March 4, 2015
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: How To Use Baking Soda For Performance, Natural Ways To Increase Glutathione, Can Mud Help You Recover Faster, What To Do About Snapping Hip Syndrome, The Anti-Aging Effect of Saunas, 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.
Brock: So you’re here again, packin’ up and gettin’ on a jet plane tomorrow morning. Jettin’ off into the atmosphere.
Ben: You know why? Because I have a – insert sailing music here…. (music playing)
Brock: Oh, I thought you meant super ______ [0:01:21.1].
Ben: I’m goin’ on a cruise. I’m goin’ on a Spartan Cruise. I’m taking my family on a Spartan Cruise, so I got up early this morning before recording here and I packed all my cruise stuff, all my healthy travel cruise stuff.
Brock: Oh, your cruise stuff like your old man hat and your Teva sandals…
Brock: Your knee high socks.
Ben: Basically, activated charcoal to combat all of the strange things that you encounter on a cruise ship and then glutathione which of course we’ll talk about later on in this podcast to combat the effects of the drinking that I may be doing on said cruise.
Brock: Huh, what? Drinking?
Ben: No, actually I am – I have kinda like my travel go tos that are pretty much like the same things I grab in my pantry or in my health cabinet every single time that I travel and yes, charcoal and glutathione are two things that I do throw in there like the whole toxin management piece but then one thing, and this is just my standby as I grab a ziplock bag and I fill it full with some kind of meal replacement powder. And I’m not necessarily like brand specific but typically something from the Living Fuel company like I use the stuff called Super Greens or Super Berry, and…
Brock: Oh yeah, Super Berry look delicious.
Ben: The problem is it has a texture of baby food. If you just like wander up to a Starbucks which I do in the airport, and mix it with water, so I put it in a ziplock bag but then I’ll add like a handful of whatever crunchy goodness happens to be in the pantry like almonds, or walnuts or coconut flakes or dark cacao nibs and I’ll just throw that in there along with the plastic spoon, and so when I wander into any random airport place where I have access to a water or cup, or even on an airplane, I pretty much make myself a little bit of a – you know, almond and nut -infused baby food goodness, so.
Brock: Delicious! Made for real babies.
Ben: I’ll do that – I‘ll do a little bit of some kind of an organic beef jerky usually, just so I can feel all manly and cowboy-ish sittin’ on the plane.
Brock: Last plane I was on an epic bar – one of those – the bison bacon epic bar. That was a nice way to tide it over. That’s my belly over.
Ben: That’s exactly. Usually the epic bar or Onnit has like this Pemmican bar which is like the rendered fat of bison which makes great conversational fodder for whoever happens to be sitting next to you.
Brock: The vegetarian that’s sitting next to you.
Ben: Hey! What’s up? I’m eating a giant animal that used to be roaming the plains. How’s that kale?
Brock: Brandy and dry.
Ben: And then- what else do I pack? So yeah, oh then, I usually pack some kind of a dessert-eat bar so that when I have that craving for chocolate or sweets or whatever on the airplane or when you’re traveling or when all your hormones get dysregulated from hopping across time zones you can kinda quell that craving without doing too much damage. So I grab like usually again it’s not super duper brand specific but like for this particular trip I packed the new like the UCAN super starch bars that are like chocolate peanut butter flavored.
Brock: Oh, you got some of those?
Ben: Yeah, I got the inside deal on a box.
Brock: Are they good?
Ben: Sometimes I take the Hammer nutrition bars too. The UCAN bars are actually good, yeah. They taste like chocolate peanut butter, they taste like UCAN super starch all like mashed together and then covered in chocolate and peanut butter, so.
Brock: That make a better – I can’t say that I’m a fan like the UCAN works well but it doesn’t taste fantastic, so.
Brock: But, covered in chocolate and peanut butter…
Ben: Yeah, actually I’m talking to the folks at UCAN ‘cause we’re gonna hopefully add that box for folks over at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com to be able to order themselves and some tasty UCAN goodness along with their stuff they’ll get.
So those are some of the main things and then of course, my insert geeky-biohacker evil laugh here, my electro-stimulation unit so that I can shock the heck out of my quads and hamstrings, and all that jazz when I’m sittin’ around, so.
Brock: On the plane?
Ben: Yeah, that’s it. I’ll champ on my pemmican while I shock myself and pop a couple activated charcoal capsules, and I’ll be the healthiest little traveler ever.
Brock: That’s like the antithesis of me when I was in the band. I remember there was one trip and specifically flew us up north ‘cause nobody ever goes way up north in Canada to tour. So they paid us a lot of money to go up there, and it was only like 4 days. So I threw 2 pairs of clean underwear, 2 pairs of socks, my pajamas, my toothbrush in like a plastic bag. That’s it.
Ben: Uhm, yeah. That’s a good approach, too, but you know…
Brock: It’s awesome. Actually the third show, I wore my pajamas on stage because my clothes were so dirty. And nobody said anything, so.
Ben: I’m wearing a sailor outfit.
Brock: Of course!
Brock: Every time something super cool comes out on twitter.com/bengreenfield, it seems like everybody’s got a dumb question about it. Everybody wants to know – does this apply to women, does this apply to babies, what if I wanted to churn this into chocolate-covered peanut butter. So…
Ben: Yeah, and feed it to my lizard.
Brock: Yeah, and feed it to my lizard. Is that euphemism?
Ben: I’ve got my kids a pet lizard so pretty much everything that happens in our home is in the context that what the lizard thinks about this or could the lizard eat it. It’s one of those big-what do you call them? A dragon lizard?
Brock: Oh nice!
Ben: It’s big. It’s a big lizard. I forget what it’s…
Brock: A komodo?
Ben: No, it’s not – it’s not that big. It’s not like a dog.
Brock: But it’s gonna eat your children.
Ben: Yeah, it lounges on the couch. It is pretty big, though. Anyways though…
Brock: Anyways, where I was going with that was – this is the time of the show where Ben actually tells you whether you can feed it to a lizard or not.
Ben: Yeah, so here’s an interesting one. The title of this headline is Stop Antibiotics, which I think is actually misleading because I’m not necessarily saying that everyone should stop their antibiotics. But this was actually something that was published in a – I believe it was the MGA Journal which is a medical journal. I’m actually blanking what MGA stands for. It’s similar to the JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association but it was an article that was highlighting a research that shows that if you stop the course of an antibiotic before a bacterial infection has been excluded, before the antibiotic has had the chance to completely knock out the bacteria, there’s currently a common misconception that resistance will emerge if you don’t complete that prescribed antibiotic course.
Brock: Yeah, that’s how you make super bugs. Or at least that’s what they say.
Ben: Uhm, but it turning out-yeah, they’re saying there’s no solid evidence for the recommended duration of therapy and that there is no difference in outcome when shorter courses of antibiotics were used or if you don’t complete the entire course of the antibiotic. Like finish that whole – I don’t know, like a Z-Pac would be an example. So, it’s kinda interesting because I’ve always thought this too, right? Like in the rare cases that I have had to go on antibiotics you know, like I mess around with a little bit like when I have like a MRSA infection and there are some people that will use antibiotic courses for things like small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Anyways though, what this article, and I’ll link to it in the show notes along with everything else we talked about over bengreenfieldfitness.com/311.- it’s interesting because it turns out that based on emerging research you may not indeed need to finish that course of antibiotics. So…
Brock: So you can just take it until you’re feeling better and then save the rest for another day!
Ben: That’s exactly what the article says. General practitioners are now being encouraged to tell most patients to stop treatment when they feel better after years of urging patients to finish their full course of antibiotics.
Brock: So where did the super bugs come from? I’m not specifically asking you. I’m just wondering out loud. If that’s not how we created them, then where did they come from?
Ben: Evil villain on the spaceship on the moon.
Brock: That’s gotta be it! Absolutely!
Ben: So, another interesting article that I thought was actually jam packed with some pretty cool information or very practical information it appeared over at Mark’s Daily Apple. And this article is called Is Your Workout Worth the Risk? And it cited a recent survey of cross-fit athletes and found that over 73% had experience an injury during training, 7% of which required surgery, and then they also went into similar pulse in runners that found like 13% of runners experienced knee injuries, 8% get Achilles tendonitis, 10% get plantar fasciitis, another 10% get shin splints, 14% get IT Band friction syndrome, and it’s just like there are so many training injuries that we get that the article – the main thrust of the article is that if we’re gonna stay active and move our bodies, and challenge our limits, and climb around personal Mt. Everest that put a notch in our belt but we don’t wanna get injured, how do we limit the injuries? And there are just really practical tips like some of them were to for example, train the dead lift and maintain the squat like a lot of athletes out there are doing dead lifts and squats, and this was based off of recommendations from human movement expert Gray Cook who says that basically working on getting stronger, at lifting something off the ground, right, like a dead lift is a good idea but the majority of injuries actually happened when people constantly try to increase their squat. Like you squat heavier, and heavier loads each week and eventually get to the point where you get injured or you blow your knee, you blow your back, and then you go back to square one after your rehab. And the argument here is, instead try to get heavier and heavier on the dead lift but don’t necessarily have it a goal to have unlimited growth potential in the squat. Get to the point where – what the article says is “everyone should be able to squat unassisted and unweighted whether it’s to poop all abroad, play blocks with your kids or performing nice morning grok stretch. And I’m kinda on the same page, I find that – while I can consistently add weight and do heavier and heavier dead lifts. Consistently adding weight with the squat, I almost always find that at some point, something kinda gets a little, a little tweak, a little ache, a little soreness, and then I got a – take a few weeks off at the squat and then return back to square one or close to it. So, I like that recommendation: train the dead lift and maintain the squat.
Ben: Another one is to leave some in the tank. I said not every training session has to be a breakthrough workout or can be a breakthrough workout. You don’t have to go to failure every time, so back off and occasionally don’t get the extra rep and leave one, or two, or maybe even three in the tank.
Brock: As a coach, that is something I am constantly harping on all of my clients about. Like stop going so hard. I wanna say easy, go easy!
Ben: Yeah, it’s also something that I’ve been kinda focusing on more recently is using slightly less weight and focusing on very good form and then stopping as soon as form starts to go out the window. Now if my goal is 10 reps, if I get to 7 and form is going out the window, I’ll stop. Another good one that I like is incorporate single arm and leg training, and the article says – squats and dead lifts, and overhead presses are great but have you tried lunges, single leg dead lifts and dumbbell presses. Assuming they’re referring to like one arm, overhead dumbbell presses and I’m a huge fan of that – that whole unilateral loading concept, and I know that there are some very well known strength coaches like Mike Boyle is an example of a guy who doesn’t have any of his athletes doing double leg squats anymore at all. They’re all single leg like pistol style squats or step-up or high knee step-ups and everything is unilateral simply because the logic there is that if you’re an athlete or if you’re moving how often, are you pushing around the weight with both feet planted vs. lunging or pushing or jumping your own body weight with just one foot or imbalance side to side motion, so. Really good article though, and I just scratch the surface, so I link to that one over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/311 if you wanna go read what our friends over at Mark’s Daily Apple have to say about whether your workout is worth the risk and how to mitigate the risk potential. And then the last one, is about saunas and this is a new data from a study on heart disease over in Finland, and the idea here is that they found that men who took more frequent saunas as in 4-7 times per week actually live longer than once per week sauna users. And, I would imagine we could probably extrapolate this and say live longer than no per week sauna users. And they didn’t really know the exact mechanism of action for the greater longevity whether it’s the time spent in hot room or the relaxation time, or the leisure or the life that allows for more time spent in the sauna or like the camaraderie and fellowship that you might have in the sauna just like talking to the guys or the girls or whatever, but ultimately I think that when you combine this with some of the scientific information that we unveiled when we talked with Dr. Rhonda Patrick, right about how doing weekly or multiple time per week sauna treatments increases your production of heat shock proteins, increases your nitric oxide production, decreases blood pressure, increases stress resilience.
There are a lot of really cool things – increase in brain derive neurotropic factor, right, for neuronal growth. So even though this particular health benefits of sauna bathing article and this was in the Journal of the American Medical Association, even though it didn’t get in to a lot of those physiological effects, which surprised me ‘cause I would have thought that they would kinda look in to some of that stuff, it turns out that…
Brock: Yeah, otherwise it’s pretty much just a socioeconomic study by people who can afford to go have a switz one to five times a week or obviously probably you know, better situation.
Ben: Yeah I mean, it may even be a little bit of that. You know, your skin is your body’s largest detoxification organ and there could be some of that involve too in terms of everything from like heavy metal to estrogen metabolite removal from the sweating out through your skin. So ultimately, I think that if you’re listening in you should be influenced by this as well as that podcast I did with Dr. Rhonda Patrick about the benefits of heat exposure to go out of your way. One, and I mean, even in this state they were doing 4-7 times per week to just get warm or get hot, or get uncomfortable sweat going on for anything from 10-30 minutes. And my current protocol just to give you an example what I’m doing right now, is I…
Brock: Right now? Are you in a sauna right now?
Ben: Right now, exactly.
Brock: I thought so. You sound sweaty.
Ben: Uhm so, well I do – I don’t know if this counts but I have one of those infrared mats, right, I have this Biomat and I actually get pretty warm when I’m napping on that. And I take a nap almost everyday. Sometimes it’s just 10 minutes, sometimes it’s like 45 minutes but every single day I keep the Biomat under the bed, I take it out, I unroll it, I put it on the bed, I turn it on high and I just lay down on it. And that’s one thing that I’ll do for a kinda sort of sauna-esque treatment but to get more specific with this article, I actually go to the sauna, the dry sauna. I’m not a huge fan of the wet sauna because of the potential for fungus, for mold, for the higher ability of like airborne pollutants to hang around in that moist air but I go to the dry sauna. And I go to the dry sauna for about 30-40 minutes once a week, and generally what I’ll do is either listen to a podcast or an audio book and do yoga in the sauna, or I’ll bring some magazine or a pile of magazines that I’ve been wanting to get around to and I’ll just sit there in the sauna and read them. So that’s one thing that I do and then I also right now, am playing tennis twice a week and the place where I play tennis has saunas. So after I’m kinda warm, you know, after playing tennis for anything from 60-90 minutes, I’ll go in the sauna for about 10 minutes before I head home. And after each of those sauna sessions, those two 10 minute sessions and that one 30 minutes session, I take a nice cold shower for just 2, 3 minutes, step out – you know, when I’m not all sweaty and groady when I walk in the door, I’m not sweating on the car seat, and uhm, that’s it. So that’s my current sauna protocol if you wanna kinda get your creative wheels churning about ways that you can get the sauna and but ultimately it turns out that if you’re a) Finnish, and b) are willing to step into a sauna 4-7 times per week that it may lend you a little bit of longevity. So there you go, you don’t need to exercise, you don’t need to be healthy, all you gotta do is hit the sauna with all of your other Finnish friends.
Brock: So you made a pass the first round of the podcast towards and got yourself nominated, eh!
Ben: That’s right, eh!
Ben: podcastawards.com. Hey! I tell you what, if you’re listening in and you wanna support the show, not only that but you want me to get a coveted podcast award, and I actually don’t, I have to say – I don’t know what you get when you win aside from saying that you win the podcast awards.
Brock: Yeah, I wonder. Do you get a little statue of somethin’?
Ben: Well, you know, the New Media Expo which I’ve talked about on the show before, you can check it out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/nmx, they have the podcast awards down there. It’s right before the Las Vegas Spartan, so it’s like you go down, you go to the expo, you learn how to blog, how to podcast, how to do all these stuff but then they have the podcast awards there. So what I’m keeping my fingers crossed for, if enough people go to podcastawards.com and they vote, I want one of like the big gold – like the Oscar style statues except that maybe it’s got – maybe it’s holding a microphone or something like that. So yeah! That’s what I want. It’s podcast…
Brock: Are you gotta run the Spartan carrying it?
Ben: Ah, definitely I will. Yes.
Brock: Just strap it to your head or something?
Ben: Yeah, I will use it as my spear. Exactly. So…
Brock: It’s funny that you keep talking about these two events back to back as if there’s sort of a package. I’m willing to bet that you and maybe one other dude is doing both.
Ben: Oh! We have so many listeners though who both blog or podcast, or create online content who are also into fitness that there’s gotta be some folks who wanna go to the New Media Expo with me and also race the Spartan, so, and go now to the podcast awards ceremony.
Brock: Yeah. I think we should take a poll ‘cause I really – I do wanna know.
Ben: Anyways, rock the boat. Podcastawards.com, jot that down. Little good karma. So, the other thing is that this month’s Inner Circle – Healthy Home Workshop just launched. The reason I’m mentioning it because last week on the show we talk about how to help your kids get taller, and my wife said to take this to the whole next level. She did this big video and a giant article on PDF, on growing bigger, faster, stronger kids. And every month she does this healthy home workshops, so some of the other things she did this one was how to make healthy lard, which I know everyone has always wanted to know how to do. But actually, yes, she did all these crazy things with lard. She even made this little lard chips like this pork – what they call em’? Pork rinds?
Brock: Pork rinds?
Ben: Yeah, they’re like that except like the healthy kind and what else in this one – easy hoop houses like how to make a little garden in your backyard and cover it with this self-designed hoop house to like grow your own food in the winter. How to like…
Brock: Oh, I wonder if it would keep the raccoons out. We got raccoons like crazy here.
Ben: Probably was.
Brock: And they suck, they just wreck your garden.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I’m a fan for a shotgun for that personally but…
Brock: Yeah. I live downtown. That’s not cool.
Ben: (laughing) You could also use hoop house I guess.
Brock: I think I’d go to jail.
Ben: And then the other thing is wooden cutting board. She shows you all these different ways to condition, not just wood on your counter but also your wooden cutting boards to do things like remove bacteria and clean them, and increase their life, and she always go really interesting things in there. So it’s called The Healthy Home Workshop. It’s – really, I’m pretty impress with the stuff that she churns out every month and that’s all part of the Inner Circle. So I’ll put a link to that, or you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle or you can try the Inner Circle for $1. So, one dolla’.
Brock: One dolla’!
Ben: And then last couple of things. Two places: Paleo FX is comin’ up and…
Ben: Jessa is gonna be there doing a talk about Whipped Up Homemade Heavy Body and Face Lotion which just sounds crazy, fun. Sounds like a foam party. And then, I’m gonna be giving a couple of presentations including a potentially highly offensive presentation called the Pecha Kucha which is a 20 seconds slides over the course of 6 some odd minutes and all of that is gonna be at Paleo FX 2015. It is one of the only conferences that I get like slobbering at the mouth, excited about. Brock’s gonna be there, I’m gonna be there, Jessa’s gonna be there and you can check it out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/paleofx15. And then the last thing is New York City! There’s another conference right after that called The Less Doing Conference. And that one is where you learn about things like how to manage your email inbox, how to hack productivity, how to enhance your cognitive performance. I’m speaking, Dave Asprey speaking, Jordan Harbinger from a podcast called The Art of Charm which I’ve been on a couple of times speaking, some big marketer guy who use to sell carpets or something like that, now he’s like a multi, multi-millionaire, Joe Polish – he’s speaking. Should be really cool though so, you can get into that over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/doless. It’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/doless, and when you go there – you can only get in the conference but you can also get this like free call with Ari or a member of his team. So, lot’s of cool stuff there, lots of great special announcements. I know it was a lot to remember but if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/311, it’s all there, unveiled and free.
Brock: (singing) bengreenfieldfitness.com/311.
Listener Q & A:
Neeraj: Hi Ben and Brock! How’s it going? This is Neeraj. I’ve been following you for a long time. Thanks for all that you do. I have a question related to acid-alkaline diets for endurance athletes. Recently you have talked about a study that showed that supplementing with sodium bicarbonate helped increase time to exhaustion in endurance athlete. Does this have anything to do with alkalizing properties of sodium bicarbonate? There are also products like Acid Check that claimed to alkalize the body and improve performance and recovery in endurance athletes.
What are your thoughts on this? Does it make sense to supplement with sodium bicarbonate and/or products like Acid Check? Should endurance athletes make their diets more alkaline? Thanks.
Ben: I have a funny story about baking soda, Brock.
Brock: Oh no! I have a feeling I know where this is going.
Ben: So, baking soda, among other things that we talk about briefly, is a great way to get things moving in the morning if you know what I mean. It’s actually wonderful if you’re constipated.
Brock: Oh yeah!
Ben: (laughing) And you need to get things moving. Baking soda causes increased intestinal peristalsis. It basically causes you to poo things out and also because it’s a mineral, it attracts a lot of water into your large intestine. So as long as you’re careful to rehydrate afterwards and preferably even get a little bit of sea salt and electrolytes into your system afterwards to rehydrate you…
Brock: And don’t leave the house.
Ben: And don’t leave the house. It’s a good way to get your morning bowel movement. But I experimented with baking soda and like I do in many cases, rather than starting with the minimum effective dose and working my way up, I instead start with the largest possible dose to induce dumb and dumber style feet over your ears liquid poo explosions into the toilet and then work my way down. So I started with…
Brock: You were talking about this in the Inner Circle What We’re Doing Now video, weren’t you? I think you said something about wiping down the toilet when you’re done…
Ben: Uhm, yeah, yeah!
Brock: That’s a little graphic.
Ben: Yeah. You may wanna have some baby wipes nearby. Anyways though, no you don’t because I’ve done all the hard work for you or in this case, the soft mushy for you. Three teaspoons is too much folks. About – I’ve found the magic dose, at least for a guy like me. I’m about 180 pounds, about a slightly heaping teaspoon stirred into a glass of water in the morning. I actually mix it with lemon juice for even more potent alkalinizing effect which I’ll talk about why I do that in a second. And then, about a half hour later, you have a glorious morning bowel movement. And if you really want to get things moving, you drink this morning alkalinic tonic and then you do some yoga moves that are traditional yoga moves to get things moving down there. Like you can do some cat cow, right, where you get into crawl positioning, your arch back and then extend which is also great for moving spinal fluid. And you do the yoga move where you just lay on the ground on your back and you pull one knee to your chest for about 30 seconds, and then the other knee to your chest. And then a really good one is just like getting into a deep, deep squat and stretching your adductors. But I’m telling you what –I’m actually working on an article about this for the Ben Greenfield podcast about like a morning habit that can help you to have a nice morning poo ‘cause I actually got a lot of questions about my – the fact that all I do is like a giant morning 40 pound poo and then I don’t go to the bathroom anymore the rest of the day.
Brock: I think it was the 10-15 minutes of bowel. I was like – what?
Ben: Ten to fifteen minutes…
Brock: Your legs fall asleep after that long.
Ben: Nah! Not if you’re on a squatty potty. Anyways though, so kind of a segue from Neeraj’s question ‘cause he wants to know about this for performance benefits not just poo.
Brock: Wait, I’m gonna stop with that, that’s not a segue, that’s a – like a rat hole or a rabbit hole. Segue is actually a transition. That was just purely going off on a different direction that nobody wanted to stick.
Ben: Deep dark rabbit hole. So yes, sodium bicarbonate which is in fact kind of the active ingredient in something like a baking soda. That is a known ergogenic aid. Similar to caffeine, like caffeine is another one, creatine is another one. There’s actually, believe it or not, very few straight up ergogenic aids that in just about every study that have been done on them show benefit. So when we’re looking at sodium bicarbonate or baking soda, what studies have shown is that when you take and I’m gonna give you the all that you if you’re listening in, you into the math on this but here’s the amount. You take about 0.3 grams per kilogram of body weight.
Brock: Oh! That’s quite a lot.
Ben: Point three grams of body weight. Important here, two hours before any exercise that has the potential to produce a lot of lactic acid or a lot of hydrogen ion. Pretty much anything it’s like glycolytic short intense, even like a sprint triathlon or the short Spartan race would qualify something like that. You take it with water and preferably to stave off some of that gastric upset, you also take it with carbohydrates like sweet potato, or yam or something like that, and you actually do get an acid buffering effect when you use it. And sodium bicarbonate is the one that you would want. Sodium citrate which you often find as flavoring agent and has a preservatives and foods like club soda for example, that’s less studied and may not work quite as well as baking soda but sodium bicarbonate literally like the Arm & Hammer style baking soda, point three grams per kilogram of body weight and of course for the reasons that I just described regarding intestinal peristalsis, try it before you buy it.
Don’t necessarily do this before your big whatever – ironman that you’ve been training for nine months unless you wanna messy wet suit. So endurance exercise definitely the ergogenic benefits have been known for quite some time, more recently they’ve studied baking soda’s effect on weight lifting which also has the potential to create an acidic state due to the lactic acid that’s produced during weight training. When I say lactic acid, yeah, yeah, I know, lactic acid is – now we all know it’s a good thing, it gets shuttled up to the liver and converted into glucose and it’s use as a energy metabolite. But when I say lactic acid, I’m really talking about the hydrogen ions that during that process were using lactic acid get kicked off. Those are would increase the acidity but it’s just lactic acid as you need to kinda say it. Lactic acid is synonymous with those hydrogen ions being formed. So baking soda induces this alkalosis which buffers some of those hydrogen ions and manages the pH of your blood. So, when we’re looking at weight training, a recent study looked at a resistance training and in this study they used 80% of their max weight on the squat, and the bench press they did three sets of each exercise to failure and on random days in random order, they compared baking soda with the placebo. And in this case it was taken an hour before lifting, and the baking soda significantly improved the squat performance. It was actually more than a 25% improvement. The average total reps over three sets without baking soda, was about 24 and with baking soda, it was about 31. So they actually were able to get – what is that? Seven extra reps over the course of workout on the squats, and that’s pretty significant. And what they use in this case was 0.3 grams and actually comes out to being somewhat close to like a little less than a teaspoon I believe dissolved in a sweetened fluid so they actually again they combine it with a little bit of carbohydrate to stave off any type of gastric distress.
Brock: But it’s 0.3 grams per kilogram of body weight.
Ben: Well, it’s 0.3 for endurance studies – what they found is a 3 milligrams, right? Oh I’m sorry, that’s for a – I’m thinking of caffeine. 0.3 grams per kilogram of body weight two hours before exercise is what they’ve used in endurance studies. In this weight training study, all they used was 0.3 grams and that relatively small amount compared to endurance exercise. So either way, you know you can get away like for me I would say, use about a teaspoon or less than a teaspoon and just kinda experiment a little bit before you take this to the street or to your local crossfit box or whatever. So yeah. And then…
Brock: Don’t be that guy.
Ben: As far as a lot of people say – Oh, you can’t change the alkalinity of the blood because the pH of your blood is regulated by all the natural buffers of the human body. And it is kinda true like if the pH of your blood falls below about 7.3, that’s a condition called acidosis, and that can lead to some pretty significant central nervous system depression. And severe acidosis where your pH goes below 7, that can cause coma and it can cause death. Now, if the pH of your blood goes above, about 7.4 or 5, that’s called alkalosis and in this case that’s not necessarily a good thing and this is why you need to be careful if you have one of these alkalinizing like counter top water units because severe alkalosis can lead to all the nerves in your body to become hypersensitive and over-excitable. It can lead to seizures, muscle spasms, extreme nervousness, anxiety, convulsions and in some cases getting too alkalinic can cause death. I haven’t heard of anybody dying from counter top water units but I have spoken with people who got them and one person in particular, their kids started having seizures. And they have this thing dialed up to the max, you know, way up to the maximum of alkalinity. So you gotta be careful with this stuff. So the pH of course for those of you who need to remember back to Chemistry 101 or never have the pleasure of taking it, that’s just a measure of how acidic or alkaline that a liquid is. And when we look at this with respects to human health, those liquids are your body fluids.
Ben: …so you have your intracellular fluid and that’s all the fluid that’s found inside all of your cells. as the name would imply, intracellular fluid and that’s also often called cytosol. And that makes up about two-thirds of the total amount of fluid in your whole body, it’s just hanging around inside your cells called cytosol. And then you have your extracellular fluid and that’s all the fluid that’s outside the cells. And it’s basically made up of plasma – that’s the fluid that makes up all of your blood and then, interstitial fluid, and that’s all of the fluid inside the spaces that surround your tissues. That would be like fluid that’s found in your eyes and in your joints, and between all the membranes that surround like your abdominal cavities and your respiratory cavities. So, when we look at all these liquids, your cells actually require your blood to maintain a pH that’s right in the range of about 7.35 to 7.45 in order for all of your necessary metabolic functions to happen the right way. So 7.35 to 7.45. And for the most part, you have buffering systems that help this to occur really, really well. You have for example, what’s called carbonic acid and bicarbonate buffer system – which allow you to like breathe off CO2 and get rid of acidity that way. Your proteins have a buffer system. You got another buffer system that’s made up of phosphates. And then you also are able to eliminate hydrogen ions via your kidneys. We look at the kidneys and we look at respiration and we look at the buffer systems in your blood, for the most part your body does a pretty good job regulating pH all by itself. So the question then is, why would you want to use things like, you know, baking soda or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice or any of these things we see are alkalinizing? Well the reason is that if you look at something let’s say, one of those buffer system like the phosphate buffer system. Well the way that that one work is that it uses different what are called phosphate ions in your body to neutralize acids and almost 90% of those phosphate ions that are used in this phosphate buffer system come from calcium phosphate or calcium phosphate salts that’s what they’re called. And those are the structural components of your bones and your teeth. So, if your body’s fluids get regularly exposed to these big quantities of acid forming foods and liquids, processed sugar, starches, red meats can be up there when consumed in excess amounts, commercial dairy, things like that – your body draws on its calcium phosphate reserves to supply your phosphate buffer system with what it needs to buffer the acid forming effects of your diet. So over time you can look at things like osteoporosis or degrading the teeth for example. So when we’re looking at this acid alkaline balance, yes, your body can buffer acids, but it can be stressful on your body to have to constantly be doing so. And that’s why I’m always careful to eat foods that have a moderate alkalinizing effect or at least include things like that in the diet on a regular basis. So, baking soda can do that, lemon juice can do that, there are other examples like sprouts are really good, garlic is really good, ginger is fantastic for this. And you can easily do a search for like acid alkaline food charts and just like hang one in your refrigerator, so you start get familiar with the fact that for example, all those things that we suspect like alcohol and pop and soda, tobacco, coffee, sugar – stuff like that, that’s all acidic. And then, many of these other, mostly produce really – it’s highly alkalinic. So, that’s the idea, you know it gives you more than a performance effect, it’s also a health effect that you get when you’re consuming alkalinic or alkalinizing compounds like this. One other thing I should mention is aluminum. Have you heard of this Brock, that there’s concerns about like aluminum and baking soda?
Brock: Like in the stuff that we’re just buying to make baking with?
Ben: Yeah, there’s a myth out there that baking soda has aluminum in it.
Brock: Ha, haven’t heard that.
Ben: Yeah, well you obviously, have not been spending a lot of time on all the internet forms in which people are concern about having metals in the stuff that they eat. I don’t know what you’re doing with your time, but seriously Brock.
Brock: Yeah, I don’t go to those kind of heavy metal things, I go to the other kind of heavy metal things.
Ben: I think part of it is because baking soda is in a lot of antiperspirants and so because antiperspirants and deodorants have aluminum in them people think that baking soda has aluminum in it. But the baking soda, most anything you gotta buy in the stores is just 100% sodium bicarbonate. That’s all that it is. Now baking powder on the other hand, that has sodium bicarbonate but they also put ingredients in it that act as acidifying agents because sometimes when you add something that’s too alkalinic to a recipe, you don’t get the leavening action where that’s why baking powder would be…
like if I make quiche for example, I’ll scramble up a butter, I’ll scramble a bunch of eggs or some coconut milk and I’ll chop off some avocado and I’ll put that in there. But then I’ll put a teaspoon of baking powder in there so when I put that in the oven, it’ll rise nicely and make this nice fluffy quiche. Now if that baking powder is too alkalinic then that won’t happen but unfortunately, one of the acidifying agents that they’ll use in addition to something called cream of tartar, and that’s the better acidifying agent to use. Another one that a lot of folks will use is aluminum-based acid. So that’s why if you’re buying baking powder, you wanna look for aluminum-free designation on the label. But with baking soda, baking soda does not contain aluminum even the probably most famous example the Arm & Hammer– that’s 100% sodium bicarbonate. So if you’re looking for aluminum-free, realize it’s baking powder where that matters not baking soda. Now I realize this is a really long response. I promise that my responses to all the questions won’t be this long if you’re listening in, you’re concern about this being a two-hour long podcast, but you’ll note that Neeraj also asked about supplements, right? Like these supplements that are considered acid-reducing supplements like for example this Acid Check that you talked about which is actually marketed as a body acid-reducer. And I’ve actually seen the ads for this in like, a lot of magazine for example. And when you look at the ingredients of Acid Check it is essentially salt, calcium, magnesium and potassium, for example, in their capsule that’s what you’ll find. And when you look at the ingredient label calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, potassium chloride and then also just some fillers like magnesium stearate and silicone, stuff like that. Ultimately, the mechanism of that action something like this is very, very similar to that of sodium bicarbonate meaning that it has just like this alkalinizing effect that helps to buffer, those are all buffers: calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide. So you’re potentially paying a lot of money for something that you may be able to simulate the effects of with baking soda. The only caveat here is that many times when you’re using something like calcium and magnesium and potassium, these may have less of an intestinal peristaltic effect than baking soda and so if you find that you do get you know, the dumb and dumber effect from baking soda even in small amounts, that’s where you may wanna try something like a mix of different buffers. But understand that really there’s nothing special about any of these formulas. They’re just salts, you know, they’re calcium salts and magnesium salts and potassium salts mixed into a capsule and then the label slapped on them and they’re sold for, you know, anywhere from five to ten times more than the actual ingredients costs. And I’ve nothing against capitalism right? If you come out with a good product and you package it with a convenient way that helps people, fine. But just know if you’re listening in that it’s just a buffer. You could probably get something similar with baking soda but the advantage of the baking soda is that you also get a nice poo.
Brock: We’re definitely gonna have to use the screenshot from Dumb and Dumber for this podcast.
Ben: Haven’t we done that in like two other posts, though?
Brock: Yeah, we’ve got it on hand.
Ben: We definitely have that one in the – how do they say? In the coffers?
Janine: Hi Ben! What are some natural ways to increase your glutathione production? I don’t really want to spend any more money in buying the liquid glutathione although I know it’s effective. So, any insight you have would be great. Thank you and keep up the great work.
Brock: Any way you can do it without taking liposomal glutathione that tastes like – what did we decide it was dog farts?
Brock: Perm? Herperm?
Ben: Liquid dog farts meets perm solution.
Ben: Two of the most sulphurous compounds known to man. What comes out of the dogs behind and what you smear in your hair to make it curly – both are pretty full of sulphur and that is why when you take like this sublingual glutathione, which I was talking about earlier, it actually is something that I’ll take when I travel. And yes, I do pop some mint gum afterwards, ‘cause it gives you this nice sulphurous dragon breath. But glutathione is what’s known as the master antioxidant and it’s just the molecule that has three different proteins in it. There are amino acids, cystine, glutamine and glycine. And so your body with adequate amounts of those amino acids in it can produce its own glutathione. And the fact is that most glutathione that you would actually consume that is the glutathione molecule, unless it is sublingual, it’s not very well absorbed in your digestive tract. That is why you have to put up with this nasty sulphur breath
if you are gonna use glutathione in its straight up supplemental form. Now why would you need extra? Well technically, you only really need extra when you’re stressed, right? Like when you’ve been doing airline travel or when you had a very, very difficult workout and you need a, you know, fight off a little bit of extra inflammation; or perhaps…
Brock: Or even, pound them the brewskies…
Ben: Yeah or maybe- I mean you got a low intake of amino acids. I don’t know, maybe you’re vegan, you’re a vegetarian or you’re not doing a good job with your soaking and you’re sprouting and you’re fermenting and so you need help producing you own antioxidants just because your amino acid intake is low. But either way, you don’t have to use a glutathione supplements. It can be expensive and like I mentioned, unless you get this stuff that doesn’t taste very well when you put into your mouth, then you are gonna be wasting your money anyways, because it’s not really gonna be absorbed. So as you would probably guess, some of the best things to increase your own natural glutathione production are the stinky sulphur rich vegetables. Some of my favorites would be like garlic, onions, parsley is pretty good, and then of course your cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, kale to a certain extent has some. So…
Brock: You just described my lunch!
Ben: Yeah, I mean you can easily work this into salads, smoothies, things along those lines like I’ll often put parsley and cilantro and with kale in a morning green smoothie. And usually I’ll put some avocado in there as well and avocado actually has some sulphur in it also. So, that’s a big thing. Be aware that cooking because it will degrade some of those amino acids and break apart the glutathione molecule, it can reduce the glutathione content in the vegetables by up to 60%. And when you can a vegetable, you have complete elimination of glutathione. So just know that they way that you prepare those vegetables preferably in like the raw, unadulterated form is pretty good. A lot of people have heard of this before and it is true, whey protein has pretty much every glutathione precursor you would need in it. It’s got cysteine, it’s got lactoferrin, it’s got peptide, it’s got what are called immunoglobulins and so like a way good whey protein preferably like a whey protein powder that does not contain artificial sweeteners, that does not contain a bunch of extras, that preferably is not in a giant can that you bought from the bargain bin at the supplement store and has either a photo of a woman with cut abs and a bikini on it or a guy doing some type of pose while making a gritting teeth face on it.
Brock: Those who are wearing a bikini of some sorts.
Ben: Those would be the whey proteins to avoid. So there are some whey – like I use – there’s a few that I “approve” Mt. Capra has a goat-based protein – the molecule of goat whey is a little bit smaller. It’s a little bit more bio-dynamically favorable and by the way, we are buying our goats next month for our little goat pen we’re building here.
Ben: Yeah. So pretty soon I won’t need to buy colostrum.
Brock: Are you going to butcher them?
Ben: No, I’m just gonna go out there and suck the teeth each morning for the colostrum.
Brock: Oh, good.
Ben: And yeah, as far as the whey goes we will be able to make our own whey out of the milk. So, anyways though, a good non-denatured whey protein that preferably comes something else than a cow, but if you are gonna go with a cow, look for grass-fed cow and look for protein that’s cold processed without a lot of sweeteners or other additives. I’ll put a link to a few good whey proteins.
Brock: I thought that grass-fed was pointless when it was a whey protein.
Ben: That is true. If it’s a whey protein isolate – if it’s a whey protein isolate that doesn’t contain a lot of the actual like the dairy proteins, going with grass-fed organic is not quite as important as just looking for the absence of like artificial sweeteners and things along those lines. So, grass-fed whey concentrate on the other hand which is a little bit different than the isolate, you’d wanna go for grass-fed if you’re getting like a whey protein concentrate or a whey protein mixed with a casein. But as far as like a whey protein isolate, grass-fed isn’t necessarily something that you have to do. Now whey concentrate – for people who can tolerate lactose, whey protein concentrate usually has more of the lactoferrins, more of the immunoglobulin, more of what’s called the albumin in it. And so it’s technically a more complete protein for us. But people who are sensitive to lactose including myself, have trouble with whey concentrate whereas isolate has little to no fat. It’s got minimal carbohydrate in it but a lot of times the extra benefits of the cattle being grass-fed when it comes to a whey protein isolate are not quite as high so it may not be worth the extra money to buy like a grass-fed whey isolate. And just look for something that comes from cows that aren’t treated with hormones and a protein that isn’t low to group like artificial colors or sweetener. Does that make sense?
Ben: Okay. Cool. So whey protein isolate – that be in other way, in addition to the sulphur-based vegetables kinda kick start your own glutathione production. A few other ways that you could do this: one would be anything that would be like a farm type product like fresh raw milk or raw eggs. Both of those have been shown to promote glutathione production but once you treat them with heat, that obliterates a lot of the proteins, a lot of the co-factors and a lot of the live cultures that allow you to produce your own glutathione from those sources. S0…
Brock: It obliterates it, eh?
Ben: Obliterates. So you’d technically have to get it something unpasteurized. So if you’re, you know, and what I may say here is tough but like fresh raw milk and raw eggs from a local farm that haven’t been heat processed, that will help you to produce your own glutathione. Alpha-Lipoic Acid helps your body to regenerate its own glutathione and one of the best ways to get alpha-lipoic acids are red meats and organ meats. And again, everything in moderation I just got done talking about acidity and alkalinity and if you were to eat liver every day, and if you were to eat giant portions of red meat every day, you would get a lot of glutathione precursors but you would also be getting a pretty big net acidic load. For that reason, I’m pretty careful. I alternate, I do fish and eggs some days and I’ll do red meat some days. I’ll do some type of a liver meat or organ meat once every week to once every two weeks, but I’m not doing bacon for breakfast and some cut-up steak on my salad for lunch and then you know, a giant cut of beef for dinner. I’m careful with the meat, I don’t do too much of it but I do include it. So that’s something to be careful with as well, all you paleo folks who worship the beef, the almighty beef – just be careful. And then finally, curcumin – actually, I am doing an experiment right now. I had a tennis match on Sunday and about half-way through that tennis match I twit my knee a little bit and so I have been using curcumin. And this morning actually took – speaking of the baking soda experiment and starting big- I took four grams of curcumin this morning. Just to see what the pain killing effect was like because unlike Tylenol or Ibuprofen it has a pretty potent pain killing and anti-inflammatory effect but it does not do a number on your gut. So I went with high dose of curcumin this morning but interestingly, that can also enhance glutathione metabolism. Now I have had no ill effects aside from the fact that my toe nails are yellow and I’m peeing like orange-ish in the toilet.
Ben: Smells like curry. No, I’m just kidding.
Brock: I was concerned there for a second like you should go to the hospital.
Ben: I was going to say maybe it’s total placebo, but my knee feels fine right now and this was like two hours ago I took. I used the Thorne Rebound – it’s one gram and two capsules. I took eight capsules of it just to see what the pain killing effect was like. So…
Ben: Feel good. Feel good.
Ben: So this is just like a good high dose of curcumin and know that curcumin is not absorbable, unless it’s bound to like a fat. So you wanna look for curcumin phytosome. Many supplement companies nowadays use a form out of India called meriva, m-e-r-i-v-a. That’s the form of curcumin you wanna look for if you want both the glutathione production and also the pain-killing effects. I’ll put links to a lot of the stuff over on the show notes but those are some of the best ways to increase your glutathione without getting liquid dog fart breath.
Jason: Hi Ben! My name is Jason and recently I’ve been using a product called Primal Sports Mud to help with recovery after a hard workout. You apply a thin layer of this mud to the affected area, you wrap it and you apply heat and it’s supposed to help aid in muscle recovery. So my question is: how exactly does applying a topical solution to your skin helps your muscle recover faster? Big fan of podcast, thanks for everything you guys do and I hope to hear from you soon.
Ben: You’ve heard of this stuff, Brock?
Brock: I think I have. I thought it was a – oh no, I’m thinking of the Primal Paste which is a deodorant.
Ben: That’s a deodorant. So, I have this video over on Youtube. It’s not actually doing too bad, it’s got 1,311 views on it. And it is me in a Speedo smearing Dead Sea mud all over my body.
Brock: Oh, when you’re in the Middle East?
Ben: It got some interesting comments on that video including, “Yeah! But will this help me during Ironman, bro?” is one question or one comment. Another comment says, “You’re such a smug bastard, Greenfield. I’d kick your lankly ass.”
Ben: That’s a good one.
Brock: That’s nice.
Ben: What are the other comments on this video? Someone has a – looks like a spam comment about anti-hair loss, regrowth shampoo – not really sure how that one made it through on to the video, but I’ll put a link to this video in the show notes. I’ll just embed the video in the show notes if you wanna view it.
Brock: Yeah, then you don’t have to go to Youtube and see the comments section. Nobody needs to read the comment section.
Ben: Dead Sea mud is something that’s really rich in minerals. It’s got like magnesium, sodium and potassium and calcium. And it’s been studied quite a bit for its health benefits and its healing properties and that’s why so many people do like I did. They go to the Dead Sea to like smear this mud on their body or do like Dead Sea mud treatments and all of the spas will offer this mud masks and mud treatments. So if you look at like facial skin, you can minimize pores, you can decrease wrinkles when you use mud to draw things out of your face and there are even these masks that they sell that you can literally mix with a little water and you keep it in your bathroom. Typically, it’s clay and it produces a mud-type texture and you smear that on your face and you leave it on there for like an hour and then you rinse it off and hope that the mailman doesn’t come to the door during the time that your face is covered in mud.
Brock: Or you hope that he does.
Ben: Exactly. Amen. Or the pool boy. Okay. So anyways, a few other things in terms of the mineral content of for example is Dead Sea Mud that a lot of people use. It’s got these minerals that help to accelerate exfoliation as you just learned, minerals having the effect on Ph, your skin does have a pH and mud or minerals can help to restore your skin’s pH balance. When you look at something like topical magnesium and magnesium baths that a lot of people take: one of the reasons they do this is it promotes blood circulation, another reason I’ll do it is it will offset calcium which can cause some soreness and so you’ll get a little bit of a decrease in soreness, a little bit of improvement in circulation, and some people will even smear a Dead Sea mud on areas that have cellulite for this increase circulation that may help some of that cottage cheese-like fat appearance to get flattened out. They found other – there was one research study that was done at Ben Gurion University in Israel, they found that patients that were treated with mud compresses taken from mineral-rich Dead Sea mud reported less knee pain from osteoarthritis. So that was interesting but of course, whatever comes out of Israel which is where the Dead Sea is, you always got to wonder whether it might possibly be a skewed research or affected by the fact that it is one of the major tourism destinations in Israel. So, in looking in at some of the other studies that were for example, in the Journal of Rheumatology, the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary medicine, the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, Joint and Spine journal. And I’ll put a link to this over on the show notes some of the PubMed research. There’s actually a lot of research with mud packs for chronic low back pain, for arthritic issues, for smearing mud on joints and it’s actually helping. It can help to draw fluid and inflammation out of the joints when you use like a mud compress or mud rub. So a lot of really interesting studies on the effects of mud, particularly on skin health, on wrinkles and on joint health. Now, when we turn to this Primal Sport Mud stuff, unfortunately, I think that maybe they need to go to this science to give themselves a little bit more accreditation, shall we say, because here’s what they say about Primal Sport Mud. Maybe we should play some, like some mystical music as I read this, some mystical Eastern music. (music playing) “When heat is applied to Primal Sport Mud, its jet black color and molecular structure absorb and convert the heat into beneficial infrared energy – which stimulates micro circulation. Improved circulation removes toxins and speeds up recovery so you can spend less time being sore and more time doing what moves you! Primal Sport Mud is all natural, raw and exactly what your body needs.” Thank you. You can mail your checks to me. Anyways though, so yeah I mean, their description of it is a little but more airy-fairy I don’t know about this whole – I couldn’t find any studies that showed that the molecular structure of mud can help to convert heat into infrared energy. I’m not sure about all of that. All I know is that there’s minerals in mud. Can I out this simplistically? There’s minerals in mud and that’s gonna have an effect. Everything else they’re claiming on this site, I don’t know about, I haven’t seen any research about, I’m not sure if there’s any difference between this and just like getting yourself some dirt right?
Some good mud from your garden and smearing it on your body or on your joints with the exception being that since it’s packaged in a sexy little bottle and everything, maybe you know, it’s worth it. Maybe the folks from Primal Sport Mud will write us and tell us about some magical ingredient in their mud that I don’t know about ‘cause I actually wasn’t amplifying a form of ingredient for this stuff but ultimately, yeah.
Brock: That’s never a good sign.
Ben: Yeah. There are some benefits to mud for sure. Kinda like – what was something else we were talking about earlier like the baking soda thing, right? Like you may be able to just go for baking soda instead of an overpriced supplement. You maybe be able to just go for mud from your backyard, rather than you know, Primal Sports Mud. But ultimately…
Brock: Well, if you’re gonna wrap it – and then heat as well feels like you could probably just wrap and apply heat and it will probably feel pretty nice as well without the mud.
Ben: I like to go on and just roll around on my garden bed. My wife gets kinda pissed because I dig up all the onions, but it’s nice.
Tyler: Hello Ben and Brock! My name is Tyler and my case today is a problem that is labelled “Snapping Hip Syndrome”. Basically when I’m lying on my back and I go to lower my left leg just before the foot meets the ground, I hear this loud clunking noise and although I am not in pain I have a restricted mobility in my left hip or psoas which inhibits me from doing any long or strenuous running or cycling without that right side overcompensating and wearing out with tightness in the GFO and IT band and all that stuff. So I’m really looking for any info that you might have on releasing a impinged hip and maybe some insight that goes beyond the traditional smashing or stretching as I do this religiously and still have not found any relief whatsoever. So thank you, guys and keep up the amazing work with podcast.
Brock: I got snapping hips, I got snapping knees, I got snapping shoulders.
Ben: Ooooh, snap!
Ben: Yeah, I mean, snapping hip syndrome happens actually to a lot of athletes and it occurs for two different reasons. You can get what’s called extra-articular snapping hip syndrome and usually that happens when one leg is longer than the other. Sometimes it can happen when your IT band is really tight. Sometimes it can happen when you have weak what are called external rotators. This is actually seen in a lot of runners like a lot of endurance athletes who do like chronic repetitive motion and not enough side to side motion and you get this popping – the actual sound that you’re hearing is when the thick part of the IT band or the front part of the gluteus maximus what’s called the anterior gluteus maximus, those are rubbing over that boney point on the outside of your hips called the greater trochanter, okay? So basically is a muscular imbalance or a leg-length discrepancy that causes actual soft tissue like tendons, to rub over the outside of your hip. Now it can also happen with what’s called an intra-articular effect. An intra-articular snapping is usually when you’ve torn something. That’s like a torn labrum or you’ve rocked your hip out of joint a few times called the hip subluxation, you’ve got like an articular cartilage tear, you’ve got cartilage breakdown in the hip and that’s less common. Usually that’s gonna happen like to people who are really old/ have beat up their bodies a lot with like a ton of running. Typically it’s the extra-articular snapping hip syndrome that you’re experiencing. And like I mentioned, sometimes you gotta go down the rabbit hole. Did I used that term correctly, Brock?
Brock: I believe you did. I’m so proud.
Ben: So look at the flexibility of your IT band. I’m not saying super-flexible IT bands are a good thing because you want some amount of tension in your legs to produce force but for example, if you’re rolling your IT band and it’s just teeth grittingly bad and you have very, very little external rotator flexibility in your IT band then that might be an issue. Like if you’re unable to sit crossed leg in a chair comfortably, that can be a pretty good sign that your IT band is too tight. So when you’re looking at leg-length differences, typically you actually need to get an x-ray to determine a true anatomical leg-length discrepancy but more often, leg-length discrepancies are due to issues with mobility in what’s called your sacroiliac joint. So if you go see a good sports chiropractor they could not only tell you that your IT band or if your IT band is tight, but they can also evaluate your SI joint and even adjust your SI joint if it’s too tight.
So that’s another route you could go to get your SI joint looked at. And then finally when I’m talking about weakness in the abductors and the external rotators causing that anterior part of the gluteus maximus to snap over the greater trochanter of your hip, best way to fix that is to – a lot of people like to do the clamshell exercise. You’ve see this one, Brock?
Ben: When you get on crawl position and you hike your leg. People call that the fire hydrant exercise ‘cause it’s like the…
Brock: It’s the Jane Fonda.
Ben: The Jane Fonda. What’s that exercise device she created? The –oh, what’s it called? The bimaster?
Brock: Oh no, it wasn’t Jane Fonda. That was a – the lady from Three’s Company- Suzanne Somers.
Ben: Yeah, the exercise lady. From the 70’s exactly, before I was born. Anyways though…
Ben: I like it better than that ‘cause I think it’s more functional when you’re standing in doing this. I like wrapping the elastic band or the mini band between the ankles and doing the side to side monster walks, exactly. That’s a really good one that you can just do on a weekly basis literally to failure like I’ll throw that in sometimes when I haven’t been doing a lot of side to side or I haven’t made it out on the trails much, I’ll do that side to side movement and so I’ll just go back and forth with that band and literally walk across the room until my – the outside of both hips is like done, just fatigued and that’s it. So those are some of the things I would go after I mean if you have to, you can get like corticosteroid injections and that’ll decrease some of the pain and you can – some people even get like surgical treatment for their intra-articular stuff but everything I just described you, 90% of the time it gets rid of the snap in the hips. I used to get this all the time when I was doing triathlon until I started focusing on my external rotator strength and my IT band tightness. So those are the things I would look at when it comes to your snapping hip.
Brock: And speaking of snap.
Brock: Have we got an iTunes review this week?
Ben: Ah, we do!
Brock: We can give away some swag.
Ben: Yeah, so if you leave a review in iTunes, right after you finished voting in the podcast awards, ‘cause you’re just gonna spread good karma all over the place like mud. Then…
Brock: Karma’s everything.
Ben: If you hear us read your review on the show and e-mail, and it’s actually a different email address now. It’s – the email [email protected].
Ben: We’ll specifically send you a Ben Greenfield Fitness water bottle, a cool tech t-shirt and a sweet little beanie which I was actually wearing at the gym yesterday.
Brock: I was wearing it on the trails, yesterday.
Ben: Nice. If you wanna support the show, you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear and just like buy that stuff but ultimately, looks like we have review from HugoABQ and they say, “Highly recommend this podcast” they gave us five stars, which is awesome!
Brock: Five stars!
Ben: And Brock, you wanna take this one away?
Brock: Yes, first I wanna say, HugoABQ if you do hear this and you write into [email protected] do not be freaked out by the amount of s’s in that email address.
Ben: There are a lot of s’s, yes.
Brock: Yeah. It freaks me out every time. But anyway, the review goes like this: “The Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast is in my top two health and fitness podcasts.” It’s in his top two.
Ben: So who’s the other one? Who’s he’s cheating on us with?
Brock: Ben system all the way to…
Ben: Better not be Jillian Michaels?
Brock: Actually I was actually thinking it’d probably with Littrell. That’d even make me more angry.
Ben: No, I like Littrell, but I don’t know Jillian. Maybe I like Jillian Michaels, I don’t know but I haven’t hanged-out with her so. It can’t be Jillian Michaels, HugoABQ, or we won’t send you stuff. Alright, go ahead, Brock.
Brock: There you go. “Ben sweeps through all the latest research and presents it in a concise…” not today, concise went out of the window at the first question today. “…unbiased,”
Brock: I’d say he’s batting zero for two at the moment. Concise, unbiased.
Ben: Yes, because I’m not only inconcise and I drawn on. I’m not unbiased ‘cause I’m on the board of twenty different companies.
Brock: Horribly biased.
Ben: I’m horribly biased. What’s the last one?
Brock: “Easy to digest format.”
Ben: Yeah. I would say we document ‘cause we even show them how to poo.
Brock: Yeah! So he’s batting one for three.
Brock: Good for you Hugo. “And unlike any – unlike other podcast host like Jillian Michaels or Littrell, Ben has the self-experimentation results and fitness credentials to back up advise.”
Ben: Now I’m gonna back up – and then again, I’m only saying this Brock, ‘cause Littrell is a friend of mine. And I don’t wanna think that I said something bad ab0ut him.
Brock: No, it’s me. It’s me.
Ben: Okay, it’s totally you. I have no clue what your beef is with Littrell but just for the record I did not say anything about you, Rich, ‘cause I know you’re listening to each shows or you’re sitting by fire eating your kale and quinoa. So go ahead, Brock.
Brock: My biggest beef with Rich is he’s so damn handsome.
Brock: I hate him. “I have extracted several useful nuggets of information…” Oh, man, I’m such a failure, I can’t read the words… “ I have extracted several useful nuggets of information from this podcast and highly recommend you listen.”
Ben: Oh, Hugo you know I was a train wreck, dude. I’ll still gonna send this stuff.
Brock: It’s like four sentences that took us ten minutes to get through it.
Ben: So right into the show. Folks who’re listening in still which I really doubt you are, we’re gonna cut you loose and go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/311. Stay tuned this weekend for yet another fantastic weekend show and that one is going to be…
Brock: Forced bathing!
Ben: …about forced bathing which is more than just rolling around in your garden bed getting covered in mud. It’s gonna be a cool one. And then finally, the last thing and I’m totally blanking here, I was gonna say something super important. This is great podcasting by the way. I was gonna say something super important, I briefly blanked on it and now I remember it. If you’re not subscribed to the Ben Greenfield Fitness newsletter, do it because I have a super-duper cool announcement coming on Monday the 9th about some cool stuff I’m sending out via this new thing called Quarterly. So check that one out if you wanna get on the Quarterly . There’s gonna be a very limited number of people who will get a Quarterly box shipped straight to their doorstep. Stay tuned to the newsletter for that, they can sign up for free at bengreenfieldfitness.com. Thank you for listening. Good-bye.
Mar 4, 2015 Podcast: How To Use Baking Soda For Performance (And Alkalinity), Natural Ways To Increase Glutathione, Can Mud Help You Recover Faster, and What To Do About Snapping Hip Syndrome.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), 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 at the bottom of this page.
- So much for needing to finish that course of antibiotics.
- Is your workout worth the risk?
- Yet another reason to add at least a 1x/week sauna visit to your weekly regimen.
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This month’s Inner Circle Healthy Home Workshop with Jessa Greenfield is jam-packed with topics – including: How To Make Healthy Lard, DIY Wood Conditioner, Easy Hoop Houses and Growing Bigger, Faster, Stronger Kids! You can try the Inner Circle for 1 buck here. Already an Inner Circle member?Click here to upgrade to the Healthy Home Workshop.
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 and Jessa 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 (including Jessa’s “Whipped Up Homemade Heavy Body and Face Lotion.” and Ben’s potentially offensive Pecha Kucha presentation).
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.
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 Use Baking Soda For Performance (And Alkalinity)
Neeraj says: You recently talked about a study where taking Sodium Bicarbonate helped increase time to exhaustion. Is this because it lowers the acidity of the body? There are other supplements out there (like Acid Check) that claim the same thing. Should endurance athletes take these types of supplements, sodium bicarbonate or make their diets more alkaline?
In my response, I recommend:
–Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Natural Ways To Increase Glutathione
Janine says: She is looking for natural ways to increase her glutathione production. She knows she can supplement with it, and the liquid can be effective but she is hoping to not have to spend more money.
Can Mud Help You Recover Faster?
Jason says: Lately he has been using this stuff called Primal Sports Mud after his workouts. It is supposed to aid with recovery. You apply a thin layer to the affected area, wrap it and apply heat. How exactly does applying something to your skin help your muscles recover faster?
In my response, I recommend watching the video below… and also these mud and pain studies.
What To Do About Snapping Hip Syndrome
Tyler says: He has what is called “Snapping Hip Syndrome.” Basically, when he is laying on his back and he lowers his left leg, just before the foot meets the ground he hears a loud clunking sound. He also has limited movement in his psoas which causes his opposite hip to overcompensate when he does any long distances. What would you do to help or release this impingement issue in his hip… he already does the usual smashing and stretching religiously.