Episode #256 – Full Transcript

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Podcast #256 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/09/256-what-is-the-best-biohacking-device-is-alkaline-water-a-scam-how-to-train-for-speed-and-endurance-at-the-same-time/


Introduction:   In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Is alkaline water a scam,  ADHD diet for kids, losing weight after adrenal fatigue, what is the best biohacking device, how to test your electrolytes, and how to train for speed and endurance at the same time.

Brock:  So off to the cardiologist tomorrow, bright and early eh?

Ben:  Uhm, bright and early. You know I actually for our listeners who are wondering always….

Brock:  Yeah, Ben did not have myocardial infarction or anything like that. He’s fine.

Ben:   I was gonna say it’s 3:15 in the afternoon right now, we’re recording on a Thursday afternoon. Usually we do this on a Wednesday morning but not today.

Brock:  Not today.

Ben:  Today is full of surprises and yeah, I’m headed off to the… I think the last time we recorded a podcast, I was on my way up to see the doctor to schedule my official heart scan and now I’m going in for a nuclear stress test and a heart EKG on a treadmill where I run to complete and total exhaustion on a treadmill which should be lovely at 7AM in the morning.

Brock:  Oh really? They’re making you go to exhaustion?

Ben:  Yeah, we’re doing a maximum exercise stress test on a treadmill and yeah, we’re gonna see what 10 years of endurance training has done to my heart. So that should be interesting. Well we should be able to, I’m literally meeting with the cardiologist directly after the test so in the next podcast we’ll be able to record on the results of what things like Ironman triathlon, water polo body building, tennis and eating 10 years of peanut butter, Captain Crunch does to your heart so…

Brock:  You know I should dig around. I’m sure I’ve got the results somewhere of my, I had the same test but it was after I had myocarditis. It was a year after I had recovered from myocarditis and to see if it actually done any damage to the muscle, to the heart muscle. I should take that out to see how myocarditis compares to all your body building and stuff.

Ben:  We could compare results. I bet I’ll beat you.

Brock:  See who’s… You’ll have more beat up heart ‘cause you did it for years and years… I only had an infection in my pericardium.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s all. Just an infection….

Brock:  It’s not so bad.

Ben:  Not so bad.

News Flashes:

Brock:  bengreenfieldfitness.com/256 is the place to go to find the links and the more links to all these cool, I hope they’re cool, I actually haven’t looked at them yet for this week.

Ben:  The news flashes? Our first news flash is hot actually.

Brock:  Hot hot hot.

Ben:  Hot hot hot. It’s about cooking food in your dishwasher. You ever heard of this?

Brock:  I have. Yeah. That’s sort of…

Ben:  I’ll put a link in the show notes but you can make your dinner while you’re cleaning your plates. And this actually appeared in the….

Brock:  And not only for people, for college students, right? That don’t have….

Ben:  That’s right. It was on Oprah so of course it’s gotta be good and healthy.

Brock:  Yes. Especially healthy, yeah.

Ben:  The video I’ll link to is a video on how to poach salmon in your dishwasher but there’s a bunch of other interesting videos on there like you know, a recipe for noodles and asparagus and a video from Dan Pashman who runs the, it’s like a how to cook everything podcaster, the Sporkful podcast. He talks about kind of different methods to cook everything from shrimp to beef to spinach to pears in your dishwasher but basically the idea is the hot water and the steam when you’re washing your dishes can actually also be used to cook food so technically it’s environmentally friendly if you’re gonna run your dishwasher anyways.

Brock:  Yes, it’s kind of a poor man’s sous-vide if you’re into the French colonary experience.

Ben:  Well actually there is actually an entire book on it written I believe in France. It’s called Cucinare in Lavastoviglie which literally translates into cooking with a dishwasher.

Brock:  All right.

Ben:  So there you go. We’ll link to that in the show notes. If any of our listeners happen to actually cook something remotely healthy in your dishwasher and you send us the video, I will lavish you with cool prizes from bengreenfieldfitness.com so….


Brock:  Awesome.

Ben:  Send those into, actually just upload them to your youtube page and send us the link over on our facebook page at facebook.com/BGfitness of you preparing whatever healthy dish you can think of in your dishwasher. Even a smoothie would count. A smoothie would be easy. You just throw everything in there and shut the door. There you go.

Brock:  And turn it off before it drains and then scoop it out.

Ben:  Or put a cup underneath the drain. So there you go. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes. Another thing I tweeted out this week was a study on Tabata sets and chalking another one up to the effectiveness of Tabata sets. Now, I’m not gonna kick this horse to death because I think just about everybody who’s ever listens to everything on fitness, who reads up on fitness knows about high intensity interval training and the fact that the short 4-minute Tabata sets can get you a lot of bang from your buck when it comes to improving your post-exercise metabolic rate and your fitness. What was interesting about this study that just came out was they did blood lactates during the Tabata sets meaning that they were taking the exercising individuals blood lactate measurements and while they of course found out, no surprise here that Tabata sets were far superior to modern intensity continuous training, what I thought was really interesting when I read the study was the actual blood lactate levels for the people who were doing the Tabata sets so the blood lactate levels averaged 12 millimeter. Now let me put that in the context for you. If you are wanting to get the most bang for your buck out of your Tabata set or you think you’re doing a Tabata set correctly, if 12 millimeter. If you were to go and do a test where you find out what your threshold heart rate is for let’s say you’re going to run a half-marathon or a 10k or you’re gonna do like an Olympic distance triathlon or a fairly hard effort and you wanna find out what your threshold is. Typically your lactic acid threshold is the hardest effort that you could sustain for about 40-60 minutes and some elite athletes can hold lactate threshold for close to 2 hours if they got a few, kinda short recovery bouts thrown in there. Now your lactic acid threshold occurs at 4.0 millimeter blood lactate levels….

Brock:  So this is 3 times that.

Ben:  We’re talking about 3 times that. I have done V02 max tests in an exercise physiology lab where I pushed myself like I will be tomorrow morning to the brink of exhaustion and I’ve tested blood lactate levels after those particular protocols. The highest I’ve ever seen was 10 so what we’re talking about here when we’re talking about you getting the efficacy of a high-intensity interval training session is you really truly pushing yourself so when you hear people talk about “hey, get fit about 12 minutes a week or hey, get fit with these 4 minute exercise sessions”, you need to understand that this is like serious serious burn. So you know, and I think a lot of people will do a Tabata set in kinda half-fasted just to kinda give himself a pat on the back but understand the intensity with which you need to do these things to actually get the type of results they get in these studies so….

Brock:  And not only the intensity but not taking an extra-long break or giving yourself that extra couple of seconds in between but being strict with the time and going hard.

Ben:  Yeah, so lactic acid coming out of your eyeballs, your ears and every other orifice that lactic acid could potentially emanate from. There was one other study that I tweeted last week about this new study that they did or this new analysis really of Tour de France cyclists where they looked into whether or not Tour de France cyclists were actually had a higher risk of dying or a higher risk of inflammation compared to the general population and this one kinda hit the news. It was last week and what….

Brock:  And they weren’t taking into account a testicular cancer or anything like that right?

Ben:  They weren’t. They weren’t counting the one-ballers. The one palotas. What they looked at was those Tour de France cyclists and they found that they live 6 extra years compared with the general population meaning that Tour cyclists had a 41% lower death rate and lower mortality rates were caused by, among other things, lower risk of cardio-vascular disease. You know, we started off this podcast talking about endurance exercise and how it potentially could be bad for your heart. Well, this study seems at first glance to point to the possibility that….


Brock:  Complete opposite.

Ben:  Extreme levels of endurance exercise might actually help you live longer. I’ve got a couple of issues with this whole thing though. The first thing is that in order for you to be a Tour de France cyclist period, you are genetically superior. I’m sorry, you just are. Like you are wired differently like Lance Armstrong, sure he used you know, he used drugs and everything but he was still was wired differently. Bigger heart, bigger lungs, bigger vessels, probably in ancient times would have been like a warrior or a really good persistence hunter or somebody who potentially was kinda genetically favored to live longer anyways so there’s that. The next thing that you need to realize about a lot of these elite athletes is they’re not chronically beating themselves up until they’re 50, 60, 70 years old. You know, a lot of these elite, you know, Tour de France cyclists canyon marathoners whatever, they are you know, they’ve got a 10-20er timeline right and then they retire and they’re kinda done and they’re not necessarily doing 10 triathlons a year or 2 marathons a year and continuing to kinda cause inflammation later on into life and so that’s another thing I think we need to realize is that these folks are living kinda different type of endurance lifestyle. So the other thing when we’re talking about living a different type of endurance lifestyle is a pro-triathlete really or pro-athlete in general especially Tour de France cyclists is prioritizing recovery. They’re eating better, they’re recovering better, they’re taking better care of their body, they’re not exposing themselves to as much lifestyle and work stress on the same days that they’re exercising so there’s that that you need to take into account as well. So this study tells us just a little bit about kinda like the upper limit of exercise dosage in elite athletes but I don’t think that we can say that extreme levels of endurance exercise are necessarily healthy based of of this Tour de France cycling study.

Brock:  You know I’d throw another thing on that list which is they come from a much higher socio-economic situation than most regular people as well. You don’t become a Tour de France cyclist if you were from, I don’t know, South Central or….

Ben:  Yeah. Yeah. That’s probably a good point too.

Brock:  Like better access to clean food, better healthcare, clean water, like when you’re growing up and all through the entire, well the entirety of your career as well.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah, that’s true. Socio-economic is probably one of the bigger words we’ll throw in around in the show today by the way.

Brock:  Oh I’ve got a few, I’ve got a few where obfuscate is about to come out any minute now.

Ben:  How about Tachybradycardia syndrome? That’s a good one.

Brock:  The heart speeds up and slows down at the same time?

Ben:  That’s right. That’s another issue you sometimes see. Anyways though, I don’t wanna give people the impression that I think endurance sports are the devil or anything like that but because I literally have turned in my manuscript to the publisher for this entire book that I’ve written on the subject it’s fresh on my mind. I thought this was interesting. I’ll link to it in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/256 and of course if you want more studies every single day that I’m looking at just like this, go over to twitter.com/bengreenfield and knock yourself out.

Special Announcements:

Brock:  So remind me. How much is it again to get into the Inner Circle?

Ben:  The Inner Circle….

Brock:  At bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle?

Ben:  The Inner Circle is 10 dollars a month to be a member of our coveted inner circle.

Brock:  Cheap cheap cheap.

Ben:  It is. Are you bringing this up because we’ve got a webinar coming up?

Brock:  I am. October 4th, 6:30PM.

Ben:  Segue master. That’s right, this October 4th is our next Inner Circle webinar and this one is called “Get Your Ideal Winter Physique” so we’re going to be talking about how to pile in fat for the winter….

Brock:  You need to pile on fat and fur. We’re gonna male everybody look like a, what are those called? The yeti.

Ben:  Yes the yeti. We’re gonna teach you how to use rogaine and eat  lots of food. We’re actually going to teach people how to come out the other side of the holidays looking the way that you wanna look and I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve for being able to eat your way through Thanksgiving and Christmas and what not and still come out the other end and set a 6-pack abs and a nice tight tush so we’ll be going to teach all of that in the next Inner Circle webinar that’s on October 4th so we’ll link to that in the show notes and…

Brock:  Tune in on October 5th when I do the webinar about how to become a yeti.


Ben:  That’s right. For any of you personal trainers… or Chewbacca.

Brock:  Or Chewbacca.

Ben:  For any of you personal trainers or chiropractic physicians or anyone who works in the fitness and health sectors listening in, for my mentorship program, the Superhuman Coach Program I’m also teaching a webinar, actually a couple of nights from now if you happen to tune in this podcast when it first comes out and we’ll be talking about how to make special population superhuman specifically we’ll be going over how to work with older individuals, people who are eating plant-based diets, kids, just about any population who kinda needs tweaks to their protocol and we’re gonna talk about the things that you need to take into account for people who may not fall into the average boat when it comes to achieving their physical goals and becoming what we like to call superhuman so that’s over at superhumancoach.com where you can become a coach and be part of the master plan program over there so what else for special announcements? I was just in London.

Brock:  Yeah, how was it?

Ben:  In London, everyone is from….

Brock:  Lancastershire.

Ben:  Yeah, Lancastershire booksherwood.

Brock:  I’m amazed if anybody from UK listens to this show anymore.

Ben:  We make fun of people from London so much, don’t we?

Brock:  We really do.

Ben:  I ate at a Brazilian steak…

Brock:  It’s only because we’re jealous.

Ben:  I ate at a Brazilian steak house on London and it was awesome. It was one of those steak houses where you have a card that is green and you leave it up when you want people to keep on bringing meat to your table and you turn it over red when you’re done eating meat. I never actually turned my card over they just kinda quit bringing meat to the table.

Brock:  They just stopped.

Ben:  It was…

Brock:  You know, I’d be screwed because I’m colorblind and I would, I’d be like where’s my meat? Why aren’t they bringing me any meat?

Ben:  Oh because of the, yeah. Yeah, I think it did say something like the Brazilian word for stop in one side and go in the other but…

Brock:  Still screwed.

Ben:  But then again you’re mildly dyslexic so yeah, London was good so big shout out to the people who joined us in London and did the primal workshop and everything else over there. We had a ton of fun, a lot of meet-ups. For people who feel that they might have missed out, if you’re gonna be in Kona, we’ll be down there. Brock and I will be in Kona, Tony from endurance Planet will be down there. We will be, well I’ll be racing so I’ll be doing less partying than Brock and Tony probably will but either way, look for the whole Ben Greenfield Fitness/Endurance Planet crew down there and come say hi. We’ll be tweeting the heck out of the twitter sphere letting the folks know where we’re at so if you happen to be at Kona for the Ironman Hawaii that’s the next big chance to get in some fun meet-ups and stuff like that so.

Brock:  We need to get some Speedos like some matching Speedos or something for all three of us so people can recognize us.

Ben:  Yeah. Some Speedos, coconut bras, cowboy hat, and maybe some flip-flops or thongs. That would kill 2 birds with one stone. We wouldn’t have to get the Speedo.

Brock:  I opt to take my skates off.

Ben:  Yeah. There you go.

Listener Q&A:

Chris:   Hi Ben and Brock, my name is Chris. I wanna start off by thanking you guys for this podcast for all the consult you give guys for free. I’m a relatively recent follower in the last 60 days or so. I recently bumped up and paid the 10 bucks for the premium and that content is unbelievable so anybody thinking about it should definitely do it. That’s about what, 2 starbucks for the year’s with the content. I am a 31-year old male. I’m an ex-athlete, I was an offensive lineman. I have a propensity to put on weight especially in times of bad diet and stress. About 90 days ago, I sort of hit a personal low and mentally and physically, it was in a bad place. My older brother pulled me out of it by challenging me to a half-Ironman in 90 days. Just completed the Cedar point, half-Ironman in a time of 5:32 which blew away my goal of 6 hours and my stretch goal of 5:45. A lot of that has to do with I believe my nutrition and my diet and the training plan. The nutrition and diet was largely paleo and I followed in some ketogenic recommendations from you guys with the BulletProof coffee and the kale shakes. Amazing results as far as my body. Lost as close to 40 pounds, doubled my good cholesterol, cut down my bad cholesterol, cut my triglyceride levels by 75%, lost almost 12 inches on my body. My doctor barely recognized me when I went in for my check-up and I used the protocol that you used for the Ironman Canada race. We made a big blender of the Super Starch, the NatureAminos amino acids, MCT oil, d-ribose, and electrolytes and I’m getting only the wasp amino acids and then used water to fill it up to 64ounces.


Both my brother and I took 32 ounces to the race. I was able to choke it down and nurse it during the bike and run as you recommended. The taste of it, however, was tasted like rancid and tasted like rancid skimmed milk like my brother was not able to choke it down during the race, discarded it pretty early and switched over to gels. The interesting part is that I felt great during the whole race, mentally aware the whole time, did not bunk, did not walk during the run and again, beat all of my goals as well as my time during my first 70.3 distance race. My brother however, who has never lost to me in a race bunked during the run, had to walk. I ended up beating him for over 20 minutes and I think a lot of it has to do with the choice to switch over to sugars and nutrition. Thank you guys, I look forward to hearing from you and the great content in the future.

Ben:  Wow, Chris kinda rocked it.

Brock:  He did. That’s awesome.

Ben:  Chris actually sent in a bunch of photos too so I think we are going to turn Chris’s story into a blog post for anybody who wants to see Chris get his flex on. If you’re listening in and you have a special story that you wanna share and it’s relevant, I mean if your special story involves I don’t know…

Brock:  Rescuing puppies from a burning… Actually that would be….

Ben:  Yeah, rescuing puppies from a burning building, your kid’s soccer game, you helping an old person cross the street, then that’s all really great but we don’t need necessarily photos and stories we probably won’t publish you. But if you have a story of success like changing your body, achieving some cool physical goal or doing something completely selfish.

Brock:  Not becoming yeti over the winter.

Ben:  That’s right. We’ll publish you at bengreenfieldfitness.com. We’re gonna start to do weekly stories of success so I was trying to think about…

Brock:  Story of success….

Ben:  We could actually even do something like that. We could work it up into like a like Brock’s voice as the voice-over. Could you do that again Brock?

Brock:  Stories of success.

Ben:  We better….

Brock:  We’ve got the intro right there.

Ben:  There we go so email [email protected] with your story of success and we’ll publish it so we better get started with our Q&A. This is going downhill fast.

BodyChem:   Hey Ben and Brock, I got a question about body chemistry. You’ve talked about having an alkaline system in our metabolism and encouraging that in what we eat and stuff like that but recently I’ve been reading the advertisements and supposedly scientific articles regarding Kangen Water which is spelled K-a-n-g-e-n I think and that is a means of delivering alkaline water to your body and what they want me to do is drink it all the time so I’m wondering if drinking alkaline water all the time as my source of hydration is a good thing or if it might be a good thing now and then. Thanks and I love the podcast. It’s driving me forward. Thank you.

Brock:  I’ve never heard of trying to find, does anybody actually walk around going I need a means of delivering alkaline water to my body?

Ben:  They do actually.

Brock:  Really?

Ben:  They do. And this is kinda interesting because these machines that you put on your kitchen counter make alkaline water are becoming pretty popular and I personally have some issues with them and I know I might get some angry letters from folks who are involved in Kangen and Nikken and all these other multi-level marking companies….

Brock:  Bring it on.

Ben:  That yeah, bring it. So alkalinized water. What you do, the way that you make alkalinized water is usually it takes normal tap water and it passes through some kind of an electrical machine and it runs the water through some kind of a plate, usually it’s a metal plate like a platinum plate or a titanium plate and that causes the actual ions on that metal plate to get exchanged in the water and to make the water more alkaline in its PH. And then typically most of the machines have a filter installed in them as well like a carbon filter and that removes impurities from the water and then a lot of times it leaves an add-in some kind of an alkaline mineral to make the water even more alkaline which sounds really really cool because if you look at spring water for example pouring down off of a mountain you know, on a pastural setting with maybe a moose off to the side, grazing off the field and an I don’t know…


Brock:  And a beaver slapping its tail.

Ben:  Unicorn skipping by. What happens with spring water is it passes over rocks and the earth and it picks up all these minerals and that affects its PH and so if you get like a good spring water coming off a mountain, it usually is a little less acidic like it’s usually got a slightly alkaline PH. We’re talking about an alkaline PH of like 8, 8 and a half, something like that. And the body actually…

Brock:  Is that what they call soft water?

Ben:  Yeah. Yeah, I mean it is kinda soft and generally…

Brock:  It takes forever to get off the soap off your body?

Ben:  Yeah. Yeah, the body does pretty well with the PH of water you know, kind of that 7 to 9-ish range so the problem with alkaline water are multi-fold and that’s a word I just made up. So the multi…

Brock:  It’s better than two-fold.

Ben:  So the multi-fold problems…

Brock:  It’s better than three-fold.

Ben:  Is that first of all when we’re looking at drinking alkaline water, a lot of people say that you’re supposed to drink alkaline water because your body is too acidic on a cellular level. There is no evidence that drinking alkaline water is going to reverse acidity at the cellular level and in many cases, the reason that you would be acidic at a cellular level is because your body is under a great deal of stress that is causing you of deficiency of your reserve alkaline minerals. Things like calcium and magnesium and zinc and selenium and drinking artificially alkalinized water doesn’t really replace these minerals so that’s the first issue. The second issue is that when we are looking at the plates that this alkaline water is passing over, the platinum and the titanium, those are both toxic metals and you could potentially be causing a little bit of metal overload in your body by using machines that use these metal plates to alkalinize water or to cause that ion exchange in the water so that’s another issue. Now…

Brock:  That’s potentially a very large issue.

Ben:  Yup. Carbon filtration if you’re relying upon that is the only filtration method for the water that you’re drinking does not filter out much chlorine, fluoride, aluminum, copper, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, stuff like that and so you might be under the impression if this is the only type of water filter that you’re using like one of these counter top alkalinizing water filters that you’re getting super duper clean water when in fact, the filtration method is not removing a lot of what might be found in your normal municipal water supply so that’s another issue. Now the biggest issue, the biggest issue of alkaline water in my opinion is that if you actually test the alkalinity on these machines and a lot of times this is the selling point via which someone will sell you one of these machines that alkalinity ends up being 12, 13, really high, like way higher than like a natural alkaline spring water and that can be really unhealthy for your body to be dumping something of that alkalinity into your system and that my concern is that just like very very acidic compounds might not be all that great for you, extremely alkaline compounds can also cause some pretty serious imbalances in your body and I, from personal experience, I don’t wanna mention any names or point your fingers at specific water machines but I actually had someone approach me who was very very concerned about this new alkaline water system that they’ve been using because their child had begun having seizures within 3 days after they had started using this alkalinizing water machine and my advice to them was to cut out the water right away to ensure that that was not causing the issue because water of that alkalinity can certainly cause some imbalances. There’s some scientific literature that indicates that PH is or extremely alkaline PH could have detrimental effects on living organisms and they have found that plants grown in water or exposed to water that is too high a PH tend to have micronutrient deficiencies or an inability to obtain nutrients from the soil. They found that influxes of alkaline water into some plant water supplies can actually cause death of those plants and fish in alkaline water can show some signs of heart stress that tend to be fatal. So, there’s some interesting studies, the website mercola over at mercola.com published some of the findings on some of these studies on alkaline water and some of the issues of water that is too alkaline.


So to wrap all this up and to put it in perspective, I’ve talked about structured water before on the podcast and about how I have a filter in my house via which water is passed through a series of vortex glass beads and then put through reverse osmosis filter and that’s what like my central system home water filter is. So it structures the water meaning it adds like a crystalline structure to the water and then filters it. That’s not an alkalinizing system. Okay, I don’t use an alkaline water filter and it’s for the reasons that I just kinda went into. I think that artificially kinda ionizing or removing a bunch of ions from water at a very very high level kinda gives you a lot of diminishing returns when you reach a certain point and it’s playing with fire so I’d be careful.

Breakfast:   Hey Ben and Brock. I love the show. I’ve been listening for a few months now and I have a question about breakfast and my son. My 10 year old son sometimes won’t eat breakfast and it’s important that I get some food in him or protein in him in the morning because he is on ADHD medication. So I’ve been reading up on smoothies and thinking about making him a smoothie in the morning when he doesn’t want anything. I was wondering about protein powder. Is it okay to give him any protein powder in the smoothie? If so, what kind of brand would you recommend or how much could I put in there? One of the recipes I looked at called for carnation instant breakfast and did some research on that and decided that it is not anything I want to put in him. The reason for it on the blog post was due to the vitamins and the minerals that it has. I’m thinking of kinda like a breakfast cereal with all kinds of added vitamins and minerals as the basic crap. So anyway, I don’t wanna do that but I was wondering about a protein powder if I could put it in there or will baby yogurt be enough to get protein in him? Anyway thanks a lot for the podcast, I enjoy listening and I will keep listening. Thanks Ben and Brock. Bye.

Brock:  I’ve never had carnation instant breakfast but I’m guessing it’s one of those powdered things you mix into water or something like that.

Ben:  It sounds wonderful. I actually am not quite sure with the ingredients of carnation instant breakfast are but I pretty much…

Brock:  I’ll look it up while you’re talking.

Ben:  Why don’t you look it up while I’m talking and I pretty much avoid anything that says instant, just add water. Anyways, unless it’s the living fuel super green stuff which is not bad but I really really doubt that this carnation falls into that category. The idea behind increasing protein intake in children or adults with ADD is that protein rich foods are used as neurotransmitter precursors meaning the amino acids in protein rich foods are used to make neurotransmitters, those are the chemicals that your brain cells use to communicate with each other so when you’re getting adequate amino acids at the start of the day, you’re kinda helping to balance the body’s neurotransmitter levels. Typically, in a situation with something like ADD or ADHD, neurotransmitter repletion a lot of times has to go above and beyond protein rich foods, sometimes you have to use essential amino acids. Sometimes you even have to use neurotransmitter repletion therapy which would be like I’ve talked about these on the show before but like neurotransmitters like 5HTP and tyrosine and some of these types of precursors or neurotransmitter precursors. Ultimately though, starting off the day with a good, you know, for a kid about 10-20 grams of protein, for an adult 20-40 grams of protein. Decent idea if you struggle with hyperactivity or ADD or lack of focus during the day so starting off breakfast with some extra protein, that’s a good idea. There are some other things that I recommend that you do as well though when it comes to ADHD. Before, I mentioned some of them. Did you happen to find the label for the carnation?

Brock:  I did. It’s first ingredient, non-fat milk and sugar, maltodextrin, cocoa, lactose, and 2% or less dicalcium phosphate, soy lecithin, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, magnesium hydrochloride, sodium ascorbate, cornstarch, a whole bunch of stuff that I cannot pronounce for the next like 17….


Ben:  They replaced sugar. Sugar, dairy, sugar, sugar, soy, sugar, chemicals, sugar, sugar. Sugar, preservatives.

Brock:  And at the very bottom it got some B6, some vitamin K, some vitamin D, folic acid, B12.

Ben:  Of course, adding the vitamins. I’d give this stuff to somebody you don’t like.

Brock:  Yeah don’t give it to your children.

Ben:  Just like yeah, get like a good, like a nice rice protein or p-protein or hemp protein or like a good organic whey protein and mix that up in like a smoothie or do like a quinoa which has some decent levels of amino acids in it with like some coconut milk and that’s one of my kids’ favorite breakfasts, cinnamon, quinoa, coconut milk, a little bit of raw honey, usually we’ll toss some coconut flakes or some raisins in there and they go back and forth between doing something like that and doing like eggs and bacon and you know, they thrive pretty well on those type of meals so you don’t have to necessarily do like a protein powder, you can get it from real food as well so that’s one thing as far as protein goes for ADHD in children and adults. There’s a few other things that I’d look into though as well. She mentioned vitamins and minerals and minerals are certainly important. Zinc, iron, and magnesium would be kind of the top 3. Zinc regulates the neurotransmitter dopamine and improving the brain’s response to dopamine is extremely important for ADHD essentially when you’re making dopamine, you’re more pleased by activities and you tend to be able to maintain your attention to activities a little bit better. Iron is also necessary for making dopamine and so….

Brock:  Iron makes us play. Or helps us play.

Ben:  Is this where we all start talking with high voices for the rest of the podcast?

Brock:  Yay!

Ben:  Yay!

Brock:  High iron.

Ben:  And low iron levels are definitely associated with cognitive deficits and ADHD so the other one is magnesium. Magnesium is used to make neurotransmitters that are involved in attention and concentration so you kinda get that holy triad grail of whatever zinc, iron, and magnesium.

Brock:  Trinity.

Ben:  The holy trinity of zinc, iron and magnesium and this is where the angels start to sing and it gives you what you need. So that really good vitamin B supplement like I’d use like a full spectrum Vitamin B. What I give my kids is they get this kids liquid multi-vitamin which is a mix of fatty acids from omega-3 and fish oil sources along with vitamin B, magnesium. They get that before they go to bed at night. It helps them to sleep like babies, literally and that’s a good way to go in my opinion. There are some other things that are important for brain function in kids and adults with ADHD as well. One would be any of these type of herbs that are traditionally used as neurotropics like ginkgo, ginseng, there’s another one called pycnogenol, there’s cytocholine, rhodiola, all of these help to improve blood flow to the brain. They’re safe. They’re not the type of things that would cause like liver or kidney issues. They aren’t overstimulants to the central nervous system. They can increase alertness you know, if you’re looking at like a junior high or a high school or a college student who has ADD or an adult who’s studying a lot. These are the type of things that I would consider giving them. I wouldn’t necessarily give a 5-year old like an adaptogenic herb or a brain stimulating herb but there is certainly a time and a place for these types of things. I’m a huge fan of something I’ve talked about on the show before called Tianchi. That’s probably my favorite, safe, natural, neurotropic Chinese herb that can increase….

Brock:  And it kinda tastes like Kool Aid…

Ben:  Kinda tastes like Kool Aid.

Brock:  Kids will like it.

Ben:  You can tell your kid it’s Kool Aid actually.

Brock:  Bitter Kool Aid.

Ben:  Yeah. Just tell them it’s Kool Aid’s Chinese friend and they’ll be happy.

Brock:  Koor Aid.

Ben:  And then, those would be the biggies. Of course you wanna avoid artificial preservatives, dyes, high sugar, and anything that would be a potential allergy causing food because that’s huge for kids with ADHD so gluten, wheat, corn, soy, essentially everything that’s on the carnation instant breakfast label. You actually want to avoid in the case of ADHD so for both kids and adults though, good neurotransmitter precursors from proteins and amino acids. Getting zinc, iron, and magnesium. Getting a good vitamin B complex with good levels of fatty acids like from a fish oil or this liquid multivitamin that I mentioned and then doing like an adaptogenic herb complex. All of that is gonna help quite a bit in a situation like this not to be misconstrued as medical advice or giving out information meant to manage a medical condition but I’m just saying, that’s what I would do if I had ADHD and difficulty focusing and oh hey, there’s a bird.

Brock:  Now do you think that Tianchi like would that be something that they would just go to the doctor and just make sure there isn’t any interaction with the medication? I guess it’s powerful enough that that should be a concern?


Ben:  Depends on the medication. I have actually had clients who used Ritalin who started to use Tianchi who quit using Ritalin almost as soon as they started using Tianchi because they didn’t need the Ritalin anymore and….

Brock:  But it’s so obvious they didn’t cause any problems, interaction problems for them.

Ben:  There were no deleterious interactions but I of course have to say to cover my ass from a legal standpoint, run anything by your doc first if you’re already on a pharmaceutical medication before you stop using a pharmaceutical medication, talk to your doc but….

Brock:  That’s why I was kinda heading with that. Just don’t. Sometimes those kinds of things like I know are certain necessaries mixed well with something like say St. John’s Wort something like that. You don’t wanna take them both at the same time but they do work well in exchange.

Ben:  Yup. Yup.

Brock:  There you go.

Ben:  There you go.

Fatloss:   Hey guys, I’m not a competitive athlete but I am recovering from adrenal fatigue. If I’m alright I would be on the walking and leg favor activity level and get rid of the 10 pounds I gained in the 3 weeks leading to the fatigue. So I was wondering, which one of your fat loss protocol of exercise and not exercising and getting back into shape. Would you say I have the safest incurrence of stress in the adrenals and what would be the sign that I should back off before I start to backslide? Thanks a lot.

Brock:  Why isn’t anybody giving us their names? This is like the third question in a row they don’t want us to know who he is.

Ben:  Probably because we’ve been making fun of people a lot. Make fun of names.

Brock:  ‘Cause we’re jerks.

Ben:  Yeah, cause we really are jerks. We’re the bullies of the podcast playground.

Brock:  You can wait for your advice in jerkish fashion.

Ben:  That’s right. So here’s the deal. If you’re recovering from adrenal fatigue and you wanna lose weight at the same time you have to be careful because choleric restriction in exercise can both stress the adrenals so you may need to find like some underground methods to lose weight that allow you to lose weight without stressing your body. Yeah, get yourself one of these fancy liposuction machines that plugs into your cigarette burner in your car and when you’re sitting in traffic, do a little self liposuction….

Brock:  Jam it in there….

Ben:  That’s right.

Brock:  That’s what the belly buttons for.

Ben:  That’s right.

Brock:  To squeeze the fat out.

Ben:  That’s right. That’s why we all have a belly button. No. Kidding. Some of the things that you can do. I’ll just give you like some unconventional techniques you could use for fat loss that aren’t gonna be as stressful to your body as like hitting the gym every day and engaging in severe levels of choleric restriction neither of which I would recommend in the state of adrenal fatigue because you’re just gonna stress your body out more in that situation. One would be greasing the groove. This means that you’re just basically staying active throughout the day. You’re doing, you know, when you’re watching TV, you’re doing 10 push-ups every commercial break, you’re doing 25 jumping jacks for every hour that you’re sitting at your desk or you’re every time you go the bathroom you’re doing 20 body weight squats or you’ve got a pull-up bar installed at the door of your office and you’re doing pull-ups every time you go underneath the door. You’re never actually telling your body hey I’m gonna go beat you up from and run from a lion for an hour at the gym but you’re figuring out ways to inject low-level physical activity into your daily routine. And you could even do something as drastic as in Craigslist, finding a barbell, putting a barbell in your garage, loading up a few plates on it, and heading out there, doing a few dead lifts here and there throughout the day or a few squats. But basically, you’re just kind of just emulating physical activity throughout the day and that would be all the more important if you have kinda like a sedentary job or you’re not getting much movement in your routine. So that would be one thing. Hand in hand with that would be to either turn your work station into a standing desk or a treadmill work station. Fantastic way to lose weight. It’s not stressful to the body. You can walk at a super slow pace, 2-3 miles an hour or you could just stand. Either one is gonna upregulate the activity of your lipase fat burning enzymes and that’s another way that you can kinda get free fat loss.

Brock:  I saw the coolest standing desk at the Philadelphia Marathon last weekend and I can’t remember the name of it. I’m gonna try and google it. It was like the coolest looking and ergonomically fashioned standing desk I’ve ever seen in my life

Ben:  Was somebody actually…

Brock:  About anything….

Ben:  Was somebody actually running the marathon in their standing work station?

Brock:  Standing desk? They were getting worked on rather than running the marathon. That’s amazing. And they still beat me.

Ben:  There are some very cool standing work stations out there. I am getting one installed in my office because we’re moving to a new house next year and I’ve even gone so far to ensure that the windows in the office are like put into the office like 2 feet higher that they normally would be to take into account the fact that I’d be standing during the day.


Yeah, there are some very cool, like updesk.com. They make a cool one. There’s a website, it’s like human, I wanna say it’s human solutions dot, I think it’s humansolutions.org. Try humansolutions.org. I believe that’s the site that has standing treadmill work stations. Let me grab my computer here and see if I can pull up something. Human solutions… Maybe it’s not humansolutions.org. Just give me a second here, this is gonna be a really really good podcasting as we stand.

Brock:  Yeah we’re both googling like crazy.

Ben:  All right, here we go, thehumansolution.com. They got one called the uplift treadmill desk and it’s pretty cool. They’ve got a few different variations of treadmill desks on here but some of those are really cool, the Uplift, I know Updesk makes one. Mark Sisson over at marksdailyapple.com recently had a pretty good article on standing work stations as well and the one that he uses is really kinda cool because it’s totally portable and the one that he uses is like a mobile standing work station. Let me see which one it is because I think I bookmarked that article when I saw it because I think it looked really, it was expensive, it’s like a $1000 desk or something like that but it’s a…

Brock:  It’s not that bad. People pay more than that.

Ben:  Okay here we go. It’s called a locust work station. A locust work station made by a company called Focal Upright Furniture. A locust work station and it’s a really cool looking one. So a few different options there, the locust workstation though is pretty damn cool…

Brock:  Oh that’s it!

Ben:  That’s it?

Brock:  That’s the one from Philadelphia.

Ben:  Yeah. Okay. Cool. We’ll put a link to the locust work station in the show notes if you guys wanna take a look at that one. That’s probably the sexiest of the workstations that we’ve come across so…

Ben:  We’ll ditch the whole little stool thing that they sell with it ‘cause what do you need that for? It’s gonna put you in a weird position.

Ben:  Yeah, you may even be able to find it on Amazon. I don’t know. Either way, we’ll find a link. We’ll put it in there. If we can find in a Philly link the better so we can make 10 bucks every time a listener buys a locust work station. We can support the podcast so we’ll figure something out. So there you go. If you buy a standing work station, you can buy it from our show notes. Okay so a few other things…

Brock:  You totally went down a rat hole there.

Ben:  Rabbit hole, not a rat. Cool fat burner vest, cold thermogenesis, that kind of stuff. Grab yourself a vest from coolfatburner.com. I think they are starting to make like, almost like corsets or like waist pieces now but you can wear this, it causes your body to generate a little bit of extra heat to burn calories, it’s not super stressful, way less stressful than even like jumping into a cold shower or a cold bath when it comes to adrenal fatigue, even that can be a little bit stressful for you so yeah, you just buy a vest that you wear. So that’s another way that you burn free calories, lose weight without stressing your body. Here’s another good one for you. Go get yourself a weight vest or some ankle weights or some wrist weights and just wear them around during the day. Use some kind of deodorant or a powder, something to keep you from getting to gamey and stinky and sweaty but…

Brock:  And wear some long sleeves so nobody can see that you’re in…

Ben:  Exactly.

Brock:  That you’re wearing weights on your wrists.

Ben:  Exactly. Or just tell people that you’re trying to burn an extra few calories like when you’re at home, whatever, working in the yard, on a walk, doing the laundry, you can use these stuff and you can burn an extra few calories when you weight 5, 10, 20 extra pounds, you know, just makes sense so.

Brock:  Just make sure you just keep gesticulating you don’t just dangle your arms.

Ben:  Did you say gesticulating?

Brock:  I did.

Ben:  Is that legal in Canada? I don’t know if it’s legal.

Brock:  Only in a couple of provinces.

Ben:  Okay. Yeah, make sure gesticulating is legal wherever you live. But if it is, yeah, just gesticulate freely and liberally. The last thing that I’d recommend that you learn is proper posture and breathing. You would be surprised at how many extra calories you can burn during the day by doing things like keeping your hamstrings activated by learning how to stand and how to keep your butt just slightly contracted almost like you’re doing just a little bit of like a kegel exercise like the whole time that you’re standing.

Brock:  Doing it right now.

Ben:  Brock’s taking a bathroom break. And then deep breathing. So shallow breathing reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood stream and that can reduce the amount of oxygen that’s available to the cells in your body and reduce your metabolism so deep breathing from your diaphragm, learning how to do that, like deep nasal breathing, I’d definitely recommend that as another method to burn free calories throughout the day so that’s another thing that I’d look into would be deep breathing and yeah, those are some of the places that Id’s start if you wanna lose weight after adrenal fatigue without stressing out your body too much so yeah a little cold thermogenesis, some extra weights, do a lot of standing, grease the groove, and then yeah…


Brock:  A little gesticulating. Gesticulation.

Ben:  And gesticulate.

Jen:  Hi Ben, my name is Jen and I have a birthday coming up next month and I was hoping to ask for my ______ [0:50:27.1] family for some kind of biohacking tool or electronic so I’m wondering what your advise is on the best one for the money that’s gonna tell me the most information. I’m not an Ironman triathlete, I do some endurance training, half marathons, full marathons, but most of the time, I just like to put it safe in group exercise classes and attend the gym. So I’m just looking for something that’s kinda help me a little bit more about myself and then I’m gonna try to figure out ways to improve it. I already have a good Garmin and a heart rate monitor, ______ [0:51:03.1] but after that what would be my next investment? Thanks for all you do. I love the show. Bye.

Ben:  Gosh, there are so many different biohacking tools out there.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  Biohacking tools. So let’s just talk about like let’s categorize this into like the actual things you can buy category that you can buy and where, that type of thing. I would say the life track device that Brock recently did a review on in the iPhone app or Android app. That was kinda cool. So it’s this company called Azumio and they make this app called an Argus and Argus can be used to track like your heart rate, the steps taken, distance, calories burned, food, sleep, everything like that.

Brock:  Even coffee.

Ben:  Even coffee.

Brock:  Special place to track your coffee.

Ben:  Track your coffee. And you can actually get this wearable wristband called the LifeTrak that syncs with the Argus app on your phone and that’s a pretty cool little 1-2 combo. I don’t know how, I think the lifetrak is maybe 60 bucks?

Brock:  Yeah it’s like 59 bucks on Amazon I think?

Ben:  And the Argus app is free. So that would be one thing to look into would be to use like the Argus app plus the lifetrak wrist watch. That would be one little biohacking toy that you can use that would be pretty cool. Another one I’d look into would be the Tinke which is made by a company called Zensorium and we’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well but the Tinke is this little attachment that you plug into your iPhone and it tests your heart rate, your respiratory rate, your blood oxygen level, and your heart rate variability and then it spits out a score. It spits out what’s called a vita score which is almost like a life force score and then a zen score which is kinda like a relaxation score. Brock and I have both used this one so the vita score is…

Brock:  Vita.

Ben:  The vita…

Brock:  Don’t you think it’s vita? Like the Latin word for life?

Ben:  But don’t you pronounce it vita?

Brock:  Oh maybe.

Ben:  I’m pretty sure you do. I had 2 years of Latin in high school. Yeah if you’re American or if you’re Latin…

Brock:  If you actually speak Latin.

Ben:  Vita! So vita, your vita index is comprised of your heart rate, your blood oxygen level, and your respiratory rate. So let’s say you wake up in the morning and you kinda have a low heart rate, you got a high blood oxygen level and you’ve got a low respiratory rate. Your vita index is really good in the case like that. The zen index simply relies on breathing and heart rate variability to calculate your level of relaxation. So you’ve got high heart rate variability and controlled breathing, then your zen index is gonna score really high so ideally you wake up in the morning, you use the Tinke to test, if you get a high zen and a high vita then that’s a good thing. And it’s got some community aspects in there where you can compare your score with the rest of the world, with your friends, stuff like that. So there’s some community gamification type of stuff build in. That’s a pretty cool one too.

Brock:  I also did a review of that product on the Ben Greenfield Fitness phone app as well.

Ben:  There you go. There you go.

Brock:  If you wanna see more about that…

Ben:  Brock is all over that. And then the…

Brock:  Everything we mentioned.

Ben:  The last one I think is kinda cool is although it’s not incredibly accurate, I think it’s kinda cool and that’s the FitBit one. So the FitBit one well, similar to the Argus plus the Lifetrak it will calculate steps taken, calories burned, distance travelled, quality of sleep, hours slept, stairs climbed, stuff like that. It’s kind of a pedometer on steroids. It is a wearable device that you just clip to you jeans or to your shirt or whatever


It has some pretty cool syncing capabilities in terms of being able to sync with online health tracking systems like danceplan.com and endomondo and runkeeper and markmyfitness and sparkpeople and a lot of these apps and websites that kind of allow you to track your diet or your fitness anyways, I think the FitBit one’s pretty cool. The Jawbone is similar to that. You know, either one’s kind of you know, six-one half does to the other but the FitBit one and the Jawbone…

Brock:  Yeah there’s a lot of stuff out there.

Ben:  Are both kinda cool. I think that there still remains to be like one device that does it all and I would hope that at some point in the future, something like that is developed and at this point doesn’t exist. However, those are 3 things that I think are kinda cool. Ultimately, it just comes down to finding something that works well for you. What do you use personally Brock? Like when you wake up in the morning, you have something that you’re actually using as your biohacking or your self-quantification device?

Brock:  I’ve been using Sweet Beat, the heart rate variability app for the iPhone and a Bluetooth heart rate strap. Actually I’ve been doing it in the evening just before I go to bed because I found that first thing in the morning, I was just sort of all over the map but in the evening it was much easier to just get a little nice reading.

Ben:  You should do it in the morning. I actually talked with Sweet Beat about this and it’s better to do it. All the studies that have been done on heart rate variability have been primarily been relying on resting morning scores so if you’re really wanting to correlate with studies or compare yourself to the general population, you may wanna consider that. So…

Brock:  That’s funny. I actually, I started doing it in the evening ‘cause I heart Ronda on the Fit Fat Fast Podcast and she was talking about doing it on the evening and I was like…

Ben:  No. Seriously? I have to listen to that because I wrote her and all the journal studies she sent me were morning so.

Brock:  Interesting.

Ben:  That’s interesting.

Brock:  Okay.

Ben:  What a freakin’ hypocrite. Gee. No, kidding.

Brock:  Or maybe I wasn’t paying close attention ‘cause I was doing yoga while I was listening but you know what the problem is with that whole list of things you just gave Jen? They’re all like things you can just kinda go out and buy yourself if you’re reasonably gainfully employed adult. I was thinking if you’re gonna ask for something for your birthday, you gotta go crazy and get like a whole body vibration plate like something that would cost like 4 grand.

Ben:  Yeah. That would be pretty cool.

Brock:  That’s a serious biohack.

Ben:  Get a whole body vibrating plate. What else could you get that would be like a serious expensive biohack?

Brock:  What’s that thing that Dave Asprey uses to pass the electron….

Ben:  Here’s a cool one for you. The Sound-Light David Mind Alive Therapy device. It’s a combination of sound therapy and binaural beats, light therapy and then electrostimulation cranial electrical stimulation. It’s made by a company called Mind Alive and it’s called the, it’s called the David. I think it’s what it’s called. Let me get the exact name for you but if you wanted to, this would be like getting the 30 years of zen meditation and kind of like compressed into using this one device throughout the day. It’s called audio-visual entrainments called the David Delight Pro and it’s like glasses, cranial electrostimulation, and then sound and it’s designed to like boost your mood, help with sleep, sharpen your mind, increase your level of relaxation, guide you into brain wave patterns, help you to do self-neuro feedback like everything, all at once and it’s actually like a class 1 medical device but you can buy it so we’ll put a link to that in the show notes if you wanna really go crazy and just go nuts on your brain and…

Brock:  I know, just go ahead and buy a laser.

Ben:  Go mad scientist and then buy a laser with a shark attached to it preferably.

Jeremy:   Hey Ben this is Jeremy Hardy from Little Kentucky and man, you got an awesome podcast. Just kinda new to it but it’s phenomenal. Have a quick question for you. Do you have any good way of tracking electrolytes? You know, use endurolytes? I’ve done an Ironman in 2011 and my biggest struggle was trying to know exactly how much salt so I didn’t know if there was a ratio you know, take about 20 ounces of water an hour and I took about 4 endurolyte pills an hour. I didn’t know if there was an appropriate ratio number one and then 2. If there was any way to track your electrolytes, on actually kinda what you need and what you know, specifically you’re low on and things like that so anyway, thank you so much. If you can answer that, that would be phenomenal. Talk to you soon. Thanks.

Brock:  So I’m assuming this is going to involve some kind of peeing or bleeding into a test tube.


Ben:  No, just licking. You know, what you do is you lick your arm and you gauge the level of saltiness…

Brock:  Oh yeah.

Ben:  Based on the salt scale. Really good way to track your salt. It’s highly scientific too.

Brock:  Uhm, I taste delicious.

Ben:  That’s right. The armpits are the good, probably the best spot, would be the armpits.

Brock:  Of course.

Ben:  If you can get your tongue in there. Anyways, no you are correct Brock. You need to do an electrolyte panel. The best way, if you really wanted to check for electrolyte deficiencies, so first of all, if you were just to do like a normal Wellness FX baseline panel which is gonna test your thyroid, your lipids, your red blood cells, your white blood cells, your kidney, your liver, it will also include electrolytes. So it will test sodium, potassium, chromium, chloride, common electrolytes that are a pretty good picture of how you’re doing from a mineral standpoint. Really related to some of the stuff that we started talking about earlier in this podcast related to alkalinity and acidity meaning like if you have a super duper acidic diet, you can potentially you know, leech minerals and you would have in that case like low levels of bicarbonate. You might have really really high levels of sodium, levels of chloride. In a state of adrenal fatigue, a lot of times you have abnormally high potassium levels so you can kind of when you’re looking at the levels of some of these minerals have a decent idea of some things that might be going on in your body. A lot of times you get a lot of athletes who are just walking around with low electrolyte levels across the board and easily easily fixed by just adding in a few grams daily of like a Himalayan sea salt or a trace liquid minerals blend but ultimately, to test this, yeah, just like a basic wellness FX baseline panel is good, there’s another one called the minerals panel that you could get from Direct Labs. It’s like 150 bucks and that’s gonna test your magnesium, it’s gonna test your iron, it’s gonna test what’s called your total iron binding capacity which is a blood test that tells you if there’s too much or too little iron in your blood because iron is carried in your blood attached to this protein called transferrin so it measures the ability of this protein called transferring to carry iron in your blood. It will measure zinc, it will measure potassium, it will measure calcium, it will measure phosphorus. Technically, that minerals panel is a little bit more comprehensive than the minerals that you would get looked at if you were to do something that would look like a wellness FX baseline panel but ultimately, like that wellness FX baseline panel that gives you something like sodium, potassium, chloride, and your bicarbonate or your C02, that’s generally gonna tell you most of what you need to know so unless you have some serious electrolyte imbalance or deficiency that you’re concerned about, that’s really all you need to do. If you really wanted to just like get the full meal deal, you can do a mineral panel through Direct Labs. We’ll link to both of those in the show notes but that would ultimately be the way to go if you wanted to know about electrolytes. I’ve found that most people feel pretty good by just adding in and again, a couple shots of trace liquid minerals in the morning and/or a bunch of pinches of Himalayan sea salt or like an Aztecan sea salt, it’s another really really good form of sea salt when you look at mineral profile. 70 plus different minerals in the Himalayan or the Aztecan sea salt and that’d be another good way to go. The Himalayan sea salt that we use is made by Onnit and that’s a really really good brand so we just get a big bag of Onnit Himalayan sea salt about once a month and we go through the stuff like it’s going out of style. I even travel with it ‘cause it actually helps stabilize your adrenals and stuff when you’re stressed out so that’s another good one like an Onnit sea salt or a trace liquid minerals. The trace liquid minerals that we use is made by Natural Calm, the same company that makes the Natural Calm magnesium…

Brock:  Magnesium.

Ben:  Yeah. Yeah so…

Brock:  That makes me sleepy just saying it.

Ben:  If you live in a super hot area, you’re whatever. Maybe you’re training for an Ironman triathlon or something like that, you could do both. You could do literally like a mineral supplement in the morning and then just like liberal use of a Himalayan sea salt during the day. You could use one or the other if you’re not really into salty food and you probably just wanna go with the minerals in like a morning glass of water but more than one way to skin a cat. Ultimately though, that’s how you test and that’s how you replenish.

Matthew:   Hi Ben. My name is Matthew. I have a question about how quickly your body can switch to different types of training. I’m looking towards next year’s races and I wanna do a stair race in February which would be a less than 5 minutes all out, max effort. That will be in mid February and I want to do a 15 mile running race in May. I’m a little worried about the 2 and a half month time period between there being enough time to switch my body to train for those races.


I have a pretty good base. I’ll be doing my first 50k coming up in October. I got 2nd in the stair running race earlier this year so I got a pretty solid base going into these so I’m just not sure how I can successfully train for both of the races almost at the same time. So any tips you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Ben.

Brock:  A stair race. Have you ever done a stair race?

Ben:  I did a stair race in Thailand. I did a stair race up to the Tower of Buddha. We were there with about 12 folks and apparently there had been a competition going on for several years to see who could climb. It was like 1400 steps going up to the Great Buddha statue and I actually set the course record. And that was the hardest workout or among the hardest workouts that I’ve ever done in my life. It was just climbing stairs for 11 minutes solid. It’s as fast the pace as I could go.

Brock:  Yeah, but that sounds really hard.

Ben:  It was really really hard. It was really hard. Stair races are difficult so 5 minute all out max effort on stairs, that’s like again, lactic acid coming out of your eyeballs. And then the 50 mile running race is a totally different physiological system that you will be tapping into and we’re talking about 3 months in between both of them. Now, of course the issue is that if you train your body for the ideal amount of fast switch muscle, lactic acid buffering and speed you’re gonna need for that 5 minute stair race, you are gonna have to neglect like a lot of that base training that you normally would be doing for that 50 mile running race so if it were me and I were in your shoes, I would be at this point, running once a week as your big run of the week where it’s like you’re heading out into the hills, on to the trails. It’s like a hike or a run or a hike-run combo, spending a lot of time in your feet, getting your body prepared for the rigors of a 50 mile run. And just so you know, the rules for running a 50-miler are very very similar to the rules for running a marathon meaning that the longest that you ever have to run to prepare for a 50-miler and would be able to complete it would be running a marathon distance. And once you exceed that, that’s where you kinda get to that law of diminishing returns where you’re gonna start to get injured more, you’re gonna have stress fracture, adrenal fatigue, biomechanical issues. So understanding…

Brock:  So you’re talking about doing the full 26 miles?

Ben:  Yeah. But not…

Brock:  Not short of like 20 miles.

Ben:  Yeah, 20, 25 in that range. Just understand though, you don’t have to push up to 30, 40, 50 miles in your training sessions so…

Brock:  Not in one go.

Ben:  No. Not in one go. And the human body does pretty well with endurance training just once a week in that fashion. And you can literally have all your other training sessions be short, intense runs. It’s very very similar to what I do for Ironman. So I typically have 1 hard run a week that’s 20-30 minutes long where it’s really really hard where I’m on a treadmill doing like a 10 by 30 second super fast sprint pace. Or I’m doing like 10 by 100 meter barefoot sprints out in the park by my house. And then I’ve got one other run I’m doing that’s about anywhere from 60-90 minutes of kind of like intense aerobic intervals and those are my 2 running sessions that I do leading up to Ironman. I haven’t found that I get much faster when I run more than twice a week so I just don’t. And that’s also because I’m not a huge fan of running anyways. I think that it’s slightly unnatural to just like run a lot so that’s my personal Ironman training protocols, those 2 runs a week and then at one time before Ironman, typically at some point in the last 4 weeks before Ironman, I go out and run 20 miles. And for me that’s just like my mental check-up, my kinda yeah I can moment where I tap into that system of spending a lot of time on the feet but I don’t do that you know, 10 times leading to the time of the race. I do it once typically sometime in the last 4 weeks, usually 3-4 weeks out ideally so I got some time to recover ‘cause that’s hard to actually kinda run 20 miles for me at least. So what I would be doing for this particular combination is doing a lot of power, doing a lot of speed. There’s the article that I wrote called over at bengreenfieldfitness.com called “The 5 Essential Elements of an Endurance Training Program that Most Athletes Neglect: Power and Speed”. I’ll link to that in the show notes but in it I go into some of the main protocols that you wanna do to build power and speed while you are simultaneously training for endurance. One would be plyometrics meaning you’re doing a lot of box jumps, bounce, throws, slams, skips, a lot of things that are really really gonna help you in the stair race as well.


Another thing would be speed-strength sets where you’re doing multi-joint moves like squats, clings, dead lifts, things of that nature but you’re lifting them quickly and explosively, not slowly so kind of like Olympic style weight training. And then the last thing that really really helps with developing power and speed is what are called complex sets where you do a strength set like a set of squats followed by an explosive set like a set of squat jumps or lunges followed by lunge jumps or front squats followed by drop jumps but basically traditional strength set followed by a plyometric set. If you’re wanting to build power and speed as quickly as possible, that’s a really really good way to do it. A few other things that you may want to think about would be like overspeed running, water running, of course, very very sports specific, up and down stair running, any of that stuff is all gonna help with kinda like leg turnover and speed and when you combine it with some of this explosive power lifting style movements, speed-strength sets, plyometrics, and then you’re doing one long run a week and you know, 1-2 kinda like high intensity metabolic conditioning run sessions a week, you’re gonna turn yourself into that stair running 5 minute/50 mile running animal that you wanna be.

Brock:  Monster.

Ben:  So that’s what I would do if I were in your shoes. You’re never gonna be like you can have the best of both worlds ultimately with that but you can get pretty good at both of those if you use that type of protocol, I mean you know, I scratch the surface, this is the kind of stuff I do when I do consults with people as we actually lay out a more specific program but that’s where I would start as with that.

Brock:  I like it. I like it a lot.

Ben:  I like it a lot.

Brock:  I like it so much.

Ben:  Can you do Chewbacca again?

Brock:  Oh that was trace.

Ben:  Happy Chewbacca. So speaking of happy Chewbacca, we have a podcast review that we can read right now. And…

Brock:  Fantastic.

Ben:  Because if you go to iTunes and you leave this podcast a review, then Brock and I will come to your house and will make you breakfast in bed. Maybe. Or possibly you may just get a special gift box sent to your house from bengreenfieldfitness.com so if you hear us read your review, if you go to iTunes and you leave a review and you hear us read your review, and you write us and you say “hey, I heard you read my review, here’s my address,” we’ll send you a little something something so.

Brock:  A little something something.

Ben:  And it might even be Brock jumping out of a cupcake. A really big cupcake in his yeti suit. So here’s the review, it’s by N9UPU. Yes, he’s a robot, I guess. So here’s what N9UPU says, “5 stars, says darn good podcast. I’ve been listening to the podcast for over a year now. It was a little technical when I first started listening but I quickly caught on. Ben does a great job explaining fitness and nutrition. My only complaint is that there is not banjo or squeeze box music on every episode”. Brock, can we do something about that?

Brock:  Absolutely.

Ben:  Boom. Let’s squeeze box them out. Or banjo them out. Either one. Or both. Is there such a thing as banjo squeeze box music?

Brock:  Can I do both?

Ben:  Maybe.

Brock:  At the same time? I don’t think so.

Ben:  We’ll find out.

Brock:  Anyway.

Ben:  We’ll see what Brock’s technical capabilities are and in the meantime, as our beautiful banjo and squeeze box music plays in the background, head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/256 to get access to everything that we talked about in today’s show. All the links, all the notes, all the tweets, it’s all there in all of its glory and we’ll be coming to you next week as usual with episode number 257 so have a great week folks.



Sep 19, 2013 Podcast: Is alkaline water a scam,  ADHD diet for kids, losing weight after adrenal fatigue, what is the best biohacking device, how to test your electrolytes, and how to train for speed and endurance at the same time.

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Listener Q&A:

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

Testimonial from Chris @ 00:18:28
In a period of 6 months every major aspect of my life – professional, personal and mental – hit complete failure. In a dark place, in incredibly bad health, recovering from a second lower spine surgery, scrambling after my startup company closed shop, spiraling from an incredibly bad (like Manti T’eo meets Catfish bad) relationship breakup, following a two week whiskey bender in Vegas, my older brother (Michael) answered my social network plea to help me hit the life reset button. Together we trained for and finished our first 70.3 triathlon in only 90 days. In the process I’m now in the best shape of my life and have achieved a new level of mental clarity and drive. My 70.3 race goals (in decreasing order) were to 1) finish the half-ironman 2) finish under 6:00:00 maximum 3) finish under 5:45:00 stretch 4) do not walk during the run leg 5) leave with a desire to continue training in endurance multi sports and 6) beat my brother -he beat me in both of our tune-up olympic distance triathlons.

Is Alkaline Water A Scam?

BodyChem says @ 00:22:30
Kangen Water “a means of delivering alkaline water to your body”. Is this a good thing to do for as source of hydration all the time or just now and then?

ADHD Diet for Kids

Breakfast says @ 00:30:51
She has a 10-year-old son that will not eat breakfast. He is on an ADHD medication so he really needs to eat a breakfast with protein in it. Would you recommend a protein powder smoothie for breakfast? She read that Coronation Instant Breakfast was a good thing to give him (due to the vitamins and minerals). She doesn’t want to give that to him but she does want to get some protein in with the meds.

Losing weight after adrenal fatigue

Fatloss says @ 00:40:59
Recovering from adrenal fatigue and wants to lose the 10lbs he put on while recovering. What would be the best way to lose the weight without risking a relapse?

~ In my response, I mention the CoolFatBurner.com vest and Focal furniture website.

What is the best biohacking device?

Jen says @ 00:50:20
She has a birthday coming up next month and wants to ask for a biohacking tool or electronic. What would be the best one be for the money that will tell her the most information? She does half and full marathons but mostly just goes to the gym and does group exercise classes. She already has a Garmin and a HR Monitor.

~ In my response, I mention the Azumio Argus + LifeTrak device OR the Zensorium Tinke OR the FitBit. We also mention the MindAlive therapy device.

How to test your electrolytes

Jeremy says @ 00:59:08
He is looking for a good way to track his electrolytes. Is there a way to know what you are specifically low on? He currently uses endurolytes (20 ounces of water and 4 endurolyte pills per hour) but doesn’t know if that is the right ratio.

~ In my reply, I mention WellnessFX Baseline Test and DirectLabs Mineral Panel. I also talk about Onnit+ Himalayan Sea Salt or trace liquid minerals.

How to train for speed and endurance at the same time

Mathew says @ 01:04:30
He is doing a “stair race” in February (less than 5 minutes all out max effort) and then do a “50 mile running race” in May. He is worried that he does not have time to switch his body over in between. He has a solid base going into the training but is worried about training for both races almost at the same time.

~ In my response I mention this article on Power and Speed movements.

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/09/256-what-is-the-best-biohacking-device-is-alkaline-water-a-scam-how-to-train-for-speed-and-endurance-at-the-same-time/


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2 thoughts on “Episode #256 – Full Transcript

  1. Meneses Andrea says:

    Hey Ben , I was wondering If you have updates on your thoughts about alkaline- specifically Kangen water system?

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