November 25, 2015
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: Is Cardio Really Bad For Your Heart, How To Filter Your Water, How To Know If Your Brain Is Damaged, How To Get Rid of Candida, Five Ways To Stay Healthy If You’re In the Armed Forces, and much more.
He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness. His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance. He is Ben Greenfield. “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s for the natural movement, get out there! When you’re looking at all the studies done…studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…” All the information you need in one place right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Ben: Rachel, this is kind of a sad day.
Rachel: It is? Why is that?
Ben: It’s a sad day because this is our last Q&A episode for a while. We’re actually…
Ben: We’re gonna be releasing some really cool special interviews for the next couple of podcast episodes, but next Wednesday, on our normal Q&A day, I have a film crew coming to my house invading my home to follow me around for a couple of days for kinda like this, this reboot reinvent your body type of show that I am putting together for January.
Rachel: Well, that sounds like a ton of fun!
Ben: I know. They’re gonna like follow me everywhere. Hopefully, not in the squatty potty.
Ben: Otherwise, they’ll have to do some “pixelation”—some blurring.
Rachel: Yeah, I don’t know if people want to see that! (laughs)
Ben: And then…and then the following week, not to be too mysterious, but I’m actually, I’m on a reality TV show, so…
Rachel: Where did that come from?
Ben: I’m gone for like 9 days forming a reality TV show.
Rachel: What’s it on? Are you allowed to disclose information?
Ben: I can’t…I can’t tell you…
Rachel: Oh, come on!
Ben: Our dear podcast listeners will simply have to stay tuned. I’m gonna be super duper mysterious about it. So yeah, sad day.
Rachel: It’s so fun, Ben! And you have just gotten back from like 2 weeks of massive performance stuff. How are you feeling?
Ben: Oh, geez! I actually, I’m looking at my ankle right now, which is still slightly swollen from the World’s Toughest Mudder. Did we, I don’t know if anyone followed that event, but I went up running about 50 miles during that day and then I kinda, I didn’t pull the plug, I didn’t quit. You know I got my finisher’s medal and all that jazz, but decided to stop well short of my 90-mile goal due to some serious Achilles issues which…
Rachel: Yeah, that sounded insanely painful, I listened to your race report and…ouch!
Ben: Yeah, I did publish a full-on race report, I’ll mention that a little bit later on this podcast ‘cause I talked about something kinda interesting and a whole like volume versus intensity and some very serious personal decisions I’ve made about my own personal goals, and not to bore folks too much with all that jazz, ‘cause we’re only jumping to the good stuff like whether cardios are really bad for your health.
Rachel: Wait! I would love to just quickly know how your free diving went.
Ben: Oh. Free diving? Uhm, epic. Epic.
Ben: Deeper, deeper. Way deeper than I’ve ever gone in my life…
Rachel: How do you, yeah…
Ben: Increased my breath hold from about a 2:45 up to, literally in 2 days, increased my breath hold up to almost 4 and a half minutes.
Rachel: That’s insane!
Ben: Just a crazy adventure. I am, I just finished last night writing an entire blog post about the whole thing, about the…
Rachel: So we’re gonna hear about it?
Ben: …the sharks, the puking tuna fish sandwiches into the ocean, all the breathing techniques, all the equalization, the fact that I was snorting blood out my nose…
Rachel: Oh, gosh!
Ben: …just a whole host of interesting details, so stay tuned to the blog post, that’s gonna come out December like the second week of December I’m gonna release that blog post over at bengreenfieldfitness.com and in the meantime, if you are listening right now, and you want the show notes for anything that Rachel and I are about to geek out on, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/339 and what do you think, Rachel? Shall we jump in?
Rachel: Let’s get in to it. Yes!
Ben: Rachel, I hope you’re not running while we’re talking.
Rachel: I’m not. I’m actually sipping tea.
Ben: Ok, good.
Ben: You’re safe. Because the first research article that I wanted to get into is this brand new article in the Wall Street Journal about the potential cardiac dangers of extreme exercise.
Rachel: Yeah. Can you exercise too much?
Ben: This was the latest in a whole plethora of studies that I’ve been looking into, whether voluminous exercise can kill you and basically what they found is that exercise that is either extreme in volume or extreme in intensity can be associated with high levels of atherosclerosis in coronary arteries, and this recent study they presented at the European Society of Cardiology, they’ve looked at a bunch of competitive endurance athletes, so people who were not just exercising for long periods of time but exercising for long periods of time at relatively high intensity, alright so…
Ben: So folks who were like running fast marathons and stuff like that, and they found that these people had higher levels of coronary artery calcium than people who were running at, shall we say, slightly more sane levels—so people who were running fewer than 35 miles a week or people who were cycling fewer than 150 kilometers a week.
Ben: So, essentially they, in the article, return to something that we’ve talked about before in the podcast, that most of the health benefits of exercise occur with about 150 minutes a week, but then they point out the fact that these folks were out doing these epic events right like marathons, and even, there I say it, triathlons, obstacle racing—a lot of the things that I do—they found that these folks have more plaque. Now, granted this was less calcified plaque that they found, so calcified plaque is the plaque that ruptures and that causes heart attacks and non-calcified plaque is a little less damaging than calcified plaque but it is still…I’m sorry, I actually spoke incorrectly…calcified plaque is more stable, alright? So that’s what you’ll tend to see in athletes, and non-calcified plaque is a little bit less stable and more likely to cause heart attacks. So quick clarification there for any of you who are about to jump through the podcast screaming like that I’m giving a bunch of people heart attacks by telling them the wrong thing about their plaque. But ultimately, a few other interesting things in this article is that the researcher speculated that the potential causes of greater coronary calcium in these extreme hard-charging athletes could be related to inflammation, could be related to changes in the structure of the heart, or like getting a big heart, getting this thing called “athlete’s heart” or heart scarring, or even excessive secretion of specific proteins or hormones that can increase vascular calcifications, specifically there’s one called, parathyroid hormone, that endurance athletes make more of.
Ben: So it’s very very interesting. Obviously, there are flaws. So for example, when you look at dyed in the wool, hard-core extreme endurance athletes, well a lot of them, shocker, do not necessarily follow some of the advice that we’ve preached in this podcast about say, not swallowing the Gatorade line, “hook line and sinker” about you know consuming X amount of bowls of pasta per day, and stuffing your face with sports gels and energy bars. You know, a lot of these people, they’re doing lots of caffeine, they’re doing lots of starches, they’re doing lots of sugars and so that, potentially could be a factor here.
Ben: Another factor could be just the pure lifestyle stress brought on by you know, trying to squeeze everything in and then also get 2 or 3 hours of exercise a day and perhaps that’s doing as much damage or all the damage compared to the exercise itself. Alright so, there’s a lot of, a lot of little variables here, but what I have to say about this – I have to say a few things about this.
Ben: First of all, read the article. But second of all, like I talk about in my book Beyond Training, if you want to be good at endurance, you don’t need to do as much endurance exercise as most people think that you need to.
Ben: Because there are two ways to build mitochondrial density. You can do it via high-intensity interval training…
Ben: …weight training, or you can do it via long voluminous training.
Rachel: So Ben, on that just quickly, with high-intensity interval training, is that at all what they’re talking about in this article when it comes to exercise intensity?
Ben: No, they’re talking about people going out running like a 3-hour marathon, right so, so you could go out and run a marathon or let’s say walk a marathon in like 6 hours and you’ve probably do far less damage than if you got run that marathon. So we’re talking about like this “one-two punch” of volume and intensity.
Rachel: Ok, yeah.
Ben: I mean, you know. And this would include, you know let’s say like the crossfitter who’s doing a WOD in the morning and then a bunch of aerobic stuff in the evening or like even you know, say like the Navy SEAL who’s sure exercising with intensity, but also you know laying down multiple workouts per day that by the end of the day, they’ve exercised by 2 and a half hours. Right? So…
Rachel: Right, yeah.
Ben: So there’s a lot of different populations that could fall into this category. But first of all, one thing that is important to realize is that for most folks, even folks who want to go out and do something like say a hard marathon, you don’t really need to do hard epic endurance efforts any more than about once every 2 weeks to hold on to the fitness that comes with voluminous training. So people who are doing like one or two long runs or big sessions a week, they’re simply overdoing it, the volume, especially if they’re including like high-intensity interval training and strength training, that’s one. Another factor would be, you could probably get away with more of this type of masochistic training and high levels of endurance and intensity if you eat healthy, specifically by limiting the type of things that can cause oxidation and inflammation in the arteries, the two biggest being vegetable oils, also known as PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) so like canola oil and sunflower oil and heated oils in general, so like roasted seeds and nuts that throw mix from the gas station, all that kind of stuff.
Rachel: Ugh! Yeah! (disgusts)
Ben: You wanna be careful with those type of things and you also want to be careful of course, like I mention of sugars and starches because those can make cholesterol more atherosclerotic, okay? So that would be number 2 – it would be you definitely want to eat healthy. And then number 3 would be that you may simply want to accept this, but you know kinda like I’ve preached over the past 3 years, it’s like I don’t go around telling people that I do Iron Man’s or Spartan races or things like that because I think they’re healthy, because I know they’re not.
Rachel: Right, yeah.
Ben: I know they might be taking a few days or weeks or months off my life, so just don’t fool yourself, and accept the fact that yeah it’s ok to go out and have fun and go like climb your own personal Mt. Everest, but do not go around thinking that it’s actually good for you versus your neighbor who’s doing like 20 minutes of yoga, going for a walk, and maybe strength training a couple times a week, because ultimately, your neighbor probably has an exercise program that is more conducive to overall health and longevity.
Rachel: And so if you are going to train make sure that you are looking out for yourself in the process.
Ben: Yes. And recently, I released a premium podcast on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Premium Channel so that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium, and there’s my World Toughest Mudder race report, where I went into the nitty-gritty of everything that happened during that event. And one of the things that I mentioned is that I have decided, I’ve made a personal decision to begin doing far less of those type of events.
Ben: Even like Spartan Beast for example, I’m stepping way back on that.
Rachel: Is it because of this sort of new research?
Ben: It’s partially because of that and it’s partially because I simply feel that for me, for health, for longevity, you know the fact that I’m really trying to do things like write books and you know, play guitar and you know get better at cooking, and do all these other things—I’ve decided that I think that me personally – I’ll be happier sticking to the shorter things. You’ll see me at a lot more of like the Spartan Sprints and Spartan Stadium events, you’ll see me doing a lot more of these hunting competitions, and you’ll see me doing far less of these big epic events simply because my desire is waning, it’s fading.
Rachel: Yeah, and also I mean you have accomplished such an insane amount on your like health and fitness journey, and there are a lot of people who are just starting out, you know, in anywhere near as accomplished as you are probably wanna fight those battles, you know?
Ben: Yeah, well if you’re listening in and you want to type in and throw in comments, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/339, I’d love to see what your decision is based off of this data and research, and also what you think of my decision and whether you think that this whole thing is just hoowey and that running marathons keeps your arteries as clean as a whistle. And speaking of that though, speaking of copious amounts of exercise, there is a really cool new article out and I linked to this one as well. This came out in National Geographic, so the guy who invented the 5-hour energy drink, alright?
Ben: The one that I know you love, Rachel. Your favorite beverage.
Rachel: Yeah, love it so much. (laughs)
Ben: Every time I go to a gas station, I just fill up my arms with as many handfuls of those little bottles as I can.
Rachel: I can, honestly, I can barely look at that stuff…it makes me cringe, just forget it! (laughs)
Ben: There actually, there could be worse energy drinks than the 5-hour energy drink.
Ben: It is not as high in like caffeine and ephedrine and all the damaging stuff because it is 5-hour energy, right?
Ben: So they use like slightly less central nervous system irritating type of compounds. But regardless—this guy has built; he has invented a stationary bike to power millions of homes that have little or zero electricity. So right now he’s distributing 10,000 of these free electric battery-equipped bikes in India…
Ben: …which can keep lights and appliances in a home going on for an entire day with 1 hour of pedaling.
Rachel: Is he also distributing a whole bunch of 5-hour energy drinks with them to keep people going? I feel like that’s a pretty good stack.
Ben: (Chuckles) With the marketing angle here.
Ben: Well, infinitely I think it’s very cool because I’ve thought about this before when exercising in my home gym, or riding my bike downstairs or while I’m watching TV.
Ben: I could totally be using all these energy I’m creating for a greater good whether you know…
Rachel: Doesn’t that make perfect sense.
Ben: …powering someone else’s home or powering my own home. So…
Rachel: Powering your own.
Ben: It’s very interesting. I think that if you’re interested in this kind of stuff, you go check out this article, and I plan on as soon as something like this becomes available on a commercial level to be able to use in your own home, I plan on doing it in the same that next year I’m adding solar panels and I’m adding wind power to my home. I’d like also to add bicycle power, and I think this would be a great way to do it.
Rachel: Yeah! Great idea.
Ben: The bicycle itself looks really uhh, getto isn’t the right word, it’s like this strange looking recumbent bicycle. I think they worked on the R and D.
Rachel: Does it have high handle bars?
Rachel: That you are riding? (laughs)
Ben: It definitely looks like – like something that would take up an insane amount of space in your home and be an eye sore. So, I think they need to work on the design. Check out that article if you want to. It’s in National Geographic. And then finally, with Thanksgiving right there on the corner, literally tomorrow as we are recording this podcast episode, here’s a brand new study that may come in handy for you on Thanksgiving or any other holiday in which you are stuffing your face with copious amounts of fat. Not that any of us would ever do that.
Rachel: It’s definitely what we’re gonna be doing.
Ben: I have been known to grab an extra liter full of gravy – two or three. Anyways, this study looked at green tea beverages and specifically the consumption of green tea beverages, high in this green tea catechins they’re called in conjunction with the high fat meal, and what they found was that when you ingest green tea beverage specifically this high catechins. So an example, that would be like macha green tea, like the really dark green-rich, almost like pucker factor cause it’s got a little bit of bitterness to it like that intensive green tea.
Rachel: Yeah, yeah!
Ben: Drinking that, or suppose you know, even though on the study they use beverage, you could probably use a capsule, but anyways, what they found was that there was a reduction in the production of the compounds responsible for increasing body fat when green tea was consumed along with the highest fat meal of the day.
Ben: So, you could literally make yourself a vat of green tea that you could just nurse, you know, all day long on Thanksgiving, or on Christmas. Now, knowing my family, it would likely get to the point where someone would start putting vodka in it, it turned to say kinda like a cocktail party and things would slide downhill from there.
Rachel: I like the sound of your family.
Ben: Uhmm, yeah, but ultimately kind of a cool, little fat-loss hacks. So…
Ben: Check that out, and I put a link to that as well as the other things that we just talked about over on the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/339.
Rachel: And remember that you can receive these news flashes and more along with awesome giveaways this week. We’re giving away chocolate, and next week we’re giving away chocolate also, but make sure you’re following Ben on twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Ben: Yes! And just google all that jazz. Thank you for pointing that out, Rachel. You would not want people to miss out on free chocolate.
Rachel: Definitely not!
Ben: Rachel, do you like New York City?
Rachel: Uhh, I haven’t been but I wanna go.
Ben: You’ve never been to New York City?
Rachel: Never. It’s terrible, isn’t it?
Ben: My wife’s dream is for me to take her to New York City on Christmas.
Ben: Go around and do like the ice skating, and look in the store windows, and watch the…
Rachel: That sounds beautiful.
Ben: What do they have? Is Macy’s parade… is that the Christmas parade? or… that’s a Thanksgiving parade, I guess.
Rachel: I don’t know why you’re asking me, an Australian on this.
Ben: I don’t know. We’ll, you got to go to New York City. Anyways though, so there is a brand new event that I’m speaking at in New York City, and it’s called The Whole Life 360 Event. You folks are familiar with the nutrition diva? The quick and dirty tips lady, and also the savvy psychologist is another one in the quick and dirty tips characters, and then me, I’m the get-fit-guy. I’m the guy in the black spandex, and the tank top with a water bottle. Yep, that’s me.
Ben: That’s my avatar. Anyways though, we are all speaking at a big event in New York City coming up in March – March 12th, 2016.
Ben: So, if you wanna get in on that, there’s a bunch of like VIP tickets available. So it includes like a breakfast with us, lunch, parking pass, VIP tote bag with books and goodies, and gifts, and then of course a Q & A, and a bunch of workshops with us.
So, whether you’d want to travel to the big apple in March, or whether you live there, check it out, we’ll put a link in the show notes where you can check out bengreenfieldfitness.com/wholelife360. That’s wholelife360 if you can shove that into your noodle and remember it, or just visit the show notes.
Rachel:That sounds like a super good excuse for me to go.
Ben: Uhmm. You should go to New York City.
Rachel:I think I’ll go now. Uhmm…
Ben: Right now, buy your ticket.
Rachel: Uhmm. (laughs)
Ben: Okay so, this podcast by the way is brought to you by Kimera Koffee. So, Kimera Koffee is coffee that has nootropics in it, and I’ve got a few questions about exactly which ones are in there, so let me spell this out for yah. There’s just basically 4 things in addition to of course the goodness of the caffeine and the coffee itself. Alpha GPC and that is a choline compound – so choline increases the power output of neuronal firing in your brain more or less. That’s my super-duper non-scientific explanation.
Rachel: Uhmm, thank you.
Ben: But you get it in soy, you find it in meat, you find it in fish. It’s also ingredient in a host of smart drugs and nootropics that are on the market but it’s in the coffee. Taurine is another one. Taurine is an amino acid that helps to fight oxidative stress specifically in your brain. So that’s number 2. Number 3 is L-theanine, so L-theanine makes the effect of caffeine less irritating. If you drink coffee find it to be essential in nervous system like irritant, you get – I don’t know, like the shakes or the tremors, or you’d get – irritated me, I just go to zen mode when I drink coffee.
Rachel: Yeah, I just got super sack about last…
Ben: It’s like life blood, if your life blood sipping into me. But L-theanine also increases alpha brain wave production, L-theanine does. So there’s that, and there’s DMAE and DMAE is a little bit like Alpha GPC but it’s another choline molecules and seems you’d find in fish and it actually promotes red blood cell function as well. So, they call it Kimera coffee ‘cause it turns you into a freaking Kimera. And it has all that stuff in it.
Rachel: That sounds like a great drink!
Ben: Uhmm, and you can get it at kimerakoffee.com – k-i-m-e-r-a-k-o-f-f-e-e.com. Have yourself some Kimera Koffee, it actually is really good.
Rachel & Ben: A discount card?
Ben: Discount card – “Ben10” saves you 10%. This podcast is also brought to you by Onnit and Onnit is – well, you just gotta go there. The whole website is like iCandy. If you go to onnit.com/bengreenfield, you get a 10% discount, but one of the things that I’ve been using quite a bit recently is the Onnit deodorant. They have deodorant there. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, Rachel, but they have…
Rachel: Ohh, but I was not aware.
Ben: …cedar fresh, and my wife actually uses their lavender deodorant. So we’re both on the Onnit deodorant bandwagon. It is deodorant that you could eat if you’re hungry, and…
Ben: Yeah! If you’re hungry and you’re out in the woods, for some strange odd reason you have your deodorant in your pocket, you could eat it. It’s vegan, it’s USDA certified organic, there’s no aluminum in it. It might not taste good but it would feed you, you could actually eat your deodorant.
Rachel: That is hilarious.
Ben: Yes. So…
Rachel: Killing two birds with one stone.
Ben: Check it out, check it out. If I were gonna go to Onnit right now, that is what I would get to get rid of the stink. So, that’s onnit.com/bengreenfield. I wear the cedar fresh, she wears the lavender. Check it out. So, that is it for our special announcements. That’s it. Done, over. Q and A time.
Listener Q & A:
Terrence: Hello Ben and good day Rachel! I’ve heard recently Ben that you took up boxing on a recent podcast episode, which is awesome because I’m an MMA fighter and I’m always looking to boost my performance. So I look forward to hearing how your boxing is going. Of course as combats world athletes, I always worried about traumatic brain injury. I take my turmeric and fish oil regularly but I was wondering if HRV could be used as a possible indicator of TBI, or if not, are there any biomarkers specifically of brain trauma or brain inflammation that I should be aware of, and on lookout for as it might progresses? Thanks for everything you do. The show is always awesome. Bye!
Ben: Well, this is actually really interesting because when I was in the airport coming back home from the free diving thing on Sunday, I actually saw that the Rams were playing the Ravens, and there was a concussion that happened during that game, and it was very controversial because the quarterback, I believe it was the Rams quarterback, he got thrown to the turf, and he grabbed his head and he was like writhing and squirming on the ground, and eventually his teammates helped him up but they didn’t stop the game.
They kept going, they kept the game going, and now there’s this big controversy about keeping this guy in the game even though he had a concussion. And that happened earlier this month too, one of the Eagles defensive back, Scott hit – he got a concussion, he hit it from the medical staff and kept playing football with a head injury, with a brain injury. So, the NFL has a huge issue as far as this is concerned. And this is actually something way back in the day when Brock was the podcast sidekick. He and I had a big discussion about this because there was a study that came out in – well, Life Extension Magazine first reported on it but the study was done by this – a neuroscientist and brain imaging expert named Dr. Daniel Amen, and he actually designed an interventional strategy to increase cognitive function and reverse brain damage from years of playing in contact sports. So, there’s this thing called chronic traumatic encephalopathy…
Ben: …encephalopathy. Sounds like a Sesame Street character.
Rachel: (laughs) It does.
Ben: Which is basically like an inflammation of the brain. You can have toxicity of the brain from alcohol and drug use, and of course head injuries from MMA or from football, and this study was released in a Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, it was called Reversing Brain Damage in Former NFL Players, and what they used was imaging of the brain and neuropsychological testing to measure blood flow to different areas of the brain. They measured cognitive function, they measured cognitive proficiency, they looked at like information processing speed, and accuracy, and they actually in addition to doing things like limiting alcohol use and eliminating like cigarette smoking, and getting enough sleep specifically the cocktail that they used in that study was they feed these people that they’re reversing brain damage in high dosages of fish oil, a very high potency like very high dosage multivitamin, and then they used 3 different ingredients that increased blood flow to the brain or decrease like hypoperfusion or lack of oxygen or lack of blood flow to the brain. They use gingko-biloba, they use something called vinpocetine, and then they use something called phosphatidylserine. And so, it looks like Terrence who ask this question, he’s using like turmeric and fish oil, and some of these things that help to fight brain inflammation, increase blood flow to the brain, etc., but that’s one thing that Terrence could be advised by or anyone else listening, and who wants to make sure their brain is taken cared of is to check out that original podcast that we did where we talked about that episode, and I’ve got some resources in that that literally link to just about everything that they used to heal these people’s brains. Now incidentally one of the little packets that I take almost everyday, the stuff called Tianchi, it has all that stuff in it – vinpocetine, phosphatidylserine. It’s got some of the same components to fish oil, that’s one thing that that works pretty well too.
Rachel: So that was after they’d already suffered from the head injury?
Ben: That was after they had the head injury and there of course are some other things that Terrence wants to know about, you know, whether or not the brain is actually damage like how do you know if you have a head injury.
Ben: So yeah, there are some definite things that you can look at when you’re trying to access whether your brain is inflamed because that’s really what’s gonna happen in response to a traumatic brain injury. And by the way, I should mention because I got rim for this on an iTunes review recently. Someone said that when I was talking about the heart, or when I was talking about the fingers getting cold that I was diagnosing medical conditions. I’m not diagnosing medical conditions, okay. I’m not a doctor, I know I’m not a doctor, I am in no way think that I can diagnose things over a podcast. All I’m doing is pulling you on the right direction. Studies that I’ve seen, I’m not saying one thing or another, I’m not saying that Terrence has a traumatic brain injury but I’m telling what how he could test to see if he does. So, the actual lab test for neurological inflammation, basically the gold standard when it’s called the C-reactive protein test. So, it indicates high levels of C-reactive protein that’s produced by the liver in response to inflammation including cranial inflammation, or traumatic brain injury, very, very simple test to get. You could go to like DirectLabs – you could order that or you could want to see your doctor and put you on HCRP test, also known as the C-reactive protein test. That’s one way to know if you know whatever, if after a soccer game or a fight or bashing your head into the wall, or whatever else you’re doing with your head, that’s one way…
Rachel: And then, what about HIV?
Ben: I’ll get into that, I’ll get into that.
Ben: But there’s another test also, there’s one called an inflammatory cytokine test, and that looks like it maybe possibly as good or better or a good test to get along with a C-reactive protein test. So, it’s called inflammatory cytokine test, and both of these are test that you can readily order, you can find them online, the inflammatory cytokine test is by a company called Neuroscience. The C-reactive protein test – there’s a bunch of companies that run it – CRT is one of the most common, but you could literally order these things from website like DirectLabs, and then they send you a requisition form, you print that off, you bring it in to your local lab, and then they run the test for you. So…
Rachel: Yup. Nice and easy.
Ben: Yeah! And you know, there are of course as you would guess, a variety of different measures that you can go to to ensure that you are not dumping inflammation on top of inflammation if you do have a brain injury. So of course, you can eat an anti-inflammatory diet and that’s a diet that avoids margarine and vegetable shortening, and high amounts of like roasted seeds and nuts, and you know, you stay away from refined food, sugar, I mean pretty straight forward stuff, really. Go anti-inflammatory diet. And then in addition to some of the things I talked about like fish oil, gingko-biloba, vinpocetine, phosphatidylserine, some of these things have been shown in clinical research to reverse brain damage. There are things that can also shot down inflammation, and Terrence mentioned he is taking turmeric – there’s actually better studies on curcumin than there is for turmeric. So I would consider doing like curcumin instead if you specifically wanted something that’s going to have the greatest possible efficacy when it comes to inflammation. If must be inflammation or a head inflammation.
Ben: So, that would be some of the test that you can get. Now, if you go into the physician or go to the hospital and you have a traumatic brain injury, they’re gonna go way above and beyond what I just mentioned I mean, and of course, there are cases where Western medicine is definitely something you wanna rely upon and if you think you’ve had a concussion or brain injury, you wanna go and get this stuff done. They do a head, neck exam, they do neurologic exam, they’ll do a CT scan of your head to identify the location of the swelling, they’ll do an MRI of your head in many cases to identify the extent of the swelling, and then they also run these blood tests that I talked about like CRP, cytokines, etc. and if they find out that you have what’s called brain edema or brain swelling, or traumatic brain injury, I mean they’re pulling out all the stuff. So you’ll get oxygen therapy, alright, you’ll be breathing higher amounts of oxygen to help your brain to heal faster. You’ll get IV fluids to keep your blood pressure from dropping too low which is something that can happen with brain swelling. Typically and quite interestingly, they’ll put you in a hypothermic condition, right? So they’ll lower the body temperature and this is applicable to everyone because one of the best ways to ensure that your nervous system repairs properly while you’re sleeping is to sleep in a cold environment. So, my rule is if you get undress and you get into your undies before you jump into bed, it should be kind of cold, like a little bit uncomfortably cold. If it is, by the time you get on the covers, it’s not gonna be an issue, but that’s a good litmus test to determine whether or not the room that you’re sleeping in is cold enough ‘cause if it a way like “Ehhh” (disgust) “I don’t wanna take off my clothes to get into bed”, right, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re putting yourself in a good situation for neurological repair while you’re sleeping.
Rachel: That is good to know.
Ben: And then of course like, they can cut a hole in the skull and insert a plastic drain to you if it’s really bad and you know, drain celebrus spinal fluid from the brain, but you know, it sounds like Terrence would probably know if that was the issue.
Ben: Now, he also asked about HRV and this is really interesting. So, they’ve done some very cool research recently on using heart rate variability to see what happens when you have a chronic brain injury or chronic traumatic brain injury. They’ve looked at this on children, and they’ve looked at it in adults, and what they’ve found when it comes to measuring your heart rate variability are a few things: first of all, they’ve found that when you look at the ratio of the low frequency which when you measure your heart rate variability, and go back and listen to any of the episodes we’ve found on heart rate variability if you have no freaking clue what I’m talking about now. But if you measure heart rate variability and you look at the low frequency and you look at the high frequency, what it looks like is the LF to HF ratio is actually lower when you have a chronic brain injury. So what that means is your para-sympathetic nervous system is higher. Your sympathetic nervous system is lower, somehow your fight and flight response begins to shut down when you have a traumatic brain injury, when you’ve had head damage.
So, if you’re using like I use the Nature Beat app to measure my HRV and while I measuring I can press little arrow on there and it will bring me to a screen that choose me high frequency and my low frequency power. And I’ll show you the ratio between those – and if the low frequency is very low, and the high frequency is very high, that is associated with traumatic brain injury. So that’s one thing that you could look out after a big fight.
Rachel: Yeah, you said chronic. So could it happen just after like one brain injury? Or does it have to…
Ben: Yeah, yeah. It could.
Ben: So there’s another study that looked specifically at traumatic brain injury, and what they’ve found in this was they didn’t look at the LF to HF ratio but they did find that the actual heart rate variability was significantly lower in response to traumatic brain injury. So, that’s another one if you’re measuring HRV. I wasn’t aware of this research until Terrence ask the question and I begin to delve into this and found some very interesting research that they’ve done on HRV response. And then another one that they’ve found was actual treatment of chronic brain injury by using what’s called heart rate variability biofeed back. Now, what that means is for example, there is this organization called the HeartMath Institute and you can go there and you can purchase like a little sensor. One clip attaches to your ear, the other one will plug into for example, the computer or an iPhone app and you will have like a screen and you have to consciously control your thoughts and your nervous system by breathing, by relaxing, by visualizing like peaceful scenarios and as you do that you’re heart variability increases. Sounds really woo-woo but this is what biofeed back is. The heart rate variability increases and you’ll begin to see like flowers popping up on the screen like NatureBeat like you’re growing a garden by directing your stress, consciously directing your stress to be lower. And they found that actually helps with blood flow to the brain and helps to decrease a lot of the deleterious issues associated with traumatic brain injury.
Ben: Just doing biofeed back with HRV. So not only can you use HRV to help you diagnose whether or not you having issues, you know, I know a lot of people for example, I’m not doing boxing every week I go in, my kids do jiu jitsu, I do boxing, I’ve been forced enough not to get slap upside the head too hard but if I did, uhmm, I would consider you know, depending on how bad it was. If my head would just felt a little head-achy, a little rough, I would take my heart rate variability. I wouldn’t drop myself right into the hospital. I would pay attention to my heart rate variability. I’d probably double up on my vinpocetine and fish oil, and Tianchi, and stuff like that.
I’m definitely not saying that you should avoid going to the doctor and have them look at you but yeah, you can certainly look at some things yourself as well. It’s actually really interesting not only the studies that they’ve done that have shown reversal of brain damage and increase in blood flow to the brain in NFL players who start into this protocol that Dr. Daniel Amen designed. But then they’ve also found that heart rate variability is one of the ways that you can track and that you can work with brain injury, so…
Rachel: That’s incredible.
Ben: Yeah. Really good question and I’m glad we’re able to get into this. So, Terrence, great question. You get the gold star for the – all other question this week are good but, there you go, Terrence.
Julia: Hi Ben, this is Julia calling from Atlanta. Calling to let you know that I have a problem similar to yours and that I’m on the go and often I end up buying a lot of bottled water. This is neither good for the planet, nor my pocketbook and I’m wondering if you have – have a chance to evaluate any of the filters that you can buy for handheld bottles? Last I checked, they have limited and didn’t filter very much, so I’d love your feedback on this and if there is a great filter out there, I’m gonna buy it. So, thank you for your help and I’ll be listening to the next podcast.
Rachel: So, we’ve talked a little bit about water filter systems at home, but we haven’t talked a lot about handheld bottles.
Ben: So there are not really many filters out there for handheld bottles that you will basically would put on top of the bottle itself.
Ben: Most of them are bottles that you buy that have filters already installed with them.
Rachel: Can we cover both of those?
Ben: Yes, we can.
Rachel: Okay, good.
Ben: There’s actually five that are really good. There’s one called the Bobble…
and I’ll put a link to each of these in the show notes if wanna look at and the Bobble’s kinda cool-looking. It’s like this figure 8-shaped bottle, and it has a carbon filter on the top of it so you could pour water into it, and the carbon filter’s gonna remove chlorine and it’s gonna remove a lot of organic contaminants. Now you may be familiar with the idea of reverse osmosis filtration?
Ben: That’s the real meal deal. That’s like what you install in your home, it’s pretty much impossible to put reverse osmosis to my knowledge and…
Rachel: In a handheld bottle.
Ben: to create an actual water bottle.
Ben: Reverse osmosis is like something you wouldn’t install in your home.
Ben: But this Bobble one, it has a carbon filter and that would move things like chlorine, so it would be like one you could travel with, you’re going thru the airport, you fill it from the water fountain from the airport and you’re wondering, “Okay, what kind of crap and pharmaceuticals and birth control pills am I drinking right now?”
Rachel: Lovely, yup.
Ben: From the municipal water supply, well you could instead just use bottle like this, fill it up and then it will filter out those organic contaminants along with chlorine.
Ben: There is another one that would be more for like, you know, hiking, when you’re gonna fill up from like a creek or river something – this one’s called the Vapur, the v-a-p-u-r is how you spell. It’s very portable; it’s completely collapsible, literally. You can collapse it and it’s something you could put into a book or you can collapse it and literally put it in your pocket and then unfold it, but that one has a filter on it as well and that removes 99.99% of water borne bacteria and also 99.99% of protozoa. So if you’re just drinking from sources, this would usually be like if you’re travelling. This would be more like for like the world traveler…
Ben: who just need something in their pocket they can filter stuff with fast.
Rachel: Yup. Mmm-hmm.
Ben: Camelback has one. Camelback has one called ‘The Groove’ and that’s a very durable like a nalgene style filter and it’s a little bit more of a traditional looking water bottle. It’s got one of those bike valves on it but that similar to the Bobble will remove chlorine and it will remove taste, it will remove odor – so that’s another pretty good one.
Ben: There’s one called the Hydros. Now the Hydros, the cool, unique thing about this is I was talking about filling up your water bottle from the water fountain, the only problem with that and you may have experienced this Rachel, is – have you ever tried to fill up like a big water bottle at a water fountain?
Rachel: In a small fountain? Yeah, it’s horrible.
Ben: It doesn’t work, yeah.
Ben: So this Hydros, similar to the Bobble or the Vapur, it removes chlorine, it removes chloramines, it removes particulates, it removes organic contaminants but it has a side opening…
Ben: that allows you to fill it up from the water fountain.
Rachel: Super helpful.
Ben: Yes, genius. Somebody had the thinking cap on when they created that one, so that’s one called the Hydros. And again, I’ll put a link to all these over at show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/339 and then there’s one called the Klean Kanteen, the Klean Kanteen. So the Klean Kanteen, the reason I liked that is it not plastic, right? So, you could get heated for example, if you left it in your car and you’re not gonna have to worry about drinking plastics and stuff like that.
Ben: But the Klean Kanteen itself, even though it is not plastic and it’s like a nice, clean water bottle to drink from, it doesn’t have a filter in it. However, there are these things called charcoal sticks and this come in called Kishu that makes charcoal sticks and you put a stick of a charcoal into something like a Klean Kanteen which is made out of stainless steel and that will filter out the water when you put these charcoal sticks into the Klean Kanteen, and they fit perfectly in there. They are perfect size to fit right into the Klean Kanteen, so that’s kind of a cool little 1-2 combo if you just Kishu plastic and you don’t wanna drink out of any of these other plastic choices.
Rachel: Yeah. So what’s – what are we looking to avoid in the filters?
Ben: Looking to avoid in the filters themselves.
Ben: That is – it’s a good question. I mean you want a charcoal filter or a carbon filter, but the filters themselves, there’s not really much to avoid in the filters as far as damaging things on the filter…
Ben: it’s attached in the actual bottle. The only issue that you’re gonna run into is of course, this whole issue that we’ve talking about before and that is the fact that any filter is going to de-structure water.
Rachel: The water, right.
Ben: So when I interviewed Dr. Gerald Pollack from the University of Washington, we talked in great detail about how the bonding of water goes beyond pure hydrogen and oxygen bonding and water actually has an electric chemical charge based on the frequency, the vibration of all the atoms in the water and that creates what are called exclusion zones. And when you drink water that has its proper electro chemical charge like this, it more easily interacts with the proteins on the cell membrane – on the surface of the cell membrane and theoretically, would hydrate you better. Now Dr. Pollack’s research has not looked specifically, they haven’t like take a group of athletes who drinks structured water that has a proper vibratory frequency, it can bear a group within and see who gets better hydrated but I personally drink in my own home only a structured water.
So I have a whole house structured water filter, so my water passes ‘cause it comes from a well, it passes through an iron filter, ‘cause my well has iron. It passes through a manganese filter, ‘cause my well has manganese, then it passes through the structured water filter. So as far as structuring the water, you would have to like carry structured water with you. An example of that, by then you would then dump in this water that you filtered – kinda difficult to pull-off but there’s this one company, there’s this guy I interviewed recently named Dr. Anthony Beck and we talked about this stuff called Oral IV…
Rachel: Oral IV.
Ben: which I use in the race…
Ben: and it’s a shot of water that you could dump into water de-structure or you can just take a shot of it when you’re drinking water, so the way that you do this – this little Oral IV things are super duper portable but if you want to say completely geek out while you’re traveling…
Ben: you wanna get good water, you would basically use any of these water bottle filter sources that I just talked about, you drink your water but at some point while you’re drinking your water, you would slam a shot of this Oral IV. And that would be a way to get filtered, structured water while you’re travelling.
Rachel: Did you find any difference when you’re using it to race?
Ben: Yes. I didn’t used electrolytes, I didn’t used minerals, I just used the Oral IV and you don’t get as thirsty basically. You go for a longer period of time without feeling like you need to drink as much water, so I’d normally go through about 25 to 30 ounces of water per hour while I’m racing and I was down in like a small water bottle per hour and it felt fine.
Rachel: Nice! Yeah.
Ben: I travel with this stuff. I just kinda boxed it, I put it in my pantry and I’ll just grab like 3 or 4 of them when I’m headed out in an airplane trip or something like that and – so there you have it. That’s what called Oral IV and I also put link to all these bottles in the show notes for people who wanted to accessorize.
Chrissy: Hey Ben, my name is Chrissy. I just have a basic question about a candida overgrowth. I’m just wondering if you have any information for me to get rid of candida overgrowth for good? In the past years since last September I have had recurring UTI’s, yeast infections and I’ve started taking supplements such as anti-fungals, probiotics, I’ve had fermented foods, I eat a very clean diet, very paleo, gluten free friendly. And I can’t seem to figure out how to get rid of my yeast for good, my bacterial infections in general because any time that I ran out of my supplements, it comes back. I don’t like the idea of being dependent on supplements to keep my body in check and I’m trying to figure out what to do to get my I guess, gut and bacteria balanced and order. So if you could share any information you have about candida, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much.
Ben: Have you ever had candida, Rachel?
Rachel: I haven’t, no. Wait.
Ben: My kids have had candida. Babies get it.
Ben: Yeah. Babies get it, it’s called thrush and actually…
Rachel: Right, I have definitely had thrush (laughs).
Ben: One of my biggest horror stories when travelling was with both my boys when they’re born they had thrush.
Ben: And a lot of babies get it and one of the naturopathic remedies to treat thrush, their thrush-thrush, is the stuff called Gentian Violet, Gentian Violet.
Ben: It has really good activity when it comes to killing this fungi, but it also kinda like turmeric – dyes everything yellow; Gentian Violet dyes everything purple and it will never come out.
Ben: And we took the boys up to the Triathlon World Championships that I was competing in Vancouver and we stay at this pristine bed and breakfast.
Ben: It was like this old Victorian mansion and then we rolled in there, you know, it’s owned by this cute little elderly couple and you know, we rolled in with our little babies and we checked in and we had this gorgeous room: white comfort room, white walls, white carpet and we had kids and they had thrush. And my wife had this little, little, tini-tiny bottle of Gentian Violet…
Ben: And she was giving it to the kids and at some point during the night, her arm knocked the Gentian Violet off…
Ben: …of the cupboard that was next to her bedside, sent it flying across the room where it sprayed like a sprinkler…
Ben: …full of dark, purple color on the wall, the comforter and the floor and we literally spent almost 3 hours trying to scrub that room…
Rachel: Trying to get it out.
Ben: it was one of those works at worse, right? You scrub it on the wall…
Ben: and you start to turn more of the wall purple.
Rachel: Yup. Mmm-hmm.
Ben: So, it took me – this was back in – you know, 7 years ago, we didn’t have a lot of money and we’re just like scared and we were like, “Oh these people gonna sue us.”
Ben: There was like thousands of dollars of damage…
Ben: …they didn’t have insurance so I finished paying off that damage last year.
Rachel: Oh my gosh, Ben.
Ben: Because I was like, I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna make this right.” and I think that I convinced them to let me pay them like something in say like, $25 a month…
Ben: …to pay off the damages (laughs) and so I just put myself on a payment plan and eventually paid them – I did that with hospital bills sometimes, too. I just be like…
Ben: “Screw it, I’m not gonna pay you $3,000…
Rachel: Up front, right.
Ben: So anyways, but Gentian Violet…
Rachel: So be careful. Be careful with it.
Ben: …is not my number one recommendation…
Rachel: Oh! Okay.
Ben: …for candida, for Chrissy. So candida actually, is a term that refers to a big family of yeast.
Ben: And these are just the single-celled fungi that under normal circumstances with harmlessly inhabit your tissues, and that’s because they balanced intestinal tract like from your mouth all the way down to your colon contains a lot of good bacteria that keep candida in check. So they have good gut flora right? You’re doing yoghurt and kimchi and fermented foods and maybe some probiotics, you’ve got enough beneficial bacteria present to keep candida under control and to keep it from transforming from a harmless state into an invasive species.
Ben: So it’s not like you don’t normally candida, everybody has it.
Ben: It’s just that people have a white out gut flora whether it’s from – well, I mean, a lot of things can cause a white out gut flora. It can be that you grow up drinking soy milk instead of breast milk; it can be that you’re born with via C-section versus vaginal delivery, I mean, there’s a ton of different circumstances in your life that can pre-dispose you to having an imbalance in your gut flora. But…
Rachel: So, it’s that what you think might have happened with Chrissy? ‘Cause it sounds like she’s trying a whole bunch of different things.
Ben: Yeah. Who knows? I mean it can also be just having been on and off antibiotics at some in your life…
Ben: …that had happens. That happened to me, I got a fungal growth on my skin, it took me 2 years to get rid of after I went on a big antibiotic regimen and I wound up having to literally keep a bottle of oil of oregano in the shower and used that on my back and my skin to get rid of the splotchy because every summer, I would get super embarrassed ‘cause I had fungi on my skin…
Ben: …from it having taking over after I’d been on antibiotic protocol. And every time I go out and tan, I’d tan splotchy.
Ben: And it’s all eventually, I figured out what it was and our dermatologist I went to diagnosed it.
Ben: And he wanted to put me on more antibiotics and I instead opted for oil of oregano and just kept a bottle in the shower and I’ll put it on my skin.
Rachel: Oh my.
Ben: It worked, it worked.
Ben: I had no longer tan splotch, I have a beautiful, deep, rich tan – I’m like…
Ben: I looked like a Brazilian. Anyways though, so candida overgrowth can occur in a lot of tissues of the body. So candida puts out this big strainy things called haypi or roots that penetrate through the tissues of your body and they can cause thrush, they can cause dandruff, they can cause vaginal yeast infections. And it’s an opportunistic pathogen that can rapidly take over especially when you’re under a course of antibiotics, because antibiotics decimate your beneficial gut flora and candida takes over quickly. Oral contraceptives like the pill indecently, imbalanced the gut in the same way as antibiotics…
Ben: so you find a lot of women who’ve been on a pill, also get candida.
Ben: And if you combine that with the diet, the time-processed foods like sugars and simple carbs, candida will overgrow you more because yeast thrive on sugars.
Rachel: Feed off it. Yeah.
Ben: And what you get, the symptoms of it are digestive complaints, skin issues, brain fog, all of the things that you would expect from basically a yeast cell organisms taking over your body. Now there are a lot of diets out there that can help with candida and Chrissy has tried a lot of this stuff. She’s gone paleo, she’s gone gluten free, she’s done anti-fungals, she’s done probiotics but unfortunately, a lot of times candida overgrowth will not go away because there is basically a breach in the integrity of the gut lining.
Ben: Okay? So the way that this works, is that disaccharides or this double sugar molecules that present in many carbohydrates including grains and that can be gluten free grains that can be carbohydrates that you might be consuming even like potatoes and yams and starchy vegetables that you might be consuming on a paleo diet.
Ben: And what happens is that if your gut is overridden with candida, you’re unable to digest the sugar molecules because a lack of beneficial gut flora compromises the function of these things called enterocytes in your gut. So enterocytes are cells that live on your gut wall, they live on the villi, these little hair-like projections on your gut wall and they produce an enzyme called disaccharidase and that breaks down disaccharide molecules into monosaccharide molecules.
And when that happens, these monosaccharide molecules can get absorbed and pass through the digestive tract, but when that doesn’t happen, the disaccharides are simply there for the candida to feed on.
Ben: So what this comes down to is that you have difficulty digesting starch and candida continues to overgrow. So the way that you have to fix this is you have to get rid of components in the diet that contain disaccharides, that contain fermentable sugars, fermentable carbohydrates and a lot of times, that’s not paleo and that’s not gluten free.
Ben: There are basically 3 different resources that I want to give to Chrissy that I would consider to bet diets that do eliminate properly the type of foods that are going to affect candida and also introduce a lot of foods that are gonna help to heal. Number one is the GAPS diet stands for gut and psychology syndrome, GAPS diet and that’s one that can work very, very well for candida. You have to stick to it, it was written by a physician and it’s used a lot in children but it also works in adults who have like floral imbalances or candida.
Ben: So that’s one. There’s another called the specific carbohydrate diet, very similar to the GAPS diet with the exception that it includes more, more modern foods that even includes like a lot of like meal replacement powders, bars, it’s a little bit more user friendly for someone who’s leading perhaps like a more hectic lifestyle with travel…
Ben: …stuff like that versus the GAP style which is more like make your own bone broth and you know, yogurt…
Rachel: Mmm. Yup.
Ben: …and stuff like that. And then there’s also this program called The Candida Cleanse, it is the most comprehensive protocol that I’ve ever seen for getting rid of candida. A 12-week protocol, I will often have clients come to me who have candida and I will turn them away and I’ll just say, “Go to The Candida Cleanse”, ‘cause it’s what I – it’s what you’d be paying me to do and just go buy The Candida Cleanse and do that. And it’s just like this program, you know, yada-yada-yada, PDFs, videos, you download it, you follow everything, you do the program – so it was called The Candida Cleanse. What I would personally do, I’ll personally do The Candida Cleanse, if for some reason, you decide you don’t wanna do that, follow either the GAP style or the SCD diet. This is not again, another medical disclaimer….
Ben: Diagnose in between medical conditions, this is what I would do if I have candida.
Rachel: Right, yup.
Ben: And for Pete’s sake, do not go hang-out to the bed and breakfast if you do decide to throw a Gentian Violet into the mix.
Rachel: And would you still eat fermented foods and all of the stuff that is kind of known to be good for yeast overgrowth?
Ben: If the fermented foods are the type of fermented foods that don’t have sugars and starches or digestible carbohydrates in them, they can feed the candida, yes. So like, kimchi for example, would be fine.
Rachel: Yup. Yum.
Ben: But like starchy vegetables would not, chocolate is a fermented food and unfortunately, that would be out. A beer and wine would definitely be out, so depends on the ferment.
Rachel: Okay. Good to know! Well, there you go, Chrissy.
Olivia: Hey Ben and Rachel. Spatty Spunk here. What is your advice for someone going into the military specifically the Air Force, in regard to fitness and maintaining health and sanity in stressful situations with limited access to resources? How would you prepare for the armed forces and what might be hacks for those with their boots on the ground, so to speak? Thanks!
Ben: Well Olivia is one lucky gal, because do you know what I am holding in my hands right now, Rachel?
Rachel: What are you holding?
Ben: I am holding the research journal that I just received which is the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research invited papers from the 3rd International Congress on soldier’s physical performance.
Ben: Basically, a research journal jam-packed with the most up to date research on what works and what doesn’t for soldiers who are training and the biggest flaws…
Ben: …in training protocols not just in the U.S. but in the world, including Australia.
Rachel: Awesome! What do you got?
Ben: So before I jump into a few other things that I would do to maintain health and to eat properly which this particular research journal doesn’t go as much as the training side of things, I wanna point out two important things that I found when I was reading this journal ‘cause I literally just went through it a couple of days ago, so a lot of these stuff is fresh in my mind.
Ben: There is one study that was done in Maryland that looked at physical training, fitness and injuries in the military study. So they looked into a bunch of studies, they found that the three most prevalent factors in soldiers who are injured: number one was in proper selection of footwear, so basically soldiers wearing nail footwear in their boot, in the old shoe without paying attention to the quality of that shoe…
Ben: …or without using a shoe that was designed specifically for their needs – that’s one thing, is footwear selection is huge.
Pay attention to arch type, U arch type, low, normal, high; pay attention to the fact that even though a minimalist piece of footwear may be the most ancestrally appropriate marching for hours and hours on and on hard surfaces is not necessarily ancestral, so you may need a different solution – so footwear selection. Number two was too much static stretching. The military still…
Ben: heavily on board with the – whatever, sit on the floor, stretch, reach for the hamstring, hold, switch…
Ben: reach for your hamstring, stand…
Ben: reach your arms towards the sky, static stretching
Rachel: Is that what you do on Seal Fit?
Ben: Ah, no. There are board with dynamic stretching thing fortunately, but basically, they’ve found that now like in static stretching reduce power production, strength but it can also provide you no decrease in your risk of injury, so.
Ben: And then the final thing that they found was that most soldiers are over-training, they’re specifically over-training with endurance and mileage. They’re not over-training with sympathetic nervous system based activities like strength and power, they’re simply too much low level physical activity going on when as we talked about earlier in the podcast, you can often achieve just as high a level of stamina and endurance with short intense protocols.
Rachel: Right. Yeah.
Ben: That was number three. Now the other thing that they found, one other thing I wanna plan, this was the research say that was done in Finland on their military basic training, was they found that most of the training that’s done in basic training, does not focus enough on two factors. And these are two factors that soldiers tend to be weak in: number one is maximum oxygen uptake, VO2 max, right? So again, lots of low level endurance training, not a lot of hard efforts in about the 2 to 4 minute range, okay?
Ben: So that would be low hang foot that you would go after would be high intensity intervals done in the 2 to 4 minute range. And then number two: low muscle strength – basically soldiers and you sees a lot with fighters too incidentally like even like MMA fighters just doing not enough strength, right? Too much conditioning work…
Ben: without enough basic strength training protocol, such as you would find in a book like Dan John’s ‘Mass Made Simple’ or even a better resource for this would be the book ‘Starting Strength’ by Mark Rippetoe.
Ben: Just basically learning how to do a five by five protocol with dead lifts and squats and overhead press and maybe some cleans and some lunges. But just basic strength protocol versus PT, right? Push-ups, sit-ups, running…
Ben: pull-ups. You have to build strength as well if you want to be complete athlete.
Ben: So those are the big stand-outs from that journal.
Ben: Now I also want to tell you five things that I would do if I were going to the Armed Forces in addition where I’ve just described, right? Limiting endurance, doing more high intensity, doing more strength, selecting proper footwear and avoiding static stretching. So those things are – first of all: everywhere I go, every time I hop on an airplane, I travel anywhere in the world, I walk into my pantry, I get giant gallons of black bag and I fill it full with meal replacement powder. I can take that meal replacement powder, I can walk up to Starbucks at the airport, ask for a cup and a spoon, dump it in there, fill it up with water, preferably filtered…
Ben: from the water fountain, stir it up and have a meal.
Rachel: Yeah, perfect.
Ben: And I have in so many situations, avoided the problem that you ran into including the problem that I ran into when I’ve been on military base speaking, got myself in cafeterias, etc., that problem where there simply not healthy food around.
Rachel: Right. Terrible one, yeah.
Ben: And some people bulk at the price of a like a $70 canister of europlacement but when you do the math, you’re spending 2 to 4 bucks on a meal.
Rachel: In a meal. Perfect, yeah.
Ben: And a lot times, I’ll jab a few handfuls of you know, like almonds, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, you know, some texture in there as well but I just always travel, I always have a bag of it in my handbag.
Rachel: Sounds perfect for deployment as well.
Ben: Yup. Number two, and this is again something that is simply my go-to when I’m traveling, is when I – when my head hits the pillow to go to sleep, I – especially if I’m at a conference or something like that, I want like every freakin’ second of sleep count.
Rachel: Count. Yeah.
Ben: In many cases, I’m in a situation where I have a roommate, I’m sleeping in a you know, a room full of people for example, like you know, I was doing that Seal Fit event you know, we had five of us in a trailer.
Ben: So I gotta block out what other people are doing and I don’t know, I always have a 1-2-3 combo that I use for that.
Ben: And I’ll link to all these stuff in the show notes for yah: a wrap around Sleepmask, that covers both the eyes and the ears…
Ben: …this thing called Sleephones which are soft sleephones, like headphones that you put in that allow you to sleep on your side without an ear bud or headphones digging into your ear.
Rachel: (laughs) Yes!
Ben: Okay so, sleephones going first, that’s the first layer and then the Sleepmask goes over that, and that allows me to not be able to see or hear anything unless I want to.
Ben: Yes, if an alarm goes off, I can hear it.
Ben: A gun goes off, I can hear but you know, if someone’s talking next to me, I can’t hear it – whether it’s an airplane or you know, a trailer. And then the last thing is Sleepstream. So Sleephones the other end of them plugged into my phone while have something called the Sleepstream app installed. I’ve used all sorts of different apps for sleeping, Sleepstream works the best – it is just binaural beats that you can use for power nap, for deep sleep, for motivation, for creativity, for relaxation – you name it. It has way more than just sleep on the – but that’s the 1-2-3 combo that I use, boom! Head hits the pillow, eyes are blocked, ears are blocked, Sleepstream is playing in the ears and then go to sleep fast without being distracted. So that’s number two.
Ben: Number three is to make yourself metabolically efficient and there are two ways that you can do that that I swear by. When I do – I do this whether I’m travelling or whether I am home. I use cyclic ketosis – so what that means is I eat very low carbohydrate until the end of the day and I use this consent of carb back-loading to eat my carbs at the end of the day when my body is at prime state to take those carbs and use them for anabolic activities such as restoration of my muscles and my liver glycogen. And recently, and I outline all these in article I’m working about right now in free diving and breath holding, I’m now using a MCT oils and ketones, powdered ketones to allow myself to go for extremely long periods of time without eating. And it’s kinda interesting…
Ben: my overall calorie intake prior to starting into this new form of ketosis that I am now experimenting with was about 35,000 calories a day. I’m down on 25,000 calories a day now which…
Ben: instill the same energy levels and I’m sleeping much less, meaning that I’m getting up early and functioning during the entire day with far less sleep. Very, very interesting things that have began to occur when I start to incorporate these principles but that’s another one that conserve you quite well.
Rachel: And then so your carb consumption is 10 to 30% still or you just consume them in the evening?
Ben: Mmm-hmm, yep.
Ben: And during the day, I’m eating less food and I’m doing more of just this beta hydroxybutyrate ketone salts. Kinda little biohack, yes, it means that I’m not having a big, tasty sandwich or salad for lunch but it’s actually helped me to become extremely efficient with both my eating and my calorie intake.
Ben: Okay. Two more for you, two more. When I spoke at Fort Collins, Colorado a couple of months ago, there were two different gyms that I was give a tour of.
Ben: One was the standard fancy gym.
Ben: Not a less equipment, elliptical trainers, treadmill, bicycle, you know, women on a Stairmaster reading a book or listening to an mp3.
Ben: And then there was the other gym which was ropes hanging from the ceiling, weighted vest, giant boxes to jump on top of, chains, bands, barbells, steel kettlebells.
Rachel: Sounds fun.
Ben: Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the fitter athletes, the fittest athletes I saw on that base where in that latter gym.
Ben: They were not messing around with the fancy gym, they were getting in, getting out, doing strong men styles training, doing dynamic strength training and using free weights and doing more of the not necessarily CrossFit workouts but more of it was like a giant CrossFit box almost. So that would be recommendation number four which may declaring the obvious to many of our listeners, but if you have to choose between which gym to go to, go to the one that’s more uncomfortable (chuckles)…
Ben: that’ s more intimidating but that’s also going to make you stronger, faster and help you to eliminate some of these variables that I just talked about that are weaknesses in soldiers in this recent research journal.
Rachel: Yup. And what was the last one?
Ben: Okay. The last one was to make every moment count.
Ben: So for example, when I am…
Ben: sounds like the precious moments.
Rachel: It does!
Ben: When I’m driving, if I have to drive from here down to Moscow which is where my in-laws live, you know, I’ll be making that drive many times over the holidays and I know I’m just gonna be sitting in the car for 90 minutes. I will use a PowerLung and GripTrainer in the steering wheel, so what I mean by that? Is I’ll pass the first mile marker, I’ll take out my PowerLung device and I will do five breast in and five breast out on this inspiratory/expiratory muscle trainer that I can simply use while I’m driving.
Ben: And then I’ll pass the next mile marker…
Ben: I’ll take out my GripTrainer like my hand grip trainer, I’ll do five squeezes on one side and I’ll do five squeezes on the other side.
When I’m doing my squeezes, I’m not just squeezing the handle, I’m squeeze my whole body, squeeze my crotch like I do my kegels, I squeeze shoulders…
Ben: So full body contraction, release, full body contraction, release – the idea with the grip trainer.
Ben: And then, I’ll rest and when I get to the next mile marker, I’ll do a seated row where I pull myself into the steering wheel and then push myself away from the steering wheel 10 times…
Ben: pull myself in, push myself away, so I can literally drive for 90 minutes…
Ben: and get a full workout in a ton of blood flow make my body better, make my lungs better, make my grip strength better, work on my kegels…
Ben: and do all that while I’m driving. And that’s an example of making every moment count because you will find when you are in the Armed Forces or when you’re travelling or when you’re in a situation that you can sit and be completely unproductive when it comes to giving yourself a better body that’s harder to kill or you can make your body better even when you have to have your butt planted for long periods of time.
Rachel: And what are your boys do when they’re in the backseat seeing you do this? Do they giggle?
Ben: They gets perfectly normal?
Ben: They probably giggle at the people that they saw not doing it…
Rachel: Sitting there, yeah.
Ben: and like, “What are you doing? You’re just driving? Are you kidding me?”
Rachel: You raised them well.
Ben: Just driving, seriously. Just bring safe?
Ben: You know, I do not endorse any dangerous activities while driving.
Rachel: Just concentrating on the road?
Ben: Like breath holds, I quit doing breath – I was doing breath holds when I was driving to get ready for this free diving course and my instructor told me never again. He’s like, “You shallow water blackout, it’s called like automobile blackout can happen.”
Rachel: Right. Worst case scenario. Mmm-hmm.
Ben: That being said, I will put a link to all those things that I just talked about, list them off for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/339 and this means, drum roll please. That we’ve got…
Rachel: (makes drum roll sound)
Ben: to the point of the podcast where we give away something.
Ben: We’re gonna give away a Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie, we’re gonna give away a Ben Greenfield Fitness tech t-shirt and we’re gonna give away a BPA free water bottle, no filter installed in it, sorry but…
Ben: nonetheless, it’s quite keen…
Rachel: You can’t have everything.
Ben: quite keen-looking. And we’re going to send all of these to the person whose review we are about to read. Now, if you want to win something, very easy, you go to iTunes, you leave a review, or you could just leave there all the goodness of your heart even if you don’t wanna win something. You leave a review, give us 5 stars, give us a nice ranking…
Ben: And if you hear your review read on the show and you email [email protected] with your address and your t-shirt size, we’ll send you a gift pack, so that being said…
Ben: we’ve got listener Cas171717…
Rachel: lots of 17s.
Ben: she left a review; I wanna read this one Rachel because it’s about you.
Rachel: Ah, you can read it, its super sweet. I’ll probably blush.
Ben: Here we go. This is a 5 star review called ‘I Love Rachel’.
Ben: It goes: “I just wanted to say, Rachel is adorable. She needs to post a picture of her koala Halloween costume.”
Ben: “Love the podcast.”
Rachel: Oh, that’s hilarious!
Ben: And Rachel, this begs a question.
Rachel: Cas, you’re my favorite. Yeah, what’s the question?
Ben: Do you a picture of your koala Halloween?
Rachel: I do!
Ben: Ah, so…
Rachel: And the best part about it is, my husband is in it too and he’s a kangaroo (laughs).
Ben: We are going to post the picture for you, of Rachel’s koala Halloween costume on the show notes for today’s episode. You gotta see Rachel all decked up koala style at bengreenfieldfitness.com/339 so, there you have it. Whether you wanna see Rachel dressed up as a koala or whether you want to pipe in on the recent Cardio’s Gotta Kill You study or do you want to check out all of my resources for filtering your water, controlling candida and oh so much more – bengreenfieldfitness.com/339. And a reminder, it’ll be a few weeks until you hear from Rachel and I again but we got…
Ben: We got full of great interviews coming up for yah, I’ve been picking the minds of some of the most fantastic folks on the face of the planet. So stay tuned, we’re bringing those to you soon. In the meantime, I’m Ben.
Rachel: And I’m Rachel!
Ben: She’s Rachel. Signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com, have a healthy week everybody!
You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.
November 25, 2015 Podcast: Is Cardio Really Bad For Your Heart, What Is The Best Way To Filter Your Water, How To Get Rid of Candida & More!
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.
- What do you think about this? (particularly in light of my recent personal “volume vs. intensity” decision I unveiled)
- What do you think? Would you use a bike to power your home?
- Green tea with Thanksgiving Dinner anyone (fat burning trick)?
This podcast is brought to you by: Kimera Koffee, nootropic infused coffee that makes your brain work faster (use 10% discount code BEN10), and by Onnit, the world’s best website for outside-the-box performance enhancement.
The Fat Loss Summit just began and goes November 15-29. This is a FREE online event you can attend from home or on any mobile device, and includes talks like: How to lose more fat with intermittent fasting and carb cycling strategies, secret Russian and mixed martial art training principles that speed fat loss, how to gamify your workouts to burn more fat in less time, a gut healing plan to go from sugar burner to fat burner, how to tweak your nervous system to lose weight faster…and much more (including a cold thermogenesis episode from yours truly). Sign up NOW here: BenGreenfieldFitness.com/fatlosssummit
Did you miss the weekend podcast episode with Dr Andrew Hill? It was a must-listen – titled “Can Weed Really Shrink Your Brain”. Click here to listen now or download for later!
Now Available – Ben Greenfield’s “REV Yourself Conference” – 25 Packaged Interviews With The World’s Leading Experts In Physical & Mental Performance Enhancement Strategies. In this package, you’ll get to watch and listen as Ben Greenfield sits down with the world’s leading experts in biohacking, physical performance, mental performance, cognitive enhancement, personal productivity, muscle gain, fat loss and more. In a frank, easy-to-understand, fireside chat format, these experts reveal all their most cutting-edge secrets, and your access to the videos and audios also includes helpful notes, summaries and more. From Dr. Mercola to Mark Sisson to Nora Gedgaudas, you can check out the lineup and get access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, forever (no expiration!) once you click here to get lifetime access for $47.
Dec 4-6, 2015: Ben is speaking at the Unbeatable Mind Retreat in Carlsbad, California. This is where SEALFit and Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine will be assembling the best of the best in everything from performance to cutting-edge mental training to advanced sleep tactics and more. Includes amazing ancestral meals, morning WOD’s at SEALFit HQ (the site of the world famous Kokoro camp), Warrior Yoga instruction and workouts, and speakers such as Robb Wolf, Dr. Kirk Parsley, Dominic D’Agostino, and more.
Nov 17-18, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.
Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.
And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.
How To Know If Your Brain Is Damaged
Terrence says: He heard that you recently took up boxing. He’s an MMA fighter and is always worried about traumatic brain injury – he takes turmeric and fish oil regularly. But he’s wondering if HRV can be used as an indicator of TBI or if not, are there any biomarkers specifically of brain trauma and brain inflammation that he should be aware of and on the look out for?
In my response, I recommend:
–How To Heal From A Concussion podcast
–DirectLabs CRP Test and Inflammatory Cytokine test
What Is The Best Way To Filter Your Water?
Julia says: She’s on the go and often ends up buying a lot of bottle water. She’s wondering if you have the chance to evaluate any filters for handheld bottles?
In my response, I recommend:
–Structured water filter (the one Ben uses in his home)
–OralIV (use 20% discount code BEN20)
–Klean Kanteen with Kishu Charcoal Sticks
–Bobble – Bobble’s sleek water bottle comes in three sizes and many different colors. The carbon filter removes chlorine and organic contaminants.
–Camelbak – Camelbak’s durable bottle has a carrying handle and spill-proof bite valve. The filter reduces chlorine, taste, and odor.
–Vapur – Vapur’s water bottle is collapsible, making it easy to stash and carry. The filter removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa.
–Hydros -The Hydros filtering water bottle has a unique side opening for ease in filling up at water fountains and taps. The filter reduces chlorine, chloramines, and particulates.
How To Get Rid Of Candida
Chrissy says: She’s wondering if you can provide information to get rid of candida overgrowth for good. Since September last year she’s had recurring UTI’s and yeast infections, she’s started taking supplements like anti-fungals, probiotics, fermented foods she eats paleo/gluten free, but every time she goes off her supplements it comes back. She doesn’t want to depend on supplements to keep her body in check and she’s trying to figure out how to get her gut/bacteria balance back in order.
5 Ways To Stay Healthy In The Armed Forces
Olivia says: What is your advice with someone going into the Armed Forces? In regards to fitness and maintaining health and sanity in stressful situations with limited access to resources. How would you prepare for the armed forces and what would be your hacks for someone with their boots on the ground?
In my response, I recommend:
–Use MRP’s like SuperGreens
-Sleep efficiently (Sleepmask, Sleephones, Sleepstream combo)
-Use carb back-loading and ketosis (get KetoCaNa with 10% discount code BG2015)
-Avoid the fancy gym
-Make every moment count (PowerLung, GripTrainer, etc.)