Episode #266 – Full Transcript

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Podcast #266 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/01/266-is-it-bad-to-run-in-cold-weather-how-to-heal-head-injuries-as-fast-as-possible-hemp-vs-whey-protein-much-more/


Introduction:  In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Is It Bad To Run In Cold Weather, How To Deal With Head Injuries As Fast As Possible, Alternatives To Squats, Can Power or Speed or Strength Sports Build Endurance, How Endurance Training Can Make You Fat, and Hemp vs. Whey Protein.

Ben:  I feel a little bit hypocritical this morning Brock.

Brock:  That’s how I wake up every morning.

Ben:  I ate an epic bar for breakfast. Do you have one of those? It’s like a….

Brock:  No because they’re the devil.

Ben:  It’s a bison bar. Why is that of the devil?

Brock:  Oh, oh.

Ben:  Epic bar must mean something completely different in Canada. So, no it’s actually….

Brock:  Well, it’s actually made of baby seals up here.

Ben:  It’s a bar made of grass-fed bison but I’m also wearing the plant power t-shirt that Rich Roll gave me when I went to have a podcast with him.

Brock:  No, no Richbie, so disappointed in you.

Ben:  My body is so confused right now and I’m also wearing the coffee-infused oil (remember we talked about that last week with the dark eye circles under your eyes and how coffee-infused oil can help with that?) well, my wife has coffee-infused oil and I was in there in the bathroom this morning kinda eyeing it and I put it on my face before and I put it on again this morning and I forgotten how much you smell as though you’ve just smeared a mocha all over your face when you put that stuff on.

Brock:  Hmm, does it make your eyes twitch though like they’re freaking out on caffeine?

Ben:  No, I don’t think you absorb much of the actual caffeine into your blood stream. I’ve got bison on my teeth and coffee on my face.

Brock:  You’ve seen that South Park character tweak?

Ben:  This is hard. Yeah, weeah, ahh, ehh, ahh!

Brock:  That’s how I was picturing your face doing.

Ben:  Eh tweak, come here you guys! And I’ve also got my office all kinda rigged-out after Jack Kruse’s podcast episode. I already ground my laptop to reduce the amount of electro-magnetic radiation so I have a cable I got from lessemf.com that kinda comes over the laptop and plugs into a dirty electricity filter on the wall.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  But what I have done now is during our podcast I have everything hard-wired and then the actual radio for the wifi router turned off. So this pretty much no wifi signal during the entire podcast. So if I sound like way more intelligent today it’s because I’m not being bombarded with dangerous emf signals.

Brock:  Neither am I but I actually, I took it a step further and I got a lead lined vest and pants and I’m just wearing those like just 24/7 now.

Ben:  I’m actually during our podcast gonna make myself an aluminium foil hat so I can 1 up you so if you hear some crinkling in the background that’s what that is.

Brock:  I didn’t mention about lead based…..

Ben:  It’s not another epic bar. Well, let’s quit scaring our listeners and jump in, shall we?

News Flashes:

Brock:  Links, links, links, we love links! Links!

Ben:  That’s right.

Brock:  We’ve got a bunch of links!

Ben:  First of all, by the way, happy New Year to all of our listeners and…..

Brock:  Boom! Happy 2014!

Ben:  That’s right. I know Brock mentioned to me earlier, we’ve been getting lots of questions about detoxes and cleanses for the New Year. We might as well just say this now and saving for the special announcements but have no fear unless you’re not a member of the Ben Greenfield fitness inner circle because….

Brock:  What? Is that possible?

Ben:  Jessa and I are gonna do a big kinda primer on new year’s detoxes and new year’s cleanse on January 12th that is Sunday evening from 6:30pm ‘til about 7:30pm Pacific. That’s 9:30-10:30 for your late night Eastered coasters and of course the replay will be available on everything but those of you who wanting to know all about cleansing and detoxing for the New Year, don’t worry we’ve got it covered in an upcoming webinar. We’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/266.


Brock:  I like how you’re giving everybody a little bit of time to do a little natural coming down from the New Year’s parties, from all the holiday parties and stuff before they can get to cleanse time. I think people like January 1st like “bam! I wanna do everything right and every perfect” and puts a lot of pressure on that 1st week and I think the failure rate is something like 97% of people who starts something on January 1st have failed by the end of January so it’s nice to ease them to give them a little time to easing to it until the 12th.

Ben:  Actually that’s not why.

Brock:  Oh!

Ben:  But that’s make me something really good. It’s actually because I’m flying over to New York to do a 3 hr treadmill study where they do like muscle biopsy on me and feed me a high fat diet for 3 days and then test to see what my body burns in terms of fat vs. carbolization on the treadmill for 3 hrs and then they’ll do a VO2 max test and, all this jazz it’s keeping me from actually doing any webinars during the 1st week of January but I like what you said better.

Brock:  Yeah, well yeah I’ll just edit this part so you can sound smart. Are they  gonna do muscle biopsies and then put you back on the treadmill? ‘cause that’s gonna hurt.

Ben:  Bleeding and full of sutures, no I’ll do the biopsy post treadmill.

Brock:  I was in a seminar with Dr. Jack Daniels who talked about doing muscle biopsy on himself and it’s like, they take a chunk like a big thick needle sinks as deep as they basically can go and pulls out part of your muscle tissue.

Ben:  It’s like having a baby yeah, it’s pretty intense.

Brock:  A tiny baby through your calf.

Ben:  A tiny baby through a hole in your calf. So let’s jump in to these studies, first of all an interesting study came out. It was actually a couple of months ago but this was in Plos One, I’ll link to it in the show notes. It’s called A Comparison of Blue Light and Caffeine Effect on Cognitive Function and Alertness in Humans. Abababab……that’s mouthful.

Brock:  Yeah, make sense that one of those mouthfuls that actually like you figure out what they’re saying not….Ha?

Ben:  It looked at whether blue light had an effect on caffeine and turns out that it does like when you combine and caffeine, you get a synergistic effect where you get better cognitive performance if you are exposed to blue light in the presence of caffeine. So what that means for those of you who are kinda…..

Brock:  Blue light, you don’t mean an actual like run to the store and get yourself a blue-colored light in put it infront of your….

Ben:  No, I don’t mean Kmart. No, what I mean is blue light wavelengths from the sun or blue light from a blue light generating machine if you live in a dark, gray dreary climate like Seattle or Portland or something like that. Anyways though, you get a lot better effects from the caffeine if you can get exposure to blue lights. If you’re able to step outside and sip your morning cup of coffee in the sunshine, good idea! And if you wanna one of these sunrise alarm clock, good idea and remember even if you wear a sleep mask or something like that to keep your room dark and use one of these sunlight alarm clocks, you’re skin has photo receptors in it too so you can sense that light even if your eyes don’t see it. Anyways though, good good idea and this study goes into why. So check that one out and then another interesting one was that you can get fit by squeezing your muscles and this was a study in The International Journal Of Sports Medicine and looked at short term maximum contraction of a muscle and in this case the bicep muscle.

Brock:  I got really excited when you said squeezing. I was gonna pay somebody like 5 bucks just to follow me around and like to squeeze me once in a while.

Ben:  It’s called the massage therapist. Yeah!

Brock:  Yeah, I was thinking like just a line backer to pick me up and uhhh and bear hug every once in a while.

Ben:  Well, whatever works for football player massage therapist, either way what this found out was that when you squeeze muscles like let’s say you are sitting in your car squeezing your butt to make your butt stronger or you wanna play in squeezing your biceps or say your, I don’t know shrugging your shoulders to train your traps. This stuff actually works, isometric contractions actually work. Now, I personally know this because I used to be a body builder and I would spend 15-30 extremely vain minutes in front of the mirror every night practicing my flex routine and I would have sweat pouring off my body and be sore the next day from my flex routine. And what this study did was actually looked at whether or not this is actually true or whether this is just a figment of our imagination. What they showed was that the force generating capability of a muscle that was simply activated by you squeezing the muscle went up after a 4 week training program of 3 days a week of 4 seconds maximum voluntary contractions followed by 4 seconds of relaxation and what they did was 10 reps of 4 seconds on, 4 seconds off and they did 5 sets of those a day.


So you’re doing quite a bit of isometric training. But let’s say I mean, you don’t have access to a gym or you’re stuck at your office and you know what your boss to see your sneaking off to workout. You can be working out and nobody can even know it and you’re still generating these improvements and force generating capabilities.

Brock:  You’re also be showing off your guns to the receptionist by flexing the biceps.

Ben:  I just like to wear shorts everywhere and squeeze my calves and make them look big just….

Brock:  I’d like to wear buttless chaps and squeeze my…. punch my cheeks.

Ben:  I did not need that visual.

Brock:  Is that too much?

Ben:  Along with the line back to following me around. So, a final note and we’re gonna end this news flashes on a high note rather than that disturbing visual is the secret to living as long as possible is officially out and I think this is really cool. So….

Brock:  They found the fountain of youth. They found the Holy Grail. And….

Ben:  The Grant Study, did you hear about this study? They actually followed….

Brock:  No, that’s why I’m making dumbass guesses….

Ben:  As they followed a group of men for their entire life to see what it was that would cause people to live the longest if you would just track everything from like how much money to make to the kind of diets to your relationships to your exercise, everything. The one biggest thing that was able to increase longevity most significantly was spending time with friends, our relationships.

Brock:  Why am I slightly disappointed by that?

Ben:  Because you don’t have any friends.

Brock:  (laughs) What the, that’s…. did I set that up, really didn’t I?

Ben:  It’s okay Brock, I’ll be your friend. But anyways, I just want to point this out if something is important to any of our listeners like you’re not focusing, you know, this is great for you to hear starting off the new year on your relationships, on friendships. You know, if you’re  getting really carried away with say like fitness, nutrition, spending long periods of time alone by yourself in a gym with headphones on and something like that, step back and re-prioritize because it turns out that no matter how much you exercise or how healthy you eat if you have don’t friends and really good relationships then doesn’t do quite as much for you. So, go out of your way you know, whether it that means going and shaking the hands of a neighbour and meeting somebody new in your neighbourhood or calling up an old friend from college and rekindling a friendship or working on your existing relationships you know, there’s a really good book I like called “Never Eat Alone” really good book and that one goes in to a how to form relationships, how to strengthen relationships for business or for personal. I shouldn’t say personal gain but you know like a….

Brock:  Well, not in a selfish way.

Ben:  Yeah, I guess gain in an unselfish way. But that’s a really good book, Never Eat Alone, it’s a good one to read. Anyways though, power of friendships and power of relationships so there you go.

Brock:  There you go, quality equals quantity.

Special Announcements:

Brock:  So it seems like it’s been forever since we went to Kona and plastered the place with posters and handouts and flyers and everything that we talked about was beyond training, beyond training book, beyond training book….

Ben:  Yeah, nothing like littering in Hawaii but yeah “Beyond Training” is just 2 months out from being released. My brand new book, It’s 534 pages long, 6 hidden chapters online, still even the after pre-order over $5,000 of swag available over at beyondtrainingbook.com when you pre-order and I’ll have more special announcements coming out for those of you who have gyms or in clubs like triathlon clubs who wanna order lots and lots of books or even gonna do some specials where I will actually fly out to your club to your gym and I’m gonna be doing that for 10 different gyms or clubs during 2014 for any club or gym who orders bundle bulk books. So, more news about that later but in the meantime if you don’t wanna order 500 books and you just grab one for yourself, or 1, 3 or 10 or a big bundle going on right now but check out beyondtrainingbook.com, it’s everything that  you need to know about how to get healthy in the outside, healthy in the inside, if you didn’t wanna go back and listen to the previous 265 podcasts episode you get everything you need out of that 1 book so check that out and then while you’re surfing around the internet head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear and Brock what did they get over there?

Brock:  They’ll get a delightful technical t-shirt with the Ben Greenfield fitness logo, they get a bpa-free water bottle that you take to the gym, take to the store or nowhere else you wanna take it,  and a beanie for your head.


Ben:  That was an awesome voice! Were you doing your vanna white hands at the same time as you were doing your natural voice?

Brock:  I was! How could you tell, could you hear them like squishing….

Ben: I can hear the air switching that’s right. So, those are the big announcements now of course if you stay tuned for the end of the show, we’re gonna send some of that gear straight out to the person who left this week’s top review on iTunes. So, stay tuned for that and a quick announcement and then we jumped in to this week’s Q and A.

Voice-over:  Did you know that Ben Greenfield personally mentors trainers, coaches, physicians, and nutritionist from around the globe. From business building tips to advance team and performance and health concepts, It’s all part of a private mastermind called The Superhuman Coach Network. When you join you get instant access to monthly workshops with Ben, a Q & A forum, over 40 hrs of cutting edge audio and video education and much more. Check it out today and become one of the world’s leading health and fitness experts at superhumancoach.com/podcast.

Listener Q&A:

Ben:  Hi Ben, I’ve got a quick question for you, it’s about running with the temperatures below the freezing point. I just came back from a run from what I can tell it’s totally doable though I was wearing a new shorts, shorts for my mom’s legs but apparently it’s not good for the joints and the knees. I was hoping to get an answer from you about that. Hope it’s great, thank you.

Brock:  Well, I hope you say that it’s okay because it’s currently minus 11 Fahrenheit, minus 24 Celsius here in Edmonton and I was out running.

Ben:  Well….

Brock:  I wasn't wearing shorts like Ben was. (laughs)

Ben:  I was actually out rocking yesterday with my 50 pound weight vest.

Brock:  Rocking?

Ben:  I guess it’s the military esque term for hiking with the weight on but rocking just sounds cooler even though it wasn’t a rock sock it was weighted vest. I’m sore today though, it was actually pretty difficult, I try and only do nasal breathing so that I’m focused on kinda controlling my cortisol levels and my oxygen utilization and just basically hike straight up hill with that vest on.

Brock:  Were you wearing the altitude training mask?

Ben:  I was not for that session, no, because I’ve found that in the cold I tend to fill it up with snot and it’s kinda nasty so….

Brock:  It freezes and then you can’t breathe anything.

Ben:  That’s right. The thing is there’s more multiple studies that support the role that weather changes can play in causing joint discomfort. It’s not necessarily joint damage but definite joint discomfort. Now….

Brock:  Like when people who have arthritis are crippled up and they say, “It’s gonna rain tomorrow ‘cause I can’t bend my hands.”

Ben:  Uhumm,uhumm exactly. So you need to start off this whole topic with an understanding of the type of joints that are most commonly susceptible to weather related discomfort and it’s your synovial joints. So, a synovial joint is where you got 2 bone ends and each one has the cartilage that covers it and the cartilage is smooth which reduces friction during movement and surrounding both those bones is what’s called the capsule and that capsule has a layer in it that secretes synovial fluid to lubricate the joints called the synovial membrane and that secretes this fluid. Now when you get discomfort in a synovial joint typically the discomfort is caused by receptors called nociceptors which are pain receptors and those are neurofibers that can be excited by different kind of stimuli in the environment like pressure or stretching or temperature or chemicals and all of these can cause perception of discomfort or true discomfort. Now, the studies that have been done on weather patterns and joint comfort are really interesting. For example, there was one study were they collected data from a weather station about precipitation and atmosphere pressure and temperature and the results from that study indicated that hip discomfort correlated significantly to atmosphere pressure. There was another study that looked at knee discomfort and similarly found a direct association not only between the atmospheric pressure or the barometric pressure but also the ambient temperature and knee discomfort. So as the barometric pressure fell and as temperature fell you tended to see an increased in knee discomfort.


And then there was another study that they did where they looked at humidity and they found that as humidity increased, there was actually an increase in reporting of joint aches and muscle aches. This is why a lot of times you’ll notice when people sense that rain is coming or barometric temperature or barometric pressure drops and sometimes temperature drops, a lot of people with arthritis, you know, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis they will all sense whether or not it’s gonna rain based off of that initial decrease in barometric pressure.

Brock:  So it’s the pressure and it’s also the humidity starting to rise.

Ben:  Uhm, there’s another study that show that increasing number of sunlight hours is associated with decrease proportion of people with joint discomfort. So, the mechanism behind this is not totally understood. There’s one theory that says that because fluid viscosity is reduced when the temperature drops the fluid flow within the joint is actually decreased which means that your synovial fluid just doesn’t basically flowing quite as well. There’s another theory….

Brock   Just like the oil in your car when it’s cold out it gets a little stickier doesn’t quite warm up as quickly.

Ben:  Yup exactly. There’s another study that suggest that the actual relaxation of the fibers within the muscle is, it’s dis inhibited or rather it’s inhibited. I’m making this too complex. Basically the fibers become less elastic, it’s the whole cold rubber band type of argument that allows those ligaments and fibers become less elastic so you get more bone on bone or you get less mobility for example, the patella or its ability to track properly in the femoral  groove. So….

Brock:  That makes sense like when you’re cold you start to tense up so that would transfer to the muscle fiber and the fascia and everything.

Ben:  Yeah and there some interesting animal studies that show that when temperature decreases there’s actually a firing of specific nerve fibers (those nocis after neurofibers) that actually increases as temperature decreases causing like this cold hyper sensitivity effect and when you put all these 3 things together, it certainly does make sense that running in cold weather can cause temporary discomfort. That doesn’t mean that it’s causing permanent harm though. I am a big fan just because of the whole rubber band concept of making sure that you warm up properly. That you improve oxygen supply, blood flow, nutrient delivery to tissues by just for example, you know, doing a little yoga warm up in your living room before you step outside to run or starting to run just with the brisk walk rather than going straight into a run. That’s stuff would help out quite a bit but also take care of the health of your synovial fluid and also do some things to help ease inflammatory discomfort that can arise from running in the cold like that temporary discomfort. So, for example turmeric or curcumin extract, that’s huge in terms of modulating the inflammatory response and decreasing some of that discomfort naturally without aggravating your stomach like ibuprofen might. Enzymes like proteolytic enzymes, those can also help to improve elasticity of fiber that can help to minimize swelling, they directly affect nociceptors which are those nerve cells that can cause that pain and discomfort that you get with cold weather. Phenoalanine is another one that’s a component of the phenocane stuff that I use which also is a really good source of curcumin that helps to modulate the inflammatory response and then you can also take care of your synovial fluid by using stuff like glucosamine sulphate, chondroitin sulphate if you can combine that with a lot of natural anti-inflammatories like tart cherry juice, ginger, garlic, the turmeric that I already talked about, that’s really good too. So if you get discomfort in the cold when you’re running, I’m a huge fan of that one two combo, I think I’ve mentioned a few times before the CapraFlex plus the phenocane so that’s part of the injury pack that you can get over at pacificfit.net and that’s something I would break out in the cold weather if you’re getting joint pain or whatever, skiing, snowboarding, running, it’ll just help manage the discomfort and it will also help with the synovial fluid particularly the CapraFlex which could protect you long term from any potential damage if you are kinda exercising when your joints are a little less flexible.

Billy:    Hi Ben, this is Billy from Austin, Texas. So I was on a trail running a couple of days ago. I tripped and I fell on a very rocky downhill section and then my head slammed into a rock.


Unfortunately, the rock win that battle and now I have concussion. Do you have any recommendations on things that will help to speed up brain recovery? I have a 100k race in January and I’m hoping that my head heals in time to salvage a couple of weeks in training. Thanks!

Brock:  Ah, how many concussions have you had in your life Ben?

Ben:  I’ve had 2, one from mountain biking and one from football. How about you? What’s your….

Brock:  I fell to one from tobogganing and one from ballet. (laughs) Yes I said ballet.

Ben:  Tobogganing and ballet vs. mountain biking and football. So who’s from Canada and who’s from the US, we’ll let our listeners decide while I launch into explaining how you can take care of healing your body.

Brock:  And I’m afraid Billy ask this question a little while ago so he doesn’t have a lot of time before his race in January so let’s….

Ben:  Oh, hopefully Billy still has some brain cells left. So you know this is really interesting because a study just recently came out on professional football players and this is a huge deal right now in terms of headline news stories in the US of NFL football players finishing up their careers and just being destroyed from a cognitive impairment standpoint and neurological deficit standpoint. Some of them are suing the NFL and they’re teams for a lot of the damage that occur during play. And the interesting thing is that they did this clinical trial on 30 retired NFL players who had demonstrated brain damage and cognitive impairment and they did cognitive function testing on them and then they tested what’s called brain perfusion and that is just a fancy term for brain blood flow.

Brock:  So, hypoperfusion.

Ben:  Yeah well, no not leakage as much as blood flow and oxygen delivery. So hypoperfusion would mean that there’s a bad thing going on, that your brain is not getting enough blood delivery or that there are certain areas of the brain are not getting proper blood flow. So you get poor cerebral blood flow as what’s it called. Now in an NFL athlete who has hypoperfusion that means that their brain is basically going to die faster or in anyone who has hypoperfusion and hypoperfusion is something that can occur post concussion and it can occurred for years post concussion and your brain can slowly become more and more damage from this long term hypoperfusion that occurs after head injury. So, they looked at brain perfusion and they also looked at cognitive function in these athletes and they had, the athletes take a special range of supplement for 6 months. Supplements that would design to fight off inflammation in the brain, to enhance the brain cell membrane structure, to boost levels of what’s called the citicoline which is one of the primary neurotransmitters in your brain, it’s also one of the ways a lot of smart drugs work and then also to enhance the metabolic activity of neurons which is another way that smart drugs work. It’s interesting that a lot of the supplements that they used in this study are also components of smart drugs but what they….

Brock:  Yeah, I think everyone of those from Dave Asprey’s bulletproof radio program.

Ben:  Yeah exactly, what they’ve found was that there were statistically significant increases in attention memory, reasoning, information processing speed and accuracy in all of the players who went on this protocol and what a post protocol scan showed of the brain was increased perfusion in the areas of the brain that has decreased blood flow. I have no clue why this wasn’t all over the sports page headlines in America ‘cause it really fly under the radar. I had to stumble across it in the Life Extension Foundation article where I found this this research report and I can tell you exactly what they gave these players. Now it’s important before I do this that you understand that what they gave these players isn't going to necessarily addressed everything that occurs during a head injury because there can also be some nerve damage or what’s called neuropathy that also occurs and so I wanna tell you what they gave these players but then I wanna followed that up by explaining what else you could do to help nerves to heal better if you wanted to get that ultimate 1-2 combo of healing both the neuronal and the brain type of damage and also a potential damage to your nerves themselves. So what they gave these players was 3 grams of fish oil per day, so that’s about 1,700 milligrams of EPA, 1,200 milligrams of DHA but basically close to about 3 grams of fish oil.

Brock:  So not tons and tons.


Ben:  No, not tons of fish oil like my general recommendations are 4-6 for most active people, 2-4 for a lot of inactive people so right along the lines of what I recommend for fish oil. They gave them kind of a smart drug, a natural smart drug called vinpocetine and that‘s gonna increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain. They give them about 15 milligrams of vinpocetine per day.

Brock:  Wait, is that actually a drug?

Ben:  No it’s not a drug per se like you can get it like on Amazon. It’s like an herbal derivative but it’s called vinpocetine.

Brock:  As problem with those smart drugs, like they’re actually, people refer to them as drugs but they’re often not.

Ben:  Right. Exactly. A lot of the components of the TianChi, the Chinese adaptogenic herbs that I take, those are very very similar to the same type of what are called alkaloids that are in vinpocetine and there’s some people that call it Viagra for the brain just because the extent which it increases blood flow to the brain.

Brock:  You’re this 17 year old boy again.

Ben:  That’s right.

Brock:  What you could think of.

Ben:  It will give you brain an erection. ginkgo extract, 120 milligrams per day.

Brock:  Serious stuff. We’re talking about head injuries, come on.

Ben:  Ginkgo extract, 120 milligrams per day of ginkgo, alpha lipoic acid, they gave them 300 milligrams per day. I’m gonna write this all down in the show notes for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/266. It’s helpful for you or anybody else who is ever been worried about a head injury or a head injury or has a friend or loved one who you wanna give this information to. Acetyl-L-Carnitine, they gave 1000 milligrams a day. Huperzine-A which is a component of club moss which is also a part of that TianChi stuff, they gave them 150 micrograms per day and then n-acetylcysteine 600 milligrams per day. So that was kind of the cocktail that they gave to them. So that’s kinda part 1 as far as the different components you can get now I looked around to see if there was a way to kinda make life easy and get all this stuff you know, there’s a few different bottles and capsules as possible. The best supplements out there as far as the stuffs that actually contain these stuff, there’s one supplement called Cognitex, that’s made by Life Extension Foundation. Appropriately enough, it’s called Cognitex. If you did about 3 capsules of that per day, that would hit most of this stuff but you would like to combine that with about a packet or so of TianChi per day, that’s a Chinese adaptogenic herb complex. If you use that 1-2 combo, that would cover most of the basics of what I just described.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  Now, of course the other thing would be the fish oil. You’d wanna also toss in about 4 grams of a good fish oil per day like a good cold-process triglyceride fish oil. So the other thing that you wanna do is go after the actual health of the nerves themselves. You know, I like some of Dr. Jack Kruse’s recommendations for this. He’s the guy who’s just joined us for the How to Biohack a Healthy Home Episode last week. He’s a really good neurosurgeon. He’s on the cutting edge of kinda natural healing methods. So some of the things that he recommends and he’s a really good blog post on peripheral neuropathy. Some of the things that he recommends to decrease nerve inflammation specifically in his patients, one is Iodine because nerve inflammation can rapidly deplete iodine levels and the cellular stress caused by nerve damage specifically is what does that so using an iodine supplement on a daily basis like I would recommend about 6 drops or so of this stuff called nascent iodine, really really good way to get iodine in your diet. That stuff is made by Magnetic Clay. Nacent Iodine. We’ll get that one in the show notes. Another thing that he highly recommends is magnesium. Now magnesium is just something that you can take right before you get to bed at night, really really good again at taking care of a mineral deficiency that tends to be quite common when you’ve got nerve damage. You just get higher turnover of magnesium so that’s another really good one, to make sure that you get into your diet. Another thing that Dr. Kruse recommends is using like a high dose curcumin or an anti-inflammatory that’s natural, very similar to that Phenocane stuff that I mentioned earlier so that’s another one that I would consider adding in, would be like curcumin or using turmeric quite frequently, using curry, that kind of thing. I’m a big fan of just doing a 1000 milligrams of curcumin on an empty stomach, when you get out of bed in the morning.


Great way to shutdown brain fog, also a really potent nerve anti-inflammatory so those are some of the extra things that you’ll add in, in addition to what I already mentioned. So you do fish oil and kind of 3 that they gave this NFL players and then you’d add in iodine, magnesium, and curcumin.

Brock:  Cool.

Ben:  And that would be kind of like your stack to heal the nerve, to shut down brain inflammation, and increase blood flow to heal as fast as possible after concussion or head injury and of course, do the usual anti-inflammatory protocols from a dietary standpoint like avoid starches, avoid processed sugars, avoid vegetable oils, avoid like heated seeds and nuts including like nut butter, peanut butter, stuff like that and then just be really careful with grain-fed meat, you know, farm fish, just the usual anti-inflammatory type of recommendations that we’ve made before on the show so I know that’s a crapola of information and seems like a lot of supplements to take but this wouldn’t necessarily be like for life. This is something that you could do I mean the study that they did on the NFL player was 6 months so you would be looking at those lines if you wanted to replicate what they did on that study but that’s where I’d start. Now a few of those things I recommend anyways is just kinda like for life supplements like fish oil. I’m a fan of having curcumin around and using that quite frequently as well. You know, the Cognitex stuff by Life Extension wouldn't necessarily be for life. I’m a huge fan of the Chinese adaptogenic herb called the TianChi stuff. That’s just something I just use everyday. So I hope that points you into the right direction. I know that’s a lot of stuff again but that’s where I’d start.

Brock:  When you should also make sure to avoid football, mountain biking, tobogganing, and of course ballet.

Ben:  Yes, ballet for sure.

Matthew:   Hi Ben, hi Brock. My name is Matthew and I’m 36 years old and I decided to get in to the, as good shape as I can. I’m trying to put on some muscle mass and I’m taking it slow, taking it easy, trying to lift as heavy as I can. I have a problem though. I've had multiple arthroscopies on my knees. I’ve got a meniscus repair on my left knee and I’m missing about 30% of my meniscus on my right knee. The conventional wisdom is I should not do squats but I want to get some of the benefits especially to my lower body, my legs, of squats so is there anything that I can do to get the muscle gaining benefits of squats without actually doing squats? And I know you would never go against the doctor’s advice but I would love to hear your opinions about whether someone who’s had meniscus repairs or meniscus removal, whether they’re capable of doing heavy, what sort of exercises that could do on their knees without crippling down later a knife or anything like that. So thanks a lot. I love your podcast, been listening for a long time.

Ben:  Well as you know, Brock, I’m a big fan of squats. They’re one of the best exercises to increase growth hormone, increase testosterone, increase competitive drive, I mean you drop underneath a bar with a weight on your back and that compresses a force going down your spine and there are some things that happen that are very tough to replicate with other exercises. So the very first thing that I would recommend to Matthew is to make sure first of all that he’s squatting with proper form. Because a lot of times, people get knee pain during squats and it’s not the squats, it’s the form. Really really good book that geeks out tremendously on how to squat properly over the course of about 50 pages is a book called “Starting Strength” by Mark Rippetoe. Fantastic book. I think anybody who’s throwing around a barbell at the gym should own Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe but….

Brock:  So it’s got more than squats in it.

Ben:  Oh, deadlifts, clings, pretty much anything you can do with a barbell is in that book.

Brock:  Awesome.

Ben:  Now the biggest mistakes I see people make with the squat is first of all, they don’t drive their knees outward. They don’t lock their hips out into external rotation which is where you’re gonna get a lot of your power and when you allow your hips to kinda sag into internal rotation and your knees to track inward, puts a lot of stress on your patella and tendon and on your knees. And so….

Brock:  So you’re talking about like you wanna be more like a frog kinda sitting like a frog so your knees are slightly out, with your toes slightly pointed out and your bum is dropping basically between your heels?

Ben:  Well that’s a mistake that a lot of people make ‘cause they hear external rotation and they think they gotta turn their feet up and that’s not necessarily the case so if you’re standing right now, you can point both your toes forward without having your feet be pointed outwards in it you know, like a duck and with your toes pointed straight forward, you can just drive your knees apart and feel your hips go into external rotation even though you don’t have to move your feet at all just like by shoving your knees apart, you feel your butt squeeze a little bit and your hips go into external rotation.


So you need to have those hips kinda forced in the external rotation as you’re doing your squat and that takes some practice before it becomes natural. Now as you squat, you don’t necessarily have to have a laser focus to keep your knees behind your toes because sometimes that can put excessive stress on the back but what you do want to ensure that you do is shove your butt out behind you and if you focus on keeping your butt out behind you and keeping the glutes contracted as you sit, your naturally going to keep your knees at a safe distance from your toes or at least not put excessive stress on your knees. Now, in some really really good squatters, the knees go slightly in front of the toes. That’s okay because you can tell if you look at them, they still got the knees really well, the hips really well, externally rotated and the glutes really shoved back and contracted quite powerfully. The best way to learn how to do both these things at once is to stand with your toes touching a wall, with you facing the wall, drive your hips to external rotation, shove your butt behind you, just have your hands in your pockets or at your side or somewhere where they’re not gonna interfere with the wall and then sit down. I like to sit down far enough with my arms at my side where my hands will touch the ground, and then stand up. If you do 10 of those with really good form then you’re on your way to doing a squat properly. But make sure you do a squat properly. That’s called a wall-facing squat. A really good way to make sure you do it the right way. Now, if no matter what you do, you’re knees are still hurting when you squat, we don’t have a lot of time to get into you know, shutting down inflammation on the knees, knee-healing protocols and muscular balances and all that kinda stuff. We’ve covered that before in many other shows, yeah, so let’s talk about some things you can do you just flat out on not being able to squat. So number 1 would be even though you’re gonna miss a lot of that compressive load of the spine, you could still get some of the same testosterone and growth hormone responses by doing leg presses. Not a huge fan of leg presses but if you have to find something that you can do that gives you a similar feel without putting the same amount of stress on your knees a leg press can help with something like that.

Brock:  Are you not a fan of that because it just takes away the whole core aspect of it and you’re not gonna stabilize yourself and balance and all that?

Ben:  Leg press is just a very unnatural position than just being on your feet, moving the weight around.

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  So leg presses are not what I would consider to be a functional exercise but if you just wanna get your legs strong you know, it’s an okay substitute. Legs squats are leg press machine would be something that you could still produce with the significant amount of force with the legs with. Still get a good growth hormone or testosterone response too. Not quite as good as a squat but it’s certainly something you’re gonna find at any gym in something that you can do pretty comfortably. And you have full control over the placement of your feet, where they go on that leg press platform so….

Brock:  I remember the days at the gym when I was doing squats, there was nobody around and I was doing way too many squats, way too much weight on my back and I thought, for safety’s sake, should I be doing a leg press instead?

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  So maybe that would be a, that would also be a good time to choose that instead.

Ben:  And the other thing you’d really gotta be careful with with the leg press is it can compress your back. It keeps you from moving your back because you’re in that seated position with shortened hip flexors so you need to be really careful if you’re prone to back pain. Leg press may not be the best motion for you to do and you’d have to really make sure that you’re simultaneously working on hip flexor mobility even like in between each leg press, stretching your hip flexors just to insure those don’t become spasm and cause you to pull your low back so you can also do variations of the squat. You can do wall squats, you can do wall squat holds like isometric squats, where you’re not actually moving your knee joint through a range in motion. You can do squats sliding a ball like a giant exercise ball up and down the wall while you’re holding dumb bells on your shoulders or at your side. You can also do squats with a resistance band meaning that you can take a resistance band, you can put it on your thighs like the resistance band is basically from attached one thigh to the other thigh. You can use the power of your hips to drive that resistance band apart, to put yourself into external rotation then you can do body weights squats with the band like that and that does a pretty good job at incorporating a lot of those muscles without putting quite as big a load on the knees.


So that’s another good one you can do. Step-ups, some people get comfortable with step-ups or lunges and even though they’re not able to do squats, they can do step-ups or lunges just fine with no knee pain. So that’s something you’d just have to experiment with. And then one biggie that I think kinda flies under the radar is electrical muscle stimulation or EMS. I mean you can get like a like a compex. I’ll put a link in the show notes but I use the sports elite compex and it can deliver….

Brock:  I don’t think they make that one anymore.

Ben:  They do….

Brock:  They’ve got like a whole new line of wireless ones that are super cool.

Ben:  There’s wireless ones are really cool but you still can get the compex like on Amazon for example….

Brock:  Oh okay.

Ben:  It will get you up to about the equivalent of a 600 pounds squat.

Brock:  Wow.

Ben:  And I mean you’re looking at them at you know, compex electrostim kinda causing you north of a thousand dollars but it’s a cool exercise toy and if you like to own nice things, it’s kind of a cool thing to have around but it’s….

Brock:  Would that cause the same hormone release though?

Ben:  You know what, I haven’t seen in these studies that have shown a really significant hormonal response to the muscle stimulation so that’s a really good point like you’re still going to get some muscular strengthening and you’re still going to get muscular development but I think because you’re bypassing the brain and you’re instead using an external stimulus to contract that muscle. You probably do get a little bit lower hormonal response even though I have yet to see some really conclusive studies on it so it’s one of those things that I don’t know but I mean, it’s a decent solution so the compex sport elite is a good one so and they also have those sexy new wireless devices I really wanna get my hands on.

Brock:  Yeah. They’re very cool.

Ben:  So that’s where I would start is experimenting with some of that stuff. You know, it would be worth it to grab Mark Rippetoe’s book and make sure that you’re squatting properly and that’s where I’d start Matthew.

Nikki:   My name is Nikki Martin and I am in the San Francisco Bay area. Ben, I was really excited to learn that you were really going to be focusing more on tennis this year but my question is about how you’re  going to balance training for a non-endurance sport like tennis and training for endurance activities like triathlon. I’m a 41 year old endurance open lotter summer and also a tennis player and I struggle with balancing out these 2 training regimen. Now my biggest problem is time. I need a lot of time with tennis. It’s time consuming and I decided that tennis matches and if I’m hitting partners, it’s also more time consuming to improve in the mental aspect I’m trying to switch in is that area of tennis where I need to kind of see more improvements right now at my level. So my questions are really just is there an easy way to approach something that involves tennis from a training perspective while keeping in mind any physical and mental similarities and the differences in the sports? And are there ways I can hack the annoyance of playing tennis matches or getting more efficient like getting mentally prep. Also are there any nutritional biohacks that are relevant for both sports. Thank you so much.

Ben:  I’m actually gonna play tennis today with the boys.

Brock:  Cool. Oh yeah, your boys play some tennis. That’d be fun to watch. Mayhem with kids playing tennis.

Ben:  My boys have been playing since they were 2 years old. I got them started. They’re right handed and left handed twins and they’ll be the next Bryan brothers so I’ve completely not put any money into a college fund and I’m just kinda shoving them into tennis….

Brock:  Yeah, just put all your eggs in one basket. That’s really the best way to go.

Ben:  Yeah like one of those crazy Russian or like Asian or like parents who’s putting their kids in the Olympics. Like that.

Brock:  Okay. If you don’t make the Olympics, the family dies.

Ben:  I’m actually sending my kids to Florida when they’re 6 for 4 years just to train on the Coast of Florida and I’ll go visit them.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  Make sure they’re good to go. No, just kidding. But they have been playing for a while. We’re gonna go against the ball machine today and it’s a passion of hours. So anyways, as far as how I go about staying fit while I play tennis is it is true and they’ve done studies on this stuff like recreational social tennis does not get you fit in the same way as recreation social golf doesn’t get you fit and even some sports like soccer for example. You know, some people think you know, indoor soccer but you look at some of the players and you’re just stand around most of the time, kinda jog here and there every now and again and the fact is, a sports really is hard as you make it so when I’m playing tennis, especially when I’m playing doubles, I’m bouncing around from foot to foot the whole time.


I’m doing like jumping up and down and plays plyometrics well some of the other players are off getting water breaks, I do lunges across the court. I’m always moving, always kinda keeping the heart rate up and if I weren’t training for triathlon or trying to keep myself fit for endurance sports, I probably wouldn’t do that but frankly, I love to play tennis but I don’t have a ton of time in a week so when I’m off  playing tennis, I have to make sure that counts as kind of an endurance training session for me so I do lots of you know, foot to foot bouncing and hopping and skipping and you know, I’m all over the place.

Brock:  Did you ever wear a weighted vest when you play?

Ben:  I don’t wear a weighted vest while I play.

Brock:  That would really be dangerous. That was a terrible suggestion.

Ben:  But I do use the electro stimuli. I cover myself in electrodes and just kinda shock my muscles as I play.

Brock:  You got a volt, it electrocutes you.

Ben:  I hide the wires in my headband. But as far as the mental aspect of tennis, This is also something I’ve experimented with quite a bit. There’s a really good book out there called “The Inner Game of Tennis” and “The Inner Game of Tennis” is based off of this idea of you kinda having a self number 1 and a self number 2. And your self number 1 would be like your brain which instruct and which breaks things down and analyses things and causes you to kinda make these conscious decisions as you’re playing your sport like tennis and then self number 2 is kinda like your body or more appropriately your subconscious, the part that knows what to do and does it without needing to break down the action. And the entire book, The Inner Game of Tennis, is about how to get the self number 2 to automatically do what it’s supposed to do without over analysis from self number 1. Now obviously you gotta have some amount of practice of self number 1 like it’s kinda like the 10,000 hour rule like you gotta have a certain amount of repetitions of swinging your forehand, your backhand in serving, in the back before you just put things on autopilot. But what I like about the Inner Game of Tennis is it teaches you how to do that so I would highly recommend that you read that book. I have done things like practice playing tennis in my mind on an airplane for 15-20 minutes at a time just imagine the strokes, just imagine things happening perfectly, imagine my serve toss going exactly where I wanted it to, the snap of my wrist and the drive of my body as I fall forward into that serve, you know the slapping of my feet on the ground as I run towards the net for my serve and volley. The nice crisp volley as I punch forward and I can feel that ball just pop off the racket and go exactly where I need it too like you really learn how to visualize and it’s amazing.

Brock:  You picture yourself as Rafa, don’t you? You don’t see your face anymore.

Ben:  No, I picture myself as Rafael Nadal. I like to be a tall Swiss guy, not a short Spanish dude.

Brock:  He’s a Spaniard. Oh you wanna be Federer.

Ben:  Roger Federer. What did I say, Nadal?

Brock:  You said Rafa.

Ben:  Yeah. I meant Federer. Yeah, that guy so….

Brock:  I wanna be the crazy Russian guy that you see sit down and take his socks off. I can’t remember his name now, Djokovic.

Ben:  Yeah. It’s fun to imagine yourself, fantasize yourself being a professional male tennis player. We all do that.

Brock:  Sharapova. I don’t know. I’d be happy in that.

Ben:  Yeah, my apologies. Or Anna Kournikova. Speaking of fantasizing.

Brock:  Well she kinda sucks.

Ben:  She does. She does. She became like a personal trainer on the biggest loser I think, it’s what happened to her. Anyways though, the Inner Game of Tennis is a great read and you can practice a lot of the mental game without ever stepping foot on the tennis court. Another really book along the same lines, for any sport, not just tennis is a book called “Psycho Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz. So it sounds really simple and stupid but visualization, playing the game in your head and learning how to get as specific as like Michael Phelps does when he’s visualizing his performance in the Olympics, he can see the individual drops of water coming off his face. That’s how powerful of a visualizer he is. If you can get yourself up to that level, you’ll know the huge difference in terms of your performance so visualization is way more powerful than I think a lot of it. Let’s give it credit for. And then the other thing that I should mention as far as the endurance training aspects of tennis or becoming better in endurance is that as I mentioned in my book, there’s 2 different ways to build endurance properly and both lead to the same outcome so you have a specific enzyme in your body called PGC1 Alpha and I won’t get too much in the specifics of it but high intensity interval training and continuous endurance training both upregulate PGC1 Alpha but via different pathways so high intensity interval training is via what’s called the ampk Pathway continuous endurance training is via what’s called a calcium modulated pathway.


But when you increase PGC1 Alpha, you get an increase in glycogen storage capacity, increase in mitochondrial density, an increase in your slow-twitch muscle function, an increase in your fat oxidasive capacity and so you can get that from playing tennis as long as you’re throwing in some of these high intensity intervals and you know and not just necessarily having your intervals be running for the ball which frankly doesn’t happen a lot in recreational sports as much as you’d see it happen in hardcore professional orgs or semi-pro or collegiate tennis match, but you can also get it by, like I mentioned by doing plyometrics in between sets. Jumping around, keeping the heart rate up, that type of thing.  So there’s really more than one way to skin that endurance cat and when I mentioned PGC1 Alpha, if you go to, in my book, I believe it is chapter, and I’m talking about the book at beyondtrainingbook.com, I think it is chapter 3. It’s either chapter 2 or chapter 3 where I get into this in great detail how each of these different pathways work and how to stimulate each of these different pathway the best way but understand, there’s 2 different ways to get endurance training adaptations, that’s the whole basis between why high endurance interval training actually works and why something like tennis or any other speed, power, strength sport could get you fit for endurance through upregulation of your PGC1 pathway via an ampk drive pathway so I know what I said was super duper geeky but I’ll take off the propeller hat now and let you play tennis on your head.

Shelly:  Hi Ben and Brock, Shelly here. I’m an endurance athlete who has taken on half Ironman training in the past year having just completed my first 70.3 in July. Prior to this, I was solely a runner, focused on half marathon training and taking the occasional treadmill classes for weights. But training for me was no more than 1-1 and a half hours a day, 5-6 days a week. Since I have taken on triathlon training, I have trained between 8 and 15 hours a week but my body has become less defined and thicker than in my running days. I eat a plant-based/paleo diet which means I include pastured meats and eggs and limit my grains and sugars. The exception is a glass of wine every evening. Well, sometimes maybe 2. My question is this: Why am I working out longer and harder than ever before but I’m feeling thicker and less defined?

Brock:  We do have track on the what’s it called? Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast Top Hits.

Ben:  Our album.

Brock:  Which is available.

Ben:  Our iTunes album. So you could go listen to a very long explanation, our original explanation from episode 219, you can listen to for 99 cents on iTunes and we’ll also link to the original episode “Why Women Gain Weight When Training for Endurance Sports” over in the show notes.

Brock:  So if you’re a premium subscriber to the podcast you’ll be able to listen to it right there or you can pay 99 cents and just download it.

Ben:  So why do women get fat when training for endurance sports or get soft or not get quite as lean or hard as they would have expected. There’s a few different reasons. One is that cardio can shut down the production of your thyroid hormone T3 which is your body’s main regulator of metabolism so with T3 increases heat production, increases calorie burn, and when you drop T3 and multiple signs show that chronic cardio to lower T3 levels. You get a decrease in your metabolic rate so that means that while you’re asleep for example, your body is more likely to be or less likely to be burning calories more likely to be storing fat. So that’s one thing. In the book Low Carbohydrate Diet for Performance, I think it’s called by Jeff  Volek and Steve Phinney, I’m probably horribly misquoting the name of that book. They talked about studies that have shown how endurance training actually decreases metabolic rate and I’m certain that the big big part of that is the downregulation of T3.


So that’s one issue. Another issue is that your energy from body fat stores can decrease significantly when you’re training for endurance sports and so what that puts your body in a state of is wanting to actually store away a little extra fat to fuel these long bouts of exercise that you’re sending your body a message that needs to be able to fuel so you do become a little bit more efficient at storing body fat as well once you start training for endurance. Now a big big issue especially among women who are training for endurance sports and also trying to balance you know, family, life, and stress levels from work, and all these other things that go on, these tends to be a bigger issue among women than men is this whole idea of this pregnenolone steal. Now what the pregnenolone steal is is your body has to produce enough cortisol to be able to get your blood sugar levels up and to allow you to endure for a longer period of time during your endurance activities and when that happens, you divert production of a lot of your adrenal hormones, your progesterone, a lot of these anabolic kinda fat burning hormones and instead produce cortisol. Now the way that you should understand this is that you have cholesterol which is kinda like your main molecule that’s a precursor to a lot of the other compounds that are produced by your endocrine system. Now, your mitochondria will convert cholesterol into pregnenolone. Once you’ve produced pregnenolone from there, you can produce all the other hormones so pregnenolone can be converted to progesterone, it can be converted into DHEA, and it can also be converted into, for example, cortisol. So when we’ve got all these pregnenolone getting shunted toward cortisol production and away from progesterone production and away from DHEA production, away from testosterone production, that’s called pregnenolone steal and that happens to a huge extent in women who are training for endurance sports and it’s especially aggravated when you have low cholesterol to start with in the first place like if you’re in a low fat diet for example that can cause you to have less building block to start with so it’s even a bigger issue for women eating a low fat diet and training for endurance sports, women who are eating a higher fat diet with adequate amounts of carbohydrate for thyroid production tends to see this a little bit less but still have to deal with the whole issue of metabolic down regulation and your whole body kinda going into fat storage mode. Those are a couple of the big things and then the other thing that I think is really important in here is that you lose muscle mass and muscle mass is not only important for your bone density but muscle mass, as we’ve talked about last week, you know, muscle is your body’s largest endocrine hormone producer and it produces things like you know, masculine and since with up regulation of growth hormones and testosterone, it increases metabolism because as we all know a fiber lean muscle has a little bit higher metabolic activity than a drop of fat and I think one of the reasons that I personally didn’t really balloon up, become fat, had a lot of weight gain, getting soft type of issues when I started to have a lot of the metabolic issues with like low low carb intake and high levels of endurance sports training was because I was still kinda doing quite a bit of lifting, still keeping quite a bit of muscle tissue on board so I was keeping myself relatively anabolic. That’s one thing I think has been my saving grace when it comes to endurance sports is I never even stop been a body builder. I never really stopped doing lifting. It’s always been part of my life, lifting stuff so I think that’s something that’s really important, to mitigate a lot of this damage as much as possible, to spend some time in the weight room. That’s the whole reason I wrote my tri-ripped program is because of all these people who are getting skinny fat or getting what I call fit but fat. And a big big you know crocks part of that program is weight training and there’s still a cardiovascular benefit you get from weight training. We talked about that in the podcast episode we did with Doug McGuff where we discuss the pumping action of muscle can put a huge strain on the cardiovascular system and cause an enormous cardio response even when you’re lifting weights without you having to you know, get on the bike or run or swim quite as much as you might think that you need to so the weight training counts for the cardio as well. Well the last thing is that you know a lot of women start training for endurance sports when they get older and you know, a lot of these things that we’ve talked about are aggravated by the aging process itself because from about age 35 onwards, your body starts to lose lean muscle tissue naturally.


It’s called sarcopenia, your bone density starts to decrease, your body fat increases naturally especially in women after age 30 and it can increase by as much as 30% by the time you get to menopause and there’s even redistribution of body fat from subcutaneous fat right underneath your skin, the visceral fat kinda around your organs and your belly and your hips and you know, your ovaries are gradually gonna stop making estrogen during the transition of menopause and when estrogen declines, cortisol goes up, insulin goes up, and both of those can contribute to fat gain and to this kinda soft look so these are just things that naturally occur as you age that’s why you know, personal trainers whenever the 55-year old woman comes in the personal training office and says she wants to look like she did in a bikini when she was 30 or whatever, you know, most personal trainers just lie and nod their heads and say yeah we can do that but the fact is, everybody goes through a different chapter in life and he’s never gonna look the same as it always looked but if you combine aging with endurance sports, it can be a pre-potent 1-2  combo unless you do the right thing, you know unless you lift weights, you eat enough fat for that cholesterol so that you’re not getting quite as much of a pregnenolone steal. You don’t do quite as much the long-slow training, you do more the short-high intense interval training like that’s the kind of that a woman should be doing if she’s gonna train for something like Iron man triathlon and then make sure that you test your hormones, I mean get a starting point. Know where your thyroid’s at, know where estrogen is at, know where cortisol is at, know where insulin is at or glucose is at. I mean I don’t think it’s any secret. I’m a huge fan of like the performance panel with Wellness FX. If you don’t wanna do the Performance Panel with Wellness FX then another really good wholesale in the United States for lab testing and taking in charge of your own lab testing, one that I also use is Direct Labs. Direct Labs, you don’t get a physician consultation but you can still get like for example they’ve got the top 10 health test at Direct Labs and it will cover most of your hormones, it will cover your red blood cells, white blood cells, metabolic markers, comprehensive wellness profile, like a lot of the basics that you need in just one test. If you’re in the UK, I think we’ve talked about this one before but there’s Curoseven with Dr. Thomson Lewis who has been on our show before. She’s a professional triathlete in the UK and she’s a physician over there and she offers comprehensive testing in the UK that’s Curoseven. I’ll put a link to that one in the show notes as well along with DirectLabs and WellnessFX but at least one time, test. Give yourself a baseline. Know what needs fixing so you’ve got some direction. That will help tremendously as well. So those are some of the things that I would do. Those are some of the issues, those are some of the areas I would come at this from. You know, it doesn’t matter how healthy your diet is. I know you say that you paleo Shelly but there are other issues that go above and beyond you avoid grains or not and hopefully that gives you a little bit of direction to start with.

Brock:  Yeah. Even if you’re getting paleo, you can do that compensatory eating as well where you finish the workout and think either because of the propaganda you've read in the running magazines, that tell you need to fuel immediately after and get x amount of calories in your body within 20 minutes of finishing or if you’re doing that whole “I went out and workout today so I deserve to have an extra piece of cake or go out with my friends and pig out on some croissant.”

Ben:  Yeah but you know what, I'm gonna disagree with you there because I see a lot of diet logs and I don’t find compensatory eating to be a big issue or as a big of an issue in women who tend to struggle with weight gain while training for endurance sports as much as cortisol is an issue as much as hormonal depletion is an issue. I’ve trained women who are eating 1500 calories a day, training for Ironman triathlon and getting fat because of these other issues that I talked about and they’ve got their diet totally in control, they’re like diet Nazis and compensatory issue, compensatory eating is not an issue. It’s more of the hormonal disruption, the stress, the loss of muscle and the over training. So there, you’re wrong. No, but compensatory eating….

Brock:  I am just…. this is just purely for like, I’ve coached for like 500 people in especially in group training sessions and I just sometimes have to bite my tongue when I hear them saying come on everybody, we’ve finished 20 kilometers. Let’s go stuff French toast over at so and so and I’m like yeah it’s part of the fun and it’s part of the social aspect but I certainly look at some of them and think you don’t really need to refuel right now especially after those 12 gels and the 2 liters of Gatorade while we were out running.


Ben:  Yeah it’s kinda weird. There are those people who fall into that category for sure and then there are people who kinda zips their mouths shut after a workout and it’s kind of a problem in both directions so….

Brock:  I’m sure Shelly’s not into anybody who’s actually already eating paleo, probably where enough of their diet and not doing that sort of thing but the recreational running crown has that tendency.

Ben:  You know I actually compensatory eat after every podcast I go through. So much fuel. Our intelligent listeners exhaust my brain so yeah, I tend to rush off and down mug fulls of dark chocolate cacao nibs after every podcast so.

Stephen:   Hey Ben, this is Stephen from Atlanta, Georgia. I have a question about how protein versus whey protein. I generally like to eat my food, I’m not a big shake maker however, I’m having a discussion and/or debate with a family member who really likes to have some extra protein and tells me that the hemp protein is better for you. I did listen to the fat burning man podcast someone named Ori who seems to think that the whey protein is better secondary to lucene and calcium. Please give me some information about the hemp versus whey. Bye.

Brock:  Hemp versus whey. Grunge match. Protein versus protein.

Ben:  Well you only wanna smoke one and I’ll let you decide which if you live in Washington State or Colorado.

Brock:  Or Canada.

Ben:  You know the answer’s pretty easy on this one. Proteins are rated with a biological value so biological value refers to how well and how quickly your body actually uses the protein that you consume so a higher biological value protein would be something you would want to prioritize post workout and technically because whey has a significantly higher biological value than hemp. If we’re looking at this just from a pure post-workout muscle protein synthesis type of standpoint and you’re going after on amount of muscle gain or anabolic response from that protein as you can get then you go for a protein with a high biological value. Whey has a really high biological value, eggs have a really high biological value, beef, fish, stuff like that. Pretty much any animal based protein does. At the same time though, I mean when you look at p-protein, hemp protein, rice protein, any of these vegetable based proteins, they still are going to offer you especially when combined, a good amount of all the amino acids that you need like if you get a hemp rice protein blend or a rice p-protein blend, you’re still gonna get a good protein mixture unless you’ve completely exhausted yourself or unless you’re trying to be a bodybuilder and put on muscle as fast as possible and you want every last shred of that protein to be soaked up by your muscles as quickly as possible, it’s really not an issue to doing like a hemp based protein. Now I tend to bounce around. I have some hemp protein in my pantry right now. I also have some living protein from living fuel and that’s a p-rice protein blend and then I have some of the cold process goat based whey protein from Mount Capra and I just kinda bounce around depending on what I like. Like honestly, I’ll tend to do a little bit of whey protein in my morning kale smoothie and a lot of times, in the afternoon, I’ll put some hemp protein or a p-rice blend into some coconut milk and have that. I mean the cool thing about hemp is it does have some really decent amounts of fiber in it. It’s got a lot of really good omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids in it. No, it won’t make you high. It’s not psychedelic even though it’s extracted from the seed of the canibus plant. It doesn’t have any of those endocannabinoid properties or any of that. At least not that I’m aware of. Someone knows of someone who consumes whey protein that gives out that effects, please write into the show immediately. We’ll send you some Ben Greenfield Fitness gear if you help us with the secrets of hemp protein. Anyways though, that’s kind of the deal. I’ll go with an animal based protein if you really really want to get as much biological values as much as protein, you can go with the vegetable-based protein though and still do a pretty good job especially if you combine them like you combine rice and p or combine hemp and rice and something along those lines.


Brock:  Very cool and that wraps up our final question for today. Thanks everybody.

Ben:  Our final question of the year.

Brock:  Of the year. Yes.

Ben:  So who are we gonna send a free gear package to this week?

Brock:  We are gonna send a gear package to Billy Satterwhite.

Ben:  Billy Satterwhite. I love that.

Brock:  Billy Satterwhite who put an iTunes review up for us, 5 stars. Thank you Billy, very nice. And the title is Mind is Officially Blown.

Ben:  Let’s not make any Viagra for your brain jokes on that one.

Brock:  Insert a big explosion. Alright and then Billy says there are trunks of my brain all over the room because Ben Greenfield literally blew my mind with another awesome podcast. But seriously, I’ve been checking out this podcast for a little over a year and it’s astonishing how much I’ve learned. The knowledge that Ben and Brock (Thank you for including me on that) share for no cost at all (also thanks for pointing that out that it’s free) is invaluable when it comes to taking care of your mind and your body. I would recommend this podcast over any other podcast for anyone who needs an all inclusive resource to understand fitness, nutrition, and long-term health. By the way, Ben would you mind if I came over to clean my delicates on your washboard abs?

Ben:  Holy cow.

Brock:  Thanks.

Ben:  Billy, I don’t know. Billy could be a girl name or a boy name.

Brock:  Yeah, could be a very sexy Jessa.

Ben:  Either way, I’d have to ask my wife and probably if you’re a dude Billy, I’d have to say that I’d rather not have your delicates on my washboard abs. However, that’s fantastic that we blew your mind and there are chunks of brain all over your room.

Brock:  Brain matter all over the place.

Ben:  So I will, I’ll give a gear package out to Billy. Billy email [email protected], include your address and we’ll send one of the brand new gear packages from bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear right out to ya and if you’re listening in, you can leave your review over at iTunes. You can also go make a donation to the podcast by visiting the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/266. You can get a free gift from Brock and I. Free video gift if you go to giftfromben.com and then finally, don’t forget, if you have one more url that you would like to go to while you’re twiddling your thumbs in the New Year…

Brock:  Cause you’ve got nothing else to do.

Ben:  You have enough to do. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/love and tell your friends about the show so I think that wraps up all the URL’s that we have to give to people and now we can go pop up in a bottle of…



Dec 31, 2013 Podcast: Is It Bad To Run In Cold Weather, How To Heal Head Injuries As Fast As Possible, Alternatives To Squats, Can Power or Speed or Strength Sports Build Endurance, How Endurance Training Can Make You Fat, and Hemp vs. Whey Protein.

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Listener Q&A:

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

Is It Bad To Run In Cold Weather?

Ben says: He has heard that running in the cold (below the freezing point) is bad for the joints and the knees. Is this true? He does it and it seems to be doable.

In my response I recommend:
Phenocane and Capraflex Pack.

How To Heal Head Injuries As Fast As Possible

Billy says: He was on a trail run when he tripped and hit his head on a rock and now he has a concussion. Do you have any advice on how to heal his head in time for a race in January?

In my response I recommend the following for fixing blood flow issues to the brain and nerve damage from head injuries:On empty stomach in morning, mid-morning or mid-afternoon:
-1000mg curcumin.
-300mg Alpha Lipoic Acid.
-20mg Resveratrol.
-600mg Acetyl-L-Carnitine.
-150mcg Huperzine-A.
-15mg Vinpocetine.
-120mg Gingko extract.Now this is a ton of stuff and bottles/capsules/powders. So if you want to make life easy, Ben recommends you do it this way:
Morning upon waking:
–4 Phenocane
-3 capsules Cognitex by Life Extension
Mid-morning or mid-afternoon on empty stomach:
-1 packet TianChi

That’s it. Those three supplements (Cognitex + Phenocane + TianChi) contain everything Ben went through.Then, with your first or last meal of the day:
-4g Triglyceride Based Fish Oil – best brands are Barleans, Pharmax, Green Pastures or LivingFuel SuperEssentials (Ben uses SuperEssentials)Then, in afternoon in glass of water:
Nascent Iodine, 6 drops.Then, in evening before bed:
-Magnesium Citrate, 400-600mg. I recommend Natural Calm.Also: Avoid vegetable oils. Avoid heated seeds and nuts. Avoid grain fed meat and farmed fish.In summary, there are 6 total things you can and should use to heal nerves, shut down brain inflammation and increase brain blood flow to heal as fast as possible after concussion or head injury: Phenocane, Cognitex, TianChi, Fish Oil, Iodine and Magnesium.

Alternatives To Squats

Matthew says: He is 36 and has decided to get in shape. He is trying to put on some mass but he has had multiple arthroscopies on both knees. He thinks he should probably not be doing squats but he wants to get the muscle gaining benefits of doing squats. Is there something else he can do… that won’t cripple him later in life?

In my response I recommend:
Compex Electrostim

Can Power, Speed or Strength Sports Build Endurance?

Nikki says: She is very excited to hear that you are focusing on Tennis more this year but she is wondering how you will go about balancing endurance training with your tennis training? She is in the same boat and finds it very time consuming to practice the mental aspect of tennis which is cutting into her triathlon training. Is there any way to overlap the training or ways to hack her mental game so it doesn’t take so much time?

In my response I recommend:
The Inner Game of Tennis book

How Endurance Training Can Make You Fat

Shelly says: Since starting Ironman training (8-15 hours per week) she has noticed that her body has become less defined and thicker than when she only trained for running events (5-8 hour a week). She eats paleo (with the exception of a glass or two of wine in the evening). Why is she feeling thicker and less defined when she is working out longer and harder than ever before?

In my response I recommend:
-Previous episode on “Why Women Gain Weight When Training For Endurance Sports” (episode #219)
-Testing with WellnessFXDirectLabs or CuroSeven

Hemp vs. Whey Protein

Stephen says: Would like to know what the difference is between Hemp Protein vs. Whey Protein. He has been told that Hemp is better for you. Is this true? Or is Whey the way (heh) to go?

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/01/266-is-it-bad-to-run-in-cold-weather-how-to-heal-head-injuries-as-fast-as-possible-hemp-vs-whey-protein-much-more/

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