May 6, 2014
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Are Weeds Healthy To Eat, Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights, MCT Oil Allergies, Low T4 and Low T3, Can Tattoo Ink Cause Cancer, and Natural Remedies for Night Sweats.
Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast. We provide you with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon, and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation. So whether you’re an ironman triathlete, or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Ben: Brock, what are you sippin’ over there?
Brock: I’ve got some of the ginger root beer Zevia.
Ben: Ginger root beer Zevia. We switched roles, you’re now drinking Zevia.
Brock: Yeah, I’m belching throughout the entire show.
Ben: I had a friend invited over the house the other night who hadn’t had soda in two years and I gave him a Zevia.
Brock: Did you blow his mind?
Ben: And I drove him to the hospital when he reeled over with a heart attack. No, he actually liked it quite a bit. He said he didn’t get the heart burn that he normally got… so, there you go.
Brock: There you go!
Ben: Stevia-flavored soda! Chalk another one up. Um, I’m drinking Tulsi tea.
Brock: What the heck is Tulsi tea?
Ben: Have you ever heard about Tulsi before? Tulsi is acclaimed in India as the “Queen of Herbs”. And it’s actually this nourishing herbal tea that has a bunch of health benefits. It’s got anti-oxidants and adaptogens and one of the actual ingredients label here if I could show it to you it’s basically, Tulsi which is the actual tea leaf and then organic cinnamon, organic ginger, organic lemongrass and organic licorice. So it’s a powerful adaptogen that balances energy levels, uplifts mood and is repeatedly noted in ancient Indian scriptures dating back over 5,000 years. So, blessings and namas-freaking-te.
Brock: Alright. Let’s get right into our first news flash…
Ben: Our news flashes. And of course I talk about these over at twitter.com/bengreenfield all week long. And speaking of namaste, I actually did my first series of coffee enemas this week. And I simply tweeted out that I was doing them. I didn’t give out the nitty gritty – Ha-ha – details. But I’m actually doing this, because I am preparing a workshop for all the members of my inner circle on coffee enemas. Why you wanna do them?
Brock: Oooo. Meaning to inner…?
Ben: Detoxes in general and there’s actually some really interesting things that go on in terms of activation of your sympathetic nervous system and a different load of antioxidants and some of the chemicals and caffeine that you get when it is being absorbed via your intestinal mucosa versus being taken orally. And there are some very interesting things that occur from a detox standpoint too that I personally was able to experience the joy of. So I’m gonna go over all this in a workshop but in the links for this episode bengreenfieldfitness.com/281, right?
Ben: Okay, cool. For any of my inner circle members or anybody who’s planning on joining up the inner circle, who wants to kinda get the head start on this before I teach the workshop at the end of this month, I’m gonna link you over to this stainless steel enema kit I used. Do not use the plastic cleanse cause they’ve got plastics in them and the last thing you wanna do is be plastic… have plastic filled coffee up your butt. Make sure you use a good mold-free coffee. I used the Bulletproof coffee in a whole new way no grass fed butter in this case and then I’ll put a link to some really good coffee enema articles and resources for those of you who are skeptical of the science and actually wanna dig in to the science, so this week I made and tried some Tulsi tea enemas. We’ll see, so…
Brock: Interesting. I gotta ask that I’ve had a couple enemas long time ago, but on the instructions that actually said to hold it in until the pressure becomes urgent.
Ben: Yeah, that’s actually what you’re supposed to do. I actually re-define the word “urgent”. For I never have gotten the urgency, I think that perhaps I have an oversized colon, I don’t know. Maybe I need more coffee. But, there you have it. So if you want, go over the show notes, it’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/281. If you happen to be any of our listeners who are still listening after realizing that you’re listening to a couple of dudes who have both had enemas. So speaking of morning routines though, let’s go into something maybe slightly a little bit less weird.
Brock: Yes, let’s veer off in a different direction.
Ben: So, a new study that came out. And the study was in European Journals Sports Science and it was titled Sleep or Swim. Early morning training severely restricts the amount of sleep obtain by elite swimmers. In this study, what they found was that swimmers who have early morning exercise routines, in this case at 6 AM.
Brock: That’s not early.
Ben: It’s early in my book. Any exercise before 4 PM is early in my book unless it involves enemas. Anyways, these athletes were sleep deprived. They were getting less than six hours of sleep per night compared to athletes who are not engaging in exercise in the morning. They were getting up earlier; they were experiencing less deep sleep and they had severely restricted sleep. And…
Brock: Do they really need to do a study to prove the people who are getting up really early in the morning were getting less sleep?
Ben: Well it’s the similar… basically the way they set up the study is they set it up that these folks would technically have the capability to be in bed for the same amount of time as the folks who weren’t doing early morning sleep sessions but just the fact that you rip your body out of bed early in the morning to do something hard actually causes changes in your circadian rhythm in terms of your psychological and physiological functioning that make you kinda go wide awake earlier in the morning. You train your body how to get that cortisol “I gotta run from the lion” type of thing going on early in the morning, once you start in the hard morning workouts.
Brock: Aha, so you actually like building a habitual reaction to waking up which is like… “Wake up and go, go, go!” Not like “wake up and ahhh! Enjoy the morning.”
Ben: Exactly. And this is why, in addition to the fact that your body temperature, your reaction time and your post workout protein synthesis peak in the afternoon or early evening. This is why my morning workout is just a little bit of journaling and some deep breathing and some yoga and yes the occasional enema. And I am a big, big fan of just tapping into primarily your parasymphatetic nervous system in the morning and where you kinda like rest and digest your nervous system and saving the hard stuff for later if you can. Obviously, if the only time you can work out is in the morning, you’re probably going to of course, be fitter if you do that versus not exercising at all. But ultimately, easy stuff in the morning, hard stuff in the afternoon or early evening is not only good from a fitness standpoint but it turns out also really favorable from a circadian rhythm standpoint.
Brock: Interesting. So I guess… like I know a lot of people probably listening to this have been going… “but I really enjoyed my morning run, like, getting up and going for a run is how I get ready for the day.” So you’re not saying like “Don’t do that”, just don’t go out and do a whole bunch of sprints.
Ben: Yeah, I used be in morning workout guy too and I re-trained my body and now, I still have a routine. It’s very important to start off your day with a routine and multiple studies have shown this to increase productivity, decrease stress and it’s a habit, that the wealthiest people in the face of the planet all have morning routines. Not that wealth is synonymous with success; it’s all a different discussion. But ultimately, your routine doesn’t have to be a workout. And in my case, it is, you know, I fill out my journal; I take my heart rate variability; I lay in bed and do a little bit of deep breathing and then I get out of bed; I do yoga; I take a cold shower and then my day begins. And that’s my routine every day without fail and I even have the same thing for breakfast every morning, but ultimately, you know, the big picture here is try not to slaughter yourself in the morning if you don’t have to. You can save it for later in the day. So I’ll link to that in the show notes, I’ll link to that in the study.
Brock: I can’t believe that your first thing isn’t go pee.
Ben: Hmmm, you know what, I actually… I do pee also.
Brock: Cause it’s pretty much the thing that gets me out of bed.
Ben: I thought that was a given.
Ben: D.I.Y Magnesium BiCarbonate recipe. This was an interesting article over at biohacksblog.com. One of my favorite…
Brock: You love that website.
Ben: Now they’re doing a series right now on magnesium and how to make your own magnesium oil and make your topical magnesium, cause frankly a lot of these magnesium sprays and stuff, they’re expensive. So, there’s actually… we talked about acidity and alkalinity last week, and magnesium bicarbonate is actually a pretty alkalinic substance that you can put into your body. It can help with the metabolic acidosis that’s created during exercise. It can also, of course, have some pretty cool effects thus far as cleansing, detoxing and kinda cleaning you out as anyone who has overdosed on magnesium bicarbonate knows.
Brock: You don’t even have to be overdosed by much… just a little.
Ben: Yeah, and what they give on this article is a recipe for making your own kinda like poor man’s magnesium bicarbonate. It’s very, very simple. You just need a milk of magnesia which you can get in any grocery store. And you have some chilled, carbonated water and you want by a liter of that so you can literally just get a liter of soda water from your local grocery store and then your milk of magnesia. You slowly add about 3 tablespoons of milk of magnesia to that carbonated water and then you quickly replace the cap on the liter water bottle, you shake it for about 60 seconds and after about a half hour or so, you’ll get some dissolving of the magnesium and some settling of the soda to the bottom. Then, you shake again. And you do that just off and on throughout the days, you come back to the bottle then you put it in the refrigerator and what happens is once you pour that out, you’re going to have a magnesium bicarbonate drink that has… I think it’s about right around 615 milligrams of magnesium in a liter but basically if you’re to go through that liter of water over a couple of days for example, you’ll get a nice kind of effect in terms of getting magnesium without necessarily having to go out and buy magnesium. And so we’re talking about, literally pennies for making your own magnesium bicarbonate water. It’s really absorbable especially in the Co2. So…
Brock: Very cool!
Ben: It’s actually… I’m just reviewing the article; its 1500 milligrams that you get in that liter of water so, enough magnesium for several days. So there you go and interesting articles too they’ve got over there on making your own magnesium spray and magnesium oil so, I’ll link that one over in the show notes for those of you who wanna get your magnesium but don’t wanna pay top dollar for it.
Brock: Presumably you can add some lemon or lime or mint or something to make it taste a little better as well.
Ben: Yup, exactly. I actually keep a little bottle of chocolate-flavored Stevia and essential peppermint oil in my cabinet and I actually add that to carbonated water. The Stevy gives a nice chocolaty taste, the peppermint oil has a nice like cleansing effect that has a very, very good antibacterial properties and it’s like drinking Christmas every day – Carbonated water bottle. And then finally I wanted to mention a study that came out that looked into high intensity interval training. Now, I’ve talked before about how doing high intensity interval training can cause the same type of increases in mitochondrial density as long, slow or aerobic training. And how there’s kind of two ways to skin the cat when it comes to building up aerobic-based or ability to engage in endurance exercise. One is to do short high-intensity intervals; the other is to do like long slow-endurance training. Both have different pathways to achieve the same effect when it comes to mitochondrial density. And what this study looked into was it compared a 30 seconds on, 4 minutes off form of interval training. So it’s about four times through a 30 seconds very, very hard; 4 minutes easy.
Brock: With a big rest period. Long rest periods.
Ben: It combines… compare this with 4 minutes of continuous training that burnt about the same amount of calories or generates the same amount of watts by the time the workout was done. So one hard 4-minute bout at a moderate phase; versus four 30-seconds all out bouts. It turns out that the four 30-seconds all out bouts did give some good fitness adaptations, but the 4-minute bout actually resulted in higher increases in your Vo2 max and an actual improvement in performance. So, what this means is that you can kinda choose between getting the improvement in the Vo2 max and in the improvement of performance versus the improvement in mitochondrial adaptations at first glance.
But what it turns out to be is that you can actually get the best of both worlds if when you’re doing interval training, instead of doing very, very short effort followed by long efforts, you actually do a high intensity efforts with short rest periods. That gives you, based on another study that I’ll link to in the show notes, that gives you an increase in mitochondrial density AND an increase in V02 max. So the trick here is if you wanna get peak aerobic adaptations with interval training, you need to do a style of interval training that is lighter than very, very hard efforts separated by long recovery periods. It’s very, very hard efforts followed by short recovery periods. So the difference would be let’s say doing a Tabata set which is 20-seconds hard, 10-seconds easy, eight times through versus doing a 30-seconds on, 4-minutes off. The Tabata set would be better because it gives you mitochondrial adaptation, it gives you improvements in oxygen consumption and improvements in performance versus the high intensity interval training which just gives you the improvement in the mitochondria but if the rest periods are too long, you don’t get an increase in performance or peak oxygen uptake. So ultimately especially if you’re an endurance athlete or anybody who wants to get as many benefits as possible out of all the high intensity interval training, do it! Go all out! Really sacrifice yourself during that session but use short rest periods rather than long rest period and you’re gonna get better improvement. You’re also gonna be in a lot of discomfort and pain, but ultimately, that’s the better way to interval train; it’s go all out, short rest periods not long rest periods.
Brock: Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too.
Ben: If I could do a Montana accent, I would do a Montana accent right now to get you ready for your obstacle race – my Montana obstacle race.
Brock: I think I talked that way for some reason, I think Montana probably sounds more like I do.
Ben: My wife is from Montana, and they do not talk that way.
Brock: Well, she doesn’t.
Ben: Monatanans sound exactly like you would expect Montanans to sound, relatively normal.
Ben: Anyways, yes we’re gonna go over there and do a Spartan race and I’m excited about this because I’m in a process of launching a brand new podcast for not just Spartan racers, but like tough mothers, tough guys, dirty dash, lawyer dash, I don’t know what the other trademarks there or out there. Did I miss any, Brock?
Brock: I think you made some up there.
Ben: Mad run?
Brock: Self Flagellation run? Hahaha.
Ben: Anyways though, we are now taking questions live the audio format specifically for obstacle racing – what kind of gear should wear? how do you eat? what’s the best way to train? what’s the best way to prepare? what are the distances? – Basically anything you want to know about training for obstacle racing, myself and Hunter McIntyre, who is the number one-ranked Spartan athlete in the world, we are just to launch this podcast. And you can go leave your question now at obstacledominator.com the podcast launches in the 30 days. It’s gonna come out twice a month and be chalk-full of news, tips and of course, answers to your questions. So if you want to like me get into this whole Spartan racing, obstacle racing thing which is a real hoot, that’s gonna be a good way to get your questions answered and to kinda fulfill that or drive that passion for obstacle course racing. So check that one out at obstacledominator.com.
Brock: I think in Montana they actually say, “It’s a hoot in a half.”
Ben: A hoot in a half. I believe on our drive over there we go past Montana’s Testicle Festival. Did you know they have a Testicle Festival?
Brock: I didn’t.
Ben: Every year, there’s been a big Testicle Festival depending to the consumption of rocky mountain oysters which theoretically increase your testosterone levels. So, there you go.
Brock: Only theoretically?
Ben: I haven’t seen the studies. I would believe that they literally do in the same way that consuming thyroid gland would help out your thyroid. Also we just released a premium podcast episode this week on the bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium channel.
Brock: That’s two weeks in a row!
Ben: That’s right. And this one entitled “How A Top Silicon Valley Executive Lost 40 Pounds of Fat And Became A Kettlebell Swinging, Paddleboarding, Semi-Pro Tennis Player With 8-Pack Abs”
So it was really interesting. It was just like a whole episode of he and I going over biohacking and all of our best tips as far as biohacking fitness, nutrition tips, some travel tips through the end but it’s pretty jam packed with some good content. It was with a guy named Paul Sebastian who’s a Silicon Valley exec and he’s got a cool story, so I interviewed him, and obviously if you own our free bengreenfieldfitness app, I wish you get it at bengreenfieldfitness.com/app, you probably saw that appear in there with a little lock put next to it. You click that unlock button it’s $9.99 a year to access all our special secrets inside our episodes. So check that one out.
Brock: They’re not that secret.
Ben: That’s right. And then the last thing is… Men’s Health is still doing their search for the next big name in fitness and I’m still in the running. As a matter of fact, if everyone who is listening to this podcast right now, just went and voted, we’d blow it out of the water because we’ve literally got tens and tens of thousands of podcast listeners each week. So if you’re listening, out of the goodness of your heart, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth and cast one tiny vote that will launch me to the forefront of appearing on the next cover of Men’s Health magazine in a Speedo riding a motorcycle.
Brock: With an enema.
Ben: With an enema sticking on my backside. So…
Brock: And holding it… with a sense of urgency in your eyes.
Ben: I can’t tell if it’s urgent or just aggressive. Or just healthy. So check that out over bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth.
Adam: Hi Ben, this is Adam from Newcastle, Australia. I just read your link in regards to foraging for food in the garden. I’m just wondering if the common weeds we find in the backyard and the bush land are actually edible. How could we incorporate them into the diet and if it’s safe to do so? And also, are these weeds more nutrient dense than things like kale and spinach, things that we got on the green grasses. I just wanna know what your thoughts are on these. Thanks mate.
Ben: I feel like this could be kinda dangerous.
Brock: Eating weeds? Yeah, well eating anything that’s just sort of growing in your backyard then you can specifically plant. Well you hear stories of people picking mushrooms and having some pretty interesting evening so…
Ben: Don’t you ever watch naked and afraid?
Brock: Exactly what I’m worried about.
Ben: All you have to do is take your clothes off and you’ll survive. As long is a boat waiting for you after 21 days for that rescue. All joking aside, I’d actually read a lot of books on wild edibles and wild plants by the way, not to be confused with wild edibles which you’ll find all for a place known in Washington State in Colorado.
Brock: Was that a brand name?
Ben: Speaking of weeds, no, that would be just like pot brownies and pot gummy bears, all that delicious stuff. Anyways though, there actually is or there are a lot of weeds that you can eat. There’s some really, really good books devoted to this. One of my favorites from one that I own is called A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants. And I’ll put a link to the one I own in a show notes, it’s actually for Eastern and Central… it’s basically for North America, not for Australia, so there might, maybe if you get that stuff and you live in Australia you might die because maybe the stuff that’s edible here in America is poisonous in Australia. I don’t know. But it goes overall the edible wild plants or the poisonous looks alike; the stuff you can eat the stuff you can’t eat in just simple tips. Like, you hold it up to your lip and you rub it on your lip and if you get some numbness or irritation, it’s probably a pretty good sign it’s gonna do that to your intestinal mucosa.
Brock: Yeah, thanks a lot. The words of wisdom.
Ben: Another pretty good book on just like foraging in wild plants and improved methods of preparation that can enhance flavor and nutrition is Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson. That also is a really good book and so if you got that book and then a good book about foraging like “A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants”, you have a pretty good starting off point for eating plants. But I personally, before I make my smoothie, I go out to our backyard and we’ve got all sorts of little plants growing back there and most of them are not wild plants per se like the ones I’m about to tell you about. But I go out in the back and I’ll pick you know the mint, thyme and basil; and sometimes I’ll grab some little red cabbage leaves and some kale and all sorts of little things.
We have going back there in the backyard and I just… I have my omniblender and I just pulverized them in the Omniblender which was this emulsifier-style blender that kinda makes the vitamex look weak. But, anways, I pulverized them in my omniblender and that’s my smoothie! And some of the wild plants that are actually just fine for you to eat, to kinda get your creative wheels turning, one is dandelion. Dandelions are really, really good as a liver detox, they’ve got a little bit of bitter taste but their leaves are really good. They’ve got more beta-carotene than carrots and you can literally just put dandelion leaves on salads as part of the salad green. That’s one thing that grows quite commonly that you can eat. Probably not if your neighbor has been spraying with round-up but otherwise, go for it! Purslane is another, and that’s one pretty common to find and it’s got this little shinny round-looking leaves on it. It’s got a ton of antioxidants and that’s one really high in Omega 3 fatty acids. And that’s another one it’s got this little reddish stem; if you Google it you’ll see actually what its look like. It’s called purslane, p-u-r-s-l-a-n-e. And that one is also totally edible, totally safe and a notoriously difficult weed to kill, so why not just eat it?
Brock: Why not?
Ben: Why not? Another one that you tend to see quite a bit is lambsquarters. And lambsquarters is actually a weed that’s a lot of times called wild spinach because it’s loaded with calcium, and protein and vitamin A and C and K. Similar to spinach, it actually has more of all those stuff than spinach does. And it’s really easy to eat, you could just wash it; you could sauté in olive oil add some salt or garlic or black pepper; maybe some lemon or lime as you can do with a lot of this weeds to make them taste good. But you could also use something like that in a smoothie, you gonna find a lot of times if you’re camping or hunting, it’s a very easy plant to identify but it’s called lambsquarters – and that’s another really, really easy one to identify and find and eat.
Brock: So you would say that is one of the weeds that would be more nutrient dense than something like kale?
Ben: Lambsquarters is really nutrient-dense, yup it is, it is. And then there’s all sorts of good ones, another one that you see a lot in the U.S. though, I’ll give one more and I apologize, I don’t know if you have this in Australia or not, but it’s a red clover. And red clover actually has a really good detox effect (speaking of coffee enemas) against colon cancer, prostate cancer and it’s a got a lot of really interesting compounds in it that helps specifically in that department. So it’s the actual flower, you can eat the flower, it’s like this reddish-purplish flower and the clover flower has lot of protein in it. And you can also eat the leaves as well! So that’s not one that I would overdo… it, kind of like soy, has some phytoestrogens in it and so you wouldn’t… you probably got a bigger problems on your hands if you’re eating enough red clover the way you can grow man-boobs with it, but ultimately a red clover would be another example. Now, you know, listening to this on a podcast is probably not quite as good as getting a field guide to edible wild plants. But I would get that field guide and it’ll show you somebody’s weeds that can be just as, if not more nutrient dense that kale and if you have a lot of these growing around you not only do you get to save money but it’s also fun. It’s a cool way to explore your environment. And again, be careful if there’s spraying going on in your area: pesticides, herbicides; if you leave near busy road, you’re probably better off just buying like organic kale from the grocery store or from your farmer’s market. But the wild world of edible plant is actually pretty cool too. And if you ever do find yourself found in the episode of naked and afraid, you’re just gonna be a total rock star.
Ben: For exercise in general is it better to use resistance bands or free weights? And for strength training, is it better to use free weights or resistance bands?
Brock: So the other day, I took my resistance band and I tied it around the banister and I put a free weight at the end of it.
Ben: Oh yeah, that’s a good… like a slingshot technique.
Brock: See, I just slingshot it at myself. So basically I’ve been working on my whole ninja reaction time, but also catching the weight was really good plyometric kind of thing.
Ben: Yeah, works better blindfolded. The answer is neither resistance bands nor free weights. The answer is both. No actually, there’s kind of pretty big myth circulating around that resistance bands at the gym or resistance bands, resistance tubing, things in that nature, that it is somehow inferior to free weights.
It’s not inferior, it’s just different. It has own unique snowflakes.
Brock: It’s special.
Ben: But there are some cool properties that elastic resistance has that free weights don’t have. So for example, elastic resistance is not gonna rely on gravity to provide the resistance, and this means that it may mimic everyday activity or sport specific activity a little bit better because free weights (like dumbbells or kettle bells), they provide resistance in a vertical plane – the direction of gravity which is basically going straight down. So if you exercise with the free weight in a horizontal plane, like moving a dumbbell from the left hand in the left side of your body to the right side of your body, there’s not gonna be any resistance to that movement. Or when you twist your body side to side, do sidekicks or side punches or movements that might mimic a tennis swing or basketball pass, you’re actually going to get a better mimicry of that movement if you use elastic resistance; pretty much anything that occurs in a horizontal plane. And there was actually you know, like a study they did in American Journal Sport in Madison that looked at collegiate tennis players who trained using elastic bands, and they had a significant improvement in their shoulder strength and the speed of their tennis serve. They did another study that compared free weights and resistance at the Louisiana State University and they compared elastic band training for the rotator cuff muscles and the training is often done in a horizontal plane versus free weight dumbbells, and they found out in baseball players, the elastic bands were far more effective than the dumbbells. So that’s one thing that’s very, very useful for anything that occurs in a horizontal plane, resistance bands are going to be superior to free weights. You can also pretty easily change the muscle emphasis by changing the direction of pole of the elastic tubing or the elastic band and that really makes them useful if you have your foot or your ankle or your quad for example, attached to a band for resistance and then you’re squatting or stepping. You can easily change the emphasis that you put on your quadriceps or on your hamstrings. So for example, if you squat or you step and you’re using elastic band resistance, that can really help to protect your knee in all planes of movement because that elastic bands are gonna pull in different areas with this continuous tension versus just stepping or standing with free weights which was only gonna provide that vertical force. So for example, I’m a big fan of tying, using one of those mini bands, you know what I’m talking about that it attaches one ankle to the other ankle?
Ben: I’m doing my side to side shuffles but step up, squats, things of that nature while you actually have that elastic band resistance on you. So that’s not a bad part that you can’t get it with free weights.
Brock: So where do you get the elastics tied around, your ankles to your knees or where?
Ben: You can do… you can for example just the touch of the elastic band from your ankle to a stationary object and do steps and swings like that or you can literally do squats under tension; meaning you could do a squat but have that elastic band tied in your ankles together providing the tension your master walks forwards and backs, sidewalks. There’s a lot of movements in terms of shifting of muscle groups as you’re moving that you don’t get with free weights. So that’s another thing I like to use elastic for. Another thing that’s kind of useful that elastic resistance is that it provides continuous tension so when you lift a free weight, like a dumbbell, the tension on your muscle actually gets removed at certain points in that range of motion. So like when you do a bicep curl with a dumbbell, as you curl the dumbbell up towards the shoulder when you get to the very top of that movement, the dumbbell is literally providing zero resistance because there’s almost no (in physics we’d call it) a moment arm or lever arm. There’s nothing there because gravity is just pushing straight down the dumbbell whereas when you do a bicep curl with an elastic band for example, you get tension through the entire range of motion because the elastic material is providing the resistance and it’s not gravity that’s providing the resistance. So you get more tension to the greater range of motion a lot of movements from using the elastic band. And the other thing that happens is that as the range of motion increases, there’s what’s called linear variable resistance. So what that means is that as the range of motion increases the resistance that the elastic band is providing increases. So for example, using the bicep curl analogy: as you curl your hand up toward your shoulder, the resistance is gonna increase as that material stretches.
And so you actually use a greater amount of muscle fibers as you do that curl and the other thing that keeps you from doing is cheating, because the more you cheat, the harder you pull. You’re not gonna actually be able to use momentum to move it faster, you’re simply gonna apply more resistance, the harder that you pull on it. They’ve done studies on this. Like the Journal on Strength Conditioning Research had a study where the athletes who use elastic band training in addition to a free weight training, actually had greater recruitment of muscle fibers that were more tact through any specific range of motion, and ultimately, when they compare the folks who used elastic bands and in addition to free weight training, they had significant more leg power than the people who only used free weight training. So ultimately, you get similar benefits to free weight training but you get this linear variable resistance, you get an increase in the number of muscles that are used and an increase in the number of directions that those muscle fibers are actually used. The other cool thing that’s having… that you get from having something like a resistance band around is if you read for example, the really good book becoming a Supple Leopard, that has a lot of tips in it for traction which is where you distract two joints apart to for example increase recovery, decrease inflammation in the joint; a lot of fluid to move more freely in and out of the joint. And that’s something where for example, I have one of these big fitness bands from… I got it from Rogue Fitness. They sell this big really nice hardcore fitness bands, and I can put one end of that on a bed post or any other stationary object and then the other end of it I can loop around my upper thigh and then as I pull myself away from that bed post, I can literally distract my hip, because that resistance band is pulling my hip in a horizontal plane. That’s something that would be very hard to do with a free weight but that’s a great move for runners for example. They get hip joint or hip distraction or… I’m sorry, but not hip distraction, but hip compression. From running, they can distract that hip so if you’re a runner you can use resistance bands for traction or really if you’re a thrower you can use the resistance band for horizontal traction on the shoulder at a very, very similar way but attaching it to a stationary object and then the other end goes on your upper arm. I’ll put a link to the bands that I used and to that book.
Brock: By distraction you mean like actually sort of pulling the joints apart right? Like you’re actually slightly separating them?
Ben: No, by distraction I mean, that you get a little balance at the bottom that you pushed that says, “Look over here, look over here.” It distracts you from anything else that you’re doing. (laughs) Yes, that’s what I mean by distraction.
So anyways, I’m a fan of resistance bands, I don’t use them only; I also use free weights but they’re definitely something that shouldn’t could be incorporated into program and of course there’s a portability aspect too. Like, I can throw one of these rogue fitness bands, for example, into my suitcase while I’m travelling and throw that and there with my coffee anema bucket and I’m happy, I’m good to go.
Brock: TSA is all over you.
Ben: That’s right.
Sandy: Hey Ben and Brock! This is Sandy from Wynnewood Pennsylvania, right outside of Philadelphia. I was newly turned on to the podcast, but in the short time I’ve been listening I am a huge avid follower so, totally on board, love you guys. So, here’s my question. I’ve been making bulletproof coffee for about the last month and the bottle drips a little bit, the bottle of upgraded brain octane oil, the MCG oil and I was thinking, “Hey! It’s healthy oil right, so, rather than washing off, I’m rubbing it into the back of my hand.” Well, I’m finally come to realize a couple of days ago, the back of my hands are like covered with hives or bumps or something and I certainly don’t know, maybe ‘cause I used laundry detergent, or maybe ‘cause I used new lotion but it only means that the issue is really with the MCT oil at the back of my hands. So my question is this, I’m rubbing it at the back of my hand and I’m having an allergic reaction, does it mean when I consume it internally I’m also having an allergic reaction? I don’t think so ‘cause I used other products with the coconut that I don’t have a reaction to but why would it react continuously on my skin but be okay in my stomach? If I’m having allergic reaction internally, how would I know? Any helps you could provide on this, any light you could shed would be much appreciated. Looking forward to looking to many more episodes. Best wishes, thanks! Bye!
Brock: You know, I’ve done exactly the same thing, I haven’t gotten any bumps or hives or anything but man, that brain octane stuff is – it’s expensive, it’s like liquid gold, you don’t wanna waste it.
Ben: Yeah and that’s isolated, isolated like fractionated caprylic acid form of coconut oil.
The important thing to realize here is that Sandy isn’t getting any issues with the actual coconut oil, just the MCT oil itself and so there’s something in that MCT oil that isn’t in the coconut oil. I was actually able to dig in to this a little bit and there’s a few studies that have shown what’s called allergic contact dermatitis from medium chain triglycerides particularly what are called the caprylic acid components of those medium chain triglycerides. Now, a lot of times what you’ll find is that when those MCT’s get extracted from coconut oil or palm kernel oil which are two of the sources that they’re extracted from, they’re actually used as emulsifiers in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and in many cases when people have contact dermatitis or this allergic skin reaction or mild skin irritation to any number of different cosmetics or pharmaceuticals, it’s actually due to this component of medium chain triglycerides that’s in the pharmaceuticals. So it doesn’t have to be in like an MCT oil or this might a common ingredient in lotions as well. What this appears to be is one thing called cocamide DEA and that’s one of this emulsifiers and cocomide DEA is what’s created when you react fatty acids with coconut oils. It’s something that’s created as a by-product of the mini-chain triglyceride extraction from the coconut oil itself and it’s one of the things that you can tend to be allergic to. So if you weren’t allergic to coconut oil, you would be allergic to the fatty acid by-products and the cocomide dea that’s produced once the coconut oil is subjected to the actual extraction process. Now, what’s important to realize here is how these MCT’s are actually being extracted. What happens is, they take a coconut oil again or palm kernel oil is the other source that they get medium chain triglycerides from, and they hydrolyze them to liberate the fatty acids from the glycerol. So there’s two different things there – they wind up with when they hydrolyze say a coconut oil – you get fatty acid and you get glycerol and then you separate the fatty acids typically by something called fractional distillation which is this boiling process. For anybody who took Chemistry in high school or college, you probably have fun memories of fractional distillation.
Brock: Or if you ever are still in your basement….
Ben: Or maybe suppress that painful memory –yes, if you are still in your basement. So you get this esterification reaction between the glycerol and the fatty acids and you can carry that out at a high temperature and typically you’re off the news like a catalyst to exhilarate that reaction and then a lot of times to remove all the odors and the flavors that might not be all that – that nice smelling from the final product. You can deodorize them to get a product that has a bland flavor or that’s kinda odorless and colorless and obviously this entire process is going to result in the production of some by-product like this cocomide DEA and it can also cause the release of – another thing that’s called dicaprylyl maleate and that’s not a medium chain triglyceride but it’s what called the synthetic dye ester which is produced when alcohol reacts with fatty acids which can occur if alcohol is used at all during the distillation and extraction process which is quite common. Ultimately, what this comes down to is that, yes, this is something that can definitely happen and one of the things that you gotta be aware of is that if something is causing a skin reaction or some type of dermatitis or irritation, it’s probably going to cause the same type of irritation on the intestinal mucosa level. And so, if you wipe a bunch of MCT oil on the back of your hands or on your skin, my apologies to Dave Asprey and bulletproof coffee and MCT oil and all that jazz, but you probably should not be using it if you get an allergic reaction. And again some people are not sensitive to this, they don’t get an allergic reaction at all, again you could just use coconut oil which isn’t going to have the by-products that some people are sensitive to that’s in the medium chain triglyceride and the product but ultimately, the answer is yes. You could totally be getting this from MCT oil, totally possible to get contact dermatitis from MCT oil and I’ll put a link to the study that kinda goes into allergic contact dermatitis from medium chain triglycerides if you feel like some good bed time reading.
Brock: So what’s you’re saying is Sandy can probably like if she’s making bulletproof coffee in the morning, she can make it with some coconut oil and not have that problem. Also, not good as much of the ketones I guess being transferred to her brain but she can still enjoy the morning ritual.
Ben: Yeah, sure, or you could just not use the oil – or use the gi and grass-fed butter if you still wanted to get kind of some of that fatty coffee effect and….
Brock: And still get the CLA and….
Ben: Yeah, exactly! So, there you go.
Brock: Yes, all is not lost Sandy.
Thyroid: Hi Ben and Brock! First off, I love the show, just wanted to say that. I have a question for you guys about a thyroid issue that I’m having. I went back and reviewed old podcasts and markers and I haven’t found anyone with the same issues that I’m having. I was feeling overly tired, unmotivated, things like that. I thought it might be testosterone, so I went to my bathroom and had a lab test on. My testosterone was okay at 406, but my hyperthyroidism was in “the reverse” that most people have it. My T4 was low at 3.6 and my T3 was low at 1.6 but my TSH was actually 1.25. So, I have a thyroid in “the reverse” when I found. That doctor said that what he has seen in the past is that in patients with eating disorders, it was often a type of hyperthyroidism that they have; he doesn’t know if that’s eating disorders causing that or if it is some sort of another disorder that makes more act causing eating disorders. I was curious and I’ve never seen this before, having a natural way sort of reverse this and get things up in line.
Ben: Well, you know what the fix is for any thyroid issue on the face of the planet, Brock?
Brock: It’s got to involve the internet, right?
Ben: Yeah, the internet or enemas. No, actually it’s taking as much spinach and kale and preferably some goitrogenic foods like soy, putting them on a blender and drinking all that down on a daily basis…
Brock: That sounds awesome!
Ben: …. And all thyroid issues will be fixed. No, I’m just kidding. It’s a – I’ve been studying up on the thyroid quite a bit and been watching this Thyroid Sessions which is this online conference going on about the thyroid right now. This is actually talked about a little bit – this is issue of – in which you can have low T3 and you can have low T4. So, both of your thyroid hormones or your primary thyroid hormones low but then your TSH can be just fine and this is actually something that is a common thyroid issue. I’ll explain exactly how it happens in a second, but Chris Kresser gets into this in his thyroid session and Bridgit Danner mentions it, Suzy Cohen goes into it in her sessions. So there’s a few thyroid sessions that kinda dig into this and some pretty good detail and I’ll link over to that over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/281 or actually you can just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/thyroid to check out some of those sessions. You need to understand that this all begins with this set point. So on the same way that your body fat and your weight typically has a set point, this neurobiological system that regulates your weight, you also have a set point of what’s called your HPT axis or your hypothalamic pituitary thyroid axis which is your hypothalamus, your pituitary and your thyroid, to be Mr. Obvious. What that axis does is, it regulates the production of specific endocrine hormones that include TSH, T3, and T4. So what happens is that often you may get a failure of TSH to rise like it would normally do if T4 and T3 were low. And that can be caused by alterations in the set point of this HPT axis. So the way that this works is there are some neurons in your hypothalamus. You have this area of your hypothalamus called your paraventricular nucleus and that area of your hypothalamus is responsible for causing TSH synthesis in your pituitary gland and that TSH synthesis in your pituitary gland is gonna be the message to your thyroid gland to turn out more thyroid hormones. So in a typical situation, your pituitary gland would be churning out more TSH in response to low thyroid and you would see low T3, low T4 and high TSH. Now, there are some things that can cause a change in the HPT axis that result in even when T3 and T4 are low for you to actually not respond by producing more TSH. And the two things that can actually affect the HPT axis in this way are: number 1, what are called inflammatory cytokines and number 2 would be a leptin resistance or declining in your serum leptin levels.
Now, this first issue, the inflammation is something that may be caused by a variety of factors and it’s typically fasting or very, very low calorie intake that can lead not only to decreased levels of T3, and you see this a lot of times in athletes who are controlling calories, who are not eating enough food, or not eating a lot of carbs but a lot of times that fasting or that diminished calorie intake is accompanied by a decrease in your circulating leptin levels. That can basically inhibit some of this release of TSH and you still have that low TSH in the presence of low T3 and low T4. The idea here is that when your thyroid hormone gets produced and it gets released in the circulation by the thyroid gland, it’s normally bound to thyroid binding globulin and thyroid binding globulin is this protein that most thyroids is bound to. So what happens is the concentration of thyroid binding protein is gonna decrease as a result of something like inflammation. What that’s gonna manifest in is fall in thyroid binding proteins in a decrease in the total – it’s called the protein bound or the total T4 and T3 levels. A lot of times we get these two things happening hand in hand especially in athletes – low calorie intake, not enough carbohydrates, a little bit of an increase in serum leptin and then inflammation or the production of inflammatory cytokines from everything from stress, lack of sleep, exercise, things of that nature. Basically, the more inflammation, specifically from an inflammatory cytokine called interleukin 6, that you have circulating in your blood, the less active thyroid hormone that you’re gonna have available to your cells and to your tissues. So the other thing that can happen if you have inflammation is a lot of times and I see this in a lot of folks who do gut testing, it’s accompanied by bacterial infection or bacterial overgrowth. Bacterial overgrowth can cause what’s called lipopolysaccharide formation in which this bacterial endotoxin winds up in the bloodstream and also downregulates THS, T4 and T3 levels. So the big picture here is that when you see low THS, low T4 and low T3, in most cases that’s accompanied by inflammation, not enough calorie intake, or both. Now the only caveat to that is that some people actually have a genetic defect that causes a thyroid binding globulin deficiency and they’re actually born with what’s called TBG deficiency. That’s just something that you can actually have from a genetic standpoint and in that case, no matter how much you do after inflammation, all these other things you’re gonna have: low total T4 and low total T3 in the presence of normal TSH and it’s not a very concerning deficiency, it’s not that big of an issue but if you have it, that’s the other thing that would cause this. But in most cases that’s not the case and what I would do if I were you, is I would test. So that the test that I would get is first, I would test your inflammation, so you can literally go to a wholesale lab testing company like Direct Labs for example, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes and you can order like an interleukin 6 test and an HSCRP test to see if you are inflamed. If you wanna take inflammation to the next level, you could also get like a gut test in conjunction with that so you could see if you’ve got leaky gut syndrome, if you’ve got bacterial overgrowth. The one that I recommend is just called the GI FX Comprehensive Panel. That can loosen it whether or not you might be at risk of getting some of these lipopolysaccharide bacterial endotoxins into your bloodstreams, so you should get your inflammation tested. I would also do a blood leptin test and that way you can see whether you have high, high levels of leptin circulating in your bloodstream and that’s, again, something that you can just test via a simple bold test and something that you could order through Direct Labs to see if this due to a leptin issue. The last thing that you may wanna test to see if this is an issue with simply not having enough thyroid binding globulin is you can get what’s called a serum thyroid binding globulin test, okay, a TBG test. And that would be the last test to show whether or not you simply have an insufficiency in this actual thyroid binding globulins. Now what I wanna point out here is that there are literally like 10 different things that can go wrong with your thyroid and thyroid binding globulin deficiency is just one of them.
I’ve been learning a ton as I kinda go to these thyroid sessions and the way that I’m doing is I downloaded the pdf’s, I’m listening to the audios and I’m studying up on it just because thyroid is something I’ve kinda had to deal with quite a bit on my own lab panels. I would encourage anyone who has thyroid issues like – this stuff isn’t just for docs or trainers or nutritionists, or people like that. It’s really actually very, very interesting information in terms of like practical food and supplement and activity and lab interpretation, kinda take aways from a thyroid standpoint. So I would go and check it out and that’s kinda where we start with this, I of course, have to make the disclaimer that I’m not a doc and I would take any of these as medical advice. I’m not trained to manage a thyroid disease; I’m just trying to churn out enough information to make you cross eyed and (laughs) yeah….
Brock: I gotta say, it’s the last like 5 minutes your voice started to turn into the teacher or one of the parents from peanuts.
Brock: Wawawawa…. 2, 3, wawawa.
Ben: Now, our listeners are smart, go back and rewind if….
Brock: Smarter than me.
Ben: Yes! Unless they’re Canadian, which means that they’re all in the same IQ latitude.
Brock: We actually are sure, sure of our brains.
Ben: Yes, yeah.
Todd: Hey Ben, this is Todd of Georgia. I have a question regarding tattoos. Recently I read an article that – maybe some issues with tattoos and specifically I guess the paint that is used in the nanoparticles that might prove to give us some problems down the line and I’m just wondering what your thoughts were on that and you know a lot of times in ironman they often aspire or are interested in getting a tattoo after ironman or two so – just like to see your thoughts on that. Thanks a lot!
Brock: You know, speaking from experience, getting a tattoo hurts. Having a tattoo…
Ben: Hmm, thank you Mr. Obvious.
Brock: Yeah, but having a tattoo removed really hurts and if you think the ink is doing damage to you when it’s nice and stuck together under your skin, when you’re actually passing it through your system because you’ve had it removed and broken up by a laser, that’s even worse.
Ben: Do you pee it out?
Brock: Yeah, you pee it out, you sweat it out, you probably spit it out.
Ben: That sounds uncomfortable. I’d rather just wear long sleeve clothing. Well, they actually looked at this, they did a study were they use an atomic force microscope that allows you to look at your skin at what’s called the nano level and they found….
Brock: Atomic microscope!
Ben: Atomic force microscope and my illudium q-36 explosive space modulator.
Brock: It’s always a modulator.
Ben: They found out that there are a few things that happen. First of all, when you get a tattoo, it removes collagen or remodels collagen which is your body’s main connective tissue and…
Brock: I love that my collagen remodeled.
Ben: Yes! (laughs) Collagen remodeler, look them up in your local yellow pages! Nano particles from tattoo ink were found to exist in the collagenous network of the skin and around the blood vessels and that means that the ink particles are actually leaving the surface of the skin and potentially travelling elsewhere in your body. Potentially, like winding up in organs or tissues and because they’re ultra microscopic, they may be able to do some damage and there’s some concern about toxicity and the carcinogenic effects. They did a study in the British Journal of Dermatology where they found that nano particles are actually found in tattoo inks and black pigment colored tattoos contain the smallest particles which would be like the most damaging because of their dimension size and their ability to potentially cause some cellular effects. Black in, what they have done…studies have shown that it may contain some of these polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and those are some of the benzenes that are carcinogenic and the same type of thing you’d find in suit and charcoal. The same reason you wouldn’t wanna overdo a steak. The other issue with tattooing is they’re not really that well regulated. My question is whether how dangerous these nano particles actually are. So, one nano meter is one billionth of a meter which is really, really small. So a human blood cell is 8,000 nano meters….
Brock: Thank you Mr. Obvious.
Ben: ….and a human hair is 80,000 nano meters. Some people may not know that a nano meter is one billionth of a meter, Brock.
Brock: (laughs) No, it’s was just the part when you pointed out that that was really small.
Ben: (laughs) Oh yeah, I got you. By the way, that’s pretty small. So it’s definitely got potential for making its way into cells and causing some effect and as far as studies have actually been done on the scientific evidence on whether or not tattoos are dangerous,
first of all, when we look at traditional tattoo pigments, they were traditionally based on inorganic compounds with pretty low solubility like salts of metals like iron and titanium, cadmium and copper that generally stayed on the skin level because they weren’t that fine and again the exception in that is black which usually consist and consisted of these fine particles of carbon. If those heavy metals are getting absorbed by the body, those can be potentially toxic but there’s not a lot of evidence showing that they’re spreading from the skin to other areas. However, the black ink definitely contains, the studies have shown this, the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, it contains a lot of these nano particles and those could potentially be carried elsewhere in the bloodstream and cause some effects. There’s never been like a study on people who are tattooed vs. people who are clean and there would be so many variables in the study like that just because of the nature of the way that people who get tattoos live compared to the way that people don’t get tattoos live, that I would suspect we’d probably find more cancer and higher mortality in the tattoo carriers, anyways. Ultimately – I’ve got four tattoos and….
Brock: Yeah, I was trying to think how much black is in your tattoo? I don’t think there’s that much, is there?
Ben: There’s – I’ve only got one area and one of my tattoos is black and that’s the tribal sun pattern on my shoulder. The issue here is risk vs. reward. For me, it’s kinda similar to a notch in my belt and I’ve only ever gotten tattoos for things that are meaningful to me like the tattoo of the Greek calamic symbols for water and earth on my hip for my children. The tribal sun tattoo on my shoulder which has the symbol for chi energy in it, the Ironman tattoo on my back with the fire and water bursting out of it from the first time I did the Hawaii Ironman World Championships and then my wedding ring is tattooed on my finger and I probably do have some nano particles and probably do have a bit of metal exposure from those and potentially, hepatitis C. However, I do, not just based on tattoo exposure but exposure to metal from break dust from the roads and metal exposure from toys made in China and from car keys, and all the other metals that are all around us, I do a metal detox once a year so I do a thirty day detox, I use a spray that goes underneath your tongue and you hold it underneath your tongue for 60 seconds, it’s called “metal free”. It’s just this metal chelator and it carries the metals safely out of your body and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes for you. So first of all I do that, and you know, when it comes to nano particles I did come across another interesting article that shows that they’re looking at tattooing diabetics as a life saving protocol for diabetics by actually giving them a tattoo that has nano ink in it, that monitors continuously the amount of sugar in the blood stream and you could simply have a device like a wrist watch worn over the tattoo if you don’t want people to see you got a tattoo, and these nano particles are able to detect glucose and they flores when they come and contact with glucose and then you can have a sensor that gives an output reading of the actual levels of glucose detected, so you can continuously monitor something like, blood glucose and theoretically, just by any molecule by using this nano particle solution. So, unfortunately, the research is pretty scant as far as whether or not they definitively ‘cause cancer or other issues. I would say if you want any advantage on life and you wanna be as clean as possible, don’t get tattoos or if you are gonna get a tattoo, avoid the color black and go for the lighter colors specifically. So, that’s kinda my thought there and I would definitely, in any case, tattoo or not, do a metal detox at least once a year, like that’s just something that I do and that I recommend to everybody so, hopefully that helps point in the right direction, Todd.
Brock: My tattoo is all black.
Ben: Hmm. You just tattooed your entire back black?
Brock: Yeah. Well, I was in a motorcycle gang and when I got thrown out..
Ben: That’s right.
Tyler: Hey Ben and Brock. Im from Toronto, Canada here. With the last four months, I slightly reduced my carb intake making my ratios roughly 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. My training has been quite extensive with millage upwards of 80-90 plus 2- 3 hours of core work per week. Within these four months I’ve noticed that I wake up about 2-3 times a night to take a pee. This drives me, and more importantly, my wife crazy. In addition to the constant urge and pee I wake up and notice that my bed sheets are soaked from excessive back sweating.
I rarely drink alcohol, and I try to limit my water intake after 8pm, normal I hit the hay around 10. I have no problem in getting to sleep, typically from 7 or 9 hours daily. On a more positive note, I look great, feel strong, and excited to take on the spring racing season where I look to post PBs in the 5k, 10k, half, and full marathon distances. Love this show and I owe you guys the world for changing my perspective on training, nutrition, and how to live a holistic lifestyle. Keep on geeking out! Cheers!
Ben: You know, Brock, what the ultimate remedy is for night sweat, the ultimate natural remedy for night sweat is?
Brock: Uhh. I don’t know.
Ben: Grow back hair. It absorbs everything. You’ll just be like a giant sleeping rug.
Brock: Estimated, sloppy, wet, rug.
Ben: Getting up 2 or 3 times a night to pee, believe it or not, is not normal, especially if you’re not drinking a bunch of water or alcohol before bed and night sweats are also something you should not be getting on a regular basis. Now, in women, we tend to see, of course, hormonal fluctuations, resulting in night sweats and a lot of times, this is due to an overreaction by the hypothalamus. So, your hypothalamus is responsible for controlling your body temperature and a lot of times if the hypothalamus is responding improperly to your hormonal signals, you wind up with night sweats. And specifically in men, it’s low testosterone levels that are commonly the cause of fault signals sent to the hypothalamus combined with high cortisol or stress levels, and that’s something that obviously a lot of athletes, and especially like hard charging, endurance atheletes suffer from; night sweats due to this hormonal imbalance of a testosterone cortisol ratio that’s way, way too low. So, the first thing that you need to do is coming at this from a hormonal standpoint, when it comes to sleeping and sleep disruption, I’m a big fan of looking at some of what Chinese medicine has given us, and Chinese medicine has definitely given us a lot of information when it comes to night sweats, specifically in traditional Chinese medicine. What night sweats are considered to be is a body that’s deficient and what’s called Yin, and Yin is one component, you know we see the Yin and the Yang balance in terms of the key balance in Chinese medicine, and a deficiency in Yin is associated with night sweats with red cheeks, with hot flashes, with a lot of thirstiness, with a red tongue, with an overheated state, as the body essentially tries to flush fluids out of it, and a lot of times a low level of chi can also open the sweat glands and lead to this night sweat issue. So, enriching Yin or dressing a Yin deficiency is the way that Chinese medicine often approaches this and there are specific compounds that are used in Chinese medicine to address a deficiency of Yin, and some of the things that you may wanna look in to, one of the first things that Chinese medicine addresses is the spleen and the blood, and a lot of times, blood deficiencies are something that Chinese medicine would consider to be associated with Yin issues and I always like to come back and tie this into, some of what we have at our disposal form like a, self quant and a Western medicine standpoint, and I would say definitely, in addition to looking at testosterone cortisol levels, you may want to look at a complete blood count, iron levels, ferratin levels, red blood cell levels, hematocrit, hemoglobin, because the deficiency or drop in many of those would, in a cross over style in Chinese medicine, indicate a Yin deficiency. So that’s one thing to look into. Another thing that Chinese medicine recommends for night sweats are specific acupressure points on areas of the hand, particularly that little acupressure point that is, if you turn over your hand, you look at your pinky, and you travel down your pinky, down your hand all the way to your wrist right around the point where you can see little tendons going into your hand, if you were to clinch your fist, there’s this little notch that you see when you clinch your fist, and acupressure gets that specific point, you should be sensitive once you press against that little point on the outside of your hand, like the base of your wrist, the pinky side of your hand. That’s an acupressure point for Yin deficiency and for night sweats. The cool thing is you could do acupressure, when I was talking about the biohacks earlier, they actually did a blog about hitting the acupressure not just with your own finger but you could use these little red light lasers and that’s laser acupressure and you could literally use little pens and hit the little acupressure points by shining that red laser pen and causing an increase in blood flow along with pressure
as you put pressure on the acupressure point. That’s not going to address the underline issue but it may help a little bit when you wake up in the night and kinda getting back to sleep and addressing some of these issues and do 30-60 seconds of acupressure with your finger or with a pen prior to go to bed at night or when you wake up at night. Another thing that is recommended in Chinese medicine are some specific adaptogens. Schizandra is one. Which I really think sounds cool, like Schizam. They should’ve called it Schizam…dra. There’s another one called Romania, there is a Fedora Route, there’s a few that are actually in the Chinese adaptogenic herb complex that I take, that I recommend to people for hormonal imbalances, that Tianchi stuff. So I would recommend that and I would also recommend something that’s going to address the mineral imbalances that can lead to this night sweats. So acupressure against that little pinky area of the body addressing testosterone, cortisol deficiencies, some Chinese adaptogenic herbs would all be things that could be helpful here. When it comes to like supplement things that you can take, one of the supplement packs that I recommend or stacks that I recommend would be to do something like take tianchi and use that just like in the mid-morning not in the evening but in the mid-morning on an empty stomach and that’s the Chinese adaptogenic herb complex that’s got about 40 pounds worth of herbs and in one tiny packet and you take that along with something like the trace liquid minerals and that would a pretty good combo to do something like that. Trace liquid minerals would just be a couple of shots of that before you get to bed at night, you could also do a bunch of Himalayan sea salt and some water and that would be another way that you can address some of these mineral imbalances. Ultimately you may need to address the underlying testosterone issue as well and when we talk about addressing the underlying testosterone issue, I would say go read the most recent post that I just put up. I just put up a 30 minute video at bengreenfieldfitness.com in which I showed the results of my own comprehensive blood panel that I did and one of the things that I really geek out on in that particular video is thyroid and testosterone. Especially if you’re a guy who’s concerned about low testosterone, that’s one that I would watch. Speaking of testosterone – by the way, we have a special video for our listeners over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/love in which Brock and I engaged in testosterone fueled exercises with a tennis ball and show you some really cool things that you can do with a tennis ball to improve fitness.
Brock: I wish everybody at home can see my face….
Ben: That can come out when we talk about enemas. We’re really screwing ourselves over on this episode. Brock has a girlfriend and I’m happily married and not that we are necessarily like….
Brock: Just stop. Just…
Ben: Okay, alright. So anyways…
Brock: This is not headed anywhere good. So let’s move along to talk about our iTunes review.
Ben: Let’s talk about our review, yeah.
Brock: We do have a really good review this week from doc Rob. He gave us a five star review and if you’re listening doc Rob then you hear us reading your review which we’ll do in a second, send an email to [email protected] and Ben will send you some swag.
Ben: Some s-w-a-g – I’ll send you a tech t-shirt, sweet beanie, water bottle and by the way if you’re listening and you want to leave a review, go and do it, but if you just wanna freaking support the show and the millions of dollars that we spend each month on hosting fees because of all of our fantastic listeners, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear and grab yourself some gear. It’s 47 bucks for this sweet package that arrives at your home and I actually personally ship those so, there you go.
Brock: It’s a bit packed with love…
Ben: Yeah, anyways back to the review.
Brock: … and some extra testosterone. Actually I have to bring this up because I see the name Jillian Michaels in here. Did you know that Jillian Michaels is now hocking the squatty potty?
Ben: I knew it. I knew she listens to our podcast. Hi Jillian!
Brock: Hi Jillian!
Ben: Hey, remember to reference us when you give people poop tips. (laughs)
Brock: Anyway, okay, so doc Rob says, “I was introduced to this podcast by my girlfriend that said, I found this new podcast, it is so good that I’m never gonna listen to Jillian Michaels again. If she liked you that much, I thought I would give you a listen…” Dot, dot, dot.
Ben: So take that Jillian. So maybe we should – let’s play some Jillian Michaels. Let’s play folks out on some Jillian Michaels. What do you think Brock?
Brock: Ah, sure?
Ben: And remember to go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/281 for the resources on everything that we talk about today, the newobstacledominator.com podcast, the thyroid sessions, resistance bands. We pretty much put everything that you need over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/281 – that’s where the transcript eventually appears too. So, check that all out and have a wonderful week. Bye Jillian!
May 7, 2014 Podcast: Are weeds healthy to eat, Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights, MCT Oil Allergies, Low T4 and Low T3 with Normal TSH, Natural Remedies for Night Sweats.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form…but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.
- Ben talks about his coffee enema. If you are a member of the Inner Circle and want to “prep early” for this month’s coffee enema workshop, then get this stainless steel enema kit and some mold-free, toxin-free coffee. You may want to review these coffee enema resources too!
- This is why my “morning workout” is simply a bit of journaling, deep breathing and yoga. Save the hard stuff for later when u can.
- DIY Magnesium BiCarbonate recipe – good for what ails ya!
- Want to get the aerobic benefits of HIIT training – particularly mitochondria density increase? Then use SHORT rest periods.
The brand new Obstacle Dominator podcast is launching! Whether you’re just wanting to get started in obstacle course racing or you want to dominate your next race, leave your Spartan, Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, Tough Guy, Dirty Dash or any other obstacle racing question at ObstacleDominator.com.
The “How A Top Silicon Valley Executive Lost 40 Pounds of Fat And Became A Kettlebell Swinging, Paddleboarding, Semi-Pro Tennis Player With 8-Pack Abs” podcast episode with Paul Sebastien, just went live on Premium access. Get it (and over 350 additional audios, videos and PDF’s) by clicking here to go Premium for just $9.99 a year!
The Thyroid Sessions went live on May 5 – where Ben is speaking on “How Exercise Destroys Your Thyroid And What You Can Do About It”. The frustration and misinformation surrounding thyroid problems needs to stop. An estimated 30 million people in the US and 200 million worldwide have a thyroid disorder — only half have been properly diagnosed. And even less are receiving proper treatment. Unfortunately, the real answers are not offered by their medical practitioners and seldom covered by insurance. That’s why Sean Croxton traveled the country to interview a dozen of the leading functional medicine doctors, nutritionists, and real food chefs for a free online screening called The Thyroid Sessions. And you can click here register today to watch them for FREE!
Ben is now uploading both is weekly workout logs and diet photos to the Inner Circle. Every week Ben discover new exercises, workout tactics, fat loss tricks, biohacks, deep sleep tips, detoxes, recipes, supplements, etc. – but people often feel like they’re “behind the curve” – constantly trying to wrap their heads around what’s working best at any given time, or what’s going to be best for them and their bodies. In Ben’s monthly Inner Circle video workshops and diet and exercise logs, he and his wife Jessa teach you exactly “what’s working now”, so that you can stay on the razor-sharp, cutting-edge of fitness, nutrition and lifestyle optimization. When it comes to “assembling” everything that Ben talks about in the podcast, books, etc. into an easy-to-implement system, the Inner Circle is the way to do that. Click here to try it out now for 10 bucks a month!
Get a free gift 2 hour Beyond Training LIVE support video workshop with Ben Greenfield! Click here to upload a photo of you holding more than one copy of your brand new Beyond Training Book, along with your name and e-mail below, and we’ll make the magic happen for you!
Men’s Health is launching a search for the next big name in fitness. They’re looking for the best trainer that they haven’t yet discovered – a fitness professional who is a top mind in the field, but who also looks the part, and who has the ability to captivate any audience. Click here to vote for Ben to be the Men’s Health Top Trainer or visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com/menshealth.
Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle. And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – leave your review for a chance to win some!
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick/Ninja.
Are weeds healthy to eat?
Adam asks: He lives in Newcastle, Australia and is wondering what common garden weeds are eatable and if any of them are worth picking. Could some of these weeds actually be more nutrient dense than things like the kale he gets from the green grocer?
Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights
Ben asks: For exercise in general are resistance bands better? For strength training are free weights better?
MCT Oil Allergies
Sandy asks: She spilled some MCT oil (Upgraded Brain Octane) the other day and wiped it up with her hands. She then noticed that the back of her hands are covered in hives or bumps. If she is having a topical allergic reaction to the MCT Oil, would she also be having an internal allergic reaction? She uses other coconut products and doesn’t have an issue. If it is effecting her internally, how would she know?
In my response I recommend:
-Study: allergic contact dermatitis from MCT oil
Low T4 and Low T3 with Normal TSH
Thyroid asks: He recently got diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism but “in reverse”. His T4 was low at 3.6 and T3 was low at 1.6 but his TSH was 1.25 (Testosterone was fine). Have you seen this before? Do you know any way to reverse this problem.
In my response I recommend:
–The Thyroid Sessions (Bridgit Danner, Chris Kresser, and Suzy Cohen’s sessions)
-Serum thyroid binding globulin test, CRP test, leptin