September 3, 2014
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: How To Know If Fitness and Nutrition Research Is Any Good, Natural Remedies for Tinnitus, What To Eat Before An Afternoon or Evening Race, Abnormal Heart Rhythms During Exercise, How To Know If You Have Toxins and much more.
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.
Brock: Testing, testing. Are you there?
Ben: Hi! I am here. You can hear me.
Brock: Ahh, thank goodness!
Ben: This is bad radio. We shouldn’t be testing this thing in public.
Brock: No. Probably not, but…
Ben: It’s kinda funny though, if anybody tuned in to last week’s podcast, and by the way, our iTunes ranks have plummeted because we didn’t record a podcast last week.
Ben: It sucks but, oh well, anyways, I have this fancy, fancy satellite internet ‘cause I moved out into the middle of nowhere in the forest, and so…
Brock: You get yourself in the middle of nowhere?
Ben: Yeah. And t’was like this $600 set up fee, and they’re like a $180 a month for my upload and download gigs and all this jazz, and then, Brock and I set and record a podcast last week, and it was the worst audio ever. So, I am returning that for its full 30 day money back guarantee, and we are actually recording this using my tiny little $40 AT & T wifi hotspot. So, there you go. Although it’s actually tarnished the reputation of this new little biohacked home I’m in because we’ve got like low volatile organic compound wood everywhere. The rooms are all hacked for blue lighting and rooms of awareness like the gym and the office. No blue light, red light only, like the bedrooms and places where you sleep. You’ve got all organic, no-spring mattresses, so there’s no electromagnetic pollution, or mold, or toxin, or anything while you’re sleeping. I’ve got my stand-up desk that you know, this crank up stand-up desk that I’m using now, and that by the way…
Brock: Is that the rebel desk?
Ben: I do, and later on the podcast, I’ve a discount code for folks on it too. Everything is hard-wired like the whole house is hard-wired, there was, up until this AT&T wifi hotspot. No wifi anywhere, no Bluetooth, none of the appliances have Bluetooth. All the printers have the ability to disable wifi, so the printers don’t produce wifi. There are kill switches next to your pillow in every bedroom, so once you lay your head down to sleep, you just push the kill switch, and it turns off, all electricity in the bedroom. The security system, actually on the doors, I got a special security system that only emits the signal where it checks in with the, whatever the system is – that receives the signal from the security system. It only checks in like once every 3 hours, so that’s not emitting a signal.
Brock: I thought you just get a bunch of bears to patrol the area for your security system.
Ben: Yes, yes. Little tigers in bleachers and then there’s also a tricorder. We’ve got one of those Star Trek tricorders where you just walk in to the kitchen and it scans you, and tells you how you’re doing today. (laughs)
Brock: It doesn’t say it in fix fox ways?
Ben: Yeah! It fixes any heart disease, cancer, planerfaciatis, you name it. It just a little scan and, boom!
Brock: Captain, I’m detecting planerfaciatis in your flat foot. This is not logical.
Brock: Because we missed last week, does that mean that the news flashes are going to be extra bulchitos for this?
Ben: Yes. We’re just gonna knock you out if you’re listening in with news flashes galore. It’s like a – who’s the news flash guy from Sesame Street? Guy Smiley?
Brock: Guy Smiley, yeah.
Ben: It is Guy Smiley. Guy Smiley! What’s he say?
Brock: I don’t know what he says, but he’s got that Awesome voice!
Ben: An Awesome Guy Smiley voice! We should play that for people. Why don’t you play little Guy Smiley, Brock?
Brock: Fay! Sure! Won’t you America’s most beloved game show host Guy Smiley?
Ben: That’s right! I am America’s most beloved game show host Guy Smiley, and I’m here to take your picture!
Ben: No. I just have a few things that I wanted to talk about, and of course, I know that all of our listeners have a lower that average IQ, and so, we’ll just start off right after that, telling you if you’re listening in, how to get smarter. And here’s one that I like.
I’ve actually started in my weekly routine for the winter because it gets cold here in Spokane in the winter. Now, every Thursday, I’m doing hot yoga. Bikram yoga, which I love. And there is a new study that shows that, compared to just stretching or toning exercises, yoga because of the emphasis on breath control and posture actually makes you smarter, and increases cognitive performance compared to just regular stretching.
Ben: So yeah. It’s really interesting. It was a study that they did in which they compared stretching and toning vs. yoga and found a significant improvement in mental function, post yoga. In this case, doing yoga three times a week and using cognitive tests to test performance. And in this study they used Hatha Yoga which is very similar to the type of yoga you do in most yoga classes, and…
Brock: Like, the Hatha’s next in gentle, and slow, and relax.
Ben: Exactly. Unlike Bikram Yoga which I think I’ve heard Joe Rogan described as group sex with your clothes on.
Ben: Which is not what I do. But anyways though, there you go. If you wanna get smarter, try a little bit of yoga maybe, instead of stretching. And you can easily just memorize a 5 or 10 minute yoga routine and do that when you would normally be stretching. So…
Brock: Yeah, I do this sun salutation, just that. Over and over like probably 8 or 10 times each morning. Gets me going and gets the breath going too. I wonder if that’s why I’m so darn clever these days.
Ben: Yeah! Slow down hikes. It gets the poop going too, not to be vulgar but, because we don’t believe on that on this podcast.
Brock: Yeah, we never talk about the bathroom stuff.
Ben: It does, doing a few sun salutations, my gosh. You wanna get a bowel go in the morning, go for it. And by the way, another thing, and when my cell brings this up ‘cause I already talked about it earlier that can make you smarter is, standing. Like I’m standing right now while we’re podcasting.
Brock: Me too!
Ben: If I weren’t standing, we’d probably be talking about, I don’t know, like clubbing a squirrel and resting it over a fire or some other…
Brock: I’d just be batting in the microphone.
Ben: Yeah. Ho! Ho! But because we’re standing, that’s not the case. We’re smarter. And, actually standing during the day, multiple sites have shown increase in brain drive, neuro traffic factor, and increase in cognitive performance, and blood flow to the brain. Not to mention an increase in metabolic activity, fat burning enzymes, more of other cool things. So, the reason that I’m saying this is because the good folks over at rebel desk, which is the same crank-up desk that I have at my work station, they’re offering all of our listeners a discount. And the reason that I chose this desk instead of the one like the once it go up when you push a button, is again ‘cause of the EMF issue. I’m putting in a treadmill which I’ll talk about probably next week in my office, and it’s a manual treadmill. You can go really fast but it’s a manual. So there’s just like no electrical pollution generated. Same thing with this rebel desk.
Brock: Manual, so it doesn’t move on its own. It only moves because you’re walking?
Ben: Hmm, the treadmill?
Ben: Yeah, exactly. So, it’s powered by your own body weight.
Brock: Wow! I’ve never seen one of those.
Ben: Yeah, they’re really cool and actually it’s impossible to run with bad form on them. So, I’ll talk about that later on, the next week. But there are these crank-up desks, it’s just a crank-up that goes up, down – my kids love it. They make my desk go up and down all the time, and I like it because I can get bigger guns while I’m working by cranking my desk up and down. Anyways though, I know everybody is waiting for the discount code. So, rebeldesk.com is their website, rebeldesk.com. And here is what they’re giving us. You can get 40 bucks off a desk which say – that’s a couple of steak dinners. So, there you go. Forty bucks off a desk when you use code “Ben”. So, rebeldesk.com with “Ben” spelled with “E”, and then also, they have this chair. And I also have their chair. I don’t use it that much but it is nice. You know, occasionally I want to write an article for example, I like to sit down. And I’m working on a book proposal right now for my next book which is gonna be about raising healthy kids and I sit down when I’m working on that proposal and it’s got this chair that will go up and down. So if my desk is already up, I can push a little thing in the chair and it goes (sounds) up and then (sounds) down, and it’s pretty cool.
Brock: (singing) The child on the desk goes up and down, up and down…
Ben: I have no clue then why they give us a different code for the chair. You can go to their website, rebeldesk.com and get the chair for $20 off with code “Greenfield”. So, code “Ben” to get 40 bucks off the desk, code “Greenfield” to get $20 off the chair that comes with the desk. So, there you go.
Ben: And by the way, speaking of standing and fat loss, here is another interesting way to burn fat. A hot bath. A hot bath. That’s right. There is this really interesting article over on the biohacksblog.com website, and it discuss a study in which they looked at what’s called passive heat loading, which is the geek term for taking a bath. And when they use…
Brock: Of course, getting hot without doing anything.
Ben: When they use passive heat loading or sitting in your bath tub, and combine that with a cup of coffee, they found a significant improvement in leptin, and in thermogenesis or calorie burn, which is really cool because we’ve talked of course, about cold showers before and we actually had, we had Dr. Ronda Patrick on the show and that was a fantastic episode, where she talked about using saunas and spas to improve your metabolic rate and increase production of heat shock protein and all these other cool things. But it turns out that just like doing a post cup of coffee bath, or you could probably have a cup of coffee while you are in the bath if you wanted to have a thermogenic effect.
Brock: Yeah, that sounds delightful.
Ben: Yeah, doesn’t it? I always like a hot bath with a hot cup of coffee. Anyways though, yeah, if you don’t have access to a sauna or a spa, and you want to use that replicate this fat loss at home, you can try this out. The other cool thing that you can do, a bath kinda relaxes you before bed. You’d know you’ve imagine that in case you’d wanna do hot tea instead of coffee. You can get out of the bath and you can just take a kind of a lukewarm or cold shower to cool down the body, cool down the core, and you’ll sleep pretty well too. So, really interesting that a hot bath combine with a cup of coffee can actually help you to burn fat. Isn’t that interesting?
Brock: That is! I’ve got two questions about that. Is there something about the coffee in particular that helps with it, like if you did have say like a peppermint tea or something with that keep some of the goodness?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. The caffeine does indeed enhance mobilization of fat stores if you are not in a feed state. So technically you’d want to do your hot bath not like right after dinner or but maybe id it’s been like 2, 3 hours or more since your last meal, and then you stack the coffee with the bath. And remember, when we’ve talked about this on a previous episode, if you’re concerned about coffee keeping you up at night, you can combine it with something called L-thianine, and actually green tea is a perfect example of a combination of caffeine and L-thianine even though they don’t use it in the study, to me that would make a little bit better sense if you’re doing this close to the bedtime – to use green tea and stuff.
Brock: Gotcha! Okay, so, question number two – so cold thermogenesis we know activates the brown adipose tissue and that’s what sort of stimulates the fat loss, is this actually working on your metabolism like is it a whole different system?
Ben: Yup, exactly. So, it’s basic thermogenesis. Your body is burning calories by trying to cool itself down because you’re raising the metabolic rate. So, there may be other things going on like it’s possible that heat shock protein or something like that somehow increases fat loss. I have to go sit in the bath and think about it because maybe it makes you smarter too. So, couple other quick news flashes, and by the way, if you go to twitter.com/bengreenfield, I, I’m – everyday, sometimes twice a day I’m tweeting the best and the coolest study that I find. So, reason to go follow me over there. But anyways, a couple other things – the first is that you can eat a lot more carbs than you may have thought without getting fat and even though this study was published several years ago, I came across it recently and I just wanted to mention it because what they did was called massive carbohydrate over-feeding. This is in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. And they gave a group of guys a ton of carbohydrates. They actually, let me see how much they actually gave them. It looks like it was around 3,500 to 4,000 initially and then they increase that up to almost 5,000 calories of carbohydrates per day. And what they found was that in the average human, you can take in approximately 500 grams of carbohydrate before what’s called net lipid synthesis occurs. Before carbohydrate begin to get turned into fat in the liver. So it’s very, very interesting and I’m not mentioning this study because I want to endorse a high carb diet because I think that they are implications there for blood sugar, inflammation, insulin sensitivity, things that go above and beyond, just that initial conversion of carbohydrates and the fat. The reason I’m mentioning it, is because I know one of athletes listening in and there’s this concepts of carbohydrate loading, and recently I’ve seen a lot of talk about carbohydrate loading potentially making you fat or having all those carbohydrate that you take in during like a race week before an ironman or marathon or Spartan race, or something like that making you fat. It turns out that you could probably get away with about 500 grams for the average size guy, probably less for girls, but about 500 grams of carbohydrates per day.
That’s 2,000 calories worth of carbs before net lipid synthesis occurs. Now again, I’m not endorsing this from a health standpoint but it’s interesting, I at least wanted to mention that from a performance standpoint, this whole carbs get turn into fat, it’s not quite as simple as that and there has to be some pretty massive carbohydrate over-feeding before you begin to see carbohydrate gets converted into fat. The other thing I should mention as a caveat here, is that prior to doing the study on these guys, they did exhaust their carbohydrate stores. So they put them on a low carb diet for a couple of days so their glycogen stores were empty. If you’re going around in a constantly fed state, then it’s likely that it may take a little bit fewer carbohydrates than that for the carbs to get converted into fat. But ultimately, what this comes down to is that the occasional corn, sourdough bread, wine, watermelon, beer, barbeque, you know, here we are just come off of Labor Day, probably is gonna do a little bit less damage from an acute fat gain standpoint, – then you’ve been lead to believe and so I will set back and wait for all of the low carb Jimmy Moore, Peter Atia, bulletproof diet, etcetera, etcetera, that come after me and…
Brock: I feel as if you just open the large can of whoopass yourself.
Ben: I did open up a large can of… No, but what I’m saying is, like if you do wanna try carbohydrate loading to see if it increases your performance somehow, go for it and you’re not gonna get fat.
Brock: And what you said, we’re talking about like the real carb loading protocol which involves carb depleting or glycogen depleting first and then loading up with carbs not wondering around popping everything in your mouth constantly.
Ben: Yeah, I personally not even really do much carb loading anymore though because I spent two years getting myself through ketosis into a state of extreme fat burning efficiency. And if you’ve already done that, if you’ve followed a high fat, low carb diet for a while, you’ve kinda achieved that side of efficiency, you’re not one of those people that really even have to worry about carb loading.
Brock: Even carb loading on people who do the protocol correctly, they say it only really increases about 2 or 3%, so if you’re winning the race that might be worthwhile but if you’re below the parkards, probably not worth it.
Ben: Yup. Different strokes for different folks. And just to not vilify myself, or to, I don’t know, I’ll make this up, to reverse vilify myself, here’s one last interesting study in which they compared the intake of chia seeds vs. the intake of Gatorade to see if chia seed loading could enhance sports performance compared to the intake of Gatorade. And in this study, they use two different pre-workout calorie loading techniques and in one, they used a 100 calories of Gatorade and in the other, they water down the Gatorade so to speak with about 50% chia seeds, omega 3 fatty acids from chia seeds. And they found out there was horrible thing to do to chia seeds. Those little chia seeds drowning in Gatorade. They found that for a 10K, which is what they measured here, that the average 10k time with the chia seed was about 37 minutes, which is pretty interesting in what they’re testing this in, and with Gatorade, it was about 37 minutes. So, there you go, you can actually use things like chia seeds or you can water down your carbs, so to speak with fats and still perform just as well. So, and that incidentally I just wrote – if you haven’t been to bengreenfieldfitness.com recently, I just wrote the entire story of my three part article series on my experience at SealFit and kind of like the Navy Seal hell week equivalent for civilians. And one of the things that I was using quite liberally there was a chia seed mixture and water bottle that I would just grab as I ran past ‘cause we have very, very few feeding opportunities, but I just suck down a bunch of chia seed that I have mixed with honey and that actually worked pretty well to maintain energy levels, and – so yeah, chia seeds and honey, with little lemon in there, some stevia, uh-hmm. There you go.
Ben: So, speaking of chia seeds, my friend Yuri, who’s like this ex-professional soccer player, he’s kinda like a vegan-juicing detox guy. So, not exactly on the same diet platform as me. Adhering to his specific diet is kinda silly, but he has just written a book called “All Day Energy Diet” and he’s got this cookbook that he’s actually giving for free, since his real book doesn’t come up for a little while.
And the cookbook has recipes for things like hemp balls, natural Gatorade, and even something called green cappuccino.
Brock: That’s not selling it for me. I’m afraid.
Ben: You don’t wanna get hemp ball every now and again?
Brock: Green cappuccino, I’m intrigue.
Ben: Well, it’s just like, you know, it’s cool ‘cause it’s not your everyday’s cookbook. Like I’ve, okay, I contributed some recipes to it. I did a twist to my morning green fat smoothie. My wife’s recipe for bone marrow which is the freaking bomb is in there, and I was surprised that he actually put it in there because of he’s like, kinda like vegan bent.
Brock: Yeah, that’s not Vegan!
Ben: But it is a good cookbook and just as a caveat here because I’ve sent out a couple of emails encouraging people to go pick up Yuri’s book. He is an internet marketer trying to make the New York Times bestselling list which means there are hoops you have to jump through. He’s gonna try upsell you, you’ll see videos, ad this on for 7 bucks whatever, that’s just the way things go folks. We try to get stuff for free on the internet these days, but you can indeed get the cookbook for free on his website and you’d go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/aded for that. It’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/aded as in All Day Energy Diet. When you go to that url, it tells Yuri that I sent you to get the book and what happens is, if you end up buying Yuri’s real book after the cookbook comes out, I get paid a little bit for that. So there’s your opening the Kimono of how internet marketing works. Anyways though, so bengreenfieldfitness.com/aded and all the talk about internet marketing and everything aside, it actually is a really good cookbook and his book is actually a really good book. I thought it was just be the usual whatever, you know, make cucumber juice in the morning type of thing, but it is a good book. So, cool.
Brock: Yeah, so just keep your wits about you while you’re doing the ordering and you’ll end up this free book and the good book and avoid all the other pitfalls.
Ben: That’s right. No money out of your wallet or in mine. So, the (laughs) wait a second.
Brock: Wait a minute.
Ben: So, few other things just – if you happen to be in any of these places I’ll be speaking –Vermont, I will be taking my family out to Vermont from the 18th through the 28th of September. And while we are there, I will racing the Spartan World Championships and I’ll be speaking at the 431 Project which is a project design to end childhood overweight and obesity issues. You can check that out at the431project.com, we’ll link to all the stuff from the show notes by the way, at bengreenfieldfitness.com/292 for all the help at the show notes. I also be speaking at The Vermont Traditional Foods and Health Symposium, and that’s on September 25th through the 27th. You can check that out, and then the 26th through the 28th, actually I won’t be in Vermont and California simultaneously, I’ll be in California right after that Vermont thing on the 28th. I’ll be speaking at Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Biohacking Conference, and then finally both Brock and I will be at Ironman Hawaii, October 8th through the 13th. So, come say “hi” to us there. And we’ll put details since I run through all that really fast. We’ll put details in the show notes, but if you want to swing by and say “Hi” and you’ll be in those places, I’d love to meet you, shake your hand, say “hello”, hang out and you can…
Brock: You can come over to our little condo in Kona and see what happens when we turn in to bachelors.
Ben: And buy us a drink.
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Listener Q & A:
Skeptic: Hey guys, I was listening to the Science Friday podcast the other day, and they were talking about how a scientific journal just retracted 60 papers after details about “peer review ring” came to light and also the journal Nature recently retracted two papers involving stem cells.
So, I was just wondering, what are the important things to look for when you’re reading a study or looking at research to figure out whether it’s actually good research or whether you can trust the conclusions. Thanks.
Ben: Wow! Skeptic sounds a little creepy, honestly. I don’t know if I’m wanna go riding on his motorcycle or… I’m sure he drives like a Harley Davidson with the flames on it.
Brock: I’m thinking…
Ben: That’s right, as he said, he studies his two papers with stem cells.
Brock: Yes. (laughs)
Ben: You know what, there are definitely things that… if you’re listening in, just to retract what I said earlier. You actually probably are pretty smart cookie and you maybe are looking at studies, or you’re looking at research and trying to figure at. If something a newspaper headline says, is actually accurate, and if you can actually trust the research, well, what I would recommend is, I have specific questions that I ask myself when I’m looking at research. And…
Brock: Did you say, you ax yourself?
Ben: Yes! Because I was 7 years old there for a second. So, there’s a few questions that I would recommend that you look into. The first is, you wanna question whether the research is what’s called primary vs. secondary research. So if it primary research, what that means is that it’s a collection of original primary data that’s collected by the researcher and typically it’s undertaken after the research has gonna gain some insight into the issue by reviewing secondary research or by reviewing previously collected primary data. So that might be experiments, direct observations, etc. So, it means that what you’re reading was research that was actually done by the reviewer vs. what’s called secondary research. And what secondary research is, is it’s also know as desk research. So that’s involve someone summarizing or synthesizing a bunch of existing research together such as you might see in what’s called – I’m blanking, and what do you call a collection of studies, a meta-analysis. What you wanna look at is – okay, is it an actual experiment or they just reporting on a bunch of other experiments and trying to draw a conclusions based on that. So, you know, if it was a primary study, you can also look at, was it an observational study based on something like say, food surveys or questionnaires. You know, that’s pretty common or was it an actual experimental study. And so, that’s another really important thing to look into and of course you wanna…
Brock: So you mean like a – sorry, like a self reported kinda thing vs. an actual quantifiable thing?
Ben: Yeah! For example in a lot of – you know, I took part in the University of Connecticut study in which we followed a high fat diet for a minimum of 6 months and most of us want it for 9 to 12 months leading up to a study. But, we weren’t in a later University of Connecticut eating butter and MCT oil. We were off doing our thing when we came in. We reported our diet using the questionnaires we were provided. So that is an example of basically kind of observational vs. asexually being in the lab there. You know, some kind of a bomb calorimeter measuring exact calories and calories out in food given. Those are a couple of things to look at – was it a primary or secondary research, and if it was primary, what kind of study was it.
Another thing that you can look out if it was secondary research or a meta-analysis, is how thorough they actually review the topic. So, a lot of time you’ll find that research is actually cherry-picked and if you’re looking at a secondary research study and it’s all freaking evidence for and none against at all. Sometimes that does mean that the evidence was cherry picked. Usually, if I’m looking at a meta-analysis, I wanna see that they’ve looked at both the arguments for or against the particular point that they’re trying to prove. So you can generally kinda tell if something is cherry picked if just like everything is for. If you’re on a website for some product, and they’ve listed every single study in favor of that product but not really question or address any studies that show that that product doesn’t work. So, that’s another one to look into is, whether or not the evidence was actually cherry-picked. So…
Brock: Would you say that would make your Spidey sense tingle?
Ben: That would make my Spidey sense really, really tingle.
Another one is animals vs. humans. So, of course, there’s a big, big difference in animals vs. humans, and I recently tweeted out this really interesting – there’s an algorithm or an equation that you can use like if animal are given x dose of a supplement like say, caffeine, you can figure out using this little calculation, how much of a dose that would cross-over to being in humans. Which is kinda cool but it doesn’t mean that animals are little humans still, and it means that you still want to take into account whether or not, whatever nutrition or training protocol imposed on the subjects and the study, were imposed on subjects that relevant to you. You know, were they sedentary obese rats or were they 80+ year old, female nursing home residents or were they 20-40 year old athlete for example. So…
Brock: Oh, those all sound pretty similar to me.
Ben: Those all sound somewhere, somewhere. Yeah. So, was the study short term vs. long term? That’s another one too, like into because a lot of times a short term response – a study that looks at the response to the body of 2 weeks on a high fat diet, that’s gonna be a lot different than what you might see in a study that’s long term or that looks at something like 9 months on a high fat diet. So, short term vs. long term is another one to look in to. Another one, and I know this is kinda propeller hat-ish but I think this an important enough question for us to put on our propeller hats here. If there is statistical significant in research, was that statistical significance actually large enough to have practical significance? So, what that means is that sometimes you got statistically significant differences that are practically kinda meaningless. So, if we look at dietary studies, sometimes you’ll find studies that last months, and months, and months on… let’s say, green tea extract to raspberry ketones and they find a significant amount of weight loss over the course of 6 months of using that supplement. But then when you look at, it turns out that significant amount of weight loss was 1.5 kg or close to around 3 lbs or something. You could have easily loss through like 2 weeks of good exercise. So, even though something is statistically significant doesn’t mean that it carries a lot of practical significance. You know, especially if you’re gonna spend whatever, 60 bucks a month on a supplement, you know, what I’m sayin’. So, you wanna take into account how much significance there actually was and whether that’s actually practical for you. Another one, whether whatever dosing or programming that was used in the study, is actually relevant. So, what I mean by that is, you can look at a study that shows that, for example, eccentric weight training or negative super slow weight training increase muscle hypertrophy by 20% compared to regular weigh training but then you find out that the eccentric training protocol used in the subject was 2 hours of eccentric weight training, 5 days a week. And all of a sudden, that becomes something that certainly has statistical significant but that really is not relevant in terms of the programming or in terms of the dosing. So, that’s another one to look in to when you’re reading about any of these studies on any websites that are reporting on this fitness and nutrition research. And then, the last one that I would look into is whether a study has actually been replicated. So, if we look at, for example, creatine is a perfect example. Creatine literally has probably over a thousand different studies that have replicated that creatine actually works for strength, power, that type of thing. And there are other supplements out there like ZMA is a really popular one that’s recommended for improving muscular strength, and that has just a fraction of the convergence of evidence that something like creatine has. So, when you look at replication, this is a reason I like for example, there’s this website called examine at examine.com and they review supplements. And they look at a variety of studies and whether or not that supplement actually works based on a variety of different studies and they’re give a supplement like an a, b, c, or d ranking based off of how much actual data there is to back it up, and there was a study behind it that’s not enough to necessarily say that it’s gonna work. You know, I talked a lot – another one I talked about like in that multivitamin that I use, the Thorne FX multivitamin, is that curcumin phytosomes stuff. Like, there’s a ton of studies behind this curcumin phytosome and how it beats out regular curcumin for fighting inflammation, and for improving muscle recovery, and stuff like that. But, that certainly something that, to me is more important than one study, for example, like buy the curcumin phytosome manufacturer that shows that it works. So…
Brock: I think that’s exactly what the color what’s talking about those, the studies that were retracted in the journal of Nature. They were not able, they were not replicated by anybody else so they end up getting retracted ‘cause it’s just one group of people doing in one laboratory, does not have a perfect study or conclusive evidence make.
Ben: Yup! Exactly, wow! That was almost like a poem. Like Robert “freaking” Frost.
Brock: Nice! Robert Frost meets Carol Seagan?
Ben: Yeah. So, one last resource that I will give if you’re listening in, and I’ll put – I’ll link to this at bengreenfieldfitness.com/292. A guy who have had on the podcast before named Alan Aragon, he puts out a monthly review of a bunch of studies called Alan Aragon’s Research Review, and similar to websites like examine.com, or sephercity.com or the biohacks blog website, it is comprised of information that not just looks at studies but they questions whether or not those studies work the methods used in the studies, and then gives recommendations on fitness or nutrition protocols based off of that. It’s really good in an unbiased manner. So, that’s at Alan Aragon’s Research Review, I think it’s aarr.com something like that, but I’ll link to it in the show notes so you can check.
Brock: Not to be confused with Alan Arkin, the actor.
Ben: Sound like some a Canadian hockey player?
Brock: No. He’s a really famous actor. He’s like super grumpy too. I made fun of the research review, that’s done in a really grumpy voice. Hmmp.
There'sa: Hi Ben, this is There'sa from Minnesota. Tell me what do you know about tinnutis? What makes your ears ring incessantly throughout the day and the evening hours? Mine has gotten progressively worse as I’ve approach 50 years old, and I’m just wondering if you have any suggestions how to quiet the inner noise that is happening in my ears. Thank you so much. I love your podcast.
Ben: Well There'sa, I don’t know if you’ll gonna be able to hear us over the high pitch sound that’s ringing incessantly… There'sa, that wasn’t in you tonight, that was Brock.
Brock: I think I just broke something…
Ben: Oh gosh, yeah, ear ringing kinda stinks and I actually have been dealing with that myself because my whole body from my ears to my nose, to my butt crack has been filled with sands since that Kokoru Camp because you literally – I mean, go read my blog post about it at bengreenfieldfitness.com. It’s actually, bengreenfieldfitness.com/sealfit. Literally, surf swim tortures for hours, and hours. It’s like 1 AM just sitting in the sand on the beach with the waves crashing over our head over, and over, and over again. They had us make ourselves into sugar cookies which is you gotta run into the ocean and come back out completely cover yourself in sand and then just like run down the beach with the 50 pound sack as the grided sand digs into your shoulders and your neck. Yeah, I had fun. Anyways though…
Brock: If you guys tune in on Saturday for the podcast that’s coming out, then you’ll hear how beat up – you can hear it in Ben’s voice actually how beat up entirely he is.
Ben: Yeah! I recorded that podcast like the day after Seal Fit ‘cause we have a podcast coming out this weekend on – What is it on? I forget.
Brock: Sweet, sweet beat.
Ben: Oh yeah, that’s right. Sweet beat and heart rate variability. It’s pretty cool, cool episode.
Brock: You so beat up.
Ben: Tinnitus. Here – I’ll tell you my number one thing. This doesn’t involve like taking any supplements or anything like that but it’s a real cool thing that you can do, it’s called finger drumming. And this works anytime your ears are ringing like after a concert, or after you have water in your ears, when you got playing in your ears or ringing, or if you have tinnitus. So, way it this works. You can do this while listening, it’s pretty easy to figure out. Put your palms of your hands over your ears, but do so in a manner that has your fingers point towards the back of your head. Just put your palms over your ears, you should – and now that no one can hear the podcast, hopefully you’re at your beds, put your palms over your ears and your fingers are gonna be resting on the back of your head, you want your middle fingers pointing towards each other, right? Just above the base of your skull, and then you put your index fingers on top of your middle fingers, and you’re like snap your index fingers into your skull, and if you do this right, your palms are covering your ear, you’re gonna hear this like club drumming noise every time your index fingers hit your skull. You just wanna do that a few dozen times like drum, drum, drum, drum, drum, drum, drum, drum, drum, so you’re tapping with your index fingers and you’re snapping with your middle fingers so they’ll get some momentum. And if you do that every time your ears are ringing, see, don’t they all feel better, There'sa? That’s a really cool remedy you can use for tinnitus. There’s actually – tapping and finger drumming is really cool. I don’t know if you’ve read the book about tapping – there’s a book called – Tapping, it’s like tapping emotional freedom or the tapping technique or something like that, but I’ve used that for like nervousness, before I’ve gotten on stage, I’ve used it for insomnia, I’ve used that before I’ve flown on airplanes, like it’s really cool, like it’s like this tapping technique where you tap the top of your forehead, and then your eyebrows, and outside your eyes…
Brock: Yeah, I tap in between my eyebrows when I’m getting sleepy and I’m driving. That’s what perk me up a little bit or just an exact Hell to me.
Ben: Yeah, well. So, tapping, check that out.
A few other things that I would definitely look into for tinnitus as far as like, supplements, natural herbal remedies, stuff like that. Anything that increases blood flow to your neck, your head, or your brain. So, that would include for example, and this stuff works for real for headaches too. Topical magnesium – it’s a vasodilator. You can smear it on your neck, kinda by your ears, on your lower shoulders, and it works really well for sleep and for headaches, but that can also help with ringing in your ears. It’s a vasodilator, just a basic topical magnesium. There’s one – if you go to greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, there is one of the topical magnesium that I use over there where I put just buy anything I’ve ever recommended and that one is a topical magnesium with MSM. So, it helps with bruising, and tendonitis, and stuff like that too.
Another one that can actually help to increase blood flow to your head, your neck, and your ears, is caffeine. Just like a cup of coffee and if you do that way, you’re sitting in a hot bath, you will get a six pack abs. Anyways though, coffee can actually help, anything with caffeine can help to basically improve blood flow. Depending on how you use it. Too much caffeine can actually restrict blood flow, so you wanna be careful. But, the other thing you can do with caffeine is they make topical caffeine lotions now, which are very good for like wrinkle, and anti-aging but they also help to increase blood flow. And so you could use that instead of a magnesium if you wanted to like a topical caffeine. Like any type of lotion that contains coffee extract.
Another thing is, gingko biloba. Gingko biloba is another thing that can increase blood flow to your head, your neck, and your brain. It can reduce inflammation and blood vessels, can give you better circulation to your capillaries, so, that would actually be a supplement. That wouldn’t be a topical. So basically, it’s just a – like a capsule, like a gingko biloba capsule. There’s a lot of different brands out there, and you can even get like gingko biloba in a tea. So, that be another one to look at.
Something else that can really help and actually there’s an interesting study on this, that I found on the American Speech Language Hearing Association website, that the gentle noise produced by a white noise generator, or a fan during sleep, can actually help provide relief for ringing in your ears. So if you’re getting tinnitus while you’re asleep, some kind of like a white noise generator on your phone, or even like a fan, like one of those floor fans that makes a little bit of white noise. That can help out quite a bit as well. So, I would say – if I were to choose like the number one kinda like little hack for this, I would personally do topical magnesium on your head, neck, and ears, and then combine that with that finger drumming technique. And that should help out quite a bit with the tinnitus. So, we’ve also done previous podcast on tinnitus and you know, about how it develops in exposure to loud noise or ear infections or even some injuries to your nerve endings. We talked a little bit more in that particular episode that we did, about why it happens, and we talked about some supplements a little bit. If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com, and do a search for tinnitus, then you‘ll find that previous episode that we did as well. So, check that out!
Jeff: Hey Ben, hey Brock, my question for you is about running the rock and roll Las Vegas Marathon at night time. So, the question is, how do I eat leading up to the race. Most marathons are first thing in the morning, and I’ve got my feeling strategy down, that way it’s the afternoon and mid-type of running, and eating ‘cause you only eat too much, ‘cause then you feel like krut on the run, and if you eat too little. Then so, I’m seeking “wise council” from Ben and Brock. Thanks!
Brock: Kinda always wanted to do the Las Vegas half Marathon just because it’s run at night and it goes down the strip.
Ben: I was gonna say, it goes down the strip.
Brock: Yeah, so that’s apparently it kinda dangerous though ‘cause it’s like the road is close off, it’s kinda dark, and there’s potential for like bottles, and stuff on the road.
Ben: You get on the road, dancer and the super heroes, and the people handing up flyers of naked women.
Brock: Totally. Yeah!
Brock: All the show girls with the big feathery hats.
Ben: I actually – it’s been a while since I’ve done an afternoon or an evening race. And it really is a kind of an interesting scenario because you can’t just eat breakfast for example, and head off to the race. I think the last time I did this was the Boise half Ironman. It was like a 2 or 3 o’clock afternoon race. And…
Brock: I did a sprint triathlon last summer that has started 2 in the afternoon…
Ben: Yeah, and I also sometimes Wednesday, we have a Wednesday night 5K race serious, I go to sometimes here. The trick is that you avoid things that are going to take a lot of energy or a long time to digest. And you avoid things that are high in fiber and sometimes you just repeat what you’d normally have for breakfast prior to a big event like half marathon, or marathon, or ironman or something like that. So, an example of – let’s say if we’re gonna take the traditional route not like a high fat, ketogenic type of route, but if we’re just to like a, a simple easy to digest carbohydrate based meal. One example would be, you do, for breakfast, a sweet potato or jam, or if they’re small, a couple of sweet potatoes or jams with some sea salt, a little bit of honey, a little bit of nut butter, you know, like an almond butter, something like that, some water to wash it down. I’ve even like a digestive enzyme supplement because it produces the energy cause of digesting food and when you’re in a race, that help you quite a bit to break down your food. But you do something like that, you know, nine or whatever you’d normally had breakfast, and then you just do it again at noon, and you just eat throughout the day. It sounds boring but you basically just play it safe, and repeat the same thing that you’d normally eat breakfast before a high priority event.
Another thing that you could do for example, if you’re doing more of the high fat approach, do something like – I’ve talked about this, how I did this before Ironman, all the ironman races that I did last year, I just drink bulletproof coffee. I had a cup of coffee, about a quarter stick of butter, a couple tablespoons of MCT oil, I blended that up, I put a little bit of coconut milk in there, a little bit of cinnamon, Stevia, and I believe, I even put about a tablespoon or so of nut butter before the ironman event just for a little bit of extra calories, but that works fine as well. The only thing is, how much of a diaper pants this year you’re gonna have if you’re doing like 3 cups of that throughout the event.
Brock: Yeah, if you haven’t tried that before, do not try it before the marathon, Jeff.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I mean, honestly one thing you could do is, you can just get up for breakfast, you could do like sweet potato, jam thing, and then for lunch, have your cup of bulletproof coffee and then, I don’t know what time that half marathon starts and either even be a dinner too, as well in which case you again have simple. Avoid the steak and eggs, I would even avoid in this case, fatty fish and spinach, and things that might not work well the night before, but that won’t work that well the day of… so, keep it very simple, keep it very clean. None of the high fiber things, like none of these like high fiber energy bars, no big salads, no huge portions of fruits, smoothies, stuff like that. Keep it really simple, clean, easy to digest, if it’s something that is, that’s liquid base, that’s fine as well.
Another thing that I’ve done a couple of times lately when I’ve been travelling is, I use meal replacement blends, and I don’t have a link handy to put in the show notes. You can probably find it if you’ll go to the Thorne website. Not Thorne FX but Thorne – the company that owns Thorne FX. It’s like this big…
Brock: Oh, I didn’t know they’re affiliated, funny.
Ben: Yeah. That’s who owns Thorne FX, it’s Thorne. And they make something called, it’s like medipro. I believe it’s medipro, anyways, that’s like everything that you need in a meal but it’s really, really, easy on the stomach.
Brock: I’ve been using the superberry stuff.
Ben: Oh! What am I thinking… yeah, I mean like, if you go to greenfieldfitnesssystems like the superberry or the supergreens, same thing. That’s very, very similar. The reason I’ve been…
Brock: Yeah, I love that superberries!
Ben: Yeah, that medipro stuff, they send me something to try. So, it’s just been like, I just have big canister, something going through but – yeah, Living Fuel Superberry or Living Fuel Supergreens, it’s meal replacement blends. Can work really well because it’s just like done for you, right? You know, it’s gonna be easy to digest, you know there’s not gonna be a lot of fiber, you know there’s not gonna be a lot of hard digest fats or proteins, you just eat it as a meal replacement, it sounds boring, and frankly, it does get boring. But at least, you’re playing it sake. At least you know, they’re not gonna have you stomach issues, and you can just mix something like that up with some water, or some almond milk, or some coconut milk, or something like that. And you could do that for breakfast, lunch, and then your pre-race dinner. You know, either living fuel…
Brock: Yeah, looks like the race starts at 4:30. So, you probably good if you have sort of a slightly late lunch.
Ben: Yup, exactly. So, those are some of the things that I would do, Jeff and if you’re listening into the podcast and you’ve got your own tips for Jeff, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/292 and let Jeff know what you would do. I guess there’s another options that you could go like Hard Rock Café, have a burger down the street…
Brock: Oh yeah, I heard that you eat a whole bunch of pancakes, and eggs, and stuff, and then go to a bunch of burpees and then eat warm eggs and pancakes, and stuff…
Ben: Yes, exactly.
Brock: If anybody wants to know what I’m talking about, listen to the Obstacle Dominator podcast that came out yesterday.
Ben: Did I talk about it in that one about what they did to us at Seal Fit?
Brock: I think so. I think it was one – maybe it was Endurance Planet.
Ben: Okay, quit. Real quickly. I wanna move on to the next question. This was about 48 hours in to the sleep deprives, butt kicking, and they suddenly stops me like, “let’s have breakfast.” It’s really like, “Hmmp.” And you know, Ray Purkis who’ve been barely anything up to that point, they took us out for this “all you can eat” pancake, eggs, bacon, and hash browns breakfast and they ordered tons and tons of food, and then they forced us, there were 17 of us left at that point, they force us to eat anything. And we’re talking about pancakes coming out of your eyeballs. These pancakes were literally like the size of basketballs, I mean, huge pancakes. And…
Brock: And these aren’t gluten-free…
Ben: No, these are butter-milk pancakes, eggs, peanut butter, you know, salsa, bacon, hash browns, and the they commenced by literally taking us out and we start sprinting down the alley and went straight to a 2 hour workout of broad jumps, burpees, backward runs, bear crawls, pretty much everything that would either make you wanna crap your pants or taste breakfast twice. And people would literally doing that. There were guys like pawn over, puking their guts out in the side of the road, people were literally crapping their pants, and which really suck ‘cause they took us in for this like hot yoga sessions afterwards. Nobody get to the shower or anything, there were just nasty, nasty. Go read my story about this at bengreenfieldfitness.com/sealfit if you want. But it was not a pleasant “all you can eat” pancake breakfast.
Fred: Hi Ben and Brock, my name is Fred, 66 years old and always prided myself on my low heart rate but recently my doctor has told me that I have an Atrial Fibrillation. And so now, my question can I actually train a heart that has A-Fib. Now, when I went out of breathe, I don’t know if it’s A-Fib, or my age, or I just not in shape. Thanks for any thoughts that you might have on this. Bye.
Ben: Brock, you have a little bit of history with this. Don’t you?
Brock: Yeah, I do have an Atrial Fibrillation. I’ve got what’s called a “wenckebach”.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, a “wenckebach”. That’s actually illegal in my State to do the wenckebach thing but maybe it’s all good up in Canada. So, tell us a little bit about that.
Brock: A wenckebach is just a –my, the space between my heart beats get farther and farther apart until I finally just drop a beat and luckily, like most people, it picks back up again and I don’t even really notice when that happens. But it’s one of those weird things, sort of a remnant from my episode with pericarditis and myocarditis a few years ago.
Ben: Yeah, where you got the infections in the lining of your heart and you literally almost died from that, alright?
Brock: I did actually flat lines several times and I…
Ben: Yeah. I remember…
Brock: I was technically dead but not for long enough to actually cause any brain damage, I think.
Ben: Yeah, if you, as a matter of fact, if you go like Endurance Planet did a pretty good story on you. If you go to Endurance Planet, you do a search for Brock. They did a good story, and Brock actually did a podcast on anxiety and gave his history of pericarditis and heart issues. Really, really interesting. So, go take a listen to that at Endurance Planet. The A-Fib, you can still exercise with A-Fib, which again is just a – an abnormal heartbeat and there are certainly some things that you want to do to pay attention to what’s going on as you exercise with A-Fib. It’s really common abnormal heart rhythm that doesn’t have to start with pericarditis like Brock was talking about. You can literally just have a little bit of shorting of that electrical impulse that’s normally generated by what’s called the sinoatrial node in your heart, and it disorganize, or dysfunction electrical impulse is actually quite common especially as you get up to higher exercise speeds or intensities. I personally get what are called PVCs, periventricular contractions or just kinda like little brip in the electrical activity in my heart because I’ve gone in for cardiac stress test. And when I get to about minute 17, 18, of an all out VO2 max test, and I’m jogging way in that treadmill pretty well, I actually have these PVCs and it’s not for an A-Fib but it’s again, an abnormal heart and it’s pretty common. So, you don’t necessarily need to stop exercising but what’s important is that you pay attention to what’s going on in your body during exercise. One of my clients…
Brock: I think we should throw in the… I’m not a Doctor…
Ben: Oh, let’s do it. Let’s play it. Let’s find a good one.
“What am I, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor? Look! I’m a doctor not an escalator, I’m a doctor, not an engineer. I’m not a scientist or a physicist, Mr. Spock.”
Ben: One of my clients that I trained for a long time, he had a lot of A-Fib during exercise and what we found for him was one of the triggers was steady state exercise for longer periods of time, like 5-10 minute intervals where he’d be pushing for a long time. He’d going to A-Fib and it get really uncomfortable. And what we found for him was that we could his cardiovascular fitness up and give him a good workout with shorter intervals and longer recovery. So, what we would do is, we would do rather than like long cardio sessions, we do some really quick, like 30-60 second cardiovascular burst, and then we go into some weight training and kind of use that as like the recovery for the burst, and then we come back and do another cardio burst, and then back to some weight training, and back to another cardio burst. And what that allow him to do is still get the cardio with that interval type of exercising without experiencing the discomfort that can occur when you’re in A-Fib during steady state exercise. So, that’s one thing to bear in mind is that you may do a little bit better with interval base training rather than steady state aerobic training which obviously can be kinda be difficult if you’re training for like an ironman, or a marathon, or something like that. But it certainly something to use it as your basic day to day training protocol. If you are doing steady state exercise, or another form of exercise, there are, of course, things that can make you more susceptible to skipping a beat. The caffeine that you’re gonna find in everything from coffee, to tea, to soda, to anything else, is definitely something that you want to be careful with. High caffeine intake can cause A-Fib episodes. I want to give a caveat that that’s not clinically proven but there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence, a lot of people say that they find they have more issues with their heart rhythms, or with A-Fib, or skipping a heart beat when they have a cup of coffee or an energy drink prior to workout. So there’s something to know about.
Another thing that can make A-Fib worse is high blood pressure. I find that the number one cause of high blood pressure in most of the folks whose diets I look at, if it’s not stress, emotional stress, work stress, relationship stress, it’s high sodium from processed foods whether it’s from whole foods at health food store or whether it’s from the grocery store, just high levels of sodium in the absence of other good electrolytes. So, that along with potassium deficiencies is really, really common. So, you’ll find potassium in things like squash, avocados, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, things like that. And if you don’t have many of those foods in your diet, and you also have a high level of processed food intake, or high level of sodium from table salt or sodium from packaged foods, that can be a pretty big issue when it comes to A-Fib. So, pay attention to sodium-potassium ratios as well.
Another thing to look into is, you need to think about blood thinners that help to prevent blood clots which are a common complication of an Atrial Fibrillation until a lot of times you’ll get put on a blood thinner like warfarin if you’ve talked to your doctor about A-Fib, but the issue is that if you’re also using things like fish oil, and curcumin, and other supplements that can help with clotting factors, that can make your blood too thin and create some other issues during exercise. Light headedness, things of that nature. So, I would recommend that, if possible come at things – from a clotting perspective, come at things naturally with things like fish oil, and curcumin, and don’t do the blood thinners or if you’re gonna do the blood thinners, don’t use those particular supplements. Be careful with those.
Brock: And definitely, don’t do EPO.
Ben: Yes! Do not do erythropoietin.
Brock: That makes your blood nice, and sticky, and thin.
Ben: Yes, yes exactly. Or ride in the Tour de France and join in any of those teams like Team Radio Shack. They tell you to lie down on the bus, be careful. That means that the blood dopes are coming.
Brock: Here it comes.
Ben: And then, just be careful with over-eating. A-Fib is something that you tend to – really susceptible with over-eating. So, we’re gonna use that hot bath coffee trick that we recommended. I wouldn’t be doing burpees in the bath tub, if I were you. Just be, something to avoid.
Brock: That’s just plain dangerous.
Ben: Yeah. Interesting though, as far as rhythms in your heart, this is gonna come up on the podcast that you’ll hear this weekend. Really, really good podcast with the folks from Sweet Beat. But their new Sweet Beat life monitor comes with this health patch that you can wear while you are exercising and it will identify PVCs. You can go look at your heart rate rhythm data from your workout, and you can see the situations while you’re exercising that sent you into a PVC or an abnormal heart rhythm.
So, that’s really cool because then you couldn’t just wear this for your workouts, for 1 or 2 weeks kinda looking at your staple workout, you could say, okay, when I did a 5 minute treadmill interval it happened, and when I was maybe whatever, lying on my back, bench pressing with the barbell it happened, so you can start to identify the certain exercise or movements that can aggravate A-Fib. So that’s another thing to look into would be the Sweet Beat app. And again, we’ve got a podcast coming out this weekend about it, but I’ll also put a link to the information on that particular monitoring system over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/292.
Lawrence: Hi Ben, this Lawrence from Maryland. I’ve been commuting by bicycle nine miles each way from one then suburbs to another alongside pretty heavy traffic. On the plus side, the rides are often the best part of my day and I take the twice daily workouts to counteract the effects or otherwise pretty sedentary lifestyle. And hey, how more functional can fitness get, it helps to do your job. So, I’m not afraid riding in traffic. What I am worried about is the exposure that I might be getting to environmental toxins that I breathe in or even absorb through my skin during my daily rides. Do you know of any studies that cover this topic? And, if I wanna get myself check out for exposure to road toxins, what kind of lab test would you recommend? I appreciate the work that you do, and I hope to hear from – hope you’ll answer on one of the – one of my rides since your podcast are preferred listening on my commute. So, don’t worry I use phone conducting earphones and not earbuds.
Brock: I know we definitely talked about this before, so Lawrence do a search but I think we can add some more info to that.
Ben: Environmental toxins, toxins, toxins, toxins while you’re riding your bike on the road – road, road. Banana peels are a biggie, banana peels and dirty diapers. Definitely, do not run over those, swerve to avoid.
Brock: Really big dog – dodo. That can be dangerous.
Ben: But hopefully he can understand us through his bone conducting earphones. Yeah, I mean like, there are so many different environmental toxins that you can get exposed to. And they can go above and beyond of course, just the road. I don’t wanna use scare tactics here but I mean, if you just go down the list of things that we get exposed to everyday, it’s pretty big. Somebody recently tweeted me on twitter which is where you tend to tweet people, and they say, “Ben, you’re tuned to supplements. Just live life”. And my response was, “said the person who lives in a bubble or something like that”. You know, and doesn’t exercise because frankly, we are surrounded by so many different things that sometimes we need a little bit of external from supplementation. Or we need to test and see if there’s certain things that we’ve been overloaded with, that we need to detox.
Brock: I picked up some of that glutathione, the stuff from bulletproof executive, Man, that stuff taste bad.
Ben: It taste like liquid dog farts.
Brock: I really hope it’s doing something good for me cause I feel like – I do a lot of swimming, I swim in the lake here in Toronto, and run outside and stuff, and yeah, I just thought, I need to do something about my toxicity. So, I start taking that and good Lord, that taste awful. It better be worth it.
Ben: It’s really, really good for that particular liver detox pathway though. And interestingly, I have a naturopathic physician. I kinda like him ‘cause he like guinea pigs on me. He’s always running these different tests on me and I like it ‘cause it keeps me on the pointy edge and he knows that I’m into it. So, the other day, this is about 2 weeks ago, he recommended I get an organic acids test done, and I haven’t done one of this before and I’ll be talking about the results on a podcast soon. But it identify certain things that some blood test that don’t get in to like individual amino acids that you are deficient in, and certain elements such as amino acids that support certain parts of your liver detox pathways that you are deficient in. And it turned out that I’m actually deficient just from a genetic standpoint, and probably an exercise standpoint as well ‘cause I exercise quite a bit. I’m deficient in some of those glutathione pathways. You should probably, I know you’re taking the Thorne multivitamin and all that jazz, but you should step things up especially on your heavy extra diet, exercise days with a little bit of extra glutathione support. So that’s certainly one detox supplement that I’m starting to use now to, is the under the tongue liquid glutathione. So, anyways…
Brock: I just – I got to know is, guinea pigging kinda like dribbling?
Ben: Uhmm, no! Far different than dribbling, totally illegal in the state of Washington.
Brock: Okay, good. Whew! Okay, anyway.
Ben: Some of the things that you’re gonna get exposed to that are probably some of the common toxins that you will experience in our environment whether you are riding a bike besides the side of the road, or whether you are in the typical modern working office environment. One is, PCVs or polychlorinated biphenyls, and that’s an industrial chemical that is pretty persistent organic pollutant that increases things like: risk for cancer, and impared neurogrowth and development, and it’s major source is farm-raised salmon. Okay? So, that would be one thing to avoid would be farm-raised salmon. If you are in the U.S. especially, that’s the number source in PCVs in our environment. So, if you got that fancy restaurant that serving a wonderful cut of seedo plank salmon, ask if it’s farm-raised or wild. Pesticides, are another big one. Fungacides, and sesticides, herbicides, all that stuff and you can certainly get exposed to those while on you’re on the side of the road, while you’re walking in the grassy park, that type of thing. Mold and mycotoxins and fungaltoxins and things that you’ll find in foods like peanut, wheat, corn, even coffee, a lot of alcoholic beverages, most modern cheepo beers, have a lot of mycotoxins in them. A lot of buildings are contaminated with mycotoxins especially older apartments, residences, office buildings, stuff like that. That’s another pretty major source. Another one is thalates, thalates are use to lengthen the life of fragrances and they’re use to soften plastics, and you’re gonna find those in plastic wraps, plastic bottles, plastic food storage containers, all of those can leech thalates into your food. Earlier in this podcast I talked about VOCs or volatile organic compounds which you’ll find like off- gassing in a lot of household. Things like carpets, and cabinets, and paints, you also find them in deodorants, cosmetics, air fresheners, things of that nature. That’s another one to be careful with. You’ve also got dioxins, dioxins are something that you find when you burn stuff like wood, or coal, or oil, or like if you live near the dumper or your local municipal waste area where they incinerate waste. You’ll get a lot of dioxins in the air and you’ll also find a lot of dioxins in animal fats. Commercial animal fats like non-organically raised cattle, pork, poultry, things of that nature. They are pretty major source of dioxins as well.
A few other things would be heavy metals, of course, which arsenic, mercury, lead, aluminum, cadmium, and those – you’ll everything from dental work to building materials to deodorants, that type of thing. Chloroform is another one, and that one is really common to find in municipal drinking water which is good reason to have a good water filtering your home.
And then finally, Chlorine which is again, drinking water. If you live near like a factory or paper plant, or something like that, they use a lot of chlorine in the industrial processes for those. And most like household cleaners that you’re not making yourself or like the non-organic household cleaners. Those are pretty high in chlorine as well. So, I know I just went over a ton of things that I’m totally not saying that to scare tactic you. The reason I’m saying this is so that you hopefully at some point – as I was just talking became aware of, possibly a few things in your environment, or in your living space, that might be affecting you. So, the goal here is for you to become aware and then kind of the next thing that you can do, and this kinda goes after the meat of Lawrence’s question is, how to find out what you actually maybe have already built up in your body. So you can decide if you’re gonna go to a heavy metal detox, or if you’re going to – go through like a month long liver detox, that type of thing. And, what I’ll tell you now are some of the top test that you can do. So, most of these you can find via the wholesale laboratory website direct labs. Many of these you can also go to our show notes, print them off, go to your doctor, ask them if they can run any of these test for you. One of the one is called a U.S. Biotech Test. It’s called an environmental pollutant test, and that’s a urine analysis. It‘s about 200 bucks and it accesses your exposure to most of the chemicals that I just went over. They have another one, the same company, U.S. Biotech, they have one that is slightly more expensive and it’s called an environmental pollutants plus a urinary metabolic profile and in that one they access organic acids, thalates in your urine, parabens in your urine, and then the other environment and occupational chemicals that they test in that other one. That one is a little bit more expensive. It’s like 350 bucks, and the thing is, U.S. Biotech can be purchase through Direct Labs. You can purchase these tests yourself and have them sent to your home but they aren’t listed on the Direct Labs website.
You have to call Direct Labs, you ask Biotech for some reason doesn’t want those kits listed on the website, but I’ve spoken with Direct Labs about this and you can just call Direct Lab and ask and tell them you wanna get the U.S. Biotech kit for environmental pollutants or the urinary metabolic profile, and they can do either of those. Now, those who wanna test for mold or toxins, and for that stuff there’s a – probably the best one is a company called Real Time Labs. That one you can find at Direct Labs website. I’ll link over to these panels in the show notes as well. There’s one called a mycotoxin panel, which test for the toxins produced by fungi, there’s another one called an aflatoxin panel, which test for aflatoxin levels. Most of these are right around the $200-300 range. And there’s one called an Ochratoxin Group, which test for a lot of mold and toxins and some of the things you won’t get on the aflatoxin or the mycotoxin panel. So, if you wanted just to test for all those toxins to decide if you need to go on basically like a detox protocol which we’re kinda get in to in this particular episode called Dragging On, but that’s the test that you would get.
And then the last one that I’d recommend is, there’s a test called, actually there are two others I’d recommend. One is the test made by company called Bio Health and it’s a clostridium test, because clostridium is another toxin that you run into a lot from food, and drink, and things of that nature. That’s a pretty quick $100 kit, and it’s made by the company called Bio Health, and if you have gut issues, and you’ve done all the other gut tests and nothing showing up, that clostridium one can be helpful one to look into.
And then finally, for everything else that I haven’t talk about, so I just talked about mycotoxins, mold, fungi, clostridium, environmental pollutants like thalates and parabens, the final one would be like toxic heavy metals, things of that nature. If you go to Direct Labs, and you just do a search for “Doctor’s data”, there’s a company called Doctor’s Data that test for all of these different things like: toxic metals, elements, etc., so that would be one to look into as well. So I know these stuffs sounds like nerdy, and like you’re being a worry war or whatever, but it’s actually is pretty important to at least once a year to look into these stuff and you know then if you wanna know how to detox, how to clean up your home, I’ll link to this in the show notes, but I’ve got a really comprehensive article on how to detox your home, your personal care products, your household cleaning chemicals, all that stuff. And also, in the inner circle, my wife and I have a ton of webinars and instructional “recipes” for detoxing your home. That type of thing, so you get looking to that as well. But that is how you would test. I guess the other method if you just – there’s a free method. Did I tell you about the free method, Brock?
Brock: No, I don’t think so.
Ben: You just pee and then you get really close to the toilet and you look for pieces of plastic in your pee and…
Brock: Oh, yeah. That’s reliable.
Ben: It is, it is. Or you can just smell for plastic. That’s another good one to look into. Banana peels, things of that nature. But yeah, Lawrence, it’s certainly something to look into and then I mean, just you know, stay far away from road when you can but commuting in heavy traffic can certainly expose you to some stuff, and I definitely recommend prior to your commute, you load up with some antioxidants, a little bit of extra anti-toxin help before you go on that ride. My favorite would be antioxidants, take a shot of Lifeshotz for example. That’s one that my doctor actually made. That one is called LifeShotz, like this powder, and you can just slam it before you go swimming in a chlorinated pool, or ride beside a heavily polluted road, and that’s actually a pretty good one.
Brock: It taste like cool aid but it’s good for you.
Ben: It taste like cool aid but it’s good for you. That’s right. Just to make sure it’s flavored with Stevia. So, there you go.
So yeah, that about wraps it up. That was our last question. Even though we do have an iTunes review.
Brock: We do have an iTunes review. Fantastic one from bamfhacker.
Ben: Banfhacker. And by the way, if you hear us read your review on the show, if you go to iTunes and you leave a review, subscribe to the podcast, leave a review, if you hear us read your review on the show, just email [email protected] and we will send you a pack full of the sweet new Ben Greenfield fitness gear: a beanie, bpa-free water bottle, and then a sweet tech t-shirt that’s awesome. It doesn’t look like one of those giant dorky cotton tents that a lot of…
Brock: I wear mine belted around the waist as a tunic.
Ben: That’s right. Secret, we all love tunics.
Yeah! Let’s read bamfhackers report once he… I think because he says he’s reading this from the toilet, we should play some good toilet music as we read this review. How about some toilet music? Something that…
Brock: What’s toilet music?
Ben: Some nice piano tune that lowers you into pooping.
Brock: Oh, I see. (toilet flashing) Oh alright, it’s start with, “As I sit here using my Squatty Potty, I was reminded that I wanted to leave a review. I started listening to your other podcast and found this one after looking you up online. I am very happy I did. You provide great information in an easy to understand way and do it in a fun manner”.
Ben: That’s a very well constructed sentence for someone who is pooping.
Brock: It’s actually a really long post considering use on the toilet. Hoping he wasn’t straining at all. Don’t strain, bamfhacker. Anyway, “I was a big fat guy 3 years ago and have since found and to date have lost 70 lbs and am down to 10% body fat.” Sweet… nice work!
Ben: Hmm, well. Nice! Perhaps you can fewer you pounds after you finish writing this review. (toilet flashing)
Brock: “The information I get from your podcast helps me continue to progress in my fitness goals. I have learned about many products that I use regularly, including my favorite the Squatty Potty. I have a hard time pooping without it.” I hope it’s not a hard poop timing without. “Thank you. And my kids thank you because they enjoyed telling everyone about how I poop.” Nice!
Ben: Oh wow! That’s nice.
Brock: “Keep up the great work and I’ll continue to listen and learn. P.S. Brock, you are aOK too!”
Ben: No! Maybe after he finish his pooping. He’ll thank you even better because of being even better mood.
Brock: Oh, I was thinking that was probably when he had the P.S., it was kinda like, “Ah, Brock you’re OK”.
Ben: Ah! Yes! By the way, Brock, you’re okay. You should have read that in – ‘cause there’s probably more like this. As I sit here using my strain body, I was reminded that I wanted to leave…
Brock: Don’t strain, don’t strain.
Ben: Hmm, well anyways, that was a great review that you planks down for us there. (laughs) Oh! Flangelo, little something if you write into the show. Maybe some toilet paper too. So, and well, you can get a Squatty Potty, at the link that we’ll put underneath the review over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/292. So you too can have a beautiful bamboo squatty potty in your home. That, along with everything else that we’ve talked about, you can check out in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/292. Thanks for listening, be sure to tune in this weekend for the Sweet Beat heart rate interview. Just freakin’ awesome, and, yeah! I think that’s just about it, Brock, anything else?
Brock: No! Thank goodness! Let’s wrap this up.
Ben: Enjoy your weekend.
Sep 3, 2014 Podcast: How To Know If Fitness and Nutrition Research Is Good, Natural Remedies for Tinnitus, What To Eat Before An Afternoon or Evening Race, Abnormal Heart Rhythms During Exercise, and How To Know If You Have Toxins.
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.
- Want to get smarter? Yoga can make you smarter.
- Standing also makes you smarter. You can use code “BEN” to get $40 off their Rebel Crank-Up desk and you can use code “GREENFIELD” to get $20 off the Rebel Chair that comes with their desk.
- Hot bath for fat loss, anyone?
- Goes to show you can dose with a pretty freaking huge amount of carbs before you “get fat”. Carb loading pre-race won’t make you fat.
- Ever heard of “chia seed loading”? Here’s the breakdown.
Visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com/aded – to get Yuri Elkaim’s new All Day Energy Diet cookbook for free (with recipes like hemp balls, natural gatorade and green cappuccino)!
September 21-23: Ben will be speaking at The 431 Project – where astronauts, technologists, screenwriters, CEO’s, educators and more, will assemble in the picturesque Green Mountains of Vermont to take up a crucial call to action to end inactivity and obesity in the U.S.. Imagine Ted Talks meetsDavos meets the National Geographic Channel. Vibrant fall foliage, fresh farm to table cuisine and world-class sommelier-curated wine lists are a bonus of this exclusive summit. If you want to connect, share, learn, have the time of your life AND change the world… get invited by requesting an invitation in the efforts to lead 300 million Americans towards positive choices, healthy living, and simple, sustained changes that will change their lives.
September 25-27: Ben will be presenting at The Vermont Traditional Foods and Health Symposium at Shelburne Farms. Inspired by the teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation, this event explores the core principals of how traditional diets can contribute to health, wellness, and longevity.
September 26-28: Ben will be speaking at 2014 Bulletproof Biohacking Conference in Pasadena – Dave Asprey has decided to extend the pre-sale ticket price of $400 until this Friday, August 1st. Dave is stacking this year’s event with an all-star speaker lineup of bestselling authors… entrepreneurs… Olympic athletes… nutritionists… world-class biohackers… and more… Plus, an interactive expo of the latest biohacking ‘tech’ – including cutting-edge gear designed to get you into hyper-productive “flow” state, courtesy of the Flow Genome Project. And YES, that means Dave is making sure all the best ‘toys’ are on display in one place – and you get to play with them… click here to get in now.
October 8-13: Ben will be speaking at the Ironman Sports Medicine conference in October during Ironman Hawaii. He will be presenting on nutrition myths and alternative methods of fueling Ironman (and Brock will *hopefully* be there too).
Go ask your burning Obstacle Racing questions at ObstacleDominator.com for the brand new Obstacle Dominator podcast.
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 and Audio Ninja.
How To Know If Fitness and Nutrition Research Is Good
Sceptic asks: He recently heard that one scientific journal retracted 60 papers after details of a “peer review ring” came to light and the journal Nature recently retracted two papers involving stem cells. So he is wondering, what are the most important things to look for when you’re reading a study or looking at research to figure out whether it’s actually good research or whether you can trust the conclusions?
In my response I recommend:
–Alan Aragon’s Research Review
Natural Remedies for Tinnitus
There'sa asks: She wants to know what you know about tinnitus. What makes your ears ring incessantly during the day and into the evening? She is approaching 50 years old and the ringing is getting worse. Do you have any suggestions on how to quiet the inner noise that is happening in her ears?
What To Eat Before An Afternoon or Evening Race
Jeff asks: He is running the Las Vegas half marathon which is run at night. Most races are in the morning and he has that fuelling dialed in but doesn’t know how much or what to eat before an afternoon or night race. He is looking for “wise council” from both of us.
In my response I recommend:
–LivingFuel meal replacement shakes
Abnormal Heart Rhythms During Exercise
Fred asks: He is 66 and has always prided himself on having a low heart rate but now he has found out that he has an Atrial Fibrillation. He is wondering if he can still train/exercise with a heart that has A-Fib? Now he doesn’t know when he gets out of breath if it is the fibrillation or his age or just if he is out of shape.
In my response I recommend:
How To Know If You Have Toxins
Lawrence asks: He does a twice daily 9 mile bicycle commute in pretty heavy traffic. The rides are often the highlight of his day and he also feels that they counteract an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. He is not afraid to ride in traffic but he is afraid of the environmental toxins that he may be exposed to during the ride. What lab tests should he get to find out if he has been exposed. He looks forward to hearing your response during one of his commutes – don’t worry be uses bone conducting earphones not earbuds.
-Most of the kits by Doctor’s Data deal with toxic metals, elements, etc. If you go to the main site you do a search for each individual specialty lab’s tests.
-Environmental Pollutants-USBiotek KIT $209: Urine analysis for assessment of exposure to common environmental and occupational chemicals.
-Urinary Metabolic Profile+Environmental Pollutants-USBiotek KIT $349: Assessment of organic acids, aromatic solvent metabolites, phthalate metabolites, and parabens in urine.
However, to order either one of the US Biotek kits, you must call in the order because USBiotek does not want their kits on the DirectLabs website.
–Mycotoxin Panel, Total-RTL Kit $699: Used to detect mycotoxins which are toxins produced by fungi.
–Aflatoxin Group, urine-RTL KIT $250 :Measures Aflatoxin levels.
–Ochratoxin Group (A)-RTL Kit $250: Potentially carcinogenic (cancer producing) to humans. Found in food samples and in food storage areas.
-Clostridium difficile: Colitis Toxins A & B-BioHealth KIT $109: Assesses whether or not diarrhea is caused by Clostridium Difficile