Episode #192: What Happens When You Exercise Too Much

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In this Apr 25, 2012 free audio podcast: What Happens When You Exercise Too Much Also: the ketogenic diet vs. the metabolic typing diet, are e-cigarettes a healthy alternative, which is better ground turkey or beef, what is mugicha, should you take a hot or cold bath post exercise, a list of healthy oils, bonking hours after a workout, does protein influence fat loss, and do beets cause cancer?

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Listener Q&A:A donate button that reads - keep the podcasts coming

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

Audio Question from Brandon:
How does a ketogenic diet relate to or work with the metabolic typing diet?

~ In my response to Brandon, I mention episode #187.

Audio Question from Joe:
Smoker for almost 10 years who quit cold turkey 2 years ago. Is an age grouper in great shape. The only issue is when he's stressed or has a good “buzz-on” he wants a cigarette. Are e-cigarettes a viable option to have in a pinch?

~ In my response to Joseph, I mention Dietary Supplements That Can Massively Control Your Most Intense Carb Cravings.

Dave asks:
There is a lot of old health trends being busted in the last 10 years, can you bust this one? Is ground turkey really more healthier than ground beef? I need to know… beef is sure more tastier!

Keith asks:
I know you like kombucha. What do you think about Mugi cha (barley tea)? It was in every kids thermos all summer long. Actually everyone drinks it from housewives to office workers.
Ice baths after exercise are all I hear about these days on podcasts and in magazines but here in Japan almost every house has a high tech bathtub and 40 deg C plus soaks are a nightly family ritual (my wife prefers 40 but her dad likes 42, I can only stand 39). Is a hot bath after a normal exercise session for an uninjured runner a no no? After a recent 1/2 marathon the nearest hot spring was packed with racers. I confess I have taken a hot bath before my winter long run on occasion.

Osa asks:
Your food pyramid and consideration to eat more fat is working for me. I can go long without eating and am slimming down effortlessly. My question is that you recommend Avocado oil as healthy fatty oil that was not listed. What other healthy fatty oils would you recommend to use that you did not list? Also what do you think about Almond oil?

Mike asks:
About 2 hours after every workout I bonk hard. I could crawl into bed and go to sleep. The worst part about it is that I then get very edgy and my temper gets very short. I generally workout in the mornings with minimal food in my stomach and I eat generally within 2 hours after the workout, more often than not it is within 1 hour. What type of testing can/should I do to see what is going on?

~ In my response to Mike, I recommend a hormonal panel through www.directlabs.com, and also the Expanded GI panel.

Keerthi asks:
I'm a 28 yr old and weigh 171 lbs with 20% body fat. I have a pretty active lifestyle which includes lifting weights 3 times a week and 2-3 times a week of good 45 mins cardio with intervals etc. My goal is to lose some fat and build lean mass and I'm on a 2000 calorie diet with carb/protein/fat in ratio of 40/30/30 but I sometimes go a bit high on protein and might add 200 more calories. Does this excess protein convert into fat or does it just tax the kidneys a little more and get flushed out? Do you have any more suggestions on changing the ratio of carb/protein/fat intake and still create some calorie deficit.

~ In my response, I mention my article “How Much Protein Do You Need“.

Meghan says:
I got blood tests at the end of December and my TSH was pretty high 4.6 but they were not too concerned because my T4 and T3 were normal but I wanted to get tested again just in case. I just got tested on Friday (about 1 1/2 months from the last test) and it is now 8.45! And the T4 is still normal. So they want to put me on Sythyroid. I know from listening to the Roby Mitchell podcast interview that he thinks for some Synthyroid is good but Armor Thyroid might be better. So, two questions:
1) Is Synthyroid OK? Or should I definitely be taking Armor Thyroid?
2) Should I be getting another test or can a jump from 4.6 to 8.45 happen that quickly?
3) Could the cause be over-training? The only thing that has changed in my life since the December test is going from about 10-12ish hours a week of training to double workout days and more like 18-25 hours a week of training?
4) I already take iodine 150mcg and magnesium 500mg (along with topical on my legs every night)….should I be taking selenium too?
P.S Have eliminated virtually all wheat and soy (1/3 cup of edamame with veggies for dinner, and 2 whole wheat graham crackers with banana for snack) from diet and upped the protein, veggies, and fat….

Renee Asks:
I'm a 32-year-old female runner and rower. I stay very active, working out daily, and mix it up with a combination of running, rowing, spin classes, boot camps, and lifting. I like to compete in running and rowing races.
About a year ago, I saw a sports medicine doctor who discovered that my cortisol levels were sky high. She suggested I try going off birth control pills, which I'd been on for over a decade. I did, and immediately, cortisol plunged to normal levels. However, I have yet to get a period. My regular doctor suggested that I need to dramatically cut back on exercise in order to start menstruating again. The sports doctor believes the continued exercise is okay, and thinks it's a matter of getting the nutrition right around the exercising. I've already added much more food intake before and after each workout. Even though I'm taking in many more calories, I still haven't gotten my period back. Any suggestions? I want to start trying to get pregnant later this year, so I need to figure this out.

Ed asks:
I have been hearing that Beetroot juice is beneficial to endurance athletes. Beets contain a lot of nitrates. Nitrates are suspected carcinogens in processed meats. Are beets carcinogenic?

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16 thoughts on “Episode #192: What Happens When You Exercise Too Much

  1. NikiNiks says:

    Hi Ben. I really need your help. I am 42 years old and i am a HUGE sugar and carb eater. I have alot of issues with my health, after having induce hysterectomy, in 2011. My weight presently is 152lbs. My thyroids are in a mess. I'm experiencing alot of upper and lower back pain, as well as hip bursitis. My doctor recommend that i try to lose about 20lbs. I started the gym about a month ago. Please guide me, as to what supplements i should take to help me to lose the weight??? Thanks in advance. Niki.

  2. Edward says:

    What happens if you diet to much?

  3. liam marklew says:


  4. CrawfordEd says:

    .__#2: Traditional cigarettes are made by major US manufacturers. While there are obvious side effects to the product, the quality control of the manufacturing is state of the art. On the other hand, most E-Cig "companies" are small start-up marketing/sales promotion companies. Even if the packaging is slick and professional, the company is not a major company. They simply are importing E-Cigs from Asian contract-manufacturers. The promotor does not have the resource to monitor the Quality Control of the product on a regular basis. It probaby is unwise to purchase any "supplament" from a promoter that likely doesn't monitor the quality of the ingredients.__I suggest he skip E-Cigs. If he wants Nicotine, stick with Cigs or try a patch or something.__

  5. CrawfordEd says:

    Hey Ben, regarding the comments on E-Cigerattes, and i know you weren't advocating E-Cigs, but E-Cigs have some drawbacks versus traditional cigs that your caller should be aware of:
    :__#1: He was proposing to use E-Cigs while intoxicated. It is "easy" to properly "dose" while "Supplamenting" with nicotine via traditional cigs. Once you smoke um, they're gone. However, 1 E-Cig is generally 20-40 cigarettes. I am unaware of any E-Cig manufacturer that has implemented a mechanism to alert the smoker when they finished "1" cigarette worth of nicotine. If the E-Cig user is drunk, he will consume 20-40 cigarettes worth of nicotine and not even realize it. Not good

  6. Kathy says:

    Hi, Ben,

    What do you think of grape seed oil? It's pricey, but I like it's clean flavor for cooking as well as its high smoke point (421). I wasn't clear of other pros/cons.


    1. Good high smoke point BUT be careful because it's also really high in Omega 6 fatty acids, so use sparingly.

  7. Carlos says:

    Hey Ben

    I also like to zone out when I workout I have a good app for you if you can use an ipod touch or iphone during strength workout.

    Its called Seconds. What I do is create a new custom interval timer with 30 second set time and 1 minute rest time. Then I can zone out and it beeps after each session so I know when to go to the next set and don't have to keep tapping on a timer.

  8. Chuck says:

    Thanks ben! I still workout in my Eat More Fat shirt too

  9. Keerthi says:

    Thanks for answering my question. This clears so many things for me. Yes I'd be interested in that T-Shirt :)
    I'm also suggesting my folks to use coconut oil for cooking and saved the smoke point chart you posted. Its really an eye opener esp for my parents who have been thinking sunflower oil is the best for cooking!!

  10. Chuck says:


    When buying grassfed ground beef, what percent lean do you buy? I would assume, based on your food pyramid, amazing advice, etc, you would suggest a fattier percentage? They sell 95% lean grass-fed at my market, but would something like 80/20% be more ideal, if not more fatty?

    Thanks man! Awesome show!

    1. Assuming it's grass fed organic with no pink slime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_slime) look for 80/20.

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