Episode #219 – Full Transcript

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Introduction:  In today’s episode, Brock and Ben are on the same place at the   same time. So I will be the sexy female voice that’s introducing today’s podcast. I don’t even remember what the sexy female voice says but it’s something like “Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast”.  Whether you wanna be an Ironman triathlete or just shed a few pounds have we got some kick butt advice for you so sit back and enjoy another episode of the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast unedited, unplugged and live from Thailand.

Brock:  Sawasdee ka, Mr. Ben!

Ben:  Sawasdee ka, Brock!  In case, you hadn’t guessed, folks, first of all, our deepest apologies to any new listener who just discovered this podcast.

Brock:  Please go back and listen to another episode before you continue with this one.

Ben:  Has already hit the “stop” button thinking that we are a bunch of freaking hack jogs.  We’re recording this on a veranda right after monsoon and we have very limited editing equipment but we’re going to bring you a podcast anyways this week for 2 reasons.  First of all, we’re just those dedicated kind of people.  Right, Brock?

Brock:  We are dedicated.

Ben:  You would not believe how dedicated we are.  We’re actually both wearing our Ben Greenfield Fitness t-shirts and shorts, hats.  And also, we’re recording this just because we happen to be together and that rarely happens since Brock lives in a country that’s very far away from America called Canada.  Apparently, we have to go all the way to Asia to actually be in the same place.  What we have for you guys today is we do have news flashes, we do have special announcements and what else do we have, Brock?

Brock:  Love?

Ben:  Questions.

Brock:  Oh yes.  Questions.

Ben:  Might be a little bit of an abbreviated podcast today.  We may just stop the thing 10 minutes if it sucks as it already does.  But hang on tight, folks because here it comes live.  And if you hear any monkey screaming in the background, just let it all slide ‘cause we’re here doing it live.  All right. Where do we get these news flashes, Brock?

Brock:  We get them from twitter.com/bengreenfield and also from facebook.com/bgfitness and also from Google+ if you go to the website bengreenfieldfitness.com and scroll down the right hand side.  You don’t have to remember the URLs, you could just click.

Ben:  And as usual this is podcast number what? 219?

Brock:  219.

Ben:  So if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com Episode number 219, we’ll write down everything that we talk about there.  But the first thing that I wanted to mention was a study that they did in overweight kids and this study was actually in Optimizing Sprint Interval Exercise to Maximize Energy Expenditure and Enjoyment in Overweight Boys which is very interesting.  They actually have a physical activity enjoyment scale where they pull you by how much you enjoyed your physical activity.

Brock:  That’s kinda subjective.

Ben:  They used a variety of different sprint ratios with these overweight boys and they not only tracked the enjoyment but they also tracked how much they wanted to eat after the exercise by giving them a buffet breakfast.  And the interesting thing was was they found out what length of physical activity, what length of intervals that you could do that would maximize both your enjoyment and also keep you from doing that compensatory eating though we all tend to do that after exercising.  All right.  Drum roll, please.  Here is the magic ratio of exercise.  If you are an overweight boy (although I would imagine this would work for many other people too), 30 minutes of either continuous cycling or sprint interval exercise with 4 second maximum sprints every 2 minutes, every 1 minute, or every 30 seconds, the interval ratio that actually won out (and I’ve got it written here somewhere so you don’t have to go all the way through the abstract), was 8 seconds on, 60 seconds off.


What that means is 8 seconds of hard hard sprinting followed by 60 seconds of recovery that is the money zone.  So let’s say you wake up in the morning before breakfast you don’t wanna make yourself super super hungry but you wanna maximize the enjoyment of your physical activity as much as possible, hop on a bike, go outside, whatever, 8-second sprints with 8 seconds on and 60 seconds off.  And that was done for a total of 30 minutes – 8 seconds on, 60 seconds off.  There you go.

Brock:  So that maximized energy expenditure so the most they could get out of them before they started …

Ben:  So basically, maximized weight loss well, not causing a ton of compensatory eating and also maximizing enjoyment.

Brock:  Awesome!

Ben:  So the next news flash to mention was called The Effects of Load Volume on EPOC after Acute Bouts of Resistance Training in Resistance Training Males.   Do you know what EPOC is?

Brock:  No.  I was just looking to see what it is.   Exercise post…

Ben:  Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.  Basically, you hear people talking about metabolic rate like how exercise boosts your metabolism and in geek speak, that’s EPOC – excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.  You’re paying this debt after you finish exercising meaning that while you’re exercising, your body isn’t getting enough oxygen but has to burn extra calories after you finish exercising to pay off that oxygen debt and that’s why you might have a metabolism boost of 24 hours after you finish a workout.

Brock:  That’s a replenishment.

Ben:  Right. But here’s what they found.  In this weight training, the males who are doing a ton…They were doing pretty high volume. They were actually lifting the equivalent of well a range from 10,000 to 20,000 kg in a single workout but with load volumes of up to 20,000 kg. It’s a lot of weight. We’re talking about a quarter ton of weight lifted during the actual routine.  In people who are actually well-trained, there was no increase in metabolic rate even from a very very difficult workout session such as that weight training no significant increase in your metabolic rate over and above your resting metabolic rate.

Brock:  That’s a bomber.

Ben:  Well, yeah. What it goes to show you though (I think there’s something you can take out of this), what they have found is that metabolic rate will increase in untrained people or people who are being exposed to new activities.  So, if you take a bunch of people who have been in resistance training and doing a certain number of different resistance training moves like bench press squat, dead lift clean, whatever and you just have them go and do a whole bunch of those, it’s not gonna increase their metabolic rate.  But if your throw a curve ball at your body and you still do a bunch of new exercises, different exercises, you are gonna notice an increase in your metabolic rate and that has been studied.  So, the take away here is that if your goal is fat loss (we’re not talking about strength, power or anything  else), the way that you do it is by continuously throwing curve balls.

Brock:  Change depth as often as possible.

Ben:  Yeah.  And you can’t just take what you’re already doing.  Double or triple it and expect an increase in metabolic rate.  Your body doesn’t work that way.  You actually need something new that you’re exposed to.

Brock:  So, how drastically new are we talking about if you’re usually lifting weights, do you have to go to a completely different like go do a 20-minute run?

Ben:  No. You could, for example, instead of doing bench press, do suspended push-ups, instead of doing squats, do single leg squats or single leg jumps unto your box.

Brock:  So you’re not sacrificing your end product or your end goal.

Ben:  Right. You’re changing the angle of the neuro-muscular requirement.

Brock:  Gotcha.

Ben:  And then the last thing I wanted to mention was a study on the effect of carbohydrate and protein supplements on resistance, exercise, performance, hormonal response, and muscle damage.  And basically, this is also what happens when you eat during your workout type of study.  They fed people on a carbohydrate-protein beverage mix kind of a typical…there’s a variety of different sports drinks that are mix of carbohydrate and protein.  And what they found was that there was not much of an improvement in performance during weight training even though they have shown performance increases during endurance exercise.  It didn’t show much their performance increase during weight training but post exercise inflammation was lower. They looked at what’s called creatine kinase. They looked at myoglobin – both markers of muscle damage and both were significantly lower along with lower soreness levels.


So, what that means is that if your single goal is muscle growth and bouncing back from your workout as fast as possible and not being sore after the workout, then it actually does serve you well during a weight training workout to be consuming a beverage during the actual workout itself.  And they were consuming 175 ml prior to exercise, 175 halfway through, 355 ml afterwards so they were taking in a pretty significant amount of fuel but for your muscle heads up there, for you people who wanna put on weight, it just goes to show that carbohydrate and protein supplements can really enhance your response to weight training.

Brock:  It seems like that would be more the protein that would be doing the repairing of the muscles anyway. Would it be the amino acids?

Ben:  Yes. But you’re also looking at carbohydrate actually staving off you losing much of your muscle glycogen.  In time you’re burning through your muscle glycogen, you are creating metabolic by-products in the inter-muscular space.

Brock:  So you need both.

Ben:  Basically, you’re keeping yourself from creating that type of soreness as well.  So, it’s kind of a double whammy.  So those are the news flashes for this week and twitter.com/bengreenfield is working with the rest of those and I’m cringing right now because I suspect that Brock probably has some special announcements music for us as well.

Brock:  I really wish I could remember how that music goes.

Ben:  Special announcements.  All right.  Probably, a glaring area here is that Brock and I didn’t really discuss the special announcements too much before we actually sat down to record because we’re actually eating squid.

Brock:  A lovely barbequed squid.

Ben:  A lovely barbequed squid that a Thai man grabbed off of a wooden platter and gave to us.  It’s tasty, chewy but tasty.  So, a few things in terms of special announcements:  First of all, for those of you who wanna come join us March 8th and 9th 2013 in Spokane, Washington, that is the Become Superhuman Live event.  I am bringing in a ton of awesome speakers for that event but the reason I’m mentioning it to you now is because the early bird deadline to get in and get put into the drawing for not only getting a full refund on your registration or free ticket you get to choose as well as a one-on-one consultation with me an hour-long sit-down where we’ll go through and basically over anything you want.  That’s all happening if you register before December 1st which is 5 days from now. So you’ve got a few days if you’re listening to this right when it comes out assuming the internet on this island doesn’t crash and we don’t lose internet access.  This podcast should come out relatively soon so check that out.  You can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/superhuman. A couple of other things…

Brock:  Oh yeah.  The new version of the book.

Ben:  I’ve done a serious upgrade to my low carb triathlon book.  I’ve added a forum to it for you to ask all your questions.  I’ve also added a training plan that’s compatible for anybody who uses Training Peaks. 100% compatible with that has got a fat adaptation week, it’s got a low carb maintenance week, it’s got a race or event week, a race or event day.  I spell it all out for you so it’s all right there on Training Peaks.

Brock:  You can just drag and drop those anywhere we’ve got a race coming up…

Ben:  Exactly.  You just basically take your race where you could drag and drop that week right in there and all of a sudden you know exactly what to eat.  It’ll even spit out a grocery shopping list for you.  That is all over at lowcarbtriathlete.com/lowcarbpackage.  We’ll make it easy for you and just put a link in the show notes to that but it’s brand new.  For people who already own the book, check your e-mail because I sent you out a little discount, you don’t have to pay full price for it because it comes along with the training plan and the forum.  You can the book too.

Brock:  That’s great!

Ben:  And also some discounts on the basically some of my recommended low carb supplements like the Super starch and amino acids and stuff like that.  So, you get a pretty significant savings on those as part of the package.  And then the last thing I wanted to mention, wanna give shout out to a few people.  I mentioned that what we’re going to do is actually choose one lucky person each month to come on to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast for a special episode and we are gonna open that up to anybody who starts a MyList on Facebook.

Brock:  And that’s the thing that looks like Pinterest on Facebook.

Ben:  It’s like Pinterest for Facebook, yeah.

Brock:  ….that’s a comparison but it’s true and it’s a lot cooler than Pinterest.  You can do more than just scrapbooking.


Ben:  So you go to facebook.com/bgfitness as in Ben Greenfield Fitness at facebook.com/bgfitness, click on the MyList button and basically, you can start a list on anything you want.  A couple of people, I noticed and you gotta share the MyList with me so send it to via e-mail, post it on our Facebook page, post us a comment on the show notes, whatever.  We’ve got Daniela.  What’s up Daniela Knight?

Brock:  Hey Daniela!

Ben:  Daniela’s got a bunch of different MyLists but she’s got one for snack so it looks like she’s got yogie green tea, she’s got some strawberry whey protein isolate, blueberries, (every girl likes this one), she’s got coco nieves, navitas naturals organic rock coco nieves, almonds (Jessa made squid on there).

Brock:  It’s weird.  No curry.

Ben:  No squid, no curry.  But anyways, good job Daniela.  Liking your MyList to your churning out.  We had another MyList that I did have open but it somehow closed.   Corinne.  Shout out to Corrine.  I know you created a MyList.  I’m not sure where it is ‘cause I had it open in my computer but you had a few going as well and so Corrine and Daniela are both in the running for getting on to a podcast this month at Ben Greenfield Fitness.  Good job and if you wanna get on the bandwagon, create your MyList and share it over at facebook.com/bgfitness then get MyListing away and you could get lucky. That about wraps it up for special announcements.

Brock:  Okay.  We’ll let’s go into our questions, then.

Ben:  Wait.  Try music.  Music.

Listener Q & A:

Brock:  All right.  Our first question.

Ben:  By the way, Brock’s gonna read questions because again, our editing capabilities are not very expensive here right here in the place called Riley Bay which is this isolated bay in Thailand with no cars.  The power’s kinda been on and off all day today and yeah, but apparently, we’re still recording. However, Brock’s going to read the questions.  We’re going totally old school so see if he remembers how to do this.

Brock:  So if anybody actually sent in audio questions this week, we will get to them there in the cue, they’re on my computer, they’re just …

Ben:  He’ll do his best to abbreviate ‘cause I think our first 2 questions are kinda similar.

Brock:  They are.  Okay.  So Erin asks, “Normally I like to run in the late mornings at least after I’ve had breakfast on board for a while.  Doing so I trained for 2 marathons and my weight stayed where it had been for the last 5 years.  Right now, my job requires me to do my training runs at 5:30 in the morning and I’m on my feet all day at work.  I’m not able to get in good workouts at 7:00 PM when I’m done working.  I try to eat a little bit of carbs before and during my morning run.  In the past 10 weeks, I’ve gained 10 lbs since I started running before work.  I’m eating about 2000 calories per day and running 40-45 miles per week”.  Then she goes in to sort of getting a lot more detailed about her diet and sort of jump, “why am I gaining weight?  What can I do to lose weight?  I’m doing the things you mentioned in previous podcast to reduce cortisol but still the numbers on the scale climb”.

Ben:  Okay.  So we’ve got Lisa, who’s it Erin?

Brock:  That was Erin.

Ben:  Okay.  So Erin is training for a marathon and she’s gained 10 lbs since she started training for marathon, 10 lbs in the past 10 weeks.

Brock:  Yup.

Ben:  Okay.  And what does Lisa have to say?

Brock:  Lisa says, “I’ve a question about weight gain during marathon training.  I’m a 28 year-old female training for my 4th marathon in June.  I run anywhere from 50-70 miles per week at the height of my training and I often eat very clean Paleo with an occasional cheat.”  She lifts 2-3 times a week.  She’s 5’6’’ and around 130 lbs.  “Whenever I train more intensely for marathons, I end up gaining about 10 lbs (same as Erin).  So, again goes into a lot more detail about her diet.  “I eat low carb high fat for about a month in December when work prevented me from training and I ended up losing 10 lbs in a month then regaining it almost immediately once I resume training.”  Those are the important bits from both of those I think.


Ben:  Okay. Basically, we’ve got 2 women who are training for marathon and are gaining weight which seems counter intuitive.  You would expect at first glance that you would actually lose weight with marathon training but they’re not finding this to be the case and you have this happen a lot when women start training for endurance sports, they gain weight.

Brock:  Is this woman in particular?

Ben:  Women more than men tend to have this issue.  And there are a few different reasons for this. The first is something that can be glaringly obvious but a lot of people don’t really think about it and that is the fact that when you start to train for endurance training, your body enhances its ability to store carbohydrate. You can actually train your body to store up to 60% more carbohydrate.  Storage glycogen primarily in your muscles, you really can’t amplify what your liver’s able to store but your muscles are able to store up to 60% more carbohydrate once you start into an endurance training program.

Brock:  So this isn’t something you’re specifically training them to do.  This is sort of a…

Ben:  This is just what the body does. This is a natural response to endurance training because it’s a survival mechanism.  You’re telling your body that it is going to be in situations where it has to go for a long periods of time and have access to that carbohydrate to break down.

Brock:  Get ready.  This may happen again tomorrow or maybe next week.

Ben:  Exactly.  So it’s like this camel mechanism but glycogen carries up to 4 times its weight in water and so you can easily balloon up just from that carbohydrate and water gain.  You tend to get a little salt gain with it as well and unfortunately not what a lot of people want to hear but there’s not a ton that you can do about it because even if you say “okay well, I’m not gonna eat carbohydrate.  I’m gonna go low carb, I’m gonna go into ketoses.”  What happens is your body is actually able to take the ketones that deliver starch to churn out when you’re on a low carb diet and you’re not getting your body enough carbohydrates.  There’s what’s called the glycerol backbone on those ketone bodies – betahydroxybutarate, acidoacetate, or 2 primary ketone bodies you get circulating around in your bloodstream.  If your activity levels are high, and you’re in ketosis, what happens is that your liver is still able to make glucose out of those ketone bodies.  And technically, if you got some insulin in your bloodstream that glucose can still be converted into some muscle glycogen.  And you can maintain fairly high levels of storage carbohydrate while you’re in a state of ketosis.  So, yes, going low carb helps a little bit with this scenario, ballooning up when you start endurance sports but you’re still at risk of gaining weight just from this glycogen storage mechanism.

Brock:  When we’re talking about weight like just weight on scale, right?

Ben:  We’re talking about weight on the scale, not necessarily fat.

Brock:  So your pants aren’t fitting necessarily different.

Ben:  Right.

Brock:  It’s just your getting on the scale and going “oh man!”

Ben:  Exactly.  And I think it was either Erin or Lisa who’d mentioned cortisol and of course, that can be an issue even if you’re recovering properly even if you’re getting lots of sleep, what happens is cortisol can cause your body to retain sodium and when you retain sodium, that also is going to cause some fluid retention as well which can also leave you yelling bloated, gaining weight – not necessarily fat but it’s still weight.  There is no way for your body when you’re training for marathon and by the way, both Lisa and Erin are running way more miles than I would ever run if training for marathon.  I don’t see any reason to run more than 30 miles a week unless you’re trying to be professional marathoners or something of that nature.  Your body’s going to churn out cortisol.  It’s simply the catabolic nature of endurance training and that also can cause that fluid retention.  When women (and we did a full podcast about this, I’ll link to it in the show notes about Why Women Gain Weight as They Get Older and What You Can Do About It) get older, and this can be kind of enhanced a little bit by the catabolic stressful nature of endurance sports, they tend to get a little bit of estrogen dominance and when you get that estrogen dominance going on, that also can cause weight gain for the reasons that we go into great detail on on that podcast that we did.  For something like that, you can take care of your liver.  Get on a good liver detox formula basically start to clear up the estrogen pathways in the liver.  The liver has 2 different detox pathways that it relies upon.  One is very reliant upon basically antioxidants – it’s like being on a full spectrum antioxidant. The other one is basically reliant on essentially adding amino acids to the toxins that build up in the liver.  And having adequate amino acids and specific kinds of amino acids and also having antioxidants can both help with detoxification in liver and with clearing estrogen a little bit more quickly.


I’ll put a link to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Recommends page in the show notes but some of the things that you’ll see there under the liver detox area would be like Silymarin which is a component of milk thistle extract. So there is one supplement called CapraCleanse that I really like for that like doing 3-6 CapraCleanse a day – good full spectrum antioxidant mix.  I’m actually writing an article for the website right now on energy drinks and one of the natural potent antioxidant cocktails that I recommend there is called Lifeshotz.  That’s something that I really use, do a pack everyday and that’s got some really good liver support stuff in it too like grape seed extracts and….

Brock:  You interviewed the guy who created those.

Ben:  Yeah. My personal physician in Coeur D’Alene my naturopathic doctor, he basically was responsible for the formulation on that one.   That’s a really good one.  You’re gonna find some other stuff on that recommendations page that we’ll link to like calcium d-glucaratemethianine.  We’re getting on a good liver detox type of formula can help quite a bit too.  And then a couple of other things we already mentioned – compensatory eating when it comes to exercise.  So many people think that they’re not engaging in compensatory eating but if you write it down, in many many cases, you simply are. You’re eating way more than what you normally would if you work doing all that marathon training and that adds up pretty quickly and you’d be surprised even if you think that you’re eating the same or fewer calories than before you started training for marathon that you actually are not.  And writing it down helps quite a bit or photographing your food also.

Brock:  Even just periodically throwing that in even when you’re not training is always a nice way just to remind yourself what you actually are eating ‘cause there’s been studies, lots of studies have shown that people have bad memories about what they actually eat.

Ben:  Very bad memories.  Yeah.  Food recalls is horrible.  Alcohol recall is even worse. We actually did have an after party after the triathlon just a few days ago and I think a few of us or so are in recovery mode including myself.  So just a couple of other things in terms of liver detox and estrogen turnover, high amounts of coffee, high amounts of tea, that can basically slow down estrogen turnover and cause some of the estrogen dominance weight gain as well so that’s something to be careful with. And then also cruciferous vegetables have a lot of phytoestrogens in them which are basically compounds that simulate a lot of the effects of estrogens and can actually help out a little bit in this case including stuff like broccoli and onions and kale and things of that nature when it comes to estrogen dominance.  And Brock is distracted…This is one of the issue with us recording live. What are you looking at?

Brock:  (There’s a salamander over …)

Ben:  (It’s a frog.)  So those are the main things. You’ll see a lot of websites, shape magazine and prevention women’s health.  They all say “well of course, it’s muscle weight that you’re gaining.”  Most women don’t gain muscle when they’re marathon training unless you’re starting from complete novice and you’re doing a ton of hill climbing or something like that, may put on some muscle on your thighs but it’s usually not muscle gain.  Typically, you’re talking about fluid retention and cortisol, glycogen retention, some sodium retention, that type of thing.

Brock:  Before I got distracted by the frog, I was going get you to clarify cruciferous vegetables.  Which ones are we talking about here?

Ben:  Broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflowers, stuff like that.

Brock:  Really?  So these are like what we have normally considered to be like super foods are actually causing some problems.

Ben:  No no no.  They have phytoestrogens in them which can help.  They basically occupy the receptor sites that estrogen would normally occupy so they actually help out a little bit too.  So those are some of the things that I recommend to both Erin and Lisa and that’s why women tend to gain weight when they start training for endurance sports and some of the things you can do about it.  We’ll not only put links to some of these stuff in the show notes for Episode 219 but as usual, we’ll create MyList for it over at facebook.com/bgfitness if you wanna access the MyList.  So, there we go.

Brock:  Let’s move on to Ana’s question.  And Ana says, “I do quite well in Crossfit competitions.  I like beating people.  Mind you, it’s the scale division at my local affiliates so I’m no pro.  It’s just for fun.  I like to keep it mostly paleo (except for whey).  So sweet potatoes, apples, raw honey all smashed and cooked together with some whey is what I reach for during a competition.


I also use creatine and beta alanine but I don’t think whole foods will be absorbed fast enough for the WOD (workout of the day) especially if you’re required to do several workouts of the day back to back.  These workouts are short and intense 10-12 minutes tops you go “balls out”.  I tried GU gels during the Crossfit open and I did not see any significant differences in my performance.  I was wondering if you could put your kick butt brains together and give me some suggestions.  In particular, would you say the new generation Ucan would be a good idea during competition or during training?”

Ben:  Bad idea. Basically, Ana’s looking for a fast-release carbohydrates.  I’m just gonna bump up her energy levels super duper quickly when she’s getting ready for her WOD.  Ucan superstarch is designed to enhance your fatty acids utilization and be a very slow release fuel that doesn’t cause an insulin spike, that doesn’t cause a blood glucose spike.  I used that in the triathlon that we had the other day and I’ll use it again in this next triathlon that we’re doing in the weekend because I want a slow-release energy source because I’m trying to tap into my body’s own fat stores as a fuel and I’m trying to avoid those quick spikes in blood sugar.  Pre-workout, if you really wanted to maximize the glucose that you have available in your blood stream and have the fastest possible energy source available to your body, basically, you’d wanna go for an engineered starch that is not Superstarch.  There’s one that’s called Vitargo.  I’ll link to it in the show notes for you but it’s basically, it could be a waxy maize starch, it could be a barley starch.  It’s basically that the process by which they make it more than this starchy material that affects the rate at which it is released.  But Vitargo has patented this fast-release carbohydrate system that causes a massive insulin spike.  A bunch of carbohydrate getting absorbed super quickly into the blood stream and it’s a very very large long molecular weight carbohydrate similar to Ucan Superstarch so, it’s all these branch chains of carbohydrates.  It has what’s called the very very low osmolality similar to Ucan Superstarch meaning that it’s going to be emptying from the stomach a little bit more quickly and into the small intestine a little bit more quickly to be absorbed but the chemical make-up of the starch itself is such that it gets a huge insulin spike.  It gets released really quickly and if you stuck me into let’s just say a crossfit box and told me ahead that and put my carb load as quickly as possible to be ready for workout, that is what I would personally use, would be something like that.

Brock:  It sounds like it’s similar to like a maltodextrin in its make-up.

Ben:  They’ve done studies on it and it’s like twice the insulin release of a maltodextrin – even a higher blood sugar spike than maltodextrin, higher than glucose, definitely higher than fructose.  So, that’s what I would use. Again, I mentioned that we have a Ben Greenfield Fitness recommends page but there’s a bunch of other stuff on that page that you can use to amplify pre strength your power workouts, your performance or even your sugar uptake.  Tianchi is one of the things I recommend.  That’s a Chinese herbal adaptogen complex that I use.  That’s a really really good one.  And then just choose your basics.  It’s creatine, carnitine, citrulline and beta-alanine.  Those are the four main ones.  I’ve got dosage recommendations and everything that I’ll put in the show notes for you.  Let’s say you just wanna go geeky scientists and do all that stuff together, if you were to stack something like that waxy maize starch like Vitargo generate with the citrulline and the beta-alanine and the creatine and the carnitine, put all that together, you’re looking at a massive glucose spike, you’re looking at a massive amount of energy in a short period of time, you’re also looking at diabetes and the shaker cup if you’re not…

Brock:  If you’re just sitting on the couch.

Ben:  Yeah. If you just sit on the couch. Quick quick way to give yourself diabetes just because the amount of insulin and blood glucose really sure that you’re gonna get.  But that’s what I would do, that’s the way I would go about doing this if you really want that fast release.


Brock:  All right.  Next question is from Gabriel.  Gabriel says, “I live in Puerto Rico. We have little access to quality animal-based protein.  Most of the beef and poultry are from industrial South American animals.  What cuts of beef or chicken pieces are the least bad in terms of hormones, etc.  I eat frozen salmon, cod or tuna once or twice a week (I don’t eat it frozen, I cook it before) and I eat kinwa a couple of times a week too but there’s something about a nice piece of meat, you know.  Also, what do you think of xenogenics?  They’ve been pushing their stuff their protocol to high levels…It seems like a waste of time and money.

Ben:  Okay.  So, first of all, the last little bit of that question about xenogenics, that’s the one what I see in the back of the airplane magazines, the 70 year-old man looks like he’s 40 and he’s got…he’s flexing with his jeans on or whatever.  You know what?  I don’t remember if it’s been since Brock’s been on but I went into an extensive podcast revealing what I thought about xenogenics so just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and do a search for “xenogenics”.

Brock:  Basically, your hunch is right, Gabriel.

Ben:  Yeah.  Let’s focus on the meat part of this.  Meat is gonna tend to if it’s got lots of toxins, if it’s got lots of hormones, it’s gonna store that in the fat in the skin so whereas I usually recommend that you not choose leaner cuts of meat that you go after the fat because of the things like the conjugated linoleic acids and the omega 3 fatty acids, you technically wanna avoid the skin, trim the fat and go for the lower fat cuts of meat if you wanted to eat meat that hasn’t been organically raised (grass raised) you want to do as little damage as possible.  So that’s the first thing you’d wanna do is basically you go low fat on your cuts of meat.  There are certain cuts of meat or certain animals that are known to be dirtier than others so USD Aid has studies on this, there’s a lot of universities that have done independent studies on everything from the stearate to salmonella to…

Brock:  I guess you mean dirty by having bacterias..

Ben:  Dirty like stuff you’d wanna avoid in that case.  Ground turkey and chicken are biggies.  If you’re not getting free range organic on those, your chance of getting sick goes way up.  Something like 25% of chicken has some form of bacteria in it that could potentially make you sick if you’re not careful.  A lot of times, you think pigs are the dirty animals, poultry is way way higher than pigs when it comes to that stuff.  So I’d be super careful with chicken and turkey especially if it’s not free range type of stuff if you’re just looking at cage fed, that’s gonna be an issue.  Cold cuts are really really high in listeria.  That can also be an issue so I’d be really careful with cold cuts and…

Brock:  Any processed meats…

Ben:  Yeah.  Interestingly, listeria which you’re gonna tend to find in higher amounts in something like a cold cut.  You know what tends to kill listeria?  Mustard.  So, you could just lather mustard all over your bologna.

Brock:  Like just regular old French’s mustard?

Ben:  Yeah.  So dip (if you bologna has been sitting out in the counter a few days) dip it in some mustard.  Yeah.  You’re gonna have some active listeria-fighting compounds in mustard.  But it’s interesting how those foods that tend to go hand in hand anyways – the mustard has some sort of a cleaning effect so to speak.  Be really careful with predatory fish.  Here in Riley Bay, it’s kinda cool.  You walk along the beach and there’s  a stall and these vendors and they’ve got like pieces or slabs of fish on ice and you just point at what you want, they throw in on a barbeque grill for and toss some corn and some vegetables and stuff in there but you do see a lot…like last night that place you went to like Sword Fish and they had shark and they had tuna and I’m personally for mackerel ‘cause that tends to be not one of the larger predatory fish.  And there’s a reason for that.  That fish that eat other fish tend to be higher in heavy metals.  So you’d wanna be careful for doing fish (with those fish) and tuna is included in that list that tends to be higher in heavy metals.  There are heavy metal detox formulas out there.  Next Wednesday, this is probably a good time to mention this, I’m on a plane next Wednesday coming back from Thailand and everything so I am releasing an interview on that day with Dr. David Minkoff about heavy metals.  So next week, our usual podcast will be released Friday with a surprise stand-in guest that is not Brock.

Brock:  Yeah.  I don’t even know who it is, it’s gonna be such a surprise.

Ben:  Anyways, heavy metals tend to be an issue with predatory fish – that’s what you wanna be careful  with.


Oysters, raw oysters, definitely an issue, salmonella is a biggie with those.  Try to be super careful with those.  And ground beef, if it’s typical commercial ground beef, that tends to be pretty big issue as well.  So honestly, if you wanna go as clean as possible, if I were you, I’d go for the smaller fish, I would do pork, I would do any of the large animals that are not cattle like deer, lamb, goats, stuff like that.  Stay away from turkey and chicken, stay away from oysters.  That would be some of the main ways to kinda keep clean.  The other interesting thing is there is a supplement that you can take that kinda leeches a lot of these toxins and offensive compounds from meat.  If you happen to not have a chance to eat the good grass-fed hormone-free free range type of stuff and that’s activated charcoal.  You can literally just eat a couple of capsules of activated charcoal before you eat whatever that meat is and it can help mitigate some of the damaging effects.  That’d be one thing that you can do as well.

Brock:  Like those of the long term damaging effect’s not necessarily the food poisoning.

Ben:  It can help with that.  Both activated charcoal as well as probiotics _____[0:41:20.4] food poisoning.  The other interesting thing is if you have ground beef and you’re concerned about salmonella or other offensive compounds of that, oregano has a lot of components in it that tend to be active against the bacteria and that you could oil of oregano, you could even use fresh oregano and grind that up along with your ground beef to make it like a burger.  It does have some of that what’s called carvacrol in it which has some of those potent anti bacterial properties.  So there are ways to mitigate the effects but hopefully that kinda points you in the right direction when it comes to some of the meats that are gonna be better vs. worse.

Brock:  I was hoping you’re gonna say chocolate ice cream as the perfect…

Ben:  Yes.  Chocolate ice cream.  Make sure there’s no predatory fish in your chocolate ice cream and that’d be good to go.

Brock:  No predatory ice cream.  All right.  Matt says, “Ben, I read that power is lost 1.7 times faster than strength as we age.  I thought power and strength were the same thing.  What is the difference and should I be working more on power exercise than strength exercises?  Can you give an example of the difference between the two?  By the way, I’m 39 years old”.

Ben:  Yeah.  They have done studies on this and as you age, you lose power more quickly than strength.  I don’t know if it’s 1.7 times.  I’ve seen figures like the loss in power exceeds the loss in strength by about 10% per year.  That’s not 10% loss of power per year.  That means like if you lost 2% of your strength per year, you’d be losing 10% more of that.  So 10% for whatever 2% is in terms of power.  So you’re losing (Brock and I are both excellent at Math as you can tell).  Anyways, yes, the loss in power is gonna exceed the loss in strength.  Power is just the ability to apply a large amount of force over a period of time.  An example of power would be like how quickly can you shove this weight overhead vs. strength which is how much weight can you push over your head without any consideration of how fast you can do it.

Brock:  And how long.

Ben:  And fast twitch muscle is what you use to create a powerful effort along with a large recruitment of motor neurons.  Those are 2 things that you tend to lose quite quickly as you age is the ability to recruit motor neurons or the neuron units in the muscle that would be responsible for producing high amounts of power and you also lose fast twitch muscle more quickly as you age.  So this is why the deficits in power that you experience as you age tend to be more significant than what you lose when it comes to strength.  As far as mitigating those effects, you would want to make sure that you’re including resistance training sessions as you age that require you to lift weights fast.  You could do plyometrics, single leg/ double legs jumps onto a box/off of the box, that kind of stuff, skips, hops, bounds, anything that causes you to create a large amount of force in a short period of time as well as lifting, changing of the tempo as you lift.  I’m actually writing an article for Lava Magazine on this right now of about how you can literally just kind of depending on what time of year that you’re in, change the tempo at which you lift.  So if you lift something fast and lower it quickly, you’re gonna do less muscle damage but develop more power.  Then if you say lift something slowly and lower it slowly.  But changing of the tempo not doing all you workouts at the same tempo is one really good way that you can ensure that you maintain power including some explosive efforts.  Again, I know I’m kinda kicking this horse to death, but I do have recommendation section at bengreenfieldfitness.com where basically, there are recommendations on like supplements that can help with power.


Fish Oil is the biggest one just because it contains a lot of the fats that tend to line myelin sheaths of your nerves and help out with basically your nerve conduction velocity.  So essentially, you’re sending messages to your muscles more quickly.   So Fish Oil is a big one.  There’s another supplement called Choline that if you take along with Fish Oil is really really good one to throw in there for power.  Just have pieces of equipment around your house that you can use for more than just power like agility ladders.  There’s one you can get from website like performbetter.com.  They’ve got lots of power development tools, medicine balls that you could throw or slam into the ground, weighted vests that you can jump with, boxes or some kind of a step platform you can jump onto or jump off.  Just kind of including those type of things as you age, super important if you wanna maintain power vs. strength.  So hopefully it kinda gives you a basic idea of the difference between power and strength and I’ll put a bunch of links in the show notes to some of the supplements that I recommend and some of the tools that I like to keep around for developing power rather than just pure strength.

Brock:  Awesome!  All right.  Well, our last question comes from Alan.  Alan says, “When you eat matters, not just what you eat” (now, he’s got a link to Science Daily, I guess an article), any thoughts on this article?  Trying to think about how you might incorporate this info into an active work and family life.  I’m finding it difficult.  I work up at 5:00 AM.  I would have to skip breakfast to make this work since dinner with my wife and kids is a priority.  Plan would have to be dinner at 5, lunch at 1, breakfast at 10.  Does not sound too different from your routine, no?”

Ben:  Yeah.  The study that is linked into, basically, they took one group of mice and just let them eat ad libitum round the clock whenever they wanted to, and then they took another group of mice.  Those mice were given the same calorie allotment but they were restricted to an 8-hour feeding window.  And the mice that were restricted to the 8-hour feeding window did not experience the same blood sugar fluctuations, increase in obesity and overweight as the mice that were allowed to eat at any time of day.  And so the take away message from this was basically, you have a certain period of time during the day when you have a restricted feeding window and then the rest of the day you’re not eating and really, this is something that we’ve talked about before.  It’s just intermittent fasting.  It would be like throwing in a 16-hour fast everyday is what will come out to be equivalent of.  You could quit eating at 8 PM at night after dinner and not eat again until noon if you’re doing a full 16-hour intermittent fast.  This thing though is about the spirit of the law not the letter of the law, meaning that your body is designed to operate on a natural circadian rhythm that has period of time when it is dark and when you are not eating very much encourage a time when it is light, when you’re awake, when you’re alert, when your body is able to metabolize fuel and when you are eating.  And this does not mean that you have to be annal about squeezing everything into an 8-hour window and then having a 16-hour window where you’re not eating.  But what it does mean is that you should consider adapting a scenario where you do something like after you’ve had dinner, not snacking and not eating anymore.  And then when you get up in the morning, trying to go for a little bit of time if it fits in your schedule and your personal schedule to not eat breakfast until 9:00 AM or 10:00 AM.  This is something I do everyday.  I try to quit eating after I’ve had dinner and then in the morning, I work for a couple of hours.  Sometimes I’ll do some exercise, some cold thermogenesis where I’ll do a cold shower and wear my cool fat burner vest or something like that and then I have breakfast.  Typically, for me breakfast is around 10:00 AM and since we eat dinner usually sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 PM, that gives me a good anywhere from a 13 to a 15-hour fasted window every single day.  So it doesn’t have to be exactly what they did in the study with the mice where it’s a 16-hour window.  What it comes down to is your body has this internal clock (internal circadian rhythm) that’d hard wired to respond to light-dark cycles and the feeding cycles and if you just go haywire and eat when you want and sleep when you want and (this is why people who work night shifts have such a hard time losing weight a lot of the time) then you end up throwing both your hormones and your blood sugar into a little bit of an imbalanced cycle.


Brock:  Something that really comes hand in hand with this too is most of any real diet program that you go on will have you eliminate evening snacking ‘cause that really does always take you over and above your caloric needs for the day.  It’s all just extra calories so really you’ve got to sort of bang for your buck here.

Ben:  Yeah.  Go and watch the recent How to Hack Your Sleep article that I wrote at bengreenfieldfitness.com if you really want to learn how eating at night also affects the quality of your sleep, the amount of leptin that you’re able to release which is kind of an appetite satiating hormone, the amount of melatonin your produce, the amount of leptin that gets taken up into the hypothalamus.  I mean there’s a ton of things that happen when you snack late at night.  All those would be some of the reasons that this study that you mentioned and linked to, that we’ll also link to in the show notes, found that basically mice who were on intermittent fasting were more successful.  I don’t know if mice would be a success.  I bet a mouse would be getting fat as a success.

Brock:  Yeah.  I think that be happy about that.

Ben:  Yes.  Caloric Nirvana. Speaking of caloric nirvana, Brock and I have been eating like kings here in Thailand, I would say.

Brock:  Yes.  Getting a little ridiculous.  The food is just too good here.

Ben:  Yeah.  And it’s fantastic.  So we’re gonna arrive at 70.3.  For those of you who don’t know, we’re here doing a double triathlon.  We did a triathlon on Sunday and then we’ll do another one this coming Sunday at a half Ironman.

Brock:  I’m sorry, we didn’t just do a triathlon on Sunday.  Ben won the overall age groupers – the triathlon on Sunday?

Ben:  I did. I was more proud though of making top 10.  I was happy with that.

Brock:  Like a minute and 7 seconds behind back up?

Ben:  Something like that. I don’t think he was having a good day though.

Brock:  It looked though he was having a good day at the party.

Ben:  Yeah. Anyways though, folks, hopefully you appreciate the fact that despite the crappiness of what this final product is going to be, Brock and I still are committed enough to skip whatever it is we’d normally be doing right now, probably walking up and down the beach and bring you this podcast.  So hopefully, you enjoyed it and you’ll get something different next week too.  As I mentioned, I’ll probably ask some hot female sidekick rather than hairy Brock sitting here next to me.

Brock:  I am extra hairy in Thailand.  It’s true.

Ben:  Yes.  Anyways though, folks, thanks for listening and we’ll put link to everything over at bengreenfieldfitness.com for Episode 219 and also in the MyList for this episode over at facebook.com/bgfitness.  Don’t forget to create your MyList by clicking on that MyList button over at facebook.com/bgfitness and sharing your MyList with us.  And until next time, (like I just said MyList 20 times) this is Ben and Brock signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.

        For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net


In this Episode #219: Why Women Gain Weight When Training For Endurance Sports. Also: what to eat before a Crossfit workout, which meat is the most toxic, how to maintain power as you age and how to intermittent fast.

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, edited and sometimes read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.

Erin Asks:

Normally I like to run in the late mornings, at least after I have had breakfast on board for a while. Doing so I trained for two marathons and my weight stayed where it had been for the past 5 years. Right now, my job requires me to do my training runs at 5:30 in the morning and I am on my feet all day at work. I'm not able to get in good workouts at 7pm when I'm done working. I try to eat a little bit of carbs (50-100 calories of easily digestible food) before/during my morning run. In the past 10 weeks, I have gained 10 pounds since I started running before work. I am eating about 2000 calories per day and running about 40-45 miles per week. I eat all organic foods, dairy free, rarely eat wheat/grains, and occasionally have two glasses of wine about 3 nights per week. After my run I have a green smoothie with kale/spinach/banana/almond butter/ almond milk and rice protein powder. Why am I gaining weight? What can I do to lose the weight? I am doing the things you have mentioned in previous podcasts to reduce cortisol but still the numbers on the scale still climb. I'd rather not run 26.2 miles at a heavier weight. Should I be taking in more calories? Less?


Lisa asks:

I have a question about weight gain during marathon training. I'm a 28 year-old female training for my fourth marathon in June. I run anywhere from 50-70 miles/wk at the height of my training and I eat very clean (Paleo with an occasional cheat). I also lift weights 2-3 times per week. I'm 5'6″ and around 130 lbs. Whenever I train more intensely for marathons I end up gaining about 10 lbs (i.e., I used to be around 120 lbs). I don't think this is all muscle and I don't think it is due to overeating since I track my food quite assiduously and usually end up about 700 calories in the hole every day. (I eat between 1300-1500 calories, but am burning around 800 calories/day with my average of 9 mile runs each day.) I've become concerned about this weight gain and was tested for hypothyroidism (which was negative). When I mention my weight to physicians, they seem dismissive since I'm not overweight. Is there any way to explain this weight gain despite these steep calorie deficits? Should I be more insistent on getting this checked out? I ate a low-carb and high-fat diet for about a month in December when work prevented me from training at all, and I ended up losing 10 lbs in a month, then regaining it almost immediately once I resumed my training. I've been able to make massive time improvements despite this weight gain, but it leaves me feeling bloated and large in my “normal” clothes. I've heard of several others (mostly women) gaining weight during marathon training and I'm wondering what the explanation for this could be, especially when the person is OCD about calorie intake (as I have been).

In my response to Lisa and Erin, I mention the following for estrogen dominance:

-Consider progesterone cream WITH testing

-Detox liver with CapraCleanse

-Also for liver, take these according to recommended dosage: calcium d-glucuratemethioninefolic acidtaurineN-acetyl-cysteine

-400-600mg magnesium per day

Vitamin B complex

Finally, listen to: What Makes Women Gain Weight As They Get Older And What To Do About It.


Ana asks:

I do quite well in Crossfit competitions. I like beating people :D Mind you it’s the scale division at local affiliates so I’m no pro. It’s just for fun. I like to keep it mostly paleo  (except for whey).  So sweet potatoes, apples and raw honey all smashed and cooked together with some whey is what I reach for before and during a competition. I also use creatine and b-alanine. But I don’t think whole foods will be absorbed fast enough for the WOD. Especially if you are required to so several WOD’s back to back. These workouts are short and intense, 10-12 min tops, you go “balls out”. I tried the GU gel during the crossfit open and I did not see any significant differences in my performance.  I was wondering if you could put your kick butt brains together and give me some suggestions. In particular would you say the new generation Ucan resistant starch would be a good idea during competition ( or even during  training). Here is the link for the different workouts if that helps. You have 12min to perform each, 3 minute rest and then you do the next one. There are 2 workouts. They have not released the 4th. http://beastmodebattle.com/?page_id=250 I really appreciate you wise words guys! I know your strong point is endurance training. But you have tackled non-endurance topics quite beautifully before so I trust your opinions.

In my response to Ana, I recomend:

Waxy Maize Starch (like Vitargo Genr8)

TianChi – Chinese adaptogens

-Creatine – 0.3g/kg bodyweight for 5-7 days followed by 5g/day. No need to cycle. Recommend Kreaceps capsules.

-Carnitine – 750mg-2,000mg/day – in 2 doses. Recommend Nutrarev.

-Citrulline – 6-8g, 30-60 minutes before exercise. Recommend Citruvol

-Beta-Alanine – 2-5g, 30-60 minutes before exercise. Recommend NOW Foods.

-BCAA’s – 10-20g every 60-90 minutes during exercise. Recommend Recoverease.

-Amino acids – 10-20g every 60-90 minutes during exercise. Recommend MAP.


Gabriel asks:
I live in Puerto Rico, we have little access to quality animal based protein. Most of the beef and poultry is from industrial South American animals. What cuts of beef or chicken pieces are the least bad in terms of hormones etc? I eat frozen salmon, cod or tuna once or twice a week (I don't eat it frozen, I cook it before ;-) and I eat quinoa a couple of times a week too but man, there's something about a nice piece of meat, you know?

In my response I recommend activated charcoal for taking to mitigate effects of “dirty meat”.


Matt says:
Ben, I read that power is lost 1.7x faster than strength as we age. I thought power and strength were the same thing. What is the difference and should I be working more on power exercise than strength exercises? Can you give an example of the difference between the two? Btw I'm 39 years old.

In my response to Matt, I mention my list of performance recommendations, including:

-Triglyeride based fish oil for enhanced nerve function, 2-4g/day. Recommend SuperEssentials and TwinLab Cod Liver Oil.

-Choline – 250-500mg daily – Recommend TwinLabs.

-L-Tyrosine – 0.5-2g, 20-45 minutes prior – Recommend NOW Foods.

-Green Tea Extract – 400-500mg EGCG equivalent per day. Recommend delta-E.

-Vitamin B Complex. Recommend delta-E.


Alan asks:

“When you eat matters, not just what you eat” – any thoughts on this article?  trying to think about how you might incorporate this into an active work/family life and finding it difficult. i workout at 5am.  i would have to skip breakfast to make this work since dinner with my wife and kids is a priority. plan would have to be dinner at 5, lunch at 1, breakfast at 10.  does not sound too different from your routine, no?  little concerned about eating so long after workout, but if it is just a fat burning workout perhaps it would be fine.  i will try and let you know how it goes! Would love to hear your thoughts/concerns.


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