How To Legally Dope Your Blood (Without Actually Taking Illegal Drugs).

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

In the podcast episode “Shattering World Swim Records On 25-Piece Fried Chicken Buckets, Climbing Mountains While Eating Defatted, Vegan, Grass-Fed, Argentinian Liver Anhydrate & Much More” I interviewed athlete and supplement designer Craig Dinkel about a special blood oxygenating formula called “Biotropic”.

After that interview, I received an onslaught of questions about everything from grass fed liver anhydrate to cordyceps senesis to hidden benefits of beetroots, the detoxification properties of algae, whether it's really true you can get all the benefits of blood doping without actually blood doping and more.

So today, Craig is back to answer those questions, and during our discussion, you'll discover:

-The one compound that research has shown to cause a 58% chance of a decrease in catching the common cold and the duration of a cold by 1 to 4 days…[9:20]

-The mechanism of action via which algae can detoxify your blood…[14:55]

-How algae can convert nitrates to nitric oxide…[19:05]

-Why chlorella could be the perfect pre-sex supplement…[20:50]

-How the polysaccharides in cordyceps contribute oxygen molecules to the blood…[22:10]

-The mechanism of action for corydceps to increase endurance or oxygenation…[28:15]

-How echinacea increases red blood cells in four different ways…[30:30]

-What it means for grass fed liver to be “anhydrated” or “dessicated”…[35:25]

-What it means for the iron in the liver to be “heme”…[38:40]

-The surprising way that beets support muscle stem cell repair…[44:00]

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

BioTropic Blood Oxygenating supplement (use code “ben” to get a 20% discount)

-Study: The Use of Echinacea to Improve Oxygen Transport Capacity

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Craig or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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33 thoughts on “How To Legally Dope Your Blood (Without Actually Taking Illegal Drugs).

  1. Sara says:

    Would you recommend Biotropics Chlorella for someone with a congested liver? Concerned that the blood detoxification effects might congest the liver even further. In your opinion would you clear the liver (via dandelion, milk thistle, beets, handling gut issues, etc) first before starting the Biotropics Chlorella supplement or would it be safe to aid in/enhance gut and liver detox?

  2. Sara says:

    Hi Ben!

    I am a new listener/reader and learn so much from your material. You are great at what you do!

    Quick background — I am a 29 year old female, in general good health, but have ongoing issues with insomnia and ADD/anxiety. I have had a sluggish liver since childhood (always got bad hangovers, even as a teenager, and am Rx med sensitive.) My liver gets easily congested, even though I eat well, and when it is at it’s worst I can tell as my sleep quality lessens and my total cholesterol drops. I had a GI test and have tested positive for h pylori and yeast, among other things. I’m currently treating those with herbs but still have issues with liver congestion. My question for you is can chlorella aid in cleaning out/strengthening the liver or is it recommended to clear the liver first before taking any chlorella/spirulina (similar to a metal detox, but obviously on a much milder level) ? I don’t want to overload my already weak liver with metals/blood detox materials if it doesn’t detox the liver at the same time.

    Appreciate your insight!!

  3. Marni says:

    I checked Biotropics www; wanted to see the content label. Didn’t seem to be there– curious as to the amounts of each of these fantastic compounds are in a serving (?)

    I would like to see the amounts in the supplement similar to what amounts where found to be successful in the quoted studies.

    Did I miss where I can find this information?

  4. Meg Kaz says:

    Excellent Podcast! I’m thinking of buying the AFA as it’s targeted to mid to ultra distance runners. I’m a marathoner at heart and am curious to see if these help me power through my training runs week after week. Would you suggest the AFA or the Chlorella one? I feel like everyone is raving about the Chlorella one instead.. please advise !

    1. Hey Meg! Here's a response from Craig:

      The basis of the formulas are thematic and healthy support that the ingredients provide are too much to list. They both offer healthy support for superior B Suite vitamins, blood development, electrolytes, energy enhancement, oxygen delivery systems, nitric oxide stimulation, immune support, and more. However, what differentiates them are what I call the "Prime Movers" within each vis a vis Chlorella or AFA.

      With the foregoing as a basis, AFA is thought to support recovery, muscle repair, mood enhancement (nootropic effect). Chlorella is thought to be a superior – arguably the best – "blood development" source as it is believed to bind with heavy metals, toxins and pollutants in the bloodstream and eliminate them from the body.

      I'd say if any part of your competitions and training requires better focus, mood enhancement, and, if recovery is on your list, try AFA. If the idea of healthy support for "cleaner blood" is appealing – as it is to me – try Chlorella. Lastly, if your budget allows, combining them is also a way to gain the benefits of each.

  5. Kardo says:

    Hi Ben,

    Seems like cordyceps militaris would be more effective for athletic performance (specially for VO2max).…

  6. Greg S says:

    Will the AFA supplement be a beneficial stack for races at altitude?

  7. christine says:

    Hi Ben – just discovered your podcast. Really digging it so far. Lots of useful info and its getting me back into my research on health. Question – the biotropic says its for “elite athletes”. I def wouldn’t consider myself an elite athlete…barely an athlete haha. I work out, lift heavy (for my size) 4-5 a week. Was wondering if i’d still get the benefits by taking??

    1. Yes, you can totally use this for everyday use. U do not need to be a professional athlete. ;)

  8. Charles says:

    Is BioTropic a supplement that should always be taken before exercise to reap the full benefits or should it be taken every day as a standard nutrition/supplement protocol? Put another way – is the timing of the supplement important i.e., before or after exercise bout?

    Great podcast – as always!

    1. Hey Charles, here's a response from Craig:

      Three answers here in no particular order:
      1) If you're an athlete, I suggest taking ahead of time on training or exercise days, and during competition if you can. Speaking for myself, it acts like a high octane fuel – so I "fuel up." That way it's in the bloodstream for the workouts and for competitions and lifts me through it all.
      2) Again, for athletes, it's great to take as an everyday standard nutritional supplement too because of the healthy content in it and you can maintain a this way "load." Personally I take it only on training days for the reasons stated in point 1, but each should make their own choice!
      3) For non athletes or folks who are moving just a bit – like walking or not doing much else – I'd suggest as an everyday nutritional supplement. I've had more than one Health Practitioner tell me that "everyone" should be using it for that reason alone.

  9. Joe says:

    Hi Ben! You guys were talking about the possible mechanism behind weight loss from Chlorella. This is apparently the case for any food thats really high in chlorophyll, as the high concentration of magnesium ions in green foods provide so much alkalinity that the body is able to release greater amounts of FFA’s into the bloodstream without over loading the blood ph. This is supposed to be the reason why some people don’t burn much fat even when in a caloric deficit, because maintaining blood pH is such a high priority for the body that it will only release fatty acids when you provide enough alkalinity to buffer them so to speak.

    Thanks so much for the podcast and all the great info its much appreciated !

    1. Aaron Walden says:

      I have often wondered if that is the case Joe. Do you have anything specific that describes that process in greater detail?

  10. Marc S. says:

    Ben, once again an outstanding podcast. The BioTropic’s link above does not seem to work. It takes you to: It doesn’t give any info about the product on this page.

    Keep up the great work.

    Thank you,


    1. It should be working now Marc, and make sure you are scrolling down. Let us know if you have any more issues!

  11. Chad W says:

    Does Craig’s company test their algae supply for β-Methylamino-L-alanine, or BMAA? it’s a toxic amino acid that is commonly produced by blue-green algae. it’s been shown in the research literature to cause brain buildup of tau proteins and neurofibrillary tangles similar to those found in Alzheimer’s Disease.

    1. Michael Merritt says:

      Yeah I’m sticking to chlorella. AFA seems too risky to me and no supplier that I’ve talked to seems to be able to say their product is 100% Microcystin free. It might be very low amounts, but still some Microcystin’s. No thanks. Would love to hear other peoples opinions to convince me otherwise.

    2. Here's a response from Craig: All our products are manufactured in an FDA audited facility with the utmost of scrutiny. Although it is true that blue green algae contains the amino compound β-Methylamino-L-alanine, or BMAA, there have been numerous studies that it is non toxic, except when extremely large amounts were fed to animals (only one study). In this study, the amount of BMAA that was required to trigger any toxic symptoms were 100 to 250 mg/kg (this is equivalent to 12.5g of BMAA in 50kg).

      To provide a little background regarding the link between BMAA and diseases such as Alzheimer's: BMAA is an excitotoxin that acts on a specific receptor in the brain called the NMDA receptor, that are typically triggered by common amino acids, such as glutamate and aspartate. The pathology of Alzheimer's it hypothesized to be triggered by the activation and excitation of the NMDA receptor. If this is the case, and has been shown in various studies, common amino acids such as glutamate and aspartate, were shown to be 1,000,000 times more toxic than BMAA. This means that if BMAA is linked to diseases like Alzheimer's, there should be a much higher concentration of the population that would have these diseases due to consumption of aspartame and glutamate!

      The concentration of BMAA in blue green algae are simply too low to cause any problems. You are much more likely to get Alzheimer's from consuming aspartame and glutamate.

  12. Rick says:

    “Breaking the Chain” was by Willy Voet not Tyler Hamilton. Tyler’s book was, “The Secret Race” and is the best book I have read on doping.

  13. David Berry says:

    Craig or Ben,

    Given the benefits of this product, could this produce reduce heart rate with the same output? Example: endurance run, HR of 155 at 9:30 pace. With this product could your heart rate drop at the same 9:30 pace due to better oxygen?

    Just wondering, thanks

    1. Response from Craig: Based on scientific and anecdotal research, I believe so. With supplementation of this product, VO2 max is believed to increase. VO2 max is the measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use. This implies the point at which your oxygen consumption is at your max. At this point, your heart rate is also maxed out, and you are working at your maximum capacity.

      In general, oxygen is carried throughout the body by red blood cells. Red blood cells, when they pass through the lungs, become saturated with oxygen and then deliver the oxygen to the rest of your body. When exercising, your heart rate and respiration rate increase in order to meet your muscles demand for oxygen. If you exercise too hard, you can reach your VO2 max quickly and your maximum output. However, with supplementation of this product, your VO2 max is increased. This impliesthat your maximum capacity and output is increased as well.

  14. Justin says:

    What about more recent studies looking at endurance athletes that showed no benefit to echinacea supplementation?

    Echinacea purpurea supplementation does not enhance VO2max in distance runners.
    Randomized controlled trial
    Baumann CW, et al. J Strength Cond Res. 2014.

  15. Justin says:

    What about more recent studies looking at endurance athletes that showed no benefit to echinacea supplementation?

    Echinacea purpurea supplementation does not enhance VO2max in distance runners.

    Randomized controlled trial

    Baumann CW, et al. J Strength Cond Res. 2014.

  16. Matthew Lee says:

    Hey Ben,

    You mention drinking/taking goat milk and colostrum for their health benefits. What are the specific benefits? I know you have goats on your farm, do you drink goat milk or take colostrum on a daily basis?



  17. Michelle Silbernagel says:

    Hey, Ben, what brand of chlorella tablets do you chomp on when not taking Biotropics? Thanks!

      1. Michelle Silbernagel says:

        Thanks! Read the post on the Energybits. Pricey little devils.

        1. Catharine says the cost is justified because you can stop purchasing all other supplements. Do you agree? Would these replace the Thorne A.M./P.M. Multi, the BioGest, etc…?

        2. The Biotropics are much cheaper, on a daily basis. Would you recommend one over the other?

        3. One last concern. I have M.S. (in remission) and Hashimoto’s (though my antibodies are currently not active, in spite of an elevated TSH). But I am quite athletic and feeling rather run down. Searching for that magic bullet, though there may not be one. But, love the energy and detox promises of spirulina and chlorella. Have read tons of conflicting info about using either and/or both with M.S. and thyroid issues. Since there seems to evidence on both sides of the bench, thinking of just trying it and seeing how I feel. Unless you have something compelling to add.

        So appreciate you bringing these sort of potentially life-changing health attributes to our attention … I’m just sorry it creates more questions for you!

        1. 1. I still think there are other supplements one should take, but it all depends on your blood and biomarkers.

          2. I like the Biotropics one with chlorella in it but you can't CHEW on it like EnergyBITS, which I LOVE IN MY morning smoothie…

          3. There is plenty, plenty more you can do. Listen to my podcast with Terry Wahl's.… more, I'd be happy to help you via a personal one-on-one consult. Just go to and then choose a 20 or 60 minute consult, whichever you'd prefer. I can schedule ASAP after you get that.

    1. Steve says:

      Hi Ben, Going to try the Biotropic AFA. I do periodically take broken cell wall chlorella. Would it be good to continue that? Can you take too much algae?

      1. You can still continue that. It's very difficult overdose on algae…I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever.

  18. Scott says:

    I have listened to hundreds of podcasts including all yours. Never once felt compelled to leave a note or review, but this was awesome. Learned a lot and plan on buying bit Biotropocs. Seems like a perfect blend of the nutrients I need to stay active in my mid forties! Thanks!

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