Episode #309 – Full Transcript

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Podcast #309 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/02/309-is-a-low-heart-rate-bad-chaga-tea-cinnamon-the-best-ways-to-build-balance/


Introduction:   In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast:  Can A Low Heart Rate Be Unhealthy, Does A Training Mask Make You Slower, What Is Chaga, The Best Ways To Build Balance, What Is The Best Kind Of Cinnamon, and much more.

Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast.  We provide you with everything you need to know for total performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, sleep, brain, and hormone optimization.  So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete, or you just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.

Ben:  Brock, I’m feelin’ a little bit violent lately.

Brock:  Oh no!  That’s not what I’m expecting you to say.  (chuckles)  Yes, try to be scared?

Ben:  I’ve been killin’ fat cells right and left.

Brock:  Ahhh!  I see.

Ben:  You know that I was actually talking with Toni on the Endurance Planet podcast about this yesterday.  About how we’re pretty much kinda stuck with these many fat cells as we have going out of childhood later on in life.  You never really get rid of fat cells, right, they just lose some of their energy content, some of their fatty acid content but they…

Brock:  They’re just like deflated balloons.

Ben:  Yeah, basically, but they never actually die or disappear unless… drumroll please (drumroll sound) they figure out a way to get what’s called cellular apoptosis or cell death, or conversion of those fat cells into something else like for example…

Brock:  Have you actually been taking leptin injections?

Ben:  No!  That’s from…

Brock:  Aren’t those like half a million dollars?

Ben:  I’m not sure.  I…

Brock:  I think so.  I think the leptin therapy is like a half million dollars a year.

Ben:  I’ll have to go price that on my local friendly leptin therapist.

Brock:  Yeah, exactly.

Ben:  But actually, and you are right.  Leptin would be one good way to kill off fat cells but the other way you can do it is this cold and that you get conversion of your fat cells into brown adipose tissue when you get cold, and the other thing that happens is you decrease inflammation which puts your body in the state where if you have an energy deficit, fat cells are also more likely to die.  So if like a – you’re concerned about your fat cells just always hanging around because I know our entire body of listeners are extremely fat-phobic.

Brock:  Everybody… Oh!  I thought you’re gonna say they’re obese.  (laughing)

Ben:  Oh, I hope not.  At this point, in our podcasting series we should have at least helped a few people lose weight.

Brock:  I hope so.

Ben:  But anyways, yeah, feeling violent.  I did about a 60 minute 60 degree cold water immersion this morning.  That was my main workout for the day.  I don’t’ wanna give listeners the impression that that’s like how I start my day and then work.  Like if I do something that intense, that’s pretty much it for the day.  So, I might play a little tennis tonight and that will be about it.

Brock:  Yeah, you’re not Joe De Sena or anything.

Ben:  And then the other thing is I went snowboarding in Utah over the weekend and it was so nice that I actually snowboarded in my shorts and not much else.  So I posted a photo of that.  I don’t know if people know that we actually have an Instagram page for the show.  But if you go to Instagram, which is – for those of you who are not plugged-in to the internet and social media to way – I don’t really know where it is.  It’s like you put photos up there and people like them.

Brock:  I think it’s for taking pictures of your lunch.

Ben:  Yeah, that too.  So if you go to instagram.com/bengreenfieldfitness, you can see me killing fat cells, snowboarding half naked.  So, enjoy!

News Flashes:

Brock:  Well, you’ve been killing fat cells and rippin’ up the slopes.  You’ve also been tweeting crazy news flashy type things over at twitter.com/bengreenfield.

 Ben:  That’s right and we’re all fans of bacteria so I figured why not kick things off, we’re talkin’ about two recent articles that came out in relation to the gut, and the microbiome.

Brock:  Uhmm, I love the microbiome.

Ben:  Uhmm, I like it just ‘cause sayin’ it makes me sounds smart.  Microbiome – it’s like you could say, your gut or you could say your GI tract, or you could say bacteria but saying microbiome makes you sound like a scientist in a lab coat so.  That’s all…

Brock:  And we all wanna sound like that at all times ‘cause that’s how you’ll get chicks.

Ben:  That’s right, that’s how you’ll drive Lamborghinis and get chicks so you’ve got to avoid lab coat.


So anyways, there was an interesting commentary called Can Your Gut Make You Faster?  And this appeared over at Sweat Science and the idea was that, there was this study in the Journal and Strength Conditioning Research that showed that when you look at mice and you specifically look at mice who have good amounts of gut bacteria, they have a longer what’s called time to exhaustion in this case, what’s called a time to exhaustion swimming test which sounds horrible by the way.

Brock:  Poor little mice!  They’re not supposed to swim.

Ben:  Just swim until you sink and let’s see what happens.  Anyways though, the mice that did not have adequate amounts of gut bacteria and they’re basically germ-free mice, and that’s not a good thing in this case.  They had the lowest time to exhaustion so the mice with the weakest gut microbiome had the lowest time to exhaustion.  Another way you could look at this is – the mice that had the lowest diversity of gut bacteria, alright?  So, what the Sweat Science article goes on to point out is that for example, one of the benefits of having adequate amounts of gut bacteria or even oral bacteria which is pretty reflective of your gut bacteria is that bacteria can do things like convert nitrate into nitrite.  And that’s where you produce nitric oxide which is a great cardiovascular performance aid and causes things like vasodilation, right, it’s like Viagra for your muscle.  That’s the way I’d like to describe it.

Brock:  It’s like rocket fuel.

Ben:  Well, I like Viagra for your muscles better than rocket fuel.  It’s even better.

Brock:  It’s kinda dirty.

Ben:  Yeah, ‘cause it’s kinda dirty exactly, Snicker.  Anyways though, the idea is that if you have poor gut bacteria, you may actually not be producing as much nitric oxide as somebody next to you might be like eating fermented foods, or using probiotics or not using antibiotics or being careful with antibacterial hand soap, or – and this lead me to my  actual tweet which was – is your mouthwash making you a slow runner because mouthwash actually kills your gut bacteria, meaning that you wouldn’t get nitrate to nitrite conversion, meaning you would theoretically have lower levels of nitric oxide and sure enough they’ve done experiments that shows that mouthwash kills off the nitrate load.  So…

Brock:  It kills off your gut bacteria or mouth bacteria?

Ben:  No, it kills off your mouth bacteria causing the same kind of issues.

Brock:  Okay, I thought you meant gut bacteria like don’t swallow it.

Ben:  Yeah, I guess if you swallowed it.  We all like a little bit of a mouthwash cocktail every now and again.  Nice, minty flavor.  Anyways though, the idea here is that mouthwash may not be that great an idea if you’re an athlete.  Interesting, ha!

Brock:  I think it’s not actually a good idea if you’re a human.

Ben:  Uhmm. Yeah, that too, that too but this article in particular was related to speed and specifically time to exhaustion.  So if you’ve get thrown in a pool, and you wanna last longer than your friend or your neighbor or whoever else you’re competing against to see who dies first treading water, don’t – don’t do the mouthwash beforehand.  Go in there with stinky breath and you will survive longer.  So, speaking of the gut microbiome, there was another study – well, this wasn’t a study, it was…

Brock:  An anecdote.

Ben:  … a report on a fecal microbiota transplant.  We’ve talked about this on the show.  These are basically the poop pills that you’d normally take for something like clostridium difficile which is an infection that particularly affects your colon and your large intestine.  It is related to a lack of good bacteria – this time not in your mouth, but in your colon.  And the idea here is that by replacing your fecal bacteria with donors, you can more or less push the reboot button in your large intestine.  And there are people all over the world now doing fecal microbiota transplants.  Kids everywhere are asking their parents for poop pills, fecal transplants.

Brock:  That’s what I got for Christmas!

Ben:  It’s taking the world by storm.

Brock:  Mommy, please!

Ben:  I’m actually talking right now to Jeff Leach, the guy who wants to live with the – it was like the Hadza tribe somewhere in, I believe, Africa and actually harvested poop from like an ancient warrior to inject that ancient warriors, you know, the – Hadza tribe guy’s poop into his backside thus replacing his own gut bacteria with that of a supposedly superior human being just to see what happen.


So – however in the case of this article, it was kind of the reverse.  This woman became obese after she got a fecal transplant from a donor who is overweight.  In this case I believe the donor was her daughter, yeah.  And so, this woman ballooned up and within two years after the transplant, gained 34 pounds and she described it as some kind of a switch happening inside her body that all of a sudden she felt as though she had no control over her weight.  So, it’s really interesting.  I’ll put a link, you know, as with anything over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/309, we’re trying to take really thorough show notes for you guys.  But if you wanna read about this and how the poop pill could potentially backfire and why if you are seriously considering asking for Christmas for a fecal microbiota transplant,   why – you might wanna choose your donor wisely and don’t like pick a – say like a homeless person with some kind of venereal disease or maybe like an obese person, or you know, pretty much go for the cleanest, most superior person on the face of the planet that you can get, if you’re gonna inject their poop into you.

Brock:  I’m trying to think who I would choose.  Who would you choose?

Ben:  I’d probably go for like, maybe like “the Rock” you know, the…

Brock:  Uhmm, good call.

Ben:  He’s a pretty good specimen.  I would probably write him a letter and ask him for some of his poop and see if he would be able to oblige.

Brock:  I was thinking Mo Farah.  Maybe it’ll make me super fast over a hundred meter.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly.  I wonder if that’s true.  If you could just choose the super human power that you wanted and then approach that person and ask for their poop.

Brock:  We’ve figured it out how you steal super powers.

Ben:  How to become beautiful, all handsome, strong, and fast all in one fell swoop.  It all starts with…

Brock:  …everybody’s poop.

Ben:  ….your butt.  So, I guess while we’re on the topic of getting fat, there was also another article in The Atlantic about whether Costco is making us fat.  I know we’re talking about fat a lot but this was actually really, really interesting.  Professor of Economics at Georgia State University analyzed a number of theories about what’s actually driving the obesity epidemic, you know, whether it’s desserts, whether it’s desk jobs, whether it’s the declining smokin’ since tobacco suppresses appetite, and they looked at literally 27 different things.  Everything from like working hours to exercise trends, to gas prices when it comes to things that could potentially be contributing to obesity.  And what they found in the long run was that they were only two factors of the 27 they studied that were actually statistically significant drivers of obesity.  The first was the proliferation of restaurants, and that’s not a huge surprise if you think about it.

Brock:  That makes sense.

Ben:  The second was the rise of warehouse food clubs like Costco or I know it’s also known as Sam’s Club in some states.  And well, regular grocery stores and access to regular supermarkets actually had a negative effect on obesity rates which I think makes sense because if you can go choose whatever healthy foods that you want rather than having to like be in a grocery store oasis say downtown Las Vegas where you all have access to restaurants.  It would become likely that you might lose weight by being able to have access to more healthy food but once you’ve get access to food in very, very large amounts at very, very cheap prices, it could become a driver for obesity and that’s basically what the conclusion of this study was was that the ad libitum access to high amounts of cheap food in large package containers could cause obesity.  And I would actually take that one step further and I would say that when you have like let’s say a small bag of almonds in your pantry, you know, even if you’re looking for healthy food, you’re likely to eat smaller portions of those almonds when you decide you’re gonna eat almonds vs. when you have the giant dog food bag size, you know, like burlap sack of almonds in the corner of your pantry that’s like this a) never ending supply of almonds and b) that driving thought at the back of your mind that you got to eat them all before they go bad, and you know, I remember when my family used to shop at Costco like we would go home with these carts of huge boxes of food and they were just be like almost like this pressure to eat it all, you know.  So I think it’s maybe even more than just access to cheap high amounts of calories, it’s the fact that you just got bigger boxes of stuff in your pantry.


It’s like…

Brock:  Yeah, and then you also pay a membership fee to go to those kind of places too, so there’s also the pressure to purchase more to make your membership well.

Ben:  Right!  Right, exactly.  So, just realized that like if you’re listening in  and you shop at one of these supercenters like Costco for example, understand the psychology of eating and the fact that when you have larger amounts of food present, you’re gonna have this internal subconscious pressure to eat it and it’s not your fault, it’s just evolution.  So, the last thing – the final thing I wanted to mention and I just thought this was interesting because I myself have had high blood cortisol levels.  That’s something I’ve had to deal with as well as problems in the past with drops in testosterone usually related to hard and heavy training.  This was a study that came out in Science and Sports this month and I looked at the effects of short term creatine supplementation on salivary hormones – testosterone and cortisol.  And what they found was that after about 7 days of creatine loading, they saw an increase in testosterone concentrations and a decrease in cortisols concentrations.  And when you combine this with the fact that creatine has been proven in tons of studies – it’s the most studied supplement on the face of the planet for the past decade.  It’s been shown to be beneficial for everything from power and strength, to acting as a nootropic for increasing mental performance, and cognitive performance to now it’s been shown to increase testosterone and decrease cortisol.  It really is a pretty powerful molecule.  And obviously if you’re eating a lot of animal meat, you’re getting a lot of the cortisol that’s already concentrated in that meat, but if you’re vegan or vegetarian, I definitely think you should be in creatine and if you’re looking for just like kinda like a better living through science ergogenic aid, I recommend you do as I do.  I take 5 grams of creatine every morning.  It’s just kind of like a – you know, kinda like when I get up and I may get big glass of water and that’s exactly when I take it, I just pop 5 grams of creatine when I have my big morning glass of water and it’s easy.  So…

Brock:  I took 4 grams this morning for the nootropic side effects of it ‘cause I knew we had a show and I wanted to sound smart.

Ben:  Yeah, so if you hear Brock pronouncing polysyllabic words during today’s episode then that means that he did indeed have his 4 grams of cortisol, oh not cortisol but creatine.  So creatine, stuff I take is called CreO2, what do you take, Brock?

Brock:  I’m taking the BioCreatine from Natural Stacks.

Ben:  Uhm, I love how nobody can sell this creatine.  It has to be like CreO2 or BioCreatine ‘cause creatine just plain old creatine is boring.

Brock:  That’s lame.

Ben:  You gotta sex it up.  So anyways, we do have a 50% discount for creatine.  I’m not gonna give it to you though, you gotta go to the show notes to grab it.  So if you wanna get some discounts on creatine, ha-ha, it’s the same stuff that I take but it’s over on the show notes – bengreenfieldfitness.com/309.  The one that I take is like a tablet, it’s about 1 and a half grams or so a tablet, so I just pop 3 and… that’s it!

Special Announcements:

Ben:  (lullaby music playing)  Well Brock, this podcast is actually brought to you by a mattress company.

Brock:  (yawning)

Ben:  Yeah, sleepy time.  Casper Mattresses.  So, Casper Mattresses are one of those guilt-free mattresses that have a handsome cover that compliments just about any bedroom.  They use a synthetic latex that’s made in Eco-friendly continuous pore facility.  Whatever the hell a continuous pore facility is.  But they’re made in the USA, in Pennsylvania and the fact that they use this type of latex means they eliminate any of the risks associated with latex sensitivity.  So, if you’re sensitive to say, condoms then you’ll still be able to handle it – Casper Mattress just fine.  And all of their foams have environmental certifications that ensure they’re healthy to be around.  Anyways, turn that music off.  That’s annoying, okay.  Seriously though, I actually have a Casper Mattress, it’s a hybrid mattress, it’s got premium latex foam combined with memory foam.  They are pretty comfy, and the thing is – they’re like a – they’re very cheap, it’s the best way I can describe it.  I think it’s like – I mean relatively cheap like a…

Brock:  Inexpensive.

Ben:  Yeah, inexpensive would probably be a better, friendlier way to describe it.  But they’re like around 500 for a twin size mattress, I think it goes up to 950 for a king size but considering that other comparable mattresses, you’re paying $6,000, $8,000 for I mean like – mattresses can be really expensive.


They’re actually really good deal, and they are high quality mattress and I do actually have one of these in one of the rooms upstairs in my house.  And it is – as they say an obsessively engineered mattress at a shockingly fair price.  So if you’re looking for the right sink and the right bounce in your mattress, so check them out, casper.com and I think the place where you go to save $50 is casper.com/ben or you could use the promo code Ben over on the Casper website but $50 off on a mattress purchase.  Not bad.

Brock:  Not bad.

Ben:  So, there you go.  And then another few things, first of all – coming up soon: March 3rd, March 3rd about every quarter inside the Inner Circle, my wife and I do basically a random show.  So we call it our What’s Working Now Show but we talked about a lot about the fitness gear, the supplement recipes, anti-aging strategies, biohacks, like all the stuff that we frankly – you know, like you and I don’t have time to go over on this podcast, Brock or kinda like the extras, or a lot of times the weird stuff, yes, believe it or not, there is more weird stuff than just poop pills, and overdosing on creatine that we get into these episodes and they’re a lot of fun.  We video record them and they are all live, so people can come and just like join us, and chat during those inner circle workshops.  So the next one is March 3rd, it’s comin’ up so I’d mentioned it for those of you who are inner circle members or if you’re not an inner circle member, you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle.  Fun way to kinda join the internal forum where me and Jessa, and Brock’s in there too and we talk with folks and we’ve got the podcast going in there, we have extra workshop videos, stuff like that.  So, it’s a fun way to kind of have a little bit of access to me without paying exorbitant coaching prices or something like that.  So, there you go.  And then also, another few things.  First of all, I’m speaking at the New Media Expo and the New Media Expo is a really cool place to go.  If you blog, if you podcast, if you are wanting to have an online business, this is a really, really cool conference to go to, and better yet as we’ve mentioned on a few podcasts before, it culminates with the Spartan Race in Vegas.  So you can go and hang out at the conference, eat your face off at the buffets everywhere, drink copious amounts of alcohol where you socialize with all the other new media expo folks and you got to remember what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.  So, you know how crazy podcasters and bloggers can get…

Brock:  Wheew!

Ben:  Talking about WordPress and microphones, and then…

Brock:  What’s your – what are you gonna tell the people?  What’s the biggest tip you had…

Ben:  Actually, what I’m talking about is just what I do, like how I do the podcast, and they wanted me to talk about where I got my start, and how podcasting comes in for me, what kind of equipment I use, and then also how I interact with the people who listen in, and how I use things like social media and basically they just wanna hear what Ben Greenfield does when it comes to building, you know, global fitness phenomenon, more or less, so.

Brock:  So you just go out on stage and basically say, “Every video you shoot, don’t wear a shirt.”

Ben:  Don’t wear a shirt.

Brock:  Boom!

Ben:  That’s right.  So, New Media Expo – go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/nmx and you can get 20% off, that code is too hard to remember.  “bgreenfield20” Let’s face it, you’re not gonna remember that.  So, just go to the show notes for this episode bengreenfieldfitness.com/309.  Grab the discount code, you’d be good to go.

Another copule of things.  Last two things actually.  The first is: Paleo FX is comin’ up.  If you haven’t yet registered, remember you don’t have to be paleo.  You can bring in contraband like baguettes and yogurt, and still be accepted and loved at the Paleo FX with open arms except from the people wearing bacon t-shirts – who – may, I don’t know, punch you in the face if they see you.

Brock:  I was gonna say, I think there’s some punching that might happen.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s true.

Brock:  If you’re walking around with the bagels, someone’s gonna punch you.

Ben:  Yeah.  Just be careful.  Like for example, if you bring bread, keep it in your purse or in your whole foods bag, and you should be fine.  So anyways, Paleo FX.  I’m not paleo but I’m gonna be there.


I’m speaking there, and the link to register for it is over in the show notes.  You may have heard me interview the guy who actually organized the whole thing and last Saturday’s podcast episode called Why Strong People Are Hard To Kill and Keith Norris was the guy interviewed in that episode.  And yeah!  He’s a great guy, so are the rest of the folks, most of them at least, but Brock and I will be there keepin’ things real, drinking our milk, eating our bread, so check out Paleo…

Brock:  I have a pocketful of oats the whole time.

Ben:  That’s sounds dirty.  bengreenfieldfitness.com/paleofx15, that’s paleo, the letter f, the letter x, 15 and you can register for Paleo FX 2015.  And then the last thing is, if you are wanting to become a productivity ninja like you know how to manage your email inbox, hack productivity, enhance your cognitive performance, and learn how to use the latest and greatest phone apps, and productivity software like if you wanna use apps like, I don’t know, remember the milk or… what’s another one?

Brock:  They still make that app?  Man!  I was using that app like back in 2003.

Ben:  Yeah.  I think they so still make that app.  Anyways though, Ari Meisel, my buddy Ari Meisel, really, really good guy when it comes to like knowing about how to use pretty much everything on the face of the planet.  I don’t know how he knows all these stuff to increase productivity.  I think he just spends his entire life in the iTunes app store, but check it out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/doless, bengreenfieldfitness.com/doless – that is a conference in New York, May 1st through the 3rd, May 1st through the 3rd.  It’s gonna be worth comin’ to.  So, check that out and, yeah! That’s it!

Voiceover:  Finally, a solution for healthy living that actually makes sense.  Ben Greenfield and his wife Jessa have cracked the code on healthy living, and reveal their entire system inside the Ben Greenfield fitness Inner Circle where you get instant access to 24/7 forum interaction with Ben and Jessa.  A live monthly webinar, meal plans, videos, Ben’s body transformation club archives, and much, much more.  If you or your family wanna learn how to achieve the ultimate healthy lifestyle on a budget, then the Ben Greenfield fitness inner circle is for you.  Get 4-free videos to get you started, and full access to the inner circle at bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle.  We’ll see you inside!

Listener Q & A:

Ben:  Hey Ben!  I love the podcast!  Quick question:  My heart rate, the resting heart rate, I woke up yesterday and it was at 38.  I skateboard, I am a personal trainer, I teach aerobics classes, a lot of high intensity interval training, I do spin classes, I instruct spin classes, so I’m pretty active.  I know having a low resting heart rate is good but it seems like lately the more rest days I’ve taken, the lower it gets.  So I don’t know if resting and that’s helping me get in better shape because I’m not over training.  I was kinda worried about that, I know you said you had a 42, 43 resting heart rate on some of your labs so if you could just answer that that would be cool.  Thanks!

Brock:  The only time I made into the 30s was when I had pericarditis.  (laughter)  I’m usually in the 40s.

Ben:  That’s the way to do it.  Get a life-threatening inflammatory heart disease and you too can have a low heart rate.

Brock:  Or you can just be Ben!

Ben:  That’s right.  So, yeah low heart rate.  Well, normally, a low heart rate in an athlete is indicative that they have an increased in blood volume and the ability to have a larger cardiac output for every beat of the heart.  Essentially meaning that your heart becomes more efficient, you’ve got more blood going around and so you for every minute have to pump fewer times with each heart beat in order to deliver blood to the rest of your body.  And when you think about it, that can actually have even a little bit of an anti-aging effect because your heart is kinda like a battery.  You’ve got x amount of beats in it over the course of a lifetime.  So if you’re constantly living at say like a heart rate of 60 or 65, you know, a lot of people are around 70, it’s crazy.  They’re going through a lot of heartbeats than you even if you’re an athlete, even if you have like an hour or an hour and a half a day where your heart rate is above a hundred, and maybe even like up a 150 or 180,


that balances out if it means that the rest of the day, like the other 22 or 22 ½ hours or whatever, your heart rate is at 40, you know, or 38 in the case of Ben, there’s a little bit of a life extending effect there too.  So, in most cases, is that low heart rate is not a bad thing, you know, in a non-athlete sometimes that would be associated with what’s called bradycardia, which can indicate that you have some electro or electrical abnormalities in terms of heart rhythm.  But in an athlete, you know, heart rate of 35, 40, 45, kinda in that range, that’s really, really common especially in endurance athletes.  And interestingly, they have been able to reverse runner’s bradycardia with training over stress.  There’s this really interesting article in the Journal of Sports Medicine where they basically took some runners who had this really low heart rate, and they put them into a state of overtraining, like short-term overtraining with a significant increase in intensity and they reverse their bradycardia.  And that’s a lot of times what you’ll see is, you know, if your heart rate all of a sudden starts to increase by more than about 5 beats consistently every morning, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re driving yourself with too much intensity and you’re getting out of that running induced bradycardia.  So that’s one way to identify overtraining – is if your heart rate all of a sudden gets higher.  But the flipside is true too.  Sometimes that low heart rate is actually not a good thing.  And to understand why, you need to understand the stages of overtraining.  So, there’s a lot of different ways that you can quantify overtraining, but typically what happens is first you get over reached and sometimes that’s called stage one overtraining.  And when you’re over reached a lot of times it’s a good thing, like many athletes and many coaches will purposefully over reached an athlete to beat them up a little bit, get them into a slightly tired state and then give them recovery day so that they super compensate and get stronger.  And if you’re not careful in that first stage of overtraining and you’re training tired, you are a higher risk for injuries, you’re at a higher risk for hormonal imbalances, like really, really high cortisol, sometimes it can get tough to sleep, sometimes you feel mentally stressed, emotionally stressed, a lot of times you get a little bit of sexual dysfunction, impotence just because you’ve used so much energy for exercise, sometimes in women you start to see amenorrhea becoming an issue, but that’s one of those deals where if you rest after you dug yourself into that slight hole, you bounce back even stronger.  Now, what happens typically in the next stage is sympathetic overtraining where your sympathetic nervous system becomes overactive and that culminates a lot of times with restlessness and over excitability and that rise in the morning heart rate.  You know, that rise of 3, 4, 5, beats in the morning heart rate, and this is typically synonymous or it happens simultaneously with high cortisol levels, high insulin levels, high glucose levels, and basically that very, very kinda wired type of approach.  So, it’s a little bit of a move from feeling a little bit beat up to really feeling overtrained, and having an excess of simulation of the sympathetic nervous system.  And that’s when you see the morning resting heart rate be a little bit high.  But then what can happen and a lot of people will think this is a sign of fitness, right, they’ll think that – hey, my blood volume is going up, my heart must be becoming more efficient, my cardiac output is improving because heart rate can drop at that point.  What happens is the sympathetic nervous system becomes exhausted and a lot of times you see a drop in cortisol, you see a lack of desire to compete, a lack of desire to train, a lot of exhaustion, typically there’s an injury that manifests right around the same time.  Sometimes multiple injuries, pains in the joints, and you’ll see a low resting heart rate, and an inability to even reach a high heart rate during training.  And that low resting heart rate is not a sign of an improvement in fitness but it’s a sign that you are getting into the latter stages of overtraining ‘cause first you get over reached then your sympathetic – your flight or fight nervous system gets over stimulated and then you get into that stage of para-sympathetic nervous system exhaustion, and that drop – that significant drop in the morning heart rate.  And so, usually that low morning heart rate, if it’s a state of para-sympathetic overtraining is accompanied by just feelin’ like crap, like no motivation to train, and typically how propensity for injury, it’s low cortisol, it’s not high cortisol ‘cause your adrenal glands are just like pooped out – to use the highly scientific term.  And so, yeah!  There are cases where a low morning heart rate is not a good thing but usually you’ll know. Like you know, for example if you’re testing your heart rate variability which I’ve recommended before, shameless plug here, download the Nature Beat app if you have an iPhone.  You go to greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/naturebeat, that’s’ the one that I use for heart rate variability measurements and if you’ve got a very low heart rate variability, and a low morning heart rate, that’s pretty much a sign that your parasympathetic nervous system has been overtrained.  I’m talking about like a heart rate variability that’s consistently like in the 60s and the 70s, like that’s what you’re gonna see when you’re in a state of overtraining.  If you’re just a little bit stressed out from work the day before, you know, it’s gonna be 70s, the 80s but ultimately, yeah, that form of a low heart rate can be a bad thing but not necessarily unless it’s accompanied by their symptoms otherwise it’s a sign of really good fitness.

Jeff:  Hey Ben!  Hey Brock!  My question for you is in regards to the effects of the training mask.  I like a little more understanding on what effects it does have on your body after wearing it on a short distance run such as 3 miles.  My legs feel really heavy afterwards.  I would assume that’s lactic acid buildup.  I look forward to hearing your response.  Thanks!

Brock:  Yeah, I’ve started using the – oh no, what’s the other thing called and looks like a – an e-cigarette?  PowerLung!

Ben:  Oh PowerLung, yeah.  Well, you don’t really sue the PowerLung when you’re exercising, like – well, you could but you got to like hold it up to your mouth.  It would really be awkward.

Brock:  I think I brought it up that was like I like to use it when I’m sitting in front of the TV and that some, but it shot across the room and broke a little bit but…

Ben:  It shot out of your mouth?

Brock:  Yeah.  It did.  I was breathing too hard.  I overpowered it.  But anyway, yeah, the training mask – mine’s been in the drawer for a while.  You use yours all the time, don’t you?

Ben:  Actually, do use the training mask a lot yeah, just because I’m all about, you know, kinda like killing two birds with one stones if I do morning yoga.  I’ll just put on the training mask to train my inspiratory and expiratory muscles a little bit more to get my heart rate a little bit higher and to you know, you essentially when you take it off, it start to feel that you have a third lung and that’s really out work.  It’s like – it causes you to become more aware of taking fuller and deeper breaths.  So, technically if you wanna look at this from a physiological standpoint, when you breathe against resistance, like when you put on one of these masks and all of a sudden breathing becomes hard, the lining in your lung stretches out and the reason that it does that is it allows the alveoli which is where the gas exchange occurs in the lung to also become stretched – the alveoli surface area becomes stretched and that allows for more blood flow to the alveoli for more oxygen transportation into the blood.  So you’re increasing the surface area and because of that, increasing the amount of gases that you can transport into the bloodstream.  The other thing that you’re doing though and I think this is something that – I think this is really the most powerful aspect of using something like a training mask especially like earlier in the day – like doing something to start off  your day is because you become very aware of taking deep breathing.  It’s almost that you turn on your awareness of deep diaphragmatic breathing ‘cause it’s pretty much impossible to get enough oxygen through that thing or to exhale off carbon dioxide without really forceful inhales and exhales.  So you’re training a lot of your rib muscles, you’re training your diaphragm, you are stretching out your lungs and your working on your alveoli, but I’m gonna be straight forward with you.  I haven’t seen a lot of clinical evidence of an increase in actual oxygen delivery to blood flow ‘cause that’s a pretty difficult study to pull off.  I’m not quite sure how you would – how you would do that without a pretty intensive laboratory setting study and possibly even muscle biopsies.  You know, if you wanted to look at the actual oxygen exchange or oxygen delivery to muscle tissue, but as far as activation of inspiratory and expiratory muscles, as far as the activation of the diaphragm, deep breathing, that type of thing, that’s very simple to quantify.  You can look at like your respiratory rate the rest of the day, you can also qualitatively just pay attention to how deeply you’re breathing, how oxygenated you feel, and I notice a big difference when I use one of these things.


Now, as far as the lactic acid component, you know, a lot of people think that oxygen and lactic acid are pretty – uhm, what would be – the way that I want to describe this, they’re basically – the oxygen is the one biggest way that you get rid of lactic acid. But the fact is, lactic acid can be formed anytime glycolysis takes place.  So anytime that you are burning carbohydrates or you’re working out an exercise intensity that burns carbohydrates, lactic acid is gonna form whether or not oxygen is present or oxygen is absent.  So, it’s actually never been shown that a lack of oxygen in the muscles at any exercise intensity above lactate threshold is necessarily going to cause this huge accumulation of lactic acid.  So generally what happens is lactic acid gets converted into pyruvate which can then get converted into glucose, and you do need a little bit of oxygen to allow that to happen, that’s called the Cori Cycle.  And then glucose gets metabolized by working muscles or it can get stored in the muscles as glycogen.  So, clearance of lactate from the blood can occur that way, but lactate can also – it can be buffered by enzymes at the muscular level without necessarily getting converted to pyruvate in the presence of oxygen and getting converted into glucose.  So lactate accumulation, uhm, I’m not convinced that you’re gonna be in like a state of extreme lactic acidosis when you’re using one of these training masks.  I’m not sure, and again, like I haven’t seen it proven or I haven’t seen any studies that have shown you accumulate a bunch of lactic acid when you use one of these training masks.  It’s more likely that you would accumulate lactic acid just from pushing yourself at a harder intensity.  But it is really interesting to see a study on whether or not there actually is a buildup of lactic acid from some kind of a lack of oxygen by using something like the training masks.  I think that possibly one of the things that you maybe feeling as far as the heavy legs when you’re using something like the training mask, is instead of shuttling your blood to your inspiratory and expiratory muscles, and your diaphragm and just lets blood to go around because of your respiratory muscles are having to work rather than necessarily an extreme buildup of lactic acid in the legs.  And the reason that I think that might be the case is that there was a study that was done in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning pretty recently, and they didn’t use the training mask with it, what they did was they studied rugby players who are doing shuttle runs back and forth on the grid and they’re actually doing a defensive roll during the shuttle run where they drop the ground and roll on their back, and they roll to their chest again before standing up and continuing to run.  I like to do that when I’m just running down the street just to…

Brock:  Just drop and roll.

Ben:  I just drop and roll.  Just – just ‘cause it looks cool.  Yeah.

Brock:  People are like – what?  What happen?  Is he okay?

Ben:  I’m training to be an assassin, ninja.  Anyways though, they did this and what the researchers measure was blood lactate levels, and these guys were wearing a nose clip to restrict their nasal breathing, and of course, then they have another group that shuttle run normally and there was no difference between the restricted breathing condition and the normal condition and when they looked at blood lactate.  And so, I just really doubt that restricting breathing is gonna cause a significant amount of lactic acidosis.  I just think there’s probably something else that’s going on and my hypothesis is that it’s just shuttling of blood around the body rather than a huge buildup of lactic acid.  So, the other thing there are some situations in which I don’t think you should use a training mask.  And there was another study – you know, I came across it. It was two months ago, I think it was the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, but they noted a drop in movement quality in the presence of hypoxia.  Meaning that if you’re doing like say Olympic weight lifting or you’re doing skill training, maybe you’re doing some running drills or you’re working on cadence or something like that, I don’t think that restricting oxygen or distracting yourself by putting a huge strain on your inspiratory muscle is a good idea. I even find that when I’m doing yoga wearing something like the elevation training mask, I can’t really focus that well on the more advanced poses.  So, what I’m trying to say here is, biomechanical quality of movement can go out the window when you’re wearing one of these things.


So kinda like pick your poison wisely and don’t use it in situations where you might either increase your risk of injury, or be training yourself to have poor quality of movement.  Basically, use a training mask when you’re doing things that you’re already good at as far as movement goes or things that don’t require huge amount of movement quality like if you use to ride in your bike, that doesn’t require a lot of biomechanical coordination.  I suppose there are some individuals you have seen ride a bike, falling over at stop lights, probably you should wear a training mask…

Brock:  You haven’t seen me ride my bike.

Ben:  Yeah, but hopefully I’m getting the idea across here, right?  Like basically if it’s a very complex movement, don’t wear one of these training mask.  Don’t freakin’ like hop on them, bossy bolt the gym with a barbell on your back doing squats, wearing a training mask.  Don’t be that person.  As a matter of fact, don’t even be the person hopping on a stability ball at the gym to do a squat, period.  It’s kinda silly.  But if you’re just gonna like go do a tabata set on a treadmill, you know, throw on one of the training mask, and that would really help you with your deep diaphragmatic breathing.  If you can do yoga session and just do your normal yoga sun salutation, throw on a training mask so you’re working inspiratory and expiratory muscles even harder.  But to answer your question, that was a really long answer, Jeff, but no it’s not lactic acid buildup.  It’s probably just the shuttling of blood to more of your inspiratory and expiratory muscles.  So, we do just like we have discounts on – we get so many discounts.  People are pretty generous with the Ben Greenfield fitness show.  We have a discount on the training mask.

Brock:  That’s why they call you bargain basement Ben!

Ben:  That’s what they call me.  GREEN1 is the discount on the training mask.  So, GREEN1 will give you a 20% discount at  trainingmask.com.  So, if you wanna get one and try it out, if you don’t have one, go to trainingmask.com, use 20% discount code GREEN1, it’s green and number 1, you get a discount.  So, there you go.  Knock yourself out, don’t pass out.

Dan:  Hello Ben and Brock!  This is Dan from Talkeetna, Alaska.  I have a question about Chaga.  It’s a kind of fungus that grows on  paper birds trees and it allegedly has some cancer-fighting properties as well as some enormous load of antioxidants.  What do you know about this stuff?  Is any of these true?  Is this a good thing to add to my regular routine of healthy supplements, etc.?  Love the show!  Look forward to hearing input on this. Thanks a lot.  Bye.

Brock:  I have to look up Chaga.  I’ve never heard of Chaga.

Ben:  Chaga!  I actually – I hadn’t heard of it about until a couple of months ago, and I actually got Chaga tea.  There’s this stuff called Four Sigma Foods Chaga Tea and it’s got like mint and rosehip, and what else is in there – like Ginseng, and chaga.  I’ve got a box of it upstairs right now.  I’ve actually have a couple of it this week.  And what chaga is, you know, when you look at it from like a cancer-fighting standpoint, is it does have compounds in it.  A lot of mushrooms have compounds in it that could potentially have anti-carcinogenic properties.  The compound…

Brock:  That’s right, chaga is actually a mushroom, isn’t it?

Ben:  Yeah, beta-glucan…

Brock:  That totally freaked me out.  That seems…

Ben:  Yeah, grows on the side of trees but beta-glucans have been shown in research to have an effect on cancerous tumors by triggering an immune system response.  They are polysaccharides, and a lot of mushrooms have these.  But yes, chagas are pretty high on these and it’s got pretty high antioxidant amounts in it.  It’s got what are called geno-protective effect so it may even decrease the rate in which telomeres shortened,  so it could have a little bit of an anti-aging effects, too.  And again, like I hadn’t heard about chaga until a few months ago and started to look into and it’s got a lot of other cool things.  Like it’s got a bunch of terpenes in it, kinda similar to coffee or tea, and there’s a little bit, because of that a little bit of like a wakefulness effect, right, like a little bit of cognitive boosting effect.  So it acts similarly like we’re looking at reishi and shitake, and cordyceps which is more of a fungus than a mushroom per se.  It’s got a lot of really cool properties, it’s relatively high in minerals as well, and I’m starting to see it appear in more and more things like bars, and powders, and teas ‘cause I think a lot of more people are finding out about it.  But this specific thing has been studied for its anti-tumor effect, it’s effect on blood sugar.  It’s even been studied a little bit when it comes to HIV.


And then finally for chronic bronchitis or pneumonia, or lung disorders.  It appears to help a little bit with those types of things as well.  So it’s like a general immunity type of effect.  So, yeah, it’s just a mushroom, grows on birch trees and yeah…

Brock:  Most importantly, how does it taste?

Ben:  You know, they’ve got a little bit of Stevia.  The only form in which I’ve personally consumed chaga has been in this tea.  The tea is made by – I’ll put a link to it in the show notes – Four Sigma Foods.  They made like a reishi tea, a cordyceps tea, pretty much like if it has mushrooms in it, they make it.  And they use what’s called dual extraction, and from what I understand dual extraction allows you to get a more concentrated form of the herb kinda in an itty-bitty tea bag.  So, it’s kinda like they say in Aladdin – phenomenal cosmic power.  Itty-bitty little space!  So anyways…

Brock:  Is that what they say?

Ben:  I’m pretty sure that’s what the genie says in Aladdin, yeah.  So…

Brock:  You have children, don’t you?

Ben:  I have ‘lil – I have children, yes.  We play the Disney channel on Pandora 24/7.  It’s crazy.  As a matter of fact, I’ll tell you a funny story ‘cause we always like to talk about dirty things on this podcast.  I don’t know why.  My wife and I wanted to get it on the other night, and we turn on the radio beatin’ like the sound system in the house, and it was like Pocahontas singing Just Around the River Bend, and there’s nothing to just all of a sudden kill the mood as Disney coming on.  And because Disney has pretty much like in our house 24/7 so if we turn on the radio, we wanna get like some kind of a romantic channel and we have to fight through Disney song and somehow maintain staying in the mood as we – as we anxiously trying to change the channel.  So, anyways…

Brock:  (singing)  It’s a small world after all, oh no!  (laughter).  Oh, my boner!

Ben:  Oh my gosh!  I hope no children are listening in right now.  So, chaga tea, I like it.  I actually really like this Four Sigma Foods stuff ‘cause it’s a really pure blend and you can go and check out their website.  It’s actually been around a really long time and they’ve been making this tea for quite a while using wild mushrooms and this dual extraction process that they use a lot to get it.  Really concentrated as well, so chaga tea, I’m a fan.

Steve:   Hey Ben!  So, I am a three-event water ski athlete which I know is something very odd but I’ve come to find that balance is a key component of this sport.  I was just wondering if you had any good ideas on vestibular training, also somatosensory training.  Thanks.

Brock:  That was quite a while ago that you had that fellow from Zed Health on.

Ben:  Yeah, or as we say here in the US – Z Health.

Brock:  Oh yeah. Z Health.

Ben:  Yeah, we’ll put a link to that in the show notes but I interviewed this guy named Eric Cobb and he has this training program called Z Health.  And it trains your nervous system, like they’re the people that make for example, this Vision Gym which is – you order it and you get a series of eye charts, and eye training tools, and eye training exercises, and that would be considered training your visual system, right, so you got like your visual system and your vestibular system which is kinda like more like your ears and your somatosensory system which is more like your joints.  And those are three main balance systems that you’d wanna train if you’re sayin’ an athlete, and frankly a lot of us train our muscular skeletal system and neglect a lot of these neuromuscular components.  But Z Health, like they certify personal trainers but then they’ve also got packages that’ll train these different elements of your nervous system.  And I think it’s really important so they do visual skills training, and you’ll do like balance challenges, and really non-traditional strength training exercises and now what they call sensory integration drills where you’re doing things for example, convergent and divergent charts with the eyes where you’re training your eyes to move farther apart, and then close together, and then up and down, and so you’re increasing you peripheral vision, your eye tracking, your visual perception, your acuity, etc.  And then, it’s actually a pretty good method if you’re on glasses or you use contacts – on glasses, wearing glasses, yeah.  You’re on drugs.

Brock:  On drugs, on glasses…

Ben:  Uhm, anyways though, so that’s a pretty cool program that you should go, listen Steve or anybody else who wants to improve balance.


You should go, listen to that podcast there with Cobb ‘cause he gets into a lot of the stuff.  We’ll put a link to it in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/309 but as far as, you know, you asked specifically about vestibular and somatosensory training, and that’s not really the eye training as much as that is like I mentioned – it’s more of the ear training and more of the joints training.  So for the vestibular balance, just think about anything that you would do to take care of your vestibular apparati which should be your ears, right, so you’ve got like motion and equilibrium, and knowledge of where your body is at in space, that’s all governed by your vestibular apparatus which is part of your ear.  You have these three little canals in your ears where gravity is detected and so is like front to back, and side to side movement.  So these canals are filled with a special fluid.  It’s called endolymph and that detects rotational movements when your head rotates in one direction.  You know, stuff essentially slushes around in there and kinda detects where you at in space, and if you don’t take care of your ear anatomy and your ear health, then you can lose a lot of that vestibular balance.  So for example, if you listen to a  lot of loud music, if your clubbing a lot, if you’re playing music really loud in your cars or in your headphones or even if you’re holding cell phone up to your ear which produces vibration and radiation and heat, that can all affect your vestibular balance.  So, take care of your ears in that sense.  And then when you consider that these fluids slushes around whenever you are thrown off balance, you can do things like when you’re at the gym, when you’re walking, look for things to stand on around you like narrow ridges or sidewalk posts, or the back of the bench in a park or the rails on fences, and approach movement as a little bit more of like a Parkour kinda like exploring type of activity where when you walk into the grocery store, maybe you’re balancing on the little curbs in between the – where the car is parked and maybe you are focusing on – the grocery store parking lot is probably a horrid example.  Jumping off a car…

Brock:  That seems dangerous.

Ben:  … and leaping over the backs of small children, but…

Brock:  I was hanging out with Katy Bowman last fall and I was like sort of walking towards her and she was standing there on one foot on one of those little concrete barriers in the parking lot.  Now I was waiting for her to do something really cool and she didn’t move.  She has kept standing there and I finally was like – are you gonna do something? And she’s like “I’m doing it!”  And she was basically doing exactly that.  For those of you who don’t know who Katy Bowman is, she’s like – she’s awesome, you just look her up.

Ben:  Yeah.  I mean, even right now while we’re talking… I’m on my little treadmill that I walk on when I’m on my desk but I’ve got this foam pad, it’s called a Kybun – k-y-b-u-n, and it’s one of these anti-fatigue pads you that you can stand on, but it’s really dense foam and when I stand on one leg like right now I’m standing on my left leg, it’s almost impossible for me to stay still, right, like these little vibrations and these little movements that are forcing that fluid in my ears to slush around and can you hear the fluid slushing, Brock?

Brock:  Always.

Ben:  Slush!  Slush!  Anyways though, I’m training my vestibular system when I do stuff like that.

Brock:  They’re very noisy in your ears.

Ben:  So take care of your ears but then also engage in activities that kinda force you to make these micro adjustments.  And then as far as your somatosensory balance, that just refers to the fact that your skin, and your muscles, and your joints, all have these sensory receptors. They’re called proprioceptors and they’re sensitive to stretch or pressure in the surrounding tissues and so like when you feel increase pressure in the front part of the soles of your feet when you lean forward, the sensory receptors in your feet are sending impulses to your brain that help you recognize where your body is at in space even if your eyes are closed, you  know, so your visual system is turned off, or your ears are plugged.  So you can train your somatosensory system without your eyes or your ears being involved.  And really, part of that is the type of thing we just talked about like standing on unstable surfaces like wobble boards or thick balance mats or even these balance disk pillows that you see at the gym.  But there are other things that you can do too like vibration platforms, those are great like doing it like yoga moves, standing on one leg, even standing on both legs on a vibration platform, that’s really great for your somatosensory system.  A mini trampoline works kinda similarly like you can – my grandma actually has one of these mini trampolines and when I visit her house in the mornings – I don’t know why I haven’t got one for my own house ‘cause they’re kinda fun.  But when I get up in the morning, I bounce up and down on that thing.  You could do like 10 bounces for your left leg, 10 for your right leg, and do like 9, 9, 8, 8, 7, 7, just like go down to 1.


It’s almost like meditation, but it’s kinda fun and it has that one-two combo of course, it also induces a bowel movement in the morning so you got that.

Brock:  Hooray!

Ben:  You got that going for you too. You don’t have to strap on running shoes and go for a run.  It’s the insty poop machine.  So, actually I don’t know if the vibration platform works the same way too.  You can try.  Get into like the squatty potty position on a vibration platform.  Anyways though, I’m a fan of any of those kinda surfaces that move around a little bit as you’re standing, and then anytime you can find excuses stand on one leg and for proprioception interestingly, you really fire up the proprioceptors when you stand on one leg or when you balance at elevation.  So if can fool your body into thinking that’s in danger by getting up on a plyometric box and doing single leg stances up on a plyometric box, where it’s not like you’re gonna die if you fall off the thing, but there’s a little bit of a balance component.  Or you, you know, if you’re outside you can find a rock to stand on or even like walking on a fence or balancing on a park bench, doing things like that can actually be really, really great for turning on the proprioceptors even more than you would normally.  So, using elevated surfaces, that’s another great cue for your proprioceptors system.  So those are some of the things that I would do.  I’ll put a link to the Z Health podcast in the show notes.  If I can find a link to this – this foam mat that I stand on while I’m working on my desk, I’ll get that in for you too, it’s called the Kybun.  It’s made in Israel but I’ll see if I can find it for you.  And yeah!  So that’s where I would start.

Laurie:   Hi Ben, this is Laurie.  I’ve been listening to your podcast for many years.  I’m excited to be able to leave a first question.  So, I heard recently that there are differences in cinnamon.  I know that cinnamon can help with blood sugar and I wanted to find out what type of cinnamon we should be eating or adding to our foods to have this great – to keep our blood sugar normal.  Anyway, thank you so much.  Love your podcast and have a great day!

Brock:  There’s the store down the street from my house.  It’s like one of those organic bulk stores and they sell ground cinnamon, and they sell the cinnamon sticks.  And the cinnamon sticks are like sale on – cinnamon sticks.  And they’re like easily like 5 times the price.  I had to bring them home and put them in the coffee grinder and grind them up but they taste so much better.  It’s amazing!  I could just, it’s so cinnamoney!

Ben:  That’s actually a way to tell if your cinnamon is made from true cinnamon is you get those cinnamon sticks and if you look at them really closely, the plant bark is thinner.  So you can see multiple layers of the bark on the cinnamon sticks…

Brock:  I can crumble it up with my fingers.

Ben:  Yeah.  Like that’s – that’s real cinnamon like most of the time when you get a cinnamon stick or even when you get cinnamon in general from the grocery store, it’s not cinnamon, it’s cassia, and it’s really – it doesn’t have many of the same biological benefits of cassia.  Now, I mean technically, cassia is in the cinnamon family, it’s nowhere near this Ceylon or Kaylon or however you want to pronounce it.  It’s C-e-y-l-o-n, that’s the form of cinnamon that’s been found to be beneficial for say, controlling blood sugar or for having like the fiber effect, and the beneficial effect, it can even act as a probiotic for the good bacteria in your gut.  Cinnamon has a lot of cool effect from type 2 diabetes, to antioxidant activity, and all the studies that have been done on it and they even compared like Ceylon, it’s also known as common cinnamon with cassia cinnamon and the Ceylon, always wins out as far as the amount.  Usually it’s the equivalent of right around 2 teaspoons.  Some people don’t eat enough cinnamon to get the benefits.  Like in my morning smoothie, I put a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon.  That’s how you get the fiber, the blood sugar controlling effect.  Anytime you take it with a meal that has carbohydrates, it will lower the blood sugar so, you know, if you’re gonna have like a twinky, put some cinnamon on there, and it’ll definitely help out.

Brock:  I guess.

Ben:  Yeah, but it’s Ceylon  C-e-y-l-o-n.  I’m not sure if there’s anything else I should add to this discussion aside from just like – if you really want the blood sugar controlling ability of cinnamon, you do need to get the Ceylon form.  So…

Brock:  So it is just that much better or does the other one actually not have any effect?

Ben:  Well, it’s the coumarin content.


Coumarins are these plant components and there are naturally occurring levels of coumarin in Ceylon cinnamon that are pretty small and they’re much, much higher in the cassia cinnamon that are – they can actually be a little bit toxic to the liver, a little bit toxic to the nervous system, but it also inhibits a lot of the blood sugar lowering effects that the cassia cinnamon could have.

Brock:  Gotcha!

Ben:  Yeah.  So I mean you may get a little bit of benefit from the cassia but as far as the research and again, there’s multiple research studies that they’ve done on the effects of cinnamon extract on the plasma glucose and on blood sugar control because they actually have looked at it quite a bit for – it’s anti-diabetic effects, and always it’s the Ceylon that wins out, so.

Brock:  I’ve been waiting for the one factor in life to come along and put me in the “pour house” and I think it’s gonna be my cinnamon addiction…

Ben:  That’s right.  Between like cinnamon, upgraded coffee, what are the other things, now we’ve got chaga tea to throw in there…

Brock:  And now all the creatine…

Ben:  Yeah, and the creatine, yeah, we just basically bankrupted folks with podcast number 309.  So… but that’s alright.  If you do still love us, even if we just bankrupted you, you can leave a review.  And if you leave your review in iTunes, we will send you a sweet Ben Greenfield fitness gear pack.  A tech t-shirt, a BPA-free water bottle, and sweet beanie that you could even wear when you’re doing your little cold thermogenesis sessions ‘cause it actually just cause you to wear a beanie, to wear gloves, to wear socks or shoes, and to wear something over your crotch.  You cover the vital areas, it can actually help out the effects of cold thermogenesis.  So whatever you consider to be a vital area, cover up and the beanie will help you do that.  I was actually wearing the beanie the other day and someone came up to me, asked me if I knew Ben Greenfield, and I…

Brock:  Did you say no?

Ben:  I actually… I said yes, and I was quiet because I want to see what they would say.  Anyways though, so a beanie is another thing that you will get if you leave your review.  If you hear us read your review on the show, just email [email protected] and we’ll get a gear pack your way.  So, this week’s review is called R & R Like a Girl by ELAHuggs.  Great name.

Brock:  ELAHuggs!

Ben:  So, Brock, you wanna take this one away?

Brock:  Have you ever listen to the Ella On The Air, or On The Air With Ella podcast?

Ben:  On The Air With Ella? No!

Brock:  Yeah, that’s a – this is her.

Ben:  Sounds like a Canadian thing.

Brock:  No!  I don’t think so.

Ben:  Oh really?  She’s – was it a podcast?

Brock:  Yeah!

Ben:  And this is the Ella that – that…

Brock:  This is the Ella!

Ben:  How do you know?

Brock:  She said it at the end of her review.

Ben:  Oh, okay.  Hon, take it away!

Brock:  Alright.  So it goes like this:  Starts with a NOTE: “You’re getting this review because you ask for a post-vaccination show rebound and I am here to help.”

Ben:  Uhm, that’s awesome.  ‘Cause we got crucified.

Brock:  Yeah.  That is awesome.  And, it goes like this:  “Ben knows his stuff but maintains enough humor to make his actual super hero-ism…” super heroism?  There we go.  “Just bearable.” Just bearable.

Ben:  Just barely.

Brock:  “Seriously, he is amazing.  Brock is an under-appreciated, great “everyman” co-host.  (Well, “everyman” is relative here).  Ayt!  What does that mean?

Ben:  It means you’re very normal.  (chuckles)  Alright, sorry, go ahead.

Brock:  It sound that she said that and then took a back.  But anyway,  “Thanks for remembering that chicks dig your show too.  Thanks for the fact-based knowledge bombs, the great research and the humor.  As a sign of my devotion, I volunteer to replace your terrifying intro/outro with someone who can pronounce “triathlon”.   Keep the great content coming.”  Ella from On The Air with Ella podcast.

Ben:  Now I’m gonna have to go listen to Ella’s podcast.

Brock:  Yeah.  I think we just plugged it several times for so that helps her out.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s true we did just plugged her.  So, Ella you can just send your check to… uhm,  no I’m just kidding.  Anyways though, yeah that’s great!  Cool!  I like it!  Well, if you’re listening in and you too would like to leave a review and spread the good karma all over the place, then just go to iTunes and you can leave a star, leave a review.  Be nice.  So, that being said, we’ll also put the links for everything we talked about on the show like the training mask discount code, and the chaga tea I was talking about, the desk mat, Z Health, all the different places Brock and I are gonna be like the New Media Expo, and Paleo FX,


we’ll put all that in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/309 and be sure to tune in this weekend for a special episode and I believe this one is about if I’m not mistaken, what’s called drainage and detox.  Kinda gross!  It’s actually – it’s a really kinda gross podcast ‘cause it’s about drainage but it’s actually kind of fascinating too.

Brock:  It’s not called – it’s not leakage at least.  Drainage sounds like it’s on purpose.

Ben:  Exactly!  So, check that out and until next time.  Have a healthy week!

Visit bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.

[1:11:21.7]       END



Feb 18, 2015 Podcast: Can A Low Heart Rate Be Unhealthy, Does A Training Mask Make You Slower, What Is Chaga, The Best Ways To Build Balance, and What Is The Best Kind Of Cinnamon.

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


News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfieldFacebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.


Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by Casper. Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting www.casper.com/ben and using promo code ben.

March 3, Tuesday, 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern: This month’s Inner Circle workshop is our quarterly “Winter 2015 What’s Working Now Show”, in which you get to join Ben and Jessa as they talk about the latest workouts, fitness gear, nutrition supplements, recipes, anti-aging strategies, biohacks, healthy kid tips, and more – along with your questions and answers!

March 6-9, 2015: Come on the Spartan Cruise with Ben Greenfield and family! Use code BEN10 to save 10% when you book this cruise to a private island in the Bahamas for the ultimate tropical Spartan Race. This cruise includes free travel for kids and a kid’s Spartan race, along with a sprint Spartan for the adults, tons of partying, beautiful beaches and new, exclusive island challenges.

April 13-16, 2015: Ben is speaking at New Media Expo, where the world’s top bloggers, podcasters and content creators teach you how to make money by creating content online, and how to enhance your blog, your podcast, your videos and any other media you create online. Better yet, you can come and attend the conference, then join Ben at Spartan Vegas on April 17! Click here to register for New Media Expo and use code “bgreenfield20” to get 20% off the current pricing.

April 24-26th, 2015: Come hear Ben speak at PaleoFX 2015. The can’t-miss conference that is the Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including best-selling authors, physicians, nutritionists, research scientists, professional athletes, trainers, sustainability and food activists, biohackers, and more.

May 1-3, 2015: Ben is speaking at Ari Meisel’s Less Doing Conference, the year’s top conference for learning about things like how to manage your email inbox, hack productivity, enhance your cognitive performance, learn how to use the latest and greatest phone apps and productivity software, free up as much time as possible, and much more! Click here to get more details and to book a free productivity call with Ari.

The Ben Greenfield Experience is now available for either May 15-17 weekend or May 22-24 weekend (you choose): This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to be completely immersed in Ben’s unique combination of healthy, ancestral living and cutting-edge biohacking. Total cost is 10K for entire weekend(Fri/Sat/Sun) – includes yoga, workouts, food, and the full learning and living experience. You’ll leave completely equipped with everything you need to know to reinvent your home, your body and your life.

The entire experience takes place at the Greenfield home in the forest, which is completely biohacked to support optimum human biology, including 100% organic and green experience with zero electrical pollution, allergen-free materials, natural mattresses, circadian rhythm matched lighting and much more – including:

-Outdoor obstacle course on 10 acres of forest, with nature walking trails, climbing wall, rope traverses, spear throws, sandbag carries, Tarzan swing, monkey bars, mountain bikes, woodchopping and everything you need for the ultimate outdoor fitness experience.

-Completely outfitted gym with power lifting rack, indoor swim trainer, hypoxic air generator, bike trainer, elevation training mask, luxury Tru-Form running treadmill, outdoor yoga patio and much more.

-Cold thermogenesis endless swimming pool with chlorine-free, naturally ozone-treated hot tub for a one-of-a-kind outdoor, winter forest swimming and soaking body treatment.

-Plenty of biohacks to play with, including a recovery-enhancing Biomat, infrared lighting, electrostimulation, inversion table, power lung, and ore.

-Locally-sourced, natural and nourishing food from over a dozen nearby organic farms and Ben’s goats, chickens, organic vegetable garden, along with filtered, structured and deeply hydrating well water.

-Giant living room with wood burning stove and enormous oak table for learning, socializing, working, eating and relaxing.

-Outdoor obstacle course workouts, hiking excursions, yoga and high performance living led by America’s top personal trainer.

E-mail ben at bengreenfieldfitness.com if you are interested, and Ben will set up a private phone call with you to discuss details and your eligibility.

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!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

Can A Low Heart Rate Be Unhealthy?

Ben says: When he woke up yesterday his heart rate was 38bpm. He knows having a lower hr is good but lately it seems that the more rest days he takes, the lower it gets. Is this a sign of overtraining? He is a little worried about that. He is a skateboarder, spin instructor, personal trainer, teaches aerobics and is pretty active.

Does A Training Mask Make You Slower?

Jeff says: He wants to understand the effects of the TrainingMask better. When he uses it for a shorter run (like a 3 mile training run) his legs feel really heavy. He assumes that is the lactic acid build up? Can you explain how this is working?

In my response I recommend:
www.TrainingMask.com – GREEN1 gives 20% discount

What is Chaga?

Dan says: He wants to know more about Chaga. It allegedly has cancer fighting properties as well as a huge load of antioxidants. Is this true? Is this something he should be adding it to his list of supplements?

In my response I recommend:
FourSigmaFoods Chaga Tea – ben-greenfield gives 15% discount

The Best Ways To Build Balance

Steve says: He is a 3 event water ski athlete and he is looking for some help with his balance (a big part of what he does). Do you have any good ideas on vestibular and somatosensory training?

In my response I recommend:
Z-Health and my podcast with Eric Cobb
Kybun desk mat

What Is The Best Kind Of Cinnamon?

Laurie says: She recently heard that there are different types of cinnamon out there. She knows that it can help with blood sugar and wanted to find out what type of cinnamon we should be eating and adding to our food to get this benefit.

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/02/309-is-a-low-heart-rate-bad-chaga-tea-cinnamon-the-best-ways-to-build-balance/

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