Q&A 415: What Is Ben Greenfield’s Current Daily Routine? 13 New Body Hacks, What To Do About Caffeine Sensitivities, Alternatives To Coffee & Much More.

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Listener Q&A:

What To Do About Caffeine Sensitivities, Plus Alternatives To Coffee…38:25

Nate asks: I seem to have developed some caffeine sensitivity over the last few years. I used to love home-roasting my own coffees, exotic teas, nootropic supplements, but all of these seem way too powerful for me now. I had blood work done recently, and everything looks good. I've tried upping my magnesium, adding glycine, experimenting with adaptogens (even lowering the dose). Nothing seems to work. I just tried it again after a long break of over one year without caffeine, and the same symptoms come right back. I miss the productivity and focus it used to give me. I'm hoping you can help me understand the biochemistry of this and maybe some other things I can do to get it back.

In my response, I recommend:

What Is Ben Greenfield's Current Daily Routine?…57:05

Sana asks: Hi Ben, my favorite parts of your show are when you talk about the need for a daily routine for workouts, supplements, meditation, and things of that nature. I was wondering if you would mind sharing some of your own favorite workouts, routines, meditation practices in more detail? Thanks!

In my response, I recommend:

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39 thoughts on “Q&A 415: What Is Ben Greenfield’s Current Daily Routine? 13 New Body Hacks, What To Do About Caffeine Sensitivities, Alternatives To Coffee & Much More.

  1. SlyNate says:

    Thanks for answering my question! I wanted to elaborate a bit more as I couldn’t go any deeper on a short question submission.

    I have tried most of the first half of your recommendations (magnesium, glycine, adaptogens, and theanine) as mentioned in my original question, without any effect. I don’t think the problem lies there and believe it to be more of a Phase I detox or caffeine allergy. I also don’t have gut issues so I don’t think it is leaky gut related.

    This is also not restricted to coffee as it happens with teas and even supplements with caffeine such as Tian Chi. I have tested this many times with the same result. Caffeine itself seems to be the isolated trigger.

    I kind of felt a slight sensitivity building for a while without any major side effects until one day I received a cold brew concentrate as a gift. I read the instructions wrong and accidentally consumed way too much at once (the equivalent of 4 cups of coffee after my water dilution). This caused a major reaction where I basically had to sit down quietly outside in the shade and keep my eyes closed for almost 4 hours as even the smallest external stimuli was unbearable. My heart was racing like crazy, I was sweating profusely, and I even broke into tears at one point remembering some emotional issues that were lying dormant. I’ve done psychelics before and this was the closest to being on a trip but not actually so that I’ve experienced. This was not fun and don’t ever make the same mistake I did! LOL

    Ever since this day I have similar reactions to even a small amount of caffeine. It is 100x worse than simple caffeine jitters, etc. and another reason I don’t think it is mold related although I’ve had other issues with that in the past. I’m not exactly sure what happened to me that day as maybe I megadosed and this created an allergy? Or perhaps I overloaded a detox pathway and it has since become dysregulated? Either way, I can’t find a simple answer to diagnose and/or resolve the issue.

    Thanks again for including my question in the episode and I hope the recommendations help others who have similar issues. I would also appreciate if you respond to this comment with a more targeted follow up!

  2. Mike says:

    Great podcast! Loved the detailed daily routine. My wife and I have started reading more at night prior to sleeping. What have you found to be the best source of light/lamp when you are reading in bed prior to sleep?

    1. Thank you! Candlelight or red incandescent bulbs: https://amzn.to/2DUUWv1

  3. Bisher says:

    Hi Ben, do you do contrast showers as part of your routine?

    Also I remember you mentioning the jello you have in the nighttime in the podcast with Zach Bush? What brand do you you use please?



    1. I have a sauna/cold plunge so that's typically what I do at home. If I'm on the road, contrast showers are a great alternative. I use this: https://amzn.to/3180c7a

  4. A says:

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the podcast!

    Sleepstream app is not available for Android. Any alternative?

    Also, how about Brain.fm? Are you not using it anymore?

    It looks superior to Pink Noise:

    1. Ah, I don't have an android so not really familiar with the apps they have. I would just do a search for Sleepstream and comparable apps should show up, then just try out some of the top-rated. Let me know if you find anything good. Brain.fm is great, but I use it more for concentration while working during the day.

  5. Alex Fryback says:

    Does adding baking soda not affect the hydrogen content of your hydrogen water?

    1. A says:

      Good question! I would like to know that as well.
      I thought Hydrogen tablets should be dissolved in pure water(?)

  6. Prairie Rose says:

    Could zinc deficiency play a role in caffeine sensitivity? Zinc is crucial for endoplasmic reticulum function, which participates in detoxification.

  7. Dennis says:

    Hi Ben! I really enjoy your shows!

    Any thoughts on negative ion generators? I’m looking for a lower cost one to take to my office. Also, I know that it don’t want one that generates ozone.

    Also, are there are sub $200 hydrogen water generators that you recommend?

  8. Michael Grove says:

    Where is the pink noise found on the Sleepstream app?

  9. Patrick says:

    Hey Ben. Quick q on the Hydrogen tabs. When combined with Vit C. Does it blunt the Vit C ? I thought taking supplements with Hydrogen was pointless ?

  10. Chris says:

    I think you might be missing something on the caffeine sensitivity. I realized it effected me strongly and for 24 hours back in 92. My research says likely indicates sluggish phase 1 liver detox. Rutaecarpine (from Evodia Rutaecarpa) is one option, but I have also found that if I consume raw liver powder that I’m able to have a small amount of caffeine without problems. I assume providing lacking enzymes, so don’t think cooked will work, only raw.

    1. Chris says:

      sorry I made my comment after reading the show notes but before getting to the caffeine part of the podcast, so I see you get to it, but still no mention of Rutaecarpine nor raw liver

  11. Troy says:

    Which hydrogen tables do you take? That page had 2 types Active H2 + CHROMAX and Active H2 Hydrogen. Great stuff as always!

    1. Both good options, but I use the Chromax one.

  12. Trevor says:

    Hi Ben, you mentioned you put colostrum in your morning smoothie. However, isn’t colostrum better absorbed on an empty stomach?

    1. Better absorbed, yes, but that doesn't mean putting some in your smoothie isn't going to have benefits. The absolute best way to absorb it is sublingually by breaking open the capsule and letting the contents sit in your mouth for a few minutes.

  13. Jim Schaaf says:

    Please don’t record your podcast while walking on a treadmill. You can hear that you’re a little short of breath and it’s distracting.

    Thanks, Jim

    1. Ashton Wilcox says:

      Thanks for leaving this note. I totally agree with you. Listen to a lot of Ben podcasts and this was super hard to listen to. When you’re talking Ben it’s ok as the words come out, but then your inhale is quick and sharp from the walking and once you notice it you can’t unhear it the rest of the podcast. Good experiment but please for the love of your listeners don’t do it. Thanks!

  14. Todd says:

    Sheesh, Ben. For someone who owns a coffee company, “coffee beans” are not beans. In fact, though beans are always seeds, seeds are not always beans. A bean is just one kind of a seed. Specifically, it is a name for seeds of the family Fabaceae (also known as Leguminosae) of which the coffee plant is not a member; thus, coffee “beans” are not actually beans. The coffee “bean” is actually the seed of the coffee plant, the pit inside of the coffee fruit.

  15. Megan says:

    First want to say I’m a long-time listener and enjoy your podcast – thank you for all you do.

    I was disappointed to hear both of your attitudes toward COVID this morning on the podcast, when referring to your wife’s birthday party. Starting first with your partner asking about “lockdown?!” incredulously like if you’re not on the beaches of Florida, you have “LOSER” stamped to your forehead. Then you met his remark with some arrogance toward the safety guidelines put in place (which are to protect you and the public).

    Much of the world is watching America, concerned that leadership is allowing its citizens to fall into a death trap, while hoping those capable and educated can rise above and lead by example. Example being, using voices for a greater good, staying home, keeping the bubble small, wearing a mask, respecting boundaries put in place, and especially not putting others at risk. Many of us are living in areas outside of America with very low cases, yet are still practicing safe guidelines mentioned above, because it’s smart and the right thing to do.

    Please remember that a lot of people are listening and when you have even the slightest bit of contempt towards something, it can be magnified hugely across the platform with negative consequences. If you’re trying to come across as having authority or power, the opposite happens, I hear weakness and people-pleasing. Frankly, I am mind boggled how a guy who appreciates science so much can act carelessly, walking into a restaurant with 14 people and putting servers at risk. It’s a disappointing message to send, I hope you can be mindful of your tone because it does have an effect on people, and we are concerned about your people :)

    1. Travis Jones says:

      I completely agree. Ben’s disdain for public health initiatives and apparent anti-mask views really damage his credibility.

      All that said, people need to realize Ben is a fairly shady marketer above all else – the more you pull back the curtain on Ben, the more disappointed you’ll be.

      Below the surface of cool biohacks is shameless shilling for overpriced products, often pitched to people new to this arena, frequently desperate for overhyped cures who are left disappointed.

      Take these anti-mask, anti-public health insinuations as a bit more of a peek into who Ben really is. It’s not pretty.

      1. Art says:

        Ben you are one of the best proponents, if not the best, of religion and science being interrelated, hence the surprising far right views. Keep digging at the core ideologies and how they affect our human community and economies.

        1. Chris says:

          Totally agree …. I don’t agree with Ben’s libertarian views, but if they don’t negatively impact those around him – So be it. However, your disregard for other people’s health is totally out of line. You were worried about getting arrested …. what about your community. Spokane is not immune to this virus.

    2. Nic says:

      Depends on your perspective. It might be smart, and it might not. Impossible to say at this point. There are plenty of scientists (including virologists) that wholeheartedly disagree with you that it’s safe or “the right thing to do”. Plenty of people are outside American, living normally, with little impact on their community.

      Have you gone through ALL of the research, good and bad, and talked to people that understand the science?

  16. Thanks Ben, love your enthusiasm for being better (what is better of course is a big rabbit hole).

  17. PrairieAnn says:

    How do you find Pink Noise on the sleep stream app?

  18. EEProf says:

    I looked at the Apollo Strap and although it sounds intriguing, I can’t justify another device let alone one that costs as much as it does and looks like, as one pundit quipped, “A Star Trek wrist communicator”.

    Anyway, why not just have an app that uses the haptic features of the Apple Watch to achieve the same result?

    1. Nick Urban says:

      You can use Dawson Church’s EFT “eco-meditations” for the same result. The inventor of the device admitted this himself.

  19. @ScottysHobbys says:

    Ah, forgot to ask.. can creatine be mixed into coffee? Does the heat alter the absorption or effectiveness? Thank you!

    1. Jan says:

      Yes, it does alter the effectiveness. Creatin is quite heat sensitive and it is easily turned into creatinin. So it is not a good idea to mix creatin into your cup of coffee in my opinion.

  20. @ScottysHobbys says:

    I am also very sensitive to caffeine. I currently french press Purity Decaf and Rasa Cacao with a tsp or 2 of ceylon cinnamon. After 20 min, pour into mug and add 2g organic Lions Mane powder (trying OM brand). Will use whole milk if having with my meal, or black when fasted. Took me only a few days after cold Turkey (of 4 months of regular Purity) to feel somewhat normal.. then we had our 2nd baby boy! I will use the caffeine, as the drug that it is, sparingly when desperately needed once back to work. Pre-covid I was using caffeinated coffee only 1-2 days a week without crashes or withdrawals, decaf/Rasa on the other days. Best of luck! As always, thanks for the great info, Ben and Jay!

  21. pei says:

    There are other alternatives to coffee which can be bought from health food stores like chicory and barley drink which comes in powder form. Magnesium can be applied onto skin with a spray which absorbs efficiently than capsules and tablets. Melatonin can be found in foods such as almonds, turkey, kiwi, milk, rice, fatty fish, bananas, oatmeal and cottage cheese (you can search the list for further information).

  22. joescalon says:

    I heard that supplementing melatonin can suppress your natural production, is this true, or does it only happen at night time? This is related to the supplement stack mentioned for the sleep deprived study. Also when would you recommend taking the aforementioned stack?

  23. Stephen says:

    How to do you feel about kids taking 1-3mg of melatonin nightly?

    Is sunflower oil bad for you? I noticed it’s in everything.

    1. Leslie says:

      A great reference to answer this question is the work of Dr Joel Fuhrman. He’s written a number of books and his followers don’t eat any vegetable oils. Most alternative health authorities recommend avoiding all vegetable/seed oils also. That leaves olive oil, coconut and avocado, which covers all bases. The problem is, it cuts out almost all processed foods.

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