Episode #231- Full Transcript

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Introduction:  In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast:  Is the best fat loss diet for people also the best fat loss diet for your pet?  Also: what to eat to prevent cold phenocane for SI joint issues sores, how to use sodium bicarbonate for performance, what to do about a burning sensation in calf muscles, eating maple syrup for training and racing, and taking.

Brock:  Did you just fall over?

Ben:  No, I’m good.

Brock:  All right.  Well, Ben, since you didn’t fall over and hurt yourself, why don’t we jump in to the show here?  How are you doing?

Ben:  Oh good!  Are we actually going to play that thump on the radio? on the live show uncensored?

Brock:  Across the radio, uncensored. People would be worried for a second there that you actually fell over.

Ben:  No.  I was enjoying a coffee cup – dang big coffee cup.  It’s like my 10-gallon hat which I don’t worry too much on podcasting just because it hits the microphone.

Brock:  Yeah.  That’s dangerous.

Ben:  Speaking of 10 gallons, I’m gonna go and buy a tiny little kettle bell this morning – a tiny, tiny one.

Brock:  Like one that you would pick up like a tea cup with the dainty fingers?

Ben:  I’m teaching my kids how to do medicine ball slams and kettle bell swings.

Brock:  That’s awesome.

Ben:  Dar our next step because we’ve got this little dumbbell we’ve been playing around with with swings and I’m stepping them up to a kettle bell.  So what they do ‘cause for people who don’t know, I’ve got 4-year old twin boys.  So we go back and forth like one guy does slams while the other guy does swings and we switch.  That’s the workout is they do 4 sets of slams and swings.

Brock:  How heavy is the kettle bell going to be like? A quarter of a pound or half a pound or something?

Ben:  I think I can probably find like a 1 or 2 kg.

Brock:  Okay.  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.  Something like that.  Exactly.  Throw their little hips into it and I’m gonna turn them into little Russian Olympic monsters.

Brock:  That’s exactly what I was thinking. That ripped little kid that stands in front of the mirror doing  rrrrrhhhh…

Ben:  I’ll start them on the horse steroids next week.  All right.  Well, speaking of horse steroids, why don’t we jump in to this week’s content?

Brock:  Sure!

News Flashes:

Brock:  All right.   Make sure to follow Ben at Twitter.com Ben GreenfieldFacebook.com BGFitness and Google+.  I’m not even trying and tell you good URL.  Just go to the website bengreenfieldfitness.com and you can find all of those things right there and once you follow Ben, you will have access to all of these great studies that he puts out every…well, I guess you don’t put them out but you relate them to the people pretty much everyday.

Ben:  I will apologize in advance for that ‘cause I get these tweets back.  This happened a few times this week. People like, “please translate”. So I will translate. I will spend the next couple of minutes translating some of those important stuff for you guys.

Brock:  Bring it on.

Ben:  One of the tweets that I sent out this week went like this:  It said, “how to turn yourself into an infertile weak skinny fat over-exerciser”.

Brock:  That sounds fantastic.  I’ve been waiting for this.

Ben:  When I saw the study come out, it kinda struck a chord with me because as you know, Brock, I’m writing my book right now on everything that people do wrong with training and nutrition especially when it comes to endurance sports.  And I’m releasing that book chapter by chapter over at bengreenfieldfitness.com and for you listeners, already the first 2 chapters are out. The third chapter, which is going to be huge and epic and it’s how I spent the better part of every morning – sitting and writing.  That will come out this week. This study looked into basically, the mechanisms that exist in the human body to defend us against the adverse effect of negative energy balance.  What I mean by that is that when you go into an energy deficit, whether it’s an energy deficit that you create through lots of exercise or an energy deficit that you create through caloric restriction, your body offsets that by making all these little hormone and what are called neuro endocrine adjustments to regulate your appetite and to regulate your satiety.


Now, what happens with exercise stress is, you get increased cortisol secretion which is your body’s stress hormone as a lot of people know. But what happens is that in healthy people with energy deficits, that type of exercise-induced stress can cause impaired reproductive function.  This may sound like it’s coming out of left field – the whole reproduction function part of things.  But here’s the really, really important part to look at and there’re some really interesting studies in monkeys, of all things, where they put female monkeys on a treadmill and have them run on a treadmill and they found after just…

Brock:  They found that it was super cute?

Ben:  Super cute.  After just 2 or 3 sessions, the reproductive function of these chimps was totally lost and in the males, they remain fertile but they noted a loss of drive and sexual dysfunction and depression.  And so whenever you’re looking at a healthy human body, usually, in many cases, a healthy human body is also a human body that churns out the proper amount of reproductive hormone because health and sexuality and fertility are all very intimately related.  And so it should be concerning when you hear about how exercise stress combined with an energy deficit can cause this type of severe disruption of reproductive function.   And for those of you who want the title of the study, it’s called Neuro Endocrine Alterations in the Exercising Human:  Implications for Energy Homeostasis.  (It’s a mouthful.)

Brock:  Okay.  So you have to remember that. We’re not going to put a link on the webpage.

Ben:  We will not put a link…we will.  We’ll put a link to all the stuff in the show notes.  What it looks like is that some of the effects of this can be mitigated by making sure that your body is not going into too great of a negative energy balance.  So here’s the practical take-away for those people who don’t just care about the sexual function part.   Farther than that is when you look at this, what it comes down to is that because there is such a pronounced hormonal deficit that occurs in response to a negative energy balance combined with endurance training.  If you need to lose fat, if you need to lose weight, it’s gonna be better for your long-term health to lose weight by not doing lots of chronic long cardio but by doing short high intensity intervals, some weight training and  a little bit of cardio.  And combining that with any amount of calorie restriction that’s necessary for you to lose weight or burn fat and then if you’re training for a triathlon or marathon or something like that, start to go into more of that triathlon style training, marathon style training that inevitably is going to have a little bit more cardio associated with it.  But wait until after  you’ve lost the weight that you wanna lose, doing something other than chronic repetitive long sessions.  Does that make sense?

Brock:  Yes. So you don’t wanna couple the stress of preparing for the race and losing weight at the same time ‘cause that’s gonna be too much overload. So if you do them separately, you can sort of mitigate the amount of damage that’s being done.

Ben:  Yeah. Or even more specifically, don’t combine chronic cardio with energy restriction if your longevity in health is important to you.  It’s actually better to combine a little bit of weight training and high intensity interval training with energy restriction for weight loss and then move on after you’ve lost the weight to add in some of those longer bike rides or longer runs or swims or something like that.

Brock:  At a time when you’re not calorically restricted.

Ben:  Exactly.  And folks, if you got questions about any of this stuff, just leave a comment for the podcast and I’ll respond to you and try and help you out.  Anyway, there’s that and…

Brock:  And that’s a really great study and it raises a great point but I don’t think that’s a huge surprise to anybody who’s a regular listener to this show.

Ben:  Yeah.  Exactly.  Let’s talk about improving power if you’re riding a bike.  We’ve mentioned whole body vibration training on the show before.  And I have yet to go out and get one of these vibration trainers.

Brock:  Because they’re $10000.

Ben:  Actually, Dave Asprey who is speaking at the Become Superhuman event which is next week, he has the bulletproof vibe.  I’ll link to it in the show notes.  It’s like a $1000.  It’s like this really simple, no frills, 30 hertz vibration plate and interestingly, 30 hertz is the actual frequency that they use in a lot of these studies and at the end of the study, that was exactly what they used.  The study I’m about to talk about but it’s just this plate that you stand on vibration plate.  That’s a $1000.  I haven’t got one yet but I do use one at the gym occasionally when I’m over there.


They have these cyclists doing 3 times a week 10 minute sessions of just standing on the vibration platform.  Unlike the study we mentioned a few weeks ago where they had runners standing on the vibration platform and the runners were in a partial squat.

Brock:  Yeah.  Like a quarter squat?

Ben:  Yeah. These cyclists were just standing on the plate and they actually replaced some of their cycling training with this whole body vibration training just standing on this vibration platform.  Well, no surprise because they weren’t training as much because they were spending this time standing on the vibration platform, they had a 30% decrease in their weekly cycling training time.  And that resulted in a 6% decrease in their VO2max and a 4% decrease in their lactic acid threshold.  So they’re basically de-trained. However, despite the evidence of the whole body vibration group being de-trained compared to the people who weren’t using the vibration platform, they maintained their WOTS and they actually had a higher peak power production compared to the group that wasn’t doing the whole body vibration training.  So what this comes down to is that I know this sounds like some stupid shortcut to all of you pure road cyclists or people who are really into cycling out there but you can literally replace some of your cycling training by standing on a vibration platform and despite a little decrease in your VO2max and your lactic acid tolerance, you still are training your body and you actually end up producing more power than your peers.

Brock:  Did they measure the duration of that power though?  ‘Cause that would seem to me like, sure, you would generate more power for a short amount of time but how would it go over like a century ride or something?

Ben:  Yeah.  And that’s the “blue sky” stuff.  That’s kind of the unknown.  Because when we’re talking about what’s used in most of these studies, that’s wingate peak power which is 30-second peak power.  The take-away though for this is that it could be an attractive training supplement for improving power without actually increasing muscle mass in cyclists because think about it this way.  A competitive cyclist, you don’t want to necessarily add a lot of muscle weight.  What would be more attractive to you for trying to increase power is to somehow get the muscles or get your nervous system to recruit more muscle fibers without adding too much extra weight.  If I were a competitor road cyclist, I would be considering grabbing a vibration platform, using it a few times a week.  Even if you aren’t gonna decrease in most cycling training that you do, hack if you’re talking on the phone or something, you can stand on a vibration platform and you may be able to explain to the person on the other end what you’re up to.

Brock:  That would be an amusing way to spend a conference call.

Ben:  Yeah. Exactly.  But whole body vibration training.  There you go.

Brock:  Interesting.

Ben:  Let’s move on and of course, talk about our token topic that we always tend to bring up on the show which would be pooping.  You can’t talk about vibration without talking about pooping.  That would be an interesting study, by the way – see how whole body vibration platform did in terms of a constipation fix.  Interesting.

Brock:  I think we can get funding for that.

Ben:  I know that for me, I tend to do jumping jacks in the morning to help my bowel movement come along.  I do about 150 jacks.

Brock:  Crunches works the best for me.

Ben:  Yeah. Crunches, squats…Squats would be another good one.  Squats on the squatty potty.

Brock:  And you’re in the right position.  It’s perfect.

Ben:  There is this study that came out. I thought it was interesting because I’m getting ready here really soon to release the podcast that I did with the doctor who wrote the 12 Fiber Myths on the show which was a really controversial article that came out at bengreenfieldfitness.com a few weeks ago about fiber and how we’re misled about fiber.  But this study came out that actually looked into…It was a really big review.  Huge article that talked about constipation and compared every single constipation fix you could ever find on the face of the planet in terms of just like everything – all the different laxatives out there, all the different things out there that you could use to make a bowel movement come along a little bit more smoothly.


Brock:  And then use the vibration plate.

Ben:  They didn’t use a vibration plate.  However, I’ll tell you what the Top 5 Constipation Fixes were according to this study.  And I’ll also tell you the one or two that I’d recommend.  One was Olestra.  And Olestra is that fat substitute that you’ll find a lot of times in weight loss supplements that has been accused before on the show of causing anal leakage.

Brock:  It’s not in the “Oooops, I cropped my pants”.

Ben:  It’s one of those “Oooops, I cropped my pants” fat loss supplements where it’s…yes, it will cause less absorption of fats from the food that you eat and it will also cause those fats to come out of your bottom pretty quick.  So Olestra is actually quite efficacious, it turns out for fixing constipation.  No surprise there.

Brock:  No unless you don’t get too far away from your toilet.

Ben:  All-Bran was ranked really high which I’m not a huge fan of because a lot of sources of All-Bran also contain gluten which is an inflammatory protein.

Brock:  And that’s the psyllium fiber that the fiber guy was talking about a lot in his post, wasn’t it?

Ben:  Well, psyllium, interestingly, also was ranked among the top 5.  It’s different from All-Bran but it was also in there, but yes, similar to All-Bran, psyllium may actually long-term even though short-term it’s a good constipation fix, long-term, can cause some intestinal damage due to excessive bulking, basically which is talked about in an article.  Lactulose also works.  And lactulose is an ingredient that you’ll find in a lot of these constipation fixes but also can cause gas and bloating.  So lactulose extract would be another one.  But the last one that I’m really actually a fan of because I actually like the taste of them is prunes.  Just popping a few prunes can actually do the trick and have some prunes, a glass of water, and there you go.

Brock:  I love prunes. I actually quite often get kinda angry that it has that effect on my bowels ‘cause I’d like to eat more of them.

Ben:  Yeah.  Speaking of constipation fixes, I will shut up ‘cause I know all of our listeners are very smooth bowel movements and none of them are constipated.

Brock:  Like silk.

Ben:  Actually a lot of endurance athletes I’ve talked to have issues of constipation. I think a big part of it is a high carb intake and just a high food intake in general.  Anyways, I was having dinner down at San Diego with a couple of guys – Sean Croxton who runs the underground wellness blog which is a cool podcast and Drew Canole who runs Fit Life TV and he’s like a vegan juicer guy.  We were having dinner a few nights ago down in San Diego and Drew told me about this stuff called oxygenated magnesium and he said that he uses oxygenated magnesium and apparently, it’s just like the best thing ever for taking before bed and helping you sleep a little bit but also helping you pop out of bed in the morning and have things happen super smooth super quick.  So I ordered some of that and I’m gonna try it out so keep listeners up-to-date on how oxygenated magnesium  works for that particular issue because I’m all about making life more efficient.

Brock:  Yup!  We’ll all be waiting on the edge of our seats, edge of our toilet seats for your review.

Ben:  All right.  Last thing is I tweeted that there’s more evidences that reducing oxygen supply to your muscles during exercise gets you fit faster.  Now, there’ve been a ton of studies on 2 different forms of reducing oxygen to your muscle:  One is called occlusion training and this may sound weird to people and it’s something that they use a lot of times in physical therapy settings and rehabilitation settings but you literally tie like a tourniquet above a muscle that you’re working and especially if that muscle is being rehabbed or you gotta use a really light weight for the muscle.  When you use that kind of what’s called vascular occlusion, a calf blood flow to a muscle a little bit and then you work the muscle with a weight, what happens is that there is a hormonal and muscle building response that is more significant than if that muscle had full blood supply.  Whereas I don’t think a lot of folks out there who are listening in are gonna head to the gym with a tourniquet to use occlusion training.  There was a study that came out this month that compared occlusion training with hypoxic training with regular training.


And in hypoxic training, what they did was actually have these people wear masks that were delivering hypoxic air.  Usually, air has an oxygen saturation of around 99% and what this was giving the people was an artery of blood oxygen saturation of about 80% so they’re cutting off about 20% of oxygen. And it actually resulted in a muscle training response and a hormonal response very, very similar to doing like a vascular occlusion, like a tourniquet style training.  So I know that there are these altitude training masks that are out there and we’ve talked about them in the show before – those masks that kinda cut off some of your oxygen and cause you to be training hypoxically.  Well, it turns out that this stuff works and you get a pronounced hormonal and muscle growth response with stressing out the muscle by giving it less oxygen than what it normally gets during your training.  I think that this is interesting for a few reasons.  First of all, if you do wanna look like Darth Vader or Storm Trooper at the gym, or Bane, it may actually pay some dividends when it comes to training. The other thing that is interesting for me is that I’m getting ready for Ironman Whistler up there in your neck of the woods and by “your neck of the woods”, I mean your country.

Brock:  It’s up way closer to where you live than it is where I live.

Ben:  Anyways though, that race is at about 5,000 feet or so of elevation.  I know there’s a lot of triathletes that listen in that might be in training for like Taho which has about 6,000 feet, I believe of elevation.  And I am actually, over the course of this summer, going to be testing out and reporting on the practical and logistical implications of using an altitude tent.  I’m actually getting an altitude tent.

Brock:  Cool!

Ben:  And I’m going to sleep in it occasionally even though I’m not gonna be doing that too much because my wife, I don’t think will go near it.  But I’ll probably hang out in there and read books, maybe get some work done, that kind of stuff.  But I’ll report to our listeners how it feels to throw an altitude training tent into the mix and what I would encourage people to do is experiment a little bit with hypoxic training even if you don’t get one of these hypoxic masks.  Try like hypoxic swimming if you’re a swimmer, meaning hold your breath and see how long you can swim and do that…I like to finish up a swim sometimes at 10 by 25 repeats of hypoxic sets where I’m swimming 25 meter without taking a breath, stopping, taking a breath and then continuing on.  The other thing that you could do is you could play like a drinking game, you could play hypoxic game while you’re listening to this podcast.  Every time Brock says Putin or curling hockey, you could hold your breath for 60 seconds.  You may actually die.

Brock:  I’m gonna try to hold my breath during all of your answers.

Ben:  There you go.  Say goodbye to Brock.  All right, let’s jump in to the special announcements.

Special Announcements:

Brock:  Make sure to go to audiblepodcast.com/ben and get your free membership – your audible listener gold membership for free and you also can download an audio book for free as well and they don’t make you give it back.

Ben:  Did you just pull that out of your butt – audible listener gold or is that their actual…?

Brock:  That’s actually what you sign up for when you go to audiblepodcast.com/ben.

Ben:  Wow!  Audible listener gold – that’s some VIPish out right there.   Anyways, honestly, I haven’t been over to audiblepodacst.com/ben in a little while to review the books but I think you were checking out a book over there, right, Brock?

Brock:  I was.  I’m actually in the middle of a book called Monkey Mind by Daniel Smith.  The idea behind this book is actually, he’s a fellow who suffered from anxiety for a most of his life like crippling anxiety but hacks general anxiety disorder.  And he really does a fantastic job of chronicling sort of what he thinks started it and triggered it in his life and also how he deals with it and all of that kind of stuff.  And the best part of it is it’s actually a really funny and compelling story.  His life is quite a unique.  I don’t wanna give anything away but it’s actually a great story even if you’re not really interested in the anxiety side of things.  Considering that 40 million American adults currently suffer from some sort of anxiety condition, it’s probably pretty relevant for a lot of people out there.


Ben:  Yeah.  I just drink. That’s a good way to handle anxiety, right?

Brock:  Yes.  Actually, I think that’s the whole moral of the story.

Ben:  Clinically proven way to reduce anxiety is vodka or wine are about the gluten-free alternatives to eliminate anxiety here.

Brock:  Of course, that or just clubbing yourself in the back of the head everyday.

Ben:  Yup!  So check that out over at audiblepodcast.com/ben if you wanna learn ways that go above and beyond simply using alcohol to drown anxiety. A couple other special announcements:  Speaking of excessive drinking, myself and VinnieTortorich, who I understand is a real fan of vodka, who is also a podcaster.  He runs the Angriest Trainer podcast and he’s a Hollywood celebrity trainer who’s into ketogenic diet and avoiding sugars and grains.

Brock:  NSNG – is that what he says?  No sugar, no grain?

Ben:  No sugar, no grains, which I disagree with but I’ll expound  that in the event that I’m about to talk about.  Vinnie, me and vegan athlete, Rich Roll are going to have a bit of a diet debate.  So here’s what to mark your calendars for if you wanna attend this thing live.  Watch it live via video spree cast and participate by asking questions.  It’s gonna be March 13th (I do not know what day that is, I think probably, Wednesday).   March 13th at 5:30 PM Pacific time.  I’ll put a link in the show notes for this episode.  What’s the number for this episode, Brock?

Brock:  231.

Ben:  I’ll put a link to it at Episode #231 over at bengreenfieldfitness.com.  If you go follow the link that’s over there on Episode #231 at bengreenfieldfitness.com, you should be able to add it to your calendar.  So there’s that coming up and that should be interesting.  And then the only other thing that I wanted to mention was the MyList for this episode.  And you can actually get featured on the next Ben Greenfield Fitness…Actually, you won’t get featured on the next Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Brock:  Not next week, next couple of weeks.

Ben:  Next week, Brock and I are podcasting live via video.  It’s gonna be one day late but Brock is coming to Spokane for the Become Superhuman Live event and on Thursday, in between setting up for the event and getting everything ready for this to be the most epic health fitness and nutrition event of 2013.  It’s crazy.  Hundreds of people are descending on Spokane, Washington to listen to people like Nora Gedgaudas and Phil Maffeton and Dave Dave Asprey and to party and do boot camps in the morning with me.

Brock:  We are going to trash in place.

Ben:  Yes, we are gonna paint Spokane freaking red.  And by the way, you can still get into that.  I know it’s super late but if you’re a person who makes decisions on a fly, buy my blanket.

Brock:  A spontaneous person?

Ben:  Yeah.  Spontaneous.  I blank on words sometimes on a podcast.

Brock:  Everybody does.

Ben:  If you’re a spontaneous person and you wanna get in, you can still do it at superhumancoach.com.  Brock and I are podcasting live next week and if you follow my Twitter feed or my Facebook feed, I’ll let you guys know when the actual time.  I think this can be right around 1:00 PM Pacific time on Thursday but I might be coming down to the hotel and do it there with Brock.

Brock:  Yeah.  I’ll likely be chasing Ben through the hotel with the camera asking the questions while he runs around getting everything ready but I’ll try and get him to sit down for a minute.

Ben:  No.  That’s what Jennifer, my event manager is for.  She’s been a tremendous help in that department.  These live events are expensive, too.  You know how much money it’s cost me to put on a live event?

Brock:  I’m gonna guess upwards of 50 grand?

Ben:  35 grand so far.  That doesn’t include paying speakers and stuff.  I literally have pretty much emptied my all bank accounts putting on this live event.  But it’s gonna be really cool for people and I’ll have it available for sale afterwards so you could buy it if you’re not coming out to the event.


Brock:  Oh awesome!  Like videos and…

Ben:  Yeah.  I’ll get it produced on videos and CDs.  It may be a total loss but one of my goals in life is to make people’s lives better and this event is really going to change lives of a lot of folks so it’s gonna be quite cool.  It’s kinda like planning a wedding except without the marriage part.

Brock:  That’s 20 times how much I spent on my first wedding.

Ben:  Yeah.  How about your second or your third?

Brock:  We won’t talk about that.  Anyway, we were talking about MyList before we went crazy off the church here so if you wanna get featured in not the next episode but probably sometime in the perceivable future, make sure you create a MyList by going to what is it?  MyList.com/bengreenfield?

Ben:  Yeah. MyList.com/bengreenfield. And when you go to MyList.com/bengreenfield, what we do is we keep this really helpful list like everything that we talk about on the show.  For example, in today’s show, I know we’re talking about food.  On the MyList, I’ll be sure and put a link to the food that I would endorse if you don’t wanna use the recipe that Jessa and I use for our dogs and here’s everything, just a convenient list for you over there.  Anyways, though, if you create your MyList by going to MyList.com/bengreenfield and signing up with MyList, then you share your MyList with us. You can just go over there to the Facebook page and share it on our Facebook page and we will pick the best list, whether it’s a list on health, fitness, nutrition.  The last one was on healthy travel.  Make your cool MyList and make sure it’s health or fitness or nutrition-related if you want us to feature it on this podcast.  Don’t make it about sail boating or horseback riding.

Brock:  Well, unless you can figure out a way to make it relate.  Daniella had one on her cosmetics.

Ben:  There you go.  On healthy make-up.  And we’ll feature you on the next episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Listener Q & A:

Angie:   Hi Ben and Brock!   This is Angie from the UK.  I have a question regarding cold sores.  I’m 33 and I’ve been getting them since I can remember but they’re usually aggravated by lack of sleep or periods of having poor diet.  I’ve been _____[0:33:52.9]  around supplementation to reduce the number of outbreaks and I understand that the amino acid L-lysine in combination with zinc, vitamin C and bioflavonoids can help with this.  My question is can I take a full spectrum amino acids supplements? Will the presence of L-arginine inhibit the effectiveness of the L-lysine?  What would you recommend in terms of supplementation?  Thank you guys for the amazing company _____[0:34:18.2].  I look forward to hearing what your thoughts say.  Thanks, guys.

Brock:  That is an awesome well-researched question, Angie.  I didn’t even try to transcribe it all ‘cause I was like “Wow!  This is blowing my mind!”

Ben:  Plus, if you have a sexy British accent, granted, we’re gonna play you as the first question on the show.

Brock:  Yup!  Or perhaps the second.

Ben:  Even if you’re some gruff Florida backwards red neck, just simulate a sexy British accent and we’ll play you on the show even if your question sucks, it’s the sexy British accent, basically.

Brock:  That’s exactly how I choose what questions get played on the show.


Ben:  Exactly.   So lysine vs. arginine.  The whole idea behind this is that lysine is really, really important for your connective tissue health and it actually can have a pretty significant effect on cold sores.  And the thing that is kind of expounded upon here by Angie is that it’s possible that if you are consuming arginine along with lysine, that the arginine may inhibit some of the effect of lysine on cold sores which I’m going to use rather than the other term which I could use for them which is herpes. We won’t talk about herpes, we’ll call them cold sores ‘cause that sounds more nice.

Brock:  When I get them, they’re herpes.  When Angie gets them, they’re cold sores.

Ben:  Yeah. Exactly. Anyways though, when it comes to lysine and arginine, rather than using a full spectrum amino acid that has lysine in it, because that’s also going to have enough arginine in to combat some of the some of the effects of that lysine, it would be better for you to choose foods that are high in lysine and lower in arginine or just to get a lysine supplement.  My mom used to have a lot of cold sores and she could pretty much get rid of them within a couple of days by just using a lysine amino acid supplement from the health food store.

Brock:  Is it the lysine?  I thought it was the arginine that was good for the cold sores.

Ben:  No. It’s the lysine that good for the cold sores.  You want low arginine, high lysine.

Brock:  Gotcha.  Okay.

Ben:  It’s not like arginine is bad for you but it can inhibit some of the effects of the lysine.  So foods that are high in lysine and low in arginine, if you suffer from cold sores that would help you, one would be dairy foods.  I assume you’re not lactose intolerant, that you’re choosing healthy dairy foods and if you want more of the healthy dairy foods, go listen to the podcast I just did on Rich Food, Poor Food with Mira and Jason Calton where we talked about dairy.  Buy that book, by the way.  It’s really good – Rich Food, Poor Food.   They talk all about…

Brock:  Yeah.  That interview blew my mind.

Ben:  Yeah.  They talked all about which dairy is good and which is bad.  If you got access to organic dairy, raw and pasteurized dairy and stuff like that, all that is really, really good in terms of being high in lysine and low in arginine.  Fish is also high in lysine and low arginine, except shellfish. Shellfish is the complete opposite, actually, so don’t do crab and lobster and shrimp and stuff like that, salmon and cod and things of that nature.  Meat, in general, is higher in lysine and lower in arginine.  Fish is best but you could also get away with pork and beef and stuff like that.  Now, there are even some fruits and vegetables that would be considered high lysine and low arginine.  The problem is that if you have a cold sore, fruits, in general, the vitamin C and acidity of the fruit in your mouth can aggravate the cold sore.  But if you don’t really know is that something that aggravates your cold sore is something like mango.  Mango is really high in lysine and low in arginine.  Figs are another one.  Avocadoes, as a matter of fact, are not too bad. And of course, these aren’t too acidic either.  Tomatoes, celery, those would be a few of the good ones, and pears.  So those are some of the things you could look into as far as being higher in lysine and low in arginine.  There are a couple of other things I should mention to you though, when it comes to cold sores, because there are 2 things that work even better in terms of topical application on the actual cold sore itself that work really, really well.  I would highly recommend that you look into the use of acetone or hydrogen peroxide.  Both acetone and hydrogen peroxide can be enormously effective.

Brock:  Okay.  You’re talking externally, right?  Not internally.

Ben:  Right.  Use of external application of either of those.  You put it on a paper towel type of thing and you dub them on the mouth.

Brock:  Don’t drink them.

Ben:  Yeah.  There you go and that is what I would do for your herpes there, Angie.  We should just title this show, Angie’s Herpes.

Daniela:   Hi Ben and Brock!  Daniela in Sacramento here.  I have a bit of an odd question so I understand if you can’t answer this one.  I just got back to my family’s home after 4 months away and our dog has gained a lot of weight.  I know you’re not a vet, Ben but since you study Biochemistry, I thought there is a chance you might know. Could human fat loss methods be applied to other animals?  Our vet didn’t offer much advice.  Another question:  I’m completely distraught that I can’t go to your Superhuman Live event in March due to previous commitments in the UK.  And I’m just wondering is there a section on any of your pages or websites that lists the future events or conferences that you’ll be hosting or attending or that you just think could be a benefit to your listeners?  Thank you so much.


Ben:  Gosh, we’re not getting out the ball park with these British accents. Love it.  So Daniela, what’s up?  She said she’s from Sacramento.

Brock:  Yeah.  That was weird.

Ben:  Many folks in Sacramento talk like that. She must be a transplant.  Anyways, so, do human weight loss strategies work for animals?  Is the best fat loss diet for people also gonna be the best fat loss diet for pets?  First of all, let me say that our dog started to come down with cancer a couple of years ago and we completely reversed it by putting our dog on a ketogenic diet, meaning that every morning, what our dog has for its food is ground up raw meat with some spinach, some minerals, some flax oil and some vitamin K.  And that is our dog’s diet every single day.  That’s actually called the BARF diet.  You can go google it.  It stands for biologically appropriate raw food.  And it’s becoming a more and more popular diet now for animals based off of this whole primal concept.  If you look at your dog’s mouth and you note the size and the shape of your dog’s teeth, they’re organized kind of like scissors and that’s because dogs, ancestrally, are adapted to tear through the hide of  a meat and the bone of prey animals and to rip and to shred and to shear animal meat.

Brock:  And tennis balls.

Ben:  And tennis balls.  You’ll notice that their molars are pointed and they’re not flat. Their jaws are very powerful and they even have neck muscles that are a little bit differently designed than humans because that helps the dog to pull down and consume prey, if you’re looking at like a wild dog or wolf, for example, in its environment.  And a dog can also open its jaws a lot wider than a typical human to accommodate the big honks of meat and bone.  And a dog’s jaw doesn’t even move laterally very well.  It’s got more of an up and down movement that’s literally designed for crushing.

Brock:  Not the grinding that we can do.

Ben:  Exactly.

Brock:  The mashing and grinding.

Ben:  Yeah.  And a dog has a very expandable stomach so their stomach can hold large quantities of things like meat and organs and bone and animal hide.  It’s a very short and simple stomach when you look at it in design is meant to move food through very, very quickly.  Interestingly, the dogs also don’t make enzymes in their saliva that allow them to break down carbohydrates and starches.  Dogs are literally designed to be carnivores, I mean, every aspect of a dog.  And because there’s no salivary enzymes that they have in their mouth available to handle carbs and starches, basically, the pancreas has to produce enzymes that will help a dog to deal with plant matter and carbohydrates and things of that nature.  And that puts a ton of strain on a dog’s pancreas when it’s trying to churn out enough enzymes to deal with carbohydrate intake vs. an intake of fats and proteins. And a dog’s pancreas actually produces a lot more enzymes that are necessary to process fats and protein than does the enzymes that are necessary to process carbohydrates.  Dogs also got different gut bacteria.  They don’t break down cellulose and starch in plant matter same way as humans do or other vegetative animals like horses or cows do.  And that means that if you’re trying to use plant matter to nourish your dog, most of the nutrients in plants are not super well absorbed when it comes to that.  Now, when you look at what we tend to actually feed dogs in modern culture, a lot of times, we use pet food that’s based off of corn and soybean and grains – food that a dog is really not meant to digest or to feed on.


And the problem with this pet food is it also tends to have higher amounts of bacteria in it and it also tends to have microtoxins in it that has mold or fungi that basically comes from the grains and the wheat and the corn and some of the fish meal that’s used in pet food ingredients that’s very easily contaminated with microtoxins.  Pesticides and fertilizers that are used on a lot of these plant foods that are added to pet food, wind up in the pet food, genetically modified products are in there like soy and corn and things of that nature – those are huge ingredients in pet food.  You’ll even find a lot of carcinogens like acrylamide in pet food and that’s because pet food tends to be dried and cooked at high temperatures and what happens in that process is what’s called aging or advanced glycation end products and when you heat cereal grains and potatoes and things like that and you process them at high temperature, you produce a lot of these potentially carcinogenic compounds. What it comes down to is that when you’re going to the grocery store and buying these big dry bags of food, you’re essentially giving your dog a bunch of stuff that is not designed to digest killing it faster and also putting it into a state where it’s more prone to gain weight and gain fat because it’s not processing this foods the way that a dog’s body is designed to process food.  So when it comes to a dog, the best diet for a dog, the diet that’s going to allow a dog to maintain weight and be as healthy as possible, would be a diet that is a little bit more primal per se.  And I’ll put a link in the show notes because there are companies that make what’s called Primal Pet Food.  You can get it off Amazon, for example, and it’s literally pet food that is basically designed not to have a lot of these grains in plant matter and carbohydrates and is instead like raw meat sources.  Like I mentioned, we personally grind up beef and feed that to our dog along with some oils and some vitamins mixed in.  You can give your dog chicken carcasses and organs and eggs and turkey drumsticks and gizzards. You can give them fish – sardines, herring, anchovies, mackerel, stuff like that.  You can give your dog ground chuck organs.  Even marrow bones are really good for dogs.  What you’re gonna notice is your dog’s coat gets better like Rupert’s – that’s the name of our boxer who had the cancer who is now just fine.  His coat has gotten oily and has this really beautiful shiny appearance to it.  His teeth have gotten better.  We haven’t had to bring him to the vet at all now.  Our next trip to the vet will be to neuter our other dog, Blitzen who you probably heard outside right now.  Speaking of primal dogs, I think he’s trying to eat the neighbor’s toy dogs.  You’ll find that your dog doesn’t poop as much.  We’re talking about constipation, your dog basically, when it does go to the bathroom, it doesn’t drag it ass on the grass, so to speak, trying to get poop out.  It just goes to the bathroom in a normal way.  You can add a little bit of vegetables in.  We just use a blender.  We blend the meat and everything in a blender and then dump it into a bowl for the dog.  You can a little bit of vegetables but you don’t need much.  You can add a little bit of carrots, spinach or something like that in there but you don’t need much because dogs really can’t digest plants all that well.  Now, to get to the root of the question, though, I don’t necessarily say that that’s the best diet for a human.  I started off by talking about looking into a dog’s mouth and seeing the size and shape of their teeth but if you look at your own mouth and at your molars, they’re large and they’re flat and our jaws can move laterally and our mouth does produce salivary enzymes that can digest sugars and grains and fruits and vegetable matter.  Our pancreas can churn out more insulin than a dog’s pancreas can.  Our stomach and our small intestine are designed differently.  Our stomach is a little bit smaller. Our small intestine produces a lot more of the type of bacteria that can assimilate and handle plant matter a little bit better.  And so, when you’re looking at a human diet, a human diet should definitely be more omnivorous than a dog’s diet.  And if you look at a horse or a cow and you move that direction, you’re getting into almost a complete vegetarian or vegan type of profile for a horse or a cow where they can actually take plant matter and turn them into fatty acids and turn to highly absorbable nutrients.  Humans are quite as good at doing that.  Humans still need to get some amino acids and some fatty acids ideally from some meat sources unlike a cow or a horse.


When you look at the spectrum, we’ve got the dogs and the wolves and the carnivorous animals that are gonna do best in terms of weight loss and heath of this primal meat-based diet.  If you look at humans, we’re gonna do well on a good mix of vegetable and plant matter and then some meat matter as well.  Small amounts of grains and sugars and fruits and things like that churn in.  And then you look at horses and cows and things like that and they’re gonna do best on primarily plant matter.  That’s what it comes down to.  We make our dog’s own food.  You could go google “biologically appropriate raw food” or BARF and you would come up with BARF recipes that you could use for your dog or you cat.  You can follow the link that I put on the show notes to Primal Pet Food that you can literally just grab off of Amazon and you can feed that to your pet but I would not be getting any of this dried bag of food from the grocery store unless you wanna make your pet fat and sick and cause them to die earlier and come down to things like arthritis and cancer and all of the things that tend to be chronic disease issues in people’s pets these days.

Brock:  And definitely, throw your dog on to the elliptical trainer.

Ben:  Yeah.

Brock:  For some long bouts of endurance.

Ben:  Exactly.  Rowing machine.  Our dog likes the rowing machine.

Brock:  So Daniela also asked about if there are any events that you personally are putting on or that you would recommend in the next 6 months or so that your listeners should go and attend.

Ben:  Sure!  First of all, whenever I sign up for something or I’m going to something or I’m putting an event on, I do 2 things:  One, I put it out on Twitter so if you follow twitter.com/bengreenfield, like last night I announced that I just signed up for Japan Half Ironman and I tweeted that I’m going to Japan Half Ironman.  Join me, let me know, I’m doing a race in Vietnam in April.  I know those are races, not conferences, but I always make sure I write stuff out there on twitter.com/bengreenfield and over at Facebook.com/bgfitness to let folks know about that.  So that’s one way but I also put it up on the Pacific Elite Fitness calendar and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes but any of the camps, any of the clinics that I do or that I’m present at, I do put a link to those over at the Pacific Elite Fitness calendar.  And a few other things:  I would say I go to a lot of conferences.  I travel quite a bit.  I just got back from Triathlon Business International and I went down to the Endurance Live Awards which isn’t really a conference as much as more like a gala.  I went to Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Biohacking Conference.  If he has that one again, I’d recommend that one.  It was really interesting for people who like to focus on how technology could be used to make you healthier or improve your life.  It was called the Bulletproof Biohacking Conference.   I’ll be down at Paleo FX.  Even though I’m not Paleo, Paleo FX promises and from what I’ve heard, will be a decent conference people wanna learn how to eat healthier, live healthier, etc.  So that one’s over at the realpaleoFX.com.  I’ll be going to that at the end of March.  Another really, really good conference I’d look into is the Ancestral Health Symposium.  You can check that out at ancestryfoundation.org.  That one is in August.  I forget where it’s at.  I wanna say like Atlanta or something like that but I will be there as well.  That will be another one.  That will be pretty good so that’s another one I’d look into.  There’s another one called the Consumer Health Summit.  That’s kind of a smaller, I believe it’s like an invitational only kind of summit back in New York but that’s really good for kinda like big hitters in the health sector and in the fitness and the nutrition industry.  That’s put on by a guy named Michael Fishman.  He’s got some good stuff.  You go follow Michael Fishman on Twitter and you’ll see what he’s all about.  But those are some of the conferences I’d recommend definitely would be Paleo FX, the Ancestral Health Symposium, the Bulletproof Biohacking Conference. If you could get in, Consumer Health Summit and then also just pay attention to the Pacific Elite Fitness Calendar and I’ll put some other stuff up on that as well.  And I’ll link to all that stuff on the show notes.


Eliot:   Hey guys!  This is Eliot.  I have a question about sodium bicarbonate. I did some reading on it and see that it has some effect on middle distance endurance and it helps players or people with lactic acid.  My question is does it work for longer distances like marathon, longer triathlons.  Is it illegal?  I understood the risk of issues that are GI-related which in a longer rate, I don’t think I’ll have GI problems but what happens if you take them with baking soda and mixed it with either water or magnesium oil and use it trans-dermally so that  won’t  leave behind GI problems.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on it and anything else you have to say about sodium bicarbonate.  I’d appreciate it and hope to hear this on the podcast soon.  Take care.

Brock:  And before we get in to the answer to this question, I just wanna commend Eliot. He actually wrote this question in as a text question but then he realized that it was going to be a really long wait if you didn’t do an audio question so he actually called in and left it as a voice question. And sure enough, here he is being featured on the show and not having to wait 3 months or more.  So take a lesson from Eliot everybody and leave an audio question if you wanna get answered in a timely fashion.

Ben:  Yeah.  It pays off to use a phone or to use that little speak pipe app on the side of our blog.  Anyways though, sodium bicarbonate is certainly a decent buffer that can be used to reduce the burn, especially the burn from an intense event.  The problem, and we’ve mentioned this before in the show, is that when you’re orally consuming baking soda or sodium bicarbonate, it can cause some serious stomach flipping syndrome.  It can cause diarrhea.  And that’s kind of the issue with what is called acute loading of sodium bicarbonate.  So basically, the day of your event, anywhere from 60-120 minutes prior, the actual dosage that’s considered to be the efficacious dose is (in terms of grams per kilogram), it comes out to being close to 1-2 grams per kilogram. I don’t remember the exact…It’s a lot of sodium bicarbonate though.  You’re talking about a few tablespoons of the stuff before you exercise.  However, they recently did a study that was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research on what’s called cereal sodium bicarbonate loading.  And with cereal sodium bicarbonate loading for 4 days prior to your event, you use very, very  small micro doses or much, much less sodium bicarbonate than you’d use normally. I’ll give you the exact numbers for people who wanna try this out.  What they did was 4 days in a row leading up to the event, 3 times per day, they had folks taken about .13 grams per kilogram of sodium bicarbonate.  So if we do the math on that, 80 kg or so.  What’s .13 x 80?

Brock:  10.4

Ben:  yeah.  So 10 grams.  3 doses of 10 grams of baking soda per day.  It’s like with breakfast, lunch and dinner – 3 times per day.  And you do that for the last 4 days leading into your event.  What they found was that that amount of sodium bicarbonate vs. doing a ton of sodium bicarbonate on the morning of the event, actually resulted in the ability to have a better lactic acid buffering capacity, higher VO2max and better performance in a cycling time trial – a short time trial.  We’re talking about a 4,000-meter time trial which is not that long.  That’s 4 minutes or so or something like that. Anyways though, that performed much, much better with none of the gastric side effects of using a bunch of sodium bicarbonate on. So that’s called cereal sodium bicarbonate loading vs. acute sodium bicarbonate loading.  Now, a lot of the supplements that are out there like Extreme Endurance is probably a good example.  If you look at something like Extreme Endurance that is a salt buffer that you would use for 30 days before an event, that has a buffering effect that doesn’t give you the same type of gastric distress as you’d get if you were to take all those capsules on race morning, for example, or on the event morning.


It looks like cereal loading is definitely better than acute loading if when it comes down to you using something like a buffer prior to and event.  So if your need’s a supplement to cease on the buffer lactic acid, try and choose a supplement that has instructions on it that say “use for 4 weeks going into your event”;  “use for 8 weeks going into your event” rather than something that you take a bunch of just on the race morning.  So I’d recommend something like Extreme Endurance for something like that. I do have a discount code somewhere around here for Extreme Endurance.  Let me see if I can hunt it down while I’m talking here.  You gotta get it from xendurance.com. I’ve used this stuff pretty successfully for buffering lactic acid.  It’s Pacific Fit and that gets you free shipping on any other stuff.  So there you go.  That’s a decent lactic acid buffer. The other thing that I’ve been experimenting with quite a bit, not as a lactic acid buffer but something that speeds up what’s called your corticycle.  This is really cool. Your body takes lactic acid and it converts it in the liver, it shuttles it back up to your liver, converts it into glucose, takes that glucose, brings it back down into the muscle and gives it to the muscle to use for energy.  That’s called the corticycle.  One part of the corticyle kind of like the rate limiting step in that cycle is called oxaloacetate.  And oxaloacetate is a really popular anti aging supplement but you can get it and you can take it about 30-60 minutes prior to, again, a really hard effort where you’re gonna be pushing hard and it has a similar effect in terms of reducing the burn because in this case, you’re speeding up the removal of lactic acid and its conversion into glucose.  And I actually have been using this stuff and I did the testing for lactic acid threshold over at the Team Timex Camp in New York a couple of weeks ago.  And even though I’m not the fastest Team Timex athlete and there are pro athletes who are out there winning (4 of them winning Ironman events are on that team).  I produced more lactic acid than anybody else on the team.  I think part of it was due to my oxaloacetate supplementation because my body just churns out more lactic acid because I’m converting it back into glucose and delivering it back to the muscle.  That’s an interesting one as well.  And you could do something if you really wanna pull at all the stops.  You can use Extreme Endurance and you could use something like oxaloacetate.  But if you wanted to (let’s get to the meat of the question here) let’s say you want to bypass oral use of a buffer period and you just wanted to use something trans-dermally.  Eliot mentioned about magnesium oil and I certainly use magnesium oil trans-dermally for mitigating post workout soreness.  I’ll use some transdermal magnesium bath flakes and take a bath in those or I’ll use the transdermal spray on magnesium oil.  Can you use transdermal sodium bicarbonate?  Well, I actually asked the guy who’s been on the show before, Dr. Mark Sircus.  He sits on the Board of Advisers for my Superhuman Coach Network and he also knows a ton about transdermal drug delivery and management of diseases such as cancer using transdermal medicine but also enhancing sports performance through the use of transdermal therapy.  And his response was that “yes, you could use sodium bicarbonate as a topical application for local delivery of a bicarbonate to muscle tissue.  Now, I wrote back to him and asked him for an actual recipe like if you’re going to apply baking soda to a muscle what you do?  Do you mix it with water and rub it on to your tissue?  Do you just like dump it on to your skin and rub it in?  And I didn’t hear back from him yet so unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly how that transdermal application would take place. But I do know, based on his initial response that he uses transdermal sodium bicarbonate for cancer treatment for his patients.  But I don’t know the actual mechanism via which he delivers it and I don’t know if you could just like take a box of baking soda and just dump it on your head before you go out and exercise.

Brock:  He did say locally so if it’s a local application, then presumably, you need to put it into the muscles that you use.

Ben:  Probably similar to the transdermal magnesium spray.  You’ve got some kind of an oil carrier that you mix the stuff with and spray it on.  I’ll find out and I’ll try and get an update to folks in the next podcast on how you would take baking soda and apply it trans-dermally to your legs before a hard event where you’re gonna be producing a lot of lactic acid.


Jack:   Hi!  My name is Jack.  First off, I’m a soccer player and I have this calf burn all from my anterior and posterior calf muscles.  The weird thing is it only happens during games, not during practice, training, conditioning all that.  And it’s not a regular burn either. It’s more like my legs being put under a fire.  It’s literally, a burn.  It hurts every time I step and it just really affects my game.  The pain is about a 6 to a 9.  In the morning, it’s worse.  I think it’s more in the 9.  In the afternoon, it’s not as intense.  I’m 15 years old.  I have _____[1:06:00.5] and I wear knee bands.  None of these 6 times I’ve worn my knee bands.  I was wondering if this might be adrenalin.  It seems like it could be growing sometimes.  I’ve been training to not be as quad dominant like my head and my posterior chain.  My soccer season is almost here and I’m really worried about my calves not being good to play.  Really hurts my performance and I’m just hoping that you have some insight on that.  Thanks a lot.

Ben:  All right.  There’s a couple of things that could cause issues with your lower leg when you’re exercising.  One is called shin splints.  The other one is compartment syndrome. Most people are familiar with shin splints.  I think just about everybody at some point in their life has probably had shin splints which also goes by the term medial tibial stress syndrome.  But shin splints usually, they can occur on the front of the legs like an anterior shin splints or a posterior shin splint.  And usually, it’s from too much loading of what are called your dorsal flexors which are basically, your calf muscles. So for example, running downhill, walking with an excessive heel strike, just increasing your volume too quickly.  Any of this is just a repetitive overuse injury that causes inflammation in the soft tissue that is around your shin so it’s called your syndesmosis around your shins.  Jack says he only notices this stuff when he’s in his event, when he’s in the game, right?

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  And not in practice or in conditioning.  Shin splints are typically something that you would just feel a lot of the time.  You can get rid of them by strengthening the muscles of your lower leg and then combining that with calf stretching. But there’s another issue that tends to be more of an issue when you’re amped up, you’ve got a lot of adrenalin, you’re going harder than you normally would and you’re pushing yourself at a higher pace which a lot of times can happen when you’re in game play situations.  And that’s called compartment syndrome. What happens is all the different muscle bodies that are in your legs are grouped or bound together in what are called compartments.  And each compartment has its own set of veins and arteries and nerves that innervate that compartment and for example, can pump fresh blood in and out. So what happens is you can actually get a compartment that becomes damaged or it can be due to excessive overuse but it can also be simply due to a high, high amount of pressure, high, high amount of blood flow and nutrient delivery that is based on something like game play or exercising real hard.  And when that happens, you can actually get a lot of pressure and fluid build-up that results in some pretty significant discomfort that’s known as compartment syndrome.  When that happens, one of the things that you can do is what is called (a doctor has to do this for you) a compartment pressure test and with the compartment pressure test, the doctor can literally diagnose you with something like compartment syndrome. And if it’s really, really serious, a lot of times, you actually have to have surgery to have that compartment syndrome fixed.  And the surgery is based off of cutting into the muscle and making some anatomical adjustments to allow for more movement of the muscles within the compartment.  You’ll see that a lot of times, more often and people with really, really big muscles were doing explosive sports like football players who are just really super muscle-bound, that type of thing.


A lot of times, if you allow for more fascial mobility and you reduce a lot of fascial adhesions and you improve flexibility in muscle tissue, you can go after something like compartment syndrome without actually having to get something like surgery.   So what I would recommend to Jack is I would be doing (prior to these games) a lot of foam rolling or would get one of these sticks like the Rumble Roller because it has these ridges that really dig into our muscle and can really reduce a lot of fascial adhesions and improve the mobility of the fascia which surrounds all these compartments.  So doing foam rolling for the calf, that would be one thing that you could do.  The other thing that you could do would be the use of a stick which is gonna be a little bit more portable for you if you’re taking the bus to a game out-of-town or something like that.  And the stick, for example, I use one called the Muscletrac and it’s just a stick with a bunch of ridges on it that you roll up and down the muscle to, again, reduce a lot of these fascial adhesions and that would be another thing that you’d wanna try out.  But I would consider also getting a compartment pressure test done by your doc to see if you potentially may have some compartment syndrome.

Jenna:   Hi Ben!  My name is Jenna.  I have a question for you regarding Maple Syrup as a sports nutrition.  Not surprisingly, I’m Canadian but I use this on my oatmeal before workouts and I’m gearing up to do an Ironman and I was wondering. It tastes so good and it’s made of sugar.  Is this something that I could possibly use for my training and racing.  Thanks much and bye.

Brock:  Cheers, Jenna!  Beauty question eh!

Ben:  Do you guys all just have the little corkscrew that you put in the maple tree just like hanging above your kitchen sink?

Brock:  Yeah.  It’s right by the back door.

Ben:  You put on your hockey pants and go out in the backyard and…

Brock:  and sort of there’s no shoes on them.  The best part is then you pour it on the show and it gets all nice and hard and then you roll a stick in it and eat it.  It’s called the cabin de sucre.

Ben:  Nice!  That’s sounds fascinating.  It’s called a what? A cabin de sucre?

Brock:  Yeah.  Well, that’s the cabin of sugar – the direct translation but it’s something that happens like actually in Quebec every year around this time.

Ben:  Cabin of sugar.  It sounds exactly why we encourage everybody to partake it here on the podcast.

Brock:  It should be called the cabin de diabetes.

Ben:  Yes.  The cabin of sugar – the cabin of diabetes podcast.  Well, maple syrup does contain a lot of sucrose which is a simple sugar and of course, when you’re looking at sucrose, it is going to spike your blood sugar or gonna get an insulin release and eating maple sugar when you are in a sedentary state may not be the best thing for you because your body isn’t gonna be super insulin sensitive.  Interestingly though, maple syrup itself has a lot of natural phenols in it which have         really, really good antioxidant properties. And in particular, couple of the phenols that are in maple syrup seem to inhibit 2 enzymes that are associated with the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.  And so the cool thing about maple syrup is that it has almost like this little built-in phenolic mechanism that helps you to be protected (from a physiological standpoint) from some of the sugar fluctuations that occur with its consumption.  I’ve got a whole article series on all the different things that I recommend in my Superhuman Food Pyramid.  And if you look at my Superhuman Food Pyramid, which you can download for free over at bengreenfieldfitness.com.  If you’re listening in right now, you can also grab it for free.  If you’re in the US, you just text the word “fitness” to 411247.  They will automatically download the food pyramid to your phone.  Anyways though, with the food pyramid, I have some things that fall into the “avoid”, some things that fall into the “eat”, and some things that fall into the “moderate” category.  Now anytime something falls into the “moderate” category, usually, I have it in there because excessive amounts of that are bad for you.  But if you aren’t eating any of it at all, you may miss out on some nutrients.  And maple syrup is one of the things in the sweeteners section of my food pyramid that falls into the “moderate” category.  And the reason for that is not only because it has these natural phenols in it but it also has good levels of zinc and manganese in it. Manganese is a really important part of an enzyme called superoxide dismutase which is one of the more powerful antioxidants in your body.  And then zinc, we’ve talked about on the show, is closely related to a male reproductive health to lowering risk of prostate cancer, to potentially increasing testosterone.  And so when it comes to a sweetener, we have certain sweeteners here in the Greenfield household.  We have some raw honey.  We have some organic maple syrup.  We have some coconut sugar.  These are the type of things that we use occasionally, like the kids, if we make them some of Jessa’s famous fermented grain waffles in the morning, which the kids just love.  They get a little bit of organic maple syrup on there and when you’re looking at sweeteners, it’s certainly gonna be better for you than just table sugar or something like that.


When you’re looking at using it for exercise, it comes down to what your goals are.  For me, personally, I want my body to be in as good a fat burning state as possible during exercise.  So when I am in a race, I use the high molecular weight starch.  I use that stuff called Ucan Superstarch, which is this patented non-GMO cornstarch that allows me to use about half as many carbohydrates as I’d normally use and allows me to tap into my body’s own fat more efficiently as a fuel.  If I were using thimblefuls of maple syrup, I definitely would not be keeping my body in fat-burning mode.  I would be training it to rely on sucrose sugar as a fuel.  So it comes down to what your goals are.  Sucrose syrup from maple syrup does have a lower glycemic index than some other sugars that’s got a glycemic index of 50’s.  So it’s not quite as sugary as some sweeteners that are out there but ultimately, what it comes down to is if you wanted to use maple syrup during exercise, yeah, it’s gonna provide you with this quick burning sugar source during exercise. For me, my whole philosophy with especially endurance exercise, where a lot of times, you do have to have fuel out there with you.  Why not mitigate the damage of taking in all that fuel as much as possible and at least keep your body in as big a fat-burning state as you can.  And that’s why I’m not a big fan of gels and sports drinks and sweeteners and sugars, no matter how natural they are vs. using a combination of fats and amino acids and something like a high molecular weight starch.

Brock:  That’s why I fuel with the polar bear liver.

Ben:  That’s right. I’d do polar bear liver. Seriously, you could do pemmican or beef or something like that.

Brock:  You could actually don’t eat polar bear liver. It’s so high in vitamin A that it’ll likely kill you.  So, all joking aside, don’t eat it.

Ben:  We’re at the point of the podcast now where I can’t tell if Brock is joking or if he actually has done a research on polar bear liver.

Brock:  You’ll never know.

Ben:  Anyways though, that’s the skinny on maple syrup.  It’s better for you than some sugars.  We use it here in the Greenfield house but I personally, just for my fat-burning goals, wouldn’t use it during exercise.  I don’t eat really as much sugar at all during exercise.

Paula:   I was wondering if you did any more research on the phenocane.  I know that in some of your website statements you were looking into how that affects the SI joint problems of having pain continuously and I do not do well with anti inflammatories that people must use.  It seems to help but I’m just wondering if you have gotten any more information about that.  Thank you.

Brock:  I might have missed that post.  Did you do some research on the SI joint, how it works with phenocane?

Ben:  Phenocane is something that I have certainly recommended to folks in the past who have low back pain and who have any type of chronic pain or pain from an acute injury whatsoever.  It is my number one recommendation for an alternative to something like Advil or ibuprofen.  I have this rid strain/peck injury I’m dealing with from that snowboarding accident still.  I’m still popping 4 Phenocane a day.  By the way, all the people who are coming to the Superhuman conference are getting some free Phenocane ‘cause we’ve got some sample packs for everybody.

Brock:  Awesome.

Ben:  Phenocane has this natural anti inflammatories in it.  It’s got boswellia in it which is kind of a natural herbal anti inflammatory that’s got some really cool pharmacological effects when it comes to shutting down pain.  It’s got curcumin in it which is also a natural anti inflammatory but it’s got a really, really high pure extract of curcumin in it and it gives you way, way more than you get from just chewing on tumor crude or something of that nature.  It’s got DLPA in it which is an essential amino acid that your body uses to produce some hormones like epinephrine and neuroepinephrine but also what’s called the phenoalanine part of that DLPA that is a really, really good natural pain relieving chemical.  It has nato kinase in it.  Anybody who’s heard of the fermented Japanese soybean, nato, which is a really great source of vitamin K (it’s actually something I enjoy quite a bit).


Nato kinase is an extract from that and it has very powerful clot dissolving abilities. What it does is it allows your body to be able to heal a broken up or inflamed area a little bit more quickly by eliminating some of the clotting and allowing for better blood flow.  It’s got what’s called a fibrinolytic activity.  That’s similar to like what a proteolytic enzyme would do in terms of decreasing fibrinogen, decreasing inflammation and helping an area to heal more quickly.  I’ve never had anybody that I’ve recommended Phenocane to not notice a difference in pain almost right away when they start to take the stuff.  And so yeah, if you’ve got pain from SI joint or sacroiliac joint syndrome, it can certainly be used but don’t get me wrong.  The stuff is still a bandaid.  It’s gonna shut down pain and it may even help an area heal a little bit more quickly.  But something like SI joint syndrome which is where the 2 different joints in your pelvis kinda get stuck together and cause pain and nerve pain and inflammation. That’s something that actually has to be fixed.  So you need to do a combination of self-adjustment or chiropractic adjustment and a butt and pelvis strengthening and rotating protocol to fix SI joint syndrome.  I’ve done a whole podcast on SI joint syndrome.  I’ve written an entire book on how to fix SI joint syndrome.  It’s called Run with No Pain.  You can get it at runwithnopain.com.  But sacroiliac joint syndrome is something that you can’t just pop a pill to fix.  You are going need to basically do some freeing up of that joint and there’s a way that you can self-adjust your SI joint.  I’ll leave and put a link in the show notes to a video that shows you how self-adjust your SI joint.  And then you need to strengthen your butt and you need to basically fix what’s called hip malrotation.  Now, I teach you how to do all of that in my book at runwithnopain.com.  It would take me a half hour to go into it right now so I won’t throw it in at the end of this podcast ‘cause I never run as long as this.

Brock:  It’d be really hard to describe, too.

Ben:  That’s right.  Yeah.  Anyways though, pain from SI joint syndrome is going to be something that you can attack with Phenocane but you’ve gotta go after the biomechanical root of the issue as well.  I’ll put a link to both the video that shows you how to self-adjust your SI joint and I’ll also put a link to my book that I wrote about how to fix pain from sacroiliac joint syndrome in the show notes.

Brock:  Yeah.  I actually used that book and has been very successful in keeping my…I wouldn’t say that it’s completely gone but I definitely have my SI joint problems under control and I know exactly what to do when they flare up. That is my little testimonial there.

Ben:  All right.  Having ended with a completely shameless testimonial and commercial, we’ll let it go from there and  remember, if you have a sexy British accent and you happen to be a female from the UK, you can get your question answered quite thoroughly here on the podcast and we’ll try and take care of everybody else, too.  But check out the show notes for Episode #231 over at bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Check about audiblepodcast.com/ben if you are an anxious person and you can still get registered for the Superhuman Live event over at superhumancoach.com and all these links as well as the MyList for this episode.  You can grab all of that over at bengreenfieldfitness.com.   Show notes for Episode #231 and I am ready to go hunt down some breakfast.

Brock:  I’m ready to go hunt down some lunch. That just shows you where our time zones are.

Ben:  Actually, you what?  It’s 10:15 here and I haven’t had breakfast though but I did punish some Greek yogurt late last night.  That’s probably why.  Anyways though, we also had, for listeners who may notice a few hiccups here and there, we’ve been having some serious Skype issue with recording this podcast lately.

Brock:  Once again, I wanna put in all of the show notes there.  If anybody knows or is involved with Go to Meeting, please let them know that we’d really appreciate their help – their sponsorship, their donation, anything.


Ben:  Actually, that’s a good idea.  We need Go to Meeting to sponsor this podcast so we can use Go to Meeting.  Otherwise, we literally cannot afford to actually buy Go to Meeting, which I believe is like $8000 a month, something like that.

Brock:  Yeah.  I think it’s closer to 12.  Yeah, it’s terrible.

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s prohibitively expensive.

Brock:  Except it’s a fantastic service that everybody should use.  Sponsor the show.

Ben:  There you go.  All right.  We’ve got to shut this thing down before we lose all our listeners.  So thanks for listening and this is Ben and Brock.  We’ll be back, coming at you live next week.



Feb 27, 2013 free podcast: Is The Best Fat Loss Diet For People Also The Best Fat Loss Diet For Your Pet? Also: what to eat to prevent cold sores, can you use sodium bicarbonate for performance, what to do about calf pain, eating maple syrup for training and racing, and taking Phenocane for SI Joint pain.

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Listener Q&A:

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

Angie says @ 00:33:41
She gets cold sores and is wondering if taking a broad spectrum amino acid supplement with L-arginine would inhibit the effectiveness of the L-lysine… or, moreover, what would use suggest for supplementation to reduce cold sores.

Daniela says @ 00:39:40
Is wondering if human weight loses strategies would work for animals? Specifically her dog. Also, she can’t make it to the Superhuman Event in March and is wondering if there are any other events that you would suggest or recommend to your listeners.

~ For dog food I recommend Primal Pet Foods. My twitter feed tells what I’m attending and also check out: Pacific Elite Fitness calendarPaleoFXAncestral Health SymposiumBulletproof Biohacking Conference.

Eliot says @ 00:55:01
He was reading about using sodium bicarbonate. He understands it can cause some major GI issues. but what about using it with the magnesium oil as a trans-dermal supplement (dissolving some baking soda and rubbing on)? Would that work? Is it legal? Would it have any effect on longer distances (the studies I have seen are shorter/middle distance stuff)? (He understands the energy system for longer distance racing is different – there may be less lactic acid build up, but assumes that in a 3hr marathon there would be some benefit)

~ In my response I talk about Transdermal magnesium oilTransdermal bath flakes and Oxaloacetate.

Jack says @ 01:05:21
He is a 15 year old soccer player and he has a “calf burn” in his anterior and posterior calf muscles. It only happens during games – not practice or conditioning. When it flairs up, it hurts/burns like fire every time he steps. The pain is a 6 out of 9 (worse in the morning). He occasionally wears knee bands but not consistently. Soccer season is almost here and he is worried about his calves.

~ In my response to Jack, I recommend the rumble roller and also the muscletrac.

Jenna says @ 01:11:14
She is gearing up for Ironman and is wondering if she could use Maple Syrup for training and racing. It tastes so good… she is Canadian.

~ In my response I mention the Superhuman Coach Pros and Cons of Organic Maple Syrup.

Paula says @ 01:17:47
She is looking for more information regarding Phenocane especially in relation to its effect on the SI Joint.

~ In my response, I refer to Phenocane. Also my book at www.runwithnopain.com and how to self adjust SI joint.

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/02/231-is-the-best-fat-loss-diet-for-people-also-the-best-fat-loss-diet-for-your-pet/


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