Episode #233 – Full Transcript

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Introduction:   In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast:  How to become a curvaceous lean ripped female athlete without destroying your health.  Also:  What does deer antler velvet spray do, how to use UCAN Superstarch properly, how to get rid of migraines using your diet, what is the Moxymonitor, and are activity tracking devices (like the Fitbit) useful?

Brock:  So…we both survived the Become Superhuman Live event.

Ben:  We did.

Brock:  How do you feel?

Ben:  I feel good. And my booby doesn’t hurt anymore. Somehow, putting on a live conference healed my twinpack. So I’m happy about that, too.

Brock:  There you go. Anybody who have heard tears their pectoral muscle, make sure you spend a lot of money and invite a lot of people to your city and put on an awesome spread for them for 2 ½ days.

Ben:  Yeah.  That was fun.  I thought the event went pretty well.

Brock:  Yeah.  I was blown away.  Not that I had low expectations but you exceeded my expectations for sure.  Hot quite an event.

Ben:  Highlight for me was Phil Maffetone, the aerobic guy when he came on the stage, he forgot his little powerpoint dungle, which I happen to have an extra one sitting in my bag and all of a sudden, he was gone. He disappeared and we’re all looking around because he’s supposed to be there onstage. I’m introducing him and he’s just gone.  And you hear this little kinda shuffle on the speakers overhead because he’s still mic’ed and he’s literally sprinting back to his hotel room across the street from the conference center to go get the powerpoint.  So Phil Maffetone, the aerobic guy dead all out sprint comes back on the stage all red in the face and then proceeds to talk about how to use music to relax.  But I thought that was pretty funny.

Brock:  He was really fast, too. And then he almost put us all to sleep which was kind of the other thing.  Not because he was boring but because he got us to do that diaphragmatic breathing with our eyes closed and listening to one of his songs. I didn’t realize he was such an accomplished songwriter.  That was fantastic.

Ben:  Yeah. After he coached some guys to win Ironman World Championships, he disappeared from the scene for a while and just wrote music and became a musician. He’s recently gotten back into endurance sports.  It’s interesting stuff and yes, I put actually that picture of everyone leaning back in their chairs and half sleeping is around the website.  If people go over there, I did a full on synopsis. If you to bengreenfieldfitness.com, I did an article called Superhuman Review and just put pictures of everything from Phil Maffetone speaking to Ray Cronise to Dave Asprey to the Nutrition Diva and myself drinking Superhuman cocktails to Brock, slightly inebriated at the after-party during pirouettes and everything that…

Brock:  I was not slightly inebriated.  Never!

Ben:  You’re full…

Brock:  I was full on.  That’s right.

Ben:  All right.  We’ll what do you think?  Shall we jump in?

Brock:  All right.  Here we go.

News Flashes:

Brock:  All right.  If you follow Ben at twitter.com/bengreenfield and go to facebook.com/bgfitness and also at Google+, you’ll get all kinds of awesome news flashes just pretty much everyday of the week and this is the time of the show when Ben goes through those and helps us make sense of what the hell he’s talking about.

Ben:  All right.  Let’s talk about a few studies here, Brock, shall we?

Brock:  Yes, please.

Ben:  Time course of muscle damage and inflammatory response to resistance training. What I mentioned to folks when I tweeted about this study was, just imagine what your blood would look like after Ironman if it looks like this after resistance training.  And this was kind of a cool study where they went in and they looked at all these different parameters of muscle damage and inflammation after just one bout of resistance training.  And what they found was creatine kinase was through the roof.  C-reactive protein was to the extent to where your doctor might send you into the hospital to get looked at for whether or not you’re gonna have a heart attack.


What are called neutrophils, leukocytes, lot of these, basically acute phase inflammatory response molecules, all these pain killer molecules that your body produces, almost all of them are jacked through the roof for 24-48 hours.  I’ve talked about this before.  After you do say like an Ironman triathlon, you actually see this type of response for up to 19 days after a race like that.  One of the things that I think that folks should be aware of in the era of self-quantification where I think many people are getting more into like taking their blood markers and looking at their lipid panels, their inflammatory markers, things of that nature, is, you really do need to pay attention when…let’s say you test through a company like Wellness FX or Direct Labs, you actually do need to pay attention to the part that tells you to go easy on the working out for a good 24-48 hours prior because a lot of times, when I’m doing consults with people through Wellness FX (they send me a lot of their crossfitters and their triathletes to look at after these people have had their blood markers drawn), I see high creatinine, high blood urea nitrogen, high creatine kinase, high HSCRP, high interleukins. And for me, a lot of the time when I ask people, “Did you exercise the day before this test or 2 days before this test?”  and “Well, yeah, I hit the weights and I actually crossfitted that morning…”  Be careful with that stuff especially if you’re testing but ultimately, this really highlights the importance of making sure that you’re giving yourself adequate rest and recovery and taking into account that that practice of putting the body into the state of inflammation that this particular study shows is quite pronounced especially in response to weight lifting, allowing yourself to bounce back and then rinsing, washing and repeating. And I would say the 2 activities were such most important would be weight training and running.  Those are the 2 things that are gonna produce the most amount of inflammation like this. If you like to look at charts of inflammation, I’ll check out the link that we’ll put in the show notes.

Brock:  And who doesn’t?  That’s how I spend my Saturday nights.

Ben:  That’s right.  When you’re not doing pirettes at bars in Spokane.

Brock:  Yes.

Ben:  Another study looked at alternate-day fasting. And this is something that’s popular. The whole intermittent fasting – skipping meals, putting in 12 hours, 16 hours, sometimes 24-hour periods of not eating into your…

Brock:  Yeah.  I think it’s really hitting the mainstream, too.  I hear people talking about intermittent fasting that aren’t necessarily involved in the Paleo community or the low-carb community.  It’s really getting quite prevalent.

Ben:  Yeah.  And one question that I get quite a bit and I think I’ve seen pop up a few times is, how this affects you in terms of your hormonal response, especially in females because a lot of times, you tend to see females who start to do things like fasting everyday – 12-hour fast, 16-hour fast, alternate-day fast, whatever.  They tend to start to do things like go amenorrheic – lose their periods, start to feel overtrained, start to lose their drive. The question is, whether or not this is just them being hungry or whether there’s an actual hormonal response to intermittent fasting.  And it turns out that they actually put (this was a test in rodents, which a lot of these tests actually are).  But they looked at the effects of this alternate day fasting in rodents.  I’ll put a link to the study in the show notes.  But it was pretty pronounced what happened. You saw a 28% decrease in luteinizing hormone which is the hormone in females that’s partially responsible for the formation of the corpus luteum during the menstrual cycle and in men for the formation of testosterone in the Leydig cells in the testes. You saw a 14% decrease in leptin, one of your primary appetite control hormones.  44% decrease in testosterone in men.

Brock:  Whoa!

Ben:  And through-the-roof increase in estrodial in women, which is one of the main increases that would be a symptom of estrogen dominance, meaning drop progesterone, increase in estrogens as well as 73% decrease in ovarian weight, which is one of the primary measurements of your fertility or the health of your reproductive organs. Across the board, after 4 weeks of an alternate day fasting protocol, meaning, fasting one day, eating ad libidum the next day, there’s some pretty significant hormonal fluctuations shifted towards the side of it, not being a good thing in…


Brock:  Gosh!  45% drop in testosterone!  It’s terrifying.

Ben:  On the flipside, the lipid panels are really good.  There is drop in weight, there’s a drop in body fat, there’s a decrease in LDL, increase in HDL. The trade-off was that body composition changed favorably but you gotta understand that if it’s anabolic sports performance, muscle gain, feeling good, having drive, increasing reproductive health, limiting your calories in the way of frequent fasting especially in  females, is not really all that great for you if you’re gonna combine this especially with exercise and calorie restriction.  The message that I wanna give to people is, be careful and understand that yes, fasting will help to make you skinny but that’s not necessarily a good thing if your goals are staying fertile, being healthy, that type of thing.  There’s always that trade-off that you gotta be aware of.

Brock:  You probably said this in the beginning but I can’t remember now.   How long were these fasts that they were involved in?

Ben:  Well, in this particular study, what they were doing was one day was a fasting day.

Brock:  A complete 24-hour period?

Ben:  They had a 2-hour feeding window put in between 12 and 2 PM.  So they did eat some food on the fasting day but it was 4oo calories a day on the fasting day.  And then they had a follow-up day that was just eating whatever you want.  It’s called an alternate day fasting protocol.  I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. It’s pretty interesting stuff.  The last thing:  I think I mentioned this last week about how they were doing a pee test on guys after they got out of the shower.  After they got out of the shower, after using commercial shampoos and the amount of phthalates they were finding in their urine. This was an interesting study where they actually measured what’s called monoethyl-carboxy-pentyl phthalates, also affectionately known as MEPs. It’s the fragrance that gets put in personal hygiene products, whatever – kiwi, strawberry, coconut, pine (whatever your shampoo’s particular flavor is). All of the MEP concentrations in the post-shower urine just 3 hours after using these fragranted shampoos and soaps and hygiene products in the shower were significantly elevated.  And you can get a self-test.  There’s a Metametrix panel called the phthalate panel to urinary panel.  Companies like Direct Labs allow you to do something like this.  They’re significantly elevated and this is one of the reasons that I tell people be really, really careful with these fragranted personal care products.  For me, I use Dr. Bronner’s super natural liquid soap in the shower and I put a few drops of oil of oregano in that so it has a little bit of an antibacterial effect, antifungal effect on the skin just because you’re exposed to a lot of fungus and stuff when you shower in locker rooms and things of that nature.  That’s what I use and I stay away from the stuff that smells nice now. This is something I haven’t given up but I’m really careful with cologne and stuff like that now just because of the endocrine disruptors.  I met with quite a few people after the Superhuman event who stayed in town and I spent some coffee shop time with me just going back and forth.  And there’s this one woman who was classically estrogen-dominant.  You could see it in her eyes, in her face, she had cholesterol deposits under her eyes and she’d had the post menopausal increase in weight gain and she was sitting there, eating a “healthy gluten wrap” from the coffee shop and drinking a low-fat coffee. She’s sitting there talking to me and sort of  her personal care products and everything was just like Mary Kaye, fragrant of these all these different make-ups and personal care products. A lot of people don’t realize how much you leave on the table when it comes to your performance, your weight loss, your hormonal balance when it comes to what you’re using to clean your body.  So…just something to think about and…

Brock:  Your skin is a mouth.

Ben:  That’s right.  Your skin is or as we say here in the states, a mouth.  Anyways though, something to think about and we’ll link to all these studies in the show notes for folks.  So there you go.


Special Announcements:

Brock:  Okay.  I guess, we should probably mention right off the bat, make sure to go to audiblepodcast.com/ben and sign up for your audible gold member subscription and you’ll get yourself a free audible book that you can download and listen to on your MP3 player, your phone, your CD player, your discman.  Did you ever have a discman? That’s where I first knew about Audible.  They used to make books on tape and books on CD back in the old days.

Ben:  Back in the dark ages.

Brock:  Back in the 1990’s.

Ben:  No, I didn’t. But there’s a guy who has a book on Audible and I wanna put my book on audible when I finish my book.  And by the way, a big apology to all my readers at bengreenfieldfitness.com.  I know I said that I was gonna be putting out a book chapter from my book every single week but with this conference, even though I have the chapter done, I didn’t publish it ‘cause I wanted to show you guys all the magic of the Become Superhuman conference but I’ll be pushing that book chapter this weekend.  Anyways though, a guy whom I’m gonna be debating tonight has a book on Audible.  Rich Roll has his book on Audible. It’s called Finding Ultra:  Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Man and Discovering Myself and he narrated it, which I think is kickbutt. That’s what I wanna do when my book comes out.  I wanna narrate it myself with voices, too.  I’m gonna go back and forth like I’ll half like me talking…I’ll switch and go to my special maybe like my triathlete voice…

Brock:  I don’t know who that is.

Ben:  And I can do my “hi-ho kerropi frog” and then go to….

Brock:  That’s pretty good!  Can you do Chewbacca?

Ben:  I can’t do Chewbacca so I never was able to get the girls.  But either way, yeah, check out Rich Roll's book on audiblepodcast.com/ben and then if you want even more magic/virtual, go listen to me and Rich Roll and a celebrity trainer named Vinnie Tortorich, all  3 of us have podcast.  All 3 of us have some different dietary views.  Rich Roll’s kind of a vegan.  Vinnie Tortorich is the ketosis – no sugar, no grains guy and I’m the eat-it-if-it-moves guy and we’re all gonna debate each other tonight at 6:00 PM if you happen to be listening to this podcast on the day that it comes out.  And if not, if you listen to this afterwards, don’t get too depressed because you can get access to the playback of that when it comes out.

Brock:  And beware everybody who tunes in, I’ve heard Vinnie before and he does get a little blue occasionally and I don’t mean sad.

Ben:  I was gonna say, “you mean depressed?”

Brock:  Well, maybe.  Maybe, that’s where his cursing comes from.

Ben:  He may be getting a little salty.

Brock:  He gets a little salty.  There you go.

Ben:  Yes.  There you go.  A couple other special announcements:  The Jimmy Moore. Jimmy Moore was actually at the Become Superhuman event and he’s a ______[0:18:43.4] a fun guy.

Brock:  He’s a delightful fellow but has a terrible accent. I can’t do it in the show.

Ben:  I like how he showed up at the after-party in his pajamas.  Everybody’s kinda dressed and Jimmy’s there in his pajamas ‘cause he was going to bed.  But either way, good dude and Brock and I are gonna be guest-hosting Jimmy Moore’s Low Carb Podcast.

Brock:  Living La Vida Low Carb.

Ben:  And when we guest-host that, what we want for you to do is actually leave us your low carb questions and you can do that by going over to bengreenfieldfitness.com and using the “ask Ben” a question option, which is on the right side of the page there or you can just call toll-free to 8772099439.  If you happen to live in the states, it’s toll-free. If you live in the far reaches of Canada or anywhere else, I have no clue how much it’s gonna cost you.

Brock:  Just use the website.  It’ll be better.

Ben:  Yeah.  So, leave your low carb question.  Help us out if you can and tell us like “this one’s for the Jimmy Moore Low Carb Episode” or something, so that we know.

Brock:  Yeah. And audio only, please. We just wanna do all audio questions, so don’t write them in.  Talk them in.


Ben:  Yeah.  So you’ll be on the Jimmy Moore Living La Vida Low Carb episode.  There’s one other thing I wanted to mention.  Go ahead, Brock.

Brock:  I was just gonna say, make sure to go over to bengreenfieldfitness.com and complete the survey.  We’ve got a survey.  There’s a link in the Special Announcements section.  If you click on that, you can go and fill out a survey just to help out a little bit with the expenses. I mean, if we got enough sponsors, that is, it will help out the hosting expenses, which is really the only hard cost associated with podcasting, so every little bit helps.

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s one of those dumb ad surveys but we gotta pay the bills so, yeah, check out that survey.

Brock:  It’s not that dumb.  Don’t worry.

Ben:  And then, the last thing is that, if you missed the Superhuman Live event and you want a little piece of the magic, then, I do have some goody bags left over from that event and they’re jampacked with a bunch of supplements.  There are a couple of books that I’m gonna put in there.  I’m even putting a $40-50 value extra supplement bottle, everything from MPX100 to adaptogenic herbs to Extreme Endurance to whatever I happen to grab to surprise you with.  I’ll put it all in that goody bag along with a bengreenfieldfitness.com specialized purest water bottle and a bunch of other stuff and I’ll mail it to you – free shipping.  Anyone, you ask and just a small stipend for shipping anywhere internationally and we’ll put a link in the show notes if you wanna get a custom sport bag jampacked with books and supplements and gear and everything you need to become superhuman.  Release, feel like one as you’re traipsing around with your shiny new backpack.

Listener Q & A:

Zach:   Hi Ben!  I’ve heard some recent talk about deer antler velvet spray.  Just wanna know what it is exactly and whether or not it’s effective.  Thanks.

Brock:  The only person I’ve actually heard talk about this before was actually Rich Roll.

Ben:  Really?

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  Interesting!  Does he use it?

Brock:  Yeah.  It was one of his hidden secret things that he swears by.

Ben:  He’s a vegan and he actually uses a supplement that comes from crushed deer antlers that they cut of the deer.

Brock:  Well, I guess, the deer survives.

Ben:  Yeah.  And that is how they harvest deer antler velvet is the antler is sought off the base of the deer and it doesn’t actually kill the deer but if you look at some of the studies on the deer antler velvet, some of the supplements actually end up with the painkiller that they have to give to the deer in the actual supplement ‘cause they got a smear lidocaine on the deer’s antlers to kill the pain from sawing off the deer and some of the analgesic medication binds up in the deer antler velvet supplement.

Brock:  Your skin is a mouth.

Ben:  There you go. I’m not quite sure about the whole cruelty to animals perspective on that.  Whereas, I just shoot the deer and eat the whole thing.  Not the antlers.

Brock:  You don’t eat the antlers.

Ben:  No.

Brock:  You just sell the antlers.

Ben:  There’s actually no evidence that deer antler velvet increases your testosterone or helps out with your drive. They’ve looked at luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin levels, insulin-like growth factor, everything.  I’ll tell you in a second some stuff that deer antler velvet could help with but as far as the whole sexual drive thing, which is the reason that you’d wanna take it, zero evidence that it could help with that stuff at all.  And I’ve tried deer antler velvet because the same company that makes the painkiller supplement that I really do recommend that is efficacious – the Phenocane stuff that I use when I’m injured or when I need to shut down inflammation, they also do a deer antler velvet spray.


And they’ve sent me samples of it before when I ordered Phenocane and I used it for 30 days. I did a whole 5 sprays sublingually in the morning, 5 sprays sublingually in the evening and then I sat there staring at my crotch, waiting for the magic to happen and it really does not do anything at all to me or in the studies either.  So there you go.

Brock:  I just pulled up the website before our work week – website where Rich Roll was talking about it.  He says that he’s using elk antler velvet as testosterone booster.

Ben:  Elk.  I suspect that elk, probably falls into the same category in these studies as deer antler velvet.  I’m not 100% sure on that.  Elk is a bigger animal than a deer but I believe the chemical composition is pretty similar.

Brock:  Likely. Yeah. I should probably add here. I just read in the second paragraph, he said, “I eschewed animal products from my diet so I do not myself use elk antler velvet.  From what I understand, antler remove…”  So he doesn’t actually use it.  It’s probably good that I looked that up.  I don’t wanna do and make him sound like a hypocrite.

Ben:  Gotcha.  Don’t get me wrong.  The antler does have hormones that circulate in it. It’s got testosterone and epiandersterone and progesterone and estrodial, and all these things that baseball players love to munch on in the antler.  But it does not appear that the actual extract is high enough in any of this stuff to cause any type of an effect in terms of free concentration in human blood.

Brock:  Okay.  So what would possibly come from it, then?

Ben:  There’s been some evidence in cardiovascular health studies that may help a little bit with coronary artery rebuilding after heart surgery.  So it may have a little bit of cardiovascular effect, which makes sense because antlers grow back, right?  So it’s something in the antler that is helping the human body to re-grow new cells after something like coronary artery damage.  There’s also some evidence (and this is in rodent studies) that it may have a little bit of an anti additive property, meaning that rats that were given morphin were better able to withstand withdrawal syndromes and get off the morphin when they were given a deer antler velvet supplement which they use during the normal withdrawal period after using morphin.  So it may help with like stopping cigarette smoking, or stopping the use of painkillers or something along those lines.  The only other thing that might help with is (and this is again, a study on rodents, not in humans) it was shown to reduce immunoglobulin responses to allergens when mice were exposed to allergens and so it had a little bit of an anti asthmatic effect in regards to allergies.  And so if you deal with seasonal allergies, stuff like that, it may help.  And again, it’s a rodents study but still, we can extrapolate some of this slightly to humans.  But as far as turning you into a sex machine, there are probably better ways to do it than your deer antler velvet or elk antler velvet.  You could try elephant tusk velvet.  That might be good enough to do the trick.

Allie:   Hi Ben and Brock! I have a question about trying to use UCAN Superstarch for marathon and I’m trying to figure out how much I would use on a race.  Thank you very much.  It’s a great show.  Bye.

Brock:  And we also got a question from Tony.

Tony:   Hi Ben!  Tony from Scotland.  Just a question about Generation UCAN.  I’ve just done 2 centuries and maybe 10 days between them both in a fasted state with no breakfast  both for 3 days off the bike beforehand.  The first one went really well.  I’ve just done my latest century for about 50 miles in, stopped for water and a bag of peanuts and then I started to weaken then I had to have to stick to a bus to get home.  Just wonder what gives  does UCAN only work when you’re in a ketogenic state?  Just interested to know your thoughts.  Thanks for everything you do and hope to hear from you soon.  Thank you.

Brock:  So, this is one of the things that came in that handy dandy little gift bag that you’re giving out at the Superhuman event.


Ben:  Yes.  And UCAN Superstarch is something that I do use.  I am not a fan of using engineered fuels (period) unless I absolutely have to so don’t get me wrong.  Superstarch is not something that I’m pouring into a blender everyday and starting off my day with along with raw eggs and steak.

Brock:  Yeah.  This is our race fuel or very long workout fuel, not everyday fuel.

Ben:  Right. But the idea is that, when you look at common sports drinks and sports gels, most of them are comprised of things like glucose and sucrose and fructose and multidextrin.  And those are all relatively simple sugars. So when you ingest them and they’re broken down by the body, they give you this immediate source of energy.  And that immediate source of energy causes this flood of insulin from your pancreas to be released and what happens is, that causes the glucose or the sugars to be taken up by the muscles and then you get a little bit of a hypoglycemic drop and you basically go through this blood sugar roller coaster ride.  So the idea behind using a very, very high molecular weight starch, a starch that is literally thousands of times longer than any of these other simpler sugars is that it gets broken down much, much more slowly and release them in the bloodstream much, much more slowly and that takes the pancreas out of the equation, meaning that you don’t get that insulin spike. And when you don’t get that insulin spike, what you’re able to do is metabolize fatty acids a little bit more efficiently.  And so there’s 2 things that happen here:  One, you’re tapping into a fuel source that your body has literally tens of thousands of calories of your own storage fat or your own circulating fatty acids. And at the same time, you’re also not reliant as heavily upon carbohydrates.  You can literally take in fewer carbohydrates from Superstarch than you can from other starch sources.  And this makes it a very palatable and attractive supplement for someone who is wanting to stay in ketogenesis or wanting to burn primarily fatty acids as a fuel to use as their source of fuel.  And we do get a lot of good athletes that are starting to use this stuff.  If you look at Med Koslosky, who is a marathoner, he uses the high molecular weight starch and if you watch him running, he uses fuel water bottle. It’s a UCAN Superstarch water bottle and that’s what’s in the bottle that he uses during his events.  There’s another marathoner, Annie Yoder Begley, who uses it as well.  And she’ll  literally go off and do a 20-mile run using about 1 ½ packets of UCAN Superstarch which only comes out to about 200 calories or so of UCAN that you’d actually use.  I found that with the athletes that I work with and also with myself, I’d take the normal amount of carbohydrate that I’d normally take in from gels or sports drinks during a race and I raced for years on gels and sports drinks and for example, on the bike, for something like a half Ironman or an Ironman Triathlon, I’d be at about 400-450 calories an hour or so from traditional maltodextrin fructose plan.  I was using the Goo energy gels.

Brock:  And you’re taking that probably like every 20 minutes on the bike?

Ben:  I didn’t time it too much but that was about what I came out to per hour.  And for me, it was a blend of gels and some of those gummy chews and stuff like that. And with the UCAN Superstarch, I get away with half of that.  So I do about 2 packets of it per hour when I’m going hard and heavy during a race.  I’m sort of a little bit big on the triathlete size.  I go about 175 or 180 lbs, around in there.

Brock:  I think if you fell on Pete Jacobs, you’d probably kill him.

Ben:  Probably.  I think I almost did fall on him at Endurance Live just based on the amount of alcohol I was consuming at that particular event. Anyways, the amount of carbohydrate that you need to take in when you’re using UCAN, is far less as well.  So the tricky part here though, is in terms of proper use.  The whole idea like I just explained is that you are able to tap into your own fatty acids, thus, able to take in fewer amounts of carbohydrates when you’re using UCAN. But if you start to introduce exogenous carbohydrate sources like Snickers bars or Extra Gels or anything that really has simple sugars in it that are going to cause an insulin release, that’s important to consider because there are some sugars out there such as fructose, and I’ll get to that in a second, that wouldn’t cause the same insulin release ‘cause it goes straight to the liver.


But if you are taking in glucose maltodextrin and things of that nature along with Superstarch, you’re defeating the purpose because you’re spiking your blood sugar levels, you’re causing that insulin release, you’re taking yourself out of primary fatty acids utilization.  If you start trying to understand something like ketosis, you’re taking yourself out of the use of ketone bodies as a fuel and all of a sudden, the Superstarch, from a metabolic standpoint, is not doing much for you other than providing you with some fuel but you’re not going to avoid that crash that’s ultimately going to come with using the simple sugar sources.  So if you’re gonna use Superstarch, pretty much the only other fuels that you would want to combine with it, would be using a medium chain triglyceride.  So it would be okay if you mix some coconut oil or some MCT Oil with it.  And that would be the equivalent of about a tablespoon or so per serving. That’s something that I haven’t personally experimented with too much but something I’m gonna start into this season is throwing that into the mix along with some of the other things I’m about to tell you that I personally mix with UCAN Superstarch. The other things that you can use with it would be fructose.  Fructose would be okay because that bypasses the whole pancreas insulin scenario and go straight to the liver.  Now, I personally use that Energy 28 stuff, which is a liquid superfood that has maca root and some of these adaptogens in it.  So I put that the plain UCAN Superstarch to give it a little bit of flavor but it’s not causing that same insulin release. So I go about a 1:1 ratio. I put about one serving of Energy 28 superfood and with each serving of Superstarch that I consume for each hour.  And then the last thing that I throw into the equation, another thing that’s not gonna spike insulin levels, that’s not gonna cause that strain from fatty acid utilization or that glucose-based energy spike, is amino acids.  There’s a few different amino acid compounds out there but I use the Master Amino Pattern (the NatureAminos capsules) and I just put those in the ziplock bag in my back pocket so what I’ve got in one water bottle, I’ve got however many packets of UCAN Superstarch or however many servings of UCAN Superstarch that I’m gonna be using for that hour or for that multi-hour event mixed with some Energy 28 for each serving of UCAN.  And then, literally, I just chew on them – 5 of those Master Amino Pattern capsules per hour.  And then the other important thing to realize is that, for your pre-event meal, you also need to us UCAN Superstarch.  The reason for that because it takes about 30-60 minutes to hit your bloodstream and you want to be beginning to metabolize that stuff before your event.  So when you’re having your breakfast or whatever, 1 ½-2 hours prior to your marathon or your triathlon, you could take a couple of packets of UCAN, you could put it to blender with some almond butter, a little bit of some coconut milk and some ice or something like that, blend that up and go with a fat-based plus Superstarch-based meal prior to your event and then don’t tighten your cup, drink that down.  And then, as you start into your event, you’re basically, just using Superstarch plus the option to use a fructose-based superfood like I mentioned plus amino acids like I mentioned plus if you wanted to, a medium chain triglyceride oil or a coconut oil.  I have something I created over at pacificfit.net, which is called an Endurance Pack, where I’ve got a bunch of new packs over there where you save if you get it all at once.  And one of the packs over there is basically, UCAN Superstarch + Master Amino Pattern + Energy 28, and it all just comes as a bundle and that would be a really good way to go as well if you wanted to do something like that.

Brock:  Would it be effective for somebody who has been reliant on straight up carbohydrate for all the racing?  Could they just switch to that?  Or do you need to really become fat-adapted before you can use that?


Ben:  Great question. There’s 2 things you gotta do:  First of all, because it’s such a high molecular weight carbohydrate, you have to train your stomach to be able to use it.  And I found that a lot of the athletes who either switch from using gels and traditionally, easier to digest simple sugars, they have to ease their way into using, for example, I mentioned I use about 2 servings of UCAN per hour, but you would start at half a serving probably on the first week and then go into a full serving per hour for the second week and then 1 ½ servings for the third week, and then get up to 2 servings for that 4th week.  So you’re gradually easing your body into being able to digest it well if you find that it creates gastric discomfort for you, which I have found that for a few people, ‘cause it’s such a heavy, heavy carbohydrate that it can and the taste is kinda chucky too, which you gotta get used to.  That’s another reason I mix it with the Energy 28.  The other thing is that it doesn’t work that well if you’re not fat-adapted, if the rest of your diet has a lot of starches and sugars in it and you’re kind of a traditional 55 or 65%-carbohydrate-diet type of person, it doesn’t work that well for you. And it works really, really in people who are either staying in a relative state of ketogenesis, meaning, you’re testing your blood ketones and staying above one, or else, you are eating a low carb diet.  And for me, I don’t do the ketogenesis thing quite as much as I just focus on low carb, and so for me, I’m metabolically efficient, I’m in a fat-adapted state and my body really does well with that transition to using Superstarch as a fuel.  And I remember when I was racing at Leadman last year in Bend, that race that I won, every single half hour in that race, I was getting stronger and stronger and stronger and eating less and less and less. It was weird.  And by the end of that race, I basically sprinted that last 2 miles just to make sure I had that gap between me and 2nd place.  It was pretty crazy and that was the first race where I actually broke out that UCAN and used it.  And then I used it again when we raced Thailand.  It was the same thing.  I got stronger and stronger and stronger.  I won my age group at the 70.3 in Thailand and I think I was third amateur overall. But I was 6th or 7th coming off the bike and just got stronger and stronger and stronger as I ran.  I think that’s one of the things that you feel when you use it.  It stabilizes your energy levels to where you don’t feel at the end of the race like you’re bonking or running out of energy as much as you feel like you’re just getting better and better at tapping into your fatty acids.  And I totally don’t want this to sound like a commercial for Superstarch.  You could achieve the same effect.  There are other things out there like Three Fuel is another example of a blend that I think they use like a whey protein + a high molecular starch + I think they’ve got some medium chain triglycerides in there.  There are more than one way to skin a cat but ultimately, what it comes down to is, I’m a huge fan of straying away from this traditional sugary carb approach, going after the more fatty acid burning conducive fuel sources and then understanding that’s a bad idea to mix the 2.

Jason:   Hi Ben!  My name is Jason.  I think your podcast is fantastic.  Been enjoying it for the last few weeks. I’ve a quick question regarding actually your wife and her migraines.  I heard you mention recently that she was able to eliminate her migraines by altering her level about alkalosis or acidosis in her body by utilizing certain food sources and I was hoping you could talk a little bit about that as I’m a migraine sufferer and it tends to impact my training substantially and I was hoping you could give some suggestions.  I greatly appreciate it.  Keep up the great work.  Thank you so much.

Brock:  So this has really just come down to the acidity of your body or your diet?

Ben:  I’ll put a link for Jason to the original episode that inspired my wife to try to get rid of her migraine headaches by switching to what’s called an alkaline-based diet. I remember when she tweeted (I’ll put a link to the tweet in the show notes.):  “I swear green smoothies have cured my migraines.  I have warded off 3 migraines with green smoothies.” Who knew? She was convinced to do this after she met with a friend of mine, who was kind of a disciple of this guy named Dr. Ted Morter.  And Dr. Ted Morter has this program and I interviewed him on the show about it and I’ll put a link in the show notes.  He has this program where it teaches you how to test your urine ph everyday for 30 days, as well as your salivary ph. And based off your urine and your salivary ph, you are able to see whether your body is in an acidic state or whether it’s in an alkalinic state.


Brock:  And you test that just with those little strips that you can do this at home. You don’t have to ship it off and bail a bunch of money or anything.  You just go to the drugstore, get the little ph strips.

Ben:  Exactly. And he has a package like a book and some CDs and it comes with the urine strips, too. Anyways though, sometimes migraines can be caused by consumption of foods that have a lot of what are called tyramines and histamines in them and that will be like cheeses and sauekraut and kiefer.  Sometimes, they’re triggered by foods that have a lot of what’s called arginine in them and that will be nuts and chocolate.  But in many cases, they are triggered by foods that leave what’s called the net acid load when they’re metabolized by the body or net acid ash.  And this would be a lot of foods that would be like starches, sugars, even red meats to a certain extent.  Whereas, when you look at alkaline-producing foods, which are primarily like dark leafy greens and lemons, to a certain extent, some kind of non-sugary type of fruits. You can find acid-alkaline list out there in the internet and also in this program by Ted Morter.  But they leave this more alkaline residue and the idea is that, that doesn’t leech as many minerals from your body and it also allows you to basically have better blood flow delivery to your cranial muscles and vasoconstriction, a lot of times in the blood vessels to your head is the one that can cause migraines.  It’s one of the same reasons that using like a magnesium supplement, especially, a topical magnesium that’s rubbed into your upper neck and your head, that has a similar alkalizing effect as eating an alkalizing diet and that’s another thing when combined with an alkalizing diet, can be quite efficacious when it comes to getting rid of migraine headaches.  But yeah, it was very, very simple.  All she did was, she adjusted her diet to the point where her urine was more alkalinic and her saliva was more alkalinic.  Don’t get me wrong.  You can get too alkalinic.  You can get too much magnesium to the point where magnesium is actually inhibiting calcium absorption or causing you to become too alkalinic and you can completely avoid acidic foods to the point where you’re not eating any red meat, you’re not eating citrusy fruits and get to the point where you’re shifting your body towards too alkalinic of a state, which isn’t great as well because then, you create mineral imbalances. If you test as you go through this, she basically switched to alkalinic, she started using topical magnesium everyday and that fixed it for her.  She didn’t have to take out fermented foods or take out chocolate or take out a lot of these other triggers that can be migraine triggers.  And that was it.  She used this program by Dr. Ted Morter.  I’ll put a link to my interview with him in the show notes.  I was pretty amazed ‘cause it was getting to the part where it was a big problem for her like every month, there would be a couple of days where she was just miserable and she’d be lying in bed, and I was having to take care of the kids.  It was just pretty nuts.  I’d check it out and we’ve got a transcript for that interview as well, if you’re lazy and read it while you listen to it.

Brock:  That’s backwards.  I think lazy people don’t read.

Ben:  Yeah.  I guess so.  Dr. Morter’s kit is called the Best Living Kit.  It’s interesting stuff.

Brock:  Beautiful.

Ken:   Hey Ben!  This is Ken from California.  I’ve got a question for you since you’re into some digital gadgets.  What is your thought on the Moxymonitor? I think it’s a prototype form from www.moxymonitor.com. They’re looking at building basically, a muscle oxygen sensor that you could, instead of needing a full cart to do things like lactate threshold testing, do it with algorithm through this relatively inexpensive wireless monitor.  Curious if you checked it out and if not, will you check it out?  Thanks.  It’s awesome.  Bye.

Brock:  So, do you think Ken invented the Moxymonitor?

Ben:  I’ve wondered sometimes, when people call in to a podcast and they talk about a product or something, whether or not they actually are the mastermind behind the product and they’re using it, they question to promote it but…


Brock:  He knows a lot about it.  I’ve heard being in beta.  It’s sounds cool, though.

Ben:  Yeah. I looked at their website and actually, it does look pretty cool.  In the morning, sometimes, especially when I’m leading up to an important race or Ironman, I measure my pulse oximetry, which is my blood oxygen saturation.  And that’s that device that you put on the end of your finger and it simply measure the same ways as the ones in the hospital measure when you put that on the end of your finger, it measures your oxygen saturation.  And generally, good oxygen saturation is 96-100% range and as you drop below that, then you’re looking at improper recovery or maybe you’ve got low hemoglobin, low iron.  Basically, you’re in a sub-optimal oxygen utilizing state. This Moxymonitor is kinda doing a similar thing.  It’s measuring oxygen levels but in your muscles and in specific areas of muscle tissue.  So rather than just putting it on your finger, it’s this device that you can use to shine near infrared light into the muscle to measure  the amount of hemoglobin that is saturated with oxygen in whatever muscle area that you put it over and then it ____[0:51:28.4] that out giving you your muscle oxygen saturation percentage. So, you can literally rather than just putting it on your finger and looking at your full body systemic oxygen saturation, you could see like “okay, what’s the oxygen saturation of my quad or my bicep or whatever muscle that you happen to be working.”  So we can monitor the oxygen levels in specific muscles and it’s portable so you could do it while you’re working out as well.

Brock:  Would low oxygen saturation, let’s say, in your quad, would that indicate inflammation or what would it indicate?

Ben:  That’s the thing is like, I don’t know.  I’m trying to wrap my head around the reason how you’d actually use this information because when you’re working out, you’re gonna get to the point where, in some cases, especially if you are going hypoxic or you’ve really fatigued the muscle or you’ve got a ton of lactic acid build-up, you’re gonna see some oxygen saturation drop anyways.  And so I’m trying to figure out like when you’re using a Moxymonitor, what are you trying to measure?  Are you trying to ensure that you are dropping oxygen saturation low enough?  Are you trying to ensure that the muscle is adequately saturated with oxygen so that that’s a day that you could work that hard? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. How you would actually use something like this?  It’s a cool idea and it’s certainly going to tell you… it would be for me, more efficacious to use something like this for recovery like to put the near infrared light over my quad, see how saturated my quad levels are with hemoglobin, with oxygen, etc. and then like, “okay, I’ve got good oxygen saturation in my quads, I’ll make a kill on the bike.”  Whereas, if you got low oxygen saturation, I guess it would be a decent tool to measure have I fatigued this muscle adequately?  You know what I’m saying?  Because hypoxic training (I think we’ve mentioned this a few times on the show before) like holding your breath when you’re training, training in the simulated low oxygen environment, that can actually cause a pretty cool growth hormone effect to exercise. It can cause basically what’s called the hormetic effect that allows you to get a better response to that exercise session than you would if the muscles were on a fully oxygenated state.  So cutting off oxygen to the muscle…right now, for example, I’ve got a front mounted snorkel that I use for swimming.   And when you use a snorkel for swimming, it lets you focus a little less on breathing and a little more on your body rotation and at what your hands are doing.  But I just found out that they make an air restricter for the snorkel.

Brock:  Like a little blog in the end.

Ben:  Yes.  So I could put an air restricter on the snorkel and be doing hypoxic training in the pool.  Another example of hypoxic training would be this whole idea behind vascular occlusion training, which is this new kind of training and they use this in rehab settings a lot, where they literally tie a tourniquet above a muscle area and you’ll train a muscle like doing bicep curls with a tourniquet wrapped above the bicep.  Again, vascular occlusion-cutting off oxygen to a muscle so that you get a better bounce back response hormonally.

Brock:  So you could strap the Moxymonitor around your bicep and while you’re doing bicep curls, you wait until you get an oxygen saturation of 93 or something before you finish your set.


Ben:  Yeah.  Exactly.

Brock:  That could work.

Ben:  Yeah.  Moxy is gonna indicate your oxygen saturation and I don’t own one, I’ve never tried one.  I know they have a book on their website called Using Muscle Oxygen to Guide Interval Training.  I never got a chance to read or to look into it.  Maybe I will at some point just to see what’s it’s all about.  So there you go.  Probably worth looking into.  It’s one of the self-quantification toys that might be cool to play around with.

Valerie:   Hi Ben!  I’m wondering if you’ve ever used one of those activity trackers like a Fitbit.  And if you have, what are your thoughts on it?  So they work well?  Are they accurate?  All right.  Thanks. Bye.

Brock:  Do you have Fitbit, Ben?

Ben:  I have this new black box coaching program where I’ve got some high level executives who I am doing a little bit more intensive coaching with so I’m doing some life coaching.  I’m tracking their sleep and their calorie-burning and all these different parameters.  I’m using the Jawbone app for that which is similar to the Fitbit.  It’s a wristband that allows you to track sleep and track calories and movement and things of that nature.  Fitbit is very similar.  The accuracy is very similar.  They have the same idea behind them.  Unfortunately, neither is water-proof so these folks can’t swim with it. Well, it’s water-proof to the extent where you can shower but you can’t actually jump into the water and swim with it.  Another example is, they have this new My Basis Watch, which, not only measures your motion and your sleep but also captures perspiration and skin temperature.  There’s another one coming out called the Bobo device. And that one is actually supposed to (and I’m kinda excited about this) measure heart rate variability as well.  And then, of course, you have the Nike (what’s the Nike one called?)

Brock:  Maybe Nike One?  Nike Plus?

Ben:  Yeah.  I forget.  Any of these devices are going to give you a pretty good picture of calories burned throughout the day of metabolic activity, etc.  And most of them are pretty decent in accuracy and getting better in accuracy. They work well.  Are they worth it?  They’re getting less and less expensive and so it was interesting because I was sitting at a table during the Become Superhuman event.  There were a lot of people who are pretty into tracking their bodies and are kind of in the cutting edge of health and fitness.  I think it was Ray Cronise and Dave Asprey and myself, a couple of other guys, Phil Maffetone, we’re all at Sushi before one of the after-parties on one night.  And I was looking around the table, 40 from people on the table were wearing Fitbits or Jawbones or some kind of…

Brock:  Yeah.  I think Ray had a Jawbone, I saw a lot of Jawbones.

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s not a bad looking bracelet.  It kinda blends and okay with most outfits and it’s kinda cool looking and a lot of people are using this because they’re eating certain ways and seeing what that does to metabolism or they are doing certain things before they go bed and see how that affects their sleep.  And this is kinda cool if you like to play around with this stuff and get feedback.  And if you look on the negative side, sure, maybe you don’t want feedback all the time.  Maybe you wanna be able to unplug, maybe you don’t want something transmitting a Bluetooth signal all the time on your wrist.  And that’s up to you.  I personally don’t use one of these devices.  I would say if they ever came out with a device that monitored in real time 24/7 my heart rate variability, which I consider to be a really, really valuable score in terms of giving me some information how healthy my nervous system is, I would consider using one.  I’ve thought about getting a Jawbone app and probably getting close to getting one, just to play around with it but ultimately, I’m one of those guys and I don’t know if I’ve talked about this on the podcast before but sometimes, I get to the end of the day and I’ve been working with athletes and clients and looking at their power read-outs and looking at how many calories they burn during the day and talking to people about their sleep levels, the amount of time they’ve been in deep sleep and by the time I get to the end of the day, I’m kinda sick of all that.  And I just wanna go out and basically, run with my shorts and my vibrams through a field of flowers and skip naked to the mountains of Austria.  But basically, just like unplug and for me, a lot of times, (my wife will see me do this) I’ll get to the end of the day and I just hop on my mountain bike and just go out for completely unstructured training session or literally, go out running in my bare feet or some vibrams and just chill on the trails for a little while or go hop in the river and just swim upstream and look at the fish and I do quite a bit of that unplugging just because for me, much of the day is spent so plugged in and looking at all the stuff and talking about all the stuff that I really do like to unplug.


I think some people get this idea that I’m always wearing all these gadgets and tracking these and tracking that and taking all these supplements and I really do try and keep things pretty simple especially when it comes to my workouts. Not that I don’t recognize the value in a lot of these stuff.  Sometimes, I think it’s also okay to just unplug.

Brock:  Yeah. I definitely go on cycles where sometimes, I’m hyper vigilant about tracking everything – I’ll put the foot pod on and the heart rate monitor and the garment and everything going.  And then other parts of the season, it even seems like a chore to put the garment on and I probably wouldn’t if I wasn’t supplying the information to my coach and it’s just so much easier to use the garment than it is to write down every little variable that I felt during the run or the exercise.

Ben:  Yeah.  And I can tell you the one thing that I do, do everyday, is that I do track heart rate variability every single morning and I talked about that at the conference when I was onstage talking about the things that are working for me right now.  And I do that 5 minutes cohesion meditation exercise with heart rate variability measurement every single morning.  And I think if you had to choose between doing something like that and tracking calories everyday with the Fitbit, I would actually choose the former just ‘cause it kinda grounds you at the beginning of the day and I found that it works pretty well for me.  There you go.

Jenna:   Hello Ben and Brock!  I really enjoy your podcast for all its informative dialogue as well as the humor.  I believe that I’m probably one of the minority of your demographic of listeners.  I’m a 19 year-old female triathlete from Canada.  I’m underweight and I’m currently looking to build muscle mass. Currently, my BMI is below healthy levels. I was wondering if you could suggest training protocols or methods for a female triathlete that are conducive to building muscle and if there are any hormonal correlations with strength training that would accelerate this process.  I know that you’ve answered questions along these lines in the past but I would appreciate an answer that’s more specific to a female triathlete.  Thank you very much for your time.  Bye.

Ben:  I would not say Jenna’s in the minority.  Would you, Brock?

Brock:  No.  That’s exactly what I was thinking.

Ben:  Let’s put it this way: what female does not wanna go after that lean and ripped look but still be curvaceous and have muscle and everything. That’s a pretty common desire among female athletes.

Brock:  And the desire among male athletes as well.

Ben:  Yes.  You mean the male athletes who are running behind them or looking at them.

Brock:  Exactly.

Ben:  Yeah. When it comes to female athletes, there really is that big issue being skinny fat, being amenorrheic, kinda losing that curvaceous look and just getting too skinny.  I don’t think it’s an attractive look.  I think that a lot of girls and women who are out there training for endurance sports, especially, I think that you kinda get 2 problems.  You get the women who kind of get that whole estrogen dominance, fluid retention, I’m-fat-no-matter-how-mush-I-train-type of look.  And then you get the girls who tend to get this whole skinny-fat-too-lean-amenorrheic type of look.  I’ve got some definite ideas in terms of things that you can do to make sure that you can get lean and ripped, stay curvaceous and not destroy your health or destroy your fertility in the process while doing endurance sports. The very, very first thing that I would make sure that you focus on is, knowing where you’re at hormonally.  And one of the best ways to do this if you’re a woman and you really wanna know where you’re at, 24-hour urine steroid test would be the gold standard.  And that’s something that you can’t do through one of these online testing services that you actually have to go into like a naturopathic clinic.


And you’ll find a lot of naturopathic clinics in many, many places are gonna do this. Jonathan Wright’s clinic in Tahoma, Washington, the Tahoma Clinic, is the main clinic that came up with this test and a lot of clinics do it now.  It’s a 24-hour urine steroid test.  And you wanna see what your estrogen levels are at, what your progesterone levels are at, your luteinizing hormone, your follicle stimulating hormone.  It’s really, really good to get a glance at what you might be deficient in because that can give you really, really good idea of, are you estrogen dominant? Do you have a progesterone deficiency?  Do you have a testosterone deficiency? Luteinizing hormone deficiency?  And once you find out what you’re deficient in, you can really go after things with a sniper rifle. If you’re progesterone deficient, you could do something like liposomal progesterone or if you are testosterone deficient, you could look at doing something like getting off the pill if you’re on the pill.  But basically, knowing where you’re at hormonally, is really, really important if you wanna make sure (whether you’re male or female) that you’re going after the right parameters from a hormone standpoint.  If you can’t hunt down a 24-hour urine steroid test, there is a performance panel and we’ll link to it in the show notes but it does give you a good idea of some of the basic hormones – testosterone, estrogens, cortisol – 3 of the biggies which, for both males and females who wanna look good, have good fertility, put on muscle, lose fat, you maintain health while doing endurance sports, it’s important to test.  I test every 4 months for this stuff.  I’ll put a link in the show notes to both of those tests – the 24-hour urine steroid test as well as what’s called the performance panel, which will at least give you your testosterone, your cortisol, your estrogens.

Brock:  Cool.

Ben:  Number 1 would be to quantify.  The next thing that I would do is, I would understand the whole concept behind getting strong to stay lean. Getting strong to stay lean – this is a concept again, that I talked about at the Become Superhuman event.  It’s a concept that I learned from a really excellent book, which I’ll link to in the show notes.  It was written by Dan John.  Dan John is a really great strength coach.  I believe he’s a listener to the podcast, too.  Hi Dan!  If you’re listening in.

Brock:  Hi Dan!

Ben:  But he has a really good book called Interventions.   And in that book, he talks about some of the things that he’s found that if female athletes can do these things, they’re gonna have very, very low barriers to staying lean, getting strong and looking sexy and looking good. A few other things would be, being able to do 3 body weight pull-ups – being able to squat your body weight.  So if you’re a female athlete and weigh 135 lbs, you should be able to squat a 135 lbs.

Brock:  Like on a machine, not just stand and squat?

Ben:  Yeah.  With a barbell on your back.

Brock:  Oh I see.  In addition to your own body weight.

Ben:  Right.  Exactly.  You should be able to take whatever you weigh and you should be able to squat that. You should be able to deadlift – to pick up off the ground 1 ½ times your body weight.  You should be able to walk a farmer’s walk, which is just holding a weight in each hand.  You should be able to walk 50 feet with half your body weight in each hand, meaning that if I weigh 180 lbs, I should be able to put in 90-pound dumbbell in each of my hands and walk 50 feet.

Brock:  And a piece of straw in your teeth.

Ben:  And a piece of straw on my teeth.

Brock:  ‘Cause that’s farmer’s walk.

Ben:  Exactly.  Yup.  I got that when you said the straw.

Brock:  Okay.  Good.

Ben:  You didn’t have to explain it.  So, you should be able to do that – do a farmer’s walk like that, the deadlift, the squat, the 3 pull-ups.  Those are the biggies.  I think Dan John, in his book, talks about bench-pressing and it should be a low.  So bench-press close to body weight but I’m not a fan of bench-pressing.  I think bench-pressing is kind of a silly exercise in most situations.  But you should understand this concept behind getting strong to stay lean and how those types of parameters are far more important than how fast you can run a mile or how long you can ride a bike.
Based off of that, I’m kind of extrapolating from that, I recommend that female athletes who wanna look good like female endurance athletes, especially, who wanna stay curvaceous and lean and ripped, you need to lift heavy at least twice a week.  Full body workout at least twice a week, you can do a whole 5 by 5 protocol where you do something like a squat, a deadlift, a clean and overhead press, and a pull-up, 5 reps of each, 5 sets through.  There’s more than one way to skin a cat.


If you read the program that I wrote to get male and female athletes ripped and looking sexy without getting the whole skinny fat look, my program is at triripped.com.  That’s another good one to look through in addition to that book by Dan John, Interventions.  Going to the program at triripped.com would be really helpful as well.  So, you test your hormones, you lift heavy understanding that you get strong to stay lean, you limit cardio.  This is again, something that I mentioned at Become Superhuman and that is that if you really wanna look good, if you really wanna maintain hormones, fertility, sexiness, etc., you shouldn’t really be running much more than twice a week.  And you can maintain good speed and good endurance by doing one high, high intensity interval training session for the run per week like a 30 by 30 second full on uphill sprint on the treadmill combined with one mid distance high quality type of tempo run on the weekends.  And you could train for a triathlon and be doing your biking and your swimming and your heavy lifting and easily get away with doing just a couple of runs a week if you’re doing that type of thing.  So, limit the amount of running that you do, especially if you’re female, because running tends to beat up females and leech bone minerals and cause that hormonal deficit even more than it does in males.  Hand in hand with that, we started off the podcast talking about, and that would be to limit the amount intermittent fasting that you do.  I probably don’t need to explain that again, but it’s a whole estrogen dominance, drop in luteinizing hormone, drop in testosterone, drop in ovarian weight, just all these things that affect reproduction, fertility and sexiness in females, intermittent fasting really accelerates that.  And so doing this 16-hour fast, doing the whole IF thing, especially when you’re combining it with exercise, not a great idea if you’re female and you wanna keep your sexy on.

Brock:  But you’re not saying that you should be snacking every 2 hours, either.

Ben:  No.  But what I’m saying is that long periods of caloric restriction send a message to your body to down-regulate a lot of that reproductive function that is gonna help you to maintain those curves.  So I’d be really careful with that, too.

Brock:  So you wanna be eating like 3 meals a day, then?

Ben:  Yeah.  3-4 solid meals a day.

Brock:  3 meals a day and a pre-workout snack kind of thing.

Ben:  Yeah.  There’s no hard and fast rule.  But basically, you don’t send that frequent message to your body that calories are sparse.  Last thing for females would be, when it comes to the whole supplementation protocol, naturally assuming that you’re not amenorrheic, you’re gonna be losing more iron than a typical male, and so making sure that you’re getting lots of what’s called heme-rich iron and heme-rich iron would be the most bioavailable form of iron that you’re gonna find in red meat and poultry and fish.  Egg yolks would be another source.  You wanna make sure that you’re getting that stuff in and combining it with vitamin C can really help with absorptions. Making sure that you’re getting that along with some citrus fruits and you could even use cast-iron pans in you’re cooking, which can help you to absorb iron.  Some of these non-heme sources of iron are okay, too, like beans and peas and seeds and nuts and leafy greens.  But generally, you’re gonna wanna prioritize some of those heme-rich sources of iron.  The other thing (and I mentioned this earlier in the podcast) was that for that bone density, calcium is a horse that gets kicked to death for female athletes, magnesium though, is what’s gonna help you absorb that calcium.  So I recommend that you not only focus on the heme-based iron but you also focus on good magnesium supplementation. Use some natural Calm Magnesium, which is like a magnesium citrate source or use some transdermal magnesium on your muscles.  But as a female athlete, you should definitely make sure that you go after the stuff that female athletes tend to have issues, and that would be the iron and then the calcium, with an understanding that typically, calcium, you get enough from your diet if you’re focusing on a lot of these iron-rich sources, you should make sure that you’re not magnesium deficient so you’re able to absorb the calcium.  I’ve got a bunch of new what I call packs at pacificfit.net.  Earlier, I mentioned the Endurance Pack that I’ve got over there, which is Superstarch + Energy 28 + Master Amino Pattern.


I also have over there the Muscle Gain Pack.  And the Muscle Gain Pack is cold processed goat protein, which is the Deep 30.  It is a Capra Colostrums, which is the growth hormone precursor that’s a really, really great way to build muscle fast and then it’s this Master Amino Pattern (amino acid).  That’s something that a male or female could take – 3 pretty natural supplements, basically just protein, amino acids, and colostrums that you could include on a daily basis post-workout to enhance muscle repair, muscle recovery, muscle growth.  For those packs, I just tried to create a bunch of packs that were the top 2 or 3 things I do like the biggest wins that you could get.  And then , they all include free shipping just because they are shipped as packs – I’ve got the Endurance Pack, the Fat Loss Pack, the Muscle Gain Pack, Recovery Pack, the Injury Pack, the Detox pack, the Anti Aging Pack, the Brain Pack and the Sleep Pack.  But the Muscle Gain Pack will be one to look into for her as well.  That would be what I would do if I were Jenna and I wanted to look like the Incredible Hulk.

Brock:   The sexy lean one.

Ben:  Exactly.

Brock:  Cool! Well, that wraps it up for this week.  Make sure tonight, March 13th at…did you say 6:00 or is it at 5:30 PM Pacific?

Ben:  It was gonna be at 5:30 and then it’s hard when you get 3 people trying to get together but yeah, at 6:00.

Brock:  Okay.  So 6:00 PM tonight on March 13th, if you’re listening to the show, right away, you’ll have to tune it tonight or watch it on spreecast a little bit later on. Make sure you go to audiblepodcast.com/ben to get your free audio book.  And make sure to send us your audio questions about eating low carbs so we can use them on Living La Vida Low Carb podcast when we guest host in a few weeks.  Anything else?

Ben:  If you missed the conference, you suck but stay tuned ‘cause I literally have a crap ton of SD cards on my desk right now with every single recorded lecture that took place at become Superhuman.  I also have all the slides and so what I’m gonna do for folks is, I’m gonna create high resolution videos, I’m gonna have the slides available for each video.  I’ll totally make it affordable.  2-4 weeks from now, I should have all that available for you to be able to just log in and download.  If I’m really on top of things, I may even get it on some DVDs that you could get shipped to your house or whatever.  But stay tuned if you missed the conference.  I’ll be sure that I hook you up with some way that you can at least get some of the magic even it’s not going…

Brock:  It’s 30% of the magic.

Ben:  Yeah.  It does not include Brock doing inebriated pirettes at the after-party so you’ll just have to show up next year for that.

Brock:  Never to be repeated.  Never.

Ben:  All right. Well, I guess, that wraps it up. Check out bengreenfieldfitness.com and of course, also check out the MyList for this episode over at MyList.com/bengreenfield and on the MyList, I’ll put everything I linked to the Dan John book, Tri-ripped, the Muscle Gain Pack, the Moxymonitor and the deer getting their antlers hacked off.



March 13, 2013 free podcast: How To Become A Curvaceous, Lean, Ripped Female Athlete Without Destroying Your Health. Also: what does deer antler velvet spray do, how to use Ucan SuperStarch properly, how to get rid of migraines using your diet, what is the Moxymonitor, and are activity tracking devices (like the Fitbit) useful.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right side of this page, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or (if you hate the sound of your own voice) scroll down to the “Ask Ben” form. Please don’t forget to give the podcast a comment/ranking in iTunes – it only takes a minute and it helps grow our healthy and fit community!

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Wednesday, March 13 at 6:00pm PST – Come see Ben Greenfield, vegan athlete Rich Roll and celebrity trainer Vinnie Tortorich duke it out over diets on spreecast.com.

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Listener Q&A:

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

Zach says @ 00:23:02
He has heard talk about Deer Antler Velvet Spray and wants to know more about it.

Allie asks @ 00:29:06
Is wondering how to use  Generation UCAN Superstarch to fuel for a marathon.

~ In my response I reference Generation Ucan Sports Drink Mix

Tony asks @ 00:29:22
Has been using  UCAN Superstarch and is wondering if Ucan only works if you are in a fat burning state and if he might have taken in too many carbs to use it effectively.

~ In my response I reference this Endurance Supplement Pack.

Jason asks @ 00:43:25
Wants to know how Jessa got rid of her migraines. He heard she did it by altering her alkalosis and acidosis using only food sources.

~ In my response, I mention the How To Get Rid Of Migraine Headaches episode and also transdermal magnesium.

Ken asks @ 00:49:12
Would like to know what you think of the moxymonitor?

Valerie asks @ 00:55:33
Wants to know your opinion of activity trackers like the FitBit. Are they accurate, do they work well, are they worth it?

Jenna asks @ 01:02:16
She is an underweight 19-year-old triathlete and is looking to build muscle mass (her BMI is below healthy level). She would like some specific help putting together a plan that would accelerate the process.

~ In my response I recommend doing 24 hour urine testing. If not available, do a performance panel. Also look at this muscle gain pack. I also recommend www.tri-ripped.com and Dan John’s book interventions.

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/03/233-how-to-become-a-curvaceous-lean-ripped-female-athlete-without-destroying-your-health/



Ask Ben a Podcast Question

5 thoughts on “Episode #233 – Full Transcript

  1. SusieLNYC says:

    Hi Ben! I've been following your articles and podcasts and have found them immensely informative. Further to your topic on UCAN, can you mix UCAN with L-Glutamine? I have started taking L-Glutamine first thing when I wake up, after my workouts, and before going to bed. During my workouts (2.5 hours 5 days a week), I take BCAA and will incorporate UCAN as soon as I receive my order. I'm trying to adapt a ketogenic diet and have been religiously drinking bulletproof coffee (and trying to do everything you do!). Love the idea of using body fat as fuel. Eager to hear your thoughts.

    1. Yes, you can add L-Glutamine but you'll get ever better results by mixing it with EXOS Aminos, like this: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/aminos

      1. SusieLNYC says:

        Many thanks, Ben! I already bought their Multi AM/PM Complex and the Super EPA Complex Liquid (I try to avoid pills/capsules as much as I could). Will add the Amino Acids as well.

        Separately, my 15 year old son is eager to grow taller and wants to build muscle. He's very athletic, defined from martial arts yet skinny). Would having him take the Multi AM/PM Complex be too much for him? Any recommendations?

        1. Yep, I'd have him on the suite of products if he were my son and I were going for optimum performance.

          1. SusieLNYC says:

            Many thanks, Ben. Keep the awesome podcasts and articles coming!

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