fix it.

Brock:  I don’t know if you tried this but wearing the SweetBeat app, I’ve tried doing different kinds of activities, thinking different kinds of thoughts and then like actually, looking at those specific times during the test to see what my reaction was and sometimes it’s more interesting to look at the low frequency versus the high frequency or the fight or flight versus rest and digest frequencies of your heart rate like when I do something like kiss my girlfriend, they tend to level out really quickly. It’s like an automatic reaction, they just, they come together really nicely whereas when I check my email, they fly apart and it’s like almost instantaneous. It’s really cool stuff so I can see how that Inner Balance will be really interesting.

Ben:  I just got this visual of you making out with your girlfriend and the heart rate strap with the little dongle come out the iPhone attached to your ear. Yeah man, that’s a sexy look.

Brock:  And then looking over her shoulder and immediately checking my email.

Ben:  Yeah, I bet she likes that.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah. Way to go man.

Keith:   Hi Ben and Brock. This is Keith from Texas.  I listen to your show a lot and I really enjoy it. I have a question regarding PH. I use a little litmus strip orally and tested about 6.4 and I’m wondering if I should do anything at all to try to get it up more to 7 or 7 and a half range. Thanks a lot.

Ben:  He’s gonna die.

Brock:  Keith, go to the hospital.

Ben:  Yes, drive yourself.

Brock:  Don’t even drive.

Ben:  Have somebody else drive you.

Brock:  Drink some vinegar.

Ben:  Actually this is really interesting ‘cause we did a podcast on this. We had Doctor Ted Morter on the podcast.

Brock:  I remember him.

Ben:  And I’ll link to it in the show notes. And it was really interesting ‘cause he goes into like you know, how eating an alkaline diet can do things like reduce incidents of migraine and headaches.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  And I thought it was interesting because we actually, my wife went through you know, this 30-day urine PH testing and an alkalinic diet protocol and actually they used it to get rid of her headaches and you know, for that perspective, I think it’s interesting. You know, if you eat an alkalinic diet, it’s definitely gonna be in many cases more healthy than an acidic diet but the whole basis behind this is that when you consume a food, it can be an acid-forming food or an alkaline-forming food. So for example, animal products like meat or a steak or grains, those are acid-forming foods and so solutions with the PH that are, that’s less than 7, that’s an acidic PH and so if your urine PH is dropping, that would indicate that maybe you’d eaten an acid-forming food and if your urine PH was increasing, maybe that would indicate or that would indicate that you’d eaten an alkaline-forming food and alkaline-forming food would be like kale or you know, fruits and vegetables and things like that. And some foods are purely neutral you know, like coconut oil for example or other fats, those are just neutral. And that’s because they don’t contain protein or sulfur or any minerals that are going to affect your PH. So the tricky part here is that a food will affect the PH of your urine but that doesn’t mean that it’s affecting your physiology. It doesn’t mean that it’s affecting your blood PH. Your kidneys are very very good at regulating your blood PH and unless you have like a renal issue or you have kidney disease or something like that where your kidneys are unable to regulate your body’s acidity or your alkalinity, the type of food that you eat is not gonna change your blood PH that much and the blood PH is really what’s going to influence whether or not your body is healthy, whether or not your metabolism is able to work properly. So these diets that are based of of eating an acidic food or eating an alkaline food and then testing your PH and kinda adjusting your diet based off of your urine PH, they’re not necessarily working because they’re changing your PH, because it’s so hard to change your blood PH. I suspect that the reason that these PH type of diets work is that it’s simply healthier you know, when you’re downing a lot of things like you know, kale and a lot of these fresh produce type of foods and a lot of these things that are a little bit more alkaline forming along with limited amounts of meat and relatively limited amounts of grains, I mean, there’s very few people that would argue that would be, that that would not be a healthy diet.


Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  You know, and when we look at some of these arguments, when it comes to acid-forming foods, you know, like avoid meat and avoid grains entirely because they’re gonna cause bone demineralization, or osteoporosis, you know, that’s an argument that often made by vegans for example, that a high-meat diet will result in leeching from the bones because it’s a very acid-forming food. There’s really not a lot of evidence to show that that’s true. And what this really comes down to, the main thing you got to wrap your head around is that foods don’t really affect your blood PH. Yes, certain foods such as an alkaline-forming food like kale is gonna be very high in phyto-nutrients and high in minerals and high in flavanoids and chockfull of a lot of compounds that are gonna be really healthy for you and probably will have some good downstream positive metabolic effects but it’s not what’s it’s doing to your blood PH that’s causing that effect so this whole PH diet can work but not because it’s really changing the PH of your body. Now if you wanna dig into this a little bit more, then you could go for example, read a really good 2-part article series that Chris Kresser recently wrote over at chriskresser.com and the myth of the PH diet or the myth of this acid-alkaline diet and just the idea that you know, anally keeping track of your urine, that doesn’t really sound right the way that I just said that does it?

Brock:  Yeah, that’s the wrong side. That’s the…. Yeah. It comes out the other place.

Ben:  Keeping track of your urine or your saliva using PH test strips is not really necessary as much as focusing on not overdoing your meat and your grain consumption and then getting moderate amounts of dark leafy greens and dark fruits and vegetables. And if your urine is consistently, if your urine PH is consistently low and your consistently down like below 6.8 specifically, probably does indicate that you could do a little bit better job you know, maybe limiting acidic compounds like grains and maybe increasing your intake of rich green vegetables, you know, sea vegetables and kale and things of that nature but don’t put all of your eggs in that PH basket because you know, there’s not a lot of evidence to show that this strict PH diet actually works. Now if you are kinda wanting to look for the optimum level of urine PH, that again isn’t going to reflect your blood PH but could reflect the actual appropriateness of your diet. The actual number that you’d wanna be looking for for your urine PH should ideally be right around 7.2. Okay. So that’s what you’d be looking for. Salivary PH would also be pretty close to that, that 7.2 number….

Brock:  So Keith’s a little bit acidic but not drastically so.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  He could put himself out there by having a burger at lunch or….

Ben:  Yeah and…..

Brock:  Eating the bun.

Ben:  You know, all that my wife did, you know the big change that she made that really did get rid of her headaches was she started having a kale shake every morning. And you know, I don’t think that anyone would deny that there are some health benefits of doing that and frankly, you know, that’s my breakfast about every morning these days anyways so there you go.

Brock:  It kinda comes down to that same old thing of eat a really varied diet. Don’t concentrate on one side or the other too much and you’d probably be in a good position.

Ben:  Yup, exactly. And then also, just don’t think that your urine PH is necessarily the reflection of what’s going on in your blood. Your body is not broken, your kidney does a pretty good job tightly regulating the PH of your blood and your extra soluble fluid and all that jazz so yeah, there you go.

Craig:   Hey Ben and Brock. This is Craig again, from Birmingham. I’m a huge fan of TianChi and take it everyday and now I’ve added Inner Peace to the mix but my question is are both necessary or could you just go with one like go with more Inner Peace rather than taking both? If there’s a difference, I’d love to know it and I know that TianChi has caffeine but other than that, I don’t know what the differences are so I wanted to know your opinion on that. Thanks. Bye bye.


Brock:  So we had a question about Inner Balance, now we’ve got a question about Inner Peace.

Ben:  Inner peace.

Brock:  I like it. I’m feeling very Zen.

Ben:  I would just like to say that word. It does make me feel like a monk on top of the Himalayan Mountain. Hey speaking of umm did you watch America’s Got Talent? Ever see that show?

Brock:  No I don’t.

Ben:  You don’t watch that in Canada.

Brock:  I don’t have a TV.

Ben:  Oh I don’t either but I watch it on Hulu. There’s this….

Brock:  Yeah we don’t have Hulu.

Ben:  There’s this contestant on it and he calls himself special head and he like levitates and he does magic but he always starts off with the whole umm thing. It’s kinda cool. Anyways, speaking of umm, TianChi versus Inner Peace. So these are, both TianChi as well as Inner Peace are compounds that are formulated by this Chinese herbologist that lives down near Portland, Oregon named Roger Drummer. And he’s….

Brock:  Is this the same guy?

Ben:  Same dude. He’s a really cool guy, one of the best Chinese herbologists in the world in my opinion in terms of his knowledge of Chinese herbal medicine and how to formulate tonics that are going to be able to affect your adrenal function and he also has a really good website. I think it’s rogerdrummer.com, I’m blanking on the name of it but he’s 2 kinda flagship formulations or his original flagship formulation was TianChi. I stumbled across TianChi a couple of years ago when one of the people who Roger consults with who is in the same town as me, I was his personal trainer, he gave me a few, not capsules, a few packets of it.

Brock:  Packets.

Ben:  Super duper powerful stuff when it comes to mitigating stress and it’s also got a lot of really cool neurotropics in it which are brain-enhancing compounds like huperzine and club moss and stuff like that so makes you smarter, stabilizes your stress levels, and it’s just kind of a really cool, sexy supplement that is, it is something I take everyday and it’s something that, it’s one of my kinda like highly recommended go-to supplements called TianChi.

Brock:  And it tastes a little like Kool Aid too. It’s kinda nice.

Ben:  Yeah. Exactly.

Brock:  It’s like healthy Kool Aid.

Ben:  So you know, I order a few hundred boxes of this stuff every month and it gets stocked at our warehouse over in Philadelphia and you can order it and kinda like add it to pretty much anything that you order from Pacific Elite Fitness and a ton of people use it. We actually get out of stock almost every single month ‘cause it…..

Brock:  That’s for rationing my mind right now. I don’t wanna run out like halfway through my box.

Ben:  Yeah, it’s….

Brock:  Oh do I need it today? Do I need it today? No, I will wait ‘til tomorrow.

Ben:  It’s produced in really small batches. It doesn’t sit for you know, years getting sprayed with ethylene oxide, you know, over at China, you know, it’s fresh real herbs. It’s like a good 40 pounds worth of herbs extracted in this tiny little packet. The issue with it though is it’s got trace amounts of certain nervous system stimulants like caffeine in it. It’s got a little bit of fructose in it and some people either don’t want fructose in caffeine or they don’t need fructose in caffeine. The group that doesn’t need fructose in caffeine would be someone who’s in like a deep state of adrenal fatigue who’s really overtrained themselves or somebody who’s like wanting to use this stuff in the afternoon or the early evening and they’re caffeine sensitive and you know, we’re talking about the equivalent of like a quarter cup of coffee. But for some people that does kinda muss up your sleep later on so it’s never really been an issue for me but what Roger did was he wanted to take out all of this components you know, ashwagandha and schizandra and gotu kola, and Chinese liquor shroud and all this stuff that’s in TianChi and get it in a capsule form that doesn’t have fructose or caffeine in it and that’s what Inner Peace is. So it’s basically the same thing except you could take it like right before bed for example and you’d be good to go. Like the first time that I took it, I took it with lunch, I went to sleep in my room for my typical you know, 20-60 minute post-lunch siesta and I slept for 3 hours.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  And that’s how much this stuff can kind of stabilize your adrenal so if you need to be distressed, it will distress you.


It’s one of the best stress control compounds that I’ve really come across. So that’s the difference between Inner Peace and TianChi. TianChi is a powder of Chinese adaptogenic herbs you add to a glass of water or you dump it in your mouth, has trace amounts of fructose and caffeine in it and there are some situations where you wouldn’t want that. Inner Peace is a capsule and you swallow it like any other capsule with a glass of water. Gold standard, if you really want to get the full benefits of using Chinese adaptogens in your daily protocol would be use some TianChi in the morning or the mid-morning and then you pop some Inner Peace like in the afternoon or before dinner and there you go. And then you get, if you really want to take it to the extremes, you get one of those like giant Asian back tattoos, you know what I’m talking about? Like the Japanese gangster ones?

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  Toss one of those into the mix and then you’re just a complete badass Asian herbologist so that was a joke by the way, for those of you who just wrote that down. I know some people take us seriously and you know, they just wrote down in their day planner, make appointment with tattoo parlor. No, don’t get the giant back tattoo, that’s probably a fast path to hepatitis C but you know, you may want to think about doing the TianChi in the morning, Inner Peace in the afternoon, that’s a pretty potent little 1-2 combo for stress control.

Brock:  I have noticed that if I take the TianChi like often, but pretty much, every morning when I wake up I have a cup of coffee, fist thing I do. Then I’ll do my workout, take TianChi and then wait like 45 minutes and then have BulletProof coffee. If I do that combination of cup of coffee,  TianChi and then BulletProof coffee, I kind of freak out a little bit.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  So you do have to be a little bit careful with, I guess that’s probably the caffeine just overload.

Ben:  Yeah, listen to your body because a lot of that stuff, if you overdo it, let’s say you’re doing like you know, Dave Asprey’s BulletProof coffee and you’re doing like some Chinese Herbal blends, and maybe whatever. I know some of our listeners use Aniracetam or maybe you’re using like Onnits Alpha Brain or something like that, like once you start to stack a lot of these stuff, you may notice that your sleep suffers later on in the day you know like 8 hours later and I’ve certainly, you know, I’ve done a little bit of self-experimentation with different things and I personally, I don’t do very well when I start to mix all this stuff together. Just because some is good does not mean more is better. If you find something that makes you smarter, increases alertness, don’t dump a bunch of extra stuff on top of that. Usually keeping things pretty simple and clean and kinda staying in one track is a better way to go and if you find that TianChi is something that works for you in the morning for example to increase your alertness or whatever, I wouldn’t mix it with BulletProof coffee and then you know, throw whatever – Alpha Brain or Aniracetam or whatever in there. I mean like just like pick your poison and stick to it. If you wanna rotate stuff throughout the year like I talked about this a couple of podcasts ago like testosterone  supporting blends like herbal testosterone blends, don’t mix a bunch of different blends together and assume that just because some is good, more is better. If you’re gonna use a supplement, you know, just like take one and yeah, I mean cause honestly like in this era, there are a ton of different things out there and frankly, a lot of them work but that doesn’t mean that you use them all at once so….

Brock:  That is good advice.

Ben:  That’s right. We’re chockfull of it today.

Erin: Hey Ben, this is Erin from Maryland. I’m a registered dietician and I work in integrated and functional medicine. I really believe in the value of a balance diet but I can also appreciate the support of supplementation. What do you know about isotonic supplements? I’m trying to figure out the most ideal method to enhance the nutritional status of my clients. The science looks great but I can’t find any solid clinical trials to show its benefit. Any help you have on this would be great. Thanks so much. I love the podcast.

Brock:  Isotonic supplements.

Ben:  Isotonic.

Brock:  That sounds like a pure med scheme.

Ben:  It sounds super scientific.

Brock:  It does.

Ben:  It sounds like a pyramid.

Brock:  It sounds not like a scheme but one of those what do they call it? The multi-level marketing thingies?

Ben:  A lot of multi-level marketing companies kind of base their compounds on this idea behind isotonic supplements. So they’re supplements that are usually in liquid form with the idea being….

Brock:  Smoothie form?

Ben:  That the liquid, that the vitamins are mixed in have the same concentration as body liquids like blood and saliva specifically.


And so if the substance that is dissolved in this solution is isotonic versus being hypertonic or hypotonic, then the isotonic supplement would be readily absorbed and there is actually a company, I think it’s based out in the States called Isotonics which is as the name fittingly implies, isotonic supplements, isotonic vitamins. There is really not any studies that I am aware of that show that isotonic supplements are any better absorbed than any other kind of pills or supplements that you might swallow so….

Brock:  Unless you inject them directly into a vein.

Ben:  Unless you inject them directly into a vein. And you know what, I actually have got IV cocktails of supplements like multivitamin IV cocktail before and….

Brock:  Were you super hangover?

Ben:  You feel like a million bucks.

Brock:  Is it a banana bag?

Ben:  It feels really good but of course, it’s also a pain in the butt ‘cause you have to, obviously give yourself an IV. There are a bunch, kind of in the biohacking community, there are a bunch of alternative nutrition supplement delivery mechanisms that are kinda being explored and developed and I think are really going to replace our traditional use right now of just like popping pills and capsules. So like now, you’ve got transdermal delivery and transdermal patches and you know, it relates to the whole concept of doing something like you know, transdemal magnesium oil for example but taking that to a whole different level in terms of like targeted delivery.

Brock:  So transdermal means through the skin?

Ben:  Through the skin and then sublinguals….

Brock:  Put it on your arm or your leg or something like that.

Ben: Yeah. Exactly. Sublingual tingksters, sublingual extracts, they go directly sublingually into the blood stream, that’s another one.

Brock:  Under the tongue.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  For those who don’t speak Latin.

Ben:  Exactly. Exactly. Nebulizers. Doctor Mark Sircus is big into like nebulizing like magnesium and stuff like that. He’s a guy that’s been on this podcast before. I think nebulizing with supplement.

Brock:  That’s the thing that bubbles so much that it becomes some, like an aerosol that you can breathe.

Ben:  Exactly. And there’s another form called liposomal incapsulation and that’s another one that you see popping out now in terms of….

Brock:  So encapsulated in fat?

Ben:  Yes, essentially. Usually like some kinda like a lecithin or something along that lines and you get way way better absorption and for stuff like that as well. And the issue is that most of those methods they kinda like fly into the radar, they’re uncomfortable or they’re hard to come by.

Brock:  Expensive.

Ben:  Expensive. But you know, biohackers, are really you kinda of like the cutting edge of these stuff and that’s what a lot of them are using now and there are entire communities online like forums devoted to just like how to nebulize or make liposomes or do transdermal delivery or just about every drug or compound and cocktail that’s out there I mean, and honestly like for me, best case scenario, I’d find out what I was deficient in, and then I’d get an IV, you know, once a week that kinda gives my body what it needs but I mean like, a big part of it for me, frankly is like, I just wanna enjoy life a little bit and I always have to find that fine line between better living through science or whatever and just kinda like you know, unplugging and you know, the best times of my life really are when I’m hiking down into the river with my kids and swimming in the river and catching some bugs and coming home and eating  some wild salmon and having a glass of red wine and it’s like, you know, the more shall we say, annoying days of my life are when I’m doing like electrostimulation and then experimenting with different supplements and doing all these biohacking stuff, it’s like I don’t wanna give people the impression that I necessarily endorse some kind of unnatural go way out of your way living that you know, kinda takes your enjoyment out of life ‘cause we talk about stuff like, even on this show, today, we’ve talked about supplements a bunch, we’ve talked about ingredients, we’ve talked about you know, strategies for better living through science but I really want to emphasize to listeners, the most important thing you can do is go out, enjoy nature, eat real food, get some good sleep, don’t stress out your body too much, and that’s where the big wins are and then like you know, the little things are, you know, whatever, liposomal delivery of your whole foods vitamin C versus synthetic vitamin C you know, does it make sense what I’m saying?


Brock:  Yeah, yeah. I totally, I feel like even just the last part, the last 20 minutes of the show we both came off as the guys who wake up in the morning and meticulously start measuring things out and like, that’s not true at all and this morning, I had a cup of coffee and went out for a run and came back and ate a banana, a very simple day but….

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  Finding those times to test things out and see how much better you can feel or if you do feel any better when you do something slightly different is also part of the life, the life that I’ve chosen I guess.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly and I mean, you know, same thing for me. I got up this morning, I made myself a little cup of coffee and I went out in the garden and opened up my computer and wrote an article while I was sitting in my garden and you know, I frankly haven’t had any breakfast or popped any supplements, you know, that’s what, 11AM in the morning and you know I, it’s just like you know, I don’t want listeners to think that we necessarily endorse living your life in this 24/7 like biohacking mode. It’s just a matter of picking the stuff that works for you and choosing the stuff that enhances your goals but not going overboard with it and you know, you can also ruin life by worrying about this stuff too much  so there you go.

Brock:  Drive yourself into a state of craziness.

Ben:  Preach it. Preach it. Cool, what do we got? One more question and then a little giveaway for a listener? Alright let’s do it.

John: Hey Ben, love the podcast, I’m a big fan. I’ve got a question for you about propecia, the hair loss drug. I took that everyday for about 9 years until I learned that it disrupted my hormonal balance quite a bit, now I have very low testosterone and high estrodial. I went off a bit about 2 years ago and I definitely have a more balanced hormonal profile but I’m wondering of this is something that could be affecting me long term. And if there are any steps that I should be taking to further balance my hormones, increase testosterone, etcetera, given that I took the drug for so long. Love the podcast and hope you answer this. Thanks. Bye.

Brock:  Propecia.

Ben:  Propecia.

Brock:  I like to say propecia.

Ben:  Don’t we have a post on the album about hair loss?

Brock:  We do, yeah. If you go to iTunes and look for Ben Greenfield Fitness Top Hits Volume 1, you can download a whole big thing about hair loss. I guess, like a whole 10 minutes long and it’s only 99 cents.

Ben:  Yeah it is what is it, it’s like the natural way…. The Best Natural Ways to Stop Hair Loss.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  So first of all, go download that and listen to that John. When it comes to propecia and hair loss drugs, yeah. Big issue. I mean, the way that these things work is they’re anti-androgenic drugs so normally, you’ve got this enzyme that converts testosterone into what’s called dihydrotestosterone or DHT. Now DHT is some pretty potent stuff. It’s super critical for like your drive and your sex drive and the maintenance of genital tissue structure or more specifically the size of your balls. It’s responsible for seminal fluid production, for keeping estrogen levels in check so you don’t get man boobs or bitch tits or whatever else you wanna call them. You know, DHT is even responsible….

Brock:  How about gynecomastia?

Ben:  There you go, gynecomastia. Thank you for using a polite term Brock.

Brock:  Bitch tits.

Ben:  Mental clarity, mental function, like production of neurotransmitters like DHT is some potent, pretty cool stuff. And you effectively switched it off when you start using propecia or finasteride or any of these anti-androgenic drugs that are designed to inhibit hair loss because that’s kind of the issue when you block the conversion of testosterone to DHT. It can actually you know, cause you to elevate your testosterone levels, at least your total testosterone levels, not necessarily your free bioactive testosterone but at least your total testosterone levels. And that can keep you from losing your hair a little bit but it goes hand in hand with like prostate cell apoptosis which is cell death of your prostate gland. You know, shrink a jig off your prostate and it reduces nitric oxide synthase so your erections aren’t as good and then you know, like I mentioned, you get gynecomastia, you get depression because you’re not producing neurotransmitters quite as well and essentially, creates this pretty nasty downstream side effects that you know, go hand in hand with having a nice head of hair but you know, nice head of hair and really small balls.


Brock:  And huge boobs.

Ben:  That’s right. And big boobs. So you know, first of all, you know, the first thing I wanna say is I really don’t think that hair loss is that big of a deal. I mean I’m one to talk 'cause I know I got a full head of hair whatever but I mean….

Brock:  Yeah, speaking of somebody who’s definitely thinning and receding, it’s not definitely that big of a deal like you find a hair cut that works and you roll with it.

Ben:  Bald is the new sexy. I mean freakin’ bickett. Don’t worry too much about. First of all, but let’s you know, you’ve taken the drug, you’ve experienced the side effects. I mean, I would be first of all, if you’re on the drug, I would be titrating yourself out of propecia. And titrating yourself off of anything, let’s say you’re addicted to sleep drugs like Valium or you’re addicted to, not addicted to but using propecia or whatever and you wanna limit some of the side effects that happen when you get yourself off of a drug like that and limit some of the shock effects that can happen to your endocrine system, you wean yourself off over a several week period of time so you could start with let’s say, you know, a full pill is 1 milligram. So you reduce the dosage to 0.5 milligrams or half a pill and then you go down to a quarter pill, and then an eight of a pill and then a sixteenth of a pill and it’s just every few days like every other day or so, whatever, every 3rd day, 5th day, 7th day, you’re bringing that down until you’re no longer taking that drug at a certain point so that would be one of the things that I would seriously consider doing if you’re taking one of these hair loss inhibiting drugs. I would also, at the same time, consider kinda looking into restoring proper hormonal function as you are getting off propecia, as you’re trying to, you know as John is trying to mitigate the damage that propecia caused so I would make sure you’ve got adequate hormonal and steroid precursors on-board so you know, make sure you’re getting adequate vitamin d and sunlight exposure, make sure you’re getting adequate fatty acid, you know, you could even throw in like a cod liver oil or a good fish oil or something like that. Some other really really good drive-supporting and testosterone-supporting foods that I like are Brazil nuts. Big fan of grass-fed beef, big fan of shellfish, you know, for the zinc. And then, you know, as we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there are some really good herbal mixes out there, you know, like Tribulus and Maca, Nettle and Fenugreek and go back and listen to the podcast episode that we did on my 3 top recommended testosterone supplement compounds. I’ll put a big list on the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/249 that John can look at when it comes to you know, getting testosterone levels back up if you found that you do have low. It wouldn’t be low total testosterone that you’d have if you’re taking propecia because frankly it increases testosterone because it inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT. What it does do is it lowers free and bio-available testosterone and more of that total testosterone that you produce gets converted into estrogen which is why you get the man boobs and kinda like the weight gain and stuff like that. So there are what are called aromatase inhibitors out there as well. 2 of the more popular ones are myomin and there’s another one called chrysin that can actually decrease the over-aromatization of testosterone into estrogens. So I’ll put some pretty big links in the show notes for you on all this stuff John so you can go check that out but yeah, I mean you wanna titrate yourself off and if you’re listening and you’re in propecia, I recommend you getting off it. Probably the number 1 website that I would recommend to you that has the most comprehensive amount of information on it about dealing with like finasteride or propecia-induced side effects would be a website called allthingsmale.com. that’s m-a-l-e not m-a-i-l. There’s probably a website called allthingsmail.com where you can put your mail on hold during your vacation. But check out allthingsmale.com. That would be one that I’d look into as well and we’ll link to all that stuff in the show notes for you so but yeah man, ultimately, and like I said, bald is the new sexy. Just let that hair go. It’s not a big deal.

Brock:  All right. Well, speaking of letting things go, before we let the people go I think we need to hear a review from iTunes. 


Ben:  Yes.

Brock:  Don’t forget if you leave a review on iTunes and it catches Ben’s attention, and you hear it read on the podcast, and you send an email, man that’s a lot of steps, to [email protected], Ben will send you some crazy crap that he finds kicking around his desk.

Ben:  That’s right. And I think that what I’m gonna send to Teddy V, Teddy V, I’ve got some super coffee drops for you. I don’t know if you’ve tried super coffee drops but they’re made by Living Fuel and you put a few drops of them into like a cup of hot water or a nice glass of ice water and it tastes like coffee, a chockfull antioxidant but you can skip the step of actually making yourself a cup of coffee if you don’t have time to do that.

Brock:  Perfect for camping.

Ben:  It’s called Super Coffee.

Brock:  I like it.

Ben:  Here’s Ted’s review. Teddy V’s review over on iTunes. It’s called “Become the Smartest Person in the Room” and he gave us 5 stars. 5 freakin’ stars.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  He says you will love listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. You will learn, you will laugh, and occasionally you would say to yourself, no way. Your knowledge on health and fitness will surpass all of your friends’. Just think about the number of things we accepted as fact 10 years ago such as low-fat is the way to lose weight that we now know is the exact opposite. Ben stays on top of this latest research and shares his findings in his podcast. Very informational and on top of that, you will have things to say at that next dinner party or happy hour. So for all of you who are speechless at parties and wallflowers, and usually tend to leave cocktail parties early because you’re bored and no one is listening to you, if you listen to the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast, you will all of a sudden become the life of the party. That’s right.

Brock:  You can rick people with stories of before you were gluten-free, how you walked around in bloated diarrhea-haze but now you feel fantastic.

Ben:  Yes.

Brock:  I bet everybody loves to hear about that.

Ben:  No hair but you feel great. So Teddy V, if you wrote that review, email me, [email protected]. I’m gonna give you a little bottle of Super Coffee out your way. And remember you can leave a review on iTunes.

Brock:  Super Coffee.

Ben:  You can also go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/love and share the love and then also, if you are a listener in London, drop me a line. [email protected] and let’s plan on having a super duper London meet up, maybe doing a clinic, having some fun, drinking some non-toxic beer and just hanging out at a gastro-pub or whatever.

Brock:  Running laps around Stonehenge.

Ben:  That’s right. We’ll go run some laps around Stonehenge. Let’s do it. ‘Cause they do that in the UK.

Brock:  They love it.

Ben:  As the English people do so. Alright.

Brock:  We’ve offended all our English listeners.

Ben:  That’s right. We better quit offending out international listeners and head out. Alright, so checkout bengreenfieldfitness.com/249 and yeah, over and out.



July 25, 2013 Podcast: Is Resveratrol Really Bad For You, The Shocking Ingredients in Beer, Debunking The Magic of Vitamins And Supplements, How To Use Activated Charcoal, SweetBeat vs. InnerPeace, Is Your pH Too Low, The Difference Between TianChi and Inner Peace, What Are Isotonic Supplements, Are Male Pattern Baldness Drugs Healthy?

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form… but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.


News Flashes:

You can get these News Flashes hot off the presses if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfieldFacebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.


Special Announcements:

The Ben Greenfield Fitness phone app – is your portal to all of Ben’s best fitness shows, special episodes, and videos in one convenient spot – including exclusive bonus content you won’t get anywhere else except inside this app!

2013 Thailand Triathlon Adventure with Ben Greenfield – details at pacificfit.net. Now including the pre-camp: It’s a “high end” triathlon training resort. Brand new facilities – check ’em out! We’re going to do coached sessions every day. It won’t be hardcore training as much as a focus on learning about nutrition, training, fitness, and how to “get the edge” in endurance, life and health!

Want to get into the Perfect Health Diet retreat in Austin, Texas? Click here for all details. Ben Greenfield will be presenting at the February 6-March 6 retreat.

The Global Business Triathlon Conference is featuring Ben Greenfield as a speaker. September 10-12, 2013, Hilton London Metropole, London, UK – Join us for the premier global gathering of leaders of the triathlon business community. Enjoy three days of learning, networking and fun at the newly renovated Hilton London Metropole, conveniently located near the ITU World Championship activities in Hyde Park.

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

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review gets a care package straight from Ben – leave your review for a chance to win one:



Listener Q&A:

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

How To Use Activated Charcoal

Heather says @ 00:30:20
She would like to know more about using charcoal to mitigate the damage caused by conventional meat and/or alcohol. Is it possible to take too much or take it too often? How does it know to only bind to toxins? Can it bind to good stuff as well?

~ In my response, I mention  taking activated charcoal called CharcoCaps prior to any meals that contain potential toxins, such as meat, animal products from unknown sources, foods that tend to give you gas, etc.

SweetBeat vs. InnerPeace

Clay says @ 00:36:49
Can you compare and contrast the Sweetbeat app and Heartmath’s Inner Balance app? Is one better than the other? Which should he use?

Is Your pH Too Low?

Keith says @ 00:41:30
He is using litmus strips to test his PH and is wondering if 6.4 is too low. Is there any optimal level and should he be trying to raise his level?

~ In my reply I mention this interview with Dr. Ted Morter on pH diet.

The Difference Between TianChi and Inner Peace

Craig says @ 00:49:45
He would like to know the difference between TianChi and Inner Peace. He is taking both and is wondering if that is necessary or should he just take one?

What Are Isotonic Supplements?

Erin says @ 00:58:41
She is a registered dietitian who works in functional medicine and is wondering what you think of the Isotonic Supplements. She believes in a whole diet but is wondering if this might be of help to her clients.

Are Male Pattern Baldness Drugs Healthy?

John says @ 01:06:31
He took Propecia every day for 9 years until he found out that he had low testosterone and estradiol. He stopped taking it 2 years ago but is still concerned that he will have ongoing issues. Is there anything he should be doing to mitigate the damage Propecia caused.

~ In my response I mention:
Vitamin D3 (ideally test first) ~ 35IU/lb
Fish oil – 2-5g/day + cod liver oil, 1-2T/day
Magnesium (500-1000mg/day)
-Brazil nuts (selenium) – 5-6/day (get raw from health food store and keep frozen)
Grass fed beef – several 6-8oz servings/week
-If you do not eat shellfish or use zinc regularly, also include 2-4 Prostelan capsules per day (5 Alpha Reductase inhibitor + Zinc)
And then use either:
D-Aspartic Acid – 3g/day (approx 1 teaspoon) combined with Myomin (aromatase inhibitor) – 1000-1500mg/day
-5 day on/2 day off of herbal blend of tribulis, maca, nettle, fenugreek (recommend RenewMale, Aggressive Strength, or Onnit T+)

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/07/249-is-resveratrol-really-bad-for-you-the-shocking-ingredients-in-beer-debunking-the-magic-of-vitamins-and-supplements/


Ask Ben a Podcast Question

2 thoughts on “Episode #249 – Full Transcript

  1. ladakh says:

    Thanks for the Q&A. Why is Ben Greenfield calling Charco Caps Homeopathic?

    1. That may be a typo in the transcript as charcoal caps are not homeopathic.

Leave a Reply

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