Episode #296 – Full Transcript

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Podcast #296 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/10/296-does-food-combining-really-work-how-to-exercise-with-a-knee-injury-why-do-you-put-mct-oil-in-bulletproof-coffee/


Introduction:  In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Does Food Combining Really Work, How To Exercise With A Knee Injury, Why Do You Put Fat In Bulletproof Coffee, How To Jump Farther And Higher, and How To Handle More Alcohol.

Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast.  We provide you with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon, and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation.  So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete, or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.

Brock:  What are you doin’ over there?  What’s going on?

Ben:  Hmm, I’m walking, Brock.

Brock:  Oh, are you outside?

Ben:  I finally have my treadmill workstation.

Brock:  Oh!  The treadmill ride.

Ben:  I’ll set up.  Yes, I’m outside with the giant long cable.

Brock:  I see.

Ben:  Get me.  Yeah!  I’m walking on my home office treadmill.  It’s actually – it’s very cool ‘cause I didn’t want – like treadmills are one of the biggest contributors to electromagnetic pollution.  They just churn out a ton of EMF and I’m trying to do the whole like zero electrical pollution office here.  So, it’s a manual treadmill, it goes from about 2 miles an hour up to 12 miles an hour.  So, you can do an all out sprint on it and I had them kinda hack together this custom job for my home office.  So, it’s called a – it’s made by a company called Samsara Fitness

Brock:  Oh, yeah.  Okay, I’ve seen this sort of stuff.

Ben:  Have you used it before?

Brock:  Yeah.

Ben:  They’re really cool.

Brock:  They’re really expensive.

Ben:  Well, yeah.  They aren’t cheap but they did a custom kinda like no frills model for me.  ‘Cause I’m like – all I wanna do is just have it from my desk.  So it’s got no rails on it and use – and it fits perfectly underneath this kinda desk that I’m using.  So anyways, it’s – you can check them out there at samsarafitness.com – s-a-m-s-a-r-a fitness.com and I won’t walk on treadmill the whole time.  I’m tired.

Brock:  Yeah, you already heard your breath that’s part of reporting.

Ben:  No.  And then, they’re giving all of our listeners a discount code on this.

Brock:  Oh, cool.

Ben:  It’s BEN10.  So, yesterday I spent almost an hour filming in my office.  Saw all the little things that I’m putting altogether in here that are – that’s kinda make it my biohacked home office for my inner circle members but one of the things is this cool, new, treadmill.  So, there you go.

Brock:  I like it!  Can you take a picture of it and we can put it in the show notes?

Ben:  Yes.  It’s already done.  I will upload it to Instagram.  We can put it in the show notes.

Brock:  Awesomeness.

News Flashes:

Ben:  Okay, so before we jump in to the news flashes here, I have to turn a little – little hand crank on my desk down because I’m no longer on my treadmill.

Brock:  Now I heard a bunch of stumping and bumping and stuff going on while we’re playing our music.  What are doin’ now?

Ben:  Yes.  Now I’m just – I’m leaning now against my little, my pelvic chair.  It’s a chair that shaped like a pelvic bone and you just kinda lean back on it.  It’s like a standing work station.  This one is made by Focal Upright, it’s called a Mogo.  It’s like this portable 2 lb standing work station chair and I use it like in the hotel rooms and stuff but I’ve also got it in my office and I’m kinda in a half leaning, half standing position.  So…

Brock:  That’s when it kinda – it’s almost like riding a unicycle.

Ben:  Yeah.  So it allows you to be in a seated position without your hip flexor shortening.  So, we should just pretty much to geek out this whole podcast and I’ll just shift to a new position and describe it to our listeners the whole time.

Brock:  Yes.  I’m just standing at my desk.  I have one of those health mats underneath.  That’s exciting.

Ben:  Oh, nice.  Yeah, I was thinking next I’ll lie down on infrared biomat.  We’ll just keep on.

Brock:  And then the show ends as Ben falls asleep.

Ben:  Okay.  So, news flashes this week.

Brock:  Yeah, yeah.  I almost forgot what we’re doing here.

Ben:  Yeah.  So, this first one is really interesting.  I actually spoke last month at the Ancestral Food Symposium in Vermont and I met a guy name Jeff Leach, and Jeff has just returned from hanging out with the Hazda tribe.  The Hazda hunting tribe in Tanzania.

Brock:  Oh, nice.

Ben:  We’re talking and as you do when you’re talking to someone that you’ve just met, he mentioned that he had – just that previous week, he gotten a Hazda feces injected into him.


He actually did a poop transplant from one of the members of the tribe that he was living with.

Brock:  Hmm.  Where did they inject that?

Ben:  Well he just wrote a big article on it because he was like – the article starts, he’s hanging upside down from like this upside down bicycle to keep the poop in his body.  And he’s just doing this as in N=1 experiment to see if he put an ancestral hunter gatherer gut microbe ecosystem into him into someone living in a modern environment, does it affect their health and if so, how?  Like, does it affect like bifidobacterium and bugs in the western gut?  Does it help heal a leaky gut?  Does it contribute to a better ecosystem in the gut?  And, the article that he wrote on is really comprehensive.  It’s actually a little bit of a long article but I tweeted it because I actually thought it was quite interesting that this gentleman had injected himself literally with what is called ancestral poop.

Brock:  I know when they do like the repopulate and stuff the feces or the gut bacteria has been sort of clean and sterilized and repackaged and stuff before they inject them into the person.  Did he go to through that process as well or was it just straight up like somebody poop, you took it and put it in?

Ben:  I think this was a little bit more tribal.

Brock:  I’m getting the feeling.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.  You need to go read the article.

Brock:  Okay.

Ben:  I’m gonna link to it in the show notes.  Yeah, okay.  So, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/296 if you wanna check out what type of things people are putting into their distal colons these days.

Brock:  Or go to twitter.com/BenGreenfield.

Ben:  Yes, I also tweeted out there.  But for the show notes, we’ll link to all the articles over at 296, bengreenfieldfitness.com/296.  The other thing is that there’s a really interesting article that came out on Plant Food Sources for Vegetarians specifically vitamin B12 rich-plant food sources.  Now I know we have a lot of athletes – especially who was in – athletes in general whether vegan or omnibore or vegetarian.  They tend to be mildly deficient in B12 just because of higher metabolisms and more turnover.  You know, more exercise.  And, while of course having a hefty piece of steak is a great way to get your B12, that’s not necessarily something that a vegan or a vegetarian is gonna do unless it’s the tofurky on thanksgiving day and unfortunately that’s the – tofu is not a form of soy.  There’s a form of soy that contains decent amount of B12.  The tofurky is not gonna be your best bet.  So, I’ll link to this article but what I thought was really interesting – first of all was the main take away from the article which is that there is this purple – it’s this what it’s called and you’re gonna be really familiar with it.  Is this called dried purple laver – l-a-v-e-r.  But dried purple laver is just nori.  It’s nori seaweed that you get from the grocery store and this is actually, of all the plant sources of vitamin B12 that they measured, the highest in vitamin B12, in absorbable vitamin B12.  And it’s also really rich source of iron and omega 3 fatty acids – two other things that tend to be more difficult for vegans to get.  So, nori is the highest source.  Some of the other things they tested that were really, really high in great plant sources for vegans or vegetarians.  One was fermented beans and fermented vegetables especially like fermented soy beans like nato, and miso, and ones that was highest in B12 and some other nutrients was tempe.  Another thing that – and I’ve recommended this before in the show was edible algae like chlorella and spirulina.  Very easy to get your hands on like these edible algae bits like I recommended this stuff from energybits.com before.  Something you can kinda pop like popcorn but that also ranked really high as a plant based source of B12 and other vitamins that vegans and vegetarians tend to be deficient in.  And then they also tested some wild edible mushroom species and what they found was that wild edible mushroom species can kill you if you don’t choose them carefully.

Brock:  Yes.  Or do other crazy things to.

Ben:  They lost a lot of researchers on that one.  Now really, shitake mushroom actually rank really high as a wild edible mushroom that’s gonna be high in B12 and have a lot of other pretty decent vitamins in it.


But most of these didn’t really hold a candle to nori.  So, there you go.

Brock:  Now, how much nori do you need to eat for it to be efficacious ‘cause I’ve heard people like Chris Kresser say that it’s actually not all that bio absorbable.

Ben:  Yeah.  What they used in the study was 4 grams which accounts for – they describe as several sheets of nori.  Now…

Brock:  Several.  It’s not very helpful.

Ben:  I’m going to share  what several – I know, it’s kinda for literature to not specify the exact number of sheets but I’m guessing it’s probably like 3-4 something like that.  That’s usually that I have with lunch is about 3.  I wrap up my salad and I have 3 nori wraps with lunch.  I just make a salad and I eat my salad with nori instead of eating it with a fork.

Brock:  I usually put my scrambled eggs in nori.  That’s delicious!  Just put it and roll it up.

Ben: Hmm, that’s actually really, really good way to have nori too.  I like that.  Sweet.  The other thing is that – you wanna be careful to make sure that you get nori that hasn’t have a bunch of canola oil and stuff added to it.  I’ve notice like in airports – when I’m going through airports, little nori snacks they have at airports.  If you look at the ingredient label, a lot of times they use canola oil or safflower oil or sunflower oil in those.  You want either olive oil or just no oil at all.  The SeaSnax – s-e-a-s-n-a-x, SeaSnax – makes a pretty good nori.  And you can find those on Amazon literally.  We just get the plain Jane nori from the agent food store and that works just fine as well.  I don’t even know what brand it is but it’s literally just nori, you know, nothing added to it.

Brock:  Yeah.  The ingredient listed in mine is seaweed.

Ben: Uh huh.  Yeah, exactly.  Yeah, which is not something that’s hard to pronounce.  So, it must be healthy food.

Brock:  Yes, exactly.

Ben:  So, the last thing is heart rate variability.  There’s a really good article actually that our friend, Mark Sisson published at Mark’s Daily Apple about how to increase your heart rate variability.  And of course, that’s the one thing of all the different quantitative self-quantification variables that I recommend that people test – one is heart rate variability or the most important one is heart rate variability.  And I thought some of his recommendations based on research for increasing heart rate variability were very interesting.  One was to drink green tea or use something that’s a rich source of L-theanine.  Yeah, to increase heart rate variability.

Brock:  Nice.

Ben:  I just had a giant cup of coffee and a kale smoothie.  I don’t know if that did the same thing.

Brock:  I’m having a big cup of coffee and I took some of those smart caffeine that has – I think it has 200 mg of L-theanine in it.

Ben:  Uhm, so your heart rate variability is high.

Brock:  My heart rate period is really high.  I know.

Ben:  And I’m definitely going to be regular.  So you’ve got that going for us.  Another thing, there are some interesting things that were straight forward like de-stress, don’t procrastinate, don’t work too much or commute too far.  The only thing I thought interesting with those was that there have actually been studies that have shown that commuting decreases heart rate variability or that procrastination decreases heart rate variability if you’re taking an exam after you procrastinated.  Some things that we would considered to be common sense, right?  Yoga will increase it, meditation will increase it, listening to the right kind of music like a baroque music increases heart rate variability compared to heavy metal.  Again, no big surprises here that these are all things that would de-stress you.  And one of the things that I thought was really interesting that I actually tried while I was measuring my heart rate variability after reading this article was alternate nostril breathing.  I thought this was really interesting.  What you do is, you cover up your left nostril and you breathe through your right nostril and then exhale through your left nostril and then you alternate and you go vice-versa, you go in through your left nostril and out in your right nostril.  Just using your fingers, right?  To plug the appropriate nostril as you do that – what’s called alternate nostril breathing.  That had a really significant increase in my heart rate variability.  That was an interesting one, I just laid in bed and did that.  Few other ones in there were fish oil, forest bathing which is just walking in nature.  I love that we have to give “walking in nature” a special name – forest bathing.

Brock:  I think that’s a Japanese term.  The forest bathing.

Ben:  It is.  Shinrin – forest bathing.  It’s called walking outside and then – actually interestingly exercising during pregnancy was shown to increase fetal heart rate variability.  So, if you wanna give your baby a favor, and you’re a mom out there, just exercise during pregnancy can actually increase heart rate variability in fetus.  So, there you go – how to increase heart variability.

Brock:  Anyone else is really interesting about that article?  If you go over to iTunes and subscribe to their podcast, that article is read to you by very handsome Canadian fellow that sounds a lot like me.


Ben:  Yeah, that’s right.  I forgot, you’re reading the articles now, right?   From Mark’s Daily Apple…

Brock:  Uhmm, in my best announcer voice.

Ben:  Yeah, so if you’re not sick of Brock’s voice yet.  You can be.

Brock:  You can be so sick of it.

Ben:  Mark’s Daily Apple podcast.  Alright, well cool.  So those are the news flashes and if you wanna kinda keep your finger on the pulse of all the news flashes that I published everyday, just go to twitter.com/BenGreenfield and if you want to grab any of those articles and delve in to them more thoroughly, you can get the links over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/296.

Special Announcements:

Brock:  So I hear you’ve been using your training mask a lot lately in your backyard, in your underwear, freaking out the neighbors.

Ben:  Sorry.

Brock:  Are you using it right now, grace.

Ben:  Are you my father?

Brock:  You’re not my father!

Ben:  Batman!  Batman.  (laughs)  Yeah, no.  The training – like we joke about the training mask but we love the training mask like it’s one of our favorite training tools over here at the podcast.  And training mask is not only one of the things that is my favorite – a little affordable gym tool that makes just about any workout, a killer workout.  I actually did my workout last night was battle ropes.  So, I’ve got battle ropes in my gym and I did battle rope waves, battle rope slams, battle rope burpees which is kinda cool.  You just fold the ends of both battle ropes and you do a burpee and then you stand up with the battle ropes slam them at the end of the burpee, then do another one.  And then battle rope squat overhead press which is where you actually get in the middle of the battle ropes and you squat with both of them like drake over your shoulders and then press them overhead.  Hard workout!  Those things are hard.  And that was my workout.  I was going through a few rounds of that.

Brock:  Are you doing it right now?  Just drop the ropes.

Ben:  Nah.  That was – somebody fell down upstairs.  But – did that wearing a training mask?  Oh man!  That is a good – any like body weight metabolic workout, tabata set, whatever, you know, freakin’ bike ride while you’re forest bathing.  Wear the training mask.  Check it out.  So, they’ve got a 20% discount for all of our listeners and the code that you can use at trainingmask.com is “BEN2014”.  So, trainingmask.com, “BEN2014”, so you get 20%.

Brock:  So that code replaces the one that we talked about last week when we’re broadcasting live from Kona.

Ben:  Yeah.  I don’t think the Kona code is working anymore but the BEN2014 – one should work, so.

Brock:  There you go.

Ben:  So check that out at trainingmask.com and another thing that you may have noticed if you subscribe to the free newsletter is that I spend a good deal of my summer interviewing people like Jack Kruse, Kelly Starrett, Mark Sisson, a bunch of folks…

Brock:  A bunch of fools.

Ben:  Yeah, a bunch of fools.  And pretty much everybody I can hunt down in the realm of performance, recovery, fat loss, digestion, brain, sleep, hormone optimization, etc. and I interviewed them interestingly ‘cause I don’t do this very much via video.

Brock:  Oh!

Ben:  Via video and so all those video interviews are now available in an online conference.  The online conference doesn’t actually go live until November 17th but you can get a free pass to it now, it’s 23 video interviews and I got to say it’s some pretty dang cool content.  So, it’s over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/RevYourself.  Rev yourself.

Brock:  It sounds slightly rude.

Ben:  Yes.  It sounds… maybe inappropriate or illegal in some States but check it out now, at bengreenfieldfitness.com/RevYourself.  And a few other things that I wanted to mention to folks listening in, the first is that, I will be traveling, if you wanna meet me the next few places that I’ll be is – I’ll be in racing down in Sacramento, at the Super Spartan, October 25th to the 26th.  I will be in London from November 2nd through the 9th.  Speaking over there and also recording a podcast with the folks at London Real and then I will be gallivanting about Israel working at some health and wellness videos, podcast, and articles for our readers and listeners.  After that, November 9th through 16th, so, if you’re in any of those places then you can drop by Israel, or London, or Sacramento.

Brock:  I’d love to drop by Israel.  That’s one place I really wanna go.  Seriously.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.  It’s pretty cool.  You know, the last time I was there I did the Israman Triathlon.  And then the last thing, and this is just a shout out to our listeners before we jump in this week’s Q and A.  Basically, this entire podcast right now is being run for you off of this tiny little AT&T wifi hotspot which is the only way that I’ve been able to get internet to produce podcast, articles, videos, anything, out here in the wilderness where I’m living now.


The problem with that is when I shoot a video for you guys, it’s taking me 6-8 hours to upload a single video.  When we do a podcast, I upload it to dropbox afterwards for audio editing, it takes forever and it also means anytime that I am sitting here producing this content, I have to carry this little AT&T wifi hotspot around with me.  And so, the reason that I’m saying this is because there is a way for me to get high speed internet out here in the forest so that I can do my job.  But it is expensive.  The set up fees to do this are $8,000.

Brock:  Woah!

Ben:  I know, I know, it’s life.  So, what they do is they land a giant saucer full of UFOs on the roof and the UFOs just do their thing up there and the flying saucer to ensure that the internet runs okay.

Brock:  Yeah, they have to stay in geosynchronous orbit right above your house at all times.  So yeah, that’s expensive!

Ben:  Yeah, so Norfil for me to rent those aliens.  It’s $8,000 and here’s the deal.  I need help with that fee for me to be able to run all of these and what I’m offering any corporate sponsor, or any sponsor who is interested in helping to support the Ben Greenfield fitness internet fees, what you will get is a full sidebar banner for the entire year at bengreenfieldfitness.com where we get right now about 350,000 unique monthly visitors who are there for anywhere from 3-10 minutes reading article, surfing around.  So, if you’re interested in sponsoring bengreenfieldfitness.com, then simply email [email protected].  You’ll get the sidebar banner ad for the entire year if you can support carrying a load of setting up the internet here to keep the magic happening at bengreenfieldfitness.com.

Brock:  Nice.

Listener Q & A:

Combine:   Hey Ben, I was wondering if you and Brock could discuss a little bit about food combining and whether the combination of macro nutrient that we put together really matter in terms of fat gain or muscle gain.  So, thanks Ben.  You guys can just talk food full of it, I’m really appreciate it.  Thanks.

Brock:  Interesting.  I’ve heard lots of people talk about like – Oh, you can’t have your starches with your proteins and…

Ben:  Yeah.  Let me explain what food combining is for those who don’t know what it is.  So, the basic principle here is that – the people who are proponents of a food combining diet have different foods required different pH levels to digest properly and different foods have different transit times in your gastro intestinal tract.  So, by eating certain food combinations like eating protein-rich meal combine with carbohydrates.  That combination would technically be hard to digest and so you will get nutrient absorption, you have food sitting longer in your GI tract which might promote gas or bloating, or build up of toxins from food not kinda passing through your gut quickly enough.  And so, what you do is you have specific combinations that are okay and specific combinations that are not okay.  Anyway, that most food combining diets that are set up is, you’ve got acid, alkaline, or neutral foods.  So, acid foods should be like meat, fish, or dairy.  Alkaline foods would be like potato or rice for example.  And so, you wouldn’t mix acid or alkaline foods and the entire thing has basically four rules: the first is that anytime you have fruit, it’s on an empty stomach.  So fruit is always by itself.  The second is that, starches are always by themselves or only consume with vegetables like if you have a potato, it’s never with a steak, it’s with a vegetable.  Yeah.

Brock:  What?  That’s like the best [0:24:28.4] _______.

Ben:  Is that if you have meat, dairy, fish, eggs, etc. any high protein food, they have it alone or you could have it with vegetables.  Again, vegetables are kind of like the okay.  Vegetables are the neutral food, right?  And then the last would be, if you have seeds, nut, things along those lines, those are also have to be consumed with vegetables and not with carbohydrate-rich or protein-rich foods.  So, we’re almost like isolating our fats or protein and our carbohydrates.  So, question is – does it actually work?


So, some of my thoughts on this, first of all, the idea that certain food groups will digest better in acidic environments vs. alkaline environment or vice-versa is kinda partially true like carbohydrates for example.  Carbohydrates will digest better in alkaline environment in your stomach and that’s because that alkaline environment activates what are called amylase enzymes which help you to breakdown the carbohydrates.  Now, the thing is though stomach acid is gonna get released when you eat any kind of food whether it’s a carbohydrate or protein or fat and even if your stomach is completely empty, it’s still acidic.  So, once anything that you eat goes into your gut, your stomach releases acid.  And that can be whether you get carbohydrate, whether you eat protein, whether you eat fat.  And what happens is that once the acidic contents of the stomach move in to your small intestine, your pancreas goes into action.  What your pancreas does is it releases digestive enzymes along with something called bicarbonate and that secretion from the pancreas is alkaline, it’s non-acidic.  It neutralizes the stomach acid in your small intestine and that allows you to create this alkaline environment that’s better for breaking down carbohydrates and that’s better for breaking down fats whereas a lot of the protein digestion begins in the acidic environment of the stomach and still will continue to some extent in the small intestine.

Brock:  That is so cool.  Man, the body is awesome.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly.  So, what your body does is, it will digest a meal containing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats efficiently based off of this inner play between alkalinic pancreatic production, and acidic stomach production.  So, ultimately if you were to say eat protein with carbohydrates and with fat.  You’re gonna get a little bit of extra acidic production from the stomach from that protein, you’re gonna get a little bit more alkaline response from the pancreas ‘cause these two interplay very, very well and what happens then is that will technically increase not decrease digestive capacity.  So it’s almost exactly the opposite of what you would expect when it comes to food combining that a meal comprise of a bunch of different macro nutrients mixed together would almost digest more easily because your body is working together.  It works very, very well with everything mix together.  So, the deal with food combining from that standpoint from the acidity, alkalinity standpoint is – there’s not much to be said for it, there’s not much science behind whether or not it works.  There are some studies that I’ve looked into food combining that I’ll tell you about here in a second.  But there are also some issues with the food combining diet.  Like for example, eating fruit by itself.  Anytime you’re looking at wanting to control blood sugar level or control say like, insulin resistance or insulin response to any food.  Anytime you’re eating something that’s going to cause a high glycemic response or spike in blood sugar, if you eat that food on its own, in the absence of proteins or in the absence of fats, that’s going to magnify that blood glucose response.  So, eating fruit all by itself is actually not that great an idea from a fat loss standpoint compared to like having an apple with a little bit of cheese or having a banana with a little bit of almond butter, right?  So, eating by fruits by themselves are not necessarily something that I would endorse.  And again, there’s no evidence that eating fruit by itself allows that fruit to be more easily digested vs. having it with a protein or with a fat.  The next thing to realize is that fat-soluble vitamins, phytochemicals – what are called mixed carotenoids that you’re gonna find in fruits and vegetables are enhanced in terms of their absorbability when they are consumed with a fat-based source like putting olive oil on your kale-spinach salad or having nuts with fruits or even using something like butter with roasted vegetables.  All of that increases the nutrient absorption from those foods, so when we’re isolating fruits or even when we’re isolating vegetables, we’re not getting as much of the nutrients from those foods as we potentially could.  So, that’s another is that you’re shorting yourself from a nutrient absorption standpoint here when it comes to using a food combining diet.  The next is – like I mentioned, they have looked at this from a study standpoint and there’s not any evidence that a food combining diet is superior for weight loss which is why a lot of people do it.  And they actually had a study where they compared a balanced diet – that is just like a normal average diet.  It wasn’t like a high fat or high carb diet, just kind of a normal, almost like a USDA-ish diet.  Yeah, like 50% carb, 25% protein, 25% fat and then they use the diet that was similar in macro-nutrient content but that follow these food combining rules and what they found was that both diets by the way, were calorie controlled, meaning that they were calorie restricted diets.


There was no difference in the amount of weight loss between the group that followed a low calorie food combining diet vs. a group that didn’t pull out their hair trying to follow all these complex food combining rules based off of the – chart hanging on their fridge.  So, ultimately there’s no evidence that it’s actually going to help you at all with weight loss.  So, some people do feel better when they switch to a food combining diet.  And I suspect that is for one of two reasons.  The first is that – if you’re nor producing adequate digestive enzymes for example to breakdown carbohydrates or fats or proteins, a complex meal can cause heart burn, gas, bloating, etc. and a lot fo people have insufficient pancreatic enzyme production or insufficient digestive enzyme production whether it’s in the stomach or the small intestine.  And this would be a situation where rather than using a food combining diet and shorting yourself from a nutrient absorption standpoint, potentially causing rapid fluctuations in your blood sugar and going through a lot of heartache to not necessarily have much of an effect, jus take digestive enzymes which actually when you take them for a certain period of time can actually help to jumpstart your own enzyme production.  It’s really interesting.  So, like a good high quality digestive enzymes supplement that you use prior to big complex meals or meals which you’d normally get heartburn, gas, bloating, digestive issues, that type of thing, that’s one thing that can really help.  Another thing here is that if you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria – like if you have what’s called a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or if you have lack of good bacteria in the gut.  Any number of these issues called dysbiosis or perhaps you’ve had hunter gather a poop that impacted in you and that caused an issue.  Anyways though, if you’ve fallen to one of those camps, where bacterial issues are occurring, then you’re also going to have a lot of difficulty with digesting meals properly.  And so, for example, a carbohydrate rich meal in the presence of proteins and fat might cause fermentation of those carbohydrates, excessive fermentation of those carbohydrates which may actually inhibit digestion of the proteins and fats and cause digestive upset.  And again the fix here is not food combining diet.  The fix here is looking at using things like oil of oregano, natural cleanses, garlic, ginger, turmeric, things that can help to clear up bacteria in the digestive tract and then combining that with a good therapeutic grade probiotic whether it’s a soy-based probiotic like a prescriptosis or whether it’s like a really good shelf stable advance probiotic like the Mt. Capra – they make the Caprabiotics advanced which is one that I travel with ‘cause doesn’t need to be refrigerated.  But basically paying attention to your gut health.  And you could test this too, I mean, if you go to Direct Labs, I like the GI Effects Comprehensive Gut Panel over there.  It will tell you pancreatic enzyme production, it will tell you good bacteria, bad bacteria, parasites, yeast, fungus, all that stuff.  So, ultimately I think that the food combining diet does not have much science behind it.  I think it’s one of those things were you just gonna be pulling out your hair trying to follow all of these rules of what you combine with what and you’re just gonna be boric parties though.  When someone hands you the watermelon wrap in porchetta and you have to lovingly unwrap the porchetta from around the watermelon and eat the watermelon.

Brock:  Oh, I never had that.  That sounds delicious.

Ben:  Wait 20 minutes and then have your porchetta and then move on to your vegetables which you need to scoured to make sure there’s no like bacon crumbles or anything like that in your vegetables.  God forbid.  So ultimately, I’m not enamored with the food combining diets and I don’t really think it’s gonna be the best bet if you’ve got gut issues, use digestive enzymes, take care of your gut bacteria, maybe got a poop implant, and go from there.

Scott: Hi Ben, this is Scott in [0:34:30.1]______, Maryland.  I’m calling with a question in behalf of my mom.  We recently found out that she’s been diagnosed with some severe knee damage in her legs due to some genetic problems.  And she has been told she’s probably headed for knee replacement in a few years.  But she wants to get out to the gym and start working out and getting fit and we were wondering if you have any advice for the kind of exercises or equipment she should be using.  We obviously know that she should be using things like the elliptical or the bicycle over the treadmill.  We’re wondering if you had any other input on a regimen or suggestions and we’d appreciate all your help.  Thank you so much and keep up the great work.


Ben:  Uhmm.

Brock:  Scott’s a good boy.  Looking after your ma.

Ben:  That’s right, Scott.  I hope you got your mom listening in.

Brock:  Hi, mom!

Ben:  Yeah, that’s most of our fans actually are.  Brock’s mom, my mom, Scott’s mom.  Yeah, that’s it.  You know, I just went through some of the issues myself.  Like we all were leading up to this Ironman that I just did, my knees were banged up from Spartan world championships.  Since I did the Ironman I’ve had the kinda nurse my knees back to health for this second set of Spartan races that have coming up this weekend and ultimately there are some things that I did from a therapeutic standpoint to help with my knees.  But the first thing is, getting fit when you have a knee injury.  Let’s just look past the healing of the knees part and what can you do to get fit when you have a knee injury.  Well, I actually, I record and write a lot of articles for quickanddirtytips.com and I’ve got an entire series over there like how to stay fit with an ankle injury, how to stay fit with a low back injury, how to stay fit with a knee injury.  And I’ll link in the show notes for this episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/296 to my article about how to stay fit with a knee injury, and it’s really basic.  One of the best ways to do it is just to split your workouts into circuit and for example, one of the circuits that I list in that article is an upper body circuit where you do an overhead shoulder press, seated if necessary, an assisted pull up on one of the assisted pull up machines, or a lap pull down either one.  A lying dumbbell chest press, a seated row, and then an inclined dumbbell chest press, and then a reverse grip lap pull down.  And then you just go through that circuit multiple times.  And that’s gonna bomb the upper body pretty hard, it’s gonna get a lot of blood flowing but then on an alternate day, you could work the core for example.  So, you could do like a seated medicine ball turso twist like a Russian twist, and you do some plank variations like side planks or front planks, then you can move on to maybe some pushups on stable surface like medicine ball pushups and then on to front plank variation and then on to more rotations and a pushup position.  So, I’d like that scenario if your legs are really beat up, of alternating day to day from an upper body workout circuit to like a core workout circuit with some functional training thrown in and just going back and forth like that.  And you could even throw in a third day of cardio exercise that isn’t going to aggravate the knee such as swimming, upper body ergometers like those machines at the gym where you’re just turning the wheels with your upper body.

Brock:  Yup, peddling with your hands, kinda.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly.  Yeah, swimming’s really the best but rowing in some cases can be okay for the knees just kinda depends how hard you’re pushing off.  You can almost row in a manner that uses more the back and the upper body than the knees.  But ultimately, I’ll link to that article for you but the big idea here is to use weight training core and then cardio modalities that are easy on the knees.  Now as far as healing the knees, I mean, if this is like a genetic issue like a rheumatoid arthritis or some kind of issue where you just like – your knee cartilages are shot, you can’t really grow that stuff back at least not yet.  You know, know with our current science.  But if you’re listening in and you just beat up and you just wanna healing, I can tell you some of the things that I did that worked really, really well for me, one is if you read Kelly Starrett’s Becoming a Supple Leopard book and he’s actually got a new book that I just read that’s fantastic.  If you’re a runner, you need to own this book.  I actually wrote to a bunch of my clients who are either runners or dealing with injuries and I said you need to get this.  It’s called “Ready to Run” by Kelly Starrett.  And one of – well, there’s two modalities in there that I really, really like.  One is called Voodoo Flossing where you get an old bicycle tube or you can get what’s called a fitness band – there’s a company called Rogue that sells these things called fitness bands and you take a joint that you need to kinda milk inflammation out of or restore mobility to and you wrap the area above and below that joint with the old bicycle tube starting from below the heart and working towards the heart right to your milking towards the heart and then you move that joint through a range of motion like for example, you would use a bicycle tube below the knee, you use it above the knee, and you’d wrap it around pretty tight and then you do a series like hold on to a pole or something you can support yourself with and do a series of kinda like some deep squats where you’re moving knees through some ranges and motion and just like kinda milking the knee, milking the inflammation out of the knee.


I really like that technique.  It doesn’t work so well if you’ve got like arthritis, no cartilage but if it’s just knee inflammation, that works really well as does any of the deep tissue work like going hunting for tight spots so, using lacrosse ball or one of the – I like the beasty balls made by a company called Rumble Roller.  They make this foam roller that has spikes coming out but they also make these beasty balls that are perfect, that I always have one in my bag that you can just go and hunt tight spots down with and work on.  So, Kelly Starrett’s book, Becoming a Supple Leopard or even more specifically his new book, Ready to Run – is really good.  Two other things that I used quite a bit was, I did a lot of covering in area with ice and then just electro steaming the hell out of it.  Like taking a knee that’s inflamed, putting – I use the MarcPro, and you may recall I did an interview with the folks at MarcPro, they offered all of our listeners a discount at marcpro.com.  You can use $32 discount code “BEN” and save 32 bucks off at marcpro but basically this is a type of electro stimulation device that recruits muscles in a very therapeutic way, and the way that it works is, you just put the electrodes around the area that hurt.  You just surround that area with the electrodes basically, you lay ice on top of that like an ice pack and then you just e-stim it for 15-20 minutes.  I was even did that on my foot just this morning before we started recording.  Just because my feet are still a little bit beat up from the Ironman marathon.

Brock:  You were doing that the entire time we were talking in last podcast as well.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.  I don’t recommend running a marathon in minimalist footwear if you have been actually training for said marathon.

Brock:  No.

Ben:  Not a good idea.  And then finally, CapraFlex, I’ve been popping CapraFlex, four of them 3 times a day which means I’m going through like a bottle every 15 days which is not cheap but this is the most potent anti-inflammatory joint healing formula I’ve ever used.  It’s like ginger, turmeric, glucosamine, chondroitin, tart cherry, like if there’s ever been anything studied to help decrease joint inflammation naturally, other than Ibuprofen which is unnatural – this stuff is the beast knees, pun intended.  So, CapraFlex works really well.  So, I like eletro stim with ice, I like that voodoo flossing and deep tissue work, I like Kelly Starrett, I like CapraFlex – like that’s my holy trilogy for if I’m injured and I’m trying to knock some out of the ball park.  And then, for Scott or for Scott’s mom specifically in the show notes, I’ll link to that article on how to exercise with a knee injury if you just want some workout that your mom can do.

Nick:   Hey Ben and Brock, this is Nick from California.  I really like the show, appreciate what you guys do.  I have a question about bulletproof coffee, specifically if there is research that shows that the terpenes in the coffee are more bio-available or more highly absorbed with the bulletproof coffee.  So basically, I’m wondering if it’s the MCTs that are responsible for the terpenes doing their job or it’s something like half-and-half with a heavy cream or work just as well if not better.  Thanks for your time and I look forward to seeing your answer on podcast.  Thank you guys.

Brock:  For a while there, I was drinking a lot of bulletproof coffee but I’ve actually gone off a bit sort of going in a little waves here and there.

Ben:  Yeah.  I have like maybe once a week or once every two weeks or so.  Like I don’t drink just ‘cause I like to eat my calories but that’s…

Brock:  I love breakfast.  Breakfast is awesome.

Ben:  I actually almost – almost had a cup this morning but I end up having time to make my kale smoothie.  So, terpenes are hydrocarbons.  And if you took Chemistry, a hydrocarbon is just mostly carbons and hydrogens and in the case of terpenes it’s typically about a 5 carbon chain with 8 hydrogens on it and a bunch of different plants make terpenes.  So the coffee plants make terpenes, marijuana makes terpenes, just about any plant that has any type or any potential for having any kind of an effect on your brain makes terpenes because terpenes – they actually can interact with your brain.  They can cross the blood brain barrier potentially if they are in a fat-envelope and they can affect serotonin and dopamine chemistry, or neurotransmitter production, they can alter the permeability of cell membranes in your brain, they can bind to cannabinoid receptors in your brain, they can interact with a lot of different neurological receptors.  And this is why a lot of different plants, you know, from cannabis to coffee actually have some kind of a neurological effect.


It’s the actual terpenes that are acting on you when they cause that effect.  Now, if you listen to our episode a couple of weeks ago, we noted some of the terpenes like cafestol and kahweol is another one in coffee, they can also increase your cholesterol which is really interesting.  They can actually interact with the liver and shutdown bio-acid production and increase cholesterol or fats which is not necessarily a big deal unless you also happen to have inflammation, oxidation, high blood glucose, etc. present in the presence of those fats, right.  Like high cholesterol isn’t an issue unless there’s other risk factors present.  But ultimately that’s what terpenes are, that’s what they do and this is where it comes down to why you would actually put something like fat into bulletproof coffee.  Because what happens is those terpenes are soluble in fat and they’re better able to cross the blood brain barrier and elicits some of the actions that I just described when you consume them along with fat.  So, the deal with using something like MCT oil – first of all, coconut oil, rather than MCT oil has a couple of issues.  MCT oil is purified kinda fractionated form of coconut oil.  So you’ve got much more concentrated forms of fatty acids and something like MCT oil vs. coconut oil.  Now, of course if you want to kinda go down like the Dave Asprey route, you know, he’s very into micotoxins and mold, many brands of coconut oil might actually contain micotoxins which is why you might get brain fog when you have bulletproof coffee with coconut oil but you wouldn’t get it after you had bulletproof coffee with MCT oil.  So, the way that MCTs work is they are very rapidly absorbed by your body.  They’re a reduced chain length based fat and so what happens is MCTs will get converted into medium chained fatty acids in your liver, and when those medium chained fatty acids enter your mitochondria, they enter into what’s called the creb cycle which we may all be familiar with as one of the ways we produce ATP.

Brock:  The most confusing 17 steps your body can do.

Ben:  Yeah.  One of the thing is kicked off a medium chained fatty acids into the creb cycle ketone bodies, so you get elevated levels of ketones that you may not get quite as readily or in quite as high volume when you use other sources of fat aside from MCT oil.  And then what happens is, once MCT oil has kinda pass through the liver, get in gone converted into medium-chained fatty acids, those have gone through the creb cycle, you get citrate as a by-product that’s converted into acetylcholine, that gets converted into more long chain fatty acids and then you get things like triglycerides, phospholipids, cholesterol, etc. getting pass into the bloodstream where you get that binding with terpenes the – basically like the passing of the terpenes into the blood brain barrier, that chaperoning you could say of the terpenes and the blood brain barrier as they’re envelop in fat and then you get that neurological effect.  So, long story short, that entire process is going to be most – where you enhance the most efficient when you’ve got not just high terpene content in coffee meaning, that you haven’t used say like a paper filter, to filter out the terpenes but you’ve used something like a French press to make your coffee or an Aeropress or something like that.  But then you’ve also used MCT oil rather than coconut oil or rather than some of these other forms of fats.  Now, the other issue here is that some of these other forms of fats producing market insulin response or contain forms of sugar, and half-and-half and heavy cream fits that bill.  Now the reason this is an issue is because I just mentioned that high levels of cholesterol for example, produced by terpenes that have been inhibited by bio-acid production or from the triglycerides that wind-up in the bloodstream from MCT oil metabolism, these can tend to get oxidize or you can tend to form glycation products when glucose adheres to these cholesterol particles.  And so, consuming things that have sugars in them like cream and half-and-half or consuming things that gonna cause a market insulin response, may not be such a good idea in the presence of these terpenes and some of the other components of coffee same thing with like nut milk or almond milk, same thing with sugar, same thing with honey.  Like ultimately, some of the safe things you could flavor – cinnamon is okay, stevia is okay, like an unsweetened vanilla is okay, and unsweetened chocolate sources is okay, MCT oil is okay.  But I’d be really careful with things like creams and heavy creams and a lesser of the evils will be use something like coconut milk even though it’s not gonna give you quite as much as a biohack neurological effects.


But ultimately, when I do have a cup of this coffee is, I do a little bit of an unsweetened coco powder, I do some cinnamon, I do some stevia, I do some MCT oil, I have the coffee, I have blend.  I didn’t put the butter in just because frankly, the butter is for more of the gut help effects that the butyric acid gives you.  The butter does not contribute in neurological effect and frankly for me, I’m just not a fan of drinking that many calories because calories do count believe it not.  So, I leave the butter the out in most causes.  That’s the dealio with why you would put MCT oil into bulletproof coffee.

Tyler:  Hey guys, Tyler from Oregon here.  I was wondering if you could talk about jumping.  I’m imagining that like sitting, standing, walking, and running, jumping is a skill that most of us haven’t properly learned.  So, do have any tips or resources or safe and effective jump training for both height and distance?  I already have one surgically repaired ACL and I’d like to avoid tearing another one.  Thanks.  Love the show.

Ben:  Well, the first thing Tyler is – you need to go back in time and make sure that you were born to African-American parents, probably number one.

Brock:  That’s helpful is it?

Ben:  Or parents with very tight hamstrings.  Like my wife, she is notorious for like pulling a hammy, she’s notorious for twisting her ankles, she’s got like really tight leg muscles but she can also or she can’t anymore but when we were dating, she can grab the room of a basketball hoop.  I mean, she’s like 5 foot 7, I mean, she’s got hop, she can sprint but she’s got really, really tight hammies.  So sometimes you trade in jump height and jump distance if you’ve got either a loose muscles from yoga or from static stretching if you’ve got a high amount of slow twitch muscle fiber from triathlon.  Like, I used to be able to dunk a basketball, once I started doing triathlons, I couldn’t dunk anymore about a year or two when I started to use all my vertical jump capability just because a lot of times, your jumping muscles are kinda like your couch potato muscles ironically.  So doing too much endurance training can definitely limit your jump height, your jump distance.  And then, too much stretching.  You know, those are some of the basics.  But if you really wanna train to jump higher and – you wanna jump higher, you wanna jump farther, there are some basic things that you can do and then there are some more advanced things that you can do.  Some of the basic things that you can do, no surprises here, number 1 would be plyometrics.  Where squad jumps, bounce, slips, skip, hops – it’s no secret that when you do things like that you decrease your ground contact time, you decrease what’s called the time that it takes for the stretch shortening cycle in your muscles, and so you increase your overall explosiveness and you decrease your tend in elasticity, you’ll increase your tend in stiffness, and you allow yourself to simply jump higher when you do plyometrics.  So, plyometrics are one, I like jumping rope single leg.  Jumping ropes works really, really well and teach you how to land properly.  We’re just talking about landing mechanics – I’m a huge fan starting with double leg jump rope and progressing to single leg jump rope because that’s all it is.  It is jumping and landing without any of the complexities of running and so you’re just there in place moving with the jump rope.  That’s a great way to teach yourself how to land properly.  Another really, really good way to teach yourself how to land properly with less joint impact is just the basic box jump.  Just the double leg or a single leg jump up on to a box.  Like, those would be the basics, the basics but if you want into the more advanced type of things that you can do to jump – one would be to use bands.  So, getting into a squat rack and actually using resistance bands, like I talked about that Rogue Fitness Company, they make like these monster bands that you can attach to a barbell and you can do squats or even squat jumps with the resistance band.  And when you’re accelerating the eccentric portion of the lift, meaning that when your muscle is lengthening and you’re being forced to work against the resistance of the bands as that muscles lengthening, that can really help with your jump performance as can having to make that quick reversal and accelerate upward rapidly with the added pulling down effect of the resistance bands – I’m a huge fan of resistance bands and using those for something like jump training.  Another thing…

Brock:  Okay, so… wait.  Just to be clear.  The resistance band is holding you down or it’s helping you go up?

Ben:  It’s holding you down.

Brock:  Okay.

Ben:  And you’re working against the resistance band doing like a barbell squat with resistance bands.

Brock:  Gotcha!

Ben:  Another one would be your hip flexors and most athletes have really super tight hip flexors and the problem is that when you jump, tight hip flexors can create a lot of friction in the hip extensors and they can really limit you in terms of being able to jump farther and faster.


So, any type of hip flexor stretch especially dynamic hip flexor stretches can help a ton.  I like the one where you’re literally just hold on to a wall, straight leg swings back and forth just to open up the hip flexors, that’s really, really good and then just avoiding hip long period of times sitting so the hip flexors aren’t chronically shortened.  Like you know,  a basketball player sitting on a bench, if they really wanna perform once they head on a basketball court, they should be kneeling on the bench making sure that they’re in positions where the hip flexors are staying lengthen rather than just being a bench warmer with the butt.  That’s a really, really good way to shorten the hip flexors and affect your jumping capacity.  So all basketball teams, you need to get this little Mogo thing that I’m sitting on right now which allows you to sit and keep the hip flexors lengthened.

Brock:  I would really scolded you from the front row….found players sitting on stools.

Ben:  Just saying it… just saying it.  If I would do the basketball team, they would not be sitting during – they would not be traditionally sitting at least.  Few other things that I really like: one is depth jumps which is the opposite of a box jumps.  It’s a little higher impact but it works really, really well.  This is where you just step up from a race platform, as soon as both feet touch the ground or one foot touches the ground, you reverse direction, jump again as high as you can.  So, that’s an excellent exercise for increasing jumping capacity.  Another one is to work your butt and one of the exercises I really like is the reversed hyper extension machine.  There’s not a lot of machines that I like at the gym but hitting your hamstrings, your glutes, and your spinal erectors, all over the course of one rep with something like a reverse hyper extension machine.  I’m a huge fan of that.  And if you don’t have a reverse hyper machine that you can use, you can literally just lay face down on a bench with everything below your hips hanging off of that bench.  Lay face down on a bench with everything below your hips hanging off the bench then just raise your legs up in the air as high as you can.  Those are the reverse hyper where you’re working your butt, your working your hamstrings, and you’re working all the muscles that are gonna assist you with jumping higher or farther but you’re doing so in a low impact way.  That’s another great exercise for Scott’s mom, by the way.  It’s a great butt exercise you can do if your knees are hurt, it’s just reverse hypers but your holding on to a bench just lifting your heels towards the ceiling where you’re holding on to the bench.  Just a couple other things I’m a fan of – of course, the deadlift is awesome as an exercise that works every single element of the jumping chain just picking heavy stuff off the ground or picking heavy stuff off the ground explosively in doing that is like a power cling.  And then the last one, of course would be to spend anywhere from $200-300 on these fancy shoes that what the big platform on the bottom of them that are in the backpack of the men’s magazines.

Brock:  With the springs?

Ben:  Nay with the springs you know, just the shoes that make you walk on your tippitoes so that rather than just walking around in your tippitoes, you can pay someone lots of money for shoes that make you walk around in your tippitoes.  The funny thing is those actually work but so does walking around in your tippitoes.  So, either one.

Brock:  I thought that’s actually the shoes that Wile E. Coyote gets when he’s trying to get the…

Ben:  One of my clients had one of those when I used to do home training here in the Spokane area.  I would drive to people’s homes and do personal training with them.  And one of my clients, Dave, he had this – the spring shoes and he had a couple of sets like for some of our workouts ‘cause he lived out on the country, we just literally ran up and down in our country roads wearing these spring shoes.  It was awesome.  It was like bounding like a kangaroo.  So, pretty cool.  So, get yourself some kangoo shoes.

Alex:   Hey, this is Alex.  I know you’re just finished your show talking about stopping drinking and I’m wondering how to start.  I stopped drinking alcohol about 14 and then start again until I’m in late 20s. A glass of red wine now and then both for health and to be social.  The problem is, just a sip or two and I’m blitzed and no matter whatever, food, water or what.  This has been going on for about 10 years, I’m just a lightweight so I’m wondering – first, could be tiniest amount of wine be more harmful to me than they are to more tolerant drinkers given how usual I get drunk?  And second, is there an enzyme I need to build up or something?  I’d love to learn how to drink short of going back to college and see what I missed.  Thank you.

Ben:  Alex is a lightweight.  (laughs)  Alex is like me.  I’m a light – I’m like – I can handle my alcohol if I’ve been drinking, but as most of us know, if you’re limiting drinking, then you are gonna have a harder time handling your alcohol.  Before I answer Alex question, I just realized I don’t think we’ve mentioned this on the podcast.


But over on the Facebook page at facebook.com/BGFitness, we just opened entry into a 30 day no alcohol experiment where we gonna choose one person and Wellness FX is giving us their fancy panel.  We’re gonna run a blood test on you before and then 30 days after, no drinking.  And I’m gonna sit down with all your results and see what happens to the liver, the kidney, the lipids, the hormones, vitamins, everything, when you do 30 days no drinking.  So, if you’re listening into this podcast and you wanna get on that contest, it’s running right now at facebook.com/BGFitness and all you do is you write like this single one paragraph essay about why you should be the person chosen for that and uhm, yeah, it’s pretty cool contest actually.

Brock:  I’m totally jealous. I feel bad that I can’t ‘cause I want…. This sounds cool.

Ben:  You have to live in the U.S. and not New Jersey or New York.  Anyways though, as we – most of us know there’s this thing called “Asian glow” and that is because of the lack of dehydrogenase enzymes specifically aldehyde dehydrogenase and sometimes alcohol dehydrogenase that some people, especially people from Asian cultures have that makes is so that when ethanol enters the body, it’s not broken down properly.  So what should happen is when ethanol enters your body from alcohol, it should first encounter alcohol dehydrogenase and that turns the ethanol into acetaldehyde.  And acetaldehyde is really nasty.  It’s like formaldehyde – you know, the embalming food that they put dead people into.  Just like it destroys proteins, it destroys DNA, it’s probably why you get a hang-over after you drink is, it’s the production of acetaldehyde.  Now, the thing is, a lot of folks have aldehyde dehydrogenase and make it in adequate quantities and what happens with aldehyde dehydrogenase is as long as ethanol is in present, huge amounts overloads the aldehyde dehydrogenase that breaks down acetaldehyde and it turns into things like acetate which yourselves can actually burn pretty well.  They’re gonna burn it preferentially actually over fats, and  proteins and carbohydrates which is why you can get fat when you’re combining drinking with high amounts of food as your body is burning the acetate of burning the carbs and the fats, and the proteins and the food.  But ultimately the body has a mechanism for breaking down acetaldehyde if you have enough aldehyde dehydrogenase and for breaking down ethanol if you have enough alcohol dehydrogenase.  And actually, Esquire Magazine – they really have an interesting article on this just last year in which they said, they published like this trick to being able to drink as much as you want without ever getting hang-over.

Brock:  Oh yeah, I remember that one.

Ben:  And the trick was basically yeast which is dehydrogenase and what happens is – the problem is that all that is is it’s like giving yourself a bunch of extra alcohol dehydrogenase and as you just learned, if you’re drinking a bunch and you got a bunch of alcohol dehydrogenase in your system whether because you’re making enough of it or you’re using like this as Esquire Magazine yeast trick, you’re gonna produce crap loads of acetaldehyde and you’re gonna make yourself feels super duper crappy after a night of drinking unless you also take aldehyde dehydrogenase which would theoretically breakdown that acetaldehyde into acetate.  The problem is that there is no aldehyde dehydrogenase pill.  That doesn’t exist, right.  And this would be the fix for the situation is technically like the one-two combo is you take alcohol dehydrogenase or yeast and you combine that with some type of aldehyde dehydrogenase pill or supplement and that’s how you would do it but there is no aldehyde dehydrogenase pill and a lot of people have an inefficient aldehyde dehydrogenase gene and that’s why a lot of people just can’t handle alcohol especially folks with Asian ancestor or East Asian ethnicity.  Now, the interesting thing is that there are supplements out there that have nutrients in them that help you to produce your own aldehyde dehydrogenase or help you to produce more aldehyde dehydrogenase if you were drinking and if you have the gene that’s capable of you kinda being able to pull that trigger if you’re not of Eastern Asian ethnicity and you just need extra aldehyde dehydrogenase from some kind of a supplemental form.  This stuff can help like there’s a supplement called NoGlo and NoGlo is actually advertised as being able to help your body breakdown acetaldehyde better.


And at first when I found this one, I thought – Oh, so they make an aldehyde dehydrogenase pill that you could take – that’s pretty cool.  That would actually work.  But when you look at the ingredients label for this NoGlo stuff, and I’ll link to it in the show notes, it’s basically just alpha lipoic acid, it’s acetylcysteine, it’s pantothenic acid, vitamin C, vitamin A – it’s basically amino acids and antioxidants.  And if you happen to in your supplement covered have amino acids, if you happen to have antioxidants, like any antioxidants, you know, blend or formulation like powdered vegetables, powdered fruits, greens.  The one that I uses is called LifeShotz, TianChi has antioxidants like any of these antioxidants rich-supplements and they’re all around out.  If you take that, you combine with amino acids, you’re gonna support more of your own aldehyde dehydrogenase production and you don’t need to go out and buy another – yet another supplement, you can just take amino acids and antioxidants.  Now, if you were to combine that with using some – like use that before you drink and you then you do something like activated charcoal at a different time, ‘cause you don’t want to take activated charcoal with other supplements ‘cause it will soak up and absorb those supplements that you’re taking it with.  So, if you’re using this one-two combo, you take the activated charcoal after you drank.  That would be the best way to combine the two.  So, take the activated charcoal like, you know, whatever you set it down next to your bed stand for when you’re done drinking, or you put it in your pocket or ziplock bag from out of the bar, and you take activated charcoal to absorb a lot of the toxins that you might find in mix drinks to absorb some of the acetaldehyde that’s produced from the alcohol breakdown and activated charcoal can work pretty well for that.  So, those will be your best bet – would be antioxidants, amino acids, smacked with the charcoal, and that’s where I’ll start.

Brock:  And of course, go back to college and relive those glorious years of binge drinking and kegs stands.

Ben:  Beer bong and just train yourself.  Just like training.  So yeah!  Hopefully, hopefully that’s helpful.  And speaking of drinking high quantities, we did get a podcast entitled “Unicorn Tears” or podcast where we called “Unicorn Tears”.  Did you see that?

Brock:  I did.  That’s – so sad.  Why is the unicorn so sad?

Ben:  Well, unicorn tears are valuable, Brock, that’s why.

Brock:  Uh, I see.

Ben: Unicorn tears are kinda like – kinda like, I don’t know, what?  Rainbows?  Unicorn tears, bit coins, bit coin tears.  Anyways, if you leave your review on iTunes and we read your review on the show, and you hear us read your review, then you get a care package from Ben Greenfield fitness.  You get a Ben Greenfield t-shirt – cool tech t-shirt, that’s not like one of those big cotton tents but it’s actually a cool t-shirt that makes you look sexy and muscular, and a bpa-free water bottle, and a beanie cap.  So, if you email [email protected] after you hear your iTunes review read, we’ll send that to you.  And we actually have a review just this week called Unicorn Tears.  You wanna churn it out, Brock?

Brock:  I do.  It goes like this: “Dear Ben Greenfield, we don’t hate your stinkin’ guts.  In fact, you’ve done wonders for our guts.  Thanks for all the probiotic and fermented food tips.  You don’t make us vomit, not even a little bit.  You’ve taught us how to fuel ourselves with real food even during our toughest activities and a well fueled athlete is not a pukey athlete”.

Ben:  That’s right.

Brock:  That’s very true.  “Finally, you’re not the scum between our toes”.

Ben:  Who’s saying that I was?

Brock:  I don’t know.  That’s…

Ben:  That’s what I wanna know.  Where’s the other review?

Brock:  “We do, however, greatly appreciate your suggestions to get outside and get some dirt between our toes.  We Love the idea of an obstacle course in the backyard and we wish we could come and play on yours.  Love, Nutrition Geniuses Marie and Laura”.

Ben:  Uhmm, that’s pretty cool.  That’s such a nice review.

Brock:  That is nice.  I’m glad they don’t think you’re the scum between anyone’s toes.

Ben: And that they wanna come and play on mine.  Anyways, email [email protected], Marie and Laura, and we’ll hook you up with Ben Greenfield fitness gear pack and care package sends to your house.  I guess you can share the t-shirt.  There you go – one of you can wear the t-shirt and one of you can just wear the beanie.

Brock:  You know what, Ben?  You don’t make me vomit either.

Ben:  So, that about wraps up today’s show.


Don’t forget to go to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/296.  Remember, we need some internet support.  So, please if you know somebody wants to sponsor the show, or sponsor bengreenfieldfitness.com for the sidebar ad for the year, email [email protected].  Check out our sponsor for this episode, trainingmask.com and use your 20% discount code, “BEN2014” to grow a third lung and finally, don’t forget to find some ancient Hazda or Mayori tribesman and borrow their dang for the day.  Uhmm.

Visit bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.

[1:11:05.6]      END 



Oct 18, 2014 Podcast: Does Food Combining Really Work, How To Exercise With A Knee Injury, Why Do You Put Fat In Bulletproof Coffee, How To Jump Farther And Higher, and How To Handle More Alcohol.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form… but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.


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November 17-21, 2014: Ben interviews 23 of the world’s leading experts in performance, recovery, nutrition, fat loss, brain, sleep and hormone optimization, and you get a free all-access pass. Check it out now at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/RevYourself.

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

Does Food Combining Really Work?

Combine asks: Could you talk a little bit about food combining? Does the combination of macro and micro nutrients we put together really matter in terms of fat gain and muscle gain? Does this change if you are eating before, after or in the absence of a workout?

In my response I recommend:
Digestive Enzymes
GI Effects Comprehensive Gut Panel

How To Exercise With A Knee Injury

Scott asks: His mom has been diagnosed with some severe knee damage due to some genetic problems. She is headed for a knee replacement but she wants to get fit. Is there anything she should be doing in particular? Machines, regimens, suggestions? Ideas like using the elliptical instead of running?

In my response I recommend:
How To Exercise With A Knee Injury podcast
MarcPro (use $32 discount code “BEN”)
-Kelly Starrett’s “Ready To Run” Book (Voodoo Flossing technique, deep tissue work)

Why Do You Put Fat In Bulletproof Coffee?

Nick asks: He is wondering if there is any research that shows that the terpenes in Bulletproof Coffee are more bio-available or highly absorbed or if it is the MCT oil in particular that is causing it? Would half-and-half or heavy cream work better or just as well?

In my response I recommend:
Upgraded MCT Oil

How To Jump Farther And Higher

Tyler asks: He is wondering about jumping. Is it a skill that most of us haven’t properly learned? Do you have any suggestions, resources or tips for effective jump training for both height and distance? He has one surgically repaired ACL and would like to avoid tearing the other one.

How To Handle More Alcohol

Alex asks: He is wondering how he can safely start drinking again. His problem is that after a sip or two, he is “blitzed”. Doesn’t matter if he drinks water or eats before. This has been going on for 10 years. Could the tiny amounts of wine be more harmful to him? How can he learn how to drink?

In my response I recommend:
Activated Charcoal

Read more https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/10/296-does-food-combining-really-work-how-to-exercise-with-a-knee-injury-why-do-you-put-mct-oil-in-bulletproof-coffee/

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