Introduction: In today’s podcast, what is detoxification and how can you detox your body? Also, how to get rid of a keloid, muscle twitches and cramps? Should children do endurance sports? Multivitamins for kids versus adults, how to increase reps quickly and is cold exposure before a workout beneficial?
Brock: Good day and welcome to another episode of the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast. I’m your host plus sidekick, Brock and of course, Ben is here too. Ben, what’s happening’?
Ben: Not much. Just got done and make a little love to my foam roller. So, yeah the teeth-gritting love-hate relationship with the Rumble Roller took place this morning.
Brock: Yeah, it’s like if it hurts so good.
Ben: Stuff happens in the living room floor. Let’s put it that way.
Brock: Oh dear.
Ben: Yeah. No, I’ve lifted weights the past couple of days coz I’ve kind of been neglecting the weight training routine thing with my triathlon last week and that’s one thing I always got to do after I go through a bunch of endurance geekiness. It hit the gym so lots of squats, lots of dead lifts, lots of power lifts and I’m pretty raxed today. So, I’ll get the foam roller I’ll be jumping in the river later on and should be right as rain by tomorrow, I hope.
Brock: Yeah, so you’ve like just using the river solely now or are you still doing ice pads and using the vest and the compression gear and stuff?
Ben: I still use compression gear for recovery and especially that 110% stuff that you can put the ice loose in. I don’t take ice pads anymore. The river by my house is so cold that all I gotta do is just, you know, bounce in there for, you know, five to fifteen minutes and good to go. I’ll be at the shrinkage aside from that it’s so good.
Brock: I don’t mean to turn this into a big conversation about this but I’ve heard that 110% compression gear with the ice sleeves it doesn’t actually get that cold. Is that do you find that?
Ben: I’ve found that it depends on the direction that you put the little ice packets in that come with the gear. If you put it black side facing in it tends to be colder. When I first got it I intuitively put the white side which is the side of the ice packs facing in.
Ben: But yeah for people out there who have that gear, it’s the black side facing in seem to be colder so there you go.
Brock: There you go.
Brock: Okay. To get all of these interesting little tidbits every week hot off the press, just make sure you follow Ben on twitter at twitter.com/bengreenfield and there’s also some pretty good stories that you put out on google+ as well and you can find those links at the website bengreenfieldfitness.com
Ben: Cool! and the first thing that I noted was actually I think a study that you sent me or not a study that you sent me, Brock but an article ….
Brock: Oh the article about sleep.
Ben: ….on sleep in the New York Times. And I thought it was pretty interesting because we’re always talking about the importance of sleep on this show and this particular article was entitled Re-Thinking Sleep and it came out a couple of days ago in the New York Times. And what it talked about was how this infatuation with getting the straight seven to nine hours of sleep in our culture is actually relatively new phenomenon. And particularly, you know much of it arose in the early 90’s from study done over at the Virginia Tech in which they looked at basically the amount of time that folks were sleeping and you know reported that eight hours seem to be something that was somewhat useful. But the fact is that in you know, traditional sleep habits of various cultures, we don’t actually find that a full night rest is quite as important when it comes to you know, mental and physical alertness compared to just like total cumulative sleep that you’ve gotten over an entire day. So this kinda returns to something we talked about on the show before which is kinda like that. I believe it’s called like the Ubermann sleep method or the sleep cycling method or polyphasic sleep where, you know, if you only get six hours of sleep during the night or five hours or whatever, you know, you’re on and off with the baby crying or you know, something waking you up or something like that. Ultimately, you know, if you can squeeze in a nap here and there and try and get your cumulative sleep over a 24-hour cycle to be closer to you know, seven to nine hours even if it’s not cumulative sleep or I’m sorry, sleep that’s unbroken.
Brock: Consecutive sleep.
Ben: Yeah yeah, consecutive. That was the other C word I was….It’s not consecutive sleep but cumulative sleep over a 24-hour cycle you’ll probably be okay. Although I gotta throw in there that I personally still find that my very very best days in terms of physical and mental performance occur when the sleep is cumulative and not racked up with say like a you know, a 6-hour sleep cycle in a one-hour nap. But it’s an interesting article and we’ll link to it in the show you know, there’s people who wanna geek out on that a little more.
Brock: I like how they pointed out that in some like medieval literature and stuff they actually refer to first sleep when they woke up from first sleep or I’m off from my second sleep. I like the idea of having a second sleep because that means a second breakfast.
Ben: haha…You would think that way, Brock.
Brock: ‘Because I am a hobbit after all.
Ben: Another interesting study looked at the effects of uphill versus level grade high intensity interval training. This is one that Graham Turner sent over and Graham’s been on this podcast before the talk about running drills and the interesting thing about this study which appeared in the National Journal Strength Conditioning Research was that when you’re doing hard efforts on a treadmill, particularly efforts that you’re doing to increase your maximum oxygen capacity. It appears that when you compare running uphill on a treadmill versus running on a level grade, that level grade training actually produces greater gains in your VO2 max which to me seemed counter intuitive because it always seems like when you’re running uphill on a treadmill that it’s much more difficult but when you match intensity, you know, let’s say we compare running on a treadmill at a 7.0 speed and a 5.0 grade versus running at a 9.5 speed and a 1.0 grade. The lower grade I’ll be, you know, higher speed is going to be a better stimulus for improving particularly your maximum oxygen consumption. So, I thought that was interesting and a bit counter intuitive but that’s the way that the die seem to be rolled on that particular study. So…
Brock: Yeah. The only thing that that study didn’t seem to indicate was whether or not it was if they were watching your heart rate like if you’re actually exercising at the same heart on an incline versus the same heart rate on a flat surface. They would do you think that would have an effect on things that you are actually taxing your body to the same amount of its heart rate was?
Ben: Well, heart rate is just one component of your maximum oxygen capacity. Your VO2 max or your maximum oxygen capacity is influenced by the amount of blood that your heart beats with each pump but also by the amount of oxygen that you actually consume as well as the ability of the muscles to grab oxygen from the blood stream as the blood rushes past. So, controlling for heart rate would be important but it wouldn’t necessarily take into account all the variables involved such as muscle contraction or perhaps changes in inspiratory or expiratory function as you are on a grade but ultimately the take away for me was that it’s, you know, uphill treadmill running is definitely not the “cuts me out” when it comes to getting good bang for your buck at an intensity.
Ben: And then the last thing I wanted to note was a case study that looked at nutrition and training in elite marathon runners. And what the study did was simply follow these three elite marathoners and look at what they ate, what their training volume was, what pace they ran at, there were several interesting take aways from the study which I linked to. One interesting thing was that they tended to do a high high percentage of their training. Almost 75% of their training are basically a fairly low intensity and I know that a lot of folks might run with that unintended and say “wow, look at these elite marathoners, they don’t do a lot of high intensity interval training or a lot of the things that we’ve talked about on this show before when it comes to endurance sports”. One thing to remember is that these folks are training for long periods of time, not something that I’ve mentioned before. If you’re gonna do like a traditional aerobic training protocol and not do a lot of high intensity intervals, you need to have a lot of time on your hands. And that’s where, you know, like a Maffetone type of training method or primarily aerobic type of training method can actually work if you’ve got, you know, several hours per day to train like an elite marathoner would. The other thing that was interesting in the study was that these folks were implementing a low carbohydrate protocols or low carbohydrate strategies. Specifically, they noted that there was anywhere from about 2-4 low carbohydrate training bouts taking place each week. Meaning that these athletes are getting up in the morning and doing their runs in kind of a fasted state or doing some periodic low carbohydrate availability training to basically get their bodies to burn fatty acids more efficiently as a fuel and possibly do a little bit of a body weight control as well. But it was interesting that, you know, despite the popular belief that most elite endurance athletes or elite marathoners are still kinda steeped in like a traditional higher carbohydrate intake type of protocol, that these particular marathoners and usually, Canadian marathoners, Brock, really were implementing lower carbohydrate protocols during their trainings. So, I thought it was a cool case study and I’ll link to that as well from the show notes for this episode which is Episode #210.
Brock: Okay. So, I’ve been using this My List thing now for a few different things and I have to ….they probably don’t like to be compared to Pinterest but it’s sort of an inevitable comparison to make. But my list seems to be, this is my assessment of it. It is for people who don’t craft. The non-craft book people.
Ben: I’m definitely a non-craft book person myself but I have been making these lists and for folks who don’t know what this is, we mentioned it last week. But what we’re doing for all the podcast episodes now, because we inevitably talk about a ton of different kind of items and tools and things that you can use as a resource to answer a question in a podcast, we’re putting together lists for each podcast. So, if you go to facebook.com/bgfitness or just follow links in the show notes that we’ll put over to the facebook page, you’ll find the list for last week’s episode – Episode #209. And in that list is basically kind of a picture and a link to all the different things that we talked about. And I’ve also got a bunch of other lists over there, you know, like lists on everything from weight loss to hormonal stabilization to sexual performance to basically just kind a little collections of things that you can find around the web to help you a little bit, you know, the supplements, tools, gear, things of that nature. So, yeah, that’s definitely something to check out and as Brock noted, you don’t have to be a crafthead. The other thing we should mention is that for those of you who follow the posts over at bengreenfieldfitness.com, I did a triathlon over the weekend called the Leadman.
Brock: You did a triathlon, you kicked ass in a triathlon.
Ben: Well, I won it and one of the new nutritional strategies that I’ve spoken about a little bit before in the show, I used in that race and it was particularly The Use of a High Molecular Weight Carbohydrate called UCan. And I did that for a variety of reasons that I kinda geek out on in the podcast or in a recent post over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. I think it’d be a very interesting post for any of you who are out there, either wanting to avoid use of traditional gels and sports drinks are maybe dealing with bloating or constipation or diarrhea or anything of that nature while you’re out there competing or racing or working out. So, I highly recommend that you check that post and as a related anecdote this weekend, I’ll be interviewing the guy behind this specific carbohydrate diet website and we’ll be talking a little bit more about how the types of carbohydrates that you consume can affect your gut. So, check that out. It’s over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. It’s one of the more recent posts over there.
Brock: Yeah and I guess while you’re over there, check out the podcast that came out over the weekend with the fitness for geeks fellow. You guys had a interesting and fun conversation about all the neat apps you can have on your phone or on your watch or on your computer or all three places to keep track or I don’t know, give you some ideas how to work out and track it, all that kind of good stuff.
Ben: Yeah and I’ll throw one more phone app, cool phone app out there for you folks. There’s a new app called Lift. If you want to create a habit, lift is a free app that you can put on your phone that basically uses kind of a power of social accountability to allow you to create a habit. So, I downloaded lift to my I-phone and I’ve got a few different habits on there so along with a collection of other people around the globe I would be able to stop biting my fingernails and picking my nose.
Brock: Yeah. In the comments section for that post, we had the..There’s a little bit of chat about different kinds of apps and I noticed a few people are using a website and apps that I’m using as well called Strava. And I found that’s pretty cool ‘cause I actually spend most of my time training alone so this actually allows me to compete against other people here in Toronto or wherever I have to be training at the moment and it’s sort 0f an interesting little twist on training alone but still competing against maybe people you know but people you don’t know. So, maybe I’ll put my Strava name in our username in there so and if anybody’s interested in competing against me, let’s go do it.
Ben: Yeah. What I like to do with Strava because it allows you to go out and compare the times that you took to run a particular course or bike a particular course and then compare it with other folks and see who wins as I just try around with my GPS watch and in my car and all the different courses. So, I look like a freaking rock star.
Brock: You’re going 35 miles an hour!
Listener Q and A:
Becky: Hi Ben! This is Becky Beltre in Iowa. And my husband and I just want to say thank you. We achieved our run with constant dream and your quality over quantity approach made it possible for both of us to train together around 3 busy kids and our work schedules. Without your guidance we would still be sitting on the couch, Ben, we could never find time to do that. I’ll finish it in 1411 and I made it in 1606. Despite some bike issues, TI issues and nerves that had us over tired on race day, we were so happy to do it. We’ll be back next year to try to improve it on time, hopefully, with you guiding us day by day and week by week, we tell anyone now that with the right guidance and a determined mind, you can finish Ironman. We didn’t set new record but our kids saw us to come Ironman. And that’s worth a whole long year. Thank you again.
Brock: Okay. So, for those of you who don’t know that Ben actually does custom training plans for anybody. You don’t have to be special or even be a member of any of the Pacifica Lead or a Rockstar Triathlete Academy or any of those. I’ll put a link in the show notes so you can go and get your own custom training plan just like Becky did.
Ben: There we go.
Brock: And that brings us to our first audio question. It comes from AJ.
AJ: Hey Ben! AJ Chirac here. About a year and a half ago, I was playing indoor soccer and my legs got supped out from underneath me and I ended up with a fairly large bruise on the side on my hip. It was sticking, I don’t know, it’s probably swelled up to at least half an inch, maybe three quarters of an inch sticking out. And after it healed, it left behind like a, I’ll take the size of a quarter, a bump in diameter, in the area of my hip. I can move it from side to side and up and down but it always stays within about an inch of that same area. So, I did some research and it kinda what I determined was a probably was a keloid. I have had it x-rayed, it turned out negative as far as bone fragments go. I haven’t had an MRI. So, I guess my question to you is what can I do to minimize the pain? Because when I do that with x-ray a little over a year ago, it was my first 40-mile ultra marathon. And it didn’t bother me there in the race but after the race it was pretty sore. But then, this year, on the same 40-mile ultra marathon, in about mile 24, it locked up and was, I mean, I could barely run at that point in time. So, I guess what kind of strength exercises or what would you recommend for this type of an injury and fixing it for next season? All right, thanks for this show. Hope you can help me out.
Brock: So, a keloid is what? It’s like a hematoma? I’m too ______[19:46.6] use all the medical terms here. Gotta clarify it for everyone. Keloid is a hematoma, everyone.
Ben: Something that sounds like it that’s making AJ very sad. He’s a little depressed.
Brock: He does.
Ben: Yes and you know, a keloid is a it’s kind of a scar and basically, it’s an overgrowth of the granulation tissue that can occur as an injury heals like a bruise or a skin injury. And what happens is that the tissue basically gets slowly replaced by collagen and it’s very firm and kind of rubbery and you can even get these nodules and differentiation in color and sometimes it can produce a pretty narrowly scar when you have ketosis you know. If you are to go and do like a google image search for ketosis, you’re gonna see some or keloid, sorry, you’re gonna on the word ketosis.
Brock: We talk about ketosis so often.
Ben: It’s another “ke” word. In keloids, you’re gonna see some pretty interesting and early photos. I’m not necessarily completely sure that that is what AJ has but let’s just say that that’s the case – that this is a keloid and it is an overgrowth of tissue underneath the area where that hematoma or where that bruising and initial trauma occurred. In many many cases, you’re going to find that kinda not going after the alternative medicine route is gonna give you some pretty quick results when it comes to something like this. And you can get everything from like a laser treatment to a cortical steroid injection. There’s kind of a variety of different ways to treat these things. And this would be something that for example a dermatologist would be best qualified to treat. But laser treatment, specifically, is one that I’ve heard has been fairly efficacious against these keloids. Now, there are if you didn’t want to go after that type of modern medical routes, some alternative treatments for something like a keloid and one that tends to be quite popular is the use of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is actually a cool thing. It’s useful for a lot of different remedies, you know, for example, I’ll just gargle with it if I’m congested or I feel like I’ve got a little bit of scratchy throat coming on and it can be quite useful in a situation like that. I just keep some Braggs apple cider vinegar around. But what you do with apple cider vinegar is you can literally just like wet a cotton ball or wet like a wrap and you can keep that thing basically treated with apple cider vinegar a few times throughout the day and you can even apply a wrap with it as you sleep during the night. And what the apple cider vinegar does is it kinda denature some of the epithelial tissue or the top skin layer and essentially kinda peel away some of that keloid. And that’s something that may help. Anyhow, I don’t want you to misconstrue this Ben’s medical advice. It can definitely irritate your skin when you apply apple cider vinegar to your skin. And the other thing that can happen and this is something that I personally experienced with the MRSA or with this staph infection that I had. If you can get kind of this dark discoloration of the skin that tends to stay for a long period of time after this keloid goes away or in my case, after my staph infection had cleared up. And you can get some decent sized scars with this type of stuff. I ended up needing to do some research on how to get rid of some of these skin scars just because I didn’t wanna be stuck with these dark spots at the back of my leg for life and something that I’m using that seems to be really clearing up the scar, you know, whether AJ decides to go with the laser or you know, using something like apple cider vinegar or whatever he may also end up with scars I’ve been using this type of essential oil called the helichrysum oil. And I’ll link to in the show notes I just it form Mountain Rose herbs which is where I get most of my essential oils but for skin scars, this stuff can work really well and I’m already noticing after just a couple of weeks that some of the scars at the back of my leg are beginning to really clear up nicely. And I just diluted it with some flax seed oil and applied on daily basis to that area. So, that’s something else to consider is it’s kind of post treatment scar formation.
Brock: I’ve heard of some people using that for tattoo removal. I mean actually, not for tattoo removal but for after the tattoo is removed because it often leaves scars.
Ben: Okay, that would keep away from my tattoos. Fortunately, the backs of my legs are not tattooed yet. So, I don’t have to worry about that but yeah, the helichrysum oil work pretty well, too. So, these are some of the things I would look into. But you know, if this is for me, I would go after more of like a modern medical routine and go check in to get into the thing you know, like lasered and then just get some of that like helichrysum oil on there to treat the scar and get on with life, so…
Brock: Yeah. But I agree with you that it’s I’m not entirely convinced that that’s where the problem is like even that he actually said that he was barely able to run after a race. It doesn’t seem like something as topical as a keloid would be that would cause that much problems.
Ben: Well, those things I mean when you’re looking at that type of granulated tissue, it can be very very immobile and you know, it’s like when you’re running post serious ankle strain and you got a lot of scar tissue in the ankle, there can be some serious immobilization that goes on there. So you know, I don’t want this podcast to necessarily turn into like a medical management podcast. So, I do recommend that AJ go and visit a dermatologist for sure that make sure he gets the same sort. It sounds like he’s going after some modern medical imaging just to check and see what this really is. But it’s certainly possible and probable that it could be this keloid.
Brock: All right, let’s leave it at that and move on to the next question from Cathy.
Cathy: Hi Ben and Brock! My name is Cathy and I have a question today about cold therapy and or versus sweating. I’m really interested in the cold therapy that you’ve been talking about a lot and I’ve seen the benefits of bathing in cold rivers and swimming in cold oceans and it does make me feel great. However, in my situation, I have a condition of being kind of I have a toxic overload and I’ve recently found this out through years of trying to figure out what was my problem and my doctor, my naturopathic doctor has recently really kind of hit the nail in the head and that I have a very toxic overload because my detoxification pathways are not open. And so, I cannot really shed off the toxins out of my system. Amongst various therapies including acupuncture, some herbs, he’s recommended that I do saunas to increase my sweating. Now, the problem is it’s very difficult for me to sweat. It’s got to be over 100 degrees for me to actually start sweating so he has encouraged me to do saunas. I still don’t sweat in the sauna unless I’m jumping rope or something. But my question is, how does this work with cold therapy? I love the idea but I’m wondering, is cold therapy for everyone? Should I maybe not use it in my condition since I’m supposed to kind be doing the opposite and I also have Raynaud’s syndrome and poor circulation. So, would cold therapy be beneficial for me or do you have any ideas about how I can increase my sweating since it’s so difficult for me to sweat? Thanks a lot. Loving the podcast.
Brock: Okay. It seems to me that if you had Raynaud’s syndrome and you went in a cold bath, you’d probably freak out, wouldn’t you?
Ben: Well, yeah. You know, Raynaud’s syndrome is basically kind of a circulation issue with specifically of the extremities like the hands and the feet and yeah it can be uncomfortable when you’re exposed to cold. I mean, you know, in this race and I talk about this a little bit in my race report. That race I did over the weekend was extremely cold starting off the race and I didn’t wear gloves. I kinda went rushing out of the swim-to-bike transition and I was really watching my hands kinda turning blue as the bike portion progress and I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t drink ‘cause I couldn’t get my water bottle out. And it was really uncomfortable and I would imagine my wife also has very poor circulation in her hands and her feet and it’s not a full-blown Raynaud’s but yeah, it can make cold exposure quite a bit less comfortable. But it sounds like in Cathy’s case that there’s multiple issues going here and I wanted to just mention a few things that are gonna be important for folks to realize. And the first is this concept of detoxification pathways and how some people can actually have some limitations in terms of the detox pathways. So detoxification, which by the way, I think it’s an overused term but it’s certainly something that’s relevant. It’s just a process via which your body eliminates or neutralizes toxic substances. So, as you know, we can get toxics from the air, from our diet, from pharmaceutical drugs or even supplements in some cases from alcohol, from smoking, and just from the by-products of normal everyday metabolism. Even more so if you’re very physically active person who exercises a lot. And eventually, if you do get a build-up of toxins, there can be some cellular damage that occurs and there can be even higher risk of chronic disease, you know, like diabetes and arthritis and things of that nature. You know, some of that does have to do with some kinds of toxin build-up. And the body has several routes of detoxification. One route is the skin. Another route is respiration via the lungs. Another route, especially for like protein by-product breakdown would be the kidney and the urine pathway. The liver is the major detoxification pathway and the gut is another one. And when it comes to harmful substances, there are kinda two major detox pathways and they’re called phase one and phase two pathways. So, when we look at the liver and we look at chemicals, whether chemicals that are made through our internal metabolism or chemicals that we encounter in our environment, the liver is one of the primary areas where these detoxification pathways take place. So, every single minute, every 60 seconds, about a third of your body’s total blood flow gets pumped through your liver. And the liver filters the blood and it removes harmful substances like drugs and bacteria and toxins and form proteins and things of that nature. Which is one of the reasons that I think if you’re gonna include like animal liver as a part of your daily diet, you wanna make sure that you’re consuming a liver of an animal that has been raised quite naturally. You know, like pasture raised cattle, for example, because the liver is a detox organ. So, you’ve got two primary detoxification pathways in the liver via which these chemicals get eliminated or get neutralized and these are known as phase one reactions and phase two reactions. So, a phase one reaction primarily processes chemicals or converts toxins via several different chemical, you know basic chemical reactions. Back to Chemistry 101, for those of you who took it, there is this kind of three different types of reactions that take place in a phase one detoxification – oxidation, hydrolysis or reduction. So, we’re either adding an electron to something, taking an electron away from something, or using H2O to essentially like hydrolyze a toxin or chemical. Most common is oxidation, of those three different pathways and there’s a specific class of enzymes in your body called the cytochrome mono oxygenates or cytochrome P450. And that’s what you use as the actual oxidant enzyme in the liver. And it’s very very important. There are some things that can alter the metabolism of drugs or other chemicals through almost like a down regulation of that particular enzyme. Interestingly, grape fruit juices is one of those, you know, drinking a ton of grape fruit juice can actually kinda shut down some of the detox pathways. It’s pretty interesting. But we’ve got those phase one reactions – oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis that take place in the liver to process chemicals. And then typically, you get a phase two reaction and that kinda follows the phase one reaction and that’s the pathway via which these molecules undergo a process of something called conjugation in the liver. And so that’s where actual metabolism occurs and these molecules that are formed via oxidation or reduction or hydrolysis, they get converted or they get bound to different components in your liver like sulfates or glycine or acetate. And this basically makes them water soluble. So, this water soluble metabolized can then get excreted from the body via your urine, or for example, in the bile, in the digestive tracks, and kinda move on. So, we get this phase one to phase two detoxification that takes place. Now, there’s also, in addition to the liver, a fairly important role of your GI tract – your gastrointestinal tract and your gut when it comes to detoxification. And the reason that I say that is anytime you have increased permeability in your gut due to a poor diet, maybe high intake of gliadin protein from wheat or a low intake of amino acids or simply a poor diet high in processed foods, in time you get increased gut permeability. You get increase absorption of toxins or also kind of another environmental component called the xenobiotic. And when you do that, all of these toxins that are coming in due to the increased gut permeability must be processed and removed by the liver. So, you really increase demands on your liver’s detoxification system. If your gastrointestinal health is poor and you can certainly do some things in terms of addressing your gut to make sure that your liver doesn’t have to work quite so hard. So, when it comes to detoxification, I think that a very very important and often neglected component is addressing kind of the food. We’re gonna talk about this a lot in the upcoming podcast this Saturday that I do with the guy from the specific carbohydrate diet. But, you know, there’s a few things that you can take and that can help, like for example, while I don’t think that fiber is necessarily great for you in high amounts, dietary fibers do bind things like carcinogens and bile acids and other potential intoxications. So, making sure that you have adequate dietary fiber can be something that can help and that can be done just through a moderate amount of vegetable and fruit intake. Balancing your intestinal micro flora through proper prebiotic and prebiotic would be basically fiber and also probiotic like fermented food intake can also be incredibly helpful. There are basically these acids called short thing short chain fatty acids and those are what result when dietary fiber ferments in your gut. And these short chain fatty acids can also help with detoxification and in kinda activating a lot of these enzymes that are part of the detoxification pathways. That’s another reason why completely fiber-void diet wouldn’t necessarily be something that would help with detoxification and it’s one of the reasons that a lot of like detox diets include like juicing in high amounts of vegetables and things of that nature would be to help with the formation of the short chain fatty acids and also the ______ [0:36:57.8] to help the fiber to bind to toxic agents or carcinogens or things of that nature. So, ultimately when we step back and look at this big picture, what we wanna do is support the gut and heal the gut but then also make sure the liver is equipped for this phase one and phase two detoxification. And there are certain detoxification processes in the liver that are gonna require certain nutrients. And this is why like if you go, you know, we mentioned like the My List page on the facebook.com/bgfitness. And if you just go to the Bengreenfield recommends page, what you’ll find is that there are certain supplements that I recommend in terms of like clearing the liver or helping out the liver with detoxification. One particular reaction that your liver uses is part of its detoxification process is called glucuronidation and that uses a particular acid called glucuronic acid. And glucuronic acid is coupled or what’s called conjugated with different drugs and hormones and pollutants and bile acids. And you do actually need to have adequate levels of calcium D-glucarate and glucuric acid in order for this to actually take place. One of the things that I recommended before for liver support is milk thistle extracts which inhibits the enzyme that breaks down calcium D-glucarate. So, that’s one of the things that can help out quite a bit. You’re also going to find calcium D-glucarate and glucuric acid in a lot of different fruits and vegetables. So, making sure that you’re actually eating real raw foods can be quite helpful as well in terms of activating that particular component of the detoxification pathway. Another thing is glutathione. And glutathione is an antioxidant that’s also involved in detoxification in the liver particularly of what are called xenobiotics or foreign chemicals and also carcinogens as well as heavy metals. So, getting adequate glutathione in your diet is also important. Some of the things that are gonna be used to make glutathione are amino acids. So, making sure that you got enough protein in your diet is really important and vitamin C. And obviously, if you got adequate fruit and vegetable intake and maybe you’re taking some type of an antioxidant supplement, you’re gonna get some adequate vitamin C. So, that’s another kind of component – glutathione antioxidant compound that you wanna make sure is present to really support the detoxification pathway. Acidulation is another process and that’s basically the process in which the toxins are conjugated to another type of component particularly one called acido coenzyme. That particular process can really be enhanced again by adequate vitamin C as well as adequate vitamin B. So, these are another couple of vitamins that you wanna make sure are present in your diet and you can easily get screenings to find out if you don’t have enough of a vitamin like this by doing something like a spectra cell analysis. That’s probably one of the better ones out there. You could just go google “spectra cell” or talk to your doctor about getting a spectra cell analysis and you can find out whether you’ve got enough vitamins on board to support that particular component of the detoxification pathway. Amino acids are used in many many cases to conjugate toxins or to bind the toxins for neutralization. Glycine is one example of a very very important amino acid for particularly this phase two of detoxification in the liver. So, again, making sure that you have adequate amino acids and that you’re not unlike a super low protein diet typically vegetarians and vegans need to be a little bit more careful about their amino acid levels. And again, you could get a blood amino acid levels test to see what your amino acid levels are like. If you’re deficient in the amino acids, you know, I take that Master Amino Acid capsule as a supplement particularly to support my workout. But it’s also really really good in terms of ensuring that I’ve got decent levels of amino acids. Another component of the detoxification pathway is methylation and methylation is the addition of a methyl group to pretty much anything and many of these toxins are gonna require some type of a methyl donor in order to be neutralized. Anytime we’re talking about methylation you usually are going to need adequate levels of vitamin B in order for that to occur. So that’s another situation where having adequate vitamin B levels, in particular, vitamin B12 is very very important when it comes to methylation. And that’s a red flag especially for like again, vegans and vegetarians or people who are getting adequate vitamin B in their diet. Another detoxification pathway and the last one will be sulfation or sulfoxidation and that’s the addition of sulfur-containing compound to any of these toxins to eliminate, in many cases, hormones. This would be an issue or something like estrogen dominance or getting exposed to a lot of hormones and what happens is that allows the hormones to be carried away in the bile acid. So, getting adequate levels of sulfite in your diet can also be something that can help out a little bit with this as well. And sulfur-containing compounds a lot of time you’re gonna find in like meat and proteins and eggs, fish to certain extent, things of that nature. Those can all help to support.
Brock: A sulfite or a sulfate?
Ben: Any sulfur-containing compound, really.
Brock: Oh yeah?
Ben: So, and a little range between sulfates and sulfites. You know, even a little bit of red wine here and there is gonna get you some sulfates. So basically, you’ve got these nutrients that are required for phase one and that’s in particular like your vitamin B complex having adequate levels of vitamin C and then something like a milk thistle extract along with really good fruit and vegetable intake can all help with that phase one detoxification pathway. For the phase two detoxification pathway, you’re usually looking at wanting to have adequate levels of amino acids and then adequate levels of, for example, sulfur. Another thing I didn’t mention as far as sulfur goes is cruciferous vegetables. Those are really really good for that too, like onions and broccoli and cauliflower and stuff like that. And you combine that with taking care of your gut and that’s how you really set up your body to be able to detox more efficiently. That’s kinda, you know, when we look at detoxification pathways and trying to support them, what we’re looking at. But some people just don’t really secrete quite as well and there’s actually a test. I mentioned this a few weeks ago in the podcast. So, there’s this test by Peter D’Adamo called the secretor type test and my naturopathic physician had me actually do this test to see what kind of secretor type I was. And this was after I got the MRSA or that staph infection because we were looking into some just basically various parameters in my body that might make me predisposed to infection. And he wanted to see what my secretor status was. And one thing he wanted to look at was whether I was what’s called the non-secretor. And a non-secretor is basically someone who has a little bit more trouble excreting toxins and a lot of times they need a little bit more adequate detoxification support. Sometimes, they need to be on higher dose antioxidant and taking, you know, eat milk thistle extract on a regular basis but also doing some of the things that it sounds like Cathy’s physician’s recommended to her, particularly like sweating and opening up the pores and trying to detox through the skin and other methods over and above using the liver and the urine pathways. As far as finding out your secretor status, there’s this very simple test that you can do. It’s a salivary test you can order online. I can link to it in the show notes for people who wanna find out if they are non-secretor or secretor. But depending on what you find out, you may want to engage in some of the practices that Cathy’s doctor has recommended to her, particularly, the sweating or you know, doing like a sauna or spa type of treatment. Of course, the issue with Cathy is it sounds like she’s having trouble sweating.
Brock: Yeah, make me envious because I’m the opposite.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Brock: I just think about doing something and I’m sweaty.
Ben: Hyperhydrosis and hypohydrosis. And if you’re like Brock and you got hyperhydrosis, you’re gonna be pitting out quite a bit.
Brock: I sweat drinking coffee.
Ben: Yeah and hypohydrosis is basically the absence of sweating. And hypohydrosis can be caused by a bunch of different stuff. It’s also known as anhydrosis and sometimes it can occur after the skin has been injured. It can be genetic. It can be the side effect of a medication. I think one thing that should be paid attention to in Cathy’s case is that it can also be due to some autonomic nervous system dysfunction. And in many many cases, autonomic nervous system dysfunction can be because you’re over-trained or you’re stressed out or you’re not getting enough sleep and that’s often the case. I don’t wanna paint with too broad of a brush here but I tend to see situations like that. A lot of times in like females who worry about their health and it sounds like Cathy could certainly fall into that category. No offense, Cathy. I mean, it’s not bad to worry about your health necessarily but sometimes, you know, people can stress themselves out just almost becoming hypochondriac like in worrying too much and a lot of times that can really throw your nervous system into a tissy. So, as far as alternative medical routes go to take care of your autonomic nervous system, acupuncture is one thing that can come in handy and it’s also something that alternative medicine has used in situations such as anhydrosis. And then biofeedback or neurofeedback, you know, working with a biofeedback practitioner is something else that may help a little bit with something like autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Now, in terms of some other things that you can do to get yourself to sweat more if that’s not the case, there is this product that I use and I think I’ve mentioned that on the show before, when I am in a spa or in a sauna setting and I’m really wanting to sweat a ton, and really increase my skin temperature. This stuff will increase the skin temperature by about 10-15 degrees and it’s called sweet sweat. It’s a mix of coconut oil and some capsaicin compounds and some other things that really draw a lot of blood flow to the surface of the skin and I’ll link to it in the show notes and also in the My List for this episode but it’s called Sweet Sweat. So that’d be one thing that you could check out and you could try. So, you basically just like put it on your body before you put it on your skin before you get in and step in to something like a sauna or a spa.
Brock: It’s also handy for when you’re racing in cold conditions, you can put that on right before the race starts and feel a little bit warmer for a while anyway.
Ben: Yeah. That’s something that I know is too fun so I got some of that on my skin when I go and do something like jumping to the river. I’m definitely… I stay much much warmer when I’m out there swimming. So, that’d be one thing that I’d look into is using something like that, that sweet sweat stuff that you can put on your skin. And the other thing that you can do and this is something that I know really ump my sweating when I step into a sauna is just making sure that I go in there cold, you know, I’ll even go just like run on a treadmill for 10 minutes before I hop in just something that gets the circulation going before you get into like a spa or sauna or something like that. So, and I just wanna work ton of information but I would certainly make sure that you take care of your detoxification pathways by supporting the liver and the gut using some of the methods that I just mentioned and then certainly, if you’re non-secretor type, using the skin detoxification pathway can also be useful if you have anhydrosis and you’re not sweating, you may want to consider that. You’ll wanna look into some stress control methods, some acupuncture and you can even, you know, that stuff is really not relevant to you , just make sure that you go into the sauna with your temperature already elevated and try some of that sweet sweat stuff on your skin. So…
Brock: And have a big ball of curry before you go in as well.
Ben: That’s right. That’s right and make sure that nobody else is in there with you.
Brock: Okay. I think everybody should take a moment, take a deep breath, shake your head around a little bit and we’ll jump into the next question from Charlie.
Charlie: Hey Ben! This is Charlie from Georgia Vermont and I have a quick question for you. I appreciate your guys’ podcast. My question is I’ve been training for a couple of marathons over the past 68 months. I noticed recently that after every run, my muscles begin to twitch involuntarily on their own. It’s not just after the run but even sometimes days later and my quads and down in my calves, my muscles just again, twitch and I don’t know if this is something that’s normal or if I’m like in some sort of nutrition that‘s causing this to happen. I really appreciate the insight and wisdom on this and I look forward to hearing from you guys soon. Thanks again for all you do.
Brock: Okay. So, we actually have a question from Chrissy that is very very similar, wasn’t an audio question but she’s asking pretty much the same thing. She says, do you know anything about a popcorn sensation in the calf muscle after running followed by severe muscle cramps? She said, this started happening to me about 2 years ago after running a half marathon and it occurs after running even short distances, a couple of miles, and sometimes, after a bike ride. And the cramping gets so severe that I did an intense calf workout.
Ben: Yeah. I used to get this during water polo practices and sometimes during games from all the egg beat taking you do combined with kind of a cold in the water, my calves would cramp and sometimes they just stay that way and that’ll be like super super hard for days and it’s pretty annoying and it can be painful and debilitating too.
Brock: I like the way Chrissy actually explains this being a popcorn sensation or at the end of the question, she says that it feels like I have aliens living in my calves.
Ben: Yeah. Hopefully, that would actually pop out. Hire a couple of guys and machine guns to follow you around just in case. Basically, you know that the popcorn-like sensation, that’s just an elongated spasm like a Charlie horse but that is an involuntary contraction. The cramp is an involuntary contraction but what can tend to happen is that if that cramp occurs and it’s very very strong, you can get an inflammation or you can get an area of inflammation and blood swelling. And I’ll address the cramping issue here in a second but if you get that post cramp knot, a lot of times, just a combination of deep tissue massage or even light massage and ice can help out a ton. If you have access to one of those type of machines or like a game ready that can combine like compression and relaxation like a pumping action along with ice like a game ready circulates like ice cold water through a pumping and relaxing sleeve that you can put over a leg or something like that, that can get rid of that stuff super quick. And you can simulate something similar to that. For example, if you have one of these like electro stimulation units and you can get those for like 75 bucks on Amazon, you know, they’re up to a thousand dollars too. You can put on electro steam unit on your muscle and then cover that up with cold like a cold pack or an ice pack and do electro steam plus ice and that can get rid of those really really quickly too, that combination of a blood flow from the electro steam along with icing. So…
Brock: And that’s to get rid of the twitching?
Ben: No. That would be to get rid of this like the knot…
Brock: Okay. The balled up muscle, yeah.
Ben: Yeah. It’s actually interesting because I had a knot this morning in my back that just kinda creeped up on me. I’m not really sure why it occurred. Probably from all these weight training I was doing in the past couple of days and I used another method that’s slightly less comfortable but also works and that is I had my wife just basically get on top of me with her knee and her full body, this is on my back. She spurs full knees body weight into my back and then I follow that up with a little bit of topical magnesium to relax the area. But that’s another thing. It’s just like deep tissue pressure like point massage can help out with these things as well.
Brock: You should probably mention that your wife is not 300 pounds.
Ben: No. She’s not but she’s got some danged bony knees. So, yeah. I just basically walked in and interrupt her and told her to kneel on my back. So….
Ben: Anyways though, as far as this like twitching and cramping goes, let’s talk a little bit about like a post marathon, post race, post hard workout type of twitching that Charlie says that he’s getting because I get the same thing too and it’s super annoying. So, the medical term for it is fasciculation. But it’s basically this tiny little involuntary muscle contraction and relaxation and you can sit there after a race or something and just watch your muscles contract just like they have a life of their own and they’re twitching and moving around and I’ve certainly seen that especially in my quadriceps. And the way that an actual twitch occurs is you’ve got these motor neurons that connect your spinal cord to your muscle fiber and they bring the nerve impulse from your spinal cord and to your muscle fiber. And what happens with these motor neurons is they depolarize and they cause what’s called an action potential to propagate along the length of the neuron or the axon to the neuromuscular junction where a bunch of acetylcholine gets released that causes the muscle to get signaled to contract. And that’s the way that a lot of like neuromuscular blocking drugs actually work is they either increase the level of what’s called the acetylcholinesterase which is the enzyme that can break down acetylcholine inside the synapse so it basically keeps that message from propagating into the muscle and they’re basically like depolarization blockers. Because when your muscle gets triggered to contract like that, it’s called the depolarization. And so if you could somehow block that neuron transition or transmission, the muscle can’t really contract. When you finish up like a hard triathlon or a hard marathon or something like that, you still got basically a bunch of this acetylcholine still getting released by this nerve ending. You still got your brain telling your spinal cord which is transmitting this message with this motor neuron into your muscle that it’s still working, that it still needs to be activated and you continue to get this acetylcholine kinda like pump and surge into these motor neurons and it crosses the synapse and causes these muscle contractions whether or not you’re telling your muscles to contract or not. And so eventually, it goes away and it’s not a big deal. It’s not harmful. It’s totally normal. But the issue is that it can lead to cramping especially if you’ve done something really really hard because the other component of this, the other component of this contraction is that when that action potential from the nerve arrives at the muscle, what you get is a calcium influx through these calcium channels into the muscle. And when you get that calcium influx occurring, that’s what causes your muscle fibers to basically contract. But if the calcium is sting bound to the area inside the muscle that calcium basically binds to its called troponin, on the acting part of these little filaments inside your muscle, you can get basically like a cramp, like the calcium isn’t getting released. So, that can also occur when you’ve done something really really hard because you got a big big calcium build up and that’s one of the things that can lead to post workout swellness as well as calcium build up. So, one of the things that I recommend that you try, something that can offset the calcium and basically kind like restore that electrical gradient in the muscle and that’s magnesium. You can use like a topical magnesium oil and I’ve found that to be really really helpful with like post hard hard effort like twitching and cramping like when I got to a triathlon or some kind of an event like that, I’ll make sure I’ve got some topical magnesium in my finish line bag or like the post race baby you can get in the finish line just like in smear thump on my legs and my calves and stuff so I get rid of a lot of that twitching and potential for cramping and getting hubbled up cause I’ve been walking around after a race before and had one of those cramps that literally did leave me with a big long knot like Chrissy was saying that she’s getting. So, that’s what I recommend and I’ll link to the magnesium oil that I use in the show notes but that can help out quite a bit is the magnesium oil and if you do get a cramp that results in this knot like Chrissy got, try the ice and if you got electro simulation, try to combine the electro sim along with the ice.
Brock: Awesome! Let’s move on to our next question from Jeff.
Jeff: Hey Ben! Hey Brock! This is Jeff down here in Texas. I’m a 38-year-old A3 triathlete that lives a lifestyle and everything triathlon. This is a follow up to a few shows back that you talked about a young girl that was doing half marathons at a very high level and the concern that Ben had about that. I have a 10-year-old son that is training for his first triathlon in a few weeks. He’s really short with a 50-meter swim, 2 ½ mile bike and a half-mile run. I’ve been keeping his training short and fun with mixes of intensities. He came home from school the other day and told me he ran 3 miles during PE and was really excited to tell his mother and I all about it. He chose to run along with 3 other boys. He sees me train a bunch and says he wants to be like dad. It makes me feel great to his getting into endurance for he wants to share the same interest as his old man. I was really happy that he’s so excited and told about your podcast and the young girl. He’s now training 3 plus miles in a regular basis but if he continues, is this something that I need to reign him in on? I don’t want to discourage him but is there anything from a developmental standpoint that I should be concerned with letting him go longer distances in a time where great kids more interest in TV and video games than sport. I feel like I should keep encouraging him but don’t want to hurt himself or get burned out. What are your thoughts on youngsters and endurance sports? Also, anything from a nutritional standpoint that we need to concentrate on? I look forward to hearing back from you guys. Keep up the great work.
Brock: You know I got to say, Jeff sounds like an awesome dad. I love his approach to his respecting his son in that he doesn’t want to hold him back but he also doesn’t wanna push him into something that might hurt him. Good work, Jeff!
Ben: You know I wish I could’ve dug it up for Jeff but I wrote a big article on this at Lava magazine. You might be able to find in their archives at lavamagazine.com but it was about kids doing triathlon and some of the important considerations that needed to be thought about when you have someone who is young, say like pre-puberty are basically out there doing endurance sports cause there surely are some considerations. I wanna trotted that my kids have done a couple of kids triathlons and they love them and I love watching them and I think it’s fantastic to have this type of competitive opportunities available for kids. But then, there’s certainly that catch 22 that a kid that crosses the finish line of a tiny little kid sprint triathlon where they’re out there for 10 or 15 minutes running around might start eyeing some of the things that their parents are doing. You know, like 2-hour long races up to 10-hour Ironman events and possibly begin wanting to compete in those longer distances. And some of the issue and these are issues which I spoke about in the article that you have to consider when it comes to kids doing long distances like that is one. The bone density and growth plate issue in the same way that you wouldn’t want a kid lifting heavy weights because it can stunt growth if the growth plates aren’t fully formed. You can have also a similar growth-stunting effect with impact-based exercise, specifically, long periods of time spent running. You can also, because kids do tend to have a little bit lower density, tend to see much much increase risk for stress fracture and that’s one of the more common injuries that you see among youth who are doing endurance sports is stress fractures because that bone issue. The hormonal factor’s another issue and in most cases with sports you see a surge in testosterone in kids. But of course, with endurance sports, you do risk that law of diminishing returns where you eventually get that pregnenolone steal where a lot of hormonal precursors that would normally be used to form things like testosterone or estrogen instead gets shuttled to form cortisol. And because there’s so much cortisol being produced from the body being in this catabolic state of being broken down from chronic repetitive motion from chronic endurance sports participation, you tend to see that more often in a situation where it’s just a poor training program and there is inadequate recovery being provided. But that’s certainly another issue especially in a kid for whom hormones are so very important to growth and very crucial to proper development.
Another issue would be that of ventricular hypertrophy which would be the growth of that left ventricle in the heart. And you tend to see this in all athletes and exercising individuals but it certainly can put a little bit of added stress in the heart and I’ve not seen ever any long-term studies that have looked into whether or not there’s a greater degree of ventricular hypertrophy in individuals who started off doing endurance sports at a younger age. But there maybe a little bit of a cardiovascular risk factor there as well in terms of kinda prematurely asking the heart to work much harder than it may be adapted to from like an evolutionary or an ancestral health standpoint because I certainly don’t think that we can find many examples in our ancestral roots of kids going out and doing long long hard efforts. Traditionally, you’d want to probably protect the child from doing something like that if you’re wanting to propagate your seed or basically, grow your family. You wouldn’t want to be subjecting your children to hard labor per se.
And then, there are some other issues that I talked about in that Lava article that I can remember. One was the social implications. You look at something like a…I read Andrei Agassi’s biography last year. And one of the big big issues of Andrei Agassi and his rebellion and all the trouble that he got into was that he was a little bit bitter about having never been able to experience many of the things that his peers were able to experience that went above and beyond tennis, things as simple as going to the prom or playing baseball or doing some of the things that he wished that he would have been able to do. And so, there was like this bitterness or resentment present because there was so much time spent in this one single sport. And of course, there are the other social implications of the fact that endurance sport tends to be more introverted individualized sport that may take a child away from learning how to cooperate in a team environment or play well with others, so to speak. And so, there’s also that thought about how much teamwork and cooperation is being learned by a child if they are engaging in very individual isolated form of endurance training like going out for long runs by themselves.
And, you know, the final component here would be kind of a psychological component. The fact that in many cases, endurance sport has a big focus on weight loss, weight control, on body image and on a lot of issues that if a child is not developed to think about properly or handle properly can cause things like eating disorders especially in female athlete. You can get that female athletic triad which is the combination of loss of the menstrual period or menorrhea along with osteoporosis or osteopenia or low bone density and any eating disorder like anorexia or severe caloric restriction which of course, leads to a lot of nutrient, mineral and vitamin deficiencies down the road. So, there are certainly some potential dangers if you don’t go about this carefully. In my case, the way that I’ve gone about things is I simply exposed my children to as many different sports as possible. And granted they do probably, they’re skewed towards playing tennis. You know, we play tennis 3 times a week and just cause I play so much and I think it’s a great sport for my kids plus they’re left-handed and right-handed twins and so I wanna have the doubles world championship team in a decade. But basically, getting kids exposed to as many different activities as possible both in the arts as well as in the sports I think is super important in terms of making sure that they don’t become obsessed with one single activity that may end up harming them long-term especially something like endurance sports because of some of those physical and anatomical issues I just got talking about. So, I would not necessarily focus as much on reigning your son in as much as I would exposing him and encouraging him to participate in as many other sports or activities as possible. And then, as far as nutrition goes, I believe we have a question in this podcast about vitamins and nutrients for children. But I would certainly make sure that you’re giving that kid a lot of food and definitely not,we’re on the side of overfeeding a kid rather than underfeeding a kid when it comes to someone who’s got as much interest in endurance sports as your kid seems to have just because you wanna make sure that you don’t set up any type of like eating-disorder type of psychology or weight-control type of psychology because when combined with endurance sports and the young person, that can be kind of a recipe for like overtraining hormonal depleted disaster. So be careful with that too and feed them well.
Brock: That sounds good and that actually, like you said, it brings us really well into our next question from Keith.
Keith: Hi Ben! I’m in the market to buy some liquid multivitamins that you recommended on you podcast but I noticed some of them are marketed as liquid multivitamins for children and liquid multivitamins. Now, are there any differences other than flavorings to make them more palatable for children? I wonder if there’s any extra supplements that you would recommend specifically for children to take beyond what you’d find in adult product or if there’s any danger in giving an adult product to a young child?
Brock: Okay. So, the difference between adult multivitamins and kid’s multivitamins.
Ben: Yeah. First of all, my kids do take the kids liquid calm multivitamin and we’ll link to that in the show notes. But the reason that I chose that multivitamin in particular is because the DHA and EPA levels in which are those biologically active omega 3 fatty acids that especially when you’re growing are really really crucial for brain and vision and nervous system development. It’s also why my kids get a lot of fat in their diet and eat lots of things like avocados and sardines and all of these and things of that nature. That particular multivitamin also has decent levels of magnesium and calcium which are also important for…the magnesium in particular is important for a lot of enzymatic reactions that are used as a kid is growing. And then, aside from that, it’s just a basic nutrient and multivitamin profile but of course, it’s less than what you would get in adult multivitamin. Basically, the general rule is that kids should get no more than about 50% of the adult RDA of the major vitamins and the major minerals especially the fat-soluble ones because those can tend to be toxic because they are fat-soluble and that body can store them.
Brock: Okay. What’s RDA?
Ben: Recommended daily allowance. So vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, those fat-soluble vitamins, those are the ones you wanna be careful especially no overdosing to your child. You wouldn’t wanna give your kid like 4 tablespoons of cod liver oil a day. You’ve known in many cases from adult you know, that’s not too much of the fat-soluble vitamin. Typically, you’re looking at in most cases, right around 12 years old that kinda being that approximate cut-off to where a kid could start to use something closer to an adult dose of vitamin supplements. But my hope had with this issue is that vitamin supplements should not be regarded as a substitute for whole foods and for healthy eating. And I think that a lot of times, parents will use a fallback of like a Flintstones multivitamin to justify ice cream and pizza and candy bars as being the basic diet of a kid. So, I would definitely make sure that the formation of your child’s diet is comprised with real whole food. And then, just supplement with some type of a multivitamin has been designed with the kids’ needs in mind which is why I use that kids calm multivitamin. If we’re giving an adult product to a child, basically, you’d wanna cut it in half. And when our kids started taking that kids calm when they were one. And in that case, we simply give them a half dose of the kid’s dose. And now, they’re on a full dose of the kid’s dose but you could use an adult dose and like cut it down but you generally….the general rule, you’d want them to begin in no more than 50% of an adult dose so you’d wanna cut it in half. If you were, for example, getting like a liquid multivitamin and not wanting to buy both the adult and the kids, you could like use half a dose of that – that adult multi, for example. But it does have a little bit lower levels of the EPA and the DHA in it relative to the other components just because you’re generally gonna need more of that during something like a child’s neural development.
Brock: I’ve read a study not that long ago like just do go back to a point you are making about making sure the diet is there as well that they actually found a people who took a multivitamin whether it was like one over-the-counter special or anything like that. They actually took more risks like they didn’t eat as well, they exposed themselves to colds more regularly or readily and all of that kind of stuff because they felt that they were protected by these vitamins that they were taking.
Ben: Yeah. And that’s a good point too is that you won’t necessarily wanna give your kids a multivitamin if they’re more likely to run around the neighborhood with a stick of dynamite and chasing after the neighborhood cats.
Brock: I’m going to go to the doctor and get every vaccination I can possibly get so I can be god-like.
Ben: I heard that you had that plan for Thailand so hope to keep you on the list down there.
Brock: Okay. So, that brings us to our next question from McKade.
McKade: Hey Ben! This is McKade. Currently I’m in the military and right now, I’m trying to increase my body weight exercises primarily my push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups and sit-ups. I was wondering if you have recommendations on how I can increase those numbers at a faster pace. I heard you mentioned greasing the groove a few podcasts ago so, if you recommend that or maybe the traditional military view where you do a few hundred of these exercises per day or maybe I should skip days and give myself time to heal up. Anyways, I’m interested in what you have to say and I appreciate any help you can give me and I love the podcast. Thank you.
Brock: Okay. You wanna know my advice is to McKade?
Ben: What’s your advice?
Brock: Talk and give me 20 Make it!
Ben: Was that an actual megaphone?
Brock: You know, I’ve had it sitting on my desk actually all week waiting for this question.
Ben: There’s a really cool book out there for McKade and here’s the book that I read a long time ago and I got a whole “greasing the groove” idea from it’s called the Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline. He’s kind of a pretty well known like a MMA type of coach or strength conditioning adviser and the whole idea behind greasing the groove actually Pavel was a Soviet Specialist Forces guy. It’s that you combine specificity meaning doing the exact motion that you’re going to be expected to do for example, in the ______[1:17:04.6] that you’re doing with frequent practice. And so you’re not necessarily training to failure but you’re instead, doing for example, like what I do, keeping a pull-up bar in my office and everytime I walk underneath that pull-up bar, I gotta do about 5 pull-ups. Well, I can easily if I’m not ill, it’s so tough but I can go to the gym and I can bang out 25 body weight pull-ups. I never do 25 body weight pull-ups like on a daily basis as part of my training routine or whatever but I’ll easily do anywhere between like 30 and 40 pull-ups, sometimes 50 in a day just by doing 5 pull-ups everytime I walk under my pull-up bar and that’s the concept of greasing the groove. You can do the same thing. You can do everytime you take a pee, you can do 20 perfect body weight squats. Everytime you eat something, you can drop and do 20 push-ups. I mean, there are, that’s really the best way to use the greasing-the-groove philosophy is you just set yourself up these triggers throughout the day that you’re gonna use as triggers and don’t make them in frequent triggers. Don’t say, okay I’m gonna do 20 sit-ups everytime I eat lunch cause I got to be doing 20 sit-ups a day in those cases. I’m sure like Brock and you eat 2 lunches.
Brock: Sometimes 3.
Ben: Sometimes, 3. That’s right. But basically, that’s what the whole greasing the groove philosophy is. And he gets into a hard core in his book The Naked Warrior. But you can easily grease the groove by not working to failure and I think it’s less stressful and you get better results with less risk for injury when you go about things that way. And so that’s what I would do is I would just set up triggers throughout the day. I would, the actual exercises that you’re doing are the push-ups, the pull-ups, the sit-ups and the chin-ups. Obviously, pull-ups and chin-ups are gonna be a lower frequency. I would have a pull-up bar in your house or outside, somewhere nearby. You gotta have something accessible when you’re using this greasing the groove philosophy. But you know, anywhere between like 5 and 10 pull-ups or chin-ups at a time and then for your push-ups and your sit-ups typically, you’re gonna be closer to like 15-25 at a time – a little bit higher frequency. But I would literally, every single day, be greasing the groove with all 4 of those activities and to grease the groove generally, you’re gonna hit each of those exercises about 5 times during the day. When I will be shooting for close to like 5 to a maximum of 10 range in terms of just like dropping and doing those and having certain triggers throughout the day.
Another really good book that I recommend that I own and a lot of times like I’ll break this out during the triathlonal season. The past 2 years I’ve actually used it over the holidays like kinda from the early Christmas season onwards to a little bit after the New Year just because I’m always traveling and I’m in places where sometimes I don’t have access to gyms and life is hectic and I just need to get in quick workouts during there. It’s called the Ultimate Warrior Workouts. It’s by Martin Rooney and I’ll link to it in the show notes for you. But it’s basically like workouts derived from all the different mixed martial arts and martial arts practices from around the globe like Judo and Karate and things like that, rich with fantastic photos and this really really good workout program that’s just all body weight stuff like this but it’s just super hard. It increases mobility. A ton of these like push-ups and sit-up and pull-up variations and that whole book is basically just like a bunch of crazy variations of those exercises. But that’s a really good one too and one that I had a little bit of fun with in terms of pulling some workouts out of that. So that one’s called the Ultimate Warrior Workout and then the other one is called The Naked Warrior. I think “warrior” seems like it’s a pretty popular.
Brock: It does. I was kinda wondering about that. Why is everybody so angry?
Ben: We should write a book about warriors. We could do the podcast warrior workout, the travel warrior, that’d be a good one. I’ll buy a book called The Travel Warrior. I’ll write that down – write a book called The Travel Warrior. Somebody’s gotta buy a travelwarrior.com now.
Brock: Now, I’m doing it right now.
Ben: You’re gonna sell it to me. Yeah, even lunchtime warrior.
Brock: I’m actually, I’m gonna be in Boston early next week. If anybody’s listening to this podcast when it first comes out from October 1-3, I’m gonna be in Boston. I’m actually doing a talk at a software conference there just giving hints and ways for people to get little more fit and not have to give up their entire lives of sitting at a desk all day long and it’s very similar to the greasing the groove idea, just getting up once an hour and doing some squats, doing some sit-ups doing some push-ups, anything like that and then getting back to your chair and getting back to work. So, if anybody’s interested, come down to the Business and Software Conference in Boston.
Ben: The software warrior.
Brock: Yes. There you go. Register that.
Ben: There we go.
Brock: All right, let’s move on to our final question from Scott.
Scott: Hey Ben! This is Scott from Columbus, Ohio. I know you addressed in past podcast the use of cold thermogenesis for both fat loss and muscle recovery. However, I’m doing some self experiment and wondering what your thoughts were about using cold exposure pre-workout. I’ve noticed some anecdotal results of increase strength output in both number of reps and weight and I’m very interested in your thoughts on whether there is any research out there on using cold to actually gain strength. Something along the lines of delayed or numbing the muscle fatigue leading to greater work capacity. Thanks again, Ben for a great show. I really appreciate your input.
Brock: Well, you’ve been totally geeking out on all these cold exposure stuff lately. So, you’re the guy to ask for sure.
Ben: Yeah. I mean, the quick answer is, yes, and the basic principle behind this is pretty simple. When you’re exercising, a lot of your central organs get hotter, like your liver and your kidneys and your intestines, all of those tend to rise in terms of their temperature. And when that happens, you got water and blood that leaves your muscles and it goes to the skin to try and cool you down so that these organs don’t fail. So, if you can put yourself into a situation where you don’t overheat as fast, you can control body temperature, that can help out quite a bit. And NASA has been studying this stuff ever since the 80’s in terms of pre-exercise or pre-exertion cold exposure using everything from like cold pools to like cold wraps and cold applications. Because one of the best ways to cool the core from the outside is by cooling areas that have blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. Cooling vest is another example of something that could be used in a situation like this. Cycling teams have used this. I know garments surveilla was doing some of the like pre-race freezing their butts off type of stuff including like even the consumption of ice slushies pre-race or pre-event. I know that Craig Alexander was doing a little bit of this cause I read about it. It was last year in triathlete magazine or something like that about some of the like the drinking cold water or drinking cold slushies, trying to get as core temp down pre-workout by doing stuff like that. I know that I personally had fantastic runs like later on in the day if I’ve done some type of like sitting around in the cold river doing like some cold showers earlier in the day. So, basically, anything that you can do like that to basically kinda shut down the core temperature prior to activity so that your body takes longer and longer to actually get to the point where it tries to drive blood away from the muscles to the skin to save your organs can help out. So, ultimately, the answer is yes, cold exposure before a workout can definitely help. As far as assisting with strength output, I have not necessarily seen any studies that have looked at strength and power output per se. Most of what I’ve seen has looked at exercises of attrition like running to fatigue or something of that nature. I guess my only concern would be if that cold exposure affects the actual pliability of the muscle, specifically by reducing its elasticity to the extent that it may increase your risk for injury, you’d wanna be careful in a situation like that. So, I would make sure that if you do something like a cold bath prior to a strength training workout that you get in a really good dynamic stressing routine like some lunges and some swings and circles and things like that to make sure that you’ve got good range of motion or enough range of motion to take you through the activity that you wanna do prior to like going into a set of power cleans after you’ve frozen your butt off. That seems like it might be a little bit dangerous as anybody who’s tried to exercise when they’re really cold might know. You know, there’s a little bit of loss of flexibility in some situations.
Brock: I love the story of Simon Whitfield the year that he won the triathlon at the Olympics 2004, 2008. Before the race started he was just sitting there with ice vest on while everybody else was like moving around and jumping around and getting warmed up, he was just sitting there like in this little ball with his ice vest on. And everybody thought that he was playing mind games with them because he was just sitting so still and like staring at everybody in there and flipped the vest on and basically just went to town and won the race. It’s pretty cool but yeah it is, that makes me worry about being too cold, just going straight into like he said like trying to lift some weights or something with really tight cold muscles.
Ben: Yeah. I’d just be careful with that but ultimately, it’s definitely worth cooling your body prior to exercise if you’re able to do so if you can also do it without reducing your range of motion. So, yeah, I think that that about wraps today’s podcast.
Brock: It doesn’t if it was obvious today that majority or all the questions are audio questions lately because of that new -little feature on the website, we’re getting a lot of audio questions and don’t fear if you did send in a question like weeks and weeks ago. We do so have them in cue, all the text questions and we will get to them when that happens but if you’ve been waiting for a long time, the best way to get your question answered these days is to really do the audio question.
Ben: Or just send a check to me, to my address. No but seriously, it’s a good point. We’ll definitely prioritize the other questions cause we’d love to hear people’s personality and voices.
Brock: Do try to keep your questions a little bit short, though. Otherwise, you fall prey to my scalpel.
Ben: Yes, yes, Brock will cut you.
Brock: I will.
Ben: Not physically but digitally.
Brock: No, I’ll cut you physically too. I’ll cut you, man.
Ben: All right, let’s shop rack down before you train yourself. So, bengreenfieldfitness.com the show notes for this episode are at Episode #210. And you also get a list of some of the recommendations that I made over at facebook.com/bgfitness in our My List section. Thank you everybody for listening in. For those who are gonna be in Kona, Hawaii for the Ironman World Championships, that will be the next place that I’m headed so I might see some of you down there. Best of luck to those of you who are listening in and preparing for that event. Make sure that you’re ready to sweat. And till next time, this is Ben and Brock, signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.
For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield,
please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net
Sep 26, 2012 free podcast: What Is Detoxification and How Can You Detox Your Body? Also: how to get rid of a keloid, muscle twitches and cramps, should children do endurance sports, multivitamins for kids vs. adults, how to increase reps quickly, and is cold exposure before a workout beneficial?
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right side of the screen, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype to “pacificfit” or scroll down on this post to access the free “Ask Ben” form.
If you have trouble listening, downloading, or transferring to your mp3 player just e-mail [email protected]. Also, please don't forget to leave the podcast a ranking in iTunes – it only takes a minute of your time and it helps grow our healthy community!
- Very interesting that in this study of elite marathoners they're doing at least 2-3 fasted, low carb runs per week.
- Cumulative daily sleep of 7-9 hours might not be as important as total daily sleep of 7-9 hours.
- Doing your interval running on flat treadmill vs. uphill treadmill could be better!
Ben writes custom training plans – like the one in today's testimonial. Find out how to get your own custom training plan.
As compiled and read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.
Audio Question from AJ @ 00:18:23
He injured his hip playing indoor soccer. Very large bruise that stuck out about an 3/4 of an inch. When it healed it left a bump about the size of a quarter that he can move around with his finger. He thinks its a keloid (a type of scar which is composed mainly of collagen). He has had an xray and it is not a bone fragment. It bothers him after racing (can barely run). What can he do to minimize the pain and get ready for next season?
Audio Question from Cathy @ 00:26:12
She enjoys the way a cold bath or a soak in a lake/ocean makes her feel but she has doesn't know if it is right for her. Her naturopathic doctor told her that her detoxification pathways are not open, so she can't shed all the toxins out of her system, and has “toxic overload”. Her naturopathic doc recommended that she do saunas to increase her sweating. The problem is that it is hard for her to sweat (needs to be 95-100 degrees) even in the sauna she needs to be jumping rope or something. She also has poor circulation and raynaud's syndrome. Should she be using cold therapy at all? Also, how can she increase her sweating, since exercise doesn't really make her sweat.
Audio Question from Charlie @ 00:50:47
He's been training for a couple marathons over the last 6-8 months. After each run he has noticed that his quads and calf muscles twitch uncontrollably (sometimes for days). Is this normal or is he lacking something in his nutrition?
Also Chrissy says:
Do you know anything about a popcorn sensation in the calf muscle after running followed by severe muscle cramps? This started happening to me about 2 years ago after running a half marathon and now occurs after running even short distances (a couple miles) and, sometimes, after a bike ride. The cramping can get so severe that I feel like I did an intense calf workout. I’m 36 and have been running road races since I was in my early 20’s. Because of another injury to my hip, I’ve decided to take a break from running altogether. I want to return to running and tris once my hip gets better, however I do not want to feel like I have aliens living in my calves.
~ In my response to both Charlie and Chrissy, I mention topical magnesium.
Audio Question from Jeff @ 01:00:29
A few podcasts ago we talked about a very young girl who has been doing half marathons at a high level and Ben was concerned about that. Jeff's 10-year-old son is doing a short triathlon soon and loves to run and wants to “be like his dad”. If he continues in his desire to run long distances (more than 3 miles at a time), is this something Jeff should reign him in on? He wants to encourage his son but not if it is detrimental to his development. What are your thoughts on youngsters in endurance sports and is there anything in particular he should be concentrating on nutritionally?
~ In my response to Jeff, I mention Lavamagazine.com.
Audio Question from Keith @ 01:10:24
He is planning to buy some liquid multivitamins that you recommended. He noticed that some of them are “for kids” and is wondering if there is a difference between then beyond flavour? Also, are there specific vitamins that children should be taking and is there any danger in giving an adult product to a child?
~ In my response to Keith, we discuss Kid's Liquid Multivitamins.
Audio Question from McKade @ 01:15:29
He is in the military and wants to know how to best increase his number of pushups, pullups, situps and chinups. What schedule would you recommend to increase these quickly.
Audio Question from Scott @ 01:22:25
Wants to know what your take is on doing cold exposure before a workout. Is there any research that suggests that there would be an increase in strength output (reps or weight) or delayed muscle fatigue leading to greater work capacity.