The Uncomfortable Truth About Why You Need To Stop Brushing Your Teeth, Drinking Green Tea & Meditating…And Start Using Nicotine, Caffeine, Alcohol & Marijuana.

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

Prepare to have your mind blown…

Green tea is bad for you.

You shouldn't brush your teeth very much.

Vitamin Water has more carbs than beer.

And you should start using nicotine, five or more than drinks per day, marijuana and copious amounts of coffee.

These are all shocking claims made by the book “The Good News About What's Bad for You…The Bad News About What's Good for You.” and written by today's podcast guest, Jeff Wilser.

Jeff is a writer whose work has appeared in print or online at places like New York magazine, GQ, Esquire, Mental_Floss, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Huffington Post. In addition to the book that we talk about in this podcast – The Good News About What's Bad for You…The Bad News About What's Good for You – Jeff has also written The ManCave book, The Maxims of Manhood, It's OK To Sleep With Him On The First Date, and more.

CRsitAxUAAAUd-jDuring our discussion, you'll discover:

-When green tea can be bad for you (and shocking news about Snapple)…

-Which version of water has more calories than Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream…

-The absolute worst time of day to brush your teeth (and what kale smoothies have to do with that)…

-Why being happy all the time and meditating may not be all it's cracked up to be…

-The surprising benefits of nicotine…

-The part of the population that should absolutely drink alcohol…

-Why limiting yourself to one cup of coffee a day may not be the best thing…

-The beneficial ways that marijuana changes your brain…

-What happened when Jeff went on a 30 day junk food diet…

-And much more!

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about good things that are bad for you, or anything else Jeff and I discuss in this podcast? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply (and grab Jeff's book here).

This episode is brought to you by:

Onnit – Visit and save 5% on your order!

Kimera Koffee – Visit and use code ‘ben10' to save 10% on your order!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

26 thoughts on “The Uncomfortable Truth About Why You Need To Stop Brushing Your Teeth, Drinking Green Tea & Meditating…And Start Using Nicotine, Caffeine, Alcohol & Marijuana.

  1. Mike says:

    Hi Ben,

    I have listened to many of your podcasts for new and innovative information about health and fitness. This podcast is clearly not one of those. Learned nothing relevant for health or fitness. The author straddles the line between delivering information and being entertaining but delivers neither IMO.

  2. jab1000 says:

    Ben, thanks for the great podcasts!

    I wanted to try nicotine too but didn't like all the chemicals in the gums and debated on patches and cutting them up. After a bunch of searching in the bio-hacker sites, I found Pixotine which is a toothpick soaked in organic nicotine — they say each toothpick is about 3mg so I break it in half and go with 1.5mg approximately. Yes, I can quickly feel it from sucking/chewing lightly on it — granted only got them last week and tried a couple of times and deciphering if they bump my creativity. Nice thing was the single pack was a whopping $6 and about a dozen tooth picks.


  3. happykitchen393 says:

    hi, teeth brushing…yes, it's best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating with the acids on the teeth, but before I have my morning lemon water I brush upon waking! I've heard its really vital to brush after hours of sleep! especially the roof of the mouth!! so after brushing I have my lemon water…then I just rinse, not brush with toothpaste!! I hope this is best!! thanx

  4. Alvin says:

    Ben, Dave Asprey uses nicotine patches for cognitive performance

  5. Nick says:

    Hey, I really like this episode, it makes such a bigger point about the context & doses of everything in life!

  6. Trudytolley says:

    I agree that the reduction in quantity will result in a weight loss, but it is important to be concerned with the quality(i.e. Gmos?, organic, etc.). Short-term studies will not show true results. Very interesting as always and he does make some good arguments. Whether you agree, it makes one think.

  7. Jason says:

    Great podcost. Lots of stuff to think about here.

    My thoughts:

    There are four servings of ice cream in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. So if you compare a full bottle of Vitamin Water, it should be compared to a full pint of ice cream. Or compare serving to serving. When you compare fairly in this way, the difference between the grams of sugar in each product is way more believably disparate. A bottle of vitamin water having 37g and a pint of B&J having 120g.

    On oral hygiene, it is important to scrape the tongue in the morning, as your body releases a lot of toxins onto it as we sleep. You don’t want to swallow it with your first drink of water. But after fasting all night, brushing does seem superfluous.

    Ben, don’t meditate before a race. It isn’t conducive to BEFORE activity. It is very relaxing, physically and mentally and is more appropriate for post-exercise.

    Isn’t nicotine incredibly addictive? Shouldn’t that be a consideration when deciding whether or not it’s “Good” or “Bad”?

    And speaking of addiction, I have to say that I know quite a few people who are addicted to marijuana. I’ve known people who wanted to quit, but found it quite difficult. It’s not like heavy users can just easily stop. I’m personally a fan of marijuana, and I’ve heard people say my whole life that it isn’t addictive and I can speak from experience otherwise.

    Coffee is one of the most highly sprayed crops. The real danger, in my opinion, from drinking coffee is pesticide residue. Choose organic coffee whenever possible. Also, there’s a big difference between drinking coffee pure, and the way most people do, with added milk and sugar, which starts to play hell with the pancreas.

    I want to know how Jeff didn’t have terrible diarrhea doing his junk food diet. coffee, protein shakes and whiskey with almost no fiber!! LOL joking. But on a more serious note, I need to point out that if anyone spends thirty days measuring ALL of their food intake and being sure to come in under a certain predetermined level of calories, they’d lose weight. I also want to remind people that using weight loss as a gauge for health and fitness is not accurate. It’s not the same thing. Losing a lot of weigh can be unhealthy, as his doctor noted.

    And finally, I’m glad that Jeff spoke about how health-related studies are inherently flawed. In reality, doing actual, scientific studies on human health would be impossible to do in a legal and humane way. So there is a lot of speculation and guesswork involved, even in the most advanced studies.

  8. Athena says:

    My father always says everything in moderation and I always come back with, ok, so crack and meth in moderation is ok? I think it is a generalization and term that is used to loosely. Interesting talk but I still think our body can recognize the calories differently from an oreo vs an Apple.

  9. happykitchen393 says:

    Ben, a while ago you gave 3 'fat loss tips' which I have become obsessed with! but having protein first is really an adjustment because I was always having this last…i.e. soup (most filling) then salad, then protein & I even make sure my very last bite is protein!! now you want me to switch this around & have the protein first which is a bit more complicated when I'm cooking!! also, if I add beans to my pureed vegetable soups I consider that becomes a protein! I'm off to india next week….the first week I'm in a vegetarian hotel, but I can have plenty of lentils or beans in the mornings! I will be in kerala so plenty of coconut!
    thanxamill for all your info!

  10. rosie says:

    hi, recently returned from japan & ate their diet for 16 days including boiled white rice twice daily, including all the heavy salt & added sugar to all their foods!! the first 3 days I suffered dehydration from all the salt/soy but then adjusted!! I never eat so many grains yet I returned & lost 5 lbs! as you were saying MODERATION was key! also, such a shock to my body! but moderation is not in my lifestyle normally! that is the ultimate challenge!!

    some useful info! thanxamill

  11. Marion says:

    If smoking is a poor delivery system for nicotine, would it not also be a poor delivery system for the components of marijuana that are beneficial?

    1. I actually get most benefits from THC via dissolving it sublingually (mucous membranes)…

  12. I’ve experimented with nicotene in the past, using it as a cognitive enhancer in graduate school (PhD in Philosophy). I used higher dose patch (21mg, I think), but into one-sixth pieces to use at a time. I would use it occasionally (1x/week) when I needed to do some serious writing. I also used e-cigs on occasion, taking a few puffs here and there when I wanted jut a little boost in focus. In general I found the patch to be pretty effective for those serious writing/studying sessions, but in a subtle way. I didn’t necessarily feel very different, like I was in some sort of hyper-focused state (which I’ve found to be the case when experimenting with pharmaceutical stimulants like adderall or ritalin). Rather, I would notice it after the fact, looking back on the last few hours and realizing that I had been more focused and productive than usual. This is similar to what I experience on Alpha Brain, which I’ve used quite a bit over the last couple years. There were a couple occasions that I used it on longer trail runs, and it seemed like I was able to get in the zone and push it longer/harder, but I didn’t experiment enough to confidently draw any conclusions.

    Now for the negatives. There was one particularly busy/stressful week where I was using nicotene daily, as well as consuming tons of caffeine. The result was some tingling and twitchiness in my limbs, mostly calf muscles but also wrists. This happened after about 6 months of occasional nicotene use, and at this point I stopped for the most part.

    I say “for the most part” because even my occasional use seemed to be causing a minor addiction. I was starting to crave the e-cigs and started hitting it even when I didn’t need a cognitive boost. It never became a daily habit, but occasional use continued until I realized that nicotene (especially in conjunction with lots of stress and high caffeine consumption) seemed to be triggering some anxiety and panicky feelings.

    I’ve recently cut my caffeine consumption to almost nothing, and I’m working on improving sleep and stress management. Perhaps I’ll revisit nicotene in the near future, but for now I’ll stick with Alpha Brain.

    FWIW, this is my n=1 experience. General lesson is that it is probably a decent cognitive enhancer, but probably not a good idea to combine it with other stimulants (like caffeine) especially if you are dealing with stress and anxiety.

  13. DrAmyM says:

    Love your podcast, Ben. Could you post the link to the Denmark study about alcohol consumption? Thanks. Dr. Amy

  14. snobrien says:

    I have used nicotine gum in 1mg dosages, particularly under high workload as a bit of a turbocharger. I don't smoke, and i can't handle cigars (not even inhaling) at weddings etc. because just too much stimulation and I get sick. Even 2mg really screws me up, I believe a cigarette has somewhere around 17mg of nicotine plus additional stimulants. I would not say that it improves focus, just intensifies the mania. it turbocharges productivity but also turbocharges distractions and tangents, for me at least. I use it maybe once or twice a month at most, and often go several months without. addiction has been shown to be very low in nicotine alone, which is part of the reason why it is not very effective at helping people quit smoking.

  15. B4blue says:

    I use swedish snus for work. I am a software developer and this helps me to get into the zone. I usually use it for a couple of weeks to a month, until I notice that my usage has increased too much and don't get as much effect from it. Then I quit for a month or up to a year.

  16. cfeerick says:

    Overall, fun podcast! I would have liked to know more about the details of his "junk food" diet though. He said "no bread, no meat…" so does this mean it was like entirely candy? Fast food was not part of it then?

    Just curious!

    1. Response from Jeff: It wasn’t all candy, but fast food was forbidden. No McDonald’s, no Burger King.. too healthy. :) However, I *did* allow things like tortilla chips, Cheeze Its, cracker jacks, and ice cream bars. (So I guess, technically, there was a smidge of dairy.)

  17. rcrown2 says:

    Enjoyed listening to this podcast, and think it helps my highly "everything healthy" paranoid ways. Thanks for great show as always.

    I'm really hoping to learn more about nicotine use for non-smokers and its benefits. Have any links to point me in the right direction? Please?

    Thanks man!

  18. Tom C. says:

    Can you comment on the use of cannabinoids in individuals with polymorphisms of COMT and AKT1 genes?

  19. Miles C says:

    1. Pods are usually excellent when they are not about expensive woo-woo medicine and gear (Tip: woo-woo providers get traction by not charging so much–GET THE BOUNCE BEFORE CHARGING SO MUCH)

    2. Nicotine: Einstein smoked a pipe (wonder how many other of his peers smoked pipes)

    3. Question: how do food processors keep all their sugaring from settling out

    Interview with Jeff Wilser pod was excellent — The kind of pod I both enjoy and learn from

  20. Dan says:


    I’m a big fan of your podcast, but this is the worst episode you’ve ever had. This guy is just plan moronic. Hope this isn’t a sign of the future of your podcast. Terrible….

    1. Why is he moronic? Did you read book?

      1. snobrien says:

        Reading is hard! I will say that I hate the sensualization of topics as a gimmick to get you to read an article, book, study, etc. You have obviously done that here with this podcast title, he has done with this book, which I immediately despise. Going on, however, I realize that both are possibly sarcastic and/or ironic parodies of what is wrong with "news" media, "health" organizations, and even some "good science" (studies / papers).

        1. Tim says:

          Agree 100%

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